Scratching an itch does indeed just make it itch more

Well that’s settled. You know how your mom always told you not to scratch that mosquito bite because that just makes it itch more? Your mom was right, and now we have the science to prove it.A team of heroic scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis just published a study in Neuron confirming the old wives’ tale. Turns out the biology behind the phenomenon is rather simple. And sort of surprisingly involves serotonin, the happy hormone.Zhou-Feng Chen, the director of the school’s Center for the Study of Itch, describes it well, “First you scratch, and that causes a sensation of pain,” says Chen. “Then you make more serotonin to control the pain. But serotonin does more than only inhibit pain. Our new finding shows that it also makes itch worse by activating GRPR neurons through 5HT1A receptors.”Those complicated looking acronyms basically refer to the way that the nerves throughout your body communicate with your brain. Scientists figured out that these neurons and receptors were involved by doing itch tests on two sets of mice: one normal group and one group that couldn’t produce serotonin. When they injected an itchy chemical into their skin, the ones without serotonin simply didn’t scratch as much. Crazy, right?Well, this information is also useful. If you get a mosquito bite or poison ivy or whatever, don’t scratch it. Smear anti-itch chemicals all over it instead.

via Scratching an itch does indeed just make it itch more.

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Why Everyone Wants to Kill the Mouse and Keyboard

In the past few decades, everything about our computers have changed. The screens. The guts. The size, weight, and materials. The software itself, of course. But one thing has stayed exactly the same, frozen in time from the early days: The tools we use to tell them what to do. So it’s odd that we’re so desperate to throw them out the window.Early on, there were two competing ways for us to talk to our computers. The command line and the graphical user interface, or the system that gave us a screen that looked like a desktop and files that looked like little file folders, which we could navigate through using the keyboard and mouse. The latter won out, and since then, they’ve reigned as the primary way to communicate with a PC.But over the past five years, usurpers have arrived, first in the form of touch screens, then in the form of gestural interaction systems like Leap Motion. Yesterday, HP introduced us to Sprout, a computer that consists of a touchscreen monitor, a RealSense 3D camera, a projector, and a flat touchscreen mat to create the ultimate Frankenstein of interaction methods. It also, like so many of its peers, kills the keyboard and mouse for good. Kind of. continue reading >

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The Age Kids Have to Be Before You Can Legally Leave Them Home Alone

When is a child old enough to stay at home alone? While a kid’s maturity level should definitely come into play, some states have age restrictions—or at least guidelines—for how old is old enough to be unsupervised.

Database Systems Corp, which provides a call reassurance service that calls latchkey kids and seniors to make sure they’re safe, compiled this data for each state.

Surprisingly, most states don’t have any minimum age requirements. The ones that do range from age 6 a recommendation in Kansas to 14 required in Illinois. The most common ages, among the states that have a recommendation or legal requirement, are age 8, 10, and 12

Note that city and county laws within each state might also differ. Also, even if there aren’t any laws for home alone children in your area, basic guidelines can help you decide if your kid is ready:

Lynn Yaney, spokeswoman for the agency that handles child welfare in Contra Costa County, California, states:

“A general rule of thumb is that kids under age seven aren’t capable of thinking logically and putting cause and effect together,” Tanner said. “They are reliant on caregivers to structure their day.” Children between ages 7 and 10 years aren’t generally ready to self-supervise for an extended period, but in a routine and predictable environment, such as just after school, they can manage, Tanner said. Children 12 and 13 years old should be judged on a case- by-case basis but should not be left alone overnight.


via The Age Kids Have to Be Before You Can Legally Leave Them Home Alone.

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Brazil Is Keeping Its Promise to Disconnect from the U.S. Internet

Brazil was not bluffing last year, when it said that it would disconnect from the United States-controlled internet due to the NSA obscenely invasive surveillance tactics. The country is about to stretch a cable from the northern city of Fortaleza all the way to Portugal. This is a big deal.

At first glance, Brazil’s plan to disconnect from the U.S. internet just seemed silly. The country was not happy when news emerged that the NSA’s tentacles stretched all the way down to Brazil. And the country was especially not happy when news emerged that the NSA had been spying on the Brazilian government’s email for years. But really, what are you gonna do?

Brazil made a bunch of bold promises, ranging in severity from forcing companies like Facebook and Google to move their servers inside Brazilian borders, to building a new all-Brazilian email system. Then, of course, there was the plan to lay a cable from Brazil to Europe. And with news that the cable plan is in place and set to begin in 2015, it looks like Brazil is serious; it’s investing $185 million on the cable project alone.

The implications of Brazil disconnecting from the US internet are huge. It’s not necessarily a big deal politically, but the economic consequences could be tremendously destructive. Brazil has the seventh largest economy in the world, and it continues to grow. So when Brazil finally does divorce Uncle Sam—assuming everything goes as planned—a huge number of contracts between American companies and Brazil will simply disappear. On the whole, researchers estimate that the United States could lose about $35 billion due to security fears. That’s a lot of money.

We knew there would be backlash to the Snowden leaks, but it’s not just political; Edward Snowden cost the United States a lot of money, even if that wasn’t his plan. Yet here we are, waving goodbye to any and all information technology revenue from Brazil. Godspeed, Brazil. We’re going to miss you. [Bloomberg]

via Brazil Is Keeping Its Promise to Disconnect from the U.S. Internet.

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Trion Supercars | Nemesis

Nemesis_blk_corrug-1024x633Hand-crafted by skilled artisans in America, Trion SuperCars has developed an advanced ultra-luxury, high performance line of vehicles designed around the driver. We provide the excitement throughout the vehicle design. The exterior lines are flawless from the front growl to the captivating tail configuration. The interior packaging will comfortably accommodate 96th percentile (6’4″) drivers in all models and the hardtop can accommodate 107th percentile (7’0″) drivers.

The Nemesis cabin offers a unique blend of cutting-edge technology with reduced volumes to optimize the space. Digital flat panel controls provide access to the latest internet crazes while masking the core function of vehicle programming. The displays provide access to program the Nemesis powertrain as well as a few predefined operating options. The “Predator Mode” will modify interior illumination, height, suspension, exhaust and rev limits.

TSC has designed the vehicle to be driven not just admired. The rear trunk was specifically developed to accommodate golf clubs or luggage so owners do not have to car swap for different functions.

Equipt with active aero-dynamics that are programmable to suit the drivers mood!

Trion SuperCars strives for absolute perfection in product execution and customer satisfaction.

Trion Supercars | Nemesis.

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Windowless plane would let passengers see world around them

If a window seat is enough to make you nervous on a flight, you might want to avoid a new kind of plane that could fly in as soon as a decade. Continue reading

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Faster Internet speeds coming to Bright House customers

ST. PETERSBURG – Faster Internet speeds are on their way to Bright House Networks customers.

Beginning in December, Bright House will offer download speeds up to 150 Mbps for new and existing customers.

Residents with Standard Internet will move from 10 Mbps to 15 Mbps.

Lightning 30 customers will go to 35 Mbps. Lighting 60 customers will move to 75 Mbps, with Lightning 90 increasing to 150 Mbps.

The additional speeds will come at no additional charge to existing customers.

Bright House Networks is continuing to make significant investments to its network equipment and last mile infrastructure to enable fast access to services customers love, including streaming video, online gaming, personal cloud services and more.

Along with the faster speeds, customers will continue to receive enhanced email, access to more than 40,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the service areas and 250,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide.

Bright House Networks also announced Tuesday the company will offer its new ultra-fast residential Internet with speeds up to 300 Mbps in early 2015.

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