Scientists ‘Inject’ Information Into Monkeys’ Brains

. . .Imagine that you had a device implanted in your brain that could shortcut the pathway and “inject” information straight into your premotor cortex.

That may sound like an outtake from “The Matrix.” But now two neuroscientists at the University of Rochester say they have managed to introduce information directly into the premotor cortex of monkeys. The researchers published the results of the experiment on Thursday in the journal Neuron.

Although the research is preliminary, carried out in just two monkeys, the researchers speculated that further research might lead to brain implants for people with strokes . . .

The monkeys sat in front of a panel equipped with a button, a sphere-shaped knob, a cylindrical knob, and a T-shaped handle. Each object was ringed by LED lights. If the lights around an object switched on, the monkeys had to reach out their hand to it to get a reward — in this case, a refreshing squirt of water.
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How the Law Responds When Emoji Are the Weapon of Choice

Nearly everyone is familiar with emoji, those popular icons that appear in text messages, emails and social media platforms. Emoji are often used as lighthearted adjuncts to text, or to soften the blow of a message . . .

Perhaps the most troubling use of emoji has come through their use in interpersonal messages where it is unclear whether they modify or amplify a prima facie criminal threat.

In New Zealand, a judge considered the role of emoji in a Facebook message sent by a man to his ex-partner. The man wrote, “you’re going to get it” followed by an aeroplane emoji.

Concluding that the message and emoji generally conveyed that the defendant was “coming to get” his ex-partner, the judge sentenced the accused to 8 months jail on a charge of stalking . . .

The issue has also arisen in several cases in the US. In Virginia in 2015 a high school student was charged with computer harassment and threatening school staff. She had posted several messages to her Instagram account, combining text with emoji (a gun, a knife and a bomb). (Read more from “How the Law Responds When Emoji Are the Weapon of Choice” HERE)

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The Scriptural Foundation for Declaration of Independence

When Evangelist George Whitefield began preaching the Great Awakening Revival in Philadelphia in 1739, he inspired the idea that the city should have a school for blacks and poor orphans.

A short-lived Charity School was formed, but it struggled for lack of funds. It was purchased by Ben Franklin in 1749 who expanded it into a secondary school for boys called the Academy of Philadelphia, opening in 1751. In 1754, it expanded again with the College of Philadelphia, later being renamed the University of Pennsylvania.

Twenty-one members of the Continental Congress graduated from there. Nine of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were either trustees or alumni from there. A statue of Evangelist George Whitefield is located in University of Pennsylvania’s Dormitory Quadrangle.

Hugh Williamson, born Dec. 5, 1735, was a student at the College of Philadelphia. He was in the college’s first class to graduate, May 17, 1757. Five days later, his father died. While Williamson had been a student, he instructed younger students at the Academy of Philadelphia in English and Latin.

Another person who taught at the Academy of Philadelphia was Charles Thomson, who became the Secretary of Congress, signed the Declaration, designed the Great Seal of the United States, and signed Congress’ authorization for Robert Aitken to print the Bible. Upon retiring from Congress, Charles Thomson spent 19 years compiling the “Thomson Bible” (printed in 1808), which contained the first American translation of the Greek Septuagint. (Read more from “The Scriptural Foundation for Declaration of Independence” HERE)

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Cop Taunts Would-Be Killer With Lube on Way to Prison: ‘You Are Going to Need a Lot of This’

A police officer taunted the Jacksonville man who shot him multiple times last year by taking out a tube of K-Y Jelly personal lubricant in court Wednesday and saying, “You are going to need a lot of this,” local reports said.

Kevin Rojas, then 19, shot the undercover police officer three times during a 2016 traffic stop, including once in the face, the Florida Times-Union reported.

The critically-wounded officer, who was taking his son to school during the incident, returned fire but did not hit Rojas. His son was not injured.

Local reports did not identify the undercover officer.

In October, Rojas was found guilty of numerous felonies, including attempted first-degree murder, grand theft auto, attempted manslaughter, two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. (Read more from “Cop Taunts Would-Be Killer With Lube on Way to Prison: ‘You Are Going to Need a Lot of This'” HERE)

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McDonald’s Employee Charged in Florida Serial Killings

Shell casings and cell phone data link the man police arrested Tuesday to four recent murders in Seminole Heights, an arrest report shows.

The two-page report released Wednesday offers new details in the evidence against Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, the 24-year-old Tampa resident charged with four counts of first-degree murder.

Investigators found SIG Sauer brand.40 caliber shell casings at all four of the locations where Monica Hoffa, Benjamin Mitchell, Anthony Naiboa and Ronald Felton were found shot to death between Oct. 9 and Nov. 14, the report states . . .

It was that gun, according to the report, that Howell gave in a food bag to a coworker at an Ybor City McDonald’s on Tuesday afternoon, saying he planned to leave the state. The coworker turned the gun over to a Tampa police officer who was in the restaurant doing paperwork at the time. The Glock had a loaded magazine containing five unfired rounds of .40 caliber ammunition, the report says.

Donaldson told police that “no one except for himself had control of the Glock firearm since his purchase,” Detective Austin Hill wrote in the report. (Read more from “McDonald’s Employee Charged in Florida Serial Killings” HERE)

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Self-Driving Cars Programmed to Decide Who Dies in Crash

. . .It’s not just a theoretical question anymore, with predictions that in a few years, tens of thousands of semi-autonomous vehicles may be on the roads. About $80 billion has been invested in the field. Tech companies are working feverishly on them, with Google-affiliated Waymo among those testing cars in Michigan, and mobility companies like Uber and Tesla racing to beat them. Automakers are placing a big bet on them. A testing facility to hurry along research is being built at Willow Run in Ypsilanti.

There’s every reason for excitement: Self-driving vehicles will ease commutes, returning lost time to workers; enhance mobility for seniors and those with physical challenges, and sharply reduce the more than 35,000 deaths on U.S. highways each year.

But there are also a host of nagging questions to be sorted out as well, from what happens to cab drivers to whether such vehicles will create sprawl . . .

Who dies when the car is forced into a no-win situation?

“There will be crashes,” said Van Lindberg, an attorney in the Dykema law firm’s San Antonio office who specializes in autonomous vehicle issues. “Unusual things will happen. Trees will fall. Animals, kids will dart out.” Even as self-driving cars save thousands of lives, he said, “anyone who gets the short end of that stick is going to be pretty unhappy about it.” (Read more from “Self-Driving Cars Programmed to Decide Who Dies in Crash” HERE)

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Cabela’s Giving Away Free Guns for Black Friday

One outdoor retailing giant is kicking off the Christmas shopping season by giving away free guns for Black Friday in Texas.

Cabela’s, is giving away “mystery envelopes” containing free guns at its Fort Worth location in Texas Friday. The store which opens at 5 a.m. will give away free guns among other merchandise for the first 600 customers above the age of 18, reported Dallas News.

“All gifts will be distributed randomly and could include outdoor products, firearms, Cabela’s gift cards and much more,” said Cabela’s Fort Worth in the promotion, adding that,”Firearm winners will be required to complete and pass a standard federal background check to take ownership of the firearm,” reported the Star-Telegram.

Some possible guns available include a Ruger LC9 Pistol, Browning BPS Hunter Pump-Action Shotgun, Badlands Release Day Pack or a Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite 30″ Window Smoker. (Read more from “Cabela’s Giving Away Free Guns for Black Friday” HERE)

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Homeless Vet Spends Last $20 to Keep Woman Safe

Kate McClure didn’t expect to run out of gas on her drive to Philadelphia last month.

And she definitely didn’t expect that her misfortune would give her the opportunity to change someone else’s life.

Pulled over on the side of I-95, McClure, 27, was approached by a homeless man named Johnny. She was apprehensive at first, but Johnny told her to get back into her car and to lock the doors while he walked to get her help. He went to a nearby gas station, used his last $20 fill a can and brought it back to fill up her car.

Grateful, but without a dollar to repay him, McClure promised she would come back with something.

In the weeks since, she’s returned to the spot along I-95 where Johnny stays with cash, snacks and Wawa gift cards. Each time she’s stopped by with her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, they’ve learned a bit more about Johnny’s story, and become humbled by his gratitude. (Read more from “Homeless Vet Spends Last $20 to Keep Woman Safe” HERE)

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Vermont Man Accused of Beating Mother With Gun Over Deer Meat, Report Says

A man in Vermont was accused of beating his mother with a rifle on Saturday after she allegedly stole deer meat from him, a report said.

According to the Rutland Herald, Zachary C. Merriam, 21, allegedly chased his mother around her home and hit her with his 30-30 rifle, leaving bruises on her back, because he thought she’d taken a chunk of meat from a deer he’d hunted.

Police said the woman told them that her son didn’t try to shoot her at any point but she didn’t know if the weapon was loaded and worried it would accidentally fire, the report said.

Bruises reportedly found on the woman’s back appeared to be the result of the alleged incident, police said, and were photographed by police as evidence. (Read more from “Vermont Man Accused of Beating Mother With Gun Over Deer Meat, Report Says” HERE)

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Nearly Half of US Cancer Deaths Blamed on Unhealthy Behavior

A new look at cancer in the U.S. finds that nearly half of cancer deaths are caused by smoking, poor diet and other unhealthy behaviors.

That’s less than commonly-cited estimates from more than 35 years ago, a result of new research methods and changes in American society. Smoking rates have plummeted, for example, while obesity rates have risen dramatically.

The study found that 45 percent of cancer deaths and 42 percent of diagnosed cancer cases could be attributed to what the authors call “modifiable” risk factors. These are risks that are not inherited, and mostly the result of behavior that can be changed, like exposure to sun, not eating enough fruits and vegetables, drinking alcohol and, most importantly, smoking.

A British study conducted in 1981 attributed more than two-thirds of cancer deaths to these factors.

The study used 2014 data and was conducted by the American Cancer Society. It was published online Tuesday in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. (Read more from “Nearly Half of US Cancer Deaths Blamed on Unhealthy Behavior” HERE)

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