Saturday, September 23, 2006

Experts: Junk culture is killing childhood

Video games, academic pressures contribute to rise in behavioral problems-Reuters News Service

LONDON - Britain’s children are being poisoned by a “junk culture” of processed food, computer games and over-competitive education, an influential group of authors and experts warned on Tuesday. In an open letter to the Daily Telegraph, 110 teachers, psychologists and children’s authors — including the internationally acclaimed Philip Pullman and Penelope Leach, a leading childcare expert — called on the government to act now to prevent childhood being killed off altogether. Forced “to act and dress like mini-adults”, children are becoming increasingly depressed and experiencing growing levels of behavioral and developmental problems, they said. Must read article, recomended reading from Dimona - Click here: Experts: Junk culture is killing childhood also see Academics warn 'junk culture' ruining childhood

Why the future doesn't need us.

Our most powerful 21st-century technologies - robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotech - are threatening to make humans an endangered species.
By Bill Joy-WIRED magazine

From the moment I became involved in the creation of new technologies, their ethical dimensions have concerned me, but it was only in the autumn of 1998 that I became anxiously aware of how great are the dangers facing us in the 21st century. First let us postulate that the computer scientists succeed in developing intelligent machines that can do all things better than human beings can do them. In that case presumably all work will be done by vast, highly organized systems of machines and no human effort will be necessary. Either of two cases might occur. The machines might be permitted to make all of their own decisions without human oversight, or else human control over the machines might be retained.

If the machines are permitted to make all their own decisions, we can't make any conjectures as to the results, because it is impossible to guess how such machines might behave. We only point out that the fate of the human race would be at the mercy of the machines. It might be argued that the human race would never be foolish enough to hand over all the power to the machines. But we are suggesting neither that the human race would voluntarily turn power over to the machines nor that the machines would willfully seize power. To see extensive article click here: Why the future doesn't need us.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Woman slain, fetus cut from her womb

Police detain a 26-year-old woman, described only as a person of interest
Associated Press

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - The body of a woman who apparently had a fetus cut from her womb was found in a vacant lot, and police said Friday they had captured a woman in the case. State police said a 26-year-old woman, whom they described as a person of interest, had buried a baby Thursday that she said had been stillborn, East St. Louis Police Chief James Mister told the Belleville News-Democrat. An autopsy will be performed on the baby Friday to determine if it was removed from the dead woman's womb, Mister said. The East St. Louis case is the area's second recent case involving babies. A 36-year-old woman is accused of slashing a young mother's throat and kidnapping her baby on Sept. 15. The baby was found in good condition four days later. Another woman is to stand trial next April in the abduction of an unborn girl taken from the womb of Bobbie Jo Stinnett in December 2004 in Skidmore, Mo. The baby survived. See: Woman slain, fetus cut from womb

Music lessons help young child memories

Submitted by Tovleeyah Baht Israel
Article by Jennifer Kwan (Reuters)

TORONTO (Reuters) - Parents who spend time and money to teach their children music, take heart -- a new Canadian study shows young children who take music lessons have better memories than their nonmusical peers. The study, to be published in the online edition of the journal Brain on Wednesday, showed that after one year of musical training, children performed better in a memory test than those who did not take music classes. "(The research) tells us that if you take music lessons your brain is getting wired up differently than if you don't take music lessons," Laurel Trainor, professor of psychology, neuroscience and behavior at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, told Reuters. This is the first study to show that brain responses in young, musically trained and untrained children change differently over the course of a year," said Trainor who led the study. Over a year they took four measurements in two groups of children aged between four and six -- those taking music lessons and those taking no musical training outside school -- and found developmental changes over periods as short as four months.

The children completed a music test in which they were asked to discriminate between harmonies, rhythms and melodies, and a memory test in which they had to listen to a series of numbers, remember them and repeat them back. Trainor said while previous studies have shown that older children given music lessons had greater improvements in IQ scores than children given drama lessons, this is the first study to identify these effects in brain-based measurements in young children. She said it was not that surprising that children studying music improved in musical listening skills more than children not studying music. "On the other hand, it is very interesting that the children taking music lessons improved more over the year on general memory skills that are correlated with nonmusicalabilities such as literacy, verbal memory, visiospatial processing, mathematics and IQ," she said.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Sar Moriel attends UAPO Economic Summit

Up you mighty race!
By Jayson X (

ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( - The Universal African Peoples Organization (UAPO) hosted the first National African Peoples Political and Economic Summit Aug. 17-19 to mark the 119th birthday of Jamaican-born Black Nationalist Marcus Garvey. The seminars covered many topics at the heart of the Black community, including Pan African Networking; Reparations and Constitutional Law; Holistic Health; and Entrepreneurship. With over 150 attendees over the weekend, the summit received a wide range of support from Christians, Hebrews, Muslims, Black Panthers and elected government officials. See:Up you mighty race!

E. coli outbreak spreads from tainted spinach

FOOD: Illnesses are reported in 19 states; outbreak is linked to a California company.

WASHINGTON - A California natural foods company was linked Friday to a nationwide E. coli outbreak that has killed one person and sickened almost 100 others. Supermarkets across the country pulled spinach from shelves, and consumers tossed out the leafy green. Food and Drug Administration officials said that they had received reports of illness in 19 states including Minnesota and Wisconsin. The outbreak was traced to Natural Selection Foods, based in San Juan Bautista, Calif., and the company has voluntarily recalled products containing spinach. FDA officials stressed that the bacteria had not been isolated in products sold by Natural Selection Foods but that the link was established by patient accounts of what they had eaten before becoming ill. An investigation was continuing. "It is possible that the recall and the information will extend beyond Natural Selection Foods and involve other brands and other companies, at other dates," said Dr. David Acheson, the chief medical officer with the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. See: E. coli outbreak spreads from tainted spinach

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Marriage and Divorce in America

The statistics are alarming
KNN Staff

In 2004, 784 marriage licenses were issued in Clark County while 747 marriages were terminated, a 95% failure ratio. It is stunningly sad that for nearly every marriage license issued, a marriage is terminated in Clark County. No one wins in a divorce. Every family member is affected in a number of different ways. One third of all children are born out of wedlock, and 35 million have seen their parents divorce since 1970. Compared to children from intact families, children from broken homes are . . . 5 times more likely to live in poverty, 3 times more likely to be expelled from school, 12 times more likely to be jailed. Children from fatherless homes are . . .4 times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, 2-3 times more likely to experience physical and emotional health problems
2 times more likely to drop out of school, 5-10 times more likely to experience sexual activity and teen pregnancy.

FDA says viruses safe for treating meat


(AP) -- A mixture of six bacteria-killing viruses can be safely sprayed on meat and poultry to combat common microbes that kill hundreds of people a year, federal health officials said Friday.