‘It’s Like I Forget I’m in Prison’: Simple idea that could change solitary confinement

Prisoners Growing Sagebrush
Terrence McCoy via Washington Post:

It began with a painting, a biologist and an idea to disprove the widely-held axiom that trees are static. The biologist first affixed a paintbrush to a tree branch, set it to a canvas and watched it sketch. She then multiplied the length of that tree’s stroke by every branch in its crown. In the course of a year, the biologist learned, the tree would move 187,000 miles — or seven times across the globe. This seemingly immobile thing was actually in constant motion.

The drawing and its implications would ultimately spark a program that has infiltrated some of the most impenetrable prisons in the nation, attracted international attention, and earned a spot on TIME Magazine’s list of best inventions. Called the Nature Imagery Project, it transports the soothing elements of nature into supermax prisons to help ease the psychological stress of solitary confinement.

The project is rooted in an idea that even the most static entities — like trees, like inmates in solitary confinement — have the capacity for change.

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Obama Becomes The First Peace Prize Winner to Bomb Another Peace Prize Winner

A Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan was bombed over the weekend. This is a very rare instance of a Nobel Peace Prize winner bombing another Peace Prize Winner. In fact, it’s the first. Also – these doctors don’t just have ironic bombs to worry about, the TPP will make their jobs that much harder as well! Lee Camp explains.

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Flaws found in forensic DNA lab testing

The Texas Forensic Science Commission recently found that state labs were analyzing DNA evidence with “an outdated protocol for calculating the probability of DNA matches in ‘mixtures.'”

Martin Kaste via NPR:

Over the summer, the Texas Forensic Science Commission, which sets standards for physical evidence in state courts, came to an unsettling conclusion: There was something wrong with how state labs were analyzing DNA evidence.

It seemed the labs were using an outdated protocol for calculating the probability of DNA matches in “mixtures”; that is, crime scene samples that contain genetic material from several people. It may have affected thousands of cases going back to 1999.

At first, they assumed the update wouldn’t make a big difference — just a refinement of the numbers.

But when a state lab reran the analysis of a DNA match from a murder case about to go to trial in Galveston, Texas, it discovered the numbers changed quite a bit.

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‘Capitalism is Mother Earth’s Cancer’: World People’s Summit Issues 12 Demands

"Caring for Mother Earth is a moral issue," UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon (left) told the World People's Conference on Saturday. "We must change how we use Mother Earth's resources, and live in a manner that is sustainable." Here, he is pictured with Bolivian President Evo Morales. (Photo: Reuters)

“Caring for Mother Earth is a moral issue,” UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon (left) told the World People’s Conference on Saturday. “We must change how we use Mother Earth’s resources, and live in a manner that is sustainable.” Here, he is pictured with Bolivian President Evo Morales. (Photo: Reuters)

This article originally appeared on Common Dreams.

Decrying capitalism as a “threat to life,” an estimated 7,000 environmentalists, farmers, and Indigenous activists from 40 countries convened in the Bolivian town of Tiquipaya for this weekend’s World People’s Conference on Climate Change, aiming to elevate the demands of social movements and developing countries in the lead-up to upcoming United Nations-led climate talks.

“Capitalism is Mother Earth’s cancer,” Bolivian President Evo Morales told the crowd, which also heard over the course of the three-day conference from United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon as well as other Latin American leaders.

The people’s summit, which concluded Monday afternoon, produced a 12-point declaration (Spanish) that will be presented during the COP21 climate negotiations taking place November 30-December 11 in Paris, France, during which 200 countries will attempt to cement an agreement to curb global warming.… Read the rest

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Scientists Can Map Your Brain And Predict Your Intelligence

This is pretty scary: your brain is either wired right – or it’s not! Wired reports in the brain mapping that can predict intelligence:

Humans have a love/hate relationship with the cliques, clades, and classes that compartmentalize their world. That tension forms the backbone of so much dystopian sci-fi: The protagonist of Divergent is special because she doesn’t fit into her society’s rigid castes of personality traits; Minority Report is all about the follies of judging people before they act. These stories are fun to think about in part because they’re fiction, not fact.

Human brain illustrated with millions of small nerves

But now that neuroscientists have used maps of people’s brains to accurately predict intelligence, reality creeps ever so much closer to fiction.

By intelligence, in this case, the scientists mean abstract reasoning ability, which they inferred by mapping and analyzing the connections within people’s brains. But the study, published today in Nature Neuroscience, is compelling because it gets at a fundamental and very uncomfortable truth: Some brains are better than others at certain things, simply because of the way they’re wired.

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Today’s Planetary Signs of a Revolutionary Transformation

Hosts Selomon and Shantastic Shine interview host of the #1 Astrology Podcast on iTunes, This Week in Astrology, Benjamin Bernstein about the planetary alignments that are bringing a revolutionary transformation to Earth right now.

In this episode, we speak with Benjamin Bernstein, a professional astrologer and host of the #1 Astrology podcast on iTunes This Week in Astrology, about the revolutionary transformation that is occurring during a Pluto and Uranus square. We also talk with him about archetypes, why do the planets affect us, Pluto not being a planet, the difference between horoscopes and zodiacs, indigenous astrology and if there is a 13th zodiac.

We also talk with Benjamin about his Shamanic Breath Work Techniques, Astrology services and many more spacey topics. Near the end is a collective card reading by Shantastic Shine that will send shivers down your spine and a short meditation to leave you with peace of mind by Selomon.

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Bridget Nielsen Explains the Alien Hybrid Program

Last week we published the story of Jeffrey Alan Lash, “Baby, I’m A Secret Agent, Alien Hybrid Here To Save The World.” The craziness of the tale stirred a lot of interest so we thought you all might enjoy this video of Bridget Nielsen, who explains the Alien Hybridization program that is responsible for her bearing 10 Alien Hybrid babies through dreamstate on an Alien craft…

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Mark Lombardi: Art and Conspiracy

Neo-conceptual artist, Mark Lombardi, created elaborate diagrams detailing the “the uses and abuses of power” in what he called Narrative Structures. One of Lombardi’s most famous Narrative Structures was “George W. Bush, Harken Energy, and Jackson Stephens, ca 1979–90.” This particular diagram drew connections between James Bath and the Bush and Bin Laden families.

Lombardi tragically committed suicide in 2000 at the age of 48. (Though some, like his mother, consider his “suicide” dubious and suspect foul play.)

12 years after his death, a documentary about Lombardi and his art was released. The film, Mark Lombardi: Death-Defying Acts of Art and Conspiracy directed by Mareike Wegener, delves into Lombardi’s painstaking research process, “which filled thousands of note cards and file cabinets.” Wegener sets out to position Lombardi’s art not only within the neo-conceptual framework, but within the “centuries-old traditions of landscape painting.”

However, what’s particularly interesting about Lombardi are not necessarily the conspiracy connections he explored in his work, but the conspiracies surrounding his death, 9/11, and his art.… Read the rest

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