MonthApril 2008

Faith healing: Parents face homicide charges in girl?s death

A town of Weston couple whose 11-year-old child died after they chose to pray for her healing rather than seek medical attention will be charged Wednesday with second-degree reckless homicide, a prosecutor said today.

Marathon County District Attorney Jill Falstad announced at 1 p.m. at a press conference in Weston that Dale and Leilani Neumann each will be charged with second-degree reckless homicide, a charge that carries a punishment of up to 25 years in prison.

Full Story: Religion News Blog

(Thanks Trevor)

Previous coverage here and here.

Virtual Wall: traffic light of the future?

Info and more: Yanko Design

(via Grinding)

Digital Water

(via Wooster Collective)

Bakeries urge customers to plant wheat in their lawns

From Day to Day:

To combat the skyrocketing price of flour, several Massachusetts bakeries have taken on a project that’s part Little Red Hen, part World War II Victory Garden. The bakeries are recruiting their customers to till up their lawns and gardens and plant wheat.

Listen to it at NPR

This sounds like a better solution to the food shortage than hoarding food.

Anatomical illustrations from Japanese scrolls circa 1819

The Kaibo Zonshinzu anatomy scrolls, painted in 1819 by Kyoto-area physician Yasukazu Minagaki (1784-1825), consist of beautifully realistic, if not gruesome, depictions of scientific human dissection.

Unlike European anatomical drawings of the time, which tended to depict the corpse as a living thing devoid of pain (and often in some sort of Greek pose), these realistic illustrations show blood and other fluids leaking from subjects with ghastly facial expressions.

Full Story and More Illustrations: Pink Tentacle

Wendy McElroy on the FLDS raids

I haven’t been following or covering the FLDS fiasco much because it erupted at a time when I had no time to follow it and I’ve been slow to catch-up. But I think Wendy McElroy does a pretty good job of commenting on it:

Part 1

Part 2

One other thing: Jesse Walker Radley Balko points out that “And if Texas law says parents can marry their 15-year-old daughters off to 60-year-old men, perhaps we should talk about the wisdom of that law, not arrest the people who still manage to stay within it.”

Brain Waves Pattern Themselves After Rhythms Of Nature

Although the bulk of his work involves deriving equations, Cowan’s findings mesh well with laboratory data generated on the cerebral cortex and electroencephalograms. His latest findings show that the same mathematical tools physicists use to describe the behavior of subatomic particles and the dynamics of liquids and solids can now be applied to understanding how the brain generates its various rhythms.

These include the delta waves generated during sleep, the alpha waves of the visual brain, and the gamma waves, discovered during the last decade, which seem related to information processing. “The resting state of brain activity seems to have a statistical structure that’s characteristic of a certain kind of phase transition,” Cowan said. “The brain likes to sit there because that’s the place where information processing is optimized.”

At this stage of his research, Cowan said it would be premature and speculative for him to try to relate how phase transitions in the brain might relate to neurological conditions or states of human consciousness. “That’s for the future,” he said.

Full Story: Science Daily.

(Thanks Jasper!)

See also:

Does the Earth’s magnetic field cause suicides?

Laser triggers electrical activity in thunderstorm for the first time

A team of European scientists has deliberately triggered electrical activity in thunderclouds for the first time, according to a new paper in the latest issue of Optics Express, the Optical Society’s (OSA) open-access journal. They did this by aiming high-power pulses of laser light into a thunderstorm.

At the top of South Baldy Peak in New Mexico during two passing thunderstorms, the researchers used laser pulses to create plasma filaments that could conduct electricity akin to Benjamin Franklin’s silk kite string. No air-to-ground lightning was triggered because the filaments were too short-lived, but the laser pulses generated discharges in the thunderclouds themselves.

“This was an important first step toward triggering lightning strikes with laser beams,” says J?r?me Kasparian of the University of Lyon in France. “It was the first time we generated lighting precursors in a thundercloud.” The next step of generating full-blown lightning strikes may come, he adds, after the team reprograms their lasers to use more sophisticated pulse sequences that will make longer-lived filaments to further conduct the lightning during storms.

Full Story: Eureka Alert

(via Warren Ellis)

Anatomical Theatre

Anatomical Theatre: Depictions of the Body, Disease, and Death in Medical Museums of the Western World. Head on over, then click on Gallery. Probably NSFW. Thanks, Kara! x

Alternative 3 and Lost

alternative 3

What was Alternative 3? What does it have to do with Lost?

Alternative 3 is a television programme, broadcast in the UK in 1977 as a fictional hoax, an heir to Orson Welles’ radio production of The War of the Worlds. Purporting to be an investigation into Britain’s contemporary “brain drain,” Alternative 3 uncovered a plan to make the moon and Mars habitable in the event of a terminal environmental catastrophe on Earth.

The programme was originally meant to be broadcast on April Fools Day, 1977. While its broadcast was delayed until June by industrial action, the credits explicitly date the film to April 1st. Alternative 3 ended with credits for the actors involved in the production and featured interviews with a fictitious American astronaut. However, some conspiracy theory supporters have argued Alternative 3 is at least partly true.

Find out more at Hatch 23.

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