a luxury

Dear Friends, Next week the Senate is planning to vote on H.R. 4038, a bill that would slam the door in the face of Iraqi and Syrian refugees who have been victimized by ISIS and Assad.  Please write to your … Continue reading

Dear Friends,

Next week the Senate is planning to vote on H.R. 4038, a bill that would slam the door in the face of Iraqi and Syrian refugees who have been victimized by ISIS and Assad.  Please write to your Members of Congress and tell them that our country should be a place of safety for those fleeing violence.

Fear and cowardice are not the way forward.  ISIS has done terrible things but our reaction to them should not be to punish their victims.  Refugees already face an intense, often multi-year screening process to ensure that they are not a threat.  We should not make it harder for them.  Instead our country should protect victims of torture, abuse, and other forms of violence.  Please write to your Members of Congress today and tell them that you oppose H.R. 4038.

Sincerely,

Matt Hawthorne
Policy Director

P.S. You can also extend a hand of welcome to refugees in your local community.  We encourage you to think of ways you can also help local refugee families – whether by raising money, contributing time or goods, or making clear to your local elected leaders that you believe your community should be a welcoming one.

Uploaded on Nov 15, 2010
Trailer from the multi-award winning documentary Climate Refugees

for documentary filmmaker and immigration expert Sheila Murray, the Syrian refugee crisis is only a prelude.

Her film on international refugee law, No Place to Go, was made for Amnesty International Canada’s refugee program.

In a 2010 report in Refuge magazine, Murray predicted that by 2050, the world could see a mass exodus of 200 million environmental refugees fleeing homelands rendered uninhabitable by extreme weather, rising sea levels, and mega-droughts.

Published on Oct 27, 2015
This drone footage filmed near the Croatian border shows thousands of migrants and refugees crossing through farmland on foot.


People are outraged to see refugees with smartphones. They shouldn’t be.

By: Lloyd Alter

September 8, 2015, 4:16 p.m.

Read more: http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/gadgets-electronics/blogs/people-are-outraged-see-refugees-smartphones-they-shouldnt-be?utm_content=buffer7fb4f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=planetgreen#ixzz3mW69xuMR

addiction

Bruce K. Alexander (born 20 December 1939)[1] is a psychologist and professor emeritus from Vancouver, BC, Canada.[1] He has taught and conducted research on thepsychology of addiction at Simon Fraser University since 1970.[2] He retired from active teaching in 2005. … Continue reading

Bruce K. Alexander (born 20 December 1939)[1] is a psychologist and professor emeritus from Vancouver, BC, Canada.[1] He has taught and conducted research on thepsychology of addiction at Simon Fraser University since 1970.[2] He retired from active teaching in 2005. Alexander and SFU colleagues conducted a series of experiments into drug addiction known as the Rat Park experiments. He has written two books: Peaceful Measures: Canada’s Way Out of the War on Drugs (1990)[3] and The Globalization of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit (2008).


Rat Park

The Rat Park experiments, published in psychopharmacology journals in the late 1970s and early 1980s, flatly contradicted the dominant view of addiction in their day. They quickly disappeared from view, having evoked only negative responses in the mainstream press and journals. Lauren Slater’s controversial psychology book, Opening Skinner’s Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century[5] helped to bring them back to public attention in 2005. These experiments are now widely known and cited.

The Rat Park experiments were among the first to show the error in the once dominant myth that certain drugs, particularly the opiates, convert all or most users into drug addicts. In the 1970s, this myth was said to be demonstrated by the high consumption of opiates and stimulants of rats isolated in specially modified Skinner Boxes that allowed drug self-administration. Alexander and his colleagues demonstrated experimentally that rats isolated in cages of about the same size as Skinner Boxes consume far more morphine than rats that are socially housed in Rat Park.[6] Subsequent research has confirmed that social housing reduces drug intake in rats[7] and that the dominant myth was wrong both for rats and for human beings.[8] Nonetheless, the myth is still embedded in popular culture.

Addiction as a social problem

Alexander then explored the broader implications of Rat Park experiments for human beings. The main conclusions of his experimental and historical research since 1985 can be summarized as follows:

  1. Drug addiction is only a small corner of the addiction problem. Most serious addictions do not involve either drugs or alcohol[9]
  2. Addiction is more a social problem than an individual problem. When socially integrated societies are fragmented by internal or external forces, addiction of all sorts increases dramatically, becoming almost universal in extremely fragmented societies.[10]
  3. Addiction arises in fragmented societies because people use it as a way of adapting to extreme social dislocation. As a form of adaptation, addiction is neither a disease that can be cured nor a moral error that can be corrected by punishment and education.[11]

Therefore, the current NIDA Model of addiction, which Alexander refers to as the official view, is untenable.[12] Contemporary world society can only overcome mass dislocation (and addiction) by restoring psychosocial integration on a political and social level. This requires major social change.[4]

Alexander’s controversial conclusions have been celebrated by some mainstream sources outside the United States. Alexander received a 2007 Sterling Prize for Controversy in Canada, a 2009 high commendation from the British Medical Association, and an invitation to present at the Royal Society of Arts and Manufactures in London in 2011. Although all mainstream American sources have ignored Alexander’s work, it has acquired considerable recognition in outsider sources.[5]

1995 WHO cocaine research project

One line of research in which Alexander played a key role was actively suppressed by the World Health Assembly. Early in the 1990s the World Health Organization (WHO) organized the largest study on cocaine use ever undertaken. Profiles of cocaine use were gathered from 21 cities located in 19 countries all over the world. Alexander was selected as the principal investigator for the Vancouver site. The WHO announced publication of the results of the global study in a press release in 1995.[13]

However, an American representative in the World Health Assembly effectively banned the publication, apparently because the study seemed to contradict the dominant myth of addictive drugs, as applied to cocaine. Part of the study’s findings were “that occasional cocaine use does not typically lead to severe or even minor physical or social problems.” In the sixth meeting of the B committee the US representative threatened that “If WHO activities relating to drugs failed to reinforce proven drug control approaches, funds for the relevant programs should be curtailed”. This led to the WHO decision to postpone publication. The study has not been published officially but was leaked in 2009 and is available at wikileaks.[1]

Published on Jan 7, 2014
Dr. Gabor Maté talks about the root causes of addiction and how to deal with them. This is taken from the Q&A part of TJ Dawe’s show – “Medicine”.


Climate Change Info

About Climate Change Adaptation in Europe The European Climate Adaptation Platform (Climate-ADAPT) aims to support Europe in adapting to climate change. It is an initiative of the European Commission and helps users to access and share information on: Expected climate … Continue reading

About Climate Change Adaptation in Europe

The European Climate Adaptation Platform (Climate-ADAPT) aims to support Europe in adapting to climate change. It is an initiative of the European Commission and helps users to access and share information on:

  • Expected climate change in Europe
  • Current and future vulnerability of regions and sectors
  • National and transnational adaptation strategies
  • Adaptation case studies and potential adaptation options
  • Tools that support adaptation planning

On Nov. 10, Bill Nye will release a new book titled “Unstoppable.” As only Bill Nye can, he uses the book to explain the science behind climate change, debunks popular myths, and asks readers to take action in their own lives to create a sustainable future. The book is shot through with optimism, but Nye has no illusions about what lies ahead. The message is simple: Climate change is real; humans are causing it; and we have no choice but to build a better and cleaner world.

Published on Oct 30, 2013

A two part documentary presented by Sir David Attenborough – The Truth About Climate Change. Like ushttps://www.facebook.com/CarbonControl Follow us https://twitter.com/CarbonControl

Some extraordinary phenomena have taken place in recent times; Hurricane Katrina, the heat wave of 2003, polar bears swimming in search of ice and vast swarms of insects enveloping an African village. But are these isolated incidents or are they omens of a greater global change?

Sir David discovers that the world is warming at an unprecedented rate, and finds out why this is now far beyond any normal allowance for cyclical fluctuation. But are humans to blame? These changes are already in motion whatever we do now, but Sir David believes that we may be able to act to prevent a catastrophe. People around the world are having to adapt their way of life as the climate changes; the Inuit in the Arctic whose hunting is now limited, the Pacific island inhabitants forced to move as their homes disappear beneath the waves, and the Siberian homes slowly sinking into the permafrost. Sir David investigates some of the possible scenarios for the future, including rising sea-levels, insect plagues and an increase in diseases.

All rights: BBC


CIA Stops Sharing Climate Change Info With Scientists

//

the CIA reportedly is ending a key program that shared the agency’s climate change data — some of it gathered by surveillance satellites and other clandestine sources.

Investigative magazine Mother Jones broke the story last week that the intelligence agency is shutting down the Measurements of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis program. MEDEA allowed a select group of scientists access to classified information about climate change. Mother Jones said that the data included not only satellite observations, but also ocean temperature and tidal readings gathered by U.S. Navy submarines.

The CIA began gathering climate data for global security purposes during the Cold War, when it tracked the effect of climate change on Soviet grain harvests. According to one document mentioning MEDEA on the CIA website, the program was created in the early 1990s, in part through the efforts of then-U.S. Sen. Al Gore (D-Tenn.), as part of an effort to share intelligence related to environmental problems.

population fatness equivalent to an extra half a billion people

Homo sapiens – 287 million tonnes Domesticated Livestock – 700 million tonnes Wild animals – around 200,000 wolves vs 400 million domesticated dogs 250,000 chimps vs 7 billion humans The Bomb is Still Ticking… by Sharon Ede on 8th November … Continue reading

Homo sapiens – 287 million tonnes
Domesticated Livestock – 700 million tonnes
Wild animals –

around 200,000 wolves vs 400 million domesticated dogs

250,000 chimps vs 7 billion humans

The Bomb is Still Ticking…

by Sharon Ede on 8th November 2010

The notion of homo sapiens somehow being marginalised by concern for nature is not supported by the science – human beings have colonised every available niche on the planet we possibly can. Research by Professor Vaclav Smil from the University of Manitoba in Canada shows that as a percentage of mammalian zoomass, human beings and our domesticated mammalian animals (for food, beasts of burden and as pets) have gone from <0.1% 10,000 years ago, to 10-12% at the start of the industrial revolution to between 96-98% today. Human beings can and will expand to fill every available ecological niche within reach, and has done so at the expense of other species.


Human vs Livestock vs Wild mammal biomass on Earth

At some time in recent pre-history, there were fewer than 100,000 humans, hunter gatherers all, while  the rest of mammal diversity was wild. Then humans domesticated plants and animals, and together they came to dominate the landscape in a  very short time.

Background to the calculations: Canadian economist and mathematician Vaclav Smil has calculated the best estimates for the biomass of terrestrial mammals on planet earth, dividing them into human, livestock and remaining wild mammals, and the picture is pretty stark.


 

The weight of nations: an estimation of adult human biomass

Sarah C WalpoleDavid Prieto-MerinoPhil EdwardsJohn ClelandGretchen Stevens and Ian Roberts

Background

The energy requirement of species at each trophic level in an ecological pyramid is a function of the number of organisms and their average mass. Regarding human populations, although considerable attention is given to estimating the number of people, much less is given to estimating average mass, despite evidence that average body mass is increasing. We estimate global human biomass, its distribution by region and the proportion of biomass due to overweight and obesity.

Methods

For each country we used data on body mass index (BMI) and height distribution to estimate average adult body mass. We calculated total biomass as the product of population size and average body mass. We estimated the percentage of the population that is overweight (BMI > 25) and obese (BMI > 30) and the biomass due to overweight and obesity.

Results

In 2005, global adult human biomass was approximately 287 million tonnes, of which 15 million tonnes were due to overweight (BMI > 25), a mass equivalent to that of 242 million people of average body mass (5% of global human biomass). Biomass due to obesity was 3.5 million tonnes, the mass equivalent of 56 million people of average body mass (1.2% of human biomass). North America has 6% of the world population but 34% of biomass due to obesity. Asia has 61% of the world population but 13% of biomass due to obesity. One tonne of human biomass corresponds to approximately 12 adults in North America and 17 adults in Asia. If all countries had the BMI distribution of the USA, the increase in human biomass of 58 million tonnes would be equivalent in mass to an extra 935 million people of average body mass, and have energy requirements equivalent to that of 473 million adults.

Conclusions

Increasing population fatness could have the same implications for world food energy demands as an extra half a billion people living on the earth.


The complete article is available as a provisional PDF. The fully formatted PDF and HTML versions are in production.

Reading

I Was Wrong About Speed Reading: Here are the Facts January, 2015 Reading Tip #1: Skim Before You Read One study found that skimming a text before going on to reading it, improved comprehension in the majority of cases. Reading … Continue reading

I Was Wrong About Speed Reading: Here are the Facts
January, 2015

Reading Tip #1: Skim Before You Read

One study found that skimming a text before going on to reading it, improved comprehension in the majority of cases.

Reading Tip #2: Improve Your Fluency to Improve Your Speed

If you want to speed up reading, learning to recognize words faster seems to improve your reading speed.

Fluency isn’t just an issue for reading in your non-native language. It also matters for technical documents or prose which uses unfamiliar vocabulary.

The best way to improve fluency is to read more.

Reading Tip #3: Know What You Want, Before You Read It

Part of the reason skimming first might appear to help is that it allows you to map out a document. Knowing how an article or book is structured, then, allows you to pay more attention to the things you think are important.

Reading Tip #4: Deeper Processing Tasks to Improve Retention

Highlighting causes you to think about bolded words, not what they means.

Bloom’s taxonomy

Bloom’s taxonomy is a way of distinguishing the fundamental questions within the education system. It is named after Benjamin Bloom, who chaired the committee of educators that devised the taxonomy. He also edited the first volume of the standard text, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals.[1] [2]

Bloom’s taxonomy is a way of distinguishing the fundamental questions within the education system. It is named after Benjamin Bloom, who chaired the committee of educators that devised the taxonomy. He also edited the first volume of the standard text, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals.[1]

[2]

Einstellung

Einstellung is the development of a mechanized state of mind. Often called a problem solving set, Einstellung refers to a person’s predisposition to solve a given problem in a specific manner even though “better” or more appropriate methods of solving the problem exist. The Einstellung effect is the negative effect of previous experience when solving […]

Einstellung is the development of a mechanized state of mind. Often called a problem solving set, Einstellung refers to a person’s predisposition to solve a given problem in a specific manner even though “better” or more appropriate methods of solving the problem exist. The Einstellung effect is the negative effect of previous experience when solving new problems. The Einstellung effect has been tested experimentally in many different contexts. The most famous example (which led to Luchins and Luchins’ coining of the term) is the Luchins’ water jar experiment, in which subjects were asked to solve a series of water jar problems. After solving many problems which had the same solution, subjects applied the same solution to later problems even though a simpler solution existed (Luchins, 1942).[1] Other experiments on the Einstellung effect can be found in The Effect of Einstellung on Compositional Processes[2] and Rigidity of Behavior, A Variational Approach to the Effect of Einstellung.[3] By Peters Christopher Olabode.

The water jar problem (Luchins, 1942)

(Start with problem #1 and see if you can solve all 9)

How would you use 3 jars with the indicated capacities to measure out the desired amount of water?
Problem # Jar A Jar B Jar C Desired Quarts of water
1 29 3 . 20
2 21 127 3 100
3 14 163 25 99
4 18 43 10 5
5 9 42 6 21
6 20 59 4 31
7 23 49 3 20
8 15 39 3 18
9 28 76 3 25

Were you able to solve all 9? 

Yet another case of police vs teen

A video showing four Stockton police officers tackling a 16-year-old boy to the ground for allegedly jaywalking is drawing public outrage and concerns about excessive force. The nearly 2½ minute video, shot by a bystander Tuesday, has sparked backlash, with … Continue reading


A video showing four Stockton police officers tackling a 16-year-old boy to the ground for allegedly jaywalking is drawing public outrage and concerns about excessive force.

The nearly 2½ minute video, shot by a bystander Tuesday, has sparked backlash, with many accusing the officers of using unnecessary force on the teen for a minor violation.

Hundreds of comments have been left on the Stockton Police Department’s Facebook page, condemning the officers’ actions.



If, the teacher and assistant principal can’t get her to behave or to leave the classroom what else should they have done? Called for a Swat Team to remove her? She was disrupting the class, taking away study time from her classmates, being disrespectful to her teacher and to the assistant principal!The cop told her to get up and leave or he would remove her from the class! Again, she refused to comply! People forget that teachers get assaulted in classrooms across this country on a daily basis and you don’t hear much about that on CNN! The cop should have picked up the entire chair with her in it and set her outside of the classroom! Did he go over the top? Yes.