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~NEW

June 2013

SPLICER~ Volume 4.1

BRAILLE

In this issue Topic of the month: Braille - Ribbed for your pleasure... The Bra in Braille the sense of touch Blind Luck The Art of the invisible... Connecting the dots... and much more! Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


Foreword It s finally here after many promises and mishaps! It has been a long process, writing in stolen time in a new code of language. Interesting, because the one issue that needs your attention is starving to deny you it. Yes, this is most certainly a concept edition, one I have had some fun with and a little more – if we should ever meet online or in corporal sense quote this password to let me know you have read the Braille code “Braille be a woman soon”. Life exploded in a beautiful way and now the pieces have settled into nicely arranged dots all I have to do is draw the line.

Always New Splicer x

Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


Topic of the Month Braille - Ribbed for your pleasure... I once awoke from a dream, tricky when blind, the boundary between sleep and awake is a graceful lie the mind tells. Eyes always closed, sound a distant echo; my world exists within my grasp. It smelt as if I was awake, tasted like the cool air of the warm outdoors, where I found myself tonight or today. Time is quite arbitrary if you cannot see it pass; nor feel it move, only myself through it. I have been touched by beauty, felt every heartbeat of the embrace. Now I long to return to my perception of those events. Blind people can cry rivers, even if we cannot see our own tears. They wash away the rain like your own. I must take myself back, let us recall together where I became and when I died. Try not to read this but let these words hold you like once hed me; feel these thoughts as if they were your own.

How do you spot a blind man at a nudist colony? It’s not hard!

Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


In my world, the bounds of my touch is intimacy itself. Eyes just get in the way of the heart and soul, I touched her, not resisting temptation. I knew her as if I was a part of her, not metaphorically but physically a part of her. Every touch I sensed how she felt, every kiss was returned to my own senses. I heard her breath, her heartbeat, every moan of pleasure all in a few seconds of touch. I moved finger tips, following muscle and skin, drawing a picture of her in my mind, which was now hers. Her eyes were closed, I kissed them, I could see and feel her energy, her desires. Every move I watched and reacted following only the vein of pleasure she wrote in the air. Kiss closer, breath deepened involuntary. If you are with me as I her, hold your breath and listen to the world. Just listen to the body, it speaks all its secrets in breaths of passion. This is the most powerful secret of human nature and now it is yours. No words no sight without question. This is the ecstasy of true oneness, raw as passion. It requires the mind to love and not just to lust... To make love with the mind requires nothing more than a breath...

What do you call a deer with no eyes? No idea. What do you call a deer with no eyes and legs? Still, no idea. What do you call a deer with no eyes, no leggs and no penis? Still, no fucking idea! Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


And then she was gone, accessible through only mirrors of memory, one sided and empty. I cannot create the passion and bond without anther soul. Nor would not want to... My eyes have never seen another. As time fades through me and my strength weakens, I can no longer seek these souls out. I live in hope of stumbling past universal beauty perhaps by accident, for I can no longer shape my destiny. I am a blind old man now, my mansion crumbles around me. Hopes embers flicker within every new rose and like a new born I smile, she is out there somewhere or not. I know that fate doesn’t always deal again. Start by listening to yourself, the only true blindness is not seeing your own truth’s. As dark as they are do not shut them in darkness. I once had a nightmare, it could have been during the day. I woke to darkness and she was there fast asleep and calming. I opened my eyes just to see her face, it was exactly as I had eternally imagined. She has always been there, waiting for the right time...

Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


The sense of touch - Somatosensory system Static charge across the fingertips chemistry and pleasure at the push of a button, your finger is a button. What is touch? The somatosensory system is a diverse sensory system comprising the receptors and processing centres to produce the sensory modalities such as touch, temperature, proprioception (body position), and nociception (pain). The sensory receptors cover the skin and epithelia, skeletal muscles, bones and joints, internal organs, and the cardiovascular system. While touch is considered one of the five traditional senses, the impression of touch is formed from several modalities. In medicine, the colloquial term “touch” is usually replaced with “somatic senses” to better reflect the variety of mechanisms involved. The system reacts to diverse stimuli using different receptors: thermoreceptors, nociceptors, mechanoreceptors and chemoreceptors. Transmission of information from the receptors passes via sensory nerves through tracts in the spinal cord and into the brain. Processing primarily occurs in the primary somatosensory area in the parietal lobe of the cerebral cortex. The cortical homunculus was devised by Wilder Penfield. At its simplest, the system works when activity in a sensory neuron is triggered by a specific stimulus such as heat; this signal eventually passes to an area in the brain uniquely attributed to that area on the body—this allows the processed stimulus to be felt at the correct location. The pointto-point mapping of the body surfaces in the brain is called a homunculus and is essential in the creation of a body image. Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


Fine touch and Crude touch Fine touch, (or discriminative touch), is a sensory modality which allows a subject to sense and localise touch. The form of touch where localisation is not possible is known as crude touch. Crude touch (or non-discriminative touch) is a sensory modality which allows the subject to sense that something has touched them, without being able to localize where they were touched (contrasting “fine touch”). As fine touch normally works in parallel to crude touch, a person will be able to localize touch until fibres carrying fine touch (Posterior column-medial lemniscus pathway) have been disrupted. Then the subject will feel the touch, but be unable to identify where they were touched.

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The somatosensory system is spread through all major parts of a mammal’s body. It consists both of sensory receptors and sensory (afferent) neurons in the periphery (skin, muscle and organs for example), to deeper neurones within the central nervous system. In the periphery, the somatosensory system detects various stimuli by sensory receptors, e.g. by mechanoreceptors for tactile sensation and nociceptors for pain sensation. The sensory information (touch, pain, temperature etc.,) is then conveyed to the central nervous system by afferent neurones. Generally there is a correlation between the type of sensory modality detected and the type of afferent neurone involved. For example, slow, thin, unmyelinated neurones conduct pain whereas faster, thicker, myelinated neurones conduct casual touch. Always remember! You can’t touch this!

Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


The Bra in Braille The story and history of Braille... Braille /brel/[a] is a tactile writing system used by the blind and the visually impaired, and found in books, on menus, signs, elevator buttons, and currency. Braille-users can read computer screens and other electronic supports thanks to refreshable Braille displays. They can write Braille with a slate and stylus or type it on a Braille writer, such as a portable Braille note-taker, or on a computer that prints with a Braille embosser. Braille is named after its creator, Frenchman Louis Braille, who went blind following a childhood accident. At the age of 15, Braille developed his code for the French alphabet in 1824 as an improvement on night writing. He published his system, which subsequently included musical notation, in 1829. The second revision, published in 1837, was the first digital (binary) form of writing. Braille characters are small rectangular blocks called cells that contain tiny palpable bumps called raised dots. The number and arrangement of these dots distinguish one character from another. Since the various Braille alphabets originated as transcription codes of printed writing systems, the mappings (sets of character designations) vary from language to language. Furthermore, in English Braille there are three levels of encoding: Grade 1, a letter-by-letter transcription used for basic literacy; Grade 2, an addition of abbreviations and contractions; and Grade 3, various non-standardized personal shorthands. Don’t forget to smile

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In the face of screen-reader software, Braille usage has declined. Braille education remains important for developing reading skills among blind and visually impaired children as Braille literacy correlates with higher employment rates. Braille code where the word First (premier, French for “first”) can be read. Braille was based on a tactile military code called night writing, developed by Charles Barbier in response to Napoleon’s demand for a means for soldiers to communicate silently at night and without light. In Barbier’s system, sets of 12 embossed dots encoded 36 different sounds. It proved to be too difficult for soldiers to recognize by touch, and was rejected by the military. In 1821 Barbier visited the Royal Institute for the Blind in Paris, where he met Louis Braille. Braille identified two major defects of the code: first, by representing only sounds, the code was unable to render the orthography of the words; second, the human finger could not encompass the whole 12-dot symbol without moving, and so could not move rapidly from one symbol to another. Braille’s solution was to use 6-dot cells and to assign a specific pattern to each letter of the alphabet. At first, Braille was a oneto-one transliteration of French orthography, but soon various abbreviations, contractions, and even logograms were developed, creating a system much more like shorthand. The expanded English system, called Grade 2 Braille, was complete by 1905. For the blind today, Braille is an independent writing system rather than a code of printed orthography. Don’t forget to smile

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Derivation Braille is derived from the Latin alphabet, albeit indirectly. In Braille’s original system, the points were assigned according to the position of the letter within the alphabetic order of the French alphabet, with diacritic letters and w sorted at the end. The first ten letters of the alphabet, a–j, use the upper four dot positions, 1, 2, 4, 5: abcdefghij. These stand for the numerals 1–0 in a system parallel to Hebrew gematria and Greek isopsephy. (Though the dots are assigned in no obvious order, the first three letters and lowest numerals, abc~ 123 abc, and the vowels, aei aei, have the fewest dots, whereas the even numerals 4680 are corners, dfhj.) The next ten letters, k–t, are identical to a–j, respectively, apart from the addition of a dot at position 3: klmnopqrst.

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The next ten letters are the same again, but with dots at both 3 and 6. Here w was left out as not being part of the basic French alphabet; the order is u v x y z ç é à è ù uvxyzçéàèù. The next ten, ending in w, are the same again, except that for this series position 6 is used without position 3. These are â ê î ô û ë ï ü ö w âêîôûëïüöw. The a–j series lowered in dot space become punctuation; in English Braille these are: comma, semicolon, colon, period, (not used), exclamation point, parentheses, open question, (not used), close quotation: ,;:.!()?”. A and c, which only use the top row, were lowered two spaces for the apostrophe and hyphen: (Along with the space, these are the zero characters of the first through third decade.) In addition, patterns based on the first decade shifted to the right were assigned to non-French letters (ì ä ò) or serve non-letter functions: (superscript; in English the accent mark), (currency prefix), (capital, in English the decimal point), (number sign), (emphasis mark), (symbol prefix).

What do you call a fish with no eyes? FSH. Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


Writing Braille Braille may be produced by hand using a slate and stylus in which each dot is created from the back of the page, writing in mirror image, or it may be produced on a Braille typewriter or Perkins Brailler. Because Braille letters cannot be effectively erased and written over if an error is made, an error is overwritten with all six dots (`). Interpoint refers to Braille printing that is offset, so that the paper can be embossed on both sides, with the dots on one side appearing between the divots that form the dots on the other. Braille may also be produced using a computer with Braille translation software and a Braille embosser or a refreshable Braille display. Braille has been extended to an 8-dot code, particularly for use with Braille embossers and refreshable Braille displays. In 8-dot Braille the additional dots are added at the bottom of the cell, giving a matrix 4 dots high by 2 dots wide. The additional dots are given the numbers 7 (for the lower-left dot) and 8 (for the lower-right dot). Eight-dot Braille has the advantages that the case of an individual letter is directly coded in the cell containing the letter and that all the printable ASCII characters can be represented in a single cell. All 256 (28) possible combinations of 8 dots are encoded by the Unicode standard. Braille with six dots is frequently stored as Braille ASCII.

Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


Q: Why was a blind man's leg wet? A: Her dog was blind too.

Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


Blind Luck In the words of someone with good luck, “time has its place for us all”. I have been a busy bunny, hence the notable absence, luck however has come to mind without actually remembering this story. So this is blind luck 2.0 or blind luck revised! In the last 3 months since we last wrote I have been hunting for a new dwelling, perhaps falling in love all again and the icing on the cake I’m finally getting divorced [yes! I was married and yes! It has been too long without getting a divorce! However, this will not be my life story! You are not that lucky or unlucky depending on your perversion for misery or survival through happiness. It’s too long for these short stories... So I break away, forgive the pun, from blind luck. A simple statement I usually give: Do I believe in blind luck, no – effort creates luck, kindness and ruthlessness also create luck – both good and bad...

Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


However, this is not the essence of blind luck. A dialogue ensued, I as a scientist should not believe in luck but blind or serendipitous luck, however hear me out, bad things happen and good things happen to good and bad people. I tend to dive into the bad luck like a challenge; and will not look up until I see good fortune. Almost, as if the world will look after you, but I cannot believe this. No evidence. Although, in my experience for every bad situation eventually in some future point good has risen as a result. Very unscientific, perhaps it is my interpretation of the facts that is wrong. All you need is a positive outlook on life [in the midst of any situation]. To give you some idea, my favourite quote in times like this “At least it couldn’t be worse, as it could always be worst!”. Much like, always look on the bright side of life, but we have covered that in previous letters.

Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


A mind game: The choice of left of right, left is bad luck and right is good. Both options are blind, however, if you take the right path you will receive 1 unit of good luck. Then you approach another junction with the same options, much like the maths of flipping a coin. You may be fortunate enough to flip an unbiased coin several times for good luck but on a long enough timeline heads and tails will average out to 50/50. However, life is accessible to bias, some people can be better at reading the good and bad cues. Or perhaps some people simply do not focus on the negative. I think the key to this experiment is the unit of luck itself, what you value and wish to obtain. Or the value of a good Vs bad unit of luck. i.e. Falling down a flight of stairs breaking a leg only to end up in the arms of a future lover who cheats on you in 2 years time just before you win the £100 million lotto jackpot and find a penny on the floor. It’s all perspective relevance. I use to have a blind dog called lucky, how did he smell? Terribly... This is all a lie...

Q: Why don’t blind people skydive? A: It scares the heck out of the dog.

Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


The Art of the invisible... What is not there but the dreams of men and folly of the pursuit of perfection? Driven by the invisible carrot, creating a world of lust and desire all for material possession. One word to look up and that is “Metamaterials!” the science of creating new materials with unusual properties. Such as light bending or specifically Negative index metamaterials (NIM) that are not found in nature. Ill let you do that research because that is not what this story is about, although very interesting! Imagine nothing, came the voice from the distance. From the darkened recess of the mind perhaps, that would be less scary that simply from the darkness. It was light outside, dark inside, I should get out of my head more. Take myself for a stroll in the woods less often, why and how did I come and get here! My mind started to wonder at these questions, which was precisely how I arrived at this point and also the answer to my questions. It’s like drift wood except not in water but in a wood, suddenly a river appeared. Well about as sudden as my pace towards it so I would not say it crept up on me although my shoes were now submerged and wet.

Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


Dam it! Pay attention, If only there was some point of reference to pay attention to other than my own wanderings and wonderings. The night sky was settling in and welcoming in the stars I love to travel to in daydream. It was neither day nor the time to dream, so feet cold and knees wet I followed the stream upriver. I had once seem this in several films, one had treasure at the end, one a band of stranded teenagers, and several others I had no longer a recollection for but wanted to tell you that for inclusion. Side note – are you in my mind while I read and write this or am i in yours? I am most certainly lost! Moreover, just like that I fell back into the story. This story like my walking was not set in a time frame that I realised. But the pace needed picking up as your minds were about to wander! So for no reason other than keeping my audience I ran, as fast as I could think about the ground below. Several minutes later I realised I was alone, so stopped running... Using the survival skills I had obtained from TV and a clever forester, I promptly took out my box of matches and lit a fire. Using the fish that had kindly hid itself in my pocket I made sushi, well one does not make sushi it just kind of “is”. The fish head looked at me as I drifted to sleep.

Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


Awoke to the sound of morning, this was rapidly sounding like a dream where I needed to get to work on time! Fortunately, for me it was Saturday, which makes me think, did I drink the night before? Although, that is just the kind of thinking that got me into this mess If only you were here to stop me talking to myself, I thought aloud. Without quotation marks, because in the forest with no one around, no one can actually hear you think! I later proved to myself. “Shush!” I Whispered without exclamation for I was talking to myself now... I thought I would march a little more as often the more you move the more you end up back where you started, simply with the knowledge of travel. The details unimportant, just the feelings gained along the way. I am hoping I have not pissed you off just yet, that climaxletdown occurs at the end [or conveniently whenever you stop reading this tale]. So you are still here; 1. Thank you 2. Hummm so am I and I should get back to wherever I came from... On a perfect day lost in love morning turns to dusk in the blink of an eye, lost in a simple gaze into her eyes. I sat reminiscing independent of you, lost in thoughts of her and awaiting our next sight. This took up a whole day, which I for your sake condensed into a small sentence or two.

Q: How did a blind woman pierce her ear? A: Answering the stapler. Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


Darkness came to my eyes, heavy and travelled they closed in this place for the last time. I awoke in the same place I fell asleep, the blue glow of windows asking for my eyes attention. A story just like this one had fallen across the screen, there I met you all and tried to be courteous to your desires and mine. I hope we all arrived back on the same page. The End...

Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


Connecting the dots... 1. The beginning like most things in life this is where you should start. I was born, perhaps for I have no recall of this event. 2. The beginning of the 1980s, like many I have no recollection. 3. A first glimmer of a memory or a recalled story, I almost drowned for the first time. 4. Arctic roll for desert as I read the hungry caterpillar. 5. Lost a button on my hat; made up an elaborate story about throwing it up in the air and a plane catching it. My parents did not believe me and took me to A&E for x-rays. 6. Told my father, after him missing one of my plays and attempting to placate me with toys, not to buy us any toys and just come and play with my brother and I. 7. Departed for foreign soils, leaving everything I knew behind. I didn’t know much. 8. Having read several novels on nature, the cosmos and any book I could get my hands on came to the conclusion that I would become a geneticist. Almost died a second time. 9. Developed my fondness for nature, culture and science through simply exploring, living and loving the outdoors. Almost died a third time. 10. Went to school in Portugal, sang “Old MacDonald had a farm” to an entire school. No fear. 11. Returned to England as an outcast, I was no longer English nor remotely like any of my peers. Did not really care. 12. Started noticing girls. 13. Discovered my own music preference, a week before Kurt Cobain killed himself. Don’t forget to smile

Don’t forget to breathe


14. Asked a girl out for the first time – rejected. 15. Realised I was better than my teacher at science. 16. Exams, the first time valuation of intelligence rather than understanding problems became apparent. 17. Do not go to Tower Hamlets college. 18. More exams and the escape that was university! Finally people who like to learn! 19. Met my first love. 20. She got cancer. 21. My family had to emigrate because of drug lords. 22. I got married. 23. Finished more exams at QMW university, enjoying life studying for a PhD in gerontology. 24. Quit PhD, long story, decided to convert a vacant warehouse into my home. 25. Started my first job at MRC Prion Unit! 26. Met some amazing friends. 27. Author in my first science paper Neuron 2007. 28. My work contributed to the first viral treatment of Mad Cows disease. 29. My wife fell out of love. 30. Published the first issue of New Splicer. 31. Co –developed the first ever vCJD blood assay. 32. Published a 1st Author paper in Science! Discovered a novel drug for Alzheimer’s disease. 33. About to buy my first house, about to get divorced, met another ginger...

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Something

entirely different! and full of brains!

Readable

ZOMBIES! Catch them while you can because they will be infecting your thoughts and smirks sometime before the end of the world! In this issue there will be not one but two surprise guest writers to delight and terrify you! Don’t lose sleep and apparently playing chess stops Zombie rotting the brains! Coming soon! *minus the real Brad Pitt New Splicer

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~NEW SPLICER~ Volume 4.2

July 2013

In this issue Topic of the month: The Birth of Zombies Come to think of it... MAd Cows & Zombies To be OR not to be... Insane in the membrane I need you... and much more! Don’t forget Don’t forget Brains to smile

forget Brains Don’tDon’t forget to breathe


Toast Marketing board

What is seen cannot be unseen...

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New splicer volume 4.1  

Braille has never looked so good, my words have never felt so touching, feast your eyes on the unreadable. Delight in the secrets within a w...