Illustrations by Mattahan (Paul Davey) from Manchaster, Jamaica. The name Mattahan is from the patois pronunciation of Matterhorn, a popular cigarette brand in Jamaica. Mattahan is a painter who uses digital tools to create these surreal depictions of people who inspire him. The paintings are inspired by moments in his own life.
Exercise triggers the creation of highly excitable neurons in the hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with memory, learning, and emotional responses. This speeds up overall brain function, but because of the new neurons’ excitability, it should also make the brain more susceptible to anxiety. Yet it doesn’t.
To find out why, the Princeton team split lab mice into two groups. One group had access to a running wheel (with the mice averaging an impressive 2.5 miles per night), and the other did not. After six weeks, the researchers intentionally freaked out all the mice by dunking them in cold water, then looked at their brains with an fMRI machine. Almost immediately, they noticed that the two groups reacted differently. The brain cells of the inactive mice became agitated and leaped into a frenzy, while those of the active mice did not. The reason: the active mice were able to produce and release more of the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps sedate jumpy neurons.
The discovery … marked a breakthrough in understanding how exercise helps the brain regulate anxiety. In essence, exercise creates new, faster neurons, but it also reinforces the physiological mechanism that prevents those uppity brain cells from firing during times of stress.
Those look just beautiful. One regret I have about doing the Colorado trail, and I don’t have many, is that we did it so quickly. Walking 20 miles a day doesn’t leave much time for writing or reflection, and you arein the mood for it. Doing nothing but walking through the woods and mountains for a month, no internet, no music, no books, does lead to a different texture of thought. When you’re reliant on yourself for your own entertainment, you tend to start thinking more interesting thoughts.
My father and I did carry journals, but we didn’t put much in them. As the sun set each afternoon, we pitched a tarp over our heads, ate our dinner, and fell asleep, all in about half an hour. You don’t want to do much but sleep after a 20 mile day.
We did meet one man on the trail who was walked half that each day, and using the afternoons to write. He was trying to finish a book, and said he was escaping from his editor by walking the CT. I hope he managed it.
Process for page 497 of Vattu, from sketchup model to finished inks and colors. I love doing scenes like this but they do take forever.
A big part of what I want to convey in Vattu is a sense of place that feels organically learned and consistent, which is why I work from the model on panels like this one. If you look closely, bits of the city seen on pages 204, 366, 399, and a few others all come together here.
I’ve got passion in my brain and I ain’t afraid to show it…
Illustration above by Jon Perry, whose animated series about evolution, Stated Clearly, is really worth checking out (also featuring great illustrations of Rosemary Mosco from Bird and Moon!). They have a Kickstarter going to fund more videos, and if you think the world could use more fun and positive ways to teach the beauty of genetics and evolution (and we all know that the world could use more of that), then consider supporting them.
Here’s one of their videos, What Is Evolution?
My laptop’s running on all cylinders doing computation for my final Astro project. I’m currently running four separate executions of a routine that’s computing, using Hubble imagery, what the sky looks like behind Messier 15, a globular cluster. Each execution eats one of my cores. I should be done in an hour or so.
Sheep Marketplace closed down over the weekend after someone got away with 96,000 bitcoins - and angry users are chasing him around the internet.
Not exactly how we envisioned cybercrime back in the days, but there you have it.
"All day, we’ve been chasing the scoundrel with our stolen bitcoins through the blockchain. Around lunchtime (UK), I was chasing him across the roof of a moving train, (metaphorically). I was less than 20 minutes, or 2 blockchain confirmations, behind "Tomas".
He was desperately creating new wallet addresses and moving his 49 retirement wallets through them, but having to wait for 3 or 4 confirmations each time before moving them again. Each time I caught up, I “666”ed him - sent 0.00666 bitcoins to mess up his lovely round numbers like 4,000. Then,all of a sudden, decimal places started appearing, and fractions of bitcoins were jumping from wallet to wallet like grasshoppers on a hotplate without stopping for confirmations.
omg i’m laughing, well done for locating a source who narrates their activities like the protagonist of a cyberpunk novel. well done well done.