News Briefs 03-04-2013

Today’s dose of self-medication. (Happy Hawkeaster!)

  • DNA transistors are one example of how future computers will take many different forms.
  • The aliens beat us to it: does the terrestrial genetic code contain a “Wow! signal” (pdf)?
  • Richard Smoley and Mitch Horowitz discuss the state of the occult: 2013.
  • 12 million Americans believe lizard people run the country.
  • Why rain smells so good.
  • Can music be more effective than drugs?
  • How to produce a 3D printed skeleton from a CT scan of a living animal.
  • Robot dragonfly takes to the air.
  • Astrophysicist uses statistics to seek Shakespeare‘s identity.
  • How parallel universes actually work.
  • The cursed ring that may have inspired Tolkien.
  • C. S. Lewis and H. P. Lovecraft on loathing and longing for alien worlds.
  • English farmer makes vodka from cow’s milk.
  • Ham press turns out to be $5M meteorite.
  • A couple of days late for this but: Conspiratorial cosmology – the case against the Universe, from the Journal of Comparative Irrelevance (pdf).

Quote of the Day:

“Our lives are about development, mutation and the possibility of change; that is almost a definition of what life is: change… If you disable change, if you effectively stop time, if you prevent the possibility of the alteration of an individual’s circumstances — and that must include at least the possibility that they alter for the worse — then you don’t have life after death; you just have death.”

Iain Banks, Look to Windward

  1. Music Better Than Drugs?
    I’ll say this much…….

    I’ve had several rounds of surgery these past few years. Each time, I’ve spent most of my hospital recovery period hooked to both an IV and my MP3 player. 🙂

    I don’t know how I would’ve gotten by without the music. It really helped me to put myself somewhere else and limit the need for opiates. The other trick I used was one my mother taught me many years ago. Assign the pain a color, then block that color from your environment, your thoughts, etc.

    Between the two methods, my recovery times were a lot faster and a lot easier than the Doctors expected.

      1. Sample lists…….
        It’s quite an eclectic list. 🙂

        Enya, Manson, Brooks & Dunn, Sisters of Mercy, P-Funk, Tower of Power, etc. A lot of what I would listen too depends upon the pain levels and the drugs they gave me.

        For example, when I had the Angiogram and Angioplasty, I had “Dark Side of the Moon” up first. Very surreal to be able to be spaced on Valium, listening to Pink Flod and watching live video of your own beating heart…….

          1. FWIW…….
            When I had some serious pain issues after back surgery, I’d drive some of it away by listening to Black Label Society, with the volume cranked as high as I could with my ear buds.

            That style of music seemed to help me overpower and repress the pain, sort of a “getting angry at the pain” effect, and surprisingly, for a lot of the time it worked, at least while the music was on.

            But it helped, and there’s no denying that fact, at least for me. Maybe it was just a distraction, but whatever the reason, I’m sold on the therapy.

  2. I followed the link above to
    I followed the link above to the essay _C. S. Lewis and H. P. Lovecraft on loathing and longing for alien worlds_ and felt compelled to post a comment, but realized that the guy would not understand what I was trying to say, so I’ll post it here.

    This is what I wanted to say to him.

    – Your essay dances on either side of the actual answer. Track down the short story by Greg Bear _The Visitation_.

    If you go to Google Books, and enter the search string

    Greg Bear “The Visitation”

    Select _The Collected Works of Greg Bear_, then click on “next” option until you reach the short story. The preview shows the complete story.

    Read the story and it will show you a third, more accurate, interpretation than simply offering the dichotomy of Lewis vs. Lovecraft. Both are seeing a different side of the same coin. The Bear story lets you see the whole coin.

    The only reason I’m leaving a comment, is that you are making the same mistake that many people do in looking at _Narnia_ and Aslan as something sweet and kind.

    _Narnia_ is horror. _Narnia_ is the same as the movie _Silent Hill_. They are both realms where an entity uses children to power narratives that are food for that entity. And when the children grow too old, like Susan in _Narnia_, they are discarded, just as the little girl in _Silent Hill_ when she is no longer able to feed the entity.

    Watch the movie _Narnia_, then _Silent Hill_, then _Narnia_ again, and you will see that they describe the same horror.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.