Day: January 3, 2018

This Small Device Could Silence the Maddening Symptoms of Tinnitus – Gizmodo

“We worked out in animal studies that specific combinations of sound and pulses could either increase or decrease the activity of these [fusiform] cells that activate the rest of the brain,” senior author Susan Shore of the university’s Kresge Hearing Research Institute told me in an email. So their device, via headphones and electrodes placed on the person’s neck and head, sends out bursts of sounds and mild electrical pulses that alternate with one another. This theoretically resets the fusiform cells and decreases how often and severely a person’s tinnitus should happen.

Researchers at the University of Michigan believe they’ve figured out how to short-circuit the complex neurological process that results in tinnitus.

One of the leading theories behind what causes most cases of chronic tinnitus is that it begins with misfiring neurons in the dorsal cochlear nucleus—one of the two regions of the brainstem where auditory information is first processed. These neurons, called fusiform cells, are meant to fire when the brain receives input from the outside world, which is one of the first links in an almost simultaneous chain of events that leads to us correctly “hearing” the sound something makes. In people with tinnitus, this synchrony is thrown off-kilter and the fusiform cells fire whenever they please, leading to people hearing sounds that aren’t there. This initial imbalance can be caused by anything from damaging loud noises to ear infections, it’s thought, and often accompanies hearing loss.

The University of Michigan team, based on research they had done with guinea pigs, created (and patented) a device they think can retrain the brain circuitry involved in causing at least some cases of tinnitus.

Turning downtown Atlanta into playoff’s ‘Championship Campus’ – MyAJC

“I think the difference people who have been to our game all four years will notice will be the energy level downtown as so many people — Georgia fans and Alabama fans — come downtown just to be a part of it and experience it. Outside the stadium, downtown will be awesome.”


The lineup of recording artists performing includes Jason Derulo and Charlie Puth, along with special guest Lizzo, on Saturday night; The Chainsmokers, along with additional performances by Bebe Rexha and Spencer Ludwig, on Sunday; and Darius Rucker in a pregame event Monday, along with opening act Brett Young. 

A similar series of events has been held in conjunction with the national championship game each year since the playoff began in the 2014 season. But this is the first time all of the major ancillary events will be held in close proximity to the stadium where the championship game will be played.

“There are so many different ways for the fans to plug in and for the locals to be a part of it, even if they don’t have a game ticket.”

Playoff Fan Central: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Georgia World Congress Center. 

Brutal winter storm dumps snow and ice on the South, could soon strengthen into ‘bomb cyclone’ – Chicago Tribune

“They probably will be teenagers the next time something like this happens, and that’s kind of sad,” Monoc said. “But we’ll enjoy it while it is here.”

At least 17 deaths were blamed on dangerously cold temperatures that for days have gripped wide swaths of the U.S. from Texas to New England.

Schools in the Southeast called off classes just months after being shut down because of hurricane threats, and police urged drivers to stay off the roads in a region little accustomed to the kind of winter woes common to the Northeast.

Airports shut down in Savannah, Charleston and elsewhere as airlines cancelled 500 flights Wednesday, and at least 1,700 more were cancelled Thursday. Interstate 95 was nearly an icy parking lot for almost all of its 200 miles (322 kilometers) in South Carolina. Troopers couldn’t keep up with the number of reported wrecks which numbered in the hundreds.

Dump trucks spread sand on major streets in Savannah ahead of the storm and police closed several bridges, overpasses and a major causeway because of ice.

Across the Georgia-South Carolina line in Charleston, unofficial reports showed up to 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of snowfall there, according to the weather service. There was enough snow outside Chris Monoc’s house for his sons, ages 4 and 2, to go sledding a mile from Charleston’s iconic Ravenel Bridge.

In Tallahassee, Florida, Michigan transplant Laura Donaven built a snowman 6 inches (15 centimeters) tall. The city tweeted that snow fell there for the first time in 28 years.

Mike Tyson Is Building a 40-Acre California Weed Resort – VICE


Mike Tyson Is Building a 40-Acre California Weed Resort
Mike Tyson has been a boxer, an actor, a monologuist, and an animated detective, but now it looks like the former heavyweight champion wants to take a bite out of California's new legal weed game. According to the Blast, Tyson and two business partners

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Did Philip Morris just quit smoking? – Management Today

Last Updated: 9 hours ago

Erm, this is Philip ‘Marboro Man’ Morris, right? You know, the company that sells tobacco to hundreds of millions of customers in 140 countries, with 15% of a global market including one billion smokers? What’s going on?

This doesn’t mean that Philip Morris isn’t in earnest about working towards a smokeless future –indeed, it knows that eventually the habit will decline everywhere and that therefore it needs to find a sustainable replacement in developed markets first. But that fact that it’s loudly championing smokeless alternatives – in the knowledge that it will continue for the foreseeable future to make most of its money selling tobacco in the developing world – may leave a bad taste in the mouth.

When CEO André Calantzopoulos received a letter last year from charity Unfair Tobacco, signed by 123 health groups, asking the company to ‘do the right thing by immediately ceasing the production, marketing and sale of cigarettes’, he replied that it would be pointless to do so. If Philip Morris stopped selling tobacco tomorrow, its competitors would simply step in to fill the gap, he quite correctly reasoned.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Nikita2706


Big Tobacco is trying to compensate for the decline in smoking by getting into e-cigs, in much the same way as Big Oil is investing in renewable power. Philip Morris has spent over £2.5bn developing smoke free alternatives, including brands Iqos, Vivid, Nicocig and Mesh, and currently devotes 70% of its R&D budget to them.

It all sounds very virtuous, but at best it’s enlightened self-interest. Smoking is on the way out, in developed countries like Britain, where governments are actively hostile to the practice. Beyond heavy taxation and plain packaging rules, the UK has introduced a tobacco control plan that aims to reduce the number of smokers in the UK from 15.5% of the population in 2016 to 12% by 2022.

With tax law not positive for housing, top analyst finds value away from homebuilders – CNBC


“The vast majority of people who are currently itemizing their taxes will not do so anymore because they won’t need to,” the Evercore ISI analyst said in an interview with “Power Lunch.”

Because of those changes, he prefers stocks of building products makers over the homebuilders.

While the cutting of the mortgage interest deduction to $750,000 from $1 million received a lot of attention, the nearly doubling of the standard deduction will also hit the housing market, he said.

“They are a little bit more exposed to renovation and other international and commercial markets,” said Kim, who ranked No. 1 in Institutional Investor’s 2017 All-America research team for homebuilding and building products.

It’s been a big year for homebuilders, with LGI Homes and KB Home up more than 100 percent in the last 12 months. D.R. Horton surged more than 90 percent and Pulte rallied more than 80 percent.

“The valuations for the homebuilders have reached levels that are far beyond anything we’ve ever seen given the fundamental backdrop,” he said. “Frankly, 2017 was a power move largely driven by multiple expansion. The actual estimates for the homebuilders didn’t rise really that much from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.”

Paul Manafort sues special counsel who indicted him for fraud and money laundering – Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

Paul Manafort sues special counsel who indicted him for fraud and money laundering
Los Angeles Times
President Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is suing the Department of Justice, claiming that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III overstepped his authority by filing criminal charges unrelated to the 2016 presidential campaign. “The

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Tallahassee 5-year-old sees first snow – FOX 13 News, Tampa Bay

Snow and freezing rain continued to blanket the eastern seaboard after moving past Florida.

In Tallahassee, the joy is evident in a video posted by Nick Dombeck of his son, Lucas, and their dog, Gunner running in circles in their yard.

LINK: Snow in Florida: Flakes fly in Tallahassee

This week, however, many kids in north Florida are catching snowflakes on their tongues as a massive swath of cold – a system named Winter Storm Grayson – dips down into the southernmost parts of the U.S.

“He’s never seen snow before and was extremely excited,” Nick said. “[The] snow was gone by 10:30, but we had some fun out there!”

Southampton favourites to sign Arsenal’s Theo Walcott – SkySports

Sky Sports News understands the position is likely to become clearer in the next week with talks expected between the club and Walcott’s representatives, but at present a deal is not imminent.

However, Southampton’s ability to attract new players is being hampered by their poor recent form in the Premier League.

Click here to listen to the latest Transfer Talk podcast where Liverpool’s deal for Virgil van Dijk and the futures of Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Alexis Sanchez were among the topics discussed.

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Theo Walcott is Arsenal's longest-serving player

The Saints may also struggle to match Walcott’s £120k a week wages but, if he does decide to leave, he may be willing to take a pay cut to secure more game time and increase his chances of re-entering England manager Gareth Southgate’s thinking ahead of this summer’s World Cup in Russia.

Arsenal’s longest-serving player left Southampton as a 16-year-old in 2006 and he remains a popular figure at St Mary’s.

Southampton are favourites to sign Theo Walcott if the winger leaves Arsenal during the January transfer window.

Southampton have been linked with Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge and Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon in this window, but these reports are understood to be inaccurate.

Flu activity heavy in N. Texas – Cleburne Times-Review

“Each flu season is unique and unpredictable, which is why we developed the Flu Index four years ago to help our customers, health officials and local news media stay up to date on flu activity in their community,” said Dorothy Chrzaszcz, PharmD, director of immunizations at Walgreens. “The Flu Index leverages data from nearly 8,000 locations across the U.S. each week, and can serve as a trusted resource and indicator of activity, reminding people of the importance of flu prevention.”

“Hand sanitizer is not 100 percent effective,” he said. “When there’s a higher content of mucus involved, hand sanitizer is not good enough.”

Also to prevent from getting the flu, residents can get the flu vaccine in the summer when the flu isn’t around, he said.

Mahaffey said everyone should receive the flu vaccine. 

If parents have children with upper respiratory problems and allergies, he said it’s important for them to keep an eye on their symptoms because they might turn into something more. 

It’s also important for residents to wash their hands with soap and water and not rely on hand sanitizer, he said.