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Doctors discover woman complaining of dizziness was missing part of her brain

By Marissa Fessenden on September 11, 2014
Nestled in the back of your head, just behind where your spinal cord attaches to your brain lies a very important region: the cerebellum. Its grooved surface looks strikingly different from the folds of your cerebral cortex. It’s responsible for coordinating movements by combining inputs from your senses via the spinal cord with information from other brain regions.

So when a 24-year old woman walked into a hospital and complained about dizziness and nausea, the doctors were shocked to discover that she was missing a cerebellum.

Neurosurgeon Feng Yu and his colleagues at the Chinese PLA General Hospital of Jinan Military Area Command in Shandong Province reported the woman’s remarkable condition in the journal Brain in late August. “Only eight living cases have been reported prior to this study,” the researchers write.

Image via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

Missing a cerebellum comes with some complications, as one might expect for such a critical brain region. (The regions represents about “10 percent of the brain's total volume, but contains 50 percent of its neurons,” writes Helen Thompson for The New Scientist.) The woman’s mother reported that her daughter wasn’t able to walk until she was 7 years old, never ran or jumped, and couldn’t speak intelligibly until she was 6. Even today, she has trouble walking steadily. She also has slightly slurred pronunciation related to difficulties with the muscles involved in speech.


Friday Toon Roundup 3: The Rest



The Issue


Friday Toon Roundup 2: Football

Friday Toon Roundup 1: War Mongers

House returns to anti-Obamacare votes

Source: Politico

House Republicans on Thursday returned to the Obamacare well for another vote against the law, this time to allow consumers to stay on once-canceled plans until 2019.

The House approved the bill, 247-167, with the support of all Republicans and 25 Democrats. It was the first vote on the health care law since April.

The bill, targeted at President Barack Obama’s promise that consumers would be able to keep their health plans under his signature health law, was sponsored by Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is in a tight race to unseat Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana.

“The president and his allies in Congress tried to sell this health law to the American people by making false promises,” Cassidy said in a statement. “Each of these promises has been broken.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/09/house-returns-to-anti-obamacare-votes-110865.html

Rosetta takes 'selfie' ahead of landing site selection

The Rosetta spacecraft has sent a hauntingly beautiful picture of itself from deep space.

It was taken with the CIVA camera situated on Rosetta's landing craft known as Philae.

The image was taken on 7 September from a distance of about 50km from the comet seen at the top of the picture.

It shows the edge of the spacecraft and one of its 14m-long solar wings glistening in sunlight against the blackness of space.


The New York Times Just Issued the Best Correction You'll Read All Week

On Tuesday, the New York Times ran the following correction on a story about Dick Cheney telling House Republicans to "embrace a strong military and reject a rising isolationism in his party":

Correction: September 9, 2014

An earlier version of a summary with this article misstated the former title of Dick Cheney. He was vice president, not president.


Dick Cheney, still blindly beating the drums of war

By Dana Milbank Opinion writer September 10 at 9:59 PM

It was just like the good old days.

Scooter Libby was in the front row. Paul Wolfowitz was in the second. And on the stage was Dick Cheney, beating the drums of war.

“The situation is dire, and defeating these terrorists will require immediate, sustained, simultaneous action across multiple fronts,” the former vice president proclaimed in a pre-buttal to President Obama’s prime-time speech on fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

“We should immediately hit them in their sanctuaries, staging areas, command centers and lines of communication wherever we find them,” Cheney told the audience at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

“We are at war,” he said, and “we must do what it takes, for as long as it takes, to win.” This means “we should halt the drawdown of our troops in Afghanistan,” that we should “take military action if necessary” in Iran, and give “full backing and support” of those fighting the Muslim Brotherhood.

In summary: War, war and more war.


LeSean McCoy Tip: Charlie Sheen Just Promised $1,000 to PYT Server

Another day, another development in this ridiculous story.

Charlie Sheen

dear Tommy Up
at PYT in Philly.
Please tell Rob K
I'm pledging
1000 dollars
to him for the
tip debacle
just wanna help.



Michael Stipe: ‘Are we that warlike, that childish, that afraid?’

At first glance Coupland's work appears to be Op Art, abstract black dots, as in this detail from The Poet. Photograph: ©Douglas Coupland

As I return to New York City from a summer in Europe, two days before the 12th anniversary of 9/11, I glance up to see the Tribute in Light – two ghostly, beautifully impossible shafts of light representing the World Trade Centre towers. Before these shafts of light stands the now single-finger gesture of the Freedom Tower, dominating the skyline just as the Twin Towers did. A sliver of new moon floats nearby. The relevance of these symbols brings me, well, back home. I’ve lived in NYC since 1987, 1993 or 1997, depending on which government agency you ask.

On the morning of 9/11, I was asleep in my apartment on Jane Street in the Meatpacking District, just north of Ground Zero. I received a phone call saying New York was under a terrorist attack and that I needed to leave as soon as possible. I sat up in bed and heard the sirens outside my bedroom window. I looked down at my naked legs, and said out loud, “Oh fuck.” My notion of home had suddenly changed. But what is home, anyway? Cue the Gang of Four song, At Home He’s A Tourist. I’ve felt that way about everywhere I’ve lived since the age of seven, when I first moved from the States to Frankfurt, Germany, with my military father and family. My life has been nomadic by both necessity and choice. I’ve looked at my homes as “bases” –places I return to when I’m away from a home-like base. I know that sounds Arthur C Clarke, but it’s true.

... But on a smaller scale, as on smartphone screens, The Poet become a chilling image of a person falling to their death from the Twin Towers. Photograph: © Doug Coupland

Where do we locate home inside ourselves? What images go so incredibly deep that, like it or not, they define our world, our inescapable home? With a small, powerful set of images, Douglas Coupland actually manages to playfully (how did he pull that off?) remind us of our collective 9/11 moment – the act that unzippered the 21st century in most of the world, and changed my notion of home and safety forever. Coupland’s at first seemingly Op Art paintings are just black dots – abstract, weirdly familiar. But then you look at them on your iPhone (because you’re going to take a pic and post it … this is 2014, after all) and you have the ahhhhhhh moment when a chill runs down your spine and you realise that it’s them: the jumpers. It’s him: the boogeyman. Doug offers us the choice to either see or not see these deeply internalised images. Having that choice is what enables us to survive from day to day without going nuts.

His images also remind me that nobody really knows how to look downtown any more without feeling, in some way, conflicted. Every time I see the Freedom Tower, I think of “freedom fries” – the term coined when the US wanted to invade Iraq, and France objected. Anything attached to the word “French” in the US was then relabelled with the word “freedom”: freedom toast, freedom fries, freedom kiss, for fuck’s sake. French wine was banned, French people were spat upon, their heads in photographs replaced with heads of weasels. Forget the Statue of Liberty and where it came from. It was a disastrous response—a horrid turn on the formerly leftist act of boycotting as protest. I’ve never been more embarrassed by my country, (except when we re-elected George W Bush and Dick Cheney). I largely blame the media for this egregious abuse of power and influence.



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