How Aliens Can Help Reduce Homophobia

The British Psychological Society has a fascinating summary of some new research at Brock University. Apparently, intervention programs that are...

The British Psychological Society has a fascinating summary of some new research at Brock University. Apparently, intervention programs that are designed to reduce homophobia in schools or other institutions often don't work well. Part of the problem is that they tend to use role-playing in which homophobic participants are asked to imagine the difficult experience of being gay in an intolerant society. Not surprisingly, homophobic people don't slip easily into this role. Being homophobic, they resist imagining themselves as gay.But you can sort of trick homophobic people into appreciating what's hard about being a minority by invoking a scenario involving aliens. Here's how it works:For the Alien-Nation task, the [homophobic] students formed groups of four to five members and imagined landing on an alien planet that's populated by aliens who look exactly like humans, but who don't allow any public displays of affection, and who live in same-sex housing and reproduce by artificial insemination.The participants answered questions about how they would cope with life on the planet and maintain their lifestyles. They also shared plans for how to behave romantically in secret and how to identify other humans.After the exercise, the homophobic students who imagined living in this repressive alien nation were much more sympathetic to gays than students who attended a lecture on homophobia. What's clever about this is that it circumvents people's knee-jerk aversion to homosexuality (whether that's visceral, political, religious, or whatever) while making them feel the challenges of being gay.

Even though marathon running is on the decline, half a million people signed up to participate in the 2020 London Marathon. It seems wild that someone would voluntarily sign up to run 26.2 miles, but those half a million people might actually be on to something. A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that running a marathon can help reverse signs of aging.

Researchers at Barts and University College London looked at 138 first-time marathon runners between the ages of 21 and 69. "We wanted to look at novice athletes. We didn't include people who said they ran for more than two hours a week," Dr. Charlotte Manisty, the study's senior author and cardiologist at University College London, said per CNN.

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via Stu Hansen / Twitter

In a move that feels like the subject line of a spam email or the premise of a bad '80s movie, online shopping mogul Yusaku Maezawa is giving away money as a social experiment.

Maezawa will give ï¿¥1 million yen ($9,130) to 1,000 followers who retweeted his January 1st post announcing the giveaway. The deadline to retweet was Tuesday, January 7.

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via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

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