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Heroes

He's been paralyzed for 5 years, but he just walked. The video is spectacular.

The word you're looking is "wow."

The man in the video you're about to see has been paralyzed for five years. Yet he's about to walk.

How? Because of some cool science stuff that we'll explain in a second.


But first, just watch. It's incredible.

OK, so that was awesome, but what the heck is going on here?

I've got 19 words for you: "The feasibility of a brain-computer interface functional electrical stimulation system for the restoration of overground walking after paraplegia."

Er, actually, that's just the title of the researchers' published findings, which you can read online in the Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation.

Let me say it a different way:

Scientists created a way for the man's brain signals to bypass his damaged spinal cord and communicate directly with his legs.

An Do, one of the study's lead researchers from University of California Irvine, wanted to find out what would happen he combined two already pretty amazing technologies: brain-controlled interfaces (BCIs), which send the signals, and a functional electrical stimulation (FES) system, which uses the signals to tell the muscles to move.

FES systems, like Parastep (the one used in this study) aren't new when it comes to helping paralyzed folks regain movement in their muscles. But typically they have to be operated manually, with the wearer applying stimulation to his or her muscles via a keypad and control switches.

Having the system controlled by brain signals via special sensors on the skin is a novel approach and clearly yields some extraordinary results. In fact, the man in the study completed 30 tests just like this one over 19 weeks, without a single negative side effect.

That doesn't mean this technology is a magic pill. At least, not yet.

The man practices walking using the device in virtual reality. Image via Christine King, et al./Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation.

If you watch carefully, you'll see there are a number of supports and fail-safes in place to keep the man from falling. Even after all that practice, his steps are slow and labored.

And what you don't see on tape is that the man underwent numerous training sessions to both learn how to operate the device and to strengthen his leg muscles, which haven't been utilized in years. He even practiced walking using the device in virtual reality and while suspended above ground.

Whoa.

In other words, this study is merely proof of concept and still needs quite a bit of perfecting. But the goal, the researchers say, is to one day integrate this entire system into a patient's body so it can be used all the time, without the need for complicated set ups like the one in this video.

It's science and technology, coming together in the absolute best way possible. But to this man, and others like him, it must feel an awful lot like a miracle.

Pedro Pascal and Bowen Yang can't keep a straight face as Ego Nwodim tries to cut her steak.

Most episodes of “Saturday Night Live” are scheduled so the funnier bits go first and the riskier, oddball sketches appear towards the end, in case they have to be cut for time. But on the February 4 episode featuring host Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “The Last of Us”), the final sketch, “Lisa from Temecula,” was probably the most memorable of the night.

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AMC Theaters/Youtube, Variety/Twitter

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Moviegoers will have three tiers to choose from based on sightline of the movie screen—Preferred Sightline, set in the middle at the highest price point, Value Sightline, set in the front of the auditorium at the lowest price, and Standard Sightline, which is basically everything else (including the back seats, which are perhaps the most commonly picked) set at the traditional cost of a ticket.

In other words…heartbreak will feel more expensive in a place like this…or less, depending on where you sit



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Keanu Reeves shocks a small-town pub by stopping in for a pint and taking photos with the staff

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Keanu Reeves in São Paulo, Brazil, 2019.

Keanu Reeves has a reputation as one of Hollywood’s nicest celebrities. Recently, he cheered up an 80-year-old fan who had a crush on him by calling her on the phone. He’s also bought an ice cream cone for a fan to give an autograph on the receipt and crashed a wedding to take photos with the bride and groom.

He’s also an incredible humanitarian who gave up a big chunk of his money from "The Matrix" to a cancer charity.

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via Pexels

A mother puts a fresh diaper on her baby.

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When the humidity level rises in the diaper, the graphite and the urine are absorbed by the paper and it turns on a sensor powered by a small lithium battery. The sensor then sets the alarm on an app that parents download onto their phones.

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"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry…"

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Pink and Kelly Clarkson are both known for having powerhouse voices that can belt at incredible ranges but also soften for a sweet ballad. Put the two of them together, and…well, dang.

On Feb 6, Clarkson featured Pink on her daytime talk show, in which she often sings with musical guests. The two superstars sang several acoustic duets with pitch-perfect harmonies, prompting fans of both artists to clamor for a collaborative album.

One song they sang together was Pink's "What About Us?" Pink previously described the song to The Sun in 2017: "The world in general is a really scary place full of beautiful people. Humans are resilient and there's a lot of wonderful—like I said in the song—'billions of beautiful hearts' and there are bad eggs in every group. And they make it really hard for the rest of us."

In the intro to their duet, Clarkson asked Pink about the impetus behind her writing the song.

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry and people are being forgotten," Pink shared. "People are being counted out and their rights are being trampled on just because a group of people doesn't believe in them."

"Like, I don't understand how so many people in this world are discounted because one group of people decided they don't like that," she continued. "And I won't—I won't have it. One of the most beautiful things that my dad taught me was that my voice matters and I can make a difference, and I will."

The lyrics of the song seem to address the political leaders and decision-makers who hold people's lives in their hands as they pull the levers of power. It's a beautiful song with an important message wrapped up in gorgeous two-part harmony.

Enjoy:

Saturday Night Live/Youtube

"It's a me."

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