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Okay, this is creepy: Scientist controls colleague's hand in first human brain-to-brain interface

Scientist controls colleague's hand in first human brain-to-brain interface
University of Washington researcher Rajesh Rao sends a brain signal to Andrea Stocco via the Internet, causing Stocco's right hand to move on a keyboard.
by Dan Farber
August 27, 2013 12:09 PM PDT

University of Washington researcher Rajesh Rao, left, plays a computer game with his mind, while across campus, researcher Andrea Stocco wears a magnetic stimulation coil over the left motor cortex region of his brain.
(Credit: University of Washington)

The telepathic cyborg lives, sort of. University of Washington scientists Rajesh Rao and Andrea Stocco claim that they are the first to demonstrate human brain-to-brain communication. Rao sent a signal into a Stocco's brain via the Internet that caused him to move his right hand. Brain-to-brain communication has previously been demonstrated between rats and from humans to rats.

"The experiment is a proof in concept. We have tech to reverse engineer the brain signal and transmit it from one brain to another via computer," said Chantel Prat, an assistant professor of psychology who worked on the project.

In a press release, the experiment was described as follows:

The team had a Skype connection set up so the two labs could coordinate, though neither Rao nor Stocco could see the Skype screens. Rao looked at a computer screen and played a simple video game with his mind. When he was supposed to fire a cannon at a target, he imagined moving his right hand (being careful not to actually move his hand), causing a cursor to hit the "fire" button. Almost instantaneously, Stocco, who wore noise-canceling earbuds and wasn't looking at a computer screen, involuntarily moved his right index finger to push the space bar on the keyboard in front of him, as if firing the cannon. Stocco compared the feeling of his hand moving involuntarily to that of a nervous tic.

The mind-meld between the researchers wasn't seamless. Rao spent time training his mind, with feedback from the computer, to emit the brainwave for moving the right hand so that it could be detected by the computer. "The intention can be as detectable as the movement itself," Prat said. "Brain-computer interfaces have been capturing this with increasing accuracy over the last decade."

When the software sees the right signal it is sent via the Internet to a computer connected to a transcranial magnetic stimulation device, which is positioned on the exact spot of the brain that controls the right hand. "It uses simple physics," Prat said. "When the magnetic field changes, it induces an electrical current, so a signal is sent through the cortex of the brain and excites the neurons, simulating what happens naturally."


Greg Palast: The Confidential Memo at the Heart of the Global Financial Crisis

Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 03:55 PM PDT
"The End Game" Memo
by AmBushed

Greg Palast has published a bombshell article proving what many have long suspected -- that the global financial crisis was deliberately engineered by a small cabal of bank industry bigwigs. A confidential memo -- a very, very damning memo -- was leaked to Palast. It was written in November of 1997 by Timothy Geithner.

Palast writes:

When a little birdie dropped the End Game memo through my window, its content was so explosive, so sick and plain evil, I just couldn't believe it.

The Memo confirmed every conspiracy freak’s fantasy: that in the late 1990s, the top US Treasury officials secretly conspired with a small cabal of banker big-shots to rip apart financial regulation across the planet. When you see 26.3 percent unemployment in Spain, desperation and hunger in Greece, riots in Indonesia and Detroit in bankruptcy, go back to this End Game memo, the genesis of the blood and tears.

The Treasury official playing the bankers’ secret End Game was Larry Summers. Today, Summers is Barack Obama’s leading choice for Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, the world’s central bank. If the confidential memo is authentic, then Summers shouldn’t be serving on the Fed, he should be serving hard time in some dungeon reserved for the criminally insane of the finance world.

The memo is authentic.

After confirming the authenticity of the memo, Palast explored how the end game worked: By manipulating other countries via the WTO, these powerful few - who Palast calls "The Big Bank Five" - were able to alter banking regulations around the world in order to expand their shady derivatives trading. Read the article. It's quite condemning.


Best. Convocation speech. EVER!!!

DailyKos: And here's my first experience with Obamacare

Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 09:38 PM PDT
And here's my first experience with Obamacare
by tb92

My Uncle was a good man. He was loyal to his wife and patiently cared for her quadriplegic son. He was Christian in the old fashioned sense of being kind and generous. He worked hard as a appliance repair man, and his customers trusted him. He was quiet and gentle and loving. And he died six months ago.

My uncle never thought to take care of himself. He had been in pain for years, but didn't bother to have it checked out. When it became too much to bear, his wife took him to the emergency room. They told him he had cancer. That it filled his entire abdomen. That he had less than a month to live.

And then they told him they could not help him, that he should just go home and wait to die. You see, my uncle's insurance, which he had paid into for decades, saw no point in paying for care for a man who could not be saved. And he was a bit too young for Medicare. The hospital wouldn't be paid, so there was nothing they were willing to do. He went to a second hospital, and was told the same thing. He wasn't offered any additional effort, any hospice, any real help at all.

His wife was heartbroken and terrified. She had NO idea how to take care of him. What would he need? How would they deal with the pain? Was there absolutely nothing that could be done? Panicked, she got on the phone and called the local teaching hospital, and they, thank the gods, knew what to do.

They put her in touch with a patient advocate, who convinced the insurance company that they damn well were going to pay for whatever he needed. The advocate arranged to have him admitted to the teaching hospital and to have appropriate tests done. When their last ditch efforts were clearly failing, she arranged for him to have the equipment and medication he needed at home. She educated his caregivers. She let them know they were not alone.

My aunt was told that this advocate position was created by Obamacare. Most of my family is conservative, but not at all politically aware. They had thought that Obamacare was something to fear. Now they know better.

My Uncle died at home, with his family, in no pain, with no fear. His last actions were to give a thumbs up to his brother and say, "I'm good". That wouldn't have happened without that advocate's loving work. And that is now what Obamacare means to my family.

Mark E. Anderson wrote a diary today about his first experience with Obamacare being a free physical. When I read it, I knew I had to share my experience. I hope others will continue the trend. This program is about to change our lives. We should document the experience.

No matter what else the President does or does not do, I will always be grateful for this.


5 ways a 14-year-old crushed an arrogant interviewer

5 ways a 14-year-old crushed an arrogant interviewer
By Christina Mozaffari | Posted: August 13, 2013

If everybody performed in interviews like 14-year-old Rachel Parent, I would be out of a job.

The young Canadian activist founded an organization called “The Kids Right To Know,” which campaigns for mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). She has organized and spoken at rallies against GMOs and just happens to be one amazing spokesperson.

Here’s the proof: Parent challenged investor and TV host Kevin O’Leary to a debate after he called GMO protesters “just stupid” and suggested on his show that they “stop eating” as a way to “get rid of them.” O’Leary accepted, and last week Parent was a guest on the show he co-hosts, “The Lang & O’Leary Exchange,” from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

O’Leary made it clear early in the interview he had no intention of taking it easy on Parent because of her age. That’s not unfair given Parent’s activism and visibility in her movement. Still, there’s a fine line between respectfully challenging and bullying. O’Leary managed to end the interview looking like a condescending bully due to Parent’s stellar performance.

One of the first questions he asked her, “You know what a lobbyist is, right?” set the tone for the 13 minutes that would follow...

MORE ON THE 5 WAYS SHE HELD HER OWN: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/5_ways_a_14yearold_crushed_an_arrogant_interviewer_15006.aspx

I always cry at weddings...but THIS...

...is especially beautiful.

75 Unforgettable Moments From Minnesota’s First Day Of Marriage Equality
August 1, 2013. History made. posted on August 1, 2013 at 6:22pm EDT
Matt Stopera BuzzFeed Staff

The festivities began at the city hall in downtown Minneapolis at 10:30 p.m. when the public was allowed in…

1. The five levels filled up with people trying to get the perfect spot for the night’s (well, the morning’s, because the law didn’t take effect until midnight) first weddings.

2. Literally everyone was in a good mood…

3. …even if they got stuck sitting in the stairs.

4. Al & Jeff, the second couple to be married, looked around and waved to friends, families, and those who came to support them.

5. The Minneapolis gay men’s choir sang, and when they finished they all just looked around smiling at all the people who showed up.

6. These guys were overwhelmed by how enthusiastic the applause was for their performance.

7. Margaret and Cathy came out at 11:30 p.m. They were the first same-sex couple married in the state of Minnesota. Their son Louie stole the show.

Follow the link to read the rest of this beautiful photo journal, but if you're anything like me, have your hanky ready.

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