Gary Wynn

Gary Wynn

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In 2015, I fell 20 to 25 feet out of a tree.All of my medical records list different heights since no one knew the precise distance — that detail feels important to me. The person I had been climbing with said we were near the top of a redwood on the University of California, Santa Cruz’s campus when I turned to her and said, “I have to get down. Now.” Then, without waiting for a response, I scrambled downward until I was out of sight. A moment later, she heard two smacks followed by a thud.Before I fell out of the redwood, I was drinking alcohol every day. In fact, I had been drinking pretty consistently since the age of 14. To say I simply had a “drinking problem” would be a gross understatement. Often, I’d get Cs (or lower) in classes at UC Santa Cruz simply because I’d forget to turn in an assignment or get hammered and decide not to write an essay. One teacher’s assistant, after grading a paper I had managed to get in on time, handed it back to me, marked with an A, and gave me a line similar to the one Dr. Octavius gave Peter Parker in Spider-Man 2: “You’re brilliant when you turn things in. Imagine if you were more diligent.”In my head, I translated this to: “Imagine if you weren’t depressed, ... if you weren’t a drunk, ... if you were just a better person.”Instead of being a better person, I’d get drunk and climb trees. Usually, I avoided redwoods when I was three sheets to the wind, but I had a tolerance — a couple of beers wouldn’t stop me from climbing. The friend I was with on that fateful day said I had only had two beers. I can’t confirm or deny this because I have no memory of my fall or the entire day that preceded it.My family wasn’t given a specific prognosis because chances were that I wouldn’t wake up.For ten days following my fall, I was in a coma, my vitals monitored at every moment at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California. My family wasn’t given a specific prognosis because chances were that I wouldn’t wake up. Comas aren’t what Hollywood would have you think they’re like. The media glosses over two main things when it comes to comas: the (un)consciousness of a coma — you’re dead to the world — and the immediacy of your uselessness upon waking. Every inactive day causes your muscles to atrophy. Your vocal cords may be paralysed because of intubation (one of mine was), and you can’t swallow without aspirating (accidentally letting food or liquid enter your lungs, risking pneumonia).On top of these standard coma difficulties, I had a severe traumatic brain injury that affected nearly every aspect of my body. For example, I must’ve landed on my backside because the heft of the damage was located in the occipital lobe — that’s the lobe at the back of your head that controls vision. Because of this, I had diplopia (double vision), which required eye muscle surgery to be corrected (but that surgery wouldn’t happen for another nine months).Because my injury was closed-head (my skull wasn’t penetrated), my brain bounced around inside of my skull, ricocheting against the hard surfaces and sending reverberations to many different regions. This is referred to as a diffuse axonal injury.For me, my deficits revealed what other parts of my brain received damage. My balance problems (ataxia), lack of fine motor skills and poor grip strength indicated my cerebellum had been hurt. At first, my body also had issues regulating its temperature, signalling some damage to the brain stem. My fits of laughter and inability to remember anything longer than a few moments meant frontal lobe damage.A medical social worker, at this point, staged an intervention about my drinking. She asked my mom to show me a picture of me in my coma, hooked up to machines. When I saw the photo and started laughing, the social worker told my mom, “This is just her injury.” She turned to me and said, “You almost died, and your drinking contributed to it — don’t you care?” When I didn’t stop laughing, my mom told the therapist, “She’s always been like this.”It’s hard for professionals to determine which parts of you are pathological and which parts are damage sometimes. It’s also hard for family members not to be dismissive when they’re upset with you.On top of that, I had to relearn everything. My speech therapist taught me how to swallow and gave me memory techniques to improve my recollection of details. My occupational therapist showed me how to navigate a kitchen, accompanied me into the shower to explain how to safely bathe myself in a precarious environment (aka the shower) and went over strategies to remember if I had completed a task or not. (“Have I shampooed? How many times? Did I put conditioner in my hair?” “How long have I been stirring these eggs?”) My physical therapist helped me work on my core strength for balance and worked with me on how to swing my arms correctly so I looked like a human being instead of a robot.But relearning was difficult when my short-term memory was as impaired as it was. It didn’t end up coming back at all until a couple of weeks after I woke up from my coma. Apparently, I had already been doing speech, occupational and physical therapy for a while before I had any memories of doing any sort of therapy. It would take a few more days for me to remember the names of all of my therapists or to navigate the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Unit (in my wheelchair).My occupational therapist showed me how to navigate a kitchen, accompanied me into the shower to explain how to safely bathe myself in a precarious environment (aka the shower) and went over strategies to remember if I had completed a task or not. (“Have I shampooed? How many times? Did I put conditioner in my hair?” “How long have I been stirring these eggs?”)I also contracted Clostridium difficile (commonly referred to as C. diff) toward the end of my stay. It’s very contagious and common in hospital settings, and patients often take a rigorous course of antibiotics to treat it. The antibiotics kill the good gut bacteria that fends off the bacterium that causes C. diff. Considering the number of antibiotics I was prescribed while I had a bolt inserted in my head to relieve pressure caused by fluids in my brain, it was only a matter of time before I contracted C. diff. Although I was treated, and the C. diff eradicated, my gut health plunged, and my digestion tanked. I lost more weight in addition to the weight I had lost during my coma.During this entire time, I was benignly resigned and vaguely amused. My doctors recorded my blasé comments (“Oh, I get to cook eggs? I like eggs.”), but my nearly illegible handwriting from that time tells a slightly different story. On a piece of notebook paper dated Sept. 5, 2015, I wrote, “I don’t know how I feel about the future. What is life if you can’t remember it?”After a month and a half, I was released from Santa Clara Valley Medical Center under orders to use an arm crutch for all ambulation (walking). But my rehabilitation was far from over. Once I returned to my parents’ home in San Diego, I would attend a brain injury day-treatment program five days a week from 8am. until 3:30pm. This programme took up where the other left off: I continued to practice writing by hand and doing eye exercises, build core muscles and correct my abnormal gait and complete logic puzzles and plan my life to improve the executive function, courtesy of the frontal lobe.After two and a half months, I was only required to attend three days a week. I could walk without a crutch or a gait belt (which I wore so therapists could grab it if I started to fall). After four months, I was discharged and finished the last units for my bachelor’s degree at UC San Diego while I awaited my eye muscle surgery (this meant I had to close one eye to read anything, both in and out of class).During the summer of 2016, a year out from my accident, I was told this was the most I would recover. The tacit addition was that it was all downhill from there. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 52% of people who suffer a severe traumatic brain injury will further decline or die within five years of their injuries. Medical professionals were pleased I was doing well — I started working as a production assistant at an academic publisher, commuted independently on the train and was applying to grad school to get better health insurance — but everyone waited for a decline.The real problem through all of this was that I looked fine. You can’t tell a person has a brain injury just by looking at them, and you certainly can’t discern the difficulty with which they’re holding themselves together in front of you. Even my own mother, who had been there throughout my coma, thought it was a good idea to take me out on a boat to go whale watching a few weeks after I was released from Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.Nearly five years out from my fall, problems persist. Although I am lucky to function at such a high level considering the severity of my injury, I am permanently disabled but don’t look it. My body doesn’t listen to my brain very well, and my cognition falls short when it comes to mental math and my working memory (whiteboards line my room with scrawled reminders and notices held by magnets).My long-term memory is intact: I remember my childhood and my family, but it’s the processing speed that causes issues. Sometimes it takes me a moment to recognise a place or a person or to place a person in their context. Sometimes I lose my words, can’t recover them (aphasia) and simply have to find a workaround or give up.People ask for my seat on the subway, and I feel too tired and embarrassed to say I need it — to explain my damage —  so I cling to a pole and arrive at my destination shaking from the exertion.Some days are worse than others. Sometimes I have phantom pains in my extremities, and I still can’t write by hand for prolonged periods, i.e., more than a few sentences. Often, people are annoyed when I ask them to write something for me or if I can’t take the stairs. I’ve had baristas roll their eyes at me when I request a lid because I can’t carry a cup of liquid without sloshing it (“They’re on the condiment bar,” the baristas insist). People ask for my seat on the subway, and I feel too tired and embarrassed to say I need it ― to explain my damage ―  so I cling to a pole and arrive at my destination shaking from the exertion.I’m still an alcoholic. I’ll always be an alcoholic, but my coma served as a detox period. My disability prevented me from going to bars or obtaining alcohol in the beginning, enabling me to put the “white knuckle” approach to use. Of course, since then, I have relapsed, but I get cut off after a drink because my ataxia gives me a permanent wobble. Luckily, explaining I have brain damage just invites raised eyebrows and no beer. I know if I start drinking again, it’ll kill me. Instead of imbibing, I go to therapy and write stories — more productive pursuits.And in the big scheme of things, my current deficits are just quibbles: My depression is medicated, and I’m sober. I teach at a college that respects my viewpoint and limitations — my students understand and are patient, as is the majority of my colleagues. I’m happier now than I ever was before falling out of the tree. I’m not sentimental — I don’t think everything happens for a “higher reason.” But I do believe in physics — in gravity — and I do understand the weight of my actions. I’m sorry for the grief my accident caused, but I’m not sorry it happened.Brooke Knisley is an instructor in Emerson College’s Writing Studies Program. This article first appeared on HuffPost Personal.Have a compelling personal story you want to tell? 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China
When it comes to high-end or innovative devices, Honor makes a furor before and after the launch. But when it comes to low-end models, it ... The post Honor 9A and Honor 9S Low-End Models Launched In India appeared first on Gizchina.com.
China
What are the must-have apps on your home screen to live in China in 2020? We asked tech maven, and TechNode legend, Wang Boyuan to explain.
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(University of Michigan) Origami principles can unlock the potential of the smallest robots, enhancing speed, agility and control in machines no more than a centimeter in size.
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Samsung has always put the best of the best components in its flagship Galaxy phones but one critical hardware is quickly becoming a liability rather than an asset. Its own branded Exynos silicon, in spite and despite all the marketing, has had trouble catching up with its Qualcomm equivalents in recent iterations. That disparity made headlines when the Galaxy S20 … Continue reading
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An opportunity to discuss voter suppression and racial injustice
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Chaos and disorder caused by coronavirus has created the perfect climate for cybercrime.
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The usual team are together for probably the last time, but you’ll have to watch the pod to find out why. They start by talking about Huawei for a change, specifically its prospects in the rest of Europe. The move on to the surprisingly exciting world of towers and passive infrastructure, before concluding with the latest from the increasingly dysfunctional Indian telecoms market.
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Twitter is one of the most popular social media networks and by far the biggest microblogging service out there. The tech company’s current sources of revenue include advertising – which grosses up to 84-percent (per last quarter reports) – the rest of the income coming from data licensing. With the advertising business taking a major hit in the ongoing pandemic, … Continue reading
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Tech emphasises interoperability, but here firms will find out if it's ready for the prime time Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has cut the ribbon on a new lab that will allow cellular vendors to test interoperable networking kit.…
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We spoke with SiteLock about how CCPA will change the way businesses operate in California.
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Complaint claims a dominant market share forces users onto Microsoft Teams
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Microsoft, which has seen the use of its Teams software rise amid the COVID-19 outbreak, has added new ways to manage Teams Rooms video conferencing devices, a move it says will help businesses connect office-based staffers with colleagues working remotely because of the pandemic.“The workplace of the future will accommodate hybrid scenarios in which some people may work from the office while others may work remotely or some fluid combination of the two,” Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, said in a blog post on Tuesday. As a result, conference rooms will “serve as hubs for hybrid work in which everyone feels engaged.”To read this article in full, please click here
China
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China
Economist Tom Orlik discusses his new book, reasons to be optimistic about the Chinese economy, and why it has avoided a major crisis.
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For a limited time, Totallee is giving away phone cases for an assortment of iPhone, Pixel and Galaxy phones.
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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Microsoft is planning to launch its game streaming service, currently known as Project xCloud, free to its paying Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers in September. The xCloud service will allow Xbox players to play games on mobile devices or even start a game on their consoles and resume it on their phone or tablet. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate combines Xbox Live access, an Xbox Game Pass subscription, and, starting in September, xCloud game streaming into a single $14.99 monthly subscription. Microsoft is promising that more than 100 Xbox Game Pass titles will be playable on a phone or tablet when the streaming service launches. Microsoft isn’t detailing which countries will be supported at launch just yet, though. The company has been... Continue reading…
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Series creators chat with Ars about challenges of adapting 1932 novel for today's world.
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You can easily turn off cellular data on TikTok on an iPhone to limit yourself to using the app on Wi-Fi; Android users can only turn off the app's background cellular data use. In addition to consuming significant amounts of cellular data, TikTok's video-sharing social networking app has been criticized for potential privacy problems related to user data.  If you're sufficiently concerned about TikTok's privacy issues, the ultimate option is to simply uninstall it.  Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories. There's no doubt that TikTok is an incredibly popular video-sharing social networking app. There's also no doubt that many people have concerns about the app and its data usage – both from a privacy perspective and a more general worry that TikTok consumes a lot of cellular data, which can be costly if you don't have unlimited data.  Short of outright deleting the app from your phone, there's not a lot you can do to mitigate privacy concerns, but you can certainly control how much cellular data TikTok uses – you can turn off the app's data usage so it is limited to Wi-Fi.  Check out the products mentioned in this article: iPhone 11 (From $699 at Apple) Samsung Galaxy S10 (From $699.99 at Walmart) How to turn off cellular data on TikTok on an iPhone You can prevent TikTok from using any cellular data at all, so it will only let you watch or post videos when on Wi-Fi.  1. On your iPhone, start the "Settings" app. 2. Tap "Cellular" and scroll down to the "Cellular Data" section. 3. Find TikTok in the list (unfortunately, the list is not in alphabetical order, so you may need to search carefully) and turn off data by sliding the button to the left.  How to turn off cellular data on TikTok on an Android phone Unfortunately, Android phones don't let you turn off cellular data on an app-by-app basis the way you can with the iPhone. Instead, you can disable TikTok's ability to use data in the background, when the app isn't running. Or, you can turn off cellular data entirely, which affects all apps and services.  1. On your Android phone, start the "Settings" app and tap "Apps."  2. Find TikTok and tap it.  3. Click "Mobile data" and turn off "Allow background data usage" by sliding the button to the left.  4. If you want to temporarily disable cellular data, start the "Settings" app and then tap "Connections." Then tap "Data usage" and turn off "Mobile data" by sliding the button to the left. Remember it's now turned off for all apps, not just TikTok.  How to delete TikTok from your phone If you are sufficiently concerned about TikTok's data usage or privacy settings and you'd rather simply uninstall it from your phone, that's easy to do.  If you have an iPhone, tap and hold the app icon and select "Delete App." If you have an older version of iPhone or haven't updated your software in a while, follow these instructions to delete apps.  If you are an Android user, simply tap and hold the TikTok app icon. After a moment, you will see a pop-up menu appear. Tap "Uninstall" to remove it from your phone.  Related coverage from Tech Reference: How to duet on TikTok and record a video alongside someone else's How to add custom sounds and music to a TikTok, or pick from TikTok's pre-made library How to get a TikTok Pro account to enhance your account using analytics How to turn off data roaming on your Android phone to prevent surcharges How to turn off data roaming on your iPhone for international travel, or completely turn off cellular data SEE ALSO: The best budget smartphones Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Pathologists debunk 13 coronavirus myths
UK
A new V8 Jeep Wrangler has been revealed, at least in concept form, teasing lashings of performance both on and off the road. The announcement of the new V8 Wrangler Concept comes – almost certainly intentionally – on the same day that the new Ford Bronco is due to be officially revealed, and may well persuade a few would-be Bronco … Continue reading
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Here are some of the best authenticator apps and options. It may take a moment to set up, but once you have 2FA enabled where it counts, you can rest easier.
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A report from the Wall Street Journal indicates Google is getting into the banking industry — specifically, it’ll soon offer checking accounts.The project is codenamed Cache (hmm, fitting), and is set to launch sometime next year.The accounts will be managed by Citibank, and a credit union at Stanford.According to Google, Citibank will handle the “financial plumbing.” This feels like bit of a dig at Apple, which claimed its new card — which is backed by Goldman Sachs — was created by a tech company and “not a bank.Google‘s Caesar Sengupta told WSJ the company wants to “partner deeply with banks and the financial system,” and adds, “If we can help more people do more stuff in a digital way online, it’s good for the internet and good for us.”This is no doubt part of Google‘s (and the greater tech complex’s) desire to morph into a one-stop shop for the needs of its average user.
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A pair of AirPod Pro earbuds were customized by the same folks who brought you several diamond-encrusted iPhones.They’ve suggested that the “Caviar AirPods Pro Gold Edition” is an extravagant package the likes of which only one person will ever own.They’ve suggested that the body of each of the AirPod Pro buds is “one-piece 750-content gold.”One person will own this singular customized pair of AirPod Pro earbuds, and they’ll be paying a cool $67,790 USD.That’s the quoted price from the AirPod Pro’s customizer group’s online storefront as of the morning of November 12, 2019.But really, once you’re up to the 5-figure amounts of cash for earbuds, you probably don’t care too much about a few hundred bucks difference for the final price.
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The surviving children of incestuous couple Sarah Barrass and Brandon Machin hope their parents go to prison "for 300 years".HuffPost is part of Verizon Media.Verizon Media and our partners need your consent to access your device and use your data (including location) to understand your interests, and provide and measure personalised ads.Verizon Media will also provide you with personalised ads on partner products.Select 'OK' to continue and allow Verizon Media and our partners to use your data, or select 'Manage options' to view your choices.
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Blame the algorithms - it's the new 'dog ate my homework'Apple is being probed by New York’s State Department of Financial Services after angry customers accused the algorithms behind its new credit card, Apple Card, of being sexist against women.The drama unfolded on Twitter over the weekend as David Hansson, creator of Ruby on Rails, the popular framework for the Ruby programming language, berated Apple for giving his wife, Jamie, 20 times less credit than him, despite them both applying for Apple Card using information from joint tax returns.— DHH (@dhh) November 8, 2019The Apple Card was created and designed by Apple, but is issued by Goldman Sachs.“We look at an individual’s income and an individual’s creditworthiness, which includes factors like personal credit scores, how much debt you have, and how that debt has been managed.
China
Oppo has finally revealed the launch date of ColorOS 7 in India.According to the media invite sent out by the company, the next iteration of ColorOS will be unveiled in the country on November 26.It will succeed the ColorOS 6 found on Oppo and Realme smartphones with revamped design and a new host of features including a system-wide dark mode.Last week, Oppo announced they will be holding an event in China on 20th November to introduce ColorOS 7 formally.And now, Oppo India has also done the same for the Indian premiere of the OS.The upcoming ColorOS 7 will be most likely based on Android 10 for premium and some mid-range budget smartphones.
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In the fictions of Mark Twain and CSI and more, the identification of fingerprints is one of the most well-known methods for solving crimes.In real life, collecting fingerprints left on a window or doorknob is a delicate science, as well as an important one.Preserving fingerprints can help definitively link a person to a crime, especially since the US government maintains biometric databases of prints from millions of people—including previously convicted and suspected criminals, government employees, military personnel, and others.To learn more about the science of fingerprint collection, WIRED caught up with Matthew Steiner, a certified senior crime-scene analyst with more than 20 years of experience.“The first thing we want to consider is the surface itself,” Steiner says.“The most ideal surface for fingerprints is something that’s smooth and nonporous,” like plexiglass.
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(Reuters) — Uber said it “will likely” have to strike a licensing deal with Waymo or opt for costly changes to its autonomous driving software, after an expert found the ride-hailing giant still used technology from the Alphabet unit.While it was unclear by when the company needed to decide on its next move in the blockbuster trade secrets dispute, Uber, in a quarterly securities filing on Tuesday, said that a detour in its software development “could limit or delay our production of autonomous vehicle technologies.”Uber has been racing to catch up to Waymo in the development of software and hardware to install in cars and trucks to allow for driverless taxi and delivery services.The expert review of Uber’s software was part of a legal settlement reached in February 2018 that brought to an abrupt halt a federal jury trial over whether the company unfairly benefited from confidential ideas allegedly secured by making former Waymo engineers key members of its self-driving car team.Waymo began as a project within sister company Google a decade ago, while Uber launched its effort four years ago.Waymo told Reuters in a statement that the independent software expert’s findings “further confirm Waymo’s allegations that Uber misappropriated our software intellectual property.
China
No doubt, the tablet PC market is not as lucrative as it used to be.In fact, it appears that every year, there is a decline in the sales of tablet PCs.Many major manufacturers are either inactive or passive in the tablet PC market.The continuous decline of tablet PCs shipment is related to the impact of large-screen smartphones.With the preponderance of 6-inch+ smartphones, it appears that we now have more display and there is really no need for more.According to Strategy Analytics latest report, the global tablet PC market in Q3 2019 fell by 4% year-on-year.
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