Wednesday, December 31

Saying goodbye to 2014: welcoming 2015 with "Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppeling

We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs flow.
The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands,
To fight the horde, singing and crying: Valhalla, I am coming!

On we sweep with threshing oar, Our only goal will be the western shore.

Ah, ah,
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
How soft your fields so green, can whisper tales of gore,
Of how we calmed the tides of war. We are your overlords.

On we sweep with threshing oar, Our only goal will be the western shore.

So now you'd better stop and rebuild all your ruins,
For peace and trust can win the day despite of all your losing.

This is the song I did choose to say goodbye to 2014. The video is extremely edited creating an effect that people who were in the audience is part of a whole energy with the band.
"Peace and trust" for 2015 despite "them" all.

Tuesday, December 30

Tribute to Joe Cocker/ RIP Joe!

I was listening to music in YouTube and this video appeared on the right side. I clicked and when I was listening I did read a comment that Joe Cocker had passed away.

Yes, he died last week.
I don't know what to say...
RIP Joe Cocker
Whoever you meet you'll be received with open arms.

time someone I admire dies I feel that a little piece of me, maybe a tiny light, goes away or is turned off. These people even thou I only know their songs, paintings, novels, thoughts,... are part of who I am. They have helped me to be what I am. I feel sad but when I remember that I have their work to enjoy I calm down.
Staring the nothingness is the only possible thing to do for a while till I gain back my energy.

Monday, December 29

Legend Online/Wartune: people wasting time and money in addictive game

I spent fourteen days playing this game. I survived!
Am I loosing my mind?
I met people who spent the whole day playing this game and they do nothing else. Yes, you did read it correctly: people spend the day playing the game and nothing else.

This is not the only game that is addictive and I wonder why people are not paying attention to this problem.

The game is extremely boring and you do nothing but collecting stones, cards and numerous stuffs to get power and raise the level.

I don't know what is being done to treat this addiction but there are families being destroyed because a family member is hypnotized looking at the screen collecting the items and repeating the same combats over and over again. Where is the pleasure? I don't know. And the whole thing is tricky making people search on YouTube how to solve a situation.

Some people pay a lot of money to get things quickly, I really mean "a lot" of money.
This is sad. Parents must pay attention to what their kids are doing but it is not only children who are addicted.

I just found a Korean company that developed subliminal messages to make addicts want to take a break. I don't know if it helps. The Telegraph has an article about the problem here.

Unfortunately games are not being used as a tool for education. In this game I played they created a very bizarre iconography. Nothing makes sense.

I also question why people has to have so many social networks accounts.
Missing Tic-Tac-Toe? Could you play it the whole day? (sarcasm off)

Level up!

Aww! Baby owls!

Have a great week

Sunday, December 21

Neuroscience is using functional magnetic resonance imaging as phrenologists (repost)

I have been watching the use of functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) in numerous movies, documentaries and non fiction series at the TV. I'm not a scientists but whenever I watch it or read an article claiming that X zone turned on in Z circumstance I say to myself: "So what?" and I start laughing.
I starting comparing these kind of studies the same as a phrenologist.
Today I decided to search what the experts have to say and found out that they do they same comparison.
Here are some examples:

The Brain Is Not Modular: What fMRI Really Tells Us
Metaphors, modules and brain-scan pseudoscience
Apr 21, 2008 |By Michael Shermer

"The atom is like a solar system, with electrons whirling around the nucleus like planets orbiting a star. No, actually, it isn't. But as a first approximation to help us visualize something that is so invisible, that image works as a metaphor.

Science traffics in metaphors because our brains evolved to grasp intuitively a world far simpler than the counterintuitive world that science has only recently revealed. The functional activity of the brain, for example, is nearly as invisible to us as the atom, and so we employ metaphors. Over the centuries the brain has been compared to a hydraulic ma­chine (18th century), a mechanical calculator (19th century) and an electronic computer (20th century). Today a popular metaphor is that the brain is like a Swiss Army knife, with specialized modules for vision, language, facial recognition, cheating detection, risk taking, spi­rit­uality and even God. (emphasis added)

Modularity metaphors have been fueled by a new brain-scanning technology called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We have all seen scans with highlighted (usually in red) areas where your brain “lights up” when thinking about X (money, sex, God, and so on). This new modularity metaphor is so seductive that I have employed it myself in several books on the evolution of religion (belief modules), morality (moral modules) and economics (money modules). There is a skeptical movement afoot to curtail abuses of the metaphor, however, and it is being driven by neuroscientists themselves. The November 11, 2007, edition of the New York Times, for example, published an opinion piece entitled “This Is Your Brain on Politics,” by neuroscientist Marco Iacoboni of the University of California, Los Angeles, and his colleagues. The writers presented the results of their brain scans on swing voters. “When we showed subjects the words ‘Democrat,’ ‘Republican’ and ‘independent,’ they exhibited high levels of activity in the part of the brain called the amygdala, indicating anxiety,” the authors note. “The two areas in the brain associated with anxiety and disgust—the amygdala and the insula—were especially active when men viewed ‘Republican.’ But all three labels also elicited some activity in the brain area associated with reward, the ventral striatum, as well as other regions related to desire and feeling connected.” So the word “Republican” elicits anxiety and disgust, except for when it triggers feelings of desire and connectedness. The rest of the conclusions are similarly obfuscating. (emphasis added)

In a response befitting the self-correcting nature of science, Iacoboni’s U.C.L.A. colleague Russell Poldrack and 16 other neuroscientists from labs around the world published a response three days later in the Times, explaining: “As cognitive neuroscientists who use the same brain imaging technology, we know that it is not possible to definitively determine whether a person is anxious or feeling connected simply by looking at activity in a particular brain region. This is so because brain regions are typically en­gaged by many mental states, and thus a one-to-one mapping between a brain region and a mental state is not possible.” For example, the amygdala is activated by arousal and positive emotions as well, so the key to interpreting such scans is careful experimental design that allows comparison between brain states. (emphasys added)

Additional skepticism arises from knowing that fMRI measures blood-flow change, not neuronal activity, that the colors are artificially added in order to see the blood-flow differences and that those images are not any one person’s brain but are instead a statistical compilation of many subjects’ brains in the experiment. “Some of the claims made by neuroscientists sound like astrology,” Poldrack told me in an interview. “It’s not the science itself that is the problem. It’s taking a little bit of science and going way beyond it.” For example, there is the problem of reversing the causal inference, “where people see some activity in a brain area and then conclude that this part of the brain is where X happens. We can show that if I put you into a state of fear, your amygdala lights up, but that doesn’t mean that every time your amygdala lights up you are experiencing fear. Every brain area lights up under lots of different states. We just don’t have the data to tell us how selectively active an area is.”" (emphasis added)

you can find more at the site below

MRI's: The new phrenology?
What can brain scans really tell us about ourselves?
Published on February 1, 2011 by Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. in Fulfillment at Any Age

and the book:
The New Phrenology
The Limits of Localizing Cognitive Processes in the Brain
By William R. Uttal

"William Uttal is concerned that in an effort to prove itself a hard science, psychology may have thrown away one of its most important methodological tools—a critical analysis of the fundamental assumptions that underlie day-to-day empirical research. In this book Uttal addresses the question of localization: whether psychological processes can be defined and isolated in a way that permits them to be associated with particular brain regions.

New, noninvasive imaging technologies allow us to observe the brain while it is actively engaged in mental activities. Uttal cautions, however, that the excitement of these new research tools can lead to a neuroreductionist wild goose chase. With more and more cognitive neuroscientific data forthcoming, it becomes critical to question their limitations as well as their potential. Uttal reviews the history of localization theory, presents the difficulties of defining cognitive processes, and examines the conceptual and technical difficulties that should make us cautious about falling victim to what may be a "neo-phrenological" fad."

There are other sites if you google.

Friday, December 19

Christmas: huge scale of emotions

Christmas again which means a period that affects our emotions in a sad or happy way.
It is not easy to balance all these emotions. We'll survive.
I would love to be in Paris!

(click ti images to enlarge)

Tuesday, December 16

Whirlpool company: behind "EveryDayCare"'s demagogie

I have already written about a problem I'm having after paying for a washing machine in Brazilian's Whirlpool online shop. No, they didn't give my money back and it seems that it will take a lot of time.

I visied the company's Facebook page and among numerous pictures of children - appealing to children is a sign of how demagogic this company is - I found American costumers asking for help because in US for the costumer service over the phone doesn't work or their complaints are not answered,

I have already searched in other site and there are numerous Americans asking for their rights.
I wonder how is it possible that 2011 Whirlpool Latin American Report portrays how the company should work instead of how it really does.

Reading on page 18 Mr Oswaldo Borelli story brings tears to my eyes as you can check in the image below.
Unfortunately the company forgot the lesson they claim they have learned.

Sunday, December 14

Crazy cat lady starter kit

I just found this image in Facebook so I decided to check if it was an original idea. 
Nope. I came across with other kits like this one. I don't know why the crazy cat lady became part of American culture even thou  she is all over the world but in US she is noticed.
The first one I saw was in the Simpsons. 
Merry Xmas Crazy cat ladies!

Friday, December 12

Whirlpool company exporting it's greed to the world

The company Whirlpool is in many countries making costumers pay for products of bad quality and imposing the greedy way of commerce during the whole process of acquiring an appliance.

In Brazil the site Compra Certa is the one Whirlpool made partnership.
I did a purchase in the site and I'm facing a lot of problems that I have never had before.

I wonder when will they give my money back.

Happy Xmas Mr Enrico Zito!

"This only touches a small edge of the corruption. Whirlpool also receives Subsidies and Millions a year to hire Military Veteran's and that only encompasses 1 % of their workforce. But the receive millions each year for hiring less than 500 people, so the government is still paying these salaries for Whirlpool and they still make out with a profit. There are no veteran's in the management sector of Whirlpool. Whirlpool advertises and receives grants from the Department of Labor and Veteran's Administration to hire Veteran's, but they fudge the books, but keeping a majority on a Temporary Employment Basis"
(a comment from YouTube)

Whirlpool still didn't give my money back.