Spark Electron on Kickstarter

Today I backed the Spark Electron project on Kickstarter! This is an Arduino compatible microcontroller that will have 3G cellular built in, with super cheap data plans by Spark. The project got complete funding in around 25 minutes, I got one of the early birds just in time. I’m really excited about this — right now if you want to add cellular capability to a microcontroller project it’ll end up costing you more than an Electron just for the module and you’ll still be stuck using an existing carrier. And you can bet that the carrier isn’t going to let you just get data exclusively. Spark is going to be offering a data plan for $2.99/month.

Anatomical Terms of Location for Neuroanatomy

Anatomical terminology can be tricky when it comes to neuroanatomy, especially when these terms are new to you in the first place.  In this post I hope to make the meaning of each term clear and provide useful examples.

I’ll start with positional terms (e.g. “anterior pituitary lobe,” “dorsal surface of the brain”) and then move on to planes (e.g. “a mid-sagittal slice of the CNS,” “coronal slices of the brain”).

In order to understand these terms for humans, in particular regard to neuroanatomy, we need to understand what the neuraxis looks like in humans.  Many of the terms are more intuitive when thought of in relation to a quadruped instead of an upright human.  You’ll learn about this further in the week on Neuroanatomy and embryonic development of the central nervous system.  As the image below shows, the neuraxis is a straight line in quadrupeds but has a bend in humans.  The direction of the neuraxis in the human head is perpendicular to the direction of the neuraxis in the human body.  This will become an important distinction.

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Learning Journal Feb 16th 2015 to Feb 22nd 2015


Completed Adafruit Arduino lessons 5 (my modified code!), 6, 7 (traffic light code with button debounce), 8.  This is all pretty familiar to me but I’m using it to refresh my memory before I get going on some more serious Raspberry Pi stuff (and chances are I’ll be using an Arduino in conjunction with the Pi.)  The most useful thing here is probably the serial stuff — reading from the Arduino serial port over USB will come in handy a fair bit.  Over the weekend before this post started I learned how to use an ‘HC795 shift register, this allows for three pins on the Arduino to control eight outputs.  You can chain ‘HC795s together pretty easily to control even more outputs too.  The setup is quite simple too — there’s a serial output pin on each IC that can be used for the next ICs data line.  Writing more than a single byte from the Arduino to the first IC will simply carry over to the next IC in line allowing for virtually infinite ICs to be chained together.

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