Today in Research: Synthetic Weed Inventor Can't Believe You Smoke It

Today in research:the upside about being embarrassing, the organic chemist whose work led to synthetic pot, and a nifty new simulation of the universe.

  • Researcher who invented synthetic pot now just gets a lot of misguided emails. The Los Angeles Times published an interesting read on the bearded organic chemist, John W. Huffman, whose research is credited with kickstarting the designer marijuana movement. And Gawker compressed it into this headline: "Dude Who Invented Fake Weed Can't Believe You Actually Smoke That Stuff." So, yes, there's that part of the story. "Anybody who uses them is playing Russian roulette," said Huffman to the Times. But another interesting item in the piece was how often the guy gets confused for someone that he's not. The paper notes: "Huffman laughs as he describes emails assuming he has created a super form of medical marijuana or has profited by designing lucrative marijuana substitutes." [The Los Angeles Times via Gawker
  • The upside of awkwardness: Embarrassment linked to trustworthiness in small study. Sometimes it's difficult to read too much into studies that are based on corralling a small number of college undergrads to play hypothetical games that are designed to show "generosity" or indicate trustworthiness. This is no knock on the UC Berkeley research team who came to that conclusion based on such experiments that "people who are easily embarrassed are also more trustworthy, and more generous." It's a fun tidbit at least. [UC Berkeley]

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