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Found 7 results

  1. It's funny how one thing leads to another. Because of Jim's post, I'm watching "Rain Man" for the second time in my life. (By the way, this film is a whole lot deeper than I thought it was.) All because I was thinking about Daniel Tammet, and there's one thing I don't understand: In his Wikipedia entry, it says that Tammet: --- In his mind, Tammet says, each positive integer up to 10,000 has its own unique shape, colour, texture and feel. He has described his visual image of 289 as particularly ugly, 333 as particularly attractive, and pi, though not an integer, as beautiful. The number 6 apparently has no distinct image yet what he describes as an almost small nothingness, opposite to the number 9 which he calls large, towering, and quite intimidating. He also describes the number 117 as "a handsome number. It's tall, it's a lanky number, a little bit wobbly".[9][32] In his memoir, he describes experiencing a synaesthetic and emotional response for numbers and words.[9] --- What I don't understand ... is it the actual, mathematical quantity that Tagget finds ugly/beautiful, or is it the look of the Arabic Numerals that he finds visually repulsive/attracitve? My guess is that it's the Arabic Numeral representations - I can see the numbers "117" and "333" as being "beautiful," and the number "289" as being "ugly," but only in their Arabic notation; not as a string of bits. I distinctly remember Tagget telling David Letterman that he looked like a "117" - Letterman is tall and lean, and this would be intuitive. I'm pretty sure 117 is a prime number, and mathematically speaking, I can't imagine what's so beautiful about that as opposed to, say, 113 (which I'm guessing is also prime) - it must be the Arabic representations, right? Does what I'm saying make sense? More than anything else, Tammet comes across to me as a genuinely nice person - I've seen him on numerous occasions, and have paid close attention to what he does, says, and how he acts - he is just an all-around good human being, and that's what impresses me about him the most.
  2. We all know that yawning is contagious, i.e., when you see someone yawn, it creates your own urge to yawn. Even reading this sentence may force you to fight off a yawn, but it's a losing battle. So get on with it ... --- For those who are bladder shy, the sound of running water can "prime the pump," so to speak. Are these two somewhat primal brain responses identical? Similar? Related?
  3. "Dutch Men Confirmed as World's Tallest" by Jonathan Amos on bbc.com The source article, which is much more scholarly in nature: "A Century of Trends in Adult Human Height" on elifesciences.org
  4. Glands come in one of two basic flavors (no, not vanilla and chocolate): tubular and acinar <--- click to hear it pronounced. We all know what "tubular" means (of or pertaining to a tube), as demonstrated by Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" (Linda Blair is having one Hell of an orgasm at 2:17): And we all know what "gland" means, as demonstrated by Regan (Linda Blair) barfing on Father Damien (Jason Miller): The stomach, as a whole, is an organ, but it's packed with gastric glands, as Linda so eloquently taught us. Anyway, now that I have your attention, back to the two basic shapes of glands: tubular and acinar - I don't really see the difference: "Tubular" is #1, "Acinar" is #4 (if you struggle remembering the name, just recall the phrase, "She has a good acinar."). Now, "acinar" is supposed to be shaped like a "raspberry," i.e., containing many different lobes (think of all those red dots on a single raspberry, as opposed to a smooth-skinned grape). *That* is easy to visualize, but I don't see it from the above Wikipedia drawing - both the tubular and acinar examples look almost identical. So, would someone please clarify this for me? I'm probably missing something obvious, but I just don't see it. Making the ho-hum (I gave her a tip), and monotonous buckets of fun, Mr. Creosote. <--- Didn't know this, did you!
  5. I find the whole idea of homeopathy ludicrous. Yet some people swear by it. Can anyone cite information supporting the efficacy of little bottles of water? "Homeopathy Effective for 0 out of 68 Illnesses, Study Finds" by Siobhan Fenton on independent.co.uk
  6. The word "Pinaceae" is probably best-pronounced (in America) "pie NAY see ay" (ay rhyming with say). It's the family of trees that falls within the taxomonic hierarchy that appears on the right side of that link. I admit Frank Cook IV (*) appears to be a bit "out there" - like someone who might spend his spare time climbing rocks in Yosemite National Park - but he has a lot to say, and I like him. Pay attention: (*) Cook passed in 2009 from the parasitic disease neurocysticercosis, which caused cystic lesions in his brain. Could his death have been prevented? I don't know, but this malady is primarily a disease of the poor and the homeless, and is reportedly preventable. I don't know what, exactly, happened, but surely people are sometimes willing to die in order to live for what they believe in. Sometimes, tragically and needlessly - his death makes me sad, and I hope that we can all learn from what happened.
  7. Evidently Ozzy is a freak of nature when it comes to the drugs part of sex, drugs and rock & roll. "Ozzy Osbourne is a Genetic Mutant" by Courtney Hutchison on abcnews.go.com They should map Keith Richards' genes next.
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