Archive | September 13, 2016

Drug-Induced Dementia IS NOT Alzheimer’s Disease*

Drug-Induced Dementia IS NOT Alzheimer’s Disease*

By Dr. Gary G. Kohls

“More than 50 conditions can cause or mimic the symptoms of dementia.” and “Alzheimer’s (can only be) distinguished from other dementias at autopsy.” — from a Harvard University Health Publication entitled What’s Causing Your Memory Loss? It Isn’t Necessarily Alzheimer’s

“Medications have now emerged as a major cause of mitochondrial damage, which may explain many adverse effects. All classes of psychotropic drugs have been documented to damage mitochondria, as have statin medications, analgesics such as acetaminophen, and many others…Damage to mitochondria is now understood to play a role in the pathogenesis of a wide range of seemingly unrelated disorders such as:

  • Schizophrenia

  • Bipolar disease

  • Dementia

  • Alzheimer’s disease

  • Epilepsy

  • Migraine headaches

  • Strokes

  • Neuropathic pain

  • Parkinson’s disease

  • Ataxia

  • transient ischemic attack

  • cardiomyopathy

  • Coronary artery disease

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Retinitis pigmentosa

  • Diabetes

  • Hepatitis C

  • Primary biliary cirrhosis

Medications have now emerged as a major cause of mitochondrial damage, which may explain many adverse effects” –  Neustadt and  Pieczenik  authors of Medication-induced Mitochondrial Damage and Disease

Establishing mitochondrial toxicity is not an FDA requirement for drug approval, so there is no real way of knowing which agents are truly toxic.”  – Dr. Katherine Sims, Mass General Hospital – http://www.mitoaction.org

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” – Upton Sinclair, anti-fascist, anti-imperialist American author who wrote in the early 20th century.

“No vaccine manufacturer shall be liable…for damages arising from a vaccine-related injury or death.” – President Ronald Reagan, as he signed The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986, absolving drug companies from all medico-legal liability when children die or are disabled from vaccine injuries.

Over the past several decades there have been a number of well-financed campaigns, promoted by well-meaning laypersons, to raise public awareness to the plight of patients with dementia. Suspiciously, most of these campaigns come from “patient support” groups lead the public to believe that every dementia patient has Alzheimer’s dementia (AD).

Not so curiously, it turns out that many – perhaps all – of these campaigns have been funded – usually secretly – by the very pharmaceutical companies that benefit economically by indirectly promoting the sale of so-called Alzheimer’s drugs.

Such corporate-generated public relations “campaigns” are standard operating procedure for all of Big Pharma’s drugs, especially its psycho-pharmaceutical drugs. Big Pharma has found that the promotion and de-stigmatization of so-called “mental illnesses of unknown aetiology” is a great tool for marketing their drugs

(http://www.propublica.org/blog/item/health-advocacy-groups-take-drug-company-cashoften-without-full-disclosures)

Recently Alzheimer’s support groups all around the nation have been marketing a documentary about country singer Glen Campbell who has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (of unknown aetiology) despite the obvious fact that Campbell was infamous for his chronic heavy use of brain-damaging, dementia-inducing, addictive, and very neurotoxic drugs like cocaine and alcohol. And, just like so many other hard-living celebrities like the (now cured) dementia victim Kris Kristofferson and the suicidal and early dementia victim Robin Williams. All three celebrities were known to have received prescriptions for legal neurotoxic brain-altering drugs, adding to the burdens that their failing brains, livers and psyches had to endure. It is highly likely that all three of them were also on statins and were up-to-date on their mercury and aluminum-containing vaccinations.

It is an established fact that Alzheimer’s disease can only be definitively diagnosed at a post-mortem examination of the cerebral cortex, something that dementia patients are almost never subjected to. Because of the rarity of coroners doing autopsies on dementia patients, we have to question the accuracy of the diagnoses of, for example, the still living Glen Campbell, Kris Kristofferson and our own memory-impaired spouses, aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas, especially since so many of them have been on neurotoxic substances such as those mentioned in this article.

And we also have to question the motivations of the Big Pharma corporations that financially underwrite patient support groups like the Alzheimer’s Association. AND, equally importantly, given the total lack of recognition of the reality of drug-induced dementia, we have to question to oft-cited assertion that 2/3 of all dementia cases are because of Alzheimer’s disease (of unknown cause).

Are the Alzheimer’s, Autism and Autoimmune Epidemics Actually Iatrogenic, Drug-Induced Epidemics?

Synchronous with the recent large increases in

1) childhood and adult neurotoxic aluminum-adjuvanted vaccinations,

2) the use of neurotoxic psychotropic drugs,

3) the use of statin drugs (cholesterol-lowering drugs)  known to cause memory-impairment, and

4) the  ingestion of a variety of neurotoxic food additives, there has been a large parallel increase in

  1. A) the incidence of chronic autoimmune disorders, especially in childhood,
  2. B) the incidence of autistic spectrum disorders,
  3. C) “mental illnesses of unknown origin” and
  4. D) dementia.

For more go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/new-study—mitochondrial_b_147030.html.

Each of those 4 root causes and the 4 neurological disorders that are closely correlated with them are admittedly multi-factorial realities. But the important lesson is that they are also preventable. However, due to clever marketing by Big Pharma and the studied ignorance of Big Medicine and the refusal of Big Media to allow scholars to talk about the connections, “walks for the cure” and drug treatment is what is emphasized rather that prevention.

So what we need to ask – and then demand – is an honest answer to the question “could there be a connection between America’s increasingly common over-prescribing of immunotoxic, neurotoxic, synthetic prescription drugs and the equally over-prescribed immunotoxic and neurotoxic vaccines (that often contain either of the heavy metals aluminum and mercury) and some of the neurodegenerative disorders that supposedly “have no known cause”? Could the disabling American epidemic of autoimmune disorders, psychiatric disorders, autism spectrum disorders, etc (all supposedly of unknown origin) be found to have recognizable iatrogenic root causes and therefore be preventable? Psychiatrist and scholar Grace E. Jackson has the answers in her seminal (and black-listed) book

“Drug-Induced Dementia: A Perfect Crime”.

These are extremely important issues, especially in the case of the dementia epidemic, because the Alzheimer’s patient support groups seem to be unaware of the fact that many psychiatric drugs are known to irreversibly damage brain cells (partly by poisoning their mitochondria, the microscopic hearts and lungs of every cell) and therefore would be expected to cause a variety of other neurological and mental health disorders. (See more info on drugs and mitochondria below.

One of the big problems in America’s corporate-controlled culture, corporate-controlled government, corporate-controlled medical industries and corporate-controlled media is that the giant multinational (especially Big Pharma) corporations are in the business of developing and marketing known mitochondrial toxins with no oversight from regulatory agencies. These businesses obscure the fact that there ARE known causes for the disorders and that they are preventable. The unproven claims expressed in the TV commercials and medical journals advertising the newest drug-of-the-month are often later exposed as plain snake oil propaganda.

It should be a concern for everyone that some Alzheimer’s support groups are actually front groups for the pharmaceutical industry that profit handsomely from the handful of virtually useless drugs such as Aricept, Exelon, Namenda, Hexalon, and Razadyne.

Prescription Drug-Induced and Vaccine-Induced Mitochondrial Disorders

Acquired mitochondrial disorders (as opposed to the rare primary mitochondrial disorders like muscular dystrophy) can be caused by commonly prescribed drugs. They are difficult to diagnose and are generally poorly understood by most healthcare practitioners. When I went to medical school, none of my professors knew anything about the lethal effects that many synthetic drugs and vaccines do to the mitochondria of average brain or body cells. The science of the mitochondria was in its infancy.

A lot of mitochondrial research has been done since then, especially starting in the 1990s, and that research has proven the connections between a variety of commonly prescribed medications and mitochondrial disorders. That evidence seems to have been cunningly covered-up by the for-profit pharma groups whose drug are the culprits. Big Pharma has tremendous control  over the medical education of most health care providers, and they spoon-feed pro-drug and pro-vaccine propaganda to undiscerning “healthcare” journalists, which is where many physicians and patients get their health information.

An Honest Patient Guide for Dementia Patients (from Harvard)

I was pleasantly surprised recently to find a reasonably honest guide for dementia patients on a Harvard University website.

The entire guide can be accessed at

http://www.helpguide.org/harvard/whats-causing-your-memory-loss.htm#top.

The information at that site stated that there were over 50 conditions that could cause or mimic early dementia symptoms. What medical practitioner in our double-booked clinic environment has the time to thoroughly rule out the 50 root causes of dementia symptoms when confronted with a patient with memory loss? It’s simpler to just diagnose every case of dementia as another case of Alzheimers! Who will ever dispute such an authoritative-sounding diagnosis? Certainly not those who want to keep dementia from being recognized as a potentially iatrogenic disorder (doctor or treatment-caused disorder).

I have often said to my patients and seminar participants: “it takes only 2 minutes to write a prescription, but it takes 20 minutes to not write a prescription”. In the current for-profit clinic culture, time is money and very few physicians are ever given the “luxury” of spending sufficient time listening carefully to their patients. (In defence of the physicians that I know, they are not happy about these realities but feel powerless to do anything about it.)

It is so tempting for us physicians to use the popularized, but rather squishy label of Alzheimer’s dementia rather than to educate ourselves about the possibility of drug-induced, vaccine-induced or malnutrition-related dementia. But what is so important is that many of the 50+ conditions are preventable or reversible, which will be therapeutic only if the real root causes are identified before permanent brain damage occurs. Just one example was the subject of the book “Lipitor: Thief of Memory” written by former astronaut and flight surgeon Duane Graveline, M.D., M.P.H

(for more information go to https://www.spacedoc.com/articles/lipitor-thief-of-memory.)

The Harvard guide actually said that “medications are common culprits in mental decline. With aging, the liver becomes less efficient at metabolizing drugs, and the kidneys eliminate them from the body more slowly. As a result, drugs tend to accumulate in the body. Elderly people in poor health and those taking several different medications are especially vulnerable.”

The guide continued with a list of the possible classes of prescription drugs that number in the hundreds:

“The list of drugs that can cause dementia-like symptoms is long. It includes antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-Parkinson drugs, anti-anxiety medications, cardiovascular drugs, anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, narcotics, sedatives.”

The Harvard guide went on to emphasize that Alzheimer’s can only be accurately diagnosed on a post-mortem examination. The guide states that “Alzheimer’s is distinguished from other dementias at autopsy by the presence of sticky beta-amyloid plaques outside brain cells (neurons) and fibrillary tangles within neurons (all indicative of cellular death). Although such lesions may be present in any aging brain, in people with Alzheimer’s these lesions tend to be more numerous and accumulate in areas of the brain involved in learning and memory.”

“The leading theory is that the damage to the brain results from inflammation and other biological changes that cause synaptic loss and malfunction, disrupting communication between brain cells. Eventually the brain cells die, causing tissue loss and cell carcasses or scars.  In imaging scans, brain shrinkage is usually first noticeable in the hippocampus, which plays a central role in memory function.”

The FDA Does Not Require Big Pharma to Test its New Drugs or Vaccines for Mitochondrial Toxicity

But even the Harvard guide inexplicably fails to mention known mitochondrial toxins such as statins, metformin, Depakote, general anaesthetics, fluoroquinolone antibiotics (like Cipro), fluorinated psychotropic drugs (like many of the SSRIs and the so-called antipsychotics).

And Big Food corporations are guilty of feeding us neurotoxins also.

For example, when the ubiquitous synthetic food, soft drink and chewing gum sweetener NutraSweet (aspartame) reaches 86 degrees (whether in our 98.6 degree bodies or in some MidEast desert (as was true for many American soldiers who developed Gulf War Syndrome) every molecule releases a molecule of the excitotoxic amino acids phenylalanine and aspartic acid and one molecule of the cellular toxin methanol (wood alcohol). Methanol then rapidly metabolizes into the known mitochondrial poison formaldehyde (embalming fluid), which is a serious cellular and mitochondrial toxin.

The chlorinated artificial sweetener Splenda, which was initially developed as a neurotoxic pesticide, is in an uncountable variety of foods as well.

These examples are only some of the synthetic chemicals in medicines, vaccines and processed foods that are capable of causing mitochondrial damage in brain and body cells – with memory loss, confusion and cognitive dysfunction, all early symptoms of dementia.

It is a tragedy for reversible and preventable drug- or vaccine-induced dementias (or any of the many neurodegenerative disorders) to be mis-diagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease (or neurological disorder) “of unknown cause” because if the root causes are not recognized preventive care will not be offered. And then, what may be worse, those patients might be placed on costly, potentially toxic and often useless medications that have not been tested for their own potential mitochondrial toxicities. (Tragically, the American pharmaceutical industry is not required by the FDA to test its drugs for mitochondrial toxicity, thus leaving physicians and their drug-consuming patients in the dark as far as safety of those medications is concerned.)

There is much more in the basic neuroscience literature proving the connections between drugs and vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders. Those basic neuroscience researchers that do not have conflicts of interest with Big Pharma and Big Medicine should be listened to. Those authors with monetary or professional conflicts of interest should be regarded with suspicion.

Don’t expect Big Pharma to respond to such unwelcome revelations as mentioned above. Don’t expect Big Medicine to acknowledge the existence of iatrogenic illnesses or to offer apologies.

Do, however, expect denials, dismissals, distractions, delays and ad hominem attacks against the whistle-blowers rather than honest mea culpas.

So it must be up to the consumers of potentially toxic substances to do the research themselves, for those substances may not show symptoms until a tipping point is reached when their livers can no longer detoxify the cocktail of poisons that are presented to it).

Professor of Medicine Oliver Wendell Holmes once said:

“If all the medicine in the world were thrown into the sea, it would be bad for the fish, but good for humanity.”

Enough said.

Source *

Related Topics:

Drugs that Damage your DNA: When Dementia isn’t Alzheimer*

Modern Lifestyles, Thought and the Nature of Alzheimer

The Psychology Behind Corporate Identity

The Professional Suicide of a Psychiatrist Exposes Mental Health Lies!

Psychiatric Drugs Involved in Nearly All Recent Mass-Shootings‏

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

Psychiatry as Torture of the Mentally Ill

Drug Free Psychiatry and Beyond Globalized Eugenics

88 Year Old Woman Recovering from Alzheimer’s and Diabetes Using Coconut Oil*

The Village Where Everyone Has Dementia*

Alzheimers: Multiple Therapies including Fasting Involved in the First Known Reversal of Memory Loss*

Study Finds Antipsychotic Drugs Shrinks the Brain*

Australia Pre-Drugging Kids and Psychosis Risk Syndrome*

Psychiatric Drugs Are Being Prescribed to Infants*

New Mexico Law Prohibits Forced Psychiatric Drugging of Children – First Such Law in the U.S.*

U.S. Govt Exposed for Forcing Foster Kids, Even Toddlers to Take Dangerous Psychotropic Drugs*

Big Pharma Assassinations and New Toxin Found in Vaccine*

Author of Mandatory Meningitis Vaccine Bill Caught Taking $420k From Big Pharma*

Neuroscientist Shows Fasting Bolsters Your Brain, but Big Pharma Won’t Study It*

Big Pharma Myth Buster: High Cholesterol Makes You Live Longer*

Western Medicine Is Rockefeller Medicine*

Brazil Coup Plotter Eduardo Cunha Impeached in Lower House*

Brazil Coup Plotter Eduardo Cunha Impeached in Lower House*

Former president of the chamber of deputies and mastermind of President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, Eduardo Cunha, lost his seat in the lower house Monday night that had so far given him immunity against judicial proceedings over corruption charges.

Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favour of his removal with 450 votes for impeachment, nine abstentions and 10 votes against, when the approval required only 257 deputies, with a minimum of 420 attending the vote.

At the end of the vote, Cunha left the assembly surrounded with guards while opposition representatives chanted “Cunha Out!”

Cunha has been investigated for lying about hiding over U.S.$5 million in laundered money in secret Swiss bank accounts. He denied having money offshore, but accounts tied to him were repeatedly confirmed by Swiss officials.

According to surveys issued Monday, on the day of the vote by local media, at least 298 deputies—out of a total of 513—declared they would vote in favour of his impeachment. Only four said they would vote to absolve him, 183 said they would abstain and 26 said they would not attend the session.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on a June congressional ethics committee recommendation in favor of impeaching Cunha.

In May, he was suspended from his position as head of the lower house by the Brazilian Supreme Court over accusations of intimidating lawmakers and hampering investigations, one month after the lower chamber voted in favour of Rousseff’s impeachment. He faces an eight-year ban from elected office.

Cunha is notorious for using stalling tactics as the issue of his suspension stood before the council of ethics for months after having been initiated in October, making it the longest process in the history of the council.

Supporters of the Rousseff said Cunha initiated impeachment proceedings against Rousseff as payback after members of her party voted to look into corruption allegations against him.

Rousseff has said that despite the fact that Michel Temer is the acting president, Cunha is really the person in charge in Brasilia, the federal capital. Both Cunha and Temer are members of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party.

Cunha was a key architect in painting the impeachment process as a campaign to root out government corruption, despite himself facing multimillion dollar bribery and fraud charges.

Source*

Related Topics:

Washington Targets Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina*

Brazil’s Right Wing Protest Funded by U.S. Billionaire Foundations, Training in U.S.*

BRICS Under Attack: Brazilian PM Must Say Goodbye to BRICS and Hello to Washington or Face a Coup*

El Salvador an other Countries Refuse to Recognize New Government In Brazil*

First Interview with Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff Since the Senate’s Impeachment Vote*

Brazilian Musicians Mount an Orchestra against Brazil’s Interim Government*

Brazil Revolts as Michel Temer Forces Austerity, U.S. Dirty Tricks Exposed*

Brazil Prosecutor Requests Arrest of Pro-impeachment Leaders

Brazil’s Coup President Michel Temer to Lift Ban on Foreign Ownership of Land*

Court Rules in Favour of Brazilians Protest Against Temer inside Olympic Venues*

Massive Protests Erupt Around Brazil as Impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff Looms

Eid Al Adha Message from Leader of U.K.s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn*

Eid Al Adha Message from Leader of U.K.s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn*

“On behalf of the Labour Party, I want to send my best wishes to all Muslims in the United Kingdom celebrating ‘Eid al-Adha.

“I know this is a special time for Muslims, and it is an opportunity to celebrate the values of Islam. Values of family, of community and of charity.

“At a time when so many people around the world are facing such hardship, these values seem more important than ever.

“I also want to take this chance to recognise the enormous contributions Muslims across Britain make to our country, to our communities and to our way of life.

“I wish you all a peaceful and happy ‘Eid.

’Eid Mubarak.”

Eid message from Prime Minister Rt Hon Theresa May, MP:

“To all Muslims in Britain and around the world I wish you a blessed ‘Eid al-Adha. I know this festival means a great deal to communities, a time when families and friends are brought together to pray and feast, and Muslims across different continents are brought together in faith.
“And as you share in that spirit of togetherness, I think proudly of the many ways people in this country connect with each other and enrich our nation’s life.

“I see this in politics where British Muslims are making a real difference, in enterprise and the running of multi-million pound businesses, and in the courage and dedication of those who safeguard our streets and serve in our armed forces.

“I see this in the charity and compassion of our Muslim communities, whose members give so generously to those less fortunate.

“And I also see this in the way people are brought together with those around the world through the strong bonds of shared history, family relationships, and concern for those suffering and in pain. I think particularly of the ongoing conflict in Syria and Iraq.

“Our more than two billion pound contribution, our largest ever response to a single humanitarian crisis, is helping people caught up in that appalling conflict and I am pleased that we will be continuing to provide support to those in need.

“As Prime Minister, I want to see our communities go from strength to strength. Bringing people together and ensuring that everyone is able to make the most of the opportunities Britain has to offer, no matter what their background, and no matter where they are from, is central to my Government’s mission.

“As I said when I stood on the steps of Downing Street, I want to make this a country that works for everyone.

“I am proud of the contribution British Muslims make to this country, and proud that Britain is home to people from vibrant and diverse backgrounds.

“So to all Muslims, in this country and around the world, I want to say Eid Mubarak. I wish you a happy and peaceful Eid.”

Eid messages from other Political Leaders:

Rt Hon Tim Farron MP, Leader of Liberal Democrats, Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland, Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales

Rt Hon Tim Farron MP, Leader of Liberal Democrats

As more than 2 million Muslims from around the world, including thousands from the U.K. –  mark the end of their holy pilgrimage of Hajj in Mecca, I would like to extend my warmest wishes to everyone celebrating ‘Eid al-Adha.

‘Eid al Adha’s themes of reflection, sacrifice and charity seem more and more relevant each year given the global challenges we face. For those suffering oppression across the world, we must continue to work towards peace, safety and security. I have had the pleasure of witnessing first hand Muslim organisations leading the way in this respect, from assisting at refugee camps abroad to assisting flood victims here in my very constituency.

These values of tolerance, compassion and generosity towards one and other are at the heart of Islam and the heart of ‘Eid – and I will stand by you in spreading those values in my party, in Westminster and in my constituency. On behalf of the Liberal Democrats, I would like to extend my good wishes to Muslims at this special time of year.

Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland

Eid Al Adha is being celebrated by Muslims all around the world – and on behalf of everyone in Scotland, I send my best wishes to our Muslim friends and neighbours. Our Muslim communities make a welcome and valued contribution to our society, culturally, socially and economically, enriching country as a whole.

Our Muslim communities continue to play a pivotal part of our work ensuring a future built on mutual trust, respect and understanding – so I wish everyone a happy and prosperous ‘Eid.

Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales

I would like wish all Muslims in Wales and across the world ‘Eid Mubarak’ as they come together to observe ‘Eid al-Adha. The festival is a time to remember the sacrifice made by the Prophet Ibrahim and an important opportunity to focus on helping those who may be less fortunate and for bringing together communities and families. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Muslim communities of Wales for the sacrifices and enormous contributions they have made and continue to make to every area of our society.

 Source*

Related Topics:

The Day of Arafa

The March to Mina*

Healing the Psychic Split Which Causes War*

Kenya overturns Hijab Ban*

Reality of British Empire should be taught in Schools – Corbyn*

Saudi Forces Violated Regulations against Iraqi Hajj Pilgrims*

Saudi Forces Violated Regulations against Iraqi Hajj Pilgrims*

It has been several years since relations between Saudi and Iraq has become strained, leading to Iraqi nation’s sufferings to the point that they have become subject to the violations and oppressions which Saudi Arabia metes out.

Hajj pilgrims from Iraq are pressured and humiliated before the eyes of pilgrims from other countries upon their arrival in Saudi Arabia. The most extreme behaviour towards Iraqis from Al-Hasa and Al-Qatif, who were primarily Shiite, was in 2006, when Iraqi caravans arrived, they were kept for hours for being frisked and were affronted by Saudi security forces. In the same year, Bahrainis’ buses were stopped and pilgrims had to use Saudi buses.

This story is not limited to such issues. According to the spokesperson for the senior body of Iraqi Hajj, in 2007, four of the pilgrims from thousands of Iraqis who were kept at the borderline and were prevented from entering Saudi Arabia to establish their Hajj rituals, lost their lives because of the extreme cold, hunger, and thirst. And Saudi officials announced that Iraqi pilgrims did not have official documents while Saudis themselves were fully aware of the falsehood of this statement. At the time, Iraqi government voiced its complaint about this act but did not receive any straightforward response.

Also, some others faced harsh treatment by Saudi security forces; the head of the senior body of Hajj at the time, Sheikh Mohammad Taqi Al-Mawla, wrote a letter to the king, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and complained about the obnoxious behaviour of Saudi officers towards the pilgrims and other Islamic schools.

The same inappropriate policies and behaviours have continued to persist. This year, Pakistani pilgrims were also subject to these policies by Saudis, in a bid to take revenge on Pakistanis since they were not willing to fight against Yemen. The Hajj process for these pilgrims has been slowed down since their arrival in Medina and other sites, which can be a tell-tale sign of Saudi’s arbitrary and political decision about Hajj matter.

List of Pilgrimage Victims by their Numbers from 2002 to 2014

The Hajj and Umrah Network released a list from the Health Ministry of Saudi Arabia which shows the names of all victims died in last 12 years in pilgrimage.

According to the report Twitted on the page of Hajj and Umrah Network, the number of victims are 90276 who were died for Al-Saud’s mismanagement of Hajj. 56895 of these victims are men, 33344 are women, and 32 not specified.  According to this report, the number of victims and their country from the most to the least are as follows: Saudi Arabia, 31411; Pakistan, 7991; Indonesia 5837; Nigeria 4989, Myanmar 4191, Bangladesh 3617 and Yemen 3313.

Other countries such as Syria, Algeria, Sweden, Morocco, Iran, Turkey, Malaysia with their number of victims are also in the list.

Source*

Related Topics:

Saudis and Israeli’s Stage Hajj Stampede*

New Leaked Document Shows 7,000 Hajjis Killed in Mina*

How Saudi Arabia is Sponsoring Religious Eugenics*

Saudi Arabia Uses Israeli Firm G4S to Make E-Bracelets for Hajj*

Muslim World Reacts to assigning Hajj Security to Israelis*

Saudi Grand Mufti Forced into Retirement*

Wahhabism on Trial? How Islam is challenging Al Saud’s Custodianship of Mecca*

The World’s first Flashlight That Runs on Free Energy*

The World’s first Flashlight That Runs on Free Energy*

ELFE – the world’s first flashlight, powered by the energy of electromagnetic field of the Earth! It has no batteries and you will never change them! If the light emitted is dimmed, just turn the ELFE off for a while and it will restore its energy levels to full from the environment!

ELFE is the only world flashlight, powered by free environmental energy.

ELFE is equipped with powerful 3W diode, providing steady light flow of 120 lm.
The major difference of ELFE is that it has no batteries in the usual sense. ELFE is operated on the environmental energy, derived from the magnet field of Earth.

Principle of operation

Optimal time-of-use is 2-3 hours per day. Such operation conditions allow accumulator to obtain sufficient charge for the next day and emit maximum light flow. In case of emergency, you can use ELFE uninterruptedly for up to 12 hours, but please, be advised, that light intensity will be declining in time, and accumulator will require longer timeframe of up to 2 weeks to recover its energy level to full. If you will use ELFE continuously for several successive days, such operating conditions can cause critical and irrevocable consequences for accumulator, leading to inability of being charged at all.

Specifications

  • Power Source: ADGEX Accumulator, converting energy of magnet field of Earth, solar waves, industrial and natural electromagnet disturbances.
  • LED: 3 Watts
  • Dimensions: 55mm (head diameter) / 21 mm (body diameter) / 210 mm (length)
  • Weight: 240 g.
  • Flashlight body is made of aluminium alloy
  • Shock resistance: up to 1.5 meters dropping shock resistance
  • IP64 protection rating (Protected from total dust ingress and water spray from any direction)

Characteristics of luminous flux

Source*

Related Topics:

India Permits Free Energy Technology Despite Threats from U.K., U.S., Saudi Arabia*

Govt. Created Energy Blackouts Coming to a City Near You*

How Tanzanians are Hacking the Energy Crisis*

America Blocked a Massive Solar Project in India*

How Nebraskans took Control of their Energy Grid*

The Phone Case to Protect You from Prying Eyes, Designed By Edward Snowden*

Inspiring Entrepreneur Designs Inexpensive Refrigerator That Cools Without Electricity*

Philippines President Duterte wants U.S. Special Forces out of Southern Philippines*

Philippines President Duterte wants U.S. Special Forces out of Southern Philippines*

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte at the ASEAN Summit in Laos September 7, 2016. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday called for the withdrawal of U.S. military from a restive southern island, fearing an American troop presence could complicate offensives against Islamist militants notorious for beheading Westerners.

Duterte, who was in the spotlight last week over his televised tirade against the United States and President Barack Obama, said Special Forces now training Filipino troops were high-value targets for the Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf as counter-insurgency operations intensify.

“These special forces, they have to go,” Duterte said in a speech during an oath-taking ceremony for new officials.

“I do not want a rift with America. But they have to go.”

He added: “Americans, they will really kill them, they will try to kidnap them to get ransom.”

The comment by Duterte, a former southern mayor known for his terse words and volatile temperament, adds to uncertainty about what impact his rise to the presidency will have on one of Washington’s best alliances in Asia.

Duterte wants an independent foreign policy and says close ties with the United States are crucial, but he has frequently accused the former colonial power of hypocrisy when criticized for his deadly drugs war. He denied on Friday calling Obama a “son of a bitch”.

Some U.S. special forces have been killed in the southern Philippines since 2002, when Washington deployed soldiers to train and advise local units fighting Abu Sayyaf in Operation Enduring Freedom, part of its global anti-terror strategy.

At the height of that, some 1,200 Americans were in Zamboanga City and on Jolo and Basilan islands, both strongholds of Abu Sayyaf, which is known for its brutality and for earning huge sums of money from hostage-taking.

The U.S. program was discontinued in the Philippines in 2015 but a small troop presence has remained for logistics and technical support. Washington has shifted much of its security focus in the Philippines towards the South China Sea.

In his speech to officials on Monday, Duterte repeated comments from last week when he accused the United States of committing atrocities against Muslims over a century ago on Jolo island.

U.S. -Philippines relationships are currently at a low point as Washington has condemned alleged extrajuridical killings of people suspected of being involved with drug-related activities in the Philippines.

Source*

Related Topics:

Obama snubs Duterte at end of Laos Summit after Filipino President Rightly Blames U.S. for Killing his Ancestors*

Bush’s War on Terror in the Philippines*

Italy, the Philippines and Oklahoma get an Earthquake*

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Slams U.S. For “Killing Black People”*

50,000+ Okinawans Gather for anti-U.S. Military Rally after another Rape and Murder by U.S. Soldier*

U.S. Base Released 21,000 Litres of Chemical Agents into Okinawa Drinking Water Supply*

 

Syrian Army Command Confirms Shooting Down Israeli Aircraft*

Syrian Army Command Confirms Shooting Down Israeli Aircraft*

This September 10, 2016 photo shows smoke rising from the Syrian village of Jubata al-Khashab in Syria’s Golan Heights after Israeli fighter jets launched attacks on the area

This September 10, 2016 photo shows smoke rising from the Syrian village of Jubata al-Khashab in Syria’s Golan Heights after Israeli fighter jets launched attacks on the area

 

Syrian air defence troops shot down an Israeli warplane and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over the south-western province of Quneitra, the Syrian army command said in a statement Tuesday.

 “Our air defences opened fire and shot down the [Israeli] combat aircraft and UAV west of the Sasa settlement,” the command said. Israeli aircraft carried out an attack at 1 a.m. local time on the positions of the Syrian army in Quneitra, General Samir Suleiman, head of the Syrian Arab Army information department, told Sputnik.

“Syrian air defence forces responded and shot down a F-16 fighter jet in the southwest of Quneitra, and an Israeli drone over the Damascus’ suburb of Sa’sa,” he said.

The general added that the Israeli air forces have attacked Syrian army positions in support of armed terrorist groups who suffered big losses during their last battle with government troops.

Source*

Related Topics:

Terrorists Launch New Offensive in Golan Heights as Ceasefire Begins*

U.S. Needs Israel to Extend Power in Middle East, and is Willing to Pay Big*

Clinton’s Emails Reveals a Sunni-Shiite War Would be Good for Israel and the West*

Red Sea Deal: Are Israel and Saudi Arabia Forming a Joint Military*

Corporate Media Silent on M.E. on Israel and Turkey Strike on Syrian Oil Deal*

Israel Starts Demolition of Homes in the their Illegal Occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights*

Hack of Netanyahu Chief of Staff Shows Israeli Control of ISIS*

Israel Conducted Drone Raids in Egypt’s Sinai*

U.S. Cluster Bombs Kill Children for Decades in Laos, and Now Yemen*

And their eyes glazed over -Technology and Attention Deficit*

And their eyes glazed over -Technology and Attention Deficit*

By Joelle Renstrom

I have a rule about cellphones in class: if one disrupts us by ringing, vibrating or sounding an alarm, the owner has to sing a song or bust some dance moves in front of the class. At first, this provision in the syllabus elicits snickers, but it’s no laughing matter. You need to be able to turn off your phones and pay attention, I say. On the first day of class, they shut off their phones. But it doesn’t stay that way.

While my students – undergraduates at Boston University who are taking classes on writing and research – agree that there’s a problem if they can’t go 50 minutes without checking their phones, few of them can resist, despite knowing that this is my biggest pet peeve.

A University of Nebraska-Lincoln study indicates that 80% of college students send text messages during class. Nearly 100% of them text before and after class. In the minutes before class – the ones I used to spend shooting the breeze with students about TV shows, sports or what they did over the weekend – we now sit in technologically-induced silence.

Students rarely even talk to each other anymore. Gone are the days when they gabbed about the impossible chemistry midterm they just took or the quality of the food at the dining halls. Around the 30-minute mark in class, their hands inch toward their backpacks or into their pockets, fingers feeling around for the buttons as though their mere shape offers comfort. When I end class, they whip out their phones with a collective sigh of relief, as though they’ve all just been allowed to go to the bathroom after having to hold it all day.

Even when my students stash their cellphones, my classes look like an Apple commercial – faces hide behind screens embossed with the same famous fruit. I have no delusions that they’re taking notes for class or referencing that day’s reading. A University of Waterloo professor who put a postgraduate at the back of his lecture hall to observe his students learned that 85% of them did something unrelated to class on their laptops; a Cornell University study confirms that most students engage in ‘high-tech “doodling”’ and communication during class. One might think that the whopping $65,000 cost of attending Boston University for a year would provide ample reason to maintain focus during class, but one would be wrong.

Even students who take notes on their laptops miss out. A study from Princeton University shows that we process information better when taking notes by hand because writing is slower than typing (an argument often spun in favour of laptops), which helps students learn and retain the material. Similarly, people better comprehend what they’re reading if it’s on paper rather than on the screen. In a study from the University of Stavanger in Norway, readers on Kindle struggled to remember plot details in comparison with those who read printed books, perhaps because the physical act of turning the pages helps our memories encode the words. Another study revealed comprehension loss for subjects reading PDF versions of texts. Such findings have caused professors to ban computers in the classroom, which is something I used to do but can’t any more.

An increasing number of students present me with documentation from the student disabilities office that entitles them to use a laptop to take notes. If students see a few classmates with laptops, they inevitably start using theirs too. I can’t tell them that only a couple people are sanctioned to use the computers because of learning or cognitive difficulties without infringing on the students’ privacy, so I try instead to encourage students to take notes by hand and I ask to see their faces, not their Apples.

In an effort to save my students exorbitant course pack fees, I used to photocopy course readings. But when my department clamped down on copier use, I scanned the articles and put them online, which meant I had to allow students to open their laptops during discussions. On the one hand, they’re adults – if they want to go to shop for shoes on the Zappos website or look at celebrities’ Instagram accounts during class, they’ll have to deal with the consequences. But our discussions suffer, which makes my job harder. When reading on screens, students don’t annotate or reread. They get glassy-eyed, zone out, and then struggle to find quotes they only vaguely remember when it comes time to write the paper. The endless opportunities for distraction also mean that they miss other aspects of class, including important instructions.

That’s when they come to me and we have some version of the following conversation:

Student: ‘I have no idea what’s going on.’

Me: ‘What do you mean “no idea”? The assignment sheet details all the requirements, we’ve reviewed them in class, and we’ve read example essays. What exactly are you having trouble understanding?’

Student: ‘I don’t know… everything?’

I used to jump to the conclusion that students with whom I had such interactions were inherently flawed, academic lost causes. But that’s a reductive explanation, and doesn’t get at the heart of the problem; it’s not just that they have trouble paying attention or are distracted by their phones or laptops in the classroom. The problem is their use of technology in general. Technology demands a significant amount of time and attention and has conditioned them to not question it. It takes up more and more of their bandwidth, and the net effect is lobotomising.

Consumed by technology that they cannot bear to disable or ignore, my students lose awareness of what’s going on around them. They don’t know what they’ve missed – often, they don’t know that they’ve missed anything. They’re still accountable for it, but such mindlessness has become an epidemic: a study from the Ohio State University found that walking while texting has caused a significant rise in injuries. In Chongqing in China, sidewalks contain a special lane for people who can’t be bothered to look up from their phones. And in the German city of Augsburg, there are traffic signals on the ground for people who would otherwise endanger themselves by failing to notice red lights.

Part of the reason people can’t seem to look up from their phones is that we’ve convinced ourselves we’re multitasking, rather than failing to focus (like the way I toggle between various browser tabs and apps even as I write this). A California State University study monitored middle-, high-school and college students who had been instructed to research something important for 15 minutes. Two minutes in, students’ focus started to wane as they checked messages, texts and various websites. The average student lasted six minutes before caving to the temptation to engage in social media. Despite being watched, students spent only approximately 65% of the allotted time studying. Given that most students spend far longer than 15 minutes trying to do coursework, it’s easy to see how little gets done, and how checking messages or opening up another browser tab would be increasingly difficult to resist, especially if we tell ourselves it’s related to work or study.

At the end of each semester, my students submit a portfolio that chronicles their work over the past 16 weeks. I ask them to reflect on what they’ve learned, both in terms of tangible skills and about their own tendencies. Students write insightful and honest self-analyses; they confess to all kinds of bad habits they’ve developed in college or perpetuated since high school, such as procrastinating, skipping proofreading or staying up all night playing video games.

Increasingly, students express dismay at their ability to manage time and to stay focused. Though I’m grateful on a daily basis that Facebook and cellphones weren’t around when I was in college, this isn’t a new problem. Students have always found more satisfying ways to spend time than writing essays and studying for tests; even with nothing urgently (or not so urgently) fun to do, they have always waited until the last minute. But now students who aren’t necessarily procrastinators, or who used to be able to focus on assignments, find it harder and harder to fight distraction.

This semester, a student who initially impressed me as a rising star in my class wrote the following in his final portfolio:

“I constantly procrastinate, leaving huge chunks of writing until the last minute, or sometimes until a few minutes past the last minute… Even now, on the last, easiest assignment, I left it until the last minute, and am still procrastinating. It’s 3 in the morning, and instead of consistently working on my portfolio, I’m watching a video review of a hammock. I’ve never even used a hammock. I have a serious problem in making myself do work, and even I’m not entirely sure why. Even when the work interests me, as [this class] does, and the work is important, I am still bizarrely capable of feeling absolutely no compulsion to work.”

It is almost like the student is describing a Body Snatchers scenario, getting taken over by forces he’s aware of but can’t seem to control. What are those forces, exactly? And can he – or anyone – really control them?

Sure, students can use one of many available products to curtail their online forays and curb their appetite for distraction. But these products block websites or internet use – they don’t block text messages or Skype calls, and they can’t induce focus. While it might sound easy enough to simply turn off a phone or leave it at home when heading to the library or to class, most people aren’t comfortable with that. After all, 75% of Americans take their phones into the bathroom. People between the ages of 18-24 check their phones an average of 74 times a day. But why?

The simple answer is that we’re obsessed, but that term requires unpacking. Even though it might make us anxious – the official term is ‘TechnoStressed’ – we feel we must constantly check our various accounts because we can. Many people are also driven by the fear of missing out (FOMO). Because of how much happens in any given instant, we’re missing something when we’re unplugged, and we’re often compelled to log back on to see what’s happened since our last visit, or to confirm that nothing has.

Cultural and professional expectations play into this behaviour as well. Employers expect responses to email at night and on weekends – as do students – and most of us feel pressured to oblige. This expectation causes a feedback loop. And as people become accustomed to getting immediate answers, they do less digging for information themselves. I can’t count how often my students email me to ask when my office hours are. I write back the same way every time: ‘Check the first page of the syllabus.’ They email me without checking to see if the syllabus has the answer because they can, because I’m supposed to be accessible and answer their questions. This is one of the main reasons I won’t get a smartphone. I would check my work email in bar bathrooms and feel compelled to answer such emails, thereby training students that such behaviour isn’t just acceptable, but fruitful. Back when I was in college, my only outside-of-class access to my professors was in office hours. Would I have trudged to my professor’s office to enquire when she held office hours?

Some researchers think that we’re addicted to our technology. Psychologists have for years debated whether to add Internet Addiction Disorder to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (Internet Gaming Disorder is currently in the ‘Conditions for Further Study’ section of the DSM). Advocates argue that internet addiction involves all the classic components of addiction: excessive use, withdrawal, tolerance and negative repercussions. But it’s tricky to distinguish between compulsion and addiction – some psychologists don’t believe that internet addiction is an actual disorder, but rather a consequence of boredom or unhappiness (similarly, television addiction isn’t an official disorder, either).

Subjects who exhibit excessive internet use often have conditions such as depression, so it’s difficult to isolate and examine internet use on its own. But research in China and South Korea in particular highlights the growing problem of excessive internet use. More than 210,000 children aged 6-19 in South Korea could require medication or even hospitalisation for internet addiction, and the country has trained counsellors to specifically address the problem. Roughly 10 million Chinese teenagers have been identified as internet-addicted; China has regulations discouraging online gaming for more than three hours a day. Like South Korea and China, the United States now has internet-addiction treatment and rehab programmes, such as reSTART near Seattle, the country’s first inpatient centre.

Much as drug addicts adapt their behaviour to obtain and use drugs, many people do the same with technology – we crave the way it makes us feel, and getting a fix gives us a rush. Psychologists believe that social media creates a ‘dopamine induced loop’ of craving and satisfaction. All we have to do is see that someone has given one of our Facebook posts the thumbs-up, and dopamine feeds our brain’s pleasure centre, satisfying the craving. When the effect wears off, we crave it again.

In addition to altering our bodies’ production of chemicals, smartphone use changes our brains. Measuring subjects’ brain waves, researchers at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland found significant differences between people who use smartphones and people who don’t. Because we text with our thumbs and swipe with our index fingers, smartphone users’ brains register more activity in the parts of the brain that correspond to these digits; these areas of the brain are also bigger. A University of Sussex study found that people who multitask across multiple devices have decreased grey-matter density in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), the region of the brain that controls emotional and cognitive functioning. We still don’t know whether a diminished ACC makes one prone to multitasking or multitasking changes the ACC. But if the latter, our brains could be changing, and scientists still don’t know whether for better or worse.

No matter what the technology might be doing to the brain, it’s become increasingly clear to me as a teacher that learning is impaired. I believe that texting is largely to blame for my students not knowing how to use possessive apostrophes, or even how they’re intended to be used. I get papers on the ‘planet Mar’s’, research about what happens at ‘doctors offices’, arguments about ‘robot’s effects’ on the economy. Today’s university students, accustomed to word-processing software with autocorrect, don’t actually know the rules of grammar, and don’t think that they’re important – at least, not until they lose points on a paper.

But that’s just one small example. A recent study from the University of Florida shows that what we read affects how we write, particularly when it comes to syntactic complexity. That explains why many college professors continue to note a decrease in students’ writing skills. Apparently, online content, which tends toward simplistic syntax, has a greater impact on student writing than do writing courses aimed at students.

An even bigger problem is the way that technology damages critical-thinking skills. Because knowledge is so ubiquitous, we don’t have to hone it as sharply and we don’t have to commit much to memory – we can just Google everything. Researchers from University College London report that readers skim information, rarely reread, and engage in something called ‘power browsing’ rather than actual reading. ‘The picture that emerges,’ the study reports, ‘is that most visitors to scholarly sites view only a few pages, many of which do not even contain real content, and in any case do not stop long enough to do any real reading.’ This could signal the emergence of ‘a whole new form of online reading behaviour… one based on skimming titles, contents pages and abstracts’. The development psychologist Maryanne Wolf at Tufts University in Massachusetts argues that: ‘We are not only what we read. We are how we read,’ and that our online habits might cause us to lose the ability to read closely, carefully and critically.

For the record, I use technology in the classroom every day – specifically, an LCD projector hooked up to my laptop to facilitate discussion and the evaluation of writing. My students submit their papers via an online site; I comment on them using Microsoft Word and then upload the comments. While I miss taking hard copies to the park to grade, this approach is eco-friendly, nothing gets lost, there are no disputes about whether or when something was turned in, and I can copy and paste examples from these submissions to use in class.

There are clear benefits to using technology and social media as tools, and I try to teach my students how to use them appropriately. They’re all required to create Twitter accounts and to follow publications, researchers, scholars, organisations and university departments in the field they’re researching. We tweet thesis statements and research questions to one another to force brevity and clarity. I teach them how to use Wikipedia for preliminary research, key terms, debated topics and a head start on sources. We investigate sub-Reddits and look for Facebook groups related to our topics. It doesn’t make sense to ignore or banish them from using these sites – they’re going to use them anyway, so they might as well learn how to do it responsibly and productively.

For a generation who grew up online, they know very little about assessing the content of the vast virtual world, and we talk at length about how to evaluate the validity of information found online. Regardless of whether technology ultimately proves to be a force for progress or for devolution, for connection or for isolation, for knowledge or for brainwashing, getting savvier about technology and its effects can only help.

My students investigate the questions raised in this essay during the seminars I give on writing and researching robotics and technology. As my students’ fingers move unconsciously across desktops, miming the texting or typing they desperately want to be doing, we talk about how technology has consumed us. The students write papers on internet addiction, the consequences of smartphone use, the internet of things, the dark side of Fitbits. And yet they actively demonstrate everything we discuss. One of my students acknowledged that she can’t avoid surfing the web if she uses her laptop in class, yet she doesn’t opt for paper and pencil.

I require them to conduct surveys, and many probe technology addiction among their peers. The results often indicate that students won’t admit to being ‘addicted’, but will confess to using their phones and computers for 12 hours a day. When we talk about technological unemployment, they vehemently insist that humans are better than machines, yet they worry about getting jobs. They recoil at the suggestion that humans might merge with machines. All your cellphones could be implanted into your bodies, I tell them. No more forgetting it or losing it – it’s right there, all the time.

But they’re not sold. Most of them look skeptically upon Juan Enriquez’s idea about Homo Evolutis, our next iteration, a species that can control its own evolution. But when I ask them to articulate humans’ uniqueness, or why technology shouldn’t become the Darwinian force of our development, they struggle to come up with reasons. Perhaps change scares them as much as it does everyone else, despite their age and relationship to technology. Whatever the reason, I want them to steer us away from the technopocalypse, not straight into it, although that’s a lot more complicated than reverting to snail mail or using an actual library with physical books.

As the cyborg anthropologist Amber Case argues, technology evolves us just as we evolve it; we are cyborgs already. While the term ‘cyborg’ conjures up science-fiction characters such as RoboCop and Iron Man, Case argues that devices don’t need to be implanted into our bodies for us to be connected to and unable to function without them. There’s no better example than the classroom, although a glimpse around the subway, a restaurant or a sidewalk indicates that it’s not just students who have effectively become cyborgs.

I try to teach students to make connections between ideas and to pull in unexpected sources, such as Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Prisoners in a cave are chained facing a wall upon which they see only the shadows of what happens around them. They never see anything directly, as they cannot turn their heads; language is a blur of background noise. Their whole world is the cave wall. One of the prisoners gets released and discovers the outside world; it’s overwhelming, incredible, full of wonders never imagined. He returns to his cave to share his discovery, but the other prisoners cannot recognise or understand him. Enlightened by knowledge incomprehensible to the others, the liberated prisoner exists now in a separate reality.

I ask my students how this allegory might apply to what we’ve learned about technology. Hands shoot into the air. ‘The people inside the cave represent people who don’t have technology, people who are stuck in the dark ages. The freed prisoner represents the way technology opens up another world,’ one student says, and the others nod. While that’s a perfectly valid interpretation, I prod them to think of the allegory in the reverse. They stare at me blankly. Finally, a quiet, thoughtful student who sits by herself raises her hand.

‘Well…’ she starts uncertainly, ‘you could say that the people in the cave are those obsessed with technology. The ones who play video games all day long, who send 100 text messages a day, whose virtual lives are more real than their actual ones. Perhaps they’re the ones in the dark, while the people who can put down their devices and walk into the sun are the enlightened ones.’ I want to applaud, to sob with relief, and to thank her for having the audacity to suggest that sometimes, we learn more when we power down our technology and look up. I glance around to gauge the others’ reactions, but most of the students are staring absently into space or clicking away on their keyboards, their inscrutable faces bearing no mark of change.

But there’s hope, and sometimes it arrives in forms I never expected, such as my cellphone policy. Some students have refused to sing or dance, making me half-wish I hadn’t put the policy in the syllabus in the first place. That sinking feeling of realisation that this is about to become ‘A Thing’ in front of a room full of people whose respect is crucial to my ability to do my job, that I can’t back down. Enforcing it has been pretty thorny a few times, but it’s also given me – and them – an opportunity to get creative.

When a non-native English speaker’s phone rings in class, I encourage singing in the native tongue. The rest of us have no idea about the lyrics or pitch – all we can do is listen in awe and appreciate how big the world is. I’ve heard songs in Dutch, Mandarin and Turkish: brief lessons in culture, courtesy of the policy. Once, a student whose phone rang happened to have his guitar with him, and he played an entire Bob Dylan song at the end of class. A kid this year did the robot dance, which was particularly appropriate given that it was in a research seminar on artificial intelligence.

My favourite story involves a shy student named Chris whose phone rang in the middle of my lecture. I told him to start thinking of the song he’d sing after I’d finished. But at the end of class, I’d forgotten about it – until another student, Aaron, reminded me, for whatever reason unwilling to let Chris leave the room unscathed. Without protest, Chris launched into the Foundations’ hit ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ (1968), the last song I expected a 19-year-old who rode a skateboard to class to know. During the first chorus, Aaron joined in. Pretty soon, the rest of the class was singing along, tapping the rhythm on their desks. Ears open, eyes on one another, not a phone in sight.

Source*

Related Topics:

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

How a Generation Lost Its Common Culture*

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

Children of Sydney’s Elite Attend School That Bans Screens in Classrooms*

Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD*

Warning from UK medical Doctors on Health and Safety of Wi-Fi and Mobile Phones

Smartphones Cause Shortsightedness*