A woman paralyzed from the neck down can now grab a ball with a robotic arm – just by thinking about it.
Jan Scheuermann, who lost control of her limbs in 2003, was able to make complex hand movements using the robot arm. She successfully picked up and moved a variety of objects, from a tiny cube to a tube standing upright (see video).
The system, developed byJennifer Collinger at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and colleagues, uses two small electrode grids implanted in Scheuermann’s brain, in the region of the left motor cortex responsible for controlling her right arm and hand. The devices were connected to a computer, which analysed electrical brain activity picked up by 96 contact points within the grids. (1)
We like believing we are machines.
We like believing we can fix machines.
But it needs to have a soul to be human.
It needs to have a soul to understand you are not a machine.
The brain functions.
But the neurons are broken.
The soul thrives.
Only if the body is dead…
That’s a good thing for Conner, who after completing a degree in music composition got deeply interested in Babylonian literature and poetry—which was originally recorded in cuneiform, wedge-shaped marks on clay tablets.
But the words on the paper, the modern incarnations of these mineral etchings, were not enough for Conner. She wanted to know what these languages sounded like, to summon life from stone. Many of these poems and snatches of writings were sung and chanted, according to historians. The tunes played an important part in rituals in Mesopotamian societies, from funerals to lullabies, Conner says.
So she teamed up with Andy Lowings, who reconstructs ancient instruments and plays a mean lyre, a musical instrument with strings that resembles a harp. The two set out to create music that brings ancient Babylonian poetry to life, and The Flood is the result. It was produced by sound engineer Mark Harmer and can be found on Conner’s website; it will also come out on iTunes next month.
But how does one reincarnate music that no human voice has uttered for millennia? Conner says a key step was to really understand the language. She carefully studied historical analysis of the stresses and intonations of Babylonian and Sumerian for hints as to how it may have sounded, and researched how language is converted into music in similar Semitic languages. Then, after choosing and memorizing a piece of writing or poem, Conner collaborated with Lowings to create the melody. (1)
Now they are heard again.
We live in the shadows of the past.
We play music under the eyes of our ancestors.
We determine the future.
The future affects our presence.
Somehow it is as though they never faded away…
Most of our lives revolve around time, from the instant our alarm clocks go off to attending afternoon appointments to the moment we call bedtime. Tick tock. But what exactly is time, and why is it always marching forward?
A new paper suggests that the arrow of time – a term given to the forward direction of time – is driven by gravity and, therefore, an inescapable result of the fundamental laws of physics in our universe.
However, “the laws of physics are ‘time-reversal invariant,’ which means that all the many phenomena we understand and describe through the laws of physics respect these same laws too if ‘played backwards’ like a movie played in rewind,” Dr. Flavio Mercati, a researcher at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario, Canada, told The Huffington Post in an email. “This seems puzzling, considering that we see so many phenomena unfolding only in one way”. (1)
Get rid of what is in your mind.
There is nothing out there.
Here and Now.
A cosmos with no rules.
A world with no time.
A universe which just Is…