-Boredom Lowers Intelligence 2003-07-25Posted by clype in Science.
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A scientist claims going on holiday makes you stupid. Mr.Siegfried Lehrl, of the University of Erlangen and Nuremberg in Germany, says sunbathing and relaxation lowers your IQ. He told Berliner Kurier [Newspaper]:
'Fourteen days of complete rest can be enough to bring your IQ down by 20 points'.
Mr.Lehrl agrees people who work hard all year need some time to relax. But he says they should avoid getting bored while on holiday, since boredom affects intelligence. He told the newspaper:
'Boredom is a warning signal when we feel a lack of mental challenge'.
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Scientists have improved the performance of musicians by up to 17 per cent by teaching them to control their thoughts. The scale of improvement among 'The Royal College of Music' students taking part in the study was equivalent to one grade. Researchers from 'Imperial College London' used a technique called neurofeedback to help the students change their brain activity.
Sensors were attached to their heads that filtered out specific brainwaves. These influenced a video game displayed on a screen, which the students learned to control by altering particular thought patterns.
The training led to improvement in a number of areas, including musical understanding, imagination, and communication with the audience.
Two experiments were conducted, involving a total of 97 students. In both, students were assessed on two pieces of music before and after the neurofeedback sessions by a panel of expert judges.
Different types of neurofeedback focusing on enhanced attention and deep relaxation were used.
A number of students were also put through more orthodox physical exercise and mental skills programmes. Neurofeedback was in all cases found to improve performances to a greater degree than other forms of training.
But students given the 'deep relaxation' neurofeedback protocol improved the most.
Their improvement ranged between 13.5 per cent and 17 per cent.
Researcher Dr.Tobias Egner, from Imperial College London at Charing Cross Hospital, said:
'This is a unique use of neurofeedback.
'It has been used for helping with a number of conditions such as attention deficit disorder and epilepsy, but this is the first time it has been used to improve a complex set of skills such as musical performance in healthy students'.
The findings have been published in the journal 'Neuroreport'.
-Speed Hump Hate 2003-07-23Posted by clype in Intolerance.
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It is rare indeed that Tory leader Mr.Iain Duncan Smith and Middle England can claim common political ground with Mr.Jonathan Miller, Ms.Beryl Bainbridge and Ms.Joan Bakewell.
So what unites them?
— They all oppose speed humps.
‘They shouldn’t be allowed. They’ve ruined our lives. They’ve ruined our peace,’
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A fire has damaged part of 'The British Library', which is home to millions of pounds worth of irreplaceable books and manuscripts.
An electrical fault is thought to have sparked the small blaze in a basement maintenance plant area at the new library building in St.Pancras, London, at about 13:30 yesterday 2003-07-22.
A contractor was taken to hospital after suffering an electrical shock, although his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
The London Fire Brigade said the fire was out before crews arrived, and a spokesman for 'The British Library' insisted there was no danger to any of the treasures.
The Magna Carta, Lindisfarne Gospels and Diamond Sutra — one of the oldest Oriental manuscript texts – are included in the most valuable collection of its kind in the world. The library spokesman said:
'The fire occurred in the plant area so no books or valuable collection items have been damaged although there is a lot of smoke in the area.
'Procedures have been put in operation to ensure that there is no risk of fire spreading to any other area. 'There is no danger to the collection. 'The most valuable collection items are kept in special storage areas.
'It is unlikely smoke could have caused any damage to those areas'.
'The British Library' new building in Euston has been open for five years. It has six stories above ground and eight below. The fire broke out on the first level basement plant area.
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A major excavation of the wreck site of 'The Mary Rose' which could uncover a host of secrets about Henry-8E's warship has been launched.
The archaeological dives at the request of 'The Ministry of Defence' form part of a survey ahead of plans to regenerate Portsmouth naval base.
'The Royal Navy' recently announced a 200 million GBP regeneration of Portsmouth so it can be home to the next generation of warships, particularly the new aircraft carriers. But the current route into the naval base is not deep enough for the new super-carriers — which will be twice the size of existing aircraft vessels — and the navy is planning to dredge a new approach into the harbour.
The navy's preferred route crosses the wreck site of 'The Mary Rose' which is a few kilometres out into the Solent from the harbour mouth.
The dives being launched are primarily a clearing operation prior to a full archaeological and environmental survey. Mr.John Lippiett, chief executive of the 'The Mary Rose Trust', said it would enable them to excavate important parts of the ship which have remained buried since the raising of the hull in 1982. He said:
'These are very exciting times indeed for "The Mary Rose". This is the most thorough examination by divers of the wreck site since 1982.
'We are preparing the wreck site to clear it up for the survey but really, we might find all sorts of things.
'We don't want to raise expectations too high but, at the same time, it's the excitement of the unknown that is spurring us on'.
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Police cars in New Orleans [USA] could soon have glass to stop bullets being fired in, but which allows officers to fire out.After months of research, New Orleans City Council has found a company in Florida [USA] that manufactures such a product.
Councillors made a commitment to find such glass after an officer was shot dead in his patrol car in the city last August reports the Times Picayune.
The 'one-way glass' blocks bullets from entering a vehicle from the outside, but allows officers 'to return fire from the inside', according to a report submitted to the council last week.
Wilson Howard, the council's Assistant Research Director who headed up the search for the glass, said:
'The return fire can move through the glass from the officer, and the glass will reseal itself'.
The council says it could cost about 8 000 GBP/ vehicle to fit the windscreen, the two front doors and the inside glass partition.
The city has been recommended it fit-out at least 125 police cars. [Total cost of 1 million GBP]