November 17, 2018

BehindTheMedspeak: Human Anatomy, Subway Map Style


From digg:


Reddit user and physician Jonathan Simmonds 


is the man behind this glorious


subway map-style schematic of the human body.



[via Richard Kashdan, my Crack San Francisco Correspondent©®, who appears to be thriving in the face of some very nasty atmospherics (below).

Stay strong, Richard!]

November 17, 2018 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Times Square c. 1909


[via imgur]

November 17, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: bigger than a bread box.

Another: no moving parts.

A third: stainless steel.

November 17, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

VooYou — Personalized Voodoo Doll


From the website:



Turn anyone into a mini huggable version of themselves.

Simply upload your chosen photo and we’ll do the rest.


Super bouncy and soft, ideal for smooshing your face against.

Pins and other pointy stabby implements sold separately.




November 17, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

November 16, 2018

A different kind of memory hole


Above, the entrance to Martin Kunze's Memory of Mankind time capsule.


Long story short: Six years ago, in 2012, Kunze began making laser-engraved ceramic tablets (above) intended to provide future finders with knowledge about our civilization.

He chose ceramic because 1) he is a ceramicist by trade, and 2) ceramics, which are not unlike fossils, stand the greatest chance of living on far into the future.


He chose a salt mine in Hallstatt, Austria — one of the oldest in the world, dug by the Celts, dating back 7,000 years or more, about a mile deep in a mountain — as a repository.


So far he's created some 500 tablets.

You can too!

Go to the Memory of Mankind website and enter your deepest thoughts, which will be translated and etched into a tablet for future finders to read.

Free, the way we like it.

Michael Paterniti's GQ article on the project is here.

November 16, 2018 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fish of the Month*


It's a 1-centimeter-long juvenile boxfish collected in the fall of 2007 from the surface waters of the Celebes Sea off the southern Philippine Islands.

*Do you like this new feature? If enough peeps do, I might make it a regular thing.

Flautist? Ms. Radoo? Bueller? Anyone?

November 16, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

"For Free" — Joni Mitchell

Live performance for the BBC, recorded October 9, 1970.

She turned 75 on November 7.

November 16, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pleated Tote


From the website:



Reusable tote features vertical pleats that expand into abstract shapes depending on what's inside.
Accordion-style pleats remain intact even after bag has expanded to several times its original size.
• 30" x 22"
• Made in Japan
• Water-resistant
• Biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA) 

Blue, Yellow, Black, or Red.


November 16, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

November 15, 2018

Le Principe du Plaisir (The Pleasure Principle) — René Magritte


The Belgian surrealist's 1937 painting set a new world auction record for the artist Monday night, realizing $26.8 million at Sotheby's.

November 15, 2018 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The White Diamond — Werner Herzog


Werner Herzog would be among my top three people to take a long road trip with.

He seems such a compelling, wry, and enchanting individual.

This 2004 documentary follows the strangely obsessed (and haunted) airship engineer Dr. Graham Dorrington as he embarks on a trip into the heart of Guyana in his quest to explore the unknown jungle canopy up close and personal via a helium-filled balloon.

An engrossing 90 minutes of narrative, spellbinding visuals, and absorbing music, woven together by Herzog's inimitable narrative.

November 15, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Smell of Danger


Long story short: Your sense of smell is markedly improved after receiving a mild electric shock.

Who knew?

Charles Q. Choi's Scientific American piece follows.


Punishing Scents

Danger could make you smell new odors.

In testing volunteers, scientists at Northwestern University used odor molecules that have the same chemical formula but are structured to be mirror opposites, like left and right hands.

Such molecules ordinarily smell identical to people.

But after getting zapped with mild electrical shocks when exposed to one molecule but not sniffing the other, volunteers rapidly learned to easily tell them apart.

Functional MRI scans suggest that strong emotions could make the ancient smell centers of the brain quickly learn subtle differences between odors.

The hypersensitivity seen in patients with some anxiety disorders could arise from a faulty ability to distinguish between true signals of danger and similar but less vital stimuli, the Northwestern team speculates, adding that its research could help develop new therapies.


The abstract of the study is below.


Aversive Learning Enhances Perceptual and Cortical Discrimination of Indiscriminable Odor Cues

Learning to associate sensory cues with threats is critical for minimizing aversive experience. The ecological benefit of associative learning relies on accurate perception of predictive cues, but how aversive learning enhances perceptual acuity of sensory signals, particularly in humans, is unclear. We combined multivariate functional magnetic resonance imaging with olfactory psychophysics to show that initially indistinguishable odor enantiomers (mirror-image molecules) become discriminable after aversive conditioning, paralleling the spatial divergence of ensemble activity patterns in primary olfactory (piriform) cortex. Our findings indicate that aversive learning induces piriform plasticity with corresponding gains in odor enantiomer discrimination, underscoring the capacity of fear conditioning to update perceptual representation of predictive cues, over and above its well-recognized role in the acquisition of conditioned responses. That completely indiscriminable sensations can be transformed into discriminable percepts further accentuates the potency of associative learning to enhance sensory cue perception and support adaptive behavior.

November 15, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: both bigger and smaller than a bread box, depending.

Another: polylactic acid (PLA).

A third: made in Japan.

November 15, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

November 14, 2018

World's biggest Kit Kat bar — How about 45,000 calories worth? Does that work for you?




Giant Kit Kat is a Mere 45,000 Calories


Some crazy guy created a homemade Kit Kat bar. But not just a normal-sized one, a giant one. At approximately 2 feet long by 7 inches wide and 5 inches tall, this is one big candy bar.


It comes out to be a mere 45,888 calories, 1860g saturated fat and, for those of you on a diet, 1120 Weight Watchers points (which is about 3 months worth of points for a woman). For comparison, a normal person probably eats around 2400 calories and 65g of fat per day — very roughly.


The creators used a wallpaper dipping trough as a mold to make the chocolate bar. It took a few days to harden and had to be put into the fridge diagonally since it was bigger than the depth of the fridge. That's some big eatin'!




November 14, 2018 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sarah Ruhl is the world's first quantum playwright


Reading about her play (above), I thought she might well be the world's first quantum playwright.

After reading "Dead Man's Cell Phone", I know she is.

From the play:


You know what's funny? I never had a cell phone. I didn't want to always be there, you know. Like if your phone is on you're supposed to be there. Sometimes I like to disappear. But it's like — when everyone has their cell phone on, no one is there. It's like we're all disappearing the more we're there.

But when Gordon's phone rang and rang, after he died, I thought his phone was beautiful, like it was the only thing keeping him alive, like as long as people called him he would be alive. That sounds — a little — I know — but all those molecules, in the air, trying to talk to Gordon — and Gordon — he's in the air too — so maybe they all would meet up there, whizzing around — those bits of air — and voices.

I wonder how long it will take before no one calls him again and then he will be truly gone.

I wonder too. I'll leave his phone on as long as I live. I'll keep recharging it. Just in case someone calls. Maybe an old childhood friend. You never know.

I get onto the subway. A tomb for people's eyes. I believe that when people are in transit their souls are not in their bodies. It takes a couple minutes to catch up. Walking — horseback — that is the speed at which the soul can stay in the body during travel. So airports and subway stations are very similar to hell. People are vulnerable — disembodied — they're looking around for their souls while they get a shoe shine.

I put these two together. You're a sick person, you want to deal with red tape? You want to be put on hold — listen to bad music on the phone for seven years while you wait for your organs to dry out — is that love? No. Is that compassion? No. I make people feel good about their new organs. I call it: compassionate obfuscation. There are parts enough to make everyone whole; it's just that the right parts are not yet in the right bodies.

That's right. When you die, you go straight to the person you most loved, right back to the very moment, the very place, you decided you loved them. There's a spiritual pipeline, you might say. In life we are often separated from what we love best — errors of timing, of geography — but there are no errors in the afterlife.




November 14, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your hindsight is 20-20


November 14, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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