Archive for January 18th, 2005

Sleepless in Kamen-Kashirsky

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A 63-year-old man who hasn’t slept
for more than two decades has been told there is nothing wrong with him
by doctors.

Ukrainian Fyodor Nesterchuk from the town of Kamen-Kashirsky said the
last time he managed to doze off was more than 20 years ago.

"I can’t remember the exact date and I don’t know why it started,
but all of a sudden I found it more and more difficult to nod off until
eventually
I was awake the entire night.
"
I used to read boring scientific periodicals in the hope they would send
me to sleep. But as soon as I felt my eyes getting droopy and put the
magazine down, I would find myself wide awake again. I thought it would
just be a phase but its gone on for over 20 years now and I’ve simply
had to get used to it.

"Now when everyone else sleeps I get stuck into a good book," said
Nesterchuk.
All attempts by doctors to put him to sleep have failed and they now
say there’s nothing wrong with the insurance broker.

Local doctor Fyodor Koshel who has examined Nesterchuk extensively and
has been unable to make him fall asleep, said he has no idea of the cause
of the insomnia and added medically there is nothing wrong with him.

"We have no idea why he can’t sleep, maybe it’s the result of a
past illness. But pathologically speaking, he’s not in any pain and so
there isn’t
anything actually wrong with him," said Dr Koshel.

When the Dowbrigade was a little kid, he never
slept. Or at least that there were weeks at a a time when we were convinced that
we had lain awake all night, thinking. We invented armies of good ghosts
to protect us against the evil ghosts fairy tales
and movies
convinced us were as real as the shadows in our closet. The hours seemed
endless, stretching until the first light of day crept through the window
and
the family started
moving towards breakfast.

Later, during the psychedelic years, we were convinced that, perceptually
speaking, things didn’t really start to get interesting until the SECOND
sleepless night in a row. After 48 hours without sleep the audio hallucinations
start to kick in. But 20 YEARS! This guy needs to write a book so we can
all learn from the Nesterchuk Method…

from Ananova

This is Your Brain on Politics

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Today’s
"Triple-Play Award" for speculative bullshit science given an absurd
political interpretation and then mis-represented by the Major Media
goes to a study by a UCLA Psych professor on the brain functioning of
Democrats and Republicans while they were watching political advertising.
Surprising he found
any brain activity
at all….

During the eight months before the election, I was part of a group of
political professionals and scientists from the University of California,
Los Angeles, who used functional magnetic resonance imaging, or f.M.R.I.,
to scan the brains of 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats, producing images
like those seen above. We measured brain activity while subjects looked
at political advertisements and at images of the presidential candidates.

While viewing their
own candidate, both Democrats and Republicans showed activity
in
the
ventromedial
prefrontal
cortex,
an
area associated
with
strong instinctive feelings of emotional connection. Viewing the
opposing candidate, however, activated the anterior cingulate cortex,
which
indicates cognitive and emotional conflict. It also lighted up the
dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, an area that acts to suppress or shape
emotional
reactions.

These patterns of brain activity, made visible on the f.M.R.I.’s,
suggest that both Bush and Kerry voters were mentally battling their
attraction to the other
side.

These patterns of research suggest that UCLA professors should leave politics to the pros, and the bloggers…

from the New York Times

Juice and Donuts

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Plagued by falling sales and unable to borrow money, Krispy
Kreme Doughnuts
announced today the retirement of its chief executive and hired as
his successor a specialist in corporate reorganizations who is already
running the Enron Corporation.

The new boss, Stephen F. Cooper, has a history of working with companies
that enter bankruptcy protection and reorganize their debts, but in an
interview this evening he voiced confidence that Krispy Kreme would be
different.

"Keeping in mind that I have only been here for eight hours, it looks to
me that the company has a reasonable level of free cash flow, so I see no reason
why this should be a bankruptcy candidate," he said.

He figured that all out in just 8 hours? No wonder he’s running Enron,
too….

from the New York Times