Breaking wind is set to be made a crime in an African country. The government of Malawi plan to punish persistent offenders ‘who foul the air’ in a bid to ‘mould responsible and disciplined citizens.’
But locals fear that pinning responsibility on the crime will be difficult – and may lead to miscarriages of justice as ‘criminals’ attempt to blame others for their offence. One Malawian told the website Africanews.com: ‘My goodness. What happens in a public place where a group is gathered. Do they lock up half a minibus?
‘And how about at meetings where it is difficult to pinpoint ‘culprits’?
‘Children will openly deny having passed bad air and point at an elder. Culturally, this is very embarrassing,’ she said.
Another said: ‘We have serious issues affecting Malawians today. I do not know how fouling the air should take priority over regulating Chinese investments which do not employ locals, serious graft amongst legislators, especially those in the ruling party, and many more.’
“Intolerance is a bitter beast. There are many groups in America that are subject to discrimination and prejudice, but none are more hated than atheists. Research conducted a couple years ago at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis found that atheists are more distrusted than muslims or homosexuals in the US.
Austin Cline from about.com writes, “Every single study that has ever looked at the issue has revealed massive amounts of bigotry and prejudice against atheists in America. The most recent data shows that atheists are more distrusted and despised than any other minority and that an atheist is the least likely person that Americans would vote for in a presidential election. It’s not just that atheists are hated, though, but also that atheists seem to represent everything about modernity which Americans dislike or fear.
The most recent study was conducted by the University of Minnesota, which found that atheists ranked lower than “Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in ‘sharing their vision of American society.’ Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.” The results from two of the most important questions”
This group does not at all agree with my vision of American society…
Conservative Christians: 13.5%
Recent Immigrants: 12.5%
I would disapprove if my child wanted to marry a member of this group….
Conservative Christians: 6.9%
Read more at News Junkie Post
Jim McCormick is the man behind the ADE-651. He’s appeared on TV claiming his device will detect anything from elephants to drugs to TNT with his magical dousing rods. On inspection the devices contain no actual working parts. But this didn’t stop the devices raking in an incredible $85 Million.
The device sold all over the world is very prominent at checkpoints in Baghdad. Thousands of the “detectors” were bought for an astonishing $40,000 each from Jim McCormick’s Somerset company ATSC.
Many experts were quick to denounce these devices stating that they are not just completely bogus but the practice of selling them is completely immoral.
James Randi came forward and asked ATSC to take part in his JREF Million Dollar challenge. When he refused Randi notified the authorities and Jim McCormick was arrested on fraud charges. (See video from jan 2010 above).
However in a recent investigation has shown that these devices are still being sold around the world for extortionate amounts. The government’s Department of Trade and Industry, which has since been superseded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, helped two of the manufacturers sell their products in Mexico and the Philippines.
Just three months after the ban on sales to Iraq and Afghanistan, a product called the HEDD1, consisting of a radio aerial on a handle made in Bulgaria, was displayed at a security exhibition at Olympia in London.
The company selling the devices, Unival, claimed that while all the other products which looked like it were a “massive scam”, theirs was different.
The HEDD1 was marketed by a retired British Army colonel, John Wyatt, who told prospective buyers that it had “proved extremely successful in several foreign countries”, including in “double blind” tests.
In reality the maker of HEDD1, Yuri Markov, had been charged in the United States in 2008 for fraudulently claiming that the previous version of his so-called bomb detector could detect explosives.
The US Navy had subjected it to a double-blind test and found it “does not work”.
More information on this at BBC
“Staying up all night clearly taxes the body, but scientists have only now added up the exact bill. By measuring the actual number of calories the body expends to fuel an all-nighter versus a good night’s sleep, researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder calculate that a full night of sleep helps the body conserve as much energy as is in a glass of warm milk.
Missing a night of sleep forces the body to burn about an extra 161 calories than it would have during eight hours of sleep (not counting what’s used in moving around while awake), but it’s no weight-loss miracle: The body tries to make up for the deficit by saving more energy than usual the next day and night, researchers report in the January Journal of Physiology.
The measurements, the first to put precise numbers on how much total energy people use in a 24-hour period while asleep, awake or recovering from a night of sleep deprivation, help bolster a theory that an important function of sleep is to save energy (SN: 10/24/09, p. 16).
To measure how much energy people use during sleep in a more rigorous way than has been done before, Kenneth Wright, a physiologist at the University of Colorado, and his colleagues studied seven people. Each of the healthy young volunteers lived inside a sealed room for three days. The volunteers were on bed rest the entire time and ate the same amount of calories at the same time each day. The researchers continually monitored the subject’s brain waves and how much oxygen and carbon dioxide the person breathed in and out. From there, the team could calculate each person’s energy use during each stage of sleep and waking.
“This is a Herculean effort,” neurobiologist Paul Shaw of Washington University in St. Louis says of the study. “This will be the gold standard going forward.””
Read more at Wired (Thanks @XxLadyClaireXx)
“Taking a test is not just a passive mechanism for assessing how much people know, according to new research. It actually helps people learn, and it works better than a number of other studying techniques.
The research, published online Thursday in the journal Science, found that students who read a passage, then took a test asking them to recall what they had read, retained about 50 percent more of the information a week later than students who used two other methods.
One of those methods — repeatedly studying the material — is familiar to legions of students who cram before exams. The other — having students draw detailed diagrams documenting what they are learning — is prized by many teachers because it forces students to make connections among facts.
These other methods not only are popular, the researchers reported; they also seem to give students the illusion that they know material better than they do.
In the experiments, the students were asked to predict how much they would remember a week after using one of the methods to learn the material. Those who took the test after reading the passage predicted they would remember less than the other students predicted — but the results were just the opposite.
“I think that learning is all about retrieving, all about reconstructing our knowledge,” said the lead author, Jeffrey Karpicke, an assistant professor of psychology at Purdue University. “I think that we’re tapping into something fundamental about how the mind works when we talk about retrieval.””
Read more at NY TImes (Thanks @XxLadyClaireXx)