The Null Device

2002/12/17

A new study at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry has found that mental illness precedes Ecstasy use; the study shows that 69% of Ecstasy users had a history of mental problems (as defined in DSM-IV; this includes things like depression and anxiety, not just schizophrenia, psychosis and such); and in 88% of cases, the problems preceded Ecstasy use. Does this mean you'd have to be nuts to be a raver?

(Then again, who isn't at least a little fucked up these days?) (via FmH)

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You can now download MP3s of the Conet Project (that's the 4CD set of recordings of "numbers stations" from the Cold War). The original set was quite expensive ($150 or so at Synæsthesia, I think) and apparently is now out of print (there are rumours that the FBI/MI5/ASIO/whoever went and bought up all outstanding copies shortly after 9/11); but you can now find what looks like all of it in glorious MP3. Enjoy. (via The Fix)

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Eminem fans bash Moby, put him in hospital. I'm no fan of Eminem, though given the shite Moby has been foisting on the public lately, you can argue that he had something coming to him.

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Nifty MacOS X program of the day: iTerm, a better replacement for Terminal, featuring Mozilla-style tabs. (via bOING bOING)

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Unknown prankster, performance artist or random lunatic tapes black cardboard boxes labelled FEAR to walls and girders of Union Square subway station in Manhattan; police evacuate station, fearing terrorist attack. This reminds me of the case of the paranoid schizophrenic who taped vials of water to lamp posts in Milwaukee, to detect a radio station broadcasting into his head, two years ago.

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Transport roundup: Who would have thought that the RACV, best known for lobbying for cheaper petrol and more freeways, would be calling for tolls on traffic in inner Melbourne? A similar scheme is in place in Singapore, and one is also being introduced in London by Loony Left Red Ken. In other news, National Express abandons its Melbourne train operations, after failing to get more money from the government. Within a week, half of Melbourne's trains will be operated by the government (though will be likely to be flogged to the cheapest tender as soon as they can be).

Speaking of privatisation woes, over in Britain, the government plans to slash railway funding, which is likely to result in services being cut and fares put up to discourage use and keep a lid on overcrowding. Which will be a colossal shame; in Britain you can travel almost anywhere by train, and for all its troubles, the system is remarkably effective. If this happens, it will spiral into decline and ultimately be reduced into a boutique tourist experience for train buffs, sort of like the Ghan or that train in the Canadian Rockies.

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