Archive | September 30, 2014

Media Multi-Tasking Shrinks the Brain and Causes Mood Swings*

Media Multi-Tasking Shrinks the Brain and Causes Mood Swings*

By Fiona Macrae

If you are sending a text, watching the TV or listening to the radio, you may want to stop and give this your full attention.

Multi-tasking shrinks the brain, research suggests.

A study found that men and women who frequently used several types of technology at the same time had less grey matter in a key part of the brain.

University of Sussex researchers said:

‘Simultaneously using mobile phones, laptops and other media devices could be changing the structure of our brains.’

Worryingly, the part of the brain that shrinks is involved in processing emotion.

The finding follows research which has linked multi-tasking with a shortened attention span, depression, anxiety and lower grades at school.

The researchers began by asking 75 healthy men and women how often they divided their attention between different types of technology.

This could mean sending a text message while listening to music and checking email, or speaking on the phone while watching TV and surfing the web.z

The volunteers were then given brain scans which showed they had less grey matter in a region called the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC).

The findings held even when differences in personality were taken into account.

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, is the first to make a link between multi-tasking and the structure of the brain.

Researcher Kep Kee Loh said:

‘Media multi-tasking is becoming more prevalent in our lives today and there is increasing concern about its impacts on our cognition and social-emotional well-being.’

He added that more research is needed to prove that multi-tasking shrinks the brain.

This is because it is also possible that people with less grey matter in the ACC are more drawn to using lots of gadgets simultaneously.

Scientists have previously demonstrated brain structure can be altered on prolonged exposure to novel environments and experience.

Other studies have shown that training – such as learning to juggle or taxi drivers learning the map of London – can increase grey-matter densities in certain parts.

Experts have also warned of the harmful impact technology can have on our memory and attention span.

The University of California team commissioned a survey of more than 18,000 people aged between 18 and 99 and found 20 per cent had problems with memory.

Researchers were taken aback by the 14 per cent of 18 to 39-year-olds who also worried about their memories.

Multi-tasking with gadgets may shorten attention span, making it harder to focus and form memories, the researchers said, adding that youngsters may be particularly affected by stress.


Related Topics:

Chair of Apple Inc. Keeps I-pads away from his Own Children*

‘Digital Dementia’ Puts Half the Brain to Sleep … permanently!*

The Frequency of Everything*

Antidepressants Change the Functionality of the Brain


ISIL Camp near Syria Border Destroyed by Iraqi Army not U.S.*

ISIL Camp near Syria Border Destroyed by Iraqi Army not U.S.*

By Hassan al-Obaidi in Baghdad 2014-09-29

Iraqi security forces rest in Ramadi on September 19th following clashes with ISIL. [Azhar Shallal/AFP]

The Iraqi army’s 7th Division recently destroyed an “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) training camp near the border with Syria in a surprise ground attack, the Defence Ministry said.

Five days after the destruction of the camp, airstrikes on Tuesday (September 23rd) in western Anbar near the border with Syria and in al-Qaim killed dozens of ISIL fighters, AFP reported.

The camp in al-Rummana had served as a shelter and training camp and had welcomed infiltrators from Syria, said army commander in Anbar Lt. Gen. Rasheed Flaih.

The Iraqi air force and a tank battalion also took part in the attack, conducted in the early morning hours of September 18th, Flaih said.

“Fierce battles broke out between the army and the terrorists, lasting three hours and killing 23 gunmen, including six of several Arab nationalities,” he said. “Eighteen others were arrested and transferred to an army base, some of whom were wounded and are now being treated.”

Local residents and tribesmen helped ensure the operation was a “major success”, he said. Lt. Col. Ahmed Khaled, who took part in the attack, said the camp had been “built two months ago and posed a major danger, threatening the entire western part of Iraq”.

“The residents of neighbouring villages helped us identify the camp’s location two days before the attack and warned us there were mines and traps, helping us achieve our goal and completely destroy the camp,” he said.

The security forces found documents and maps at the camp that indicated ISIL had been preparing to attack the nearby towns of Alous and al-Jughaifa, said Anbar police chief Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Dulaimi.

“They had plans to bomb cities, residential areas, houses, tribal leaders and clerics who declared their rejection of ISIL,” he said.

With the destruction of the strategically located camp, ISIL lost an important base for its armed activity in Anbar, he said.

During the raid the security forces seized money, electronic equipment and documents, confiscated numerous weapons and explosives and destroyed 17 ISIL vehicles, al-Dulaimi said.

The Anbar provincial council is honouring 11 soldiers and two officers killed during the raid as “martyrs of the highest degree” for their heroism.

“The army men who fell in this attack gave their blood in order to save the blood of hundreds of children, women and men, if not thousands, whom this terror group was preparing to kill,” council chairman Sabah al-Karhout told Mawtani.


Related Topics:

ISIL a Trojan Horse for the Biden Plan*

U.S. Bombing Iraqi Army*

Along with Iraq the U.S. Bombing of Syria has Begun

Foiled: The Simulated ISIS Attack on U.S. Soil*

Free European Army in Defence of Ukraine against NATO and EU*

A Freudian Slip!? U.N. Reveals Close Links Between Israel and Al Qaeda Affiliates in Syria*

CIA Fabricates ISIL Intelligence*

The Last Four U.S. Presidents on What to Do with Iraq*

Syrian Army Recaptures Strategic Town in Hama Province*

Syrian Army Storms Militants’ Gatherings*

Besieged People of Amerli Receive Governmental Humanitarian Aid*

Apparently Iran’s Military Mastermind was Behind Biggest Victory against ISIL to Date*

Syrian Army Inflicts Heavy Blow on ISIL*

Syrian Warplanes strike Islamic State Targets*

Iraq Retakes More Towns from ISIL*

Spanish Independence and the Re-colonization of Southern Europe*

Spanish Independence and the Re-colonization of Southern Europe*

Sister Teresa Forcades discusses Spanish debt, movements for independence With Mike Mcguire, Producer of the Real News Network.

Today we’re joined by Sister Teresa Forcades. She is a Benedictine nun, an M.D., a PhD in public health, as well as a theologian and an activist in the Catalonian independence movement…


MCGUIRE: Let’s go into what for me is the most interesting since I heard you speak last night on this subject, which is the Catalonian independence movement. Let’s start by talking in general about the context in which this movement is happening, which is Spain, which is a member of the European Union. And this is happening at a time when the southern countries of Europe are in a relatively dependent condition on the northern countries of Europe.


MCGUIRE: And there are a lot of political dynamics going on there. So can you describe for me this context?

FORCADES: Sure. I mentioned yesterday in the talk here in Baltimore that we can, I think, with truth speak of a neo-colonial type of relationship between the northern and the southern countries, certainly Spain, regarding countries that now Spain has to give back money, has an external debt that actually has been the most outrageous political development in the last few years and has been the greatest cause of indignation in Spain and has brought people to the street. And I think it has opened up the historical opportunity for a radical change in my country, Spain, and particularly in Catalonia.

To what that comes down to, maybe it’s well known by the audience, but very briefly, this country becomes a country with great social precariousness, people being evicted from the homes. I was mentioning 500 families being evicted every day from their homes. In Spain it’s almost half a million that have been already evicted. And that means people that had a salary, were engaged in a mortgage, and then they lost the job, they could not pay this mortgage anymore, and then they are evicted. But the irony is that they are evicted by banks that actually have themselves had the need to be rescued from the state.

And so what has happened is that the Central Bank of Europe has sent or has given or has decided to give money to the countries that were in trouble, like Greece or Spain, to help salvage their economy. But the mechanism through which that is happening and has happened is not the Central Bank of Europe directly gives the money and then the countries, right, receive it and use it. No. The thing is, this money goes from the Central Bank to intermediate banking institutions, and then from these intermediate institution to the government in trouble, let’s say Spain now, with a difference, which is, when the money moves from the central bank to the intermediate institution, that’s money being landed, and the interest rate is 1%, 1, 2%. And when it goes from the intermediate financial institution to the government, the interest rate is 6, 7%. That’s, I said, outrageous, because it builds into the very fabric of this supposedly solidarity move, it builds in a speculator aspect that will be draining the resources of the country years to come. And I think unless the people have the courage enough to say no and to stop this, this is a dependency mechanism being instituted. Some call it debt-ocracy. Right? It’s not anymore democracy. But here, the power, really it’s in the hands of those who are the creditors of debt.

MCGUIRE: So, essentially you’re saying that these banks are just acting as a /ˈpæstədɔr/ agent are making 5 or 6% of the principal.

FORCADES: Exactly, with nothing, right? And who decided that? Are we talking about democracy in Europe? Are we talking about institutions that are built and designed to help the people? So who had this idea that in the middle of this passage of money we would have a 6, 7% advantage for somebody that basically is a private enterprise that will be profiting from having these economies?

And the irony, as I said, is that some of these institutions that are being–because this money ends up in the hands of the government of Spain, but with a mission. And this money is to be given to whom? Not to these 500 families a day that are being evicted from their homes. The money is to be given to the banking institutions that are in trouble in Spain. So the money actually never benefits the families directly. It goes directly to these institutions. And these institutions now are evicting the families from the home because they were in trouble, they get the money, and then, according to the Spanish law and how it has functioned in Spain, we gave this money to the banks, and the banks don’t have to give it back, even if they start making profits now. They just benefit from the money, and they can go on with their business. And they don’t have to pay any counterpart to the government or to the people. Can you imagine a more absurd system?

So I think even people that never were political activists that never thought they would be in the streets screaming against the system, that as the system doesn’t fulfil anymore their responsibilities, they are now in Spain in the street. So we should, as I said, or we could use this opportunity to structure change in the direction of a greater social justice. And that’s what we are trying with my movement in Spain, in Catalonia.

MCGUIRE: We’ll get to the streets in the second, but there are many things that are driving people, it seems, to the streets of Spain.


MCGUIRE: And it’s not just in Catalonia. It’s all over Spain. The context where this exchange of money is happening is also one of devastatingly high unemployment, especially among youth, correct?

FORCADES: Right. I can give you the numbers. It’s–like, general unemployment rate is greater than 25% –that’s one-fourth, one of every four people. But among young people it’s 50%, so one out of every two. And this is also in the context, as I said, of a situation that makes this social precariousness, right, go worse because of the political decisions that are being made. Yes, that’s right.

And also I wanted to add something, which is, when we speak of this crisis, right, we have to remember that in Spain the total debt at the beginning of the crisis, 2007, was–public debt was only 19%. That’s less than the U.S. debt, much less than that, and, actually, one of the lowest in the whole Europe. So this idea that Spain had not done the things right and that’s why the state itself had such a big debt, that’s not true. It had a 19% debt. The 81% was private debt, and that is, of course, not only banks–also private families, small businesses.. But that’s a very minor part of the private debt. So the greatest, more than 90% of the private debt, which is 81% of the total debt that was big institutions, big corporations, and particularly banking institutions.

So the decision was made: like in the States, also here the banks were rescued, at a greater cost, or really great cost. So in Spain, the same thing, right? We cannot let these big institutions fall, because everybody would fall after them. So now we’re going to do this operation of giving money to them. We don’t have the money; we have to lend the money from the European bank. And then [in comes (?)] this mechanism that I explained. So that is what has happened, and many people, as I said, think this should be reversed.

And so we, in our movement, but also many other movements, are calling for something similar to what has happened in Ecuador with President Correa, which is they also were under the debt that actually precluded the evolution or the growth of the country, because such a great percentage of their total gain were needed to pay the interests of the debt, right? That’s a perverse mechanism. Actually, I think in truth we can call that a slavery mechanism. And that is what we now have agreed to, right, as a country. So many people are claiming–.

MCGUIRE: And not just agreed to it, but also there was a constitutional reform in 2011.

FORCADES: Yes, that I also mentioned. And that’s very outrageous, again, from the democratic point of view.

MCGUIRE: So that was the constitutional reform in 2011 that the elevated debt to constitutional issue,–

FORCADES: Exactly.

MCGUIRE: –in which the Spanish nation is required to pay principal and interest to this debt.

FORCADES: Exactly. That’s the first goal of our government is to comply with these European standards of financial stability, so-called so. And even if that comes to the cost of the basic needs of the people–because I’m talking about people without home in the middle of the winter or whenever, and we are talking about cuts, severe cuts in health. Spain was number seven in the ranking of the World Health Organization in 2000, number seven, as the best medical systems in the world, which number that year was–United States is number 34. And what number was Germany? Number 25. So that’s the ranking of the WHO organization in 2000.

Why am I quoting 2000 is because it has not done it again. And why it has not done it again: because the World Health Organization now, it’s a public authority, maximum authority in the world for the issues of health, but it is financed, its majority of funding, it comes from the private institution. That’s, of course, an regular development, because the WH Organization was founded in 1947, and it was founded to be–it was started to be financed by the countries that are part of it, right? But as the countries became in trouble economically, private capital has come into the WHO. And now it’s Bill Gates’ foundation, it’s Coca-Cola, it’s Nestlé, the ones that have the greatest part in it. So they have not published any more this ranking of systems that would show clearly that the public systems were the best and continue to be the best. If you want to have good health in your population, let the system be away from making profit with every part of it.

MCGUIRE: So I’ve got two more questions I want to address before we wrap this up. One is we haven’t talked about the Catalonian independence movement at all yet. So how do these independence movements, which aren’t just in Catalonia, how are these a resolution to these crisis that we’re talking about?

FORCADES: Right. You can very clear see in Catalonia that the establishment, the people and government right now, which–they have a great interest, of course, everywhere on handling this growing protest and this growing potential for a radical change. So it was wonderful in Catalonia to divest that, to direct all this dissatisfaction towards the nationalist aspect, so to make people believe that the problem is Madrid, the problem is the rest of Spain, because they are robbing us for money, because they are not treating us justly in the distribution of wealth, which might be true, because, right, they have issues with that too. But certainly that’s not the basic problem we have now. The basic problem is this debt-ocracy.

MCGUIRE: And when you mobilize one and a half million people in 2010 and again in 2012, what’s putting their feet on the street?

FORCADES: That’s a mixer thing, right? So I cannot be too simplistic in analyzing that, because there is certainly this momentum. And that’s a historical momentum. And I think its basis is the outrage of the people with all the social inequality. But if you are able to channel these hopes of a greater equality towards a very clear goal–and the clear goal is: let’s get independent from the rest of Spain–then you might join here people that are independence regardless of the social economical moment and people that are hoping for a better future for their children. Right? And that, I think it’s a mixture that has made it possible, that in Catalonia now we have a majority of the people wanting that. And so that’s what I call the historical moment. And I think there is a place for a movement like ours that is not opposing, of course, this nationalist feeling, but it’s joining it in a clear, radical, unbreakable way with a change for greater social justice.

MCGUIRE: So it’s both a majority of people wanting it and one-fifth of the population that’s mobilizing for it.


MCGUIRE: But before we conclude the interview, just because you are a Benedictine sister, what do you think of the current pope? He’s getting a lot of praise from all kinds of sectors.

FORCADES: Yes. For the Church, as well as for the society, I am convinced that in history, if you look at changes for greater social justice, they have never come from the top down, not in society, but also not in the church. And maybe some Catholics or even non-Catholics that hear may now think, oh, come on, don’t you remember John XXIII, right? That’s the so-called “Good Pope”, and he was, of course, the one calling for the Vatican II, which was the moment where the Catholic Church updated its health. It’s called aggiornamento, with an Italian word that means update. So that is, of course, something that this pope did. But the point is that he was able to do it and the Church was able to experience this renewal in the ’60s with Vatican II because from the beginning of the 20th century, many grassroots organizations were working for it. So things don’t come ever from the top down.

MCGUIRE: And Pope Francis?

FORCADES: With Pope Francis, I think, since Vatican II, up to now, many movements in the church, many people in the church, and many parishes in the church have felt and regretted the backlash, which is Vatican II opens great hopes and then we start getting, like, a backlash, right? So these movements, many of them have been outspoken and have been proactive in shaping the change that they wanted to see. So I do believe that now in the Catholic Church there is an opportunity for a renewal and for a change. And I think Pope Francis might be somebody that will use that, always an alliance with their grassroots. So for me the issue is not let’s wait and see what the new pope does, but let’s move even more proactively in the Church to see the change that we want to be happening, and then the pope will have no other option but to join. And I think he’ll be happy to do it.

MCGUIRE: Great. Thank you very much, Sister Teresa, for joining us here at The Real News.

FORCADES: Thanks for having me.

MCGUIRE: And thank you for joining us online.


Related Topics:

1.8mn Catalonians Rally for Independence from Spain*

Protesting has Gone Flamenco, in Spain at Least*

Popular Resistance against Privatization Delivers Results in Spain*

Spain to Tax Bank Deposits*

Accusations of Rigged Scottish Referendum*

More Reason to Hold onto Scotland: Cameron Follows Black Gold to the Shetlands*

For the People, to the Scots*

Nun Exposes Syrian Chemical Hoax*

Five States to Debate Division of Caspian Sea*

Five States to Debate Division of Caspian Sea*

This seems like another squabble between boys pretending to be men, but given the intentions behind the Ukraine, the build-up of European and U.S forces in the region, and the Rothschild Trans-Adriatic pipeline, TAP initiative to link up and pipe oil and natural gas from the Middle East into Europe, this division might be the only way to protect the sovereignty of the bordering countries. However, note, the countries which are against balkanizing the sea are already naively a part of TAP at some level which intends to tap into the natural resources of the Caspian Sea…

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Turkmenistan President Gurbanguli Berdimuhammedov are attending the 4th Caspian Sea Summit – taking place in Russia. The legal status of the Caspian Sea will be the leading issue for the Summit.

In the late 20th century, the Caspian Sea was divided between the USSR and Iran but a good number of states began to discuss the division of the sea soon after the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991.

They haven’t come to terms with the legal status of Caspian Sea up to the present day, because of their military and geopolitical interests, and disagreements on how to share petrol and gas resources, in which Caspian Sea is rich.

These five states have reached a certain agreement for cooperation about protecting and taking advantage of the environment – such as animals and plants – of the Caspian Sea.

But there still isn’t any answer to the questions of whether the Caspian Sea is a “sea” or a “lake.”

The following questions also need to be answered: How can the borders be determined – including for the sea bed and surface waters – of each claimant state? Which of them will use the gas and petrol resources and why? What type of pipeline system will be used and how?


All states that border the Caspian Sea except for Iran and Turkmenistan – Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan – have agreed about the divison of the sea bed. However, Moscow wants the surface of sea to be divided as national regions.

Russia proposes that each country in the region should have its territorial waters up to 25 miles from the coast, and that the rest of the Caspian – the central area of sea – be shared by the five countries. Moscow refuses the entire Caspian’s division by the five states because sharing the Caspian by bordered contries means, for its part, not being able to ship freely, as well as the disappearing of its links with its neighbor Iran.

Russia argues that the Caspian Sea is a lake, not a sea, and insists all of the Caspian littoral states have the right to speak about the trans-Caspian gas-pipline. However, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan object to this project.

It’s stated that Russia aims to prevent Turkmenistan’s gas to European markets via the Caspian Sea because of the potentially competitive nature of Turkmen gas.


Iran wants the bottom and surface of sea to be shared in five equal parts between littoral states so that it will have more territorial waters and natural gas resources in the Caspian Sea. Iran also had a disagreement with Azerbaijan regarding the Alev natural gas reserve, which has not been exploited yet, as it is on the possible border that Iran wants to broaden back to the way it was during the Soviet period.

Another disagreement between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan is over the Kepez natural gas resources. Turkmenistan not only defends the idea for division of the Caspian but also the joint management of it, if it’s needed. Turkmenistan also claims that it is the rightful owner of the Kepez reserve.

Turkmenistan, just as Iran, wants the Caspian to be shared equally by littoral states but Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and particularly Russia disagree with it.

On all occasions, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan suggest that the Caspian Sea should be shared by littoral states proportionally.

Kazakhstan says that the Caspian is an inland sea and division of it must follow UN conventions. The Astana government wants the sea bed to be divided by five equally and that each state be given the right to exploit its share freely, but the surface of sea must be used jointly.

Azerbaijan, on the other hand, wants each country to have full authority over its region, divided into national sectors based on the “central line principle”. It’s already included in Azerbaijan’s constitution that the Caspian’s Azeri side belongs to Azerbaijan.


Related Topics:

Blair’s Next Leg of The Global leaders Silence on the Palestinian Holocaust and Piping Gas to the E.U.

How Blair Conspired with Whitehall for Ownership of Scottish Oil Fields*

Now we Know Why ISIS/L is Destroying Iraq and not Defending Palestine*

Behind the False Flag: Israel’s After Gaza’s Natural Gas*

Playing with Iran to Alienate Russia and Destabilize Iran*

Jordan Decides to Buy Palestinian Gas from Israel*

What Does Ebola, Gas and Oil Have in Common?*

Victims of Malaysian Flight MH-17 in with Victims of Malaysia Flight MH370?

Victims of Malaysian Flight MH-17 in with Victims of Malaysia Flight MH370?

From Alexandra Bruce

Before the hideous tragedy of Flight MH17 disappears entirely down the memory hole, let us honor all of those grievously injured by this travesty by NOT FORGETTING the ineffectual false flag terror event and horrendous crime for what it was, as it disappears before our eyes, having been completely ineffective at achieving its ends; to make Russia look like the aggressor in this crime.

The crime scene continues to languish in the middle of an active war zone and the case will likely officially remain “unsolved,” if the PTB have their way.

Here, we see very genuine-seeming and spontaneous reports from local civilians on the ground, two of whom “won” the lottery, when their ceiling was crashed open by most of the remains of one victim, who landed inside. Another man describes a body that had landed on the street, already stinking awfully of decomposition.

Several witnesses shown here reported soon after the crash of MH-17, that the corpses of some victims appeared to have been dead for several days. Some were even reported to have undergone the initial stages of embalming.

This would be consistent with the ample evidence shown in other films, that the crash site appears to have been set-dressed, with props and planted evidence (such as unstamped passports and hole-punched, invalid ones).

These civilian reports were initially doubted, because they were from “rebel” witnesses (those supporting the secession of their area from the Ukraine, as per the recent popular elections), contrary to the agenda of the USG and other players. However, other third-party witnesses, presented in this film, confirm these initial reports.

What were already-dead bodies doing, mixed in with with the remains of the crash victims is anybody’s guess – perhaps it was a convenient way to dispose of airline workers who were witness to the switch-up of the actual aircraft, which was disposed-of in this crash?

As I have pointed out previously, there is much evidence to substantiate that the plane which was shot down over Ukraine had serial numbers and a distribution of windows on its fuselage that matched the plane that went missing during a separate unsolved crime, involving the same airline, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing last March – and NOT those of the actual aircraft that was scheduled to fly to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam and which, was evidently shot down over the war-torn Donetsk region of Ukraine.

(Let’s also not forget that in hearings held during 2011 and 2012, the Malaysian war crimes tribunal found Tony Blair, George W. Bush and members of the latter’s Administration guilty on several counts, in the Wars of Aggression against Iraq and Afghanistan).

Also, here is a video with more information about the likelihood that Flight MH17 was taken out by standard-issue weapons used on Ukraine fighter jets, NOT by a Russian BUK missile fired by Ukraine separatists:

Related Topics:

Rebels Shot Down Malaysian Flight MH-17*

Malaysia Flight MH370: Governments not using GPS to Locate the Ringing Mobile Phones*

Rothschild Becomes Sole Owner of Semiconductor Patent as Four Co-owners Went Down with Malaysia Airlines MH370*

Ironic that a Leading Expert In Ebola Died On Missing Malaysian Airlines Flight*

More Humanitarian Aid, and More Bombs for the Ukraine*