September 25th, 2001


Diesel fueled motorcycle obsession

Some of you may be wondering about my obsession with diesel powered
. Should the U.S. become embroiled in an extended war in
the Middle East, oil prices are likely to go quite high. Should that
happen, fuel economy, and sources of fuel outside the Middle East will become
increasingly important. Judged by these two criteria, diesel engines
have a number of advantages relative to gasoline engines.

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Heart joins head in moral maze
14 September 2001

Heart joins head in moral maze

People may rely on emotion as much as reason deciding moral
dilemmas. 14 September 2001


If five people are trapped on a railway
track and a train is approaching, is it
morally right to divert the train onto
another track where there is only one
person? Most people would say yes. Would
it be right to push a person onto the track
to prevent the train from hitting the other
five? This time, most people would say no.

The different responses puzzle
philosophers, because the principle -
sacrifice one life to save five - is the
same in both cases.
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Instant gratification centre found?

Instant gratification centre found?

Impulsive behaviour may be linked to a specific brain area.
25 May 2001


Would you rather have one slice of cake now, or a whole cake
later? Cambridge University researchers may have found the
brain region that makes this choice. The discovery could
aid our understanding of impulsiveness conditions such as
attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and drug

Rudolf Cardinal and his team have found that rats with
lesions in an area of the forebrain involved in reward, the
nucleus accumbens core (AcbC), become more impulsive -- they
always chose a more immediate, smaller reward over a bigger,
later one1. The finding suggests that damage to this brain
area could contribute to behavioural disorders characterized
by the urge for instant gratification.

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