Mario in Paris, 10/9/13
This needs to stop.
- 15 people were killed while attending a wedding in Yemen on Thursday, after military officials apparently mistook the wedding party for an al-Qaeda convoy and reportedly used an unmanned drone to bomb the site. source
KillerMartinis, Why I Make Terrible Decisions, Or Poverty Thoughts
Heartbreaking. We must do better for each other, for ourselves.
Because only during the past 10 or 15 years has the country seen the emergence of extraordinary incarceration rates among young, poorly educated black men, answers Bruce Western, a professor of sociology at Harvard who is vice chair of a National Research Council panel investigating the causes and consequences of high incarceration rates. About 35 percent of black male high-school dropouts under age 40 are now behind bars, he says, compared with an incarceration rate of 0.7 percent for the population as a whole. “What this means for day-to-day life has never really been shown in such detail before,” he says.
Western calls Goffman’s work “a breakthrough contribution” that raises basic questions about penal systems conceived to promote public safety and improve quality of life in poor communities.
“What her research shows is that these institutions may be self-defeating and may carry very significant social costs,” Western says. “And so the whole effort to improve public safety through criminal-justice supervision and through incarceration may have significantly backfired, and may in many ways have contributed to the ongoing poverty and shortage of opportunities that we see there. That’s a fairly new story.
Mac Parry, The American Police State
I love how it takes a (white) sociologist to discover and share this ‘breakthrough’ that anyone paying attention has seen for 30 years.
Exercise triggers the creation of highly excitable neurons in the hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with memory, learning, and emotional responses. This speeds up overall brain function, but because of the new neurons’ excitability, it should also make the brain more susceptible to anxiety. Yet it doesn’t.
To find out why, the Princeton team split lab mice into two groups. One group had access to a running wheel (with the mice averaging an impressive 2.5 miles per night), and the other did not. After six weeks, the researchers intentionally freaked out all the mice by dunking them in cold water, then looked at their brains with an fMRI machine. Almost immediately, they noticed that the two groups reacted differently. The brain cells of the inactive mice became agitated and leaped into a frenzy, while those of the active mice did not. The reason: the active mice were able to produce and release more of the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps sedate jumpy neurons.
The discovery … marked a breakthrough in understanding how exercise helps the brain regulate anxiety. In essence, exercise creates new, faster neurons, but it also reinforces the physiological mechanism that prevents those uppity brain cells from firing during times of stress.
Fascinating new research on how exercise and works as mental conditioning. For best results, pair exercise with sleep, which science has already indicated helps regulate our negative emotions. (via explore-blog)
Work out. Calm down.
Ichabod Crane, Sleepy Hollow (I’m a touch embarrassed to admit)
But that’s a damn good line.