Trail Mix – John Mark Nelson

first_imgMinneapolis songwriter John Mark Nelson returns with his fourth record this month.Just prior to my twenty-second birthday, I had written zero songs.None.Now, two decades later, I am rapidly approaching my forty-third birthday and my total number of songs written remains unchanged, still firmly fixed at zero. The title of “prolific songwriter” will never be granted unto me.The same cannot be said, though, of Minneapolis based troubadour John Mark Nelson.Nelson, just two months shy of turning twenty-two, last week released I’m Not Afraid, his fourth record.That is a prodigious amount of recording for such a relatively young guy. While I have yet to delve deeper into his earlier releases, Nelson’s work on I’m Not Afraid sparkles and offers solid evidence supporting the quality of his songcraft. I was immediately struck by the synth pop vibe on “Dream Last Night,” which is featured on this month’s Trail Mix, and the somber, contemplative nature of the title track.I finished my first listen of this new record wanting more.I had the good fortune to chat with John Mark Nelson about the new record, working with Trampled By Turtles front man Dave Simonett and his new label, and beard grooming.BRO – This is your fourth record and you haven’t yet reached your twenty second birthday. You starting to feel like an old hand at this record releasing thing?JMN – I feel incredibly lucky to be coming down the home stretch on my fourth record. There have been so many people that have encouraged and inspired me along the way, and I never could have done it without their support. Every record feels more like a gift than a reason to be prideful or happy with myself. I just feel really grateful and humble.BRO – Your new record is the first release on Dave Simonett’s new label. Can you describe the level of camaraderie amongst Minneapolis musicians?JMN – The Twin Cities have a really fantastic music community. It’s a very nurturing and encouraging scene to get your start in. There are so many people here that I admire and who have been so kind and supportive of what I do. A lot of music communities can be competition based and more hostile. But the Twin Cities have managed to move beyond that and become a really powerful and growing force on the national music scene.BRO – We are featuring “Dream Last Night” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?JMN – “Dream Last Night” is a song about taking a good look at yourself and realizing that who you thought you were, and who you actually are, are two separate people. The song wrestles with personal failures, expectations that never get realized, and learning to find hope in spite of those things.BRO – The University of Minnesota once described you as having a beard that would make a hipster boy jealous. That’s high praise. Your best bit of beard grooming advice?JMN – I don’t really have any specific tricks or secrets. I have heard a lot of people talk about various oils, trimmers, and other tools. Just let it grow, and when it gets gross, trim it. Works every time.BRO – You titled the new record I’m Not Afraid. Got any childhood fears you want to confess to? The dark? Spiders? Clowns?JMN – I have always been pretty terrified of the ocean. That was true in childhood and remains true today. You just never know what could be down there.John Mark Nelson celebrated the release of I’m Not Afraid last week with a release party in his hometown of Minneapolis. This week finds him in Duluth, Minnesota, on Thursday, and in Grand Marais, Minnesota, on Friday for a taping of NPR’s Mountain Stage program.For more information on tour dates and the new record, please point your browser towards John Mark Nelson’s website.Also, be sure to check out “Dream Last Night” on this month’s Trail Mix.Photo by Nick Fay.last_img read more

Five dead in fire caused by gas canister explosion in North Sumatra

first_img“Four victims were found in a bedroom on the second floor and another victim was found in a bathroom on the first floor,” Josua said.He further stated that the firefighters struggled to put out the fire as explosions kept occurring from inside the building.Angga, a local resident, said that he heard an explosion coming from the house prior to the fire.”I heard an explosion sound and saw fire burst out from the building,” Angga told The Jakarta Post on Saturday. Topics : Nur Hama, another local, explained that the fire started on the first floor of the building, which was used for storing LPG gas canisters.”The fire started at around 7:40 p.m. We saw the family screaming for help from the second floor. They were trapped and could not get out of the building,” Nur told the Post.”However, we could not do much [to help them] as the fire got big so quickly and engulfed the entire house.” (nal)center_img A family of five was killed in a fire that engulfed their four-story house on Jl. Panyabungan in Pematang Siantar, North Sumatra, on Saturday night.According to Pematang Siantar Fire Department head Josua Sihaloho, police officers were looking into the incident but an initial investigation found that the fire started on the first floor where the family stored liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) canisters.Josua said the victims, 67 year-old Ameng, 39 year-old Yenti, 15 year-old Clarissa Kie, 12 year-old Kenrick Kie and 6-year-old Kenjiro Kie, were found in two different locations in the house.last_img read more

Gold Coast residents are turning to island life to split their rent in half

first_imgCouran Cove on Stradbroke Island is offering $250 a week rent. Photo: Steve HollandA South Stradbroke Island resort is offering permanent rentals for almost half the Gold Coast median price as it undergoes another transformation.About 100 people have moved to Couran Cove, for $250 a week, after being squeezed out of the Glitter Strip rental market — and the resort owners are making room for hundreds more.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:54Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:54 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenCheapest suburbs to rent within 10km of CBD00:55After a $9 million transformation including a new tavern and upgraded tennis courts as well as a virtual-reality world, the resort is gearing up for an influx of new residents escaping the steep mainland rental market where median rents have skyrocketed to $460 a week, according to CoreLogic.“Couran Cove is still very much a resort destination that has grown in popularity over the past year,” Couran Cove CEO Matt Parsons said.Chief Executive Officer of Couran Cove Matt Parsons. Photo: Steve Holland“We see the long-term future for this incredibly beautiful place being greatly enhanced by the inclusion of a resident population. It’s about creating a functional, living community that blends holiday-makers with permanent residents.”The island community, accessed by a 40-minute ferry ride, includes 100 eco-cabins, 36 two-bedroom lagoon residences, 24 four-bedroom Broadwater homes and 194 Marina apartments.“We’ve made it much easier to get to Couran Cove and this has resulted in a near tripling of day trippers to the resort in the past year,” Mr Parsons said.“What’s great is that the growth has come from locals and this shows that we are reconnecting with the Brisbane and Gold Coast markets.“Couran Cove is now a place where you can comfortably stay for a long time. Living there is now a very easy thing to do.”The new micro-suburb of the Gold Coast. Photo: Steve HollandMr Parsons said there are plans to develop more than 200 houses on the island site and sell 105 existing apartments in the next few months.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North6 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoAmong those calling the island home is Michael David and his eight-year-old son Ezra.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:09Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:09 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenRental Affordability02:09The pair packed up and moved to the island two months ago to escape the rat race.“It’s 40 minutes to school for Ezra but there isn’t any traffic,” Mr David said.“I usually travel back every three days for work or to get groceries and supplies.“I own my own ukulele business so island living has really suited my lifestyle and I do a lot of my work at home.”Mr David said he is in the process of swapping his car for two bikes and a boat.There are 194 Marina apartments. Photo: Steve HollandRay White Surfers Paradise Group CEO Andrew Bell is marketing the island residences and said a growing Gold Coast population had pushed people to the micro suburb.“This is an incredibly attractive opportunity especially at a time when rental vacancies on the Gold Coast have fallen under one per cent,” Mr Bell said.“While island living may not appeal to everyone, it definitely offers a breathtaking lifestyle that is ideal for many — and it’s highly affordable.”New facilities are a big hit with young visitors like Eve Horton (9), Johnny Horton (13) and Jonah Phillips (11). Photo: Steve HollandMost properties rent between $250 and $350 a week, while larger four-bedroom homes are up to $550 a week.Couran Cove is serviced by three ferries between Hope Harbour and Mariners Cove with capacity to transport 350 people every few hours.Couran Cove on Stradbroke Island has been dubbed the new micro-suburb of the Gold Coast. Photo: Steve Hollandlast_img read more

Watershed series emboldens Aussies in 50-over return

first_imgAN Australian side, fuelled by last year’s watershed series victory in India, will head back to cricket’s epicentre confident they can re-ascend to the top of the world in one-day cricket.Australia’s three-game tour of India will mark the first time the beaten World Cup semi-finalists have played an ODI since champions England emphatically ended their hopes of a sixth 50-over crown at Edgbaston in July.Consecutive defeats in their final two games soured a campaign that had, until then, gone largely to script. Emboldened by a 3-2 comeback series triumph in India, they lost just once in their first eight games.Captain Aaron Finch, whose return to form in that Indian campaign following a difficult stretch, mirrored the overall turnaround of his team and he believes his side are well-equipped to defeat Virat Kohli’s men on their home patch.“It just gives us confidence that our game plan in those conditions is good enough,” Finch said ahead of his departure today.“What can happen when you play in the subcontinent is: you start to doubt your game plan because they’re so dominant when they get on top.“India or Pakistan or Sri Lanka – they can make you start doubting yourself. “Knowing that our game plan is good enough and knowing that our skills are good enough to beat India in India. That gives us a lot of confidence going there.”That series win over a strong Indian side came without leading lights Steve Smith, David Warner and Mitchell Starc, who have all returned for the upcoming week-long series featuring games in Mumbai, Rajkot and Bengaluru.Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins are also in an Australian side that’s close to full strength. Australia’s approach to batting in ODIs came under the microscope during a miserable run of form that begun in 2016 and later compounded by 12-month bans to Warner and Smith, as England adopted a radically more brazen strategy.But Finch and coach Justin Langer, who will miss the upcoming tour as his assistant Andrew McDonald takes the reins, are confident their style has been vindicated and early signs suggest it is set to remain in place for the 2023 World Cup in India.“I think we had the right game plan for the World Cup, it worked for the last 12 months,” said Finch. “It seemed to work really well. We just didn’t execute on that semi-final day.“We lost early wickets and we always had our backs against the wall. “The top four getting hundreds and taking wickets in the Power Play – that’s never going to change. That goes without saying – you can’t get to those massive totals or chase down big scores if you don’t have the foundation of a top four getting a really significant score.“The fundamentals of the game don’t change. I can’t imagine it (Australia’s ODI strategy) changing a huge amount. “You can tinker with combinations and structures and the way you go about different phases of the game, but all in all it’s pretty similar.”Australia’s first game is on Tuesday and will be live on Fox Cricket and Kayo.Australia Qantas ODI Tour of India 2020Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey (v-c), Pat Cummins (v-c), Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, David Warner, Adam ZampaIndia squad: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami.First ODI: January 14, Mumbai (D/N) (Fox & Kayo)Second ODI: January 17, Rajkot (D/N) (Fox & Kayo)Third ODI: January 19, Bengaluru (D/N) (Fox & Kayo)last_img read more

White Hat Gaming opens door to sportsbook with Kambi

first_imgShare Stockholm-listed sports betting technology supplier Kambi Group Plc has confirmed that it will become the lead sportsbook software supplier to White Hat Gaming, a specialist in turnkey and ‘managed services’ provisions for the online gambling sector.The partnership will see Kambi’s sportsbook software integrated within White Hat’s proprietary platform, allowing the turnkey provider to offer sportsbook services to its partner clients.Founded in 2012 by industry executive Max Wright, Malta and London based White Hat has to date primarily focused its operations for online casino. Developing a proprietary igaming platform, White Hat hosts amongst the biggest games inventory for igaming operators.One of the fastest growing enterprises in online gambling, White Hat partners include – DreamVegas, Casimba, 666Casino, Reelisland.com and 21Prive.  Welcoming White Hat to sports betting, Kristian Nylén, Kambi Chief Executive Officer, said: “The performance of the Kambi Sportsbook is enhanced even further when paired with the modern and sophisticated platform partners the industry has to offer.“In teaming up with White Hat Gaming, not only have we added another quality platform and gaming option, we have partnered with a company that shares our unwavering commitment to regulatory compliance and corporate probity.”Backing Kambi software, Marc Weinberg, Chief Marketing Officer at White Hat Gaming, said: “Prospective clients are drawn to White Hat Gaming because they recognise that we are a best-in-class full-service platform, focused on regulated markets with a core business built around combining commercial optimisation with rigorous regulatory compliance.“By partnering with Kambi, a Sportsbook provider with an unrivalled pedigree and a renowned reputation for their commitment to excellence, we are able to continue to expand our offering and to do so alongside a company clearly aligned with our values and vision for the future.” Kambi takes full control of LeoVegas sportsbook portfolio August 26, 2020 Submit TVBET passes GLI test for five live games in Malta and Italy August 25, 2020 Kambi and DraftKings agree on final closure terms July 24, 2020 Share Related Articles StumbleUponlast_img read more

Primeira Liga Review: Sporting march on as Gil Vicente finally win

first_imgThe hosts headed into the match two points behind Sporting but looked on as their opponents moved into third thanks to substitute Junya Tanaka netting the decisive goal in the fifth minute of added time.Sporting are 10 points behind leaders Benfica, who are six clear of nearest rivals Porto.At the other end of the table, Gil Vicente finally recorded their maiden league win of the season – triumphing 2-1 in an ill-tempered basement battle at home to second-bottom Penafiel, with the clash finishing as a game of nine-a-side.Gil Vicente’s Jander and Penafiel’s Davi Nkumu – the latter for two bookings inside 38 minutes – had already been sent off by the time Rabiola put the visitors ahead in the final minute of the first half.Joao Vilela levelled from a 54th-minute penalty that came after Penafiel goalkeeper Julio Coelho received his marching orders.Simeon Nwankwo completed the turnaround, although Gil Vicente had to hold out without Ruben Ribeiro – the midfielder’s second caution arriving four minutes from time. Nacional overcame 10-man Boavista by the same scoreline thanks to a Lucas Joao brace.Boavista led thanks to Leozinho’s third-minute effort but had Afonso Figueiredo red-carded in the closing stages.Arouca are level on 15 points with Nacional – four above the bottom two – after beating fellow strugglers Vitoria Setubal 2-1, while Rio Ave and Maritimo played out a goalless draw.last_img read more

Riders hurt in two spills at the Park

first_imgThree jockeys sustained injuries and had to be rushed to hospital in two separate races, the sixth and seventh, respectively, at Caymanas Park yesterday.Coming out worst was three-time champion Dane Nelson, whose mount, MONTEGONIAN, stumbled and fell approaching the furlong pole in the sixth race over 1300 metres, decking the popular jockey. In the ensuing melee, STRAIGHTFROMUHEART was brought down, throwing jockey Richard Mitchell as well. The horse also stepped on Nelson, who lay motionless on the ground for a while before he was rushed to the First Aid Post in the track ambulance.Nelson regained consciousness shortly after, but was then fitted with a neck brace by the paramedics and taken to the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) for treatment and further observation.Mitchell, on the other hand, escaped injury, but did not ride for the remainder of the day.In the very next race over 1500 metres, won by 7-2 chance DREAMCOMETRUE, both DINNER BY SEVEN and STIR IT UP dislodged their respective riders, Paul ‘Country’ Francis and the veteran Vassell ‘Jollyman’ Najair in the backstretch.Francis is suspected to have fractured his collar bone, while the 62-year-old Najair was badly shaken up and received an injury to his face. Both were taken to the UHWI for observation.SEVERAL SPILLSAlthough there have been several spills on racedays at Caymanas, only one has claimed the life of a jockey in 56 years of racing at the track. This occurred on November 20, 1999, when popular lightweight jockey, Al Gopie, was thrown by his mount, SAGAR, at the half mile and was trampled by horses in the day’s penultimate race.Meanwhile, firm favourites ROYAL ASSAULT and ETERNAL JOY led from start to finish to win the co-feature races on the card.Ridden by champion jockey Shane Ellis for trainer Anthony ‘Baba’ Nunes, the much-improved 4-y-o colt, ROYAL ASSAULT, romped the overnight allowance sprint as the 3-5 favourite. And 30 minutes later, the Neive Graham-trained ETERNAL JOY, a 2-1 favourite, with apprentice Linton Steadman replacing the injured Paul Francis, did likewise in the closing race over 1200 metres for the Colin Melhado Memorial Cup (claiming $250,000-$210,000).last_img read more

Our Complex Brains: Lessons from Phrenology

first_imgThis is your brain on science: it is too complex for simplistic diagrams.  Back in the 19th century, the “science” of phrenology was in full swing.  Phrenologists divided the brain into more than two dozen regions of “mental faculties” that controlled such things as instincts for eating and sex, sensation of color, language ability, and even moral and intellectual qualities such as love, wisdom, poetry and ability to ponder metaphysics.  Once these regions were mapped out, some practitioners believed they could rate your abilities by feeling the bumps on your head.  These beliefs quickly degenerated into ranking races and groups as intellectually superior or inferior.    Even into the late 20th century, it was common for textbooks to subdivide the brain into distinct functional regions.  There is observational support for this: we know that sensory organs (eyes, ears) map to localized regions in the brain, and that sensory and mental disorders can be traced to sites of damage or poor development.  In addition, the brain does have a noticeable structure: a stem, a hypothalamus, white matter, gray matter, the cerebral cortex and other recognizable parts.  The left and right hemispheres have different properties – though not to the degree to support popular misconceptions that women are right-brained and men are left-brained, or that artists are right-brained and scientists are left-brained.    Neuroscience of the brain is a rapidly growing field.  The brain can be approached through multiple paths.  Scientists can strive to understand the workings of individual brain cells, such as the varieties of neurons and glial cells.  Others can monitor brain waves during various activities.  The effects of diet, exercise and sleep can be measured.  Comparative anatomy can compare and contrast brain structure and function in lab rats, cats, monkeys and humans.  And the effects of brain damage can be ascertained.  Our ability to probe the brain’s secrets have become increasingly sophisticated with MRI, fluorescent proteins, genetic engineering and more.    We have learned much, but there is a vast undiscovered landscape within the brain still to be understood.  Some idea of the status of brain research can be found in a couple of recent papers.  They show one clear lesson: that ideas about localized functional areas are far too simplistic.  Phrenology was wrong.  The entire brain is in constant communication: function cannot be restricted to distinct regions, and we still have the profound mind-body problems about the seat of consciousness and intellect.  Actually, phrenology might have served as a useful heuristic device, an attempt to bring order out of complexity, but it is dismissed as pseudoscientific today.  Here are some of the recent indications that more than we can imagine is going on at the nexus of structure and function.PhreNOlogy:  Robert Knight in Science June 15 commented about recent papers that “debunk phrenology.”1  His first paragraph pretty much sums up the verdict:Systems neuroscience aims to understand how billions of neurons in the mammalian brain support goal-directed behavior, such as decision making.  Deciphering how individual neurons respond to sensory inputs or motor decisions has focused on delineating the neural basis of these processes in discrete regions of the brain’s cortex, and has provided key insights into the physiological basis of behavior.  However, evidence from neuropsychological, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging studies in humans has revealed that interactions between widespread neural regions in the brain underlie fluid, organized behavior.  Two papers in this issue, by Womelsdorf et al. on page 1609 and Saalmann et al. on page 1612, and a recent paper in Science by Buschman and Miller, unravel the details of these interactions by assessing the simultaneous activity of neurons in multiple sites of the mammalian brain.  The studies show that network interactions among anatomically discrete brain regions underlie cognitive processing and dispel any phrenological notion that a given innate mental faculty is based solely in just one part of the brain.Researchers found multiple regions of the brain responding to the same visual tasks in monkeys.  There appeared to be feedback between widely-separated regions.  Some of these regions communicate at different frequencies of oscillations.  The current picture is one of neural networks involving the entire brain, not just localized regions responding to sensory inputs.Primer:  Stewart Shipp gave readers of Current Biology a primer on brain structure.2  He began by giving a reason why our gray matter has its odd, wrinkled shape.  It provides efficiency in wiring:The grey matter of the cerebral cortex is a convoluted, layered sheet of tissue, 2-3 millimetres thick in man but with a surface area of several hundred square centimetres.  This is not an adaptation to promote gaseous exchange, or heat loss – rather, if the grey matter is compact in at least one dimension, it is outgoing axons that may readily escape it; once outside, they club together and form the cortical white matter.  If grey and white were intermixed, the average separation of neurons would be greater, creating extra neural ‘wiring’.  The speed of cortical computation would suffer accordingly.    The principle of economic wiring can also be invoked to account for regional specialisation of function across the surface area of the cortex.  Put simply, neurons performing similar roles need to communicate, and do so more efficiently if nearby.Thus the reason for regions of function.  Nevertheless, it’s not the whole story: there is also a great deal of cross communication between regions, as well as cross-level communication within regions.    Shipp described how columns of neurons (perpendicular to the layering) were found to correspond to distinct parts of the body: a patch of skin, for instance, might activate a column of neurons within the motor region.  But there is also communication parallel to the layering across columns, and this is where the simple idea of distinct regions breaks down:Moving tangentially through the sheet (parallel with the plane of layering) the discovery was that neighbouring columns have neighbouring receptive fields � the ensemble of columns ultimately giving rise to a cortical map of the relevant sensory surface.  In sensory cortex, this engenders the ‘one map, one area’ principle for parcelling the cortical surface into discrete areas, each of which is thought to have some nuance of functional specialisation.  Cortical areas are richly interconnected – with each other and with subcortical structures – and the layering of the cortex reflects the radial organisation of all these input-output relationships.  Indeed, the layered pattern is rather uniform over the expanse of the sheet, as if to serve basic ‘housekeeping’ operations that generalise across cortical applications as diverse as colour vision, speech and music.Some regions are well known – the primary motor cortex and the primary visual cortex – but “These variations in cortical architecture have long been treated purely cartographically, betraying a lack of any analytic insight into the way different applications might modulate layer structure and function,” he said, further debunking phrenology.  “This is largely because, as documented below, our appreciation of layers is still rooted rather more securely in anatomical than physiological cortical characteristics.”  The whole picture requires both.    We know more about the visual cortex because it has received an order of magnitude more study than other regions of the brain.  The emerging picture is more of multiple layers of structure and function, with cross-communication and feedback between all of them.  The brain must be seen as an entire network of interacting systems.  Yes, areas with discrete functions tend to be collocated, but the brain as a system cannot be carved up into chunks.    This brings us to Shipp’s tongue-in-cheek conclusion: the brain is your fiend.The complexities of cortical circuitry are nothing short of fiendish, and the problem of integrating genetic, morphological and physiological details from diverse cortical areas and across diverse species is a worthy challenge to the burgeoning science of neuroinformatics.  Though inconsistencies abound, the fact that some trans-areal, trans-specific generalisations are possible, and justified, is a quite remarkable observation.  Following the strategy of ‘know thine enemy’, it appears that the cortical fiend has some interesting habits, which we can usefully begin to tag with some shorthand, functional labels.“Neuroinformatics” – a very suggestive word.Knight ended his review with a comment about neuroinformatics – one of the most baffling questions of all:One mystery remains: How is information in oscillatory activity encoded?  The individual spike train rate (the number of times a neuron fires each second) or spiking frequency (the rhythm at which a neuron fires) is not sufficient for coding the vast array of processes that underlie perception, memory, or decision making.  Nevertheless, the three groups have laid the groundwork for deciphering this neural code.The mind-body problem, therefore, is still with us.  How does the soul, the mind, consciousness, intellect, wisdom, morality, and abstract reasoning correlate with a physical object, the brain?  The problem becomes apparent as you “think about thinking about“ this right now.  Your eyes are receiving light waves.  Those inputs are traveling to your optic nerve, and to the visual cortex of your brain.  Neurotransmitters are being secreted across synapses.  Billions of cells are involved in the process of reading these words.  Yet writer and reader each have a sense of communicating information through space.  You may be across the planet from the one who wrote this.  We sense ourselves reasoning about abstract concepts that cannot be reduced to atoms and molecules.  Information is being conveyed and stored.  Values are being expressed.  That information can cause the reader to command body parts to move in response.  Where is the connection between concept and atom, between mind and molecule?  The mysteries are profound.  They have occupied the minds of the world’s greatest philosophers for thousands of years.  One thing is clear: don’t expect a simplistic model like phrenology to satisfy the requirements for explanation.1Robert T. Knight, “Neural Networks Debunk Phrenology,” Science, 15 June 2007: Vol. 316. no. 5831, pp. 1578-1579, DOI: 10.1126/science.1144677.2Stewart Shipp, “Structure and function of the cerebral cortex,” Current Biology, Vol 17, R443-R449, 19 June 2007.If you were living in the 19th century, would you have been swayed by the claims of the phrenologists?  Would they have influenced you to think they were onto something scientific?  Would you have come in for a sitting for a skilled phrenologist to feel the bumps on your head, and tell you about your abilities?  Well, you would have been misled.  One can only wonder about the mischief done to victims of this simplistic pseudoscience – students influenced toward wrong careers based on the verdict of a phrenologist that he or she was poor at art or wisdom or abstract reasoning; false pride given to fools who were told they were intellectually superior; and worst of all, whole classes of people who were deemed unfit or defective based on their skull features.  The Rwandan genocide can be traced to phrenology.  The Dutch began a racist segregation of two very similar tribes, the Hutus and Tutsis, based on alleged intellectual differences.  Those tensions grew until the genocide of 1994 that killed nearly a million people (see Touchstone Magazine).    Yet are we immune today?  We still fall for the same old tricks.  Here’s a simple one: the brain of a stegosaurus was proportionally small for its body size, therefore stegos were stupid.  While that probably was true in some sense, do you see the hidden assumption?  The statement assumes that bigger is better.  Sometimes more power and efficiency can occupy a smaller space.  Your small laptop computer is more powerful than a bulky 1970s mainframe.  Maybe the stego had much more efficient and compact neurons than we do, or a better organized neural network.  Who knows; maybe they were actually good at philosophy but didn’t leave any written records.  We jest, but beware the logical traps of begging the question and glittering generalities.  Evolutionary paleoanthropologists are often guilty of this (e.g., 01/27/2004).    A study of the history of science is valuable as a warning about pitfalls in reasoning that can become part of an accepted cultural mythology, sometimes for decades and centuries.  OK, so phrenology is wrong.  Don’t think that today’s neuroscientists and psychologists have it right.  The myth of progress tempts us to assume that whatever is newer is better.  Yes, we have better tools and a much more precise observational database about the details of the system, but the complexities of the mind and the brain remain vast and seemingly intractable.  Today’s evolutionary neuroscientists are trying to tell us that love, altruism and morality are due to brain mutations in our primitive ancestors.  To what mutations do they attribute that conclusion?    Shipp advises us to know the enemy and attack the cortical fiend inside us.  In some respects, given what we know of human nature (1, 2, 3), that metaphor might generate some productive heuristics.(Visited 63 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The 5thWave Forum

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Tregg CroninDTN Contributing AnalystThere’s an old market adage that says, “There is always a bull market somewhere.” Corn, soybean and wheat bulls have had opportunities during the 2019-20 marketing year, and some of that story is still being written as harvest continues to plod along across the Midwest. One market that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention until combines began to roll, however, is the sunflower market.For obvious reasons, the sunflower market doesn’t garner the interest other grain and oilseed markets do given the largest number of planted acres over the last 10 years was 2 million. The sunflower market is taking on added importance this year given the tightening U.S. and global vegetable oil markets, as some DTN authors have written about recently.South and North Dakota rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in sunflower production in the United States. It is no secret to anyone that these two states were inundated with rain throughout the summer growing season with both running 150% to 600% above normal precipitation over the last 90 days. Unlike corn and soybean crops, sunflower crops do not need near the amount of moisture as their row-crop brethren to produce bumper yields. As producers know all too well, excess moisture can be a large hindrance to yield in the way of disease pressure. Producers in the Dakotas are seeing that play out this year with anecdotal reports from both Dakotas suggesting yields are down anywhere from 15% to 50% versus a year ago.Based on the last production estimates from USDA, the national average sunflower yield in the United States was expected to be 1,722 pounds per acre (ppa), which would be down from last year’s record-tying yield of 1,731 ppa, but still the second highest in history. That percentage change would be down half of 1%. Total sunflower supplies of 2.748 billion pounds are expected to be essentially flat from a year ago.Assuming USDA is close on their ideas for demand at 2.492 billion pounds, this would produce a carryout of 253.4 million pounds. If accurate, this would be the smallest carryout since 2014-15. The projected stocks-to-use ratio at current estimates of 10.17% would be the smallest since 2013-14. The USDA assumptions are based on yield ideas that clearly look elevated at this juncture, not to mention harvested acreage, which could prove optimistic given the soggy field conditions in the Northern Plains.If the national average yield is reduced even 10%, which would seem conservative based on reports from producers, projected carryout would be reduced to just 20.2 million pounds versus 286.5 million pounds a year ago. If we plug in the lowest yield of the last 10 years, which would be 1,383 ppa from 2013-14, and down 20% from last year, carryout goes negative by 189.6 million pounds if demand is left unchanged. Obviously, demand will not remain static, but it helps illustrate the degree to which rationing could be necessary in 2020.If the U.S. situation weren’t enough on its own, the global sunflower balance sheet offers its own compelling argument for higher prices. Using USDA’s latest estimates, global sunflower production is expected to be the second largest on record at 51.381 million metric tons (mmt), or 113.2 billion pounds, just behind 2018-19’s record number of 51.417 mmt (113.3 billion pounds).Total supplies in 2019-20 are essentially flat from last year’s record while demand is expected to rise to 54.055 mmt (119.1 billion pounds), a new record. Carryout is projected at 2.450 mmt (5.399 billion pounds), which would be the tightest since 2010-11. The projected stocks-to-use ratio of 4.53% is seen as the tightest since 1997-98. All of the aforementioned assumptions are obviously before making any changes to the U.S. To be fair, the U.S. ranks 10th in global sunflower production with Ukraine, Russia and the European Union ranking first through third, respectively.As noted above, a tight sunflower market takes on added importance in a year with a tightening global vegetable oil market. Combining supplies of coconut oil, cottonseed oil, olive oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, rapeseed oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil yields, the largest total supplies on record sit at 313.4 mmt. Combined demand for these individual markets is estimated by USDA at 293.8 mmt, also a new record, and providing a carryout of 19.659 mmt. Assuming this to be accurate, carryout would be the smallest since 2010-11. The estimated stocks-to-use ratio of 6.69% would be the tightest since 1976-77.With general market expectations that the soybean supply situation could tighten further before the end of the 2019-20 marketing year, the global vegetable oil outlook could get even more constructive. The largest vegetable oil markets in the world are palm oil, soybean oil and rapeseed oil, respectively. When just these three markets are isolated, the trends remain the same with the smallest carryout since 2010-11 and the tightest stocks-to-use ratio since 1976-77.Based on the latest crop progress data from USDA, sunflower harvest nationally was estimated at 31% complete as of Nov. 3, which is the slowest since 2013 but above 2009’s record-slow harvest progress of 15% at this time. Over two-thirds of the U.S. crop is yet to be harvested, but if early yields are an overall indicator of this year’s sunflower crop, much tighter supplies look like a certainty in 2019-20. With an abundance of prevented planting acres in the Dakotas this growing season and wet conditions pointing toward another year of prevented planting in 2020, sunflowers may need to send a strong price signal next spring to ensure producers do not opt for other crops.Tregg Cronin can be reached at [email protected] Tregg Cronin on Twitter @5thWave_tcronin(BE/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Australian Sports Commission newsletter

first_imgOur Sporting FutureAustralia’s leading sports forum will be held on 29-30 July 2010.WIN $500 worth of HART Sport gear for your club or school!Do you know a volunteer in your local sporting community? Coaches and officials can now apply for $1.6 million in grantsLocal Sporting Champions grants support junior sport. New tool to build better sports clubsClub Health Check helps clubs plan for the future. Helping more golfers with disability to tee offGreater opportunities for people with disability to play golf. Winners announced in music video competitionCompetition encourages kids to turn to sport and play for life. Winners announced in music video competition2009 Media Awards recognise excellence in sports journalism. 5 Star Community Coach Awards for 2009Recognising outstanding achievement in coaching. Super Site Awards for 2009Recognising outstanding delivery of the AASC program. Get On Board!Encouraging young people to ‘Get On Board!’ this holidays. Ten tips to promote inclusion in your sporting club Embracing sports inclusion for all cultures. Free resourcesNew volunteers resources Local Sporting Champions grants New videos for coaches and officials Sports Ability Gala Day resources Recipes from AIS Survivallast_img read more