Fuel crunch tidbit

When an F-16 lights up its afterburners,
it consumes nearly 28 gallons of fuel per minute.

Of all the fuel the United States government uses each year,
the Air Force accounts for more than half.

Millionaires vs mere wages

Campaign funds are collected through three main sources:

  1. PACs (about 20% of the money in the Senate and 40% in the House);

  2. large individual contributions (more than half the money in the Senate, and just under half in the House);
  3. and small contributions, typically about 10% of the average House campaign and around 15% in the Senate.

“…members of Congress – whatever their party –
share a special affinity for millionaires.

Without them their coffers would be considerably less.”

via the Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit that helps us learn what Congress is doing.

There are still 539 congressional members and delegates whose disclosure forms haven’t been scrutinized.

Want to investigate them?

Regrow your teeth?

Looks like it’s actually possible.

The treatment, called low-intensity pulsed ultrasound, massages the gums to stimulate jaws, encourage growth in the roots of teeth and aid healing in dental tissue.

“If the root is broken, it can now be fixed,” said Dr. Tarak El-Bialy of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. “And because we can regrow the teeth root, a patient could have his own tooth rather than foreign objects in his mouth.”

“Bring it on :-)” says CoMags

Seth gets it

Seth Godin:

  • People don’t believe what you tell them.
  • They rarely believe what you show them.
  • They often believe what their friends tell them.
  • They always believe what they tell themselves.

Happiness is impossible

Psychoanalyst Adam Phillips is interviewed in The Guardian about the paradox of chasing happiness and the negative effects of emotional idealism.

Phillips argues that trying to eliminate all sources of stress in your life is a pointless exercise and we should become better at tolerating difficult situations if we are to be become fully content.

I tell Phillips that at my workstation books with the word happiness in the title arrive unbidden by the hour. They include: Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness, Richard Schoch’s The Secrets of Happiness, Darrin McMahon’s The Pursuit of Happiness, Richard Layard’s Happiness: Lessons from a New Science and Jonathan Haidt’s The Happiness Hypothesis. Do you read these books? “I’ve looked at them. They seem to me to be the problem rather than the solution.”

Phillips also gives his take on the current focus on CBT as the psychological therapy of choice and the use of psychoanalysis as a long-term therapy for people with socially turbulent modern lives.

Link to article ‘Happiness is always a delusion’ as posted at mindHacks

Measuring something as subjective as the feeling or state of happiness is a tricky business.

While some may take pleasure in closing a big financial merger, others may be content to watch a babbling brook as they sip lemonade. The BBC has never shied away from taking on such weighty matters and they have recently created this website to complement their ongoing series titled “The Happiness Formula”.

Users may wish to orient themselves to the site by viewing some of the short video clips featured on the right-hand side of the site’s homepage. The site also contains material on the relationship between economic success and overall happiness levels and the health benefits of happiness. The site is rounded out by a place where visitors can offer their own suggestions for improving happiness and another area where they can take a quiz on happiness.

via The Scout Report

Challenging the serotonin theory

The merchandizing of drugs is altering our perception of both the product and ourselves.

There’s a thought-provoking piece in the latest issue of open-access medical journal PLoS Medicine on whether antidepressants ‘correct’ a problem in the brain, or just create an altered state that may be useful for people with low-mood problems.

The paper also tackles the idea that depression is ’caused by low serotonin’ in the brain and that antidepressants ‘correct’ this problem.

The low serotonin theory of depression must rank as one of the most widely known and least supported scientific theories, as there is comparatively little evidence that backs this explanation.

via mind hacks

Culture becomes isolating

Social Isolation in America:
Changes in Core Discussion Networks over Two Decades [pdf]


Who could you count on in an emergency? Do you have a network of people to talk with about relationships, family issues, and the like?

These are some of the thorny questions that some sociologists consider of the utmost importance when peering into the heart of contemporary society. According to this study, released in June 2006, Americans’ circle of close friends has shrunk rather dramatically, leaving many to wonder why this might be the case.

Researched and written by sociologists at Duke University and the University of Arizona, this provocative 23-page report compares data from 1985 and 2004 in an attempt to determine the depth and extent of social contact across a cross-section of American society.

While visitors will want to read the report in its entirety, one finding is particularly troubling: the number of people who said they had no one with whom to discuss important matters doubled to nearly 25 percent from 1985 to 2004.

via Internet Scout Project

Never leave the house

I betcha courier firms at first, then larger systems such as UPS or FedEx, will build local quick delivery systems soon.

Though not the first, the folks at LicketyShip have the most recent update of local delivery. This concept is popping up in cities around the world.

via springwise

Slice a Ferrari

Offering “intelligent supercar ownership,” écurie25 [once was ] a club that gives members the right to drive fine automobiles for 30-40 days per year.

Like NetJets does for private jets, écurie25 takes care of the costs and trouble associated with outright ownership; members don’t have to worry about depreciation, insurance and servicing.

via springWise