Wednesday, December 26
More questions (they will get answered eventually when I look them up):
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter claim, in their irritating credit card advert, that only 7% of communication is verbal. While I would take issue with the way in which they obtained this figure (visions of some undergrad non-peer-reviewed project spring to mind), how does the brain factor in nonverbal communication of all sorts? I read in The Psychologist that you can accurately and reliably predict the course of a relationship by examining the facial expressions of the participants. However, you could probably do that just as well by listening to them...
The launch of the euro is only six days away - in a year's time, will there be any appreciable difference in feelings between different participating - and non-participating, for that matter - countries within Europe?
Tuesday, December 25
On radio tuners, they measure signal strength on a log scale via decibels, which means that a signal of 40dB is ten times stronger than 30dB, and likewise 30dB is ten times 20dB. Now, it's known that human hearing along with vision and other such stuff works on a log scale as well - perhaps not with the same coefficient, but a log scale nonetheless. Yet when you're talking about signal strength, you're not worried about volume, you're worried about static and interference. So does human perception of interference also operate on a log scale, and if so, what is the coefficient?
Where can I find high bit rate rips of classical music?
Will a good and affordable MP3 player ever come out for the PC?
Contrary to popular belief, after the age of 18 we still grow new neurones in the brain. They might not be grown quite at replacement rate (I don't know), but they are grown and one of the areas in which they are grown is the hippocampus, the seat of memory formation. Put a rat in a stimulating environment, as opposed to an empty box, and there will be neurogenesis in the hippocampal region. In addition, studies of the hippocampus sizes of London taxi drivers via PET and MRI scans have shown that they have markedly larger hippocampuses than the average human. Assuming that I haven't got the causation the wrong way around here, does this mean that we can actually make an effort to grow our hippocampuses? And is there any tradeoff?
Sunday, December 23
Normal service will be resumed soon. I've just been (let's say it all together) very busy lately. But busy in a good way - well, good for me, at least.