Simon Li (AKA Mydogisdead)

This is the every now and again wall posting of my blog filled with music, Film, science and my love of 8mm film and other geeky things...

Monday, 1 April 2013

Electrostimulation from psychiatric treatment to exercise to erotic masturbation

Electro therapy seems only to be synonymous with beneficial alternative medicines. And while the science may prove to give a sound explanation on each of the methods, it is with relatively slow progress that such therapies are not in the mainstream.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), formerly known as electroshock, is a psychiatric treatment in which seizures are electrically induced in anesthetized patients for therapeutic effect. Its mode of action is unknown. Today, ECT is most often recommended for use as a treatment for severe depression that has not responded to other treatment, and is also used in the treatment of mania and catatonia. Aside from effects in the brain, the general physical risks of ECT are similar to those of brief general anesthesia; the United States' Surgeon General's report says that there are "no absolute health contraindications" to its use.

Immediately following treatment, the most common adverse effects are confusion and memory loss. The state of confusion usually disappears after a few hours. It can be tolerated by pregnant women who are not suffering major complications. It can be used with diabetic or obese patients, and with caution in those whose cancers are in remission or under control. It can be used in some immunocompromised patients. It must be used very cautiously in people with epilepsy or other neurological disorders because by its nature it provokes small tonic-clonic seizures, and so would likely not be given to a person whose epilepsy is not well controlled.
According to prominent ECT researcher Harold Sackeim, "despite over fifty years of clinical use and ongoing controversy", until 2007 there had "never been a large-scale, prospective study of the cognitive effects of ECT." In this first-ever large-scale study (347 subjects), Sackeim and colleagues found that at least some forms (namely bilateral application and outdated sine-wave currents) of ECT "routine[ly]" lead to "adverse cognitive effects," including global cognitive deficits and memory loss, that persist for up to six months after treatment, suggesting that the induced deficits may be permanent.

Another form of therapy is Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) is a psychiatric treatment that applies a small, pulsed electric current across a patient's head. Some researchers and doctors claim that CES has beneficial effects in conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia and stress.
However, its effectiveness is still being studied., and is thus an experimental treatment. Soroush Zaghi et al. published an article in the journal The Neuroscientist, finding that CES increases the production of serotonin, GABA, and endorphins. These neurochemical changes explain any positive effects that might be experienced from CES. A meta-analysis by Klawansky et al. published in Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease "showed CES to be significantly more effective than sham treatment", but noted that 86% of the studies included in the review were inadequately blinded and the experimenter "knew which patients were receiving CES or sham treatment." Most studies cited as evidence for the effectiveness of CES failed to report all data necessary for meta-analysis.

Alternatively Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a form of neurostimulation which uses constant, low current delivered directly to the brain area of interest via small electrodes. tDCS was originally developed to help patients with brain injuries such as strokes. Tests on healthy adults demonstrated that tDCS can increase cognitive performance on a variety of tasks, depending on the area of the brain being stimulated. tDCS has been utilized to enhance language and mathematical ability, attention span, problem solving, memory, and coordination. Transcranial direct current stimulation works by sending constant, low direct current through the electrodes. When these electrodes are placed in the region of interest, the current induces intracerebral current flow. This current flow then either increases or decreases the neuronal excitability in the specific area being stimulated based on which type of stimulation is being used.

This change of neuronal excitability leads to alteration of brain function, which can be used in various therapies as well as to provide more information about the functioning of the human brain. The way that the stimulation changes brain function is either by causing the neuron’s resting membrane potential to depolarize or hyperpolarize. When positive stimulation (anodal tDCS) is delivered, the current causes a depolarization of the resting membrane potential, which increases neuronal excitability and allows for more spontaneous cell firing. When negative stimulation (cathodal tDCS) is delivered, the current causes a hyperpolarization of the resting membrane potential. This decreases neuron excitability due to the decreased spontaneous cell firing. There is no strict limitation on the duration of stimulation set at this point but a stimulation time of 20 minutes is considered the ideal time.
The longer the stimulation duration, the longer the observed effects of the stimulation persist once the stimulation has ended. A stimulation length of 10 minutes results in observed effects lasting for up to an hour. There are no known risks of tDCS at this time, but since this technique of stimulation is still being explored, safety precautions should be kept, as well as the effects to the brain.

Electro-stimulation can provide benefits to the rest of the body by way of electrical muscle stimulation, also known as neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) or electromyostimulation, is the elicitation of muscle contraction using electric impulses. EMS has received increasing attention in the last few years, because it has the potential to serve as: a strength training tool for healthy subjects and athletes; a rehabilitation and preventive tool for partially or totally immobilized patients; a testing tool for evaluating the neural and/or muscular function in vivo; a post-exercise recovery tool for athletes.

The impulses are generated by a device and delivered through electrodes on the skin in direct proximity to the muscles to be stimulated. The impulses mimic the action potential coming from the central nervous system, causing the muscles to contract. The electrodes are generally pads that adhere to the skin. In medicine EMS is used for rehabilitation purposes, for instance in physical therapy in the prevention of disuse muscle atrophy which can occur for example after musculoskeletal injuries, such as damage to bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. This is distinct from Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), in which an electric current is used for pain therapy.

EMS devices cause a calorie burning that is marginal at best: calories are burnt in significant amount only when most of the body is involved in physical exercise: several muscles, the heart and the respiratory system are all engaged at once. However, some authors imply that EMS can lead to exercise, since a person toning his/her muscles with electrical stimulation is more likely afterwards to participate in sporting activities as the body is ready, fit, willing and able to take on physical activity.

While most electro therapies claim some beneficial effects from mild electrical contact. There have been other ideas to try electrical stimulation in a erotic methodology. Utilizing Nikola Tesla's high voltage low current tesla coil, one of the first electro sex toys was a machine called "The violet wand".
A violet wand typically consists of a hand held "wand" made of plastic which encases a high voltage electrical transformer. Violet wands have been made for the adult industry since the early to mid 1990s. The first manufacturer of violet wands was Donnie Rice of the Erotec company of California, specifically for those into BDSM as a sexual stimulation device.
A violet wand creates shock sensation when there is a gap between the electrode or the attachment and the body. As the wand is held near to the body, the spark will jump, providing the sensation. Full contact with an accessory creates a slightly warm sensation, but a violet wand provides a wide range of physical sensation properties with different settings and attachments. Violet Wands can be used anywhere on the body but should not be used around the eyes.
Electrostimulation, in general, can cause tissue damage or even death if misused.

The most common problems arising from electrostimulation tend to be burns from lack of lubrication or bad contact between the electrode and the skin's surface. Even at relatively low current and voltage, there is also risk of interference with normal heart function (potentially including cardiac arrest), and this risk is higher for those who use an artificial pacemaker or similar device or who have heart conditions. Because of this, it is not advisable to place the electrical contacts in such a way that current passes through the chest cavity. Newcomers are encouraged to research the hazards, limitations, and techniques of electrostimulation and the devices used.
There have been modifications to a typical muscle stimulator using electrode pads placed around the genitals can provide the erotic effect. The popular designs are the violet wand or artificial phallus place inside the female genitals for stimulation, these have been the safer choice considering most are battery operated. The use of remote control gives the flexibility to the consumer and with connectivity to allow long distance relationships to sexually blossom. But despite the images to the misuse of electro-shock therapy portrayed in horror film, its still likely that electricity will play a part in our lives as well as our wellbeing.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Is modern living a breeding ground for Psychopaths?...

Both the financial elite and their servants who maintain this system, appear to exhibit behavior that is consistent with symptoms associated with a medical disorder known as psychopathy.(*) Psychopaths, also called sociopaths, are categorized as those who exhibit superficial charm and intelligence, and are absent of delusions or nervousness. Their traits include:

  • Unreliability Frequent lying
  • Deceitful and manipulative behavior (either goal-oriented or for the delight of the act itself)
  • Lack of remorse or shame
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Poor judgment and failure to learn by experience
  • Incapacity for love
  • Poverty of general emotions
  • Loss of insight Unresponsiveness in personal relations
  • A frequent need for excitement
  • An inflated self-worth
  • An ability to rationalize their behavior
  • A need for complete power
  • A need to dominate others
Psychopathy is basically an emotional disorder, although psychopaths don't feel emotion in a normal sense, they do experience boredom, envy, exhilaration, contempt, sadistic pleasure, anger, and hints of depression. Generally, those who believe it's caused by environmental factors use the term sociopath, and believers of the biological theory use the term psychopath. Psychopathy closely resembles Antisocial Personality Disorder. These character types, comprise about 4% of the population and span every level of society. Psychopaths can be found in every race, culture, profession and class.
Psychopathy is usually untreatable. Most therapists won't work with them because they often end up damaged in the process. Traditional therapeutic approaches actually make them, if not worse, then far more adept at manipulating others and concealing their behavior. They are generally considered to be not only incurable but also untreatable. Basically psychopaths are the way they are for life. In most legal jurisdictions they are considered sane. So technically, they're not mentally ill, just different.
Some researchers agree that the traits exhibited by these people produce a division stronger than age, race, and religion, which places them in a new category of people. In other words, these people are almost not human as we know it. The word antisocial does not describe someone who prefers to sit at home rather than attend gatherings. More accurately it means antihuman. Most people can't bring themselves to understand the mind-set of a psychopath.

Psychopaths tend to gravitate towards and thrive in professions that offer power and require cutthroat decision making, a new book has claimed.
‘The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success’ outlines the ten jobs psychopaths are most likely, and least likely, to be found in. In the workplace, psychopaths are characterized by their attempts to try to undermine and “mentally destroy” their co-workers to feed their need for a sense of power and domination over other human beings.
A leading psychotherapist recently warned Australian bosses that they need to implement strategies to manage workplace psychopaths because they exist in most large companies.
It’s been established for some time that genes play a significant role in the makeup of those individuals eventually diagnosed with such conditions as Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD, sometimes also now termed Dissocial Personality Disorder or DPD). And while the concepts of psychopathy and sociopathy have been around for a long time, neither has been recognized as an official disorder (although it’s likely that the upcoming revision of the official diagnostic manual will include the key aspects of psychopathy as a variant form of APD).
Historically, the evidence for a genetic predisposition to APD has come from studies of monozygotic (identical) twins reared apart. The fact that the twin of an individual with an antisocial behavior history is more likely to show the same kind of behaviors despite being raised in a different environment argues for a genetic predisposition to the disorder.

And it’s of particular interest that twin studies have shown that the key component of psychopathy (i.e. lack of guilt or remorse and callous use and abuse of others rooted in empathy deficits) also appears to be influenced by biological factors. The “concordance” rate between twins reared apart for the various traits associated with APD, DPD, psychopathy and sociopathy is not strong enough to confirm a strictly genetic basis, but there can be no doubting a strong biologically-based predisposition. And one fairly recent study on monozygotic twins reared apart demonstrated that the biological predisposition toward empathy deficiency shows up even in children as young as 7 years old.
According to Professor Essi Viding from University College London. Her group has carried out twin studies which suggest that psychopathic traits in children are largely genetic. "For the group which has callous-unemotional traits, there's a strong genetic vulnerability," said Prof Viding. "This does not mean these children are born anti-social or are destined to become anti-social. But in the same way that some of us are more susceptible to heart disease, these children are people who are more vulnerable to environmental influences that trigger the anti-social outcome."
Psychologists are only now starting to recognise that psychopathic children, described as callous-unemotional (CU), form a distinct sub-group. Prof Viding, said between a quarter and half of children with conduct problems may fall into the CU category. That amounts to slightly less than 1% of all children.
Stephen Scott is professor of child health and behaviour at the Institute of Psychiatry, based at the Maudsley Hospital in South London.
As director of the National Conduct Problems Clinic for children aged between three and eight who show disruptive, difficult and anti-social behaviour, he is able to identify those who exhibit the ‘combination of anti-social behaviours with an overlay of callous, unemotional traits’ that are typical of adult psychopathy, and refer them on to the department’s Tender Loving Care (TLC) Project. This research programme sees 100 children every year who have been referred by consultant psychiatrists, consultant paediatricians, social services, GPs, educational psychologists and teachers. Parents can also take along their own child if they are concerned, without a doctor’s referral. Professor Scott says: ‘Adult sociopaths are superficial and charming, but can also seem uncaring and heartless.’ He believes these characteristics can be identified in childhood. While Professor Scott is wary of ‘over-diagnosis’ and emphasises that many children and adults can possess the cold, unfeeling nature of the psychopath without actually being one (‘think boyfriends who couldn’t give a damn and some chiefs of big corporations’) there is little danger of confusing the average five-year-old scamp with the fledgling psychopath.

Modern living, which includes watching Tv and being aware of the media somehow filters in our sub consciousness.
The rewards for being successful or to accumulate wealth further promotes a cut throat behavior to our society. Considering that there are so many influences and that generates a selfish or narcissistic behavior pattern. I am developing a theory which points out the possible link of possible behavior to common genetic dominance. Although no single gene determines a particular behavior. Behaviors are complex traits involving multiple genes that are affected by a variety of other factors.
 This fact often gets overlooked in media reports hyping scientific breakthroughs on gene function, and, unfortunately, this can be very misleading to the public. Certain genetic markers in psychopaths can get passed down, about 50% of individual differences in psychopathic traits are genetic suggests that a fair amount of variance in psychopathic features is environmental. (It is worth noting that approximately 40-60% of the variance in many personality traits and in several other disorders also appears to reflect genetic factors. Thus, psychopathy is similar to other personality traits and disorders in which genetic factors are important, yet do not explain everything.) Although specific genes relevant to psychopathy have been identified, most people believe there are probably multiple genes which contribute to psychopathy, just as there are multiple genes involved in most clinical conditions which are partly heritable.
Also a working theory that a mothers environment can effect a child's brain. As a unborn baby is exposed to stress hormones and poor diet from, the mothers influences the child's brain development. In this case fear and negative emotions will stimulate the amygdala for fight or flight response. While a positive environment will stimulate the anterior cingulate cortex, a higher brain function for rational cognitive functions preventing violent action or arguments. The theory of which subtly suggest environment can effect behaviour maybe uncommon, but is worth while to consider during a child's development?.
While its is uncertain that behavior can not influence genetics, although it is important to notice that there is no current studies of links to disprove my theory of modern living having a negative influence our society in general...


Monday, 31 December 2012

The News, a brief history

Before the invention of newspapers in the early 17th century, official government bulletins and edicts were circulated at times in some centralized empires. The first documented use of an organized courier service for the diffusion of written documents is in Egypt, where Pharaohs used couriers for the diffusion of their decrees in the territory of the State (2400 BC). This practice almost certainly has roots in the much older practice of oral messaging and may have been built on a pre-existing infrastructure.
In Ancient Rome, Acta Diurna, or government announcement bulletins, were made public by Julius Caesar. They were handwritten news sheets posted by the government in the public marketplace from the year 59 BC* to at least 222 AD*. ACTA DIURNA announced news of politics, trials, scandals, military campaigners and execution.
In China, early government-produced news sheets, called tipao, circulated among court officials during the late Han dynasty (202 BC – 202 AD). Between 713 and 734, the Kaiyuan Za Bao ("Bulletin of the Court") of the Chinese Tang Dynasty published government news; it was handwritten on silk and read by government officials. At some point during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the Chinese used carved wooden blocks to print TIPAO, making them the first printed newspaper in history.

In 1582 there was the first reference to privately published news sheets in Beijing, during the late Ming Dynasty. In Early modern Europe, increased cross-border interaction created a rising need for information which was met by concise handwritten news sheets. In 1556, the government of Venice first published the monthly Notizie scritte, which cost one gazetta. These avvisi were handwritten newsletters and used to convey political, military, and economic news quickly and efficiently to Italian cities (1500–1700) sharing some characteristics of newspapers though usually not considered true newspapers. Due to low literacy rates, news was at times disseminated by town criers.
Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien, from 1605, is recognized as the world's first newspaper. The oldest news agency is the Agence France-Presse (AFP). It was founded in 1835 by a Parisian translator and advertising agent, Charles-Louis Havas as Agence Havas. In modern times, printed news had to be phoned in to a newsroom or brought there by a reporter, where it was typed and either transmitted over wire services or edited and manually set in type along with other news stories for a specific edition. Today, the term "breaking news" has become trite as commercial broadcasting United States cable news services that are available 24-hours a day use live satellite technology to bring current events into consumers' homes as the event occurs.
Events that used to take hours or days to become common knowledge in towns or in nations are fed instantaneously to consumers via radio, television, mobile phone, and the Internet.
The news servers the duality of information on current events and the historical details of past events. While technology has moved on and that all possible news cant be digested, certain edits or types of news have been place in the foreground compared with others. This type of distortion, in which entertainment is place in high regard can suggest propaganda.

News organizations are often expected to aim for objectivity; reporters claim to try to cover all sides of an issue without bias, as compared to commentators or analysts, who provide opinion or personal point-of-view. The result is a laying out of facts in a sterile, noncommittal manner, and then standing back to "let the reader decide" which view is true. Several governments impose certain constraints or police news organizations against bias. In the United Kingdom, for example, limits are set by the government agency Ofcom, the Office of Communications. Both newspapers and broadcast news programs in the United States are generally expected to remain neutral and avoid bias except for clearly indicated editorial articles or segments. Many single-party governments have operated state-run news organizations, which may present the government's views.
As with any propaganda, news propaganda may be spread for widely different reasons including governance, political or ideological motivations, partisan agendas, religious or ethnic reasons, and commercial or business motivations; their purposes are not always clear. News propaganda also can be motivated by national security reasons, especially in times of war or domestic upheaval.
During the 2010 financial crisis in Greece, the media openly played a protecting role towards the government. Mainly the news program of Mega Channel has been criticised by many other media as well as political parties as playing a role as part of the government propaganda in favour of the International Monetary Fund. Perhaps todays News have taken a turn for the worst as scandals of phone hacking and intrusive paparazzi sensationalize celebrities. The healthy awareness of the world comes with a lot of negative news stories. Small wonder why most people would bury themselves in good news...