Archive for the 'Stuttering' Category

Stupid side effects

It seems that I am a quite (un)lucky guy. Below find an excerpt of the side effects list of some pills I tried out this week. RED is what I had, BLUE is what I wanted to experience and the underlined stuff is what I did not want to experience. Reading the latter one made me laugh, I don’t know why. How do they know that. I mean if people die, due to “sudden unexplainable deadth”, how does one know if it was related to the pills or not. And it means it must have happened? And if so, how can these pills be given out? And above all what makes people (not me) take them?

Vanliga biverkningar (förekommer hos fler än 1 av 100 och färre än 1 av 10 användare)
Okontrollerbara ryckningar eller tvära rörelser, huvudvärk, trötthet, illamående, kräkningar, matsmältningsbesvär, förstoppning, ökad salivproduktion, berusningskänsla, sömnsvårigheter, rastlöshet, oroskänsla, sömnighet, skakningar och suddigt seende.

Mindre vanliga biverkningar (förekommer hos fler än 1 av 1000 och färre än 1 av 100 användare)
Vissa människor kan känna yrsel, särskilt då de reser sig från liggande eller sittande ställning, eller uppleva en snabbare hjärtfrekvens (puls).
Vissa personer kan känna sig deprimerade.
Andra sällan rapporterade biverkningar:
Förändringar i antalet av vissa blodceller; oregelbunden puls, plötslig oförklarlig död, hjärtattack; allergiska reaktioner (t.ex. svullnad i mun, tunga, ansikte och hals, klåda, utslag);högt blodsocker, uppkomst eller försämring av diabetes, ketoacidos (ketoner i blod och urin) eller koma, låg natriumhalt i blodet; viktökning, viktminskning, anorexi; oro, agitation, ångestkänsla; självmordstankar, självmordsförsök och självmord; talförändringar, krampanfall; en kombination av feber, muskelstelhet, snabbare andhämtning, svettningar, minskad medvetenhet och plötsliga förändringar av blodtryck och hjärtfrekvens; svimning, högt blodtryck, tilltäppning av ett blodkärl genom en blodpropp som bildats på annat ställe i kroppen; spasm i musklerna runt struphuvudet, oavsiktlig inandning av mat med risk för lunginflammation, svårigheter att svälja, inflammation i bukspottkörteln, inflammation i levern, gulfärgning av hud och ögonvitor, rapporter om onormala levervärden, buk- och magbesvär, diarré; hudutslag och ljuskänslighet, onormal hårförlust eller förtunning, stark svettning; stelhet eller kramper, muskelsmärta, svaghet; ofrivillig urinavgång, svårighet att urinera; ihållande och/eller smärtsam erektion, störningar i kroppens temperaturreglering (t.ex. feber), bröstsmärtorsamt svullnad av händer, vrister eller fötter.

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Getting compliments

Being in Sweden has changed my attitude towards compliments. In Germany, be it in school or university, I or we were quite used not to hear many compliments; except nerds (forget for a second that I am a nerd, actually I am not; just a wannabe nerd, so keep on) could get some German compliments, like “Gut! Sitz! :). But being in Sweden, has changed everything. Here (not in Italy) everyone is doing bra (good), or more often mycket/jätte bra (very good) and equally often everything one does is bra jobbat (well done/performed). First it seemed strange to me, but with time it felt good, really good and I think it really animates students to do more. Here in Italy people are lazy to say it, but use instead their thumb to show that something is well done. But, whenever I go out with our son, I get a lot of compliments. I do not know why and for what, but it has something to do with our son. I just filter the words complimento, bambino and bellissimo out of a string of Italian words. It feels strange to get compliments for something one can’t control actively (appearance of an infant) and additionally as a Muslim you are supposed to read two prayers from the Quran (looking for the English term of it; German: Schutzsuren; Arabic: Mu’awwidhatayn; Turkish: Muavvezeteyn) each time you are getting excessive compliments; so you can imagine how much we murmur if we are outdoors in Italy.

So after all the years in Sweden I still haven’t learnt how do deal with compliments. Additionally I spend two years of my childhood in a special school were we got lots of compliments, but it all didn’t help much. (Keeping this in mind my old teachers might think that schools in Sweden are generally special schools) Maybe it is because I figured out that they complimented us without having accomplishing something, just to make us feel good or to motivate us. Now, some 20 years later, I still feel that compliments are not distributed with caution. For me it is the same with with food. If you didn’t accomplish your goals for the morning, why should your stomach get an reward? (Try to tell that to an Italian in respect of his coffee breaks; they even drink it if it is hot and the only thing I can see is icecream or cold water) I think, nowadays, many things are just said without reason or meaning, just for the sake of smalltalk.

That is also what I dislike in conversations with especially Turks (as already mentioned here and here) or Arabs (mainly males have this “disorder”). I suppose it is a cultural thing, and not meant to tease me. Imagine you meet a nice Turkish or an Arab guy and you start a conversation. Normally the question “How are you?” comes up. This would happen one time in a “normal” conversation (twice if we consider both parties). But almost all Turks or Arabs I have met (not all of course, but statistically it is the majority of those whom I have met so far) repeat this question or rephrased after 2-5 minutes. Until some years ago I always repeated my (same) answer and kindly asked them as well (like a while loop). But since few years I stoped answering the same question (no matter how smartly they rephrased it) and interestingly they don’t seem to notice or to react to this. But I still felt like loosing time in a conversation or felt even annoyed so I started telling those guys to stop asking me and even to ask me at all, because if I wasn’t in a good health or state they would either see it or I wouldn’t stand in front of them. I told the latter of course only to extreme ones, most others got only the request to stop asking me after the first time; but also those stopped asking me at all. The conversation in time has reduced a lot, much more than I thought. Imagine how much time one looses with repeated phrases, where the answer even doesn’t seem to have an impact. My behaviour wasn’t seen as a attempt to save us from empty talks, but as an insult. So I suppose it is an cultural thing and I have to be careful with things I say. Sometimes it would be useful i in real life to have the internet chat function “busy” or “appear offline”.

Are we reading what we’re referring to?

One rule one learns during university years is, that we should never list a reference we haven’t read and how simple this rule might be, it is strange that many researchers do not follow it. Or they read only the part, which is of interest to ones own work. This might have happened to Wilhelm Nusselts’ (1882-1957), German engineer and scientist, work. After him we named an important non-dimensional number, the Nusselt number, but it seems that one of his main ideas in his famous 1915 paper got lost. I remember from my physics classes at high school and university that there are three modes of heat transfer, namely heat conduction (Wärmeleitung), heat convection (Konvektion) and thermal radiation (Strahlung). This is also what is found in all heat transfer books I had so far, be it in English or in German, with one exception: This book, it is unfortunately only available in German, goes back to the often cited, but less read 1915 paper in which Nusselt (Nußelt) states:

It is often claimed in the literature, that heat transmission from a body be due to three reasons: the radiation, the conduction, and the convection. This subdivision of heat transmission in conduction and convection gives the impression as if we had to do with two independent phenomena. From this one had to conclude, that heat might also be transferred by convection without any contribution of conduction. This, however is not true.” Source

I like especially how he starts his sentence. “It is often claimed in the literature” is a timeless sentence. I could write the same sentence today almost a century later and it would still be up-to-date. I still haven’t managed to get hands on this paper, but I will try to ask some friends in Germany if they have access to this (for me rather) unknown Journal in which he published his ideas. Is there anyone out there who might have a copy of Nusselts 1915 paper?

W. Nusselt. Das Grundgesetz des Wärmeüberganges. Gesund. Ing, 1915.

P.S.: I started to think about this matter 2 years ago when I bought the book mentioned above, however I still haven’t completely convinced myself. I tried to ask few heat transfer experts, but also they didn’t know Nusselt aforementioned statement. Neither did they refuse it, nor did they accept it. Here I am as smart or stupid as before.

P.P.S.: Many thinks are just assumed in our daily live, or we just believe things, which are stated many times. Here lies a danger, more important than the modes of heat transfer. How often have I believed things I heard in the news or reported to me by friends. To go back to the roots (I didn’t came up with the word “roots” yesterday. Wurzel is such a simple German word for it :)) and check the content of the news reported is one of the tools we have to protect our selves from being fooled.

Why dogs don’t stutter

Christmas is over and we went out for the first time since Friday. Finally I got a new bluetooth headset (Plantronics Explorer 340) for my PDA (HP Ipaq 2490b), the old one was “död” (swed.: dead; that’s what the certificate said when I got the new one back). I haven’t started yet with any of my intended works and I don’t have much hope left that I will do so.

Yesterday I stumbled about an excerpt from an article from 1935, published in the renown SCIENCE magazine by Hazle Geniesse (Science 29 November 1935: 518.). In his article, entitled “Stuttering” he reports:

“In a series of twenty-four cases of stuttering studied this summer in the laboratory of biolinguistics, at the University of Michigan, a marked improvement, even to a complete cessation of stuttering, was noted when the stutterer spoke while walking on all fours.” (taken from here)

I tested it yesterday at home and it seemed to help, but the intimate environment, which my home is, isn’t really a test case. I am not gonna rest upon this method, but I would still be interested to see if this would work in real “stuttering situations”, e.g. a job interview or when giving a seminar. Even if it would work, how would one feel in such a situation? But isn’t this science? To find means which increase or decrease a certain quantity.


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