Today in research: non-partisan dating, hockey jersey bias, a silver lining to unemployment, and dreaming of "open access" journals. 

  • The very, very small silver-lining to losing your job. If you're a white collar worker, that is, you might be encouraged to know that if you're suddenly laid off, your chances of getting more exercise rise slightly, says a new academic paper. That doesn't seem like a very good trade for your job though.. [Wall Street Journal Ideas Market]
  • Most people recognize that advertising personal politics isn't a good way to find a first date. Since so much data is readily available, investigations into online dating habits are oddly fascinating. This one from Brown researchers, however, just seems sensible: it found that only 14 percent of online daters in their sample included "political interests" on their dating profile--which ranked near the bottom of rankings of things people liked to tell potential dates. Commenting on the obvious, the authors wrote: "Our best guess is that in the short-run most people want to cast as wide a net as possible when dating." [Brown University]
  • We'll call this the 'Mighty Ducks' theory of NHL hockey. You know how in every sports movie the bad guys always wear darkly colored jerseys? Well, a researcher data-crunched 25 seasons of the NHL to find that teams with black jerseys are actually penalized by referees more often. Via Miller-McCune, the author's conclusions: "When teams wore black jerseys, they were penalized more than when they did not. When teams switched to wearing colored jerseys at home games, they were penalized more than when they wore white jerseys at home games." [Miller-McCune]
  • The problem of police lineups seems obvious once it gets explained: "One of the things we observed over and over again is that witnesses tend to compare one person to another, decide who looks most like the perpetrator and then their propensity is to pick that person. Thats OK if the real perpetrator is in there, but if the real perpetrator is not in there, there's still someone that looks more like the perpetrator than the others," said Dr. Gary Wells of Iowa State University whose study suggests revamping the traditional police lineup to have suspects identified individually rather than in groups. [ABC News]
  • The 'dream of every researcher' revealed: "to be able to have the world's literature at your fingertips." The comment comes from a director of library services at University College London, who is cited by The New York Times in an article about the "open access" scholarly journal publishing model, which is attempting to overthrow the pricey, peer-reviewed subscription status-quo. One downside of the "open access" journals: It "differs from traditional journals in basing the decision to publish an article purely on whether the experiments described were conducted in a valid manner and support the results claimed," the Times writes. Meaning, in some cases, there's less oversight.  [The New York Times]