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The Best Thing We Found This Week
Love does an awful lot of things. It makes the world spin around its axis. It completes the “God is—” equation. And it makes you feel freaking giddy.
But while poets and philosophers can argue endlessly on the nature and power of love or whether it even really exists, science itself has been piling up evidence that, at the very least, justify the global obsession with the subject. “What is love?” tops Google’s question charts in 2014; and, “how to kiss” unexpectedly beats other search requests for guidance, including the more existential “how to survive.”
A scientist describes love as a neurological condition similar to hunger or thirst but one that is more permanent and more difficult to control. Not surprisingly, MRI scans show that love increases blood flow to the brain’s pleasure center and triggers the release of behavior-altering chemicals such as dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, pheromones, vasopressin, and oxytocin. And guess what: If you believe that sex sells, research provides evidence that love is even more powerful than the primal urge to hit the sheets with a partner.
Piqued your interest? To help you explore love in all its intriguing layers, Academic Earth — a MOOC provider that aggregates free courses — created a playlist containing a few hours worth of Yale University classes that delves into the topic. Pull the love puzzle apart using the tools and methods of cognitive psychology, economics, game theory and literature. Identify the different types of love, probe into the laws of sexual attraction, and understand the evolutionary function of emotions.
Everyone wants to feel that Love Is in the Air especially with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. And that’s a great excuse to shed off that fake stoic demeanor, admit that you need love after all, and join a heart-opening class to learn more about it.
- The Secret Power of Brands (course) – A company’s brand often outvalues its real properties and machinery, with the world’s top brands estimated to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars. This course explores how something so abstract and intangible can cost so much. Starts on February 9.
- Embrace the Ugly: How to Break Through What’s Holding You Back in Business (live class) – There’s always something that holds us back from achieving what we aim for in our career, business, or personal life. Whether it’s lack of time, funds, confidence or skills, these seemingly negative factors can be transformed into positive energy. Learn how to break free on February 10.
- Online Advertising (course) – Now that everyone agrees that demand for digital marketing professionals will explode in 2015, here’s a course that will equip you with solid online advertising credentials to to flourish in the industry. Starts on February 9.
- Begin Programming: Build Your First Mobile Game (course) –There are two ways to engage a game: you can play it all you want, and you can write the program that makes it work. And there’s absolutely nothing — not even a zero experience in coding — that prevents you from doing both. Start creating your own game on February 16.
- Big Data for Better Performance (course) – Among other reasons, big data inspires big buzz because it creates big business opportunities. Learn how to tap big data to ramp up your organization’s performance. Starts on February 9.
- Mobile Robotics (course) – Robots have stirred the human imagination for centuries, giving rise to Frankenstein’s monster, golems, and post-apocalyptic terminators. Robots, in fact now co-exist with us in the real world and this course not only shows how they work but how they are created. Starts on February 9.
- The Art of Photography (course) – Make art with your camera. Learn the concepts and develop the skills you need to lift your photography into a higher form of visual communication. Capture the moment on February 9.
- Simple PR for Creatives (live class) – Learn how to generate positive buzz about your business. This course teaches you the basics of Public Relations so you can be your own PR Manager. Starts February 12.
- How to Succeed at: Writing Applications (course) – Need to apply for college, a job or a grant? This course shows the secrets of exceptional resumes, application letters and online portfolios. Go for it on February 9.
- Introduction to Ecosystems (course) – Develop a deeper understanding of how different environments foster and nourish life. Explore habitats and discover the surprising connections between, animals, plants, and the physical characteristics of an ecosystem. Starts on February 16.
- Science Fiction/Science Fact: Predictions and Math (Lite) (course) – If you’ve been terrified of Math since stepping inside a classroom, this course will change your view. Your instructor was a child pyromaniac-turned Physics professor who now teaches the Science of Superheroes and other borderline topics. Starts February 9.
- Positive Psychology (course) – Science confirms the long-held belief that a positive mindset reaps tremendous benefits for your health and personal growth. Learn how to apply positive psychology to boost your resilience, kindness, creativity and happiness. Classes start on February 9.