10. You’re always telling people not to believe their lying eyes. What they call ‘facts’ or ‘proof’ is just an attempt to elicit a confession, to get you to give up the fight. You will never confess, never surrender! They will pry the truth from your cold, dead hands.
9. You love mankind, it’s people you can’t stand: especially when they try to be funny. Or worse, ironic. You know that ‘jokes’ are a subversive way of tearing down everything you believe in. Comedians used to be funny before you found the one true, pure way, but now they’re all subversive, propogandistic hacks.
8. You save money by boycotting everything – You shop along political lines, boycotting supermarkets, newspapers, and fruits and vegetables that offend your ideological sensibilities. You haven’t seen any movies for years. You don’t like music or art either, since most artists are deluded, self involved hypocritical puppets who can’t keep their wrongheaded opinions to themselves. Even the weatherman has an agenda.
7. You’re surrounded by frenemies – Your thoroughly vetted friends appear to be following the one, true way, but what are they really up to? They could be splitters, or ‘concern trolls’, operatives for the enemies, trying to gather evidence to destroy your reputation and discredit your movement. You never let down your guard – you keep your friends close and your enemies closer – especially the enemy of your enemy, who is your friend. And this all makes perfect sense to you.
6. You know that two wrongs make a right – Your enemies and their evil minions have done bad things, and that gives you the right to be badder. Why limit yourself to two wrongs? Many wrongs = even more rights. That’s what your enemies do, and it works for them!
5. No publicity is bad publicity: If all of your comrades jumped off of a bridge, would you jump too? Yes, if the media were there and if it would force people to get their heads out of the sand and fight the real fight! You’re willing to create any sock/paper mache puppet, compare anyone to Hitler or Osama bin Laden, carry any weapon and/or sign, shout any nonsense at the top of your lungs, trash anyone’s reputation or appear nude at any time or place just to make them see the truth. Which is out there.
4. You told them so! – Every tragic, disastrous, odd or mundane event is the fault of your enemies and therefore proof that you’ve been right all along. You never miss a chance to say “I told you so”. So why are they still not listening? Where is the outrage??
3. Cui bono? You know there are no sneak attacks, no accidents, no goof ups and no enemies other than your own. You never stop asking ‘who benefits?’ because you know it’s always THEM.
2. The Underpants gnomes were right! You firmly believe in the underpants gnome theory of political action:
A. make extreme statements and attack anyone who disagrees with you
Your plan should work – but you can never figure out what step B should be.
Anyone who has ever been politically involved in currently hyper-partisan political action has probably held one or two of the attitudes listed above. If you find yourself agreeing with most of these attitudes, and if you’re not being paid large sums of money for your ‘activism’, it’s probably best for your and everyone’s sanity to find something better to do with your free time.
If you are a highly paid political pundit, please don’t take it personally if I cross the street, turn off the tv and radio, never hit your website and cross the street to avoid you.
And now, last but definitely not least, the long-awaited number one sign that you may be the lunatic fringe…
1. You’ve organized a large-scale campaign to threaten someone’s life or livelihood because they said something that you don’t agree with.
This does not fall into the category of normal political lunacy. This is the kind of fringe behavior that demands immediate treatment and/or jail time – even if you are being paid to do it.
By carefully analyzing brain activity, scientists can tell what number a person has just seen, research now reveals
Scientists had 10 volunteers watch either numerals or dots on a screen while a part of their brain known as the intraparietal cortex was scanned – it’s a region of the parietal lobe especially linked with numbers. They next rigorously analyzed brain activity to decipher which patterns might be linked with the numbers the volunteers had observed.
When it came to small numbers of dots, the researchers found that brain activity patterns changed gradually in a way that reflected the ordered nature of the numbers. For example, one might be able to conclude that the pattern for six is between that for five and seven.
In the case of the numerals, the researchers could not detect this same gradual change. This suggests their methods simply might not be sensitive enough to detect this progression yet, or that these symbols are in fact coded as more precise, discrete entities in the brain.
“Activation patterns for numbers of dots seem to be stronger – are more easily discriminated – than those for digits, suggesting that maybe still more neurons encode specifically numbers of objects – the evolutionary older representation – than abstract symbolic numbers,” said researcher Evelyn Eger at the University of Paris-Sud in Orsay, France.
Given that numbers “are in principle infinite, it is very unlikely that the brain can have, or we can detect, a signature for each number,” Eger noted. “There is some hint in our data that smaller numbers have a clearer signature, which may be related to their frequency of occurrence in daily life, but further work would be needed to say something more definite about this and about how the brain deals with larger numbers.”
The methods employed in this research could ultimately help unlock how the brain makes sophisticated calculations and how the brain changes as people learn math, the researchers said.
At the NYC/UN demonstration against the dictatorship in Iran by Iranians from all over the world. This was probably during Ahmadinejad’s barely attended speech. Unlike the unelected president’s speech, the rally was very well attended.
Some of the participants having lunch before the rally
Red, green and others wait for the Green March
Counter-counter-counter revolutionaries : while most of the Iranian protesters wore green, a local communist group attempted to promote the cause of ‘Revolution’ and, of course, Marxism.
1/2 c. butter (or margarine w/some shortening) softened
1 lb. confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. milk
Food coloring (optional)
In large bowl, cream the butter. Add about 1 cup of the sugar mix till smooth. Add the vanilla and a bit of milk, then more sugar, alternating while mixing to keep smooth. Keep adding a bit of sugar, then about a tbs. of milk, till you have enough and it tastes sweet enough. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring. Mix everything well.
Chocolate buttercream frosting – add 1/2 cup Hershey’s cocoa or 1/2 square unsweetened chocolate.
It’s best to start with a photograph of a scene that’s viewed from a distance, above the subjects. Bright lighting (like the artificial light that illuminates models) is best.
I used this photograph of Columbus Circle, taken from the rooftop of a friend’s very nice apartment:
I followed the first part of Christopher’s directions:
Open up your chosen image, press Q to switch to Quick Mask mode, then click on the Gradient tool. Set the colours to the default black and white by pressing D, then switch them around by clicking on the double-headed arrow next to the colour chips. Next, set up the gradient as shown above. Make sure you select the repeating gradient type – fourth icon along, looks like a cylinder.
Choose where you want the focal point of the photo to be – usually about halfway between top and bottom – and click and hold at that point. Drag the line of the gradient tool upwards, then release it towards the top of the frame; it doesn’t hurt to be a little off the pure vertical. You should get something like what’s shown above. Press Q again to switch back from Quick Mask mode.
Chose Filter ▸ Blur ▸ Lens Blur to bring up the Lens Blur filter pane. It can take a little tinkering to get the settings just right, but try the above values as a starting place. The Iris section controls the shape of the virtual iris in the lens; a hexagonal iris is most normal, and you could try rounding out the sharp corners of the geometric shape using Blade Curvature. Rotation controls the angle of the hexagon. The Specular Highlights section adds little glints to bright areas, but it’s usually not a good idea to drop the value of the Threshold much below 250. Click OK to apply the effect, then clear your selection.
I tried following the second part of his directions, using the Curves palette (Image ▸ Adjustments ▸ Curves) RGB curve to pump up the colors in the image, but the effect didn’t work, probably because the photo was slightly overexposed. Also, it was taken on a cloudy day.
Instead, I adjusted the contrast using Levels (Image ▸ Adjustments ▸ Levels), and increased the contrast with the Brightness/Contrast tool (Image ▸ Adjustments ▸ Brightness/Contrast) to get the same effect:
* Link thanks to Photojojo
For the first time, an image of a memory being made at the cellular level has been captured by scientists.
The image shows that proteins are created at connections between brain cells when a long-term memory is formed. Neuroscientists had suspected as much, but hadn’t been able to see it happening until now.
The experiment also revealed some surprising aspects of memory formation, which remains a somewhat mysterious process.
Kelsey Martin, a biochemist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues investigated memory formation in neurons from the sea slug Aplysia californica, a good model for brain cells in other organisms, including humans.
The researchers exposed the neurons to the chemical serotonin, which has been shown to stimulate memory formation (this discovery won Eric Kandel and collaborators the Nobel Prize in 2000). But in a new twist, the scientists devised a way to determine whether any new proteins were created when the memory was made.
The researchers used a fluorescent protein that can change from green to red when exposed to ultraviolet light. They flashed the cells with light, so that any proteins that already existed turned red. But when the scientists induced the cells to form memories, they saw new green proteins appear under the microscope.
“One distinction between short-term and long-term memory is this requirement for making new proteins,” said co-investigator Wayne Sossin, a neuroscientist at McGill University in Montreal. “To make it last you do need protein synthesis.”
If memories and dreams can be recorded by the physical world, does this give some credence to the idea that thoughts have a physical presence – and that they can be ‘read’?
* The title of the post is explained here, with recipe recommendations:
The small, buttery cakes, which, as Marcel Proust describes in Remembrance of Things Past, “look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell,” will be forever associated with his meditation on time and memory.
One bite into the the madeleine triggers a flood of memories of youth spent in the fictional village of Combray. Eventually, the town of Illiers, Proust’s ancestral home, morphed itself into Illiers-Combray, a “ville touristique,” where some 2,000 madeleines are sold every month to visiting Proustophiles.
The historical origins of the madeleine are disputed, and Larousse Gastronomique relates two conflicting accounts of the cake’s invention. One story lays the origins of the madeleine at the feet of one Jean Avice, the “master of choux pastry,” who worked as a pastry chef for Prince Talleyrand.
Avice is said to have invented the Madeleine in the 19th century by baking little cakes in aspic molds…
In simple terms, Photosynth allows you to take a bunch of photos of the same scene or object and automagically stitch them all together into one big interactive 3D viewing experience that you can share with anyone on the web.
Photosynth is a potent mixture of two independent breakthroughs: the ability to reconstruct the scene or object from a bunch of flat photographs, and the technology to bring that experience to virtually anyone over the Internet.
* Originally posted in July at Exit Zero. I reposted here when Bert at Photosynth wrote:
Thanks for mentioning us on your blog. If you’re up for it, you can also embed a synth right on your blog, just use the ” icon that appears on any synth page to grab the necessary HTML (note, visitors will require Silverlight to view)