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Neurons involved in learning, memory preservation less stable, more flexible than once thought

The human brain has a region of cells responsible for linking sensory cues to actions and behaviors and cataloging the link as a memory. Cells that form these links have been deemed highly stable and fixed. Now, the findings of a Harvard Medical School study conducted in mice challenge that model, revealing that the neurons responsible for such tasks may be less stable, yet more flexible than previously believed. The results, published Aug. 17 in the journal Cell, cast doubt on the traditional notion that memory formation involves hardwiring information into the brain in a fixed and highly stable pattern. The researchers say their results point to a critical plasticity in neuronal networks that ensures easier integration of new information. Such plasticity, the researchers said, allows neuronal networks to more easily incorporate new learning, eliminating the need to form new links to separate neurons every time. Furthermore, they said, once a memory is no longer needed, neurons can be more easily reassigned to other important tasks. "Our experiments point to far less stability in neurons that link sensory cues to action than we would have expected and suggest the presence of much more flexibility, and indeed a sort of neuronal efficiency," said study senior author Chris Harvey, an assistant professor of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. "We believe this trade-off ensures the delicate balance between the ability to incorporate new information while preserving old memories."

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In celebration of the eclipse, Google has announced it will fully unveil Android O this coming Monday in a special New York City event. #News #AndroidO

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Well, here it is! The phone that most Android fans have been waiting for: Essential Phone

I'm not sure if this phone's worth the asking price of $699, especially when the Note 8, iPhone 8, and the Pixel 2 phones are just around the corner which will offer a lot more for your money.

"Rubin has said that he expects to provide software updates for two years for the Essential Phone and security updates for another year after that."

When Essential was first revealed to the public, Rubin mentioned the phone will stand out from the rest, I guess that statement is false. Any $700+ Android phone (including Google) should be supported for more than 3+ years, especially a phone from the 'Father of Android' — This just leaves the Essential Phone to stay afloat in a sea of Android devices with no real advantages over its competitors.

Verge Score: 8

Good Stuff:
Edge-to-edge screen
Clean Android
Good battery life

Bad Stuff:
Somewhat disappointing camera
Module system unproven
No headphone jack

Video review:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3t5CxKxlTOA

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NASA launches satellite to relay data from Hubble, ISS and other spacecraft

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Ever had a hankering to search Google from the command line? If so, you’re going to love this nifty terminal tool. It’s called Googler and, as you can guess, this small python-based command-line utility lets you search Google from the terminal. It’s not…

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Google+ launches new ‘Discover’ feature to surface the social network’s best content

http://9to5google.com/2017/08/16/google-plus-discover-feature-launch/

Shared from my Google feed

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Trump Tells Aides He Has Decided to Remove Stephen Bannon

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"Creativity,Is Intelligence
And Imagination
Having Fun"

Good Morning My Dear Friends
Have An Amazing Friday And Weekend

Stunning Rain Gif Venice Italy Nature's Beauty

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#NASCAR Dale Earnhardt Jr. - "What in the hell is going on in this world?" https://www.motorsport.com/nascar-cup/news/nascar-dale-earnhardt-jr-charlottesville-942364/ via @Motorsport_Oz

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The 2017 Houston Texans Cheerleaders - NFL a mi modo. - bit.ly/2fRYtOi

Take a look at who made this year's Houston Texans Cheerleaders team!  

Registration is Now Open for Houston Texans Jr. Cheerleaders!Has your little cheerleader always wanted to perform in front of thousands?Now's their chance!   Houston Texans Jr. Cheerleaders presented by Texas Children's Hospital Performance:Texans vs New England PatriotsDuring pregame ceremoniesSaturday, August 19, 20177:00 PM Kickoff Mandatory Rehearsal:Sunday, August 13, 20171:00 PM -...

#Sports #NFL #Cheerleaders

(Credit: NFL a mi modo.)

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NBA Draft Prospects - Michael Porter Jr.
Preseason Breakdown

NBA Comparison: Kevin Durant

With Brandon Ingram, Johnathan Isaac, Kevin Knox coming along in very recent draft classes, I personally stayed away from the Kevin Durant comparisons as they were either not at that level or missing a significant skill/ability that makes Kevin Durant the player he is. However, watching Michael Porter, this all changes. Porter is the definition of a transcendent, generational talent. He is the best scorer to come out of high school since Durant, and has the potential to become just as versatile in that aspect. One of Porter's strongest assets in his game is his pull-up jumper, which he uses very similarly to how Durant utilizes it. He looks to come into the league and immediately become an impactful scorer with the potential to become a solid defender due to his length. The taller ball handling wings are almost always compared to Durant eventually, but Porter is the one truly deserving of the comparison.

Strengths:
Averaging 37 PPG on 50% in high school, Porter Jr. is one of the best scoring prospects of the decade. His 6'10" frame and 7' wingspan allow him to finish easily at the rim, and his evasive/acrobatic finishes allow him to be highly efficient at the rim. The same size advantage allows Porter's jumpshot to prosper, as he can simply shoot over the majority of his defenders, a skill he has seemingly mastered at the high school level. The jumpshot itself is elite, with a lethal pull up game that will translate to all levels. Porter shot 69.7% from the 3PT line during his senior season at Nathan Hale, which is absolutely insane efficiency. His ball handling is also improving, as Porter has gone through more point guard-style training recently. This has allowed him to have a low amount of turnovers, averaging only 0.7 turnovers per game on a relatively high usage during his high school season. Defensively, Porter projects to be a very great help defender, with potential to be a decent rim protector. This, along with his dominant rebounding will give Porter the ability to consistently play the Power Forward. This rebounding wasn't only great at the high school level, (14.3 RPG in HS) but also against national competition, (14.0 RPG per 40 minutes at Nike EYBL), and internationally (10.6 RPG per 40 minutes at 2016 FIBA Chile Tournament).

Weaknesses:
Porter's ability as a complete player limits his weaknesses, as he has nothing that truly stands out as problematic, but there a only a few low points in his game. Porter's off ball play on the perimeter and as a cutter could improve due to how good he is as a lob target. Porter's handles are improving as already stated, but they still could be worked on if he wants to become the dominant scoring wing he is projected to be. And lastly, Porter looks to be a fairly mediocre on-ball defender, which is still something that he could improve over time.

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Philly rapper @MeekMill arrested in NYC for dirt bike stunt, police say: http://on.nbc10.com/QPM8kdd

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Prem Watsa's Fairfax Financial Holdings is in advance negotiations with Infibeam Incorporation Limited, India's only listed and profitable ecommerce company, to pick up a minority 10-12 per cent stake for around Rs 1,200-1,500 crore, said three people with direct knowledge of the development.

The move is aimed at creating the war chest to fund the expansion plan of the e-retailer through the inorganic route.

ounded by former Amazon employee Vishal Mehta a decade ago, Infibeam is the only listed and profitable ecommerce company in the country. The company offers a platfor m to vendors through its BuildaBazaar offering.

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NASA is using Intel’s deep learning to find better landing sites on the moon

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Artificial neural networks decode brain activity during performed and imagined movements

Artificial intelligence has far outpaced human intelligence in certain tasks. Several groups from the Freiburg excellence cluster BrainLinks-BrainTools led by neuroscientist private lecturer Dr. Tonio Ball are showing how ideas from computer science could revolutionize brain research. In the scientific journal Human Brain Mapping, they illustrate how a self-learning algorithm decodes human brain signals that were measured by an electroencephalogram (EEG). It included performed movements, but also hand and foot movements that were merely thought or an imaginary rotation of objects. Even though the algorithm was not given any characteristics ahead of time, it works as quickly and precisely as traditional systems that have been created to solve certain tasks based on predetermined brain signal characteristics, which are therefore not appropriate for every situation. The demand for such diverse intersections between man and machine is huge: At the University Hospital Freiburg, for instance, it could be used for early detection of epileptic seizures. It could also be used to improve communication possibilities for severely paralyzed patients or an automatic neurological diagnosis. "Our software is based on brain-inspired models that have proven to be most helpful to decode various natural signals such as phonetic sounds," says computer scientist Robin Tibor Schirrmeister. The researcher is using it to rewrite methods that the team has used for decoding EEG data: So-called artificial neural networks are the heart of the current project at BrainLinks-BrainTools. "The great thing about the program is we needn't predetermine any characteristics. The information is processed layer for layer, that is in multiple steps with the help of a non-linear function. The system learns to recognize and differentiate between certain behavioral patterns from various movements as it goes along," explains Schirrmeister. The model is based on the connections between nerve cells in the human body in which electric signals from synapses are directed from cellular protuberances to the cell's core and back again. "Theories have been in circulation for decades, but it wasn't until the emergence of today's computer processing power that the model has become feasible," comments Schirrmeister.

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"Another night in BC"
By Vince Constantine www.vinceconstantine.com Tucked away in a mossy forest for the night. Fell asleep to the smell of camp fire and the soft white noise of rain. - Vince Constantine

#photography #landscape #britishcolumbia #forest

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Rattle And Hum -- Fort Collins, Colorado
This is the rattle of a two-foot-long Prairie Rattlesnake ( Crotalus viridis ) that showed up next to the sidewalk of my office building yesterday. He had gotten caught in some plastic landscape netting (dastardly stuff that should be completely banned, BTW) and couldn't escape. With the help of another guy holding the snake's head with a pair of snake tongs, I was able to cut away the netting with a pair of scissors. The snake was understandably agitated, but all things considered was remarkably calm. The liberated rattler was then relocated further into the Rocky Mountain foothills nearby. :)

If you're a landscaper or similar, please do not use plastic (or any other) landscape netting, ever - it's a death trap for small creatures of all kinds, especially snakes, lizards, and birds.

For #hqspanimals for +HQSP Animals, and #hqspmacro for +HQSP Macro, and #macromaniacs for +MacroManiacs and +Sandra Deichmann, and #Macro4All by +Bill Urwin, +Thomas Kirchen, +Walter Soestbergen (+Macro4All ), and #ReptileMonday +Reptile Monday curated by +Nicole Best...

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on the pavement

#hqspflowers +HQSP Flowers
#btpflowerpro +BTP Flower Pro

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The Furious Sky

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Moon Perigee (closest to Earth) - 366 100 km at 15:14 CEST

PIC: Photo mosaic of the moon lunar phases. As the moon orbits the Earth the Sun shadow cast on the moon changes.

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Your top bathroom repairs are right here: http://bit.ly/2hRlDEW

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“On the timescale of a year, you can’t even notice the increased distance with sophisticated laser lunar ranging: the difference in the Moon’s orbit is mere centimeters-per-year. But over long periods of time, this adds up significantly. Approximately 570 million years from now, the very last total solar eclipse will occur, and after another ~80 million years, the last hybrid eclipse will occur. That will be the last time any portion of Earth finds itself bathed in the shadow of the Moon. Beyond that point, the Moon will no longer be close enough to Earth at any point in its orbit to have its shadow fall on our surface. From that moment onward, the only way to see a total solar eclipse will be to take to the skies, or to soar in space itself, where we can find ourselves in the Moon’s shadow once again.”

This coming Monday, tens of millions of people will gather to watch the total solar eclipse that will go coast-to-coast across the continental United States. Total solar eclipses like this happen, on average, about once every 18 months, due to the frequency of alignment as well as the Moon’s apparent angular size. At present, about 40% of all solar eclipses are total eclipses, with annular eclipses making up 50% and hybrid eclipses the other 10%. However, this ratio has changed with time, and will continue to change. The Moon is migrating farther away from Earth, and annular eclipses are becoming more common, while total eclipses are becoming more rare. Although the migration rate is small – mere centimeters per year – that adds up over millions of years. At some point in the future, the Moon’s shadow will be completely unable to fall on Earth’s surface any longer.

How does it all work, and how long will it take? Find out, and learn when the final total solar eclipse Earth will ever experience will be!

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Zuckerberg: Facebook To Crack Down On Hate Speech Post-Charlottesville

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The referee will have his hands full Aug. 26.

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Raspberry Pi Radio @Raspberry_Pi #PiDay #RaspberryPi
https://blog.adafruit.com/2017/08/18/raspberry-pi-radio-raspberry_pi-piday-raspberrypi/

Beautiful build and tutorial from instructables user Marcel.

This retro looking radio was made from an old radio. Inside a Raspberry Pi and some other components were placed to make it work via the internet. It uses radio streams from the internet.

Read more
https://blog.adafruit.com/2017/08/18/raspberry-pi-radio-raspberry_pi-piday-raspberrypi/

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Al Gore Calls On Donald Trump To Resign - The former vice president has a message for you too.

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Google Home's Bluetooth is active.

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Trump announces he’s elevating the role of US Cyber Command http://engt.co/2idlbAX

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Is Justin Bieber's New Song 'Friends' about Selena Gomez? Here's what we Dug Up! #celebs #celebrities #entertainment #music

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18/08/2017
3 Photos - View album
Morning all...

Well, having got a little breakfast inside me, and apart from a break around lunchtime for an errand I need to run, I intend to devote the rest of the day to watching the first 8 episodes of The Defenders - the new Netflix series, featuring DareDevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones & Iron Fist and many of the peripheral characters from each of their four respective series; (also later on: The Punisher if the trailers are anything to go by, is also featured, though this might be just a guest appearance to promote his own series - coming soon.)

This promises to be one of the better Marvel spin-off TV series, on a par with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with seriously complex plot lines and a vein of humour throughout.

I'll see you all when I come up for air around lunchtime; meanwhile, anyone who fancies this and hasn't had chance to see each of the individual series yet, it might be a good idea to start watching them now for a little background.

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LG is making good phones these days, but software is one of the departments they still struggle in. Instead of fixing that, they are making hype videos about wallpapers.

#android #lgv30

http://drd.life/2v8f9Tz

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The Multidimensional Brain

"A sensational discovery has been made by experts as scientists have found that the human brain is home to structures and shapes that have up to 11 dimensions. Neuroscientists welcome the discovery saying: “We found a world that we had never imagined.”"

#consciousness #brain

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The Great American Eclipse

I grew up in Northern New Mexico where there was no light pollution. The night sky was glorious with stars. On hot summer nights, trying to take in the sheer number of them would so occupy your mind that every other thought and trouble was washed away by the beauty of the thing that would happen slowly but surely once the sun disappeared beneath the horizon.

I moved from New Mexico to Northern California, where I could still enjoy the night sky. Every evening it was possible, I got in my car and drove somewhere, usually the beach, to enjoy the sunset and the appearance of billions and billions of stars. But when I moved from San Francisco to New York City, that nighttime pleasure became virtually impossible, the lights of the city's buildings and its continually energized presence competing with nature's own light show every night.

But there were occasions that allowed one to witness the magic of the night sky without a trip to the Rose Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. One, the Northeastern blackout of 2003, stressed the city to the edges of its nerves, giving way at night to street gatherings and imaginings of what life was like for those who would never see such a thing as electrified city lighting. I was almost jealous of those who lived so long ago, and their deep connection to, and ruling by, the mysteries of the planets and the stars.

But my own favorite memory of the splendor of the universe came with Comet Hale-Bopp, the last 'great' Comet seen in the Northern Hemisphere between 1996 and 1997. There are giant rocks in Central Park, one of them called Umpire's Rock, another Lounging Rock, Rock with a View, Cat's Rock (my favorite), and scores of others, all of them perfect for comet gazing, that is if you weren't the sort to sneak your telescope into the Sheep Meadow (with a blanket and bottle or beer or wine...) to get a closer glimpse of that magnificent mass hurtling through the sky.

Every night that I could, I would venture into the park, safe in the company of so many other New Yorkers eager for mystical respite from their lives. There were no cell phones or laptops or any other distracting devices. Just the warm night air, the sight of city folk gathering on the grass, the benches, the rocks, the trees, wherever anyone could find an appropriate viewing perch, looking up at that beautiful comet.

And now comes another opportunity, on Monday afternoon, August 21, 2017, to contemplate the wonder of the Universe. What is being referred to as The Great American Eclipse will be viewable across the United States and, if it isn't cloudy where you live and you have proper shades to protect your eyes, you will be able to see it, more or less partial/full depending where you are geographically.

I've included a link of an interactive map that shows the Eclipse's path. Click anywhere on this map and you will find the obscuration details - the start, maximum and end times. Simply put, the Moon will come between the Earth and the Sun.

And if you cannot see it outside, if you have not planned to protect your eyes, you can watch it online, the details for which are in this article from the Times.

I woke up at 5:30 this morning and looked up...more than a sliver of the Moon reminding me what will happen on Monday and couldn't help wondering...

...what would it be like if every American were to stop what they are doing on Monday...literally stop whatever it is they are doing. Put down cellphones, laptop computers, take off headsets...disconnect from technology, work and worries. And look up into the sky and think about the magic and beauty of the Universe.

What would it be like?

What will it be like?

It is also a perfect opportunity to contemplate the word 'eclipse,' and to ponder the metaphorical meaning of what it might mean for the light to be dimmed during the day.

But I digress...for that is another subject matter entirely.

Google Map of The Great American Eclipse:
http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/solar_eclipses/TSE_2017_GoogleMapFull.html?Lat=32.87959&Lng=-82.90283&Zoom=6&LC=1

Map of Central Park:
http://www.centralparknyc.org/maps/
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