Trail Mix: Thanksgiving With the Hackensaw Boys

first_imgIt is a well known and accepted rule that, on one’s birthday, one should be allowed to sleep in, particularly if one’s birthday falls on a day off from work.My nearly three year old daughter, Lindsay, doesn’t give a damn about said rule.Today marks the end of my 41st trip around the sun. I held out hope that my eyes wouldn’t be opened until after the 7 o’clock hour. A frivolous birthday wish, for sure, but parents of toddlers will understand my longing. Lindsay, bright eyed and bushy tailed, bounded into our room at 5:45 and, now, here we sit, me with a cup of coffee as I bang out this blog entry while she watches some Caillou in our sunroom.Happy birthday to me!This birthday has begun somewhat auspiciously. My family should be waking up in Charlottesville, not here in Wise, as we were supposed to head up to visit my wife’s family for Thanksgiving yesterday evening. A particularly aggressive stomach bug and some snowy weather have delayed our travel plans – I don’t think we will get to Charlottesville until tomorrow – but good times await us once we arrive.Of course, I am looking forward to a fantastic meal with my family tomorrow. Our annual exercise in gluttony is always much anticipated.Also on my radar will be Friday night’s show at The Jefferson Theater with The Hackensaw Boys and Chamomile & Whiskey.The Hackensaw Boys have long been one of my favorite bands to germinate in Charlottesville. I can remember buying their first record, Get Some, on a whim at the old Plan 9 store on 29 North.  I can remember the first time I saw them live at Starr Hill Music Hall. I remember being amused by the notion, seemingly, that if one played an acoustic instrument and called Charlottesville home, you could take on a folksy nickname and be a Hackensaw Boy your own self.Most distinctly, I remember the release party for the band’s second record, Keep It Simple. Hundreds of fans packed Starr Hill Music Hall and at least a dozen Hackensaw Boys took the stage. The energy was through the roof and the manic crowd was dancing so hard that the floor of the venue felt like it was going to give way. There were times during the show that I fully expected to end up in the lap of a dining guest downstairs; that I questioned the building’s structural integrity that night puts it mildly.While the cast of The Hackensaw Boys has remained pliable over the last 15 or so years, the band is still hard at it, churning our their frenetic, rough around the edges take on old time music. The band has cranked our four studio albums, two EPs and, this year, released For The Love Of A Friend, their first live record.The Hackensaw Boys sound as good as ever. Considering the holiday at hand, for that I am thankful.Joining the Hackensaws on the bill is one of Charlottesville’s up and coming bands, Chamomile & Whiskey.  This band has been on my radar for some time; they have made the trip out here to Wise to play, though I was unable to see them, and we have featured them on Trail Mix. They were even joined by some good friends of mine in Folk Soul Revival – a band with Wise County roots – at a Fridays After Five show this summer.  I am happy to be able to catch them live for the first time.In keeping with my birthday spirit, I have a gift for you. I’d like for you to be able to see Friday’s show at The Jefferson Theater. All you have to do is take a shot at the trivia question below and email your answer to me at [email protected]  A winner of two tickets to the show will be chosen from all correct answers received by 5:00 today.Good luck, and have a happy Thanksgiving.Question – The Hackensaw Boys began their musical career banging out old time tunes at what West Main Street lunar greasy spoon?last_img read more

Eye Sends Information at Ethernet Rates

first_imgNeuroscientists from Pennsylvania and New Jersey calculated the information rate of the eye.  Using guinea pigs (real guinea pigs, not humans as guinea pigs), they came up with a number and interpolated it for humans:In the classic “What the frog’s eye tells the frog’s brain,” Lettvin and colleagues showed that different types of retinal ganglion cell send specific kinds of information.  For example, one type responds best to a dark, convex form moving centripetally (a fly).  Here we consider a complementary question: how much information does the retina send and how is it apportioned among different cell types?  Recording from guinea pig retina on a multi-electrode array and presenting various types of motion in natural scenes, we measured information rates for seven types of ganglion cell.  Mean rates varied across cell types (6-13 bits • s-1) more than across stimuli.  Sluggish cells transmitted information at lower rates than brisk cells, but because of trade-offs between noise and temporal correlation, all types had the same coding efficiency.  Calculating the proportions of each cell type from receptive field size and coverage factor, we conclude (assuming independence) that the approximately 105 ganglion cells transmit on the order of 875,000 bits • s-1.  Because sluggish cells are equally efficient but more numerous, they account for most of the information.  With approximately 106 ganglion cells, the human retina would transmit data at roughly the rate of an Ethernet connection.Their article, published in Current Biology,1 also discussed the difference between sight and sound processing: specifically, why is auditory information sent to the brain at much higher efficiency?  Frog auditory nerve fibers, for instance, “are reported to encode naturalistic stimuli with an efficiency sometimes reaching approximately 90% of capacity,” three-fold better than optic fibers.  “Naturally one wonders why an optic fiber fares so poorly in these comparisons,” they said, then proposed an answer based on the different ganglion cell types and the difference in information fields between sight and sound:Auditory fibers apparently achieve their high coding efficiency via a “tuned” nonlinear filter that selectively amplifies the anticipated signal.  A similar strategy is apparently used by the mammalian rod bipolar cell to encode single photon responses.  However, this coding strategy, highly effective when the anticipated signal is sparse and well defined, may serve poorly for ganglion cells because the information of biological interest in natural scenes is so varied that highly tuned, nonlinear filters would either reject too much information or require too many cell types.    Given the ganglion cell strategy of broad tuning and equal coding efficiency, why does the retina not send all visual information over one cell type with a high information rate?  This is possibly because the energetic cost of signaling increases nonlinearly with temporal frequency and information rate of individual axons.That’s why many of the ganglion cells are of the “sluggish” variety.  “Because the dominant metabolic cost in neural signaling is associated with spiking, the cables with lower firing rates would save considerable energy.  Likewise, theoretical studies predict that metabolic cost is minimized when signals are distributed over many weakly active cells.”  That may not be the only reason for multiple cell types.  There’s a lot of processing the eye has to do.  Some cells zero in on the narrow details, and others need to summarize a rapidly-changing big picture.  The solution is a mixture of cell types, to optimize the benefits and trade-offs of each sensory strategy:Spatial acuity requires narrow-field cells with a high sampling rate.  Because such a type must necessarily distribute densely, its information rate should be relatively low to reduce costs.  On the other hand, encoding of high stimulus velocities requires extended spatial summation and thus a broad-field cell—plus the ability to transmit at high bit rates so as not to lose the higher temporal frequencies.  Such a cell type must necessarily be expensive, but given the extended dendritic field, this type can be sparse.  Consequently energetic considerations probably interact with other constraints to set the number of cell types and a general information rate of roughly 10 bits • s-1 and 2 bits • spike-1.By the way, the so-called “sluggish” ganglion cells spiked at up to 75 times per second (though averaging 4 per second over the recording time).  Some of the rapid cells spike at over 300 times per second.  No wonder your eyes get tired.    Incidentally, this paper did not mention anything about the evolution of these capabilities for the frog, the guinea pig, or the human.1Koch et al., “How Much the Eye Tells the Brain,” Current Biology, Volume 16, Issue 14, 25 July 2006, pages 1428-1434, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.05.056.When our body’s capabilities are compared with machinery, the comparisons are often wonderful and amazing.  If 10 megabit-per-second ethernet-eyes don’t seem particularly cutting-edge in this age of gigabit-ethernet rates, consider that eyes are only one of millions of sensors across the body transmitting information on touch, taste, smell, and hearing as well as vision.  In its little 3-pound CPU, the brain must process that information 24 x 7 for decades.  Plus, the kind of information your brain handles is in neural-net form, not the serial data that computers process.  It is sent down tiny bundles of neurons in a package that doesn’t short out when you go swimming.Imagine yourself in a recording studio, watching an orchestra playing a score in sync with a new movie about Robinson Crusoe.  Your brain is taking in the complex waveform of a hundred instruments and performing Fourier transforms on it such that you can make out each individual instrument.  Simultaneously, the eyes can see the rapid motions of the violinists’ bows, the action on the screen, and the static information from the studio walls and ceiling.  Millions of touch sensors are sending information on the temperature of the room, the feel of your socks, the comfort of the seat, how hungry you are, and much more.  Your tongue is reporting the mint candy in your mouth.  Your nose is deciphering complex chemical signals in the environment through a series of decoding maps.  The brain filters and focuses on information that is important for each moment.  As the intensity of the music or screen action rises, adrenaline races through your system switching on organs to be ready for action.  Next, your mind is transported to an exotic island, and you become Robinson Crusoe, using all your native senses to the hilt to survive and find your next meal.And this all runs on potatoes! (as Dr. A. E. Wilder-Smith used to say), or on lettuce! (for the guinea pig).  Undoubtedly, if we were aware of all the factors involved in the transfer of information from the environment to the mind via our sensory apparatus, the comparison with ethernet transfer rates would seem foolishly simplistic.  In this story we have seen again that the more detail is shared about organic workings, the less there is a tendency to discuss evolution.  Scientific detail is inversely proportional to evolutionary storytelling.    Articles like this also raise interesting philosophical questions.  What is it we are really seeing?  Clearly, the input data is being massaged.  Scientists tell us that there are not really walls and chairs and violins, but quarks separated mostly by empty space.  There are not shades of blue and beige and jade, but electromagnetic waveforms.  There are not sounds, but pressure waves in a gas.  There are not smells, but molecules.  The data points impinging on our sensors go through multiple stages of information transfer from one medium to another before arriving in our brains, with multiple rounds of filtering, processing and interpretation before and after it arrives.  What you see may be what you get, but what you get may not be what really is out there.  But then, also, unless you believe all our internal technology is nothing more than glorified mashed potatoes, you are more than what you eat.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

9 months agoBurnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick: A massive victory

first_imgBurnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick: A massive victoryby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBurnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick felt victory over Fulham was “massive”.Hendrick, playing in an unfamiliar right midfield role, had two first half efforts deflected in off Joe Bryan and Denis Odoi to cancel out Andre Schurrle’s stunning second minute goal.“I don’t know,” said Hendrick on his prospects of being able to reverse the decision and double his goal tally after scoring against Fulham at Craven Cottage in August.“I haven’t seen it back. I tried to look at it on the screen when I was trotting back but once we got the goal today was about the three points.“It was a great goal they scored right at the start and it’s hard, especially in this league. When a team goes ahead, they seem to win or get something out of the game.“But we knew we had plenty of time and we needed to get back on the front foot and get the ball going forward and we got a few chances and luckily their defenders put it in for us.“It gave us something to go into half-time with and to cling onto.“The group of lads out there, whoever’s playing, can dig in and work for each other and that’s what we did.“It is massive. Every game is massive and to keep the momentum going the way we have been playing the last few games and the results we’ve pick up. It’s good to that keep going and hopefully we can continue that.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

9 months agoMilner singles out Alisson as Liverpool’s top performer

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Milner singles out Alisson as Liverpool’s top performerby Freddie Taylor9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool midfielder James Milner says Alisson’s ability to shake off errors has lead to an incredible debut season for the club.Alisson, signed from Roma in the summer, has largely thrived in his first few months at Anfield, helping the Reds to top spot on the Premier League table.The Brazilian has made the occasional mistake, but Milner believes his ability to move on quickly has helped him maintain an impressive consistency.”It’s hard to pick out one player because everyone in the squad has done so well, not just the 11 who are starting,” said Milner.”We have made a lot of changes during games and a number of players have come in and done really well.”I think maybe one you could select is Alisson. Coming to a new league is never easy. It’s a new lifestyle and you are also getting used to the weather and things like that, but he’s been unbelievable: from how he is around the place, to how good he is on the pitch with his feet and with the saves he makes.”Every single player makes mistakes and sometimes as a ‘keeper you maybe feel a bit different because mistakes often result in a goal, but if he makes a mistake it doesn’t faze him in the slightest and he remains confident and continues playing as if nothing has happened. That’s so important.”He’s been unbelievable for us this season so far and I believe that he’ll be a massive, massive player for us going forward.” last_img read more

a month agoArsenal boss Unai Emery: Our identity WILL be playing out from the back

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal boss Unai Emery: Our identity WILL be playing out from the backby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal boss Unai Emery insists their future is tied to playing out from the back.Emery reassured nervous fans that his players will mix things up and occasionally resort to an old fashioned long ball when the time is right.But there is no danger of him ditching a key part of his philosophy altogether despite all the heart-in-the-mouth moments it has caused.Emery said: “The last match, Watford, was maybe the worst in our build up. But we are going to try, to work, to improve, to achieve our style.”To build up with the goalkeeper and centre back is going to be our identity but we are going to share sometimes with long balls.”Against Frankfurt we were different and decided more times to do long ball, earn metres on the pitch and after attack the space. We are going to decide what to do on Sunday, depending on Aston Villa.” last_img read more

Aurora completes acquisition of CanniMed

first_imgVANCOUVER – Aurora Cannabis Inc. says it’s completed its acquisition of CanniMed Therapeutics Inc.The company says in a statement it has acquired all the remaining issued and outstanding shares of CanniMed that it did not already own.It says CanniMed’s shares were delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange at the close of business Tuesday.Aurora CEO Terry Booth says in a statement that CanniMed will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Aurora and will spearhead initiatives such as scientific research, education and product development.In January, Aurora struck a stock-and-cash deal valued at $1.1 billion to buy CanniMed.The agreement ended a sometimes-terse takeover battle between the two companies.Companies in this story: (TSX:ACB)last_img read more

Pleasant Saturday morning in Delhi

first_imgNew Delhi: The national capital on Saturday woke up to a pleasant morning with the minimum temperature recorded at 12.6 degrees Celsius, two notches below the season’s average, the weather office said. “Shallow fog enveloped the city in the morning. The day is expected to remain clear with no chances of rainfall,” an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official told IANS. The humidity at 8.30 a.m was recorded 79 per cent. The day’s maximum temperature is expected to hover around 26 degree Celsius. Friday’s maximum temperature settled at 26.5 degree Celsius, two notches above the season’s average while the minimum was 10.8 degrees Celsius, three notches below the normal.last_img read more

Church services in SL to resume from May 5

first_imgColombo: Public mass in the terror-hit Sri Lanka would resume in certain Catholic churches from May 5 and no bags will be allowed inside as part of the tight security measures, according to Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. All public church services were cancelled after the Easter Sunday bomb blasts that ripped through three churches and high-end hotels, killing 253 people and injuring 500 others. The prelate said on Monday that vigilance committees formed by the residents of the parish would be responsible to identify individuals who enter their respective churches and parishioners will have to confirm their identity before entering a church. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportThe cardinal, who conducted a private memorial mass on Sunday fearing repeat of the Easter attacks, told media that bags will not be allowed to be taken inside the churches owing to security measures. President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s had also attended the private memorial mass. Commenting on Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s statement that the bombings could have been averted had the Counter-Terrorism Act been in force, he said that amending the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) is better than bringing in a new piece of legislation to counter terrorism, the Daily Mirror reported. It is easier to amend the existing legislation rather than bringing in a new one. Effective measures should be taken to apprehend the individuals and groups responsible for these attacks in order to prevent people from taking the law into their hands,” he said. The religious leader said a new government comprising all parties should be appointed.last_img read more

Ohio State faces second classaction lawsuit pertaining to doctors alleged sexual abuse

Ohio State now faces its second class-action lawsuit in a matter of days regarding the sexual abuse of a former Ohio State doctor after a former Ohio State athlete who was allegedly sexually assaulted by Dr. Richard Strauss filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the university. He is being represented by Sauder Schelkopf LLC and Karon LLC.Richard Strauss, a former wrestling team physician and an assistant professor of medicine, is being investigated by Ohio State on allegations of sexual misconduct. Credit: Lantern file photoThe complaint comes from a former wrestler at Ohio State from 1982 to 1984 who said he was sexually abused by Strauss while seeking medical treatment before dropping out of the university. He is listed only as John Doe in the case filing.Joseph Sauder, one of the lawyers from Sauder Schelkopf LLC representing the client in the suit, told The Lantern this is separate from the one filed by four former wrestlers on Monday. He said at this time his group has not contacted the other group.Ohio State also faces a third class-action lawsuit over allegations a former diving coach for the Ohio State Diving Club sexually abused a 16-year-old athlete.Though the lawsuit is listed as a class-action, Sauder Schelkopf is currently representing just one client in the case.“We are filing on behalf of one individual at this time, but have been in contact with others who we will likely add at a later time,” Sauder told The Lantern. He did not confirm how many additional people might be involved.The lawsuit said the nationwide class encompasses “all individuals who were examined by Richard H. Strauss, M.D. at The Ohio State University.”University spokesman Ben Johnson said Ohio State is aware of the allegations made that Ohio State ignored claims of sexual abuse in a statement made to The Lantern Tuesday.“We are also aware of the lawsuits filed today by former wrestlers and we are reviewing them as we do all litigation,” Johnson said. “The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has appointed Michael Carpenter of Carpenter Lipps & Leland to represent the university in this lawsuit.”The claims for relief listed in the lawsuit are a violation of Title IX, invasion of privacy, sexual harassment, negligence, gross negligence and/or wanton and reckless misconduct, negligent supervision, negligent hiring/retention and negligent failure to warn, train or educate.The alleged abuses suffered by the victim listed in the lawsuit were but were not limited to: “sexual harassment and inappropriate touching during examinations, including regularly touching Plaintiff’s genitals and breast area, often at the same time, regularly measuring Plaintiff’s scrotum, and taking photographs of Plaintiff.”The lawsuit claims he received care from Strauss on at least 20 occasions. It said the plaintiff was young and believed Strauss’ treatment to be “medically necessary.”According to the lawsuit, the victim is seeking appropriate relief on behalf of other individuals who experienced similar mistreatment by Strauss and Ohio State.As with the class-action suit from the four former wrestlers, this lawsuit said the plaintiff believed Ohio State coaches were aware of Strauss’ conduct yet chose to ignore it. It said the university received reports from students as early as the late 1970s, but that, despite repeated accusations from students, Ohio State kept the reports secret “to avoid negative publicity.”“This is not what you expect to happen when our children go off to college. Our client is courageously adding his voice on behalf of the many individuals who have been victimized while students at OSU. We look forward seeking compensation for our client and all individuals who were sexually assaulted by Dr. Strauss. We also will be seeking to implement changes at OSU so this never happens again,” Sauder said.Sauder Schelkopf LLC also represents current and former students from the University of Southern California who were sexually assaulted by Dr. George Tyndall, USC’s gynecologist.Johnson urged anyone with information about sexual abuse from Strauss while he was at Ohio State to contact investigators at [email protected] at 6:53 with the statement from Ben Johnson. read more

Gordon Banks – Butland should quit Stoke City

first_imgEngland World Cup winner Gordon Banks has advised Jack Butland to leave Stoke City and join a Premier League team in order to further his international career.Following an impressive World Cup, Jordan Pickford will retain his spot as England number one goalkeeper and Butland will be hoping to be handed a chance as England face Spain at Wembley on Saturday.Stoke City got relegated last season but Butland decided to stay and help the club win promotion back to the Premier League.Gordon Banks, however, believes that lack of top-flight football would be detrimental to his international ambitions.Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“I’d love Jack to stay at Stoke for the long term, we all would, because he’s a really super goalkeeper, but he might need to leave for the sake of his England career, which is a shame for Stoke fans though it’s understandable,” said Banks, who is an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk campaign in Stoke.“I definitely think he’s good enough for England, but the facts are, at the moment, you really need to play top-division football to be in with a shout of the England team. It’s the way the world works.“For now, though, Jack has just got to put that to one side, to the back of his mind, and focus on doing the best he can, giving it everything, for club and country, and everything will fall into place.”last_img read more