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Topics - Shoelayceberry the [Unlaced]

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31
link to referenced article:
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1208051

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/myths-of-weight-loss-are-plentiful-researcher-says/

Myths of Weight Loss Are Plentiful, Researcher Says
By GINA KOLATA

If schools reinstated physical education classes, a lot of fat children would lose weight. And they might never have gotten fat in the first place if their mothers had just breast fed them when they were babies. But be warned: obese people should definitely steer clear of crash diets. And they can lose more than 50 pounds in five years simply by walking a mile a day.

Those are among the myths and unproven assumptions about obesity and weight loss that have been repeated so often and with such conviction that even scientists like David B. Allison, who directs the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, have fallen for some of them.

Now, he is trying to set the record straight. In an article published online today in The New England Journal of Medicine, he and his colleagues lay out seven myths and six unsubstantiated presumptions about obesity. They also list nine facts that, unfortunately, promise little in the way of quick fixes for the weight-obsessed. Example: “Trying to go on a diet or recommending that someone go on a diet does not generally work well in the long term.”

Obesity experts applauded this plain-spoken effort to dispel widespread confusion about obesity. The field, they say, has become something of a quagmire.

“In my view,” said Dr. Jeffrey M. Friedman, a Rockefeller University obesity researcher, “there is more misinformation pretending to be fact in this field than in any other I can think of.”

Others agreed, saying it was about time someone tried to set the record straight.

“I feel like cheering,” said Madelyn Fernstrom, founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Weight Management Center. When it comes to obesity beliefs, she said, “We are spinning out of control.”

Steven N. Blair, an exercise and obesity researcher at the University of South Carolina, said his own students believe many of the myths. “I like to challenge my students. Can you show me the data? Too often that doesn’t come into it.”

Dr. Allison sought to establish what is known to be unequivocally true about obesity and weight loss.

His first thought was that, of course, weighing oneself daily helped control weight. He checked for the conclusive studies he knew must exist. They did not.

“My goodness, after 50-plus years of studying obesity in earnest and all the public wringing of hands, why don’t we know this answer?” Dr. Allison asked. “What’s striking is how easy it would be to check. Take a couple of thousand people and randomly assign them to weigh themselves every day or not.”

Yet it has not been done.

Instead, people often rely on weak studies that get repeated ad infinitum. It is commonly thought, for example, that people who eat breakfast are thinner. But that notion is based on studies of people who happened to eat breakfast. Researchers then asked if they were fatter or thinner than people who happened not to eat breakfast — and found an association between eating breakfast and being thinner. But such studies can be misleading because the two groups might be different in other ways that cause the breakfast eaters to be thinner. But no one has randomly assigned people to eat breakfast or not, which could cinch the argument.

So, Dr. Allison asks, why do yet another study of the association between thinness and breakfast? “Yet, I can tell you that in the last two weeks I saw an association study of breakfast eating in Islamabad and another in Inner Mongolia and another in a country I never heard of.”

“Why are we doing these?” Dr. Allison asked. “All that time and effort is essentially wasted. The question is: ‘Is it a causal association?’” To get the answer, he added, “Do the clinical trial.”

He decided to do it himself, with university research funds. A few hundred people will be recruited and will be randomly assigned to one of three groups. Some will be told to eat breakfast every day, others to skip breakfast, and the third group will be given vague advice about whether to eat it or not.

As he delved into the obesity literature, Dr. Allison began to ask himself why some myths and misconceptions are so commonplace. Often, he decided, the beliefs reflected a “reasonableness bias.” The advice sounds so reasonable it must be true. For example, the idea that people do the best on weight-loss programs if they set reasonable goals sounds so sensible.

“We all want to be reasonable,” Dr. Allison said. But, he said, when he examined weight-loss studies he found no consistent association between the ambitiousness of the goal and how much weight was lost and how long it had stayed off. This myth, though, illustrates the tricky ground weight-loss programs have to navigate when advising dieters. The problem is that on average people do not lose much – 10 percent of their weight is typical – but setting 10 percent as a goal is not necessarily the best strategy. A very few lose a lot more and some people may be inspired by the thought of a really life-changing weight loss.

“If a patient says, ‘Do you think it is reasonable for me to lose 25 percent of my body weight,’ the honest answer is, ‘No. Not without surgery,’” Dr. Allison said. But, he said, “If a patient says, ‘My goal is to lose 25 percent of my body weight,’ I would say, ‘Go for it.’”

Yet all this negativism bothers people, Dr. Allison conceded. When he talks about his findings to scientists, they often say: “O.K., you’ve convinced us. But what can we do? We’ve got to do something.” He replies that scientists have an ethical duty to make clear what is established and what is speculation. And while it is fine to recommend things like bike paths or weighing yourself daily, scientists must make sure they preface their advice with the caveat that these things seem sensible but have not been proven.

Among the best established methods is weight-loss surgery, which, of course, is not right for most people. But surgeons have done careful studies to show that on average people lose substantial amounts of weight and their health improves, Dr. Allison said. For dieters, the best results occur with structured programs, like ones that supply complete meals or meal replacements.

In the meantime, Dr. Allison said, it is incumbent upon scientists to change their ways. “We need to do rigorous studies,” he said. “We need to stop doing association studies after an association has clearly been demonstrated.”

“I never said we have to wait for perfect knowledge,” Dr. Allison said. But, as John Lennon said, “Just give me some truth.”

Here is an overview of the obesity myths looked at by the researchers and what is known to be true:

MYTHS

Small things make a big difference. Walking a mile a day can lead to a loss of more than 50 pounds in five years.

Set a realistic goal to lose a modest amount.

People who are too ambitious will get frustrated and give up.

You have to be mentally ready to diet or you will never succeed.

Slow and steady is the way to lose. If you lose weight too fast you will lose less in the long run.

Ideas not yet proven TRUE OR FALSE

Diet and exercise habits in childhood set the stage for the rest of life.

Add lots of fruits and vegetables to your diet to lose weight or not gain as much.

Yo-yo diets lead to increased death rates.

People who snack gain weight and get fat.

If you add bike paths, jogging trails, sidewalks and parks, people will not be as fat.

FACTS — GOOD EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT

Heredity is important but is not destiny.

Exercise helps with weight maintenance.

Weight loss is greater with programs that provide meals.

Some prescription drugs help with weight loss and maintenance.

Weight-loss surgery in appropriate patients can lead to long-term weight loss, less diabetes and a lower death rate.
A version of this article appeared in print on 01/31/2013, on page A15 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Many Weight-Loss Ideas Are Myth, Not Science, Study Finds.

32
General Disconation / WTF DVR
« on: April 26, 2013, 01:00:54 AM »
Why do these fucking pieces of shit only die when they are 80% full. Motherfucking no good FUCK

Thank god for Smart TVs and HBO Go or I would have lost GoT.

that is all.

34
General Disconation / Thread merge
« on: April 05, 2013, 07:54:50 PM »
Game of Blocks : WesterosCraft and Game of Thrones: A Year of Ice and Fire in Minecraft

35
General Disconation / Replacing Big Oil
« on: April 03, 2013, 12:38:19 PM »
Don't know if any of you are Quora members, but this is an awesome discussion.

http://www.quora.com/Oil-Exploration/What-are-the-top-five-facts-everyone-should-know-about-oil-exploration

Sobering realization really.

36
General Disconation / [SCIENCE!] Whoa. I know Kung-Fu.
« on: March 05, 2013, 06:09:26 PM »
http://gawker.com/5988152/brain+to+brain-interface-lets-rats-communicate-with-their-minds

Brain-to-Brain Interface Lets Rats Communicate With Their Minds
Max Rivlin-Nadler   

Scientists at Duke University have developed a way for rats to communicate with one another, using only the electrical transmissions of their brains.

They have created a brain-to-brain interface that would let one rat transmit information to another rat, allowing the rat on the receiving end to perform behavioral tasks without being trained to do them. Scientists first trained a group of rats on complex tasks involving reacting to light and pushing levers, or poking their noses through the correct hole to get water. They then connected a transmitter to the rats' brains, and paired them up with a second group, fitted with receivers, who were familiar with being told instructions based on the frequency of electrical stimulation. The first group were known as the "encoders", the ones whose brains were being recorded. The second group, the "decoders," were the rats who would receive the electrical stimulation and the information from the encoding group.

That's when things get really cool:

    The researchers found that the decoder rats could learn to perform the same movements, and successfully complete the task, guided solely by the information they received from the brains of the encoder rats. Likewise, when the implants were embedded into the somatosensory cortex, the decoders could use the sensory information they received to mimic the encoders' actions and poke their nose into the right hole to get a drink. They could also transmit the information over the internet in real time, so that the brain activity of an encoder rat in the lab at North Carolina could guide the behaviour of a decoder animal in Brazil.

Scientists believe this research will help pave the way for advances in treating patients with motor disorders like Parkinson's disease, or people recovering from strokes. Those treatments might just the beginning however, believes Miguel Nicolelis, one of the researchers on the project. "This could lead to organic computers that perform heuristically instead of using algorithms. I have no doubt that human brain nets will be possible in the future, but I certainly won't see this in my lifetime."

Human brain nets? We are now one step closer to our glorious Borg-like future.

[Image via Shutterstock.]

38
General Disconation / Lightshow
« on: February 08, 2013, 07:38:45 PM »
 :mrgreen:

Submergence01 on Vimeo

39
Getting Fat with TZT / Healthy Choices
« on: January 24, 2013, 01:57:42 PM »

Garlic Roasted Squash
http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/2006/10/easy-south-beach-recipes-roasted.html
Roasted Squash with Garlic
(3-4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

3 medium or 4 small zucchini or yellow summer squash (or use a combination of colors)
10 large cloves garlic, peeled (~3 Tblsp minced)
2-3 T olive oil
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, or sage (or use a slightly smaller amount of the dried herb, slightly crushed)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 F. Wash squash, dry, and cut into diagonal slices about 3/4 inch thick. Cut bigger center slices in half again, so all pieces are approximately the same size. Cut garlic cloves into thin slices lengthwise, cutting each one into about 3 pieces. In plastic bowl, toss squash and garlic with olive oil and the type of herb you are using. Arrange in single layer in glass or metal baking dish. Roast 20 minutes, or until squash is starting to soften and garlic is slightly browned. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve hot.

Roasted Salmon with Balsamic Sauce
http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/2006/10/roasted-salmon-with-balsamic-sauce.html
Roasted Salmon with Balsamic Sauce
(Makes enough sauce for about 4 pieces of salmon, sauce recipe from Glenna at A Fridge Full of Food)

1 salmon filet per person
1 tsp. olive oil per fish filet
1 tsp. fish rub per fish filet

Balsamic Sauce:
1/3 cup Splenda (for South Beach Diet) or sugar
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar (I like Fini brand)
1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper (or less)

Take salmon out of refrigerator and let come to room temperature. Rub salmon filets on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with fish rub. Preheat oven to 450 F while sauce is cooking down.

Combine balsamic vinegar, Splenda or sugar, and black pepper in small saucepan. Let it come to a very low simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 10-15 minutes.

When salmon is at room temperature, place in glass or ceramic baking dish and roast about 8-10 minutes, or until fish feels firm, but not hard, to the touch. Serve hot with a

(If you don't have fish rub or don't want to buy it, a combination of sweet paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and lemon pepper would be a good combination on the fish.)

41
Tech Heads / OSX app installer troubleshooting
« on: January 16, 2013, 03:01:30 PM »
Mac installer troubleshooting. Where do I start? OSX 10.8.2

Background: The WebEx Add-on installer works flawlessly on local accounts. On our network accounts (they are administrators and can sudo if necessary), they fail - abruptly - like no error or anything. You click the downloaded DMG, which opens up the Add-on Installer. You click the installer and it even gives you the "this is from the internet" warning. You click open, to bypass, then it asks if you want to install. Clicking "install" immediately kills the process, making the bouncing WebEx icon die in the dock. From activity monitor, you also see the named process die abruptly. I also know it is launched by "launchd" but I doubt that's useful info as I think all processes are spawned from there.

So, where should I start? Which logs are relevant here? I assume this is completely permissions related, since it's profile related. I tried to chown -R the install.app, I also chmod -R as well. No love.

42
Tech Heads / More things (Corporate) Mac...
« on: January 02, 2013, 08:26:28 PM »
Backups, especially Servers, how do you handle that? OD servers?

migrating/upgrading users - how do you do that?

'Bout to try and get a virtual host server going on an older iMac that has 16GB RAM and 1TB HDD to play with in a test environment. Know of anyone who's had success? Xen or ESXi?

43
Tech Heads / Break in last night at work
« on: December 19, 2012, 03:12:48 PM »
2 older iMacs and a Thunderbolt Display taken. I now have to find serial numbers. MOTHERFUCKER SHIT DAMN COCK SUCK DIE ASSHOLE DOUCHBAGS.

Thanks to a lot of help here and the FoI boards over the years (Thx Yankimus Nooxor and Cruoris) I am about to start rolling out our first Mac Servers since 2004! I had started a test batch in CA with some machines added to ARD, which would make this immensely more easy to find, except that it was only newer machines added. I hadn't walked the building to ensure changes to Mac Management yet. FUCK.

Now the paper trail and 20 Q's begin with users to figure out exactly which machines were grabbed. God Damn it.

45
General Disconation / Early Game on West Coast
« on: October 20, 2012, 01:53:04 PM »
#1 fuck getting mentally prepared for a key game at 8am for a 9am game

#2 LSU's O is the worst I have seen in a decade; line and QB wise.

#3 Our D started out bad, but have made a few adjustments here to get it together.

#4 Where the FUCK did A&M get this kid QB. I'd sell a nut to trade out our QBs. He is fucking amazing and a Freshman. Fuck you.

48
General Disconation / Furnaces. How do they work?
« on: September 16, 2012, 02:33:47 AM »
I'm from the deep south. I've only read about these fucking things. I just moved into a new (rental) house that has a gas one. It kicked off today when it was 90+ outside. The thermostat says off.  WTF. There was also a winter/summer toggle switch on it. WTF does that do?

50
Tech Heads / Putting my Big Boy Admin pants on tomorrow
« on: August 14, 2012, 06:26:50 PM »
My first Enterprise class upgrade tomorrow. One-way, major version upgrade on the corporate AV management server. Have a drink on me kids.

Thank God for VMware and explicit disaster recovery plans from manufacturer.

51
 :shocked:

http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/07/compounds-coax-hiv-out-of-hiding-so-it-can-be-eliminated/

Compounds coax HIV out of hiding so it can be eliminated
New compounds easier to make, not toxic, and work at lower concentrations.
by Melissae Fellet - July 19 2012, 1:00pm PDT

Dr. Tom Folks, NIAID Chemists have built molecules that flush out human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) hiding inside immune cells. While these compounds do not cure the virus that causes AIDS, they could be a powerful addition to current treatments, which cannot eradicate these dormant viruses.

Current HIV treatment requires a cocktail of drugs to kill viruses replicating in T cells, and patients must regularly take their medicine to keep the virus at bay. HIV can hibernate in these cells and reemerge to infect patients if they stop treatment.

Another approach to treating HIV aims to reactivate these dormant viruses, thereby allowing the immune system (or the virus itself) to kill the cells where they are hidden. In conjunction with cocktail therapies that keep HIV under control, this approach has the potential to completely purge the virus from a patient.

Once such potential drug, called prostratin, binds to a protein (protein kinase C) that helps reactivate hibernating viruses. Chemist Paul Wender, of Stanford University, first synthesized prostratin in the lab in 2008, and the compound is being considered for clinical trials.

Bryostatin 1, a compound produced by a marine organism, might be a useful HIV treatment, too, because it binds to protein kinase C better than prostratin. But there are several concerns about using it as a potential medicine. Bryostatin is hard to come by, both in nature and in the lab. And, perhaps most worrisome, bryostatin can cause negative side effects in humans.

Now Wender and his colleagues have built seven molecules related to bryostatin, two of which are about 1,000 times more effective at reactivating dormant HIV than prostratin. These molecules appear non-toxic in early cell tests.

These “bryologs” retain chemical groups important to the potency of bryostatin, yet their synthesis is streamlined enough that the scientists can make the bryologs on a large scale. The researchers build and connect molecular fragments to form an entire bryolog. That means they can potentially change reactive groups on the fragments to enhance each compound’s effectiveness while reducing negative side effects.

The scientists treated cells that model a latent HIV infection with each new bryolog. The new compounds reactivated dormant HIV at concentrations 25 to 1000 times less than current preclinical compound, prostratin.

The researchers are currently testing the bryologs in animals. They hope these new compounds could be used as part of a treatment that eliminates all HIV currently in someone's body, whether the virus is active or not. That could be one way to completely eradicate the virus, they add.

Nature Chemistry , 2012. DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM.1395 (About DOIs).


53
General Disconation / [SCIENCE!] Interesting Autism research
« on: July 06, 2012, 08:39:36 PM »
Man, hope this leads somewhere faster. It's scary thinking about having kids when your older.

http://discovermagazine.com/2012/mar/07-the-brain-troublesome-bloom-autism

The Brain The Troublesome Bloom of Autism

As the autistic brain grows in the womb, it bursts with an overabundance of neurons. That finding could lead to much earlier diagnosis and treatment.

by Carl Zimmer

From the March 2012 issue; published online March 5, 2012


Eric Courchesne managed to find a positive thing about getting polio: It gave him a clear idea of what he would do when he grew up. Courchesne was stricken in 1953, when he was 4. The infection left his legs so wasted that he couldn’t stand or walk. “My mother had to carry me everywhere,” he says. His parents helped him learn how to move his toes again. They took him to a pool to learn to swim. When he was 6, they took him to a doctor who gave him metal braces, and then they helped him learn to hobble around on them. Doctors performed half a dozen surgeries on his legs, grafting muscles to give him more strength.

Courchesne was 11 when the braces finally came off, and his parents patiently helped him practice walking on his own. “Through their encouragement, I went on to have dreams beyond what you’d expect,” he says. He went to college at the University of California, Berkeley. One day he stopped to watch the gymnastics team practicing, and the coach asked him to try out. Before long Courchesne was on the team, where he won the western U.S. championship in still rings.

When Courchesne wasn’t competing at gymnastics, he was studying neuroscience. “I understood a neurological disorder firsthand, and I wanted to help other children,” he says. Fortunately, the polio outbreak that snared him in 1953 was the last major one in the United States; a vaccine largely eliminated the disease in this country. But in the mid-1980s, as a newly minted assistant professor of neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego, Courchesne encountered a 15-year-old with another kind of devastating neurological disorder: autism.

At the time, Courchesne was investigating how children’s brains respond to new pieces of information. “I encountered a clinical psychologist who studied children with autism,” he says. “She told me, ‘Autistic children aren’t interested in novelty. They’re interested in routine.’ ” Yet the young man Courchesne met showed more range. At first he responded to Courchesne’s questions only with short answers, “but when I talked with him further, I discovered he had a tremendous wealth of knowledge,” the neuroscientist recalls. “He had calendar memory. He just wasn’t interested in being sociable.”

Autism had cut the boy off from the social world, Courchesne realized. “I could see his loneliness, and I could see his parents’ heartache,” he says. He could also see that the boy’s parents refused to give up on him, in the same way his parents had refused. “As they say, that was it,” he says. He swung his entire career toward autism.

In the three decades since, autism has gone from obscurity to painful familiarity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 1 in 110 children in the United States are autistic. Yet the disorder remains enigmatic. “Every turn of my research has been about figuring out how this thing began,” Courchesne says. Gradually he built up a picture of the autistic brain from infancy to adulthood, zeroing in on a crucial distinction between those who have autism and those who don’t.

As they develop, autistic brains bloom with an overabundance of neurons, Courchesne finds. It might sound like bad news, implying that autism is rooted in such a fundamental change to the structure of the brain that there’s no hope of undoing it. But Courchesne says his findings could lead to key treatments in years to come.

Back when Courchesne began his work, the notion of a neuroscientist studying autism seemed a bit odd. Many researchers considered the disorder a psychological problem, perhaps the result of bad mothering. “It was a medieval way of thinking,” Courchesne says. As time went on, he became convinced that autism was not only a neurological disorder but more specifically a developmental disease that altered the structure of the nervous system as it matured.

Scientists had done a few anatomical studies on the autistic brain, but the results were ambiguous. Even normal brains can vary enormously in size and structure, so it was hard to see what, if anything, set autistic brains apart. To push past this confusion, Courchesne needed to look at a much larger sample of brains.

In 1988 he sought out parents of autistic children and got their permission to have the children lie in MRI scanners so he could take high-resolution anatomical pictures of their brains. Then he used computers to mark the boundaries of different brain regions and estimate their volume. The subjects spanned a wide range of ages, from adults down to toddlers as young as 2. Courchesne did not scan infants, but he went back through medical records to look at the circumference of the heads of his volunteers since birth.

Courchesne hoped to find something, anything, that set the autistic subjects apart. “We didn’t know what it might be or where it might be found,” he says. “We didn’t know if it would come on in the youngest stages or older. It was wide open.”

Gradually he saw a pattern. At birth, children with autism had normal-size brains. But by the time they were a year old, the brains of most autistic children had grown far beyond average. The average adult human brain weighs 1,375 grams, but Courchesne encountered one 3-year-old autistic boy whose brain weight was estimated at 1,876 grams.

The MRI scans further revealed that only certain parts of the brain became larger. The growth was striking in the prefrontal cortex, the region just behind the eyes that is responsible for language, decisions, and other sophisticated thinking. Courchesne also saw an increase in both the gray matter (consisting of dense clusters of neurons) and the white matter linking different regions of the brain. This explosive neural expansion continued in many autistic children until the age of 5, and then it stopped. Past that age, Courchesne found, the rate of brain growth slowed in autistic children, falling behind that of ordinary children. By the teen years, some brain regions actually started to shrink.

Over the past two decades, Courchesne has replicated these results in three additional sets of brain scans. And he has moved beyond MRI, working with tissue banks at institutions like the National Institutes of Health, which stores donated brains. Working with the brains of six normal children and seven autistic children ages 2 to 16, most of whom died of drowning, Courchesne has studied neurons under the microscope and even counted the number of neural cells in different tissue samples. Last November he reported the first results: On average, autistic brains had many more neurons in some regions than normal brains. In the prefrontal cortex, autistic children had 67 percent more neurons than average.

These results provide insight into the origin of autism. During the second trimester of pregnancy, the precursors to neurons in the brain divide furiously. Then they almost all stop, well before birth. When the brain gets bigger after delivery, all that is happening is that the individual neurons are growing and sprouting branches. The only time autistic children can get their extra neurons, in other words, is while they are in the womb. “We established a time zone,” Courchesne says.

That time zone rules out the old bad-mothering theory of autism, and also the notion that vaccines trigger autism in toddlers. Courchesne suspects that fetal brains become autistic due to a combination of genetic and environmental influences that strike during the second and possibly third trimesters, just as neurons are dividing. It may be no coincidence that many of the genes thought to increase the risk of autism are also involved in the division of cells. It’s possible that an environmental influence—perhaps a virus—can trigger these genes to produce too many neurons.

When autistic children are born, Courchesne’s research suggests, they have an abundance of neurons jammed into an average-size brain. Over the first few years, the neurons get bigger and sprout thousands of branches to join other neurons. The extra neurons in the autistic brain probably send out a vast number of extra connections to other neurons. This overwiring may interfere with normal development of language and social behavior in young children. It would also explain the excess brain size seen in the MRI scans.

For Courchesne, this provocative discovery is just the beginning. His initial results are based on only 13 brains, and he would like to look at more to see if the differences hold up. He also wants to figure out why the early overgrowth in autistic brains is followed by slowed or arrested growth. Perhaps the overgrowth triggers the brain to prune the extra connections, and the pruning becomes just as excessive as the initial burst.

It may take a long time to get those deep answers, but Courchesne’s findings could produce practical benefits much sooner. For one thing, they suggest that the earlier doctors can diagnose autism, the better. Using MRI scans along with blood and behavioral tests, “it might be possible to identify infants at risk at a much younger age, when circuits are just being established,” Courchesne says.

Once children are identified, they could be treated to help their brains develop properly. The treatment might take the form of behavioral therapy or pharmaceuticals that modulate the way the neurons grow. The most targeted drug interventions might not be available for a decade or more. That is quite a while to wait—but Courchesne knows not to give up hope.

54
General Disconation / Floridaums
« on: June 25, 2012, 01:27:01 PM »
East Coast Surf. Where?

I will be in the West Palm/Jupiter area starting Wednesday. I may not get a chance to paddle out at all, but most likely on Saturday. Will have total n00b/rookie with me. Will need rentals.

I hear it's been hot as fuck, and you are getting shit on by a TS right now. Do y'all have water quality issues (like CA) when this occurs?

55
Haven't read the whole thing yet, but sounds interesting.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303379204577474953586383604.html

Who's the Boss? There Isn't One

By RACHEL EMMA SILVERMAN

Like many tech companies, Valve Corp., a videogame maker in Bellevue, Wash., boasts high-end espresso, free massages and laundry service at its offices.

One thing it doesn't have: bosses

Valve, whose website says the company has been "boss free" since its founding in 1996, also has no managers or assigned projects. Instead, its 300 employees recruit colleagues to work on projects they think are worthwhile. The company prizes mobility so much that workers' desks are mounted on wheels, allowing them to scoot around to form work areas as they choose.

Welcome to the bossless company, where the hierarchy is flat, pay is often determined by peers, and the workday is directed by employees themselves.

So, how does anyone get things done?

"It absolutely is less-efficient upfront," says Terri Kelly, chief executive of W.L. Gore, the Newark, Del., maker of Gore-Tex and other materials. Her title is one of the few at the company.

"[But] once you have the organization behind it…the buy-in and the execution happen quickly," she adds.

Companies have been flattening out their management hierarchies in recent years, eliminating layers of middle management that can create bottlenecks and slow productivity. The handful that have taken the idea a step further, dispensing with most bosses entirely, say that the setup helps motivate employees and makes them more flexible, even if it means that some tasks, such as decision-making and hiring, can take a while.

At Valve, there are no promotions, only new projects. To help decide pay, employees rank their peers—but not themselves—voting on who they think creates the most value. The company declined to provide information about how much salaries vary.

Any employee can participate in hiring decisions, which are usually made by teams. Firings, while relatively rare, work the same way: teams decide together if someone isn't working out.

As for projects, someone typically emerges as the de facto manager, says Greg Coomer, a 16-year veteran of Valve who works on product design. When no one takes the lead, he adds, it's usually a sign that the project isn't worth doing.

When colleagues disagree on whether to keep or scrap products, the marketplace decides, Mr. Coomer says. "When we honestly can't come to an agreement—that's really very rare—we ship and find out who was right. Over time we've become comfortable with the idea that we might be making a mistake when we do that; our customers know that if we screw up, we'll fix it," he says.

Hiring highly motivated workers is vital to making a boss-free system work. And it isn't for everyone. Most employees take anywhere from six months to a year to adapt, though some leave for more traditional settings, Mr. Coomer says.

The system has its downsides. Without traditional managers, it can be harder to catch poor performers. Even the employee handbook, a packet that explains Valve's philosophy and processes, notes that bad hiring decisions "can sometimes go unchecked for too long."

Recent research on the value of flat organizations has been mixed. One study, by researchers at the University of Iowa and Texas A&M University, found that teams of factory workers who supervised themselves tended to outperform workers in more traditional hierarchies, so long as team members got along well. "The teams take over most of the management function themselves," says co-author Stephen Courtright. "They work with each other, they encourage and support each other, and they coordinate with outside teams.They collectively perform the role of a good manager."

Other studies, however, have found that hierarchies can sometimes boost group effectiveness, and that having a clearly defined role can help people work more efficiently


For years General Electric Co. GE +1.43%has run some aviation-manufacturing facilities with no foremen or shop-floor bosses. The industrial giant says it uses the system to boost productivity in low-volume factories with a relatively small number of employees, each of whom can do several tasks.

One leader, the plant manager, sets production goals and helps resolve problems but doesn't dictate daily workflow. Teams, whose members volunteer to take on various duties, meet before and after each shift to discuss the work to be done and address problems to be solved.

The first of these self-managed teams began nearly two decades ago in a Durham, N.C., plant, but in the past five years they have spread to other GE facilities. The team structure is being expanded to all of GE Aviation's 83 supply-chain sites, which employ 26,000.

Moving up can be hard when there is no corporate ladder. But many employees feel it is easier to grow in their careers without layers of management, says Chris Wanstrath, the CEO of San Francisco collaboration-software company GitHub, who insists his title is nominal. The company, whose products let teams work together to develop software, often without the aid of management, has 89 employees.

At GitHub, a small cadre of top brass handles companywide issues and external communications but doesn't give orders to workers. Teams of employees decide which projects are priorities, and anyone is free to join a project in whatever capacity they choose. "You have the power to be where you are most useful," Mr. Wanstrath says.

Tim Clem, 30, was hired at GitHub last year for a back-end coding job. A few months into the job, he persuaded other colleagues that the company needed to develop a product for users of Microsoft Windows. He spearheaded the project, hiring a team of staffers to help him create the recently released application.

The bossless structure can be chaotic at times, he says, but "you feel like there is total trust and an element of freedom and ownership. It makes you want to do more," says Mr. Clem, who had previously worked at a large tech firm and smaller start-ups.

Since it was founded in 1958, W.L. Gore has operated under what it calls a "lattice" management structure, which relies on teams in place of bosses and traditional chains of command, and which was discussed by Malcolm Gladwell in his 2000 book "The Tipping Point."

Gore's 10,000 employees, who work mainly in engineering and manufacturing, take on leadership roles based on their ability to "gain the respect of peers and to attract followers," says Ms. Kelly, the CEO. Those who choose not to take the lead also are valued, she adds, noting that the company prides itself on staff "followership."

That doesn't mean that its workers are sheep. Frank Shipper, a management professor at Salisbury University, in Salisbury, Md., has been studying Gore for more than two decades and says its flat management structure has helped the company stay innovative, because ideas can come from anyone in the organization, regardless of tenure or position.

Gore's employees, who are called "associates," each have a sponsor to guide their career and orient them to company culture. Jim Grigsby, an electrical engineer who joined Gore 13 years ago after working for more traditional companies, including defense contractors, says his sponsor urged him to spend a few days simply meeting people, even giving him a list of names.

Mr. Grigsby found it jarring at first—"Am I really getting paid just to meet people?" he says he wondered. But, in a few months, he says, "it becomes apparent that you need these people to get project work done."

—Kate Linebaugh contributed to this article.
Write to Rachel Emma Silverman at rachel.silverman@wsj.com

A version of this article appeared June 20, 2012, on page B1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Who's the Boss? There Isn't One.


56
General Disconation / [NERD_ALERT] Must have Firefox AddOn
« on: June 20, 2012, 06:20:48 PM »
TabNavigator 1.1

allows last tab navigation, similar to alt-tab in windows. Awesome for poasting articles.

57
http://www.world-war-d.com/2012/06/20/uruguay-planning-to-legalize-marijuana/

Uruguay first country in the world to legalize and control marijuana?
Posted on June 20, 2012 by admin   

June 20, 2012

The government of Uruguay announced yesterday that it will submit a proposal for the legalization of the sale of marijuana (possession and use of marijuana is already legal in Uruguay). The proposal was drafted by President José Mujica and his government and requires parliamentary debate before final approval. If adopted, Uruguay would become the first country in the world to establish a controlled marketplace for marijuana. The proposal already generated a vigorous debate on social networks.

The government of Uruguay announces a project of legalization of the sale of marijuanaAccording to the proposal, marijuana will be legally available under government control through a user registry and subject to quality control and traceability. Users will be limited to a maximum of 40 marijuana cigarettes per month. The price will be accessible but taxes will be levied to finance addiction treatment.

The government’s objective is to combat insecurity and violence by separating the markets of marijuana and hard drugs, mainly coca-paste, and avoiding that the marijuana user be exposed to coca paste through his supplier. Located on a transit to Europe via West Africa, Uruguay has – been plagued by an explosion of crime and violence attributed to the trafficking and use of coca paste, considered as a scourge by the authorities.

Coca paste is an inexpensive unrefined precursor of cocaine obtained by macerating the coca leaves in various solvents including paraffin, benzene, ether, and sulfuric acid. It still contains substantial amounts of these highly toxic solvents. Coca paste is smoked mixed with tobacco or marijuana and produces a very intense and short-lived high similar to crack cocaine. Coca paste is extremely addictive and may lead to hallucinations, paranoia, aggressiveness and psychosis. As a result of the establishment of new transiting routes through Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay to Europe via West Africa, the use of coca paste has been raising dramatically in these countries since 2005. The use of coca paste and cocaine may surpass the use of marijuana in Brazil. Coca paste is devastating street-children populations.

Often dubbed the Switzerland of Latin America, Uruguay is a tiny country of 3.3 million inhabitants located on the Atlantic coast on the Southern border of Brazil and separated from Argentina by the estuary of the Río de la Plata.

Uruguay president Jorge Batlle was the first head of state to recommend legalization in 2000 while still in office. Mujica signaled his openness to the legalization debate while on the campaign trial in 2009 and reiterated this position since in office. Uruguay has been debating cultivation of marijuana for personal use since 2011 and its imminent approval has been repeatedly announced, but has evaded legislators so far.

For more information:

http://www.subrayado.com.uy/Site/noticia/13426/gobierno-impulsara-legalizacion-de-la-venta-de-marihuana

http://www.subrayado.com.uy/Site/noticia/13436/buscan-evitar-que-ofrezcan-pasta-base-al-que-compra-marihuana

58
Tech Heads / CCNA
« on: June 15, 2012, 07:58:20 PM »
I am one

 :pimp:

59
Tech Heads / OpenLDAP on CentOS
« on: June 11, 2012, 08:29:27 PM »
Where do I start?

We use phpldapadmin to create accounts, as it is all the Unix guys will let us have (probably for good reason with some of the idiots I work with). But, we have to Hand create/modify LDAP accounts to support Mac's. By we, I mean we have to bother the only person that knows how to do it, and who does it by hand every time, and won't fucking script it, and still fucks it up occasionally, and gets pissed when we tell him to double check it; he also happens to be my Boss' boss and head of the Unix/Linux/Solaris group.

BUT, OSX was given to us Windows guys to support because they didn't feel like handling desktop issues. After several layoff rounds, they are so shorthanded now that they couldn't even handle the minimal support even if they wanted to - which they don't.

Since I have been handed Symantec and Altiris administration/migration I really don't have time for this either, but the person we gave it to, to learn, was just going to pull the plug on our remaining OSX 10.4 Server to "See what happens" since he wasn't sure we use it for anything or if it did anything. Meanwhile he knows nothing of LDAP, nothing OD, nothing about the "Golden Triangle," nothing of Workgroup Manager, basically he knows nothing - certainly not enough to even rethink pulling a plug to "just see."

The capper to that, was when the CEO, who decided to become a MacHead last year, was on a conference call at his house and had HomeSync kick off and saturate his upload to his ISP, effectively dropping him from our VPN connection and losing IP Phone, etc, etc. He, and the VP of IT called me to see if I could fix it.

They were less than pleased when I told them that not only did I not know exactly why it kicked off, but noone currently employed knew how to fix it either. I told them, after I figured out Symantec so that we could upgrade to a more useful version to use in our Private cloud, I would dedicate myself to learning it and fixing it.

So, here we are. I went from knowing nothing, to knowing the above in a couple of weeks. I am also pretty sure we extended our LDAP schema to support Apple user accounts alone (no golden triangle), though I am not positive it will support everything in 10.7 because I don't have access to it (and it was done years ago), due to Unix not wanting us touching it. I have to prove to them I have it figured out and should at least be given more access to make these fucking accounts.

Anyway, long story short, what's the best way to learn LDAP?

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