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Weird News Wednesday

N.Y. authorities say woodchucks have been stealing flags from cemetery

Around 75 flags were reported missing from Civil War graves in the days leading up to and following Independence Day.

Hallenbeck said he was glad the culprit wasn’t a human resident. He said some flags are now coated with a substance that attracts woodchucks.

Woodchuck Mating Spray! $10 + S&H. Spray it on your neighbors flags for revenge! Woodchuck love is in the air.

Bee tee dubs, woodchucks are the same thing as groundhogs. I have an old post explaining the difference between gophers and groundhogs. Also, according to Wikipedia, gophers are also known as “whistle-pigs” and “land-beavers.”

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And here’s one for you fellow Greenpointers/Williamsburgers:

‘Caddyshack’ moment at Brooklyn’s McCarren Park pool: Lifeguards clear swimmers out of the water when a brown object is seen bobbing on the surface

I refuse to go to in the new, free McCarren Park pool. It reeks of children and desperation.

Categories: Weird News Wednesday, What The Fuck Wednesday Tags: Brooklyn, gopher, groundhog, McCarren Park, woodchuck

Don’t understand the Higgs boson? Watch the best animated explanation video I’ve seen so far on the Higgs:

The Higgs Boson Explained from PHD Comics on Vimeo.

Basically:

  • The Higgs Boson is important because it is the (until recently) undiscoverd particle that under the Standard Model of Particle Physics is expected to give mass to other particles. Mass is just a property of matter, like a charge. Mass is a gravitational “charge.”
  • The theory is that everything, everywhere is filled with something called the Higgs field.  The reason why particles have mass is because while they propagate, they are swimming in this “cosmic molasses,” and this interaction gives them inertia. (Not all particles interact with the field. Photons and neutrinos, for example, don’t and have no mass.)
  • In order to actually verify this model, we need to produce an excitation of the field. This quantum excitation is what we call the Higgs boson.

  • So that’s why we built the Large Hadron Collider, to create lots and lots of particle collisions and analyze the data. That little bump on the graph, which lasted only a fraction of a second, is what they think is the elusive particle, hopefully to be confirmed as the Higgs Boson.

There’s a great Reddit discussion going on about the discovery for the more technically-inclined:

If it’s really a Higgs, then we need to solve the Hierarchy problem or abandon the idea of naturalness. The problem is that the Higgs is “unaturally light”, since quantum corrections would “naturally” make the Higgs mass as big as the Planck scale (1019 GeV compared to the 126) and to make it light we need a an arbitrary cancellation that is heavily fine-tuned. The best candidates were supersymmetry and large extra dimensions, but it seems that both are very unlikely now.

If it’s not a Higgs, then we probably will see more signals in the future, and the greatest theoretical challenge will be to figure out what exactly it is!

Categories: Knowledge has vagina dentata so don’t you fuck with it, Nerd Out Tags: CERN, god particle, Higgs Boson, higgs boson particle, higgs video, PHD Comics, physicists, physics

My freelance writing gig–Suite101–which was formerly raped by Google search algorithms, is trying to refashion itself into a sustainable business model. I dunno if it will work and I’ll actually start seeing more money, but I decided to start writing for them again. If anything, it’s a good hub for my more serious writing.

I also decided to concentrate on writing about drugs and Health & Wellness, since I’m technically a health care professional and all that jazz.

I’m normally not big on asking people to promote my stuff, but I do get a portion of ad revenue over there. So please, if you think an article is interesting, retweet and shit (there’s a button on the actual article):

Tianeptine: The Antidepressant that Reduces Serotonin

Everyone has seen that Zoloft commercial—the one with the bouncing, white bubble, a cartoon parable about escaping depression to reclaim a formerly emotionally disrupted life. With its multiple parodies and wide-recognition, the Zoloft cartoon permeated the cultural zeitgeist and brought a mainstream awareness to antidepressant drugs. It famously referred to depression as a “chemical imbalance.”

Introduced by Pfizer in 1991, Zoloft (sertraline) became the next major Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) after Prozac (fluoxetine) and heralded a new age of pharmacotherapy in the treatment of major depressive disorder. With these new drugs came a revamped model for depression treatment, which revolved around the neurotransmitter that has almost become synonymous with happiness: serotonin.

Serotonin is a complicated chemical with a variety of somatic functions. It has receptors in several different bodily systems and the exact mechanism for creating happiness is unknown. What is known about SSRIs is that by inhibiting reuptake or reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, they increase the levels of serotonin.

But there is a class of drugs, also considered antidepressants, which have the opposite mechanism as SSRIs. They are a class titled “selective serotonin reuptake enhancers” or SSREs. Of these drugs that reduce serotonin rather than increase it, there is exactly one that has been manufactured and marketed. It’s available in Europe and it’s called tianeptine…

Read more at Suite101: Tianeptine: The Antidepressant that Reduces Serotonin Suite101.com http://suite101.com/article/tianeptine–the-antidepressant-that-reduces-serotonin-a409726#ixzz205sp2NNV

Categories: Knowledge has vagina dentata so don’t you fuck with it Tags: antidepressants, depression, drugs, medication, pharmacology, serotonin, SSRE, stablon, Suite101, tianeptine

My favorite is “abracadabrant.” =D

The Feminine Miss Geek

Language is a wonderful thing in that it’s always changing. Some words fade away into disuse and new ones are being made up every day. Myself, I have a love of old fashioned words. I say “swell” as often as I say “cool,” and I like to pretend it’s making a comeback. So while I keep working on “swell,” here’s a few extinct words that you can start using to describe the people and things you love. Next time? We’re bringing out the insults.

  1. abracadabrant: (adjective) marvelous or stunning; beyond belief
  2. bellibone: (noun) a woman exceeding in both beauty and goodness. A combination of the French words belle (beautiful) and bonne (good)
  3. blepharon: (noun) a person with magnificent eyebrows
  4. bloss: (noun) a term of endearment; a buxom young woman.
  5. cowfyne: (noun) a ludicrous term of…

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Categories: Uncategorized

Happy Friday!

I’m going to see an experimental jazz band tonight at midnight at the Brooklyn Bowl.  They’re called Moon Hooch and they got kicked out of the Bedford L station for “starting too many dance parties.”

This was my first Moon Hooch dance party. (I love how I saw people filming, assumed the video would be on youtube later that night, and it was.