Saturday, April 16, 2016

Luck, gratitude and good-feeling

Article: Why Luck Matters More Than You Think.
"... they asked a first group of people to keep diaries in which they noted things that had made them feel grateful, a second group to note things that had made them feel irritated, and a third group to simply record events. After 10 weeks, the researchers reported dramatic changes in those who had noted their feelings of gratitude. The newly grateful had less frequent and less severe aches and pains and improved sleep quality. They reported greater happiness and alertness. They described themselves as more outgoing and compassionate, and less likely to feel lonely and isolated. No similar changes were observed in the second or third groups. Other psychologists have documented additional benefits of gratitude, such as reduced anxiety and diminished aggressive impulses."

Friday, April 15, 2016

Sex bots

Sex bots are now quickly becoming a reality. They've already long been able to built (and sell; 'Real Dolls') lifeless silicone lifesized dolls which are quite realistic. And adding robotics and AI is just a matter of time, probably not a lot.

Of course now you hear "isn't this degrading to women, and a threat to our societal values?"

What it seems to me is that this is just the next big step in the "porn revolution". That's the one which started in Denmark in the late sixties, where Denmark was the first country in the world to legalize pornography. Of course the scandal was immense, so one has to wonder why very soon a great number of countries followed suit?

Well, it turned out that the "theory" that porn causes rape could not have been more wrong. After the legalisation in Denmark, rape statistics fell by thirty percent. That is astounding. Seems we should not underestimate the value of a safe outlet for troublesome drives.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Kewl Bowie clips

For me, Bowie was the Kilimanjaro of musicians/composers of the twentieth century.

Here is a great and funny collection of clips from interviews with Da Man.

Landing a rocket

Ever seen a rocket land? This is beautiful, the successful re-landing of a first-stage space rocket, landing it on a small platform floating in the ocean. I can hardly imagine the number of calculations to be done to do this, and the number of things which have to go right. But if you like science and space, or just a graceful engineering feat, this is a good one. (The video starts at the time point with this landing, but there is much more in it.)

By the way, I think it's so kewl that the landing platform is called "Of Course I Still Love You". Why? Because it's an obvious homage to the late SF author (one of my top faves) Iain M Banks. The name was one of the first and best of the many cheeky and inventive names he gave to his intelligent (and often collosal) spaceships in his space opera Culture novels.
If you like science fiction, especially on a very big canvas (huge), and haven't tried Iain M. Banks, then you are in for a treat.

Plastic doodling

Heat-extruding plastic strands and drawing them in 3D is one of the great new technologies we have. There are already several competing platforms; one of the high-profile ones is 3Doodler.

Lord knows how many different things this can be used for... But as usual one of those which interests me most is the fine art application. And I've already seen several different drawings/sculptures which I thought actually was mighty fine fine art.
Some of it from Rachel Goldsmith, she is a really good artist. (And she is not afraid of work.) Here is a 3Doodler feature article on her.

Over ten years??

Woa: I can't believe I totally missed the ten-year anniversary of this blog. I started in in the fall of 2005. How time flies when you're having fun.

Irritated stomach, Turmeric

During at least all of the nineties, I had ongoing problems with stomach pains; irritated stomach lining. Especially if my stomach got empty, it got painful. 
A homeopath helped me cure it a decade ago, and I've been very happy about that. 
But then after a sleepness night and stress last week, it came back, worse. I could hold it back slightly with antacids and food, but it was not great. (And actually the antacids seemed way less effective than the last time around.)

My friend Nicola though gave me a tip I want to share: Turmeric. It's some herb, I just trusted her and got some of it, and viola: the pain went away. I seem to need a pill twice day, but anyway since I took the first one it's been handling it. 
I trust the condition will go away again soon, but it's nice not to have to deal with that pain in the meantime. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Look at you

"Sometimes you have to look at yourself, and then look away." 
-- Terry Pratchett, Snuff

I am learning this about myself.
I've been emailed about if I was all right, since this blog has been even more quiet in the past month than it was. And yes, I have not been well, and I had a heart operation two weeks ago. (Two stents put in to expand the arteries. They went in through the arm, and the operation itself was surprising easy and pain-free.)

I thank you.

But the weakness accompanying this and aggravating circumstances, makes me feel... Let us call it "not at my best" and leave it at that. I am watching inside myself all the unpleasant aspects of the human ego, like fear and unmotivated hate, and I have no doubt that all this, though surely universal, is also a main reason I ended up in this current unpleasant place, and since I always felt myself irrationally to be Superman, this makes the surprise even more unpleasant.
I can only hope to seriously learn from it and turn it.

Well, this was fun! Let's do it again soon, only you pay the coffee and I'll buy the cake.

Art video by Ralf Hildenbeutel

Wow, this is one of the best art videos I've ever seen.
(Though, how many "art videos" do you ever see, really?)

Ralf Hildenbeutel - Disco from Boris Seewald on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Wintergatan (Winter Street) music machine

Did you see this wonderful Steam-punky wooden music machine? Kewl

There is some interesting talk about what he is really doing at about 0:40 on this podcast.

And this is also exceptional.