Friday, August 28, 2009

Oasis have broken up.

Noel Gallagher quit Oasis tonight (August 28).

"It's with some sadness and great relief to tell you that I quit Oasis tonight," he wrote. "People will write and say what they like, but I simply could not go on working with [singer, his brother] Liam a day longer."

More on this later. I was never good at crying and typing.


Mr McGee said Noel no longer felt any obligation to stay in the band, which reflects a wider shift in society, he believes.

"Whether you're an electrician or a rock 'n' roll star, you can only do and be who you want to be," he said.

"He is the same as everybody else - he didn't want to do it any more and he stopped. People don't do anything now that they don't want to do."

o.l.i.g.a.r.h. - why?

More than just one or two letters are missing here brother.

Jordan first got introduced me (and others) to Mr. Glenn Beck one night over a beer and youtube... thank you.

Recently from the Atlantic.

"Lots of big companies who advertise on Fox have signed onto the boycott (re: advertising during Beck's show), orchestrated by Color of Change to protest Beck's proposition that President Obama is a racist, reportedly including Wal-Mart, Sprint, Travelers Insurance, General Mills, DirecTV, Geico, Progressive, Procter & Gamble, Radio Shack, Men's Wearhouse, GMAC Financial Services--at least 36 companies in all. (UPDATE: as commenter MikeCee points out, Color of Change put the total at 46 after announcing 10 more yesterday.)"


That B&W structure is an actual image of a molecule and its atomic bonds. The first of its kind, in fact, and a breakthrough for the crazy IBM scientists in Zurich who spent 20 straight hours staring at the "specimen"—which in this case was a 1.4 nanometer-long pentacene molecule comprised of 22 carbon atoms and 14 hydrogen atoms...

... Using a silicon microscale cantilever coated in carbon dioxide (tiny, tiny needle), lasers, an "ultrahigh vacuum" and temperatures that hovered around 5 Kelvin, the AFM imaged the pentacene in nanometers. It did this while sitting a mere 0.5 nanometers above the surface and its previously invisible bonds for 20 long, unmoving hours. The length of time is noteworthy, said IBM scientist Leo Goss in statement from IBM, because any movement whatsoever would have disrupted the delicate atomic bonds and ruined the image.

Why do we touch?

Interestingly, women were more susceptible to the effect of touch: they had larger changes in oxytocin and sacrificed more money to those who trusted them. This may be why at lease anecdotally, women touch others more than men. Oxytocin not only is a potent anti-anxiety agent, it activates reward pathways in the brain. Yes, our brains are designed to make it feel good to be good-even to strangers.

So, hugs or handshakes? Either one, along with a display of trust, is likely to cause oxytocin release and increase the chances that this person will treat you like family even if you've just met him or her. We touch to initiate and sustain cooperation. That's a pretty neat trick for a little nine amino acid molecule!

Too many connections? Sleep makes room for new memories

"In a study in rats, Cirelli and her colleagues discovered that a molecule that works with the brain chemical glutamate becomes more and more abundant the longer rats are awake. The molecule, the glutamate receptor GluR1, helps forge connections, called synapses, between neurons. When rats are awake, the amount of GluR1 in the brain may climb up to 40 percent higher than levels found when the animal has been asleep for a few hours.

A new study in fruit flies showed that all areas of the brain have much higher levels of molecules found at synapses. Normally, strengthening a synapse is a good thing. It is one of the steps thought to be important in memory formation. But brains can’t continue to build up existing connections forever, Cirelli says.

“We cannot afford to keep growing our synapses one day after another, because very soon they would become unsustainable,” she says. “Stronger synapses come at a very high price.”

It takes a lot of energy, cellular supplies and other resources to maintain the connections. And if a neuron puts all of its energy into continually strengthening old synapses, it will never form new ones, making it impossible to learn new things."

REALLY INTERESTING... so, there is an upper limit to learning and remembering, or so Cirelli's theory postulates/depends on. It kinda makes sense in the way that there is a limited amount of resources. But are resources really that scare that too many synapse would become unsustainable? I'm not so sure... It is kinda a cool idea to think that sleep will clear out old/unused/unsustainable synapses though... transfer to and from the working memory sort of thing as well I would assume.

"Poe and her colleagues found that REM sleep turns off the brain chemicals norepinephrine and serotonin, both used for stabilizing synapses. Injecting serotonin into the brains of rats during sleep disrupted the rats’ ability to form certain kinds of memories, suggesting that the ability to remove old connections during sleep is important for making new memories."

Food pairings: Which wines match your chips best?

We tasted 19 wines priced less than $15 to go with a range of flavored chips – from salt and pepper to arrabiata. We started with eight flavors of chips and chose two for their versatility with wines. Coincidentally, both were from Kettle Chips: Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper, and Buffalo Bleu. We rejected chips from several other brands for a variety of reasons: too bland, too sweet, too overpowering, or frighteningly fake-flavored.


2008 Borsao Red, Spain

($6.99 -$8.99; World Market; Central Market; Big Daddy's; Centennial in Richardson; Whole Foods Market in Plano)

This fruity blend was the star of the show – and a bargain to boot. "It enhances the spiciness of the Buffalo Bleu," said Tidwell. "It's yummy, complex and mouth-coating," said Pinnell. "The fruit really pops out and complements the spice." At press time, this wine was selling fast. Another shipment from Spain is due this fall.
(via Gizmodo)

Update: What is your Kettle flavour quiz (thanks Kari). If you're not doing anything this afternoon, like me, might as well...

I'm New York Cheddar with herb. Go on, think about it.

It's complicated

When will the LHC go back on-line?

Due to the huge amount of inter-dependency between different areas of work in the LHC, even a small change can necessitate a complete overhaul of the schedule. For example, something as simple as cleaning a water cooling tower - required regularly by Swiss law to prevent Legionella - has a huge impact on the planning: "When you clean the water tanks it means we don’t have water-cooling for the compressors, that means we can’t run the cryogenics, so the temperature starts to go up," explains Myers. "If a sector gets above 100 K, then the expansion effects of heating can cause problems, and we could have to replace parts."

Obama on a bicycle...

Helmetless Barack. Satirical?.. sarcastic? Is that how blogs are supposed to be written?

"Future Democrat president Barack Obama refusing to wear a bike helmet in earlier years. Such open defiance of proper head healthcare is actually not new for Obama, who began the helmet-less practice even as a child in Hawaii (see photo below)."

Dr. Chris Cavacuiti on accidents

Who causes accidents—cyclists or drivers?

While there is a public perception that cyclists are usually the cause of accidents between cars and bikes, an analysis of Toronto police collision reports shows otherwise: The most common type of crash in this study involved a motorist entering an intersection and either failing to stop properly or proceeding before it was safe to do so. The second most common crash type involved a motorist overtaking unsafely. The third involved a motorist opening a door onto an oncoming cyclist. The study concluded that cyclists are the cause of less than 10 per cent of bike-car accidents in this study.

The available evidence suggests that collisions have far more to do with aggressive driving than aggressive cycling.

More A La Cart??

The chair of the Toronto Board of Health — the body that oversees the pilot project — acknowledges there is room for improvement but disagrees that the vendors are over-regulated.

"There a few glitches and we are sorting that out — such as what makes a viable location, what food sells well [and] what doesn't," said city Coun. John Filion. "We are evaluating all of that. That has nothing to do with bureaucratic red tape or regulation."

I know this is old news, but not over regulated?? What is a city councilor evaluating how these foods sell? Does the city make a different amount of money based on how well the cart sell there? And if so, isn't it a bit too micro-managing to evaluate just how well for what type of cart? The health and safety thing; for sure, but c'mon...