This Real Physics Phenomenon Would Make The Perfect Fictional Bomb

Ever heard of Wigner energy? It caused the worst nuclear disaster in British history. That's because it works much better in fiction than in reality. » 11/18/14 8:00am 11/18/14 8:00am

Sometimes The Best Way To Change People's Minds Is Outright Tyranny

You don't always have to be a subtly master manipulator in order to change people's minds and make them your obedient puppets. Sometimes, brute force can be just as persuasive in making people change their own minds for you. » 11/17/14 8:00am 11/17/14 8:00am

How To Force People To Do Anything (And Have Them Thank You For it)

Does someone in your life not want to do something? Do you not care, even the slightest bit, about their wishes? Here's how to force them to complete a task they don't care about, and even feel superior while you're doing it. » 10/21/14 8:00am 10/21/14 8:00am

​Extract Money From People Using the Ambiguity Effect

Are you comfortable with uncertainty? Are you willing to take money from those who aren't comfortable with it? Then I have just the rigged game for you! Make money from people's uncertainties with the Ambiguity Effect. » 4/15/14 12:18pm 4/15/14 12:18pm

How to Get People to Accept Unfairness

Say you want to swindle people. You want to force them to take your bad deals, and give you the minimum amount of lip in return. There's an easy way to sway them. And scientists have demonstrated it with a simple game. » 3/28/14 10:20am 3/28/14 10:20am

How to manipulate people into choosing the worst option

When we are choosing which action to take, one of the most basic calculations which guide us is, "How likely is it to lead to one option or another." We need to think of all possible outcomes, and the rough probability of each one occurring. There is a problem with this. We are not great at assessing probability. … » 3/06/14 8:00am 3/06/14 8:00am

The Drinking Principle is the easiest possible form of social control

So, you've decided to be an evil puppet-master. That makes sense, you seem like the type. If you want to turn your fellow human beings into automatons following your direction, all you have to do is scoot over to a bar. Then you need to apply the Drinking Principle. » 2/04/14 3:40pm 2/04/14 3:40pm

Make people mean (or moral) with fart spray

Every day of our lives, there is the potential for us to learn new and wonderful things. Today I learned that there is such an invention as fart spray. I also learned that I can use it to manipulate people! » 12/27/13 6:40am 12/27/13 6:40am

The Survivorship Bias convinces people that psychics are real

There's a simple bias that seems to endure. Anyone may accidentally fall into its trap. Once they do, they make it impossible for others to avoid doing the same thing. It's called the Survivorship Bias, and it can be used to convince people of nearly anything. » 11/07/13 8:00am 11/07/13 8:00am

Scientists are hiding under your bed

Do you hear a scritch-scritch-scritch sound coming from under your bed? Don't worry. It's just a scientists down there, recording your uninteresting, "egocentric" chatter and preserving it forever. » 10/31/13 8:00am 10/31/13 8:00am

Use Giffen goods to exploit the poor in your dystopian society

So you've taken over the world. Good for you! But how are you going to make the most of your newfound kingdom? By wringing all the money you can out of the oppressed poor using Giffen goods. » 10/27/13 8:00am 10/27/13 8:00am

The seriously creepy "two-kitten experiment"

Think you've seen the worst that mad science has to offer? How about an experiment in which scientists rendered kittens essentially sightless? And that's not the worst of it. Learn about harnessed kittens, yoked kittens, kittens going over a visual cliff, and researchers fake-punching a kitten. » 10/10/13 6:40am 10/10/13 6:40am

The Asch Conformity Experiments should have been more evil

The past contains lot of objectionable experiments. There was the famous Milgram Experiment, in which participants were made to believe that they were murdering someone. There was the Stanford Prison Experiment, during which students acting as guards or prisoners turned sadistic or masochistic just to see how far… » 10/04/13 6:40am 10/04/13 6:40am

This creepy psychological technique will sabotage anyone's self-esteem

Want to change someone's mind while pretending to encourage them? All you need to do is set a high standard for something and give them a little time. Even if they reach your standards, they've already self-sabotaged. » 8/16/13 12:40pm 8/16/13 12:40pm

A quick way to make people feel bad about their whole lives

Want to find a way to psychologically crush your enemies? There's an easy way to do it. All it takes is a quick question to make them think of the worst aspect of their life, and then asking them, directly, what they think of their life. » 6/28/13 7:00am 6/28/13 7:00am

On the Nature of Evil (Also, Zombie Sex)

So I'm riding through the post-apocalyptic American northwest when it suddenly hits me — stamps. No one is putting stamps on their mail. I'm missing a gold mine of opportunity here. Seriously, I charge everybody a quarter per letter, and I could retire in like five years. The only question is what do I put on the… » 1/09/13 8:00am 1/09/13 8:00am

How much does it cost to be an unbeatable evil overlord?

Peter Anspach's "The Top 100 Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord" is required reading for anyone hoping to enter the growing field of supervillainry. But how much does it cost to be a successful and rational evil overlord? » 5/27/12 5:00pm 5/27/12 5:00pm

Sympathy for the devil children!

Horror movies like the new Case 39 always show the point of view of parents who realize their children are Satanic. But why don't we ever see a movie from the devil child's POV? Who's got the more interesting story? » 9/23/10 4:30pm 9/23/10 4:30pm

Nic Cage gives the devil the stink eye in first Drive Angry stills

We may be a little obsessed with Nic Cage's insane-sounding devil-in-a-car flick Drive Angry. And these brand-new movie stills aren't helping calm down about screaming out of Hell with Cage, riding shotgun! » 7/22/10 1:00pm 7/22/10 1:00pm

Educational Video Teaches Us That Harry Potter Is Actually Hitler Or…

A new video explains that Harry Potter is trying to teach our kids "legitimate" curses, scary "Latin words," and how to suck blood from dead animals. But he's also Hitler, because of the lightning-bolt-head thing. Seriously, just watch. [Topless Robot] » 4/13/10 10:00am 4/13/10 10:00am