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The heartbeat’s rhythm is established by a natural pacemaker, a small area at the top of the right atrium (one of the small, upper chambers) made of specialized cells that produce electrical impulses. These impulses travel down and through the heart causing a sequential contraction – first the atria contract followed by the ventricles’ (the lower, larger chambers) contraction, and thereby pumping the blood through and out the heart. As the electrical impulse is generated and as it travels its established and specific pathway things can happen to interfere with the signal. The impulse may be too fast, too slow, irregular or it may be blocked from propagating down and out.

One of the treatments for a heart whose natural pacemaker is failing is an artificial pacemaker. This is a small, battery operated medical device that generates small electrical pulses that “pace” the heart, taking over for the sinoatrial node (the natural pacemaker) or overcoming a blocked pathway.

Artificial pacemakers can be permanent (internal) or temporary (external). They can be set for a certain number of pulses per minute. Most can turn themselves off when the natural heartbeat exceeds the artificial pacemaker’s pre-set rate.

Some things can interfere with artificial pacemakers’ proper functioning and should be avoided by persons dependant on them. Many people believe microwave ovens, electric blankets, and other home appliances interfere with pacemakers but in general home appliances are not dangerous. Newer cellular phones may be problematic. Some types of medical equipment can and do cause problems. Doctors and dentists should always know if a patient has an artificial pacemaker.

Patients with a pacemaker should always wear a medical alert bracelet or carry a wallet I.D. card with their medical information at all times. The rest of us should be courteous and obey signs telling us to turn off cell phones in hospitals or other places where pacemaker patients may be located.

A few days ago I got the Pacemaker plugin for Winamp, which basically lets you change the tempo, speed and pitch of an mp3. After a while of playing around with the settings, I found out that a lot of songs sound substantially better when sped up by around twenty percent or so, maybe moving up to thirty percent if needs be.

After a couple of test runs I found that some songs that were meant to be slow (for emotional purposes or whatever) don't sound that good when sped up.
e.g. Roads by Portishead or Full Circle by Aerosmith.

In addition to this, dance music doesn't sound that good, because if you already know the song, it sounds like it's supposed to be that fast.
e.g. anything by The Prodigy or Aphex Twin

Bearing this in mind, however, if you look for songs that thrive on their energy, then you're onto a winner :)
e.g. Chop Suey by System of a Down or Trip Like I Do by Filter and The Crystal Method

In short, the track only lasts eighty percent of the time it originally did, but the payoff of it is it seems the energy of the song is condensed.

Download the plug in from http://www.winamp.com

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