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OF COURSE IT IS. BECAUSE SHE WANTS IT TO BE: AOC’s Concentration Camp Narrative.

The fact no one wants to exterminate an ethnicity, we just want to keep foreign invaders out of our country, or that Jews weren’t storming Nazi Germany trying to get in, or that no one is trying kill (or even force to work) apprehended foreign invaders, or that–  None of that matters. Useful idiot Occasional Cortex wants to link us to one of of the 20th century’s greatest evils, in the process cheapening it.

RESPONDING TO OCCASIONAL CORTEX WITH LOGIC IS LIKE SMOTHERING A FIRE WITH MARSHMALLOWS:  AOC’s Petulant Response To Concentration Camp Criticism.

THIS JUST IN: OCCASIONAL CORTEX APPARENTLY HAS TWO HEADS:  Head and shoulders, knees and womb.

Which finally and for good disproves that canard about two heads thinking better than one.

TORIES DROP TO 7% AND BREXIT PARTY SOARS TO 37% IN FINAL POLLING BEFORE EUROPEAN ELECTIONS.

Related: The Brexit Party Poses an Existential Threat to the Tories.

Watching MPs acting out these calculations, including maneuvers by about 20 Tory ministers, some quite obscure, to offer themselves as the next prime minister, I’m reminded of the 1970s movie poster for Jaws 2 showing a pretty bikini-clad water-skier blithely cresting the waves as, unseen behind her, a huge shark is erupting from the water and about to swallow her up. The shark in question is wearing a pinstriped suit and its name is Nigel Farage. The pretty young thing represents the mainstream parties, especially Labour and the Tories.

* * * * * * * *

With only two days to go before the polls open, Farage was given three boosts that most politicians can only daydream about: a milkshake was poured over him by a bearded Leftie; the prime minister obligingly broke a major promise not to hold a second referendum on Brexit, as if to remind the voters why they were opposing her and supporting him; and an establishment quango, the Electoral Commission, having given the Brexit party a clean bill of health on its financing the week before, responded to an evidence-free demand from former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown that the party’s finances should be investigated for illegal contributions by returning to its offices two days before the election and going through its books again for several hours and finding nothing wrong — almost as if there were, you know, an establishment conspiracy against Farage, Brexit, and the party bearing its name. In fact, there’s almost a conspiracy of events to help them.

In America, veteran leftwing talk radio host Bill Press is the latest to endorse splattering your opponents with chemicals and liquids: Bill Press on ‘Milkshaking’ of Farage — ‘I Love That Idea’ and Hope it Comes to US.

Yeah, but one doubts that Press and Ogburn would find the practice nearly so amusing had the attorney general getting assaulted been Eric Holder. And just imagine the faux outrage they’d summon if the target was Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (or “Occasional-Cortex,” as stated by the great Andrew Klavan at The Daily Wire), or one of those poor defenseless Democrats running for president.

If heaving a milkshake at a politician is fair game, how about coffee? Or paint, as long as it’s watercolors. Surely a pebble or two couldn’t do much harm, providing that the recipient removes his glasses in time. And is there really much difference between pebbles and slightly larger stones, as long as they’re thrown from a distance? After all, these are hated politicians we’re talking about and this is just another form of dissent, albeit assaultive. Right? Right …?

Or as Ace of Spades warns the media, “The rules you make for me, you also make for yourself.”

THE VERY DEEP THINKING OF OCCASIONAL CORTEX:  “Those white people and their… cauliflower?

JAR-JAR-BRAIN HAS A CRAZY STAND ON EVERYTHING.  NO, SERIOUSLY. IF HE WEREN’T GAY HE’D BE OCCASIONAL CORTEX’S DREAM MATCH:  Colorado Governor Jared Polis’s Unhealthy Stance On Vaccinations.

It’s just part of his program to bring famine, death and plague to my State.  If he doesn’t manage war it will be through no fault of his own.  The horsemen. Collect All Four.

MEH. THE CORTEX IS EVEN MORE OCCASIONAL LATELY:  Dear AOC, The Definition Of Code Switching Is Pandering.

OF COURSE OCCASIONAL CORTEX OH, PARDON ME, OCCASIONAL CORTEX FULL STOP (WELL SHE DID SAY THAT’S WHAT HER NAME IS. FROM NOW ON AND FOREVER, SHE’LL BE REPRESENTATIVE FULL STOP TO ME.  AND PLEASE LET’S STOP. BECAUSE WE CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE LIKE HER.) NEVER HAD A MIND TO LOSE:  After AOC Chases Amazon Jobs Away, Some New Yorkers Begin to Understand Socialism.

OH DEAR LORD. THIS IS WHY BLONDS TELL OCCASIONAL CORTEX JOKES:  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Steps On Rakes When Questioning Wells Fargo CEO,

Seriously, she can’t be this stupid. No one can. She’d forget to breathe. This is a case of sufficiently advanced malice being indistinguishable from stupidity.

WAR ON SCIENCE: “Not a week goes by without yet another research study, popular science book, or mainstream news article promoting the idea that (a) any differences between men and women in the brain are purely socially constructed and (b) these differences have been exaggerated beyond any meaningful relevance. More recently, this argument has evolved to contend that (c) there are, in fact, no brain differences between the sexes at all. . . . How anyone familiar with the neuroscientific literature can argue this with a straight face is puzzling. Even if we were to neglect the thousands of studies documenting the effects of prenatal testosterone on the developing brain, we can look no further than the largest neuroimaging study examining sex differences to date, published just last year in Cerebral Cortex. In a sample of 5,216 brains, the study found significant differences between the sexes.”

YEAH BUT THEY ALSO THINK ALEXANDRIA DIENTES LOCOS OCCASIONAL CORTEX IS SEXY. INDICATIONS ARE THEY DON’T KNOW FROM SEXY:  Millennials believe calling yourself a socialist is sexy.

NEW EXCITING GAME ” WHERE ON EARTH IS OCCASIONAL CORTEX?”:  Where in the world does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez live?

WOMEN AND CHILDREN MOST AFFECTED:  Earth facing ‘global warming Armageddon’ in less than 150 years.  Also can someone tell Occasional Cortex?  Maybe she’ll relax a little and her eyes will pop in a bit? (I’m afraid we can’t do anything about the teeth, except maybe file them down.)

INSERT JOKE ABOUT THERE BEING HOPE FOR OCCASIONAL CORTEX:  Boy born ‘without brain’ defies odds to live.

OH COME ON. CAN WE NAME THEM AFTER POLITICIANS INSTEAD? OCCASIONAL CORTEX, BERNIE SANDERNISTA, ETC:  On Valentine’s Day, Feed Your Ex To An Animal.

IF IMBECILITY WERE MUSIC OCCASIONAL CORTEX WOULD BE AN ENTIRE SYMPHONY WITH AN EXTRA PART SCORED FOR HOT WIND INSTRUMENTS:  Green New Deal, Pink Unicorns, Leprechauns, and Pipe Dreams.

THE GREEN NEW DEAL — IT WAS FUN WHILE IT LASTED: Aaaaand AOC’s “Green New Deal” FAQ Page Got Taken Down.

AOC’s Green New Deal is even better than we thought.

And by better, I mean LAUGHABLY TERRIBLE.

For one, it’s ACTUALLY funny. I mean like LOL-at-you-not-with-you funny. She talks about cow farts.

She also wants to provide for people who are “unwilling” to work. Because you know. Sometimes work just sucks and you shouldn’t have to work if you don’t WANNA.

AAANYWAY. We’re all equally amused and horrified right now. …but it looks like the Dems might be horrified, too.

The FAQ page got pulled.

At least for now:

But it really was fun while it lasted; at the Federalist, David Harsanyi rounds up “The 10 Most Insane Requirements Of The Green New Deal.” Here are just a few “highlights:”

Ban cars. To be fair, under the GND, everyone will need to retrofit their cars with Flintstones-style foot holes or pedals for cycling. The authors state that the GND would like to replace every “combustion-engine vehicle” — trucks, airplanes, boats, and 99 percent of cars — within ten years. Charging stations for electric vehicles will be built “everywhere,” though how power plants will provide the energy needed to charge them is a mystery.

Gut and rebuild every building in America. Markey and Cortez want to “retrofit every building in America” with “state of the art energy efficiency.” I repeat, “every building in America.” That includes every home, factory, and apartment building, which will all need, for starters, to have their entire working heating and cooling systems ripped out and replaced with…well, with whatever technology Democrats are going invent in their committee hearings, I guess.

● Eliminate air travel. GND calls for building out “highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.” Good luck Hawaii! California’s high-speed boondoggle is already in $100 billion dollars of debt, and looks to be one of the state’s biggest fiscal disasters ever. Amtrak runs billions of dollars in the red (though, as we’ll see, trains will also be phased out). Imagine growing that business model out to every state in America?

Speaking of Hawaii, that last item was too much for America’s tireless foe of the Knights of Columbus, Sen. Mazie Hirono:

As Twitchy told you earlier, Nancy Pelosi kicked a liberal hornet’s nest when she mocked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal as “the green dream or whatever they call it.” But we’ve got good news for her: It looks like she won’t have to shoulder all the backlash herself.

Because Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono doesn’t seem super-impressed by the Green New Deal, either:

That’s a polite way of saying, “No way in hell would I be caught dead endorsing this stupid proposal now.”

In 2013, Hirono issued a statement on her Website with all the usual leftie green platitudes: “Hirono warned that climate change is already having a significant impact on Hawaii and without coordinated government action will greatly harm the state’s well-being in the future during a hearing held by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee…‘Climate change is the great challenge of our time.’”

But she’s not quite ready to ban the 767, wreck her state’s tourism industry, and let her constituents wait for a high speed transpacific rail tunnel to be dug, just yet.

As Robert Conquest’s First Law of Politics states, “Everyone is conservative about what he [or she] knows best.”

So why did AOC (temporarily?) 404 her “Green New Deal” faqs page? There are a combination of possible reasons. Perhaps she needs to study first if the moon landings were real or not:

Additionally, AOC’s 404 may be driven by a fit of pique — as The Hill noted today, “Pelosi names Dems to new climate panel — but not AOC.”

Why the snub? At Hot Air, Allahpundit kicks around some ideas and writes:

I prefer the second theory, though, not because it’s more plausible but because it’s more Machiavellian. In this theory, Pelosi does have the power to block AOC and her co-sponsors from going public, or at least from going public with the particular document they published — but she chooses to stand aside. She reads the part about “unwilling to work,” feels her eyes rolling nearly out of her head, but lets it proceed because she knows the only way the party’s going to be able to rein in Ocasio-Cortez is by letting her embarrass herself publicly for awhile. Pelosi might even relish having a far-left foil for the party’s eventual nominee next year: When Joe Biden or Kamala Harris or whoever is inevitably asked whether we need “economic security” for people “unwilling to work,” they can smirk and reply, “Er, no,” and then cite that fact as evidence of how moderate they are. That’s tricky business for a Democratic candidate since it risks alienating progressives by creating distance from AOC but it’s basic good politics in a general election.

Or it may be that some hoary old reruns are simply too old even for Pelosi. As Jonah Goldberg writes, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex & William James — Statism and One-Nation Politics Are Linked:”

Some might object that the U.S. effort to rev up domestic industrial capacity to produce more guns, tanks, and ships in the late 1930s and early 1940s, as impressive as it was, didn’t leave behind a lot of off-the-shelf blueprints for how we might eradicate the fossil-fuel industry in just over a decade. But that’s a discussion for another day. The true significance of her argument is how perfectly it conforms to the central organizing principle of American liberalism, going back a century.

As I have argued at length elsewhere, such as in my book Liberal Fascism, ever since the philosopher William James gave his lecture “The Moral Equivalent of War” in 1906, the agenda of 20th-century liberalism has been an exercise in trying to decouple the benefits of war from the bloody bits.

And then free ride off the moral equivalence of those who actually fought and died. 2006 was arguably the peak of Al Gore’s influence as “The Goracle.” Gore transitioned from his ‘80s persona as a Reagan-esque Blue Dog Democrat to “Ozone Man,” as George H.W. Bush dubbed him, via a 1989 New York Times editorial headlined, “An Ecological Kristallnacht. Listen.” As Julia Goren wrote in a 2006 Christian Science Monitor article, “It’s a peculiar thing that as the threat of global terrorism reaches a crescendo, so apparently does the threat of global warming – at least that’s what some would have us believe…Freud called it displacement.”

I’M 99% SURE THAT OCCASIONAL CORTEX IS IMPERVIOUS TO ANY TEACHING:  What science could teach Ocasio-Cortez about climate change.

AND AGAIN WITH MISSPELLING OCCASIONAL CORTEX!  The Ocasio-Cortez Amnesia Effect.

SURE, BUT REALIZING THAT REQUIRES UNDERSTANDING ECONOMICS AT A LEVEL THAT “A STAR FOR BEING A FEMALE MINORITY” OCCASIONAL CORTEX WAS NEVER EXPECTED OR TAUGHT TO:  Raising the tax rate versus raising the effective tax rate.  The biggest injustice in this country right now, the greatest waste of potential is created by the “social justice A”.

WELL THEY DO LOVE THEM OCCASIONAL CORTEX!  Ahh – the New Year!  Can’t wait for the episode in the chocolate factory.

OH, PLEASE. HAVE THEY LISTENED TO ALEXANDRIA OCCASIONAL CORTEX? I GRANT YOU IT’S NOT INTELLIGENT ALIEN LIFE, BUT…  NASA Administrator: ‘There’s a Chance’ of Alien Life Out There, But It Hasn’t Visited Earth.

OH COME ON! THIS IS THE PARTY OF MAXINE WATERS AND OCCASIONAL CORTEX. ANY PRETENSE TO EVEN NORMAL IQ IS JUST THAT, A PRETENSE.  A THIN ONE:  Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Knights of Columbus?

SHE’S AS EDUCATED ON THE GOSPEL AS ON ECONOMICS. MARY AND JOSEPH WERE NOT TRYING TO EMIGRATE TO ANOTHER COUNTRY. THEY WERE OBEYING THE BUREAUCRATIC EDICT OF A TOO POWERFUL AND DISTANT GOVERNMENT. YOU KNOW, LIKE THE ONE OCCASIONAL CORTEX WOULD LIKE TO CREATE:  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Uses Nativity Story To Slam Trump On Immigration.

THE VERY DEEP THOUGHTS OF OCCASIONAL CORTEX:  New Deal, Same as the Old Deal.  Only infinitely dumber.

I’M SHOCKED, SHOCKED, SHOCKED. THIS IS MY SHOCKED FACE:  Muy caliente: Occasionally-Cortex goes full Stazi!

SO, BOG STANDARD COMMUNIST:  Occasionally-Cortex: watch her double down!

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: Alexandria Occasional Cortex Compares Campaign Victory to Moon Landing.

To be fair, in the coming years, both NASA and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be enormous bonfires of taxpayer money. But even Ayn Rand approved of the moon landing as “Man’s Shining Hour.” In contrast, as Twitchy notes, for AOC, “That’s one small step for a socialist; One giant leap for wild exaggerations!”

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: Ocasio-Cortez Says She Feels Like An ‘American Revolutionary,’ Gets Mocked.

The Babylon Bee is right — Occasional Cortex really does need to watch the entire run of Schoolhouse Rock.

MAYBE YOUR SLEEP PROBLEM ISN’T A PROBLEM:

I have heard this all my life: Society likes morning people. Loves them, actually. Early risers tend to be more punctual, get better grades in school and climb up the corporate ladder. These so-called larks are celebrated as the high achievers, the apple polishers, the C.E.O.s.

It’s basically the idea that Ben Franklin touted more than 250 years ago — “early to bed, early to rise” — with everyone else cast as lazy or self-indulgent.

But what if they are wrong? What if night owls are actually the unsung geniuses? What if we are the ultimate disrupters and rule changers, the ones who are better suited to a modern, postindustrial society ruled by late-night coders, digital nomads, freelance moguls and co-working entrepreneurs?

Regardless of that, it’s not a question of character:

According to Dr. Walker, about 40 percent of the population are morning people, 30 percent are evening people, and the remainder land somewhere in between. “Night owls are not owls by choice,” he writes. “They are bound to a delayed schedule by unavoidable DNA hard wiring. It is not their conscious fault, but rather their genetic fate.” . . .

When night owls are forced to rise early, their prefrontal cortex, which controls sophisticated thought processes and logical reasoning, “remains in a disabled, or ‘offline,’ state,” Dr. Walker writes. “Like a cold engine in an early-morning start, it takes a long time before it warms up to operating temperature.”

That might even serve an evolutionary purpose. When early humans lived in small tribes, as in the early scenes of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” staggered sleep schedules bestowed a survival advantage: Someone was always awake to watch for prowling leopards and club-wielding rivals, according to the book.

But it has been downhill for us night owls ever since. The rise of agriculture brought fields to till at daybreak. The industrial revolution brought factories with 8 a.m. time clocks. Night owls were forced to adapt, and that appears to have taken a toll.

Indeed.

WHEN OCCLUDED CORTEX IS RIGHT, SHE’S RIGHT. THE DEMOCRATS ARE INDEED REVOLTING. THE MORE LEFTIST THE MORE REVOLTING THEY ARE:  Ocasio-Cortez pushes for a leftist revolt in the Democratic Party.

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: Occasional-Cortex prepares for war… on her own party.

AND YES, STAY IN YOUR LANE ALSO GOES FOR ACTORS, AND SCIENTISTS WHO RUN THEIR MOUTHS ON POLITICS, REVEALING TOTAL IGNORANCE OF POLITICS AND ECONOMICS*: “This is my lane”.

*As for Occluded Cortex, who claims a graduate degree in economics and thinks that money comes from the tooth fairy… we’ve got nothing.  We think her lane is posing for socialist-glamour photos.  Oh, and starring in really funny memes on the right. Though we don’t oppose her annoying Nancy Pelosi either. Karma is a right b*tch, you know?

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: Occasional-Cortex claims she can’t afford DC apartment, but records show she has at least $15,000 in savings.

SURE, BUT IN ANOTHER TERM OR TWO SHE’LL BE A BILLIONAIRE:  Ocasio-Cortez Butt-Hurt Because of “I Can’t Afford D.C. Rent” Sob Story.  (And I really hate the way people keep misspelling Occasional Cortex.  Get with the program people. Words exist for a reason. Pointing and laughing at “democratic socialists” is as good a reason as any!)

CAN THEY TAKE OCCASIONAL CORTEX OCASIO-CORTEZ HOME? Just today at lunch I was remarking to my husband how she seems to be reverting to her insectoid form. Interstellar object may have been alien probe, Harvard paper argues, but experts are skeptical.

Of course, she’s not sentient.  Maybe some kind of interstellar pet that got lose?  Somewhere on the intergalactic byways there are posters saying “Occasional Cortex missing. Please help.”

OCCASIONAL-CORTEX WINS HOUSE SEAT, BECOMING YOUNGEST WOMAN ELECTED TO CONGRESS.

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: Alexandria Occasional-Cortex: How can we afford my proposals? ‘I find the question so puzzling…’

As with so many, many other things in life.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Democrats’ Hidden Civil War. Plus a cameo by the New Socialist “It Girl,” Alexandria Occasional-Cortex:

What’s happening is that the energy in the Democratic Party now is coming from richer educated white liberals who are most motivated by issues that don’t resonate with the ethnic minorities who make up the Democratic base. For example, did you know that in the bellwether House race in which newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unseated veteran incumbent Joe Crowley, the challenger’s strongest precincts were the whiter, wealthier ones, while the incumbent ran strongest in the most heavily minority precincts? It turns out that minority voters tend to care about who can deliver for them on bread-and-butter issues more than making symbolic identity politics statements. Politico reports that this is causing a growing divide within Democratic ranks.

Exit quote: “Never forget: in America, we do class warfare through culture war.”

Read the whole thing.

OCCASIONAL CORTEX SPEAKS: I know many folks deny or excuse Soros being a Nazi collaborator, but in either event, characterizing him as if he were a Holocaust survivor is just facepalmingly stupid.
(BIAS DISCLOSURE: I grew up with people who had numbers tattooed on their arms.)

ROGER KIMBALL: How the Mob was Made.

Mob? Alexandria Occasional-Cortex assures me that it’s all merely “nonviolent civil disobedience,” which would be news to Steve Scalise and Rand Paul.

IT’S A HOBBY WHILE SHE WAITS FOR THE MOTHERSHIP:  Occasional-Cortex Attempts to Write About Human Rights.

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: Occasional Cortex*: We Must Use the Blueprint From Defeating the Nazis to Defeat Global Warming.

Describing global warming as the moral equivalent of WWII? How new and original!

* Hat tip, Sarah Hoyt.

ALL OCCASIONAL CORTEX:  Kyrsten Sinema’s Problematic Record Regarding Taliban And Terrorist Attorney Lynne Stewart.

HONESTLY, NOW: ARE THEY ALL OCCASIONAL CORTEX?  Heitkamp’s “Prairie Tough” Turns into “Prairie Oops!”   [Oh, and I’m back at posting. I answered a lot of you, but for those that didn’t ask and wondered, a shingles vaccine kicked me sideways, so I was passing out way before nighttime.- SAH]

YEAH, WELL, IT’S POPE OCCASIONAL CORTEX.  WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?  Pope Francis collectivizes the guilt.

WELL… WE ALL NEED A LAUGH:  The Ocasio-Cortez Highlight Reel.  But they misspelled Occasionally Cortex. (Very occasionally.)

BUT BUT BUT… FUTURE FACE OF THE DEMOCRATS:  Ouch! Even CNN’s Chris Cillizza advises Dems to ‘slow their roll’ on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Cillizza should reconsider.  I mean, Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters aren’t going to live forever, and who is going to replace them with crazy and stupid of that caliber?  I favor Occasionally-Cortex for the job!

HEALTH: Folic acid linked to mental illness prevention in womb.

Women may be able to prevent severe mental illness in their children by consuming enough folic acid — found in foods such as grains, rice, cereal and bread — while they’re pregnant, according to researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital.

“The idea that the risk for these illnesses begins in the womb has gained biological support in recent years,” said Dr. Joshua Roffman of the MGH Department of Psychiatry and senior author of the report. “The field is really moving in the direction of prevention.”

Roffman and his colleagues reviewed two sets of MRIs taken from children — one group from those born before the government began requiring certain food products to be fortified with folic acid, and one group born after the mandate was instituted.

Researchers found that the cerebral cortex was significantly thinner in those who received less folic acid in the womb — a characteristic associated with both autism and schizophrenia, according to the paper published in JAMA Psychiatry.

“The best thing women of child-bearing age can do is to take folic acid supplements daily,” Roffman said. “For women who don’t take supplements, exposure to fortified foods may provide some protection.”

If that means the upcoming generation is likely to be less crazy, well, good. Personally, I take folic acid for its heart-health benefits, but I’m unlikely to benefit directly from this research.

SOMETIMES NOT EVEN THE PARANOID SURVIVE: Qualcomm Snapdragon 1000 rumored to be specifically built for PCs.

New details on the chip were obtained by Germany’s WinFuture, including that it will be able to match the performance of Intel’s Core processors. Specifically, the SDM1000 system-on-a-chip is said to be a much larger 20mm x 15mm, and use 12W of power, significantly more than a smartphone processor.

The Snapdragon 1000 is also expected to use ARM’s next-generation Cortex-A76 architecture, with a 35% speed increase, while supporting up to 16GB of RAM and two 128GB storage modules, making it clear the chip would be a threat to Intel in the notebook market.

Other rumors suggest that in the coming years Apple will move the Mac line to its own in-house designed ARM processors, which would take a small chunk out of Intel’s i5, i7, and Xeon business.

FASTER? PLEASE! Arm aims to make your Android phone faster with next-gen mobile chips.

How will Arm’s in-house designs compete with Apple’s? “I expect we’ll do well against Apple,” said Mike Filippo, Arm’s lead processor architect.

But he was clear which company Arm considers its primary rival. “Our real competition is Intel,” he said.

“We’re building for sustained performance,” Filippo said. “The A76 is the biggest leap we’ve taken in our annual roadmap since we started in 2014.”

The 35 percent speed boost is a minimum, Filippo said. Some mathematical tasks will get a boost of 50 percent to 70 percent, and high-performance software that needs fast memory access should get a 60 percent to 95 percent boost for fetching that data, he added. Performance improvements vary depending on which speed test is used, he cautioned, adding that Arm used SPECint for its measurement of a 35 percent performance boost.

The Cortex-A76 has about the performance of today’s Intel Core i5-7300, Filippo said. Configured with more cache memory, it should compete with an i7 chip, he said.

Intel failed to recognize the importance of the mobile market until it was too late, and soon the mobile chipmakers are going to start moving in on Intel’s traditional turf.

IT WAS NEVER THEIRS TO LOSE: How The Guardian Lost America.

In September 2016, Guardian US announced it was slashing 30% of its workforce.

The retrenchment necessitated a change of scenery, too. At the meeting, Guardian US editor Lee Glendinning announced that the company had signed a lease agreement to move to a smaller Brooklyn office.

It was a room full of journalists, so the questions flew. Where? What’s the address? According to multiple people at the meeting, one reporter remarked that Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser, owned some buildings in Brooklyn. Was this one of them?

A rattled Glendinning said sharply that it wasn’t, according to the attendees. Reporters pulled up news articles, raising their phones to show that it was indeed property owned by Kushner, who divested some of his family real estate empire’s holdings to join the White House.

“You see the cerebral cortexes trying to process this information,” one reporter present told BuzzFeed News.

Or as John Podhoretz tweeted, “Every detail in this story is about a mass delusion funded by oceans [of] non-profit Commie money.”

And then the other people’s money ran out, which is always when things get ugly.

(Hat tip, Will Collier.)

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Neuroscientists Wirelessly Control the Brain of a Scampering Lab Mouse. “Implanted in that mouse’s brain was a device about the size of a peppercorn. When we used our wireless power system to switch it on, the device glowed with a blue light that activated genetically engineered brain cells in the premotor cortex, which sends signals to the muscles. We watched in amazement as the mouse stopped its random motions and began to run in neat circles around the cage.”

THIS IS INTERESTING: Zapping the brain’s visual cortex can lead to improved vision, scientists discover. “Researchers found that zapping the visual cortex of the brain for 20 minutes via transcranial direct-current stimulation offered improvements in vision lasting up to 2 hours.” I’ve heard of people experiencing tremendously clear vision — even when their ordinary vision was poor — under the influence of adrenaline surges. I wonder if these phenomena are related.

I BELIEVE THIS: Learning A New Sport May Be Good For The Brain.

Past neurological studies in people have shown that learning a new physical skill in adulthood, such as juggling, leads to increases in the volume of gray matter in parts of the brain related to movement control.

Even more compelling, a 2014 study with mice found that when the mice were introduced to a complicated type of running wheel, in which the rungs were irregularly spaced so that the animals had to learn a new, stutter-step type of running, their brains changed significantly. Learning to use these new wheels led to increased myelination of neurons in the animals’ motor cortexes. Myelination is the process by which parts of a brain cell are insulated, so that the messages between neurons can proceed more quickly and smoothly.

Scientists once believed that myelination in the brain occurs almost exclusively during infancy and childhood and then slows or halts altogether.

But the animals running on the oddball wheels showed notable increases in the myelination of the neurons in their motor cortex even though they were adults.

At the same time, other animals that simply ran on normal wheels for the same period of time showed no increase in myelination afterward.

In other words, learning the new skill had changed the inner workings of the adult animals’ motor cortexes; practicing a well-mastered one had not.

This makes sense.

SCIENCE: Woman in her twenties discovers that she was born without a cerebellum. “There have only been nine other such cases in the world and most died early on, so the fact that this woman has made it to adulthood – and is doing reasonably well — is pretty astounding. Doctors will undoubtedly want to study her further to find out how her brain adapted to the exclusion so quickly (it’s likely that the cortex took over for the missing mass).”

MATH WARS: Rote memorization plays crucial role in teaching students how to solve complex calculations, study says. “Memorizing the answers to simple math problems, such as basic addition or the multiplication tables, marks a key shift in a child’s cognitive development, because it helps bridge the gap from counting on fingers to complex calculation, according to the new brain scanning research. The progression from counting on fingers to simply remembering that, for example, six plus three equals nine, parallels physical changes in a child’s brain, in which the hippocampus, a key brain structure for memory, gradually takes over from the pre-frontal parietal cortex, an area of higher order reasoning.”

WITH ALL OUR OTHER PROBLEMS, AT LEAST WE DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT BEING REPLACED BY A RACE OF SUPERINTELLIGENT APES. . . . UH OH: Scientists make monkeys smarter using brain implants. I guess we’ll just have to get ’em too, to keep up: “For the very first time, scientists have demonstrated that a brain implant can improve thinking ability in primates. By implanting an electrode array into the cerebral cortex of monkeys, researchers were able to restore — and even improve — their decision-making abilities. The implications for possible therapies are far-reaching, including potential treatments for cognitive disorders and brain injuries. But there’s also the possibility that this could lead to implants that could boost your intelligence. Here’s how they did it.”

SCIENCE: Drug Boosts Frontal Cortex Dopamine, Cuts Impulsiveness.

BRAINS: An underdeveloped prefrontal cortex makes sharing difficult for young children.

BAD NEWS FOR WINE SNOBS: Does All Wine Taste The Same?

On May 24, 1976, the British wine merchant Steven Spurrier organized a blind tasting of French and Californian wines. Spurrier was a Francophile and, like most wine experts, didn’t expect the New World upstarts to compete with the premiers crus from Bordeaux. He assembled a panel of eleven wine experts and had them taste a variety of Cabernets blind, rating each bottle on a twenty-point scale.

The results shocked the wine world. According to the judges, the best Cabernet at the tasting was a 1973 bottle from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa Valley. When the tasting was repeated a few years later—some judges insisted that the French wines had been drunk too young—Stag’s Leap was once again declared the winner, followed by three other California Cabernets. These blind tastings (now widely known as the Judgment of Paris) helped to legitimate Napa vineyards.

But now, in an even more surprising turn of events, another American wine region has performed far better than expected in a blind tasting against the finest French châteaus. Ready for the punch line? The wines were from New Jersey.

I credit Chris Christie.

EXOCORTEXES, the iPad, and you.

HELPING INJURED MICE WALK with algae and light. “In theory, two-way optogenetic traffic could lead to human-machine fusions in which the brain truly interacts with the machine, rather than only giving or only accepting orders. It could be used, for instance, to let the brain send movement commands to a prosthetic arm; in return, the arm’s sensors would gather information and send it back. Blue and yellow LEDs would flash on and off inside genetically altered somatosensory regions of the cortex to give the user sensations of weight, temperature, and texture. The limb would feel like a real arm. Of course, this kind of cyborg technology is not exactly around the corner. But it has suddenly leapt from the realm of wild fantasy to concrete possibility.” Faster, please.

SHADES OF GIL HAMILTON: Woman has developed an imaginary, but useful, third arm. “After having a stroke, a 64-year-old woman reports that she now has a ‘pale, milky-white and translucent third arm’ that she can use to scratch itchy parts of her body . . . The woman underwent an MRI and when doctors asked her to move her imaginary third limb, her brain responded as if she really had the arm. Her visual cortex activity also indicated that she saw the arm.”

THINK OF IT AS EVOLUTION IN ACTION:

If consumer eugenics becomes cheap and ubiquitous, as I suspect it will, won’t religious people want their offsprings’ genes tweaked to make them religious, too? With the result, if those differential birthrates hold up, that the world will become more religious generation by generation?

And if these things come to pass, won’t churches and religious groups, from sheer self-interest, be lobbying for more choice in baby-design via genetic tweaking? While the legions of the godless clamor for restrictions on these techniques in fear of an advancing theocracy?

Just a thought. I am enjoying a quiet smile, anyway, at the prospect of an octogenarian Ramesh railing angrily on National Review Inbrain (“beamed direct to your cerebral cortex!”) against those who seek to restrict parental choice in determining the religiosity of their offspring…

Heh.

CHARGES OF JUNK SCIENCE:

While we at American Council on Science and Health have been determined to remain on the sidelines of the raging national debate about the fate of Terri Schiavo (this is largely a legal and ethical issue, not a scientific one), we cannot remain silent about the outrageous misrepresentation of scientific facts about this case that has been occurring in the past ten days.

The medical reality of Ms. Schiavo’s case is this: She has been in what is medically referred to as a “permanent vegetative state” for the past 15 years, ever since her heart temporarily stopped (probably due to the severe effects of an eating disorder), depriving her brain of oxygen. Brain scans indicate that her cerebral cortex ceased functioning — probably just after she experienced cardiac arrest in 1990. Ms. Schiavo’s CAT scan shows massive shrinking of the brain, and her EEG is flat. Physicians confirm that there is no electrical activity coming from her brain. While the family video repeatedly shown on television suggests otherwise, her non-functioning cortex precludes cognition, including any ability to interact or communicate with people or show any signs of awareness. Dozens of experts over the years who have examined Ms. Schiavo agree that there is no hope of her recovering — even though her body, face and eyes (if she is given food and hydration) might continue to move for decades to come.

Those are the harsh facts. . . .

Yesterday, there was another public challenge to Ms. Schiavo’s well-established diagnosis: Florida governor Jeb Bush announced that a “very renowned neurologist,” Dr. William Cheshire, had concluded that Terri had been misdiagnosed and that she was really only in a state of “minimal consciousness” rather than a persistent vegetative state. He used this “new diagnosis” to argue that “this new information raises serious concerns and warrants immediate action.”

As it turns out, Dr. Cheshire is not “renowned” as a neurologist — his limited publications focus on areas including headache pain and his opposition to stem cell research. Dr. Cheshire never conducted a physical examination of Ms. Schiavo, nor did he do neurological tests. . . . Let’s call tripe when tripe is served.

Ouch.

UPDATE: James Taranto links this report and observes:

Reading over the report on Schiavo prepared in 2003 by guardian ad litem Jay Wolfson (link in PDF) helps make clear why this last effort will not succeed. Many physicians have backed the PVS diagnosis, and the courts are unlikely to give much weight to an eighth or ninth opinion at this late stage.

The 38-page report is by and large a persuasive document, showing that the Florida courts did not lightly reach the conclusion that Mrs. Schiavo should die.

I certainly don’t know Ms. Schiavo’s condition, as I’m not a doctor and haven’t evaluated her — not that that’s stopping others. But I think it’s absurd to claim, as many are, that a cabal of liberal judges wants to murder Terri Shiavo because it is — in Peggy Noonan’s absurdly over-the-top phrase — “half in love with death.” To be fair, Noonan aims that phrase at others, really. But I think that many on the right have succumbed to hysteria here. This is a tragic situation, and it’s been turned into a circus.

UPDATE: Reader Jean Tuttle emails: “Mr. Reynolds, I worked as a nurse in ICUs and ERs. I have no idea what kind of brain damage Mrs. Schiavo has ,but I find it hard to believe her EEG is flat.The patients I saw with flat EEGs couldn’t breathe on their own, couldn’t move or make any sound. As I said before I don’t have any idea the amount of brain damage Mrs. Schiavo has, but I would bet the EEG isn”t flat. I think there is so much disinformation coming out of both sides of this ,that it is impossible to know what the facts are.”

That last part is certainly true.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Perhaps this column by Neal Boortz is an answer to Peggy Noonan: “Where do your concerns truly lie, with the eternal soul of Terri Schiavo, or with her earthly body?”

Sissy Willis has more thoughts on hysteria.

MORE: Gerard van der Leun says that Noonan was making a literary allusion that I missed:

Over the top? Perhaps, but more in the line of a literary allusion:

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,

— Keats, Ode to a Nightingale

And, as such, not really that much beside the point.

Hmm. I had forgotten that — I haven’t read that poem since high school — but I’m not sure that the allusion, if that’s what it is, fits Noonan’s message.

And reader Gerald Dearing emails with this observation, which makes a suitable capper for this post: “You know the debate has truly entered the realm of the surreal when Neal Boortz weighs in with a spirituality argument!”

Indeed.