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Manifesto of the Libs of TikTok | Main | Quick Hits
July 22, 2022


The human brain runs a lot hotter than stupid scientists ever realized before. Idiots.

Some parts of the deep brain can get up to 40 C (104 F), a new study shows, though this varies by sex, time of day, and various other factors. Compare that with the average oral temperature in human bodies, which is typically under 37 C (98.6 F).

This isn't a sign of malfunctioning though, researchers think, and may actually be evidence that the brain is operating healthily. Unusual heat signatures could potentially be used in the future to look for signs of brain damage or disorder.


The average brain temperature was 38.5 C (101.3 F) the researchers found, more than 2 degrees higher than under the tongue. Variations were noted based on the time of day, the brain region, and the participant's age, sex, and menstrual cycle.

Female brains were on average around 0.4C (0.72 F) warmer than male brains, most likely due to the menstrual cycle...


...while the highest brain temperature recorded was 40.9 C (105.6 C). Daily variations averaged around 1 C (1.8 F), with the outer parts of the brain generally cooler.

"We found that brain temperature drops at night before you go to sleep and rises during the day," says O'Neill. "There is good reason to believe this daily variation is associated with long-term brain health -- something we hope to investigate next."

When I get stressed, sometimes I put a coldpack on the back of my neck, to cool the blood going into my brain. It clears the head, I think. Like adding a little extra antifreeze to an overheating engine.

Over in the prestigious International Journal of No Shit, Really Sherlock?!?, they've determined that the brain engages in data compression.

Brains apply "data compression" to maximize performance and minimize cost when making decisions, according to a study published Monday that could affect future research into artificial intelligence.

Leftists do the most data compression of all, reducing all decision-making into a single one-variable question, "Is this woke or not-woke?"

The study in the journal Nature Neuroscience used an experiment with mice to investigate adaptive behavior in decision-making and "how reward expectations are affected by differences in internal representations."


The "data compression" essentially refers to researchers making the brain forget about just enough of information, through "tunnel vision" and by the mice's own actions, that the mice still arrive at a solution but not enough to arrive at the wrong one.

Well, a lot of people are really good at the first part of that, the "forgetting information" part.

Below: repeatedly looking down at your cellphone all day may be literally changing your head.

I've seen this half-debunked, which really looks like a backhanded confirmation to me.

Does this seem like a "debunking" to you?

The study in question examined 1,200 X-rays of males and females between 18 and 86. It then divided the results according to age, with a decade-by-decade approach, and examined the size of the extended external occipital protuberance and how it relates to gender and the degree of forward head protraction, a term used to describe how far forward your head rests.

The unusual growth is present in many of our skulls and isn't dangerous or particularly noteworthy on its own. In fact, it can happen in other locations in the body as you age.

In the study, the researchers found the 18- to 30-year-old age group had the highest incidence, an unexpected result. The Washington Post notes how the researchers found "the size of the bone growth ... actually decreased with age," but this is not the case. The study shows that it increases with age after your 40s -- it's just that the youngest age group has an abnormally high incidence of the protrusion.

However, one of the study's major pitfalls is that it doesn't provide any data related to phone use. No data within the paper supports this conclusion and this study hasn't been performed. Rather, authors Shahar and Sayers offer up suggestions for the next step. They finish their report with the statement:

"We hypothesize that the use of modern technologies and handheld devices, may be primarily responsible for these postures and subsequent development of adaptive robust cranial features in our sample."

The key is the word hypothesize -- this is not a truth, fact or even a suggestion of either. It is a proposed explanation that requires further investigation.

"The most obvious thing is that we can't show causal effect, of course. So it is weaker evidence," says Mark Sayers, co-author on the paper. To actually perform a study on whether our phones are causing this bizarre horn, we'd need to look at the protuberance in a group of 18- to 30-year-olds who don't use their phones every day and compare them to those who do.

So... yes we're growing horns in the backs of our head. Yes, it is hypothesized that this is because of new repetitive behavior, looking down at cellphones. But no, we haven't proved that yet.


We're not growing "horns" like we're mutating. But when ligaments are always pulling on a bone in the same way, the bone starts to grow in the direction of that ligament, to reduce stress on it.

If you feel like you're looking at your phone too much, Cal Newport (whose book, Deep Work, is worth reading), has some suggestions:

He speaks longer about "Digital Declutter" here.

He doesn't say this there, but he has confirmed it via email: Ace of Spades HQ should not be cut in any "Digital Declutter" plan.

Screenshot (2493).png

So, usual question: What are you GAINZZ? PROJEXXX? PLANZZZ?

digg this
posted by Ace at 05:19 PM

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