May 31st, 2014

look closer…

cTSHZGH

Amazing GIF image created using images from a scanning electron microscope:

As the incredibly powerful microscope zooms in, it goes from showing an amphipod (a type of shell-less crustacean), to a diatom (a type of algae) that’s on the amphipod, to a microscopic bacterium that’s on the diatom that’s on the amphipod. It’s life, on life, on life:

The GIF was created by James Tyrwhitt-Drake back in 2012, when he captured the images at the University of Victoria’s Advanced Microscopy Facility and posted the final product to his Tumblog, Infinity Imagined.

Via PetaPixel.

May 30th, 2014

Alan Watts on business, ‘rascality’ and trust

May 25th, 2014

Beneficial brain activity during ‘non-directive’ meditation

Psyblog reports on an interesting study that suggests that non-directive meditation has more beneficial effects than focused meditation.

All the different types of meditation can be split into two main types:

In non-directive types of meditation, people focus on their breathing or a sound, but also allow their mind to wander where it will.
In concentrative types of meditation, people try to focus closely on their breath, or something else, in order to suppress other thoughts and feelings they experience.

“The study indicates that nondirective meditation allows for more room to process memories and emotions than during concentrated meditation.”

“This area of the brain has its highest activity when we rest.

“…types of meditation that allow spontaneous thoughts, images, sensations, memories, and emotions to emerge and pass freely without actively controlling or pursuing them, over time may reduce stress by increasing awareness and acceptance of emotionally charged experiences.

“…mind wandering and activation of the default mode network in general may serve introspective and adaptive functions beyond rumination and daydreaming.

Potentially useful functions would include mental simulations, using autobiographical memory retrieval to envision the future and conceiving the perspective of others.” (Xu et al., 2014).

Read more.

May 8th, 2014

Psychogeography and the dérive

Wa(l)king:

…The situationists’ desire to become psychogeographers, with an understanding of the ‘precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals’, was intended to cultivate an awareness of the ways in which everyday life is presently conditioned and controlled, the ways in which this manipulation can be exposed and subverted, and the possibilities for chosen forms of constructed situations in the post-spectacular world. Only an awareness of the influences of the existing environment can encourage the critique of the present conditions of daily life, and yet it is precisely this concern with the environment which we live which is ignored.

More

Psychogeography on wikipedia






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Original content © MMIX Jonathan Beaton, all rights reserved.