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God performs another miracle

7/9/2003 2:46 PM
anonymousssssss God performs another miracle
God performed another miracle yesterday by awakening a man in Arkansas who was in a comma for 19 years as the result of a car accident.  
Read about it in yahoo news or in your own newspaper.
7/9/2003 3:18 PM
I guess god put him in the coma in the first place so he could bring him out 19 years later and have it called a miracle.
7/10/2003 2:49 PM
John Fisher

"I guess god put him in the coma in the first place so he could bring him out 19 years later and have it called a miracle."
Well maybe so. Who knows all the reasons of the great planner who ultumately has a plan for everything.  
The fact of the matter is there are miracles that happen all around us all the time even if we don't percieve them. Life is a miracle. There are times that some miracles happen that to us seem out of the ordinary so we call them miracles. How does a bee know how to create a perfect hexigon in his bee hive although whether he realizes it or not it is the most efficient archetectual (sp?) design. But this happens every day so it is not concidered a miracle. Or the total miracle of a baby being born that is another soul that will experience a whole new universe of existence. But this happens every day and we don't concider it a miracle. If anything at all much of mankind is trying to find ways to stop this or even kill babies.  
It all depends on how you percieve things.  
John Fisher
7/9/2003 8:07 PM
Mark Hammer

Now you know why I and so many others find the human brain - actually ANY brain - endlessly fascinating.  
Every now and then stuff comes along that understandably makes folks "go all religious". I don't see that as a weakness OR as a necessary interpretation. At the same time, events like these are not the sort of thing where "la-de-da" is the appropriate response either.  
Twenty-one years ago, almost to the day, my late father came to visit me out west. He was on his second stroke and needed a cane to navigate as balance was not his strong suit anymore. I brought him to a clinic situated in my department where someone in rehab medicine was engaging in some promising cutting edge work using vibrators (yep, THAT kind) to assist in the rehabilitation of stroke victims. She made my dad walk to the end of the room, turn around, and come back, and saw that he needed about 8 steps to turn around 180 degrees or else he would lose his balance. She took out a vibrator that was "feature film" quality/size (D cells all the way, baby), cranked up the intensity control, placed it in my dad's hand and made him go through the same paces, holding onto the vibrator. He walked to the end of the room and swung around on one foot, doing a 180 as gracefully as he had pre-stroke, as if he had been bullshitting us for the preceding 5 years. The change in physical competence was instantaneous and the sonuvabitch couldn't keep the stupid grin off his face. He thought he would never have any balance again for the rest of his life and all of a sudden it was like the slate was wiped clean. We bought him his own little "helper", and he never used a cane again for the rest of his life.  
Sometimes you witness, or hear about stuff, that just sort of.....changes you. Me, I don't map any religious or supernatural aspects onto it, but boy oh boy, I'd certainly nominate it for answer option #2.
7/9/2003 11:11 PM

That's an awesome story, Mark.  
So, then; perhaps the nerve impulses travelling up the arm serve as a substitute stimulous for the internal balancing system in the brain that went off-line due to the stroke?  
That is a great bit of research, there. Too bad it's not a drug that can be patented; we'll probably never hear of it (I mean other than right here). Although I guess palm-fitting, rather than penis-shaped ones could do well in the pharmacies. Best of all, they'd STILL be dual-purpose! :) 'Specially if they had a little strap to hold them in place while your fingers are free to do other things. But I'm getting off topic here. Or am I? Yeah. But wait... No. Okay; is it just me, or does everybody want one of these now to try on their girlfriend/wife/whatever? (I'm talking about the vibrating fingers idea, Doofus; not the dildo...)  
Sorry; caffeine in the afternoon is bad, I think. Low blood sugar...
7/10/2003 2:12 PM
Mark Hammer

My memory of the explanation of the proposed mechanisms is a little fuzzy, given that it was 21 years ago, but I believe this is what was being suggested.  
The post-parietal cortex (near the top of the brain, and behind the midline but up from the occipital lobes at the back) has a number of regions where it takes in input from a variety of sensory modalities and integrates them. Generally speaking, everything in back of the midline (i.e., where your headphone bracket would go) is for input, and everything in front of there is for output. Where much of what is posterior to the midline of the cortex tends to be modality specific (e.g., temporal lobes for auditory, occipital lobes for vision, parietal for tactile, etc.), the post-parietal lobe is one of those many areas that is not. There are of course many places where a stroke could affect neural functioning and result in tissue death but the post-parietal area is a common enough one, I gather because of the way blood vessels are arranged and misbehave.  
The woman conducting the work told me that at that time, there was considerable anecdotal evidence of stroke patients who had unintentionally or coincidentally used some sort of vibratory stimulus (electric razors, one-handed chainsaw technique, etc.) recovering function faster than expected. She started to pursue this and was finding some amazing things. She told me of one patient of hers who had not spoken for a few years following his stroke and was able to recover his speaking abilities (although aphasia being the multi-headed beast it is, being ABLE to speak and having something coherent to say are two different things) when she applied vibratory stimulus to his throat.  
From her analysis at the time, she felt that the vibratory stimulus was in essence "toning up" or "waking" up tissue in the post-parietal cortex through one of its multiple channels. She felt that input could be just about anything, and wasn't necessarily limited to pushing just a single sense, but remarked that it would be difficult to function normally with a strobe-light going off or loud noise accompanying you everywhere. The advantage of vibratory stimuli was that they could be effectively ignored in terms of consciousness yet still have the same net effect on the relevant cortical tissue. In other words, it wasn't more magical, just more convenient and intense stimuli go.  
The funny thing was that the university hospital purchasing agent eventually refused to go pick up the shipments at the airport out of embarrassment, so they swung a deal with a local downtown sex shop to carry them. Patients would ask for them using a code word and the employees would know to go in the back, and alter the packaging, removing the, uh, profusely and profanely illustrated "instruction manual" (although the box it came in sure didn't leave much more to the imagination!). Bear in mind that a fair proportion of stroke patients are nice little old men and ladies and it simply would not do to have them being surprised in *that* way when they opened the bag at home. The idea is to assist recovery from strokes, not cause more of them! :D  
I haven't followed what came of it since, but certainly the increasing efficiency and smaller size of solenoids since the arrival of "buzzer" type cell-phones would easily make a palm-size unit such as you describe quite feasible, and lend it to a variety of applications. For instance, your standard whiplash collar could be easily adapted to stuff a vibrator the size of a bar of soap gently against the throat for speech recovery.  
Some of the folks in rehab medicine I knew were quite skeptical of this work because it didn't have a clear physical basis, but then you know generations later, we're still figuring out how Aspirin works. Still, like any sort of therapy, you need to pick the contexts in which you use it very carefully.
7/9/2003 10:59 PM
Okay; see how far down this rabbit hole you'll go...
Check it out...  
I read this article for the first time yesterday (actually, I'm not completely done with part 1 and haven't started part 2 yet).  
I like much of it a lot. There are a few paragraphs that I feel are absolutely profound. I'm not sure how comfortable I am with some of it, though. For example, some of the same logic was introduced to me in the book "The Crack in the Cosmic Egg", and I rejected much of that as a teenager. I'm going to give this article some fresh thought and test the logical implications before I decide one way or the other this time around. I do find the attempts to merge fringe science and 70's-era New Age symbols to be rather annoying and almost like a blatant smokescreen. I wonder if perhaps the author isn't attempting to slip in some nonsequiters once the reader's been properly flustered by all the confusing 'facts'.  
How far can you read this before you've had enough? Perhaps you're a rare, open-minded and intelligent individual who can wade through the entire thing without getting in over his head or finding it the least bit ludicrous? Perhaps the first few paragraphs turn you completely off?  
Comments, please. I'm curious and hoping for a meaningful discussion or at least a thoughtful review.

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