Incredible Stories of Human Ability in Weakness

first_imgHere are three amazing stories that speak for themselves.Baby music:  It appears that babies can remember lullabies they heard in the womb that their mothers sang.  Science Daily reported on a University of Helsinki study that measured brain waves of 24 newborns who were sung a song repeatedly while in utero; they reacted more strongly and immediately than babies who did not hear them.  “These results show that fetuses can recognise and remember sounds from the outside world,” the article said.“Even though our earlier research indicated that fetuses could learn minor details of speech, we did not know how long they could retain the information. These results show that babies are capable of learning at a very young age, and that the effects of the learning remain apparent in the brain for a long time,” expounds Eino Partanen, who is currently finishing his dissertation at the Cognitive Brain Research Unit.Blind sight:  Researchers from Montreal and Boston shined more light on blindness.  They found that even when the rods and cones of three blind patients were completely unresponsive, the ganglion cells transmitted information to the brain.  They were “stunned to discover that the brain still respond [sic] significantly to light in these rare three completely blind patients despite having absolutely no conscious vision at all,” Science Daily said.  Functional MRI and experiments with sound shows that the patients’ brains were aware unconsciously of blue light shined into the eyes.  The ganglion cell response to light appears to raise a person’s attentiveness.Vegetative consciousness:  For the first time, patients listed in a persistent vegetative state have shown the ability to respond to words with their brains, even when their bodies could not.  Experiments with 21 patients described as “vegetative” and eight controls at the University of Cambridge showed that some were not only aware, but were paying attention.  One patient in particular “was able to focus on words signalled by the experimenters as auditory targets as successfully as healthy individuals,” Science Daily reported.  “If this ability can be developed consistently in certain patients who are vegetative, it could open the door to specialised devices in the future and enable them to interact with the outside world.”Ironically, fully conscious, fully born, fully sighted minors can be killed with government permission in some European countries.  A big debate in Belgium is underway about extending the country’s liberal euthanasia law to minors – and pediatricians are supporting it.  “Why deprive minors of this last possibility?” 16 of them argued, putting the onus on the critics.   “The issue is hugely controversial and raises a host of ethical problems but a majority of Belgian lawmakers is thought to favour the change,” Medical Xpress reported – up to three quarters of Belgians, in fact.  Religious leaders are opposed to this proposed expansion of legal assisted suicide, which rose 25% last year (1,432 cases).  If the new law passes, all a minor under 18 judged to be capable and conscious would have to do is repeatedly state that he or she wants to die.  Concerned that a “grave issue” is being “trivialized,” the religious leaders issued a statement that included, “We cannot accept a logic which will lead to the destruction of society’s foundations.”How dare we treat human life as anything but sacred.  Who knows what horrors unborn babies and people in “vegetative state” have suffered at the hands of the healthy?  Their Maker knows.  One shudders to think of Terry Schiavo conscious of the discussions about killing her when she had no way to express herself, suffering pain all the way through her starvation.   Darwinists think only the “fit” deserve to live, however fitness is defined by those in power.  God fearers know that the most helpless among us are the most in need of care and love.  Let these scientific findings reinforce the conviction to actively support the right to life.  Let’s also help minors understand God’s love for them so that they will not sink into despair.  History and the last story above about euthanasia illustrate once again that all that is needed for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing – and it can triumph in one generation if the young are taught that life is the product of evolutionary happenstance, a plaything for the powerful.  The foundation of the right to life is recognition that we are endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (i.e., a life of satisfying purpose).(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

New unit to tackle corrupt officials

first_img2 December 2010 The South African government has launched a special unit to tackle corruption in the country’s public service by investigating suspected corrupt officials, improving lines for reporting wrong-doing, and protecting whistleblowers and witnesses. Launching the unit in Johannesburg last week, Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi said the unit would investigate officials with undisclosed business interests as well as official who did outside work without permission, who solicited bribes, or who received grants or benefits unlawfully. Baloyi said the unit would operate in collaboration with the police Special Investigative Unit, the Auditor-General, the Public Service Commission, and the National Treasury. Provincial anti-corruption units will also work hand-in-hand with the new unit, which is divided into three divisions to handle investigations, legal and disciplinary matters, and strategic information management. It will conduct, facilitate and coordinate the investigation of high-profile cases and, where necessary, refer investigation outcomes to the relevant authorities for further action. It will also oversee disciplinary proceedings in high-profile cases. “Our stance is zero tolerance on corruption,” Baloyi said, adding that rooting out corruption would lead in turn to a more efficient public service. Last month, the Public Service Commission recommended the establishment of an anti-corruption unit in the public service because non-compliance and a lack of coordination was hampering the fight against corruption in government departments. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Women Collaborating With Social Media More Than Men [Infographic]

first_imgTags:#social media The infographic from the survey has some other interesting pieces of data, which you can scope out below. (Watch out for that second pie chart, because either the “Other” slice is too big, or the reported 12% figure is too small.) While men buy into the productivity of social media use in the workplace more than women, it’s women that actually use those tools more than their male colleagues.A new study from Ipsos commissioned by Microsoft found that 46% of respondents believed that their work was more productive using social media tools. Breaking that down by gender, 49% of men believe they get more work done using social media, with 44% of women making the same argument.Like any other survey sponsored by a big corporation, there’s a hidden message. In this case, Microsoft wants to push increased use of social tools in the enterprise, particularly with its stable of Yammer products, and SharePoint.Getting social media implemented in the enterprise (or any other workplace) hasn’t been easy. Pointy-haired bosses were cited as a significant friction point on social media use in the survey: 34% of respondents blamed management for underestimating the benefits of social software in the workplace. When asked what the specific reasons why they believed social media was being restricted, men blamed security concerns and women put the finger on productivity loss.The survey results about on the actual use of social media were interesting across the genders. Women were found to be more likely to use social media in four of the top five implementations of social media: communicating with colleagues, sharing/reviewing documents, communicating with clients and promoting a work-related initiative. Men were more likely to grow their own professional networks, the survey found. brian proffitt IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Related Posts 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

FD Early Intervention Webinar: 1-2-3 Play with Me! Recognizing and Valuing the Power of Play

first_imgDate:  March 9, 2017Time:  11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ESTLocation: 1-2-3 Play with Me! Recognizing and Valuing the Power of PlayImage obtained from Pixabay and is licensed Creative Commons Public Domain CC0.In this session, Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak will discuss the way play serves a pivotal role in our development and learning. And while for the most part development unfolds in a predictable and logical set of stages and sequences, there is much we can do through play, to ensure happier and healthier children. This webinar will provide a context for seeing the power of play and how it is necessary for success in school and in life. Recommended practices and research on how to support children’s play will be provided.Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak is a {r}evolutionary speaker, researcher, and play advocate. Through podcasts, blogs, free resources, and trainings, Kristie inspires and supports early educators in {r}evolutionizing their teaching. Kristie spent 16 years, as faculty, at Kent State University and now trains and coaches early educators worldwide. Kristie is a Past President of the Division for Early Childhood and works with intentness and determination to sort through the clutter and chaos to join seemingly disparate ideas. She also aims to celebrate differences and shared attributes to achieve solutions. You can access her latest solutions at her website.The MFLN FD Early Intervention team offers continuing education credits through the Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) at the University of Illinois for each of our webinars, click here to learn more. For more information on future presentations in the 2016 Family Development webinar series, please visit our professional development website or connect with us via social media for announcements: Facebook & Twitter.last_img read more

a month agoSolskjaer calls for a more ruthless Man Utd

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Solskjaer calls for a more ruthless Man Utdby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveOle Gunnar Solskjaer wants to see Manchester United kill off their opponents.The Red Devils blew a 1-0 goal lead against Rochdale in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.Despite eventually winning on penalties, Solskjaer says his team must make it easier on themselves in the future.He said: “We go 1-0 up in many games and, today again, we go 1-0 up and you think go on then, get the second, which is the key now.”And that’s a learning curve for these boys as well. We need to go for the second. At this club, we don’t just sit back and hope that’s enough.”If you settle for good enough, that’s not what we want.” last_img read more

19 days agoSheffield Utd to bid for Brentford striker Ollie Watkins

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Sheffield Utd to bid for Brentford striker Ollie Watkinsby Paul Vegas19 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveSheffield United are eyeing Brentford striker Ollie Watkins.Chris Wilder and his team are looking for another striker, even though they bought Oli McBurnie and Callum Robinson in the summer.Brentford forward Watkins has been tracked since the start of a campaign in which he has become one of the Championship’s top scorers, says The Sun.United have fancied Watkins for years as he can play anywhere across the front line.And his run of scoring in a new central role confirmed their belief in him.Crystal Palace wanted Watkins in the last window but he was priced too high for their liking. last_img

CPI for October up 14 from year ago StatCan

first_imgThe annual pace of inflation slowed in October as increases in the price of gasoline were smaller than in September, Statistics Canada reported Friday.Its consumer price index was up 1.4 per cent in October compared with a year ago, following a 1.6 per cent increase in September. Excluding gasoline, the index was up 1.3 per cent compared with a year ago – more than the 1.1-per-cent increase in September.Prices were up in seven of the eight major categories compared with a year ago with the transportation and shelter categories contributing the most.Transportation prices last month were up 3.0 per cent compared with a year ago following a 3.8 per cent increase in September as gasoline prices were up 6.5 per cent year over year in October compared with 14.1 per cent in September in the aftermath of hurricane Harvey. Shelter costs were up 1.2 per cent.Prices for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products were up 2.7 per cent from a year ago, while food costs were up 1.3 per cent as food bought in restaurants gained 2.9 per cent.Prices for clothing and footwear, the only category to move lower, fell 1.5 per cent compared with a year ago as the cost of women’s clothing fell 4.6 per cent compared with a year ago.The Bank of Canada, which uses a two per cent inflation target in setting monetary policy, raised its key interest rate target twice this year following strong economic growth to start 2017.However, economists expect growth for the second half of the year to come in at a slower pace and the central bank has suggested that while further rate hikes are likely, they will be cautious and pay close attention to the incoming economic data.Of the Bank of Canada’s three preferred measures of core inflation, which seek to look through the noise of more-volatile items, CPI-common increased to 1.6 per cent compared with 1.5 per cent in September, while CP-median slipped to 1.7 per cent from 1.8 per cent. CPI-trim held steady at 1.5 per cent.last_img read more

US trade gap rises to 566 billion highest since 2008

first_imgWASHINGTON – The U.S. trade deficit rose in January to the highest level since October 2008, defying President Donald Trump’s efforts to bring more balance to America’s trade with the rest of the world.The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the trade deficit rose to $56.6 billion in January, up 5 per cent from $53.9 billion in December and the highest since October 2008’s $60.2 billion trade gap. The trade deficit — the gap between what America sells and what it buys abroad — has risen for five straight months.Trump rattled financial markets last week by promising to slap big tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. He blames persistent deficits on abusive practices by U.S. trading partners and on bad trade deals that put American companies at a disadvantage or encourage them to move factories overseas.Exports fell 1.3 per cent to $200.9 billion in January, and imports were flat at $257.5 billion.The United States ran a $76.5 billion deficit in the trade of goods, which was partially offset by a $19.9 billion surplus in services such as education and banking.The $36 billion January deficit with China was the highest since September 2015. The trade gap with Mexico narrowed to $4.1 billion from $5.4 billion in December.Trump upset America’s allies last week by vowing to slap tariffs of 25 per cent on imported steel and 10 per cent on aluminum. Europe has threatened to retaliate with sanctions on U.S. exports of blue jeans, bourbon and Harley-Davidson motorcycles, raising the risk of a potentially destructive trade war.“He is not afraid of getting into a trade war although that is not what we want,” Treasury Steven Mnuchin said in an interview Wednesday on the Fox Business Network. “We are just looking for fair and reciprocal trade.”Trump is also demanding a rewrite of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada in an attempt to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico and to shift more auto production north of the border.The president views trade deficits as a sign of economic weakness and as the result of unfair practices by America’s trading partners. Most economists say they are caused by bigger economic forces, mainly the fact that the United States consistently spends more than it produces.The trade gap has continued to rise since Trump entered the White House partly because the U.S. economy is strong and American consumers have an appetite for imported products and the confidence to buy them.____Martin Crutsinger contributed to this story.____Follow Paul Wiseman on Twitter at https://twitter.com/PaulWisemanAPlast_img read more

After takeover Aecon could still bid on infrastructure projects docs suggest

first_imgOTTAWA – The Aecon construction firm will likely be allowed to bid on government-funded infrastructure projects even if Ottawa approves a Chinese state-owned company’s controversial proposal to take it over, an internal federal document says.Last October, the CCCC International Holding Ltd., of China made a $1.5-billion bid to acquire Aecon Group Inc., which has a long history of participation in Canadian construction and engineering projects such as the CN Tower, Vancouver’s SkyTrain, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Halifax shipyard.The Trudeau government has been warned by experts to proceed cautiously when weighing any investment bids by Chinese state firms and to be as transparent as possible in reviewing the proposed deal. The Liberals have also come under intense domestic pressure to reject the takeover bid.The federal government announced a full national security review of the Aecon deal in February. At the time, a spokesman for Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains said that, based on advice from security agencies, the government believed there is “a potential of injury to national security.”If the deal moves forward, however, the government is unlikely to restrict Aecon’s eligibility to bid on projects funded under Ottawa’s infrastructure plan, according to an internal government document obtained recently by The Canadian Press.The federal government has budgeted $180 billion in total infrastructure spending over 10 years.“It is not anticipated that the change of ownership of Aecon will affect its ability to bid on Canadian infrastructure projects,” reads the document, which was prepared last fall by Infrastructure Canada.“At this time, there is not enough information available on the transaction or the current and potential role of Aecon in federally funded infrastructure projects under the plan to accurately assess the impact of this transaction on the delivery of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure plan.”The memo was obtained under the Access to Information Act.Lu Shaye, China’s ambassador to Canada, said Tuesday that there should be no concerns about the proposed acquisition of Aecon because the Chinese side is only focused on business and market interests.“My first impression, to tell you the truth, (is) that I think the Canadian media or the Canadian public is too sensitive about the Aecon case because Aecon is just a construction company,” Lu said in response to a question about the takeover bid during a news conference at the Chinese embassy in Ottawa.“From your side, you have your rules and regulations on the foreign companies overtaking Canadian companies. I think for the national security issue it is your internal affairs. The Chinese side does not want to interfere (with) it.”Lu, who spoke through an interpreter, added that China just wants to ensure Canada has the same standards for Chinese companies as it does for foreign companies from other countries proposing to take over Canadian firms.The Infrastructure Canada briefing document said all foreign investment transactions undergo a process to determine their net economic benefit for Canada. They are also subject to a national security review led by the country’s security agencies, the note said.The CCCC International Holding Ltd. (CCCI) is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company Ltd. (CCCC) and, the briefing adds, is one of the world’s largest engineering and construction firms.It continues: CCCC generated revenue of US$62 billion in 2016 and its core business activities include the construction of ports, roads, terminals, bridges, rail and tunnels; Aecon, meanwhile, generated revenue of $3.2 billion in 2016.The government document noted some possible economic positives for Aecon if CCCI is permitted to take it over.“At this time, there is not enough information available to determine whether the acquisition will benefit the infrastructure sector in Canada,” the document said.“However, the firms in Australia and Texas which were bought in 2015 and 2010 by CCCI have grown since their purchase and expanded operations internationally.”If the takeover is accepted, Aecon would maintain its headquarters in Canada and keep its Canadian management team.Late last month, Aecon’s self-imposed deadline to complete its sale to CCCI was extended to July 13 from March 30, given the federal government’s ongoing national security review.That review was expected to wrap up by the end of March, but Bains has said the government plans to take the time it needs to do its due diligence.last_img read more

Maxar stock plunges after shortseller says space companys dividend is at risk

first_imgTORONTO – Maxar Technologies Ltd. stock plunged Tuesday after the formerly-named MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates was targeted by a analyst report from an acknowledged short-seller firm.The company’s shares ended down $7.59 or 13.15 per cent at $50.14 on the Toronto Stock Exchange after Spruce Point Capital Management issued a press release that warned, among other things, that Maxar’s dividend is at risk.Spruce Point also set an intermediate price target for Maxar stock in the range of US$20 to US$25 per share — about half of Maxar’s previous 52-week low of US$42.11 on the New York Stock Exchange.Maxar said Spruce Point’s report contains a number of inaccurate claims and misleading statements.“Maxar believes it is a direct attempt by a short-seller to profit, at the expense of Maxar shareholders, by manipulating Maxar’s stock price,” the company said in a statement.A decline in stock prices tends to benefit short sellers that plan to buy the shares after they’ve fallen.Maxar stock had already fallen every trading day since the space technology company reported second-quarter financial results on July 31.However, 10 out of 11 analysts tracked by Thomson Reuters Eikon rated Maxar a “buy” or “strong buy” on Tuesday and none rated it a “sell” or “strong sell. The mid-point of their estimates was C$62.32.Short-selling is a normal technique used by investment managers and some active individual traders but it is uncommon for firms to issue press releases to draw attention to their analysis.Previous campaigns by other short-sellers have drawn attention to significant problems at Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, now renamed Bausch Health Companies Inc., and Sino-Forest Corp.Spruce Point Capital said Maxar may generate US$50 million or less of free cash flow in 2018, after interest expenses and capital spending, leaving “little room” for its US$68 million per year of dividend payments.It also said MacDonald Dettwiler’s acquisition of Space Systems Loral in 2012, and DigitalGlobe in 2017, were poorly timed and executed.MDA — known for providing equipment to the International Space Station, U.S. Space Shuttle program and the Canadian government — changed its name to Maxar last October as part of its DigitalGlobe deal.Companies in this story: (TSX:MAXR)last_img read more