Home

You can see

24 Comments

What a wonderful world …

eye

The human eye, Darwin argued, could have evolved from a simple light-catching patch of tissue of the kind that animals such as flatworms grow today. Natural selection could have turned the patch into a cup that could detect the direction of the light. Then, some added feature would work with the cup to further improve vision, better adapting an organism to its surroundings, and so this intermediate precursor of an eye would be passed down to future generations. And, step-by-step, natural selection could drive this transformation to increased complexity because each intermediate form would provide an ad–vantage over what came before. https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-surprising-origins-of-lifes-complexity-20130716/

 

Three Cheers for the University of Google

10 Comments

Now any wannabe psychologist can do a profile on somebody they hate.

And grateful thanks to the internet so we can all join in to cyber bullying.After all our information comes from the media does it not? And you can always trust the media, can’t you? (so btw here is a nice example of how bullying works – https://www.ted.com/talks/monica_lewinsky_the_price_of_shame)  Do watch it!

Journalists may be eloquent as far as use of language is concerned but they are often weak on facts. FACTS COUNT OPINIONS DON’T!

stephen-gould6_n

 

Dyslexia.

29 Comments

Not  easy for the ordinary ‘normal’ (is there such thing?) person to understand dyslexia. You know that people suffering from this have a hard time to write and read, but do you really know how hard it is?  It comes in degrees of course but for some reading is almost impossible. And parents / teachers often get impatient because they do not understand either.

In years gone by those suffering from dyslexia were regarded as stupid. Now we hopefully know better!

A sufferer (Daniel Britton)  has created a font to explain what words look like if you are dyslexic.

dyslexia

I have seen something simalar before but cannot remember where it was not the same.

To see more you can check this link Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3112756/Take-reading-test-shows-s-like-dyslexic-Font-recreate-frustration-felt-condition.html#ixzz3cHze1NAt

Animals are very smart!

22 Comments

Even insects. There is no denying it.

Found this interesting article on bumblebees that use nicotine to self medicate here 

bee

So far, the majority of evidence for animals self-medicating—either by ingesting or applying substances with medicinal properties to treat or prevent disease—has been documented in vertebrates, and more specifically chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). But there is a growing body of evidence that a wider and wider range of animals seek out plants and other substances specifically for their healing properties.

Known as zoopharmacognosy (literally “animal-drug-knowing”), the most common examples involve parrots eating clay to absorb toxins in the gut or dogs eating grass to make themselves sick. North American brown bears (Ursos arctos) are also known to make a paste of osha roots and saliva to rub through their fur to repel insects in a similar way to how many species of birds wipe ants through their feathers to rid themselves of lice. But evidence of self-medicating in insects has until recently remained scant.

Recent research has shown that certain species of bumblebee might seek out nectar high in alkaloids—such as nicotine—when infected with a gut parasite. The alkaloids were shown to reduce the number of parasites after the bees had had their tipple of nectar.

charlie6

Now what Charlie is looking for I suppose is ….. probably a rat? He and Bully sometimes catch a rat when it comes over  from the veld. They bring it to me (Ugh!) and then I buy it off them with a treat. I do not want them to eat rats see.

But Oh Dear for the plants.

from the veld. They bring it to me (Ugh!) and then I buy it off them with a treat. I do not want them to eat rats see.

This is murder

24 Comments

With reference to my previous (re)blog of the girl who died from cancer after following a quack cure I have come across this story here

It is about time that these quacks are removed from society. For good!

A controversial herbal “healer” and naturopath is under fire after the death of a teen girl he was treating for leukemia using a strict vegan diet and herbal supplements.

The Canadian Broadcasting Company reported on the death of the teen girl, who was from one of Ontario, Canada’s aboriginal First Nation tribes. Another teen girl from the same community is still in the care of Brian Clement, who Florida officials have ordered to stop practicing medicine and calling himself a doctor.

Clement operates the Hippocrates Institute, a spa-cum-clinic in Orlando, Florida where patients with serious diseases have been treated with what the state of Florida is calling “unproven and possibly dangerous therapies.”

Clement urges his patients to forego conventional medicine like chemotherapy in favor of veganism, supplements, juices and a raw diet.

Makayla Sault was 11 years old last July when she left chemotherapy in Hamilton, Ontario, to attend the Hippocrates Institute, which is licensed in Florida as a massage parlor. The girl died in January. The Ontario coroner’s office is investigating.

In the meantime, however, Clement has been ordered to cease and desist in calling himself a doctor — he is licensed only as a nutritionist, not a medical doctor — and to stop providing medical care to patients. The state issued their orders, along with a $3,738 fine, to Clement on Feb. 10. He was given 30 days to respond. He is facing possible felony charges of practicing medicine without a license.

 

Masters of the Game

12 Comments

A really enjoyable film was The Imitation Game

The Bletchley Park codebreakers depicted in the film The Imitation Game (this year’s Oscar winner for Best Adapted Screenplay) worked around the clock to crack the secret of Nazi communications during World War II. Based on the book ‘Alan Turing: The Enigma’ by Andrew Hodges

The fascinating difference between fact and fiction you can read here:- http://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/imitation-game/

But it is true that the  codebreakers could crack the secret of Nazi communications was kept a secret for 50 years Amazing!

But now I read in mental_floss that these guys were not just excellent codebreakers they also were skilled at palindromes.

palindrome is a word, phrase, number, or other sequence of characters which reads the same backward or forward. Allowances may be made for adjustments to capital letters, punctuation, and word dividers.

 

As the author says It makes sense that those with a talent for uncovering meaning from patterns in strings of symbols would have a knack for creating palindromes. (A nut for a jar of tuna).

 

As for Birdman winning the Oscar, I had to go and read up all about it on the internet.  It was either a superb version of superhero films or a big batch of self congratulatory nonsense!

 

BUT MY FAVORITE Actor must be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hollywood superstar Joaquin Phoenix is using his voice to help more people learn about how dogs are bludgeoned and killed so their skins can be turned into leather items to be sold around the world. http://petauk.org/b393

joaquin_phoenix

 http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/joaquin-phoenix-stars-peta-dog-778087

Is this a CONSPIRACY?

14 Comments

science

 

Interesting article about conspiracy theorists. I have always said and I am saying it again,  they  conspiracy theorists, hav e an (interesting ) not so balanced psychological profile with a ‘ touch of ‘ paranoia of course. No point arguing with them either.I have known a  few, say no more!

 

Once you buy into the first conspiracy theory, the next one seems that much more plausible.

To believe that the U.S. government planned or deliberately allowed the 9/11 attacks, you’d have to posit that President Bush intentionally sacrificed 3,000 Americans. To believe that explosives, not planes, brought down the buildings, you’d have to imagine an operation large enough to plant the devices without anyone getting caught. To insist that the truth remains hidden, you’d have to assume that everyone who has reviewed the attacks and the events leading up to them—the CIA, the Justice Department, the Federal Aviation Administration, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, scientific organizations, peer-reviewed journals, news organizations, the airlines, and local law enforcement agencies in three states—was incompetent, deceived, or part of the cover-up.

Conspiracy theory psychology is becoming an empirical field with a broader mission: to understand why so many people embrace this way of interpreting history. As you’d expect, distrust turns out to be an important factor. But it’s not the kind of distrust that cultivates critical thinking.

The common thread between distrust and cynicism, as defined in these experiments, is a perception of bad character. More broadly, it’s a tendency to focus on intention and agency, rather than randomness or causal complexity. In extreme form, it can become paranoia. In mild form, it’s a common weakness known as the fundamental attribution error—ascribing others’ behavior to personality traits and objectives, forgetting the importance of situational factors and chance. Suspicion, imagination, and fantasy are closely related.

Read it for yourself!

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/11/conspiracy_theory_psychology_people_who_claim_to_know_the_truth_about_jfk.single.html

 

 

On a happier Subject!

16 Comments

Stem cells?

Parkinson’s Disease breakthrough!

This is for the near future! 5 Years?

neurons

Basically the disease is caused by the loss of nerve cells in the brain that produce the chemical dopamine ,which helps to control mood and movement.

Now according to an article on BBC and I quote To simulate Parkinson’s, Lund University researchers killed dopamine-producing neurons on one side of the rats’ brains.

They then converted human embryonic stem cells into neurons that produced dopamine.

These were injected into the rats’ brains, and the researchers found evidence that the damage was reversed.

There have been no human clinical trials of stem-cell-derived neurons, but the researchers said they could be ready for testing by 2017.

Malin Parmar, associate professor of developmental and regenerative neurobiology, said: “It’s a huge breakthrough in the field [and] a stepping stone towards clinical trials.”

A similar method has been tried in a limited number of patients.

It involved taking brain tissue from multiple aborted foetuses to heal the brain.

Clinical trials were abandoned after mixed results, but about a third of the patients had foetal brain cells that functioned for 25 years.

You can read more here http://www.healthcanal.com/medical-breakthroughs/57115-stem-cell-transplants-for-parkinson%E2%80%99s-disease-edging-closer.html

And

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Plymouth-breakthrough-study-Parkinson-s-disease/story-24181860-detail/story.html

Alzheimer’s in a Petri dish

33 Comments

This is fiction but very good fiction from a very talented author

still alice

Neuroscientist and debut novelist Genova mines years of experience in her field to craft a realistic portrait of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Alice Howland has a career not unlike Genova’s—she’s an esteemed psychology professor at Harvard, living a comfortable life in Cambridge with her husband, John, arguing about the usual (making quality time together, their daughter’s move to L.A.) when the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s begin to emerge. First, Alice can’t find her Blackberry, then she becomes hopelessly disoriented in her own town. Alice is shocked to be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s (she had suspected a brain tumor or menopause), after which her life begins steadily to unravel. She loses track of rooms in her home, resigns from Harvard and eventually cannot recognize her own children.

 

But this is fact!

Breakthrough Replicates Human Brain Cells for Use in Alzheimer’s Research

 

For the first time, and to the astonishment of many of their colleagues, researchers created what they call Alzheimer’s in a Dish — a petri dish with human brain cells that develop the telltale structures of Alzheimer’s disease. In doing so, they resolved a longstanding problem of how to study Alzheimer’s and search for drugs to treat it; the best they had until now were mice that developed an imperfect form of the disease.

The key to their success, said the lead researcher, Rudolph E. Tanzi ofMassachusetts General Hospital in Boston, was a suggestion by his colleague Doo Yeon Kim to grow human brain cells in a gel, where they formed networks as in an actual brain. They gave the neurons genes for Alzheimer’s disease. Within weeks they saw the hard Brillo-like clumps known as plaques and then the twisted spaghetti-like coils known as tangles — the defining features of Alzheimer’s disease.

The work, which also offers strong support for an old idea about how the disease progresses, was published in Nature on Sunday. Leading researchers said it should have a big effect.

You can also read more here:-

 

stephen gould6_n

 

 

Do you still remember

24 Comments

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?

This is what is used to be

Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs.svg

 

And this is the updated version

Maslow_n

 

(from I Fuckin Love Science)

 

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” in Psychological Review.[2] Maslow subsequently extended the idea to include his observations of humans’ innate curiosity. His theories parallel many other theories of human developmental psychology, some of which focus on describing the stages of growth in humans. Maslow used the terms Physiological, Safety, Belongingness and Love, Esteem, Self-Actualization and Self-Transcendence needs to describe the pattern that human motivations generally move through.

Maslow studied what he called exemplary people such as Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Frederick Douglass rather than mentally ill or neurotic people, writing that “the study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy.”[3] Maslow studied the healthiest 1% of the college student population.[4]

Maslow’s theory was fully expressed in his 1954 book Motivation and Personality.[5] While the hierarchy remains a very popular framework in sociology research, management training[6] andsecondary and higher psychology instruction, it has largely been supplanted by attachment theory in graduate and clinical psychology and psychiatry.[7][8]

 

 

Older Entries