Women are from Venus, Men are from…Rhode Island? The Research Project, Week Thirty Nine

Here’s a look at some of the research that is happening at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, everything from robots to chameleons to zebrafish to virtual reality. Brown is also heavily involved in research on the planet Mars since there are several articles on their research news web page about it.

One of the articles listed below definitely qualifies for the “Why Did We Need a Research Project to Tell Us That?” category. Apparently research paid for by the AARP Foundation has found that home-delivered meals reduce loneliness among  senior citizens. Did they really think there was a possibility that home-delivered meals were increasing loneliness among the elderly?

Right after the listing for the research about home-delivered meals is a listing for research about the benefits of virtual reality (VR). VR is the hot new thing in the tech world. It involves strapping on a pair of goggles that can transport you into a whole new, virtual world. In my mind VR, while it may have numerous benefits, will add to the sense of loneliness that people who are really into tech already suffer from. I honestly don’t see VR as something that will make people fell less lonely. Maybe we should find a way to have meals delivered to the homes of people who are really into tech so it all balances out!

According to its web site, the city of Providence is 140 years older than our nation. It has persevered through the American Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, the Great Recession, the Hurricane of ’38 and the Blizzard of ’78.

The mayor, Jorge O. Elorza, believes that Providence’s best days are ahead of it – really!? He was raised by Guatemalan immigrant parents in inner-city Providence, then returned to his old neighborhood after his graduation from Harvard Law School to give back to his community as an attorney for Rhode Island Legal Services.

The Humanity Centered Robotics Initiative aims to explore the intersection between robotic technologies and society.


A new study reports one of the most explosive movements in the animal kingdom: the mighty tongue acceleration of a chameleon just a couple of inches long. The research illustrates that to observe some of nature’s best performances, scientists sometimes have to look at its littlest species.


A new study in nematode worms and mice also finds that a protein that transports fats around the body can hinder protective processes in cells and affect life span.


Home-delivered meals reduce loneliness, study finds


Brown’s new VR display aids scientific, artistic exploration


Mathematical model helps show how zebrafish get their stripes


Clot-busting stroke treatments help, but sometimes they produce a serious complication: a hemorrhage.


Bootstrap is a curriculum that helps kids learn algebra as they program their own video games. A new $1.5-million grant from the National Science Foundation will help researchers refine the curriculum and train more teachers to use it.


Free will seems a matter of mind, not soul


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