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“I am the greatest,” Mohammad Ali said not once so many times, but then who could doubt a man who won the World Heavyweight Championship three times?

His outspoken support for civil rights endeared him to millions of people across the world.

He was born Cassius Marcellus Clay in Louisville, Kentucky, on 17 January 1942, the son of a sign painter. He was named after a prominent 19th Century abolitionist.

His father painted only signs but his son put his name, up there, as assuredly as stars come out at night to dazzle us.

Hang up your gloves with the rest,-

By Mintaka the belt ‘mong triple Orion;

You outgrew mean men and laws of the test,-

Crow has his color but you have your talon!

Evermore be at your rest from calumny of rooks.

benny

 

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It has been one of my childhood fancies to imagine I could hear God’s thoughts. If he could hear my prayers it naturally means I could hear him as well. Over the years such fancies had evaporated since reason became the proof of one coming to man’s estate. Recently I came across this news item:an international team of researchers has successfully achieved brain-to-brain transmission of information between humans.

Humans just got a step closer to being able to think a message into someone else’s brain on the other side of the world.

“One such pathway is, of course, the internet, so our question became, ‘Could we develop an experiment that would bypass the talking or typing part of internet and establish direct brain-to-brain communication between subjects located far away from each other in India and France ?'”

Suppose the brain could be stimulated from outside using robot with a series of images? Using electromagnetic induction images could be beamed from person to person. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS explains the devise. Thus the team used a similar set-up to that commonly used in brain-computer interface studies. A human subject had electrodes attached to their scalp, which recorded electrical currents in the brain as the subject had a specific thought. Usually, this is interpreted by a computer and translated to a control output, such as a robotic arm, or a drone.

In this case, though, the output target was another human.

The study had four participants, aged between 28 and 50. One participant was assigned to the brain-computer interface to transmit the thought, while the other three were assigned to the computer-brain interface to receive the thought.

At the BCI end, the words “Ciao” and “Hola” were translated into binary. This was then shown to the emitter subject, who was instructed to envision actions for each piece of information: moving their hands for a 1 or their feet for a 0. An EEG then captured the electrical information in the sender’s brain as they thought of these actions, which resulted in a sort of neural code for the binary symbols — which in turn was code for the words.

This information was then sent to the three recipient subjects via TMS headsets, stimulating the visual cortex so that the recipient, with ears and eyes covered, saw the binary string as a series of bright lights in their peripheral vision: if the light appeared in one location, it was a 1, and the second location denoted a 0. This information was received successfully and decoded as the transmitted words.

This experiment, the researchers said, represents an important first step in exploring the feasibility of complementing or bypassing traditional means of communication.. Potential applications perhaps include communicating with stroke patients..

“We anticipate that computers in the not-so-distant future will interact directly with the human brain in a fluent manner, supporting both computer- and brain-to-brain communication routinely,” the team concluded. “The widespread use of human brain-to-brain technologically mediated communication will create novel possibilities for human interrelation with broad social implications that will require new ethical and legislative responses.” (Michelle Starr-C/net)

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Doctors in China were surprised to find that a young woman who had lived a normal life for more than two decades was actually missing an important part of her brain, according to a new report of her case.

The 24-year-old’s strange condition was discovered when she went to doctors because of a month long bout of nausea and vomiting. The patient told the doctors she had also experienced dizziness her entire life. She didn’t start walking until she was four and had never been able to walk steadily.

When the doctors scanned the woman’s brain, they found she had no cerebellum, a region of the brain thought to be crucial for walking and other movements. Instead, the scans showed a large hole filled with cerebrospinal fluid.

“CT and MRI scans revealed no remnants of any cerebellar tissues, verifying complete absence of the cerebellum,” the doctors wrote in the report, published Aug. 22 in the journal Brain.

“It shows that the young brain tends to be much more flexible or adaptable to abnormalities,” said Dr. Raj Narayan, chair of neurosurgery at North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York, who wasn’t involved with the woman’s case. “When a person is either born with an abnormality or at a very young age loses a particular part of the brain, the rest of the brain tries to reconnect and to compensate for that loss or absence,” Narayan said.

This remarkable ability of the brain is thought to decline with age. “As we get older, the ability of the brain to tolerate damage is much more limited,” Narayan said. “So, for example, in a 60-year-old person, if I took the cerebellum out, they would be severely impaired.” A baby falling over its head is not same as an old man falling in the bath room hitting head first.

(ack: livescience,Sept.11)

benny

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Here is the Reuter’s news of Dec 22,2012 dealing with elephant poaching. This threat is only a tip of a much larger threat that faces Africa. A shadowy group operating from Sudan is hellbent to create Africa in its medieval retrogressive image. BBC in April 2004 had written about the Jindjaweed group that set off outrage and still continue to do so in Sudan. More than one million people fled Sudan’s Darfur region, the victims of what UN officials have described as an “ethnic cleansing” campaign by a group of Arab militiamen. Here I shall write upon the way they generate cash flow to fund their campaign. It is nothing short of changing the social history, culture and customs of non-Arab population. Why must they require funds but for their much wider agenda?

“Faced with the threat of horse-mounted Sudanese elephant poachers armed with machine guns, the central African nation Cameroon has deployed military helicopters and 600 soldiers to try to protect the Bouba Ndjida National Park, a former safari tourism destination park and its animals.
Its decision to call in the army follows a bloody incursion into the park last winter during which poachers from Sudan killed some 300 elephants, or 80 percent of the park’s elephant population, within a few weeks.
Armed only with World War One-era rifles, the park’s eco-guards were defenceless in the face of the Sudanese ‘jandjaweed’ poachers who had travelled thousands of miles on horseback to seize the tusks.
The raid left hundreds of elephant corpses in its wake.
Elephant poaching is an illegal trade that has become a multi-billion dollar industry in Africa fuelled by demand for ivory ornaments from China, some of whose citizens are increasingly wealthy.
Ivory sells for about $300 per kg on the black market, according to conservation group TRAFFIC, meaning that an average-sized tusk weighing 6.8 kg can be sold for a small fortune in central Africa, a region plagued by poverty and underdevelopment.
Officials said there was evidence that the Sudanese poachers were on their way back to the park – a territory of lush forests, rivers and hilly plains about the size of Luxembourg – now that the dry season had arrived, making travel easier.
Equipped with helicopters, night vision gear, and scores of jeeps, Cameroon’s military has set up two garrisons in the park and several camps along Cameroon’s border with Chad and the Central African Republic.
What is happening elsewhere , Mali,Libya, Tunisia and Egypt are not isolated events. These are sure to merge as one unless the African Union make a concerted effort to kill the hydra-like Arab hegemony.
benny

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A Street Scene- China

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Imam arrested in Pakistan blasphemy case, stirring tensions-Reuters of Sept 2,2012
A Christian girl who was arrested under Pakistan’s controversial anti-blasphemy law may have moved a step closer to freedom on Sunday after police detained a Muslim cleric on suspicion of planting evidence to frame her.
Still, Rimsha Masih, whose arrest last month angered religious and secular groups worldwide, may be in danger if she returns from jail to her village.
Some Muslim neighbors insist she should still be punished, and said the detained imam was a victim.

Here is a news that makes anyone in the right senses wonder what it is to live in Pakistan? Pakistan is a failed state where law and order is non existent. From the time Islam went a-conquering they relied on each believer to do the only thing that brought the man on the top some peace and security. They were encouraged to spy on one another and report everything suspicious so law could nip the trouble in the bud. So law is meant law of the ruler. Thus we have seen in Libya where Moammar Gaddafi laid the law so he and his family could have peace and security. For extra security he had foreign mercenaries brought in. History of Islam is replete with examples how the powers that be relied on mob rule. If three witnesses come forward to damn a mentally deficient girl of blasphemy she can be summarily executed in the most heinous manner. This is what we have seen here. In Russia the other day we have seen how some girl’s punk group Pussy Riot was dealt for ‘blasphemy’. The Church leaders publicly interceded for clemency since the clergy is like shepherds and they are on earth to plead for mercy and understanding. In Pakistan all the religious schools (madrassas) are working overtime for only one thing. To descend to the lowest level of the rabble who may take away lives of all those they find as different. In their eyes Christians are different, women are different and mentally challenged are different. So they must be brought to heel over the trivial reasons in most cases. For example ‘Under Muslim Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy law, the mere allegation of causing offence to Islam can mean death. Those accused are sometimes killed by members of the public even if they are found innocent by the courts.
“Pour petrol and burn these Christians,” said Iqbal Bibi, 74, defending the imam on the steps of the mosque where he preaches in Masih’s impoverished village of Mehr Jaffer’. These religious fanatics cannot see worth in their only one Nobel Prize winner,they cannot even appreciate what is fair play. ‘This is not cricket but matter of human dignity and brotherly love. How can such a nation made up of brutes ever succeed? This will not raise the GDP of the nation;nor will it make Pakistan come anywhere within the top hundred among the Happiest nations. I am compelled to think religion was man’s biggest mistake since it gave the brutes among mankind to pontificate and judge from some madman’s incoherent outpourings. These brutes in their specially cut robes explain away these as ‘sacred text and doctrines and so on.’
benny

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Freshman Rep. Joe Walsh, who has earned a reputation for caustic remarks and spontaneous tirades, this week accused opponent Tammy Duckworth–a double-amputee who lost her legs while serving as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot in Iraq–of using her military service to score political points.
The Illinois Republican– who has not served in the military– on Wednesday chose not to back down from comments he made accusing his Democratic opponent of talking too much about her time in the Army.
“She is a hero, and that demands our respect, but it doesn’t demand our vote,” Walsh said Wednesday on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. “All she does, guys, is talk about her service.”
Talk of politicians who serve their country with deep pockets. They see their electorate and they give them glad eyes that mean,’you are worth only votes’ and if they see special interest groups they know what interests them specially. It is true not only in Illinois but in India, Thailand,Philippines. Politicians are sold to service and they will serve anything except the nation’s interests. But what else we can expect from skunks but their stink? The citizens who think they will leave them smelling roses after cuddling them, ought to have their heads examined. What else can vets do after they have pulled out chestnuts from fire but mope over their burnt limbs? Marines, all blacks, require some 67 years to get their service properly recognized, as recent news tells us, politicians send cannon fodder to the line of fire and move on to other things. How many do you think will really care to hear and feel empathy for the sacrifice of these heroes? OK the double amputee spoke once too often of her service. Yet if those who can feel their loss will not grudge them. They covered the ass of those who sat at home. The least one can do is to ease their bottled up feelings.
If the politicians did really experience war from the thick of burning bodies and falling debris of their make-shift shelters they would not have gone in so slapdash style as we have seen wars lately. The neocon nuts owe to their nation an explanation for the wars precipitated by their rhetorics. Just as one who interfered with construction of a bridge and for throwing his weight as a bureaucrat without an iota of engineering skill, is a menace to society; and if their interference led to its collapse will be criminally charged. Of course politicians play a certain old-boys from school-stick-together’and are not held to account.
Rep. Walsh is simply a busybody to castigate the vet for her service.
benny

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