Friday, 25 September 2009

Miss Aniela

Thanks to Tim for pointing me at the work of Miss Aniela.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Cosmetic Neurology

There was an interesting article in Sunday's paper (here). It's about the increasing use of drugs like Adderall, Provigil and Ritalin by healthy people as cognitive enhancers. In some senses this isn't that surprising - after all we all drink coffee to stave off tiredness - but there does appear to be a growing trend for so-called neuro-enhancement. Surprisingly (or not) there's not a lot of scientific study of what these drugs do to healthy people, and whether they really enhance cognitive function. However, there's lots of these drugs around, so it's not hard to get hold of it.

Interestingly, the users are not just college students who need something to keep awake as they're late on an essay assignment because they've been partying. (Nothing new here!) But rather, there is a growing trend of young professional users, who feel under increasing pressure to be more productive (both absolutely and relatively to all those 20 year-old whizz-kids in Mumbai). This cultural perspective seems to me almost as interesting - it's certainly not clear that cosmetic neurology is philosophically any different to cosmetic surgery.

Anyhow, take a look at the article - it's a little long, but I found it fascinating.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Microsoft everywhere

On the way to work this morning, I stopped at the bank to get some cash. (The Country Fayre at Parker's Piece having cleared me out! [Grr...£4 a turn on the bungie-trampolines...]) Imagine my surprise when I was faced with an XP-Pro screen saver!

Better than a blue screen I guess :-)

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Conference search

Anyone know of a decent conference in South Africa next summer?

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Monday, 7 September 2009

Two cultures

It had to happen. This weekend our harmonious, two-cultures family was momentarily divided (well, for ninety minutes...). Yep, for the first time in history, Slovenia played England at football :-) We watched it on the hi-definition TV at Jure and Petra's place, so I was heavily outnumbered by Slovenes (me and the two halves of our two girls against three adults, one teenager, two and two-halves kids and one baby). I'd like to think that I set the early pace with a stirring rendition of God Save The Queen, which blew away the frankly weak singing of Preseren's Zdravljica!

In spite of my and Richard's confidence in a 5-1 scoreline; the game was actually pretty good. Slovenia played really rather well - nice flowing movement, which showed up some alarming holes in our defence. In the end, England were 2-1 winners. England had plenty of chances of score (and should have really scored 4) but Slovenia possibly deserved another goal. Moreover, England's first goal was a terrible refereeing mistake - there was no foul; not even the England players claimed it. That said, I still don't buy Jure's assertion that Slovenia morally won the game!

Anyway, game over and harmony restored in our household. (I was particularly impressed by Hana, who when asked at the start of the game who she supported, looked at me, looked at Mateja and then said "I don't know" and then ran off to play with her friends. A diplomat in the making!)