Christmas 2010: Flying to the UK

As you may have seen on the news, the UK has been experiencing some freakishly cold weather. The weekend before Christmas was marked by a sudden record breaking cold snap. Chesham in Buckinghamshire hit -26 Celsius, a temperature I don’t think I ever experienced during the years I lived in the area. Heathrow airport was engulfed in snow and ice, thousands of passengers were stranded at the airport for days, and it started to look as if our Christmas trip to see my family was going to be canceled at the last minute.

The man who dies every day

A month ago, I wrote about myself and other myths–some interesting scientific results from research into the nature of consciousness. I missed a couple, however. For many years, scientists have studied the nature of sleep, and of dreams. These studies have started to overlap with those looking at the nature of consciousness. One experiment involves stimulating the brain using transcranial magnetic stimulation or TMS, and watching the outcome on an FMRI scanner as the patient is gradually anesthetized or allowed to fall asleep.

Marital bliss

I woke up at 01:30 to find sara snoring like a rusty Roto-tiller. I tried the usual tricks to get her to stop—a light touch on the nose, a brush on the forehead, a gentle nudge. None of them worked, so I tried the usual last-ditch measure, and gently pushed her head until it had rolled into a new position. After a minute or so of blissful silence, the noise began again, louder than before.

Zzz

Feeling pretty damn close to 100%. Amazing what a lot of sleep can do.