In the interest of full disclosure we have a tv in every room of our house, with the exception of the bathroom. Several of them are so old they are neither flat, nor high definition. I suspect they will outlast the latest models.
We didn’t have a TV at home until I was 10 years old. It was black & white, there were only 3 channels and programs ended at midnight with test patterns. I grew up reading, playing outside and making up ways to entertain myself with household objects. It may partially explain why I’m relatively creative but doesn’t explain why I have the attention span of a gnat.
When my granddaughter was a baby, I started keeping old toilet paper rolls, thinking we could make something to of them together, maybe a giraffe or other animal. Our first project was the easiest: a snake. We painted the rolls, then put a string through them. We used a small matchbox for the head. She trailed it behind her, letting it slither around the house.
“You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one.
Each day is a different one, and each day brings a miracle of its own.”
— Paulo Coelho
This morning I woke thinking that today was yesterday. This afternoon I thought that today is tomorrow. Holy Toledo! (wonder where that expression comes from?) Time is mushed in my mind.
If cells in a petri dish can be taught to tell time I need a petri dish.
Cultured Brain Cells Taught to Keep Time
The UCLA findings are the first to suggest that networks of brain cells in a petri dish can learn to generate simple timed intervals.
The ability to tell time is fundamental to how humans interact with each other and the world. Timing plays an important role, for example, in our ability to recognize speech patterns and to create music.
In a three-year study, UCLA scientists attempted to unravel the mystery by testing whether networks of brain cells kept alive in culture could be “trained” to keep time. The team stimulated the cells with simple patterns — two stimuli separated by different intervals lasting from a twentieth of a second up to half a second.
After two hours of “training cells”, the team observed a measurable change in the cellular networks’ response to a single input. In the networks trained with a short interval, the network’s activity lasted for a short period of time. Conversely, in the networks trained with a long interval, network activity lasted for a longer amount of time.
Duke Researchers Find Brain’s Motor Center Keeps Time Too
By measuring activity in the brain as reflected by blood flow, Duke researchers have demonstrated for the first time that the brain’s motor control center also keeps track of time. Their experiments show that in both animals and people, the striatum, a portion of the brain once thought only to control movement, keeps track of timing short intervals, from seconds to minutes.
“In addition to providing the first map of a neural circuit for an internal clock, the results have implications for Parkinson’s disease patients, because the timing mechanism is located within the basal ganglia, which is damaged in people with Parkinson’s disease. The findings also may help define the role of timing in learning and memory, said Dr. Warren Meck, associate professor of experimental psychology at Duke University.”
“We believe timing is the foundation for learning and memory,” Meck said in an interview. He suggests that defective timing mechanisms may underlie some learning disabilities and may contribute to dyslexia. Before these experiments, how the brain keeps track of time intervals in the seconds to minutes range was unknown.”
- “What!? It’s midnight already!? I was just about ready to go for my walk”
- “Are you sure? I could swear I exercised today”
- “I couldn’t walk today. I locked myself in.”
- “What do you mean the doctor stressed exercise?! I swear she said not to stress over exercise.”
Now that my arrhythmia’s are under control the most exercise I’m getting is running out of excuses.
Bleiberg, who oversees the museum’s extensive holdings of Egyptian, Classical and ancient Near Eastern art, was surprised the first few times he heard this question. He had taken for granted that the sculptures were damaged; his training in Egyptology encouraged visualizing how a statue would look if it were still intact.
It might seem inevitable that after thousands of years, an ancient artifact would show wear and tear. But this simple observation led Bleiberg to uncover a widespread pattern of deliberate destruction, which pointed to a complex set of reasons why most works of Egyptian art came to be defaced in the first place.
“The damaged part of the body is no longer able to do its job,” Bleiberg explained. Without a nose, the statue-spirit ceases to breathe, so that the vandal is effectively “killing” it. To hammer the ears off a statue of a god would make it unable to hear a prayer. In statues intended to show human beings making offerings to gods, the left arm — most commonly used to make offerings — is cut off so the statue’s function can’t be performed (the right hand is often found axed in statues receiving offerings).
“Speaking to the futility of such measures, Bleiberg appraised the skill evidenced by the iconoclasts. “They were not vandals,” he clarified. “They were not recklessly and randomly striking out works of art.” In fact, the targeted precision of their chisels suggests that they were skilled laborers, trained and hired for this exact purpose. “Often in the Pharaonic period,” Bleiberg said, “it’s really only the name of the person who is targeted, in the inscription. This means that the person doing the damage could read!”