This Is Your Brain on Drugs

A Harvard-Northwestern study has found differences between the brains of young adult marijuana smokers and those of nonsmokers. In these composite scans, colors represent the differences — in the shape of the amygdala, top, and nucleus accumbens. Yellow indicates areas that are most different, red the least. Credit The Journal of Neuroscience

A Harvard-Northwestern study has found differences between the brains of young adult marijuana smokers and those of nonsmokers. In these composite scans, colors represent the differences — in the shape of the amygdala, top, and nucleus accumbens. Yellow indicates areas that are most different, red the least. Credit The Journal of Neuroscience

Want to know what your brain looks like when you smoke weed? If so you’re in luck because some scientists at Harvard and Northwestern University have taken photographs of marujuana-affected brain scans and analyzed what happens. Report via the New York Times:

The gray matter of the nucleus accumbens, the walnut-shaped pleasure center of the brain, was glowing like a flame, showing a notable increase in density. “It could mean that there’s some sort of drug learning taking place,” speculated Jodi Gilman, at her computer screen at the Massachusetts General Hospital-Harvard Center for Addiction Medicine. Was the brain adapting to marijuana exposure, rewiring the reward system to demand the drug?

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GDS Technologies (water generator) is not ready to go yet

Greg Potter with his GDS3000, which they will not be selling. The 5kW system will be the smallest output they will sell.

Greg Potter with his GDS3000, which they will not be selling. The 5kW system will be the smallest output they will sell.

via PES Network:

I just got off the phone with Gregory Potter, the inventor of the technology so many of you have seen by now, as we announced it as follows in our news, night before last:

Wow, it looks like the day has finally come that we get to make the big announcement that one of the exotic free energy generators has made it to market. Patrick Flanagan, who just purchased a 5kW system, brought this one to our attention.

GDS Technologies LTD, out of Ontario, Canada, has a water-powered, portable genset available for sale on their website, in output sizes of 5 kW, 10 kW and 15 kW, at a price of around $1000/kW. They say they can also custom build these in sizes up to 50 kW.

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Scientists Discover Huge ‘Bathtub Ring’ Of Oil On Sea Floor From BP Spill

Louisiana GOHSEP (CC by-sa 2.0)

Louisiana GOHSEP (CC by-sa 2.0)

More bad news.

via Think Progress:

Scientists have discovered yet another unforeseen effect of BP’s historic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico: a 1,235-square-mile “bathub ring” of oil on the deep ocean’s floor.

Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science on Monday showed that approximately 10 million gallons of oil settled and coagulated on the floor of the Gulf near the Deepwater Horizon rig, which spilled a total of 172 million gallons of oil into the ocean in April 2010. That oil left a footprint on the ocean floor about two times the size of the city of Houston, Texas, and approximately the size of the state of Rhode Island, the study said.

Study author David Valentine told the Associated Press that tests to determine the oil’s chemical signature were not performed because the oil has degraded in the four and a half years since the spill occurred, but also said it’s obvious where the oil is from, since it settled directly around the site of the damaged rig.

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Guidestoned 2014 Documentary Kickstarter

“Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.”
– Oscar Wilde

Help us dig up the Time Capsule.

Let’s dig up the Time Capsule together.

Guidestoned 2014 Kickstarter

Over the past 2 years some fellow filmmakers and I have been filming a documentary surrounding the Georgia Guidestones that we have appropriately dubbed Guidestoned. What has interested us more than the monument and its designers is people’s collective perception of its message. Which was surprisingly positive in person, something I admit was unexpected. Throughout filming the documentary we met groups of people ranging from Mormon Missionaries that travel the world, to a crystal ball stealing Nazi biker gang, and everything in between. Mostly all were welcoming and kind, save a few. This documentary is filled with so many different perspectives. Folks show their true character, which the Guidestones tend to bring out in people.… Read the rest

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The Replicator Is Still Sci-Fi, But Here’s A Start

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via Gizmodo:

The dream of the Replicator-a machine that can create or copy any object-has mesmerized us ever since Star Trek used one to conjure a glass of water out of thin air. Yet, like so much other sci-fi tech invented by show business, it’s always been just out of reach. The 3D printer company XYZ Printing wants to change that.

What Is It?

XYZ is a one-year-old Taiwanese company that has found a niche in offering 3D printers at bargain-basement prices ($500 for a one-color model). But today, the company is launching its ambitious next step: The Da Vinci 1.0 AiO-or All-in-One. For $800, you get the bones of XYZ’s Da Vinci 1.0 model 3D printer, which prints one color of ABS or PLA filament on a bed that can fit objects up to 6 inches by 6 inches. But in addition to the printer, the AiO includes laser scanner at its base that lets it record and digitize objects as well as print them.

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Terms of Service: Al Jazeera’s Cool Web Comic About Big Data

Could you see any stalwart of the mainstream media in America using the medium of an online comic to address the tensions that so-called Big Data present? Upstart Al Jazeera America commissioned cartoonist Josh Neufeld and reporter Michael Keller to create a graphic novella that you can read here online and you’ll also find download links for iBooks, ePub and PDF versions. This is the first page:

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 4.06.04 PM

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My Brief and Curious Life As a Mechanical Turk

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via Gizmodo:

As accomplished as modern-day computers are, there are some very basic things even the smartest machines have yet to master: tough judgment calls, advanced image recognition, making goofy faces, conducting psychological surveys. These are an assortment of tasks we humans can still claim as our own. Or at least, that we can outsource to other, less fortunate humans. Like me.

In Amazon’s words, Mechanical Turk is “a marketplace for work that requires human intelligence.” But in reality it’s even simpler than that description implies: It’s a job board where the pay is low and the jobs are dumb. If you have a functional cerebral cortex, an internet connection, and a few minutes to spare, you can pick up a handful of odd jobs—the oddest of jobs—and make a few bucks, pennies, and nickels at a time. But what’s it like to be that “human intelligence?” As I found out last year, it’s weird, fascinating, perplexing, and a little depressing, all at once.

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The Islamic State: Grooming Children for Jihad

In Part 2 of VICE News’ exclusive look at the emergence of the Islamic State, filmmaker Medyan Dairieh meets an Islamic State member from Belgium who works to indoctrinate some of the youngest members of the group. He also gains further insight into the minds of Islamic State fighters as they host celebrations and military parades featuring American tanks and APCs seized from the Iraqi army.

The Islamic State, a hardline Sunni jihadist group which formerly had ties to al Qaeda, is now in control of a large swath of territory in Iraq and Syria. The group, which adheres to the strictest form of Sharia law, is determined to establish a caliphate that stretches across the Middle East and into the rest of the Muslim world.

As the Islamic State continues its violent expansion in Syria and Iraq, it is also working to win the hearts and minds of new recruits and potential new members in areas it controls.… Read the rest

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You’re powered by quantum mechanics. No, really…

"Schrödinger's cat" by El Alvi (cc by-sa 2.0)

“Schrödinger’s cat” by El Alvi (cc by-sa 2.0)

via The Guardian:

For years biologists have been wary of applying the strange world of quantum mechanics, where particles can be in two places at once or connected over huge distances, to their own field. But it can help to explain some amazing natural phenomena we take for granted.

Every year, around about this time, thousands of European robins escape the oncoming harsh Scandinavian winter and head south to the warmer Mediterranean coasts. How they find their way unerringly on this 2,000-mile journey is one of the true wonders of the natural world. For unlike many other species of migratory birds, marine animals and even insects, they do not rely on landmarks, ocean currents, the position of the sun or a built-in star map. Instead, they are among a select group of animals that use a remarkable navigation sense – remarkable for two reasons.

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