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A giant neuron found wrapped around entire mouse brain

Like ivy plants that send runners out searching for something to cling to, the brain’s neurons send out shoots that connect with other neurons throughout the organ. A new digital reconstruction method shows three neurons that branch extensively throughout the brain, including one that wraps around its entire outer layer. The finding may help to explain how the brain creates consciousness.

Christof Koch, president of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, Washington, explained his group’s new technique at a 15 February meeting of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies initiative in Bethesda, Maryland. He showed how the team traced three neurons from a small, thin sheet of cells called the claustrum — an area that Koch believes acts as the seat of consciousness in mice and humans.

Crick, F. C. & Koch, C. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci. 360, 1271–1279 (2005).

Torgerson, C. M. et al. Hum. Brain Mapp. 36, 827–838 (2015).

A digital reconstruction of a neuron that encircles the mouse brain. Allen Institute for Brain Science

Evolution of the English Language
  • Old 

Hwæt. We Gardena in geardagum,
þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.

  • Middle 

Ye seken lond and see for your wynnynges,
As wise folk ye knowen all th'estaat 
Of regnes; ye been fadres of tydynges
And tales, bothe of pees and of debaat.

  • Early Modern (early phase)

So whan the duke and his wyf were comyn unto the Kynge, by the meanes of grete lordes they were accorded bothe. The kynge lyked and loved this lady wel, and he made them grete chere oute of mesure – and desyred to have lyen by her. But she was a passyng good woman and wold not assente unto the Kyng.

  • Early Modern (later phase)

Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

White Privilege/ Dear White People

Although many would like to deny its existence, White privilege does exist. Beginning with the age of exploration and the idea that the less advanced societies, with darker skin tones and different traditions were of lesser value and weren’t considered to be people with rights but were seen as cheap labor and products to be bought and traded. This has stayed with society for centuries and traces of it is still seen today in all aspects of society in the past, present and maybe even our future. Like the idea that lighter skin people are more attractive or that less curly hair is more desirable. Thats why people spend so much money with cosmetics, skin treatments and on their hair. But that also raises the question why do people want/get tans? Why do people curl their hair? “ White Privilege” is a term for societal privileges that benefit white people beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances.  It refers to both the obvious and less obvious and unspoken advantages that white people may not recognize they have.

  Peggy McIntosh is an American feminist and anti-racism activist, the associate director of the Wellesley Centers for Women and a speaker and the founder and co-director of the National S.E.E.D. Project on Inclusive Curriculum (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity). Her essay  “White Privilege and male privilege” that she released in 1988 discusses and points out the ways in which socially, legality, and economically constructions of how race benefits white people in their daily lives. In this quote “I did not see myself as racist because I was taught to recognize racism only in individual acts of meanness by members of my group, never in invisible systems conferring unsought racial dominance on my group from birth. Likewise, we are taught to think that sexism or heterosexism is carried on only through individual acts of discrimination, meanness, or cruelty toward women, gays, and lesbians, rather than in invisible systems conferring unsought dominance on certain groups.” She discusses how growing up she didn’t know she was being racist because she was taught that racism only took the form of insulting people or saying hurtful things to an individual. But racism is bigger than that it  can be “invisible” or so common they become the new normal and are no longer seen as racist. Like those stereotypes and generalizations that automatically pop into your head in different situations. Even the idea of being masculine/manly or to prove that one is straight they must be rude and insult women or say hurtful things about homosexuals.

And here “I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was “meant” to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools , and blank checks. Describing white privilege makes one newly accountable. As we in women’s studies work to reveal male privilege and ask men to give up some of their power, so one who writes about having white privilege must ask, “having described it, what will I do to lessen or end it?” she states that she thinks ‘white’ people are taught not to recognize the privileges they have. Shs sees white privilege as a set on unearned assets they receive just for being born/existing. There is also male privilege so overall as it can be obviously seen in the various aspects of our society particularly when it comes to jobs and income that white men make the most money is most fields even if their not fully qualified for the job or lack experience or don’t have a college degree.

The movie “ Dear White People” that came out on October 17th addresses all of these issues/conflicts of White Privilege and Racism head on by speaking frankly and addressing things people usually like to avoid acknowledging. The story starts when an activist Samantha White wins an election to become the head of a residence hall that “traditionally black” residence hall and her provocative radio show called “Dear White People”  challenges the conventional notions and stereotypes of what it means to be black, what can/can’t be considered racism and pointing out the privileges that the white students have. The reason she did this was to prevent them from diversifying the ‘Armstrong Parker House” whose head Troy Fairbanks (and son of the University’s dean) goes against his father by choosing to join a magazine that he wasn’t expected to be interested in let alone join. In a twist of events Lionel Higgins (the character easy to spot with his glasses and big afro) was recruited by the all-white student newspaper to go undercover and write about black culture which is actually a subject he knows very little about. But the biggest surprise for everyone at Winchester University is prepared for Pastiche’s (the magazine Troy joined) outrageous, and very ill-conceived annual Halloween party’s theme of  "unleash your inner Negro" which added fuel to the fire that was always there and that Samantha had brought some light to. The misunderstanding and resentment among all the people not only in the movie’s college campus but also in the real word and in societies of the past and even today and its most likely going to stick around for a while longer.