Avatar's moon, Paradox of Choice and Flying Cars

Encountered this morning in the seasonally-adjusted, dwindling number of items in the IdeaFestival feed reader:

  • Forget the $100 PC, the e-book reader might be a better learning tool in underdeveloped countries.
  • Avatar has brought attention to the work of exoplanetologists pondering whether a habitable moon might orbit a gas giant such as our Jupiter.
  • A neuroscientist interested in developmental intelligence in children has discovered that a $13 investment in the popular video games provided a big jump in certain kinds of intelligence, according to the MacArthur Foundation site "Spotlight on Digital Media." A more expensive gift this holiday season might be an $80,000 flying car
  • Given the ubiquity of information and computing power, citizen science is becoming quite popular.
  • Ethics also has a neurological signature, according to "generosity is natural for kind-hearted people." Next up, neuroscientists look in vain for the kind heart.
  • When faced with a sizable number of choices, some people will simply choose not to choose. This Wharton article suggests, however, that more choices can lead to better choices. Not sure I'm buying that.
  • Microeconomic rhyme might be one way to learn about price elasticity. And finally,
  • Santa has one tricked-out sleigh.