Archive for January, 2008

Art for geeks

This /. article pointed me to this hilarious photo set on Flickr. I like art. I like Internet nerditry. These things are hilarious.

Update February 6: The photoset is down. I have not found another copy.

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Michael M. on January 29th 2008 in General


The New York Times recently published two articles on balance. The first article concerns practical balance problems and training; the second one dizziness. It mentions the previously blogged BrainPort, a prosthetic device designed to help with balance problems. The laboratory where I work studies the vestibular system. My own project is on how neurons in the medial superior temporal region of the brain combine visual and vestibular signals related to the direction an individual is moving. Although my work is not immediately practical, I am happy to see related matters receiving press.


Michael M. on January 15th 2008 in General

Monkey walk

The New York Times published this article on a new brain-robot interface. The laboratory of Miguel Nicolelis connected the brains of monkeys to robots at a site in Japan. The Duke press release led me to this video on YouTube. My scientist thoughts led me to search for the scientific article. Questions raced. How did they do it? How much above random chance is the monkey’s performance? Can the monkey exert precise control over the robot, such as changing its speed? These questions will have to wait until the research report comes out. In the meantime, my less scientifically critical thoughts of marvel will continue.

Update January 16: /. picked up the story.

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Michael M. on January 15th 2008 in General


The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science is my dear alma mater. The Clarion-Ledger, Mississippi’s newspaper of record, interviewed MSMS English teacher Thomas Easterling about the school. This cached version remains available. Although high school is now some time in the past for me, I still treasure my time at MSMS. Attending made a great difference in my education, and I am happy to see it receiving this much deserved attention.

Update January 15: The cached version is gone, and I cannot find a free source for the interview. In the time since posting, I found this promotional video.


Michael M. on January 13th 2008 in General

Nose knows

The New York Times published this article on nasal irrigation. I blogged about it early last year. This segment on Oprah led to more attention. The University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine conducted this research project about it. The Times article should have cited it. I have found it helpful, in conjunction with other treatments, for treating allergies and avoiding sinusitis.

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Michael M. on January 5th 2008 in General

C. C. Bryant

On New Year’s Day, I kept the radio tuned to KWMU from the morning through most of the afternoon. The first hour of NPR‘s Talk of the Nation was dedicated to remembering people who died in 2007. It is available streaming from this site, and this mp3 is for the whole program. Also see the blog entry. One caller, Bob from Hollywood, Florida, championed C. C. Bryant. His call begins at 34:50 (35:05 in the mp3). Bryant started voter registration in Pike County and the surrounding area.

Who was this Bob from Hollywood, Florida? He was Robert Moses, leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He was active in SNCC and was a founding member of COFO. More recently, he has worked as founder and president of the Algebra Project. He seemed familiar with host Neal Conan, addressing him by name in a friendly way. Indeed, Moses has been a guest at least once that I found. Nobody pointed out the backstory, though.

The Enterprise-Journal had coverage of Bryant’s death. In addition to his obituary, the paper ran a news story about his death and another about his memorial service. The comments following the stories show both how much he did and how much is yet to be done. Moses told how Bryant’s street had been renamed for him. The McComb City Board of Selectmen and the Pike County Board of Supervisors named this coming January 15 as C. C. Bryant Day.

I never knew Bryant, but we knew people in common. Some of this Clarion-Ledger story comes from David Bickham. His younger brother and I were friends in school, and I met him at least once that I remember. The E-J obituary cites him as a “special son” of Bryant. It is good to see the memory of a pioneering local leader honored.


Michael M. on January 1st 2008 in General

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.