Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 12-18, 2019

And now, it’s time to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Marina shares the dark saga of Katie Bouman (the woman who rendered the final image of the black hole). April 15, 2019 The Atlantic

Anne Harrington tells the tale of psychiatry, racism, and the birth of “Sesame Street.” UNDark

Milt Estrow recounts the many, many theories about Leonardo da Vinci. The Atlantic

Czerne Reid show us the “lost” book of exquisite botanical drawings rediscovered after 190 years. Women in STEM connection: the author/illustrator was Anne Wollstonecraft. National Geographic

Allison C. Meier: designing the butterfly-friendly city. CityLab

SciSchow says the bee-pocalypse is … fake.

 

Laura Tenenbaum blows the lid off three plastic recycling myths. I thought I was a good environmental citizen. Turns out we’ve all been lied to. Forbes

It’s okay to be smart takes a look—ha!—at where your eye colour really comes from.

 

SciShow news reports that we’re one step closer to understanding aging (and other effects of oxidative stress).

 

I hope something here has given you inspiration or research tools for a new creative project.

Until next tipsday, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

thoughtythursday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Dec 11-17, 2016

If your brain’s already gone on holiday, have some thoughty fun with these offerings 🙂

Saw last week that Alan Thicke has passed away, too. It’s been such a sad year for performers and artists 😦 And political unrest. And Syria . . . Take heart. Here are 99 reasons 2016 was a great year. Medium

Christopher Dickey shares the tale of angels of the resistance (and one serial killer) in Nazi-occupied Paris. The Daily Beast

UN Women takes a stand against gender-based violence.

 

Eugene Soltes explores the psychology of white-collar criminals. The Atlantic

Matt Blitz tells the real story behind the myth of Area 51. Popular Mechanics

Annalee Newitz investigates the lost city of Cahokia under the St. Louis suburbs. Ars Technica

Amanda Gefter interviews Donald D. Hoffman: the case against reality. One of my favourite bits: “… we have evolution itself to thank for this magnificent illusion …” The Atlantic

Peter Dockrill: cellular reprogramming has been used to reverse the aging process in animals. Science Alert

Simon Oxenham explains why bees could be the secret to superhuman intelligence. BBC

Peter Brannen examines a possible break in one of evolution’s biggest mysteries. The Atlantic

Chris Jones reports on Sara Seager, the woman who might find us another Earth. The New York Times Magazine

Watch this cool BBC video about how one woman with Parkinson’s regained the ability to write and draw.

 

Robby Berman reports on filmmaker Adam Rosenberg’s hilarious video in which he shares some of his nocturnal musings. It’s called Somniloquist and you have to watch it. Nearly peed myself laughing. Slate

Olga Khazan explains how magic mushrooms help patients with severe anxiety and depression. The Atlantic

Lauren Vinopal lists the 18 best houseplants for cleaning the air, according to NASA. Fatherly

Julia Shaw: I’m a scientist, and I don’t believe in facts. Scientific American

George Dvorsky reports on what the brightest supernova ever seen really was. Gizmodo

Natalie Wolchover: quantum gravity research could reveal the true nature of time. Wired

‘Tis the season, so here’s sommat from Grimfrost on Vikings, Santa, and Christmas 🙂

 

Honest to Paws introduces us to the Akhal-Teke, the most beautiful horse in the world.

Hope your mental corn’s a-poppin’ fit to see you through the holiday frenzy 🙂

Have a good one, everyone!

thoughtythursday2016

WorldCon 2016: What’s new in medicine

Disclaimer: I am not perfect and neither are my notes. If you notice anything that requires clarification or correction, please email me at melanie (dot) marttila (at) gmail (dot) com and I will fix things post-hasty.

Panellists: Dr. Brad Aiken, H.G. Stratmann, John Strickland Jr. (moderator), Dr. David Kushner

Research into slowing down the aging process:

  • Telomeres – the caps on the end of a chromosome that include instructions for replication
  • Mitochondria – have a role in regulating the aging process

There are currently 19 different areas of research. Some focus on the mechanism and some focus on the effects and process of aging.

Metformin is a drug used to treat type II diabetes. Some studies have shown that type II diabetics live longer.

Medicine in general is helping people live longer. The oldest documented human lived to be 122 years old.

We’re thinking in terms of health span versus life span. Quality of life is more important than simply living longer.

Aging is a complex process. We don’t fully understand it yet.

NASA has contributed data from their astronauts. The relief of gravity accelerates some aspects of aging.

Space medicine focuses on a small number of subjects, astronauts. Many of the changes that result from space travel reverse once the astronaut is exposed to gravity again.

There have been changes in the eyes. Vision can be negatively affected.

Artificial organs can be printed using 3D printers/matrix machines. An artificial heart has been created this way.

In neurosurgery, they’ve 3D printed skull fragments and in ortho, they’ve printed knee replacements.

In cancer research, they’re customizing treatments and addressing immunodeficiencies by individual genetic profiles.

Genetic medicine means there is no single treatment for a disease. Each treatment is customized to each patient.

In cardiology, they’re making stents that are absorbed into the body. Xenotransplantation, transplanting a pig’s heart into a human body, continues to be pursued.

Crisper is being used to edit genes.

Defibrillators and pace makers represent mechanical human enhancement.

In cases of patients who’ve suffered strokes or brain injury, doctors and researchers are using direct electrical stimulation and fMRI to prompt the brain to “rewire” itself.

Using a combination of a robotic exoskeleton and a brain/computer interface, like the Oculus Rift, paraplegic patients have regained some muscle control. They can’t walk, but they have a much higher quality of life because they’ve been able to overcome incontinence. And they have hope because they can move their limbs, even if it’s only a little bit. [Mel’s note: I actually shared an article on this a few weeks ago on Thoughty Thursday 🙂 ]

In both cases the brain is bypassing the area of damage.

Sensory loss attributable to peripheral nerve issues is still difficult to treat.

Artificial limbs and prosthetics are continuing to improve. Many now use neural interfaces to allow the brain to control the limb.

Spinal cord repair with respect to vertebrae (3D printing again) and discs is also making progress.

viewfrommyhotel

The view from my hotel room.

And that was time.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t close enough to see who was speaking at any given time, so I haven’t identified who was saying what.

Next week: Is cyberpunk still a thing?

And, of course, Tipsday and Thoughty Thursday will be making their regularly scheduled appearances.

See you on the interwebz!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 7-13, 2016

Canadian Olympic news:

I’ve shared articles to Facebook that later turned out to be erroneous. I’ve curated some of them here with their debunking articles appended. As a public service, I’m sharing the Snopes’ guide to fake news sites and hoax purveyors. You’re welcome.

80,000 Hours explores the qualities that make a job a fulfilling career. High income isn’t the main consideration. Follow the links at the bottom of each part through to part six and map out your career path (aimed at 20-somethings, but everyone can assess, or reassess, their careers using their quizzes and tools).

Sudbury writer Laura Stradiotto shares a personal story that every woman needs to read: I was happily married with kids and I made the decision to have an abortion. Chatelaine

Eckhart Tolle: You’re not your Facebook ego.

 

Allie Brosch’s Hyperbole and a Half is amazeballs awesomesauce. Read about her adventures in depression. It doesn’t end on a happy note, but there’s more to read on her site, and in her book. For my money, there’s no one who describes what it’s like to have depression better.

Anna Lovind muses on what we are called to do when our hearts are breaking. She also writes about how people use the excuse of not having enough time to skimp on self care: that’s the most ridiculous thing she’s ever heard.

Kimmy Dee reports on five scientific reasons our idea of happiness is wrong for Cracked.

Brother Devid Steindle-Rast recommends five small gestures of gratitude that counteract violence. Uplift

Jennifer Wolkin shares more about the brain-gut connection. Mindful

Last week, I shared an article about how scientists have discovered a new kind of light. This week, it’s a new kind of fire that may be useful in cleaning up oil spills. Andrew Liszewski for Gizmodo.

A new trans-Neptunian object (TNO) is making the solar system look a whole lot weirder. Shannon Hall for New Scientist.

Kivi Park will become Sudbury’s largest outdoor recreation space. South Side Story

Archived photos of Sudbury will change the way people see our city. Up Here

And here’s the mural Ella and Pitr were commissioned to create for the Up Here festival. CBC

In honour of International Left-Hand Day, BrainPickings reviews David Wolman’s book A Left-Hand Turn Around the World.

The theory of how North America was populated is wrong. Emily Chung for the CBC.

Paulette Steeves, an Indigenous anthropologist, is challenging the origin story of First Nations peoples. Denise Ryan, The Vancouver Sun.

Alan Yuhas reports on a recently uncovered Mayan tomb that sheds light on the “Snake Dynasty.” The Guardian

John Vidal examines how millions of trees brought a broken landscape back to life. The Guardian

Okay, tourists. Stop stacking rocks at Hanakapiai beach. It’s not pono (right). Christine Hitt, Hawai’i Magazine

Maddie Stone reports on the Greenland shark, which may hold the cure to aging. Gizmodo

The White Wolf Pack reports on a couple of heroic beavers from Ogden, Utah, who stopped a fuel spill with their dam, but had to be taken to a wildlife rescue for rehabilitation as a result.

A cockatoo freaks out a bunch of cats by meowing at them. Daily Kaos

That should get your mental corn a-poppin’.

With any luck, I’ve tracked Mary Robinette Kowal down and delivered the decoded phrase 🙂 So looking forward to meeting her (among others) at WorldCon.

See you on the other side (that’s the 27th)!

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Nov 8-14, 2015

Bringing thoughty back 🙂 Just a bit.

This week’s NaNoWriMo work count: 41,517

Once a year, on 11:11 am on November 11th, the sun shines perfectly through this veterans’ memorial. Twisted Sifter.

Does exercise slow the aging process? The New York Times.

Find out how performance reviews harm your mental health. The Wall Street Journal.

Canadian researchers break the blood-brain barrier with a new ultrasound treatment. CTV.

Three scientists who were gagged under the Harper government finally have their say. The Globe and Mail.

Scientists have measured the ‘strong force’ of anti-matter. Gizmodo.

Listen to the haunting music of Croatia’s sea organ. UpWorthy.

Gaze at these amazing trees on Dusky’s Wonders.

Someone took a picture of a rainbow cloud in Jamaica. IFLS.

Six women save nearly 100 horses stranded on an island. Wimp.com.

Alanis Morissette updates “Ironic” for the social media age. Buzzfeed.

Buzzfeed shares the 31 realest Tumblr posts about being a woman.

This girl kicks all the ass:

 

See you next week!

Thoughty Thursday