Just 1 more week until @Pink receives the @BMI President’s Award for her diverse songwriting while dominating all three fields of Rock, Pop and R&B! The guest list for the 63rd Annual BMI Pop Awards includes, Dallas Green, Christina Perri, A Great Big World & MAGIC!

As defined as an award exclusively given to those who have amassed “outstanding achievement in songwriting and global impact on pop culture and the entertainment industry,” this feat. puts P!nk among the BMI songwriting elite which includes past recipients of the same honor: Taylor Swift, Gloria Estefan and Adam Levine. Source

“P!nk is an extraordinary songwriter whose mastery of craft and passionate artistry has transformed a generation of Pop and Rock music culture around the world,” said Barbara Cane, BMI Vice President & General Manager, Writer/Publisher Relations, Los Angeles. “She has captivated music lovers with her unforgettable, emotional and edgy magnificence of song, voice and performance.”  Source

France Votes To Ban Models Under A Certain Body Mass Index

A new law passed in France on Friday that bans excessively thin fashion models, and imposes fines and possible jail time on the agents and fashion houses who hire them.

The legislation, which was approved by French parliamentarians, states that agencies found employing models considered too thin could be fined up to 75,000 euros (approximately $83,000 USD) and face six months in prison.

Well, inquisitive hypothetical reader, there’s a second interesting tidbit in all that “lesbians are more likely to be fat” business. As it turns out, queer girls (lesbians AND bisexuals) are ALSO more likely to NOT THINK they’re fat, even when their BMI puts them in one of the “overweight” categories. On the flip side, straight girls are more likely to think of themselves as fat even when they’re not. That’s right, “overweight” queer ladies tend to be less critical of their bodies than straight women.

Researchers want to call this a problem of self-perception, but I have a different theory. It could be, perhaps, that queer girl culture doesn’t suffer the incessant, unreasonable pressure of the male gaze in the same way that straight girl culture does. After all, if you don’t have to concern yourself with attracting men as romantic partners, it’s considerable more reasonable to not give a fuck about their photoshopped-magazine-and-mainstream-pornography-fueled beauty standards, and you might be less likely to internalize that garbage. A dig through some psychology journals show that I’m not making this up. One study showed that lesbians tended to rate the attractiveness of bigger women higher than straight women did. A later study showed that women who felt a strong connection to the lesbian community scored better in personal body image and had fewer indications of depression.

So, we’ve got an NIH study about fat lesbians, a problematic cultural fixation on weight and weight-loss, and a rejection of heterosexual beauty standard by queer ladies. What’s the takeaway here? It’s that we should be concerned when science and medicine make such considerable efforts to pathologize aspects of queer culture that conflict with mainstream straight culture, especially when those aspects of straight culture are hideously broken, like the fat-hate and weight obsession.

Researchers Build Brain-Machine Interface to Control Prosthetic Hand

A research team from the University of Houston has created an algorithm that allowed a man to grasp a bottle and other objects with a prosthetic hand, powered only by his thoughts.

The technique, demonstrated with a 56-year-old man whose right hand had been amputated, uses non-invasive brain monitoring, capturing brain activity to determine what parts of the brain are involved in grasping an object. With that information, researchers created a computer program, or brain-machine interface (BMI), that harnessed the subject’s intentions and allowed him to successfully grasp objects, including a water bottle and a credit card. The subject grasped the selected objects 80 percent of the time using a high-tech bionic hand fitted to the amputee’s stump.

Previous studies involving either surgically implanted electrodes or myoelectric control, which relies upon electrical signals from muscles in the arm, have shown similar success rates, according to the researchers.

Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal, a neuroscientist and engineer at UH, said the non-invasive method offers several advantages: It avoids the risks of surgically implanting electrodes by measuring brain activity via scalp electroencephalogram, or EEG. And myoelectric systems aren’t an option for all people, because they require that neural activity from muscles relevant to hand grasping remain intact.

The results of the study were published March 30 in Frontiers in Neuroscience, in the Neuroprosthetics section.

Contreras-Vidal, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of electrical and computer engineering at UH, was lead author of the paper, along with graduate students Harshavardhan Ashok Agashe, Andrew Young Paek and Yuhang Zhang.

The work, funded by the National Science Foundation, demonstrates for the first time EEG-based BMI control of a multi-fingered prosthetic hand for grasping by an amputee. It also could lead to the development of better prosthetics, Contreras-Vidal said.

Beyond demonstrating that prosthetic control is possible using non-invasive EEG, researchers said the study offers a new understanding of the neuroscience of grasping and will be applicable to rehabilitation for other types of injuries, including stroke and spinal cord injury.

T he study subjects – five able-bodied, right-handed men and women, all in their 20s, as well as the amputee – were tested using a 64-channel active EEG, with electrodes attached to the scalp to capture brain activity. Contreras-Vidal said brain activity was recorded in multiple areas, including the motor cortex and areas known to be used in action observation and decision-making, and occurred between 50 milliseconds and 90 milliseconds before the hand began to grasp.

That provided evidence that the brain predicted the movement, rather than reflecting it, he said.

“Current upper limb neuroprosthetics restore some degree of functional ability, but fail to approach the ease of use and dexterity of the natural hand, particularly for grasping movements,” the researchers wrote, noting that work with invasive cortical electrodes has been shown to allow some hand control but not at the level necessary for all daily activities.

“Further, the inherent risks associated with surgery required to implant electrodes, along with the long-term stability of recorded signals, is of concern. … Here we show that it is feasible to extract detailed information on intended grasping movements to various objects in a natural, intuitive manner, from a plurality of scalp EEG signals.”

Until now, this was thought to be possible only with brain signals acquired invasively inside or on the surface of the brain.

Researchers first recorded brain activity and hand movement in the able-bodied volunteers as they picked up five objects, each chosen to illustrate a different type of grasp: a soda can, a compact disc, a credit card, a small coin and a screwdriver. The recorded data were used to create decoders of neural activity into motor signals, which successfully reconstructed the grasping movements.

They then fitted the amputee subject with a computer-controlled neuroprosthetic hand and told him to observe and imagine himself controlling the hand as it moved and grasped the objects.  

The subject’s EEG data, along with information about prosthetic hand movements gleaned from the able-bodied volunteers, were used to build the algorithm.

Contreras-Vidal said additional practice, along with refining the algorithm, could increase the success rate to 100 percent.

anonymous asked:

What are proper weights paired with heights for females?

Hmmmmm well you kids know me, you know I’m going to find this to be a very difficult question to answer.  

What is “proper” when it comes to weight?

From a health standpoint, we can start by working from the Body Mass Index (BMI) chart:

On this chart you look for your height, cross it by your weight, and voila! You have a magical number that is supposed to tell you if you’re “Underweight”, “Healthy”, “Overweight”, “Obese”, or “Extremely Obese”.

BMI IS A SCAM.  Don’t be fooled like every single healthcare provider before you has been - BMI as an indicator for “fatness” or “health” is 100% illogical and wrong.

For example, Cheryl Hayworth is an Olympic Athlete:

And I know that she does not fit into the “Healthy” section of the BMI chart.  However, it is clear to be that she is exactly as healthy as she needs to be to compete in the Olympics.

Should we pick one even less obvious?

This is King Kamali. He is a professional body builder.  

He is 5'10" and weighs 248lbs.  He is so far off the chart the “Extremely Obese” section doesn’t even capture him.  But look at him - he is not obese.

BMI doesn’t take a lot of things into consideration:

  • Muscle is 2 times as heavy as fat.
  • Bone is denser than muscle.
  • BMI doesn’t look at waist size, which is the only indicator for overall health that we have yet found.
  • It’s a square/rectangle relationship:  if a person is fat, they will have a high BMI, yes this is true.  If a person has a high BMI, they are not necessarily fat, and beyond that, they are not necessarily unhealthy.
  • The inventor of the Body Mass Index specifically said it could not and should not be used as an indicator of an individual’s “fatness.”

There’s no “proper” weight for a specific hight of a person.  There are averages and there are commonalities, but there is no “right” or “wrong.”

How to tell if you are healthy/fit:

  • Do you feel healthy?
  • Do you feel like you can exercise the way you want and to the extent that you want?
  • Do you ever find yourself in a situation where your body isn’t able to support you to do something you believe you should be able to?

How to decide if you should start exercising/dieting/trying to lose weight:

  • Do you think that will help you achieve what you want?
  • Do you want to change your body?
  • Do you feel unhealthy when you don’t exercise?
  • Have you had a long and in depth conversation with your healthcare provider or nutritionist?

Don’t let anyone else make the decision for you.  If your parent says, “Oh honey, would you like me to get you a personal trainer for your Christmas present?” Don’t let that affect your decision.  If your doctor says, “Your weight is too high.  Cut out carbs.”  Don’t let that affect your decision.  If your friend says, “I wish we could share clothes!” Don’t let that affect your decision.  If your partner says, “Celebrity X is soooo hot,” don’t let THAT affect your decision.

I highly suggest checking in with a dietitian, nutritionist, or general healthcare practitioner to discuss your weight if you’re concerned.  Otherwise, go about your day, enjoy your life and your body, and have fun!


Taylor Swift Re-Signs with BMI

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the global leader in music rights management, is proud to announce that international superstar Taylor Swift has re-signed with BMI for representation of the public performances of her legendary music catalog. One of the most successful and influential singer-songwriters in the world, the seven-time GRAMMY winner is also the best-selling digital music artist of all time.

“Beyond her stellar career achievements, Taylor has a unique and extraordinary connection with her fans. Through her songwriting and artistry, she has become a universal friend and has redefined the modern pop star,” said BMI President and CEO Mike O'Neill. “We are honored that Taylor has chosen to continue her relationship and partnership with BMI, and we are excited to continue to represent her diverse and groundbreaking catalog of music.”

Shortly after joining BMI, the rising star signed a publishing deal with SONY/ATV Tree Music Publishing. Operating on a non-profit-making basis, BMI is committed to nurturing and developing emerging songwriters and connecting promising talent to industry decision-makers. With a 75-year tradition of service to songwriters, composers, music publishers and businesses, BMI continues its role as the trusted broker in the digital age.

Celebrating 75 years of service to songwriters, composers, music publishers and businesses, Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) is a global leader in music rights management, serving as an advocate for the value of music. BMI represents the public performance rights in more than 8.5 million musical works created and owned by more than 650,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers. The Company negotiates music license agreements and distributes the fees it generates as royalties to its affiliated writers and publishers when their songs are performed in public. In 1939, BMI created a groundbreaking open-door policy becoming the only performing rights organization to welcome and represent the creators of blues, jazz, country, and American roots music. Today, the musical compositions in BMI’s repertoire, from chart-toppers to perennial favorites, span all genres of music and are consistently among the most-performed hits of the year. For additional information and the latest BMI news, visit www.bmi.com, follow us on Twitter @BMI or stay connected through Broadcast Music, Inc.’s Facebook page.


Monkeys Steer Wheelchairs With Their Brains, Raising Hope for Paralyzed People

Best known for his experimental exoskeleton that helped a paralyzed man kick the opening ball for June’s World Cup in Brazil, Duke University neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis presented the latest “brain-machine interface” findings from his team’s “Walk Again Project” at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

“Some of our patients say they feel they are walking on sand,” says Nicolelis, describing pilot research in which eight paralyzed patients walked using a robotic exoskeleton that moved in response to readings of the patients’ brain waves. “We are actually fooling the brain of patients to think it is not a machine carrying them, but they feel they are themselves walking forward.”

Insights into the brains of paralyzed patients are helping to drive the technology as well as leading to new discoveries, says neuroscientist Eberhard Fetz of the University of Washington in Seattle. Roughly 130,000 people yearly suffer spinal cord injuries worldwide, and for more than a decade, researchers have sought to help these patients using robotic interfaces with the brain. After years of advances, efforts such as the exoskeleton are moving into the earliest stages of medical testing in patient volunteers.

“For patients, they are probably not coming fast enough,” Fetz says. “But brain-machine interfaces are giving us results producing a basic understanding of neural mechanisms. That is going to happen in parallel with developing these as tools to benefit patients.”

Read more

anonymous asked:

I'm pregnant and due to my obesity (BMI 47) my obgyn is bugging me with my weight. I know obesity is not good, I know and I'm trying hard I swear! My blood pressure is good, I don't have gestational diabetes, I have gained 2,5 kilos in 6,5 months of pregnancy, but my obgyn tells me every month the best is not to gain weight at all --so to lose weight since baby gets heavier. Honestly it's hard (fatigue, hunger, food restrictions), and sounds like an unattainable goal, may I have your opinion?

OY.  This is such a hard line to balance.  Yes, obesity can indicate possible health complications, but it’s not that clear cut.  Maybe it’s more like a rectangle/square relationship.  You know, like a square is always a rectangle but a rectangle isn’t necessarily a square, right?  So yes, obesity can lead to health problems but not all the time and often health problems are caused by other lifestyle or genetic issues.

Because it’s such a hard line to walk, I like to turn to my patients and seek their own wisdom about their bodies.  For example, I might ask, “Do you feel healthy and comfortable in your body?”  If they say yes, I go over the basics of what is important during pregnancy and I leave it at that.  If they tell me that they do not feel comfortable/healthy, then I ask them why.  We address each aspect seperately.  Ok, so you don’t feel healthy cause you don’t exercise?  Great, let’s talk about how you can bring exercise into your daily routine.  Oh, you don’t have a single problem with what you eat?  No worries, I won’t hound you to diet.  Etc.

Now, let’s respond to your ObGyn.  Even though I think that relying on BMI is a scam, we can talk about that later.  Let’s use the tools we’re given, and assess pregnancy weight gain.  When you are pregnant, we use your pre-pregnancy BMI to assess how much weight you “should” gain during pregnancy.

Once you’ve figured out your BMI, you can look to see what your average expectation should be for weight gain during the pregnancy:

I don’t think that pregnancy is ever the right time to go on a diet.  I do think that everyone should do the following things:

  • Get your heartrate higher than normal for at least 30 minutes every day.  That can be just walking instead of taking the bus, it could be going on the elliptical, anything, as long as it gets you a little sweaty.
  • Eat as many whole vegetables and foods as possible.  That means cutting out as much already processed foods as you can: no cereal, no crackers, no bread that you didn’t bake yourself, no cookies, no soda, no fruit snacks, etc.
  • Carefully portion out your meals - after you’ve cooked or bought food, set aside just a single portion and wrap up the rest to set away in the fridge.
  • No soda.
  • Drink lots and lots and lots of water.  Like, 8 glasses a day.

It doesn’t sound like your ObGyn is being super supportive in a way that you find helpful.  You’re right - the things to pay attention to are blood pressure, gestational diabetes, significant weight gain over a short time span, and baby size.  BUT, those are things for everyone to watch out for - that’s basically why prenatal care exists - to monitor for potentially dangerous health problems during pregnancy.  

Obesity worries practitioner because of the things it can increase the risk for:

  • Gestational diabetes
  • Preecclampsia
  • UTI
  • Blood clots
  • Sleep apnea 
  • Difficulty performing medical interventions on obese people such as providing an epidural, monitoring the fetal heart rate, performing a c-section, etc

So my answer is this - don’t try to diet now, don’t deprive yourself of food.  You’re pregnant, you need good nourishment.  Listen in to your body.  Do you feel good and healthy as is?  What would make you feel healthier?  Do you need to change something in your diet/lifestyle?  Then go for it!  Otherwise, don’t be pressured into changing things or having any “preventative” interventions because of your weight.  Do a lot of research and learn about the possibilities, and decide ahead of time whether or not you agree with the different interventions.

Read more here and here.  Good luck!


The Mind-Controlled Robotic Arm Is Getting More Nimble

Impressive. Snip from Motherboard:

Two years ago, the world mar​velled as Jan Scheuermann, a quadriplegic woman, moved a robotic arm using her mind. Her motions were awkward and clunky as she grabbed a chocolate bar full-fisted, like a baby, easing it towards her face for a nibble.

Now, she can not just grab a chocolate bar, she can pinch a piece, eat it, and give the thumbs-up, if it’s particularly tasty. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh spent tw​o years fine-tuning the technology and the computer algorithm that translates the electricity emitted from neurons firing in Scheuermann’s brain to the movements of the robotic arm. Now, instead of moving in just seven dimensions, the robotic hand can move in ten different dimensions.

Watch as Scheuermann demonstrates the new abilities, as she more nimbly—though still occasionally clumsily—picks up and maneuvers blocks and balls of different sizes around a surface.

[read more] [paper]

What Can Brain-Controlled Prosthetics Tell Us About The Brain?

The ceremonial opening kick of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Sao Paolo, Brazil, which was performed—with the help of a brain-controlled exo-skeleton—by a local teen who had been paralyzed from the waste down due to a spinal cord injury, was a seminal moment for the area of neuroscience that strives to connect the brain with functional prosthetics. The public display was a representative of thousands of such neuroprosthetic advances in recent years, and the tens of years of brain research and technological development that have gone into them. And while this display was quite an achievement in its own right, a Drexel University biomedical engineer working at the leading edge of the field contends that these devices are also opening a new portal for researchers to understand how the brain functions.

Karen Moxon, PhD, a professor in Drexel’s School of Biomedical Engineering Science and Health Systems, was a postdoctoral researcher in Drexel’s medical school when she participated in the first study ever to examine how the brain could be connected to operate a prosthetic limb. More than 15 years after that neuroscience benchmark, Moxon’s lab is showing that it’s now possible to glean new insight about how the brain stores and accesses information, and into the causes of pathologies like epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.

In a perspective published in the latest edition of the neuroscience journal Neuron Moxon and her colleague, Guglielmo Foffani from San Pablo University in Spain, build a framework for how researchers can use neuroprosthetics as a tool for examining how and where the brain encodes new information. The duo highlights three examples from their own research where the brain-machine-interface technology allowed them to isolate and study new areas of brain function.

“We believe neuroprosthetics can be a powerful tool to address fundamental questions of neuroscience,” Moxon said. “These subjects can provide valuable data as indirect observers of their own neural activity that are modulated during the experiments they are taking part in. This allows researchers to pinpoint a causal relationship between neural activity and the subject’s behavior rather than one that is indirectly correlative.”

The challenge faced by all scientists who study the brain is proving a direct relationship between the action of the subject and the behavior of brain cells. Each experiment is designed to chisel away at the uncertainty in this relationship with the goal of establishing causality—proof that the behavior of neurons in the brain is actually what is causing a subject to perform a certain action. Or, conversely, that a certain neural behavior is the direct result of an external stimulus.

Neuroprosthetics, according to Moxon, could be the way around this obstacle. This is because the prosthetic, as a stand-in for an actual body part or set of them, is also a vehicle for getting real-time feedback from the brain.

“Subjects can be viewed as indirect observers of their own neurophysiological activity during neuroprosthetic experiments,” Moxon said. “To move the prosthesis they must think both about the motor functions involved and the goal of the movement. As they see the movement of the prosthetic their brain adjusts in real time to continue planning the movement, but doing it without the normal feedback from the moving body part—as the prosthetic technology is standing in for that part of the body.”

This separation of planning and movement control was pivotal to Moxon’s research on how the brain encodes for the passage of time, which she recently reported in the Journal of Neuroscience. But this is just one example of how brain-machine-interface technology can be used to experimentally tease out and observe new certainties about the brain.

Moxon, who was recently elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineers, suggests that in addition to the study of how neurons encode and decode information in real time, incorporating neuroprosthetics into experiments could also show how this coding process changes with learning and is altered in pathological conditions like the ones that cause epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.

“While the past 15 years have witnessed tremendous advancements in neuroprosthetic technology and our basic understanding of brain function, the brain-machine-interface approach is still expanding the landscape of neuroscienctific inquiry,” Moxon said. “By circumventing classical object-observer duality, the BMI research paradigm opens doors for a new understanding of how we control our own brain function including neural plasticity—and this has the potential to lead to new treatments and therapies for epilepsy, Parkinson’s and other pathologies.”

Pollution is making us fatter — and there’s not much we can do about it 

As if pollution wasn’t already bad enough, a new study points to further evidence connecting exposure to pollution and increased body mass index (BMI). In other words, pollution makes us pack on the pounds.

The study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, found that children exposed to secondhand smoke and roadway air pollution were at a significantly higher risk for obesity. Kids exposed to both had BMIs as much as two points higher than kids who weren’t.