Saturday 31st of July 2021

weakening synapses to cull memories...


Bird memorized phone number 

A lost budgerigar puzzled a family who found it by persistently repeating “223723”. Then Mrs Gloria Froggatt, of Minver Crescent, Aspley, Nottingham dialled the figures on her telephone, and the bird's owner answered. 
Mrs Muriel Hydes, a widow, of Blandford Road, Chilwell Nottingham, had taught her pet to repeat the number. Appeals had been made on local radio for the missing bird. 
Wednesday May 18 1977 — Archives, The Times, 1977, UK, English
Weakening synapses to cull memories...
From correct answers on a school exam to a loved one's birthday, we have all forgotten things we wish we had not. The ability to forget, however, is a feature rather than a flaw of how our brains work. As the celebrated author Jorge Luis Borges wrote about a man incapable of forgetting, Funes the Memorious, “I suspect, however, that he was not very capable of thought. To think is to forget differences, generalize, make abstractions.” Although Funes's example is literary, it contains a grain of truth. 
"Funes the Memorious"—original Spanish title "Funes el memorioso"[1]—is a fantasy short story by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986). First published in La Nación of June 1942, it appeared in the 1944 anthology Ficciones, part two (Artifices). The first English translation appeared in 1954.

Funes the Memorious" is the tale of one Ireneo Funes, who, after falling off his horse and receiving a bad head injury, acquired the amazing talent—or curse—of remembering absolutely everything.

Back to the synapses
Neuroscientists have traditionally paid more attention to how the brain remembers than how it forgets, but there is increasing clarity about mechanisms and roles of forgetting. By forgetting, we prioritize and separate the useful from the irrelevant and more easily reorganize information to learn. On page 44 of this issue (Science 4 January 2019), Awasthi et al. show that the Ca2+-sensing protein synaptotagmin-3 (SYT3) is essential for synaptic weakening and link this molecular process to beneficial forgetting in mice.


We learn to forget, we learn to remember… Either way, the brain’s Ca2+-sensing protein synaptotagmin-3 (SYT3) in synapses help us to think by manipulating what we remember, I would suggest our brain naturally “forgets" in order to create/absorb/reject new ideas and become adventurous or not. This mechanism could also be helping us in the management of pain.

Memory management is not unique to humans. 

Birds seem to go along with change, by adapting to relative change. The leaders of the flock and/or the individuals remember where the flowers are, where the flowers are not and where they will be. They have to be “flexible” on memorising their feeding sites — as well as trying pot luck. Pot luck isn't an option in many cases, though spiders take a punt that, on average, they will catch something. This is not assured.

A hunting spider will go places it never has gone to before.

A web-making spider will make a web suitable for the “chosen” spacial environment. Length of stays and reinforcement of footings will be adjusted to the location. The spider is not doing the same web again and again should the location be disturbed. Often garden spiders will let a strand of silk be taken by the breeze to catch onto “something” From there, the spider will make a choice as whether this new “something” (a leaf, a branch, a piece of furniture) is suitable as a (solid) anchor point — or a mid-status anchor from where to drop to a lower level. Often a web-making spider will mark the chosen middle point of the web with a few loops of silk. I have seen spiders strands across four metres (picture at top: "Fred Stripey" did a web that went across five metres) and cunningly enough, the middle point is not far off two metres on either side as if measured by a ruler. I guess it could be measured by the spider in regard to the number of strides it made on the “wire” then it finds the midway point. It’s far cleverer than it looks. By end of web making, the spider will "eat" the mid-point and stay put there, often extending one leg only, like an angler with a finger on the fishing line. 

Should there be several possibility of anchor points around the web, it seems the spider will use them as much as possible but in the case of not many (such spiders always need a minimum of three anchor points), it will use stronger strands of silk (often done by doubling or tripling the strands) to anchor cross strands on which to stick the final spiralling web. Spiders have a memory of purpose, using innate instinct and learnt experiences, of building and of adaptation and willpower — as well as the "reserve of silk". A starved spider will build a much smaller web. A big web can be built in less than 30 minutes.

I have ventured many times to say that we never forget. I could be wrong but. What we really do is reclassify the importance of what we know. From time to time, as we get older, there will be a bubble popping out from the sedimental mud of our memory, where stuff we though we had forgotten comes back to mind. By the sheer fact of thinking “we had forgotten” means we actually “did not forget” but that we could not recall. 

This is where the various imprint of memory comes it: short term, mid term and long term. The intensity of the emotional shift in relation to memory often dictate how we are going to remember. 

With dementia, the mud of our memory is slowly erased. Our memory’s ability to recall is vanishing and the capacity to learn new tricks is disappearing. Not only we cannot recall, we are loosing the sense of self as well.

Memory and the delta shifts of memory are what create our consciousness. Loosing our memory base, we loose our consciousness. We become unself.

Then the well-fed spider, having caught enough insects will use silk to build a strong "nest", often looking like a cocoon attached to the underside of a leaf, for its eggs. When the time is right, the eggs will hatch and the little spiders will feed on the silk, possibly attack each other and build a “communal” web — a conglomeration of many small individual webs. See below. (pictures by Gus Leonisky)

new borns....

a hatchling of spiders

sweet russian memories about a button...

Wednesday marked the tenth anniversary of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's ill-fated 2009 attempt to "reset" cooling relations between Russia and the US.

Petr Barulin, deputy head of the Museum of History of the Russian Diplomatic Service, recalled the details of the 6 March 2009 meeting between Clinton and Lavrov for Sputnik.

"It happened in Geneva, home to some rather successful negotiations in the past. After eight years, these talks were so fruitful that the foreign ministers of both countries smiled at one another," Barulin said.

Unfortunately, with the button, "the American translators got it wrong. Here, in Latin script, they wrote 'Peregruzka' ('Overload') instead of 'Perezagruzka' ('Reset'), which are not one and the same. Peregruzka, of course, is something that happens in electrical networks, leading to blown fuses, or even a fire."

After being informed of the error by Lavrov, Clinton cleverly maneuvered herself out of the awkward situation, Barulin noted. "She said that while she and Lavrov really were working on a 'reset', they were working so hard that they were 'overloaded' with work."

Lavrov and Clinton pushed the button for the cameras, despite the mistake, Barulin recalled. This was seen as an important symbolic moment against the background of ongoing negotiations "on many pressing issues – the South Caucasus, Afghanistan, the Korean Peninsula," he said. "In general, the two countries made efforts to meet one another halfway, and supported each other. What happened after is something we all know," he concluded.


Read more:


Something for the Democrats to explore: “Under Chairman Schiff’s leadership, we intend to run a professional investigation designed to uncover the facts and the truth,Goldman said in a statement. The Democrats want to ramp up their probes targeting the president, his administration, his presidential campaign and his business empire. Schiff’s committee recently re-opened its Russia investigation, which will focus on whether foreign actors have leverage over Trump, and whether Trump associates colluded with Russian operatives to interfere in the 2016 election.


Pigs are flying high. After two years of Mueller's (I guess non professional) investigation, only a few crooks got caught for doing what most of the Americans are doing: tax evasion. No Rooskies in sight, but it's possible that the spirit of Popov the Clown inspired trumps antics.

and do not forget that the USA is not a democratic country...


Hillary Clinton warned about the "other side" in America that wants to curtail voting rights in a speech delivered on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama.

HILLARY CLINTON: I want you to never forget, there is an other side in America, and they never give up. They never quit. They are never discouraged. They are motivated every single day to try to pull back rights, to try to suppress rights, to try to prevent people from fulfilling their own God-given potential. They did go to work and they found a receptive Supreme Court who came up with the most absurd decision. There are a lot of absurd decisions but this is, in many ways, the most absurd.

The Congress is supposed to legislate based on evidence and facts, which we did. And then it gets up to the Supreme Court and they say, 'No, you don't need that anymore. We don't need that voting rights stuff. You don't need to hold states and municipalities accountable. We are beyond all that now.' What nonsense. Absolute, absurd nonsense. And what was the result? They gutted the Voting Rights Act.



I was the first person who ran for president without the protection of the Voting Rights Act and I will tell you it made it makes a really big difference and it doesn’t make a difference in Alabama and Georgia, it made a difference in Wisconsin where the best studies that have been done said somewhere between 40,000 and 80,000 people were turned away from the polls because of the color of their skin, because of their age, because of whatever excuse could be made up to stop a fellow American citizen from voting. 

So we're looking toward a new presidential election, thank goodness, but it's not going to make a difference if we don't bring the lawsuits and win them, right?


Read more:


Read from top about memory and forgetting... that the USA is not a democratic country... See president bolton is now shitting cactuses...

the clever mathematicians...




Spiders are clever mathematicians. When they build a web with three anchor points, they will smartly use the maximum surface available to build a sticky web which is a spiral based on a circular continuum. 

The spider will use the centre of the triangle made by the bisecting "bissectrices". It's cunning. Clever...


What is also interesting is that a "leaf-curling spider" (Phonognatha graeffei) will also engineer some stays in the third dimension to prevent the web from fluttering in the wind. A leaf for a leaf-curling spider is a home that is set in the middle of the web, but should there be wind, it could become like a sail that has not been trimmed properly and flutter madly. So, such a spider will set stays perpendicularly to the web to tightening it and prevent fluttering. 


Some other spiders will build a "random" web using posts as supports. The web is far random, but build to catch prey "of a certain size". It's a bit like fishermen (persons) being instructed by the law to use certain mesh sizes in order to catch the mature fish only.