democracy and dim lights, first sketch of dna double helix, fantasy and reality – a tale

People Aren’t Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say. Despite the fact that there are more democracies in the world then ever.

The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies.

The research, led by David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, shows that incompetent people are inherently unable to judge the competence of other people, or the quality of those people’s ideas. For example, if people lack expertise on tax reform, it is very difficult for them to identify the candidates who are actual experts. They simply lack the mental tools needed to make meaningful judgments.

As a result, no amount of information or facts about political candidates can override the inherent inability of many voters to accurately evaluate them. On top of that, “very smart ideas are going to be hard for people to adopt, because most people don’t have the sophistication to recognize how good an idea is,” Dunning told Life’s Little Mysteries.

Obviously an anecdotal test, but half the comments at the site confirm the research. Some previous studies that made the blog rounds that show despite 24/7 cable and the internets, people are no more well informed now than fifty years ago. They even seem to be getting worse. It might be, i do not have a good study to point to, that the complexity of society is outpacing the capacity to keep. news overload also tends to make people mentally tune out. They seek out programming or web sites that distract them from the hard cold realities. I can understand the need to save one’s sanity from the world playwright Paddy Chayesfy ‘s prescient movie Network showed us. Much of what comes over the media is not real. Even the very real parts seem like a nightmare in slow motion. Too much for us to apprehend much beyond shock – wars, mass killings, natural disasters. You look away thankful it was not you. We get a daily diet so some outrage fatigue sets in. We are blessed and cursed with the ability to distract ourselves. The facts pour in – there are dogs to feed, kids to put to bed, bills to pay. It seems that indeed “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia”, a house is always burning down, the schools are never doing a good enough job, the students are never paying attention, there are double-decker layers of the next boogeyman hiding and waiting to get us. Trying to understand, find solutions, seeing beneath the plastic wrapped broadcast news pabulum only gets you labeled an elitist.

Sketch of the DNA Double Helix by Francis Crick


The iconic image of the double helix–the twisted ladder that carries the codes for earth’s huge variety of life forms–goes back to 1953 and the homemade metal model created by the British scientist Francis Crick and his American collaborator, James Watson. Determined to solve the puzzle posed by the research evidence at the time, they obtained new insights by visualizing the structure of the complex molecule through a physical model. This pencil sketch of DNA was made by Crick and forms part of the extensive Crick Archive at the Wellcome Library. It illustrates several structural features of the double helix: it is right-handed, with the two strands running in opposite directions; the nucleotides, the building blocks of the strands, have a part that forms the backbone and a part (the base) that projects into the middle of the helix; and the internally projecting bases in one strand are aligned so that they can pair with a base from the opposite strand. This last feature is essential for DNA to be able to perform its function of passing genetic information from one generation to the next. It is not known whether Crick drew this sketch before or after he and Watson made the famous model, but the drawing demonstrates the role that simple illustrations can play in helping to conceptualize complex problems.

Contrary to an otherwise nice movie about the discovery of DNA’s structure, in their original publication of their findings Watson and Crick did give credit to Rosalind Elsie Franklin and her X-ray diffraction images in helping them unravel the mystery.


crocodile – i’ve got my eye on you

There is Not as Much Contradiction Between Evolution and Divine Creation as Many Would Have Us Believe. Darwin was a minister. The cultural conflict has been exaggerated for earnest if ignorant, reasons among some. That in turn has been exploited by the for profit preachers and mullahs.

More Americans use the ER for dental care: study. If we cannot have a rational national debate about health care reform it makes sense that dental health hardly makes the national radar.

the miracle of 20/20 hindsight, Rep. Issa Concedes His All-Male Anti-Contraception Hearing Was Not ‘My Greatest Success’


A touching story in which fantasy and reality merge to make dreams come true. How determining can reality be, and how can fantasy unleash an unexpected freedom? Can a fragile world of lights and shadows show us more than a silhouette drawn against the sunlight? A mixed-technique animated short film, by Director Carlos Lascano



advertising and deceptive narratives, when painting becomes sculpture, romney health care advisor gives boost to obamacare

Narratives are at least as old as human language. We started sketching things on rocks and cave walls that reflected what we did and the stories we told each other. The narratives became more complicated as we tried to explain the seasons and death. Those narratives have always had an element of deception because they reflected individual truths, not rational empirical facts. That came much later and even today the tendency is toward what on the surface at least, seems more colorful. Even in retelling facts in casual conversations we like to embellish because other people enjoy it. Being social animals our little embellishments are rewarded. Those fragments of untruths in our stories are a kind of deception – fragments of white lies, and a little bit of art, when they are judged to be good deceptions. If we reward something socially he is not much of a leap to reward something commercially. Popular music is a narrative embellished for popular appeal – at least most artists hope so. fact based films dramatize the real, collapse time, heighten visuals and accent select pieces of dialogue. They are lies, the truth and art. We’re not only comfortable with that, we have made it a mulch-billion dollar industry. Advertising is narrative. It is always a lie, sometimes it contains some truth and sometimes it is art. Study Shows How The Brain Responds To Deceptive Advertising

“What’s interesting here is that the moderately deceptive ads cause more activity during this second stage,” Wood says. That may be because highly deceptive ads are screened out more quickly and discarded as not meriting further attention.

Overall, when looking at both stages of brain response, researchers found there was greater brain activation when participants were exposed to moderately deceptive ads. But, if moderately deceptive ads stimulate more brain activity, does that make us more susceptible to the sales pitch in ads that trigger just a pinch of skepticism?

Apparently not. In a follow-up, behavioral component of the study, researchers interfered with the ToM stage, making it more difficult for participants to determine the intention behind the ads. As a result, participants more frequently believed moderately deceptive advertising. This suggests that the second stage is an important step that helps protect consumers by allowing them to better discriminate and screen out deceptive ads.

“Now that we’ve identified these stages of brain response, it may help future researchers identify underlying neural reasons why some populations are more prone to fall prey to deceptive ads,”

Ads where the first impression they were highly deceptive were tuned out very quickly. People may see or hear them, but the brain pretty much stops processing the information. The bad news is that plausible thought still deceptive advertising or any narrative for that matter gets some attention. The viewer entertains the possibility that this drink may make me loss weight and I will not have to exercise or this candidate has found a way to run a civilized society without ever paying taxes.

“Goldfish Salvation” Riusuke Fukahori

When struggling with artistic vision, Fukahori’s pet goldfish became his inspiration and ever since his passion and lifelong theme. His unique style of painting uses acrylic on clear resin which is poured into containers, resulting in a three-dimensional appearance and lifelike vitality.

This video gives you a glimpse of his amazing painting process.

This photo is from a slide show at flickr – Riusuke Fukahori
– Goldfish Salvation at ICN. The only things real are the ladle and the wooden tub.

Artist Riusuke Fukahori’s London debut exhibition “Goldfish Salvation” was held at ICN gallery from 1 December 2011 – 11 January 2012.

Agency: Bergman inc.
Production: Hexaproject inc.
Sound: “Early Morning Movabillity”, Jemapur

Fukahori paints every layer. Adds a new layer of resin, paints some more, repeating the process until completion. He seems to have some freakish M.C. Escher like math abilities built in to the way he sees space. He has to be able to anticipate down to the millimeter how the colors will form the final 3D effect.

black and white branches wallpaper. the center has a drop shadow to create some depth.

Senior Romney Health Adviser Admits Obamacare Can Move Health Care System In The Right Direction

Leavitt’s consulting firm, Leavitt Partners, is also heavily invested in the health law’s exchanges and “has been advising companies and state legislatures” on how to build the new marketplaces. He has also said that companies and states will likely implement the measure despite the GOP’s efforts to unravel the law, arguing that “they recognize that individual insurance shoppers and small businesses have long been at a disadvantage, lacking the negotiating power of large companies that can demand better prices.”

Romneycare is going to haunt Mittens no matter how far to the extreme Right he is running now. The Affordable Care Act is still a government death machine according to the Fox News and Palin crowd.

Norah Jones, “Happy Pills” from the Little Broken Hearts album. Release date 5-1-12.