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Catharine Eastman
356 followers -
Singer, lab rat, and lover of cats
Singer, lab rat, and lover of cats

356 followers
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Amazing butter sculpture.

Via scifigrl47's tumblr.

Butter.
Butter.
scifigrl47.tumblr.com
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There's no date given for the shutdown, but it sounds like G+'s days are numbered. :(
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A little something to brighten up your Monday.

Via saunterleftside's tumblr.
elodieunderglass: elodieunderglass: ...
elodieunderglass: elodieunderglass: ...
saunterleftside.tumblr.com
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Please consider donating!
You might know I was in the hospital again in August, but do you know what sent me there?

Myasthenia Gravis.

"Is that some kind of Pokéman?" you may ask, but no. It's a rare autoimmune disease.

Myasthenia gravis means "grave muscle weakness" and that's exactly what it causes. When I'm in a flare, I can't walk or sometimes even stand; my head is too heavy to hold up; my eyelids fall half-shut; my speech slurs as if I'd been drinking for a week straight; I can't chew solid food or swallow thin liquids; and I can't get a good breath without help from an external ventilator.

It's the reason for the stairlift in our house, my magnificent purple wheelchair, my stylish forearm crutches, my bedside bipap ventilator, and my five not-so-spa-like "vacations" at the hospital over the last two years.

It's also the reason my friends and family and I are walking (okay, let's be honest, I'll be rolling, but it counts!) in the upcoming Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) Portland MG Walk. On September 29, 2018, our team, "Motionally Challenged" will walk and roll, rain or shine, along with dozens of other teams of patients, friends, family members and caregivers, to raise money for the MGFA.

The MGFA is the only national volunteer health agency in the United States dedicated solely to the fight against myasthenia gravis. MGFA is committed to finding a cure for myasthenia gravis and closely related disorders, improving treatment options, and providing information and support to people with myasthenia gravis through research, education, community programs, and advocacy.

The MGFA has personally helped me in so many ways in the two and a half years since my diagnosis. I've learned coping strategies, met dozens of other patients like me, and formed lasting friendships through MGFA-sponsored support communities.

Until the mid-20th century, MG was often a death sentence, with a 70% mortality rate. Thanks to research supported in part by the MGFA and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, mortality has fallen to less than 5%, and new treatments are in the pipeline.

When someone you care about has a chronic, disabling illness, there is often little you can do besides offer sympathy, but there is an easy way you can help! Please make a pledge to help me reach my goal. Any little bit counts, even just a single dollar, and 75% of the proceeds will go directly into research. Here's a look at how the money we raise will be used. (http://www.mgwalk.org/mg-walk-funding-at-action/)

If you're in the PNW and want to walk with us, we'd love to have you join our team, too!

It sounds cliché, but it's true: together we can make a difference!
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Machine learning translates bat chatter!
Machine Learning 'Translates' Bat Talk and Hears a Lot of Fighting

Researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel adapted a Machine Learning algorithm originally used for human voice recognition for a different, but related, purpose: to see if it could tease meaning out of the squeals of bats, or more specifically Egyptian Fruit Bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus).

Until now, most researchers in the field supposed that all bat squeals meant the same thing, usually some variation on a warning call, while others have been eager but, due to the difficulty of the task, unable to challenge this convention.

By feeding the algorithm over 15,000 bat calls, and comparing its results afterwards with video of the behaviors of the bats making the calls, they were able to classify ~60% of bat squeals into four categories, each involving disputes: over food, over sleeping position, in response to unwanted mating advances, and what might be called 'comfort zone' disputes when one bat sits too close to another. They also found variations in how the same bats speak to different individuals, as is often observed in highly social mammals.

Given the great density and crowdedness of typical bat populations, this may be likened to the sort of frequent dust ups observed in groups of human roommates living in close quarters with each other. As with all such research,
though, it's important to remember the Hard Problem of Consciousness: mapping objective behaviors onto subjective states, even within our own species let alone between species.

I can't help but wonder if dispute may be the wrong word in some cases, rather than something like beseechment, lively discussion, or banter. What appears to be a fight about food, might instead be the bat equivalent of each bat shouting, "Pass the potato salad here, please!"

Then again, they do say that familiarity breeds contempt. Maybe bats, with their extremely crowded and intimate cohabitation patterns, are the ultimate living proof of this principle.

#BlindMeWithScience #AI #Biology
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I took French back in high school, and am trying to regain it. I'm doing Duolingo, but while it's pretty good for vocabulary, it's not great for listening comprehension. The bits of Sesame Street that I've found en Français all seem to be songs, which are harder to understand than straight dialog. I've watched two whole episodes of Telefrançais, and I don't think I can bear to watch any more; it's just too juvenile.

Anyone have suggestions for French young people's TV on Youtube that's (1) good practice for listening comprehension and (2) geared to someone older than 5-7?
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For, well, lots of people...
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Huh! If a comic format makes this sort of information more palatable/accessible, more power to them.

+Sheldon Greaves +Jay Lane and many others...
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Especially for +Jay Lane and +Jean Monroe . Enjoy!
I especially like the last line of this parody
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