Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saturdays News - Kickstart !

Introduction Documents from Cadence:

Kickstart User Stories: Albert's Stroke Recovery

"Experiencing life out of his wheelchair for the first time in 11 years".
There's a new choice to leave the wheelchair behind. Kickstart™ is the first kinetic orthosis, a new type of wearable device designed to help users regain walking ability, stability and confidence to rediscover a more independent and mobile life. It is a simple and lightweight device that provides a boost of energy return to help swing your leg forward for each step, reinforcing correct walking motions so your legs advance smoothly and naturally.

The Kickstart Orthosis Can:

Allow users to regain the ability and endurance to walk, stand and return to daily living activities with less reliance on wheelchairs, walkers and canes Improve mobility in daily life for those with neurological injuries or conditions such as Stroke, Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Multiple Sclerosis, or Muscular Dystrophy Promote proper performance and increased endurance during rehabilitation and physical therapy

Other Quick Facts:

Uses no external power, meaning no electronics, motors or noise – provides walking assistance without the cost of robotic devices Weighs less than 5 lbs Requires minimal instruction and training – it’s designed so that an experienced user can don/doff the device in less than 5 mins

Kickstart User Stories from Cadence Biomedical.

How Kickstart Works from Cadence Biomedical

Kickstart, a new type of walking device made by Cadence Biomedical, is designed to make walking easier for those with severe mobility impairments. The device is a kinetic orthosis, meaning that it uses no motors or batteries to provide walking assistance.

Learn more on our website at

How Kickstart Works from Cadence Biomedical.

Donna Kickstart User / Stroke Survivor

Donna had a stroke twenty years ago and couldn’t walk more than a block at a time until she found Kickstart. Watch her walk and talk about how Kickstart has allowed her to regain her freedom after years of relying on a Segway for mobility.

“Kickstart has really changed my life. I used to be kind of sedentary because I was trying to save myself from that hip replacement operation that I’m hoping I’m not going to have to have now. So now I do three days a week adaptive PE, two days a week of OT clinic, and now I got my husband to commit to ballroom dancing.”

“I used to have to use a Segway to get anywhere that was going to have to walk further than a block. And if I did any kind of walking at all, I had so much pain that I had to take a couple of naproxin. So now I can go anywhere, I can walk most anywhere, and I can walk around the house without a cane – most of the time actually. And I’m more stable when I stand up.”

Kickstart User Stories from Cadence Biomedical.

Eric Kickstart User / Stroke Survivor

Eric has been going to physical therapy once a week for a decade since his stroke, but his leg weakness persisted and continued to limit his mobility. With Kickstart, he has been able to quickly increase his walking speed and endurance, making it possible for him to walk side by side with his wife during their walks. Eric uses Kickstart both during physical therapy and at home, and is now less reliant on his walking cane around the house.

Kickstart User Stories from Cadence Biomedical.

Ron Kickstart User / Spinal Cord Injury

Ron had a partial spinal cord injury seven years ago, and he’s now using Kickstart to help him get back to the exercise that he loves. Until he started using Kickstart, he had been doing partial weight bearing support therapy for six years but still had trouble taking several steps consecutively. Minutes after we fit him with his Kickstart, he was able to do laps in the parallel bars with ease.

Since he’s gotten Kickstart, his therapy has been focused entirely on overground walking with Kickstart and a walker. Recently, he walked for 45 minutes outside over uneven terrain without issue and he consistently improves his ten-meter walk time with each therapy session.

Kickstart User Stories from Cadence Biomedical.

Heather Highlight Video

Heather in this video has ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerorsis). Without our device, she is only able to walk for very short durations while holding on to another person for support.

This video snippet shows her taking her first steps on her own in over 5 years using our device. The physical therapist in the video is holding on to her belt in case a fall occurs and is not providing any support.

Heather Highlight Video from Cadence Biomedical.

All content © 2012 Cadence Biomedical, All Rights Reserved

Saturdays Comics - Dec-29-2012

For Better and For Worse
Lynn Johnston - 2007-08-17

"Boxcar! Boxcar! Yes!"
Scott Adams - 2012-12-28

"I've been aggressive recently."

Jim Davis - 2012-12-28

"Who knows what the future holds?"

Delainey & Rasmussen - 2012-12-26

"A Blu-Ray 'Lord of the Rings' marathon!"    

For Better and For Worse" is a serious topic of stroke but with a very nice cartoons. It is all about Grandpa Jim had a stroke and 88 further cartoon "strips" that happened to Grandpa Jim. (See as well  the author Lynn Johnston).
** I tried to get low or free price at the people for the images for the cartoons. It was too high for Stroke Survivors Tattler i.e. we are not a regular newspaper and our budget is very low. Fortunately, you will have to do only 1-click more to see the cartoon image, it is legit and it is free using and
*** Changed from "Pickles" to "Betty" -- "Betty" is a excellent cartoon and Gary Delainey & Gerry Rasmussen are authors/artists/cartoon-strips and they live in Edmonton.

Saturday - Eclectic Stuff & Articles - Dec-29-2012

Definition:Eclectic(noun) a person who derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

Eclectic: Carrie - Winter Solace

Carrie - SSTattler

Winter Solace 

By Carrie Lewis

A soft Skiff of Snow, blankets the sidewalk, in front of my house.
Clearing away the bit of snow,
helps to welcome those who walk in the cold night.

It’s meant to warm and receive neighbours back home.
The sight of a Sidewalk Smile brings comfort to a weary soul,
as they trudge through all the un-shovelled blocks before mine.
It makes me happy, that I could brighten the end of their day.

Eclectic: Jackie - Circo Roncalli

Jackie - SSTattler
Sorprendente número de circo donde a una voluntaria le invitan a ponerse un lujoso abrigo de piel. Una buena indirecta para los que se dedican a matar animales para hacer este tipo de abrigos. (Gracias Leopoldo Ramírez)

(SSTattler: If you are like me that don't understand Spanish then Google will translate below).

Surprising number of circus where a volunteer will be invited to a luxurious fur coat. A good hint to those who are engaged in killing animals to make this kind of coats.
(Thanks Leopoldo Ramirez)

Eclectic: Monty - Bless Her Little Heart... the Secret to Long Life...

Monty - SSTattler
A doctor on his morning walk, noticed the old lady pictured below.  She was sitting on her front step smoking a cigar, so he walked up to her and said, “I couldn’t help but notice how happy you look! What is your secret?”

“I smoke ten cigars a day,” she said. “Before I go to bed, I smoke a nice big joint. Apart from that, I drink a whole bottle of Jack Daniels every week, and eat only junk food. On weekends, I pop pills, have sex, and I don’t exercise at all.

“That is absolutely amazing! How old are you?”

“Forty,” she replied.

Article: EKinect Evolved - Stroke Recovery With Microsoft's Motion Sensor

18 October 2012 Chris Lo

Could Microsoft's Kinect drive a revolution in home-based stroke recovery through the use of affordable motion tracking? Chris Lo speaks to researchers at Southampton University and Roke Manor Research, who are aiming to bring virtual stroke rehabilitation into the patient's living room.

Microsoft's Kinect device is the latest step in the march of motion tracking technology from the lab into the living room. The device, which is based on 3D sensing technology developed by Israeli tech company PrimeSense, allows Xbox gamers to play without any controller input; the Kinect's camera and 3D depth sensors pick up on the player's motion, meaning that punches, kicks and other movements interact with in-game action.

While casual gamers have been enjoying flailing their arms and legs around since the Kinect's initial launch in November 2010 (to the tune of 19 million units sold as of June 2012), the introduction of affordable motion sensing technology into the household is important in areas other than gaming.

Clinical Potential of Motion Tracking

"What we wanted to do was teach the Kinect about hands, so that we could start to extend rehabilitation beyond the arm."

One such field is physiotherapy and physical rehabilitation, where motion tracking has proved useful for measuring physical movement throughout the recovery process, but has mostly been confined to clinics and laboratories, limiting its availability to the majority of patients.

Sara Demain, physiotherapist and lecturer at Southampton University, was one of a team of clinical and computer science experts at the university who was keeping a keen eye on the launch of Kinect.

"We'd seen that people had adopted the [Nintendo] Wii into rehabilitation, and we knew that the Kinect was coming online," Demain says. "Even before it was sold, we were already planning what we might be able to do to develop it for rehab."

A multidisciplinary team of Southampton clinicians, engineers and computer scientists was set up with a goal of adapting the Kinect as a home-based rehabilitation tool for the thousands of people working to recover hand function after a stroke. The team has found local support in the form of R&D company Roke Manor Research, and is being led by Dr Cheryl Metcalf, building on her recent development of Piano HAWK (Hand and Wrist Kinematics), a motion sensor designed to analyse the hand and wrist movements of pianists.

Adapting Kinect for Stroke Patients

Despite getting Microsoft's blessing for the project, the team quickly realised that the device wouldn't be suitable for stroke patients without extensive modification. "It wasn't until we actually got one and used it that we realised that it was able to map the body and the arm, but it didn't know anything about hands, other than a blob at the end of the arm," says Demain.

"What we wanted to do in this project was to teach the Kinect about hands, so that... ===>

See the full article EKinect Evolved - Stroke Recovery With Microsoft's Motion Sensor
                         in is a product of Net Resources International. Copyright 2012 Net Resources International, a trading division of Cornhill Publications Limited.

Eclectic: The Dentist - The Latex Creation

The Dentist - SSTattler
A dentist noticed that his next patient, a little old lady, was nervous so he decided to tell her a little joke as he put on his gloves. “Do you know how they make these gloves?” He asked.

“No, I don’t.”

“Well,” he spoofed, “there’s a building in Mexico with a big tank of latex and workers of all hand sizes walk up to the tank, dip in their hands, let them dry, then peel off the gloves and throw them into boxes of the right size.”

She didn’t crack a smile.

“Oh, well. I tried,” he thought.

But five minutes later, during a delicate portion of the procedure, she burst out laughing.

“What’s so funny?” He asked.

"I was just envisioning how condoms are made!"

Article: Faces of Stroke Ambassador - Charles

Charles Louis, 48, is a trusty volunteer at National Stroke Association headquarters where he is committed to spreading the word about stroke. “I would like to see more media coverage,” he says. “Just getting the word out would be helpful.”

Louis had a subarachnoid hemorrhage six years ago, at the age of 42. He had no idea what stroke was—all he knew was that he was having the worst headache of his life. He drove himself to the hospital, despite having no insurance. His journey to the hospital continued with transfers and visits to three more hospitals.

Today, the remaining effects of Louis’ stroke include short-term memory loss, some trouble writing and foot drop. He sees his stroke as a sort of rebirth or second chance; if you ask him when it happened, he’ll quote the exact date and say, “I’m 6 years old.”

While Louis has not returned to work, he has spent more than two years at National Stroke Association, giving an empathetic ear to stroke survivors and caregivers who call the organization looking for resources, information or just a friendly voice. He also attends and speaks at stroke support groups and community centres.

Louis describes himself as hopeful—“I’m hopeful that I can continue, both spiritually and physically.”

© Copyright 2012 National Stroke Association, All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized Use is Prohibited.

Eclectic: SSTattler - Therapy Helps... but, ...

Article: Dean - Stroke Victims Too Slow to Call 999

Dean's Stroke Musing
Completely the wrong title. Blaming the victim mentality. RantOn NHS not researching possible therapies that can save trillions of neurons in the first week after a stroke. Call the news team and demand a retraction. I've even conveniently compiled 162 options  for you to give to them Hyperacute Options for Stroke. Point them to these dozens of possibilities needing research. You need to make a fuss about this, no one else is doing their job. RantOff
         -- Dean's Stroke Musing.

People who are suffering a stroke are too slow to dial 999 even if they recognise the signs of the potentially deadly condition, according to new research.

Every year 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke and if they receive clot-busting drugs within the first few hours their chances of a full recovery are much greater.

But a paper published in the PLOS One journal showed patients delayed calling the emergency services.

Researchers investigated the reason for people's reluctance and found fear and denial were factors, while others did not want to "make a fuss".

Contacting their family, friends or GP before ringing 999 delayed some stroke patients' journeys to hospital for treatment.

The findings from interviews at three acute stroke units in the North East showed some patients had knowledge of the condition from seeing it in TV shows and adverts.

The widely-publicised Act FAST campaign had raised awareness of stroke in some patients, but did not necessarily increase any sense of urgency, particularly if they experienced symptoms different from those highlighted in the campaign.

Martin White, professor of public health at Newcastle University and lead author of the paper, said: "People need to know that you may get some or all of the symptoms, and maybe not in the same order. If you suspect yourself or someone else is having a stroke you should call 999 straight away so life-saving treatment can be given."

Co-researcher Joan Mackintosh, research associate at Newcastle University, said: "Every minute counts and delayed treatment means patients are more likely to lose their independence, with consequences for themselves and their carers.

"Even a slight delay, for example calling your GP instead of calling the emergency services straight away, can have a big effect. The message has to be, dial 999 if any of the symptoms of a stroke appear, even if it's not all of them."

See the original article Stroke Victims Too Slow to Call 999
                                       in MSN NEWS

Eclectic: Diane - The Plumber and the Bowel Movement

Diane - The Pink House OTC

The Plumber and the Bowel Movement,
a (Sort of) Christmas Story

'Twas the week before Christmas
I stepped through the bathroom door
And saw the toilet was leaking
All over the floor.

So I flew to the kitchen
And grabbed the phone book
And called up a plumber
To come take a look.

The plumber arrived,
He was no jolly elf,
He plunked down his tool box
On top of my shelf.

He got down on his knees
Right there on the floor
And examined the toilet
For five minutes or more.

"Ah ha!" He exclaimed,
"This thing-a-bob is busted!
These gaskets are cracked!
And the screws are all rusted!"

"And this little gizmo
It needs some tweaking ... ===>>

See the full poem The Plumber and the Bowel Movement
                             in The Pink House On The Corner

Eclectic: SSTattler - Polar Bear Swim - Just Try It!

John - SSTattler


A Dip on January 1, 2013:  Man, that water is cold. If that’s what you say in the summer, then the Polar Bear Swim may not be for you. However, if you like cold water or have a dash of good old Canadian (or USA) insanity, heading to the ocean for a dip on New Year’s Day might be in the cards. Vancouver has a venerable Polar Bear Swim Club that began in 1920, and up to 2,000 registered participants brave the waters near Vancouver on January 1 each year. Other cities in Canada, including Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, have New Year’s Day swim events as well.


2013 Polar Bear Plunge Promo - Minnesota, USA

Example Canada Cities - Many More in YouTube

Polar Bear Swim VANCOUVER, BC, Canada

Great Canadian Chill Polar Bear Dip OTTAWA, Ontario, Canada

Polar Bear Dip 2012 Dip TORONTO, Ontario, Canada

What better way to start 2012 than with a little dip in Lake Ontario. Thanks again to all the folks that supported the event. Lets plan to do it together in 2013.

Example US Cities - Many More in YouTube

Barb's Polar Bear Plunge 2009 SEATTLE, WA, USA

The Beauties do the plunge into Lake Washington on New Year's Day's in the Polar Bear Plunge.

Special Olympics Polar Plunge CHICAGO, Illinois, USA

Lunatics, Cavemen, Polar Bears and hundreds of hearty souls not afraid of "shrinkage" jumped into a freezing cold Lake Michigan this March in Chicago for the 10th Annual Polar Plunge benefiting Special Olympics!

Polar Bear Plunge, Coney Island, BROOKLYN, NY, USA

Jan 2, 2012. I'm losing count of how many polar bear swims I've done, but it's at least my 9th. Music is Blue Danube Waltz by the Berliner Philharmoniker & Herbert von Karajan. Let me know if you spot yourself in the video.

One Example of the REAL Polar Bear

REAL Polar Bear Swimming in TORONTO Zoo!

This polar bear was having his afternoon swim. We'd been waiting for him to get down to the water for long, glad it wasn't wasted! After the long wait he jumped down to the water so we could get a closer look at him. But probably that he didn't realize that he's being watched by so many people underwater, lol. (coz' there're many people on the ground level watching him swim there too).

Eclectic: SSTattler - Songs for a New World

Three Form Theatre Presents
"Songs for a New World" 
Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 – Thursday, Jan 3, 2013

John - SSTattler
Location: L’uni Theatre at La Cite Francophone.
          8627 Rue Marie-Anne Gaboury
          (91 Street)
City:     Edmonton
Venue:    Bonnie Doon
Description: Three Form Theatre
Category: Concerts / Performances
Cost:     In advance: $23/adults,$20/students
          and seniors. At the door: $26/adults,
          $23/students and seniors. 
          New Years Eve: $30
Tickets:  Tix on the Square: or at the door
Phone:    780.420.1757
Additional: All shows start at 7:30 except the New Years Eve
           performance will start at 7PM, with reception 
           beginning at 6PM.

Songs for a New World is a collection of songs about the moments in life when everything seems perfect, and then suddenly disaster strikes. In each of the sixteen songs we meet a new person who has reached a defining moment in his or her life, and we see how they are able to cope. This unique musical is set in no specific location; its twists and turns are orchestrated only by the uncertainty in the human heart and soul.

Article: SSTattler - Summary of Changes to SSTattler Site Up To Dec-29-2012

Summary of Changes to SSTattler Site Up To Dec-29-2012

This is a summary of changes from my personal notes on SSTattler:  
  • Updated Conference Tabs on the header.
  • Added proper colour Tabs on the header - Home | New to Stroke | ... | About Us |
  • Added to the header. You can point to anywhere on the header and then it will go to
  • Added SSTattler Contents ...▶ Search/Google: Stroke Survivors Tattler
    • Now you know exactly with a search with Google in Stroke Survivors Tattler.
  • Changes to SSTattler Contents .../Comments On SSTattler to <small> (usually 10px font).
  • Added SSTattler Contents ...:
    • World Wide Services 
    • ▶ Neuro Film Festival: Submit a Video 
    • ▶ Important Stroke Web Sites
  • Added SSTattler Contents ...▶ SSTattler - Weekly Index. Updated weekly.
  • Added SSTattler Contents ...▶ All Synopsis of Comments. Updated daily. They will have to go through good comments and reject porn, to sale (not in "stroke"),  junk, ...
  • Added 1) pic Dr. Beagle Cranium and 2) short bio. He is the President/CEO.
  • Change to pic Header - The pic's are 1) free and 2) about Edmonton.
  • Added the right-column:
    • SSTattler Extra ...
    • ▶ Preview Next Saturday News 
    • ▶ Publisher & Chief Editor Cards 
    • ▶ E-Mail SSTattler Administrator 
    • ▶ Last Week Statistics
    • SUBSCRIBE TO MY PODCAST (i.e. Odiogo for (partially) blind)
    • FOLLOWERS (from Google)
  • Added the left-column:
    • SSTattler Contents ...
    • ▶ YouTube - About Stroke
    • ▶ Comics - FBaFW, Dilbert, Garfield, Betty
    • ▶ Eclectic & Blog - Anything you want!
    • ▶ Articles - Stroke / Medical / ...
    • Local Edmonton Services 
    • ▶ Steadward Centre 
    • ▶ Networks Activity Centre Society of Alberta 
    • ▶ Stroke Recovery Association of Edmonton 
    • ▶ Edmonton City Events
    • BLOG ARCHIVE ...
  • Global Format Site per Blog
    • YouTube (and now Vimeo) - publish on Saturday @ 1:00am.
    • Comics (especially FBandFW) - publish on Saturday @ 12:45am.
    • Article & Eclectic - publish on Saturday @ 12:30am.
      • random ordered i.e. they supplied an article then I will publish it.
  • Stroke Survivors Tattler (Name & Site Addresses)
    • The Name is Stroke Survivors Tattler and has the 3 unique site addresses. All of them will resolve to the same site
      1. - free from Google, limit is a blog.
      2. - short, only cost $10 (I tried to buy Stroke-Survivors.COM - Lots of bucks - I couldn't buy it!)).
      3. - free, really short by Google. I usually use (2) and sometimes (3) and (1) is simply to long to type. is the site that holds Google URL Shortener.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturdays News - I'll will tell you later! ;-)

Well, now I can tell you - it is the week for Christmas -- lets reflect what happened in 2012 about Stroke Survivors Tattler and thanks specially to many great authors and great readers:

      The Best of 2012 Stroke Survivors Tattler 
              - Introduction
              - Best Saturday News with YouTube & Vimeo
              - Best Comics
              - Best Eclectic & Article
                       - Authors in SSTattler
                       - Other Authors
                       - Commercial Companies


Today is near to Christmas and most people like Christmas -- it is a very beautiful holiday.   Christians have Christmas, Jews have Hanukkah, people of African descent have Kwanzaa, others celebrate the Solstice, Buddhists remember the five precepts ... but all people giving gifts, kindness, love, peace to all mankind.

For me, at least,  it is time to reflect what happened to the last year especially what happened to Stroke Survivors Tattler site.

Some articles are very good and, actually, some are excellent:  

  • YouTube and Vimeo, ... -- they are 1) free 2) and easy to embed to SSTattler.
  • The site SSTattler has a good list of "Authors", see in About Us.
  • Many other authors come from stroke survivors / caregivers and give articles to SSTattler. Some have their own site and some only communicate with e-mail to SSTattler.
  •  Many professionals contribute on SSTattler site - doctors, physiotherapist, speech therapists, and a number of good students ...
  • Comics - especially the topic of stroke For Best and For Worse -- A Real-Life Experience -- Lynn Johnston.
  • Various commercial companies (only 6 right now), drug makers, devices electronic/non-electronic, ... They provided video in YouTube & Vimeo, articles, and very important - a proper copyright.

Your opinion, of course, may be different but this is, in my opinion:

-->  The Best of 2012 Stroke Survivors Tattler   <--

Best of 2012 Saturday News with YouTube & Vimeo

Best of 2012 Comics

Best of 2012 Eclectic & Article 

Authors in SSTattler (in alphabetic order):

Best of 2012  Other Author (in alphabetic order):

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,
Regards to all,
John C. Anderson

Saturdays Comics - Dec-22-2012

For Better and For Worse
Lynn Johnston - 2007/08/16

"... his stomach a hazardous waist site!"
Scott Adams - 2012-12-21

"I'm the new bad apple ..."

Jim Davis - 2012-12-21

"You'll never find where I hid your present ..."

Delainey & Rasmussen - 2012-12-17

"Are you getting excited about Christmas ..."    

For Better and For Worse" is a serious topic of stroke but with a very nice cartoons. It is all about Grandpa Jim had a stroke and 88 further cartoon "strips" that happened to Grandpa Jim. (See as well  the author Lynn Johnston).
** I tried to get low or free price at the people for the images for the cartoons. It was too high for Stroke Survivors Tattler i.e. we are not a regular newspaper and our budget is very low. Fortunately, you will have to do only 1-click more to see the cartoon image, it is legit and it is free using and
*** Changed from "Pickles" to "Betty" -- "Betty" is a excellent cartoon and Gary Delainey & Gerry Rasmussen are authors/artists/cartoon-strips and they live in Edmonton.

Saturday - Eclectic Stuff & Articles - Dec-22-2012

Definition:Eclectic(noun) a person who derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

Article: Stroke Assoc. (UK) - All I Want For Christmas ...

Stroke Association UK

Chris Clark, UK Director

One in three stroke survivors have aphasia. Stroke survivors who have aphasia find it difficult to speak, read and write.  Chris Clark, UK Director, Life After Stroke Services, shares his understanding of the impact of aphasia.

Our easy guide explains how to communicate better with stroke survivors who have aphasia.

Amber Garland

Amber Garland, 22, has aphasia as a result of a stroke. Amber explains: “Three years ago, I woke up and I had no speech at all. I could not swallow well and pointed to everything. I nodded but I did not understand."
  • I have had a stroke and I got aphasia.
  • Three years ago, I woke up and I had no speech at all.
  • I could not swallow well and pointed to everything.
  • I learnt to sing “somewhere over the rainbow” and say ‘hello’
  • I found it hard to say “No” but “Yes” was ok.
  • I found reading, writing and gestures difficult.
  • I nodded but I didn’t understand.
  • I was most scared at night, when I was alone.
  • I worried about not getting better.
  • I used to shout at my mum and stomp off - this is aphasia…
  • I am not like before
  • Talking and reading newspaper headlines helps.
  • Talking to people one to one helps.
  • I use my finger, and underline words
I wish people understood:
  • Finishing my sentences is annoying
  • Talking too fast is really annoying
  • Not checking I understand them is really annoying
Aphasia has changed my life:
  • Because of my aphasia I could not complete my studies at university
  • Because of my aphasia my social life is affected
  • Because of my aphasia I still need support.
  • Despite my aphasia, I am rebuilding my life (after three years of therapy)
  • The Stroke Association has helped build my confidence to use the communication I have got.
Despite amazing progress, Amber still wishes people understood her better when she speaks. Watch Amber’s story here:

Stroke Survivors With Aphasia Shared Their Wishes for Christmas

Almost 800 stroke survivors with aphasia shared their wishes for Christmas since their stroke. You can see the results of the survey here, and you can watch a video of some of the respondents below:

Loneliness and Isolation

We know that aphasia does not have to mean loneliness and isolation. We know the right support can help. Watch a video of Cuckfield Aphasia Choir.

Stroke Association Services

  • You can search for some of our local services here or ring the Stroke Helpline on 0303 3033 100.
  • You can read our factsheet on communication problems after stroke. 
  • You can visit TalkStroke to meet other people affected by stroke and share experiences.
  • You can help change lives for people affected by making a donation to Stroke Association.
If you are a health or social care professional and would like to find out more about the support services we can provide for people who have aphasia, please see the Professionals section of our website or email us at

Hilary Devey, BBC Dragon’s Den Star and Stroke Association Supporter, says:

“My communication wasn’t affected by my stroke, but I can only imagine how devastating it would be. It’s hard enough getting your life back on track, but not being able to speak, read or write would make it all the more harder. I hope through this campaign more people will support the Stroke Association in giving stroke survivors back their lives.”

John Humphrys, BBC Broadcaster, says:

“There are over 300,000 stroke survivors who have aphasia, which means they have difficulty being able to speak, read and understand. It's a condition that strikes at the very essence of what it is to be human. As a broadcaster I can't even begin to imagine it. This Christmas, please join me in supporting the Stroke Association as they work to give people a better life after stroke.”

Copyright © Stroke Association UK
... Permitted Use
       Visitors to the Stroke Association website are granted permission to access this copyright material (written or images) and to download the copyright material onto electronic, optical or similar storage media provided that such activities are for personal, non-commercial use.

Article: SSTattler - Nail Clippers
(SSTattler: I'm going to fetch it in February because it is 1) my Xmas present and 2) the reason is "The Fingernail and Toenail Clippers are temporarily unavailable. We expect to receive stock by early February, 2013").

In recent years we have had an increasing number of inquiries asking us to carry products suitable for people with reduced dexterity. Nail clippers were mentioned as one example. We ordered samples from manufacturers in North America and internationally. Of those received and tested, the ones made in Japan were the best.

Of the three styles we chose, the two blue clippers were selected because they were specifically designed to accommodate users with reduced manual dexterity. The rotary clippers are also easy to use but appeal to a broader market because they enable the greatest precision and convenience in freehand use.

These three Japanese nail clippers have a number of common features:

  1. They all retain clippings in use. The clippings are removed by holding the clipper cutting-end down and tapping it lightly on your palm or the side of a container.
  2. They all have jaws that are offset by a few thousandths of an inch so they can shear nails cleanly without dulling the blades.
  3. Longer than regular clippers, they are easier to hold and need less force to operate.
  4. All have built-in nail files and include an optional high-friction pad that will hold the clipper firmly on a flat surface as the user presses on the lever arm, making accurate cutting easier.

The Fingernail and Toenail Clippers are temporarily unavailable. We expect to receive stock by early February, 2013.

A.   Fingernail Clipper
       09A06.22       $9.75    
B.   Toenail Clipper
       09A06.21       $10.75    
       Fingernail and Toenail Clippers, set of 2
       09A06.23       $18.95    
C.   Rotary Fingernail Clipper
       09A06.25       $16.75    

18403 104th Avenue NW  Phone: (780) 444-6153
Edmonton AB  T5S 2V8 Fax:      (780) 489-9810
(Corner of 104th Avenue and 184th Street)
Other LeeValley stores in most cities in Canada & USA & International.

Article: NBN News - Music Helping Stroke Survivors (Australia)

It’s said that music is a universal language, and now in the Hunter it’s being used to help stroke survivors regain their communication skills.  Today, graduates of a new singing therapy program performed for the very first time.

Copyright © 2012 NBN News

Eclectic: Monty - Best Christmas Lights Display

Monty - SSTattler

This is cool, it looks like the house is jumping. As the story goes,.. "Police were constantly being called for traffic jams and accidents in the neighbourhood so they asked him to shut it down during certain hours. Instead he started charging by car load to pay off duty police to be there. The guy is supposedly a real computer GEEK".

Eclectic: Diane - And --- We're Off!

Diane - The Pink House OTC
Yesterday, the hospital was served with a "90 Day Notice of Intent to Sue". This legal document is about 65 pages long and outlines our case against the hospital, describes the events of that fateful night and includes affidavits of two expert witnesses, one of which is an ICU nurse who testifies to the negligence of the ICU nurses; the other is a vascular surgeon who testifies that if the nurse had notified a doctor at the onset of Bob's stroke symptoms (instead of 11 hours later) and if Bob had been taken back to surgery within 1-2 hours (instead of 12-13 hours later) that Bob would not have suffered any "long-term neurological deficits".

At this time, the hospital has 90 days to respond, at which point they can agree to proceed to a settlement, or they can deny any wrongdoing and the lawsuit will be formally filed and we will proceed to a jury trial.

All I can say is, phew! It's taken a long time, not to mention more than a few frazzled nerves on my part, to get this far and I am glad the gate is finally open, the ball is finally rolling.

Bob With Zenith Riding on His Shoulder
But I must say I have been a basket of mixed emotions. Relief, for one, that this attorney is on top of things.

Proud, of myself, for not giving up when prospects looked grim. Excited at the prospect of a settlement and having some light at the end of this dark tunnel and the possibility of being able to get Bob the help/therapy that he needs... But more than a little angry that this ever had to happen, when it could have so easily been averted. And, alas, very saddened by the whole thing. What I wouldn't give to just hit the "undo" button.

I was asked by the attorney's office to gather together some photographs of Bob, both pre-stroke and post-stroke, and that has been a gut-wrenching task, to say the least. Some of the pre-stroke photos are just so hard for me to look at without bursting into tears. Like the one above...

Eclectic: Diane - Bob Speaks Out: A Video, Part 3

Diane - The Pink House OTC

I haven't posted a video of Bob speaking in quite awhile as I had problems with my camera, but finally, here is a video I took yesterday: (Click on the YouTube icon if you have technical difficulties with the videos. This will take you right to YouTube for better sound and picture quality.)

Compare to this one, taken 9 months ago:

Improvements all around, I think. Not to mention---man, did his hair grow! ha!

Since around June, when the last "professional" Speech Therapist bailed out, we have not had the time to do any "traditional" speech therapy. We used to do about 45 minutes each day, but since Bob developed his neck issues, we spend that time now doing neck stretching exercises and PT... Instead, I have been implementing Mark Ittleman's "Teaching of Talking" techniques, which is basically pushing Bob to speak in complete sentences all day long. A sort of slipping speech therapy in sideways, if you will.

All I can say, it seems to be working.

Meanwhile, still no word if he will be able to continue at Rehab... aargh.

Article: Jackie - Scientists Create 'Most Realistic Artificial Human Brain Yet'

Jackie - SSTattler
By Charles Walford
Published: 30 November 2012 

(Jackie: I think I'll need one of these! I hope they hurry ;)

Scientists create 'most realistic artificial human brain yet' that can count and even pass simple IQ reasoning tests.
  • Spaun (Semantic Pointer Architecture Unified Network), consists of 2.5 million simulated neurons and can perform eight different tasks
  • Tasks range from copy drawing to counting, to question answering and fluid reasoning.
A group of scientists have created what they say is the closest model to a functioning brain ever seen.

The simulated brain - which runs on a supercomputer, has a digital eye which it uses for visual input, a robotic arm that it uses to draw its responses - is so advanced it can even pass the basic elements of an IQ test.

Neuroscientists and software engineers at the University of Waterloo in Canada say it is world’s most complex, large-scale model simulation of the human brain so far created, reports

The brain, called Spaun (Semantic Pointer Architecture Unified Network), consists of 2.5 million simulated neurons, allowing it to perform eight different tasks.

Test: The 'brain' was able to process visual cues and reproduce them on a piece of paper.

These tasks range from copy drawing to counting, to question answering and fluid reasoning.

During the tests the scientists flashed up numbers and letters, which Spaun reads into memory, and then another letter or symbol acts as the command, telling Spaun what to do with its memory. The output of the task is then inscribed by the robotic arm, the team reports in the journal Science.

Spaun’s brain consists of 2.5million neurons that are broken down into a bunch of simulated cranial subsystems, including the prefrontal cortex, basal ganglia, and thalamus, which are wired together with simulated neurons that very accurately mimic the wiring of a real human brain.

The basic idea is that these subsystems behave very similarly to a real brain: Visual input is processed by the thalamus, the data is stored in the neurons, and then the basal ganglia fires off a task to a part of the cortex that’s designed to handle that task.

All of this computation is performed in a physiologically accurate way, with simulated voltage spikes and neurotransmitters. Even the limitations of the human brain are simulated, with Spaun struggling to store more than a few numbers in its short-term memory.

Brain power: A simplified diagram showing the process of Spaun.

The end result is a brain that is mechanistically simple, but which is surprisingly flexible.

The researchers say there are some tantalising hints as to how the brain evolved: starting with simple tasks, and then building upon and weaving them together to build complex functionality.

The next step, say the research team, led by Chris Eliasmith, is to imbue Spaun with adaptive plasticity — the ability to rewire its neurons and learn new tasks simply by doing, rather than being pre-programmed.

As for the ultimate end goal, Eliasmith is excited about Spaun’s prospects. 'It lets us understand how the brain, the biological substrate, and behavior relate. That’s important for all sorts of health applications,' he says in an interview with PopSci. In testing he has 'killed' synthetic neurons and watched performance degrade, which could provide an interesting insight into natural aging and degenerative disorders.

Spaun is built upon Nengo, a graphical open-source software package for building simulated neural systems. You can actually download the Spaun neural model, if you want to simulate your own brain — though you may need a little more processing power than your desktop PC.

Video Available:

  • SPAUN - Digit Recognition
  • SPAUN - Question Answering (Position)
  • SPAUN - Serial Working Memory

See the full article Scientists Create 'Most Realistic Artificial Human Brain Yet'
                               in MailOnline.

Article: The Story of Tapgram (Beta)

Tapgram is the first assistive messaging platform of its kind. Now, everyone can use it for free at

Tapgram Overview (Beta)

Create a message with just two taps. 
Your message can be posted to your
feed and emailed to your close friends.
Friends and loved ones can
tap to send a picture reply.

Tapgram is a new communication platform that makes it easy to compose messages without using a keyboard. This video is an overview of our current site found at

See also Saturdays News - MyVoice in SSTattler