Archive for the ‘Sweden’ Category

Swiss scientists broke a four-decade-long informal ban on LSD research yesterday when they announced the results of a study in which cancer patients received the drug to curb their anxiety about death.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, looked at the safety and efficacy of LSD when used in combination with talk therapy. The researchers used the semisynthetic psychedelic drug to facilitate discussions about the cancer patients’ fears of dying. The patients who took LSD, most of whom were terminally ill, experienced 10-hour-long supervised “trips.” One patient described the trips to The New York Times as a “mystical experience,” where “the major part was pure distress at all the memories I had successfully forgotten for decades.”

These periods of distress are regarded as therapeutically valuable because they allow patients to address their memories and the emotions they evoke. The patients underwent 30 such trips over the course of two months.

A year after the sessions ceased, the patients who had received a full dose of LSD — 200 micrograms — experienced a 20 percent improvement in their anxiety levels. That was not the case for the group who received a lower dose, however, as their anxiety symptoms actually increased. They were later allowed to try the full dose after the trial had ended.

Because of the small number of study participants, the researchers are reluctant to make any conclusive statements about the LSD treatment’s effectiveness. Indeed, the results were not statistically significant. But the fact that the study took place at all bodes well for psychedelic drug research, as the drug caused no serious side effects. Rick Doblin, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a foundation that has funded many of these studies, thinks that revisiting LSD-based treatments is worthwhile. “We want to break these substances out of the mold of the counterculture,” Doblin told The New York Times, “and bring them back to the lab as part of a psychedelic renaissance.”

http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/5/5473828/lsd-drug-therapy-first-time-in-40-years

Thanks to Jody Troupe for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

sn-radwaste

It seems these days that no data storage medium lasts long before becoming obsolete—does anyone remember Sony’s Memory Stick? So have pity for the builders of nuclear waste repositories, who are trying to preserve records of what they’ve buried and where, not for a few years but for tens of thousands of years.

Today, Patrick Charton of the French nuclear waste management agency ANDRA presented one possible solution to the problem: a sapphire disk inside which information is engraved using platinum. The prototype shown costs €25,000 to make, but Charton says it will survive for a million years. The aim, Charton told the Euroscience Open Forum here, is to provide “information for future archaeologists.” But, he concedes: “We have no idea what language to write it in.”

Most countries with nuclear power stations agree that the solution for dealing with long-lived nuclear waste is to store it deep inside the earth, about 500 meters below the surface. Finland, France, and Sweden are the furthest advanced in the complicated process of finding a geologically suitable site, persuading local communities to accept it, and getting regulatory approval. Sweden’s waste management company, SKB, for example, spent 30 years finding the right site and is now waiting for the government’s green light to begin excavation. It plans to start loading in waste a decade from now, and will be filling its underground pits for up to 50 years.

While the designers of such repositories say they are confident that the waste will be safely incarcerated, the most uncontrollable factor is future archaeologists or others with a penchant for digging. Archaeologist Cornelius Holtorf of Linnaeus University in Sweden showed meeting participants an early attempt at warning future generations: a roughly 1-meter-wide stone block with the words “Caution – Do Not Dig” written in English with some smaller text explaining that there is nuclear waste below. But who knows what language its discoverers will understand in thousands or hundreds of thousands of years—or even if they will be human beings? Holtorf points out that a much earlier attempt to warn off future excavations, the Egyptian pyramids, were looted within a generation. “The future will be radically different from today,” says archaeologist Anders Högberg, who is also from Linnaeus University. “We have no idea how humans will think.”

In 2010, ANDRA began a project to address these issues, says Charton. It brings together specialists from as wide a selection of fields as possible, including materials scientists, archivists, archaeologists, anthropologists, linguists, and even artists—”to see if they have some answers to our questions.” The initial goal is to identify all the approaches possible; in 2014 or 2015, the group hopes to narrow down the possibilities.

The sapphire disk is one product of that effort. It’s made from two thin disks, about 20 centimeters across, of industrial sapphire. On one side, text or images are etched in platinum—Charton says a single disk can store 40,000 miniaturized pages—and then the two disks are molecularly fused together. All a future archaeologist would need to read them is a microscope. The disks have been immersed in acid to test their durability and to simulate ageing. Charton says they hope to demonstrate a lifetime of 10 million years.

Researchers have some time to work on the problem because the repositories will probably not be filled and sealed up until the end of this century. “Each country has its own ideas, but we need to get a common approach,” says SKB’s Erik Setzman. “We technical people can’t solve this problem ourselves. We need help from other parts of society.”

http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/07/a-million-year-hard-disk.html

Thanks to Dr. Rajadhyaksha for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

The property manager of the Heliga Trefaldighets Kyrka in Gavle, Sweden, explained Thursday, November 22, 2012, how their church tower came to hold 2 tons of pigeon droppings. Yahoo! News had the very disgusting details:

“Lennart Helzenius said on Thursday that church staff had been shocked by the sheer number of bags of excrement cleaners were removing from the tower. He says the droppings filled 80 bags in the first round of cleaning, and then just as many in the second round.

Helzenius says the hatch had probably been left open since the 1980s.”

Histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis are both lung diseases that are contacted by breathing the fungus spores from pigeon excrement. You can read more about the dangers and guidelines regarding the cleanup of pigeon droppings in the work place or home here on Animal.Discovery.com.

http://www.examiner.com/article/a-swedish-church-finds-2-tons-of-pigeon-poop-the-tower

The 37-year-old Swedish woman is accused of necrophilia and was formally charged on Tuesday at the Gothenburg District Court for the crime of “violating the peace of the dead.”

Police were initially notified that a gunshot had been fired from the woman’s apartment in September, which led to the alleged discovery of 100 skeleton parts in her apartment.

While searching her home, the police reportedly also found a CD titled “My Necrophilia” as well as photographs in which a woman is shown being intimate with the skeleton’s parts, including licking a skull, according to the Swedish news agency TT.

However, the woman has denied the charges, claiming she collected the bones out of historical interest, according to the AP.

“In the confidential section of the investigation we have material which indicates she used them in sexual situations,” the prosecutor Kristina Ehrenborg-Staffas told the TT news agency.

“Some of the photos show a woman licking a skull,” Ehrenborg-Staffas told The Local, a Swedish newspaper. “She has a lot of photos of morgues and chapels, and documents about how to have sex with recently deceased and otherwise dead people,” she told them.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/20/human-skeleton-sex-sweden_n_2167154.html

 

Left Party members of a Swedish county council  said they want to encourage men using the council’s toilets to sit during  urination.

The Left Party in Sormland said it wants the Sormland County Council to pass  a motion requiring toilets reserved for stand-up urination to be labeled,  Swedish news agency TT reported Monday.

The party said sit-down urination is more hygienic and reduces the risk of  bathroom users having to negotiate their way around puddles en route to the  toilet.

The supporters of the motion said sitting during urination also has medical  benefits, including reducing the risk of prostate problems and leading to a  healthier and longer sex life.

Viggo Hansen, a substitute member of the council and author of the motion,  said he wants it to eventually lead to sitting-only bathrooms.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2012/06/11/Swedish-party-wants-sit-down-urination/UPI-70041339439528/#ixzz1y9CccWfG

Lego Jesus

Posted: April 6, 2012 in Christianity, Easter, Lego, Lego Jesus, Religion, Sweden

WA church in Sweden has been displaying a life-size Lego statue of Jesus Christ since 2009.

Churchgoers donated nearly 30,000 Lego bricks to build the 1.78 metre (5.8 foot) high statue, said Per Wilder, the pastor of the Oensta Gryta Church in Vaesteras, about 110 kilometres (70 miles) west of Stockholm.

“It is a fantastic installation and it will be there as long as we think it is in a good spot,” he said.

The model was based on Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsens’s 19th century work Christus, which depicts the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Wilder said the statue would remain permanently at the church and there were no plans to sell it to raise funds.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jfvsy2G44S1zgbkMgubhgKUEEPuQ