Monday, June 3, 2013

Early June bouillabaisse

I have learned a new word this weekend.

Pareidolia  (pæraɪˈdəʊlɪə ) - Noun - the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist, as in considering the moon to have human features.

From para and eidolon. I had to look up eidolon too. It is the greek word for apparition. Para is greek for beside. From Wiki:
In ancient Greek literature, an eidolon (plural: eidola) (Greek εἴδωλον: "image, idol, double, apparition, phantom, ghost") is a spirit-image of a living or dead person; a shade or phantom look-alike of the human form. The concept of Helen of Troy's eidolon was explored both by Homer and Euripides. However, where Homer uses the concept as a free-standing idea which gives Helen life after death, Euripides entangles it with the idea of kleos, one being the product of the other. Both Euripides and Stesichorus, in their respective works concerning the Trojan War, claim that Helen was never physically present in the city at all.
I have been a serial pareidoliac all my life, I see faces in trees, clouds, mold, stucco, belly button lint. Even martian rocks on occasion, Tails as well.

Wild Bill turned me on to an interesting study today;  New Research Shows that Asking for a Precise Number During Negotiations Can Give You the Upper Hand. Some researchers from Columbia offer cautionary advice in regards to offering round numbers when in negotiation. I tend to have round price points, $1200, $1800, $2400, I have colleagues that are of the odd number school or the $2995 approach. Interesting concept to ponder. I think that the critical thing is to offer a discount chunk, lets say a spare $150.00. Nobody wants to pay full price.

I learned this on my Double Helix genetics board this morning. 20% of the 23 and me genetic database customers carry an Alzheimer's marker. I have to assume that they reflect the total data set. From Peter Roche:
The gene is APOE and 20% of the population carry the e4 allele.  People with one copy of e4 have double the risk of Alzheimer's (from 7% for the average population, to 14%), whereas the homozygotes with 2 copies have a 50% risk...
The ApoE encoded by the e4 and e3 alleles have different activities and appear to compete for the same substrates and receptors, so they could be regarded as co-dominant.  Also Alzheimer's is a good example of a complex (multifactorial) disorder rather than a monogenic disorder, which has the classic dominant / recessive effect.  There are a range of genes involved in Alzheimer's, however ApoE has the biggest effect so far.  A further complexity is that the genetic component is probably 70% and environmental (diet, exercise, etc) the other 30%. 
Is a cove not part of a lake? Exxon Mobil has engaged in a bit of lying and trickery in regards to the recent "Mayflower" oil spill in Arkansas. Read more about it here at AlterNet.

Shawn in Thailand sends me this bird's eye blog about what is really happening in Istanbul.

A brief moment of silence for Melanie's late cat, Bat. She sent this over Saturday:
Well today Bat the Cat left us and went to heaven.  He will disrupt and start his own cult probably already started!  Bat was the best cat.  He was a cat's cat.  He was smart and loyal (like a dog) fearless and lovable when he wanted to be.  He will be missed and not forgotten, I know he is in a happy place causing trouble.
Clarinet with Cicadas - David Rothenburg c/o The New York Times

All sorts of neat stuff at Scientific American today.

How to Really Eat Like a Hunter-Gatherer: Why the Paleo Diet Is Half-Baked by Ferris Jabr

Hallucinogens can ease existential terror by Erica Rex.

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Move over Michele Bachmann. We have a new contender. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said on Sunday that women "don't want" equal pay laws. Forget that women receive an average of approximately 80% of the money for the identical job that a man receives.

Even though the three recent Obama scandals have not dented his poll numbers with the American citizenry, the GOP tactics are clear. More investigations, more hearings, more special counsels, throw everything you have at the wall and try to make something stick. Hell of a way to run a country. The latest push is for a Holder resignation. I say, have at him. He has certainly never done anything for the principles and policies I hold dear. Who knows, there may come a time when Obama needs that liberal base and finds out that they won't lift a finger for him.

I couldn't help noticing that all of the antagonists in the recent terrorist incidents in both France and London were muslim converts. I have to wonder if these people are attracted to the Islamic creed precisely because it will allow them a way to actualize violent predispositions and tendencies under the rubric of religion? Ever see the American black muslim converts with the staffs on the street corners in New York preaching violence and hate? Same deal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You just learned the word "pareidolia" ??? Been using it here in Ohio for YEARS, as in, "Dang Myrtle, don't that there cloud pareidolia look like Uncle Charlie?"