Children taught crime

Kids behind barsWhat are we thinking?

Young offenders transferred to the adult system are later arrested for violent and other crimes 34 percent more frequently.

State-run programs for juvenile offenders achieve poor results.

John Dvorak asks,
“As usual, what should be obvious if you think about it for half a second took a study to prove.”

“The politics of crime are far behind the science of criminality.” says says criminologist Jeffrey A. Fagan of Columbia University.

“Even given problems in the juvenile-justice system, transfer to the adult-justice system produces even worse results,” says the Centers for Disease Control.

Beginning around 35 years ago, increases in violent juvenile crime spurred many states to modify laws so that young people could be tried as adults for serious crimes. By 2004, 44 states and the District of Columbia permitted judges to transfer juveniles to adult-criminal courts.

No national data exist on the number of juvenile offenders prosecuted as adults, but there’s no evidence that shifting some young offenders to the adult-justice system prevents or reduces violence in the general population of children and teenagers.

Low tech Green tech

Straw bale biomass plant We’re using straw

The estimate is that one bale of straw is 200 dollars worth of electricity or about 200 dollars worth of natural gas.

The cost of heating with wheat straw is similar to that of using [local] coal but straw fuel is about 90 percent less expensive than heating with either natural gas or electricity.

We put 16 bales on a conveyer, the conveyer feeds them into the system. We have a shredder that shreds the bales into finer particles and delivers it into the primary combustion chamber where we essentially do a low temperature burn, or create smoke.

Then we take that smoke and send it into a secondary chamber, or afterburner, and we burn it in there at two thousand degrees Fahrenheit which then means we get full and complete combustion, clean gas that we then move over into our heat exchanger to heat water. The water, in turn, heats the facilities.

We’re [saving money and making use of what’s on hand without damaging the environment].

False advertising in fast food

Fast food advertisements vs. the realityA new “ongoing Pulitzer-caliber project” compares advertising vs. reality in the fast food sector.

“Each item was purchased, taken home, and photographed immediately. Nothing was tampered with, run over by a car, or anything of the sort. It is an accurate representation in every case.”

Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality” – a positive use of the Internet.


Update:
It’s a “myth” that fast food meals are the same around the world.

Looking at french fries and fried chicken at McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken in 35 countries over the past two years showed high levels of industrially-produced trans fatty acids in Eastern Europe – between 29 and 34 percent.

McDonald’s sells trans fat levels of 20 percent in Oman compared with 15-16 percent in London.

The lost choir

Waterton Lakes roadYo Ivanhoe! at the Rake Today creates marvelous original snippets of writing, like this gem:

At a dusty roadside stop somewhere in Montana, where there was a statue of the Virgin Mary and vases full of bleached, plastic flowers, an old man, who was leaning against the front of a pickup truck and having a smoke, pointed with his cigarette towards the range that ran all the way down the valley and addressed one sentence to me:

“A choir’s rumored to be lost in them mountains.”

Brain chemistry of violence

brain regionsThere are specific zones in the brain linked to aggression and violence.

The front region of the brain, or the prefrontal cortex, including the limbic system, appears to play an important role in violent behavior.

The link between the prefrontal cortex and violence was first revealed in 1848 in the case of a railroad worker, Phineas Gage, whose skull was impaled by an iron rod in an explosion — damaging the front part of his brain.

If we can examine the brain, we may be able to prevent violence.

story at physorg

Art and a puddle

Blood Puddle pillowsAfter an evening of crime television,
these blood puddle pillows
might help to dream
a new screenplay…

fun projects
snuggle up is fun too
from keetra


If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see? – Alice in Wonderland

Whatever Happened to Freedom

Trying to examine backlash, this film by Adam Curtis of the BBC wonders why free society is both failing and hated.

Adam Curtis looks at modern freedom as peculiar and over-simplified.
Google Video
The Trap, Episode One – Whatever Happened to Freedom,
The Trap: Episode Two,
The Trap: Episode Three

Warping of spacetime affirmed

Gravity Probe B diagramThe problem with simple things is that they are difficult to understand. – Einstein

The planets orbiting the sun are not being pulled by the sun.

Falling rocks are not being pulled by gravity.

In 1915, Einstein found a new way to describe gravity.

Gravity is not a force, as Sir Isaac Newton had supposed.

Gravity is what happens when space and time is bending the way a ball bends a blanket.

According to Einstein, in the same way that a large ball placed on a elasticated cloth stretches the fabric and causes it to sag, so planets and stars warp space-time. A marble moving along the sagging cloth will be drawn towards the ball, as the Earth is to the Sun, but not fall into it as long as it keeps moving at speed.

Ninety years after he expounded his famous theory, a $700m Nasa probe has proved that the universe behaves as he said. Now the race is on to show that the other half of relativity also works. [story]

The Nasa and Stanford Gravity Probe B project uses four ultra precise gyroscopes to detect minute distortions in the fabric of the universe to prove to the highest precision yet if Einstein was correct in the way he described gravity.

The wobble-free gyroscopes use the world’s most perfect spheres. Enlarged to the size of the Earth, the spheres would have mountains no more than 8 feet high.

With the gyroscopes spinning at 4,000 rpm, their suspension system used electrostatic fields to hold each rotor in a vacuum a mere paper’s width from the walls of its housing.

The satellite is a minivan-sized thermos filled with liquid helium keeping the gyroscopes near absolute zero.

The width of a human hair viewed from a quarter of a mile away are the miniscule angles used to measure space-time around the Earth.

The project studies the geodetic effect – the amount by which the mass of the Earth warps the local space-time in which it resides. Scientists are waiting for calculations to review frame-dragging – the amount by which the rotating Earth drags local space-time around with it.

Gravity Probe B required improvements in tracking which has led to new GPS receivers that measure position down to the centimeter level.

Update:
This video clip from Nova explains how gravity works.

Concussions are a health epidemic

Coaching against concussionsIn cases of three or more concussions over a lifetime, there is five times more risk for early onset Alzheimer’s disease, three times more risk of significant memory loss and four times more severely elevated depression.

Most athletes and parents are in a state of denial. They’re taught to ignore pain and stay in the game. Annually in America, up to 3.8 million knocks on the head are a ticking time bomb that may not show its effects for 10, 15 or 20 years.

The Centers for Disease Control showed more than 300,000 athletes lose consciousness from concussions every year in the United States, and the total number of such concussions could be as high as 3.8 million. Half a million people are hospitalized. [source]

About ten percent of college football players have a concussion each year. AP reports that the ‘Center for the Study of Retired Athletes’ [link] found triple the risk of clinical depression. As few as one or two concussions were 1 1/2 times more likely to be diagnosed with depression.

The Children’s National Medical Center finds that children are at the greatest risk.

Symptoms of a mild concussion:

  • difficulty concentrating;
  • mild headaches;
  • constant fatigue;
  • sad, listless, anxious or irritated behavior.

But what about the artist?

David Byrne explains the irrational royalty mess that may break internet radio.

The royalties in question only cover digital transmissions of music, and don’t apply to terrestrial radio stations, as traditional radio play is seen as a benefit for record labels by promoting sales of recorded music.

While traditional terrestrial radio does pay songwriter/publishing royalties for the musical work itself, in the U.S. they don’t pay performance royalties for the sound recording under the rationale that airplay promotes the songs, which benefits the copyright holders.

Web radio, however, along with satellite and cable services, does pay performance royalties — these are the rates that are being raised now.

Catch 22: Web radio pays more royalties than commercial AM or FM radio. The more listeners Web radio has, the more it costs. The new rules further penalize listening. To keep costs down, Webcasters should turn away listeners. If this sounds nutty, it is.

But what about the music? Mike Felten, owner of the Record Emporium record store in Chicago, writes at his very personal site, Weaselworld:

Searching, I keep stumbling onto awful quotes from the record industry..

“The exec who eventually signed Britney Spears, Jive Records’ Jeff Fenster, said he based the decision not on a song in particular, but on a picture of the then-teenage Spears. She was sitting on a picnic blanket, wearing cutoffs and cuddling a puppy, Fenster said. “She looked like the sweet, All-American girl that you just wanted to defile and do bad things to, and that appealed to me.”

— Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune, reporting on Fenster’s panel appearance at SXSW; in the archive now, but confirmed by Jaded Insider at Billboard.

And they did do bad things to her, didn’t they? I never liked her Mickey Mouse music, but she went from a cute little kid to a slutty, cocktail waitress in rehab. Don’t tell me it is the price of ‘fame’…

Is it any wonder there’s nothing to listen to on the radio, if airplay isn’t actually about the music but about record execs’ fantasies?

Losing promising young lives

Missing people rose-memorial«« Roses commemorate the missing

Stanford University School of Medicine has determined that nine out of 10 elementary students have been bullied.

Six in 10 children surveyed are the bullies as well.

8.5 percent of college age students seriously consider suicide; 15 percent are diagnosed for depression. Up to 25 percent are using campus mental health services where most facilities are overwhelmed.

Both bullies and victims tend to suffer higher levels of depression.

…a child who is a bully in kindergarten is often a bully in elementary school, high school and beyond. Such behaviors are not without consequence, though. These career bullies are not only slightly more likely than their peers to serve prison time as adults, they also tend to suffer from depression.

Perhaps not surprisingly, kids who are routinely victimized exhibit higher levels of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts than do non-victims.

…stress levels among students are far higher than a generation ago due to anxiety, increased workloads and financial strains, often coupled with lack of healthy lifestyles.

“We need to change the perception that bullying at school is a part of life and that victims just need to toughen up.”

A comprehensive study on school shootings shows five common factors:

  1. an acute rejection episode
  2. an on-going history of rejection
  3. teasing, bullying
  4. fascination with guns and explosives
  5. pre-occupation with death

Most attacks come from loners with some kind of grievance. More than half had revenge as a motive.

physorg: bullying affects majority
physorg: mental illness strains schools
bbc uk: disturbed young people

Criminal activity is not an excuse nor always a symptom but nevertheless is a result that always requires our attention and our best efforts to intervene, prevent and repair.

Hitler’s mountain treasures

Recovery of Nazi treasureRescuing Da Vinci is a 300+ page book that exposes the “untold” story of Hitler and the Nazi theft of Europe’s greatest art – with new information on the potential locations of lost art.

Hitler was quick to capture art and artefacts during every incursion and battle.

The Nazi’s were stealing the world’s symbols, icons, sculpture, art, philosophy, writings, teachings, religious texts…. Everything. All of the world’s treasures!

It seems their goal was to produce a new Nazi version of everything in order to thereby control societies and alter the history of humanity in a new and revised ‘Reich’ – to control the thinking of the world’s people.

After WWII, the great majority had been quickly recovered while many pieces had taken years and years to find. Perhaps important objects remain lost, hidden, or in the hands of either rightful or criminal caretakers.

Rescuing Da Vinci is the first comprehensive photographic telling of Hitler’s amazing effort to gather the world’s icons and art.


It was in 1925 that Hitler first came to the Berchtesgaden area with its pretty town where the Bavarian royal family spent hunting holidays. He had just served a nine-month sentence for trying to overthrow the local government and moved to the region, where he finished writing Mein Kampf . When he became Chancellor in 1933, he bought and rebuilt the house he had rented, which he called the Berghof.


USA fighters at Hitler's Eagle's NestJoe Klass had a lot of time to study the Nazi character and goals. He had been shot out of the sky before the USA entered the war, I believe, and spent several years as a WWII Prisoner Of War – perhaps longer than any American.

Joe commented while we were at dinner years ago that ‘pieces will melt from the bottom of glaciers‘ because the fleeing soldiers ‘were ordered to throw everything into the glaciers‘. (Joe is the grandfather within the famous Klass Foundation.) Perhaps great treasures were flung from mountaintops near Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest”.


Simon Waldman has composed an excellent blog post that exhibits Hitler’s alpine retreat called “Eagle’s Nest” with some of the material from a 1938 Home & Garden Magazine.

1938 Home & Gardens - Hitler's mountain homeThe site commands the fairest view in all Europe. Lawns at different levels are planted with flowering shrubs, as well as roses and other blooms in due season.

“The Führer, I may add, has a passion for cut flowers in his home, as well as for music. …a sunny sub-alpine home, hundreds of miles from Berlin’s uproar, and set amid an unsophisticated peasantry of carvers and hunters.”

Elaborate shelter systems were built beneath the hill behind the Berghof, with tastefully furnished rooms for Hitler and his mistress Eva Braun…

The bunker systems consisted of multi-level tunnels lined with concrete and bricks, with associated power, heating, and ventilation systems, and anti-gas protection systems. Most entrances and emergency exits were covered by protected machinegun positions, and some of these were quite elaborate.

It would have been difficult for any enemy to fight his way into these systems. The anti-aircraft defense center included a concrete observation tower.

It should be noted than in addition to the traditional air-raid bunker systems, there were several systems of access tunnels linking nearly every building….

Eagle’s Nest link found at Preoccupations


Update:
Historians say Hitler was the “art dictator” of Germany because he spent an inordinate amount of time overseeing the art and design of the Third Reich.

Somewhere in the bowels of the Third Reich’s bureaucracy a designer who belonged to the graphics “culture chamber,” the official body that sanctioned Nazi designers…. [designobserver]

Steven Heller is currently writing Iron Fists: Branding the Totalitarian State to be published by Phaidon Press in 2008. His website is hellerbooks.com.


Update:
Frederic Spotts’s book, “Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics” tries to sort the truth behind the myths, rumors, forgeries and blatant propaganda that have formed our view of Hitler’s interest in the arts. [nytimes]


Irmgard Hunt grew up in the picturesque Bavarian village of Berchtesgaden, in the shadow of the Eagle”s Nest and near Adolf Hitler”s luxurious alpine retreat. On Hitler”s Mountain offers a unique, gripping, and vitally important first-person perspective on a tumultuous era in modern history, as viewed through the eyes of a child…


Who would imagine there would be an effort to suppress a 65 year old UK magazine article about Hitler’s home in the mountains? About the “flap” here. Mirror site here.


Brass elevator at the Eagle's NestFrom ThirdReichRuins.com, with much additional information.

An elevator built into the mountain goes up to the Kehlsteinhaus. The interior of the elevator has solid brass walls and mirrors to make it look less confining, since Hitler was known to suffer from claustrophobia. On his infrequent visits to the Kehlsteinhaus, Hitler would stand in the exact center of the elevator.

The “Eagle’s Nest” became a popular stop for visiting GIs. For awhile, only officers were allowed to ride the elevator, and enlisted men had to use the footpath.

The Kehlsteinhaus was the pinnacle of Bormann’s building mania on the Obersalzberg, literally and figuratively. It was an engineering marvel of its day.

From Yahoo Answers
Without doubt, the most popular tour
ist site on the Obersalzberg now is the Kehlsteinhaus. In English, this building is called the “Eagle’s Nest,” even though this is not a translation of the German name (simply “House on the Kehlstein (Mountain)”), and the Germans did not call it the “Eagle’s Nest” (or Adlerhorst or any other such name). This name seems to have been first applied by the visiting French ambassador André François Poncet, and was picked up by the Allies. It was in use by the Americans and British by 1938.


The Führer's moustacheWhich moustache is the most instantly recognisable – and sinister – in history?

A link to the origin of Hitler’s moustache.

Torment us without end

“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” – C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock

Informing the world at large

Feministing wrote that this e-card is just insanely un-funny.

One comment said, “I am I’m so tired of that kind of humor.”

Another comment cited a study showing that men were flooded with hormones too.

Men are always in a steady state hormone syndrome.

This is also the bullying style that tilts toward an “Imus Effect” – the parlay of arrogance and dismissiveness.

I wanted to shrink away from this post because it categorizes women.

On the other hand, the humor brings down our Homeland’s house of cards too.

My first thought was that this is Democracy In Action because while it makes a pun it’s also giving us a serious warning about ourselves

Any need of tape?

Teasing bites.

Secrets Slipping?

In a voluntary effort as it uses up inventory by brand and by region, Coca Cola will rollout expanded nutrition labels to list Coke’s caffeine content.

Institute of Food Technologists pdf

Chocolate fakes an orgasm

MindHacks thumps a PR meme:

Numerous news sources are reporting that chocolate has a stronger effect on the heart and brain than kissing.

Alarm bells started ringing when it became obvious that the story is a promotion for a sweet company trying to advertise a new line of chocolate bars.

The ‘research’ was conducted by a company called The Mind Lab who offer to do psychology studies for a number of purposes, including “PR oriented research” to get a “route into the media”.

Their founder, Dr David Lewis, can even be hired to “provide independent, third party, endorsement”, demonstrating that contradiction is no barrier to good marketing.

Fat Diesel

Food vs. Fuel has many Flavors

Tyson Foods will use beef, pork and poultry fat in order to create diesel fuel.

Tyson will divert animal fat (tallow) from some of its rendering ops while ConocoPhillips will ramp up refining that will blend the fat into conventional crude channels – improving performance somewhat. A proprietary process refinery – thermal depolymerization – is to be built by ConocoPhillips.

Tyson said they were pleased to be “leveraging our leadership position in the food industry to identify and commercialize renewable fuel opportunities” and worried about a marketplace “driven by factors such as the prices of wholesale diesel and animal fat.”

http://www.conocophillips.com/et/Tyson-COP/index.htm

I’m posting this because of three points:

  1. Oh, what to do with huge inventories of slaughter waste?!?
  2. “Added Fat” is a major food ingredient that may now have a better home.
  3. The next Fashion Fuel might be Fat Fuel.

Personal diets based on your DNA

From CropBiotech Update

What next-generation services can be expected in agricultural biotechnology?

Personalized nutrition based on individual genetics…


Nutrigenomics or applying genetic science toward human nutrition and health is expected to play a more prominent role in making these future products possible says Chuck Muscoplat, faculty member of the University of Minneapolis College of Medicine and former Dean of the College of Agriculture.

Muscoplat explained that “compounds from food can be studied and developed as modulators of gene expression rather than as simple nutrients for basic nutrition”.

For a PDF of the article go to:
http://www.isb.vt.edu/news/2006/artspdf/nov0605.pdf

The ‘real’ ecosystem

Every moment of health we enjoy, every skillful word and action we produce, every instance of accurate listening we do, every task we complete … comes about as the result of a thriving ecosystem of 100 trillion living cellular organisms each having literally 100,000 conversations every second. And only because these conversations go well do we have capacity for consciousness, connection, and creativity. – JackZen