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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.’”
Discussed in this essay:
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.
The extinction symbol is a spare graphic that began to appear on London walls and sidewalks a couple of years ago. It has since become popular enough as an emblem of protest that people display it at environmental rallies. Others tattoo it on their arms. The symbol consists of two triangles inscribed within a circle, like so:
“The triangles represent an hourglass; the circle represents Earth; the symbol as a whole represents, according to a popular Twitter feed devoted to its dissemination (@extinctsymbol, 19.2K followers), “the rapidly accelerating collapse of global biodiversity” — what scientists refer to alternately as the Holocene extinction, the Anthropocene extinction, and (with somewhat more circumspection) the sixth mass extinction.
Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:
Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.
Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.
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Science’s crisis of faith