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Neurobridge: Paralyzed Man Becomes First to Use Power of Thought to Move Hand

Ohio doctors insert microchip into Ian Burkhart’s brain allowing him to move hand for first time since accident

For the Telegraph, Rosa Prince reports: A young American paralysed in a swimming accident has become the first patient to move his hand using the power of thought after doctors inserted a microchip into his brain.

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Onlookers described the moment he was able to move by the sheer force of concentration as like watching “science fiction come true” Photo: Youtube/ MediaSourceTV

“Physically, it was a foreign feeling. Emotionally it was definitely a sense of hope and excitement to know that it’s possible.”

Ian Burkhart was able to open and close his fist and even pick up a spoon during the first test of the chip, giving hope to millions of accident victims and stroke sufferers of a new bionic era of movement through thought.

Doctors at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center created the “Neurobridge” technology, whereby a microchip reads patients’ thoughts in order to replace signals no longer transmitted by their broken bodies, in conjunction with engineers from Battelle, a non-profit research centre.

While doctors have seen some success in recent years in getting stroke victims to manoeuvre robotic arms

Ian Burkhart uses the power of thought to move his hand, having had a microchip inserted in his brain (Youtube/ MediaSourceTV)

Ian Burkhart uses the power of thought to move his hand, having had a microchip inserted in his brain (Youtube/ MediaSourceTV)

using their thoughts, Mr Burkhart is the first to move his own body.

Paralysed from the chest down during a swimming accident four years ago, the 23-year underwent surgery in April to drill into his skull and implant a chip into his brain.

At just 0.15 inch wide, the chip has 96 electrodes which ‘read’ what he is thinking and is housed in a port inside his skull.

After weeks of practice sessions, when Mr Burkhart focused intently on wiggling his fingers while the chip responded by moving an animated hand on a computer screen, the first proper test took place last week. Read the rest of this entry »


Greg Gutfeld Was Right: ‘Cool’ Kids More Likely to Have Problems Later in Life

For TIMEEliana Dockterman writes: Growing up, movies taught us that being popular in high school wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The nerds and losers in Mean GirlsSixteen Candles and Superbad may have gotten picked on, but they always got their happy ending and the assurance that one day they would grow up to be smarter, wealthier and happier than the cool kids.

lohan-sidebarNow, research suggests that the revenge of the nerds is no longer a pipe dream:not-cool-cover popular teens are more likely to have problems later in life.

[Order Greg's book "Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You" from Amazon]

A new decade-long study published Thursday in the journal Child Development found that people who tried to act “cool” in early adolescence were more likely to have issues with drugs, their social lives and criminal activity later in life.

“It appears that while so-called cool teens’ behavior might have been linked to early popularity, over time, these teens needed more and more extreme behaviors to try to appear cool, at least to a subgroup of other teens. So they became involved in more serious criminal behavior and alcohol and drug use as adolescence progressed.”

– Joseph P. Allen, a professor of psychology at UVA

Researchers at the University of Virginia gathered information from 184 teens, their peers and their families for ten years, beginning at age 13. The participants in the study all attended public school in either suburban or urban areas in the southeastern United States and came from a variety of racial and socio-economic backgrounds. Read the rest of this entry »


Black Bong Water for the 21st Century Connoisseur: Marijuana Infused Coffee

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DC News FOX 5 reports: A new product promises drinkers a jolt of something extra than your daily dose of caffeine.

[You can order all kinds of coffee supplies from Amazon]

Washington state based Mirth Provisions plans to release a cannabis-infused cold-brew coffee called “Legal,” as the new product will only be available in markets where marijuana is legal.

morning-buzz

Creator Adam Stites told My Northwest that each  bottle will contain about 20 milligrams of THC, enough to create “an alert, creative, high,” but not too much as to make it an unpleasant experience, “especially for people that are just getting into marijuana.”

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On the company website, Mirth Provisions proclaims their coffee is “ mighty refreshing poured over ice or just sipped straight from the bottle. Knock one back with your compadres and take on the day with a smooth buzz and a grin a mile wide.” Read the rest of this entry »


Reality Check: Following the Government’s Nutritional Advice Can Make you Fat and Sick

RADIUS IMAGES/CORBIS

RADIUS IMAGES/CORBIS

For City JournalSteven Malanga writes:

Last October, embarrassing e-mails leaked from New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene disclosed that officials had stretched the limits of credible science in approving a 2009 antiobesity ad, which depicted a stream of soda pop transforming into human fat as it left the bottle. “The idea of a sugary drink becoming fat is absurd,” a scientific advisor warned the department in one of the e-mails, a view echoed by other experts whom the city consulted. Nevertheless, Gotham’s health commissioner, Thomas Farley, saw the ad as an effective way to scare people into losing weight, whatever its scientific inaccuracies, and overruled the experts. The dustup, observed the New York Times, “underlined complaints that Dr. Farley’s more lifestyle-oriented crusadesshakedown are based on common-sense bromides that may not withstand strict scientific scrutiny.”

[Steven Malanga's book Shakedown: The Continuing Conspiracy Against the American Taxpayer is available at Amazon]

Under Farley and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York’s health department has been notoriously aggressive in pursuing such “lifestyle-oriented” campaigns (see the sidebar below). But America’s public-health officials have long been eager to issue nutrition advice ungrounded in science, and nowhere has this practice been more troubling than in the federal government’s dietary guidelines, first issued by a congressional committee in 1977 and updated every five years since 1980 by the United States Department of

A British physician calls for an end to the war against saturated fat that began in the 1970s after saturated fat intake was linked to heart disease. Among the research cited is evidence that the saturated fat in dairy products may be protective against heart risk. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Agriculture. Controversial from the outset for sweeping aside conflicting research, the guidelines have come under increasing attack for being ineffective or even harmful, possibly contributing to a national obesity problem. Unabashed, public-health advocates have pushed ahead with contested new recommendations, leading some of our foremost medical experts to ask whether government should get out of the business of telling Americans what to eat—or, at the very least, adhere to higher standards of evidence.

Until the second half of the twentieth century, public medicine, which concerns itself with community-wide health prescriptions, largely focused on the germs that cause infectious diseases. Advances in microbiology led to the development of vaccines and antibiotics that controlled—and, in some cases, eliminated—a host of killers, including smallpox, diphtheria, and polio. These advances dramatically increased life expectancy in industrialized countries. In the United States, average life expectancy improved from 49 years at the beginning of the twentieth century to nearly 77 by the century’s end. Read the rest of this entry »


Yes, Saturated Fats Are Good: Undoing Decades of Government Misinformation About Health

betty-draper

 Think a low fat diet is the key to health? Think again.

For The Daily Beast, Daniela Drake writes:

You can’t blame patients for being skeptical. After years of advocating low-fat diets, Dr. Oz recently declared that eating saturated fat might not actually be all that bad. And the month before that, the press hyped a new study that indicated there’s no good evidence that saturated fats cause heart disease. The American Heart Association41UYArSMSPL._SL110_, on the other hand, continues to promote low-fat diets. So what should physicians tell patients now?

Check out the book: The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet at Amazon.com

Most practicing doctors are poorly equipped to make sense of it all. (Even the doctors on the 2013 cholesterol guideline committee hired other people to read the literature for them.) What should doctors advise—stick with low fat or start cooking with lard?

In the new book, The Big Fat Surprisescience writer Nina Teicholz implies that we should do the latter. Like many people, Teicholz herself was once a disciple of low-fat diets—but after she took an assignment writing restaurant reviews, she found herself losing weight on a diet of heavy creams and fatty meats. Her curiosity was piqued, and she began a nearly decade-long critical review of the research on dietary fat. Her conclusion? Eating saturated fat can be the key to developing a healthy and lean body.

Read the rest of this entry »


[Photos] ‘100 Iconic Photos That Forever Define..’

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First purchase of legal marijuana in Colorado, 2014

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Astronauts go for a walk

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A young Afghan woman shows her face in public for the first time after 5 years of Taliban Sharia law, 2001.

(see more photos here) 

…100 Iconic Photos That Forever Define The 21st Century So Far


In Defense of Salt


[AUDIO] NSFW: MSNBC’s Ed Schultz Goes Cuckoo-Bananas on Caller, Drops F-Bomb Before Censors Catch It

If your computer volume is up and unsuspecting people are standing nearby, you might want to adjust the volume before hitting “play” on this YouTube clip. Schultz lets it rip.

From NRO‘s Andrew Johnson:

Censors failed to bleep out Ed Schultz’s profane outburst on his radio show when the MSNBC host lashed out at a caller during a heated discussion.

“I hope that they didn’t go out — did we catch that one? I need some direction! Did we catch that one? Yes or no?”

The fiery caller accused Schultz of “fascism” and for “capitulating” to people who are benefiting from the worsening state of affairs, prompting Schultz to say he hoped that caller didn’t “have a stroke…”(read more)

National Review Online


Vintage Illustration of the Day: Potato Pete & Doctor Carrot

good-soup-vintage

Retrogasm


‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ Cure for Love: Should We Take Anti-Love Drugs?

esosm_12

Breaking up is hard to do. If drugs could ease the pain, when should we use them, asks neuro-ethicist Brian D. Earp

mg22129564.700-1_300For your research, how do you define love?

We tend to think of love as a phenomenon grounded in ancient neurochemical systems that evolved for our ancestors’ reproductive needs. There is more to our experience of love than brain chemistry, of course, but those brain-level phenomena play a central role.

The idea of love as a drug is a cliché, but does it have any characteristics of addiction?

Recent brain studies show extensive parallels between the effects of certain addictive drugs and experiences of being in love. Both activate the brain’s reward system, can overwhelm us so that we forget about other things and can inspire withdrawal when they are no longer available. It seems it isn’t just a cliché that love is like a drug: in terms of effects on the brain, they may be neurochemically equivalent.

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You have written about the possibility of using “anti-love biotechnology” as a treatment. When would it be warranted?

The idea of treating someone for an addiction to a bad relationship is something to be very cautious Lacuna Incorporatedabout. So we end up stacking the cards in favour of autonomy – the voluntary use of any “anti-love” intervention.

You can imagine a situation in which a person’s experience of love is so profoundly harmful, yet so irresistible, that it undermines their ability to think rationally for themselves. In a case of domestic abuse, that can be life-threatening. But even then, we wouldn’t recommend forcing drug-based treatment on someone against their will: non-biochemical interventions should be tried first.

So when would this type of treatment be ideal?

Some people in dangerous relationships know they need to get out, and even want to, but are unable to break their emotional attachment. If, for example, a woman in an abusive relationship could access medication that would help her break ties with her abuser, then, assuming it was safe and effective, we think she could be justified in taking it.

Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTOS] Hong Kong’s “Cage” Apartments

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From architales’ blog:  The Society for Community Organization (SoCO) has released these overhead photos showing how people live in tiny, cramped Hong Kong apartments to highlight the ongoing housing problems in one of the richest cities in the world. Equal opportunity for participation and fair distribution of social resources is the foundation of human rights. Hundreds of thousands of people are still living in caged homes and wood-partitioned cubicles.

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SoCO took shots of the homes to show just how tight these living quarters are. The aerial perspective is not just an artistic choice; The apartments were so small that they had to be photographed from the ceiling to capture them.

Read the rest of this entry »


Hong Kong’s Charlie Brown Cafe

A travel and food blog, Bitten by the Wanderlust Bug, has a great little photo series featuring an unlikely theme for a Hong Kong restaurant. The Charlie Brown Cafe. View the whole series, it’s fun. Here’s some samples:

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Read the rest of this entry »


The Culture of Heroin Addiction

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Over at NRO, reflecting on Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s deadly overdose, Kevin D. Williamson explores the shallow romanticism of opiate culture:

Glamour Junkies

… Every few years I read about how heroin is making a comeback or about how there’s a new surge of heroin addiction, but I am skeptical. Heroin never makes a comeback, because heroin never goes away…

“The belief that there exists some kind of deep and invisible connection between artistic creativity and addiction (or mental illness) is one of the most destructive and most stupid of our contemporary myths.”

hoff-narrow-drker...taking heroin is, at least in part, an act of cultural affiliation. Connoisseurs of the poppy will go on and on about Great Junkies in History — William S. Burroughs, Sid and Nancy, Billie Holiday — though all in all I’d say that heroin addicts are less tedious on the subject of heroin than potheads are on the subject of pot. They do seem to have a particular fascination with the jargon of heroin, as though every conversation is taking place in 1970…

[See also: 50 Bags of Heroin: More Details Emerge on Drug Death of Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman]

I always have a sneaking suspicioun that I could talk people out of deciding to become junkies if only I could get them to read a couple of good books composed with such literary skill as to illuminate the fact that Burroughs was a poseur and a hack. The belief that there exists some kind of deep and invisible connection between artistic creativity and addiction (or mental illness) is one of the most destructive and most stupid of our contemporary myths. I’d blame Thomas De Quincey, author of the 19th-century tell-all Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, if I thought anybody still read him.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Curiously, CNN Reporter Appears High on Weed During Segment on What? Where Were We? Oh yeah. Marijuana

From Hot AirAllahpundit again…

Via Gawker, if you can’t watch the whole thing, skip to 4:00 to see why last night Anderson Cooper called this the greatest live hit the show’s ever done. My favorite moment is that big, bright, glassy-eyed smile at 5:15. (Second-favorite: The thoughtful explanation of the difference between sativa and indica.) The question here isn’t whether she’s high — the symptoms she describes are familiar even to non-users (losing her train of thought, finding things unusually funny, etc) — but whether she could have gotten this giggly from a contact high, i.e. from second-hand smoke without taking a hit herself. Answer: Yes, if she was around lots and lots of it. A single joint won’t do much to a bystander; 16 joints might. According to Kaye, she was riding around in the close confines of a limo all day with veteran potheads smoking blunts as big as cannons. Contact-high verdict: Plausible.

Read the rest…

Read the rest of this entry »


Academic Advantage: Chinese College Student’s ‘Sleep Prevention’ Invention

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From RocketNews24 brings this viral phenomenon from Yahoo! Japan News, and writes:  Necessity is the mother of invention, and for university students there is no greater necessity than staying awake for late night cramming when exams come about. Some students do whatever it takes to stay up and get that last bit of info committed to memory before the big day, even to the detriment of their own health. However, one girl known by her surname of Huang has found a cheap and effective way to keep her head up and has gone viral in China’s social media for it.

Her invention, titled “Test Studying Sleep Preventative” is a revolutionary… It’s just a clothespin hanger really. But such an item is easily found in homes and dorms all over China allowing for instant implementation once you figure out what to hang it from.

Although Huang seems to show a knack for engineering, she’s actually a second year student at Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University. Still, by simply putting clumps of her hair into the various clothes pins and letting the hanger keep her head up and alert she can learn all about aquifers without the risk of dozing off.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Six The Movie — Helen Smith

Dr. Helen Smith writes:

“I often get requests to see my video Six about a group of teenagers who killed a family in East Tennessee. I am no longer selling the documentary, but PJM has been kind enough to upload it to YouTube so that PJM readers can watch it if they wish. It is now almost a decade old but much of the complexity of mass murder still holds true today. I hope my readers find it of interest.”

With recent crimes and mass shootings, the national debate has shifted to questions of mental health, parenting, and the ability of the legal system to deal with troubled youths. These are all issues that PJ Media contributor Dr. Helen Smith addressed in an award-winning 2003 documentary. Her film “Six,” featured in programming on A&E and WeTV, tells the story of a group of Kentucky teens who murdered a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses despite clear warning signs. Though many want to blame violence on guns, the factors involving violence are much more complex than simply blaming a weapon. Watch the documentary, and see what happens when the system fails, as it all too often does.

http://www.sixthemovie.com/

Six The Movie — YouTube


Hong Kong Tram Timelapse Video

haonowshaokao writes: I’ve been editing videos from a few years back, trying to get to grips with the massive backlog, and I thought I’d have a go at fixing something I made when I returned to China in 2009 – a timelapse video shot from the front of a tram across Hong Kong Island.

[See also: Why Hong Kong never sleeps]

The original version was ok in terms of general concept, but the juddering effect of the tram’s movement made the thing difficult to watch. In order to fix it I spent an hour or so messing about with the deshaker plugin for Virtualdub and then another hour masking the resultant odd framing in Sony Vegas, brightening up the picture a little, making it look pleasantly odd.

The result is quite a bit better, I think, though it’s difficult to know if you’re improving things when you apply a series of minor changes one by one. Sometimes that just means you’re slowly ruining it.

…here’s the original, in case anyone wants to compare & contrast:

 haonowshaokao


BREAKING: Editor Takes Hong Kong Bar Exam, Survives

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HK_Central_Statue_Square_Legislative_Council_Building_n_Themis_spunditfromanotherplanet would like to take this opportunity to extend our warmest BeforeAfterBarExamcongratulations to fellow planet editor and co-founder Dr. Strangelove, who just completed the Hong Kong Bar exam. Well played, sir!

The amount of work and study required to pass this exam, I can only imagine, must be tremendous. It requires dedication, fortitude, and endurance. It’s not for the faint-of-heart. Even for high-achievers, it can take a toll.

We hope when he recovers he’ll file a report from our Hong Kong Bureau, or from his desk when he returns to the U.S.

Again, congratulations.

—The Butcher


Why is Coffee Good? Because, Reasons

Coffee isn’t just warm and energizing, it may also be extremely good for you.

coffee-from-potIn recent years and decades, scientists have studied the effects of coffee on various aspects of health and their results have been nothing short of amazing.

Here are 7 reasons why coffee may actually be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.

1. Coffee Can Make You Smarter

Coffee doesn’t just keep you awake, it may literally make you smarter as well.

The active ingredient in coffee is caffeine, which is a stimulant and the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world.    Read the rest of this entry »


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