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The Daily Word in bitcoins, bugs and brain tumors.

Russia is becoming a real problem.

Who won at the 2014 Academy Awards? Did Devin O’Leary guess right?

Sleep and longevity are closely linked.

A baby’s brain tumor had teeth.

You should eat more bugs.

Iranian law allows for creative sentencing.

How’s that bitcoin thing working for you?

Watch a cute panda cub play with a ball.

Try this new deep-fried confection.

Springsteen does Lorde.

Pecans like this weather, at least.

Texting while driving is now illegal in New Mexico.

Rio Rancho votes tomorrow.

What’s happening today?

Happy birthday, James Doohan.

news

The Daily Word in a not-so-dead guy, an epic b-ball shot and Vermont's heroin

President Barack Obama sheds light on the problems of young minorities in America.

A federal appeals court ruled that it wasn't unconstitutional to ask students to remove shirts with the American flag during a Cinco de Mayo celebration in 2010 at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill.

You ever watch a movie on Netflix and fall asleep in the middle? And when you wake up, you can't remember where you left off? It looks like some engineers found a solution.

Wanna know what Jaws was like? Some researchers got the scoop

“I was shocked at the depth of addiction here,” James W. Baker, former director of the Vermont State Police, said in regards to Vermont's current heroin “epidemic.”

Just in case you missed the basketball game, watch an Eldorado High School girl score the winning shot from 70 feet away, with only 1.7 seconds on the clock. It's pretty awesome.

A state auditor claims that the Human Services Department cost New Mexico millions of dollars by mismanaging funds.

Albuquerque police are looking for a woman that is stealing from the elderly.

To the Lobo fan who threw a cup at an opposing player at a basketball game … they're coming for you.

A man who was pronounced dead woke up later in a body bag in the morgue … reminds me of that movie Death Becomes Her.

V.23 No.1 | 1/2/2014
Sleep
Courtesy of artist

2-Up

Go to Sleep

This week, power up with stoner doom and surf noir. Scope all the deets in 2-Up.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

news

The Daily Word in The Onion, Atheist Churches and Sunday Mail Delivery

The US Postal Service made a deal with Amazon for Sunday mail delivery.

Typhoon Haiyan killed 10,000 people.

On this day, the end of WWI.

Atheist churches are the new trend. I don’t know if you have to dress up.

The Onion is stopping print operations.

Biologists removed an arrow from a deer’s head, much to the chagrin of geologists.

Miley Cyrus smoked pot on stage.

Dogs don’t want to be friends.

Enjoy these old-timey prostitute photos.

Sleep is good for you.

The tuba player got scared.

Somebody bought a bunch of Carl Sagan tapes at a thrift store.

Jason Kerns’ seven-hour police standoff closed down the freeway Friday night.

Sipapu will open for skiing next Saturday.

Happy birthday Marshall Crenshaw.

news

The Daily Word in Walter White, Saul Goodman and Puppy Squeezing

The man cries blood.

The man is on fire.

The man is a lady.

Sleep is like your brain taking a poop.

France hates Thetans.

Some rock stars started out in other rock star’s bands.

Tacos are more delicious than hotdogs.

Find out why your stomach is growling.

Learn all about Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman).

Beware the ball biter.

I’m not sure how impressed I am with this snack bag serving bowl.

The people who brought you Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” would like you to now please enjoy Alison Gold’s “Chinese Food,” shooting up the charts with a bullet.

The Sheriff’s Department will hold a funeral procession for Walter White.

Craig Blanchard used to have $135,000 in his garage.

Caution: This puppy squeezing story might wreck your day.

Did the Chinese discover America before Columbus?

Happy birthday Pam Dawber.

Science

Ruled by Sun and Moon

¡Viva la Science!

Andréia via Flickr

Take a look at the sky. See a big ball of light? If so, it’s probably doing something to you right now. Humans respond to light from the sun and the full moon in measurable ways, two new studies report, and our sleep hangs in the balance.

In one study, a bunch of lucky volunteers went camping in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains for a week. (For SCIENCE!) Before they went, they’d spent some time wearing activity monitors on their wrists. The monitors measured stuff like average activity levels, sleep duration and waking/sleeping times. After a week of monitoring, researchers used a saliva test to measure participants’ melatonin and determine their “natural” circadian rhythms.

During the camping trip, anything except natural light was verboten. No phones, no flashlights, just sunlight and campfires. After their wilderness adventure, during which they slept and woke when they wanted to, participants went back to the lab for more testing. Since all those measurements had been taken earlier, the researchers could see what had changed.

The main difference was in the amount of light individuals were exposed to: Study participants got four times as much of the stuff when camping. A thing to know about melatonin is that it normally rises in the early evening near sunset (to encourage sleep) and drops off in the morning before waking. For many of us, though, a life surrounded by the comforting glow of technology means that we’re getting artificial light at all hours of the day and nightand our melatonin levels reflect it, increasing later in the evening and sometimes not decreasing until after we’ve woken.

The campers’ melatonin levels after their trip, however, rose and fell according to the normal rhythm, chilling out at sunrise and ramping up at sunset. Participants’ circadian clocks shifted two hours earlier on average, indicating that time spent campingor exposed to natural lightcan “reset” the clock and help people fall asleep and wake up more easily.

Those are some pretty dramatic results, and they point to actions you can take if you want to adjust your own circadian rhythms. For example, you might try getting more natural light during the day. In the case of the moon, however, the measurable effect is more subtle and the plan of action isn’t so obvious.

*L*u*z*a* via Flickr

The moon study analyzed sleep data acquired from a previous study in a controlled laboratory setting. It looked at what phase of the moon the sleep data was associated with and foundmuch to the surprise of researchersthat a distinct pattern emerged. Despite volunteers being unable to actually see the moon in their laboratory bedrooms, their sleep was affected if it fell on a night near a full moon. Sleepers took five extra minutes, on average, to zonk out, plus they got shallower sleep and about 20 minutes less of it.

Do we have an internal clock that responds to cycles of the moon, just like we do for the sun? Maybe. Researchers really can’t say at this early point; this is “the first reliable evidence” that the moon can affect our sleep under laboratory conditions, they note.

Astrology this ain’t.These studies are smallonly 8 people in the solar study and 33 people in the lunarand additional research with larger groups and in other locations globally is needed if we want to draw firm conclusions. Nonetheless, this is science functioning precisely as science is supposed to. In both studies, we have a testable hypothesis, an experiment whose parameters can be repeated and results that can be impartially measured. Damn right, you should be excited.

Sources: Neurorexia, Science News, PubMed Health

news

The Daily Word in D3 demolition, thrash metal and glass burrito

City Council approves a plan to carve up District 3 (Downtown, Barelas, UNM area) and ax Benton's seat.

APD officer ends up in the hospital after chewing on a glass burrito.

St. Michael's in Santa Fe to conduct random student drug tests.

Outrage over Quran burning spreads in Afghanistan. At least 10 Afghans and two American soldiers have died.

Midair helicopter smash kills seven marines during training.

9-year-old girl dies after running for three hours as punishment for stealing a candy bar, according to an Alabama sheriff's office.

UN may prosecute Syrian officials of crimes against humanity.

FDA questions inhalable caffeine.

Maybe you don't need eight hours of sleep.

Serious hipster cruise. Like on a ship.

Startups looking to skim carbon dioxide from the atmo. Bill Gates thinks it's a good idea, says his money.

Virginia politicians second-guess mandatory pre-abortion vaginal probing.

Analysts predict soaring national debt under all GOP contenders' tax plansexcept for Ron Paul's.

Thrash metal endorsements for 2012: Megadeth dude supports Santorum.

Video Games

What Did You Play This Weekend?

Shannon Galvin's Are We Home?
Shannon Galvin's Are We Home?

I spent the majority of my gaming time this weekend checking out Jason Rohrer's recent indie release, Sleep Is Death, an interactive story tool that gets as much of its DNA from improvisational theater as it does from old school gaming. Participants are cast into one of two roles: controller or player, and connect to each other via the Internet. The controller interface provides tools for setting the player in a scene, and adding objects (people, dogs, zombies, etc.) to the scene for the player to interact with. The player's interface allows them to talk by typing into a speech bubble, and to tell the controller what actions they'd like to perform by typing verbs into an action box. This interaction plays back and forth, from scene to scene until the story reaches some sort of conclusion.

By default, each person has 30 seconds to take their turn, so playing the controller takes a fair amount of prep time in the controller interface. So far I've spent the majority of my time with the game there, getting used to the tools, building scenes, creating objects (persons, things) out of sprites, etc. The graphics have a real Gameboy Advance look to them, which gives Sleep Is Death a very classic feel. At first it was a little hard to see the possibilities given Rohrer's sample imagery - he's more of a programmer than a graphic artist - but after seeing Shannon Galvin's excellent "Are We Home?", I was sold.

I'm still not entirely certain where Sleep Is Death will take me. The $14 price includes 2 copies, one for each player, and I've passed my second copy on to a friend, but we've not jumped into a game as yet. Digging into the controller interface has been really interesting and addictive, though, so that should keep me occupied for a while. Rohrer has posted some sample playthroughs on his site that are quite good, and I've found a large, unfiltered collection of them at sidtube.com, which also has forums, IRC, art resources and a wiki.

Other than that,I played a tiny amount of Lego Star Wars with my son, and I finally started playing Trine.

You?

Today's Events

Movies on the Mesa at Mesa Del Sol

This showing features Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock.

Asphalt Cowboys • country at Dirty Bourbon

Vern Johnson Memorial at Motiva Speedway

More Recommented Events ››
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    High Mountain Hideout
    High Mountain Hideout8.29.2014