Posted 4 hours ago

scienceyoucanlove:

Meet Claudia Mitchell, the first woman with a bionic arm.

 In 2006 she was outfitted with the arm to replace the arm she lost in a motorcycle accident. Her prosthesis, a prototype developed by the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago is one of the most advanced prosthetic arms developed to date.

Mitchell, who lives in Ellicott City, was the fourth person- and first woman- to receive a “bionic” arm, which allows her to control parts of the device by her thoughts alone. The device works by detecting the movements of a chest muscle that has been rewired to the stumps of nerves that once went to her now-missing limb. 

She hopes to upgrade to a prosthesis, still under development, that will allow her also to “feel” with an artificial hand. 

A while after the initial surgery, surgeons took the first step by rewiring the skin above her left breast so that when the area is stimulated by impulses from the bionic arm, the skin sends a message to the region of her brain that feels “hand.” 

Future arms will be able to perform even more precise movements, but even the first-generation device “has changed my life dramatically,” she said. “I use it to help with cooking, for holding a laundry basket, for folding clothes — all kinds of daily tasks.” 

Technology like this gives hope for the future because it is a great example how science can actually improve the quality of people’s life!

You can see a video of her using her bionic arm here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1OBzc9QfIs

Article:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/13/AR2006091302271.html

source 

Posted 6 hours ago

The Clouds do not Own the Sky

You and I see the same sky,
Walk the same country.
We read the same news:
Voting Rights Act overturned.
Whites with criminal records
Are granted more interviews
Than African-Americans
Who have never committed a crime.
Essays are judged more harshly
When a byline announces
The writer is not caucasian.
The medium of news changes
But it has remained
In black and white.
You and I have equal rights
To read the facts and live with them.
But we are not affected the same,
As a person of color,
You bear the brunt of the impact.
I am not affected at all.

My mirror images are guilty.
Seeing people cloaked
In your same skin color
Perpetrate bullshit
Is frustrating. Benefiting
From the struggles
Of others is disgusting.

Protesting against the system
Seems exactly like
Protesting the Iraq war;
The machine speaks
For the operators,
The rest of us carry
Gears disguised as spines.

Like Catholicism
I want to create greatness
Out of guilt. Let my people
Grow out of persecutor;
But the time to stretch
Towards the sun is ending.
I will not continue to allow
One race to feel as if the sky
Belonged to them, as if
The shadow they cast
Were a metaphor
For keeping the dark-skinned
Below them, thirsting
For the sunshine.
No one owns the sky,
I demand it be shared.

Posted 6 hours ago

This is a tasty soda using 100% natural sugar. In the upper left, you’ll notice the label reads “MADE IN MEXICO.” Mexico is a country (with some efforts to keep away from high fructose corn syrup, at times). Unless you see that label on a human, do not call a person who looks Hispanic a Mexican. There are millions upon millions of people with brown skin, dismissing them all as being from one place is racist as all hell.

Regards,

Management

Posted 8 hours ago

I would find it rather lovely if some folks would consider hitting up my mailbox under anon and expressing what you consider a flaw that others see in you or that you see in yourself, along with your preferred pronouns.

If all turns out as is strung about in my head, I will be using these in a poem.

Posted 9 hours ago

The Supreme Court ruled today that police can pull drivers over based on anonymous tips, even if the cops don't witness any evidence of wrongdoing.

thepoliticalfreakshow:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says an anonymous tip can be sufficient to justify a decision by police to pull a car over on suspicion of reckless or drunken driving.

The justices voted 5-4 Tuesday to uphold a traffic stop in northern California in which officers subsequently found marijuana in the vehicle. The officers themselves did not see any evidence of reckless driving.

Justice Clarence Thomas said the tip phoned in to 911 that a Ford pickup truck had run the caller off the road was sufficiently reliable to allow for the traffic stop without violating the driver’s constitutional rights.

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the dissent in which he called Thomas’ opinion “a freedom-destroying cocktail.”

Posted 9 hours ago
We now know that 24 hours without sleep, or a week of sleeping four or five hours a night induces an impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of .1 percent. We would never say, ‘This person is a great worker! He’s drunk all the time!’ yet we continue to celebrate people who sacrifice sleep for work.
Posted 22 hours ago

After several centuries of brutal anti-black racism and structural white privilege, apparently 50 years of modest civil rights progress was too unbearable for many “aggrieved” white people. Gutting the Voting Rights Act, weakening Affirmative Action and the proliferation of Stand Your Ground laws are each part of an unmistakable conservative effort to return all of America to a pre-civil rights, antebellum confederacy where “states rights,” judicial nullification and Jim Crow etiquette are the norm. Again.

(Source: odinsblog)

Posted 1 day ago

new-aesthetic:

Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied on a Whole City - Conor Friedersdorf - The Atlantic

In a secret test of mass surveillance technology, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sent a civilian aircraft* over Compton, California, capturing high-resolution video of everything that happened inside that 10-square-mile municipality. Compton residents weren’t told about the spying, which happened in 2012. “We literally watched all of Compton during the times that we were flying, so we could zoom in anywhere within the city of Compton and follow cars and see people,” Ross McNutt of Persistence Surveillance Systems told the Center for Investigative Reporting, which unearthed and did the first reporting on this important story. The technology he’s trying to sell to police departments all over America can stay aloft for up to six hours. Like Google Earth, it enables police to zoom in on certain areas. And like TiVo, it permits them to rewind, so that they can look back and see what happened anywhere they weren’t watching in real time. If it’s adopted, Americans can be policed like Iraqis and Afghanis under occupation–and at bargain prices.
Persistence Surveillance Systems
is the company behind the technology, as previously featured on
One Visible Future
.
Posted 1 day ago

nbcnews:

Up in Arms: Georgia governor to sign controversial gun bill Wednesday

(Photo: Robert Ray / AP file)

Its official name is the “Safe Carry Protection Act.”

But critics are calling it the “Guns Everywhere Bill.”

Continue reading

(Source: NBCNews.com)

Posted 1 day ago

graffitidc:

The words of Clint Smith. #poetry #spokenword #nationalpoetrymonth

Posted 1 day ago
There are two ways to reach me: by way of kisses or by way of the imagination. But there is a hierarchy: the kisses alone don’t work.
Anaïs Nin, Henry And June (via fables-of-the-reconstruction)
Posted 1 day ago

Empty Soul

It is posited that a soul has mass
And when you take your last breath
Your body sheds the weight of your soul.
It is an idea that has never been proven.
In experiments some bodies have lost grams,
Others gained weight, a few even did both,
Dropping in girth, then adding pounds back on;
Perhaps the lifeless urn still worthy of molecular ash.

When I die I will not exhale any measure of bulk –
Within the confines of my being, I own only emptiness.
I have long been unfilled, long unfulfilled,
Longing for fullness never met in character;
My whole self a filament burned out, irreplaceable.

Each drop of arsenic spilled by my spoiled potential
Poisoned deeply the architecture of my body.
I don’t know where it seeped to have welled within my soul.
Where does a soul even reside? In my mind,
A current of thoughts carrying ego and id?
Or does it lie in my chest where it watches
Closely the ebb and flow of life? If I could locate
My spirit perhaps I could save it. Perhaps
I could tap the vein and mainline happiness;
Maybe take an I.V. bag of answers and discover
A cure for always feeling forlorn.

When bottoming out, I often reach
For companionship, the finest of blinders.
In my lovers I seek a certain naïveté
As if innocence was a chemical reaction
I could hijack into my heart via osmosis.
In my prayers I reject superstition,
Blowing off so many Gods and refusing
To offer my palms in surrender. What use
Do I have for their fortunes? I can already read
The literature in my hands - each sunken line
Of text delving into the skin, the crevices echoing
Stories resembling demise rather than prognostication.
I hold onto chapters in my desperation for amends
But all of the non-fiction stored in my head thrashes,
Chasing away all the good I ever found in myself.

Every instance a storm has blown before my eyes,
Injustice howling around me, I have stayed
In the same cellar in which I began; I survive
But at the cost of how many? One by one,
Each inaction committed cancels out proper achievements
I performed, the contents of my humanity left unproven;
When I die, I will not even hold the weight of my deeds.

Posted 2 days ago

ironboobs:

"Oh captain, my captain."

Posted 2 days ago
policymic:

22-year-old cafeteria worker aboard capsized Korean ship sacrificed herself to save others

our hundred and seventy-six people were aboard the Sewol, which tragically capsized on Wednesday — one of them was 22-year-old Park Ji-young. She worked in the cafeteria, not as part of the crew. The ship’s communication officer announced to passengers that it was “more dangerous to move” than to risk a disorderly evacuation. Frigid water was filling the ferry’s lower levels, causing it to list hard to one side.
The crew didn’t stick around to help anyone else. It was Park who stayed behind to calm down frightened children and pass out life jackets. She didn’t save one for herself, and she told passengers that she wouldn’t leave the boat until every passenger was safely off and accounted for. "After saving you, I will get out," she reportedly said. "The crew goes out last."
"Park pushed shocked passengers toward the exit even when the water was up to her chest," said one witness.
Read more | Follow policymic

policymic:

22-year-old cafeteria worker aboard capsized Korean ship sacrificed herself to save others

our hundred and seventy-six people were aboard the Sewol, which tragically capsized on Wednesday — one of them was 22-year-old Park Ji-young. She worked in the cafeteria, not as part of the crew. The ship’s communication officer announced to passengers that it was “more dangerous to move” than to risk a disorderly evacuation. Frigid water was filling the ferry’s lower levels, causing it to list hard to one side.

The crew didn’t stick around to help anyone else. It was Park who stayed behind to calm down frightened children and pass out life jackets. She didn’t save one for herself, and she told passengers that she wouldn’t leave the boat until every passenger was safely off and accounted for. "After saving you, I will get out," she reportedly said. "The crew goes out last."

"Park pushed shocked passengers toward the exit even when the water was up to her chest," said one witness.

Read more | Follow policymic

Posted 2 days ago

socimages:

How to lie with statistics: The relationship between Florida’s Stand Your Ground law and gun deaths.

At Junk Charts, Kaiser Fung drew my attention to a graph released by Reuters.  It is so deeply misleading that I loathe to expose your eyeballs to it.  So, I offer you the mishmash above.

The original figure is on the left.  It counts the number of gun deaths in Florida.  A line rises, bounces a little, reaches a 2nd highest peak labeled “2005, Florida enacted its ‘Stand Your Ground’ law,” and falls precipitously.

What do you see?

Most people see a huge fall-off in the number of gun deaths after Stand Your Ground was passed.  But that’s not what the graph shows.  A quick look at the vertical axis reveals that the gun deaths are counted from top (0) to bottom (800).  The highest peaks are the fewest gun deaths and the lowest ones are the most.  A rise in the line, in other words, reveals a reduction in gun deaths.  The graph on the right — flipped both horizontally and vertically — is more intuitive to most: a rising line reflects a rise in the number of gun deaths and a dropping a drop.

The proper conclusion, then, is that gun deaths skyrocketed after Stand Your Ground was enacted.

This example is a great reminder that we bring our own assumptions to our reading of any illustration of data.  The original graph may have broken convention, making the intuitive read of the image incorrect, but the data is, presumably, sound.  It’s our responsibility, then, to always do our due diligence in absorbing information.  The alternative is to be duped.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions, with Myra Marx Ferree. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.