Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Links

There's an article in the New York Times about what part of the brain appears to govern an addiction to nicotine (and potentially many other things as well). Here's an excerpt:
Scientists studying stroke patients are reporting that an injury to a specific part of the brain, near the ear, can instantly and permanently break a smoking habit, effectively erasing the most stubborn of addictions. People with the injury who stopped smoking found that their bodies, as one man put it, “forgot the urge to smoke.”

Read it here:

The article also says "While no one is suggesting brain injury as a solution for addiction..."
Damn it. I already ordered 5,000 icepicks.

Here's an interesting development in regards to string theory:
For decades, scientists have taken issue with “string theory”—a theory of the universe which contends that the fundamental forces and matter of nature can be reduced to tiny one-dimensional filaments called strings—because it does not make predictions that can be tested.

But researchers at the University of California, San Diego, Carnegie Mellon University, and The University of Texas at Austin have now developed an important test for this controversial “theory of everything.”

Described in a paper that will appear in the January 26 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters, their test involves measurements of how elusive high-energy particles scatter during particle collisions. Most physicists believe those collisions will be observable at the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, a subatomic particle collider scheduled to be operating later this year at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, or CERN.

Read about it here.

Fredrik Skarstedt sent me a link to a beautiful Disney short called "The Little Match Girl." Oh, wait, I just went to You Tube and it's been taken down at the request of Disney. Way to go, Disney--the best thing you've done in years and no one gets to see it. Well done. Good luck on monetizing that five-minute short.

Future Nobel Prize Winner Brian Pilnick sent in a link to an article titled "20 Greatest Guitar Solos Ever, With Videos." All Along the Watchtower played by Jimi Hendrix (the best cover ever, for my money) and Stevie Ray Vaughan's Texas Flood (watch this for the full version of Texas Flood, which is absolutely scorching) are particularly tasty. See them all here.

Finally, from MSNBC, an article about Australian prehistoric megafauna, including kangaroos that were three meters tall. A new theory concerning their extinction points the fingers at aborigines, not climate change, for causing their demise. You can read about it here.

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