Friday, 19 January 2018

Forget concussions. The real risk of CTE comes from repeated hits to the head, study shows

For more than a decade, researchers trying to make sense of the mysterious degenerative brain disease afflicting football players and other contact-sport athletes have focused on the threat posed by concussions. But new research suggests that attention was misguided. Instead of concerning themselves with the dramatic collisions that cause players to become dizzy, disoriented or even lose consciousness, neuroscientists should be paying attention to routine hits to the head, according to a study that examines the root cause of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, better known as CTE.

“On the football field, we’re paying attention to the bright, shiny object — concussion — because it’s obvious,” said Dr. Lee E. Goldstein of Boston University, who led the study published Thursday in the journal Brain. But, he continued, “it’s hits to the head that cause CTE.” The disease is marked by abnormal deposits of calcium and proteins throughout the brain, as well as by neuropsychiatric symptoms that range from tremors and memory problems to depression and suicidal rage. For now, the only way to diagnose it is by examining a patient’s brain tissue after death. Some of the hits that cause CTE may result in concussion, Goldstein said. But his team’s findings show that concussion is not necessary to trigger the process. Indeed, the new research suggests that concussion and CTE are completely different medical problems.

In mice, head impacts that caused concussion and those that led to CTE had different effects inside the brain. In people, the symptoms tend to show up as different behaviors that became evident at very different times. In mice, the research documented immediate behavioral responses to head impact that ranged from zero to disability. And researchers captured what appeared to be the earliest moments of CTE in many mice that showed few if any immediate symptoms. That new research underscores that the kinds of “sub-concussive” blows to the head that many athletes routinely endure are far more worrisome than players, their parents and their physicians have been led to believe. Even as football programs from Pop Warner to the National Football League are adjusting their rules to reduce concussions, the findings suggest these efforts will not be enough to prevent long-term injury.

”You have to prevent head impact,” Goldstein said. The new work originated at Boston University’s Center for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and drew in dozens of experts from a wide range of disciplines and institutions. The team began by inspecting the brains of four teenage athletes who died one day, two days, 10 days and four months after suffering serious head injuries. Those brains were compared with others belonging to teen athletes who died without a history of head injury. The researchers observed an abnormal buildup of a protein called tau — a hallmark of CTE — in two of the athletes who experienced head trauma. One, in fact, met the diagnostic criteria for early CTE.

That and other evidence led the researchers to hypothesize that early CTE may result from leaky blood vessels in the brain. In the deep recesses of the organ’s folds, these damaged blood vessels were letting proteins spill into nearby brain tissue, triggering inflammation, they surmised. To see whether they were right, they needed to study a population of subjects with greater rigor. So they built a machine to deliver calibrated blows to young male mice, subjecting them to a range of head impacts. The effects of these blows were recorded in imaging scanners, in test mazes and on pathology slides.
The researchers examined the animals’ brain chemistry, cortical structure and behavior. Finally, they performed computer simulations to repeat and extend their findings on how various brain tissues responded to head impacts. The results were all over the map. Delivered a powerful blow, some mice would reel from the injury for days but then recover. Upon dissection, their brains might even look fine. Other mice, including many who got a series of blows equivalent to participating in a single game or practice, would behave normally in the days following a head impact. But not much later, their brains would reveal early signs of tau protein accumulations.
Sure enough, these deposits appeared to start in the deep recesses of the brain’s folds, where the hallmarks of full-fledged CTE are most clearly seen in humans too. The results may explain why approximately 20% of athletes who were found to have CTE after they died had never received a concussion diagnosis when they were alive, Goldstein said. And they suggest that people who seem to bounce right back after getting their “bell rung” may well have sustained damage that will not be evident for years.
“The overwhelming majority of people whose brains are hurt are going right back in and doing the worst thing possible: getting hit again and again,” Goldstein said.The research was presented in New York City in conjunction with a new campaign from the Concussion Legacy Foundation to discourage the participation of kids under 14 in tackle football. Goldstein and foundation cofounder Chris Nowinski said that playing flag football before the age 14 would reduce injuries to young players while allowing them to learn the game’s fundamentals. They were flanked by NFL Hall of Famers Nick Buoniconti and Harry Carson and Oakland Raiders legend Phil Villapiano. Nowinski, a former professional wrestler who is now a neuroscientist at Boston University, noted that the U.S. Soccer Federation forbids kids younger than 11 from heading the ball, and that USA Hockey outlawed checking in the sport for kids younger than 13. Youth football leagues should follow that trend, he said.“Football has been open season on your child’s head from the time they’re allowed to play,” said Nowinski, who was an award-winning defensive tackle during his college days at Harvard.
Goldstein agreed. “We should be paying attention to all hits,” he said. “And in kids, all the hits should be no hits.” For some parents and coaches, that may be difficult to imagine. But studies like the one published Thursday should help drive the message home.
“Football coaches are coaching these kids to help them,” Nowinski said. “Their hearts are in right place. They just need to be educated about what scientists are finding. This is really preserving the future for football.”

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Starwatch: A Dazzling Year for the Geminids

The reliable Geminids meteor shower has returned to our sky and, with the Moon as an unobtrusive waning crescent before dawn, we are in for a spectacular display of meteors over the coming week.
Active between the 8th and 17th, the shower is expected to peak overnight on the 13th-14th, bringing more than 100 meteors an hour for an observer under perfect skies. Since high rates persist for more than a day, there should be an excellent show on the previous night, but probably less so on the next one.

The radiant point, from which the meteor paths appear to diverge, lies close to Gemini’s star Castor, which climbs from low in the NE at nightfall to pass high on the meridian at 02:00. Our chart spans some 100° from Leo to Taurus and is centred on Gemini, which stands to the NE of the unmistakable form of Orion. Of course, the meteors appear in every part of the sky – it is just their paths that point back to the radiant.

Travelling at 35km per second, Geminid meteoroids trace long sparkling paths as they disintegrate in the upper atmosphere. However, unlike some meteors, they rarely leave persistent glowing trains in their wake. The meteoroids are thought to derive from the 5km-diameter asteroid Phaethon, which is roasted every 523 days as it sweeps within 21 million kilometres of the Sun at perihelion – closer than any other named asteroid. Its rocks are thought to fracture in the heat, allowing splinters and dust to escape its tiny gravitational pull and spread out around its orbit.

Phaethon passes about 10 million kilometres from the Earth on the 16th in its closest approach since its discovery in 1983, though whether this will result in even more Geminids than usual is questionable. It should be a telescopic object of around the tenth magnitude as it speeds south-westwards from the vicinity of Capella in Auriga on the 11th, through Perseus and Andromeda to the Square of Pegasus.

Also plotted on our chart are Praesepe, the Beehive, in Cancer, and M35, at the feet of Gemini, which are both open star clusters just naked-eye-visible but easy through binoculars. Hydra the Water Snake, the largest constellation, stretches more than 100° around the sky from its head to the S of Cancer to the tip of its tail, which lies S of the conspicuous planet Jupiter in our SE predawn sky. The Moon stands above Jupiter and to the left of Mars on the morning of the 14th.  Star-lovers and sky-enthusiasts can enjoy a meteor shower display on December 13 after 10 p.m., and in the early morning hours of December 14, if clouds and light pollution do not play spoilsport. Reach a spot without city lights, maybe the suburbs, and you can enjoy the Geminid meteor shower. Here, Dr. Debiprosad Duari, Director, M. P. Birla Planetarium, Kolkata explains meteors and the Geminid meteor shower.

Monday, 4 January 2016

This is the largest glacier calving event ever captured on film

This is the largest glacier calving event ever captured on film
Posted by Incredible Underwater Discoveries on Monday, January 4, 2016

Friday, 27 November 2015

Eastern Skies

About 5 years ago I started getting into researching areas of the East Coast that have dark skies such as the western states. I was told it doesn't exist but I continued my search. I came across a small section of West Virginia called the Monongahela Nation Forest. There are only 2 roads that pass between towns that have 1 gas station and a small convenience store. Located 4 hours from Washington D.C., I knew I'd be doing a lot of driving. After a few years of scouting the locations on Google Earth and in person, I started shooting the spring of 2014. I was also focusing some time down at North Carolina's Outer Banks. Cape Hatteras is the most outer point of the famous OBX with very little light pollution, dark skies and amazing historic light houses. EASTERN SKIES was shot over a 10 month period or 2 full Summers / Falls. I battled some of the most extreme thunderstorms, insane fog, dew and anything else mother nature threw at me.
DSLR Bodies
Canon 5d mk3
Canon 6d
Canon 16-35L 2.8 II
Canon 14mmL 2.8 II
Canon 70-200L 2.8 II
Tamron 15-30 2.8
Motorized Gear
Tony Anderson
For licensing inquiries, please email mikezorger or visit

Eastern Skies from Mike Zorger on Vimeo.


Lumixar is a boutique video production company in San Francisco.
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Director / Editor / Cinematographer: KAMIL NOWAK


Sunday, 18 October 2015

Gary Orona Discovers a Treasure at Hidden Tower Uranium Badlands

Gary revisits a special secret uranium badlands area he calls Hidden Tower Badlands. While hunting for a photo spot he discovers a historic remnant of an old uranium miner! Join Gary Orona behind the scenes as he treks into the unknown in search of magical locations for sublime fine art photographic works.
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Gary Orona is an international award winning film and television producer/director/cinematographer and professional fine art photographer. His credits include: HBO/Cinemax, BSkyB Great Britain, Showtime Australia, DirecTV PPV, and much more.

Gary Orona Discovers a Treasure at Hidden Tower Uranium Badlands! from Gary Orona on Vimeo.

Friday, 2 October 2015

The Lost Valley

Where does a journey begin and end? Off the grid in Patagonia the stakes are high. Consequence and weather are constant travel companions on the way to sending La Vuelta de los Condores (5.11 A2).
READ MORE in Lithographica:
Featuring: Paul McSorely, Will Stanhope, Marc-Andre Leclerc, Matt van Biene
Camera: Matt Van Biene
Additional camera: Kuba Wiatrak, Dano Pendygrasse
Edit: Kuba Wiatrak

The Lost Valley from ARC'TERYX on Vimeo.

Betty Bomber Airplane Wreck - Truk Lagoon

The famous "Betty Bomber" wreck dive in Truk Lagoon is one of the must see dive sites when visiting Chuuk. Having been downed over 70 years ago, it remains in remarkably good shape. The lack of coral growth is due to it being made of aluminum. Take a few minutes and enjoy this piece of history.
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Betty Bomber Airplane Wreck - Truk Lagoon from Dustin Adamson on Vimeo.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Les Gardians: Stewards of the Camargue

Since the 1500's the men (and more recently, women) of the Brotherhood of the Camargue Horsemen have been tending to herds of horses and bulls in the unfenced coastal region of the Camargue in southern France. Working with the bulls and the beautiful white horses of the region is a noble tradition, but economic and social pressures are taking their toll on the professional gardians. And their way of life is becoming harder to maintain.

Les Gardians: Stewards of the Camargue from Bob Krist on Vimeo.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Great White Shark Attack - BBCs Planet Earth

10 Epic Facts About Planet Earth

India is blessed with rare and amazing wildlife and natural wealth

“Cat Jenga” is a Brand New Challenging Game for Feline Fanatics

If you’re cat lover and a Jenga master, then Cat Jenga might be the perfect new challenge for you. A Chinese company called “Common” has developed a brand new version of “Cat Jenga” by cleverly combining cutout kitty poses with the game’s precarious stacking challenge. Players have to balance the wooden cat-shaped pieces on top of one another, as high as they can, with the hope that the feline silhouettes don't topple over. However conventional Cat Jenga begins with a pile of blocks and builds from that, participants of Cat Jenga stack the figures from the ground up, expecting to place the last feline on the tower and become the winner. “Cat Jenga” isn’t completely new to the novelty-game market. It was released in China a few years ago, but it’s taken all that time to be released in the United States. Now, each set of 6 is available in either teak or maple wood, and each piece is a striking depiction of a cat widening, pouncing, climbing, and of course, sleeping. Therefore, more cats you have, the higher the tower climbs, and the more daunting task the game become.Source:

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Freaky Flowers: Echinopsis Cacti in Bloom

A montage of a dozen types of “Echinopsis cactus” flowers blooming and showing off their incredible colors. Echinopsis cactus flowers bloom overnight and last for only a day. In reality, the most of flowers are at their peak beauty for an hour or two. That's what turned me from a cactus fanatic into a cactus photographer and the longing to try to protect some aspect of their freaky attractiveness. Prior to becoming an Echinopsis enthusiast a few years back, I had never owned a DSLR or image-video editing software. In the evening when it looks like a plant's flowers are about to bloom, I bring it indoors to image and most of the clips in this montage show just about 8 hours of change as the flowers open and bloom. A little more than halfway through the montage, there are a series of three clips showing different views of a 24-hour period in the life of a yellow-flowered 'Daydream' plant. Six flowers that opened the night before I started filming wilt to nothingness and another 4 flowers grow spectacularly and then open. This series of “Daydream” clips is followed by another three showing other types of flowers wilting. These extra wilting clips are also taken over a daylong period.
Therefore, the question the most often about of cactus flower still images and time lapses is whether I have "Photo-shopped" them, that is, have I used editing software to juice things up and create the flowers' intense colors. He further said, I do, of course, use Photoshop and Light room and other editing software.  Moreover, rather than using these tools to overstate reality, I actually use them to reduce the intensity of the colors my camera captures. I have reduced the color saturation in every time-lapse clip in this video by a minimum of 10% and some 'Cabaret' and 'Antimatter' by 30% or more in order to have something that wasn't just completely blown out. I hope you enjoy "Freaky Flowers" and visit where you'll learn more than you ever wanted to know about these cacti and also be able to reach me via a contact form should you wish.

Freaky Flowers: Echinopsis Cacti in Bloom from EchinopsisFreak on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Desert Wildflowers | A Journey through Joshua Tree National Park from Casey Kiernan / Joshua Tree

Timelapse and film of Desert Wildflowers, taken entirely in Joshua Tree National Park during the Winter/Spring of 2015.
Music: "River of Sky" Composed and performed by Jami Sieber (BMI 2013)
Join us at for Astro/Timelapse Workshops.
During the Winter & Spring of 2015, I spent many days camping and traveling thru Joshua Tree National Park, filming the amazing splendor of Spring as it unfolded. During the month of April, at the height of wildflower season, I was in the park almost every day - and night.
With the help of the "Mojave Desert Wildflowers" guide (Pam MacKay), and a map of the Park, I set out to explore as many regions (micro-climates) as I could find - each one hides its own special collection of springtime delights. I would come back to each spot, week after week, to find different colors and different blossoms. As I set my equipment up to film the blossoms, the Hummingbirds would show up like they owned the place. They didn't care that I was filming, they were hungry!
For the plant names in the film, I met with some Botanists at Joshua Tree National Park - James, Katy & Evan. Thanks - There are over 700 plant species in the park - so identification can be a challenge!
Spring also announces the arrival of the Milky Way in the night-time sky. It appears very late in the night as first, but as the weeks progress, it appears sooner and sooner. Out East in the park is where the darkest skies are found - which is also where you will find Arch Rock.
While it is impossible to showcase every spring wildflower in just 5 minutes, I tried to fit in as many clips as I could. There are many more sequences on my hard drives. Maybe I should create a Desert Wildflowers - Part II - Let me know!
All footage (video and timelapse) was taken using a Canon 5D III on Kessler CineDrive Motion-Control equipment. My lenses include: Canon F2.8 16-35mm, Canon F2.8 70-200mm II, Rokinon F2.8 14mm and featuring the amazingly super sharp Canon F2.5 50mm Macro.

Desert Wildflowers | A Journey through Joshua Tree National Park from Casey Kiernan / Joshua Tree on Vimeo.