Das „chronische déjà vu Syndrom“

Aus der Abteilung „Das kenn ich doch von irgendwo…“

(The Reporter – University of Leeds Newsletter) Many of us have experienced déjà vu – the unsettling sensation of knowing that a situation could not have been experienced, combined with the feeling that it has. It is usually so fleeting that psychologists have until recently thought it impossible to study. But for some people, the feeling of having been there before is a persistent sensation, making every day a ‘Groundhog Day’. Psychologists from Leeds’ memory group are working with sufferers of chronic déjà vu on the world’s first study of the condition.
Dr Chris Moulin first encountered chronic déjà vu sufferers at a memory clinic. “We had a peculiar referral from a man who said there was no point visiting the clinic because he’d already been there, although this would have been impossible.” The patient not only genuinely believed he had met Dr Moulin before, he gave specific details about the times and places of these ‘remembered’ meetings.
Déjà vu has developed to such an extent that he had stopped watching TV – even the news – because it seemed to be a repeat, and even believed he could hear the same bird singing the same song in the same tree every time he went out. Chronic déjà vu sufferers are not only overwhelmed by a sense of familiarity for new experiences, they can provide plausible and complex justifications to support this. “When this particular patient’s wife asked what was going to happen next on a TV programme he’d claimed to have already seen, he said ‘how should I know? I have a memory problem!’” Dr Moulin said.

Moulin führt übrigens auch einen Blog.

Dein Mediaplayer kennt Deine Stimmung

Nachdem die Computer demnächst unsere Stimmung „erfühlen“ können sollen, erstaunt mich die Meldung bei Futurezone nicht mehr allzu sehr, dass Disney das Konzept eines portablen Media Players, der die Stimmung seiner Trägerin erkennen und die Playlist entsprechend gestalten können soll, zum Patent angemeldet hat. Aus dem Antrag:

5. The system of claim 4 wherein said profile synchronizing means includes mood sensing means associated with said player for sensing the mood of the user of said player and conveying said sensed mood to the provider of said content.

HAL weiss, wie’s Dir geht

(Fraunhofer) Many computers are already able to see and hear. However, they have no way of telling whether their users are happy or angry. At CeBIT 2006, researchers will be presenting techniques that could one day enable the digital servant to respond to the mood of its human master. Several recent studies have found that computer users not only love and cherish their machines, but very often maltreat them. Experts have identified aggression towards the PC as a genuine problem that deserves greater attention in the academic field. The kicks and blows of frustrated users cause computer damage that cannot be dismissed as negligible, neither in terms of personal property nor on a commercial and economic level. If only for this reason, it would be good for computers to assess their users’ emotions correctly and respond accordingly.

„Flüssiges“ Holz aus Lignin plus (u.a.) Hanf

(Fraunhofer) Engineers at ICT spin-off TECNARO in Eisenach, Thuringia, extract the lignin and mix it with natural fibers such as sisal, hemp or linen, along with certain additives and dyes, according to the customer’s requirements. The mixture is extruded to produce a granulate, in a plant with a monthly output capacity of between five and ten metric tons. Arboform® can be processed in an injection-molding machine like any normal thermoplastic, and used to manufacture aesthetically pleasing products such as nativity figures, loudspeaker units, car instrument panels, chessmen for board games, or the stock of hunting rifles. The company even has a golf tee in its product range.

(Tecnaro) Mischt man Lignin mit Naturfasern (Flachs, Hanf oder anderen Faserpflanzen), so erhält man einen unter Temperaturerhöhung verarbeitungsfähigen Faserverbundwerkstoff, der auf herkömmlichen Kunststoffverarbeitungsmaschinen wie ein synthetisch hergestellter Thermoplast zu Formteilen, Tafeln oder Platten verarbeitet werden kann. So sind z. B. Computer-, Fernseh- oder Handygehäuse aus „Holz“ möglich. Die aus Naturstoffen hergestellten Granulate tragen den Namen ARBOFORM (Arbor, lateinisch = der Baum).

New Orleans: Schwarze machen doppelt Zweite

Die schwarze Bevölkerung von New Orelans litt nicht nur stärker an den Folgen von Katrina, sie trifft auch der Entscheid härter, überflutete Gebiete nicht wieder aufzubauen.

(Brown University) The images were accurate: The Gulf Coast’s poor, black residents were hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina, according to findings by a Brown University sociologist. Professor John Logan’s new research is the first of its kind from the disaster zone and raises provocative questions about the future population of New Orleans. (…) Blacks were less likely to be homeowners and had average incomes 60 percent lower than whites. This means that it will be more difficult for them to reestablish their lives in New Orleans without assistance. In addition, damaged neighborhoods housed just half of the city’s whites but more than 80 percent of its African-American population. Decisions to prevent rebuilding in heavily flooded areas will disproportionately affect blacks simply because of where they lived. (…)

Raplinguistik

(University of Calgary) It’s rare to use the words ‘hip hop’ and ‘serious academic research’ in the same sentence, but a University of Calgary linguistics professor has relied on rap music as source material for a study of African American vernacular English. Dr. Darin Howe (right) recently contributed a book chapter that focuses on how black Americans use the negative in informal speech, citing examples from hip hop artists such as Phonte, Jay Z and Method Man. Howe is believed to be the only academic in Canada and one of the few in the world to take a scholarly look at the language of hip hop. (…) For example, the book chapter quotes Tupac Shakur as saying, “It’s like can’t nobody never get confused and think I’m like Mike Tyson…;” in other words, no one could confuse Tupac with Mike Tyson. In another example, black English commonly substitutes the word ‘ain’t’ for ‘didn’t.’ So ‘I didn’t see him’ could become, ‘I aint see him.’ “However, black English speakers know that you should only do this for about half the time,” Howe says. “White hip hop artists try to imitate black speech, and for the most part they do a decent job, but when they don’t have the rules down it becomes noticeable.” One of the intriguing conclusions that Howe draws is that there is an accelerating divergence in the speech dialects of whites and blacks, a subject that surfaced in the late 1990s with the debate on Ebonics.