October 20th, 2007

Fantasy Island

Viking's Exotic Resort


Dean Grant, a Swiss national with a long career in the Swiss Banking industry, has turned his knowledge of executive stress into big business, and in the process turned an old TV show into a reality, with the creation of a real-life 'adult-oriented' Fantasy Island in the Caribbean. 

Viking's Exotic Resort, an exclusive executive retreat that allows men and select couples to spend four days and three nights on a secluded island with exotic European and South American models tending to their every need (and we're not just talking food and wine) for less than the cost of a used car.


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Your Brain

17 Things You Didn't Know About... Your Brain


1 During the terrifying experience of sleep paralysis, the brain is temporarily both awake and asleep. It can happen to anyone but is especially common in survivors of trauma and war.


2 You have a fat head: Neuron cell membranes are made from fatty acids.


3 About 125 to 150 milliliters of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fills the space between the cerebral cortex and the skull. Spinal taps, which withdraw some of this fluid, can cause a short-term headache from the reduced CSF pressure.


4 The most common kind of vertigo happens when tiny calcium crystals in the inner ear detach and clump together, making the world seem to spin. Usually it is treated with head exercises that dislodge the calcium clusters.


5 Depression can cause the amygdala, one part of the brain involved in fear, to grow larger.



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Upload Your Brain and Become Immortal?


Neuroscientist Anders Sandberg has an interesting career: he's working on uploading the contents of human brains onto a computer. This would be important, he explains, to combat aging as well as overpopulation.


At a recent meeting of the World Transhumanist Association (WTA) held in Chicago this past July, "Transvision 2007," Sandberg and other transhumanists from around the world got together to talk about the future of humanity ("transhumanism" means, literally, "beyond humanity").


Reporter Danielle Egan attended the conference and wrote about the experience in a recent issue of New Scientist. The WTA now has 5,000 members, up from 2,000 seven years ago, and has attracted investors and celebrities to get involved with the variety of transhumanist causes. In pursuit of his goal of creating human-machine hybrids, Sandberg described how to scan a mouse brain, using a camera, a laser beam and a diamond blade.


Conceivably, with their brain hosted by a computer, a person could live indefinitely.


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The Darwinian Police Sketch

With crime-fighting software inspired by evolution, a picture is worth a thousand . . . other pictures.


As often happens during a crime, a victim gets only a brief glance at the assailant. Later, when police ask him for a description of the perpetrator, he has trouble recalling details. But now, with new identification software developed by two researchers in Scotland, victims no longer have to worry about describing their assailants. A computer does it for them.


The software, called EvoFIT, exploits the fact that the human brain is much better at recognizing a face than describing it.


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Quote of the Day

"I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite."


G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)

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Lasting Images

Vito Cascio Ferro

The Don of Dons, Vito Cascio Ferro, visited America in 1899, liked what he saw, and returned to Sicily with the idea to organize crime in America on the old world model.

Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7)

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