Jamais vu is the oposite of déjà vu and occurs when a word or phrase is repeated until it becomes incoherent or meaningless. The phenomenon is casued by the brain becoming fatigued due to semantic satiation.
About 4% of people will have experienced jamais vu (French for ‘never seen‘ as opposed to ‘seen again‘ which is déjà vu) and interestingly the group with whom it is most commonly associated is musicians due to the repetition of words or phrases in songs across multiple or repeated perfoirmances.
Scientists hope that studying jamais vu will help researchers better understand psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia or Capgras delusion, where people believe someone they know very well has been replaced by an impostor.
To many the topic of science, the wonder of scientific discovery and the marveling at demonstrations of the oddities of science is fascinating to others it is like pulling teeth or watching paint dry. I fall squarely in the first category of people. I love science and the little quirks that lay in its long forgotten and dust-covered recesses. My wife on the other hand falls into the latter category. Most of the time she can take or leave it but occasionally we get into pulling teeth territory and she just can’t be around it for fear that one or more of her internal organs will leap up and strangle her brain in a last desperate attempt to save humanity.
Whilst I haven’t raised the University of Queensland Pitch Drop Experiment with her I am pretty sure that it would elicit a response of the teeth pulling, brain throttling variety were I to do so. A discussion I will save for a later time perhaps such as when there is a quilting fair or needlepoint exhibition she wants me to attend. You need to pick your battles carefully you know – but I digress. Also, I exaggerate. Often.
Anyway, back to the University of Queensland Pitch Drop Experiment. Very simply it goes like this: Continue reading
About 14% of methane emissions in Australia are caused by cow and sheep farts. True story. At least that is the estimate put forward by the Queensland government. Let’s face it, they would know after all what better authority on hot air could there be?
Apparently in places where the agricultural base is larger like New Zealand that percentage can be as high as 50%. Methane is a highly effective greenhouse gas which is said to contribute significantly to global warming. If those emissions could be cut or eliminated imagine the impact on global warming, carbon trading and the causes which could receive the attention of all those protesters instead. Continue reading
If you, like me, love trivia and enjoy the odd good natured bet for beers, or the like, down at the pub then here is an interesting little factoid which could get you, if not drunk, at least merry.
Ask your mate the following question:
What are the northern most, southern most, western most and eastern most states of the United States of America?
Your mate will probably answer with something like Alaska is most Northerly, Hawaii is most Southerly (although he might nominate New Mexico, Florida or Texas), Hawaii again as most Westerly (although he may nominate California, Oregon or Washington State) and New York or New England to be the most Easterly. These all seem logical choices. The correct answer is very surprising. Continue reading