Study links brain activity and political beliefs

first_imgA USC-led study aims to explain the neurological reasons behind the growing national political divide.Conducted by the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC and Project Reason, the study shows how different parts of the brain are activated when an individual is presented a challenge to strongly held political beliefs.The study gathered 40 self-professed “strong liberals” who were then asked eight political and non-political questions. While political statements came from a small pool of questions, non-political statements were tailored to each person. “We started with a series of beliefs that people had previously told us they believed really strongly, so we gave them a scale from one to seven and asked them how strongly they believed these things,” said Jonas Kaplan, lead author of the study and an assistant research professor of psychology at the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “All of these beliefs we showed them while inside the brain scanner were beliefs they had rated six or seven, so they were rated pretty strongly. Then after we [presented] the arguments to them, we asked them again how strongly they believed this.”According to Kaplan, a change in belief was recorded if an individual modified their response from a higher to a lower ranking on the scale after the counterargument was presented.This occurred while the participant was in a brain scanner, allowing the study to determine which parts of the brain were activated. Researchers found that the amygdala, insular cortex and default mode network were all triggered more when contrary thinking was presented against political questions than non-political ones. The researchers found that these regions were also activated in people less likely to change their minds.“The insular cortex is a part of the brain that processes feelings from the body,” said Sarah Gimbel, a co-author of the study and a senior research assistant at the USC Brain and Creativity Institute. “We know from other research that it’s important for emotion and emotional salience — like how emotionally important something is to you. The fact that we saw increased activation in this region … shows us when we feel threatened or anxious or emotional that we’re less likely to change our minds about these strongly held beliefs.”While the amygdala and the default mode network act as separate mechanisms in the brain, they share similar functions. When challenged, an individual becomes emotional and threatened, which Gimbel said reveals something deeper about politics and personal identity. “Activity when the political beliefs are challenged compared to when the non-political beliefs are challenged shows us that these areas of the brain have been linked to thinking about who we are,” Gimbel said. “It’s showing that these strongly held political beliefs have become a part of our sense of self and our sense of identity.”The study may also have implications for similar kinds of thinking as well. Kaplan believes that the results are not confined to politics, but rather he uses politics as an example of a more general group of ideas that people resist changing their minds about.“We used politics as a test case because we thought it would be difficult to change people’s minds about political things, and we were testing what happens when we resist changing our minds,” Kaplan said. “We don’t think this process is specific to politics. We think it’s probably more general to everything we think is important to us — so politics, religious beliefs and maybe beliefs about the USC football team if you’re a sports fan.”last_img read more

Professor awarded research grant for arthritis research

first_imgAfter receiving a $1.69 million grant from the National Institute of Health, associate professor Denis Evseenko will work to find a potential cure for diseases like arthritis. “We want to figure out what makes those cells special,” postdoctoral fellow Ben Van Handel said. “Why are they able to maintain STAT3 levels that are high and not suffer the bad consequences that typically happen when they activate STAT3?” The team hopes to use this research to develop an inflammation-reducing drug that would kickstart the regenerative state of the joint cartilage, Van Handel said. “[We want to] find out what are the molecular mechanisms that trigger these stem cells from working,” Bajpai said. “Once we figure this out, we can potentially apply them in various contexts where you want to regenerate cartilage in people.” The research team will be looking at the STAT3 gene, which is beneficial in fetal cartilage but can lead to inflammation and arthritis among adults. “Stem cells can make cartilage when they’re young, but when you become an adult, you can no longer make any cartilage,” said Ruchi Bajpai, an associate professor on Evseenko’s team. “They can’t repair anymore, so the question is: Do we not have the stem cells or do we not have the mechanism to activate them?”   “Very often patients who have arthritis get these cartilage defects that they have to live with for the rest of their life,” Bajpai said. “It’s so hard because there’s no way to repair or heal or work with them.” The project will find ways to delay or minimize the effects of arthritis by manipulating stem cells and reversing or delaying aging in the synovial joint, the most common joint in the human body, according to Evseenko.   Levels of STAT3 decrease as cells lose their ability to regenerate, leading the research team to believe there is a correlation between aging and regeneration, Evseenko said. From there, the team plans to manipulate the mechanisms that involve STAT3 to create a more efficient cure for those suffering from arthritis. Currently, patients can undergo therapies like hydrotherapy or acupuncture,  take medicines or receive joint, hip or knee replacement surgeries. However, there is no cure for most types of arthritis, only treatment. Arthritis affects about 54 million adults and 300,000 infants in America, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Arthritis is already the leading cause of disability in adults, and the number of people affected in the U.S. is expected to rise to 78 million by 2040. The team will also conduct research regarding adults who have high levels of STAT3 but do not suffer from arthritis. Once they solve the mystery behind the differing effects, the team will attempt to heal the damage at the root source rather than prescribing pain medication or suggesting joint surgery. Associate professor Denis Evseenko’s research will focus on the regenerative capacities of cartilage cells that affect arthritis. (Kevin Fohrer/Daily Trojan) Evseenko’s research will focus on the regenerative capacities of joint cartilage cells, which affect such diseases. The grant will disperse in February and last five years. Evseenko has received close to $4 million for his stem cell research over the past few years, which has resulted in several breakthroughs in regenerative and anti-inflammatory medicine, along with the formation of human joint cartilage.last_img read more

USC can start a new era with win

first_imgTal Volk | Daily TrojanHolding it together · Head coach Clay Helton’s season turned around after he named redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Darnold the starter in Week 4. This week, the Trojans face No. 4 Washington.The last time USC faced Washington, it was the final game before all hell broke loose and a new era of the football program emerged, for better or for worse.You probably recall it — the No. 17 Trojans entering as double-digit favorites against the unranked Huskies at the Coliseum on a Thursday night in October. You remember it being utterly depressing — former quarterback Cody Kessler throwing two interceptions, the Huskies taking the lead on a trick play and then closing out a 17-12 win. But that was hardly the story.It was the tweet-storm that emerged in the weekend that followed: then-head coach Steve Sarkisian showing up to practice inebriated, revelations that he was drunk on the sidelines two weeks prior against Arizona State, the indefinite leave of absence followed quickly by the firing and the public humiliation of USC somehow topping itself when it comes to football controversies.And from all this emerged a forced changing of the guard and the emergence of Clay Helton, a man who has been tabbed with bringing USC back to its glory days.Now, a year removed from the forgettable unfortunate series of events, the Trojans have another date with the Huskies, and it could mark another shift for USC to pull off a road upset against a team seemingly destined for the College Football Playoff.A win over fourth-ranked Washington would prove so many things. For one, it would validate the five-game win streak the Trojans are currently on as a sign of an improving team rather than the result of a favorable schedule. Since losing to Utah on Sept. 23, USC has beaten Arizona State, Colorado, Cal and Oregon at home and Arizona on the road. Of those teams, Colorado is probably the only quality opponent in what has been a very strange season for the Pac-12.The Washington game is USC’s first chance to redeem themselves on the national spotlight since the season-opening debacle against Alabama. With the game being broadcast on FOX, a 4:30 p.m. PST kickoff and one of just two matchups between Top 25 teams, the game will receive a lot of eyeballs from fans wondering whether the Huskies can maintain their top-four spot or if USC is really on the rise again.If they are, then beating this Washington team on Saturday would send a statement, and look no further than the respective sidelines as to why. In hindsight, it’s a given that USC should have hired Chris Petersen — now the head coach of the Huskies — instead of Sarkisian in 2013 to replace Lane Kiffin. Petersen was an up-and-coming, smart football mind who had built a perennial contender at Boise State and was willing to jump ship to a bigger program. But an interview with then-Athletic Director Pat Haden wound up being akin to a “bad date,” according to ESPN. Instead, Haden tapped Sarkisian — the Huskies coach at the time — and the domino effect resulted in Peterson replacing Sarkisian at Washington.Since then, the Sarkisian debacle has kept USC stagnant, while Petersen has built a monster at Washington that is finally rearing its head in his third season. His team is 9-0 and has its best chance to win its first national championship since 1991. He has a Heisman-contending quarterback in Jake Browning who is just a sophomore. He has the best scoring offense and best scoring defense in the Pac-12, which does not seem fair. He has a speedy wide receiver in John Ross and a shutdown corner in Kevin King, both of whom are significant because they were part of Sarkisian’s recruiting at Washington.I’m sure USC would love to forget about Sarkisian, but his fingerprints are all over this game. He recruited players who have helped turn the Huskies program around and could cause fits on Saturday for USC, the same program that Sarkisian royally embarrassed in his short tenure.But the irony here goes three or four levels deep. Petersen, the coach that USC could have had instead of Sarkisian, has constructed a balanced system that the Trojans are trying to emulate.“Two really similar teams,” Helton said about the Huskies this week. “We look at their offense to be able to look at what they’re doing against other defenses because formationally, personnel, we’re so similar.”The difference, though, is that USC is more like Washington-light, ranked middle-of-the pack in the Pac-12 in both total offense and defense while the Huskies lead in both categories. For the Trojans to beat the Huskies, redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Darnold will have to play the best game of his young career, and the Trojans will have to go much further than simply duplicating their effort during this five-game win streak.If they do, then not only will the Trojans have pulled off a significant upset, but they also would have beaten a program they look up to with a coach that should be on their sideline and players who were recruited by the calamity of a coach they hired instead. And Helton, the benefactor of all of the above, would have his first signature win and redeem USC from the failures of years’ past. How’s that for the start of a new era?   Eric He is a sophomore majoring in print and digital journalism. He is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Grinding Gears,” runs Fridays.last_img read more

Mary Kom beats Zareen to make Indian team for Olympic qualifiers

first_img SUBSCRIBE TO US Written By Last Updated: 28th December, 2019 12:46 IST Mary Kom Beats Zareen To Make Indian Team For Olympic Qualifiers Six-time world champion M C Mary Kom (51kg) defeated  Nikhat Zareen in a split verdict trial bout to make the Indian team for next year’s Olympic qualifiers LIVE TV First Published: 28th December, 2019 12:46 IST Six-time world champion M C Mary Kom (51kg) defeated  Nikhat Zareen in a split verdict trial bout to make the Indian team for next year’s Olympic qualifiers in China.READ | Weightlifter Seema Banned For 4 Years For DopingIn a bout which had very few clear punches,  Mary Kom prevailed 9-1 to make the squad.READ | Marshawn Lynch Should’ve Joined Raiders Instead Of Seahawks According To Derek CarrIn other results, two-time world silver-medallist Sonia Lather (57kg) was upstaged by a swift-moving Sakshi Chaudhary. Lather, also an Asian medallist, couldn’t cope with Chaudhury’s relentless attack.READ | Marshawn Lynch Should’ve Joined Raiders Instead Of Seahawks According To Derek CarrIn the 60kg category, former world champion L Sarita Devi lost to national champion Simranjit Kaur. It was once again a battle of pace as Kaur outwitted Sarita with her precise hitting and quick reflexes.READ | Female Darts Star Loses 4-2 At PDC World Championship center_img FOLLOW US COMMENT Press Trust Of India WATCH US LIVElast_img read more

Wellington Police Notes: Monday, Aug. 5, 2013

first_imgWellington Police notes for Monday, August 5, 2013:•8:25 a.m. Officers took a report of suspicious activity in the area of Crestview and Sunset,  Wellington.•8:30 a.m. Officers took a report of an unattended death in the 800 block W. 16th,  Wellington.•10:57 a.m. Officers investigated burglary and criminal damage to property in the 1900 block N. H,  Wellington.•2 p.m. Officers took a report of found property in the 1600 block W. 8th,  Wellington.•5:51 p.m. Officers investigated theft by a known suspect in the 1000 block E. 8th,  Wellington.•5:51 p.m. Officers investigated criminal use of a financial card by a known suspect in the 1100 block W. 8th,  Wellington.•5:51 p.m. Officers investigated criminal use of a financial card by a known suspect in the 1100 block N. A,  Wellington.•5:51 p.m. Officers investigated criminal use of a financial card by a known suspect in the 1100 block W. 8th,  Wellington.•10:48 p.m. Officers investigated theft by a known suspect in the 800 block N. Woodlawn,  Wellington.•11:15 p.m. Courtney R. Murray, 20, Rose Hill, was arrested, charged and confined with driving while license is suspended.last_img read more

Judge calls for second expert to evaluate Austin Harrouff in deadly face-biting attack

first_imgA judge in Florida has granted a motion to have a second mental health expert evaluate Austin Harrouff who is accused of fatally attacking a couple outside their home and chewing off part of the man’s face back in August of 2016.Earlier this month, a health expert for the state agreed with a defense expert’s assessment that Harrouff was insane when he attacked the couple.Circuit Court Judge Sherwood Bauer Jr. said this will be the only time he’ll grant permission for prosecutors to have a second expert evaluate Harrouff, who was 19 when the attacks happened.last_img

England women looking to take good form north of the border

first_img2 Aug 2019 England women looking to take good form north of the border Tags: Girls’ Home International, women’s home international Women’s Home InternationalsEngland will be looking to go one better than last year when they finished runners-up to Scotland at Ballybunion in Ireland.The PlayersLianna Bailey, 22 (Kirby Muxloe, Leicestershire) won the 2018 St Rule Trophy at St Andrews and finished second in the same event this year. She represented England in this year’s European Team Championship and was a member of the team that finished runners-up to Scotland in the 2018 Women’s Home Internationals in Ireland.Ellen Hume, 19 (Mill Green, Hertfordshire) beat Lily May Humphreys in the final of this year’s English Women’s Amateur Championship at Saunton and has also won the West of England Championship and the Faldo Series England Girls’ Championship this summer. She will be making her debut for England at Downfield.Lily May Humphreys, 17 (Stoke by Nayland, Essex) has been in sparkling form this season winning the Welsh and Irish Stroke Play titles and the Annika Invitational Europe as well as finishing runner-up at the English Women’s Amateur Championship. She played on last year’s Home International team and has since represented GB & I in the Vagliano Trophy and England at the European Ladies’ Team Championship.Mimi Rhodes, 17 (Burnham and Berrow, Somerset) reached the quarter-final of the Women’s Amateur Championship at Royal Co. Down and was eighth in the German Girls’ Open and ninth in the Annika Invitational Europe. Represented England in the European Girls’ Team Championship where she was fourth in the individual competition. Rhodes was part of the winning English team in last year’s Girls’ Home Internationals in Ireland.Emily Toy, 21 (Carylon Bay, Cornwall) won the New South Wales Stroke Play Championship in Australia at the start of the year and has since claimed the biggest title of her career at the Women’s Amateur Championship at Royal Co. Down where she beat New Zealand’s Amelia Garvey in the final.Isobel Wardle, 19 (Prestbury, Cheshire) won this season’s Comboy Leveret and was second at the Welsh Ladies’ Open Stroke Play, third at the St Rule Trophy, fourth at the Portuguese International Ladies’ and fifth at the Spanish International Ladies’. She also reached the quarter-final at the English Women’s Amateur and the last 16 at the Women’s Amateur Championship.Amelia Williamson, 19 (Royal Cromer, Norfolk) won the recent Chiberta Grand Prix in France and was third at the Critchley Astor Salver and seventh at the Dutch International Junior Open. Followed that up by sharing 11th place behind Hewson at the European Amateur at Parkstone. She was part of the winning English team at last year’s Girls’ Home International team in Ireland. Girls’ Home InternationalsEngland will be bidding to defend the trophy they won last year in Ireland.The PlayersJessica Baker, 16 (Gosforth Park Ladies, Northumberland) reached the semi-finals of this year’s English Women’s Amateur Championship before being beaten by Lily May Humphreys. She also produced a last day charge to finish in a share of third place at the English Girls’ Open Amateur and was tied second at the Comboy Scratch Cup and tied fifth at The Leveret. Represented England in the European Girls’ Team Championship.Rosie Belsham, 17 (Whitley Bay, Northumberland) was another member of the English team at the European Girls’ Team Championship. She won the girls’ event at this year’s Fairhaven Trophy, was eighth at the German Girls’ Open and ninth at the Irish Girls’ Stroke Play.Ellie Gower, 16 (Gleneagles) also represented England at the European Girls’ Team Championship. She was third in both the Scottish Girls’ Open and the Fairhaven Trophy and also sixth at the Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play.Charlotte Heath, 17 (Huddersfield, Yorkshire) was a member of the winning team at last year’s Girls’ Home Internationals and also represented her country in the European Girls’ Team Championship. She was tied fourth in the Welsh Ladies’ Open, sixth at the English Girls’ Open Amateur Championship and eighth in the German Girls’ Open.Thalia Kirby, 18 (Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire) was ninth in the girls’ event at the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and had top-20 finishes in both the Scottish Women’s Open and the Welsh Ladies’ Open Stroke Play. She also reached the third round of the English Women’s Amateur.Issy Simpson, 17 (Roehampton, Surrey) was second at both the Scottish Girls’ Open and the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. She qualified for the match play stage of the English Women’s Amateur Championship.Caitlin Whitehead, 16 (Carus Green, Cumbria) recently finished second at the English Girls’ Open Amateur Championship. She was a member of the winning English team at last year’s Girls’ Home Internationals and also represented her country at this year’s European Girls’ Team Championship. She won last year’s European Young Masters title and the individual event at the Asia Pacific Junior Championship in Hong Kong.Photo: Credit Vicki Head. Pictured Emily Toy. England Golf has announced its teams for the Women’s Home Internationals and the Girls’ Home Internationals to be played at Downfield Golf Club, Scotland on Wednesday, 7 – Friday, 9 August.last_img read more

Over 1,000 Volunteers Expected for United Way of Thurston County’s Day…

first_imgFacebook7Tweet0Pin0Submitted by United Way of Thurston CountyOn September 22 and 23, Thurston County residents can expect to see over one thousand volunteers wearing LIVE UNITED t-shirts pulling weeds, painting buildings, and cleaning sidewalks. It is about team building, giving back and helping organizations in need. Day of Caring has become an event that shuts down offices as employees hit the streets to make a difference together.A team from Olympia Federal Savings at Nisqually Land. Photo courtesy: United Way of Thurston County“Day of Caring is an unforgettable, hands-on experience providing volunteers an opportunity to actively improve our community while enhancing team-building outside the workplace,” said United Way Executive Director, Paul Knox. “When we expanded the event last year from one to two days, more people were able to experience the power of volunteering while making a significant impact on our community.”Day of Caring was established 25 years ago as the single largest day of volunteerism in Thurston County to increase awareness of human service organizations and demonstrate how people working together for the common good helps accomplish great things.“United Way is connecting community partners and supporters with non-profits throughout Thurston County to accomplish projects that can’t normally be done in one day,” said Volunteer Program Manager, Stacy Hicks.Students from The Evergreen College participate in Day of Caring with The United Way in Thurston County.Seasoned Day of Caring volunteer teams like Anchor Bank, Olympia Federal Savings and Puget Sound Energy will participate in projects for the Community Youth Services, Kiwanis Club of Olympia, Thurston County Food Bank and more. United Way also welcomes new participation from The Evergreen State College—they are sending more than 200 student volunteers—Labor & Industries—they are sending over 50 volunteers—and the LDS Church—they are sending over 300 volunteers.Volunteers will participate in over 30 different projects ranging from painting and landscaping low-income, disabled individuals’ homes, harvesting food bank gardens, and invasive plant pulling at locations throughout Thurston County.Day of Caring ScheduleFriday, September 22, 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Morning Kick Off at First United Methodist ChurchFollowed by Volunteer Projects throughout Thurston County from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.Saturday, September 23, 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Morning Kick Off at First United Methodist ChurchFollowed by Volunteer Projects throughout Thurston County from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.last_img read more

Authorities Investigating Whether Proposed Casino Boat is Legal

first_imgBy John BurtonATLANTIC HIGHLANDS – The simmering controversy over whether to allow a casino boat to operate out of the municipally operated harbor may be rendered moot by a more than a decade-old state law.Lisa Spengler, a spokesperson for the Division of Gaming Enforcement in the state’s Office of the Attorney General Office, said in an email, the division received four inquiries concerning the proposal and its legality.Local residents voice their opinion about the gambling boat proposal in Atlantic Highlands.The division’s director has assigned a deputy attorney general to work with the state Department of Criminal Justice and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, according to Spengler.“The matter is being reviewed by those parties guided by state and federal laws,” she said in the email.The issue arose after a heavily attended July 10 municipal Harbor Commis­sion meeting. During the meeting a large number of residents voiced their objection to a proposal to operate a casino cruise out of the harbor. After the session a few residents recalled state legislation, dating back to 1999, which appears to prevent this type of operation.The bill, A-983, was sponsored by then-assemblymen Kenneth C. Lefevre and Francis J. Blee, Republicans who represented the 2nd District in Atlantic County. Neither man is still in office.The law, which remains on the books, states, “The purpose of this bill is to prohibit what are commonly referred to as ‘cruises to nowhere,’ vessels that embark and disembark from any point within the State for the sole purpose of conducting offshore gambling activities in waters within the State, the waters within three miles of the New Jersey coast, or in waters beyond the three-mile limit.”The statute does acknowledge that federal law permits cruises beyond the 3-mile limit, “but allows states to prohibit gambling cruises that embark and disembark within a state.”There is an exception contained in the law, exempting ships registered in the U.S. or a foreign country, traveling to another state, a foreign nation or a U.S. possession, “up to the point of first entry into New Jersey waters.”The bill, P.L.1999, c.263, became law Oct. 26, 1999, with then-Gov. Christine Todd Whitman’s signature.Steven J. Corodemus, the attorney representing the harbor commission, referred ques­tions to the Harbor Com­mission Chairwoman Jane Frotton, who, on Tues­day, said: “We’re looking into it. That’s all I can tell you at this point.”Alvin Shuman, president of Diamond Casino Cruise, LLC, Myrtle Beach, S.C., is a principal in Casino Royal, LLC. The company would like to operate a 180-foot, three-tier boat out of the harbor that could transport more than 300 passengers two times daily year-round past the 3-mile state limit to gamble and drink. Discus­sions at the commission meeting earlier this month included talk about the possibility of providing such services as valet parking or off-site parking with shuttle buses to the harbor.Area residents have mounted a campaign to oppose the plan, believing it would attract an undesirable element, cause parking and traffic congestion, and bring disruptive crowds and even crime to the borough.Frotton told the crowd at the July 10 meeting the harbor commission would thoroughly investigate before offering its view on the Casino Royal proposal.A call to Glenn O’Connell, a lawyer representing Casino Royal, and calls to Shuman seeking comment were not returned.last_img read more

With Help, Vintage Farm Truck Heads Back to Homestead

first_imgBy Chris Rotolo |LITTLE SILVER – Parked behind a Citgo station and the G&S Auto Repair garage on Branch Avenue is a dented and dilapidated pickup truck with a spiderweb fracture winding its way around the rear window.The truck bed’s wooden panels have been eaten away by time and protruding from beneath decades of dust and rust are sparse splotches of metallic mint green paint, a nod to the heyday of this once pristine 1960 Chevrolet. Emblazoned on the driver’s side and passenger doors is “Parker’s Farm,” a block of wavy lettering linking this vehicle to the historic Parker Homestead on nearby Rumson Road.The truck’s bumps and bruises are evidence of a rough-and-tumble life on the Parker family farm. Now the president of the Parker Homestead-1665 organization, Keith Wells, says a campaign is underway to bring the vehicle back home.Last weekend, members of the local historical organization and other volunteers from the area ventured to the site to clear out space in the on-site Wagon Barn, where the vintage truck will be parked once it is back in running order.Dan Laden, owner of G&S Auto Repair is the man tasked with refurbishing the vehicle, and has already successfully replaced the fuel line and rebuilt the carburetor.“We’ve got it running, but there’s still some work left to do,” Laden said, adding that the Parker Homestead-1665 has already put about $2,600 into the project he estimates will cost about $5,000.Wells said the initial fundraising effort was spearheaded by “a very generous donation” from Rumson resident Rick Blank and, like Laden, stressed that the funds are being used for general maintenance, rather than a full restoration.“The truck is rusted and dented as a farm truck should be,” Wells said in a Nov. 12 interview with The Two River Times. “The truck in itself is not spectacular, but it’s just another part of the story we’re able to tell and we’re ready to bring it back home.”The story of the Parker family and the family’s preserved parcel on the outskirts of Sickles Market, is one that spans 350 years.The Parkers settled the land in 1665 as the first Europeans to lay their roots in Monmouth County. For eight generations they farmed the land until 1995, when the last surviving member of the family, Julia Parker, passed away, leaving the home, the barns and the surrounding land to the Borough of Little Silver.“That’s what makes the homestead so unique,” Wells said. “It was one family and we use the history of the family and property to tell the history of the area. There’s nothing that has occurred in the county, in New Jersey or the United States over the last 350 years that isn’t somehow a part of the history of the homestead.”He noted how in 1778 British soldiers had dinner at the homestead following the famed Battle of Monmouth – outside the Monmouth Courthouse in what is now Freehold Borough – in which George Washington and Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Green forced Lt. Gen. Charles Cornwallis and his opposing troops to withdraw from battlefield under the cover of darkness.The beginning of World War I caused the U.S. military to begin constructing Fort Monmouth in 1928 and it was the Parker family that would be tapped for produce to feed all the servicemen stationed there.By the beginning of World War II the Parkers had established an apple orchard and the military came calling again, purchasing and shipping the product to troops fighting in Russia.“We have furniture from the 1700s. We have a tractor from 1939. These things by themselves are not special. But like the truck, it’s another visible display of the family’s presence in our area and it’s just another part of the story we’re able to tell,” Wells said.Laden said the next major task of the maintenance project is to give the truck new brakes.“We can start it up and get it moving. Now we just have to work on getting it to stop,” he said.Wells said the goal is not to make the vehicle worthy of a state-issued registration, but to get it to the point where it can be safely stored and displayed at the homestead and possibly even driven in the borough’s annual Memorial Day Parade.Those who wish to contribute to the funding for this refurbishment effort can do so at the Parker Homestead-1665 annual winter open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 9 where hot chocolate, Christmas carols and other festive activities will take place.Organizers say donations can also be made via PayPal at by specifying “Truck” in the subject line, or by sending a check with “Truck” specified in the memo line to P.O. Box 82, Little Silver, NJ 07739.This article was first published in the Nov. 15 – Nov. 21, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more