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random thoughts.. once again

  • They told us not to wish in the first place, not to aspire, not to try; to be quiet, to play nice, to shoot low and aspire not at all. They are always wrong. Follow your dreams. Make your wishes. Create the future. And above all, believe in yourself. ~ J. Michael Straczynski
  • What is the use of being wise if we are not sometimes merry? The merriment of wise men is not the uninformed, gross fun of ignorant men, but it has more kinship with that than the pinched, frightened fun of those who are neither learned nor ignorant, gentle nor simple, bound nor free. The idea that a wise man must be solemn is bred and preserved among people who have no idea what wisdom is, and can only respect whatever makes them feel inferior. ~ Robertson Davies
  • The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
    Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
    Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.

    ~ Omar Khayyám ~
  • The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it. ~ J. M. Barrie
  • The real glory of dreams lies in their atmosphere of unlimited freedom. It is not the freedom of the dictator, who enforces his own will on the world, but the freedom of the artist, who has no will, who is free of will. ~ Karen Blixen
  • Follow the voice of your heart, even if it leads you off the path of timid souls. Do not become hard and embittered, even if life tortures you at times. There is only one thing that counts: to live one’s life well and happily… ~ Wilhelm Reich

tamso ma jyotirgamaya…

Things have been painfully slow, but at least we are steadily moving towards a better tomorrow. Some sensible things still happen… somehow! 

Homosexuality no crime : Delhi HC

.. hope people see the light now, and change their mindset too.

its good to see good news in newspapers once in a while. :)

also, though i cant experience it myself… welcome back, Monsoon! please dont delay so much next year. :)

Me is happy :D

From ScienceNOW 2009 (423), 5

“Good News for Night Owls

By Elsa Youngsteadt
ScienceNOW Daily News
23 April 2009

Night owls seem to have a cognitive edge over early risers–at least when they’re on their natural sleep schedule. That’s one upshot of a new brain-imaging study that also gives surprising new insights into how the brain manages the urge to sleep and wake. The results, sleep researchers say, may improve predictions of when people are most at risk for drowsy accidents.

Two factors control our bedtime. The first is hardwired: A master clock in the brain regulates a so-called circadian rhythm, which synchronizes activity patterns to the 24-hour day. Some people’s clocks tell them to go to bed at 9 p.m., others’ at 3 a.m., (ScienceNOW, 24 June 2003). The second factor–called sleep pressure–depends not on time of day but simply on how long someone has been awake already.

Because sleep pressure accumulates during waking hours, logic suggests that we should be most alert–and hence sharpest–shortly after we get up versus right before we go to bed, regardless of whether we’re night owls or larks.

But that’s not what Christina Schmidt found. The doctoral student at the University of Liège in Belgium and her collaborators, led by sleep researcher Philippe Peigneux, recruited 16 morning people and 15 night people to take alertness tests in a brain scanner. Subjects had to pay attention to numbers on a computer screen and hit a button whenever the numbers began to change. To control for the effect of the circadian clock, the subjects were allowed to sleep on their own natural schedules and take the test 1.5 hours and 10.5 hours after waking, regardless of the actual time of day.

Both groups performed equally well on the test when they took it 1.5 hours after waking. But after 10.5 hours without sleep, the night owls pulled ahead. Their reaction times improved by about 6% relative to the morning people and to their own earlier performance, the researchers report in tomorrow’s issue of Science. This suggests that once they wake up, sleep pressure builds up faster in early birds, says Peigneux, and that this hurts their cognition over time.

It’s a result with “real-world consequences,” says sleep researcher David Dinges of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. Current risk analyses use the time of day and hours worked to predict when people are in greatest danger of accidents–such as aviation errors. But now, Dinges says, they may need to take into account that morning people tend to lose their concentration faster. At the very least, according to sleep researcher Amita Sehgal, also at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, this is a new and “intriguing” explanation for larks’ and owls’ different habits.

But the really provocative result, adds Dinges, came from the brain imaging. The night owls showed greater activity in the master-clock region of their brains–a cluster of cells known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus–than the larks when taking the later test. That suggests that sleep pressure and the circadian clock can influence each other directly–bringing together two systems that, for decades, had been thought to operate separately.”

The research article: Schmidt et al, Science 24 April 2009:Vol. 324. no. 5926, pp. 516 – 519

Ha!

Elevating Science, Elevating Democracy

.. very nice essay from New York Times: Here.

Protected: You’ll be the Prince and I’ll be the Princess….

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What is the point…

.. of all that we do in our super-busy lives? My country is burning. And all I can do is read/watch/listen to the news. And be shocked. The city I love the most is bruised. Yet again. As we all watch helplessly and feel the pain of the bereaved. The painful sight of the Taj going up in flames…

Its my city… my country.. my people.. its me who is getting hurt..  And I can do nothing to prevent it?

:'(

optimism

euphoria, ecstasy, cheers, tears, hope and optimism..

amazing how one man has won the affection of not just a huge nation, but ppl across all borders.. well done, Barack Obama! :)

The 8 messy years of the Bush administration which united ppl and encouraged them to come out and vote for a change have finally come to an end. Hopefully the change will actually happen, and it’ll be for good. Not just for America, but for the entire world. Good luck, Obama!

*sigh*

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