A home-made heroin substitute is having a horrific effect on thousands of Russia’s drug addicts. (via Independent.UK)
“The origins of April Fools’ Day are shrouded in mystery, experts say.” (via National Geographic).
Image from the backscatter advanced imaging technology (AIT) machine used by the TSA to screen passengers. This is what the remote TSA agent would see on their screen.
A reader wrote to see if my audience would be interested in seeing this well-done infographic about TSA waste. (Thanks, Tony) If you think the tax dollars you have contributed to funding the TSA have made you safer, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.
“…Searches are geospecific and social network-dependent. All of which is fine and useful, but that’s not what made us love Google’s search engine. The more the search engine — and the web more generally — adjust themselves to us, the less they represent a collective idea of what is known….” (via The Atlantic).
It is not a simple question, and it matters. Good discussion of why. (via Neurotic Physiology).
NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is finding hundreds of new objects at the very edge of the electromagnetic spectrum. Many of them have one thing in common: Astronomers have no idea what they are. (via NASA Science).
“This close examination of Stanley Kubrick’s science fiction masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey theorises that Kubrick was working on this film with a “double narrative” structure. Thus, the imagery, set design and camera shots created a complex story all of their own that was separate, and sometimes in direct opposition to, the commonly accepted themes of the Arthur C. Clarke screenplay.
Ager’s work falls on just the right side of conspiracy-culture to be of interest to skeptics and conspiracist’s alike, and with this particular film analysis he is careful to avoid any “tin foil hat” readings of the text, which can be a major downfall of “critical” videos of this kind.
What Ager does posit is that Kubrick was working with a language of imagery that spoke directly to the subconscious and could be in contrast to the spoken words. This is more than a little believable when you take into account that Kubrick’s incredible talent and the huge amounts of time and effort that he spent on the various different aspects of his craft.” (via Dangerous Minds).
I haven’t watched this yet — waiting for a spare hour — but I am eager. I saw 2001 eleven times in the weeks after it came out in 1968 and several more times in the decades since. I think it was my introduction to having my mind blown, and it was also the occasion for my first work of film exegesis; I wrote a review about how profound it was for my high school newspaper, which I fantasized introduced my classmates to layers of meaning they otherwise would not have appreciated. Cocky me. I no longer recall what I said but perhaps I was responding to the unconscious narrative Ager posits here. I’ll see if it makes sense once I watch.
‘Just when you thought the religious right couldn’t get any crazier, with its personhood amendments and its attacks on contraception, here comes the academic left with an even crazier idea: after-birth abortion.
No, I didn’t make this up. “Partial-birth abortion” is a term invented by pro-lifers. But “after-birth abortion” is a term invented by two philosophers, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva.’ (via Slate)
Forget the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – we need a new system based on brain physiology, says psychiatrist Nick Craddock.
You don’t believe we should update the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) used to classify mental illness. Why not?
“There are many reasons we should pause. The DSM checklist of symptoms is not fit for purpose: its categories don’t map onto the emerging science of emotion and cognition, yet the DSM-5 rewriters plan to pull in more areas in the new categories and over-medicalise the situation further. Obviously the people rewriting DSM are not stupid, but the project is the wrong thing now. There are lots of great findings coming out of biology, neuroscience and psychology. We will need a new diagnostic system based on these…” (via New Scientist)
“In the 21st century, it can feel as if the future has already arrived. But we’re only getting started. It’s fashionable to be pessimistic about our prospects, yet our species may very well endure for at least 100,000 years. So what’s in store for us?” (via New Scientist)
‘RepRap is a free desktop 3D printer capable of printing plastic objects. Since many parts of RepRap are made from plastic and RepRap can print those parts, RepRap is a self-replicating machine – one that anyone can build given time and materials. It also means that – if you’ve got a RepRap – you can print lots of useful stuff, and you can print another RepRap for a friend…
RepRap was the first of the low-cost 3D printers, and the RepRap Project started the open-source 3D printer revolution. It is described in the video on the right.’ (via RepRapWiki).
Does anyone have one of these and want to print me out one?
Is it akin to a perpetual motion machine? Does it violate the first law of thermodynamics? No; it turns out that it sucks in ambient heat energy to make up the difference. Commercial application is unlikely, though. (via Wired UK).
The Japanese people will be recovering from this catastrophe for years to come. For those of us outside of Japan, however, it’s all too easy to forget. That’s why, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami, GOOD will join the Japan Society of New York in observing a moment of silence led by Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, Japan’s consul general in New York, at 2:46 p.m. this Sunday, March 11. We invite you to join us, wherever you are. At 2:46 p.m. in your time zone, take a minute to reflect on the incredible challenge facing Japan.” (via GOOD).
Maggie Koerth-Baker writes on Boing Boing:
“Yesterday, I got to host an eye-opening Q&A with Dan Edge, a PBS FRONTLINE producer who just finished a documentary about what happened at Fukushima during the first few days of the nuclear crisis there.
During that discussion, we touched a bit on the psychological impact all of this—the earthquake, the tsunami, the nuclear meltdowns—has had on the Japanese people. From studies of what’s happened to the people who lived near Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, we know that the fear and stress associated with these kinds of disasters can have complex and long-ranging health effects.
Today, Paul Voosen, a journalist with Greenwire, emailed me a story he wrote last year, during the first month of the Fukushima crisis, that delves into some of the science behind how disasters (and especially nuclear disasters) affect the human psyche. If you’ve already read it, it’s worth reading again.”
“Bruce Levine, a clinical psychologist, has written on Mad in America about his colleagues’ propensity for diagnosing anti-authoritarians with mental illness. Levine says diagnoses like oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder and anxiety disorder are applied to people who question authority’s legitimacy by mental health practitioners who are, themselves, unconsciously deferential to authority.” (via Boing Boing)
“Rush Limbaugh’s statement on Sandra Fluke was a textbook example of what not to say.” (via Slate).
Also: The Advertisers Sticking By Limbaugh
Advertisers really know their demographics. I would of course never listen to Rush Limbaugh and, with his latest offensive idiocy, was all set to stop patronizng his sponsors. But apparently they don’t want me as a customer either, because none of the advertisers on this list from The Atlantic Wire.have the least bit of appeal to me. The sole exception, and they say they do not really support Limbaugh, is Netflix.