Monday. Yeeha! Nope, that didn't work.
Before we begin, please stand for our national anthem... for today.
(h/t to Nick Young of the CBS World News Roundup for that inspiration)
What's on MPR?
Midmorning - Selecting colleges and T. C. Boyle. Yes, in that order.
Midday - In the first hour Brian Atwood, dean of the U of M Humphrey Institute will discuss the successes and failures of President Obama's European trip. Then -- because it's opening day for the Twins -- Howard Sinker will be in the studio for our traditional opening day of baseball call-in show. As befits tradition, Howard will overrate the Twins and dismiss the overall excellence of the Cleveland Indians.
On All Things Considered this afternoon, Dan Gunderson will add up what the Red River flooding is going to cost. From Washington, Alex Cohen will report on the love children of newspapers -- non-profit news sites online, like Voice of San Diego. Tangent: The Guardian asks if the Huffington Post will replace newspapers. OK, look, it's time to ask the question we're not allowed to ask in this business: Does anyone care outside of journalists what happens to newspapers? I'm not insensitive to the concerns, of course, but isn't the day-by-day coverage a little out-of-perspective? Isn't this an example of the bias journalists use when selecting what stories to cover?
What I'm doing
I'm filling in for Jon Gordon on Future Tense this week. Posting here might be a little sparse as I look though the world of tech in search of something I understand.(3 Comments)
As I indicated earlier, I'm filling in for Jon Gordon this week on Future Tense. So I'm thinking deep tech thoughts, which gets more and more difficult with every birthday. Seriously, am I really supposed to be excited about Nintendo DSi? The cool kids are, I hear. Then there's Google Voice, and all things Twitter, which the media -- bowing -- is overdosing on just to prove it's a "cool kid," even though we all know it's not.
Whenever Jon is away and I start jumping back into the tech life, I'm drawn back to 1984. The scene: The newsroom at the RKO Radio Network in New York. Anchor Jim Cameron is muttering something about the incredible power of his new 1200 baud modem. It makes patrolling CompuServe so much faster.
What's new and what's hot is often new and hot for a short period of time. The things that are going to change the world with their potential, often don't.
Yesterday's AOL instant messenger is today's Twitter, which is tomorrow's... well, who knows? Ten years from now, maybe it will be as archaic as the 1200 baud modem. Maybe not.
Which technology is most likely to fulfill its promise? And which is a solution in search of a problem?
(h/t: Cyberjournalist.net)(7 Comments)
University of Minnesota researchers are on a bit of a roll. Last month, they got some international attention with research showing an inexpensive and common substance could halt the spread of the HIV virus in monkeys.
Today neuroscientists at the U have tackled a more common problem : the itch. They report both the itch and the relief from scratching comes from cells in the spinal cord, rather than an impulse in the brain.
And, again, monkeys are at the heart of the research, the New York Times reports:
In the study, led a postdoctoral student, Steve Davidson, researchers isolated in monkeys cellular connections that run from the surface of the foot to the spinal cord and then to the thalamus, a clearinghouse for sensations in the brain, down through the spinal cord to the surface of the foot. They induced the sensation by injecting histamines under the skin.
The scientists took single-cell recordings in an area at the base of the spinal cord, in the lower back, in so-called spinothalamic neurons. These cells are sprinkled throughout the spinal cord. Most are sensitive to pain, and some to both pain and itch. The cells apparently detected the injection and began firing immediately afterward. And when the researchers scratched the itchy skin on the monkeys' feet, it quieted the cells' activity.
Stories about the findings also reveal this nugget: Scientists don't call it "itching." It's known as pruritus.(1 Comments)