Technolotics #24 – Jabbamushies

[audio https://garethstack.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/24_technolotics.mp3]

Listen: Episode 24
Watch: Youtube
Feed: RSS

Notes

Psilocybin Mushrooms Banned

They grow naturally on earth
They’ve been used to religious, meditative, and personal insight for thousands of years
They are completely non addictive
But the ‘loophole in the law’ has been closed – and they’ve become a class A drug
Tainaiste (vice president / deputy prime minister) Mary ‘Jabba’ Harney – has banned the sale or even possession of this naturally growing plant

Harney alleged that several people have died from mushroom use [1]..
1,500 aprox [2] of yearly deaths from alcohol abuse and alcohol related illnesses – and €2.65 billion annual cost to economy
48% estimated (healthpromotion.ie) of criminal offences related to alcohol
6000 [PDF – health promotion.ie http://www.healthpromotion.ie/uploaded_docs/hput00091.pdf] tobacco related deaths per year
subject which should be close to the tainaistes heart the 2,500 deaths from obesity related diseases ** have not lead to the prohibition of alcohol, tobacco, or fatty foods

Shock Therapy 2.0

The highly controversial psychiatric treatment ECT (Electron convulsive therapy) [3]

works by literally scrambling the brain – stimulating massive depolarization across the brain, and possibly destroying large amounts of neurons – mechanism of efficacy is largely a mystery
still used in treatment of severe depression
serious side effects – long term & short term memory loss – provoked large anti-ect movement [4]

ECT, like pharmaceutical interventions, is a cheap alternative to long term therapy
New ‘kinder’ alternative [5] – specificially directs magnetic fields through the skull directly to brain circuts thought to be responsible for specific disorders
Supporters claim no cognitive deficits or negative side effects
But as the theraputic mechanism is unknown – some psychiatrists have expressed concearn
The danger is that the brain ‘circuts’ which are involved in modulating disorders like depression, OCD, and schizophrenia – don’t just do one thing

like all of the neocortex they also store memories
OCD – orbito frontal cortex – regulates behaviour – anteriour cingulate – regulates drive, motivation and emotional processing => stimulating or inhibiting these areas could have enormous consequences for the regulation of emotion and behaviour
temporal parietal cortex – schizophrenia – also processing of memory
prefrontal cortex – depression – also altertness, fight or flight, and sexual functioning

This sort of intervention – without extensive research and animal models to back up its use – is potentially extremely irresponsible & even dangerous

Google News

Googleblogger: Is google evil?

Google struck the news this week – having created a special chinese portal

lacking gmail, blogger, and with censored results [6]
This may be a competitive move against Baidu.com – a home grown search company, which is gaining market share in China against Google

Chinese authorities had in the past blocked access to the chinese language version of google
Executives have stated that this is ‘the ethical price they have to pay’ to have servers on the Chinese mainland, improving speed and quality of service

[7]

Sites such as BBC news, and Amnesty international – and any references to contensious issues like Tibet, Tiwan, or the Tienamen Square massacre – are filtered out by the 30,000 strong army of censors employed to patrol the ‘great chinese firewall’
Google has always been censored by China – but will now actively work with the Chinese government to censor freedom of speech and access to information within China
Googles move has been widely criticed by organisations like ‘Reporters without Borders’ and Amnesty International

Goobuntu?

IT online magazine The Register has reported that a Google is working on a desktop Linux varient, based on the Ubuntu distrobution [8]
Sources within Google deny such plans exist [9]
Why would google bother with a local OS – server side use maybe – but they already have a Google OS for their data centers

Bush silenced climate expert

Nasas top climate expert claims he’s been pressured into silence since calling for reductions in green house emissions [10]
James E. Hansen – claims officials are attempting to restrict and censor his communications
NASA officials deny the censorship – stating that the agency does not allow its staff to make public policy statements – and needed to centrally co-ordinate the dissemination of information
Hansen heads global climate simulations at NASA – and has been calling for emission reductions since the late 80’s
Media outlets considered as too liberal – such as NPR – are being refused interviews with the leading scientist
Similar muzzling of scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Catch the Fat

Is obesity contagious? [11]
Obesity may be linked or even caused by viruses
2 viruses – Ad-36, and Ad-37, which have been found to cause obesity in animals – may have the same effects in human carriers
screening and vaccination are still a long way off – as is a certain knowledge of the extent and proportion of obesity caused by viral vectors

what is certain, is that culture and national diets have an enormous impact on obesity levels

the contagin theory is still controversial – but supporting scientists point out that its only in recent years ulcers have been identified as viral in origin (the helicobacter virus was eventually found to be responsible)

Short Stories

Who has your STD?

inSpot – a site funded by the San Francisco dept of public health, allows you to anonymously inform your sexual partners you may have given them an STD – via e-cart [12]
the humourous cards (e.g.: ‘ I got screwed while screwing, you might have it too’) could be construed as reducing the intimidation factor of the message, or making light of a serious situation

Wireless *10

Super Fast wireless on the way [13]
IEEE have approved a proposal for 802.11n wireless standard
Aims for maximum speed of 600mbps – with more data rate consistency – fast enough and reliable enough for high bandwidth applications like multiple HD video streams with surround sound

Media Pimp

Gareth

Indy games to play [14]
Memepool [15] – a mini boingboing from the creator of del.icio.us
Great News Network [16]

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One thought on “Technolotics #24 – Jabbamushies

  1. Lads, yet again an another fantatsic show*?
    happened to be at a broadband point, so was watched the Show, opposed to listened it

    very very good,

    Joe

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