Just playing…

New Year’s must’ve made me and at least one of my readers nostalgic for the FmH ver. 1.0 header. Do you welcome it or is it a step backward?

‘Determined to lose weight this New Year?

Try sleeping those pounds off.

That advice may sound like it comes from a bad infomercial, but recent research suggests chronic sleep deprivation can affect the body’s metabolism, which, in turn, directly affects your ability to shed those extra pounds.

Sleep deprivation is becoming an American phenomenon. The National Sleep Foundation’s 2002 “Sleep in America” poll found that Americans are chronically behind in their slumber hours, with only 30 percent of adults getting eight or more hours of sleep on weeknights and only 52 percent getting their eight hours on weekends.

Many Americans may also suffer from one or more sleep disorders. The same poll found that 74 percent of respondents experienced at least one symptom of a sleep disorder a few nights per week or more. Fifty-eight percent reported experiencing at least one sign of insomnia a few nights a week.

Could this be why one source says 90 percent of Americans fail to achieve their New Year’s resolutions?

Increasingly, science is suggesting the answer is “yes.” HealthScoutNews

Ear damage by MP3, DVD and digital television?

Risks of neuroacoustically data-reduced music: “Unlike with compression and decompression of computer programs (e.g. ZIP), that is to say, during lossy data compression (data reduction) the original signal is not reconstructed 1:1, but to reduce the data amount, only control signals for a synthesizer programs (called CODEC) get recorded, those are optimized in a way that during rendition the CODEC can reconstruct from these an approximation of the original picture or sound signal that appears as similar as possible for the human conscious perception, but is not identical to the original signal. The danger of this exploitation of human perception flaws is that especially by lossy audio data compression sound portions get destroyed those, although the brain would not pass them to the conscious awareness, are likely necessary for the human hearing’s own perpetual calibration.” Does anyone who knows anything about this kind of stuff think this is plausible? [via the null device]

World Domination for FmH:

<input type=”image” src=”http://drunkmenworkhere.org/189.php?image=1&#8243; id=”risk” alt=”click for World Domination [TM]”

onclick=”setTimeout(‘document.getElementById(\’risk\’).src=\’http://drunkmenworkhere.org/188a.php?image=\’+Math.random();’,1000);return true;”>

“Every visitor who clicks on (this) image … will conquer a piece of land (2° by 2°) for (FmH).

All territory (my) site has conquered is in the same colour on the world map.

The amount of land (FmH) has conquered determines the position of (my) site in the high score list.”

Medical Labor Organizing:

W. Va. Doctors Strike Over Insurance: “Surgeons at four hospitals began a strike Wednesday to protest malpractice insurance costs, and most operations in northern West Virginia were canceled or were being moved. In Pennsylvania, a similar walkout was averted.” Yahoo! News Years ago, the hospital where I did my psychiatric residency was one of only two of which we were aware where the house officers (interns and residents) had a collective bargaining unit. I could not have foreseen then that doctors everywhere would grow to feel as much powerless cogs in the medical machine as house officers did then. I recalled our ‘house officers’ association’ only recently as the evident discontent of my colleagues has grown and just recently had a conversation with a labor lawyer speculating about whether we would see efforts to unionize doctors. Lo and behold. As a purist and a moralist, however, the concept of a strike seems inimical to my idea of why people should go into medicine.

And, while we’re in the First-Do-No-Harm-Hah! Dept, “The state (of Massachusetts) will stop paying for artificial limbs, dentures, and eyeglasses for nearly half a million residents today in the most far-reaching reduction in medical care for the poor in more than a decade.” Boston Globe

AoI® Follies:

Bush cites diplomatic path with Pyongyang. The striking part of the news conference is this outburst: ”You said we’re headed to war in Iraq,” Bush said. ”I don’t know why you say that. I hope we’re not headed to war in Iraq. I’m the person who gets to decide, not you.” Is this a lying fool, or what? Boston Globe The same puzzlement is on everybody’s lips in attempting to follow Bush’s logic. Iraq may have WMD and is not meeting our expectations for cooperation with the international arms inspection process. They have openly flouted international law. So we have to deploy force and threaten invasion and regime change to show ’em who’s boss. North Korea has WMD, has rejected monitoring, is announcing its intention to openly defy the US, and for Bush this clearly calls for diplomatic rather than military engagement. Oh, and if you don’t get the distinction, Iraq represents a threat to the US and the world economy

Yahoo! News whereas North Korea does not. Oh, and both are charter members of the AoI® (Axis-o’-Evil). Now I get it…

Related [thanks to Walker]: William Rivers Pitt, author of War On Iraq (with Scott Ritter) and The Greatest Sedition is Silence, available in May 2003, a high school teacher in Boston, MA., editorializes:

The Dead Remember: This country is headed to war with a nation we armed in the first place for a tidy corporate profit, despite the fact that there is no evidence that nation is a threat anymore. Beyond the tens of thousands of civilian deaths this war will bring to the people of Iraq, beyond the potential for hundreds or thousands of American casualties, beyond the vastly increased threat of stateside terrorism this will cause, yet another tidy corporate profit will be made. Simultaneously, corporations and our government collude to keep average Americans from being able to call to account those who poisoned children during 40 years of profitable manufacture of what appears to have been a neurological poison.

2001 was an abominable year, to say the least. 2002 was not much better. As we stride towards the brave new year 2003, a moment of pause should be taken. Is this the country you want? Is this the government you want? Is this the world you wish to leave for your children?

The New Year is meant for resolutions. Consider yours carefully, and keep it after you make it. truthout

WoT® Follies:

U.S. Says Pakistani Guard Shot Soldier in Afghanistan

An American soldier wounded in the head during a border patrol on Sunday was shot by a Pakistan border guard, and the United States responded by calling in a coalition plane that bombed the area, the United States military said today.

The Pakistani guard was part of a unit cooperating with American forces on border control. It was not clear why he opened fire, but it appears he strayed over the border into Afghanistan.

When the American patrol ordered him to move back into Pakistan, he retreated with several others to the cover of a building and opened fire, grazing the American soldier’s head, said a statement from the press center at the United States air base at Bagram, north of Kabul.

The American patrol called in air cover after the shooting, and a coalition plane dropped a 500-pound bomb on the area, according to the statement. NY Times

Another example of striking ineptitude — on someone or other’s part — in the WoT®. Not clear from this depiction if the Pakistanis fired because they were miffed at being ordered to retreat by US forces, or mistaking the identities of the Americans as hostiles, or whether they were really ‘cooperating’ with American forces at all. Both US and Pakistani sources say no, but are the hearts of at least some of the Pakistani security forces with the Taliban? And what’s up with responding with a bombing run? At least two Pakistanis were killed, it is said…

The Case for Drinking:

(All Together Now: In Moderation!): “Many drugs can save your life or kill you, depending on how much of them you take. Only one comes on the rocks with a twist, in a chilled mug with a foamy head, or in a goblet with lingering overtones of raspberry and oak.

Alcohol has become the sharpest double-edged sword in medicine.

Thirty years of research has convinced many experts of the health benefits of moderate drinking for some people. A drink or two a day of wine, beer or liquor is, experts say, often the single best nonprescription way to prevent heart attacks…” NY Times

E and mc2:

Equality, It Seems, Is Relative

In science, no truth is forever, not even perhaps Einstein’s theory of relativity, the pillar of modernity that gave us E=mc2.

As propounded by Einstein as an audaciously confident young patent clerk in 1905, relativity declares that the laws of physics, and in particular the speed of light — 186,000 miles per second — are the same no matter where you are or how fast you are moving.

Generations of students and philosophers have struggled with the paradoxical consequences of Einstein’s deceptively simple notion, which underlies all of modern physics and technology, wrestling with clocks that speed up and slow down, yardsticks that contract and expand and bad jokes using the word “relative.”

Guided by ambiguous signals from the heavens, and by the beauty of their equations, a few brave — or perhaps foolhardy — physicists now say that relativity may have limits and will someday have to be revised.

Some suggest, for example, the rate of the passage of time could depend on a clock’s orientation in space, an effect that physicists hope to test on the space station. Or the speed of a light wave could depend slightly on its color, an effect, astronomers say, that could be detected by future observations of gamma ray bursters, enormous explosions on the far side of the universe. NY Times