I’m so glad that my first vote was to make Ireland a better place for everyone. Although I’m against voting on the rights of other people (because why should we decide what rights people deserve) it seems that the marriage referendum is going to be a yes! This is a breakthrough for Ireland and the world as Ireland has always been viewed as a country with strong ties to religion, so if the yes vote wins (which it seems it will) it will really show how far we have come as a country. I couldn’t be prouder of my little green island!
Yesterday I jammed with some good friends for another incarnation of White Mascara. Hopefully that goes well and we can start playing shows and recording again soon. The new stuff is going to be darker and brattier and a bit more refined I think.
My shitty abusive ex who i’ve been sharing a basement with is finally moving out!! Mega mega stoked, even though it does mean more financial uncertainty for the house. It’ll be chill.
Doing a lot of processing, making emotional breakthroughs and overall trying to actually start working through my shit. Feels good but goddamn is it hard.
Slowly being able to work and make art at a more steady pace again. getting better about making necessary doctor appts and not putting everything off for 5 thousand years.
Planning on going to Fed Up Fest this year. If yr in chicago and wanna hang let me know.
ive been writing downstairs and burning through a 20 pack but liv distracted me for fuckin 3 hours by basically being really islamophobic and antisemitic and me getting low key “mad” (but insisting i wasnt It Was Just A Bitta Banter c:) and going into soapbox mode w her and i think i made some breakthroughs i hope. hashem save me i know these are tests trials to overcome my personal hurdles but sometimes. sometimes (shaking me head over strong alcoholic beverages)
hey, science buddy! now we have duncan's book and sarah's ability to fight off the disease... how do you think these two things will help team science mega force to produce a cure? do you think cosima will be cured this season?
I feel like with the pace of the storyline, Cosima won’t be cured this season but perhaps the season will culminate on some breakthrough.
I think they need Rachel’s help with the key first off, and then Sarah may hold a cure in her DNA, that’s still unclear but it’s definitely possible!
“Eye of the Tiger” is the song that plays on the publicist’s phone as she connects the call with Michael Fassbender. It’s fitting intro music for the prolific 38-year-old actor, who’s made one bold choice after another since his 2008 breakthrough in Steve McQueen’s Hunger.
Have you been able to see any movie so far in Cannes? I just got in this morning, so nothing yet. But I can’t wait to see The Lobster and Carol and many, many others. It feels like this year has a lot of varied and very intriguing stuff. I’m going to try to catch everything I can while I’m here. And if I don’t catch them here, hopefully they’ll be released soon so I can pay for my ticket at the cinema.
Sadly Predictable: Obama's New Personal Twitter Account Meets Wave Of Racist Tweets
by Brendan James
Hate on the Internet is nothing new, but the racist tweets sent personally to President Barack Obama over the past week may qualify as some kind of breakthrough.
After the President created his own personal account @POTUS on Monday — distinct from @WhiteHouse, which is run by staff — it took mere minutes before hordes of racist users sent him tweets targeting his race and appearance.
“Welcome to Twitter, nigger,” one user wrote. Many followed in kind: some added adjectives like “tree-swinging,” while still others edited photos to depict Obama as the victim of a lynching.
Several other users called the President “black monkey,” one instructing him to “get back in your cage.”
The New York Times reported that neither White House officials nor a Twitter spokesman could provide the exact number of racist tweets that made their way to the commander-in-chief.
“[T]hey appeared to be a small number in what was an otherwise social-media-fueled show of love for Mr. Obama,” the Times wrote.
A baby girl in Mississippi who was born with HIV has been cured after very early treatment with standard drug therapy, U.S. researchers reported on Sunday, in a potentially ground-breaking case that could offer insights on how to eradicate HIV infection in its youngest victims.
The child’s story is the first account of an infant achieving a so-called functional cure, a rare event in which a person achieves remission without the need for drugs and standard blood tests show no signs that the virus is making copies of itself.
More than any year before, 2012 was the year neuroscience exploded into pop culture. From mind-controlled robot hands to cyborg animals to TV specials to triumphant books, brain breakthroughs were tearing up the airwaves and the internets. From all the thrilling neurological adventures we covered over the past year, we’ve collected five stories we want to make absolutely sure you didn’t miss.
A Roadmap of Brain Wiring
Neuroscientists like to compare the task of unraveling the brain’s connections to the frustration of untangling the cords beneath your computer desk – except that in the brain, there are hundreds of millions of cords, and at least one hundred trillion plugs. Even with our most advanced computers, some researchers were despairing of ever seeing a complete connectivity map of the human brain in our lifetimes. But thanks to a team led by Van Wedeen at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital, 2012 gave us an unexpectedly clear glimpse of our brains’ large-scale wiring patterns. As it turns out, the overall pattern isn’t so much a tangle as a fabric – an intricate, multi-layered grid of cross-hatched neural highways. What’s more, it looks like our brains share this grid pattern with many other species. We’re still a long way from decoding how most of this wiring functions, but this is a big step in the right direction.
Scientists have been stimulating rats’ pleasure centers since the 1950s – but 2012 saw the widespread adoption of a new brain-stimulation method that makes all those wires and incisions look positively crude. Researchers in the blossoming field of optogenetics develop delicate devices that control the firing of targeted groups of neurons – using only light itself. By hooking rats up to a tiny fiber-optic cable and firing lasers directly into their brains, a team led by Garret D. Stuber at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine were able to isolate specific neurochemical shifts that cause rats to feel pleasure or anxiety – and switch between them at will. This method isn’t only more precise than electrical stimulation – it’s also much less damaging to the animals.
Programmable Brain Cells
Pluripotent stem cell research took off like a rocket in 2012. After discovering that skin cells can be genetically reprogrammed into stem cells, which can in turn be reprogrammed into just about any cell in the human body, a team led by Sheng Ding at UCSF managed to engineer a working network of newborn neurons from a harvest of old skin cells. In other words, the team didn’t just convert skin cells into stem cells, then into neurons – they actually kept the batch of neurons alive and functional long enough to self-organize into a primitive neural network. In the near future, it’s likely that we’ll be treating many kinds of brain injuries by growing brand-new neurons from other kinds of cells in a patient’s own body. This is already close on the horizon for liver and heart cells – but the thought of being able to technologically shape the re-growth of a damaged brain is even more exciting.
Memories on Disc
We’ve talked a lot about how easily our brains can modify and rewrite our long-term memories of facts and scenarios. In 2012, though, researchers went Full Mad Scientist with the implications of this knowledge, and blew some mouse minds in the process. One team, led by Mark Mayford of the Scripps Research Institute, took advantage of some recently invented technology that enables scientists to record and store a mouse’s memory of a familiar place on a microchip. Mayford’s team figured out how to turn specific mouse memories on and off with the flick of a switch – but they were just getting warmed up. The researchers then proceeded to record a memory in one mouse’s brain, transfer it into another mouse’s nervous system, and activate it in conjunction with one of the second mouse’s own memories. The result was a bizarre “hybrid memory” – familiarity with a place the mouse had never visited. Well, not in the flesh, anyway.
Videos of Thoughts
Our most exciting neuroscience discovery of 2012 is also one of the most controversial. A team of researchers from the Gallant lab at UC Berkeley discovered a way to reconstruct videos of entire scenes from neural activity in a person’s visual cortex. Those on the cautionary side emphasize that activity in the visual cortex is fairly easy to decode (relatively speaking, of course) and that we’re still a long, long way from decoding videos of imaginary voyages or emotional palettes. In fact, from one perspective, this isn’t much different from converting one file format into another. On the other hand, though, these videos offer the first hints of the technological reality our children may inhabit: A world where the boundaries between the objective external world and our individual subjective experiences are gradually blurred and broken down. When it comes to transforming our relationship with our own consciousness – and those of the people around us – it doesn’t get much more profound than that.
Ringo Starr giving a drum lesson to an Autistic boy named Gary.
“The correspondence started when I was ten with Autism and in those far off days there was no cure. However whilst lying in front of the radio the song, Yellow Submarine came on sung by Ringo. Immediately I started to reach to this stimuli after previously being unresponsive. This led to a breakthrough. The Beatles got to hear about this via there management and a delighted Ringo got in touch. We emigrated to South Africa in 1969 and in 1975 when he came over for a promotional tour we met up in his hotel room and had a long chat coupled with a drum lesson. My parents and the press were present and it was widely reported in the South African press. I work a lot with Autism societies nowadays and if there is one thing I do realise and that is how lucky I am”
More than 70 years ago, the M.I.T. electrical engineer Harold (Doc) Edgerton began using strobe lights to create remarkable photographs: a bullet stopped in flight as it pierced an apple, the coronet created by the splash of a drop of milk.
Now scientists at M.I.T.’s Media Lab are using an ultrafast imaging system to capture light itself as it passes through liquids and objects, in effect snapping a picture in less than two-trillionths of a second.