Paralysed man walks again after cell transplant

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via BBC:

A paralysed man has been able to walk again after a pioneering therapy that involved transplanting cells from his nasal cavity into his spinal cord.

Darek Fidyka, who was paralysed from the chest down in a knife attack in 2010, can now walk using a frame.

The treatment, a world first, was carried out by surgeons in Poland in collaboration with scientists in London.

Details of the research are published in the journal Cell Transplantation.

BBC One’s Panorama programme had unique access to the project and spent a year charting the patient’s rehabilitation.

Darek Fidyka, 40, from Poland, was paralysed after being stabbed repeatedly in the back in the 2010 attack.

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Anthropology unlocks clues about Roman gladiators’ eating habits

anthropology

via Phys.org:

Roman gladiators ate a mostly vegetarian diet and drank ashes after training as a tonic. These are the findings of anthropological investigations carried out on bones of warriors found during excavations in the ancient city of Ephesos.

Historic sources report that gladiators had their own diet. This comprised beans and grains. Contemporary reports referred to them as “hordearii” (“barley eaters”).

In a study by the Department of Forensic Medicine at the MedUni Vienna in cooperation with the Department of Anthropology at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Bern, bones were examined from a gladiator cemetery uncovered in 1993 which dates back to the 2nd or 3rd century BC in the then Roman city of Ephesos (now in modern-day Turkey). At the time, Ephesos was the capital of the Roman province of Asia and had over 200,000 inhabitants.

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A Real Hoverboard

The New York Times discovers a couple of California garage tinkerers who have made a real hoverboard, as in Marty McFly’s ride in Back to the Future:

LOS GATOS, Calif. — A lot of things can hover. There are helicopters. There are hovercraft. But for the last three decades, a generation of engineers and movie fans have been waiting for something else: a hovering skateboard like the one in “Back to the Future Part II.”

The hoverboard is fiction, the vision of screenwriters who created the film about Marty McFly, a teenager who travels from 1985 to Oct. 21, 2015, and uses a floating skateboard to flee a gang of bullies.

The movie had other futuristic items, like flying cars and self-tying shoes, but none touched the imagination as much as the hoverboard. For the last 25 years, garage tinkerers, physics professors and top engineers at Google have been trying to make one.

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Our Souls Turned into Weapons

By Jayel Aheram via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

By Jayel Aheram via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Robert C. Koehler writes at Common Dreams:

“During basic training, we are weaponized: our souls turned into weapons.”

Jacob George’s suicide last month — a few days after President Obama announced that the US was launching its war against ISIS — opens a deep, terrible hole in the national identity. George: singer, banjo player, poet, peace warrior, vet. He served three tours in Afghanistan. He brought the war home. He tried to repair the damage.

Finally, finally, he reached for “the surefire therapy for ending the pain,” as a fellow vet told Truthdig. He was 32.

Maybe another war was just too much for him to endure. Military glory — protection of the innocent — is a broken ideal, a cynical lie. “Times for war veterans are tough because we know exactly what is going to happen with the actions that Obama talked about in his recent speech,” his friend Paul Appell told Truthdig.

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6 Bullshit “Facts” About Psychology That Everyone Believes

By Texas A&M University-Commerce Marketing Communications Photography via Flickr (CC by 2.0).

By Texas A&M University-Commerce Marketing Communications Photography via Flickr (CC by 2.0).

Muspar writing in Cracked back in 2009:

Psychology is one of those subjects that everybody likes to think they know something about. We love to go around diagnosing our friends and co-workers, both to make sense of the world and to make ourselves feel like we’re smarter than they are.

But like any science that makes its way into the pop culture, a lot of the “common sense” statements we hear every day are so wrong that they border on raving idiocy. Such as…

#6. “If You Let Your Anger Out, You’ll Feel Better!”

You always hear people talk about how “cathartic” an experience was and how much better they feel, or you’ll hear them say things like, “If you keep your anger bottled up, one day you’ll just snap!”

In fact the “about to go crazy because he can’t express anger” character is a mainstay in television and movies (see that Simpsons episode where Ned Flanders finally loses it, and every movie where a renegade cop fires his gun into the air instead of unloading on the bad guy who just killed his wife).

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The Real Cyborgs

This article by Arthur House in The Telegraph reads like a William Gibson cyberpunk novel, but it’s reality, here and now. He says “Forget wearable tech. The pioneers of our “post-human” future are implanting technology in to their bodies and brains. Should we stop them or join them?”:

Ian Burkhart concentrated hard. A thick cable protruded from the crown of his shaven head. A sleeve sprouting wires enveloped his right arm. The 23 – year-old had been paralysed from the neck down since a diving accident four years ago. But, in June this year, in a crowded room in the Wexner Medical Centre at Ohio State University, Burkhart’s hand spasmed into life.

At first it opened slowly and shakily, as though uncertain who its owner was. But when Burkhart engaged his wrist muscles, its upward movement was sudden and decisive. You could hear the joints – unused for years – cracking.

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A skeptical website of skeptics

inner life of a skeptic by Joana Coccarelli via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

inner life of a skeptic by Joana Coccarelli via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

http://www.skepticalaboutskeptics.org

Skeptical About Skeptics is dedicated to countering dogmatic, ill-informed attacks leveled by self-styled skeptics on pioneering scientific research, researchers, and their subjects.

Healthy skepticism is an important part of science, and indeed of common sense. But dogmatic skepticism uses skepticism as a weapon to defend an ideology or belief system, and inhibits the spirit of inquiry.

Most self-proclaimed skeptics are believers in a materialist worldview, and dismiss any evidence for phenomena that do not agree with their presumption that minds are nothing but brain activities confined to the insides of heads.

Members of militant skeptical organizations often think of themselves as defending science and reason against superstition and credulity.”

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The disturbing expansion of the military-industrial complex

By Jason ford via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

By Jason ford via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

via PressTV:

How can we explain that in the 21st century we are still training millions of men and women in our armed forces and sending them to war?

There are more choices than war or peace, there are multi-optional choices and a civilian-based non-military diplomatic-political policy has more chance of succeeding in solving a violent conflict.

In war, the cost in civilian lives is incalculable, not to mention the many military personnel whose lives are destroyed. Then there is the cost to the environment and the cost to human potential as our scientists waste their lives planning and researching even more horrific weapons which increasingly, in modern war, kill more civilians than combatants.

For example, the United States and the United Kingdom committed genocide against the Iraqi people when, between 1990 and 2012, they killed 3.3 million people – including 750,000 children – through sanctions and wars.

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5am Film Series: Invocate, SKG, and Ectoplasm

These were submitted to the 5am film series by Lary Love Dolley, who stars in all three films.

SKG from JonGunnar on Vimeo.

Invocate from The Evil I on Vimeo.

An amateur gothic necromancer raises more than she bargains for in a desolate New Orleans cemetery.

Ectoplasm from The Evil I on Vimeo.

A medium reaches out to the spirit world and the spirit world reaches within her in this experimental short horror.
*Note that Ectoplasm is unique in that every word and song is in reverse, the actual spoken word part and songs may be found in the proper order at the website below.*

ectoplasmthemovie.webs.com/

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