Monthly Archives: October 2006

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Linked to Improved Prisoner Behavior

The Guardian has an article up about studies involving omega-3 fatty acids and populations of alocholics and violent prisoners. Some of the scientists quoted in the article suspect that an increase in omega-6 fatty acids and decrease in omega-3 fatty acids in the diet has affected people’s brains over the last century.

The results are not entirely conclusive, and the article does note that, but I found it to be really interesting nonetheless.

Mind-Mapping and Reference Digging – Time Frame

As I’ve noted in previous posts, as I read a paper, I underline relevant passages. I also circle references I’m interested in. The paper then goes into my “to-map” file.

I like to “map” papers when I’m feeling braindead — when I’m too tired or too mentally exhausted to do things requiring extensive thought. This consists of loading relevant details for a paper into a mind map and then looking up all of the references I found interesting and adding them to my Cite-U-Like library.

I am feeling a bit tired today, and I just finished mapping a paper. By my timer, it took about 55 minutes for an 8-page paper. This is a pretty substantial amount of time (about 6.875 min/page). However, it allows me to browse or search a complete list of the relevant facts from papers I’ve read. This is much, much faster than re-reading each paper, and much more powerful than trying to keep track of all of the salient details in my head. I haven’t timed how long it takes me to map a paper before, and I’m going to try to remember to do it more. I’d like to get an average pages/minute. Of course, the times will be longer for “interesting” papers and shorter for less-“interesting” papers.

What do you do to keep track of important information from papers you’ve read?

Short-sighted prediction of the distant future of Humans

An article from the BBC covers one man’s theory about a bifurcation in the human race. He presumes that over long periods of time, sexual selection combined with dependence on technology will lead to beautiful, athletic men and women on one end of the spectrum, and hunched ugly little trolls of men (and women) on the other.

He neglects, in his up to 10,000 year outlook, one simple thing that is very likely to happen: we will gain the ability to manipulate and fix our bodies and even our genes. This very likely eventuality, should it come to pass, will nullify his whole idea. It is already coming to pass.

How to make iCal display time zones on events

Apple’s iCal has the ability to use timezone-aware scheduling. This comes in handy because I sync it with my Treo, which changes time zones automatically. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s easy to forget which time zone you’re looking at, and become confused.

Yesterday I accidentally discovered that if you change your date/time format preferences to include time zone (even for the “short” format) in System Preferences, the time zone will be included in iCal events as well:

Screenshot from iCal