Coming to terms with being human.


Video Stamp

Those wonderful people of the Netherlands have issued "video" stamps. I suspect that these are going to be highly collectible, if anyone does that anymore. I predict that both a child unwrapping a present and a twinkling Christmas tree will be moving onto stamps this holiday season.


Myelin: More than a Zombie Snack

Grey matter and white matter: it took the neurologists to tag anatomy by color code instead of by annoying Latin names that I neglected to memorize in high school. Femur? Aren't those in Madagascar?

Myelin is basically fat; tightly wrapped sheets of fat in your brain. It's normally described as an neural insulator and is known for it's role in speeding impulses through axons. Myelin doesn't get much time in the classroom. My Biological Psychology course paid it lip service, mentioned a potential link between lack of myelin and schizophrenia and went back to nerves, the amygdala and norepinephrine. But if you really think about myelin's place in the world, you may become like Dr. George Bartzokis and claim that white matter is "the single biggest factor in making us human". He goes on to imply that the lack of myelin in teenage brains may explain their lack of impulse control. The article also mentions that,
If you look at (the data), you will see that the average 40-or 45-year-old cocaine addict has the same amount of white matter as the average 19-year-old.
So adding all this up: teenagers equate to cocaine addicts, more myelin equals more human, therefore teenagers are less human, like addicts, schizophrenics, and males (read the article) . I had always thought that the ability to make anything into a weapon was the determining factor in humanness (which would make males more human), but Dr. B makes a good case too. So the next time someone calls you a fat head, be sure to thank them.

Honor Impulsivety: Get your booze on?



Some control your mind, others charge for emailing.

I love me the insects. Recently, a wonderful little one has been circulating in the blogosphere. It's the mind control wasp. This baby sedates the desire of a roach to run away and then rides it like a horse back to it's den. Then more fun ensues.

In other news: AOL, Yahoo, and charging for "first-class" email. I'm wary of applying price segregation to something as essential as email. It may be that the lack of market pressures in email have exasterbated the problem of spam. There's no way that a 1/4 cent cast to email will actually fix our inboxes. The U.S. Postal Service charges much more than that and 75% of my snail mail is still junk. True, none of it tells me how to enlarge various parts of my body but I doubt that's due to price (more likely privacy).

Fun and Beauty: Loop is well designed.


Now Hear This

You're bored? You need a new site to link to so the pain goes away? Daddy has the candy you need.

Up the Tree. It's a RSS feed you'll want to stream at your local coffee house. Indie music and some guys who love to laugh at their own jokes (which no blogger has the right to condemn). It's a good time to be had for the price of free. So break out the PSP and listen to the latest dittys the kids have come up with.


More than Reality

I am drawn to alternate reality games like a moth to the flame. There is something special about groups of individuals interacting in ways that seemingly make no sense in the context of the immediate environment. I actually made my own ARG based on Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere but never did anything with it. Anyway, here are some people that actually follow through with their ideas.
One of the more newsworthy games was the whole I Love Bees thing for Halo 2, which would have been more realistic if they hadn't registered the Dot Com name. No bee blogger is going to actually purchase a domain, she'd just use some free service.
So now the team behind I Love Bees is promoting EDOC Apparel, which sells designer t-shirts with messages hidden in them. I wonder if obsessive fans will begin purchasing opposite gender garments just to solve more puzzles?
There is also Perplex City, a game ran by Mind Candy (as opposed to being ran on mind candy which would have a whole different meaning). I like the scope of this game, except for the purchasing of cartoony cards. The best ARGs blend seamlessly into society. If the cards looked like discarded candy wrappers, post-it notes, and old newspapers I would definitely join in.

It looks like this odd mix and mash sub-genre is having a growth spurt. There are mystery books that lead you to real world prizes, mobile phone based games where people randomly call you up with clues, and a myriad of equally strange and enjoyable pass times. I'm just waiting for the government to raid some gaming group under the belief that they've discovered a terrorist cell.