Storytime... (KISS)

...the twisted little way I have of writing...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Bogus! An engineered Brain!

Based on the most recent data, there seems to be no difference whatsoever between the way the brain works and the chemical pathways created in artificial environments. This astounding revelation has profound implications on the computing world. Harnessed, it means the scientific community is one step closer to artificial intelligence and the ability to teach computers.
"I really can't believe we managed to create a freely operating and self-sustaining chemical-electrical environment that sent impulses of its own accord" said Katie Resbert, chemical and scientific engineer of the astounding process. So what's the English version? "What this means for science is that we've been able to create, truly create, a primitive form of life." Sais Jaden Sing, project director.
Companies around the world have been pouring millions of research dollars each year into perfecting computer chips; no one ever thought the future of information would come to a symbiotic brain so quickly. But researchers still warn "it's not like the sci-fi movies, this is a functioning electro-chemical unit but it does not respond or give feed-back." And what that means is while this is what some can call a functioning brain of sorts, it isn't nearly as complex as the simplest of natural animal brains.
A representative for the team which engineered this feat stated they wished to remain anonymous and not publicize this accomplishment. "We've managed to create something which will be useful someday but we aren't ready to receive the kind of global interest this is bound to generate." Sing added: "We got a lot of help on this one and all parties involved want it to remain a project being perfected by the capable, big to-do's boasting expensive degrees and big brains usually are too full of themselves to listen to what their colleagues suggest... we're a team."
So how does it really work? Essentially an infra-structure of cells have been assembled in a way that resembles grey-matter. Using biological materials, this team of 18 scientists were able to manipulate the genetic coding of cells to grow and cause the operation of a small piece of tissue in electrical interaction with another. "The implications are this: creation of living tissue has been around since culturing, but now we can attach different pieces together and watch them function work and die." said Susan Lampette, scientist and team member.
Susan claims that she joined the project with the intention to see it to completion "but we've opened a door for the medical community!" Susan explained that while many medical approaches focus on the bio-chemical basis for certain diseases, she recognized that it used to be clearly impossible to create in a "controlled environment" a simulation of the genetic factors that are behind many diseases - until now.
Now, it seems, it is finally possible to recreate a representative organism with a certain genetic code, for example one that has autism, then using these techniques along with the rest of what scientists know, it is possible to alter one segment of the code through laser assisted splicing and then to study what that causes.
Certain diseases inhibit brain function because they include the genetic command to do so. With this technology we can re-create the individual parts of the brain affected by such diseases as Autism, or Alzheimer’s, or Turretts and work backwards to find out where exactly these malfunctions originate in the genetic code and work to remove or replace it.
This allows scientists to take a child in the womb that will develop severe developmental problems, eliminate the one gene segment before the cells split and to effectively give that child a normal life without the worry of passing his or her disease along to the next generation.
Some call it the next step towards engineering "perfect children" and a "master race" those people are entitled to their opinion, but Jaden Sing and her team call it another ray of hope and a step closer to curing debilitating neurological and physical diseases that cause our population so much heartache. These maladies cost our nations so much in the form of people, money and the chance at saving lives is why we've been working so hard on this project.
The world has known about the scientific community being on the verge of doing such a thing, the surprising thing is that this technology wasn't engineered by a multi-billion dollar company with super-brain technicians, it was a small-town community college that did it using equipment borrowed from a local chem. lab and equipment from a local computer hardware engineering company.

~Shannon Hollender

Thursday, December 07, 2006


So I really liked this blog and wanted to save it for myself to go back to and read some more when I have more time at some later point. Here: in case anyone cares to see it. i liked it and hope someone else does too.

Journalism Exam Piece

Is My College a Place to Party or a Place to Learn?
Randolph-Macon College, 15th from the top on the Princeton Review's list of Party Schools. But what does this mean?
Apparently when surveyed Randolph-Macon Students said there was little studying, lots of sex and beer and liquor in vast quantities.
But surveys are only a measure of opinions. The Princeton Review says that the survey they use is an online survey that, on average gathers the opinions of 150 to 500 students from each college they list.
What they don't look into is the actual habits of the student body. At R-MC, the library keeps record of the number of people who enter the library each day. Over the course of the past five years, these numbers have more than doubled. And while many students study in the library, there are many other places, far more conducive to studying, that the students boast of all over campus.
In 1998, President Martin noticed the reputation of R-MC as a party school and began a heavy crack down on drinking and partying. The image R-MC had at that point hasn't changed much at all. In 2002 when President Lindgrin took over for Martin, he dismissed the party-school image the Princeton review has consistently given R-MC as "absurd" and he cited the rigorous academic setting as a better measure of what R-MC is about.
So what about the average GPA for R-MC? Looking at the past ten years, R-MC's average student GPA has gone up ant it hasn't been this high since 1995. Most students believe that while R-MC is a great place to have fun, they're here to get an education and they were smart enough to get in which might be why they don't have to study as much.
On the topic of sex, with a population of over 1100 students, the health department, which offers protection and prevention aids, estimates that they give out about 60 condoms per week and somewhere around 20 morning after pill prescriptions per week. What that means is over the course of a week about one in every thirty-six students requires these services from the health department. That's not a lot.
And what about the students; what do they have to say about this? According to Freshman Ricker Collins "Saturday seems to be the only night the actual partying goes on. Sometimes there is stuff to do on Fridays, but most people just go home which sucks." He makes a good point; while many students who were actually interviewed said they see R-MC as a party school, most agree that R-MC is more of as suit-case college. Is it possible that while many of the students report they party and drink, what wasn't asked was whether they did it on R-MC's campus or not.
Some aren't as forgiving though Senior Jess Axom rings a bit of truth saying "I drank last night but I don't normally drink on week-days. It’s about figuring out how to balance your studies with having fun." She claims that R-MC has "more than it's fair share" of Sex, drugs, drinking and partying, "but" she says "There’s a time and a place for it."
And what did students from other schools have to say about R-MC's party-school image? Most claim that their school is clear-cut a better party scene. Chris Walker says of West Virginia University "The partying here is hardcore. There is stuff going on every night." Not a single R-MC student could be found to say the same about R-MC.
Though according to Lt. George Hansen of the Ashland Police Department, calls to the APD regarding sexual assault usually involve "female students [who] were so drunk that they were taken advantage of." Some of the Fraternities on campus have a reputation for facilitating this occurrence but there are several programs which emphasize to the student body that such is still considered rape and that counseling and morning after pills are available to all students. Charges aren't often pressed for this on campus, implying, it seems, that the occurrence isn't frequent.
Hansen claims that while R-MC students get drunk and disorderly they are "victims of crime as well as perpetrators." He said alcohol usually plays a role in all incidents he has seen thus far. But according to Faith Boyle, Executive Director of the Hanover Arts and Activities Center. "R-MC's a party school only because drinking issues are more out in the open now, visible to more than just locals and campus safety."
So, is R-MC a "party school"? As usual there's more than meets the eye.
~Shannon Hollender

religion in e-mail

Wow. I received this in my e-mail and was disturbed. I do not barge into other's religious views and deliberately avoid the whole topic because it is my oppinion that a person should be left well enough alone to do their own thing "spiritually". That being said let me qualify my disgust at receiving this invite by saying this: I share no 'one true saviour', I have no faith in a "Higher Power" and my 'theology' involves "good luck, you're gonna need it."

I resent being identified with any religion.

Now to show you what I got... I hope someone out there finds it useful and can bring a little happiness to their life or this group by sharing it with someone who may be interested or by being such a person.

"Dear blog author:
We recently came across your site,, while searching for fellow christian bloggers."

A small group of us have started a new site called Christian Bloggers. Our prayer and intent is to bring Christians closer together, and make a positive contribution to the Internet community. While many of us have different "theologies", we all share one true saviour."

Would you be interested in joining Christian Bloggers? Please take a few minutes to have a look at what we are trying to do, and if you are interested, there is a sign up page to get the ball rolling. We would greatly appreciate your support in this endeavour."

May God Bless you and your blogging efforts. We look forward to hearing from you."

Craig Cantin
Christian Bloggers "

Please note: you will receive this email only once. You can join or visit Christian Bloggers at any time, but we do not believe in spam, and will not intentionally send this invite more than once. If you have any concerns regarding our anti-spam policy, please do not hesitate to contact us. "

Monday, December 04, 2006

You can always tell when it's that time of year

Ready for exams?
Not me. But you can always tell when the year has gotten busy enough to kill all creative writing and to clog the arteries of one's time-line existence with work, study, and the hell that is existence. No I'm not upset. Just burdened, frustruated and bored with the non stop nature of living a life bound to a group of jobs I really couldn't care less about. No I have no life, nor do I want one. What I want is a job I enjoy doing. And this "existence" is certainly no such luck.
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