Answers to Search Queries 8

August 22, 2007 at 1:56 am Leave a comment

Most of my search queries over the past few days have involved some combination of the words ‘AstraZeneca’, ‘Seroquel’ and ‘Wikipedia’. I broke my record for most hits in a day yesterday. Then I broke it again today, mostly thanks to being linked off Bad Science.

This post has nothing to do with these facts. Instead I implore you to adjust neither horizontal nor vertical as we enter the world of… Answers to Search Queries.

Why isn’t Arkansas pronounced like Kansas?

This has been bothering me for a while. Short answer: Both words come from Native American languages, but the Europeans who named Arkansas were French, hence the French pronunciation. Or, as the State Legislature of Arkansas puts it:

Be it therefore resolved by both houses of the General Assembly, that the only true pronunciation of the name of the state, in the opinion of this body, is that received by the French from the native Indians and committed to writing in the French word representing the sound. It should be pronounced in three (3) syllables, with the final “s” silent, the “a” in each syllable with the Italian sound, and the accent on the first and last syllables. The pronunciation with the accent on the second syllable with the sound of “a” in “man” and the sounding of the terminal “s” is an innovation to be discouraged.

How to synthesize illegal drugs?

Step 1: Get a degree in organic chemistry.
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Profit!!!!

Skipping step 1 will lead you to a) inhale solvents that will do you terrible damage, b) accidentally blow yourself up, and c) get caught purchasing common precursors. These will probably all happen even with the degree in organic chemistry, but at least, as you cough up blood, and place your still-smoking hands above your head, you’ll be able to work out what you did wrong.

Oh, fine. You’d like some links? The following books by Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin contain a plethora of synethses of many chemicals, some legal, some illegal and some in the grey-tinted area between what we laughingly call laws. The bits with chemistry in are available free of charge online, but the autobiographical sections are fascinating and contain much useful advice.

Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved
Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved

Does reading the Daily Mail harm you?

Yes. It can cause a sudden rush of depression.

Why is medical diagnostics so hard?

There’s a general rule in engineering that as you increase the number of components in a machine, the number of possible failure modes increases. That’s why sixty years ago, if your radio broke, you could have a tinker round, look for broken valves and probably fix it yourself, but these days you have to send your iPod off to a specialist repair service. The human body has many more components than an iPod and a correspondingly vast number of failure modes. Or, to put it another way: Human bodies are complicated, duh.

Taking more sertraline than I’ve been prescribed.

Ah, medical advice. Repeat after me: I am not a doctor. Done? Good. On to the advice:

This is a bad idea. Firstly, SSRIs like sertraline take at least a month to start working properly. Increasing your dosage beforehand isn’t going to do anything other than increase the severity of whatever side-effects you’re experiencing. Secondly, presumably your doctor prescribed a given amount for you to use before your next appointment. Turning up early and saying “Uh, I used it all up because I was taking more than you suggested” is going to please nobody.

Why do I feel so hyper after taking sertraline?

Did you take more than you were prescribed?

[Medical advice: I am not a doctor. See your doctor. Tell them that taking Sertraline makes you bounce off the walls. If they don’t take you seriously, start bouncing off the walls of his or her office. Hyper can morph into agitated, which can so very easily slide into psychotic. Be careful and don’t be afraid to call your local emergency services.]

Should i go to a psych ward?

This is easily assessable using a simple questionnaire. The following, though not actually used by the mental health services, probably isn’t too far off what actually happens:

1. Are you drunk? Doped? Stoned? High? Hooched up? Nodding? Luuded to your eyeballs? Hopped up on goof balls? Have you dropped? Inhaled? Chased the dragon? Marched with the Bolivians and their pretty white powder?

2. Are you thinking about killing someone? Yourself? Someone else? Are you serious?

This, of course, shouldn’t be confused with the…

Dominatrix questionnaire

Which I imagine goes something like:

1. Do you like to dominate people sexually?
2. Are you female?
3. Have you got your own spiky boots?

Avoiding eye contact with my crush

Ah, a simple one. Don’t look at their eyes.

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Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead… Pilot/Plane

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Hi, I'm James. I'm a 26 year old guy from England with bipolar disorder (currently well controlled). I also have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder (not so well controlled). This blog has charted my journey from mental illness, through diagnosis and, recently, into recovery. It's not always easy, but then, what is?

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Self-righteous note about smoking

As of 12th September 2008 it has been forty five weeks since I quit smoking. So in another seven weeks it'll have been a whole year.

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