We’re skating into that time year… the onslaught of celebratory meals and Holiday parties that promise to test our waistbands. But help– or at least a nagging caution– is at hand. The app Calorific uses simple, pastel images to reveal how much of virtually any food adds up to 200 calories.
From God’s condiment…
…to rabbit food…
More at “What 200 Calories of Every Food Looks Like.”
* Erma Bombeck
As we go down for the count, we might send well-digested birthday greetings to William Beaumont; he was born on this date in 1785. An American army surgeon, Beaumont was the first person to observe and study human digestion as it occurs in the stomach. As a young medic stationed on Mackinac Island in Michigan, Beaumont was asked to treat a shotgun wound “more than the size of the palm of a man’s hand” (as Beaumont wrote). The patient, Alexis St. Martin, survived, but was left with a permanent opening into his stomach from the outside. Over the next few years, Dr. Beaumont used this crude fistula to sample gastric secretions. He identified hydrochloric acid as the principal agent in gastric juice and recognized its digestive and bacteriostatic functions. Many of his conclusions about the regulation of secretion and motility remain valid to this day.
Search for trends in the dialogue of thousands of movie and TV shows, based on subtitles from Open Subtitles
Bookworm is like a lot of other word frequency sites. But unlike most, it directly incorporates links to every text searched, so you can actually see what drives changes; and it lets you customize the corpus so you can exclude texts that aren’t interesting to you. This particular instance looks at movies and TV shows. Genre, location and language information from the Internet Movie Database textfiles. Click to see the movies/TV shows where the matches are found. For some caveats, explanations, and examples, see the accompanying blog post.
* Rudyard Kipling
As we marvel at multiplying memes and dynamic dialogue, we might recall that it was on this date in 1981 that Warner Bros. released The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie, a feature-length Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies compilation of classic Warner cartoon shorts and animated bridging sequences produced by Friz Freleng, hosted by Bugs Bunny. The new footage was one of the final productions of DePatie-Freleng Enterprises.
As we muse on Mango Tango, we might recall that it was on this date in 1895 that Frederick E. Blaisdell of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was granted U.S. patent No. 549,952 for a paper pencil, (self-sharpening pencils, on which the tip could be renewed by peeling away some of the paper barrel– the type better known as “china markers” today), as well as patent number 550,212 for a machine for manufacturing pencils.
“Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is, it is at least an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not”*…
Controversy is essential to scientific progress. As Richard Feynman said, “science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.” Nothing is taken on faith, all assumptions are open to further scrutiny. It’s a healthy sign therefore that psychology studies continue to generate great controversy. Often the heat is created by arguments about the logic or ethics of the methods, other times it’s because of disagreements about the implications of the findings to our understanding of human nature. Here we digest ten of the most controversial studies in psychology’s history…
From “the Stanford Prison Experiment” and “the Milgram ‘Shock Experiments’” to “Voodoo correlations in social neuroscience” and “Libet’s Challenge to Free Will”– The British Psychological Society‘s “The 10 most controversial psychology studies ever published.”
(Lest one wonder whether all of this has any purchase in the real world, this review of Hooked…)
* Carl Jung
As we brace ourselves on our lab benches, we might spare a thought for Gustav Theodor Fechner; he died on this date in 1887. A philosopher and physicist with a keen interest in human behavior, Fechner is recognized (with Wilhelm Wundt and Hermann von Helmholtz) as the founder of experimental psychology. He formulated the rule known as Fechner’s law–that, within limits, the intensity of a sensation increases as the logarithm of the stimulus– a result indicative of his approach to studying the relationships between physical stimuli and the sensations and perceptions they cause. His approach, which came to be known as Psychophysics, has been influential ever since.
People sometimes say “If I had all the money in the world …” in order to discuss what they would do if they had no financial constraints. I’m curious, though, what would happen if one person had all of the world’s money?
- Daniel Pino
So you’ve somehow found a way to gather all the world’s money. We won’t worry about how you did it—let’s just assume you invented some kind of money-summoning magic spell.
Physical currency—coins and bills—represents just a small percentage of the world’s wealth. In theory, you could edit all the property records on Earth to say that you own all the land and edit all the banking records to say you own all the money. But everyone else would disagree with those records, and they would edit them back or ignore them. Money is an idea, and you can’t make the entire world respect your idea.
Getting all the world’s cash, on the other hand, is much more straightforward. There’s a certain amount of cash in the world—it’s about $4 trillion—and you want it all…
Find out what you’d have to do with all that scratch on Randall Monroe’s What If? at “All the Money.”
* Albert Einstein
As we go all Scrooge McDuck, we might send imperial birthday greetings to Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus (better known as Vespasian); he was born on this date in 9 CE. Vespasian was crowned Emperor of Rome in 69 after a year of civil strife following the death of Nero; he served for six years and founded the Flavian Dynasty that ruled the Empire for another 20 years. Vespasian was judged (by Suetonius and others) to have been a witty and effective ruler, even as he had to govern through severe financial turmoil. Indeed, to this day urinals are known in Italian as vespasiano, a vestige of Vespasian’s tax on urine (which was valuable in his day for its ammoniac content).
THE CANON OF PHILOSOPHY STUDENT KARAOKE SONGS
By Jarry Lee
“Total Eclipse of Descartes”
“Don’t You (Foucault About Me)”
“U Kant Touch This”
“Hit Me Baby Wittgenstein”
“Camus Feel the Love Tonight?”
“Get the Party Sartred”
“I Kissed Hegel (And I Liked It)”
“Ain’t No Montaigne High Enough”
“Pop, Locke & Drop It”
“Bataille Will Always Love You”
“My Milkshake Brings All the Baudrillard”
“Rousseau Vain (You Probably Think This Song is About You)”
“Love Voltaire Us Apart”
* Ludwig “Baby” Wittgenstein
As we clear our throats, we might might send psychedelic birthday greetings to Terence Kemp McKenna; he was born on this date in 1948. Often called called the “Timothy Leary of the 90s,” McKenna was a philosopher, psychonaut, ethnobotanist, lecturer, and author. His writings on the consciousness-expanding capacity of hallucinogenic drugs earned him some enemies. In 1993 Judy Corman, vice president of Phoenix House of New York, a drug treatment center, said in a letter to The New York Times: “Surely the fact that Terence McKenna says that the psilocybin mushroom ‘is the megaphone used by an alien, intergalactic Other to communicate with mankind’ is enough for us to wonder if taking LSD has done something to his mental faculties.” But that same year, biologist Richard Evans Schultes, of Harvard University, wrote in American Scientist in a review of McKenna’s book Food of the Gods, that it was; “a masterpiece of research and writing” and that it “should be read by every specialist working in the multifarious fields involved with the use of psychoactive drugs.” Concluding that “it is, without question, destined to play a major role in our future considerations of the role of the ancient use of psychoactive drugs, the historical shaping of our modern concerns about drugs and perhaps about man’s desire for escape from reality with drugs.”
This three-year-old male Great Dane was observed repeatedly vomiting and retching all day; he was taken to DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital in Portland, where abdominal radiographs revealed a severely distended stomach and a large quantity of foreign material:
During exploratory surgery performed by a DoveLewis veterinarian, 43½ socks were removed.
The patient was discharged home one day after surgery, and is doing well.
The peckish pooch finished third in Veterinary Practice News‘ annual “They ate WHAT?” contest. See the other winners at “2014 X-Ray Contest Winners–Animals will eat just about anything. The proof is in the radiographs.”
* W.H. Auden, A Certain World: A Commonplace Book
As we are what we eat, we might recall that it was on this date in 1932 that Walt Disney initiated the art classes that grew into the Walt Disney Art School (and later inspired the creation of the California Institute for the Arts). In preparation for his feature-length cartoon (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which would require the animation of more human figure than the critters theretofore featured), Disney set up the school to train his animators. The first class was taught by Don Graham of the Chouinard School of Art, lecturing at Disney’s old sound studio on Hyperion Avenue in Los Angeles. Classes are held once a week after work on the sound stage, but soon this will be expanded to twice weekly. The selection of Graham was propitious; “The Prof” groomed a team of animators that went on to set (and continually raise) standards for decades.
A true scholar of the art of drawing [who] knew as much about art as anybody I’ve ever come in contact with. Don gave so much and offered so much and not too many people realize that. [Don] was a very inspirational man. -Marc Davis on Don Graham
Don Graham really knew what he was teaching, and he “showed” you how to do something – he didn’t just talk. He taught us things that were very important for animation. How to simplify our drawings – how to cut out all the unnecessary hen scratching amateurs have a habit of using. He showed us how to make a drawing look solid. He taught us about tension points – like a bent knee, and how the pant leg comes down from that knee and how important the wrinkles from it are to describe form. I learned a hell of a lot from him! —Art Babbitt, Once Upon a Time — Walt Disney: The Sources of inspiration for the Disney Studios