Thursday, August 09, 2007

Speedlinking 8/9/07

Quote of the day:

"Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep insights can be winnowed from deep nonsense."
~ Carl Sagan

Image of the day:

~ Eight strategies for reducing knee pain -- "Knee injuries are common for the weekend warrior and athlete alike. The best way to handle knee injuries is by prevention. Once they start, they can be tough to treat, depending upon the structure injured."
~ The Anabolic Diet Review -- "One of the hottest topics when it comes to obtaining the body of your dreams is which diet is going to work the best to getting you from point A to point B. One diet that has received quite a bit of positive acclaim is the anabolic diet."
~ Cooking the Power Foods, Part I -- "That crazy Chef Lisa is at it again. She's taken 6 Power Foods and come up with some incredibly tasty recipes for them. Wait until you try "Blueberry Stuffed Porkchops." They're just like blueberry pie, only with, you know, pork."
~ Gene Doping In Athletes Is The New Challenge Being Addressed By UF, French Scientists -- "Gene doping has the potential to spawn athletes capable of out-running, out-jumping and out-cycling the strongest of champions. But research under way at the University of Florida could help level the playing field by detecting the first cases of gene doping in professional athletes before the practice enters the mainstream." Wow, I got that one right.
~ A Cure for Chronic Headaches? -- "An experimental procedure may provide relief for chronic headaches."
~ "Fat" hormone sheds new light on obesity: study -- "The hormone that tells us we are full also regulates our desire for certain foods, researchers said on Thursday, in a finding that sheds light on why people gain weight and could lead to new treatments for obesity."
~ Drinking coffee seems to protect the liver -- "Data from 10 studies conducted in Europe and Japan suggest that people who drink coffee may be reducing their risk of liver cancer, although the reasons for the apparent protective effect of coffee remain to be determined."
~ Research shows skeleton to be endocrine organ -- "Bones are typically thought of as calcified, inert structures, but researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have now identified a surprising and critically important novel function of the skeleton. They`ve shown for the first time that the skeleton is an endocrine organ that helps control our sugar metabolism and weight and, as such, is a major determinant of the development of type 2 diabetes."

~ Napping Makes You Smarter -- "Two studies from Harvard show that napping make you smarter."
~ Chat Room Therapy Proves Effective -- "Chat rooms have been used to discuss everything from gardening to sex, so why not emotional problems? Dr. Kordy shows that they can be very effective in keeping mental illness under control outside the safe hospital environment."
~ The Aging of Loneliness -- "Many poets and philosophers confront loneliness as an essential and inevitable fact of human existence, and indeed this particular brand of aching appears to afflict everyone: children, adolescents, adults, the old and very old. But why does the loneliness of old age seem somehow different, sadder and more painful? Is it the social isolation that so often accompanies it, or perhaps the physical wear and tear of the twilight years?"
~ Genetic Factors Strongly Shape How Peers Are Chosen -- "As we develop, the company we keep may be increasingly influenced by our genes, according to a new study led by Virginia Commonwealth University researchers. Researchers report that as individuals develop, genes become increasingly important in influencing how they choose their peer groups. The findings offer insight into which individuals may be at risk for future substance use or other externalizing behaviors such as conduct and antisocial personality disorder."
~ Five Great Ways to Achieve Happiness Through Serving Others -- "Those of you that are parents of small children know about the effort and sacrifice that is required to raise them happy and healthy. And I would submit that you feel that your children are your greatest source of happiness. This same feeling of pride and love comes to many of those who are called to the ministry, teaching, medicine, or even the hospitality industry."
~ Mirror Neurons, Animacy, and Gesture [Mixing Memory] -- "So mirror neurons have been back in the news recently, as the result of a paper in the July 2007 issue of PLoS one titled, "Do you see what I mean? Corticospinal excitability during observation of culture-specific gestures"(1). Sounds interesting in a geeky sort of way, right?"
~ Metal Ions Linked To Neurodegenerative Disease -- "A multi-institutional team of researchers led by Emory University has defined for the first time how metal ions bind to amyloid fibrils in the brain in a way that appears toxic to neurons. Amyloid fibrils are linked to the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob. Although metal ions, most notably copper, can bind to amyloid in several specific ways, the researchers found that only one way appears toxic."
~ The Funny Thing About Virgins... -- "A study out of the University of North Carolina shows that young people with an IQ score either below 70 or above 110 are more likely to be virgins than their average-intelligence counterparts."

~ Don’t Go There: Top 20 Taboo Topics for Presidential Candidates -- "The successful presidential candidate wants to establish just enough passion for their political stances that voters will waddle down to the polling place on the first Tuesday of November and vote for them (or send in the appropriate form). Too much passion could be a dangerous thing, because it probably indicates that the candidate has moved off of the acceptable boilerplate messages of the retail campaign and has introduced ideas and possible political solutions that are both novel and challenging."
~ Gary Hart: Candor in the Age of Spin -- "Should presidents, or for that matter presidential candidates, be open, honest, and straightforward about how they would conduct foreign and defense policy or should they reserve space for what in the Cold and post-Cold War worlds have come to be known as covert operations?"
~ Giuliani: "It's great to be rich" -- "On July 24th, Rudy Giuliani, the leading Republican presidential candidate, gave a campaign speech in San Francisco. It's illuminating to study the former New York City mayor's remarks because they reveal a lot about him and the prevailing philosophy of the GOP. He asserted that Democrats 'do not understand a capitalist economy... they think it's bad to make money. They think it's bad to be rich... I think it's great to be rich.'" It gets more interesting as you read.
~ Is Economy Facing Widening Credit Squeeze? -- "With the home-mortgage crunch roiling stock markets, economists are beginning to worry about America’s credit-card debt." And well they should.
~ New Deal for 2007 -- "The Minneapolis bridge disaster invites America to consider a new New Deal, Katrina vanden Heuvel writes. We must not only rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, but also address glaring income inequality, and repair the damage done by a Bush administration hostile to the notion that government can serve the public good."
~ Politics: How the Democrats Blew It in Only 8 Months -- "Alexander Cockburn asks whether we're better off or worse since the Democrats won back Congress."
~ Migrant deaths up in Arizona desert -- "The Border Patrol reported a 23% increase in the number of illegal immigrants who died this year in the deserts of eastern Arizona, The Arizona Republic says. More than 150 migrants have died in 2007, according to the Republic...."

~ Snail Venom A Cocktail of Neurotoxic Peptides -- "The discovery of this venom is not really new: about 25 years ago, a scientist at the University of Utah, Phillipine-born Baldomera Olivera, isolated the molecule that had the painkilling properties in humans. It took a quarter of a century to produce a synthetic version of the compound, which serves as the basis of the new drug Prialt (ziconotide)."
~ Researchers directly deposit gold nanoparticles in suspension -- "The delivery, manipulation and assembly of functional materials such as metal nanoparticles into predefined architectures and patterns is of great interest in nanotechnology. Nanoscale patterns of nanoparticles have the potential to be used in miniature electronic circuits or in plasmon waveguides to guide the transport of electromagnetic energy below the diffraction limit. Nanoparticles functionalized with biological materials can also be placed between electrodes for use in biosensing applications."
~ Largest butterfly in Western Hemisphere needs help to avoid extinction -- "The Homerus swallowtail is the Western Hemisphere`s largest butterfly, but University of Florida researchers say its numbers are so small that conservation and captive breeding efforts are needed to save the insect, found only in two parts of Jamaica."
~ Climate change and permafrost thaw alter greenhouse gas emissions in northern wetlands -- "Permafrost - the perpetually frozen foundation of the north - isn`t so permanent anymore, and scientists are scrambling to understand the pros and cons when terra firma goes soft."
~ One of Deep Ocean's Most Turbulent Areas Has Big Impact on Climate -- "More than a mile beneath the Atlantic`s surface, roughly halfway between New York and Portugal, seawater rushing through the narrow gullies of an underwater mountain range much as winds gust between a city`s tall buildings is generating one of the most turbulent areas ever observed in the deep ocean."
~ Arctic climate study reveals impact of industrial soot -- "Scientists from the Desert Research Institute (DRI) and their collaborators have determined that Northern Hemisphere industrial pollution resulted in a seven-fold increase in black carbon (soot) in Arctic snow during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, according to new research into the impact of black carbon on Arctic climate."

~ The Buddha Diaries Recommends -- "The Buddha Diaries is offering a free "virtual" stay for all of our readers, at the magically ordinary Washington State country home of Robin and Roger, authors of Dharma Bums. To redeem your prize, simply click here…read the posts, take in the pictures and stories, and be transported."
~ Will neurotheology cause faith to wane? Not likely, experts say -- "If science demonstrates that prayer is more neurological than metaphysical, will it cause the believers to abandon their faith, reduced to a figment of their imagination? It's highly unlikely, experts in the field of neurotheology agree." This comes from a Baptist website, but its interesting.
~ Exploring perceptions and overlay of thoughts -- "Exploring perception and the overlay of thoughts can yield a great variety of insights, and one of the most effective ways of exploring this that I have found so far is the choiceless awareness practice, differentiating the sense fields and thoughts through labeling."
~ Top of the world -- "'I have had such a wonderful journey, which continues to have a profound effect on my soul. It has changed the way I think about life and people, inspired me to seek simple happiness and encouraged me to embrace the freedom of my future,' Prachawan reflected on the feelings she had during her first trip to Tibet, last August."
~ Buddhism and Quantum Physics -- "What is reality? The mindsets of the modern world provide four answers to that question and oscillate between these answers...."
~ Thomas Jefferson Would Probably Be Disappointed -- "Wake up and smell the air pollution! Our society's entire system of education is based creating obedient factory workers. Of course, most of those jobs have gone to China... "
~ Waiting to Free the Crowd -- "If we believe that we don't have to do anything, or that nothing we do (or cease doing) will make any difference anyway, then we are free to do nothing, to go on doing what we were doing before. We do what we must, then we do what's easy, and then we do what's fun. There is already so much we must do, to stave off the fear of not having enough, to meet the ever-increasing expectations of the boss, the family, the lawyer, the doctor, the police, the government, and nearly everyone else, that when someone tells us "you don't have to do anything about that, it's all a misunderstanding, we're taking care of it" we will accept it no matter the source or its lack of credibility. One less thing to do, to worry about. More precious time for the easy and fun stuff."

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