The Beloved Gus and Other News

The beloved ' Gus'
The beloved ‘ Gus’

Today is a sad day for me. Gus has passed.

No, Gus wasn’t a relative or even a close friend and yet his passing leaves a void in my heart and in my children’s hearts.

Gus was solely responsible for some of our fondest memories and recollections. On holidays and vacations, we would visit Gus and he always showed us a great time!

You see Gus, was the loveable, neurotic white polar bear, who was a New York icon during his time at the Central Park Zoo in Manhattan. Gus died after spending the last two years alone following the death of his mate, Ida, in 2011, zoo officials said on Wednesday. He was 27. Gus was seen by an estimated 20 million visitors in his lifetime, according to a statement from the Wildlife Conservation Society, which manages the Central Park Zoo.

Veterinarians euthanized Gus on Tuesday after discovering a large, inoperable tumor in his thyroid region, the society said.

When we first started visiting Gus, my boys asked me why Gus (famously) would incessantly swim laps around the pool, almost as though he was prepping for a tournament. The bear couldn’t sit still for a second! I tried to explain that Gus was a typical neurotic New Yorker and that’s part of what made him so beloved. We all related to Gus on a personal level. He wasn’t falling into potholes in the streets like we were, but in his own way he still managed to join in the New York City ‘rat race’.

When animal Psychologists were finally called in to evaluate Gus and subsequently changed his diet and the layout of his habitat, those behaviors largely abated, but he was never as exciting to watch after that.

Farewell dear Gus, may you rest in peace!

In other news, the big story making the headlines today, concerns two researchers from the University of Washington who completed an experiment where one of them used his mind to cause involuntary movement in the other.

Rajesh Rao and Andrea Stocco were stationed in different laboratories across the UW campus, but were each wired in order to read and transmit brain signals from Rao to Stocco. Using neuroscience and Internet technology, the experiment aimed for a non-invasive connection between the two human brains as mediated by the Internet.

Rao, the ‘sender’ of brain signals, was hooked up to an electroencephalograph (EEG) that recorded his brain patterns, while Stocco, the ‘receiver,’ wore what appeared like a simple shower cap. This cap, however, contained a transcranial magnetic stimulation coil in order to activate neurons that influence his muscle movement.

The sender was assigned to ‘play’ a video game only with his mind. This meant he had to imagine the responses to the actions taking place in the game without actually moving his own hands.

The signal from his brain every time he needed to ‘fire’ a cannon was being transmitted online to the receiver who, in contrast, remained insulated from noise and images in the other lab. The receiver quietly waited with his right hand resting on a keyboard.

Once the sender signaled ‘fire’ with the control of his mind, his command prompted the receiver to twitch involuntarily to hit the same ‘fire’ button the sender had imagined hitting.

The movement was akin to a ‘nervous tic,’ Stocco described.


Should this give me cause for panic?

I hope nobody will ever secure access to the brains of our beloved Regency Nursing Administrators and our Regency Founder to learn the tricks of our trade.

How is it that Regency Nursing Centers are the best run and most successful facilities in New Jersey? No problem, just tap into the minds of our superstars and find out?!

Heck no!

Keep this technology far away from the Regency Nursing and Rehab Centers!

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