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“The team demonstrated that stopping daily caffeine consumption produces changes in cerebral blood flow velocity and quantitative EEG that are likely related to the classic caffeine withdrawal symptoms of headache, drowsiness and decreased alertness. More specifically, acute caffeine abstinence increased brain blood flow, an effect that may account for commonly reported withdrawal headaches. Acute caffeine abstinence also produced changes in EEG (increased theta rhythm) that has previously been linked to the common withdrawal symptom of fatigue. Consistent with this, volunteers reported increases in measures of ‘tired,’ ‘fatigue,’ ‘sluggish’ and ‘weary.’ Overall, these findings provide the most rigorous demonstration to date of physiological effects of caffeine withdrawal.”
“Google Earth’s maps pinpointed several such areas. One village in Tokyo was clearly labeled ‘eta,’ a now strongly derogatory word for burakumin that literally means ‘filthy mass.’ A single click showed the streets and buildings that are currently in the same area.”
“‘True solitude is the feeling of being absolutely isolated between the earth and the sky… [A] fearfully lucid intuition will reveal the entire drama of man’s finite nature facing the infinite nothingness of the world.’To call [EM Cioran] a nihilist is something of an understatement. He outdoes even Herodotus– who instructs us in the Histories to call no man happy until he is dead– in his proclamations of the punitive (or criminal) nature of our existences. Later in his career, he would identify birth itself as the primary human tragedy: ‘We have lost, being born, as much as we shall lose, dying. Everything.’”
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Rank of Detroit among major U.S. cities whose residents give the largest portion of their income to charity:
A South Dakota researcher concluded that only scant blood spatter results when chain saws are used to dismember pigs.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature