Daily Archives: 03/23/2012

About fucking time

Israel bans super skinny models, makes them submit to weight and BMI requirements

Israel: “GTFO and eat a sammich”

In a surprise piece of legislation, the state of Israel has banned models that are too skinny, saying that models, whether runway or advertising models, must meet certain weight and body mass index requirements before they can get paid. I think I shall call this the “Anti-Bag of Antlers” bill.

A new law passed on Monday requires male and female models to have a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 or more. Any less, and they require a note from a doctor. (Yahoo points out that under the new law, a six-foot-tall model, for example, would have to way no less than 136.5 pounds.)

More from Yahoo: “The legislation also bans use of models who “look underweight,” and creators of ads must disclose whether they used Photoshop or graphic programs to manipulate images to make the models look skinnier. Lawmakers are hoping the measure encourages a healthier body image among teens and fights the spread of eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia. According to a study cited by the Associated Press, 2 percent of girls aged 14 to 18 in Israel have eating disorders.”

“Beautiful is not underweight,” Rachel Adato, one of the lawmakers who voted for the bill, told Reuters. “Beautiful should not be anorexic.”


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MIT discovers that memories are stored in individual neurons

The image above isn’t from some sort of candy-coated rave porn. It’s a false color image of mouse neurons holding on to some sort of mousy memory. MIT researchers have shown, for the first time ever, that memories are stored in specific brain cells. By triggering a small cluster of neurons, the researchers were able to force the subject to recall a specific memory. By removing these neurons, the subject would lose that memory.

As you can imagine, the trick here is activating individual neurons, which are incredibly small and not really the kind of thing you can attach electrodes to. To do this, the researchers used optogenetics, a bleeding edge sphere of science that involves the genetic manipulation of cells so that they’re sensitive to light. These modified cells are then triggered using lasers; you drill a hole through the subject’s skull and point the laser at a small cluster of neurons.

Now, just to temper your excitement, we should note that MIT’s subjects in this case are mice — but it’s very, very likely that the human brain functions in the same way. To perform this experiment, though, MIT had to breed genetically engineered mice with optogenetic neurons — and we’re a long, long way off breeding humans with optogenetic brains.

In the experiment, MIT gave mice an electric shock to create a fear memory in the hippocampus region of the brain — and then later, using laser light, activated the neurons where the memory was stored. The mice “quickly entered a defensive, immobile crouch,” strongly suggesting the fear memory was being recalled.

The main significance here is that we finally have proof that memories (engrams, in neuropsychology speak) are physical rather than conceptual. We now know that, as in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, specific memories could be erased. It also gives us further insight into degenerative diseases and psychiatric disorders, which are mostly caused by the (faulty) interaction of neurons. “The more we know about the moving pieces that make up our brains,” says Steve Ramirez, co-author of the paper. “The better equipped we are to figure out what happens when brain pieces break down.”

Bear in mind, too, that this research follows on from MIT’s discovery last year of Npas4, the gene that controls the formation of memories; without Npas4, you cannot remember anything. MIT has successfully bred mice without the Npas4 gene.

All of this is incredibly impressive, but it still doesn’t tell us how memories are encoded in the brain, but it does tell us at least where to look. It’s a huge step to a future where one day you might be able to have memories of a dangerous vacation to Mars implanted in your head.


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Geraldo Rivera: “Trayvon Martin’s hoodie is as responsible for his death as George Zimmerman”

Jesus christ. I can’t even think of anything to write about this. Good god Geraldo you ignorant, crass, fucking moron.

HERE is some more absurd stuff he said

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Honesty is a beautiful thing

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Adobe unleashes a free beta of Photoshop CS6 and it’s fucking amazing

I just downloaded the beta and I have to say, it is a lot different than past versions and updates and I mean that in the best possible way. Here’s one review that I thought summed it up well:

As a graphic designer, I use Photoshop a lot. A whole motherfucking lot. And for several years, most of the new versions of Photoshop have added one or two cool features, leaving everything else unchanged. But with CS6, Adobe has redesigned nearly everything, from the interface to how layers work to the crop tool. And it’s really, really damn nice.

There are a couple new tools like the improved patch tool and content aware fill tool, but those are just icing on the cake. They simplified and completely redesigned the UI, they’ve made it so you can filter layers by a variety of categories, they’ve added some light video editing, added skin detection and selection, various kinds of lens blurs, auto-saving… the list just goes on and on.

Gizmodo has a pretty good round up and review of all the new features, and you can download the free beta version here.

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Fuck you Icarus! Guy makes wings that allow him to fly

Fuck translates to fuck in Dutch.

Turns out though that it was all a big phony. It was a marketing campaign done by a media company named Revolver that just wanted some press and viral video views. God, I hate media companies.

Dutch filmmaker and animator Floris Kaayk in collaboration with media production company Revolver fessed up to creating a “media art project” that took the world by storm in recent days — a video of inventor Jarno Smeets taking flight by flapping his arms.

But like the wax melting from Icarus’ wings, the truth is finally emerging. Kaayak announced on Dutch television that he didn’t expect the media attention his project would generate, with over 8.9 million views across the world.

He made the project in collaboration with Revolver and Omroep NTL, sources in the Netherlands who have spoken to the filmmaker told FoxNews.com prior to the show. They admitted their hoax Thursday evening on the Dutch television show Wereld Draait Door.

Revolver — which describes its goal on its website as “to engage with audiences through storytelling and original, challenging content — was “extremely surprised” by the worldwide media attention its little project has generated, sources told FoxNews.com.


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Website of the week: One Tiny Hand

kim kardashian.

zooey deschanel. 

This one is pretty self-explanatory.

See the site HERE

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