Author Archive | Marcie Gainer

An Ancient Way to Heal The Mind Finds New Scientific Support

By daveynin via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

By daveynin via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Sometimes, scientists like to research things that most of us already assume. I suppose it doesn’t hurt to have some proof and evidence to get us off the couch and into the woods.

via Psyblog:

Taking group walks in nature is associated with better mental well-being and lower stress and depression, a new large-scale study finds.

The study is one of the first to show that simply walking in nature doesn’t just benefit the body, but also the mind.

Sara Warber, one of the study’s authors, said:

“We hear people say they feel better after a walk or going outside but there haven’t been many studies of this large size to support the conclusion that these behaviors actually improve your mental health and well-being.”

The study evaluated a British program called ‘Walking for Health’ and it involved nearly 2,000 participants (Marselle et al., 2014).

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Brain Wave May Be Used to Detect What People Have Seen, Recognize

By Hubert Figuière via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

By Hubert Figuière via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

Thanks to Disinfonaut, Earth Star, this was brought to my attention. What do you think of this? Groundbreaking science aside, is this another step to having “thought police” in our society? This type of science could easily be abused and exploited, but it could also prove useful.

via Association for Psychological Science:

Brain activity can be used to tell whether someone recognizes details they encountered in normal, daily life, which may have implications for criminal investigations and use in courtrooms, new research shows.

The findings, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggest that a particular brain wave, known as P300, could serve as a marker that identifies places, objects, or other details that a person has seen and recognizes from everyday life.

Research using EEG recordings of brain activity has shown that the P300 brain wave tends to be large when a person recognizes a meaningful item among a list of nonmeaningful items.

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Liberalism and Gentrification

By MsSaraKelly via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

By MsSaraKelly via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

via Jacobin:

When I want to examine the limits of liberal ideology, I look for class struggle; when I want to find some class struggle, I simply step outside my door. You don’t have to live in Washington, DC, like I do, but it helps.

Like a lot of cities, Washington is really two cities in the same space. We’ve got “Washington,” the place of popular imagination, gleaming white marble monuments and Aaron Sorkin speechifiers, the mostly-from-out-of-town professional class keeping the rusty wheels of state administration turning.

We’ve also got “DC,” the city distinct from the operations of the federal government, made up of “residents,” who are mostly poor and mostly black. These two cities are locked in a one-sided war of attrition, with affluent “newcomers” and their local allies conducting clear-and-hold operations against their less well-heeled neighbors. I can watch from what Forbes magazine, that barometer of bohemianism, has labeled the sixth-hippest neighborhood in the US, where I live.

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Doomsday Deferred

By Dennis Skley via Flickr (CC by 2.0).

By Dennis Skley via Flickr (CC by 2.0).

via Providentia:

The history of religious movements seems filled with examples of religious figures proudly proclaiming the imminent coming of God, along with redemption for the faithful and punishment for unbelievers. Many of these religious figures even go so far as to give a specific date when these things would come to pass and instruct their followers to wrap up their affairs and get ready for what was to come. And, sure enough, many followers would do just that, even to the point of quitting jobs or selling houses to await the promised day. That this day of judgment has yet to materialize and previous promises have failed in the past seems not to matter so much to the believers. Except for the inevitable disappointment afterward and the crisis of faith that always seems to follow.

And so it proved for Wibur Glenn Voliva.

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Dracula’s dungeon discovered in Turkey

news-vlad

via Unexplained Mysteries:

The dungeon in which Vlad the Impaler was imprisoned by the Turks has been found at Tokat Castle.

Back at the beginning of the 15th century Wallachian Prince Vlad III, the real-life inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s character Dracula, was held captive by the Ottoman Turks for twelve years.

Now archaeologists believe that they have discovered the very prison in which he had been held captive deep beneath Tokat Castle in northern Turkey. The dungeons were found following the discovery of a secret tunnel that was unearthed while restoration works were being carried out on the building.

“The castle is completely surrounded by secret tunnels. It is very mysterious,” said archaeologist Ibrahim Çetin. “It is hard to estimate in which room Dracula was kept, but he was around here.”

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Be Kind

Nothingness by Hartwig HKD via Flickr. CC by 2.0.

Nothingness by Hartwig HKD via Flickr. CC by 2.0.

we are always asked
to understand the other person’s
viewpoint
no matter how
out-dated
foolish or
obnoxious.

one is asked
to view
their total error
their life-waste
with
kindliness,
especially if they are
aged.

but age is the total of
our doing.
they have aged
badly
because they have
lived
out of focus,
they have refused to
see.

not their fault?

whose fault?
mine?

I am asked to hide
my viewpoint
from them
for fear of their
fear.

age is no crime

but the shame
of a deliberately
wasted
life

among so many
deliberately
wasted
lives

is.

– Charles Bukowski

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Protests in Pakistan: Curiously Underreported by International News

Thanks to a Facebook commenter on this post, the underreporting of the protests in Pakistan has been brought to my attention. While some of the mainstream media has covered these protests, their narrative has been dwarfed by other, more popular stories. Here’s a short recap from different sources.

551px-Konferenz_Pakistan_und_der_Westen_-_Imran_Khan_(4155877864)_cropped

Imran Khan, Pakistani politician and former cricketer.

“Imran Khan vows to carry on protest till Pakistan PM resigns” via Arab News:
(September 28)

LAHORE: Opposition politician Imran Khan has vowed to continue his protest against Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif until the leader resigns over allegations of election rigging.

Khan, along with populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, has been staging a sit-in in capital Islamabad since August 15.

Last week he took his protest to Pakistan’s largest city Karachi and on Sunday he addressed thousands of people in his home town and Pakistan’s second largest city — Lahore, which is also the home town of Sharif.

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Much of Earth’s Water Is Older Than the Sun

Planets form in the presence of abundant interstellar water inherited as ices from the parent molecular cloud. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC-Caltech)/ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA/Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

Planets form in the presence of abundant interstellar water inherited as ices from the parent molecular cloud.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC-Caltech)/ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA/Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit.

via Live Science:

Much of the water on Earth and elsewhere in the solar system likely predates the birth of the sun, a new study reports.

The finding suggests that water is commonly incorporated into newly forming planets throughout the Milky Way galaxy and beyond, researchers said — good news for anyone hoping that Earth isn’t the only world to host life.

“The implications of our study are that interstellar water-ice remarkably survived the incredibly violent process of stellar birth to then be incorporated into planetary bodies,” study lead author Ilse Cleeves, an astronomy Ph.D. student at the University of Michigan, told Space.com via email. [7 Theories on the Origin of Life]

“If our sun’s formation was typical, interstellar ices, including water, likely survive and are a common ingredient during the formation of all extrasolar systems,” Cleeves added.

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Dear Mr. President, It’s Time to Obey the Law: Release the JFK Secret Service Records and End Other Needless Secrecy

US Secret Service - Motorcade Support Unit by Cliff via Flickr (CC By 2.0).

US Secret Service – Motorcade Support Unit by Cliff via Flickr (CC By 2.0).

via Alternet:

Dear Mr. President,

We know you have many pressing issues on your plate, but last week’s problems with the Secret Service and White House security also warrant your attention. What if the man who sprinted across the White House lawn–and into your home–hadn’t been a troubled ex-serviceman, but instead had been an terrorist from ISIS or Al Qaeda or a violent American white supremacist?

As you know, last week’s incidents were only the latest in a long line of Secret Service problems involving lax protection of you and your family, heavy drinking and irresponsible behavior by some agents, and racial discrimination. What you probably don’t know is that those problems have been issues for the Service since the early 1960s. One reason you–and most of the American public–aren’t aware of those issues is the culture of secrecy that sometimes pervades the agency when it comes to its own shortcomings.

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