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'Time to Set Scientists Free': Prominent Journal Slams Harper Government

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© bulletproofcourier
Stephen Harper's Science Censor-Matic
Canada, Toronto - One of the world's leading scientific journals has criticized the federal government for policies that limit its scientists from speaking publicly about their research.

The journal, Nature, says in an editorial in this week's issue that it is time for the Canadian government to set its scientists free.

It notes that Canada and the United States have undergone role reversals in the past six years, with the U.S. adopting more open practices since the end of George W. Bush's presidency while Canada has been going in the opposite direction.

The editorial says that since taking power in 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has tightened the media protocols applied to federal government scientists and employees.

Nature says policy directives on government communications that have been released through access to information requests have revealed the Harper government has little understanding of the importance of the free flow of scientific knowledge.

The journal says its own news reporters have experienced firsthand the obstacles the Canadian government puts in the way of people trying to gain access to science generated by government scientists on the public payroll.

Handcuffs

Grandmother Charged with Capital Murder for Death of Girl Forced to Run as Punishment

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Gadsden, Alabama - A woman accused of running her 9-year-old granddaughter to death as punishment for eating chocolate was captured on a school bus videotape saying she planned to run the child "'til she can't run no more," a prosecutor told a judge Thursday in announcing capital murder charges.

Joyce Hardin Garrard, who faces a potential death penalty if convicted, made the comment to the driver of Savannah Hardin's bus, which was equipped with a surveillance system, said Marcus Reid, an assistant district attorney in Etowah County.

Angered by a supposed lie the child told the day before, Garrard told the driver: '"I gonna run her 'til she can't run no more,'" Reid said.

"That's exactly what she did," said the prosecutor, calling Garrard a "drill sergeant from hell."

Garrard, 46, and Savannah's stepmother, 27-year-old Jessica Mae Hardin, are both charged in the child's death last month. Authorities say the older woman made the child run for three hours as punishment, and the younger woman - who was nine months pregnant at the time and has since given birth - did nothing to intervene.

Bulb

Teen With Photographic Memory Able to Instantly Say Words Backwards

US Philadelphia - It's like an easy game for 14-year-old Alyssa Kramer. She can easily say words backwards in seconds. Her video on YouTube quickly got a million hits, and now she has her own channel: alyssatalkingback.com. CBS3 asked when she realized she had the special ability.

"Whenever I learned how to read, I just started doing it. I have a photographic memory, and whenever someone tells me a word, I can see it in my head. And if I want to spell it backwards then, it can flip and I'll read it that way," Alyssa says.

Mr. Potato

Research Study Finds Attending Meetings Can Make You Act Brain-Dead

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© REX
Women were affected by the situation more clearly than men
Meetings make people stupid because they impair their ability to think for themselves, scientists have found.

The performance of people in IQ tests after meetings is significantly lower than if they are left on their own, with women more likely to perform worse than men.
Researchers at the Virginia Tech Crilion Research institute in the US said people's performance dropped when they were judged against their peers.

Read Montague, who led the study, said: "You may joke about how committee meetings make you feel brain-dead, but our findings suggest that they may make you act brain-dead as well.

"We started with individuals who were matched for their IQ. Yet when we placed them in small groups, ranked their performance on cognitive tasks against their peers, and broadcast those rankings to them, we saw dramatic drops in the ability of some study subjects to solve problems. The social feedback had a significant effect."

Document

Obama Birth Certificate a 'Forgery' Says Sheriff Arpaio

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© Associated Press/Ross D. Franklin
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
US - Armed with a new 10-page report he commissioned, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Thursday he suspects the birth certificate President Obama released last year is a "computer-generated forgery" - and also raised questions about the authenticity of the president's selective service registration card.

In an extensive - and at times combative - press conference in Phoenix, Sheriff Arpaio repeatedly said he is not questioning the president's legal status under the Constitution nor alleging fraud on Mr. Obama's part, but did say there is evidence crimes have been committed by someone and his investigation continues.

"Based on all of the evidence presented and investigated, I cannot in good faith report to you that these documents are authentic," Sheriff Arpaio said. "My investigators believe that the long-form birth certificate was manufactured electronically and that it did not originate in paper format as claimed by the White House."


Heart - Black

The disgrace of a nation that treats old people like animals

dementia patient
© Alamy
Can it really be so hard to tend to dementia patients with compassion?
(UK) - Let's imagine for a moment that it's routine practice in this country to sedate babies who won't settle: that the more they cry, the more drugs are poured down their tiny throats.

The same treatment, let's imagine, is also routine for the mentally disabled: whenever they create too much disturbance, we simply cosh them with chemicals.

There would be a national outcry. Heads would roll. Money would be found immediately to train medical staff and carers so that such a scandal could never, ever happen again.

Now let's stop imagining and face the appalling truth. The nightmare scenario that I've just painted is precisely what's happening to some of the most vulnerable people in the land - the elderly.

A shocking three-year study by Nottingham University has concluded that more than half of all those over 70 who are admitted to hospital have dementia. Yet very few doctors, nurses or healthcare assistants have had any proper training in how to deal with them.

Eye 1

Foreign Affairs Hearing Feb 29 2012, Questions to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton


Rocket

The Ghost and the Machine

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© Jim Wilson/The New York Times
A member of the 214th Reconnaissance Group flies a Predator aircraft drone in support of ground troops in Iraq and Afghanistan at Davis-Monthan Air Base in Tucson, March 10, 2009.
Fazillah, age 25, lives in Maidan Shar, the central city of Afghanistan's Wardak province. She married about six years ago, and gave birth to a son, Aymal, who just turned five without a father. Fazillah tells her son, Aymal, that his father was killed by an American bomber plane, remote-controlled by computer.

That July, in 2007, Aymal's father was sitting in a garden with four other men. A weaponized drone, what we used to call an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or UAV, was flying, unseen, overhead, and fired missiles into the garden, killing all five men.

Now Fazillah and Aymal share a small dwelling with the deceased man's mother. According to the tradition, a husband's relatives are responsible to look after a widow with no breadwinner remaining in her immediate family. She and her son have no regular source of bread or income, but Fazillah says that her small family is better off than it might have been: one of the men killed alongside her husband left behind a wife and child but no other living relatives that could provide them with any source of support, at all.

Aymal's grandmother becomes agitated and distraught speaking about her son's death, and that of his four friends. "All of us ask, 'Why?'" she says, raising her voice. "They kill people with computers and they can't tell us why. When we ask why this happened, they say they had doubts, they had suspicions. But they didn't take time to ask 'Who is this person?' or 'Who was that person?' There is no proof, no accountability. Now, there is no reliable person in the home to bring us bread. I am old, and I do not have a peaceful life."

Newspaper

Andrew Breitbart's Fiery CPAC Speech: I Have 'College Days' Obama Videos

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Andrew Breitbart took the podium at CPAC Friday afternoon, introduced to the stage with Rage Against The Machine's Guerrilla Radio, and revealed to the audience he had "videos" of Barack Obama from his college days. "I have videos, this election we're going to vet him," Breitbart disclosed to raucous applause. "We are going to vet him from his college days to show you why racial division and class warfare are central to what hope and change was sold in 2008."

"The videos are going to come out, the narrative is going to come out, that Barack Obama met a bunch of silver ponytails in the 1980s, like Bill (Ayers) and Bernadine (Dohrn), who said one day we would have the presidency, and the rest of us slept as they plotted, and they plotted, and they plotted and they oversaw hundreds of millions of dollars in the Annenberg Challenge and they had real money, from real capitalists. Then they became communists. We got to work on that. That is a parenthesis. Barack Obama is a radical, we should not be afraid to say that! Okay? And Barack Obama was launched from Bill and Bernadine's salon. I've been there."

Roses

Monkees Singer Davy Jones Dies

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© Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Davy Jones, the lead singer of The Monkees, died this morning after suffering a heart attack in Indiantown, Fla., his representative confirmed to ABC News. He was 66.

"He passed next to his passions, his horses, and was one hour away from his wife, Jessica Pacheco-Jones," his rep said in a statement.

"All of his family, friends and fans mourn Davy's loss," Joseph Pacheco, Jones' manager and brother-in-law, said. "We were fortunate to have such an incredible human being in our lives. Sadly, his time on Earth was cut far too short and he will be missed tremendously by all who knew him."

The Martin County, Fla. medical examiner's office will be conducting an investigation into Jones' death but said in statement that "there do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances" surrounding it.

Jones is survived by his wife and four daughters from previous marriages.