"You don’t test a gentle person the way that you don’t steep tea for too long. Submerge me and I will..."
My gentleness is not for your taking.”
When sound hits an object, it makes distinct vibrations. "There's this very subtle signal that's telling you what the sound passing through is," said Abe Davis, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and first author on the paper. But the movement is tiny - sometimes as small as thousandths of a pixel on video. It's only when all of these signals are averaged, Davis said, that you can extract sound that makes sense. By observing the entire object, you can filter out the noise. The results are certainly impressive (and a little scary). In one example shown in a compilation video, a bag of chips is filmed from 15 feet away, through sound-proof glass. The reconstructed audio of someone reciting "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in the same room as the chips isn't crystal clear. But the words being said are possible to decipher.Crazy, right? Unfortunately, I'm afraid this is actually some seriously bad news. You know why? "We're gonna have to start eating Pringles." EXACTLY. And I f***ing hate Pringles. Keep going for a video of the process in action.
The sources they discuss are almost 4,000 years old, dating to the Old Babylonian Dynasty of 1894 – 1595 BC. Writing in cuneiform script impressed into clay tablets, the Babylonians left records that (unlike paper) were inherently durable, so many of them have survived. All understanding of cuneiform was lost, however, for thousands of years, only to be deciphered in the 19th century.
The texts reveal that
The Babylonians were remarkable observers and documentalists of human illness and behavior. However, their knowledge of anatomy was limited and superficial. Some diseases were thought to have a physical basis, such as worms, snake bites and trauma. Much else was the result of evil forces that required driving out… many, perhaps most diseases required the attention of a priest or exorcist, known as an asipu, to drive out evil demons or spirits.
For instance, one tablet provides an overview of epilepsy and seizures.
The text shows a detailed understanding of the symptoms and prognosis of this disorder, which the Babylonians called miqtu. However, they didn’t think it had anything to do with the brain. Rather,
Throughout the text, the Babylonian conception of epilepsy as a supernatural disorder due to invasion of the body by evil demons or spirits is evident, sometimes with individual names for the spirits associated with particular seizure types. The first line states:
‘If epilepsy falls once upon a person [or falls many times] it is the result of possession by a demon or departed spirit.’
Nonetheless some of the clinical observations are spot on:
The following account of a unilateral focal motor seizure, which today we call ‘Jacksonian’, illustrates the accurate attention to clinical detail by Babylonian scholars:
‘If at the time of his possession, while he is sitting down, his (left) eye moves to the side, a lip puckers, saliva flows from his mouth, and his hand, leg and trunk on the left side jerk (or twitch) like a newly-slaughtered sheep – it is miqtu. If at the time of the possession he is consciously aware, the demon can be driven out; if at the time of the possession he is not so aware, the demon cannot be driven out’
Babylonian physicians were obviously aware that the early motor components of the episode can proceed to loss of consciousness, when it became harder to drive out the demon.
The Babylonians were also aware that epilepsy could kill, writing that
‘If an epilepsy demon falls many times upon him and on a given day he seven times pursues and possesses him, his life will be spared. If he should fall upon him eight times his life may not be spared’
Although there is in fact nothing special about the number seven, this might be an allusion to the fact that prolonged unremitting seizures (what we call status epilepticus) can be fatal. Seven was presumably chosen as the ‘cut-off’ because it was a well-known magical or sacred number.
Another tablet describes what is now known as schizophrenia-like psychosis of epilepsy – when someone who suffers seizures develops paranoia and hallucinations…
‘…a demon then begins to inflict him with (ideas of) persecution so that he says – although no one will agree with him that it is so – that the finger of condemnation is being pointed at him behind his back and that god or goddess are angry with him; if he sees horrible, alarming, or immoral “visions” and is (consequently) in a constant state of fear; if he engages in periodic outbursts of anger against god or goddess, is obsessed with delusions of his own mind, evolves his own religion, and says – although (again) they will not allow it – that his family are hostile towards him and that god, king, his superiors and (city) elders treat him unjustly… and he has no desire for female relationships…’
Reynolds and Kinnier Wilson say that, as well as epilepsy and stroke, Babylonian sources describe irrational behavioral states that seem to correspond to our ‘psychiatric’ diseases, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. Yet, interestingly, the texts contain no account of the ‘inner’, subjective symptoms of these disorders, even though today, these are considered the essence of ‘mental’ illness. The Babylonians simply didn’t write about
subjective thoughts or feelings, such as obsessional thoughts or ruminations in obsessive compulsive disorder, or suicidal thoughts or sadness in depression. These latter subjective phenomena only became a relatively modern field of description and enquiry in the 17th and 18th centuries, possibly under the influence of the Romantic movement. This raises interesting questions about the evolution of human self-awareness.
Reynolds EH, & Kinnier Wilson JV (2014). Neurology and psychiatry in Babylon. Brain PMID: 25037816
The average person didn’t really have access to affordable video equipment until the early to mid 80s, so that’s really when the first slice-of-life type videos shot by your average high school student come from. I wish more of them had survived, because holy shit, these are amazing. I still remember where I was when I saw that ‘Wildwood, NJ‘ documentary shot at the Jersey Shore in the 1980s, and this 1984-1985 documentary about fashion shot at Antioch High School in the Bay Area is similarly mind blowing.
“I’m not really into fashion, I’m just into being myself.” – the girl above.
There’s also a guy at the 1:35 mark who says he’s into ska and punk, and describes Duran Duran as “sort of like ska, but not as intense.”
I’d love to make fun of him for this definition, but considering I thought my generation discovered ska in the mid 90s while rocking bleached hair and puka shells, I should probably refrain.
"Do people tease you about the way you dress or comb your hair?" "Nah."
Filed under: Film Drunk, Media Tagged: Documentary, documentary shorts, FASHION 1985, slice of life
While Germany was pounding Brazil 819-0 in yesterday’s World Cup match (score approximate), Twitter was being flooded with “I’d upload Brazil v. Germany to Pornhub but they don’t accept rape” jokes. Well, someone took the one-liner even further, and apparently uploaded the game that made Jesus cry to the porn streaming website, alongside such classics as “amateur housewife” and “every NY Mets game.”
Is it real? This tweet seems to confirm so:
I believe that we will…upload soccer matches to porn websites.
Filed under: Sports, Web Culture Tagged: BRAZIL, GERMANY, PORNHUB, WORLD CUP
Make your childhood dreams come true: the Museum of Natural History announced it's first-ever adults-only version of its popular Night at the Museum sleepover. Limited to 150 people, registration is now available for the August 1 event.
"A healthy relationship is one where two independent people just make a deal that they will help make..."
If you wish to make waffles from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
If you think the articles in Wikipedia are too long to read, there’s a new Tumblr ready to enlighten you on all manner of subjects. TL;DR Wikipedia bills itself as “Wikipedia condensed for your pleasure.” It’s a hoot! Some of the entries are even funnier than these; I picked out a few that lacked objectionable language to show here. Otherwise the air conditioner entry would be at the top. My accountant would disagree about the last one, though, at least in my case. -via Metafilter