August 2003

The Crying Game by John-Paul Flintoff

At birth, most babies cry at C or C-sharp. (That is, according to one American study.) As they grow older, they learn to cry at different pitches, and with different intensities, durations and qualities. At around 10 months, they cease to cry primarily when alone in favour of crying when a caregiver is present: crying becomes manipulative.

Along with the noise – and usually, as we get older, without it – come tears. Ordinary tears, which lubricate the eyeballs every waking minute, are produced continuously in the lacrimal gland, which rests between the frontal bone and the eyeball, at up to two microlitres a minute, or nearly 10 ounces a day. They flow from the outside, upper edge towards the centre and drain away through puncta, or holes, on the lower eyelid. If the flow is excessive, as the result of yawning, coughing, vomiting or sneezing – or a poke in the eye – the 0.3mm-wide puncta can’t handle the flow, and tears slosh over the edge of the eyelids. This also happens when we weep.

But what causes emotional tears? The philosopher William James, following Darwin, considered emotions to be little different from reflexes, occurring without prior rational thought. Only after experiencing the bodily sensations of, say, anger or fear, James argued, do we cognitively recognise the emotions. But this doesn’t explain why the bodily sensations arise in the first place. Nor is it clear how James accounts for blushes which, as anybody can testify, come after embarrassing thoughts, not the other way round. And anyway, if bodily state alone determines emotions, why does the losing team in a soccer match feel miserable and the winning side euphoric – when both have played for the same duration, on the same pitch and in the same conditions? MORE

{ 0 comments }

…the old Euro = beauty beuty standard as pervasive as it has been for the last 2000 years.

{ 0 comments }

Apocalyptic art and images

by Limbic on August 15, 2003

“The apocalypse was an inspiration to many artists through the ages. This collection is meant to give an idea of how this theme has been approached at different times by different artists. Modern artists are closer to us and can help to find a path back to an understanding of the iconography of medieval illustrations. The gallery currently only contains themes from the Revelation. But other sections, for example concerning the Book of Daniel, will follow.” MORE

Also see:

Art, Images, Music, and Materials related to the Book of Revelation

The art of Francis Danby (British, 1793-1861) and John Martin (British, 1789-1854).

{ 0 comments }

Endocrinology rampant!

by Limbic on August 15, 2003

Sex hormone ‘controls fear and desire’ [BBC]:

“The sex hormone oestrogen plays a crucial role in a wide variety of human emotional responses, say experts.

It not only has a part in generating feelings of sexual desire, claim scientists, but is also at the root of other types of arousal – producing alertness or even fear.”

Those familiar with Crenshaw’s “Achemy of Love and Lust” and Pert’s “Molecules of Emotion” will know this stuff already but I am pleased to see this information reaching wider audiences.

{ 0 comments }

“In the morning hours of August 21, 1968, the Soviet army invaded Czechoslovakia along with troops from four other Warsaw Pact countries. The occupation was the beginning of the end for the Czechoslovak reform movement known as the Prague Spring.

This web site contains material from the days immediately following the invasion, and they reflect the atmosphere in Czechoslovakia at the time: tense, chaotic, uncertain, full of pathos, fear, and expectation…” MORE

Might as well also check (geddit?) out http://www.czechslovakphotos.com. There is some lovely stuff here.

{ 0 comments }

Askmen.com 100sexiest women in the world [AM]

by Limbic on August 15, 2003

{ 0 comments }

The Royal Flashman Society [RFS]

by Limbic on August 15, 2003

Part of the Flashman Papers Ring, the RFS is an online shrine to the greatest characters in (fictional) history: George MacDonal Fraser’s Harry Flashman. A must visit for all Flashman fans.

Also see:

BRIGADIER-GENERAL SIR HARRY PAGET FLASHMAN, V.C., K.C.B., K.C.I.E. – A RENOWNED VICTORIAN (A tribute from David M. Tibbetts)

and

The Flashman Society

{ 0 comments }

{ 0 comments }

Google Calculator

by Limbic on August 13, 2003

“To use Google’s built-in calculator function, simply enter the expression you’d like evaluated in the search box and hit the Enter key or click the Google Search button. The calculator can evaluate mathematical expressions involving basic arithmetic (5+2*2 or 2^20), more complicated math (sine(30 degrees) or e^(i pi)+1), units of measure and conversions (100 miles in kilometers or 160 pounds * 4000 feet in Calories), and physical constants (1 a.u./c or G*mass of earth/radius of earth^2). You can also experiment with other numbering systems, including hexadecimal and binary”

For opera users this is wonderful news as now I simply gave to type g [expression] and I get the sums done. No more Microsoft Calculator for me!

{ 0 comments }

{ 0 comments }