Stupid Man Tricks Explained.

I must admit, after reading this, Stupid Man Tricks make a lot more sense:

IN A classic Monty Python moment, a chirpy, long-haired man on a crucifix urges others around him in a similar predicament to cheer up. Now neurologists have discovered what might be described as a “Life of Brian” brain mechanism that encourages us to look on the bright side of life – even when confronted by thoughts of mortality.

Shihui Han of Peking University, China, found activity in brain regions that normally deal with negative emotions and self-awareness are dampened when we process ideas about death. Han and colleagues placed 20 volunteers in functional MRI brain scanners while death-related words, such as graveyard, corpse, behead and slay, flashed up on a screen. Neutral and negative words were also displayed.

Unsurprisingly, words related to death activated brain areas already known to process unpleasant or threatening notions. More interestingly, they were associated with comparatively lower activity in the insula and the mid-cingulate.

The insula is associated with sense of self and awareness of sensations and movement. Further tests showed that the more participants associated specific words with death, the lower the activity in the insula. Damage to this region is associated with reduced emotional awareness and expression, sometimes resulting in inappropriate behaviour.

See the below classic SMT?

Makes a lot more sense now doesn’t it?

A regenerative human heart? Scientists are working on it.

What an amazing leap in medicine this is!

Beating heart muscle cells have for the first time been made directly from other heart cells. The breakthrough may enable damaged heart muscle to be repaired by converting the structural cells called fibroblasts into the cardiomyocytes that make the heart beat.

The route from fibroblasts to cardiomyocytes is so direct that no transitory stem cells need to be formed in the process, avoiding the extra step by which many other researchers are trying to create heart cells from patients’ own cells, or from human embryonic stem cells.

“Other teams, including ours, have spent significant effort making cardiomyoctes from stem cells for regenerative purposes,” says Deepak Srivastava of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease in San Francisco.

And just think, we all owe it to this little guy:

It’s regeneration a la newt,” said Stanford University cell biologist Helen Blau, who performed the feat in an April 5 Cell Stem Cell study.

In most animals, including ourselves, cells stop dividing when they’ve attained their mature, tissue-specific form. Chop off a limb or carve up an organ, and it doesn’t grow back. A few creatures, however, including newts and axolotl salamanders, break those rules. They can regrow new limbs, even organs.

That’s made them the focus of regenerative medicine researchers, who until recently suspected that regenerators had an extra-large supply of stem cells. In biology’s version of alchemy, these cells can take multiple forms — or, in the case of embryonic stem cells, any form.

But newts and salamanders don’t rely on stem cells, at least not exclusively. Instead, their standard, adult-issue tissue cells, supposedly incapable of dividing again, revert to a slightly more immature form, and start dividing again.

In the case of new muscle, “they still know they’re muscle cells. They retain their identity. They make more copies of themselves, and then specialize again,” said Blau.

Now everyone say, “Thank you.”

Have to admit, I love the salamanders smile…

It’s almost like he knows how awesome he is and he’s just waiting on the rest of us to catch up.

What’s not to love about that?

Dazer Laser versus the Taser. Who wins? For me…It depends.

Police first began using Tasers as a way to take down suspected criminals without resorting to guns. But as controvery mounted over the years as to whether Tasers might actually be deadly, police and advocates looked for an alternative.

It looks like they might have found it, in the so-called “Dazer Laser,” developed by Mercerville, N.J.-based Laser Energetics.

It’s no secret that Tasers hurt. A lot.

But their greatest advantage has always been that they’re not lethal. The Dazer Laser doesn’t physically harm you, but it does temporarily impair vision, and may also cause nausea.

This device looks like gun, but instead of bullets, it shoots out a bright green laser beam. The flash temporarily blinds someone, and creates confusion, disorientation and even nausea. The Dazer Laser is powerful enough to blast through eyelids and work more than a mile away, but does not cause permanent damage.

A study from an independent organization, Nevyas Eye Associates and the Delaware Valley Laser Surgery Institute, says the Dazer Laser is safe to human eyes as close as six feet away.

I must admit, the second nonlethal force option, does look a lot more preferable to me in a confrontational situation. Not sure however, if you are being physically charged by a combative individual, intent on causing you grievous bodily harm, how effective such an option would be…

In THAT instance, I would probably still go for the Taser, but I must admit, for all other scenarios?

The Dazer Laser does indeed look like a viable, practical  option.

Great job technology – I am chalking this one up for you in the win column. It is definitely deserved.

Good rule of thumb? No true ‘friend’ drinks you blood.

I think there might possibly be something wrong with the title of the below article, as I  am not so sure I would call someone a ‘friend if said friend killed me and drank my blood.

Could just be me though.

Man kills friend, drinks his blood

BARTOW, Fla. (AP) – Bail has been denied for a 42-year-old central Florida man accused of stabbing a friend to death and then drinking his blood.


A judge denied bail for Mauricio Mendez Lopez who made his first court appearance Thursday. In court Lopez said he had been drinking and had no memory of the incident which happened Sunday.

Lopez was picked up Wednesday after he was spotted by a citizen. He is accused of killing Macario Cruz in a house they shared in Bartow.

A third resident, Cruz’s sister-in-law Mariella Mendez, told police that Lopez fatally stabbed Cruz because he was having an affair with her. Lopez is the uncle of Mendez and Cruz’s wife, who lives in Mexico.

A police report shows the men had an argument in which Lopez struck Cruz in the face with a 15-pound dumb bell. He then allegedly threatened to kill them both unless the relationship ended.

Authorities say Lopez returned later and stabbed Cruz to death. Mendez told police Lopez left with a plastic cup in his hand that appeared to hold blood. She said he drank from the cup in a strange ritual from their native Mexico.

Several reports said all of the adults in the home are illegal immigrants.

Lopez is being held in a Polk County Jail. It was not immediately known if he has an attorney.

Then again, I suppose it all comes down to how one defines the word ‘friend’. I can only speak for myself when I say I have a general rule of thumb when it comes to friendships, “Friends don’t my blood. Ever.”

Consider it a very strident pivot-point for me in the relationship, nevertheless one I am fairly devout about.

Go figure.

Have your very own ‘secret door’ in your home

This is a very frivolous post, on my part, in that these are awesome looking and I want one.

Posting about it now, I figure, will only help me find it later so I can buy one and I will  most definitely want to. I will have one of these – I WILL! Question is, which one?  So if you find something neat in these door fashion accessories, that mirrors my own wants as well?

All cherries.

Imagine if there could be one doorway in your house that revealed something a little more exciting than an untidy teenager’s bedroom or a cluttered ‘home office’ full of things you haven’t taken to the charity shop yet.

Imagine a home which has doorways which lead into an atmospheric Parisian stairway, a classical column-lined corridor or even a mysteriously dark and winding staircase.


These stunning Trompe l’oeil doors are simple fabric designs which deceive the eye into thinking there is a 3D scene behind the door by using ultra-high quality images.

Other real-life designs include a messy stack of books, a shuttered French shop front and an empty wardrobe complete with hangers.


The £125 fabric posters can be trimmed to fit any door with a regular pair of scissors and are simply glued in place.

The highly durable and washable images are the latest interior design idea created by Christophe Koziel for Couture Deco.

Trompe-l’oeil – it translates from the French as ‘deceive the eye’ – is an art technique that creates the illusion of three dimensional depth by using an extremely realistic printing technique.


A spokesman for Couture said: ‘These true realistic decors are very easy to install and no advanced technical skill is required. They are guaranteed to make a buzz at your next dinner party.’

Last year similar remarkable designs were produced to liven up garage doorways in quite suburban estates.


They included images showing Formula One racing cars, a private jet, a speedboat, a beach and a New York subway.

Other fun designs showed an alligator eating the owners’ car and a giant elephant taking a rest in the garage.

You say, “Fundamental tenet of atomic structure.” I say? Maybe not

One of the things I dearly love about physics, is that even absolutes of thought can be challenged, constantly are and in the most interesting of ways:

All of the matter in the universe — everything we see, feel and smell — has a certain predictable structure, thanks to the tiny electrons spinning around their atomic nuclei in a series of concentric shells or atomic levels. A fundamental tenet of this orderly structure is that no two electrons can occupy the same atomic level (quantum state) at the same time—a principle called the Pauli exclusion principle, which is based on Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity and quantum theory.

However…

However = Best. Word. Ever!

A team of Syracuse University physicists recently developed a new theoretical model to explain how the Pauli exclusion principle can be violated and how, under certain rare conditions, more than one electron can simultaneously occupy the same quantum state.


Their model, published July 26 in Physical Review Letters (vol. 105) may help explain how matter behaves at the edges of black holes and contribute to the ongoing scientific quest for a unified theory of quantum gravity. Physical Review Letters is a publication of the prestigious American Physical Society.

The orderly way in which electrons fill up atomic levels provides stability and structure to matter, as well as dictates the chemical properties of elements on the Periodic Table. Underlying this stability is the ability to pinpoint the location of objects (electrons, protons and neutrons) almost exactly in space and time.

The new model posits that at the level where quantum gravity is significant, this picture of space-time continuum breaks down, deeply affecting the rotational symmetry of the atoms and triggering electron transitions (movement from one shell to another) that violate the Pauli principle.

“The Pauli principle is not obeyed in the model we built,” Balachandran says. “We then used existing experimental evidence to put limits on when these violations in transitions can occur.”

According to the model, violations of the Pauli principle would theoretically occur in nature in a time span that is longer than the age of the universe—or less frequently than once in the proverbial “blue moon.”

“Though this effect is small, scientists are using high-precision instruments to try to observe the effect,” Balachandran says. “If found, it will profoundly affect the foundations of the current fundamental physical theories. “

“Additionally, chemistry and biology in a world where such violations occur will be dramatically different,” adds co-author Padmanabhan.


The fact that the Pauli principle can be violated may also help explain how matter behaves at the edge of black holes, Joseph says: “While we don’t know what happens to matter in a black hole, our model may give hints about how matter behaves as atoms collapse from the gravitational pull of black holes.”

Iranian President, Ahmadinnerjacket, is at it again!

Nothing that Ahmadinnerjacket surprises me:

TEHRAN — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks were exaggerated in a fresh broadside at the United States just days after President Barack Obama voiced willingness to talk to Iran.

Well-known for his anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric, the hardline populist Ahmadinejad also repeated his denial of the Holocaust, on which the consensus of historians is that six million Jews were exterminated by Nazi Germany.

Ahmadinejad said the Sept. 11 attacks with hijacked airliners on New York and Washington D.C. had been trumped up as an excuse for the United States to invade Afghanistan and Iraq.

Speaking at a Tehran conference, Ahmadinejad said there was no evidence that the death toll at New York’s World Trade Center, destroyed in the attacks, was as high as reported and said “Zionists” had been tipped off in advance.

“What was the story of September 11? During five to six days, and with the aid of the media, they created and prepared public opinion so that everyone considered an attack on Afghanistan and Iraq as (their) right,” he said in a televised speech.

No “Zionists” were killed in the World Trade Center, according to Ahmadinejad, because “one day earlier they were told not go to their workplace.” [Uh, huh. Geez. I would love to know who was responsible for sending out that mass email. Riddle me this - Just how do I get signed up for their newsletter?]

“They announced that 3,000 people were killed in this incident, but there were no reports that reveal their names. Maybe you saw that, but I did not,” he told a gathering of the Iranian news media.

But just to put this guys brilliance into context, read this bit of brilliance:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has once again demonstrated his intellect and reason to the world by denouncing Paul the psychic octopus as spreading “western propaganda and superstition.” Paul gained international fame by correctly predicting many of the German soccer team’s games in the World Cup.

I’m sure the media will be all up in arms over Ahmadinnerjacket’s dismissive remarks about the mass devastation and the horrific loss of human in connection with the Terror Attacks of 9/11, but me?

I don’t take a guy who actually takes the time to denounce an octopus, in the press, all that seriously.

How can anyone?

Beer, hot dogs and diet soda lead to summertime migraines. NOOO!

I am ignoring this report…

They have no idea what they are talking about because I have been struck with an inability to read.

You’ve stuck your toes in the sand and fired up the grill. The burgers are sizzling. An ice-cold Corona and a panoply of toppings awaits.


Sounds like the recipe for a perfect summer afternoon.

And the formula for a killer headache, it turns out.

Mind-numbing headaches are more likely to strike as the mercury rises, a recent Harvard University study says. The researchers found that for every 5°C increase in temperature, the risk of severe headache jumped by 7.5 percent. That’s bad news for the more than 8 percent of American men who suffer from migraines or severe headaches — an ailment inversely correlated with age, according to a 2008 Centers for Disease Control report.

But the heat may not be the only perpetrator at play. Even your burger’s pickle — which contains headache-inducing nitrates — could be the source of your summertime brain pain. “Migraines are often triggered by a combination of things — whether it’s food or alcohol or weather,” says Alexander Mauskop, M.D., neurologist and director of the New York Headache Center. And these factors may spark more diffuse headaches in those who aren’t migraine-prone, he says.

You shouldn’t have to sacrifice summer fun for relief. Skipping meals can also trigger headaches, so when you sense an oncoming ‘ache, make these simple food swaps instead.

The trigger: Diet soda


The sugar substitute aspartame lurks in diet soda, yogurts, and the tabletop sweeteners Equal and Nutrasweet. While some research says it’s innocent, the FDA has received thousands of complaints about aspartame-induced headaches and dizziness, among other maladies.

Sometimes…

Science in not my friend.