My loopdeloop is up. Here are some GIFs and a still. Check it out
GO GO duckies GO!
Scanned the Cat Collection from my #Inktober sketchbook.
" Unreal Estate " by Tim Doyle
One of our most mysterious and intriguing states of consciousness is the dream. We lose consciousness when we enter the deep waters of sleep, only to regain it as we emerge into a series of uncanny private realities. These air pockets of inner experience have been difficult for psychologists to study scientifically and, as a result, researchers have mostly resorted to measuring brain activity as the sleeper lies passive. But interest has recently returned to a technique that allows real-time communication from within the dream world.
The rabbit hole between these worlds of consciousness turns out to be the lucid dream, where people become aware that they are dreaming and can influence what happens within their self-generated world. Studies suggest that the majority of people have had a lucid dream at some point in their life but that the experience is not common. As a result, there is now a minor industry in technologies and training techniques that claim to increase your chance of having a lucid dream although a recent scientific review estimated that the effect of any particular strategy is moderate at best. Some people, however, can reliably induce lucid dreams and it’s these people who are allowing us to conduct experiments inside dreams.
When trying to study an experience or behaviour, cognitive scientists usually combine subjective reports, what people describe about their experience, with behavioural experiments, to see what effect a particular state has on how people reason, act or remember. But both are difficult in dreamers, because they can’t tell you much until they wake up and active participation in experiments is difficult when you are separated from the world by a blanket of sleep-induced paralysis.
This paralysis is caused by neurons in the brainstem that block signals from the action-generating areas in the brain to the spinal nerves and muscles. The shutdown happens when Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep starts, meaning that dreaming of even the most energetic actions results in no more than a slight twitch. One of the few actions that are not paralysed, however, is eye movement. This is where REM sleep gets its name from and this window of free action provides the lucid dreamer a way of signalling to the outside world.
Using a procedure first verified by sleep researcher Stephen LaBerge, the sleeper can signal to researchers when they have begun their lucid dream by using pre-arranged eye movements. The person moves their eyes in the agreed way in the dream, which occur as genuine eye movements, which are recorded and verified by electrodes that are placed around the eye sockets.
This simple but ingenious technique has allowed a series of experiments on the properties of the dream world and how they are reflected in brain function. These neuroscientific studies have been important for overcoming an initial objection to the concept of lucid dreaming: that lucid dreamers were awake but just relaxed, or perhaps even fraudulent, claiming to be experiencing a dream world when they were not. Studies led by neuropsychologists Ursula Voss and Martin Dresler have shown that the brain activity during lucid dreaming bears the core features of REM sleep but is distinct from both non-lucid dreaming and the awake state, suggesting that it is not just a case of wishful thinking on the part of either the participants or the researchers.
Some of the most interesting studies involve in-dream experiments, where participants are asked to complete pre-arranged actions in their lucid dreams while using eye movements to signal the beginning and end of their behavioural sequences. A recent study by neuroscientist Daniel Erlacher and his colleagues at the University of Bern compared how long it took to complete different tasks while lucid dreaming and while awake. These included counting, walking a specified number of steps, and a simple gymnastics-like routine. They found that the “mental action” of counting happened at the same speed regardless of whether volunteers were dreaming or awake, but the “physical actions” took longer in dreams than in real life. The research team suggested that this might be due to not having the normal sensory feedback from the body to help the brain work out the most efficient way of coordinating itself.
There is also an amateur community of lucid dream enthusiasts keen to explore this unique form of virtual reality. This stretches from the fringes of the New Age movement who want to use lucid dreams to access other planes of existence (best of luck with that), to a more technologically oriented community of dream hackers who sample scientific research to try to find reliable methods for triggering lucidity. The connection with established studies can be a little haphazard and methods veer between the verified and the barely tested. In some online discussion boards, there have been reports of people using medications intended for Alzheimer’s sufferers, which have the side-effect of causing vivid dreams, based on little more than hearsay and data reported in a patent application.
Some researchers have highlighted the potential of lucid dreaming to advance the science of consciousness but it’s a difficult area to study. The currents of consciousness run unpredictably through the tides of sleep and the science of dreaming is still very much in the age of exploration. It’s also a conceptual problem that some feel unequipped to tackle. After all, what can we make of consciousness when it creates a new world and our experience of it?
THIS IS A CAT PLAYING IN FALL LEAVES THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT
Celebrate National Dog Day by spreading awareness of “The Truth About Purebred Dogs.”
Okay, I get it. You love your purebred bulldog! Who could resist that loose skin, those stubby legs, and that adorable underbite? Well, I hate to break it to you, but that lovable little freak — along with almost every other breed of dog — was created by Victorian eugenicists less than one hundred years ago. What’s more, the breeds they created are now getting so inbred that most of them are sicker than … well, dogs! Check it out: Adam breaks down the awful truth for you in the newest episode of Adam Ruins Everything.
The English Bulldog is my all-time least favorite breed of dog for the following deformities I see in almost every one of them (I have not found one yet that has zero deformities or disease states):
- Brachycephalic airway disease: narrow nostrils, extraneous soft palate tissue that catches in the back of their throats, weak cartilage in their small tracheas, and extraneous vocal folds all combine to produce a potentially fatal respiratory collapse. A bulldog on a hot day or a bulldog stressed out in any way, shape or form is a ticking time bomb for suffocation. Every vet has heard at least a few stories of a bulldog dying on a 75 degree day or during a routine nail trim because the dog was restrained normally and simply stressed itself to death. I have seen bulldogs turn blue from overexcitement.
- Entropion, where eyelids roll toward the surface of the eye, leading to eyelashes rubbing on the cornea; over time this can produce ulceration, chronic eye irritation, and loss of vision.
- Hip dysplasia
- A propensity for luxating patellas and/or cranial cruciate ligament rupture in their knees
- Ingrown tail resulting in orthopedic pain and/or disgusting skin infections under the folds of the tail
- Facial fold yeast and bacterial infections (sometimes MRSA)
- Ear infections, and they are usually not the mild yeast infections that are easily treated but deeply entrenched bacterial infections that may require bacterial cultures, flushing the ears under anesthesia, and months of medication
- Skin allergies resulting in miserable itching and scratching and a bright red, patchily haired, smelly, uncomfortable bulldog
- Rotated teeth and a massive underbite (funnily enough, I never see really awful dental disease in bulldogs because they DON’T LIVE LONG ENOUGH)
- Inability to give birth without Cesarean
Basically, every time I see an English bulldog the client spends $400-$500 because there are SO MANY THINGS WRONG. What is this money spent on? Allergy medications. Antibiotics for skin infections. Topical sprays and shampoos for skin disease. Medicated wipes for the face and tail. Supplements like fish oils for the skin. Pain medications for joint disease. Eye medications for eyelid infections or ulcers. Bloodwork to make sure none of the above medications that are keeping the bulldog somewhat comfortable are damaging to the liver or kidneys.
I would so much rather that money be spent on a dog that will be fairly healthy and happy with minimal maintenance from the client, because believe it or not, it is immensely frustrating as a vet to see a pet come back with the same problems time and time again. We want to fix your pet! We like seeing your pet only for well visits! Doing damage control on an animal that has so many profound defects is disheartening and depressing. Plus there’s the frightening thought, “Is this the time a bulldog dies from a nail trim?” whenever you have to restrain one of them.
If you own a bulldog, expect to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on maintenance over its short lifespan - compared to a few hundred a year for a healthy animal. If all you need to pay for is an annual exam, vaccines, parasite prevention, and routine parasite/blood screening, it’s a lot easier to maintain a pet than if you’ve got an animal that’s in every month or two for an issue, and also needs basic care.
I can’t speak passionately enough about the anger I feel on this topic. The most frustrating thing of all is that most bulldogs I have met have sweet, clownish personalities and are nice dogs. That’s why it’s so upsetting to get a call from a client that their 4-year-old bulldog died on air-conditioned car ride, or that their bulldog had to go to the specialist to get airway surgery to open the nostrils and remove excess soft palate, or else die. It’s not fair to them.
I love all dogs, but I love this video!
HAPPY MOMMY HAPPY BABIES
UGH, so cute!