April 23rd, 2003



"You know what scares me the most? When I can't fight it anymore, when I totally lose control, I like it."

New hulk trailer looks very cool. Download here.

Holiday fun

From Rod Liddle's column in the Guardian:

The small hotel I'm in, and to which I come whenever I've a spare moment and can afford the fare, describes itself as a wildlife refuge. All day long there is a pleasing hooting and gibbering and screeching and slithering from the trees that surround my room. And there is something particularly memorable and evocative about being awoken at the same early hour each morning by the sound of hotel staff shooting the monkeys.

They're probably right to do this. The local troop of crab-eating macaques are foul-tempered and spiteful and not entirely cognisant of who is in charge round here. The local humans blast them to bits in order to re-establish the pecking order.

That's not all they do, the hotel people. When they get bored of shooting the monkeys, they instead catch a large alpha male in a net trap and spray it with Krazy Kolors, either scarlet or luminous blue or puke green, depending on their mood. The painted monkey is then set free.

You can watch him for a bit, the dejected, bizarrely arrayed monkey, as he skulks around in the undergrowth not quite knowing what to do with himself. But you don't get to watch him for long. Soon the remaining monkeys espy their former colleague and, noticing with consternation that he is an unfamiliar colour, band together and kick the living shit out of him.

I'm not sure that this is entirely fair or, strictly speaking, upholding of the conservationist ethos. But as a spectator sport, it beats the hell out of fox hunting.

More on the carbs

Kirsty kindly pointed out an article on sugar addicts. Sadly, it's since vanished from the site it was on, but a quick search found me this:

Sugar triggers production of the brain's natural opioids. That is a key to the addiction process. The brain is getting addicted to its own opioids as it would to morphine or heroin. Drugs give a bigger effect, but it is essentially the same process.

The greatest value of the research is that it provides an animal model of sugar dependency, allowing scientists to probe more deeply the connections between food cravings and brain physiology.

In their experiments, the researchers started rats on a pattern of bingeing by withholding food for 12 hours when the rats were sleeping and through breakfast time, then giving them nutritionally balanced food plus sugar water. The animals gradually increased their daily sugar intake until it doubled, consuming most of it in the first hour it was available.

When the researchers suddenly removed the sugar portion of the rats' diet, the animals exhibited teeth chattering, a common sign of withdrawal. For some animals, the researchers removed the sugar and also administered a dose of a drug that blocks the opioid receptors in the brain. In addition to teeth chattering, those animals showed anxiety and a reversal in the usual balance of neurochemicals in the brain's motivation system.

Animals that binged on normal food with no sugar and received the opioid blocker did not show these withdrawal signs. Animals that were given a steady diet of food and sugar water without binging also did not show signs of withdrawal.

If wishes were pennies

Nicked from a Heronwise direction

Imagine you had all the training and skills (and general life situation) you needed to take your ideal job. You don't have to do it for the rest of your life, just 5 or 10 years if you want. What would you pick?

My Top 5 (no particular order)

1. Philosopher to the stars.
2. Programmer
3. Financially well-off perpetual student
4. Rock star
5. Writer

If given another choice, I'd add:
6. Rich and unemployed