Long, but informative, transcript from the PBS show Frontline, about Iraq.
Needing to wake up, West closes its eyes
Something very remarkable is happening around the globe and, if you want the short version, a Muslim demonstrator in Toronto the other day put it very well:
”We won’t stop the protests until the world obeys Islamic law.”
Stated that baldly it sounds ridiculous. But, simply as a matter of fact, every year more and more of the world lives under Islamic law: Pakistan adopted Islamic law in 1977, Iran in 1979, Sudan in 1984. Four decades ago, Nigeria lived under English common law; now, half of it’s in the grip of sharia, and the other half’s feeling the squeeze, as the death toll from the cartoon jihad indicates.
A common sign in Pan-Islamist demonstrations reads: “2030 – We Take Over”
We see the driver shortages, as well as fuel sur-charges, in higher freight rates; which in-turn get passed on to the consumer.
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This blog by an Iraqi, in Bagdhad, gives you an insight into what is really going on. That is why it was voted the best blog from that part of the world. In today’s posting, he notes that in the aftermath to the recent near civil war that “…politicians have realized that those clerics, whether Sunni or Shia, are the origin of the problem and are ready to coup on even their political allies, which made the politicians more aware of the danger imposed by clerics on the project of building a state ruled by the law.”
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The secret’s out. It’s been revealed that the US snowboarding team’s success at the Turin Olympics is down to a performance enhancing device.
The Baltimore Sun has the scoop.
Probably no surprise that the device in question was an Apple iPod music player.
Nineteen-year-old Hannah Teter told reporters she was listen to a track from her boyfriend’s band when when she won gold last week in the women’s halfpipe.
Researchers have only begun to investigate the effects of music on sports.
Before he went to medical school, Dr. Mark Tramo, director of Harvard’s Institute for Music and Brain Science, was a professional rock musician. He experienced an early demonstration of the music-sports connection during his prep-school track days. His gold medal victory in the 100-yard dash, he believes, was fueled by the Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar.” “It was playing over and over in my head,” he says.
Psychologist Petr Janata is preparing studies in his Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California, Davis, that may confirm what Dr. Tramo’s experience suggests. Mr. Janata explains: “Your body is performing these rhythmic actions and you’ve got the rhythmic structure in the music, and those two sets of rhythmic patterns are, in some way, combining or feeding off one another.”
Dr. Tramo sees the body feeding off the rhythm as if it were feeding off a drug. “You don’t need to go out and buy ecstasy. You don’t need to go out and buy cocaine. What you’re doing through the music, and through the context of being at a point when you can either win or lose the game, is setting up the brain to release chemicals….So your brain releases, for example, dopamine, and endorphins, which are kind of like opium in certain places, and adrenaline, and steroids in very specific places, some of them throughout the blood stream.” Just as with certain drugs, Dr. Tramo notes, “your heart starts pounding. You don’t want to just sit back in your seat and yawn. You want to stand. Your pupils get bigger. Your muscles get more active.”
All such symptoms are associated with our fight-and-flight reaction, the body’s primitive, automatic response when the brain alerts us to defend ourselves or flee from attack. Perhaps the effect of hip-hop music on sports most resembles that of military marches intended to prepare an army for battle. As Dr. Tramo observes, “an athletic contest…is kind of like a controlled war.”
Snowboarder Mike Yearin estimates that eight out of 10 of his fellow snowboarders listen to music as they ride — even as they compete. The picture is of the IPod ready snowboard jacket.
He’s Welcome In Pakistan
The majority of Afghan Pashtuns now want the benefits of peace — economic development, roads and schools.
Pakistan’s Pashtuns, by contrast, have become more radicalized than they ever were before 9/11. And the bloody Taliban-al Qaeda resurgence now under way has relied on Pakistan’s Pashtun belt for most of its recruitment, logistics, weapons and funding.
Check out Dr. Seligman, Director of Univ. of Pennsylvania Department of Positive Psychology. Many tests are on the website to measure your “happiness scale”. His outlook seems to be to work on your strengths rather than concentrate on the typical ” I am a mess because …