September 21st, 2009

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Writer's Block: What if calories didn't count?

If a magic genie told you your calories wouldn't count for 24 hours, would it change what and how much you ate that day?
Yes, because the food wouldn't be burned, and would sit there in my stomach until the 24 hours are over.  I'd feel full, but I'd essentially be fasting. This would also limit how much water I could drink, so I'd be wise to leave room for water.  In fact, there'd be no point in eating anything, except to store it for when digestion starts up again.  The genie's probably trying to trick me into overeating and suffering from thirst, and having extra calories to burn after 24 hours, made up of fattier, saltier, sugarier foods than I would have had.
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Study: CIA's "harsh" interrogations probably implanted false memories.

Researchers at Ireland's Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience have found that the harsh interrogation techniques used by the CIA during the Bush administration, based on bad science, were probably brainwashing prisoners instead of getting information from them.  According to their study, the stress from procedures like waterboarding would likely have altered prisoners' brain chemistry so that they accepted their interrogators' suppositions as truth, implanting false memories, in the same way abusive police interrogations have been known to confuse detainees and get false confessions.  The researchers say  that the CIA's techniques were based on "folk psychology", how the general public conceives of psychology, instead of actual scientific basis.