domingo, 7 de septiembre de 2008
El síndrome se diagnostica normalmente cuando los individuos afectados viven próximos, están socialmente o físicamente aislados y tienen poca interacción con otras personas.
Se han propuesto varias clasificaciones de trastorno psicótico compartido para describir cómo la idea delirante se mantiene por más de una persona.
* Folie imposée, en el que una persona dominante (conocida como 'primario', 'inductor' o 'principal') crea inicialmente una idea delirante durante un episodio psicótico y lo impone a otra persona o personas (conocida como 'secundario'). Se supone que el secundario no habría delirado si no hubiera interactuado con el inductor. Si los individuos son ingresados en el hospital de manera separada, las ideas delirantes de la persona inducida usualmente desaparecen sin necesidad de medicación.
* Folie simultanée, en el que dos personas, que independientemente sufren de psicosis, influencian el contenido de las ideas delirantes de cada uno de ellos, de forma que se convierten en idénticas o muy similares.
El trastorno psicótico compartido no deja de ser una curiosidad psiquiátrica. El actual manual diagnóstico y estadístico de los trastornos mentales establece que una persona no puede diagnosticarse como delirante si su creencia en cuestión está comúnmente aceptada por otros miembros de su cultura o subcultura. Cuando un gran número de personas terminan creyendo algo obviamente falso y potencialmente angustioso basándose únicamente en rumores, estas creencias no se consideran como clínicamente delirantes por la profesión psiquiátrica, y se etiquetan como histeria colectiva.
Habra una bacteria/virus?
o, habra que ver que diria Foucault?
The term also appears in an earlier article title by W. Booth, "Voodoo Science" , and even earlier in a 1984 US Government report "Oversight Hearing on the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention".
Park uses the term voodoo science as a catch-all concept covering four categories sometimes difficult to distinguish from each other:
* pathological science, wherein genuine scientists deceive themselves
* junk science, speculative theorizing which bamboozles rather than enlightens
* pseudoscience proper, work falsely claiming to have a scientific basis, which may be dependent on supernatural explanations
* fraudulent science, exploiting bad science for the purposes of fraud
Park, a physics professor, science administrator/lobbyist/journalist and outspoken scientific skeptic, outlines his seven warning signs that a claim may be pseudoscientific and analyzes beliefs in popular culture and the media with a skeptical eye. Those seven warning signs are:
1. Discoverers make their claims directly to the popular media, rather than to fellow scientists.
2. Discoverers claim that a conspiracy has tried to suppress the discovery.
3. The claimed effect appears so weak that observers can hardly distinguish it from noise. No amount of further work increases the signal.
4. Anecdotal evidence is used to back up the claim.
5. True believers cite ancient traditions in support of the new claim.
6. The discoverer or discoverers work in isolation from the mainstream scientific community.
7. The discovery, if true, would require a change in the understanding of the fundamental laws of nature.
sábado, 6 de septiembre de 2008
Este tipo creo, junto con Durant, la corporacion, la escalera corporativa, y muchos mas etc, es quizas una de las figuras menos conocidas en el mundo corporativo, pero, fue una de las mas importantes
y, lo mas divertido del caso es que anduvo haciendo de las suyas en Argentia? proximanente, pongo el donde
Theodore Vail was one of AT&T's most far-sighted presidents. He oversaw the building of the first American coast to coast telephone system ,and it was his dedication to basic science that initiated a new research arm for AT&T: Bell Labs.
Vail was born on July 16, 1845 in Ohio. His first career was in the railway postal service, but in 1878 he was lured away to run Bell Telephone as its general manager. During his tenure, he helped set up the Western Electric Company, a division of the company which built telephone equipment. He also oversaw the first long distance system, from Boston, Massachusetts to Providence, Rhode Island, in 1881.
Vail retired in 1889 -- only to come back again in 1907. In between, he spent time in Argentina making money in mining, waterpower plants and railway systems.
In 1907, Vail returned to what was essentially his previous job, though now the company was known as the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, or AT&T. AT&T was in some trouble because its phone patents had expired and other small companies were getting into the business. Suddenly, AT&T had competition. Vail solved this problem in three ways. First, he decided AT&T must have the very best phone system available: he committed the company to building a long-distance system that would cross the entire US. To do this he knew he would have to invest in scientific research, and he encouraged the development of AT&Ts own laboratory, Bell Labs. Second, he cooperated with the competitors, leasing them the use of AT&T's phone lines. Third, he managed to convince the public and the government that the best possible phone system was one that could provide "universal service" around the country -- in essence, the best phone system would come from a monopoly like AT&T.
In 1914, the first transcontinental line across the US became operational. Vail sat in New York and made the first phone call all the way to San Francisco. A year later phone service was available to Europe as well.
Vail retired from AT&T for the second and final time in 1919. He died a year later on April 16
miércoles, 3 de septiembre de 2008
Grid computer recreates ancient Greek lute
Geeks go Greek
Researchers have harnessed the awesome power of grid computing to answer one of the great mysteries facing mankind: what exactly does an epigonion sound like?
At the risk of stating the obvious, an epigonion is a stringed instrument plucked by the ancient Greeks, and there aren't many around these days. To recreate the sound, a model of the instrument was built up from pictures and archaeological evidence, and this data was fed into ASTRA - Ancient instruments Sound/Timbre Reconstruction Application - which creates the sound.
Obviously modelling the sound requires a massive amount of computing power - about four hours of processing using both GILDA and EUMEDGRID grid computing infrastructures is needed to produce 30 seconds of music.
Dr La Rocca, co-ordinator of ASTRA, said in a statement: "Previously the amount of computing power needed to recreate ancient music was unobtainable, but the use of high capacity research networks provides us with the ability to turn our research into reality."
Hopefully ASTRA will be able to model other instruments, otherwise one can't help wondering if it might have been quicker to just knock up a real epigonion and have a strum, though that wouldn't have been nearly so much fun.The resulting sound is depressingly similar to that played at the end of Four Winds Mah Jong, but an mp3 is available to those interested. It's probably safe to say the tune is beyond copyright by now.
SII YA SE QUE ES CULTUROSO, PERO, INTERESANTE
Robado de The Register
lunes, 1 de septiembre de 2008
Surge in Natural Gas Has Utah Driving Cheaply
SALT LAKE CITY — The best deal on fuel in the country right now might be here in Utah, where people are waiting in lines to pay the equivalent of 87 cents a gallon. Demand is so strong at rush hour that fuel runs low, and some days people can pump only half a tank.
It is not gasoline they are buying for their cars, but natural gas.
By an odd confluence of public policy and private initiative, Utah has become the first state in the country to experience broad consumer interest in the idea of running cars on clean natural gas.
Residents of the state are hunting the Internet and traveling the country to pick up used natural gas cars at auctions. They are spending thousands of dollars to transform their trucks and sport utility vehicles to run on compressed gas. Some fueling stations that sell it to the public are so busy they frequently run low on pressure, forcing drivers to return before dawn when demand is down.
It all began when unleaded gasoline rose above $3.25 a gallon last year, and has spiraled into a frenzy in the last few months.
Ron Brown, Honda’s salesman here for the Civic GX, the only car powered by natural gas made by a major automaker in the country, has sold one out of every four of the 800 cars Honda has made so far this year, and he has a pile of 330 deposit slips in his office, each designating a customer waiting months for a new car.
“It’s nuts,” Mr. Brown said. “People are buying these cars from me and turning around and selling them as if they were flipping real estate.”
Advocates for these cars see Mr. Brown’s brisk sales as a sign that natural gas could become the transport fuel of the future, replacing much of the oil the nation imports. While that remains a distant dream, big increases recently in the country’s production of natural gas do raise the possibility of making wider use of the fuel.
To a degree, it is already starting to happen in Utah, where the cost savings have gotten the public’s attention. Natural gas is especially cheap here, so that people spend about 87 cents for a quantity of gas sufficient to propel a car approximately the same distance as a $3.95 gallon of gasoline.
The word about natural gas cars has been spreading in news reports and by word of mouth, and so many people in Utah are now trying to get their hands on used natural gas vehicles that they are drying up the national supply. Used car lots are stocking up, and beginning to look like county government parking lots with multiple lines of identical white Civic GXs once used in out-of-state fleets.
Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr. got into the act last year, spending $12,000 out of his own pocket to convert his state sport utility vehicle to run on natural gas. “We can create a model that others can look to,” Mr. Huntsman said in an interview. “Every state in America can make this a reality.”
In fact, some unique factors apply in Utah. Natural gas prices at the pump here are controlled and are the cheapest in the country, while the price of conventional gasoline is one of the highest. Questar Gas, the public utility, has compressed-gas pumps around the state open to the public, a fueling infrastructure that few states can match.
Special factors or not, the sudden popularity of natural gas vehicles here demonstrates their potential, according to advocates like T. Boone Pickens, the Texas oil billionaire who is financing a national campaign promoting wind power and natural gas to replace imported oil. “Utah shows that the technology is here and the fuel works and the fuel is better than foreign oil,” Mr. Pickens said.
Natural gas cars produce at least 20 percent less greenhouse gas per mile than regular cars, according to a California study.
No official figures are available on how many natural gas vehicles Utah has, in part because so many people go to garages that install conversion kits that are not certified by the Environmental Protection Agency and are therefore illegal.
(Governor Huntsman has expressed concern, and some in the installation business have requested that the E.P.A. close down the unauthorized operations; the agency says it does not comment on possible investigations.)
But Questar estimates the number at 6,000 and growing by several hundred a month. That is small compared with the 2.7 million vehicles registered in the state, but natural gas executives and state government officials say it makes Utah the fastest-growing market in the country for such cars.
Cars fueled by compressed natural gas have been available intermittently in the United States for decades, and have found wide use in fleets, but have never attracted much consumer interest. The situation is markedly different abroad. Of the eight million natural gas vehicles operating worldwide, only about 116,000 were in the United States, mostly as fleet vans, buses and cars, according to a 2006 Energy Department estimate.
Congress mandated the use of fleets capable of using alternative fuel cars for governments and some energy companies in the early 1990s, but public interest petered out as gasoline prices plummeted. Over the years, all the major car companies except Honda dropped their production in the United States.
The cars have two major disadvantages — a shortage of fueling stations and limited range. (A typical natural gas car goes half as far on a full tank as a gasoline car.) Utah is one of the few states where a driver can travel across the state without being out of range of a station.
The situation is a Catch-22: Carmakers do not want to make natural gas cars when few filling stations are set up for them, and few stations want to install expensive equipment to compress gas with so few cars on the road.
Hundreds of stations supply compressed gas in a few states like California, New York and Arizona, but most are either closed to the public or charge only modestly less than regular gasoline prices.
Retail natural gas prices in some states are triple the price in Utah. The only state that comes close to Utah’s low gas prices is Oklahoma, and a surge of natural gas car buying is going on there, too.
The natural gas industry and some politicians are pushing to open up the market to gas-powered vehicles across the country. Even in states without fueling stations, a few drivers have switched by spending several thousand dollars to install a home gas compressor.
A proposal on the ballot in California this fall would allow the state to sell $5 billion in bonds to finance rebates of $2,000 and more to buyers of natural gas vehicles. Legislation has been introduced in Congress to offer more tax credits to producers and consumers and mandate the installation of gas pumps in certain service stations, with the goal of making natural gas cars 10 percent of the nation’s vehicle fleet over the next decade.
“If the incentives are right and the fuel and cars are available, natural gas can work,” said Gordon Larsen, supervisor for natural gas vehicle operations at Questar Gas. But he said that any drop in gasoline prices douses enthusiasm among drivers considering the switch.
With gasoline hovering just below $4 a gallon for unleaded regular here, interest in the Salt Lake City area is strong.
Questar reports that the volume of natural gas pumped at its 21 filling stations is up 240 percent this year from last, after a 50 percent rise in 2007. Demand has grown so fast that the compressors at many of Questar’s stations run low during the day, forcing drivers to settle for half a tank or fill up during off-peak hours.
The natural gas car surge in Utah is because of several factors. Questar has had filling pumps around the state to fuel its own fleet of service vehicles since the 1980s, and because it had excess capacity, it opened those stations to the public. Natural gas prices are cheap because under Utah regulations, the utility is obliged to offer about half of the gas that it sells to its retail customers at the cost of production.
The state and a few municipalities are preparing to open more filling stations. If the trend continues, it could eventually lower the environmental impact of driving in Utah.
For now, demand for compressed-gas cars is outstripping supply.
“People get into a frenzy and they just have to buy,” said Rick Oliver, owner of a company that converts vehicles. He said that in a recent online auction, a Utah buyer paid $19,000 for a 2001 Civic GX with 50,000 miles — the price a buyer of a new GX would pay after state and federal tax credits.
Gary Frederickson, a 48-year-old computer technician, has bought six natural gas vehicles on Craigslist over the last year, flying as far as Portland and Oakland to pick up the cars. One 1998 Ford Contour he bought for $3,000 in effect cost him nothing because he will receive a $3,000 state tax credit for buying an alternative fuel car.
“It’s crazy to be in Utah and have access to 85-cent-a-gallon fuel and not take advantage of it,” he said before a recent 2-cent increase.