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Posts Tagged ‘psych’

VH1 Star Loses Custody of Newborn Baby

January 10th, 2010 admin No comments

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“For the Love of Ray J” star Monica Danger has lost custody of her newborn baby — just weeks after she was placed on a psychiatric hold over an incident involving the child. A rep for Monica confirmed that L.A. Child Protective Services placed the …

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Man accused of stabbing boy taken to hospital for mental evaluation

January 4th, 2010 admin No comments

The heartless monster charged with stabbing a 9-year-old over a video game has a history of mental illness and will undergo a psychiatric evaluation, police sources said Sunday.

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Engadget now available for Pre and Pixi: the first webOS app of 2010 (and 1000th in the Catalog)!

January 2nd, 2010 admin No comments
That’s right folks. Hot on the heels of our iPhone app release (which has since skyrocketed up the App Store charts to #1 in News), the webOS version has officially landed. You’ll see that the experience is shockingly, wonderfully similar to the iPhone / iPod touch version, but of course there are a couple of webOS flourishes to be found. You can download the application right from your Pre or Pixi by simply popping open the App Catalog and, you know… downloading the thing. This is the 1000th application in the Catalog — a piece of info we feel pretty psyched about. We’ve got even more on the way (like BlackBerry and Android versions), so keep it tuned here, but for now… webOS fans, go get your fix!

For those viewing this on a Palm device, here’s your direct link: Download Engadget for webOS

Engadget now available for Pre and Pixi: the first webOS app of 2010 (and 1000th in the Catalog)! originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 01 Jan 2010 03:12:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Best and Worst of Worst and Best Lists

January 1st, 2010 admin No comments

It’s that end-of-the-year time again and (disputed) end-of-the-decade time when we get a gander at what assorted folk think was the best and worst of what we’ve experienced in the past year or the past 10. As Devilstower pointed out, these lists are stupid. That doesn’t stop them from filling the airwaves and other media, however. In late December, Top Ten and Top Five lists of everything imaginable pop up to fill the interstices left by contributors on vacation. Some of us, despite our best intentions, read them full well knowing their high potential for lowering our IQs.

This year, there’s 10 Cocktails for 2010, the Best Book I’ve Read This Year, the best films of the decade, no, these are the best films of the decade, no, these are the best films of the decade, the Worst Movie of the Decade, the 23 Shows That Changed Television during the Decade, the best 10 viral videos of the decade. And there’s …

Ten Psychology Studies from 2009 Worth Knowing About.

Decade In Review: Corporate Scoundrels And Scandals.

Top ten dreams of the decade– did yours make the list?

Capitol Hill’s Most Unhinged Republicans.

Nine Ways Our World Changed During the ‘00s.

Image of the decade.

Top 10 Sex Tape Scandals of 2009.

Biggest political winners and losers of 2009.

OK, OK, enough already, you get the picture.

Not to be outdone, the folks over at The Atlantic gave Marc Ambinder the task of putting up a reader poll to choose the worst political gaffes of the decade.

The choices: “Mission Accomplished”; Obama jokes about Nancy Reagan and seances in first post-election presser; Mike Huckabee hosts press conference to announce he won’t run negative ad, shows negative ad; John McCain unsure of how many houses he owns; John Kerry’s 2006 “Botched Joke.”

Really? That’s it?

How about John McCain’s 2008 comment, “Our economy remains fundamentally strong.” Or George Bush’s “You’re doing a heckuva job, Brownie.” Or Larry Craig’s “wide stance”? Or John Edwards’s midnight encounter with the National Inquirer sneaking down the back stairs of his lover’s hotel room? Or what about Rod Blagojevich’s taped effort to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat: “I’ve got this thing and it’s f**king golden,” “I’m just not giving it up for f**king nothing,” and “Give this motherf**ker Obama his senator? F**k him. For nothing. F**k him.’”? Or Condi Rice’s slip-up when she said: “As I was telling my husb—”, then quickly changed to “As I was telling President Bush.”

As gaffes go, however, surely George W. Bush’s July 2, 2003, “Bring them on” dare to Iraqi insurgents is hard to top. If that is, it’s a “gaffe” to play tough guy with thousands of other people’s lives.


Midday Open Thread

December 29th, 2009 admin No comments
  • Former Democratic Representative Parker Griffith continues to get less than a warm welcome from his new party — this is from one of his Republican primary challengers, on Griffith’s past political donations:

    We definitely believe these contributions are fair game. Dean and Reid want to socialize medicine, attack American values, raise taxes and capitulate in the war on terror. When Parker Griffith wrote these liberals big campaign checks, he told everyone that they represent his values. He can do that if he likes, but I can tell you this: Reid and Dean do not represent the values of the people of this district.

  • When psycho love goes bad — from Orly Taitz’s partner-in-crime and former “law clerk’s” blog:

    By mid-October, when we were in New York together and Lucas Smith published his “declaration”, I had wrapped my life around Orly’s and I guess I honestly believed she had wrapped hers around mine and she said over and over again how much she was committed to me and how she never wanted us to separate. Three weeks later she had abandoned me, and yet some people have the nerve to call ME mentally unstable …

    Orly’s lack of judgment in the handling of our relationship exactly paralleled her lack of judgment in handling the constitutional eligibility litigation. She needed me and probably still needs me in every possible way, but I don’t have her husband’s money and so she chose to DUMP me, to DUMP real love, for the illusion of piles of federal reserve notes and other credits, and she goes on with her reckless rage and fire.

  • From Kaiser Family Foundation, calculate your premiums and government assistance under the House versus the Senate health care reform bills.
  • What’s going to George W. Bush’s Presidential library? What’s described as “still evolving” American history, with items like cowboy hats, a surfboard, a gun — or as the library registrar put it:

    I like to think of them as a good time capsule that reveals everything that is going on during his eight years in office.

  • Is it time to declare a war on weather?
  • According to a Pew Research survey, Mississippi is the most religious state in the country — which brings to mind Proverbs 16:18.
  • Holiday spending was up compared to last year:

    Retail sales rose 3.6 percent from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24, compared with a 3.2 percent drop in the year-ago period, according to figures from MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse, which track all forms of payment, including cash.

  • Going to a 3-D movie and wondering what kind of glasses will give you the best 3-D experience? Depends who you ask.
  • R.I.P.:

    A museum official says Knut Magne Haugland, the last of six crew members who crossed the Pacific Ocean on board the balsa wood raft Kon-Tiki, has died. He was 92.

  • Despite the protests, the round-up of wild horses in Nevada has begun.
  • The White House has issued a statement on new construction projects in East Jerusalem:

    The United States opposes new Israeli construction in East Jerusalem. The status of Jerusalem is a permanent status issue that must be resolved by the parties through negotiations and supported by the international community. Neither party should engage in efforts or take actions that could unilaterally pre-empt, or appear to pre-empt, negotiations. Rather, both parties should return to negotiations without preconditions as soon as possible. The United States recognizes that Jerusalem is a deeply important issue for Israelis and Palestinians, and for Jews, Muslims, and Christians. We believe that through good faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome that realizes the aspirations of both parties for Jerusalem, and safeguards its status for people around the world.

  • Get. a. life.


Alyssa Jung: Bills vs Falcons…A Blowout is an Understatement

December 29th, 2009 admin No comments

So, Sunday’s game against Atlanta was fun…it was a beautiful spectacle of athleticism…it was borderline amazing…not! It was atrocious…it was embarrassing…it was confusing…it was disheartening…but it was also life as a Bills fan, so I’m fine and I’m over it. I bet you guys never thought I would be able to hold on to my “new and improved positive outlook on the season” when I first debuted it a few weeks back…but clearly I have and I think I’ll give myself a pat on the back right about now. Now, let’s rip through this game recap (31-3) quicker than Marshawn Lynch can lose yardage…oops I mean…ehh, I can’t think of anything quirky, fill it in yourself!

We opened the game as can be expected…three and out. Then Matt Ryan threw a 42-yard TD to Roddy White on a 1st and 10 to give the Falcons an early 7-0 lead. Shouldn’t really have been anything to worry about but, ya know, sh*t happens and we just couldn’t manage to rebound for a variety of reasons:

-Our run game was uncharacteristically stifled. Like shut down, nothing there at all. Freddy J only had 37 yards and Marshawn Lynch had 3. Freddy J even had a fumble returned for a TD, which I don’t think I’ve seen from him all season.

-We had horrendous field position after just about every kickoff. I know exactly why and I’ve addressed this before, but by now we’ve come to realize that people rarely listen to me: Roscoe Parrish was returning and while he may have been good other seasons, he’s not good this season and that is why we rarely started above our own 20 yard line.

-Brian Brohm seemed to try his best–getting 146 yards passing–but he couldn’t complete anything longer than 15 yards and it’s the big plays (or at least attempts at big plays) that we need to get momentum going.

-Our D didn’t get ANY takeaways…I think this might be a first too…or at the very least, extremely unlike them. Aaron Schobel had three sacks and had two forced fumbles, but we didn’t recover any of them. Heard rumors today that Schobel was talking retirement…he better not!

-Finally settled for a FG by the time we were down 24-0. Some people are criticizing Perry for that call and calling him Jauron-like. Yeah, that was a Jauron move but I agree with his decision…I’d much rather see us lose 31-3 than 31-0…call me dumb but it just looks slightly less pathetic.

Hard loss but we’ve got one game left, I’ll be there, and I’m psyched.

GO BILLS!!!


Categories: World Tags: ,

Jamil Zaki: Copenhagen and the Commons

December 29th, 2009 admin No comments

Reviews of this month’s Copenhagen conference on climate change have ranged from nonplussed to fatalistic. Copenhagen has been called a “crime scene” and an “abject failure.” A prominent undertone in this reaction is that such conferences will never work, because they are tragic in the old sense of the word: displaying the inevitable power of human selfishness. The fear is that in all cases, world leaders will enthusiastically agree that something needs to be done to reduce carbon emissions, and in all cases, the same leaders will pipe down when asked to make concrete sacrifices themselves.

This type of bind is known in the behavioral sciences as a Tragedy of the Commons. It’s a simple concept that explains the tendency of groups to deplete common resources. To understand it, imagine you are a cattle farmer. You share open pasture with 100 other farmers, and are trying to decide whether to add another animal to your herd. Like any rational person, you weigh the costs and benefits of this decision. You stand to gain all the resources an extra animal can provide, while the cost (overgrazing of the pasture) is spread across the entire group, such that each person will hardly notice the change. So you decide to get another animal (or 2, or more). Problematically, the 100 other farmers have used the same calculations and have made the same choice, leading the group unstoppably towards sharing a barren patch of land.

Commons problems are everywhere, ranging from the inconsequential–subway door holding–to the frightening–the depletion of natural fisheries. Somewhat similar situations can also be set up in the lab, through so-called “public goods games.” In an example game, I pair you with 3 other people, and give you each $100. I then tell you that everyone has the option of contributing as much of their money as they please to a common pot. This pot will then be doubled and split evenly among all 4 players. For the group, the best outcome follows if every individual contributes all of their money, summing to $400. This is then doubled to $800, and each happy person leaves with twice as much as they had at the beginning. On the other hand, each individual stands to make the most (up to $350) if they free ride–contributing nothing while others chip in. Perhaps unsurprisingly, after a few rounds of public goods games, individuals’ contributions end up holding steady at zilch.

While public goods games are about gains and commons problems are about losses, they share a fundamental tenet: individuals trying to maximize their own gains will lead to group destruction. This is beyond pessimistic; it suggests the futility of even trying to band together to protect common resources.

On this view, climate change is merely the largest commons at the eye of the largest tragedy we have at hand, and efforts like Copenhagen are doomed from the outset. However, mountains of evidence have demonstrated that there is no need to be so fatalistic. Real-life commons, including pastures and fisheries, are often used responsibly and sustainably, and small changes in the way public goods games are set up can also lead to steady cooperation over time. This makes sense from an evolutionary perspective: human nature likely propels us to protect both our individual goals and those of the groups we depend on.

A more realistic view of the commons and public goods problems is that people will sacrifice for a common good, but only if certain conditions are met (Elinor Ostrom recently won the Nobel Prize in economics for specifying just what these conditions are). Listing some of these conditions can shed new light on why Copenhagen failed:

1) Common participation: individuals are much more likely to sacrifice some of their gains for a common interest if they feel a sense of participation in deciding the rules that will govern those commons. If, instead, these rules seem like prescriptions from above, people will more likely find ways around them. This idea was clearly ignored by the 6 nations that drafted the “Copenhagen Accord.” This arguably well-intentioned shot at a climate agreement detonated as many representatives of the remaining 186 countries involved in the Copenhagen talks reacted angrily at being left out when it was drafted.

2) Mutual sacrifice: A sure-fire way to reduce individual contributions to a common good is to make them suspect others will free ride from their generosity. Like two people agreeing to put their guns down, being the first one to comply is difficult when there is no evidence that others will follow suit. Individuals in public goods games behave similarly, displaying what is known as “conditional cooperation.” Most people report that they will contribute some amount to public goods, but this amount is highly dependent on how much they believe others will pitch in. Australia and Russia demonstrated conditional cooperation when they made clear their goals for emissions reduction were contingent on other countries joining them. Such an approach is toxic when one or more countries fail to comply. This dilemma is worsened when–as with developing vs. developed nations–the standard for defining appropriate sacrifices is hard to agree on.

3) Inducing compliance: Public goods games demonstrate that altruistic contributions are most stable when enforced by both carrots (rewards) and sticks (punishments). Punishment through sanctions and poor reputation motivate individuals to recognize their interdependence with a group, and to avoid free riding. In fact, such punishments may be absolutely critical to the maintenance of altruistic societies, which otherwise would be vulnerable to cheaters. In not forming a legally binding contract, leaders at Copenhagen failed to give their agreement the teeth it would need to induce real changes in behavior.

Both research and intuition suggest that conferences like Copenhagen are not doomed to fail. Informed, committed nations working together should be able to tap into people’s common goal to stave off the effects of climate change. Leaders at Copenhagen simply neglected some simple rules for creating such cooperation.

More on Barack Obama


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Ann M. Veneman: Tsunami: Reflection and Progress Five Years Later

December 26th, 2009 admin No comments

2009-12-26-UNICEFtsunamichild.jpg
Five years ago the world watched in horror as nearly 230,000 people, particularly women and children, perished in the tsunami that struck south Asia. The powerful force washed away homes, schools and devastated communities, many of which were impoverished and in remote areas. So many families not only had to cope with the loss of loved ones, but also the task of rebuilding after their lives were literally wiped away in just a few moments.

In the years since, UNICEF and its partners have worked to ease the pain, rebuild and bring improved social services, clean water, and sturdier schools to the region.

To give children a much-needed head-start in life, we have helped build nearly 100 health centers, equipped more than 7,000 health facilities, and trained 60,000 healthcare workers.UNICEF has also supported campaigns for mass vaccination, mosquito net distribution and nutritional monitoring. All of these efforts are critical in containing the spread of disease and keeping residents healthy.

2009-12-26-UNICEFrebuiltschool.jpg Education helps bring children together with other students, providing an important structure for support, learning and a sense of normalcy back to their lives. This was a top priority in the aftermath and today more than 300,000 students learn in new or repaired schools. And, over 1.3 million children have benefited from psychosocial activities to help them cope with the trauma of the tsunami. In addition, more than 30,000 educators have been trained in child-friendly approaches.

Schools have also seen improvements in clean water and sanitation. Clean water has come to communities thanks to new wells, new toilets and new waterworks. Over 820,000 people across the region have benefitted from restored water points.

Programs such as these, developed during the tsunami response, are not only aiding the affected countries but also helping respond to other humanitarian situations around the world. For instance, improved emergency procedures have allowed UNICEF and its partners to better deliver relief supplies and protection measures children.

The dedication and hard work of so many partners toward recovery will help ensure that those who were impacted by the devastation have more resources and programs in place to help them recover and have a more hopeful future.

While there is still much work to be done, all the heartfelt support from around the world has helped provide much needed relief and resources to help the region cope and rebuild.

Ann Veneman is the Executive Director of UNICEF. UNICEF just released a report, Tsunami Five Years Later, that marks progress and lessons learned from the relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts. To learn more visit www.unicef.org.

More on Natural Disasters


Categories: World Tags: , , , , , ,

Ann M. Veneman: Tsunami: Reflection and Progress Five Years Later

December 26th, 2009 admin No comments

2009-12-26-UNICEFtsunamichild.jpg
Five years ago the world watched in horror as nearly 230,000 people, particularly women and children, perished in the tsunami that struck south Asia. The powerful force washed away homes, schools and devastated communities, many of which were impoverished and in remote areas. So many families not only had to cope with the loss of loved ones, but also the task of rebuilding after their lives were literally wiped away in just a few moments.

In the years since, UNICEF and its partners have worked to ease the pain, rebuild and bring improved social services, clean water, and sturdier schools to the region.

To give children a much-needed head-start in life, we have helped build nearly 100 health centers, equipped more than 7,000 health facilities, and trained 60,000 healthcare workers.UNICEF has also supported campaigns for mass vaccination, mosquito net distribution and nutritional monitoring. All of these efforts are critical in containing the spread of disease and keeping residents healthy.

2009-12-26-UNICEFrebuiltschool.jpg Education helps bring children together with other students, providing an important structure for support, learning and a sense of normalcy back to their lives. This was a top priority in the aftermath and today more than 300,000 students learn in new or repaired schools. And, over 1.3 million children have benefited from psychosocial activities to help them cope with the trauma of the tsunami. In addition, more than 30,000 educators have been trained in child-friendly approaches.

Schools have also seen improvements in clean water and sanitation. Clean water has come to communities thanks to new wells, new toilets and new waterworks. Over 820,000 people across the region have benefitted from restored water points.

Programs such as these, developed during the tsunami response, are not only aiding the affected countries but also helping respond to other humanitarian situations around the world. For instance, improved emergency procedures have allowed UNICEF and its partners to better deliver relief supplies and protection measures children.

The dedication and hard work of so many partners toward recovery will help ensure that those who were impacted by the devastation have more resources and programs in place to help them recover and have a more hopeful future.

While there is still much work to be done, all the heartfelt support from around the world has helped provide much needed relief and resources to help the region cope and rebuild.

Ann Veneman is the Executive Director of UNICEF. UNICEF just released a report, Tsunami Five Years Later, that marks progress and lessons learned from the relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts. To learn more visit www.unicef.org.

More on Natural Disasters


Categories: World Tags: , , , , , ,

Midday Open Thread

December 25th, 2009 admin No comments
  • Courtesy of Cracked, the 6 most horrific ways pop culture has misused Santa Claus.
  • It has been a bad couple weeks for heads of state moving through crowds in Italy(ish). The Vatican is reviewing its security.
  • As is often the case, Ta-Nehisi Coates takes a subject that could play out all too predictably on the blogs — in this case, the gun-waving cop at the snowball fight — and shows why it’s important to get to something a little different:

    Lazy tactics prop up lazy arguments. I think we can all agree that throwing a snowball at an armed man–cop or otherwise–is dumb as fuck. It’s a reckless, arrogant, stupid act that endangers you and everyone in the vicinity. I think we can also agree that yelling “Fuck you pig!” or some such is the kind of thing that makes those of us who live in fear of the police chafe. Lastly, I think, for black people, and especially those of us who’ve had friends killed by the cops, it’s particularly grating to be confronted with the fact that we live under different rules.

    But that said, an argument about who was “the bigger idiot” is really beside the point. One idiot lacks home training. The other idiot lacks professional training. One idiot is a dumb-ass kid. But the other idiot is a salaried, pensioned employee of the state, whose job specifically entails not acting like an idiot. One idiot thinks he’s empowered to throw snowballs at cops. The other idiot is, as a matter of law, empowered to throw hot-ones. One idiot might ruin your Hummer. The other idiot might ruin your life–and then go to work the next day.

    They aren’t the same, and soft-peddling the act of drawing a gun in snowball fight in hopes of spiting some stupid kid, is the kind of dumb-ass tribalism that ultimately hurts the tribe. D.C. is a majority black city, and this guy has been on the force for over a decade. If he’s acting as he was–on camera–toward a group of predominantly white kids, imagine how he’s acted toward black kids over the years. Imagine how he’ll act towards your kids in the future.

  • In the consumer society, every object gets its own psychology.
  • What exactly are emergency rooms for?
  • There will be many end-of-year assessments of Obama’s performance. I don’t agree with everything Paul Starr says at The American Prospect, but it’s a thoughtful piece to add to the genre’s pile:

    A year ago, as the nation spiraled into the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, many were comparing Obama to Roosevelt or at least to an image they had of FDR. Obama may never meet that standard, but if we measure where we are today against the threat to the economy as 2009 began, he has done well enough.

  • Amanda Marcotte helps The Hill understand “when or why Lieberman has taken a hit.” Hilarious.
  • I recently made the Atholl Brose recipe Matt Browner Hamlin provides here; it’s too late to make it for Christmas, but it’s a terrific holiday cocktail.
  • Cash for chokers? Funds for fumers? Whatever your cash for clunkers parallel of choice, trade-in programs for smoky wood stoves are gaining ground.
  • A tribute to actors and others in the film industry who died in 2009:


Categories: Politics Tags: , , , , ,