Taylor Swift songs are well known for their depiction of various roller coaster relationships. These relationships have evolved over Swift’s long career as a pop superstar. But how did the feelings conveyed in Swift’s songs change around this time, and what light can science shed on this important question?
Now Megan Mansfield and Darryl Seligman from the University of Chicago have some sort of answer. “We show, for the first time, how Swift’s lyrical and melodic structure evolved in their depiction of emotions on a τ ∼ 14-year timescale,” they say.
Their results could be useful to Swift, or anyone, in choosing a partner in the future. “We provide tentative indications that partners with blue eyes and / or a bad reputation may lead to overall less positive emotions, while those with green or indigo eyes may produce more positive emotions and stronger relationships,” Mansfield and Seligman say.
However, they also include a disclaimer: “We stress that these trends are based on small sample sizes and that more data is needed to validate them.”
You were warned!
Ref: Knew You Had Problems: Emotional Trends in Taylor Swift’s Repertoire: arxiv.org/abs/2103.16737
Are you productive? And how does your assessment of your work ethic compare to your actual productivity?
These are questions posed by Kaley Brauer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, who studied how often she and her colleagues met self-imposed deadlines for 559 tasks over the past nine months.
Brauer summarizes its results in a few key points to remember. First, she says writing and coding takes about 1.5 times longer than you expect – so plan accordingly. She also says seasoned researchers aren’t much better at meeting deadlines than their younger colleagues. Additionally, people fail to meet deadlines better over time.
But not all of hers are bad news. She points out that a lot of work is actually done, even if it is not always on time. “So yes, we only do some of our scheduled tasks each week, but also, wow, we do some of our scheduled tasks each week! While taking care of ourselves and our loved ones!”
Ref: “I’m going to finish it this week” and other lies: arxiv.org/abs/2103.16574
Feline fact research
Eve Armstrong is a regular paper editor every April and the author of the now (in) famous article “An Approach to Neural Networks to Predict How Things Could Have Been If I had mustered the courage to ask Barry Cottonfield at Junior Prom Back in 1997. ”
This year, she is studying the connection between her cat Chester’s behavior, the movement of a laser pointer and a red dot on the wall. The question at the heart of his work is: correlation, causation or hallucination of SARS-Cov-2?
Ref: My cat Chester analyzes the dynamic systems 7777777777777777y7is of the laser pointer and the red dot on the wall: correlation, causation or hallucination SARS-Cov-2? : arxiv.org/abs/2103.17058
For an investigation of science-related practical jokes and jokes, look no further than Douglas Scott’s examination of the role they played in science, including his own successful collaborations with Ali Frolop (the contribution from last year is here). Scott’s article is an entertaining adventure through the history of science from the perspective of practical pranksters. It includes anecdotes about Newton, James Maxwell. George Gamow, Patrick Moore and many others. It also covers various famous pranks, including the Sokal case in which a social science journal was brought in to publish an article consisting of pure gibberish and a parody article on ultrashort laser pulses by the authors “Knox, Knox, Hoose & Zare “.
The article ends with a concluding section, the entirety of which is reproduced here. “There are no conclusions.”
Ref: Science parodies, physics pranks and astronomical antics: arxiv.org/abs/2103.17057
Other reads from the selection of articles published on April 1 include:
Using artificial intelligence to shed light on the cookie star: the Jaffa cake: arxiv.org/abs/2103.16575
Preliminary analysis of planetary characteristics, dynamics and climates from the Systems Alliance planetary survey catalog: arxiv.org/abs/2104.00175
Detection of rotational variability in floofy objects at optical wavelengths: arxiv.org/abs/2103.16636
The Swapland: arxiv.org/abs/2103.17198