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Florida school shooting: Students now required to wear clear backpacks

24th March 2018

Broward County School Superintendent Robert Runcie informed students from MS Douglas High School they would be required to wear clear backpacks as part of a number of safety measures set to be implemented across the district.

Superintendent Runcie sent a letter to families on Wednesday outlining the security measures, following the shooting where 17 people were killed at the Parkland school on February 14.

The security measures for MS Douglas High School included student identification badges, extra security and the potential for the introduction metal detectors at the entrance of the school.

“While we cannot change the heartbreaking and senseless act of violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, by working together, we can change the future,” Superintendent Runcie wrote in the letter to families in the district.

All students deserve safe schools. We are proud of our students’ determination to effect positive change in this country – and for the incredible support from the Broward community and across the country.”

MS Douglas High School had another incident on Wednesday after two students were charged with bringing weapons onto campus, according to CNN.

Despite the incident, many students are preparing for their trip to Washington for March for Our Lives on Saturday.

 

source/read more; https://www.sbs.com.au/news/florida-school-shooting-students-now-required-to-wear-clear-backpacks

‘After, I feel ecstatic and emotional’: could virtual reality replace therapy?

22nd Feb 2018

Leslie Channell admits he’s not a typical case for treatment. Channell, known to everybody as Chann, is a registered pilot who served 24 years in the army working on Apache helicopters. Chann also happens to be scared of heights. He doesn’t mind flying planes or sitting on the side of the Apache with the door open; he’s just terrified of going up two or three floors of a building or driving over a bridge.

Chann is nervous; his speech is fast. He says he’s sweating. We meet at a trendy startup in Oxford, where he is about to undergo virtual-reality therapy for his phobia (although the term “virtual-reality” therapy is controversial: some say the VR is just a tool for the therapy; others argue that the virtual reality is the therapy itself). Psychologists are now trialling VR for all kinds of conditions, from phobias to pain management to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

There are two other people in the room. Cognitive-behavioural therapist Polly Haselton sits behind a curved computer screen watching Chann, occasionally asking questions. Daniel Freeman, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Oxford and one of the world’s pioneers in this field, watches Chann’s every movement. Freeman explains there are three common fears of heights: that you will fall; that what you are standing on will give way; or that you will jump, which is known as “the call of the void”. Chann’s fear is of falling.

He straps on his virtual-reality headset (also known as a head-mounted display, or HMD). Inside the headset, he will find himself fully immersed in a three-dimensional world. Today, he is going to level four of a 10-storey building in New York to rescue a kitten stranded on a branch of an indoor tree.

Chann has to use a lever to push himself on to a small platform towards the cat. He is a stocky, tough-looking man in his late 50s. But he’s not looking tough any more. His voice is rising, and he’s shaking. He edges forward along the virtual branch. In real life, his feet also move gingerly – then come to a sudden stop. His breathing becomes louder and more staccato.

“You’re doing really well,” Haselton says.

“You don’t know how difficult this is,” Chann pants. “Come here, cat.” Then he stops. “Nah, can’t get it. Aaaagh. No! Gotta come back.”

He starts again, cautiously edging forward. “Yes. Yes. Yes! No, stop Chann. Yes! Yes!” His yeses are urgent, desperate. He makes a grab for the kitten, and returns it to virtual safety.

Task complete. He takes his headset off, talking even faster. “My anxiety levels were way high. Super high.”

“We’re talking nine out of 10, 10 out of 10?” Freeman asks calmly.

“Yeah. I really didn’t want to be there. I had to think I was in a room in Oxford. ‘You’re not here, it’s all OK, do it.’”

Chann is one of a dozen people currently testing this software. (Next month, the trial is being extended to 100 people.) Already, he says, it has made a difference to his life. “Yesterday, I went on a rollercoaster with my daughter. I had never gone on one before. Not the big ones, the smaller ones, but still…” He’s spent only around 20 minutes in the virtual world today, but he is exhausted. “I was worried about coming here, and I’ve done it, and I’m buzzing. Elated.” He pauses, trying to catch his breath. “But I know in my heart of hearts, if there was a real cat on level four, I would not be going out and getting it. Polly asked me, what if it was a little baby? That would change the dynamics.”

 

 

source/read more: http://snip.ly/gk2we#https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/07/virtual-reality-acrophobia-paranoia-fear-of-flying-ptsd-depression-mental-health

Soros Calls on EU to Regulate Social Media

17th Feb 2018

Billionaire open-borders activist George Soros has demanded the European Union (EU) regulate social media because voters’ minds are being controlled and “manipulated”.

He claimed the size of social media firms made them a “public menace” and argued they had led people to vote against globalist causes, including electing President Donald J. Trump, in an article for The Guardian published Thursday.

The speculator, who runs one of the largest campaigning groups in the world and is noted for his interference in foreign politics and elections, said ultimately unregulated social media threatened democracy and the “integrity of elections”.

New media websites and populist groups have been prolific on social media, using the platforms to surpass mainstream media and promote causes Mr. Soros and his allies oppose.

Mr. Soros has a cosy relationship with the EU’s unelected leaders, meeting with them 11 times since the Brexit vote. Prime Minister Theresa May, in contrast, has had just three meetings in that period.

Just over a week ago, it was revealed Mr. Soros had quietly pumped half a million pounds into groups trying to block Brexit and overthrow the Tory government.

In the Guardian article, he wrote that social media can “influence how people think and behave without them even being aware of it” and “this interferes with the functioning of democracy and the integrity of elections”.

 

Due to social media use, he claimed people are losing “freedom of mind”, adding: “This danger does not loom only in the future; it played an important role in the 2016 US presidential election.”

“President Donald Trump would like to establish his own mafia-style state,” he said, claiming the President was part of the same problem as North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un.

“In the US, regulators are not strong enough to stand up to the monopolies’ political influence. The EU is better positioned, because it doesn’t have any platform giants of its own,” he continued.

 

 

 

source/read more:http://www.breitbart.com/london/2018/02/16/soros-calls-eu-regulate-social-media-fight-populism/

Study Finds Key To Feeling Younger Is Acting Younger

6th Jan 2018

It’s hard to ignore tired feet and that constantly-achy back as we get older, but a new study finds that a key to a long life of good health and always feeling younger — no matter our age — is to simply act younger from time to time.

Researchers from Healthspan, a supplier of vitamins and health supplements in the United Kingdom, polled 2,000 British adults on the effects of nostalgia and youthful behavior on mental and physical health.

Nearly three quarters of respondents indicated that occasionally forgetting you’re an adult and tapping into a more immature mindset — be it watching old cartoons, pulling pranks on friends, or playing classic board games — was important for their health.

In fact, one in four participants admitted they’d like to remain “child-like” for as long as possible, and half still felt cravings for childhood experiences.

“Perceiving ourselves as younger than our age is linked to a more future-orientated outlook, which means that we make better health choices such as engaging in exercise and healthy eating,” says psychologist Dr. Meg Arroll in a press release. “The findings of this survey support previous research that has shown nostalgia boosts our mood.”

Interestingly, the study found most adults don’t truly feel “mature” until their late 20s. For women, that occurs at age 27, while men take a tad longer (29).

 

 

source/ read more: https://www.studyfinds.org/health-well-being-younger-childhood/

Minority Report’ Artificial Intelligence machine can identify 2 BILLION people in seconds

12 Dec 2017

Yitu Technology has made an AI algorithm that can connect to millions of surveillance cameras and instantly recognise people.The company – based in Shanghai, China – developed Dragonfly Eye to scan through millions of photographs that have been logged in the country’s national database.

This means it has a collection of 1.8 billion photos on file, including visitors to the country and those taken at ports and airports.

It may also have access to the photos of every one of Hong Kong’s identity card holders, although Yitu has refused to confirm this.

The cutting-edge technology is now being used track down criminals, with the early stages of use showing it has been a hugely successful.

 

 

source: https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/666375/minority-report-artificial-intelligence-machine-dragonfly-yitu-technology

Biometrics to get into ball games

25th July 2017

If you’ve ever had to stand in one of those looong lines to get into Comerica Park, you might have wanted to give the gate attendant the finger.

Well, now you can. Sort of.

The Detroit Tigers are trying out a new system that identifies you by your fingerprints, similar to the newest smartphones, to lessen the time it takes to get through security.

The Detroit stadium is among the first nationwide to get biometric readers. The Tigers debuted the system Monday at Gate A — the main gate across from the Fox Theatre.

More: Little Caesars Arena will have world’s largest centerhung scoreboard

“Once you are in the system, so to speak, you have the ability to enter different venues and perform different transactions,” said Ed O’Brien, the head of sports business development at New York-based Clear, which installed the system. “The way we view our long-term sports fan experience is, you’d never have to carry a wallet again.”

To use the biometric system, you must register your fingerprints, which is free. Registration at Comerica was offered Monday and will be available at a kiosk on game days. To sign up, which takes about five minutes, you’ll need your ID and to correctly answer a series of questions, the company said. You then scan all 10 fingers.

Once your information is in the system, you are good to go, and you never have to register again.

In addition, the ballpark will allow registered users to bring one adult with a ticket and an unlimited number of unregistered children with tickets through the line with them.

The purpose of the exceptions, O’Brien said, is to benefit season-ticket holders and families. As more ticket holders register, the company plans to add more special entrance lanes. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

More: Ford Field’s $100M renovation includes massive video boards

Beyond stadium entry, Clear envisions a world in which people use their fingertips — and eyes — to buy concessions, enter offices and perhaps even start their cars.

In addition to baseball, O’Brien said the company is in conversations with other professional sports arenas in Detroit — Ford Field and Little Caesars Arena — to add the technology.

The biometric reader at Comerica is similar to what Clear uses with the Transportation Security Administration and has installed at airports, including Detroit Metro, to get flyers through security faster.

Clear has biometric scanners at 30 major airports, including those in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington.

A privately held company that started in 2010, Clear also has technology that scans eyes.

 

 

 

source:http://www.freep.com/story/money/business/2017/07/25/fingerprints-can-get-you-gate/504703001/

Telling women not to drink during pregnancy ‘sexist’

18th May 2017

Advising women not to drink when pregnant is “sexist” and causes “needless anxiety”, senior academics have said.

Pregnancy charities and researchers have called for a change to the “alarmist” official Government guidelines, which warn expectant mothers to avoid alcohol completely.

They say the policy has no basis in evidence and ends up “stigmatising” women and excluding them from society.

Studies have shown that consistent heavy drinking during pregnancy can result in foetal alcohol syndrome, which can cause physical developmental and learning difficulties.

Women are being accosted, spoken to and started at in publicDr Ellie Lee, University of Kent

However, there is not robust evidence that light to moderate drinking, or even one-off episodes of binge drinking, causes any long-term damage.

Experts at the University of Kent and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) are claiming that public policy towards pregnant women has “gone down an overtly precautionary route”  and that the Government “needs to be honest” about the evidence.

But last night professional bodies defended the current position.

Last year the Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, was accused of scaremongering when she issued updated formal advice on alcohol consumption for all adults, reducing the recommended weekly intake from 21 to 14 units for men, and advising pregnant women not to touch alcohol at all.

The previous guidelines had expecting women not avoid alcohol but noted that if they did choose to drink, they could not consume more than 2 units once or twice a week.

Dr Ellie Lee, Director of the Centre of Parenting Culture Studies at the University of Kent, said the “exclusion of women from an ordinary activity on the basis of a precaution” was “sexist”.

“Public discourse has become very hostile and there is now an assumption that a pregnant woman holding a glass of wine is doing something absolutely wrong,” she said.

“Women are being accosted, spoken to and started at in public.

“People assume that just because you have had one drink you’ve had a bottle of vodka for breakfast.”

She said it was impossible to establish the safe level of exposure to alcohol during pregnancy.

BPAS is also campaigning for a change in the tone of the advice on the basis that it may be needlessly scaring women into aborting pregnancies because of fears that a few heavy nights out will have caused the foetus serious harm.

 

 

source:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/17/telling-women-not-drink-pregnancy-sexist/

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Over Roundup Cancer Side Effects

11th may 2017

Monsanto faces a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the wife of a man who died from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after years of exposure to Roundup, alleging that the company failed to provide adequate warnings and instructions for users of the popular weedkiller.

The complaint (PDF) was filed last month by Jeanne Plagge in Delaware Superior Court, on behalf of herself and her late husband, Jerry Plagge, who died in April 2015.

Plagge was a farmer and the former Mayor of the city of Latimer, Iowa. He sprayed with Roundup from about 1974 until the time of his death, the lawsuit indicates.

The wrongful death lawsuit alleges that the popular herbicide is unreasonably dangerous and defective, because Monsanto failed to provide an adequate warnings about the risk of cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Instead, Monsanto claimed Roundup exposure posed no human health risks.

“The defective condition of Roundup was due in part to the fact that it was not accompanied by proper warnings regarding its carcinogenic qualities and possible side effects, including, but not limited to, developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a result of exposure and use,” Plagge’s lawsuit states.

The case joins a growing number of similar Roundup lawsuits filed in recent months by individuals diagnosed with cancer following exposure to the herbicide while working as farmers, landscapers, groundskeepers, roadside crews or around their homes.

It was not until a month before Plagge’s death that the public was made aware of the potential cancer risks of Roundup.

In March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) drew attention to the link between Roundup and non-Hodgkin lymphoma when it classifyied the herbicide glyphosate as a likely cancer-causing agent.

The Plagge’s case will be consolidated with the Roundup litigation pending in the federal court system, where cases filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide are centralized before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.

As part of the coordinated MDL proceedings, Judge Chhabria has indicated that the issue of causation will be decided by the end of this year, then it is expected that a small group of cases will be set for early trial dates to help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the cases. However, if Roundup settlements or another resolution for the cases is not reached by Monsanto, each individual complaint may eventually be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for an individual trial date in the future.

 

 

source:http://www.aboutlawsuits.com/roundup-wrongful-death-lawsuit-126316/