Could a newly released audio provide more clues on what led up to Michael Brown’s shooting death?
The FBI has questioned a man who says he recorded audio of gunfire at the time Brown was shot by Ferguson police on August 9, the man’s attorney told CNN.
In the recording, a quick series of shots can be heard, followed by a pause and then another quick succession of shots.
Forensic audio expert Paul Ginsberg analyzed the recording and said he detected at least 10 gunshots — a cluster of six, followed by four.
"I was very concerned about that pause … because it’s not just the number of gunshots, it’s how they’re fired," the man’s attorney, Lopa Blumenthal, told CNN’s Don Lemon. "And that has a huge relevance on how this case might finally end up."
CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of the tape and has asked the FBI for confirmation of their interview with the man who made the recording.
Stroke researchers link ability to self administer medication after stroke with memory loss
Kessler stroke researchers and colleagues have identified an association between over-optimistic estimation of one’s own ability to take medications accurately, and memory loss among stroke survivors. Results indicate that assessing patients for their ability to estimate medication skills accurately may predict memory disorder. The article, “Stroke survivors over-estimate their medication self-administration ability (MSA), predicting memory loss,” was epublished ahead of print on May 28 by Brain Injury. The authors are AM Barrett, MD, and J Masmela of Kessler Foundation, Elizabeth E Galletta of Hunter College, Jun Zhang of St. Charles Hospital, Port Jefferson, NY, and Uri Adler, MD, of Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.
Researchers compared 24 stroke survivors with 17 controls, using the Hopkins Medication Schedule to assess MSA, the Geriatric Depression Scale to assess mood, and the Hopkins Verbal Test and Mini-Mental State Examination to assess memory. Results showed that stroke survivors over-estimated their MSA in comparison to controls. Over-estimation of MSA correlated strongly with verbal memory deficit.
Strategies that enhance adherence to medication are a public health priority. “Few studies, however, have looked at cognitive factors that may interfere with MSA,” commented Dr. Barrett. “While some stroke survivors have obvious cognitive deficits, many people are not aware that stroke survivors can be intelligent and high functioning, but still have trouble with thinking that can cause errors in medication self-management. These individuals may not realize their own deficits, a condition called cognitive anosognosia. Screening stroke survivors for MSA may be a useful approach to identifying memory deficits that hinder rehabilitation and community participation and contribute to poor outcomes.”
Larger studies of left and right stroke survivors need to be conducted in the community and rehabilitation settings in order to determine the underlying mechanisms for both over-estimation and under-estimation of self-performance.
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82 Confirmed Dead In Kaduna Bombings
At least 25 people were killed in Kaduna, Nigeria, on Wednesday after a bomb targeting an Islamic cleric exploded in a busy commercial area, police said. A second explosion in Kaduna’s Kawo market killed 50, reports the International Business Times.
In the first explosion, the bomb was reportedly thrown from the back of a moving motorcycle in an attempted assassination of Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, who led prayers in Murtala Muhammed Square shortly before the explosion, eyewitnesses told Reuters. The cleric was unharmed in the attack.
Brain imaging study examines second-language learning skills
With enough practice, some learners of a second language can process their new language as well as native speakers, research at the University of Kansas shows.
Using brain imaging, a trio of KU researchers was able to examine to the millisecond how the brain processes a second language. They then compared their findings with their previous results for native speakers and saw both followed similar patterns.
The research by Robert Fiorentino and Alison Gabriele, both associate professors in the linguistics department, and José Alemán Bañón, a former KU graduate student who is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, was published this month in the journal Second Language Research.
For years, linguists have debated whether second-language learners would ever resemble native speakers in their ability to process language properties that differ between the first and second language, such as gender agreement, which is a property of Spanish but not English. In Spanish, all nouns are categorized as masculine or feminine, and various elements in the sentence, such as adjectives, need to carry the gender feature of the noun as well.
Some researchers argued that even those who spoke a second language with a high level of accuracy were using a qualitatively different mechanism than native speakers.
“We realized that these different theories proposing that either second-language learners use the same mechanism, or a different mechanism could actually be teased apart by using brain-imaging techniques,” Gabriele said.
The team studied 26 high-level Spanish speakers who hadn’t learned to speak Spanish until after age 11 and grew up with English as the majority language. The speakers used Spanish on a daily basis and had spent an average of a year and a half in a Spanish-speaking country.
They were compared with 24 native speakers, who were raised in Spanish-speaking countries and stayed in their home country until age 17.
To measure language processing as it happens, the team used a method known as electroencephalography (EEG), which uses an array of electrodes placed on the scalp to detect patterns of brain activity with high accuracy in timing.
Once hooked up to the EEG, the test subjects were asked to read sentences, some of which had grammatical errors in either number agreement or gender agreement.
The researchers then compared the results of the second-language learners to native speakers. They found that the highly proficient second-language speakers showed the same patterns of brain activity as native speakers when processing grammatical violations in sentences.
“We show that the learners’ brain activity looks qualitatively similar to that of native speakers, suggesting that they are using the same mechanisms,” Fiorentino said.
The study highlights the brain’s plasticity and its ability to acquire a new complex system even in adulthood.
“A lot of researchers have argued that there is some sort of language learning mechanism that might atrophy over the life span, particularly before puberty. And, we certainly have a lot of evidence that it is difficult to process your second language at nativelike levels and you have to go through quite a bit of effort to find people who can,” Gabriele said. “But I think what this paper shows is that it is possible.”
Gabriele and Fiorentino are working on a second phase of the research, studying how the brain processes a second language at the initial stages of exposure. Their preliminary results suggest that properties that are shared between the first and second language show patterns of brain activity that are very similar in learners and native speakers. This suggests that learners build on the representation for language that is already in place when learning a second language.
Hispanic Americans are the ethnic group with the biggest knowledge about Bitcoin
A poll carried out by Morning Consult in the United States in the beginning of July has now revealed which ethnicity is most likely to have heard of Bitcoin and have a bigger understanding of the cryptocurrency. According to the survey, which asked a large sample of people about their knowledge of and attitudes towards digital money, the ethnicity that conquered the first place is the hispanic American group.
The numbers actually reveal a striking difference: while 21 percent of hispanic Americans “a lot” about Bitcoin, only eight percent of whites and seven percent of African Americans could say the same.
The hispanics are the ethnic group most likely to consider that Bitcoin should be allowed by the government as a means to purchase goods and services, the website National Review reports.
Also, 23 percent of hispanics admitted they were “very likely” to buy and use Bitcoin. This is around three times as many as any other group polled in the same survey.
The results might be explained by the fact that the hispanic group has a younger age average. Also, some Hispanic Americans are immigrants or have relatives living in another country and are starting to see the advantages of using Bitcoin to transfer money between countries, avoiding the huge fees of the remittances market.
Image from Wikimedia
MH17: U.S. Points Finger at Russia, Russia Deflects Blame - WallStreetJournal
Yeah, right, Russia.
"A psychopath is a person who, unfortunately for him or her, lacks the ability to really empathize with other human beings. When they look around, they don’t see other human beings with deep, rich, three-dimensional personal lives and aims and ambitions.What they see is cardboard cutouts, and it’s very sad and it’s very lonely, and it’s very rare, fortunately.
But actually, aren’t most of us not really so very good at empathy? Oh sure, we’re very good at empathy when it’s a question of dealing with people who kind of look like us and kind of walk and talk and eat and pray and wear like us, but when it comes to people who don’t do that, who don’t quite dress like us and don’t quite pray like us and don’t quite talk like us, do we not also have a tendency to see them ever so slightly as cardboard cutouts too? And this is a question we need to ask ourselves. I think constantly we have to monitor it. Are we and our politicians to a degree cultural psychopaths?”
— Simon Anholt, “Which Country Does The Most Good For The World?”
Tropical fish are invading and destroying kelp forestsSCIENCEALERT STAFF
WEDNESDAY, 09 JULY 2014
They might be beautiful, but migrating tropical fish are consuming more than their fair share of kelp and seagrass.
A study by Australian researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) has found evidence of the harmful impact of tropical fish migrating off the coast of the US, Japan, the eastern Mediterranean, and Australia.
As a result of the ocean warming, tropical fish including unicornfish, parrotfish and rabbitfish are moving to new temperate areas, where they overgraze on the kelp forests and seagrass meadows that line the ocean floor.
“The tropicalisation of temperate marine areas is a new phenomenon of global significance that has arisen because of climate change,” said marine ecologist and lead author of the study,Adriana Verges, in a press release. “Increases in the number of plant-eating tropical fish can profoundly alter ecosystems and lead to barren reefs, affecting the biodiversity of these regions, with significant economic and management impacts.”
The study has been published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The researchers discovered that hotspots are developing in particular ocean regions that move warm tropical waters towards the poles. In the East Australian Current, which moves warm water from the tropical Coral Sea down the east coast of Australia, the waters are warming at two to three times the global average. This means tropical fish have become common in Sydney Harbour during the summer months.
Similar effects have been seen in Japan, the east coast of the US, northern Brazil and south eastern Africa.
“In tropical regions, a wide diversity of plant-eating fish perform the vital role of keeping reefs free of large seaweeds, allowing corals to flourish. But when they intrude into temperate waters they pose a significant threat to these habitats. They can directly overgraze algal forests as well as prevent the recovery of algae that have been damaged for other reasons,” said Verges.
from Science Alert
Astronomers have long pondered the origins of enormous elliptical galaxies in the young Universe. An object 11 billion light-years away spotted by the Herschel mission may help unravel the mystery.
Two massive spiral galaxies merged to create a giant elliptical galaxy, which were previously believed to form through the absorption of dwarf galaxies over time.