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About lunarss

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  1. Can brain cells regenerate?

    I just finished my medical neuroscience class, so I can give a decent response to this. Some progenitor cells are left over into adulthood. These can differentiate into new neurons, however the effect is generally very local and limited. Also, after microglia clean up the mess, some neurons have been shown to generate new dendritic arborations, but again the effect is very local. So, the short answer is that yes, some regeneration and repair of damage can occur in most regions of the brain to the extent that adult progenitor cells can differentiate, but it is generally very local and limited in its restorative effects. Regarding pot and THC: I don't believe pot itself is carcinogenic, however chemicals used in its growth probably are (aldrin etc). As such, inhaling them into your lungs will probably introduce mutagens to that tissue. Also, the combustion of most substances releases trace amounts of chlorinated hydrocarbons such as dioxin, and these chemicals will become concentrated in and beat the piss out of your cells. Generally speaking, inhaling anything other than clean air into your lungs is not good. Some recent findings regarding THC show that heavy concentrations of cannabinoid receptors reside in both the caudate putamen and substantia nigra. Both of those regions are heavily implicated in drug abuse, and many of the effects of marijuana are related to the fact that THC interacts with and disrupts endocannabinoid receptors (namely CB1). The scary thing about THC is that it diffuses into and effects MANY systems in the brain, and there are effects that we don't know about or understand yet. For instance, we know that the effects of marijuana on perception are related to CB1 receptor interference in the neocortex and psychomotor effects occur due to the effect on endocannabinoid receptors in the cerebellum and the basal ganlia. Short term memory is effected for the same reasons in the hippocampus, and we all know about the appetite inducing effects in the hypothalamus. The long-and-short of it is that you should probably avoid using marijuana simply for the fact that THC stays present in the brain for up to six months. Like I said, we don't know or understand all of the effects that the drug has on the brain and body, but the more we discover, the scarier it gets given the widespread use. [Edited by - lunarss on May 29, 2006 1:10:47 AM]
  2. I meant SIMD as a paradigm rather than processor specific extensions. It would be up the the compiler to decide whether to use processor extensions or not. The idea I have would only suggest to the compiler that SIMD extensions should be used if they are supported. If a user's processor does not support SIMD in any way, then the compiler could choose to use four standard float multiplies instead. The .Net framework uses this type of design as it is. You could port the .Net framework (neglecting the MS specific pieces) to any processor architecture you wanted to. The compiler would just need to know how to crunch the MSIL down into instructions that the platform could understand (x86 etc). I agree with the memory alignment issue you brought up. This is solveable at the compiler level though, and would be relatively simple with the GC model and the simple structure I suggested. Also, the performance benefits of using a SIMD architecture increase with the size of your data set so science, graphics, and engineering users stand to benefit.
  3. I'm trying to get MS to add native support for SIMD extensions to the .Net platform. This would be pretty nice for graphics programmers. I know the CLR can use SIMD, but it really sucks ass at it. The only other way to do it is to call into a c++ dll, but that is neither a clean or efficient implementation. Go here and vote for my suggestion please I'm surprised that nobody else has asked for something like this since .Net is such a nice platform to develop for.
  4. Need Presentation Advice

    The thing you have to remember is that you know the subject you are going to talk about. You put the whole thing together, so you should have better than a cursory idea of what to say. As mentioned, try to make your slides as sparse and to-the-point as possible. Use declarations for the slide titles when you can. The titles don't need to be complete sentences. They should read like newspaper headlines describing what you will be covering on that slide. For example "Hippocampus Indicated in Spatial Reasoning" instead of just "Hippocampus" or "Spatial Reasoning." I actually do use the slides as an outline. If you can't do that, you put too much information on them. You shouldn't read off of notecards. It makes you seem like you don't know what you're talking about. If you have to use them, condense everything into only a few notecards with the main points on them. DO NOT sit there and read from them while you're giving your speech. A professor I used to have would only let us use 1 notecard with 15 words on it for any length of speech. Reducing your dependence on them really makes you a better speaker because you're focusing on the audience. Move around. Don't stay in one damn spot with your hands folded. The more energy you convey about the subject, the more memorable and credible your presentation will be, especially to professors. It is normal to pause in conversation, so its ok to pause briefly during your speech to gather your thoughts. Also, pause if you forgot what you were going to say. Pausing is far better than saying "umm" or "ahh." One thing I used to do if I had a big presentation to give (to executives etc.) was to video tape myself giving the presentation. Video taping is a really good way to see what you look like from the audience's perspective. It will help you identify any wierd things you do, like saying something repeatedly or shifting your weight around and generally looking nervous. You should really do this in front of some of your friends etc. Good luck.
  5. would you mess with him?

    It looks kind of like a young Billy Corgan, but definately not pissed off.
  6. Complementary VS 2005

    Sounds like you can get a complementary copy of Visual Studio 2005 if you attend the launch event. I just registered for the event for free. Being a poor medical student, I will gladly waste a few hours to get the software for free. Also, it sounds like our buddy Steve Ballmer will be delivering the keynote. He's always good for a laugh. :D Go here if you are interested. Hopefully they are going somewhere close to you.
  7. Recent DOOM movie previews

    I actually read a recent interview in which Todd Hollenshead(sp?) said specifically that, "They land on Mars, monsters from HELL attack them, they try to stop them while fighting their way out." Sounds a lot like the game to me. I will try to find a link, but it was one of those things where I just happened across it.
  8. Games that would make good movies

    Quote:Original post by Nokturnal What would be really cool would be a Hitman series movie. I think they are making a Hitman movie. Vin Diesel is the main character.
  9. The voices tell me todo things!

    Schizophrenia can be progressive, with onset often beginning in your early twenties. You should definately see a psychiatrist to determine whether you have a problem of not. Schizophrenia is very treatable if you get to it early. You're mostly screwed if you wait too long. Believe me, I have seen what happens to those people, and it is not pretty. There was one fellow I had as an assignment who thought that he could see a red dot on certain people's foreheads. He thought that red dot meant they were a demon, and that he was commanded by the voices in his head to kill them. That is how he ended up in the psych ward. So, I would get in before you start seeing red dots.
  10. am I wasting my life? [rant]

    Insomnia and depression are treatable conditions. I recommend that you seek professional help for your girlfriend. What you need to realize is that you can't help her yourself. You may be all that keeps her going, but you can't help her to break out of depression. The sooner you grasp that, the better it will be for you. You can tell her "there is no reason to feel the way you do" till you're blue in the face, and it won't help. Image that someone close to you has died, and you are feeling really sad about it. Then someone tells you "awww, there's no reason to be sad." That is what it is like for a person with depression. As far as wasting your life goes, you could be doing a lot less meaningful things than helping someone you love and persuing a dream. As far as I am concerned, the world needs more people like you.
  11. I would have posted this in the trailer thread, but I figured it wouldn't get noticed on the 3rd page. Check out the movie's site. Pay particular attention to the STORY part, as it may quell some of our fears (or it is a clever marketing mindfuck). They could be speaking metaphorically about a "door", but time will tell. I feel a bit better after reading it though.
  12. Science figures out how many hit points you have

    Quote:Original post by krikkit Imagine a generation of retirees who still play video games. You guys just gave me a great idea for a research study. I am going to try and see how playing simple video games could improve the quality of life for elderly people in long term care facilities. If you're wondering, I'm in medical school, and I'm interested in research of that sort. Thanks again, and I'll let you all know how it goes.
  13. Disturbing article on casual sex

    Depo Provera is what the implants are called. Firstly, I agree with Oluseyi 100%. There really is very little (if any) credibility to the article. The title itself gives that away. However, I do find it disturbing that an article on a site which many pedestrian women probably visit would encourage such irresponsible behavior. The selfish direction our society is heading both saddens and scares me. It pervades almost everything we do, and I don't think it should.
  14. [.net] C++ to C#

    I thought this was a good tutorial when I was exploring C#. I would try to start with .net 2.0 since it is cutting edge right now. Good luck!
  15. How's realtime GI going so far?

    True real-time GI is not possible yet, but our approximations are improving a great deal. Right now it is possible to get a pretty convincing result with a combination of a few effects. I think you could achieve great results with a combination of ambient occlusion with indirect lighting computations, PCF shadow-mapping (with trapezoidal shadow maps), and high dynamic range imaging. Accomplishing all three of those effects in real-time with today's hardware is a big stretch, but it should be doable in the next generation or two.