Monthly Archive for April, 2006

Science mesures hapiness

A new six-part BBC series, starting this week, looks at the newest research from around the world to find out what could it be that makes us happy.

Happiness as always been vague as a concept.

"There is a problem with the word happiness."

"When you use the word happy, it often has the sort of context of balloons floating up into the sky or something frivolous."

Now scientists say they can actually measure happiness.

Neuroscientists are measuring pleasure. They suggest that happiness is more than a vague concept or mood; it is real.

You can test how much you’re happy @

Micro-pump my CPU

Engineers at Purdue University have developed a tiny “micro-pump” cooling device small enough to fit on a computer chip that circulates coolant through channels etched into the chip.
Since silicon as it’s limit, engineers have been looking for ways to bypass this problem. Quantum computer, cooled cpu are all about it, and now it’s CPU micro-pumps. The goal of these micro-pumps is to reduce the heat the CPU is creating while being used because conventional heat-sink and fans won’t handle the more extreme heat in future chips. The pumping action is generated by a phenomenon which is called electrohydrodynamics. Such innovation should allow microprocessors using silicon to still be able to go to an higher level of operation by second (which was limited due to heat which would lead to electrical disruption). Until the futuristic quantum computer comes, we’ll rely on this new finding in order to stick with Moore’s law.

School experiment

Being in my chemistry course sooner this day, I realised something really weird which then made sense to me. I was looking at the board while the teacher was teaching when it came. I didn’t really enjoyed taking notes. I would have been fine just looking at the board and understanding what is was teaching us, but taking note at the same time didn’t helped. So I’ve just thought about what if I was just there listening, not taking notes of any sorts. I would only be doing exercices given on the board.

Then, I would take notes from a fellow and use them as references for later use just in case I don’t remember what we learned.

If you want to learn at your full potential, you must have an interest in what you learn. At the same time, you must enjoy how it is taught to you. There are many parameters which needs to be filled in order to make sure you’ll have full retention over the subject your are learning.

Here’s what I would suggest: You’d go to your course and take no notes at all. All you do is exercices when asked for.
If teacher could support this method, teacher would give the resume of the course at the beginning with notes you would have generally taken during the course.

Removing note taking stress out of your learning curve is a really great improvement. But be sure you have notes to back you up just in case. You never know when you might have a blank.

Acne: a question of pH

Also known as Beta Hydroxy Acid (compare to AHA), salicylic acid is the key additive in many skin-care products for the treatment of acne, callouses and corns, keratosis pilaris and warts. It treats acne by causing skin cells to slough off more readily, preventing pores from clogging up. This effect on skin cells also makes salicylic acid an active ingredient in several shampoos meant to treat dandruff. Use of straight salicylic solution may cause hyper-pigmentation on unpretreated skin for those with darker skin types (Fitzpatrick phototypes IV, V, VI), as well as with the lack of use of a broad spectrum sunblock.
Skin, like anything else, has it’s own pH. It’s been experimented and researches have shown that the skin had a skin of pH 4 to 6. At birth, babies have a pH of 7 (neutral) which fastly become acidic to protect them against bacterias. Cleaning your face with a soap bar which is not for facial use is most likely to be bad for your face. A body soap bar has generally a pH between 9 and 11 which would make your face more alkaline. Having your face in a pH higher than 7 is not good because it kills good bacterias. For this reason, you should only choose pH-balanced face soap. You should take into account that it is a BAD idea to use salicylic acid in conjunction with benzoyl peroxyde (another agent which is known to treat acne).
Benzoyl peroxide works by destroying P. acnes, the bacteria that causes the condition acne. It acts as an antiseptic and oxidizing agent, reducing the number of comedones, or blocked pores. It may be 2–3 weeks before you begin to see improvement.
Here my part of experience: Having faced acne for about 2 years so far, I’ve come to the point where it doesn’t really matter anymore, but if I could remove it, that would be great. I started my journey by doing some kind of scientific experiment which can be described like so: I would apply the same method for 7 days in a row and if there was no difference, I would progress to a new method. I first started by cleaning my face with water then applying some soap on my face and that would be it. At that moment, I had no idea that a alkaline pH wouldn’t help my case, but I kept doing it. Things started going worst after 3-4 days. At the end of the week (which was April 14) I decided I would use Salicylic acid because I had started writing this post and had realised that it would fix my current problem. Only applying the Salicylic acid once and I had amazing results the following day. About 50%+ of my acne was less apparent and bumpy. Nice. Only negative aspect of using this is that you have to keep applying it if you want to keep the results. Yet, only taking pH into consideration would be missing the whole thing, but at least now there’s one aspect handled! Try doing a pH stabilisation week (a week were you’ll try to keep your pH near 5 (the lower the better against the Proprionibacterium acnes)) and if you got great results, please share them with me so I can compile them and see if it’s really a big part of the equation or not. Encouraging study results:
A four-week crossover study to compare the efficacy of an acne cleanser containing 2% salicylic acid with that of a 10% benzoyl peroxide wash was conducted in 30 patients with acne vulgaris. The results demonstrated that only patients treated with the salicylic acid cleanser had a significant reduction in comedones. Patients treated with the salicylic acid cleanser for the first two weeks showed a significant improvement in acne, but worsened during benzoyl peroxide therapy over the following two weeks. In contrast, patients initially treated with the benzoyl peroxide wash for the first two weeks continued to improve with salicylic acid cleanser over the next two weeks.
Source: Department of Dermatology, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn

Make your own guitar/bass pickup

Ever wanted to make your own guitar/bass pickup? Well, now it’s possible with the help of a tutorial found online. Project done
Required material Materials Needed: * A spool of insulated copper wire. Different gauges will produce different sounds, but you want something very thin. * Two Popsicle sticks. These can be new or used. * 8 neodymium magnets (2 for each string). These should be less then the width of the Popsicle stick. Again, different sizes will produce a different sound. You can see the rough size of what we used here. * Gorilla Glue
Go to their website now, and make your own guitar/bass pickup for ~5$.