Do_The_Manta_Ray's forum posts

#1 Posted by Do_The_Manta_Ray (696 posts) -

@caska: I really appreciate the insight. I've read up a fair share on the subject, but I can't claim to have any insider knowledge. Be really cool if you could share a little bit more detail about it, either here or in a PM with me.

#2 Edited by Do_The_Manta_Ray (696 posts) -

@giantstalker: I believe it, I've read that a good 8 % of all affected by spinal cord injuries are men and women serving in the army. A staggering number considering the number of car accidents, etc, that occur every year. Man, it's almost if they built those contraptions to be dangerous. Seriously, though, my heart goes out to them. Nothing worse than being punished for trying to do something good.

@nardak, @snail: I hear you. The tendancy of these things is that somewhere, someone proclaims to have cured this and that and indicate some abstract piece of evidence that needs a fair share of clarifying. I've learned to be wary of these messages of hope, as in order to make them into a news article, they naturally have to be spun to seem like more than they are. That's where this piece stands out, to me at least, it's grounded, it's already been put into use successfully, and the folks working on it are already talking about implementing it large-scale. There's ofcourse a chance that it might not pan out, there always is, it may require certain apparatus that are far too expensive for any conventional, or even specialist, clinic, there may be difficulty in introducing it to surgeons over the world, etc. But overall, it's one of those rare cases that seem tangible. In a worst case scenario, it'll be a very big leap in the research for finding said eventual cure.

@poortommy: It absolutely is. We should be friends.

#3 Posted by Do_The_Manta_Ray (696 posts) -

I know this is a video-game forum, but I expected people to be at least mildly interested in advances in medicine, especially considering it could considerably improve the quality of life of millions and millions of people. Would it help if I said that Vinny also retweeted the link after someone else sent it? Take this as my single, hopeful bump.

#4 Edited by Do_The_Manta_Ray (696 posts) -

@gaff: He did mention it, and it does get the job done, you're right on both accounts, I just think it's a supremely bad way of going about it. VaatiVidya, another recognizable Souls' commentator achieves the same effect by including a small, red frame to the gameplay, which is noticable but in no way distracting. He simply fades it in and out as needed. The fact that epicnamebro's thoughts immedietely went to a big close-up of his face is all kinds of telling. To be fair, I will however say that I do enjoy his actual commentary.

@koolaid: Dark Souls 1 is very cheap at this point, it's also arguably the best game in the franchise. That said, Dark Souls 2 does the best job of explaining it's many, varied mechanics, and it's also a terrific game in it's own right (accounting for the DLC, I'd say it's very close to being as good as the first game). Depending on how you rate your own patience, go for the first or the second one as needed. I wouldn't tackle Demons' Souls until I'd played one of the other games first as it's by far the most punishing experience from the outset.

@rednorthernwind: It might end up having a similar level of custimization as you get deeper into the game, there seems to be a wide variety of weapons and armour, and the crafting system seems pretty cool. I doubt it'll quite hit that same level of silly-ass builds, but I'm not worried about it gravely lacking in that department either. The fact that your character has a set personality and look in order to serve the story is disappointing for anyone who wishes for another Souls' game right here and right now, but the story they're telling may very well vindicate that aspect. Though to be fair, how your character looked in the Souls game didn't matter a damn once you started equipping your armour. Why I spent hours on making my ladies pretty and will do so again in Bloodborne remains a mystery to me.

#5 Posted by Do_The_Manta_Ray (696 posts) -

Game itself looks really interesting, and I think it's got a ton of potential, boasting some gorgeous visuals and what seems to be great combat. I also appreciate the ways in which it differs from the Souls' series, it'll be interesting to see how they decide to shake things up in order to make the game feel unique. Yet a lot of what makes the Souls' series so special is how diverse the games themselves are, the absurd degrees to which the developers go to keep things varied and to constantly keep the players on their toes. Sometimes that comes at the price of polish, numerous sections clearly not up to the standards of others; yet it's necessary, as if a Souls game ever got stale, ever got predictable, it'd lose it's magic. And I say that as about as big of a fan, of the franchise, as you can be.

We'll see what they do with the level- and enemy design in this game, that'll ultimately swing it one way or another, far as I see it. Really, really hope they pull it off, though.

As for this video, can someone explain to me why this guy obscures most of the gameplay with his mumbling face? I appreciate listening to him, but that is bad editing, inexplicably so for someone so prolific.

#6 Edited by Do_The_Manta_Ray (696 posts) -

This feels like something that should've been posted already. Assuming it hasn't, I'll go ahead and take the plunge. I happened upon an article in the guardian today, which, safe to say, blew my mind.

A recent medical discovery offers tangible hope for paralyzed individuals all over the globe. In a fairly simplistic procedure (as for as neuro-surgery goes), it is now possible to repair damaged and broken spinal cords by using a mix of nerve fibers and brain cells taken from the patients themselves as a type of splint. The spinal cord is thus encouraged to reknit itself.

Cool as this is, it sounds speculative. The very idea of making paralysis treatable sounds like science fiction. Well, in the article they detail how this procedure was succesfully used on a 38 year old man by the name of Darek Fydika, rendering him able to walk, and even drive a car, after years in a wheel-chair.

They believe this method to be viable to be put into mainstream use fairly soon.

Now, how cool is that? This could end up being the greatest medical advancement since the discovery of the Human Retrovirus HIV. What's more is that I don't believe many people, including many directly affected individuals, saw this cure looming on the horizon at all. Talk about a pleasant surprise, huh?

I've included the majority of the article below, and the link proper can be found here. There's also a video on the same page that I'd recommend you guys watch if you're interested. If not, you're a monster.

A man who was completely paralysed from the waist down can walk again after a British-funded surgical breakthrough which offers hope to millions of people who are disabled by spinal cord injuries.

Polish surgeons used nerve-supporting cells from the nose of Darek Fidyka, a Bulgarian man who was injured four years ago, to provide pathways along which the broken tissue was able to grow.

The 38-year-old, who is believed to be the first person in the world to recover from complete severing of the spinal nerves, can now walk with a frame and has been able to resume an independent life, even to the extent of driving a car, while sensation has returned to his lower limbs.

Professor Geoffrey Raisman, whose team at University College London’s institute of neurology discovered the technique, said: “We believe that this procedure is the breakthrough which, as it is further developed, will result in a historic change in the currently hopeless outlook for people disabled by spinal cord injury.”

The surgery was performed by a Polish team led by one of the world’s top spinal repair experts, Dr Pawel Tabakow, from Wroclaw Medical University, and involved transplanting olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) from the nose to the spinal cord.

OECs assist the repair of damaged nerves that transmit smell messages by opening up pathways for them to the olfactory bulbs in the forebrain.

Relocated to the spinal cord, they appear to enable the ends of severed nerve fibres to grow and join together – something that was previously thought to be impossible.

While some patients with partial spinal injury have made remarkable recoveries, a complete break is generally assumed to be unrepairable.

The research, funded by the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (NSIF) and the UK Stem Cell Foundation, features in a BBC Panorama programme on Tuesday night.

Raisman, who hopes to see at least three more patients treated in Poland over the next three to five years if the funding can be raised, said: “The patient is now able to move around the hips and on the left side he’s experienced considerable recovery of the leg muscles.

“He can get around with a walker and he’s been able to resume much of his original life, including driving a car. He’s not dancing, but he’s absolutely delighted,” said Raisman.

The NSIF’s founder, David Nicholls, whose son Daniel was paralysed in 2003, said information relating to the breakthrough will be made available to other researchers around the world to help cure paralysis.

He said: “Paralysis is something that most of us don’t know very much about, because we are not affected by it. One of the most devastating moments a parent will ever experience is the sight of their son or daughter lying motionless in bed and facing the reality that they may never walk again.

“The scientific information relating to this significant advancement will be made available to other researchers around the world so that together we can fight to finally find a cure for this condition which robs people of their lives.”

Raisman said he had never believed the “observed wisdom” that the central nervous system cannot regenerate damaged connections.

He added: “Nerve fibres are trying to regenerate all the time. But there are two problems – crash barriers, which are scars, and a great big hole in the road.

“In order for the nerve fibres to express that ability they’ve always had to repair themselves, first the scar has to be opened up, and then you have to provide a channel that will lead them where they need to go.”

He stressed that what had been achieved was a leap forward beyond promoting “plasticity” – the rewiring of remaining connections.

The professor added: “The number of patients who are completely paralysed is enormous. There are millions of them in the world.

“If we can convince the global neurosurgeon community that this works then it will develop very rapidly indeed.”

#7 Edited by Do_The_Manta_Ray (696 posts) -

Best of luck to you, Alexis, genuinely hope you pop in from time to time to hang out and to make smooth comments about folks feces. That we'll miss it is more of a comment on us than on you.

#8 Edited by Do_The_Manta_Ray (696 posts) -

@alwaysbebombing said:

I always thought twitter was invented as a vehicle to tell people that pumpkin spice lattes were really delicious or that I was taking a poop.

What's changed? It's exactly that, cause and reaction.

#9 Edited by Do_The_Manta_Ray (696 posts) -

Looking over every extended comment section these days, I get an inevitable feeling of exhaustion. I'm the kind of person who, frankly, tends to take the work required to keep this site civil and running for granted. It's a mix of outdated respect for the community and sheer naivety. Having to sift through each comment, examining intent and context, trying to put yourself in the shoes of someone else, all the while keeping some absurd, enforced morale standard in mind sounds exhausting in a way that'd break my temper, especially so considering what's going on with the site of late.

That I still feel I'm able to come to this site, and converse with people in a way I find fun, challenging and rewarding is next to a miracle given the circumstances. The moderators and @rories exhaustive work contributes more to this than I feel I've given credit for, so I want to go out of my way to say thank you. You guys probably don't get that enough, but even if you do, I sure as hell want to be one of the people making a point of saying it, I owe you that much.

I realize that this is fairly soppy, but I'm trying to be honest here, and I'm not really sure how you do that over the internet.

@theacidskull said:

The only mod I've come in contact with his @mooseymcman, and I gotta say, he seems like a really nice guy! Has cool blogs too!

You're right, Dan Ryckert really is a nice guy. (I'm never letting this go. NEVER!)

#10 Edited by Do_The_Manta_Ray (696 posts) -

@ulquiokani: I get the impression it's a fairly well-spread issue, not just with DOTA, but with a lot of games that work similarily. The way sites like youtube, twitch, and heck, even GB presents co-operative gaming, it basically comes across as a lot of fun with no strings attached, but I think that's a very falsified image.

It's an issue that has seemed very personal to me for quite a long time, something that's unique to my experience, but as more and more folks begin talking about how we treat strangers on the internet, I think how we treat our friends warrants a consideration or two.

It's considerably easier to generalize, and to declare for folks to turn the other cheek when they're able to distance themselves from the situation at hand.