30 March 2010

Erasing Fearful And Traumatic Memories

“Memory”, wrote Oscar Wilde, “is the diary that we all carry about with us”. Perhaps, but if memory is like a diary, it’s one filled with torn-out pages and fabricated passages.

In January, a group of New York University neuroscientists led by Daniela Schiller reported in the journal Nature that they had created fearful memories in people and then erased them. Besides being rather cool, the result provides new insight into how to treat traumatic memories in people.

The research was based on the work of neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux, a coauthor on the paper. Ten years ago, while experimenting with rats, Ledoux made a discovery that changed the way neuroscientists view memory from that of Wilde’s tidy diary to something more along the lines of a James Frey memoir.

In that experiment, Ledoux conditioned rats to fear a bell by ringing it in time with an electric shock until the rats froze in fear at the mere sound of the bell. Then, at the moment when the fear memory was being recalled, he injected the rats with anisomycin, a drug that stops the construction of new neural connections. Remarkably, the next time he rang the bell the rats no longer froze in fear. The memory, it seemed, had vanished. Poof!

Ledoux concluded that the neural connections in which memories are stored have to be rebuilt each time a memory is recalled. And during rebuilding—or reconsolidation, as he termed it—memories can be altered or even erased. Neuroscientists now believe that reconsolidation functions to update memories with new information—something of an unsettling idea, suggesting that our memories are only as accurate as the last time they were remembered.
Read the rest of the article by Daniel Lametti in Scientific American

Via 3 Quarks Daily

Self-Esteem Vs. Self-Respect?

The False Mirror | Rene Magritte

Excerpt from Theodore Dalrymple's article "Self-Esteem vs. Self-Respect" in In Character: A Journal of Everyday Virtues:

The problem with low self-esteem is not self-dislike, as is often claimed, but self-absorption. However, it does not follow from this that high self-esteem is not a genuine problem. One has only to go into a prison, or at least a prison of the kind in which I used to work, to see the most revoltingly high self-esteem among a group of people (the young thugs) who had brought nothing but misery to those around them, largely because they conceived of themselves as so important that they could do no wrong. For them, their whim was law, which was precisely as it should be considering who they were in their own estimate. It need hardly be said that this degree of self-esteem is certainly not confined to young thugs. Most of us probably suffer from it episodically, as any waiter in any restaurant would be able to tell us.

In short, self-esteem is but a division of self-importance, which is seldom an attractive quality. That person is best who never thinks of his own importance: to think about it, even, is to be lost to morality.

Self-respect is another quality entirely. Where self-esteem is entirely egotistical, requiring that the world should pay court to oneself whatever oneself happens to be like or do, and demands nothing of the person who wants it, self-respect is a social virtue, a discipline, that requires an awareness of and sensitivity to the feelings of others. It requires an ability and willingness to put oneself in someone else's place; it requires dignity and fortitude, and not always taking the line of least resistance.
Via Arts & Letters Daily

Tilt-Shift Sumo | The Bitter Girls


Pink Tentacle

World's Most Powerful Rock

From the Web site:
WHEN I FIRST FOUND THE ROCK I WAS NOT AWARE OF ITS POWERS. IT HAD A alien looking shape to it and i guess that was what caused me to pick it up. It was not till i took a picture of it that i became aware .For the flash of the camera revealed a human face in 3-d.
I took pictures at different angles and i guess thats when the rock started relaying its message.
The first message was to find its rightful owner and i would be rewarded greatly.
OK in i going nuts or what?
I Really cant tell you the sequence of things relayed because i didn't know if it was real or my mind just going overboard. But this is what was relayed to me first the rock represented the mixture of spices that we are today 3 different kinds thus the inner turmoil in our self.
It let me know i was unworthy of it and i needed to find its right full owner.hum.so in thinking some religious group or secret society. But once again is it me or the rock thinking up the things .So i challenge the rock ,how do i know your real and its not just me thinking up this stuff.
So the rock relayed to me to look in the text of the past
Read more about the World's Most Powerful Rock and learn about he $5.5M reward for finding the rightful owner.

Via Urlesque

LHC Works, World Doesn't End ... Yet

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN has just had its first successful run, creating high-energy particle collisions at levels 3.5 times higher than previously recorded, opening the doors to a new era particle physics.
Laughing Squid via BBC News

Ten Things About the Large Hadron Collider You Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask (Neatorama)

29 March 2010

National Geographic | "Peeps In Places" Contest

Calling all sugar-crazed globetrotters! It's that time of year again, time to bust your little marshmallow bunnies and chicks out of their cellophane cages to let them explore the world.

Yes, it's the return of Peeps in Places, and we're asking our readers to submit their far-flung photos to National Geographic this year in an attempt to create the ultimate global Peeps photo gallery. Our photo editors will be scanning your images and selecting their favorites each week, and we'll be showcasing the best images on the Web.

So how do you to get your Peep photo noticed? We'll be looking for creativity and photos that do the most with their sense of place (take a peek at last year's gallery to get an idea of what we're looking for). A sense of humor helps as well. "We want to know what it felt like to be there," says Dan Westergren, Senior Photo Editor at National Geographic Traveler. "And we want to be able to tell by looking at the photograph that the Peep had a good time."
"Peep Van Gogh" | 2009 Finalist
Photo by Stanley Feldman

National Geographic "Peeps In Places" Contest

Via Urlesque

28 March 2010

Happy Monday | Koko Meets A New Friend

Koko has always been very affectionate toward kittens (remember All Ball on the 1985 cover of National Geographic) and still entertains them as guests from time to time. In this clip she receives a visit from 5 kittens (thanks to the San Francisco Peninsula Humane Society). She picks a winner ("Tigger"), but will she invite Tigger to stay? Stay tuned for the sequel clip.
YouTube via Laughing Squid
When Penny Patterson, a young graduate student in psychology at Stanford, first saw a tiny, undernourished baby gorilla named Hanabi-Ko at the San Francisco Zoo, she had little inkling that the sickly ape would become her constant companion - and the subject of the longest continuous experiment ever undertaken to teach language to another species. But within a year, Project Koko was underway, and in two weeks the gorilla was using correct signed gestures for food, drink, and more. Today, more than 25 years later, Koko - the world's most renowned gorilla - is drawing on a vocabulary of more than 1,000 words.
The Gorilla Foundation | The Gorilla Project

Teddy Bear Made From Belly Button Lint

These charming, tiny bears are made of lint and even have eyes and a nose! They come in a 2.5" glass jar with a cork and label. Each bear and jar comes in a black satin satchel to keep them safe.
Only $1.50. Wouldn't these make great stocking-stuffers?

Betty Rae Case on Etsy

Blurring The Line Between Animals And Humans

The recent fatal attack of a SeaWorld trainer by the orca Tilikum has led to renewed questions about how humans should deal with potentially intelligent animals. Was Tilikum’s action premeditated, and how should that possibility influence decisions on the animal’s future treatment? Orcas, like their close relatives, dolphins, certainly seem smart, though researchers debate just how intelligent these cetaceans are and how similar their cognition is to humans. Should we ever treat such creatures like people?

For centuries it seemed obvious to most people what separated them from other animals: Humans have language, they use tools, they plan for the future, and do any number of things that other animals don’t seem to do. But gradually the line between “animal” and “human” has blurred. Some animals do use tools; others solve complicated problems. Some can even be taught to communicate using sign language or other systems. Could it be that there isn’t a clear difference separating humans from other life forms?
David Munger in Seed

25 March 2010

Nohjay Nimpson Or Dick Smallberries Jr.? | Vote For The Name Of The Year

Click graphic to enlarge

Name of the Year was founded in 1983 on an Ivy League campus. Its mission has remained unchanged: to discover, verify, nominate, elect and disseminate great names. All names included here are, to the best of our knowledge, real. No malice is intended.
Online voting begins shortly at Name of the Year.

My favorite? Chinook Bacon, of course.

Via Metafilter

23 March 2010

Smiley Riley | Cute Or Creepy?

Owner Marueen Ravelos says that her dog, Riley, is more like a person than a dog. That can certainly be said of his expression, as this bichon frise/poodle mix’s contented grin at a birthday party is eerily similar to the grin of a person. Granted, it’s a person after a visit to Marijuana University, but a person nonetheless!

Maureen says of Riley, “Riley always makes faces like this, and that’s the best part about him. He gives you a new facial expression every time that you forget he’s a dog.” People tend to anthropomorphize their pets, but I can see she makes a great point with Riley’s expression in that photograph.
PopFi, reddit

19 March 2010

Like Snowflakes, Only They Smell

Did you know that no two farts are exactly alike? It’s true. Farts are sort of like snowflakes in that regard. Little, invisible, smelly, snowflakes.

While everybody past the age of 10 is well-versed in the manifold variety of farts and their associated sounds and smells and sensations and sobriquets, precious few of us know anything at all about the sources of their great diversity. Can you, for instance, explain the lingering piquancy of the “hot fart” in any greater scientific detail than “that one was spicy”? I can’t. And that’s sad. In order to rectify this egregious oversight by the American public school system and get the straight poop on the basics of butt-gas, I had a little sit down with Dr. Lester Gottesman, a proctologist from St. Luke’s Roosevelt who bears an uncanny resemblance to Jerry Springer.
Read the rest of the interview with Dr. Gottesman at Vice

Via Jezebel

For tomB

18 March 2010

Happy Friday | Cat Scan? Copy Cat?

SkullSwap via Urlesque

Bichon Bouquets

Thanks, Jean

Dogness At 1000 Frames Per Second

Commercial for Pedigree Dog Food by TBWA Toronto.


14 March 2010

"Charlie Bit My Finger"

This video of two British brothers went viral a long time ago, but some of you have never seen it. Listen for Charlie's little laugh at 39 seconds.

For tomB


Vajazzle Your Vajayjay

From Gawker:
Vajazzling involves getting a Brazilian bikini wax and then putting individual Swarovski crystals on the outside ... of the vaginal region using adhesive.
I found pics and video, but "ick-no".

The Vajazzler

13 March 2010

Pi Day

Pi is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi Day is celebrated by math enthusiasts around the world on March 14th. Pi = 3.1415926535…

With the use of computers, Pi has been calculated to over 1 trillion digits past the decimal. Pi is an irrational number meaning it will continue infinitely without repeating. The symbol for pi was first used in 1706 by William Jones, but was popular after it was adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737.
Learn more at Pi Day

12 March 2010

The Great Sperm Race | National Geographic

"The Great Sperm Race" tells the story of human conception as it has never been told before, as helicopter-mounted cameras, world-renowned scientists, CGI and dramatic reconstruction bring to life the extraordinary journey of sperm, from ejaculation to egg - scaled up to human size, with the sperm played by real people.
Sunday 14 March at 9:00 p.m.

Read more at National Geographic Channel

New Zealand Woman Auctions Off Two Souls

Two glass vials purportedly containing the ghosts of two dead people sold for $2,830 New Zealand dollars ($1,983) at an auction that ended Monday night.

The "ghosts" were put up for bidding by Avie Woodbury from the southern city of Christchurch. She said they were captured in her house and stored in glass vials with stoppers and dipped in holy water, which she says "dulls the spirits' energy."

She said they were the spirits of an old man who lived in the house during the 1920s, and a powerful, disruptive little girl who turned up after a session with a spirit-calling Ouija board. Since an exorcism at the property last July led to their capture, there has been no further spooky activity in the house, she said.

The auction attracted more than 214,000 page views and dozens of questions before the winning bid, Trademe auction site spokesman Paul Ford said Tuesday. The name of the winning bidder was not released.

Woodbury said that once an "exorcist's fee" has been deducted, the proceeds of the spirit sale will go to the animal welfare group the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Associated Press via Neatorama

11 March 2010

Squirrels With Coconuts On Their Heads

A homeowner in Hampshire, UK, puts out coconuts for the squirrels in her garden because they kept stealing the birds' food.

"I make a large hole in the coconut so that they can get into the flesh," Jane Roberts said. "The first time I saw them feeding I nearly died laughing."
Metro via Urlesque

09 March 2010

Baby Care Bear Costume

What do you do with a baby-sized Care Bear? You skin it and make a baby-sized Care Bear Skin Coat, obviously! Whether you use this as a costume or as instant toy store camouflage, you're going to get more than a couple looks for this upcycled toy!


08 March 2010

Bawang And Hasani

Photos by Marianne Hale | 5 March 2010

Little Hasani, born at the San Francisco Zoo in December 2008, was abandoned by his mother. He was raised by keepers until May 2009, when he was adopted by surrogate mom, Bawang.

In the top two pictures, Hasani is getting hugs and tickles from Bawang. The last picture features Hasani and his Aunti Nneka.

 ZooBorns via Urlesque

07 March 2010

Anagrams | Best Motion Pictures

Here are anagrams for 15 Best Pictures winners. Hold down the left mouse button and rollover the space between the brackets to reveal each answer.

     1. contoured from nylon  [No Country For Old Men]
     2. anal cab sac  [Casablanca]
     3. testy widowers  [West Side Story]
     4. evil west cowhands  [Dances With Wolves]
     5. he evokes airplanes  [Shakespeare In Love]
     6. elephantine tights  [The English Patient]
     7. teen transformed me  [Terms Of Endearment]
     8. chaos fortifier  [Chariots Of Fire]
     9. my bitch god wino  [Midnight Cowboy]
    10. fleshiest bacon helmet  [The Silence Of The Lambs]
    11. redolent for thighs  [The Lord Of The Rings]
    12. gold tiara  [Gladiator]
    13. beware cranial oaf  [Lawrence Of Arabia]
    14. canaries nip airman  [An American In Paris]
    15. mouthy ebony nun tit  [Mutiny On The Bounty]

06 March 2010

San Francisco's Market Street, Before And After The 1905 Earthquake

In 1905, an unknown cameraman filmed a streetcar trip along San Francisco's Market Street. The following year, the Great Earthquake struck, and he filmed the trip again. This is a five-minute silent film that edits together excerpts of his two films. Footage from the Prelinger Archives, edited by Matt Lake.

ArcheoBlog via Neatorama

Can You Make A Rocket Out Of Bacon?

We made a bacon rocket! Rocket Science and Bacon Science, two disciplines at the pinnacle of human achievement, finally united!
Rather Good on YouTube

Via Gizmodo

01 March 2010

The Art Of Passing Gas | The Bathroom Reader

The Papal Belvedere by Cranach The Elder (1545), showing German peasants farting at the pope.

Much, much more at The Bathroom Reader

Via World Actual News and Neatorama

For tomB