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A World Enslaved

“There are now more slaves on the planet than at any time in human history. True abolition will elude us until we admit the massive scope of the problem, attack it in all its forms, and empower slaves to help free themselves.”

via Foreign Policy.

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Solstice at Newgrange

Solstice at Newgrange
Solstice at Newgrange

“Tomorrow’s solstice marks the southernmost point of the Sun’s annual motion through planet Earth’s sky and the astronomical beginning of winter in the north. In celebration of the northern winter solstice and the International Year of Astronomy 2009, you can watch a live webcast of the the solstice sunrise from the megalithic tomb of Newgrange, in County Meath, Ireland. Newgrange dates to 5,000 years ago, much older than Stonehenge, but also with accurate alignments to the solstice Sun. In this view from within the burial mound’s inner chamber, the first rays of the solstice sunrise are passing through a box constructed above the entrance and shine down an 18 meter long tunnel to illuminate the floor at the foot of a decorated stone. The actual stone itself would have been directly illuminated by the solstice Sun 5,000 years ago. The long time exposure also captures the ghostly figure of a more modern astronomer in motion. To watch the live webcast follow the indicated link below. The webcast is planned to go live at 0830 coordinated Universal Time (for example, at 3:30am Eastern Time in the US) tomorrow, Sunday, the 21st.”

via APOD: 2008 December 20.

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101 Fascinating Brain Blogs

A sketch of the human brain by artist Priyan W...

“Whether you are a specialist in the field of neuropsychology or just love reading about how the human brain works, there are plenty of interesting blogs on the Internet to help you find out more. In order to make it easier to for you to discover great blogs, the following list is categorized for easy browsing. With blogs by psychiatrists, scientists, psychologist, and even those dealing with mental disorders, you will find many thoughtful and thought-provoking blogs to keep your brain stimulated.”

via Online Education Database.

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Head and neck injury risks in heavy metal

A diagram of the forces on the brain in concussion

“Head bangers stuck between rock and a hard bass — Patton and McIntosh 337: a2825 — BMJ (Abstract):

Objective To investigate the risks of mild traumatic brain injury and neck injury associated with head banging, a popular dance form accompanying heavy metal music.

Design Observational studies, focus group, and biomechanical analysis.

Participants Head bangers.

Main outcome measures Head Injury Criterion and Neck Injury Criterion were derived for head banging styles and both popular heavy metal songs and easy listening music controls.

Results An average head banging song has a tempo of about 146 beats per minute, which is predicted to cause mild head injury when the range of motion is greater than 75°. At higher tempos and greater ranges of motion there is a risk of neck injury.

Conclusion To minimise the risk of head and neck injury, head bangers should decrease their range of head and neck motion, head bang to slower tempo songs by replacing heavy metal with adult oriented rock, only head bang to every second beat, or use personal protective equipment.”

via British Medical Journal.