Saturday, April 30, 2005
Photos from Northern Iraq
Jacob Applebaum decided to save his money and take a trip, to Iraq. Now he's there and is sending back all sorts of interesting pictures, including items on the military black market and everyday village life in Northern Iraq. Its Complicated main page doesn't hold many photos, but just click on the individual posts.
Friday, April 29, 2005
Fork in Stomach
Oh, that's just the beginning. Surf on over to Local6.com to see what else children swallow, and what that looks like in the X-ray room.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
16 Rules from GoDaddy's President
Bob Parsons, the president of GoDaddy, has listed 16 rules that he lives by. They are worth a look. the beginning of the list:
1. Get and stay out of your comfort zone. I believe that not much happens of any significance when we're in our comfort zone. I hear people say, "But I'm concerned about security." My response to that is simple: "Security is for cadavers."
2. Never give up. Almost nothing works the first time it's attempted. Just because what you're doing does not seem to be working, doesn't mean it won't work. It just means that it might not work the way you're doing it. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and you wouldn't have an opportunity.
3. When you're ready to quit, you're closer than you think. There's an old Chinese saying that I just love, and I believe it is so true. It goes like this: "The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed."
4. With regard to whatever worries you, not only accept the worst thing that could happen, but make it a point to quantify what the worst thing could be. Very seldom will the worst consequence be anywhere near as bad as a cloud of "undefined consequences." My father would tell me early on, when I was struggling and losing my shirt trying to get Parsons Technology going, "Well, Robert, if it doesn't work, they can't eat you."
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Study links brain fatty acid levels to depression
This article was very clear to me when I bookmarked it for the Daily Pick. Then I read it again, and now I don't understand it anymore. Any insight would be welcomed...
Bethesda, MD – A group of researchers from Israel has discovered that rats exhibiting the signs of depression have increased levels of the omega-6 fatty acid, arachidonic acid, in their brains. The details of their findings appear in the June issue of the Journal of Lipid Research, an American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology journal.
During recent years, omega-3 fatty acids have enjoyed increased popularity as numerous studies have shown that supplementing diets with fish oil (a natural source of this polyunsaturated fatty acid) does everything from reducing the risk of heart disease to preventing arthritis. There is also evidence that depression may be associated with a dietary deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids. This "phospholipid hypothesis" of depression has been supported by research showing that omega-3 fatty acid concentration in the blood of depressed patients is lower than that in control patients.
"The "phospholipid hypothesis" of depression postulates that decreased omega-3 fatty acid intake, and hence, perhaps decreased brain omega-3 fatty acid content, could be responsible for the disease," explains Dr. Pnina Green of Tel Aviv University. "In humans, because of high dietary variability and the obvious inability to examine brain tissue, the theory is backed up mainly by indirect evidence. The availability of the Flinders Sensitive Line rat, an animal model of depression, overcomes both these obstacles."From our friends at EurekAlert
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
New Yorker Fiction Taken to Task
This is a couple years old, but still relevant. John Warner wrote a great article -- Among the Unsavvy -- about the fiction selections at the New Yorker.
This failure is significant, because for an unknown short-story writer, the New Yorker is, literally, the lottery: an instant stroke with the power to change a life completely. Witness Nell Freudenberger, whose story ‘Lucky Girls’ was chosen for the 2001 debut fiction issue, and who was soon being offered a reported $500,000 for a short-story collection that had yet to be written. In a shrewd move, Freudenberger had the good sense to work at the New Yorker, thus bypassing that whole ugly unsolicited-manuscript business.
Also, from John Warner, Clueless in Academia:
Professors complain that each year’s batch of students are more clueless than the last, but could they be the ones in the dark? John Warner interviews author and academic Gerald Graff on who’s to blame for the failures in our classrooms.
Pop Gadget: Personal Tech for Women
PopGadget: Personal Tech for Women always has some interesting new invention on its site.
Pictured here is the Self-Defense Dress:
Perfect dress for a first date: when someone gets too close to you, the piano-wire fingers reach out and keep them at bay.
Monday, April 25, 2005
How to Make a Million Dollars
Marshall Brain has more than one way for you to make a million dollars.
If you want to make a million dollars, all ya gotta do is put $5 in a bank account every day. Just about anyone can come up with $5 a day. It is not a huge deal -- heck, a pack of cigarettes costs $5 in a lot of places these days. You put the money into an account, like a stock mutual fund, that gives you 10% per year interest on average and presto. In 42 years you have a million bucks. What could be easier than that?
The problem is, who wants to wait 42 years? It takes too long. What do you do if you want to short-circuit the process and make a million bucks in a couple of years? There is only one way in America to accomplish that reliably...
Sunday, April 24, 2005
In case you were interested in visiting, these are some of the most-visited Conservative blogs on the web:
Of course, The Drudge Report
No Oil for Pacifists
The Art of the Blog
Saturday, April 23, 2005
America's Lost and Founds Booming
People are losing more and more things because they are lugging so many additional gadgets and communications devices, and promptly misplacing them in airplanes and airports, hotel rooms, restaurants, cabs and rented cars.
A study conducted by Pointsec Mobile Technologies, a mobile-data protection software company in Chicago, found that the number of laptops abandoned in one London cab company's taxis rose 71 percent in the second half of last year from the same period in 2001, while the number of personal digital assistants left behind shot up 350 percent. One cab company in Chicago had the highest numbers: In the final six months of 2004, it found, in its 113 taxis, 387 mobile phones, 97 PDAs and Pocket PCs and 20 laptops. It did not have comparable 2001 data. Extrapolating from those numbers, Pointsec calculated that 85,600 mobile phones, 21,500 PDAs/Pocket PCs, and 4,425 laptops disappeared into Chicago's 25,000 cabs in those six months.
From the International Herald Tribune
Friday, April 22, 2005
Leading Cause of Bankruptcies: Medical Bills
No, thank you, President Bush, for signing the Bankruptcy Bill into law.
Oh, by the way, Jerk:
Half of all U.S. bankruptcies are caused by soaring medical bills and most people sent into debt by illness are middle-class workers with health insurance. From the Harvard Medical School Study.
"Our study is frightening. Unless you're Bill Gates you're just one serious illness away from bankruptcy," said Dr. David Himmelstein, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who led the study. "Most of the medically bankrupt were average Americans who happened to get sick. Health insurance offered little protection."
Thursday, April 21, 2005
EurekAlert News: Sarcasm, Narcotics and the Elderly, and Empathetic Voices
EurekAlert posts new studies from the scientific world. Many confirm our suspicions, others turn our expectations on their ear. There are about twenty posts on the front page, plus an archive. Some highlights this week:
-- The Anatomy of Sarcasm: Researchers reveal how the brain handles this complex communication
-- Narcotic medications can safely and effectively ease severe, chronic pain in older people with little risk that these patients will seek ever-increasing doses, UCSF medical scientists have found. Younger patients, however, are likely to want to rapidly increase their medication dose, the researchers found, posing serious potential health consequences.
-- Doctors who use an empathetic voice with patients can elicit more information about their health problems and encourage them to stick to their treatment regime, a Monash researcher has found.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Wooster Collective: Street Art
The Wooster Collective celebrates graffiti and street art. An outstanding site.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Saturn's Moon Titan Mystifies Scientists with Bright Spot
Saturn's moon Titan shows an unusual bright spot that has scientists mystified. The spot, approximately the size and shape of West Virginia, is just southeast of the bright region called Xanadu and is visible to multiple instruments on the Cassini spacecraft.
The 483-kilometer-wide (300-mile) region may be a "hot" spot -- an area possibly warmed by a recent asteroid impact or by a mixture of water ice and ammonia from a warm interior, oozing out of an ice volcano onto colder surrounding terrain. Other possibilities for the unusual bright spot include landscape features holding clouds in place or unusual materials on the surface.
Monday, April 18, 2005
Top Ten Weird Creatures
I know you're still disillusioned about the lame Big Foot Video. I feel your pain. Let's face it: there's no such thing as Bigfoot.
However, there are nine other creatures that make About.com's Top Ten Most Mysterious Creatures of Modern Times. Nessie is there. As is Moth Man. And of course the ever-popular "Dover Demon" (pictured).
Don't limit yourself to Scotland and the American Pacific Northwest though. There are all sorts of weirdo creatures, all over the world. Take a peek at some descriptions at Dark Outer Realms.com.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Everything Bad is Good for You?
Wired News has a review of Steven Johnson's interesting book Everything Bad is Good for You.
Steven Johnson's extended essay, Everything Bad Is Good for You is nicely researched, elegantly argued and written -- and is often personal. It persuasively rebuts the notion that popular culture is turning our brains into so much gray mush.
Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing had his own opinion last month.
Saturday, April 16, 2005
Lara Barrett's Color Photography
Wish I could post more of these here. Lara Barrett has an outstanding color photography site. She features only two shots on the front page, but just click the archives links to the right of the page. Rock on, Lara.
Friday, April 15, 2005
One Man Safari Yearbook
Oh no. One Man Safari is now posting yearbook photos. What won't that man do?
Thursday, April 14, 2005
New Studies on Bullying
Scientific American has a take on bullies.
"Sufferers must usually face the harassment alone. Other boys and girls generally take the side of the perpetrators, fearing that they could be next in line. Or they pretend events did not happen and keep their mouths shut. Few find the courage to stand up for their fellow students. In the end, mobbing affects the entire school atmosphere, not just the bullies and their targets."
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Paul Allen's Science Fiction Museum
Paul Allen's Science Fiction Museum is one year old. Happy Birthday! An article in the New York Times profiles the museum.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Biology Teacher Dissects Live Dog
A biology teacher in Gunnison, Utah dissected a live dog in front of his class.
"I thought that it would be just really a good experience if they could see the digestive system in the living animal," Bierregaard said.
The school's principal, Kirk Anderson, said notifications went to parents explaining the dog was going to be euthanized and that the experiment would be done with the dog's organs still functioning.
The teacher is standing by his decision and calls it the ultimate educational experience.
Principal Anderson said he supports the lesson and it will be allowed to continue because the students are learning.
Monday, April 11, 2005
Real Tornado or Tornado Photoshop?
Someone took some great photos of a developing tornado in Australia.
Or did they? Some online views seem to think the photos are bogus. Discussion here.
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Alex Blagg Calls Out the DJs
Alex Blagg has a terrific blog about comedy, San Francisco, and just about anything else on his mind. His rant about DJ's, entitled "Look, Nobody Cares That You're a DJ" earned letters of admiration, ridicule, and even some threats.
You know who you are. Standing behind that deck of turntables, holding one headphone to your ear, being pretentious and aloof as you play with knobs and shuffle through records. You can just settle down, because nobody cares that you're a DJ.
Saturday, April 09, 2005
Medical Whistleblowers Speak Out Against FDA
Medical Whistleblowers speak out. From EurekAlert:
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was "the single greatest obstacle to doing anything effective" about Vioxx, said FDA drug safety officer David Graham at an unprecedented roundtable of medical whistleblowers sponsored by the Public Library of Science (PLoS) and the Government Accountability Project.
In comments that echoed his now infamous testimony to the US Senate Finance Committee, Graham said that, "Nearly 60,000 people probably died from that drug. That's as many of our soldiers that were killed in the Vietnam war [who] died as a result of Vioxx use. And FDA had the opportunity, the responsibility, to stop that and didn't."
Friday, April 08, 2005
Ask 8 year old Doctor Michael
This kid is very funny. He's featured on one of the Daily Pick's favorite sites: The Sneeze.com
Basically, readers send in questions, and Michael offers advice. I can say this for sure: He's got a very creative sense of problem solving. An example is below. Do visit.
Dear Dr. Michael,
I've been dating this girl for about six months and we got pretty serious rather quickly. I really like her, but all of a sudden she wants to slow down. I think she wants to date other people, or maybe she just isn't attracted to me.
When I confront her about it and suggest changing our relationship to a friendly one only, she tell me she still wants to date and that she is attracted to me. For the past six weeks though, our romantic involvement has been null. Should I stick with it or look for love somewhere else?
If she wants to date other guys and she is acting mean to you, I think you should wait until she gets really serious and firm. You can soften her up and say you don't want to go on dates with her anymore and say "You're a brat!"
If she gets mean, then cut the stuff. There are a lot of girls in college. A lot of good ones- like ones that wear make-up and always dress up!
Cut the other girl and get surrounded with all these other girls. Take out each one and once you like one take her back to the first girl and say "Well, I got a better one than you."
You can meet girls at work. A lot of girls go to the beauty salon. You can hang out on the wall and when girls come out you could say "Hey, how ya' doing?"
You could also get a dog shirt that says "I'm a dog," and when she comes out you can say "Bow wow WOW!"
Thursday, April 07, 2005
Secrets of the A-List Bloggers
TNL.net has completed an interesting analysis of some of the top blogs on the Net. From the article: Secrets of the A-List Bloggers.
A couple of weeks ago, when working on the entry about salaries for bloggers, I did a quick analysis of the entries in a day slice. Many people pointed out that this was a small slice and was not representative of what other blogs where doing. From there, I ended up with two questions basically bugging me: first, how many entries does the average blog produce on a daily basis? Second, what is the size of those entries? To answer the question, I decided to start analyzing the A-list of the blog world.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
FotoNotes: New Technology
In fact, this technology is so new that I can't make it work on the Daily Pick. However, think about a footnote. It offers additional information about a sentence in the main text. A fotonote is similiar. If you moved your cursor over each of the four faces above, a very small window would appear that tells you each of their names and a little about them.
That is of course, if I could get it to work here, which I can't. However, you can see this picture in action at Bitter Pill.org.
And, you can learn more about the wiki at fotonotes.net. (A "wiki," by the way, for those of you who don't know, which is a group that included me till about ten minutes ago, is a type of software that the user can edit or change). And there is also the Fotonote Rollover Viewer, which is maybe what the Daily Pick needs, but it's too late at night to try and figure this out right now.
Anyways, drop "fotonotes" at your next cocktail party. It is a noun, but try to use it as a verb. Something like, "Well, look, you could always fotonote it."
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Why We Lie
Scientific American explains the logic behind lying.
"The obvious question raised by all of this accounting is: Why do we lie so readily? The answer: because it works. The Homo sapiens who are best able to lie have an edge over their counterparts in a relentless struggle for the reproductive success that drives the engine of evolution. As humans, we must fit into a close-knit social system to succeed, yet our primary aim is still to look out for ourselves above all others. Lying helps. And lying to ourselves--a talent built into our brains--helps us accept our fraudulent behavior."
Monday, April 04, 2005
Blackbeard's Ship Found
Arrgg, Matey. They pulled me ship from Davey Jones's locker.
News story here.
Account of Blackbeard, and his final battle with Robert Maynard, here.
Sunday, April 03, 2005
Great White Shark Released
Bye-bye sharkey. The Monterrey Aquarium releases its great white shark into the wild. She was a beautiful creature, but had already killed two soupfin sharks in her tank and was beginning to stalk the hammerheads. She was the only great white shark to last more than a half-dozen days in captivity. She thrived for more than a hundred. From the San Francisco Chronicle and The Monterrey Aquarium.
Saturday, April 02, 2005
Star Wars April Fools
I still don't understand how this Star Wars gaming world works, and I had a link up here before about a group of real-life people who train on-line as stormtroopers. But anyways, in Star Wars Galaxies News, Giant Ewoks attack, kill and maim. Relax though, it is just an April Fools. Still, this whole world is a little scary.
Friday, April 01, 2005
Iron Lung Survivors
The polio vaccine has its fifty year birthday this April. I found this 1999 article/interview with people who'd lived for many years inside an Iron Lung. Definitely worth a read.