Weekly Head Voices #109: GABA

  • From now on, I would like to limit WHVs to bullets (really) or to named sections, to ease reading. DOWN WITH WALLS OF TEXT!
  • After a multi-year, completely coincidental, break from medical imaging, I am back to The Real Business since the start of July. I am super excited about the plans we’re cooking up and executing. I can obviously not say too much, unless beer is involved, or you hang around here for muuuuuch longer. I think I am allowed to mention digital pathology and machine learning and beer.
  • Last week we road-tripped up the East Coast to St Francis Bay, via Oudtshoorn and the Cango Caves.
    • Pro tip: When road tripping with more than 0 (zero) children (babies count double; sick babies +5 hit points), and you have to stay overnight somewhere, invest extra in the biggest suite you (or your children’s college fund) can afford.
    • On the beach in St Francis Bay (right in the middle of winter, you still seem to get these lovely balmy beach days), it seemed that everybody was surfing. Whole families, with the mom, the dad, all the kids, and grandma and grandpa, were all on various sizes of surfboards in the sea catching some waves.
    • Here’s a photo from the furthest point on what I call “Not The Ugliest Jogging Route in The World” (in St Francis Bay):


  • Last night I accidentally discovered that I can pinpoint the exact weekend and location when and where I first tasted my favourite trappist beer (EVER), namely Rochefort #8. It’s all written up in this 2003 post.
  • When Google send me an email this weekend asking me exactly how I would like them to use my email (yes, a few months ago I migrated my mail empire back to Google because my self-hosting experiment had started to cost me time and money) to show me custom advertisements, I was reminded that I do actually find the machine learning models they’re building about me quite creepy, and that perhaps I would prefer not also handing them 12 years of emails to make their models more accurate. There and then I migrated said 12 years of emails from GMail to FastMail. So far I’m really impressed by the product, mostly due to the speed and the user experience of the web-app. There might be a more detailed post in the near future, let me know if you’re interested.
  • Most surprising and interesting (to me) new scientific discovery of the week: A team of scientists at Northeastern University in Boston have shown that one of the many kinds of bacteria living in your stomach eats exclusively GABA, a really important brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that plays a role in keeping you calm. Based on this and other work, it looks like the bacteria in your tummy, also known as your gastrointestinal microbiota, besides being crucially important to your digestive system and your general survival, probably also play quite an important role in your psyche. I find this slightly mind-blowing.

Have a great week kids, I hope to see you on the other side.

P.S. Those bullets made for quite an impressive wall of text, didn’t they?

8 thoughts on “Weekly Head Voices #109: GABA”

  1. No way, Digital Pathology, neural networks and that sort of stuff is Philips’ next money cow mister. You aren’t allowed to interfere ;). You can join Philips though, noticed Julien did the same..

      1. Ooooh snap! Shots fired! Mister Botha doesn’t mess around boys! Comes in gun blazin.

        CP. OBVIOUS “Ltd. Sir Tr. Olling open the fridge!”
        LT. “Opening fridge sir!”
        LT. “Fridge is opened sir!”
        CP. “Grab ammunition type a42r57!”
        LT. “A42r57 grabbed sir!”
        CP. “Hoooold”
        CP. “hooooooooooooold”
        CP. “FIRE!”


        And I do get paid to do this, you?

        1. My weak internet is not able to open your imgur link. :(

          I am unable to continue taking part in this blogfight without access to your visual riposte.

          1. Oh no, the mystical ammunition is already fired and consumed. I can no longer fire it using another method of transportation. You will have to do with the knowledge you were hammered with a 0.6L Fisher traditional biere blonde from the alsace, fired from a 32 degree location in France under a clear blue sky. Like you are used to have each day :(.

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