Termination of intractable hiccups with digital rectal massage.

Odeh M, Bassan H, Oliven A. Department of Inernal Medicine, Bnai Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.

A 60-year-old man with acute pancreatitis developed persistent hiccups after insertion of a nasogastric tube. Removal of the latter did not terminate the hiccups which had also been treated with different drugs, and several manoeuvres were attempted, but with no success. Digital rectal massage was then performed resulting in abrupt cessation of the hiccups. Recurrence of the hiccups occurred several hours later, and again, they were terminated immediately with digital rectal massage. No other recurrences were observed. This is the second reported case associating cessation of intractable hiccups with digital rectal massage. We suggest that this manoeuvre should be considered in cases of intractable hiccups before proceeding with pharmacological agents.
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The Nietzsche Family Circus


I assess the power of a will by how much
resistance, pain, torture it endures and knows
how to turn to its advantage.
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Current Music: Fluffy -- Scream ♬

Is this gonna be a stand-up fight, sir?

Bug porn. No really. Bug porn.

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Product

Now that's INDUSTRIAL music. You posers and your laptops.
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nanosteampunk

Engine On A Chip Promises To Best The Battery

MIT researchers are putting a tiny gas-turbine engine inside a silicon chip about the size of a quarter. The resulting device could run 10 times longer than a battery of the same weight can, powering laptops, cell phones, radios and other electronic devices.

Their microengine is made of six silicon wafers, piled up like pancakes and bonded together. Each wafer is a single crystal with its atoms perfectly aligned, so it is extremely strong. [...] They make 60 to 100 components on a large wafer that they then (very carefully) cut apart into single units.

Inside a tiny combustion chamber, fuel and air quickly mix and burn at the melting point of steel. Turbine blades, made of low-defect, high-strength microfabricated materials, spin at 20,000 revolutions per second -- 100 times faster than those in jet engines. A mini-generator produces 10 watts of power. A little compressor raises the pressure of air in preparation for combustion. And cooling (always a challenge in hot microdevices) appears manageable by sending the compression air around the outside of the combustor.

"So all the parts work.... We're now trying to get them all to work on the same day on the same lab bench," Epstein said. Ultimately, of course, hot gases from the combustion chamber need to turn the turbine blades, which must then power the generator, and so on. "That turns out to be a hard thing to do," he said. Their goal is to have it done by the end of this year.

Now the geeks will covet gasoline laptops to go along with their electric cars! But obviously this is not nearly as cool as powering your cellphone on human blood.

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magnetic launch

Huge 'launch ring' to fling satellites into orbit

Previous studies have investigated the use of magnets to accelerate satellites to the high speeds required for launch. But most have focused on straight tracks, which have to gather speed in one quick burst. Supplying the huge spike of energy needed for this method has proven difficult. The advantage of a circular track is that the satellite can be gradually accelerated over a period of several hours.

The tunnel would direct the cone to a ramp angled at 30° to the horizon, where the cone would launch towards space at about 8 kilometres per second, or more than 23 times the speed of sound. A rocket at the back end of the cone would be used to adjust its trajectory and place it in a proper orbit.

Anything launched in this way would have to be able to survive enormous accelerations -- more than 2000 times the acceleration due to gravity (2000g). This would seem to be an obstacle for launching things like communications satellites, but Fiske points out that the US military uses electronics in laser-guided artillery, which survive being fired out of guns at up to 20,000g. [...]

If the ring launched hundreds of satellites a year, it would be cheaper than conventional rocket launches. With 300 launches per year, the team estimates the ring could put payloads into orbit for $745 per kilogram. If the launch rate reached 3000 launches per year, they calculate that would drop to $189 per kilogram. Today, it costs more than 100 times that to send payloads into space.

And, when writing about anything, never forget to trot out someone willing to use The T Word:

Although Epstein is sceptical about the prospects for such a ring, he cautions that if built, the ring itself could become a target for attacks. This is because of its potential for use as a weapon, launching missiles that could reach anywhere in the world. "The ring then becomes one of the most important targets on the planet," he told New Scientist.
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home court advantage

Unpaid diplomatic parking tickets as index of national corruption

"Cultures of Corruption: Evidence From Diplomatic Parking Tickets," is a paper by Columbia's Ray Fisman and UC Berkeley's Edward Miguel that investigates the number of unpaid diplomatic parking tickets by country to formulate an index of each country's corruption. Diplomats don't pay parking fines, so the only reason for diplomats to follow the law is conscience and respect for the rule of law.
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Buddy Jesus is on the march

Buddy Jesus:

Sadr City residents found a picture of "Buddy Jesus" from the 1999 film "Dogma" posted in the streets, accompanied by a badly photocopied pamphlet bearing a crude approximation of a US military crest and outlining a US "plan" to subjugate the neighborhood.

"That picture abuses our Imam Mahdi and his holy character, and mocks our sacred figures," said resident Abu Riyam Sunday, apparently mistaking the satirical movie still of Jesus for one of Shiite Islam's historical imams, whose images adopt a Jesus-like iconography.

The grinning, winking model of Buddy Jesus giving a thumbs-up sign appeared in the comedy film as a fictional attempt by the Catholic Church to present a kinder and more accessible image of Christianity.

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it's a kind of chemical warfare

Police hunt farting dissident

Police in Poland have launched a nationwide hunt for a man who farted loudly when asked what he thought of the president.

Hubert Hoffman, 45, was charged with "contempt for the office of the head of state" for his actions after he was stopped by police in a routine check at a Warsaw railway station.

He complained that under President Lech Kaczynski and his twin brother Jaroslaw, the country was returning to a Communist style dictatorship.

When told to show more respect for the country's rulers, he farted loudly and was promptly arrested.

Hoffmann was arrested and released on bail but failed to turn up at a Warsaw court early this week to be tried, and the judge in the case rejected an appeal by defence lawyers to throw the charges out.

A court spokesman said: "Such a case of disrespect is taken very seriously."

Instead the court ordered the police to start a nationwide hunt for the man, and interpol have been alerted.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein both photographic, acrobatic, and kioskic topics are noted.

Photos are up of Bohemian Carnival (our new monthly circus party), Terrorfakt + Tonikom, and Triple Cobra at Pop Roxx. I only got pictures of the first half of the night at Bohemian Carnival, so if you have more, please send them...

A late addition to the calendar that you shouldn't miss is Flux Capacitor this Thursday: it's a fundraiser for Capactitor, an awesome acrobatic dance troupe who last performed here back in 2002.

I've been working on our kiosks lately; I think they should be a lot less crashy now. I had been running them as independent workstations that just happened to be diskless and boot remotely, but they tended to crash a lot, for no reason I had any luck determining, and any time I update any of the software, they get slower and slower, since here in the Twenty-First Century it appears to be considered right and sensible that a web browser should cause a machine with half a gig of ram to swap. So, screw it, I switched them over to the "thin client" approach of LTSP, where the kiosks are just X terminals, and all the apps run remotely on the central server. (Hello, 1993!) It seems to be working much better so far.

They're still running Red Hat 9, though, because my experiences trying to get anything to function sensibly on either Fedora 5 or on Ubuntu were... I think mind-blowingly intolerable is the phrase I'm searching for. (Please don't hax0r me, I'll just have to restore from backups and that'll make me sad.)

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