Posts in the Medicine category

Why movies look weird at 48fps, and games are better at 60fps, and the uncanny valley…

the hobbit

Damn you, Peter Jackson!

Let’s end this debate once and for all. Humans can see frame rates greater than 24fps (although plenty of people will argue that they can’t on the internet). I’ll explain more in a future post if necessary, but let’s take that as read.

Once you’ve accepted that fact, the next question is why do movies at 48fps look “videoy”, and why do movies at 24fps look “dreamy” and “cinematic”. Why are games more realistic at 60Hz than 30Hz?

The answer to all of this lies in two things – ocular microtremor, and center-surround receptive fields in the retina. And it predicts where the cut-off lies as well.

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Cholesterol, with and without Statins

So I've been entering medical info into a database for a good chunk of the afternoon. The cool thing is that by changing my diet, I've been able to get my cholesterol levels trending down to today, where they're nearly where they were when I was on a statin (which I reacted incredibly poorly to).

image 

How did I do this?

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Parkinson’s Disease and the Flu

Here’s a reason you might not have thought of to get your flu shot this year – it might protect you from getting Parkinson’s Disease.

I've been saying since about 2007 that most late-life diseases can be pinned down on specific combinations of genetic susceptibility + external factors (in most cases, viruses). One of these was Parkinson's disease, which looked like it was caused by Influenza.

Well, I missed it at the time, but this study came out in 2011: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3105060/

Next prediction: A surprisingly large number of cases of dental caries are caused by human herpes viruses 1 through 4. I expect this one to be confirmed some time around 2018.

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How to Stop The Room From Spinning When You're Drunk

I'm pretty well known in some circles (such as The Atlantic Wire, Google search engines, and other random places) for my hangover cures. In fact, one of the proudest moments of my life was getting a note from a restaurant crew saying that they'd laminated my advice. And I know how much those guys drink... sooooo...

You might think that having posted that blog post (was it really 8 years ago? Daaaamn!), I'd have given up on hangover cures, and started to cure other things. Well, sure, my interests have wandered a little... but you know what? I still drink alcohol now and then, and despite my advice, I still get hangovers. Except there's a missing step in there - the drunk part.

We’ve all been there. After a big night on the town, you’re settling down for the evening, and ok, sure, you’re not really that drunk… maybe a little unsteady, but nothing a little sleep will fix. So you lie down in bed and close your eyes and… great. The room’s spinning and you feel a billion times worse. Well, damnit. Open your eyes again. The room stops spinning a bit. Maybe if I lie down next to the toilet at least I won’t make a mess of the bed. Fine.

And so you settle down for a night with your new dance partner with alabaster skin and a porcelain persuasion. Yep, you’re curled up ready for a fitful sleep with your arm around the john. Just when was the last time you cleaned it again? Great. Just great.

drunk funny passed out urinal wasted inebriated-thumb

Well, that sucks. So let’s see what we can do about that. This post will teach you a neat "stupid-human-trick" that will help you stop the room from spinning next time you get drunk – and a little of the science behind it. Handy, huh?

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What I’ve Learned About Dancing and Dieting So Far: Part 2 - Dancing

As a dancer, I’ve pretty much got two left feet. Always have. (If my DNA source code is anything to believe, it’s partly because I’ve got a slightly worse motor cortex than most, making it harder for me to learn that kind of thing… I’m not sure whether I buy that or not). Although I’ve always had a blast making a fool out of myself on the dance floor, provided I had poured enough alcohol into myself to ignore the jeers, and the fact that I’d never be able to pull based on my “moves”. (Fortunately, my lack of coordination and finesse appears to be relegated only to dancing).

Last week though, I was playing Dance Central 3 with my wonderful wife Darci, and she said one of the most amazing things ever…  (in between mocking my lack of skill). This is the one piece of information that totally clued me into what I was missing about dancing, and why she was more easily able to ape the dancers on the screen than I was. It was mind blowing, and has completely gotten me over the hump.

What was it?

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