Jun 16, 2008 - observations, opinion, science    No Comments

(Don’t) Sleep on It!

According to a study conducted by the University of Minnesota, if you don’t have a consistent, regular sleep habit (i.e. same number of hours, same level of relaxation, same time of night, etc.) you’re more likely to have “aging issues” (i.e. you’ll die).

There’s a part of me that went “duh!?!” when I heard this (it seems intuitively obvious), but then I had to take a step back and rethink things.  Is it really your screwed up sleeping habits that adversely affect your health (and, potentially, lead to your death) …

OR … is it the waking early and staying up late that affect your health … or the driving while drunk (because you’re out later) and driving hung over (because you were out later the night before) that kills you?

OR … it that (according to another survey) too little sleep leads to snacking … which leads to weight gain … and fat gain, and cholesterol gain … which leads to health issues?

OR … is it because we’re all getting fatter, and being overweight (which apparently ups the changes of shortened sleeping) has it’s own mortality issues?

Bottom line:  You can’t draw significant conclusions from a study unless the study addresses all possible variables and variations that may affect the outcome.

Oh, and don’t go thinking that all you have to do is get a lot of sleep.  Too much sleep can also lead to restless nights … which puts you right back in the same leaking boat.

As for what this all really means, I’ll have to get back to you … after I take a nap.

Things that make you go "WTF?"

There was a little buzz among bloggers, kicked off this week by Podnosh (and picked up by Bad Science) around a report published by the Charity Commission stating that (to paraphrase) “wikis and blogs have no educational value”.  I’m not going to go into a detailed stance here (I’ll let the discussion on Podnosh and Bad Science do that for me, they’re doing a wonderful job), but I am going to make one observation:  What does this mean for the BBC? Let me explain.

If you take a look at who makes up the Charity Commission, you’ll find Sharmila Nebhrajani is one of the commissioners.  Sharmila is also COO of BBC Future Media & Technology, and this is where I get confused.  The commission has a member who runs the BBC department that handles its digital content, website, and (I would assume) blogs and podcasts.  The commission doesn’t see blogs as educational, yet the BBC continues to support Sharmila’s department in spite of a £36 million overspend.

Did I forget to mention that Sharmila also has a Facebook account?

Does this strike anyone as mildly … well … odd?

What a Trip!

Albert Hofmann, “the father of LSD”, died yesterdayat the age of 102! That’s one hundred two years old. Makes me wonder about these health nuts and what they espouse. However, that’s not the main reason I’m writing.

Think about this: It’s a common belief that, as you’re “crossing over” you review the events of your life … they “flash before your eyes”. In essence, you have a life-encompassing “flashback” as you leave this plane of existence. The ultimate trip, eh?

Now try this: One side effect of LSD use is the possibility that you will continue to have occasional flashbacks throughout your life, even long after you’d stopped taking the drug. Good trips, bad trips, didn’t matter. I had a friend who described his flashbacks as, “I’d be driving along and all of a sudden the sky would turn green, the grass in the median neon blue, and the highway a hot red. I’d be like … ‘cool … let’s see where this goes …'”. Anyway, you get the picture.

Now, here’s the final point to ponder: If your life of flashbacks flashes before your eyes as you pass, wouldn’t that set up an infinite recursion that would either:

  • Send you back in time, or
  • Make you immortal (since you wouldn’t finish passing until the recursion collapsed)

???

Technorati Tags: lsd

Mar 14, 2008 - observations, personal    No Comments

Yep, I’m older, like a fine wine.

Today’s birthday number 45. Well, if 50’s the new 30, then I’m still in my 20’s. I’ve got that going for me.

I’ve received several eCards today from co-workers. Many of us are rigged up on Plaxo, making the process of remembering someone’s birthday ridiculously easy:

  1. You receive an email from Plaxo, reminding you of the upcoming event
  2. You click on a link to send a card
  3. You select the card to send, change the default text (if you really want to)
  4. Hit a button and you’re good to go

I love it, I use it, it works. Now … I’m not certain what to make of this, but every eCard I got today was the same template (and I mean EVERY card):

Should I be concerned?

Feb 29, 2008 - local, politics, rocket surgery    No Comments

MN politics in action takes my breath away

Yep, they’re at it again. That wacky, madcap band of senators and reps in St. Paul are out to extend our 2nd Amendment rights, and finally give the sellers of ammunition a break (by increasing sales).

I’ve only one question: I thought it was illegal to discharge a firearm in the city limits. Does this legislation trump that, or do I still get charged with a misdemeanor after killing the frightening clown who was trying to give me a balloon animal?

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