Sunday, February 21, 2010

NCBI ROFL: Did Gollum have schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder?

By BMJ

Taking a leaf out of an old book
A precious case from Middle Earth



Nadia Bashir, medical student1, Nadia Ahmed, medical student1, Anushka Singh, medical student1, Yen Zhi Tang, medical student1, Maria Young, medical student1, Amina Abba, medical student1, Elizabeth L Sampson, lecturer in old age psychiatry1

1 Department of Mental Health Sciences, Royal Free and University College Medical School, London NW3 2PF

Correspondence to: E L Sampson e.sampson@rfc.ucl.ac.uk

Tolkien's character Gollum is certainly disturbed, but is he physically or mentally ill? Gandalf the Wizard provides the history

Sméagol (Gollum) is a single, 587 year old, hobbit-like male of no fixed abode. He has presented with antisocial behaviour, increasing aggression, and preoccupation with the "one ring."

Sméagol comes from a wealthy and influential family, his grandmother being a wise woman in the river folk community. Nothing is known about Sméagol's birth or schooling. He was spiteful to others and had only one friend, Deagol, whom he later murdered after stealing the ring from him. For Sméagol this was an important life event; the ring enabled him to disappear and listen secretly to conversations. His family and community, appalled by his actions and believing he was a thief and murderer, banished him to a solitary life in the misty mountains. He lived for many years with the ring as his only friend and began to detest the outside world—loathing the sun, moon, and wind. He ate only live animals or raw fish. Eventually Sméagol created Gollum, the outsider, who had a more violent personality. When Gollum was 25, the ring was stolen by Bilbo Baggins.1 Since then Gollum has had obsessional thoughts and has dedicated his life to reacquiring it, sometimes with violence.

His forensic history consists of Deagol's murder and the attempted murder of Samwise Gamgee. He has no history of substance misuse, although like many young hobbits he smoked "pipe weed" in adolescence. Sméagol has forgotten many memories of his childhood, and we have limited collateral history on his premorbid personality. Before obtaining the ring he was an inquisitive child with odd interests, who enjoyed causing mischief and solitary activities such as burrowing under trees to look at roots. He dislikes himself, stale raw fish, and "hobbitses."


Gollum, from the film trilogy Lord of the Rings
Credit: IMAGENET/NEW LINE PRODUCTIONS

Mental state examination

On general examination, Gollum is a pale, emaciated hobbit, with scanty hair and big eyes: "A skulking gangrel creature with an ill-favoured look."2 He is unkempt and wearing only the remains of a loin cloth. He displays animal-like behaviour, including crawling and hopping. He shows no evidence of clinical depression, although he subjectively feels sad and is anxious to be reunited with his "precious"—the ring. Objectively, he is emotionally labile and becomes jittery and nervous when discussing the ring. His speech is abnormal and he repeats phrases and noises—for example, "Yes, yes, yes" and "Gollum, gollum." In The Hobbit Tolkien writes of the many solitary years Gollum spent in the misty mountains: "He always spoke to himself through never having anyone else to speak to."2

There is no disorder of the form of thought. He uses neologisms such as "triksy" and "hobbitses." Gollum has nihilistic thoughts, believing that he is a murderer, liar, and thief; although there is some basis in fact for this and he shows little guilt or remorse. He is preoccupied with, and deeply desires, the ring. He has obsessive thoughts but no compulsions, though he would do anything for the ring. He is hostile towards Frodo, the current owner of the ring. He has paranoid ideation about Sauron ("the eye is always watching") and about Samwise Gamgee ("the fat hobbit... he knows"). Gollum has difficulty controlling his thoughts and actions, exacerbated by prolonged contact with the ring. As Gandalf and Frodo have similar symptoms in the presence of the ring, we can attribute this somatic passivity to the ring. There are features of dissociation. Sméagol has separated his personality and is now Gollum as well.

He shows no evidence of any cognitive impairment. He has poor insight into his condition but he is aware of the Gollum-Sméagol dissociation.

Diagnosis

Several differential diagnoses need to be considered, and we should exclude organic causes for his symptoms. A space occupying lesion such as a brain tumour is unlikely as his symptoms are long standing. Gollum's diet is extremely limited, consisting only of raw fish. Vitamin B-12 deficiency may cause irritability, delusions, and paranoia. His reduced appetite and loss of hair and weight may be associated with iron deficiency anaemia. He is hypervigilant and does not seem to need much sleep. This, accompanied by his bulging eyes and weight loss, suggests hyperthyroidism. Gollum's dislike of sunlight may be due to the photosensitivity of porphyria. Attacks may be induced by starvation and accompanied by paranoid psychosis.

An internet search found over 1300 sites discussing the nature of Gollum's "mental illness." We asked 30 randomly selected medical students if they thought Gollum had a mental illness. Schizophrenia was the most common diagnosis (25 students), followed by multiple personality disorder (three). On initial consideration schizophrenia seems a reasonable diagnosis. However, in the context of the culture at the time it is unlikely. Delusions are false, unshakeable beliefs, not in keeping with the patient's culture. In Middle Earth, the power of the ring is a reality. The passivity phenomena Gollum experiences are caused by the ring, and these symptoms occur in all ring bearers. Gollum does not fulfil the ICD-10 criteria for the diagnosis of schizophrenia.3

The presence of two personalities, Gollum and Sméagol, raises the possibility of multiple personality disorder. In this diagnosis one personality is suppressed by the other and the two personalities are always unaware of each other's existence.3 In this case, Gollum and Sméagol occur together, have conversations simultaneously, and are aware of each other's existence.

Gollum displays pervasive maladaptive behaviour that has been present since childhood with a persistent disease course. His odd interests and spiteful behaviour have led to difficulty in forming friendships and have caused distress to others. He fulfils seven of the nine criteria for schizoid personality disorder (ICD F60.1), and, if we must label Gollum's problems, we believe that this is the most likely diagnosis.

We thank Peter "Treebeard" Raven for his encouragement.

Contributors and sources: NB, NA, AS, YZT, MY, and AA came up with the idea and participated in the design, analysis, interpretation of data, and writing of the article. ELS was responsible for writing the paper and revising it critically for publication and is the guarantor.

Funding: ELS is funded by the Royal Free and University College Medical School and Camden and Islington Mental Health and Social Care Trust

Competing interests: We are all of short stature and have very large, hairy feet.

References

1. Tolkien JRR. The lord of the rings. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954-5.
2. Tolkien JRR. The hobbit. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1937.
3. World Health Organization. International statistical classification of disease and related health problems. 10th revision. Geneva: WHO, 1992.

Panda Porn' to Boost Male's Sex Drive

Scientists Say Showing Sex-Shy Males Videos of Pandas Mating Ramps Up Low Libidos

By Clarissa Ward

It truly seems an enviable existence to be a panda, spending up to 16 hours a day eating, eight hours a day sleeping, and almost zero hours moving.

video

But during mating time, the panda's life gets a little more complicated. Most male pandas in captivity would rather lie around and chew bamboo than stand up and get busy.

"The mating time is generally not so long. Sometimes several minutes. The shortest may be 30 seconds," said Zhang Zhihe, director of Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu, China. "If they don't like the female's personality or the females don't like the male's personality, they won't mate. That's the biggest reason why in captivity the mating is difficult."

While that may sound perfectly reasonable for humans, it's a problem when it comes to securing the future of the species.

Pandas are known to be isolated creatures and poor breeders, and in captivity the problem may be exacerbated. Zhihe and his team have tried a number of measures to try to cure the male panda of his woefully low libido -- including showing videos of fellow pandas making love.

In the privacy of their own cages, captive male pandas watch the sights and sounds of love-making on TV. Hopefully, Zhihe says, they'll be aroused.

"We're sure the sound of the video will stimulate the panda and the males' interest," Zhihe said.

Along with watching porn, pandas are doing "sexercises," or specialized exercises to strengthen the males' hind legs and increase their stamina.

Scientists have found that the combination of porn, exercises, and the occasional menage a trois -- to get young male pandas curious about sex -- have proved successful.

Zhihe says that more than 60 percent of his pandas are now capable of having sex on their own -- up from just 25 percent twenty years ago.

OKAY Whay were these people thinking when they named their stores?

I mean seriously....

(Click for a larger view)

Rare brew buffs sip suds in Anaheim with "Dr. Bill" Sysak

By L.A. Times



Photo: Certified beer guide William “Dr. Bill” Sysak sampling several styles of designer brew during at the 5th Annual Woodshop Tasting at Bravo Restaurant & Night Club in Anaheim. Photo credit: Louis Sahagun / Los Angeles Times

They were pouring 750 of the rarest and most high falutin’ designer beers in the world Saturday at Bravo Restaurant and Night Club in Anaheim, and certified cicerone William “Dr. Bill” Sysak had something to say about the finer points of each of them.

Sysak, a Falstaffian character with a beard and easy smile, was the man of the hour at the private, invitation-only event sponsored by a group called Woodshop 5.0 and attended by more than 250 fussy connoisseurs, aficionados and fans of finely crafted beers from as far away as Denmark. Throughout the 9-hour event, he was urged to savor the scents and flavors of an array of lagers, ales and stouts, including some vintage styles more than 30 years old.

When Sysak commented on a particular beer’s foam, color, aroma, taste or bitterness, guests within earshot took notes on clipboards and laptop computers.

Sysak, the beverage supervisor at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido, had this to say about a style called J & J Rose from Belgium, which sells for $150 a bottle: “Lemon, sharp, acidic at the front palate, ice-tea at the mid-palate and a champagne finish.”

Then there was the potent, zesty dark brew made with coffee beans passed through the digestive systems of rare Indonesian Civet cats. Sysak swirled a sample of that beer in a snifter, eyeballed the viscosity and sediment, took a sip, smiled and said to no one in particular, “Think wine, rich coffee, 80% dark chocolate, bourbon and vanilla.”

Page Reilly, 23, who markets beer for a San Francisco brewery, said, “What Dr. Bill says, goes. If I think a particular beer is bad or good, I like to share some with Dr. Bill to confirm my suspicions.”

Sysak, 47, figures he’s tried more than 30,000 beers over the past 30 years -- not counting the roughly 200 beers he planned to taste at Saturday’s event, which was scheduled to run from noon to 9 p.m.

Extending a glass of a Denmark beer called Olfabrikken Dekadence 2005 over the crowd gathered around Sysak, John Stern, a 28-year-old graduate student at UC San Diego, said, “Hey Dr. Bill, want some?”

“Ahhh,” Sysak said after swirling a mouthful. “Hint of oxidation, rum and winter fruit notes.”

At 3 p.m., after three hours of continual beer tasting, Sysak smiled and said, “I’m holding up pretty well.”

-- Louis Sahagun

Monday, February 15, 2010

Top Ten Engrish of the Week....

10)


Everyone wants a bit of Phat Dong in Their Lives.

9)


The best VAGINA in India!!

8)


Nothing like a bit o Rape Salad to getcha going.

7)


That's right my pretty Rub that Rotion on your Skin!!

6)


YEOUCH!!!!!!!!!!

5)


Nothing like the smell of PUSSY for those carpoolers.

4)


Making Potty Training a TRIP!

3)


They want you to Wash your sins away......

2)


Bringing the description of Diarrhea to a whole new level.

1)


BEER, fun for the whole family.

Aokigahara (aka Suicide Forest)

By Weird Asia

Bordering the famed Mount Fuji in Japan is a dark, sinister forest known as Aokigahara, or “The Sea of Trees.” Although from the outside it looks like your typical, run-of-the-mill forest, the inside is an entirely different story.



Aokigahara is the perfect place to set a horror movie, as it has become the second most popular location (the Golden Gate Bridge is currently ranked number one) for wary travelers to shuffle off this mortal coil by their own hands.

The forest has become so legendary as a prime suicide location that several signs have been erected and drilled into the trees pleading with travelers to reconsider making the Sea of Trees their final resting place. Others who choose to explore the supposedly haunted forest simply for the thrill of it may run the risk of coming across some of the many corpses there that have yet to be discovered.

Its haunted reputation stems not just from its sinister nature but from the legends that surround suicides in Japanese mythology. According to Japanese lore, those who leave this earth in a way deemed unnatural are doomed to remain on earth as wandering specters.

When a body is found, it is placed in a bed at a forestry station located nearby, next to an empty one for a loved one. Japanese lore states that the spirit, known as a yurei, will howl and scream into the night if left alone throughout the night.



The forest is mentioned in Wataru Tsurumui’s book The Manual of Suicides, and was even the subject of the 2004 movie Jyukai — The Sea of Trees Behind Mt. Fuji. Bodies are still being found there, often hanging from the trees and in varying states of decomposition. Many of those who venture into the sinister forest due to curiosity and not thoughts of ending it all can often stumble across skeletal remains and personal items, such as credit cards, wallets and rail passes.

!!!WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES!!!










Woman hit by falling cat sues 200 people

By Weird Asia

A Chinese woman knocked out by a cat falling from a block of flats is to sue 200 residents because none will admit responsibility.



Tang Meirong, 53, of Chongqing city, was sent to hospital after being hit by the cat, reports Chongqing Business News.

“I was walking on the footpath under the building, and suddenly a heavy object hit my head. I remember nothing afterwards,” she said.

After regaining consciousness, Tang called police but the building manager told officers it would be very difficult to identify the cat owner.

Tang says she will sue all 200 residents whose flats face the street if none of them come forward to take responsibility.

The cat was killed by the fall.

Mom Sells Old NES and 5 Games — for $13,105

By Owen @ Kotaku




A mom in North Carolina listed an NES and five carts on eBay last week for $9.99. Final winning bid: $13,105. One of the games in the lot happened to be the ultra-rare Stadium Events, in its original box.

What's Stadium Events? Well, according to its Wikipedia entry, it was a Bandai exer-game that used the Power Pad, originally known as the Family Fun Fitness mat; it's considered the rarest licensed NES game made available in North America. It was only released in a northern U.S. test market in 1987. In 1988, Nintendo bought the North American rights to the mat, re-released it as the Power Pad, and anything Family Fun Fitness branded was taken off the shelf and destroyed..

Fewer than 2,000 copies of the game were believed to have been produced, only 10 complete specimens are thought to exist, only one of them factory sealed.

It's not clear if the seller knew what she had on her hands when she started the auction. If not, she sure found out once the questions about Stadium Events started pouring in and the bids soared north of $1,000. Either way, I'm sure she is delighted to get 13 grand for something that had been sitting in a closet for several years.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

Ok so all in all me and ViciousBenX had an AMAZING Valentine's Day. We had brunch with his Family at Tropical Chinese and let me tell ya, there's a reason reservations are suggested for this place on Valentine's Day. IT GETS PACKED!!!!! Line goes around the corner and can cost you an hour and a half if you don't reserve in time. It is not only the best Chinese Restaurant in Miami, as stated by their many year after year Zagat Ratings but it is pretty much one of the only places in Miami where you'll be able to have a one of a kind Dim Sum experience. Apparently Tropical is the only place I know of in Miami that has Dim Sum. It was my first time eating Dim Sum but I LOVED it. Your table gets a card and the waiters/waitresses walk around the floor with these carts, they stop at each table and you select what you'd like from each cart. It comes out to be incredibly cheap and delicious. Each person in the table leaves feeling full and satisfied. I loved every single thing I sampled from the Dim Sum Carts. 5 of us had brunch for 75.00 with tip included. Not Bad at all!!! We will definitely return to Tropical.
For Dinner we ate at The Pupusa Factory. Though the name sounds funny we had eaten here a week ago and really liked it so we decided to return, it's a great meal and very inexpensive and authentic at that. The cuisine is from El Salvador. They seem to have a weird obsession with the 80's here. Last week it was American Videos from the 80's. But this week it was Spanish Videos from the 80's and believe you me they were ODD. Anyhoo we ate a bean and cheese Baleada . A Baleada is one of El Salvador’s most original and popular foods. A baleada is a wheat flour tortilla, often quite thick, folded in half and filled with mashed fried beans, eggs, cheese and sour cream. We each had one of those and split a Bean and Cheese Pupusa , A Pupusa is the most common and most delicious Salvadorian dish. Pupusas are corn tortillas stuffed with cheese, beans, or a combination of any of those (pupusas revueltas). In some places you will find Pupusas stuffed with many other less common ingredients. A Pupusa kind of reminds me of an Arepa. Hey just cuz I've lived in Miami my whole life doesn't mean I'm a connoisseur in all of these strange exotic foods. This is like my second time having them, lol. Anyhoo back to the point I was trying to get at. So here we are, eating and conversating, staring at the TV with a puzzled look on our faces. We notice that 75% of the 80's videos in Latin American countries resemble ours. I saw a video that reminded me of A-ha's Take On Me , for all I know it could have been a doppelganger of it. We came across another very interesting video I'd love to post here but I missed the name and have been looking for it since. Which brings me to this little Jewel. In my frantic Youtube search for Popular Latin American Videos of the 1980's I come across a band by the name of Chico Che.

video

The video playing was this one but had an overlay of the following song playing on top of it. (By following song I mean the next video) But please first check this video out and laugh your asses off. Watch it enough to catch the lead singer sticking his hands in his pocket and doing a little Frankenstein Dance, lol it's hilarious!
So I come to find out that the next song has been parodied by You Tubers around Latin America, just type in Quen Pompo and you'll see what I mean, However, this, by far is the best Chico Che Impersonation I have yet to see.

video

.
Mind you I'm not an expert on Chico Che, I just learned about them last night but this is the one that made me laugh the most. Go figure, a Mexican Mechanic who decides to form a band and sing about a girl "Quien Pompo?" is funny enough to get laughs all over. Even from here in the U.S.A.

2/15/2010 Update 11:10pm

I found out Chico Che has passed away from a homage to him here :

video

Chico Che
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Francisco José Hernández Mandujano (December 7, 1949 - March 29, 1989), better known as Chico Che was a Mexican musician from Villahermosa, Tabasco.

Biography

Chico Che was the youngest of three brothers. When he was five years old, he showed interest towards music and was given a guitar by his cousin Lolita Mandujano. He quickly learned how to play it, and even managed to play La marcha de Zacatecas (The Zacatecas march), a song which his grandfather taught him how to whistle. Chico Che was a musical genius when it came to playing various musical instruments. Although he lacked formal musical training, he was bestowed with the gift of being able to play just about any musical instrument he could get his hands on. He was married in 1968 to Concepción Rodríguez, and had three children with her. Chico Che founded a couple of groups, like Los 7 Modernistas and Los Temerarios before founding the group he is most famous for: La Crisis. His music became extremely popular. He died at the height of his career, on March 29, 1989. He is remembered for his interesting sense of fashion. Chico Che had a look of his own on stage wearing tee shirts, overalls, large glasses, boots and a stylish hair that belonged to the 1970's era, nevertheless he made them work and became his artistic trademark. Some of his biggest and most popular hits such as "De Quen Chon" and "Quien Pompo" demonstrated his musical talents. These songs are as popular now as they were when Chico Che sang them on stage and on Mexican movies. R.I.P. Chico Che

On a brighter note:

I've also found the Spanish Version of the Cure. Maybe I'll post them on a later occasion. ;-)

18 Popular Chocolate Bars From Around the World

By List Gazette

I love candy bars. I also love the smell of gas, which has led to some loitering at gas stations and an insuing restraining order, but that's beside the point. Candy bars are delicious, and they are enjoyed almost everywhere. Here are some popular candy bars from around the world.

Czech Republic: Orion


Orion, also called the "blue star," is the major player in candy bars.


UK: Cadbury's Dairy Milk

A popular British milk chocolate bar, first made in 1905.

Germany: Milka

Milka is Kraft Foods' best-selling brand of milk chocolate. It is sold in bar form, in holiday shapes, and in a variety of specialty forms.

Japan: Meiji

A popular chocolate manufacturer in Japan.

Chile: Ambrosoli


Saudi Arabia: Galaxy

Galaxy chocolate is highly popular in United Kingdom and the Middle East as well as in Africa. The brand is also known as Dove in many parts of the world including the United States, People's Republic of China, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, France and Greece. However, the chocolate used in Dove products in the United States is different in taste from the chocolate used in Galaxy in the United Kingdom.

Israel: Elite

The most popular candy bar in Israel.

Colombia: Jet


USA: Snickers

Snickers is a candy bar made by Mars, Incorporated. It consists of peanuts, nougat topped with roasted peanuts and caramel covered with milk chocolate.
I agree I LOVE ME SOME SNICKERS!!! DeHUNGERIZE!!!!!!!!!
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UK: Aero

Aero is a milk chocolate bar filled with bubbles of air, made by Nestlé.

South Korea: Crunky

Wanna get CRUNK?!

Sweden: Dajm/Daim

Daim is a crunchy butter almond bar covered in milk chocolate.

World Wide: Kit-Kat

Each bar consists of fingers composed of three layers of crème-filled wafer, covered in an outer layer of chocolate. Popular all over the world.

Norway: Krembanan

Krembanan is a chocolate-banana candy bar in the shape of a banana, made by Nidar.
*To me it looks like a pickle lol!!*

Poland: Prince Polo

Prince Polo is made from chocolate-covered wafers. It is Poland's most popular candy bar, but is also sold in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania and Ukraine under the name Siesta, and in Iceland, where it’s known as “Prins Póló.”

The Netherlands: Balisto

Balisto is a wholemeal biscuit bar snack, consisting of a digestive biscuit center and a variety of milky cream toppings, and coated in milk chocolate.

Ukraine: Roshen



I think these deserve honorable mention: BUBU LUBU



I first discovered them at Target. They are from Mexico. A Zombie Flesheater's Chocolate Fantasy featuring a strawberry and marshmallow filling with a chocolate covering. It is manufactured by Ricolino Candies (under the control of the Bimbo Company). Bubu Lubu is currently available in some H.E.B. grocery stores and Wal-Mart stores in Texas, Mercado del Pueblo in Georgia, as well as in some Chicago and Miami, Florida area Target stores, as well as NV gas stations and Mexican owned grocery stores in New Brunswick, NJ. Its packaging describes the candy as "jalea y malvavisco cubiertos con sabor chocolate" or "strawberry-flavored jelly and marshmallow with chocolate flavored coating". Bubu Lubu is often eaten frozen.