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We are lunatics from the hospital up the highway, psycho-ceramics, the cracked pots of mankind.


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Current Topic: Science -- It's Official: Water Found on the Moon
Topic: Science 9:35 am EDT, Sep 24, 2009

Since man first touched the moon and brought pieces of it back to Earth, scientists have thought that the lunar surface was bone dry. But new observations from three different spacecraft have put this notion to rest with what has been called "unambiguous evidence" of water across the surface of the moon.

At least they found it somewhere.

-janelane -- It's Official: Water Found on the Moon

My Post Concussive Syndrome Speech Disorder: A Malfunctioning Word Queue
Topic: Science 12:39 pm EST, Feb 12, 2009

Last Monday I was in a car accident and suffered a severe concussion that didn't manifest symptoms for 24 hours (weird, I know). Since then I've periodically lost the ability to speak. I go from normal speech to slurring, to mute. Its being looked at, but the reason I made this thread is because... I realized that it is exactly like TCP packets overloading the sliding window, or a web server with limited resources getting too many requests: overload the throughput on the queue and everything after that is lost.

So I made a diagram tonight when I had a bad episode to prove I can still think.

When things are bad, and I fill the shrunken word queue, I can't speak until it self empties. Full empty seems to take between 30 seconds and one minute, and seems to happen at a linear rate. However, if I limit myself to the actual word queue/minute throughput, I can speak continuously for a longer period. Normal speed speech very quickly fills the queue though.

Strange, but accurate. If my mind is a Turing Machine, my word queue is malfunctioning and is too small to hold enough words to speak normally.

My Post Concussive Syndrome Speech Disorder: A Malfunctioning Word Queue

Awesome Slow Motion Lightning Bolt
Topic: Science 1:02 pm EDT, Aug  8, 2008


Awesome Slow Motion Lightning Bolt

New Scientist 11 steps to a better brain
Topic: Science 11:50 am EDT, Oct 21, 2005

It doesn't matter how brainy you are or how much education you've had - you can still improve and expand your mind. Boosting your mental faculties doesn't have to mean studying hard or becoming a reclusive book worm. There are lots of tricks, techniques and habits, as well as changes to your lifestyle, diet and behaviour that can help you flex your grey matter and get the best out of your brain cells. And here are 11 of them.

Cool article about staving off dementia. Hopefully grad school won't drive me to using modafinil any time soon...that shit's hardcore.

-janelane, mind-expanding

Update: I also meant to include the quote about Modafinil which can apparently, "keep a person awake and alert for 90 hours straight, with none of the jitteriness and bad concentration that amphetamines or even coffee seem to produce."

New Scientist 11 steps to a better brain

RE: So what do you have to do to find happiness?
Topic: Science 2:48 pm EDT, Oct  6, 2005

flynn23 wrote:

Excellent article on controlling your own reality.

A must read is this article from the NYT that talks about happiness as a better measure of a country's wealth than GDP. Bhutan is seeking to avoid the pitfalls of the race for production/consumption evident in capitalist societies by creating a metric by which to measure happiness as a complement to GDP. This metric is expected to have a profound effect on local and global policies, and similar metrics are already being examined around the world. Perhaps in the future "scientist" will be synonymous with "social scientist"?

-janelane, socially-conscious

RE: So what do you have to do to find happiness?

BIO-DIESEL: A Sensible Alternative?
Topic: Science 8:02 pm EDT, Sep 25, 2005

The bio-diesel today is being sold for approximately four dollars and fifty cents per gallon.

This would have a much more staggering impact right now if we drove more diesel cars (which can take either regular diesel or biodiesel).

This is also an old figure (1996) but it certainly indicates that biodiesel isn't too far out of reach given today's gas prices. Maybe soon we'll be panning the importance of all that gulfshore refining capability we were so worried about with Rita.

-janelane, bio-friendly

BIO-DIESEL: A Sensible Alternative?

Louisiana's Wetlands @ National Geographic Magazine
Topic: Science 12:12 pm EDT, Sep  5, 2005

The storm hit Breton Sound with the fury of a nuclear warhead, pushing a deadly storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain. The water crept to the top of the massive berm that holds back the lake and then spilled over. Nearly 80 percent of New Orleans lies below sea level—more than eight feet below in places—so the water poured in. A liquid brown wall washed over the brick ranch homes of Gentilly, over the clapboard houses of the Ninth Ward, over the white-columned porches of the Garden District, until it raced through the bars and strip joints on Bourbon Street like the pale rider of the Apocalypse. As it reached 25 feet (eight meters) over parts of the city, people climbed onto roofs to escape it.

Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.

When did this calamity happen? It hasn't—yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched. The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists a hurricane strike on New Orleans as one of the most dire threats to the nation, up there with a large earthquake in California or a terrorist attack on New York City. Even the Red Cross no longer opens hurricane shelters in the city, claiming the risk to its workers is too great.

"The killer for Louisiana is a Category Three storm at 72 hours before landfall that becomes a Category Four at 48 hours and a Category Five at 24 hours—coming from the worst direction," says Joe Suhayda, a retired coastal engineer at Louisiana State University who has spent 30 years studying the coast. Suhayda is sitting in a lakefront restaurant on an actual August afternoon sipping lemonade and talking about the chinks in the city's hurricane armor. "I don't think people realize how precarious we are,"
Suhayda says, watching sailboats glide by. "Our technology is great when it works. But when it fails, it's going to make things much worse."

Yet another prediction about LA, this one from National Geographic published in October of 2004. Not really enough time before it actually happened to do much, but no one knew that then.

-janelane, discouraged

Louisiana's Wetlands @ National Geographic Magazine

Guardian Unlimited | Life | 'In 50 years' time no one will be using oil any more'
Topic: Science 2:25 pm EDT, Jun 16, 2005

The factory is the first of its kind to produce electricity by combining wind power and hydrogen, a completely pollution-free method. On a good windy day, which Utsira has plenty of, where speeds average 10 metres [33ft] per second, the turbines can power the whole island. Any surplus is used to break water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. On days when the wind is weak, the stored hydrogen is used to produce electricity, either by burning it in a combustion engine or fusing it chemically with oxygen in a fuel cell, a kind of battery. The only by-product of the operation is water.

Cool! Totally infeasible for the domestic economy and administration, but cool nonetheless!


Guardian Unlimited | Life | 'In 50 years' time no one will be using oil any more'

ENN: Environmental News Network [[Today's News Full Story ]]
Topic: Science 2:12 pm EDT, Jun 16, 2005

The survey included results from 3,247 scientists, roughly 40 percent of those who were sent the questionnaire in 2002. They were researchers based in the United States who'd received funding from the National Institutes of Health. Most were studying biology, medicine or the social sciences, with others in chemistry and a smaller group in math, physics or engineering.

Of the 10 practices that Martinson's study described as the most serious, less than 2 percent of respondents admitted to falsifying data, plagiarism or ignoring major aspects of rules for conducting studies with human subjects. But nearly 8 percent said they'd circumvented what they judged to be minor aspects of such requirements.

Nearly 13 percent of those who responded said they'd overlooked "others' use of flawed data or questionable interpretation of data," and nearly 16 percent said they had changed the design, methods or results of a study "in response to pressure from a funding source." they did a study of scientists to determine what percentage of them lie when doing studies?



ENN: Environmental News Network [[Today's News Full Story ]] - Bush plan drops logging ban for national forests - Jul 13, 2004
Topic: Science 9:00 am EDT, Jul 14, 2004

] BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Environmentalists are blasting a
] Bush administration proposal to lift a ban on logging in
] remote areas of national forests, saying the move ignores
] popular support for protecting forests.
] The plan announced Monday would allow logging by
] permitting roads to be constructed in national forests.
] Governors would have to petition the federal government
] to block road building.

Everytime I turn around the Shrub is giving me another reason to hate his guts. I'm beginning to think that people who want to vote for him must care about absolutely nothing except prayer in schools and gay marriage. With the gay marriage amendment getting buried, it'll probably only become more of a sore spot for the upcoming election.

As an aside, I saw an interesting thing on expatriots last night on PBS. Apparently, there's several million American's living overseas that could be voting. There's a major drive in several countries from "both" parties to bring in voters.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the segment was when they interviewed a guy that had been living in London for 30 years. He said that, never, ever had he been accosted on the street about U.S. foreign policy until a couple of weeks ago. Thus, for those of us that will be travelling to covertly hostile countries soon, I propose wearing T-shirts with some of the following sayings:

"Kerry + Edwards = Hedgehog"
"I couldn't care less about gay marriage"
"Get rid of the religion in the religious right" - Bush plan drops logging ban for national forests - Jul 13, 2004

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