For decades, Americans have been increasingly distanced from the dead. A small group of women is working to change that.
–Moist cotton balls can be used to close the eyes of the dead.
—It was a Sunday in the autumn of 1995, and Rob Sanders was driving his three kids from his house in Baltimore to the house of his ex-wife, Elizabeth Knox, in Silver Spring, Maryland. The kids rotated who got to sit in the front seat, and today was seven-year-old Alison’s turn. The boys wanted to hear the Redskins game, and when Alison leaned forward to fiddle with the radio, Sanders told her to sit back—he would find it. When he looked up, the light had turned red, and he braked, belatedly. Skidding into the intersection at about 14 miles an hour, he hit another car, and the passenger-side airbag deployed. The airbag—one of those early models designed to protect a full-sized adult male in a much more violent crash—struck Alison “with the force of a heavyweight boxer,” as Knox would later put it, rendering the girl unconscious and braindead in an instant.
—Knox had just walked into her house when the hospital called; she handed the phone to her then-boyfriend to see if he could make sense of what the person on the other end was telling her. They drove to Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, and Knox rushed in. “I’m here,” Knox told her unconscious daughter once she reached her side. “I’m going to stay here. I’ll be with you through all this.”
For decades, Americans have been increasingly distanced from the dead. A small group of women is working to change that.
“Ken Burns at his finest a doc on the first expedition by the US to the Pacific “
It has no official number in the archaeological record, nor an agreed-upon name. Some curators at the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul, where it resides, have called it the Limestone Head. Others call it the Carved Pebble. Still others call it simply the Head, and while there is no question that the artifact they’re talking about depicts a head, the answer to the question of just whose head it depicts—which person or deity its unyielding eyes and screwed mouth reflect—is lost, like so much else in Afghanistan is lost, to some insolently mute vault of time.
—The Head is carved into a limestone pebble two and a half inches high by one and a quarter inches wide. It dates from around 10,000 B.C.E., placing it in the Upper Paleolithic and making it one of the oldest pieces of sculpture ever found on the Asian continent. We know that it turned up in a gorge near the village of Aq Kupruk, in the northern foothills of the Hindu Kush. Beyond that we know nothing.
In recent months, the media has become increasingly impatient with high-profile health advocates who dispense unsubstantiated medical advice. Among the highlights have been John Oliver’s continued humiliation of Dr. Oz, who repeatedly touted the power of energy healing and “miracle” weight-loss solutions, and a viral Gawker takedown of Vani Hari, aka “the Food Babe,” a blogger and food activist who once advised her followers that “there is just no acceptable level of any chemical to ingest, ever.” Even the American Medical Association has had enough, and just announced that it would draft guidelines for disciplining physicians who dispense pseudo-scientific advice.
—Yet despite this heightened concern about the accuracy of health information, best-selling celebrity neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter seems to have escaped much scrutiny, even though he has a decades-long history of offering — and profiting from — suspect medical advice.
Partition displaced fifteen million people and killed more than a million.
Margaret Bourke-White / LIFE Picture Collection / Getty
—In August, 1947, when, after three hundred years in India, the British finally left, the subcontinent was partitioned into two independent nation states: Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan. Immediately, there began one of the greatest migrations in human history, as millions of Muslims trekked to West and East Pakistan (the latter now known as Bangladesh) while millions of Hindus and Sikhs headed in the opposite direction. Many hundreds of thousands never made it.
—Across the Indian subcontinent, communities that had coexisted for almost a millennium attacked each other in a terrifying outbreak of sectarian violence, with Hindus and Sikhs on one side and Muslims on the other—a mutual genocide as unexpected as it was unprecedented. In Punjab and Bengal—provinces abutting India’s borders with West and East Pakistan, respectively—the carnage was especially intense, with massacres, arson, forced conversions, mass abductions, and savage sexual violence. Some seventy-five thousand women were raped, and many of them were then disfigured or dismembered.
I spent seven years leading hate groups and getting other angry white people to join.
By Arno Michaelis June 25
Arno Michaelis is the author of “My Life After Hate.”
—Since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with the idea of being a warrior. I learned to read early and would sit in the library poring over books of Greek and Norse myths, gravitating to the parts about monsters and violence. In middle school, I played Dungeons & Dragons, fancying myself as an unstoppable fighter who made his own rules. Art was equally as fascinating as violence, and the two combined in my drawings of battle scenes from ancient Vikings cracking skulls to spaceships blowing each other to bits.
—I grew up in an alcoholic family and developed an adrenaline habit that drove me to lash out at the world in increasingly drastic ways.
In Paraguay, there is a special place named Catuera. It is remarkable for several reason, first is that it is the main trash dumping area for the country. The second is that there are about 10,000 people living there, making a living scavenging and reselling parts that they find. Third, they have an amazing orchestra.
#I don’t often encourage people to watch television shows, but this past Sunday night “60 Minutes” was a must see. If you happened to catch the segment by Bob Simon called “The Recyclers” you know what I mean. If not, it’s worth watching online via CBSnews.com.
—#It’s a very moving story, highlighting a poor village in Paraguay situated around a garbage dump where they’ve turned the trash into instruments for the children, who have formed the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura under the direction of Favio Chavez. Chavez is an environmental technician who came up with the idea to start a music school to help lift the children’s spirits amid the squalor.
—#After watching it, I dare you to come away without thanks for what you have and without a feeling that you really should do more with it. At its heart, that is what this story is. As Chavez says: “The world sends us garbage. We send back music.”
× 1 1340 Woman counter-protesting with her daughters at a black civil liberties rally in Bogalusa, Louisiana, 1965. [689×1024] (i.imgur.com)
Woman counter-protesting with her daughters at a black civil liberties rally in Bogalusa, Louisiana, 1965.
Consciousness — the internal dialogue that seems to govern one’s thoughts and actions — is far less powerful than people believe, serving as a passive conduit rather than an active force that exerts control, according to a new theory proposed by an SF State researcher.
Associate Professor of Psychology Ezequiel Morsella’s “Passive Frame Theory” suggests that the conscious mind is like an interpreter helping speakers of different languages communicate.
From the Arabian Peninsula to northern India to California’s Central Valley, nearly a third of the world’s 37 largest aquifers are being drained faster than they are being replenished, according to a recent study led by scientists at the University of California, Irvine. The aquifers are concentrated in food-producing regions that support up to two billion people.
—A companion study indicates that the total amount of water in the aquifers, and how long it will last at current depletion rates, is still uncertain. “In most cases, we do not know how much groundwater exists in storage” to cover unsustainable pumping, the study said. Historical estimates, it
Nearly a third of the world’s 37 largest aquifers are being drained faster than water can be returned to them, threatening regions that support two billion people, a recent study found.
Traditional wood green shutters, lace curtains, Swiss chalet beams; all the makings of a quaint little villa in the woods. But strangely, the windowpanes don’t reflect the sunlight and on closer approach, the house looks impossibly narrow. Because this is no quaint Swiss chalet but rather a military bunker in disguise.
Fake Chalets: Unmasking the Bunkers disguised as Quaint Swiss Villas | Messy Nessy Chic
For centuries, experts have predicted that machines would make workers obsolete. That moment may finally be arriving. Could that be a good thing?
—1. Youngstown, U.S.A.
The end of work is still just a futuristic concept for most of the United States, but it is something like a moment in history for Youngstown, Ohio, one its residents can cite with precision: September 19, 1977.
—For much of the 20th century, Youngstown’s steel mills delivered such great prosperity that the city was a model of the American dream, boasting a median income and a homeownership rate that were among the nation’s highest.
A new study shows successive changes in the size of domestic animals over time relating to changes in the landscape and production systems.
—Zooarchaeology is a discipline that studies the relationship between human beings and animals throughout history. To do this, zooarchaelogists study the remains of animals found in archaeological sites. This discipline studies questions relating to livestock husbandry, food or the ritual use of animals, among other things.
—The paper “Livestock management in Spain from Roman to post-medieval times: a biometrical analysis of cattle, sheep/goat and pig” is the outcome of the PhD research work conducted by Idoia Grau-Sologestoa and completed in 2014 at the UPV/EHU, and has been published recently in the Journal of Archaeological Science, which specialises in archaeology.
Researchers are still working out the nuances of how oxytocin affects the brain, with few studies definitively linking autism to problems in oxytocin signaling
—Oxytocin has been of keen interest to neuroscientists since the 1970s, when studies started to show that it could drive maternal behaviour and social attachment in various species.
—In April 2011, Robert Froemke and his team were reprogramming the brains of virgin mice with a single hormone injection.
—Before the treatment, the female mice were largely indifferent to the cries of a distressed baby, and were even known to trample over them. But after an injection of oxytocin, the mice started to respond more like mothers, picking up the mewling pup in their mouths. Froemke, a neuroscientist at New York University’s Langone Medical Center in New York City, was monitoring the animals’ brains to find out why that happened.
By Jenna McLaughlin
Featured photo – NSA Chief Wants to Watch, as Well as Listen and Read
The National Security Agency, while primarily occupied by sweeping up billions of phone calls, emails, texts and social media messages each day, wants better visual information about the earth and its residents, too, Admiral Michael Rogers said Wednesday.
—“Signals intelligence … ain’t enough, you guys,” the NSA chief told a gathering of contractors in the geospatial intelligence business. “We gotta create a much broader picture.”
—We need “the ability to visualize,” he explained, because “man is fundamentally a visual creature.”
—Rogers, who also heads the Pentagon’s United States Cyber Command, spent much of his keynote speech at the GEOINT 2015 conference pitching the technology, intelligence and defense companies in the audience on the importance of working together. The conference’s slogan — appropriate, given the government’s ever-growing demands — is “open the aperture.”
In the latest installment of Hopes&Fears anonymous interview series, we talked to a sex worker who plied her trade in a legal Australian brothel and had the time of her life.
—I worked for a legal brothel in Australia and it was the best job I ever had.
—I don’t claim to speak for all sex workers, of course. This was just my personal experience, and it was great. Especially for someone so social, like me. I loved and admired the women I worked with. I took great pride in the pleasure I could give to people. It was a job that I enjoyed, and I was better at it because I enjoyed it.
—I remember one particular coworker who had previously worked as a licensed psychologist. She told me once that she felt that she helped people more at the brothel than she ever had in her previous practice.