Friday, April 27, 2007

Speedlinking 4/27/07

Quote of the day:

"All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others."
~ George Orwell

Image of the day:
~ Google recently launched Google Web History, a service where you can access, search, and sort the places you’ve been on the web, even after you’ve deleted the browser history on your computer. Google’s ability to do so, which many were not aware of til this program launched, has some people worried about their searches becoming public. This cartoon from Geek and Poke portends what may come as the result. Note: this joke could work for any candidate of any party. Link -via Anil Dash

~ (De)-Constructing Computer Guy -- "I hate to tell you this, but if you're reading these words, you're "computer guy" and it's likely you've got horrendous posture and a host of orthopedic ailments. It's also likely that you're doing things in the gym that exacerbate the problem. Here are some exercises and video clips that'll fix ya'."
~ Testimonials Are Worthless -- "Testimonials are useless. Scientifically, testimonials are not considered valid proof and drugs are required to go through double-blind testing to be accepted. Supplements, however, are unregulated and don’t need to go through testing. They use testimonials all the time to “prove” that their products work."
~ School Playgrounds Can Help Fight Childhood Obesity -- "A RAND Corporation study says school playgrounds and athletic facilities can be important tools in the fight against childhood obesity, but many are locked and inaccessible to children on weekends - especially in poor and minority neighborhoods."
~ Raising Metabolism to Burn More Calories -- "Vigorous exercise is one of the best ways to lose weight and keep it off. A study from University of Alabama in Birmingham shows that your body burns calories at an increased rate for up to 24 hours after you finish exercising vigorously for 40 minutes."
~ Green Tea May Help Prevent Autoimmune Diseases -- "Researchers studied an animal model for type I diabetes and primary Sjogren's Syndrome, which damages the glands that produce tears and saliva.They found significantly less salivary gland damage in a group treated with green tea extract, suggesting a reduction of the Sjogren's symptom commonly referred to as dry mouth. Dry mouth can also be caused by certain drugs, radiation and other diseases."
~ New Diabetes Genetic Risk Factors Found -- "Massive Study Finds New Genetic Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes."
~ Depression treatment doesn't help diabetes control -- "Many people with diabetes also feel depressed, which is thought to interfere with their ability to regulate their blood sugar levels well. However, improvements in depressive symptoms don't lead to better control of glucose levels, according to a new report."
~ Herb may cut breast cancer risk -- "A new study provides preliminary evidence that an herbal medicine used to help women cope with menopausal symptoms may reduce breast cancer risk."
~ Program fails to curb falls in older folks -- "A community-based intervention designed to address multiple factors that put elderly people at increased risk for falling and injuring themselves has proven ineffective. There was no decrease in the number of falls in "at-risk" elderly individuals who completed the program." But weight training does work -- I've seen it in my clients.
~ Strongman Pulls 16,300-pound Airliner 12 Feet -- "If you've ever complained about your ears hurting after a flight, read on."

~ Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse More Likely To Engage In Risky Behaviors -- "Gay and bisexual men who were victims of childhood sexual abuse are more likely to engage in sexual behaviors that put them at higher risk of contracting HIV. A study of 862 randomly selected gay and bisexual men who were enrolled in a community festival found that almost one in seven had been victims of childhood sexual abuse."
~ Talk therapy helpful in adults with OCD -- "People suffering with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, researchers from Australia report in the current issue of The Cochrane Library."
~ Avoid The Dreaded 'D' -- "Most of us fear the loss of brain function as we get older. In fact, that may be why you are here at BrainReady. Maybe Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia have affected your parents, grandparents, or other loved ones."
~ If you want to persuade a woman, look straight at her [Cognitive Daily] -- "There is a considerable body of research showing that eye contact is a key component of social interaction. Not only are people more aroused when they are looked at directly, but if you consistently look at the person you speak to, you will have much more social influence over that person than you would if you averted your gaze."
~ Learning From Mistakes: An Important Revision to Conflict Monitoring Models of Anterior Cingulate [Developing Intelligence] -- "People are remarkably bad at switching tasks - and research focusing on this fact has isolated a network of brain regions that are involved in task-switching (I'll call it the "frontal task network" for short). One of the stranger findings to emerge from this literature is the fact that we're actually worse at switching to a more natural or well-practiced task after having performed a less natural one."
~ Chronic Family Turmoil And Other Problems Cause Physical Changes -- "Adolescents who are chronically exposed to family turmoil, violence, noise, poor housing or other chronic risk factors show more stress-induced physiological strain on their organs and tissues than other young people. However, when they have responsive, supportive mothers, they do not experience these negative physiological changes, reports a new study from Cornell."
~ How Complicating Your Life Makes Simplifying It Worthwhile -- "In the last year my life changed from a relaxed life that I was used to into a complex demanding life with a lot of commitments and unknowns; it’s demanding and regularly wakes me from my sleep at night. And know what? I love it! It was even a conscious choice to complicate my life in this way. I knew the consequences beforehand, yet I chose to go forward on the chosen path."
~ Two Concepts of Transitive Consciousness -- "In his youthful exuberance Rosenthal argued that for a first-order state to count as a conscious state the first-order state had to cause the higher-order state to occur. But he has come to explicitly reject this causal requirement. He now talks about the higher-order thought 'accompanying' the target state. It need not have any causal connection to the first-order state at all. What this amounts to is that there are at least two different ways of thinking about the relation between the first-order state and the higher-order state depending on whether you think intentionality is at bottom a matter of description and functional role and holism or a matter of word-world relations and causation, and compositionality."
~ Dopamine-related drugs affect reward-seeking behavior -- "Drugs that adjust dopamine levels in the brain greatly affect how people react to success and failure, according to research that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology`s 59th Annual Meeting in Boston."

~ Conte Refashions BALCO, Legally -- "Victor Conte, the Johnny Appleseed of designer steroids, is back in business. Witness the new $190,000 Bentley parked outside the building that once housed the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, where federal agents uncovered a massive steroids ring and sparked professional sports' highest-profile drug scandal...."
~ Early Condom Use Bodes Well For Adolescents' Sexual Health -- "Despite fears that early condom use encourages adolescents to be sexually promiscuous, a study found that those who use condoms the first time they have sexual intercourse are more likely to continue using condoms into young adulthood. These adolescents are also less likely than their peers to have contracted a sexually transmitted infection."
~ When a student's in trouble, should parents know? -- "US privacy laws prevent counselors from informing parents of danger signs. But many say they should know if their young adult children - or their roommates - need help." Tough issue to balance rights and safety of the individual (or others).
~ Natural Products Association Urges Supreme Court To Clarify Standard For Banning Dietary Supplements -- "The Natural Products Association today filed a "friend of the court" or amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court that challenges a lower court ruling on the standard used by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to impose a 2004 ban on ephedrine alkaloids in dietary supplements."
~ Evolution and religion debate in a broader context -- "The Economist has a great article summarizing all the ways in which the debate between evolution and religion has gone global. It also does a good job of analyzing the different strains within the American debate, depicting it as much less monolithic."
~ Wolfowitz deputy allegedly tried to weaken climate-change message -- "The brouhaha over World Bank head Paul Wolfowitz giving financial favors to his lady friend is spreading into a look at whether he's been pushing the Bush administration agenda on family planning and climate change."
~ Pupil held over ‘violent essay’ -- "An 18-year-old student at an Illinois school is facing disorderly conduct charges for writing an essay that the authorities described as violent and disturbing."
~ Democrats criticize Iraq in 1st debate (AP) -- "Democratic presidential hopefuls flashed their anti-war credentials Thursday night, robustly criticizing President Bush's Iraq policy in an unusually early first debate of the 2008 campaign." Damn, they're debating already?!
~ Bhutan's mock election -- "Happy with their king's absolute rule, most Bhutanese wonder why he is giving them democracy. A minority wonders why it is being left out."
~ The FCC Took My Cable Away -- "The Federal Communications Commission has finally released its long-awaited, much-anticipated report of "Violent Television Programming and Its Impact on Children." It's a lousy document that, to the surprise of nobody who follows this kind of stuff, concludes that we need more content regulation of violent images that are transmitted over broadcast and cable TV (indeed, the document pushes to expand content regulation to cable and satellite, which are currently outside the purview of the FCC)."
~ "Islam is not much more than a rather obvious and ill-arranged set of plagiarisms." -- Christopher Hitchens -- "But Islam when examined is not much more than a rather obvious and ill-arranged set of plagiarisms, helping itself from earlier books and traditions as occasion appeared to require. Thus, far from being "born in the clear light of history," as Ernest Renan so generously phrased it, Islam in its origins is just as shady and approximate as those from which it took its borrowings. It makes immense claims for itself, invokes prostrate submission or "surrender" as a maxim to its adherents, and demands deference and respect from nonbelievers into the bargain." Sounds pretty much like the Bible.

~ Stephen Hawking Flies Weightless -- "Free of his wheelchair and tethered only to heart rate and blood pressure monitors, astrophysicist Stephen Hawking on Thursday fulfilled a dream of floating weightless on a zero-gravity jet, a step he hopes leads to further space adventures."
~ '$100 Laptop' to Cost $175 -- "The founder of the ambitious "$100 laptop" project, which plans to give inexpensive computers to schoolchildren in developing countries, revealed Thursday that the machine for now costs $175, and it will be able to run Windows in addition to its homegrown, open-source interface."
~ EarthLink Studying Muni Wi-Fi Business -- "EarthLink Inc. said Thursday it will study the performance of its municipal wireless Internet networks in four cities - Philadelphia, New Orleans and California's Anaheim and Milpitas - before deciding how to move forward with similar Wi-Fi networks elsewhere."
~ New Layer of Ancient Greek Writings Detected in Medieval Book -- "High-tech analysis of the Christian manuscript shows even older commentary on Aristotle's theories of logic hidden under the religious writings."
~ Towering Mystery Fossil Was a 'Shroom With a View -- "An ancient life-form that has stumped scientists for more than a century was most likely a fungus that stood up to 24 feet (8 meters) tall."
~ Like Humans, Chimp Males Cooperate With Kin and Non-Kin Alike -- "Contrary to previous beliefs, chimpanzees work just as well with unrelated chimps as they do with family—yet another trait in chimps once thought unique to humans."
~ 300 Million-Year-Old Rainforest Found in Illinois Coal Mine -- "Three hundred million years ago, when vertebrates were first crawling out of the oceans onto dry land, the area that is now the U.S. state of Illinois was an equatorial rainforest. Now, a 10-square-kilometer patch of that rainforest has been discovered, imbedded in the ceiling of a coal mine."
~ Microorganisms act as tiny machines in future MEMS devices -- "The single-celled Spirostomum is a tiny brown worm that can contract its 500-micrometer-long body to 25% of its length in a millisecond, making this protozoan the fastest-contracting microorganism known. Scientists think of microorganisms like this as tiny functional machines. After all, many of them have capabilities far surpassing the current state-of-the-art in MEMS (Microelectromechanical Systems) technology."

~ Occult vs. Wilber (part 1) -- "There seems to be not only disagreement, but some strong dislike between occult, magick followers and Ken Wilber’s tight knit group. Wilber is constantly using the strongest words possible to distance himself from the “What the Bleep” “” “create your own reality” crowd, but he also sends some strong oppinions in the direction of the occult/magick groups."
~ Call for contributors -- "If you are interested in authoring a main post at OI and willing to carry the conversation forward please contact James Burke. His email address can be found in the “About” page. Much as I like hearing the sound of my own writing this site is about multiple perspectives hopefully shedding light on each other. And we need more perspectives. Please take the plunge and contribute to the worthy cause of expanding the theory and practice of this burgeoning movement."
~ BLOG: Guest Blog: A symbol of our shared trajectory (Zachary Stein) -- "Most academic philosophers would like to forget that in the Critique of Practical Reason one can find the linchpin of Kants moral theory, the "Kingdom of Ends," equated with the corpus mysticum, the mystical body of God. Here the telos of moral action is revealed in the imagery of Protestant religiosity. Echoing Bohme the inquiry regulating meta-disciplinary stance that is the principle of our Integral Endeavor might just reverberate for all time in the halls of future knowledge!"
~ Blog rules? -- "This question arises from some previous comments in another thread, enclosed below. This whole rules idea has opened my own can of worms, which by virtue of my being an author here you now get to suffer through. Eww, worms? Yep, dirty, smelly, wriggling and disgusting worms. Without which of course our entire eco-system would collapse along with our highfalutin ideas and philosophies."
~ Stories creating a sense of separate self -- "I am back from the retreat, and what I am left with is seeing even clearer - in real time - how any story that is attached to creates a sense of a separate self." See also: Thoughts mirroring sensory world, and levels.

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