December 2005

From comes the OpenCourseWare Finder

This specialist search engine searches the following Universities for Open Course  – usually university courses made available to the public for free.

“Open Course refers to the sharing of educational materials with minimal restrictions, usually in the context of new digital technologies available through the World-Wide Web. Its purpose is the broadest possible dissemination of knowledge, in keeping with academic tradition and counter to the current trend toward the commercialization of education.” –

I found an excellent Introduction to Psychology Course that I am now taking.

See also:
Addendum Feb 2014: Also see the Open Courseware Bookshelf where you have textbooks and accompanying materials for the courses.




New Years Eve approaches…

by Limbic on December 30, 2005

“In courts and palaces he also reigns,
And in luxurious cities, where the noise
Of riot ascends above their loftiest towers,
And injury and outrage; and, when night
Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons
Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.”

John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book I


Hearing damage and loud music

by Limbic on December 30, 2005

Abelard tackles the topic of noise, loud music and hearing damage.

Hearing damage and loud music

I am wondering if this is related or a warning he once sent me after I posted details of how to increase the volume of Sony HD series MP3 players?


Image Harvesting

by Limbic on December 30, 2005

I love browsing images, especially the sort of random things people tend to post on their blogs.

There are several fun places once can go to see amazing images harvested from peoples uploads:

Flickr – the worlds most popular online image repository
Delimages – Images being linked to by users
Found Photos – Random images harvested from open webservers or found on memory cards (NSFW))
IRC Images – Images harvested from the IRC chat network
LiveJournal Harvester – Images harvested from the Livejournal Blogging service servers.

Also see this post on harvesting images from online image hosting services like ImageShack: ~ View topic – Imageshack Script – Perl

Finally, as a treat for the boys, check out one of the best uses of this technology:

Flickr Babes (or its very naughty cousin


Quote: The Real Truth That Dare Not Speak Itself

by Limbic on December 30, 2005

The Real Truth That Dare Not Speak Itself

“A balkanization of epistemology is taking place. There is no longer a commonality of understanding. For some people quantum physics provides the answers. Their next door neighbor may look to the channeling of archangels with equal fervor.

It is accompanied by a related phenomenon which is technology, or the historical momentum of things, is creating such a bewildering social milieu that the monkey mind cannot find a simple story, a simple creation myth or redemption myth to lay over the crazy contradictory patchwork of profane techno-consumerist post-McLuhanist electronic pre-apocalyptic existence.

Into that dimension of anxiety created by this inability to parse reality rushes a bewildering variety of squirrelly notions, epistemological cartoons if you will. Conspiracy theory, in my humble opinion, is a kind of epistemological cartoon about reality. Isn’t it so simple to believe that things are run by the greys, and that all we have to do is trade sufficient fetal tissue to them and then we can solve our technological problems, or isn’t it comforting to believe that the Jews are behind everything, or the Communist Party, or the Catholic Church, or the Masons. Well, these are epistemological cartoons, it is kindergarten in the art of amateur historiography.

I believe that the truth of the matter is far more terrifying, that the real truth that dare not speak itself is that no one is in control, absolutely no one. This stuff is ruled by the equations of dynamics and chaos. There may be entities seeking control, but to seek control is to take enormous aggravation upon yourself. It’s like trying to control a dream.

From: Terrence McKenna in Dreaming Awake at the End of Time

[NOTE: Look out for my new one page portal on magick, the occult, shamanism, psychonautics and quantum psychology. Terrence McKenna will, of course, feature heavily.]


Dancing advertises "sexual quality"

by Limbic on December 30, 2005

Dancing advertises sexual quality – Study of Jamaicans shows symmetrical dancers shake it better.

Women love a guy who can dance, right? Well, a study using Jamaican volunteers might explain why. The results suggest that men who are better at busting a move also have more to offer as a mate.

Researchers led by William Brown of Rutgers University in New Jersey filmed more than 180 teenagers shaking it down, and converted the films into computer-animated, androgynous dancing figures. When shown the animated dancers, viewers gave higher ratings to dances performed by people who in reality had more symmetrical bodies and were generally more attractive.

The effect was stronger for women watching male dances than for men watching women. And the dances performed by men scored more highly overall than those by women, Brown and his colleagues report in Nature.

“An initial surprise was that males were better dancers than females overall. But in retrospect we should have predicted this,” says Brown. Because females generally shoulder a greater burden in reproduction, it is understandable that women should be more choosy when picking a partner, he says. Men might therefore be under more pressure to perform on the dance floor.”

It’s not just the dancefloor pal!

Make sure you check out the videos that accompany the article. The “asymmetrical” male subject has a classic nerd dance.


“Modern airliners…don’t have accidents.” David Learmount “Aircraft Expert” on the BBC, after Air France plane skidded off a runway and burst into flames at Toronto’s Pearson airport in August 2005, but all 309 people aboard survived.

Check out the crash tally for commercial aircraft following that remark…

  • Aug. 6: A Tunisian ATR-42 plane crashes into the sea off Palermo in Sicily, Italy, killing 13 of the 39 passengers and crew members on board, with three others missing.
  • Aug. 14: A Cypriot Boeing 737 operated by the private Helios Airways crashes in north Athens, killing all the 121 passengers and crew members on board.
  • Aug. 17: A jet carrying French tourists crashes in the mountains of western Venezuela, killing all the 160 people on board.
  • Aug. 24: A Peruvian Boeing 737-200 crashes in the Amazon jungle, killing at least 48 of the 100 people aboard.
  • Sept. 5: An Indonesian Boeing 737-200 with 117 on board crashes into a residential area in the city of Medan, Indonesia’s third-largest city, killing more than 130 people aboard and on the ground.
  • Oct. 22: A Boeing 737-200 operated by Nigeria’s Bellview Airlines crashes on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, killing 117 people on board.
  • Dec. 10: A plane with 103 passengers and seven crew members on board crashed in the southern Nigerian oil city of Port Harcourt, killing 103 people.
  • Dec 20: A seaplane crash kills 20 off Miami, Florida.
  • Dec 24: All 23 passengers and crew died when an Azerbaijan Airlines plane crashed shortly after taking off from the capital, Baku.

I am actually being completely unfair. Mr Learmont is talking about the latest generation of aircraft like the A340 that crashed in Toronto. I could not resist the slight scoff though.


Anti Self-help and Actualisation (SHAM) meme

by Limbic on December 30, 2005

Three new (and not so new) books attacking the self-help phenomenon:

The Last Self-Help Book You’ll Ever Need: Repress Your Anger, Think Negatively, Be a Good Blamer, and Throttle Your Inner Child by Paul Pearsall

Therapy Culture: Cultivating Vulnerability in an Uncertain Age  by Frank Furedi

SHAM: How the Gurus of the Self-Help Movement Make Us Helpless  by Steve Salerno


Excellent New Firefox extension: Performancing

by Limbic on December 22, 2005

Performancing for Firefox

You can blog from within Firefox to virtually any Blogging server or service.


Some cool new Web 2.0 toys

by Limbic on December 22, 2005

Here are a few new cool online tools….

NetworthIQ – Track, share, and compare Net Worth. How do you measure up?
Take an inventory of your assets and debts to determine your net worth, then track it month-to-month using your free account.
Create an optional public profile so that others can see how you’re doing and link to it from your website or blog!
See how your net worth compares to others in your age range, income level, occupation, education level, state or special group.”


“Web-based job tracking, invoicing, reporting & project management software for the part-time independent contractor.”


“Rollyo is the fast, easy way to create personal search engines using only the sources you trust.

Are you tired of wading though thousands of irrelevant search results to get to the information you want? Ever wish you could narrow your search to sites you already know and trust? With Rollyo, you can easily create your own custom search engines, and explore and save those created by others.”


“TravBuddy is an easy, fun and free way to share your travel experiences with friends and family.

What is a travelogue? Think of it as your own personal online journal that you can use to record and share your travel experiences.

Write journal entries and let your friends and family know what you are up to and where you are.

Share an unlimited number of photos

No more mass emails! You will have your own personal travel page to share with friends and family and they can automatically be notified of updates.”


TagCloud is an automated Folksonomy tool. Essentially, TagCloud searches any number of RSS feeds you specify, extracts keywords from the content and lists them according to prevalence within the RSS feeds. Clicking on the tag’s link will display a list of all the article abstracts associated with that keyword.


An s an online gift manager. Gain control over all the gifts and holidays in your life.

With GiftBox you can:

Check Keep track of the gifts you’ve received
Check Keep track of the gifts you’ve given to others
Check Keep track of gift ideas you have for future holidays
Check Keep track of where/when gifts need to be returned
Check Compile a wishlist of gifts and email it to your friends and family
Check Send thank you eCards
Check Receive reminders of upcoming holidays


“FeedBlitz is a service that monitors blogs, RSS feeds and Web URLs to provide greater reach for feed publishers. FeedBlitz takes all the headache out of converting feed and blog updates into email digests, delivered daily to subscribers’ inboxes. FeedBlitz manages subscriptions, circulation tracking, testing, and is compatible with all major blogging platforms and services such as Blogger, Typepad and FeedBurner. Unlike other blogmail services, FeedBlitz is reliable, scalable and fully supported. No betas, wish lists or road map items here. You’re in production, and so is FeedBlitz”