Daily Archives: August 27, 2009

Your psychologist could be an Intel chip….

Well, not really, but if on line CBT takes off, how will we know when they make the switch?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) seems to be effective when delivered online in real time by a therapist, with benefits maintained over 8 months. This method of delivery could broaden access to CBT in primary care. These are the conclusions of an article in this week’s Global Mental Health special edition of The Lancet, written by Dr David Kessler, NIHR National School for Primary Care Research, University of Bristol and colleagues.


How do you tell when a bird is really extinct?

BirdLife International is launching a global bid to try to confirm the continued existence of 47 species of bird that have not been seen for up to 184 years.

The list of potentially lost birds is a tantalising mix of species ranging from some inhabiting the least visited places on earth – such as remote islands and the western Himalayas – to those occurring in parts of Europe and the United States.

“The mention of species such as Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Jamaican Petrel, Hooded Seedeater, Himalayan Quail, and Pink-headed Duck will set scientists’ pulses racing. Some of these species haven’t been seen by any living person, but birdwatchers around the world still dream of rediscovering these long lost ghosts”, said Marco Lambertini, BirdLife International’s chief executive.

“History has shown us that we shouldn’t give up on species that are feared to have gone to their graves because some, such as Cebu Flowerpecker, have been rediscovered long after they were feared extinct, providing hope for the continued survival of other ‘long-lost’ species. Cebu Flowerpecker, of the Philippines, was only rediscovered at the eleventh hour just before the last remnants of its forest home were destroyed.”

“The extinction crisis is gathering momentum, but that’s no excuse for humanity to allow even more strands from the web of life to disappear, especially without giving them a final chance of life.”

The announcement of the quest to find lost species is being made at the launch of the 21st British Birdwatching Fair at Rutland Water. The event, which continues over the weekend, is expected to attract in excess of 20,000 birdwatchers from across the UK. Funds raised from this year’s event will go to the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme to help fund these searches.

Read the rest here

Falsehood: Nature maintains balance.


There is a lot of evidence that nature is in balance. An invasive species throws off the balance of nature in a given region by out-competing some similar indigenous form. When something destructive happens there is a return to status quo, eventually. A few cold years are followed by a few warm years, or a few dry years are followed by a few wet years. So, why is “Nature maintains a balance” a falsehood?
Continue reading Falsehood: Nature maintains balance.

Judge: Take “god” out of recent Kentucky bill

According to the constitutions of the United States and the State of Kentucky, church and state must remain separate. But then the Kentucky Legislature passed a homeland security related bill that stated that the security of the Commonwealth (State) depends on Almighty God.

That wording was thrown out yesterday by a Kentucky Judge. This was the outcome of a lawsuit by ten residence of Kentucky and the American Atheists. The stte Attorney General has not decided if he will appeal.

Oh, do it, do it, do it!!! Appeal this one!!! Might as well get this cut and dry decision as high up as it can get!

Details here

Hat Tip Joe.

Using your foundation to cool your PC

Hardware hackers have done all sorts of interesting things to cool down their PC’s so they can be wildly over clocked. Roughly speaking, two otherwise identical processor chips rated at different speed are not necessarily designed differently. They are just capable of running at different speeds and not screwing up. The causes of screwing up are sometimes related to heat. So, a chip designed to run at a given range of speeds, then rated for, say, the middle of that range, can be run at the upper end of the range …. or beyond …. if it is kept very cold.

(I’ve oversimplified.)

So, you have hackers building their PC inside a beer cooler, or emersing it in non-conductive fluid. Or whatever.

Now we have a guy who is using the concrete slab of his house to cool down the box:

Continue reading Using your foundation to cool your PC