Presidential Narcissism

30 November 2016

It explains a lot… and makes the future even more disquieting.

While I spend my days away from the keyboard, I did manage to stumble across an interesting article that flags the POTUS-elect as suffering from poor mental health: Narcissist Personality Disorder.

Narcissist Personality Disorder and the President of the United States (elect)[tm]

The presidency and public are in transition, awkwardly adjusting from Obama’s audacity of hope to Trump’s audacity of grope. As we watch Trump’s latest Twitter attack, America is living out a version of “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” with Donald Trump parading around, sporting classic symptoms of a severe personality disorder, while we bow and pretend it’s normal. If he has it, we need to question the impact it might have on the country. What if Trump had a massive tumor bulging out of his neck and the public were told it was normal, but the medical community knew otherwise, and stayed quiet? What if some of them came forward, and were ignored, attacked, or ridiculed for questioning the impact of the tumor on the president’s fitness and potentially his ability to govern? It’s not an “armchair diagnosis” or accusation — mental illness is not a crime — it’s a valid question about the presidency.

Read the rest of the article.


Year 4 Moon 0

29 November 2016

Where is it?

Today is the first day of the lunar month of theAbysmal Year 4.

As I won’t be working on this blog so much going forward, I don’t have any calendar pages for the year. Time to get creative and see what y’all can come up with.

Here are NASA’s Moon Phases for you to work with. The rest of the year you can use the one-pager or make your own! (Please note times are in UTC – for theAbysmal time, add 12 hours).

 Year      New Moon       First Quarter       Full Moon       Last Quarter
 2016   Nov 29  12:18     Dec  7  09:03     Dec 14  00:06     Dec 21  01:56
 2017   Dec 29  06:53     Jan  5  19:47     Jan 12  11:34     Jan 19  22:14      00h01m
        Jan 28  00:07     Feb  4  04:19     Feb 11  00:33 n   Feb 18  19:33    
        Feb 26  14:58 A   Mar  5  11:32     Mar 12  14:54     Mar 20  15:58    
        Mar 28  02:57     Apr  3  18:39     Apr 11  06:08     Apr 19  09:57    
        Apr 26  12:16     May  3  02:47     May 10  21:43     May 19  00:33    
        May 25  19:44     Jun  1  12:42     Jun  9  13:10     Jun 17  11:33    
        Jun 24  02:31     Jul  1  00:51     Jul  9  04:07     Jul 16  19:26    
        Jul 23  09:46     Jul 30  15:23     Aug  7  18:11 p   Aug 15  01:15    
        Aug 21  18:30 T   Aug 29  08:13     Sep  6  07:03     Sep 13  06:25    
        Sep 20  05:30     Sep 28  02:54     Oct  5  18:40     Oct 12  12:25    
        Oct 19  19:12     Oct 27  22:22     Nov  4  05:23     Nov 10  20:37    
        Nov 18  11:42     Nov 26  17:03     Dec  3  15:47     Dec 10  07:51

Have a good time.

Year 3 Month 12

22 November 2016


the Biology of Desire

20 November 2016

Why Addiction is Not a Disease



Addiction results…from the motivated repetition of the same thoughts and behaviours until they become habitual. Thus, addiction develops-it’s learned-but it’s learned more deeply and often more quickly than most other habits, due to a narrowing tunnel of attention and attraction.

One: Defining Addiction – A battleground of Opinions

The fact is that we in the West embrace the logic of pigeonholing problems, givin gthem unique names, and finding technical solutions-the more targeted the better-for alleviating them. That is, to a T, the logic of Western medicine.
Here are the specifics. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA-a component of NIH), “Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.”

Read the rest of this entry »


19 November 2016

Mathematics with a Twist


Chapter 1 – Atoms and Knots

In 1860, the English physicist William Thomson (better known today by the name of Lord Kelvin, but at the time not yet graced with a noble title) was pondering the fundamental problems linked to the structure of matter. His peers were divided into two enemy camps: those who supported the so-called corpuscular theory, according to which matter is constituted of atoms, rigid little bodies that occupy a precise position in space, and those who felt matter to be superposition of waves dispersed in space-time. Each of these theories provides convincing explanations for certain phenomena but is inadequate for others. Thomson was looking for a way to combine them.
And he found one. According to Thomson, matter is indeed constituted of atoms. These “vortex atoms,” however, are not pointlike objects but little knots (see Thomson, 1867). Thus an atom is like a wave that, instead of dispersing in all directions, propagates as a narrow beam bending sharply back on itself-like a snake biting its tail. But this snake could wriggle in a fairly complicated way before biting itself, thus forming a knot.The type of knot would then determine the physicochemical properties of the atom. According to this view, molecules are constituted of several intertwined vortex atoms, that is, they are modeled on what mathematicians call links: a set of curves in space that can knot up individually as well as with each other.
This theory will doubt seem rather fanciful to the reader accustomed to Niels Bohr’s planetary model of the atom taught in school. But we are in 1860, the future Nobel laureate will not be born until 25 years later, and the scientific community is taking Thomson’s revolutionary idea seriously. The greatest physicist of the period, James Clerk Maxwell, whose famous equations formed the basis of wave theory, hesitated at first, then warmed to the idea. He insisted that Thomson’s theory explained the experimental data accumulated by researchers better than any other.

Quantum Physics for Poets

19 November 2016


Chapter 1 – If you’re not shocked, you haven’t understood

Observation and measurement is the ultimate defining activity; the act of measurement itself forces a system to choose one of its various possibilities. In other words, reality is not merely disguised by the fuzziness of an uncertain measurement-rather, it si wrong to even think about reality as yielding certainty in the conventional Galilean sense when one arrives at the atomic level of nature. … The electrons seem eerily to take both paths at once if nothing is watching, but a definite path if someone or something is watching! These are not particles and not waves-they are both and neither-they are something new: They are quantum statesRead the rest of this entry »


18 November 2016

We are each of us the hero of our own narrative.

a cartoon by Mr Fish