US to adopt narrower policy on using nuclear arms

WMD world map

More evidence the Obama administration has its priorities right, although not right enough: “The Obama administration is adopting a new policy limiting the circumstances under which the U.S. would use nuclear weapons, keeping with the president’s pledge to give the nuclear arsenal a less prominent role in U.S. defense strategy.” (Yahoo! News)

“They don’t know that we know they know we know.”

Image of the human head with the brain. The ar...

Next Big Thing in Literary Theory: ‘At a time when university literature departments are confronting painful budget cuts, a moribund job market and pointed scrutiny about the purpose and value of an education in the humanities, the cross-pollination of English and psychology is a providing a revitalizing lift.

Jonathan Gottschall, who has written extensively about using evolutionary theory to explain fiction, said “it’s a new moment of hope” in an era when everyone is talking about “the death of the humanities.” To Mr. Gottschall a scientific approach can rescue literature departments from the malaise that has embraced them over the last decade and a half. Zealous enthusiasm for the politically charged and frequently arcane theories that energized departments in the 1970s, ’80s and early ’90s — Marxism, structuralism, psychoanalysis — has faded. Since then a new generation of scholars have been casting about for The Next Big Thing.

The brain may be it. Getting to the root of people’s fascination with fiction and fantasy, Mr. Gottschall said, is like “mapping wonderland.” (New York Times )

Neurological problems of jazz legends [J Child Neurol. 2009]

Charlie Parker

Abstract: “A variety of neurological problems have affected the lives of giants in the jazz genre. Cole Porter courageously remained prolific after severe leg injuries secondary to an equestrian accident, until he succumbed to osteomyelitis, amputations, depression, and phantom limb pain. George Gershwin resisted explanations for uncinate seizures and personality change and herniated from a right temporal lobe brain tumor, which was a benign cystic glioma. Thelonious Monk had erratic moods, reflected in his pianism, and was ultimately mute and withdrawn, succumbing to cerebrovascular events. Charlie Parker dealt with mood lability and drug dependence, the latter emanating from analgesics following an accident, and ultimately lived as hard as he played his famous bebop saxophone lines and arpeggios. Charles Mingus hummed his last compositions into a tape recorder as he died with motor neuron disease. Bud ‘Powell had severe posttraumatic headaches after being struck by a police stick defending Thelonious Monk during a Harlem club raid.’ Neurological problems of jazz legends. (J Child Neurol. 2009)

Get Your War On

An AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter from 1st B...

Collateral Murder: ‘WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff.

Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.’