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Showing posts from February, 2015

Is dopamine what makes me write this blog?

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I have so few readers, why do I carry on with this blog? My best so far is 60 readers in a single day:


Is it a tiny amount of dopamine which gives me pleasure as I see that I did better today than yesterday?
An experiment in the 1950s showed that rats contained in a cage continually pressed a lever which resulted in a them getting a dose of dopamine. Pushing the lever closed an external electronic circuit which stimulated electrodes embedded in the rat's brain, and this caused the dopamine release. The rat preferred pressing the lever to exercising, eating, or even sex.
This wikipedia article explains more.
But I heard about this on a radio program and it occurred to me that even a doubling from 7 to 14 readers may provoke a tiny release of pleasure giving chemicals in my brain. So I write yet another blog post in the (unconscious?) hope of getting another dopamine release the following day.
I mean to say, I could be doing more ambitious things. I could (slowly) write the greatest E…

How to break the ice at job interviews.

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I was taught this trick by my good friend Neil C. of Bath, UK.
Here's how to prepare for the interview. Get a piece of white tissue paper and tear it up into many small pieces:
Now put the pieces in a loose bunch into your pocket, or handbag.
Things may be a bit tense during the interview, even though all parties are smiling at each other. These are fake smiles. You need to put your interviewer/s at his/her/their ease. That way they will feel comfortable with you. And you'll definitely get the job, if you just follow the following instructions...
There will come a moment in which they say, maybe with a fake smile: "And, so, have you got any questions for us?"
Here is your chance. Surreptitiously put your hand into your pocket or handbag and close the loose bunch of tissue fragments into your fist A loose fist:

Take you hand out of the pocket or handbag without drawing attention to it. Now you say:
"Well, actually I do have a question..."
They say: "Yes, plea…

There are at least three advantages to having Alzheimer's

There are at least three advantages to having Alzheimer's:

You can hide your own Easter eggs.You get to meet new people every day.You can hide your own Easter eggs.
(John Cooper Clark)

Lithophanes, I can only learn by experience.

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I don't know what it is, but people tell me that I need to do this or that and I nod my head and go on doing things my way. Then eventually, I learn that they were right all along. For example...

After the initial panic, when I thoughtI had paid for a non functioning 3D printer, I got to use the really quite good 600 Euro XYZPrinting Da Vinci V1.
Right, the demo has worked, time to do a lithophane. There's tons of stuff on lithophanes on the net, but basically they were ceramic objects with images etched onto them. They were initially made by French craftsmen more than 150 years ago. You view the lithophane backlit (presumably with a candle or oil lamp). The light is behind (or inside) the object. Where the craftsman leaves a lot of material the image appears dark. And where he scrapes away much of the material the image appears light.


Here's an example of an old lithophane.




3D printers are ideal for creating lithophanes because if you use slightly translucent white plastic (…