via UKImageHost

Wrangling over psychiatry’s bible

Light bedtime reading

“Over the summer, a wrangle between eminent psychiatrists that had been brewing for months erupted in print. Startled readers of Psychiatric News saw the spectacle unfold in the journal’s normally less-dramatic pages. The bone of contention: whether the next revision of America’s psychiatric bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, should be done openly and transparently so mental health professionals and the public could follow along, or whether the debates should be held in secret.

One of the psychiatrists (former editor Robert Spitzer) wanted transparency; several others, including the president of the American Psychiatric Assn. and the man charged with overseeing the revisions (Darrel Regier), held out for secrecy. Hanging in the balance is whether, four years from now, a set of questionable behaviors with names such as “Apathy Disorder,” “Parental Alienation Syndrome,” “Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder,” “Compulsive Buying Disorder,” “Internet Addiction” and “Relational Disorder” will be considered full-fledged psychiatric illnesses.

This may sound like an arcane, insignificant spat about nomenclature. But the manual is in fact terribly important, and the debates taking place have far-reaching consequences.”

via Los Angeles Times

Wrangling over psychiatry’s bible

Choose nonviolence — it works best

“Nonviolent resistance is not only the morally superior choice. It is also twice as effective as the violent variety.

That’s the startling and reassuring discovery by Maria Stephan and Erica Chenoweth, who analyzed an astonishing 323 resistance campaigns from 1900 to 2006.”

via Green Change

Choose nonviolence — it works best

God Angrily Clarifies ‘Don’t Kill’ Rule

A Palestinian...

‘ “I tried to put it in the simplest possible terms for you people, so you’d get it straight, because I thought it was pretty important,” said God, called Yahweh and Allah respectively in the Judaic and Muslim traditions. “I guess I figured I’d left no real room for confusion after putting it in a four-word sentence with one-syllable words, on the tablets I gave to Moses. How much more clear can I get?”

“But somehow, it all gets twisted around and, next thing you know, somebody’s spouting off some nonsense about, ‘God says I have to kill this guy, God wants me to kill that guy, it’s God’s will,'” God continued. “It’s not God’s will, all right? News flash: ‘God’s will’ equals ‘Don’t murder people.'” ‘

via The Onion

God Angrily Clarifies ‘Don’t Kill’ Rule

Say Goodbye to BlackBerry?

BlackBerry user Dou...

If Obama Has to, Yes He Can. ” ‘Sorry, Mr. President. Please surrender your BlackBerry.’ Those are seven words President-elect Barack Obama is dreading but expecting to hear, friends and advisers say, when he takes office in 65 days.

…[B]efore he arrives at the White House, he will probably be forced to sign off. In addition to concerns about e-mail security, he faces the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas. A decision has not been made on whether he could become the first e-mailing president, but aides said that seemed doubtful.

For all the perquisites and power afforded the president, the chief executive of the United States is essentially deprived by law and by culture of some of the very tools that other chief executives depend on to survive and to thrive. Mr. Obama, however, seems intent on pulling the office at least partly into the 21st century on that score; aides said he hopes to have a laptop computer on his desk in the Oval Office, making him the first American president to do so.” (New York Times )

Say Goodbye to BlackBerry?

Smile, You’re Under Arrest

America's Meanest Sheriff

“The latest TV show planned for US cable network FOX has the working title of Smile, You’re Under Arrest, and involves wanted criminals being tricked into elaborate fantasy scenarios, at the end of which they are arrested.

One of three set-ups just shot in Arizona features the cops luring a criminal to a movie set with the promise of making him an extra and paying him a couple hundred dollars. An elaborate film set is staged and filming begins on a faux movie. The set-up continues as the director then gets mad at the lead actor, fires him and replaces him with the law-breaking extra.

The scene escalates with the fake director introducing the mark to a supposed studio mogul and continuing to create this dream-comes-true sequence. Finally, all the participants are revealed as officers of the law, and the criminal is apprehended (before signing waivers to let the footage be used in the show).

“If it were a regular person you’d feel bad for them, but they are all wanted by the law,” Darnell says. “It’s Cops as comedy and no one’s ever tried it before.”

How did FOX manage to get a police department to divert resources to such a programme? Well, the department involved is the Maricopa County Sherriff’s Office, run by Sherriff Joe Arpaio, whose spectacularly harsh treatment of offenders has made him the darling of America’s more brutally-minded. And now FOX, who are no strangers to brutality, are going to make him more of a star. Perhaps watching Jack Bauer torture Arabs doesn’t do it any more or something.

I half-wonder whether this is part of a strategy leading up to Arpaio getting on the Republican Presidential ticket for 2012. There were rumours that FOX was going to buff Sarah Palin’s image by giving her a national TV talk show, though if she looks too much like damaged goods, they could want another conservative firebrand who appeals to the culture-war conservatives.”

via The Null Device

Smile, You’re Under Arrest

McCartney wants world to hear ‘lost’ Beatles epic

“For Beatles fans across the world it has gained near mythical status. The 14-minute improvised track called ‘Carnival of Light’ was recorded in 1967 and played just once in public. It was never released because three of the Fab Four thought it too adventurous.

The track, a jumble of shrieks and psychedelic effects, is said to be as far from the melodic ballads that made Sir Paul McCartney famous as it is possible to imagine. But now McCartney has said that the public will have the chance to judge for themselves.”

via The Observer

McCartney wants world to hear ‘lost’ Beatles epic

Which is the world’s most invaluable species?

Plankton, bats, primates, fungi and bees – which species would have the greatest impact on our planet if it were lost? Five experts set out their case public debate in London next Thursday

via Guardian.UK

Which is the world’s most invaluable species?

Uncontacted Amazonian tribe victor in legal battle it didn’t file

“A small tribe of Indians in Paraguay who have had virtually no contact with the outside world won a legal battle this week when rights groups stopped a Brazilian company from continuing to bulldoze the forest to clear land for cattle ranches.

About 2,000 members of the Ayoreo ethnic group live in 13 settlements in Bolivia and Paraguay.

About 2,000 members of the Ayoreo ethnic group live in 13 settlements in Bolivia and Paraguay.

The Totobiegosode tribe, said to number no more than 300, is the last group of uncontacted Indians in South America outside the Amazon River basin, indigenous rights groups say.

The Totobiegosode, who are part of the larger Ayoreo ethnic group, are nomadic Indians who hunt and fish, as well as gather fruit and honey and cultivate small temporary plots during the rainy season. They live communally, four to six families to a dwelling, in the dense forests of northwestern Paraguay.”

via CNN

Uncontacted Amazonian tribe victor in legal battle it didn’t file