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September 25, 2013

"The Writer" Automaton (video)

YouTube caption: "From the BBC program 'Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams,' professor Simon Schaffer examines a clockwork creation of Pierre Jaquet-Droz."

[via Joe Peach]

September 25, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Side Socket — "As Seen On TV" so you know it must be good



From the website:


Side Socket™ makes it easy to plug in multiple devices in hard-to-reach spaces!

Forget about bulky power strips: turn two outlets into six, maximize space, and corral jumbled cords with this swiveling multi-plug adapter.

Unique swiveling action redirects cords and cables 90 ° to the side so you can move furniture and appliances flush against the wall.

Fits standard three-prong wall outlets.

Built-in surge protection.

5.5"H x 4"W x 1.5"D.



September 25, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: What is a delusion?

Below, excerpts from Andrew Marantz's excellent September 16, 2013 New Yorker article on how paranoids used to fear the C.I.A. but now have delusions mirroring "The Truman Show."


Between 1995 and 2004, the International Study on Pschotic Symptoms, a survey of 1,100 patients from seven countries, found that the mind supplies the contours of delusions, and culture fills in the details.

The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, or DSM, has long stated that a delusional disorder is characterized by "one or more nonbizarre delusions that persist for at least one month." In its first edition, in 1952, the DSM divided delusions into two categories: bizarre and nonbizarre. The former are beliefs that can't possibly be true; the latter are beliefs that aren't true but could be. "I am dead" is bizarre. "Millions of strangers are obsessed with me" is nonbizarre (and, for Ryan Gosling, nondelusional).

DSM-5, the first major revision in 19 years, came out in May, and for the first time the chapter on psychosis no longer emphasizes the bizarre/nonbizarre distinction. Dolores Malaspina, one of the chapter's authors, says, "Rapid expansion of technology raises questions about the reliability between clinicians in determining which delusions are possible and which ones are bizarre." In 2005, the New York Civil Liberties Union canvassed Manhattan and found nearly 4,200 security cameras south of Fourteenth Street. And, given the recent revelations about the N.S.A.'s domestic surveillance, it is hardly implausible to think that the government monitors your every move.

"The Truman Show" did not single-handedly cause Truman delusions any more than "The Manchurian Candidate" caused Cold War paranoia. In the 15 years since "The Truman Show" was released, its premise has increasingly come to seem nonbizarre.

The human brain has evolved to have a vigilant threat-detection system. If that system becomes oversensitive, however, the result is paranoia.

September 25, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: smaller than a bread box.

Another: less filling.

A third: legal.

September 25, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Catme 13/Glass Effect 80: A drive to the cleaners — through Google Glass (video)

A change of pace for the six or seven viewers still tuning in to these 4:01 a.m. daily Glass video posts: no Gray Cat!

Fooled you.

Of course, those who are still coming back here every day will now say "The heck with this — I came for the cat," so this should pretty much take the viewership down into the low single digits.

No worries!

September 25, 2013 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Rapsel Ofuro Soaking Tub

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.05.53 PM

Larch wood.

From $23,200.

[via the New York Times]

September 25, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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