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Mon, Mar. 8th, 2004, 07:07 pm
Interesting tidbit of research...

There's a fair amount of interesting research in the areas of exploring brain function, and just recently there's been a bit on implants that may be able to help with certain psychological disorders. These devices stimulate parts of the brain, to correct for problems in brain chemistry. So far, based on the article, they've tested it with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder patients, and though they've had some initial success they're proceeding cautiously.

A lot of this stuff still has a disclaimer along the lines of "Well, we don't really know how it causes these changes, but it seems to work most of the time," but it'll be interesting to see research in this area progress over the coming years. As complex as functionality of the brain is (both physiologically and psychologically), it's good to see progress.

In addition to this research there's been some work on restoring sight to those who are blind. The view offered to those have the implants made successfully is rather primitive/simple (basically a field of dots or points of light), It's still fantastic that things have come this far.

On the more ranty side of things, I've recently had it pointed out to me that the medical field essentially focuses on finding problems and fixing them. While it doesn't sound so bad on the surface (heck, it's the way that science and engineering work), it doesn't really aknowledge the fact that you're working on a human being. It's just rather cold and calculating. It's almost like taking a car in for a repair. You go in to have something fixed, not really to get well. I don't think the current system is even equipped to handle things differently.

Sun, Feb. 8th, 2004, 08:05 pm
Rejoice netizens!

According people from the University of Alberta, that net addiction of yours is just fine, lol..

Now, there’s more to the story than just that statement. They state that it’s therapeutic for those who are socially awkward or depressed. Therapeutic, maybe, a solution to the problem, I think not. There’s a potential rant lurking here that has a lot to do with LJ and what people tend to use it for, but I think I’ll hold it back for the moment. Instead I’ll just leave everyone with a universally applicable bit of advice: If it makes you feel good or happy, great! if it doesn’t, stop doing it! It’s a simple thing to live by.

Wed, Feb. 4th, 2004, 10:25 am
Woo!

Stereolab @ Vic Theater in Chicago - April 7
AND
Squarepusher @ Metro in Chicago - April 9

And that concludes this random posting. Anyone else going to either?!

Thu, Jan. 29th, 2004, 10:56 am
iTMS Pepsi Ad

The ad for the iTMS Apple/Pepsi promotion that’s going to air during the Super Bowl has been released, here. I must say that I’m not impressed. It plays off of the recent lawsuits that the RIAA has been filing against everyone and their grandmother (quite literally actually). As much as such a stick-it-to-’em sort of ad like this should have some emotional grab for someone in my age group, I must say that I’m unmoved and not impressed. It seems more like just another ad, just another promotion. It’s just a standard fare Pepsi ad with a massive iTunes Music Store promotion backing it up.

Admittedly, I do have a bias against beverages that are basically carbonic acid, sugar, water, and some artificial flavoring and coloring :-)

I think it’s a great way to promote the use of Apple’s store (which in turn will drive iPod sales, which is what Apple is really after), massive numbers of free downloads available to quite a large portion imbibers of soft drinks. It’ll get people to download Apple’s software, and download their free song(s). Everyone likes getting something for free, even if getting that free thing requires a decent bit of time and effort (download Apple’s software, installing that, signing up with iTMS, downloading).

This brings up something rather interesting about American culture. People will go to ridiculous ends just to save a few bucks, even if it’s on a several thousand dollar purchase. Getting that “great deal” that you can brag about to your friends seemingly justifies the extra time you spent tracking down that item that cost $1995 instead of $1999. Ultimately, I think this has a lot to do with perception. People buy and sell based on their perception of future events, future values. The perceived value of getting a great deal is more important than the time invested.

Tue, Jan. 27th, 2004, 07:56 am
Spirit and Opportunity Rovers

The Spirit lander isn’t completely dead and they’re working with it to get it operational again. NASA is currently citing “file managment” problems. Also, Opportunity has landed in a crater and is sending back loads of images. See here for the PR regarding Opportunity: http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/20040125c.html

General info on both rovers and the program here: http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/home/

Thu, Jan. 22nd, 2004, 04:16 pm
Spirit rover computer crashed?

NASA's Spirit rover appears to have experienced some sort of malfunction. Doesn't look good, but they're still hoping to reestablish contact on Friday.

http://marsrovers.nasa.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/20040122a.html

ACK! Lets hope that Opportunity lands properly on the 25th.

edit: replaced bbc link with actual NASA PR, which has more details.

Mon, Jan. 19th, 2004, 11:30 am
WOOHOO!

warp
records
digital
downloads
store
open
wow!

http://www.warprecords.com/bleep/

i will be far beyond broke by the end of the day...

Tue, Jan. 13th, 2004, 06:20 pm
Fantastic Weather!

... well, at least by the standards of January in Washington, DC. I made my way down to the C&O canal today, and as usual snapped a few images while traveling the tow path and the trails that occasionally branch off from it.

Hope everyone who was around here enjoyed the wonderful weather, and didn't spend all day inside. As usual a few image follow. There were some rather interesting cloud formations, and there was some interesting lighting prior to sunset.

C&O ImagesCollapse )

Tue, Jan. 6th, 2004, 12:06 pm
MWSF Stevenote

Cult of the Mac religious event in streaming form:

http://stream.apple.akadns.net/

edit: oops, link fix..

Sun, Jan. 4th, 2004, 08:38 am
Yay!

The Spirit rover has landed on Mars and deployed properly!

Flash presentation with more content: here

Major score here for NASA!

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