Culture


Warning about procedure that REANIMATES human brain after death

8th May 2018

Yale University scientists announced last month they had managed to successfully bring the brains of 100 slaughtered pigs back to life.

The reanimated brains were kept in this state for 36 hours before they died.

And the team said the same procedure will work on primates – humans closest animal ancestor.

They hope the process could be used to further the study of human organs when they are outside the body, which could lead to huge medical advances.

Although the pigs never actually regained consciousness, the team believe it could be possible to actually restore some level of awareness.

But leading academics have branded the procedure nightmarish, saying it raises all kinds of ethical dilemmas.

Benjamin Curtis, a Nottingham Trent ethics and philosophy lecturer, said if it was done on humans it would be a “living hell” for them.

He said: “Even if your conscious brain were kept alive after your body had died, you would have to spend the foreseeable future as a disembodied brain in a bucket, locked away inside your own mind without access to the sense that allows us to experience and interact with the world.

“In the best case scenario, you would be spending your life with only your own thoughts for company.

“Some have argued that even with a fully functional body, immortality would be tedious. With absolutely no contact to external reality it might just be a living hell.

 

 

source/read more: https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/700985/yale-experiment-brain-reanimated-pigs-life-after-death

Boy Scouts are dropping the word ‘boy’ from the name of flagship program

 

The Boy Scouts of America doubled down Wednesday on its quest to become the scouting organization of choice for boys and girls, announcing it will drop “Boy” from the name of its signature program.

Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh also unveiled the group’s new “Scout Me In” marketing campaign aimed at promoting inclusiveness.

 “As we enter a new era for our organization, it is important that all youth can see themselves in Scouting in every way possible,” Saurbaugh said.

The umbrella organization will retain its name, Boy Scouts of America or BSA. The term Cub Scouts, for kids 7-10 years old, is gender neutral and also will go unchanged. Boy Scouts, which includes kids from 10 to 17, will become Scouts BSA in February.

Change has been coming quickly to the iconic if shrinking organization. In October, it announced it would provide programs for girls. Several months before that, the group announced it would accept and register transgender youths into its organization.

In 2015, it ended its ban on gay leaders.

Thousands of girls have become Cub Scouts in an early adopter program as the Boy Scouts of America begins welcoming girls into the organization in new ways. (April 23) AP

Cub Scouts will formally accept girls starting this summer. But Saurbaugh said more than 3,000 girls nationwide already enrolled in the BSA’s Early Adopter Program and are participating in Cub Scouts ahead of the full launch.

Allowing girls into the organization allows busy families to consolidate programs for their kids, BSA says. Most of the actual Cub packs and Scout troops, however, will be single gender.

“Cub Scouts is a lot of fun, and now it’s available to all kids,” said Stephen Medlicott, BSA marketing director. “That’s why we love ‘Scout Me In’ — because it speaks to girls and boys and tells them, ‘This is for you. We want you to join!’”

Boy Scouts of America claims almost 2.3 million members, down from 2.6 million five years ago. That includes Venturing and Sea Scouting programs, the latter allowing  membership up to 21 years of age. In its peak years, Boy Scout of America had more than 4 million participants.

Adults play a major role in the program: Almost 1 million adult volunteers serve as the backbone of the organization.

The program for the older boys and girls will largely be divided along gender lines but will cover similar activities. All participants can work toward the prestigious title of Eagle Scout.

It’s too early to determine what impact the aggressive BSA effort to recruit girls will have on the Girl Scouts of the USA, an organization best known for its lucrative annual cookie sales.

The organization, founded two years after Boy Scouts, currently claims a membership of about 1.8 million. And like BSA, it also has seen a membership decline. The Girl Scout organization responded to the latest news with a shrug. In a statement, the organization noted that the BSA announcement included no new, “girl specific” programming.

“Girl Scouts is the premier leadership development organization for girls,” Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, said in a statement. “We are, and will remain, the first choice for girls and parents”

The organization listed a series of efforts to “stay ahead of the pack of youth organizations.” That includes 23 new merit badges focusing on outdoors and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

Last month, the organization unveiled a LinkedIn network aimed tapping a major resource — the group’s 50 million alums. The goal of the network is “to support female advancement in the workforce and help prepare girls for a lifetime of leadership and career success.”

source/read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/05/02/boy-scouts-scouts-bsa-girls-joining-cub-scouts/572036002/

The richest 1% are on track to control two-thirds of the world’s wealth by 2030

23rd April 2018

Inequality around the world has reached an irreversible tipping point.

The U.K.-based House of Commons Library said this month that, if current trends continue, the richest 1% will control nearly 66% of world’s money by 2030. Based on 6% annual growth in wealth, they would hold assets worth approximately $305 trillion, up from $140 trillion today, the Guardian reported. This follows a report released earlier this year by Oxfam, which said that just eight billionaires have as much wealth as 3.6 billion people — the poorest half of the world.

The U.S. actually has a greater gap between rich and poor than many European countries. The divergence in the levels of inequality has been “extreme” between Western Europe and the U.S., according to a separate report, released earlier this year by the World Inequality Lab, a research project in over 70 countries based at the Paris School of Economics, and co-authored by the French economist Thomas Piketty. “The global middle class has been squeezed,” it said.

 

 

source/read more:https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-richest-1-people-in-the-world-are-on-track-to-control-two-thirds-of-wealth-by-2030-2018-04-10

‘Ethnic purging’: French stars and dignitaries condemn antisemitism

 

23rd April 2018

More than 300 French dignitaries and stars, including ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy and actor Gérard Depardieu, have signed a manifesto denouncing a “new antisemitism” marked by “Islamist radicalisation”, following a string of killings of Jews.

France’s Jewish community of more than half a million is the largest in Europe but has been hit by a wave of emigration to Israel in the past two decades, partly due to the emergence of virulent antisemitism in predominantly immigrant neighbourhoods.

“We demand that the fight against this democratic failure that is antisemitism becomes a national cause before it’s too late. Before France is no longer France,” reads the manifesto, to be published in the county’s Le Figaro newspaper on Sunday.

The signatories condemn what they called a “quiet ethnic purging” driven by rising Islamist radicalism, particularly in working-class neighbourhoods. They also accuse the media of remaining silent on the matter…

 

 

 

source/read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/22/ethnic-purging-french-stars-and-dignitaries-condemn-antisemitism