Roland’s System-8 synthesizer does almost everything


As Roland’s product-packed 909 day comes to a close, one of the more impressive announcements is the new System-8 synthesizer. Taking a design cue from the Aira line, the new keyboard is packed full of features including the ability to add and control multiple synth profiles at once.

Using Roland’s Analog Circuit Behavior modeling, the System-8 recreates the sounds found on vintage and current synthesizers. Roland calls them "plug-outs" when in reality they’re more like plug ins. In addition to the built in sound, users can add the sounds from the company’s library of instruments. It ships with the Jupiter-8 and Juno-106 plug-outs that can be played without any additional hardware.

Roland offers additional synth plug-outs (including the SH-2, SH-101 and PROMARS) for purchase. What sets the System-8 apart from the Aira System-1 that also supports plug-outs is the ability to load and control up to three additional virtual synths at the same time. You can do things like patch sounds for deep patches and create custom keyboard splits.

The System-8 also has a 64-step sequencer, arpeggio with quick access buttons, three oscillators, chord memory, CV/GATE outputs and a vocoder. Plus it’s polyphonic and supports eight voices via the velocity enabled keys. It also has the usual MIDI and audio in and out ports. Priced at $1,499 it’s a bit pricier than anything else in the Aira or Boutique line, but you’re getting a lot of synth in a single package.

Source: Roland

from Engadget

3 things to know before you eat marijuana edibles


cannaisseur_series_chef_coreen_carroll 9041Melia Robinson/Tech Insider

“User-friendly” is not a word that’s often used when describing marijuana edibles.

Whether you’re biting into a pot brownie cooked up in a college dorm or nibbling on a fruit chew purchased from your local dispensary, you never really know how much marijuana you’re ingesting. It can take hours to get high, and the effects can be intense and long-lasting.

That said, edibles offer a discreet way to get high in public or among disapproving company, and a single dose can power users through the worst bouts of illness-induced nausea or a marathon Netflix binge. It’s often the consumption method of choice for people using marijuana for medicinal purposes (and those who just don’t want to smoke).

Remember, it doesn’t matter who you are or what size you are. Edibles will affect everyone differently. Enjoy with caution.

Here are three things to know before you try your first marijuana edible.

1. Marijuana-infused foods are more potent than regular pot.

Chef Alex Tretter carries a tray of marijuana-infused peanut butter and jelly cups to the oven for baking at Sweet Grass Kitchen in Denver, Colorado.Brennan Linsley/AP

The body works in mysterious ways, as does marijuana.

Edibles offer a completely different experience than, say, a joint or a bong hit. When eaten, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in weed, undergoes a transformation in the liver that turns it into a different substance that’s twice as strong and lasts twice as long as when inhaled.

It also takes our bodies much longer to process cannabis when we ingest rather than inhale.

“With smoking, the peak blood levels happen within 3-10 minutes, and with eating, it’s 1-3 hours,” Kari Franson, a clinical pharmacologist and an associate dean of the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy, told Forbes.

Because it takes so long to process, people often overdo it. If you don’t feel high after ingesting an edible, wait at least two hours before consuming a second dose.

2. You should always, always, always read the label.

Smaller-dose marijuana-infused cookies, called the Rookie Cookie, sit on the packaging table at The Growing Kitchen, in Boulder, Colorado.Brennan Linsley/AP

Not everyone has the great fortune of being able to pick out an individually packaged edible from a bona fide retailer, especially in states where the prohibition on pot persists (though that’s starting to change). But if you do, paying attention to the label on the packaging can be the difference between a Grade A night-in and a paranoia-wracked nightmare of an evening.

Any reputable edible maker will lab test their products for potency and will include on the label two important ingredients: THC, the psychoactive chemical compound in marijuana, and CBD, or cannabidiol, the chemical compound that has pain relief benefits. The total THC or “maximum THC” is the most clear-cut indicator of how high the product will make you.

Research shows these labels can be inaccurate, but it beats total ignorance.

Five milligrams of THC is a good place to start for novice users, according to the Oregon Responsible Edibles Council. It’s a conservative dose for adults who don’t know their tolerance or are consuming for recreational, rather than medical, purposes.

3. It will be okay if you get too high.

If your heart starts to race, your hands tremble, and anxiety strikes, it’s helpful to remember there are no recorded cases of people fatally overdosing on marijuana. Zero.

“The good thing about [consuming too much] weed is it can’t kill you,” Kim Geraghty, cofounder of Madame Munchie, whose gourmet cannabis macarons recently took the award for best dessert at Hempcon, told Business Insider. “But it can make you very uncomfortable.”

There are things you can do to mitigate an “Oh, no, what I have done?” high. First, relax.

“Remind yourself that you’re in no danger and the state you’re in is temporary,” writes David Schmader in his excellent book, “Weed: The User’s Guide.” “Surround yourself with stuff that makes you feel safe. (If this means pajamas in bed, so be it.)”

Drink some water to stay hydrated and eat a snack — preferably one that is ready-to-eat and does not require operating a stove— to boost your blood sugar. Call up a trusted friend, Schmader recommends, or Google search “Maureen Dowd Colorado” to feel less alone.


from SAI

Lack of Sleep Can Tremendously Affect How Our Brains Deal with Emotions



Insomnia is a common but highly irritating problem: the Sleep Health Foundation (SHF) estimates that 1 in 3 people will suffer from mild insomnia at one point in their lives. There are a number of causes for this disorder, including hormonal imbalances, bad sleep habits, some medications, too much caffeine and even pregnancy. And whatever the underlying cause, sleepless nights can cause a range of problems, including fatigue and tiredness, difficulty concentrating and focusing, lack of memory, mood or emotional disorders, and the increased chance of committing an error or getting into an accident.

What is even more surprising is that, according to new research, a person’s emotions can be negatively impacted by even missing just one night’s sleep.

Sleep deprivation led people to lose their neutrality, the ability of the brain to separate the important from the unimportant

This new research was coming out of Tel Aviv University in Israel, where researchers were able to gain a better understanding of the specific effects that sleep deprivation has upon the brain. What they found was that, surprisingly, the negative cognitive effects began after just one night’s sleep.

Losing Neutrality

During the study, 18 volunteers stayed up all night one night and got a good night’s sleep on the other. Brain imaging from MRIs and EEG were done throughout the study in order to better understand the brain activity of the participants. After each night, participants were asked to take the same test which involved tracking and identifying the movement of dots across different pictures, which were either emotionally positive, emotionally negative, or emotionally neutral in content. The combination of this test and the brain imaging was enough to get a good idea of the brain’s cognitive processing ability.

The results showed that lack of sleep negatively impacted the regulatory processing ability of the brain, and the EEG scan revealed little difference in its reaction to positive and negative images. Further testing showed that volunteers were more easily distracted by any kind of image after staying up all night, but that after a good night’s sleep, only the most emotionally charged images registered on the brain.

In short, the researchers noted that sleep deprivation led people to lose their neutrality, the ability of the brain to separate the important from the unimportant. See the brain scans and other images taken directly from the study below.

Losing Neutrality

Figure 1

Losing Neutrality

Figure 2

Losing Neutrality

Figure 3

Before the study, scientists were not certain about just what mechanism in the brain was responsible for emotional impairments which happen when sleep is taken away. Dr. Talma Hadlar, one of the researchers who published this article, noted that:

“We assumed that sleep loss would interfere with the processing of emotional images and….executive functions. We were incredibly surprised to find that it significantly impacted the brain in the processing of both neutral and emotionally charged images.”

The Study in Context

The Tel Aviv research is part of a recent and growing body of evidence that ties lack of sleep or insomnia to emotional and/or cognitive dysfunction. All three studies below were published just this year:

  • One study, published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine, found in their review that insomnia “poses a major threat to mental health…. Anxiety and depression are the two most negative emotions impacted by insomnia”.
  • An article which appeared in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that, for patients suffering from insomnia due to tinnitus (a chronic ringing in the ears), the level of emotional and cognitive distress was directly related to how severe the insomnia was.
  • Research published in the Review of Neurology found that the comorbidity between insomnia and depression is high, and that a vicious cycle begins:

Anxiety and depression can cause insomnia and the insomnia in turn can make the emotional problems worse.

In short, those who are suffering from insomnia―even for a very short time―are at an increased risk for emotional and cognitive problems as well. That is why it is important to see a doctor or other healthcare professional about this problem early on to discuss safe and effective remedies for this problem before it gets any worse.

The post Lack of Sleep Can Tremendously Affect How Our Brains Deal with Emotions appeared first on Lifehack.

from Stepcase Lifehack

A 3D-printed autonomous car, and more in the week that was


3D printing and autonomous cars are two of today’s hottest emerging technologies — so why not combine the two? That’s the idea behind Local Motors’ latest vehicle, which features a 3D-printed body, a windshield video screen and no steering wheel. Meanwhile, OX launched the world’s first all-terrain flat-pack truck, which can be quickly shipped anywhere in the world. Cannae Corporation announced plans to test an "impossible" zero-exhaust microwave thruster that could revolutionize space travel. And Electra Meccanica launched SOLO, an affordable three-wheeled electric vehicle for one.
In energy news, this week Sonos Motors announced plans to debut a solar-powered car within two years, and Soel Yachts unveiled a sun-powered motorboat that glides through the water without making a sound. A team of Swiss researchers developed the world’s most efficient solar cell, which can double the efficiency of rooftop arrays. And in Israel, researchers developed a new strain of algae that produces five times more hydrogen fuel during photosynthesis.

3D printers can create incredibly complex objects, but they don’t lend well to on-the-fly improvisation. Meet the 3Doodler, an amazing printing pen that can draw wood, copper and bronze structures in mid-air. In other design and technology news, Egloo launched a brilliant electricity-free heater that can warm your home for pennies a day. We were glad to see Apple launch a new water-resistant iPhone, which should cut down on e-waste due to drowned gadgets. And a plant-covered mobile living room took to the streets of Europe to purify the air.

from Engadget