[links] Link salad sleeps long and lazes in

You smell, I stinkLanguage Log on smell words. I run into this in my writing, where I do try to keep track of the five senses rule.

How Much Does it Cost to go to Hogwarts? — (Via Freakonomics.)

Mass psychosis in the USHow Big Pharma got Americans hooked on anti-psychotic drugs. Speaking as someone who is neurotypical and psychologically healthy, but is also carrying an antipsychotic prescription for an off-label usage, this isn’t quite this simple.

Maps reflect Flickr and Twitter Usage

A starry night over DubaiAPOD with a Gulf States cityscape that is quite striking.

Tomorrow’s Transistor, Built Atom by AtomA more precise manufacturing method will help as electronics shrink ever smaller.

Taking a Look at the Governor, Back When He Was a Democrat — The New York Times on conservative darling Rick Perry. (Via my Dad.)

Jane Smiley reviews Frank Schaeffer’s ‘Sex, Mom, and God’ — I may have to read this book. (Snurched from Slacktivist.)

?otD: What question would you put here?

Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (Sunspin)
Body movement: n/a (suburban walking to come)
Hours slept: 8.25 hours (solid)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

3 thoughts on “[links] Link salad sleeps long and lazes in

  1. Cora says:

    Including sense of smell in your writing is even more difficult, if you happen to be anosmic, i.e. have a non-existent or severely impaired sense of smell, because I constantly forget that things and people are supposed to smell.

    The very cool Twitter and Flickr use maps pretty much match the results I get from the Google Analytics map overlay for my own blog. What strikes me about the Berlin map is that it appears to include Frankfurt on Oder, a city approx. 70 kilometers east of Berlin (at any rate, I have no idea what else to red cluster on the far right of the map could be). You can also make out the railway line or highway (difficult to tell without a map side by side) towards Leipzig as a line of tweets probably due to people tweeting via their cellphones.

    As for the article on the flood of psychoactive drugs in the US, it’s an Al-Jazeera article and thus from a non-US POV. And the rest of the world is far more skeptical regarding psychoactive drugs than the US. They are not very common in Western Europe except for the genuinely mentally ill (I know two people in my immediate circle who take such drugs, one clinically depressed and one bipolar) and as far as I know the Arab world is even more skeptical regarding even legitimate drug use. So to the rest of US, it indeed looks as if the Americans have jumped from spending thousands talking to therapists (which may have been wasteful but not harmful) to pumping themselves full of drugs with severe side effects that most of them don’t even need. I’m not disputing that your off-label use is legitimate, but in Europe let alone elsewhere you would have a harder time getting the drug prescribed and possibly have a lot more cultural resistance to taking it.

    1. Jay says:

      So you’re anosmic? I have always found that fascinating. I used to work with a guy who was anosmic, and he couldn’t taste food either — it was all texture to him. He periodically gave himself food poisoning by eating bad leftovers, because the food never smelled or tasted wrong.

      1. Cora says:

        I have a sense of taste, probably because I was either born anosmic or lost my sense of smell at a very early age (somewhere between 2 and 5). People who lose their sense of smell at a later age are more likely to have taste issues.

        There are two exceptions. I can’t taste vanilla, because vanilla taste is only transmitted via the sense of smell. In fact, I used to think that “vanilla” was just a polite euphemism for “without flavour”.

        Artificial flavourings don’t work properly for me either, which I only found out talking to an anosmic who had lost his sense of smell at a later age. He complained that Coke, softdrinks, candies and other products with artificial flavouring suddenly tasted sort of chemical. And I thought, “Wow, you mean they’re not supposed to taste chemical? Actually that explains a lot.”

        Regarding food safety, mostly you can tell by looking at the food if something has gone bad, otherwise the off taste is a giveaway. Whenever I was living with someone else, the other person could also be used as a detector.

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