alfreda89: (Blankenship Reeds)

I have been busy beating out brush fires, and so have not figured out how I want to write about this podcast.  I started listening to it because I was in the car driving a lot, and I'm a magpie for information.  I never grow tired of learning.  This report was stringing together a lot of interesting things, starting with an open pit copper mine that became the Berkeley Pit, one of the worst of the Superfund sites.  This is not a new report--but I think it is worth your while.

At the end, I was moved to tears, because for the first time in a long while, I thought there was a chance that maybe, just maybe, we will figure things out before we destroy ourselves.

So I offer to you "Even the Worst Laid Plans" from Radiolab.  Their blurb is as follows:

Soren Wheeler takes us to Butte Montana--where an open pit copper mine’s demise leads to a toxic lake filled with corrosive runoff. Reporter Barret Golding goes to visit the pit lake, and writer Edwin Dobb tells Soren the story of a pile of dead snow geese who made an ill-fated landing on the water. Soren also talks to husband-and-wife chemists Andrea Stierle and Don Stierle, whose startling discovery reveals the secret life inside a death trap.

The discovery the Stierles made may be the seed of a way to clean huge areas of the world, of a new business, of a new way to think about biochemistry.  It's a reminder that there may, indeed, be a medical solution to every condition lurking somewhere on the planet.

If we can only find and recognize it before we burn it down.

alfreda89: (Winter)
Greenland icebergs may have triggered "big freeze."

From the article:

In a warming world, what could cause temperatures to suddenly plummet across the Northern Hemisphere? Scientists have tried to answer this question for decades, ever since they discovered geological and biological evidence for the "Big Freeze."

Now, a new study points to an armada of icebergs or meltwater from Greenland as a possible cause for the sudden climate change called the Younger Dryas, or the Big Freeze. The findings were published online July 10 in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
alfreda89: (Tea -- the universal cure (ask the Docto)
You know how I'm always talking about how there's a 75% decrease in your chance of Alzheimer's if you're a ballroom dancer? How ballroom dancing, bridge, chess, and puzzles are your best defense?

Add reading to that. A 32% less chance for lifelong readers.

Damn, we should be healthier....

And then there's the glow-in-the-dark tree gang. I was swamped in the spring, so I missed all the Kickstarters including this one, but we're talking almost a half-million dollars to develop trees that could replace street lights, giving us a soft, ambient glow to a nighttime street. It's an exciting idea, although I am a little taken aback at how easy he predicts this has become.

As he says, the scary stuff will eventually arise. For now, we get glowing cats and small trees!

In the meantime? Read a book.
alfreda89: (borrelia burgdorferi)
This article is incredibly exciting in so many ways. I will not begin to attempt to deconstruct and explain all the ramifications of retroviruses, diseases like MS, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, a virus that may have been attached to our DNA for sixty million years, and something like influenza triggering a cascade in an infant body, manifesting in a ghastly disease decades later.

I leave those aspects to you, reading the article. I want to address this:

Even more puzzling is the so-called birth-month effect: People born in winter or early spring are more likely than others to become schizophrenic later in life. It is a small increase, just 5 to 8 percent, but it is remarkably consistent, showing up in 250 studies. That same pattern is seen in people with bipolar disorder or multiple sclerosis.

“The birth-month effect is one of the most clearly established facts about schizophrenia,” says Fuller Torrey, director of the Stanley Medical Research Institute in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Read more... )
And this is why, despite my fascination with science of all kinds, I am a storyteller.
alfreda89: (commonly called Lyme)
A big study (40 years, 1.2 million patients and their relatives) shows certain mental illnesses are more common among artists and scientists. The study also indicates that these illnesses can run in families.

Not a big surprise, eh? Rather confirming casual suspicion.

[Edit: I marked these articles so I could read them later, as I'm in grant deadline hell right now. A respected LJ friend reports back below that these aren't very well written articles. So -- when I have time, I'll be looking for more on this study. Think of this as a place marker -- that we want more info later.]

CBS News introduces the topic, with links to several Live Science articles on the study, creative people, and how some feel bipolar condition does have some positive effects.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Boobies!)
The geekiest man of all time, and the founder of almost everything to do with electricity/energy -- Nikola Tesla.

I look forward to the amendment of Wikipedia.

And thanks to [livejournal.com profile] marthawells for reminding me that I want to take The Oatmeal on RSS!
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Warning Sign on a CA entrance to a parki)
Yes, it's real.

Don't ever give me a surprise party!
alfreda89: (Books and lovers)
So, I have done multiple docs in the past two days. Turns out that I may not be slipping back into the Void, exactly. I may be slipping back into one area of the Void, and that area (the eyes) really affects perception, balance, memory, etc.

So I am back on eye exercises six days a week. Go back in two months. If this is all it takes to get me back in the recovery column, I'm on board for life!

And I really recommend Dr. Charlene Werner here in greater Austin. The color therapy is one of the pillars of my recovery -- and I know of other people with chronic illness who have done this therapy, and it made a WORLD of difference to them. So -- running out of options? Have her evaluate your eyes. If she finds anything in the CODE book, your insurance company quite likely will pay or credit your deductible. She doesn't file insurance, but gives you the info if you need it.

Interesting thing -- my cones (color) have regressed back into the center of the pattern. My rods (black & white) have blown past the edges of the eval page. So I have been using the rods to get by. Fine for daytime. Not so good at night, apparently.

And...there is an evaluation she makes with concave/convex glasses, to see if your brain can be tricked by your eyes? I could be tricked one way -- but not the other. I'm not sure if writing SF & fantasy gave me the flexibility to fight the suggestion -- or if it was the months of seeing wrong when I was ill. I learned not to trust what I saw. So I felt what I saw as it was, and not as my eyes tried to tell me it was.

Wonderfully weird. For the next book....
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Boobies!)
A friend sent me over to this fellow's blog, The Rat Race Trap -- Tools to improve your mind and escape the trap. Mr. Rat Race became aware of how his health -- especially his ability to use his brain -- had slipped from his 20s, and decided to see if there was something he could do about it. Turns out there is, and here are a few of his essays (with links) on the care and feeling of your brain. Things have changed quickly in this field, and there's a lot of new info, so it's worth taking a look when you have a few moments.

To sum up what I've read on his site: Do you want to spend the rest of your life doing and being things, or sitting on a couch somewhere drooling? Me, I'm into doing and being. So I'm going to take a break from the work and walk to the mailbox (that's a mile for me, BTW.)

How to Take Care of Your Brain

Top 10 Ways to Grow Your Brain

Your Brain on Food and Supplements:

Dopamine
Acetylcholine
GABA
Serotonin
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Boobies!)
Interesting article about where and how we get the joke. Humor may be what separates us from other animals. (Although I think animals get physical humor, in their own, critter way. And it varies among types of animals.)


http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20527451.400-the-comedy-circuit-when-your-brain-gets-the-joke.html?full=true#bx274514B1
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Warning Sign on a CA entrance to a parki)
Chemicals in plastics alter the brains of baby boys, making them "more feminine", say US researchers.

Males exposed to high doses in the womb went on to be less likely to play with boys' toys like cars or to join in rough and tumble games, they found.

The University of Rochester team's latest work adds to concerns about the safety of phthalates, found in vinyl flooring and PVC shower curtains.

The findings are reported in the International Journal of Andrology.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8361863.stm

This is a BBC article -- One would hope we could turn up a few articles in the US, since this was a study from the University of Rochester. I knew about the 25% of the male population under 30 being sterile -- hadn't heard that some of the other problems found in animals and water creatures are showing up in humans.

If you haven't shifted to organic cleaning products -- or even returned to vinegar and ammonia -- why not?
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Chai anime)
How about one of these beauties in your 500 gallon aquarium? Only one thing -- don't eat, don't even touch these nudibranchs (sea snails).

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/video/player?titleID=1531204600
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
And those blond moments, or menopause moments, or LBb moments.... New York Times, so look soon!
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Polar Lights)
http://lro.jhuapl.edu/NameToMoon/index.php
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (DontWannaCat)
Well, isn't this ducky....

"...It is interesting to note that the researchers focused on women only. Apparently, men’s faces are more difficult to grade."

http://blogs.zdnet.com/emergingtech/?p=880
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Polar Lights)
In the past week four of the undersea cables that handle Internet voice and email have been cut or shut down. The mainstream media had not caught on as of boingboing.net today. What's your guess? Sabotage so a few somebodies can get taps into the cable? The kraken got tired of the reverb on the ocean floor? Earthquake?

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/02/05/who-cut-the-cheese-i.html
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Chai anime)
The author of this article is Robert L. Park, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland at College Park and the director of public information for the American Physical Society. He is the author of Voodoo Science: The Road From Foolishness to Fraud (Oxford University Press, 2002).

"I began this list of warning signs to help federal judges detect scientific nonsense. But as I finished the list, I realized that in our increasingly technological society, spotting voodoo science is a skill that every citizen should develop."

http://chronicle.com/free/v49/i21/21b02001.htm

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] starcat_jewel for discovering this article!
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Chai anime)
Or their lack of farting, actually. No, really....
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
But while I'm caulking, I'm thinking up story stuff -- and occasionally finding weird, wonderful stuff. You know you believe the following:

http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2007/12/country_music_and_suicide.php

My favorite was this one, which "assesses the link between country music and metropolitan suicide rates":

Country music is hypothesized to nurture a suicidal mood through its concerns with problems common in the suicidal population, such as marital discord, alcohol abuse, and alienation from work. The results of a multiple regression analysis of 49 metropolitan areas show that the greater the airtime devoted to country music, the greater the white suicide rate. The effect is independent of divorce, southernness, poverty, and gun availability. The existence of a country music subculture is thought to reinforce the link between country music and suicide. Our model explains 51% of the variance in urban white suicide rates."


The actual paper:

http://www.uta.edu/depken/ugrad/3318/music-suicide.pdf

Yes, I am amused...grimly amused.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
Pedophilia patients are found to have deficits in brain activation

A snip:

"Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, Walter and colleagues report that pedophilic patients showed reduced activation of the hypothalamus, a brain region involved in regulating physiologic arousal and hormone release, as compared to healthy individuals when they were viewing sexually arousing pictures of adults. Deficits of activation in the frontal cortex were associated with the extent of pedophilic behavior. In other words, when shown erotic pictures of adults, the brains of the pedophilic patients had reduced reactions in the pleasure center of the brain, indicating an altered sexual interest."

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-09/e-ppa092007.php

August 2017

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