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Momentarily impeded by a missing Boot Manager. Shuffled priorities. Flipped off the Man. Back in business.

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theatlantic:

The QWERTY Effect: How Keyboards Are Changing Our Language

It’s long been thought that how a word sounds — its very phonemes — can be related in some ways to what that word means. But language is no longer solely oral. Much of our word production happens not in our throats and mouths but on our keyboards. Could that process shape a word’s meaning as well?
That’s the contention of an intriguing new paper by linguists Kyle Jasmin and Daniel Casasanto. They argue that because of the QWERTY keyboard’s asymmetrical shape (more letters on the left than the right), words dominated by right-side letters “acquire more positive valences” — that is to say, they become more likable. Their argument is that because its easier for your fingers to find the correct letters for typing right-side dominated words, the words subtly gain favor in your mind.
Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

theatlantic:

The QWERTY Effect: How Keyboards Are Changing Our Language

It’s long been thought that how a word sounds — its very phonemes — can be related in some ways to what that word means. But language is no longer solely oral. Much of our word production happens not in our throats and mouths but on our keyboards. Could that process shape a word’s meaning as well?

That’s the contention of an intriguing new paper by linguists Kyle Jasmin and Daniel Casasanto. They argue that because of the QWERTY keyboard’s asymmetrical shape (more letters on the left than the right), words dominated by right-side letters “acquire more positive valences” — that is to say, they become more likable. Their argument is that because its easier for your fingers to find the correct letters for typing right-side dominated words, the words subtly gain favor in your mind.

Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]
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scinerds:

World-class sprinters push themselves to the limit to achieve record-breaking speeds, but even Usain Bolt can’t keep going for an hour. Now the same principle is being used to create faster computer chips. Designed for quick “sprints” of computation rather than sustained performance, the chips could make your smartphone 10 times faster without frying the battery.

“Really we’re proposing making computers that can get tired,” explains Milo Martin at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “But the plus side is you can do a lot more for short bursts of time.”

Martin and colleagues’ idea is to build computer chips with over a dozen processing cores - far more than today’s multi-core chips, which usually have two or four. A phone would use a single core to carry out normal operations, then switch on all its cores for less than a second during heavy-duty computation, completing the job faster but causing the phone to reach its maximum heat output. The extra cores would then switch off and cool down before the next sprint.

To let the chip go faster for longer, the team suggests incorporating a block of phase change material, such as paraffin wax, into it as such materials absorb heat without large swings in temperature.

Holy crap that is awesome. Bring on Starfleet Academy.

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ifoundmoreslimepie:

dekadenceng:

Anonymous, my heroes

Good picture. Best picture.

ifoundmoreslimepie:

dekadenceng:

Anonymous, my heroes

Good picture. Best picture.

(via hesdeadjim)

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the-star-stuff:

10 Scientific and Technological Visionaries Who Experimented With Drugs
BY ROBERT T. GONZALEZ

10. Sigmund Freud — CocaineTo Freud, cocaine was more than a personal indulgence; he regarded it as a veritable wonder drug, and for many years was a huge proponent of its use in a wide array of applications. In a letter written to his fianceé, Martha, Freud wrote: “If all goes well, I will write an essay [on cocaine] and I expect it will win its place in therapeutics by the side of morphine and superior to it… I take very small doses of it regularly against depression and against indigestion and with the most brilliant of success.”
9. Francis Crick — LSDFrancis Crick — of the DNA-structure discovering Watson, Crick, and Franklin — reportedly told numerous friends and colleagues about his LSD experimentation during the time he spent working to determine the molecular structure that houses all life’s information.
In fact, in a 2004 interview, Gerrod Harker recalls talking with Dick Kemp — a close friend of Crick’s — about LSD use among Cambridge academics, and tells the Daily Mail that the University’s researchers often used LSD in small amounts as “a thinking tool.” Evidently, Crick at one point told Kemp that he had actually “perceived the double-helix shape while on LSD.” 
8. Thomas Edison — Cocaine ElixersIn 1863, French chemist Angelo Mariani invented “Vin Mariani,” a Bordeaux wine treated with coca leaves, the active ingredient of which is none other than cocaine. The ethanol content in the Bordeax could extract cocaine from the coca leaves in concentrations exceeding 7mg per fluid ounce of wine. Thomas Edison — the prolific American inventor and notorious insomniac (though perhaps not surprisingly) — was one of many people of the period known to regularly consume the cocaine-laced elixir.
7. Paul Erdös — AmphetaminesPaul Erdös — well known for his hyperactivity; his habit of working 19-hour days, even well into his old age; and his tendency to show up on his colleagues’ doorsteps demanding they ”open their minds” to mathematical dialogue — was one of the most prolific mathematicians who ever lived, publishing more peer-reviewed papers than any other mathematician in history.
His secret? According to him, amphetamines. Included here is an excerpt from a book published in 1998 by Erdös’ de facto biographer, science writer Paul Hoffman, which explains Erdös’ proclivity for amphetamine use:

Like all of Erdös’s friends, [fellow mathematician Ronald Graham] was concerned about his drug-taking. In 1979, Graham bet Erdös $500 that he couldn’t stop taking amphetamines for a month. Erdös accepted the challenge, and went cold turkey for thirty days. After Graham paid up — and wrote the $500 off as a business expense — Erdös said, “You’ve showed me I’m not an addict. But I didn’t get any work done. I’d get up in the morning and stare at a blank piece of paper. I’d have no ideas, just like an ordinary person. You’ve set mathematics back a month.” He promptly resumed taking pills, and mathematics was the better for it.

6. Steve Jobs — LSDLSD was a big deal for Steve Jobs. How big? Evidently, Jobs believed that experimenting with LSD in the 1960s was “one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life.” What’s more, he felt that there were parts of him that the people he knew and worked with could not understand, simply because they hadn’t had a go at psychedelics. This latter sentiment also comes through in his recently-published biography, wherein Jobs goes so far as to associate what he interpreted as Bill Gates’ dearth of imagination with a lack of psychedelic experimentation:
“Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas.”
“He’d be a broader guy,” Jobs says about Gates, “if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.”
5. Bill Gates — LSDWhich is funny, because Bill Gates totally didexperiment with LSD, though an excerpt from a 1994 interview with Playboy reveals he was much less open about it than Jobs:
PLAYBOY: Ever take LSD?GATES: My errant youth ended a long time ago.PLAYBOY: What does that mean?GATES: That means there were things I did under the age of 25 that I ended up not doing subsequently.PLAYBOY: One LSD story involved you staring at a table and thinking the corner was going to plunge into your eye.GATES: [Smiles]PLAYBOY: Ah, a glimmer of recognition.GATES: That was on the other side of that boundary. The young mind can deal with certain kinds of gooping around that I don’t think at this age I could. I don’t think you’re as capable of handling lack of sleep or whatever challenges you throw at your body as you get older. However, I never missed a day of work.
4. John C. Lilly — LSD, KetamineNeurocientist John C. Lilly was a pioneer in the field of electronic brain stimulation. He was the first person to map pain and pleasure pathways in the brain; founded an entire branch of science exploring interspecies communication between humans, dolphins, and whales; invented the world’s first sensory deprivation chamber; and conducted extensive personal experimentation with mind-altering drugs like LSD and ketamine.
It bears mentioning that Lilly’s experiments with interspecies communication, personal psychedelic use, and sensory deprivation often overlapped.
3. Richard Feynman — LSD, Marijuana, KetamineFeynman was always careful about drug use, for fear of what it might do to his brain — giving up alcohol, for example, when he began to exhibit symptoms of addiction. InSurely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!, he writes, ”You see, I get such fun out ofthinking that I don’t want to destroy this most pleasant machine that makes life such a big kick. It’s the same reason that, later on, I was reluctant to try experiments with LSD in spite of my curiosity about hallucinations.”

Nevertheless, Feynman’s curiosity got the best of him when he became acquainted with none other than John C. Lilly and his sensory deprivation tanks. Feynman experimented briefly with LSD, ketamine, and marijuana, which he used to bring on isolation-induced hallucinations more quickly than he could when sober.
2. Kary Mullis — LSDWho, you may be asking, is Kary Mullis? Let’s put it this way: If you’ve worked in a biomedical research lab since the 1980’s, there is an exceedingly good chance you’ve performed a polymerase chain reaction (aka PCR, the lab technique that can turn a single segment of DNA into millions of identical copies), or are at least familiar with it. You have Mullis to thank for that. While Mullis didn’t invent the PCR technique, per se, he improved upon it so significantly as to revolutionize the field of biomedical research,securing himself a Nobel Prize in chemistryin the process.
1. Carl Sagan — MarijuanaPreeminent astrophysicist and cosmologist Carl Sagan not only smoked marijuana regularly, he was also a strong advocate for its use in enhancing intellectual pursuits — though not as publicly as others on this list. Having said that, Sagan did contributing an essay to the 1971 book titled Marijuana Reconsidered that spoke to the virtues of marijuana use. The piece, which you can read here, was penned under the assumed name “Mr. X.” The identity of its true author was only revealed after Sagan’s death.


Food for thought. Err… drugs for thought.

the-star-stuff:

10 Scientific and Technological Visionaries Who Experimented With Drugs

BY ROBERT T. GONZALEZ

10. Sigmund Freud — Cocaine
To Freud, cocaine was more than a personal indulgence; he regarded it as a veritable wonder drug, and for many years was a huge proponent of its use in a wide array of applications. In a letter written to his fianceé, Martha, Freud wrote: “If all goes well, I will write an essay [on cocaine] and I expect it will win its place in therapeutics by the side of morphine and superior to it… I take very small doses of it regularly against depression and against indigestion and with the most brilliant of success.”

9. Francis Crick — LSD
Francis Crick — of the DNA-structure discovering Watson, Crick, and Franklin — reportedly told numerous friends and colleagues about his LSD experimentation during the time he spent working to determine the molecular structure that houses all life’s information.

In fact, in a 2004 interview, Gerrod Harker recalls talking with Dick Kemp — a close friend of Crick’s — about LSD use among Cambridge academics, and tells the Daily Mail that the University’s researchers often used LSD in small amounts as “a thinking tool.” Evidently, Crick at one point told Kemp that he had actually “perceived the double-helix shape while on LSD.” 

8. Thomas Edison — Cocaine Elixers
In 1863, French chemist Angelo Mariani invented “Vin Mariani,” a Bordeaux wine treated with coca leaves, the active ingredient of which is none other than cocaine. The ethanol content in the Bordeax could extract cocaine from the coca leaves in concentrations exceeding 7mg per fluid ounce of wine. Thomas Edison — the prolific American inventor and notorious insomniac (though perhaps not surprisingly) — was one of many people of the period known to regularly consume the cocaine-laced elixir.

7. Paul Erdös — Amphetamines
Paul Erdös — well known for his hyperactivity; his habit of working 19-hour days, even well into his old age; and his tendency to show up on his colleagues’ doorsteps demanding they ”open their minds” to mathematical dialogue — was one of the most prolific mathematicians who ever lived, publishing more peer-reviewed papers than any other mathematician in history.

His secret? According to him, amphetamines. Included here is an excerpt from a book published in 1998 by Erdös’ de facto biographer, science writer Paul Hoffman, which explains Erdös’ proclivity for amphetamine use:

Like all of Erdös’s friends, [fellow mathematician Ronald Graham] was concerned about his drug-taking. In 1979, Graham bet Erdös $500 that he couldn’t stop taking amphetamines for a month. Erdös accepted the challenge, and went cold turkey for thirty days. After Graham paid up — and wrote the $500 off as a business expense — Erdös said, “You’ve showed me I’m not an addict. But I didn’t get any work done. I’d get up in the morning and stare at a blank piece of paper. I’d have no ideas, just like an ordinary person. You’ve set mathematics back a month.” He promptly resumed taking pills, and mathematics was the better for it.

6. Steve Jobs — LSD
LSD was a big deal for Steve Jobs. How big? Evidently, Jobs believed that experimenting with LSD in the 1960s was “one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life.” What’s more, he felt that there were parts of him that the people he knew and worked with could not understand, simply because they hadn’t had a go at psychedelics. This latter sentiment also comes through in his recently-published biography, wherein Jobs goes so far as to associate what he interpreted as Bill Gates’ dearth of imagination with a lack of psychedelic experimentation:

“Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas.”

“He’d be a broader guy,” Jobs says about Gates, “if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.”

5. Bill Gates — LSD
Which is funny, because Bill Gates totally didexperiment with LSD, though an excerpt from a 1994 interview with Playboy reveals he was much less open about it than Jobs:

PLAYBOY: Ever take LSD?
GATES: My errant youth ended a long time ago.
PLAYBOY: What does that mean?
GATES: That means there were things I did under the age of 25 that I ended up not doing subsequently.
PLAYBOY: One LSD story involved you staring at a table and thinking the corner was going to plunge into your eye.
GATES: [Smiles]
PLAYBOY: Ah, a glimmer of recognition.
GATES: That was on the other side of that boundary. The young mind can deal with certain kinds of gooping around that I don’t think at this age I could. I don’t think you’re as capable of handling lack of sleep or whatever challenges you throw at your body as you get older. However, I never missed a day of work.

4. John C. Lilly — LSD, Ketamine
Neurocientist John C. Lilly was a pioneer in the field of electronic brain stimulation. He was the first person to map pain and pleasure pathways in the brain; founded an entire branch of science exploring interspecies communication between humans, dolphins, and whales; invented the world’s first sensory deprivation chamber; and conducted extensive personal experimentation with mind-altering drugs like LSD and ketamine.

It bears mentioning that Lilly’s experiments with interspecies communication, personal psychedelic use, and sensory deprivation often overlapped.

3. Richard Feynman — LSD, Marijuana, Ketamine
Feynman was always careful about drug use, for fear of what it might do to his brain — giving up alcohol, for example, when he began to exhibit symptoms of addiction. InSurely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!, he writes, ”You see, I get such fun out ofthinking that I don’t want to destroy this most pleasant machine that makes life such a big kick. It’s the same reason that, later on, I was reluctant to try experiments with LSD in spite of my curiosity about hallucinations.”

Nevertheless, Feynman’s curiosity got the best of him when he became acquainted with none other than John C. Lilly and his sensory deprivation tanks. Feynman experimented briefly with LSD, ketamine, and marijuana, which he used to bring on isolation-induced hallucinations more quickly than he could when sober.

2. Kary Mullis — LSD
Who, you may be asking, is Kary Mullis? Let’s put it this way: If you’ve worked in a biomedical research lab since the 1980’s, there is an exceedingly good chance you’ve performed a polymerase chain reaction (aka PCR, the lab technique that can turn a single segment of DNA into millions of identical copies), or are at least familiar with it. You have Mullis to thank for that. While Mullis didn’t invent the PCR technique, per se, he improved upon it so significantly as to revolutionize the field of biomedical research,securing himself a Nobel Prize in chemistryin the process.

1. Carl Sagan — Marijuana
Preeminent astrophysicist and cosmologist Carl Sagan not only smoked marijuana regularly, he was also a strong advocate for its use in enhancing intellectual pursuits — though not as publicly as others on this list. Having said that, Sagan did contributing an essay to the 1971 book titled Marijuana Reconsidered that spoke to the virtues of marijuana use. The piece, which you can read here, was penned under the assumed name “Mr. X.” The identity of its true author was only revealed after Sagan’s death.

Food for thought. Err… drugs for thought.