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harry palmer

harry palmer's Public Library

  • you don't have to use the actual, exact sigmoid function in a neural network algorithm but can replace it with an approximated version that has similar properties but is faster the compute.


    For example, you can use the "fast sigmoid" function

      f(x) = x / (1 + abs(x)) 

    Using first terms of the series expansion for exp(x) won't help too much if the arguments to f(x) are not near zero, and you have the same problem with a series expansion of the sigmoid function if the arguments are "large".


    An alternative is to use table lookup. That is, you precalculate the values of the sigmoid function for a given number of data points, and then do fast (linear) interpolation between them if you want.


  • The Census Bureau's annual household income reports for 2014 is now available. We've now compiled a few tables for the 50 states and DC based on the Current Population Survey, a joint undertaking of the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, which includes annual data from 1984 to 2014. The details are fascinating.


    First, some context. The median US income in 2014 was $53,657, up from $22,415 in 1984 -- a 139.4% rise over the 30-year time frame. However, if we adjust for inflation chained in 2014 dollars, the 1984 median is $48,664, and the increase drops to 10.3%.


  • Well, we do have some data which goes back millions of years, namely the palm fossils in Alaska, and the beech forests in Antarctica about 10 megayrs. ago. So there is a good deal of fossil evidence for climate changes of great significance, too. Going from a tropical to an arctic climate; and a temperate to an antarctic climate is STILL rather significant, regardless of whether the transition time was long or short. Going from total Ice Age coverage 15K years ago to temperate climates we see in NorthAM is ALSO a significant change, too.


    Toba's eruption was likely associated with the commencement of the last major glaciation ca. 75K years ago, which didn't really let up until about 13K yrs. ago. As examples of both fast and slow climate changes. Just why that warming occurred 13-14K years ago is still not well understood, but it was rather rapid, too. And the Upper Dryas recurrence of highly significant global cooling occurred quickly as well. That also remains unexplained both in terms of cooling and warming up to the present.


    The Classical Mayan collapse in the 700's-800's AD in an apparent drought related to the late medieval warming, as well as the cooling off of the SE Greenland Viking colonies in the 1200's AD which archeological dating extinguished them, are yet other examples of OTHER methods which can be used to data climate changes.


    The Saharan and Australian deserts were not always so. During the last ice age they were verdant, forested & grassland areas with many lakes, until global warming which brought our world out of the last Great Ice Age also devastated and desertified those widely separated climates about 8-12K years ago.


    But the Dryas events might well have ruined the Tepe Anatolian cultures, which were beginning to build in semi-dressed stone as well as sculpture 11K-12K years ago. That wasn't again seen until 3rd millenium BC in Egypt.


    We are today still similarly constrained and concerned that massive global cooling from whatever reasons could damage/destroy our civilizations, as it has done so many times before.


    One needs only read of what happened in NW Europe during the Icelandic volcanic eruption alluded to by Dr. Franklin ca. 1783-4. They were starving of the cold, and the toxic gases which blew over those areas. The air had a "yellow foggy" cast according to Dr. Franklin at that time and New England had to put up with 2 years without a summer, and dreadful famine, as did Canada.

  • If I had to pick just one, then it would probably be The Blind Owl by (and I’m almost certain to mangle the spelling of this, not having the book to hand) Sedagh Heyat. Please don’t take my word for this, but instead read the book yourself and see if you agree. My guess is that it will make you feel almost ill with dread, and as worried for your own sanity as you would be by a long night of fitful sleep and terrible recurring dreams. Enjoy.
  • Alan Moore   Yes, I like Dostoevsky a great deal, although I’ve only read a very little of his work. I think he was a relatively fearless writer who was, for his day, exploring a raw and uncomfortable edge of the human condition and some of the chilly hinterlands of our psychological and emotional territory. As far as having an all-time favourite novel goes, I’ve explained elsewhere that I don’t really think in those terms, so any choice will be arbitrary and fleeting. That said, at this particular instant in time (10.50 PM, Wednesday 28th of October), I’m inclined to once more recommend Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman, which is stranger, funnier, and a lot less Russian than Dostoevsky but which, in its way, perhaps addresses some of the same concerns. On the other hand, if you were looking for something strange, funny and Russian, you could do a lot worse than Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita. The choice is yours; the probably questionable spelling is mine.  
  • Alan Moore   I don't tend to think in terms of favourites, as that would make my otherwise enjoyable tastes in relaxation into something of a competition. A (very) brief and changeable list of recommendations, in no particular order, would be Mike Moorcock's Cornelius quartet, Walter Miller's Canticle for Leibowitz, John Sladek's Muller-Fokker Effect, Brian Aldiss' Hothouse (one of the first science fiction novels I ever read), Bester's The Stars My Destination, Mike Harrison's The Machine in Shaft Ten, Ballard's Unlimited Dream Company, Phillip Bedford Robinson's Masque of a Savage Mandarin, Samuel Delaney's Dhalgren, Ellison's short stories, Judith Merrill's anthologies, Disch's Camp Concentration, Spinrad's Iron Dream, anything by Steve Aylett, and so on, potentially, forever. 

  • Pol. Col. Sitthichai: Once again this is something in the grey zone; there’s no right or wrong answer or solution that everyone is happy with. The residents living on Nimmanhaemin Road are generally negative about the one-way idea because they can only travel in one direction to leave as well as come back home. The commuters, on the other hand, are fond of the idea because the roads are much broader and they no longer have to give way to drivers coming from the opposite direction. Cars parking in both directions were also a source of slowing down traffic. Personally I thought it was a good idea but it depends on the public vote and city hall’s decision. We also have to keep in mind that with our manpower it is difficult to enforce constantly.

  • There are many interesting trails around Chiang Mai. Many of them have been traced and are now visible on the .

    My stomping ground is around Doi Suthep and Doi Pui (1685m.) area. The trails are mostly unmarked but they are easy enough to trace and follow with the help of or similar apps that display openstreetmap data.

    I am a "local runner" living in Chiang Mai so if any of the reader of iRunFar fancy some trail runs when in town, I'm more than happy to show you around. There is a link to my strava from my (almost empty blog)


    ps1 - - around the summit of Doi Pui

    ps2 - for the record the highest peak in Thailand is 2565m, also in Chiang Mai, around 80km South of Doi Suthep.

  • The next year, 2013, the agency found that 71% of overdoses from prescription drugs – a total of 16,325 deaths – were caused by opioid painkillers. Last year, the CDC reported that doctors were a primary source of drugs for opioid abusers, and a doctor at the CDC estimated that 46 Americans died every day from overdoses of prescription painkillers.


    Oxycodone, codeine, dilaudid and methadone are among the opiates most frequently abused; morphine is also often prescribed for patients who report extreme pain.


    The new NIH white paper estimates that between five and eight million Americans take opioid painkillers to manage chronic long-term pain, but nearly all opiate drugs consumed for months and years were approved on the basis of 12-week studies.

  • he controversial outsourcing giant Capita is facing an investigation into allegations that it used a major government contract to short-change small companies, resulting in some going out of business.

    The company has been hit by allegations that it exploited its dominant position at the expense of the small suppliers it works with – while taking a minimum 20 per cent cut of the value of all contracts to administer a lucrative civil service training scheme. Three years ago ministers hailed the £250m contract to provide all civil service learning and development training as a model of how to open up the public sector to small businesses and provide better value to the taxpayer.

    Under the deal, Capita took over responsibility from individual government departments for procuring training while ensuring that the majority of the work was delivered through “an open and competitive supply chain” to allow small and medium enterprises (SMEs) access to government business.

    But a group of 12 companies involved in the scheme have now formed a group to take their complaints to the Cabinet Office and the National Audit Office and demand an investigation into Capita.

  • A government department has bypassed its existing freelance IT contractors for Capita, cancelling contracts the state had with the workers’ SME providers to transfer them to the services giant.


      The Ministry of Justice cancelled the agreements with its small and mid-sized enterprises that were supplying the IT contractors in March, at the apparent behest of the Cabinet Office.


      The timing of the move, disclosed this week by Computer Weekly, is potentially awkward for the government, as it came 24 hours after the state said it would end the UK’s “ICT oligopoly”.

  • Vash the Stampede is the most infamous outlaw on the planet Gunsmoke and with a 60 billion double dollar price on his head the most sought after!

  • Most ketamine is racemic, i.e. it is composed of equal parts S/(+) and R/(-) ketamine. The (+) isomer of ketamine is more potent than the (-) isomer. It also seems that (+) ketamine would be superior as a psychedelic tool, for a number of reasons.
     Some facts/differences worth noting:
     In a study which used male adults, the amount of ketamine needed for total anaesthesia was ~271 mg (+) ketamine vs ~409 mg racemic ketamine. [1]
     (+) ketamine is generally considered to be approx. 2-3 times more potent than (-) ketamine.[3]
     (+) ketamine is cleared from the body in HALF the time it takes for racemic ketamine. The clearance of (-) ketamine takes only slightly longer than racemic ketamine.[1]
     (-) ketamine significantly inhibits the clearance of (+) ketamine. This means that if you have pure (+) ketamine, after you come out of a k-hole, the aftereffects of the k will wear off more quickly than they would if you had done racemic ketamine.[1]
     (+) ketamine inhibits the dopamine transporter 8 times more potently than (-) ketamine.[2]
     [quote]However, application of S(+)-ketamine was associated with a remarkably smoother emergence period, a profound postoperative analgesia, a more rapid recovery of cerebral functions, and a greater preference by the study persons. The incidence of psychotomimetic phenomena appeared to be negligibly less after S(+)-ketamine in comparison to racemic ketamine, but their quality was described as far less unpleasant. Clinical use of S(+)-ketamine administered at one-half of the usual dose is thus not only associated with a reduction of undesirable adverse effects without altering ketamine's anaesthetic and analgesic potency, but also offers distinctive improvements due to the reduced drug load. Moreover, increasing experimental evidence supports a remarkable neuroprotective effect of S(+)-ketamine, which may become a promising drug for new therapeutic approaches to neuroprotection.[3]
     [quote]It was found that (S)-ketamine binds with a 3-4 time higher affinity to the PCP binding site of the NMDA receptor than (R)-ketamine, and that at these concentrations (R)-ketamine interacts also weakly with the sigma receptor sites, where (S)-ketamine binds only negligibly....R)-ketamine did not produce psychotic symptoms, but a state of relaxation. The (S)-ketamine-induced metabolic hyperfrontality appears to parallel similar metabolic findings in acute psychotic schizophrenic patients and encourages further investigations of glutamatergic disturbances in schizophrenia.
     This leads me to believe that the psychedelic effects of racemic ketamine are being produced by the (+) isomer. This would further lead me to conclude that pure (+) ketamine would be more psychedelic in its subjective effects -- as well as less sedating (as noted in the study). [4]
     With sub-anaesthetic doses of ketamine in humans, 50% of the test subjects who took racemic ketamine experienced anterograde amnesia (could not remember portions of the k-experience) , while only 8% of those who took (+) ketamine experienced amnesia. This means that your ability to recall a ketamine trip would be greatly improved if you were taking pure (+) ketamine. [5]
     [quote]Subjective mood was judged by the volunteers to be significantly better after S-(+)-ketamine, and volunteers found S-(+)-ketamine to be more acceptable than racemic ketamine. The frequency of dreams was the same after both drugs. No unpleasant dreams were reported after S-(+)-ketamine, but one of the volunteers who received racemic ketamine had uncomfortable dreams. It seems that (+) ketamine has a distinct positive vibe to it, unlike racemic ketamine which is more neutral (or even negative) in its psychological effects. [6]
     [1] Ihmsen H, Geisslinger G, Schuttler J.
     Stereoselective pharmacokinetics of ketamine: R(-)-ketamine inhibits the elimination of S(+)-ketamine. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2001 Nov;70(5):431-8.
     [2] Nishimura M, Sato K. Ketamine stereoselectively inhibits rat dopamine transporter. Neurosci Lett. 1999 Oct 22;274(2):131-4.
     [3] Himmelseher S, Pfenninger E.The clinical use of S-(+)-ketamine--a determination of its place Anasthesiol Intensivmed Notfallmed Schmerzther. 1998 Dec;33(12):764-70.
     [4] Vollenweider FX, Leenders KL, Oye I, Hell D, Angst J. Differential psychopathology and patterns of cerebral glucose utilisation produced by (S)- and (R)-ketamine in healthy volunteers using positron emission tomography (PET). Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 1997 Feb;7(1):25-38.
     [5] Pfenninger E, Baier C, Claus S, Hege G. Psychometric changes as well as analgesic action and cardiovascular adverse effects of ketamine racemate versus s-(+)-ketamine in subanesthetic doses Anaesthesist. 1994 Nov;43 Suppl 2:S68-75.
     [6]Doenicke A, Kugler J, Mayer M, Angster R, Hoffmann P.[Ketamine racemate or S-(+)-ketamine and midazolam. The effect on vigilance, efficacy and subjective findings]
     Anaesthesist. 1992 Oct;41(10):610-8

  • Not only did the extra income appear to lower the instance of behavioral and emotional disorders among the children, but, perhaps even more important, it also boosted two key personality traits that tend to go hand in hand with long-term positive life outcomes.

    The first is conscientiousness. People who lack it tend to lie, break rules and have trouble paying attention. The second is agreeableness, which leads to a comfort around people and aptness for teamwork. And both are strongly correlated with various forms of later life success and happiness.

  • Sleep is a crucial biological process is regulated through complex interactions between multiple brain regions and neuromodulators. As sleep disorders can have deleterious impacts on health and quality of life, a wide variety of pharmacotherapies have been developed to treat conditions of excessive wakefulness and excessive sleepiness. The neurotransmitter norepinephrine (NE), through its involvement in the ascending arousal system, impacts the efficacy of many wake- and sleep-promoting medications. Wake-promoting drugs such as amphetamine and modafinil increase extracellular levels of NE, enhancing transmission along the wake-promoting pathway. GABAergic sleep-promoting medications like benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine-like drugs that act more specifically on benzodiazepine receptors increase the activity of GABA, which inhibits NE and the wake-promoting pathway. Melatonin and related compounds increase sleep by suppressing the activity of the neurons in the brain’s circadian clock, and NE influences the synthesis of melatonin. Antihistamines block the wake-promoting effects of histamine, which shares reciprocal signaling with NE. Many antidepressants that affect the signaling of NE are also used for treatment of insomnia. Finally, adrenergic antagonists that are used to treat cardiovascular disorders have considerable sedative effects. Therefore, NE, long known for its role in maintaining general arousal, is also a crucial player in sleep pharmacology. The purpose of this review is to consider the role of NE in the actions of wake- and sleep-promoting drugs within the framework of the brain arousal systems.

  • Never talen CoQ10 as a nootropic but:
     I took pure CoQ10 a few years ago to boost endurance.
     Within about 3 weeks i went from walking at a normal pace for several blocks to running the same distance with no problems. My cardio has been something that has always let me down.
     As a martial artist it really helped with my cardio endurance immensely. going from being worn out from a warm up to wanting to do ALOT more training at the end of every class.

  • We present a case of a 52-year-old male patient suffering from chronic schizophrenia stabilized on risperidone long-acting injection (37,5 mg/2 weeks) and biperiden 4 mg/day. Residual symptoms are affective flattening, alogia, avolition, and asociality. Memantine 10 mg/day was added. After 1.5 months, the patient spontaneously referred to "feel better being in company of my relatives." The following scales have been completed: the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (96), the Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms (3), the Mini Mental Scale Examination (26), and the Calgary Depression for Schizophrenia Scale (2). Memantine was increased to 20 mg/day and biperiden was decreased to 2 mg/day. Two months later, apathy and asociality considerably improved and affective flattening, alogia, and attention slightly got better (SANS 76, SAPS 1, MMSE 26, and CDSS 1). After two more months, the improvement continued in the same domains (SANS: 70, SAPS: 1 MMSE: 27, and CDSS: 1). Positive symptoms remained in full remission. It has been hypothesized that one of the causes of schizophrenia is glutamate excitotoxicity. Memantine, a glutamate receptor antagonist, could possibly ameliorate schizophrenia symptoms, the negative ones among them, used as add-on therapy to atypical antipsychotics. Memantine could be of potential help in schizophrenia patients with severe residual negative symptoms.

  • Here's the recommended Namenda dosing:




    The recommended starting dose of NAMENDA is 5 mg (2.5 mL) once daily. The dose should be increased in 5 mg increments to 10 mg/day (2.5 mL twice daily), 15 mg/day (2.5 mL and 5 mL as separate doses), and 20 mg/day (5 mL twice daily). The minimum recommended interval between dose increases is one week. The dosage shown to be effective in controlled clinical trials is 20 mg/day (5 mL twice daily).

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