How To Electrify Your Brain To Be Smarter With a 9-Volt Battery

How To Electrify Your Brain To Be Smarter With a 9-Volt Battery

Transcranial direct current stimulation can make your brain work better. DARPA proved it can make you better at video games, the U.S. Air Force has shown it cuts drone remote-pilot training in half, and Harvard researchers have used it to treat depression. So what is this magical device that powerfully manipulates your brain function and where can you get one?

It’s not much more than a battery and a bunch of wires. In fact, you could actually make it yourself.

But that doesn’t mean that you should try it at home. Though no one so far has reported seizures or other negative effects, sending any amount of electricity into your brain without the supervision of a medical professional is not the best idea. That all said, it’s shockingly easy to build a transcranial direct current stimulator, or tDCS, just like the one used in all of those experiments.

All you need is a 9-volt battery hooked up to some kind of resistor — (one DIYer used a Radio Shack Electronics Learning Lab) — and electrodes, which can be purchased on eBay.

Folks have been talking about the mind-hacking benefits of low-level electrical brain stimulation for years, and scientists even say we should have access to it. Why hasn’t anyone developed a product one could buy so we don’t have to McGyver our own? Scientific American’s blog today discusses the ethics of a so-called “electrical thinking cap.” Would it be fair? Would parents be weirdly manipulating their kids’ brains? Would it be like electronic brain doping?

Maybe the explanation is simpler. Maybe no one sees a profit in something that any middle-school science student could build for 10 bucks? Sure, you could maybe buy the one the Harvard researchers used, but it’s really intended for clinics and costs close to $1,000. So where’s the consumer version?

I can imagine folks paying for something that’s beautifully designed, painless (which apparently it is for the most part, minus some discomfort getting the thing to adhere to your head, depending on how much hair you have), and makes you smarter. Better yet, it sounds like a great app! Can one of you Y combinator kids get on that please? [Scientific American]

Image: Neuropsychopharmacology

German pensioner eats 64-year-old US lard

German with open tin of lard, 1 Feb 12

Mr Feldmeier kept the lard with some cans of noodles and milk for emergencies

A German pensioner who received a tin of American lard 64 years ago in an aid package has only just tasted it, after discovering that it is still edible.

“I just didn’t want to throw it away,” said Hans Feldmeier, 87.

Food safety experts in Rostock, his home town on Germany’s Baltic coast, said the pig fat was still safe to eat.

Mr Feldmeier was a student in 1948 when the US was running a huge aid programme to rebuild war-ravaged Germany. He kept the tin of lard for emergencies.

A retired pharmacist, he decided to get the lard tested because of the debate about expiry dates and food safety.

A food expert, Frerk Feldhusen, said the lard was rather gritty and tasteless and hard to dissolve, though quite edible. Mr Feldmeier provided some black bread to go with it.

The red, white and blue tin of Swift’s Bland Lard bore no expiry date.

Mr Feldhusen said the test result might make some consumers think twice before discarding food immediately after the expiry date.

The Slingshot Madman Makes Death Portable

The Slingshot Madman Makes Death Portable.

Our appreciation for bald, vaguely Eastern European, totally insane slingshot purveyor Joerg Sprave is long-established and unbounded. And he apparently loves his fans right back, if this extremely dangerous, reasonably-sized death-by-wood-and-rubber contraption is any indication.

The only problem with previous Joerg creations (read: machete crossbow) is that they were a bit unwieldy, hard to carry down the street or to a family reunion without garnering a lot of awkward stares. Not so the ultra compact Bullpup Slingshot Crossbow, a condensed version of Joerg’s apocalyptic vision. Full instructions on how to build your own are coming soon, but for now, enjoy the retro-mayhem.

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Everything You Need To Know About Coffee in Less Than Five Minutes

By Kelly Hodgkins — We already know what happens to your brain when you drink coffee.

Now, a short and sweet video from C.G.P. Grey fills in the gaps with bunch of trivia and anecdotal stories about our favourite beverage, coffee. It’s pure awesome.

via Everything You Need To Know About Coffee in Less Than Five Minutes. via Grey’s Blog via LikeCool

Enhanced by Zemanta Egg In A Mug


1 whole egg

2 egg whites

Olive oil spray

Large coffee mug



Step 1 – Spray nonstick spray into a large coffee mug

Step 2 – Crack one egg, and up to two egg whites into mug

Step 3 – Blend well with a fork

Step 4 – Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir and add 10 seconds more if needed

Step 5  – Add any extra ingredients if desired. chop veggies, cheese bits, pieces of Canadian bacon, all taste great!


via Egg In A Mug.

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