The Chairless Chair: A Chair That You Wear

chairlesschair

The things people come up with.

via Gizmag:

If you work somewhere such as a factory, warehouse, or restaurant kitchen, then you’ll know how tiring it can be to stand for several hours at a time. Unfortunately, however, it isn’t always practical or safe to carry a stool around with you wherever you go. That’s why Swiss start-up noonee has created the Chairless Chair. Worn as an exoskeleton on the back of the legs, it lets you walk or even run as needed, but can be locked into a supporting structure when you go into a sitting position.

Company CEO Keith Gunura started developing the Chairless Chair in 2009, when he was a student in the Bioinspired Robotics Lab at the ETH Zurich research institute. He was inspired to do so by memories of his first job, in which he worked while standing at a packaging line.

Now in prototype form and being actively marketed, the device utilizes a powered variable damper to support the wearer’s body weight.

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Study shows the therapeutic benefits of Magic Mushrooms

Psilocybe_semilanceata_6514

Fruit bodies of the hallucinogenic mushroom Psilocybe semilanceata (Fr.) Kumm. Specimens photographed in Sweden. By Arp via Wikimedia Commons.

Color me unsurprised.

via News.Mic:

The research: One study concluded that controlled exposure to psilocybin could have long-lasting medical and spiritual benefits. In 2011, Johns Hopkins researchers found that by giving volunteer test subjects just the right dose (not enough to give them a terrifying bad trip), they were able to reliably induce transcendental experiences in volunteers. This provoked long-lasting psychological growth and helped the volunteers to find peace in their lives, all without side effects. Nearly all of the 18 test subjects, average age 46, were college graduates. Seventy-eight percent were religious and all were interested in finding a scientific experience.

Fourteen months later, 94% said their trip on magic mushrooms was one of the five most important moments of their lives. Thirty-nine percent said it was the most important thing that had ever happened to them.

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90-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor/Palestinian Rights Activist Arrested During Michael Brown Protest

Hedy Epstein is a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor, as well as a Palestinian rights activist, and she was arrested on Monday while participating in a protest relating to the murder of Michael Brown:

Epstein, who aided Allied forces in the Nuremberg trials, was placed under arrest in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, “for failing to disperse” during a protest of Gov. Jay Nixon’s decision to call the National Guard into Ferguson. Eight others were also arrested.

“I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90,” Epstein told The Nation during her arrest. “We need to stand up today so that people won’t have to do this when they’re 90.”

Hedy is no stranger when it comes to activism and fighting for social justice:

In 2001 she founded the St. Louis chapter of the Women in Black anti-war group that originated in Israel, and has actively advocated for Palestinian rights since visiting the West Bank in 2003.

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Conspiracy Theories Aren’t Just For Conservatives

911 Was an Inside JobConcluding that “Neither liberals nor conservatives are more credulous or crazy,” co-authors Alfred Moore (Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, working on the Conspiracy and Democracy project), Joseph M. Parent and Joseph E. Uscinski (Associate Professors of Political Science at University of Miami and authors of American Conspiracy Theories), suggest that “Republicans and Democrats are equally prone to believing in conspiracy theories.” From the Washington Post:

Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy theory? Liberals, that’s who. Take Princeton economist Paul Krugman who ominously warns that:

Unlike the crazy conspiracy theories of the left—which do exist, but are supported only by a tiny fringe—the crazy conspiracy theories of the right are supported by important people: powerful politicians, television personalities with large audiences.

Krugman makes a fair point: in moderation conspiracy theories may show healthy skepticism, but in excess they can erode the trust needed for states to fulfill their basic functions and warp the respect for evidence necessary for sound decision making.

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Are We In the Golden Age of Neuroscience?

Gray739

The recent achievements in neuroscience are unprecedented.

via The Wall Street Journal:

More than a billion people were amazed this summer when a 29-year-old paraplegic man from Brazil raised his right leg and kicked a soccer ball to ceremonially begin the World Cup. The sight of a paralyzed person whose brain directly controlled a robotic exoskeleton (designed at Duke University) was thrilling.

We are now entering the golden age of neuroscience. We have learned more about the thinking brain in the last 10-15 years than in all of previous human history. A blizzard of the new technologies using advanced physics—resulting in scans and tests we know as fMRI, EEG, PET, DBS, CAT, TCM and TES—have allowed scientists to observe thoughts as they ricochet like a pong ball inside the living brain, and then begin the process of deciphering these thoughts using powerful computers.

The Pentagon, witnessing the human tragedy of the wounded warriors from Iraq and Afghanistan, has invested more than $150 million in the military’s Revolutionary Prosthetics program, so that injured veterans can bypass damaged limbs and spinal cords and mentally control state-of-the-art mechanical arms and legs.

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You Can Now View the Military Gear Acquired by Your Local Police Department

If you are curious to know what kind of military gear your local police department has received through the government’s 1033 program, you can check out this spreadsheet over on GitHub which contains:

county-level data showing military equipment given to state and local law enforcement agencies through the Defense Department’s 1033 program. The data was received from the Defense Department in May 2014 as an Excel file, and includes transfers since 2006.

However, it is also important to note the following:

There is no information about which agency received a given piece of equipment. Items that went to a county could have been given to a state agency based in that county, for example.

This data does not represent all of the military-style gear that law enforcement agencies have. Agencies also purchase equipment with their own money or with federal grants.

This information comes courtesy of The New York Times, by way of the Pentagon:

In May, The New York Times requested and received from the Pentagon its database of transfers since 2006.

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Remembering H.P. Lovecraft

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As many of you probably know, H.P. Lovecraft’s birthday was yesterday (August 20). To celebrate this venerable master of horror lit, I’ve compiled some quotes and links.

Quotes

“I screamed aloud that I was not afraid; that I never could be afraid; and others screamed with me for solace. We swore to one another that the city was exactly the same, and still alive…”

– “Nyarlathotep” (1920)

“Life is a hideous thing, and from the background behind what we know of it peer daemoniacal hints of truth which make it sometimes a thousandfold more hideous. Science, already oppressive with its shocking revelations, will perhaps be the ultimate exterminator of our human species — if separate species we be — for its reserve of unguessed horrors could never be borne by mortal brains if loosed upon the world.”

– “Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family” – written 1920; first published in The Wolverine, No.

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Darren Wilson Breaks His Silence in Texts to Friend

If you aren’t aware, Darren Wilson is the Police officer who shot and killed Mike brown. I’ll let this article speak for itself. I am curious to get the disinfonauts feedback on this.

English: A warning sign with an exclamation mark

via Dailymail

The policeman who shot dead a black teenager in St Louis has revealed he is under 24-hour guard and ‘can’t go out’ at this ‘stressful time’ in his first comments since the killing.

Darren Wilson text messaged a close friend to say that he can’t leave protective custody because he would be immediately recognized – making him and his young child a target.

In his messages Wilson, 28, also thanked for the support of his friends which he said was ‘really keeping me going’.

He had texted Jake Shepard, his friend of 14 years, who showed the messages to MailOnline because he wanted the public to get a more accurate picture of the friend he described as always having ‘pure intentions’.

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Letter of Inquiry to the Police in Regards to Militarization

From Divided Core:

       Below is the template of a letter that I sent to my local police department and city government inquiring about any weapons or equipment the police may have received from the U.S military.  Considering what’s going down in Ferguson, I think it would behoove you to ask your local police station if they’ve accepted any dangerous gifts from the U.S Pentagon. (I received a polite response from the Sebastopol Chief of Police, and am happy to report that Sebastopol, CA is does not currently participate in any program in which military gear is provided to them by the Department of the Defense.)  Here’s the template of the simple letter:

Dear Chief of Police ________ and the City of _____,I am a resident of ______ and am curious if our police department receives any funding and/or equipment and weapons from the Department of Defense.  I love our town and respect our police department, yet (in the wake of the unrest in Ferguson, MO) I am curious if our police force has accepted any arms, ammunition, robots, or otherwise from the U.S military.
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