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British artist Luke Jerram’s StreetPianos.com just rolled out 500 pianos all around #Boston. Already one of the most awesome quality of life inits I’ve seen anywhere. Give people a means to beautify the air and you will be amazed at what they do. Heard 6 random pianists play on lunch outside today. Amazing. at Copley Square – View on Path.

British artist Luke Jerram’s StreetPianos.com just rolled out 500 pianos all around #Boston. Already one of the most awesome quality of life inits I’ve seen anywhere. Give people a means to beautify the air and you will be amazed at what they do. Heard 6 random pianists play on lunch outside today. Amazing. at Copley Square – View on Path.

The file system is going away as a concern for normal computer users,” says Firebase founder Andrew Lee. “We see a future five years from now where, unless you’re a developer, you’re not touching a file system. You’re touching your applications, and your applications manage your data.

- Box.com Melds Google and Microsoft Into Document Engine of the Future | Wired Business | Wired.com

PMC First Group Training Ride

I always treated cycling as a somewhat solo endeavor, but in an effort to push myself beyond the 40 mile ride from a few weeks back I agreed to take my first group cycle training ride last Saturday AM.

  • Lesson #1: early rising matters.
  • Lesson #2: group rides with experienced riders is a humbling experience.

Kept pace with the middle speed group, but once the sun peaked lost the faster group entirely. Did not clock, but estimating ~70 miles round trip.

Given just 3 weeks to PMC and 110 mile first day, looks like it will have to be 80 mile run next weekend, with a few lunchtime stair climbs to break up the coming week.

Man Carving His Own Destiny, Albin Polasek. “The different versions expressed his personal vision of a man chiseling himself, struggling to hack out his own character, carving his future by the effort of his will.” at Brookgreen Gardens – View on Path.

Man Carving His Own Destiny, Albin Polasek. “The different versions expressed his personal vision of a man chiseling himself, struggling to hack out his own character, carving his future by the effort of his will.” at Brookgreen Gardens – View on Path.

neurosciencestuff:

The Fractal Nature of the Brain: EEG Data Suggests That the Brain Functions as a “Quantum Computer” in 5-8 Dimensions
The brain has been traditionally viewed as a deterministic machine where certain inputs give rise to certain outputs. However, there is a growing body of work that suggests this is not the case. The high importance of initial inputs suggests that the brain may be working in the realms of chaos, with small changes in initial inputs leading to the production of strange attractors. This may also be reflected in the physical structure of the brain which may also be fractal. EEG data is a good place to look for the underlying patterns of chaos in the brain since it samples many millions of neurons simultaneously. Several studies have arrived at a fractal dimension of between 5 and 8 for human EEG data. This suggests that the brain operates in a higher dimension than the 4 of traditional space-time. These extra dimensions suggest that quantum gravity may play a role in generating consciousness.
(Image courtesy: Kookmin University)

Computers have a lot to learn from humanity…

neurosciencestuff:

The Fractal Nature of the Brain: EEG Data Suggests That the Brain Functions as a “Quantum Computer” in 5-8 Dimensions

The brain has been traditionally viewed as a deterministic machine where certain inputs give rise to certain outputs. However, there is a growing body of work that suggests this is not the case. The high importance of initial inputs suggests that the brain may be working in the realms of chaos, with small changes in initial inputs leading to the production of strange attractors. This may also be reflected in the physical structure of the brain which may also be fractal. EEG data is a good place to look for the underlying patterns of chaos in the brain since it samples many millions of neurons simultaneously. Several studies have arrived at a fractal dimension of between 5 and 8 for human EEG data. This suggests that the brain operates in a higher dimension than the 4 of traditional space-time. These extra dimensions suggest that quantum gravity may play a role in generating consciousness.

(Image courtesy: Kookmin University)

Computers have a lot to learn from humanity…

Eastern State Penitentiary: the world’s first penitentiary. We have a modern perspective of prisons. As populations have skyrocketed maintaining order has become the highest calling. A calling that comes at steep costs. Visiting ESP for the first time was an enlightening walk through the changing eras of prison culture.

According to the history of ESP it was not always this way. Inside the broken walls of this place and a reputation of the “Pennsylvania System” lies the beginnings of the world’s prison system: focused on penitence, redemption, and reflection. Cathedral hallways, skylights in cells, and personal outdoor areas based on the theory that criminals given the chance for personal reflection on their acts could reform and overcome.

Instead we see the system quickly overcrowd, intentions change, and humanity devolve to a point where prisoner torture and the modern equivalent of “solitary confinement” in underground, sunless spaces became the norm. Given unlimited power, guards create unlimited crime against the powerless. We now know this to be true.

Can lives reform? Have we created walls to merely hide our ills versus deal or reform? What can we learn about our future ambitions by looking back at our past intentions?

Inside these walls lies a story to tell.

Tuckerman’s Ravine, NH. Birthplace of extreme skiing. No lifts. No waffle hauses. Just a 4k foot hike with ski gear for the craziest 10 min drop of your life. 40-55 degree descents, 25 foot cliffs, and a crowd cheering on what anywhere else would be considered total insanity. Came. Climbed. Conquered. Still not sure which of those three were the most intimidating. Yes Tuck’s, I will be back.

OneBoston at Berklee College of Music – View on Path.

OneBoston at Berklee College of Music – View on Path.

1st responders forming a wall and  media/passerbyers observing moment of silence for Boston bombing victims today. at Copley Square – View on Path.

1st responders forming a wall and media/passerbyers observing moment of silence for Boston bombing victims today. at Copley Square – View on Path.

Neuroscience: Going Places: Rat Brain 'GPS' Maps Routes to Rewards

neurosciencestuff:

Research has implications for understanding memory and imagination

While studying rats’ ability to navigate familiar territory, Johns Hopkins scientists found that one particular brain structure uses remembered spatial information to imagine routes the rats then follow. Their discovery has…

Really neat research here.

at Boylston Street – View on Path.

at Boylston Street – View on Path.

at Newbury Street – View on Path.

at Newbury Street – View on Path.

Apr 8
neurosciencestuff:

Study indicates reverse impulses clear useless information, prime brain for learning
When the mind is at rest, the electrical signals by which brain cells communicate appear to travel in reverse, wiping out unimportant information in the process, but sensitizing the cells for future sensory learning, according to a study of rats conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health.
The finding has implications not only for studies seeking to help people learn more efficiently, but also for attempts to understand and treat post-traumatic stress disorder—in which the mind has difficulty moving beyond a disturbing experience.
During waking hours, brain cells, or neurons, communicate via high-speed electrical signals that travel the length of the cell. These communications are the foundation for learning. As learning progresses, these signals travel across groups of neurons with increasing rapidity, forming circuits that work together to recall a memory.
It was previously known that, during sleep, these impulses were reversed, arising from waves of electrical activity originating deep within the brain. In the current study, the researchers found that these reverse signals weakened circuits formed during waking hours, apparently so that unimportant information could be erased from the brain. But the reverse signals also appeared to prime the brain to relearn at least some of the forgotten information. If the animals encountered the same information upon awakening, the circuits re-formed much more rapidly than when they originally encountered the information.
“The brain doesn’t store all the information it encounters, so there must be a mechanism for discarding what isn’t important,” said senior author R. Douglas Fields, Ph.D., head of the Section on Nervous System Development and Plasticity at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the NIH institute where the research was conducted. “These reverse brain signals appear to be the mechanism by which the brain clears itself of unimportant information.”
Their findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The researchers studied the activity of rats’ brain cells from the hippocampus, a tube-like structure deep in the brain. The hippocampus relays information to and from many other regions of the brain. It plays an important role in memory, orientation, and navigation.
The classic understanding of brain cell activity is that electrical signals travel from dendrites—antenna-like projections at one end of the cell—through the cell body. From the cell body, they then travel the length of the axon, a single long projection at the other end of the cell. This electrical signal stimulates the release of chemicals at the end of the axon, which bind to dendrites on adjacent cells, stimulating these recipient cells to fire electrical signals, and so on. When groups of cells repeatedly fire in this way, the electrical signals increase in intensity.
Dr. Bukalo and her team examined electrical signals that traveled in reverse—from the cell’s axon, to the cell body, and out its many dendrites. This reverse firing happens during sleep and at rest, appearing to reset the cell, the researchers found.
After first stimulating the cells with reverse electrical impulses, the researchers next stimulated the dendrites again with electrical impulses traveling in the forward direction. In response, the neurons generated a stronger signal, with the connections appearing to strengthen with repeated electrical stimulation.
This pattern appears to underlie the formation of new memories. A connection that is reset but never stimulated again may simply fade from use over time, Dr. Bukalo explained. But when a cell is stimulated again, it fires a stronger signal and may be more easily synchronized to the reinforced signals of other brain cells, all of which act in concert over time.

neurosciencestuff:

Study indicates reverse impulses clear useless information, prime brain for learning

When the mind is at rest, the electrical signals by which brain cells communicate appear to travel in reverse, wiping out unimportant information in the process, but sensitizing the cells for future sensory learning, according to a study of rats conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

The finding has implications not only for studies seeking to help people learn more efficiently, but also for attempts to understand and treat post-traumatic stress disorder—in which the mind has difficulty moving beyond a disturbing experience.

During waking hours, brain cells, or neurons, communicate via high-speed electrical signals that travel the length of the cell. These communications are the foundation for learning. As learning progresses, these signals travel across groups of neurons with increasing rapidity, forming circuits that work together to recall a memory.

It was previously known that, during sleep, these impulses were reversed, arising from waves of electrical activity originating deep within the brain. In the current study, the researchers found that these reverse signals weakened circuits formed during waking hours, apparently so that unimportant information could be erased from the brain. But the reverse signals also appeared to prime the brain to relearn at least some of the forgotten information. If the animals encountered the same information upon awakening, the circuits re-formed much more rapidly than when they originally encountered the information.

“The brain doesn’t store all the information it encounters, so there must be a mechanism for discarding what isn’t important,” said senior author R. Douglas Fields, Ph.D., head of the Section on Nervous System Development and Plasticity at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the NIH institute where the research was conducted. “These reverse brain signals appear to be the mechanism by which the brain clears itself of unimportant information.”

Their findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers studied the activity of rats’ brain cells from the hippocampus, a tube-like structure deep in the brain. The hippocampus relays information to and from many other regions of the brain. It plays an important role in memory, orientation, and navigation.

The classic understanding of brain cell activity is that electrical signals travel from dendrites—antenna-like projections at one end of the cell—through the cell body. From the cell body, they then travel the length of the axon, a single long projection at the other end of the cell. This electrical signal stimulates the release of chemicals at the end of the axon, which bind to dendrites on adjacent cells, stimulating these recipient cells to fire electrical signals, and so on. When groups of cells repeatedly fire in this way, the electrical signals increase in intensity.

Dr. Bukalo and her team examined electrical signals that traveled in reverse—from the cell’s axon, to the cell body, and out its many dendrites. This reverse firing happens during sleep and at rest, appearing to reset the cell, the researchers found.

After first stimulating the cells with reverse electrical impulses, the researchers next stimulated the dendrites again with electrical impulses traveling in the forward direction. In response, the neurons generated a stronger signal, with the connections appearing to strengthen with repeated electrical stimulation.

This pattern appears to underlie the formation of new memories. A connection that is reset but never stimulated again may simply fade from use over time, Dr. Bukalo explained. But when a cell is stimulated again, it fires a stronger signal and may be more easily synchronized to the reinforced signals of other brain cells, all of which act in concert over time.

Another epic day @ Magic. at Magic Mountain Ski Area – View on Path.

Another epic day @ Magic. at Magic Mountain Ski Area – View on Path.