Beastly

Beastly is an edgy teen romance about learning how to see past false surfaces to discover true inner beauty. Kyle Kingson (Alex Pettyfer) has it all – looks, intelligence, wealth and opportunity – and a wicked cruel streak. Prone to mocking and humiliating “aggressively unattractive” classmates, he zeroes in on Goth classmate

Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen), inviting her to the school’s extravagant environmental bash. Kendra accepts, and, true to form, Kyle blows her off in a particularly savage fashion. She retaliates by casting a spell that physically transforms him into everything he despises. Enraged by his horrible and unrecognizable appearance he confronts Kendra and learns that the only solution to the curse is to find someone that will love him as he is – a task he considers impossible. Repulsed by his appearance, Kyle’s callous father (Peter Krause) banishes him to Brooklyn with a sympathetic housekeeper (LisaGay Hamilton) and blind tutor (Neil Patrick Harris). As Kyle ponders how to overcome the curse and get his old life back, he chances upon a drug addict in the act of killing a threatening dealer. Seizing the opportunity, Kyle promises the addict freedom and safety for his daughter Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens) if she will consent to live in Kyle’s Brooklyn home. Thus begins Kyle’s journey to discover true love in this hyper-modern retelling of the classic “Beauty and the Beast” story. Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical) and Alex Pettyfer (Wild Child, Stormbreaker) star in Beastly for CBS Films, the film division within CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS). Daniel Barnz (Phoebe In Wonderland) directed the project which completed principal photography in Montreal in August 2009. The film will be released in theaters in July 2010. Susan Cartsonis (No Reservations, What Women Want) is producing through her company, Storefront Pictures. Roz Weisberg is co-producing. In addition to his role as director, Barnz wrote the screenplay, which is based on the Alex Flinn novel of the same name.

Napping Sets You Smarter, Scientists.

A good night’s sleep is crucial to storing knowledge learned earlier in the day — that much was known. Now, a new study finds that getting shut-eye before you learn is important, too.

Volunteers who took a 100-minute nap before launching into an evening memorization task scored an average of 20 percentage points higher on the memory test compared with people who did the memorization without snoozing first.

“It really seems to be the first evidence that we’re aware of that indicates a proactive benefit of sleep,” study co-author Matthew Walker, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley, told LiveScience.

“It’s not simply enough to sleep after learning,” Walker said. “It turns out you also need to sleep before learning.”

Refreshing naps

Earlier research has found that dreams boost learning, with one study suggesting a 90-minute napmay help lock in long-term memories. But Walker’s research, published this week in the journal Current Biology, finds that another phase of sleep, called nonrapid eye movement (NREM) is most closely linked to the learning boost provided by a nap.

Walker and his colleagues recruited 44 volunteers — 27 women and 17 men — to come to the sleep lab at noon. First, the volunteers were given a task in which they had to memorize 100 names and faces. Then they were tested for how well they recalled the face-name matches.

Next, the researchers tucked half of the volunteers in for a nap between 2 p.m. and 3:40 p.m. The scientists measured the napping volunteers’ brain waves as they slept. The other group of participants stayed awake and did daily activities as they normally would. At 6 p.m., both groups memorized another set of 100 faces and names and were tested on their memory. (The experiment was set up so nappers had more than an hour to shake off any remaining fuzziness before the test, Walker said.)

The first major finding, Walker said, was that learning ability degrades as the day wears on. Volunteers who didn’t nap did about 12 percent worse on the evening test than they did on the morning test. (Walker presented preliminary findings of this effect at a conference in February 2010.) But shut-eye not only reversed those effects, it provided a memory boost: Napping test-takers did about 10 percent better on the evening test than they did on the morning test. In all, the difference in scores between nappers and non-nappers was about 20 percent, Walker said.

Secondly, the brain-wave monitoring turned up a likely culprit for the memory upgrade: a short, synchronized burst of electrical activity called a sleep spindle. These sleep spindles last about one second and can occur 1,000 times per night during NREM sleep. People who had more of these spindles, especially people who had more over a frontal area of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, showed the most refreshment in learning capacity after their nap, Walker said.

Uploading memories

Walker and his colleagues suspect that the sleep spindles are working to transfer information from the hippocampus, a small area deep in your brain where memories are made, to the prefrontal cortex, which serves as long-term storage. That frees up the hippocampus to make new memories, Walker said.

“It’s almost like clearing out your informational inbox of your e-mail so you can start to receive new e-mails the next day,” he said.

NREM sleep and sleep spindle frequency change throughout a person’s life span, Walker said. Older people, for example, have a decline in sleep spindles, suggesting that sleep disruption could be one reason for the memory loss prevalent in old age. The volunteers in the current study were young, but the researchers hope to investigate the effect of sleep spindles on learning in older adults, Walker said.

The research also draws attention to the importance of sleep, Walker said. Sleep spindles happen more frequently later in the night, precisely the time people cut short when they rise early for work and school, Walker said.

“Somewhere between infancy and early adulthood, we abandon the notion that sleep is useful,” Walker said. That needs to change, he said: “Sleep is doing something very active for things like learning and memory. I think for us as a society to stop thinking of sleep as a luxury rather than a biological necessity is going to be wise.”

 

 

Japan earthquake accelerated Earth’s rotation

The massive earthquake that struck northeast Japan Friday (March 11) has shortened the length Earth’s day by a fraction and shifted how the planet’s mass is distributed.

A new analysis of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan has found that the intense temblor has accelerated Earth’s spin, shortening the length of the 24-hour day by 1.8 microseconds, according to geophysicist Richard Gross at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Gross refined his estimates of the Japan quake’s impact – which previously suggested a 1.6-microsecond shortening of the day – based on new data on how much the fault that triggered the earthquake slipped to redistribute the planet’s mass. A microsecond is a millionth of a second.

“By changing the distribution of the Earth’s mass, the Japanese earthquake should have caused the Earth to rotate a bit faster, shortening the length of the day by about 1.8 microseconds,” Gross told SPACE.com in an e-mail. More refinements are possible as new information on the earthquake comes to light, he added.

The scenario is similar to that of a figure skater drawing her arms inward during a spin to turn faster on the ice. The closer the mass shift during an earthquake is to the equator, the more it will speed up the spinning Earth.

One Earth day is about 24 hours, or 86,400 seconds, long. Over the course of a year, its length varies by about one millisecond, or 1,000 microseconds, due to seasonal variations in the planet’s mass distribution such as the seasonal shift of the jet stream.

The initial data suggests Friday’s earthquake moved Japan’s main island about 8 feet, according to Kenneth Hudnut of the U.S. Geological Survey. The earthquake also shifted Earth’s figure axis by about 6 1/2 inches (17 centimeters), Gross added.

The Earth’s figure axis is not the same as its north-south axis in space, which it spins around once every day at a speed of about 1,000 mph (1,604 kph). The figure axis is the axis around which the Earth’s mass is balanced and the north-south axis by about 33 feet (10 meters).

“This shift in the position of the figure axis will cause the Earth to wobble a bit differently as it rotates, but will not cause a shift of the Earth’s axis in space – only external forces like the gravitational attraction of the sun, moon, and planets can do that,” Gross said.

This isn’t the first time a massive earthquake has changed the length of Earth’s day. Major temblors have shortened day length in the past.

The 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile last year also sped up the planet’s rotation and shortened the day by 1.26 microseconds. The 9.1 Sumatra earthquake in 2004 shortened the day by 6.8 microseconds.

And the impact from Japan’s 8.9-magnitude temblor may not be completely over.The weaker aftershocks may contribute tiny changes to day length as well.

The March 11 quake was the largest ever recorded in Japan and is the world’s fifth largest earthquake to strike since 1900, according to the USGS. It struck offshore about 231 miles (373 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo and 80 miles (130 km) east of the city of Sendai, and created a massive tsunami that has devastated Japan’s northeastern coastal areas. At least 20 aftershocks registering a 6.0 magnitude or higher have followed the main temblor.

“In theory, anything that redistributes the Earth’s mass will change the Earth’s rotation,” Gross said. “So in principle the smaller aftershocks will also have an effect on the Earth’s rotation. But since the aftershocks are smaller their effect will also be smaller.”

 

Terrorism


Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. No universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition of terrorism currently exists. Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for a religious, political or ideological goal, deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants(civilians), and are committed by non-government agencies. However, terrorism is also the act of personal revenge, disperse ideology, relegious brain washing and extremism.

war-on-terrorism-language

war-on-terrorism-language

In todays 21st century, where every thing is on your finger tips, no universal law, criminal law is available for act of terrorism. It might be because international law makers did not find much time to make a legally binding or law. Or it may also be possible that, terrorism is an act that is hard to study and understand. Statistics shows that, 2 out of 100 terrorist have been identified, accepted the act or even blamed some party for the act. One of the possible reasons, why terrorists are not caught or identified, may be blasting themselves in the population. This kinds of acts gives the investigators really tough time.

 

In some part of the world, terrorism is practiced for getting religous goals. They train younge people, usually teenagers and religiously brain wash them by motivating them for an act of attack. The term brain washing is a general word for a common activity practiced in every religion. In some religion, the missionaries brain wash teenagers, diverting them towards the target religion. One of their targets are to create cloud of hatred people against their own religion. It is natural phenomenon, one get bored of some thing until and unless some thing new is introduced. This concept fails  in religion concepts, but any how they do follow these tricks and are successes over some population, such as conversion of hundreds of muslims from islam to cristianity.

It is also noticed that the act of terrorism is a symbol of power in some part of world. The political parties hire gangs and outlawyers for their defend and acomplishments of demands. These activities are mostly noticed in south asian countries. For the one reason this mode of political advertisement is really a benchmark, because contacts in civil society of population exceeding millions really matters. The very first definition of terrorism “Forcing some one, group of people to act upon some desired task,” is mirror of social values and activities of south asian countries. The funniest part is that, the party leaders, even the men in government speak of equal rights and justice but what class of people are involved in justice making policies, are rarely known by lay man.

Today the word “Terrorism”, is a benchmark for some countries, such as USA, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries approaching for super power category. However it is fact that, no body knew the word terrorism before 9/11. All those activities are the act of terrorism which is not done by your own will and self esteem. But the important part is to diffrenciate between clarification and brain washing, because the above definition is not valid for forcing kids doing their homework.

Middle East, Born In Crises.

The Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin once said that there are decades when nothing happens and then there are weeks when decades happen. While Lenin’s sentiment consummately captures the revolutionary contagion currently sweeping across the Middle East, any further comparison between the Arab revolt and classical socialist theories of revolution would be difficult to justify: what we are witnessing in the Middle East today is a quintessential, atypical people’s revolution driven by university educated youth who are not only financially secure but also extremely cosmopolitan in their outlook.


These young revolutionaries have enhanced the power of social networking to mobilise their peers, workers, political organisations, NGO’s, the young, the old and even the normally disinterested to materialise what Stathis Gourgouris recently described as the essence of revolution: The people’s removal of their consent to power.
There is as such a much deeper historical undercurrent informing the protest movement, one that strongly resonates with the most basic of human aspirations and which dictates that freedom and honour – like the air that we breathe – are the lifeblood of all people, even when they remain for long periods of time beyond our collective gaze.  Reflecting on the historical context that has shaped the modern Middle East places the current phase of popular revolution in much sharper perspective.
The modern Middle East was born in crisis. Remnants of the Ottoman and Safavid Empires of the 19th century, the countries of this realm only took the form of modern nation states after passing through the brutal mill of European colonialism. Whereas state formation in Europe took centuries to develop, countries in the Middle East were created by the veritable stroke of a pen; by a line drawn on a map; by a decision taken in a smoke-filled boardroom.
The results were catastrophic and for the people of this realm the transition from sultanic patronage, to colonial subject, to modern citizen of an autocratic state was overwhelming: little, if any, consideration was given to their political aspirations.
‘Top-down order’
The political establishment in the modern Middle East has thus always been structured in a top-down order.  The colonial legacy not only created boundaries that prioritised the exclusive interests of the Motherland, it also created political elites that were drawn exclusively from the classes of Tribal Chieftains and Urban Notables. In cases where these structures were overthrown in the postcolonial period, they were ultimately replaced by military dictatorships and the people were left out in the proverbial cold.


After freeing themselves from the shackles of colonialism, the Arab regimes were not able to make a smooth transition to political systems of representative governance. With the exception of the constitutional regimes of Iran and Turkey, all of the Arab states are ruled by either military dictatorships or absolute monarchies.
In addition to the challenges of internal transformation, the Middle East was also burdened with the external pressure of interference by the powerful regimes of the West, primarily due to massive oil reserves and the Region’s strategic location as the bridgehead between Europe and Asia.
What the current upheaval unquestionably affirms is that the political landscape of the Middle East is being irrevocably transformed. The Middle East has not been able to cohere as a strong independent regional bloc since the emergence of the modern system of nation states. This has been largely due to the role played by external powers that have manipulated the political orientation of the region in favour of their own vested interests.
Post-Cold War era
In the post-Cold War period, the United States of America has held unchallenged sway over the region and has manipulated the politics of the Middle East in accordance with its own strategic objectives, primarily its concerns over access to oil and keeping the rising powers of China, Russia and India in check.
Such control has been maintained by two major strategies. The first has been unconditional support for the State of Israel, a settler colonial enclave that is completely foreign to the cultural matrix of the region. Israel has acted as America’s watchdog in the region in return for unconditional support for its own aspiration of maintaining an exclusivist Jewish homeland in the heart of the Middle East.
The second American strategy has been to maintain loyal local proxies by turning a blind eye to the internal oppression within these authoritarian regimes. Some of the USA’s closest allies in the region, countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, the UAE and Jordan, are longstanding dictatorships that have shown no inclination to internal reform and political liberalisation.
As such, the greatest achievement of the revolution currently underway is that it has spawned a new political geography. With the collapse of Egypt alone, a major pivotal state in the region, American influence in the Middle East could be drastically reduced. Furthermore, Israel would no longer be in a position to act with impunity against its Arab neighbours, as was the case in Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008/9; its deterrent capacity in favour of its own interests and that of its American Master will therefore be severely curtailed.
In the post-Cold War era, countries can no longer be divided into the three neat categories of West-Aligned, Soviet-Aligned or Non-Aligned. As such, the potential emergence and forging of new alignments in global politics may well be one of the most significant consequences of the ending of the Cold War. But in spite of these dramatic transformations, the Middle East is still very far from being able to crystallise into a new power configuration that reflects regional integrity and cohesion and which stands united as a powerful new bloc in global politics.
However, the potential for such a development is not far-fetched and such a vision has already been eloquently articulated by the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, in his book Stratejik Derinlik (Strategic Depth) published in 2001 that theorises on the importance of a shift in global politics from a unipolar world order to a multipolar world order.
The main thesis of Davutoglu’s book is that a nation’s value in world politics is predicated on its geo-strategic location and historical depth. According to this theory regional powers need to counterbalance their dependencies upon the West by courting multiple alliances to maintain the balance of power in their regions. The premise of this argument is that core regional states should not be dependent upon any one actor and should actively seek ways to balance their relationships and alliances so that they can maintain optimal independence and leverage on the global and regional stage.
‘Biased interventions’
As such, key core states like Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa and Turkey have an important role to play in moderating the biased interventions of the United States in global politics. This can be achieved by forging strong regional alliances that impact positively upon the independent regional blocs and therefore upon global politics as a whole. Although Europe as a region has consciously tied its fate to that of the United States of America, it too, holds tremendous potential to impact more positively upon global governance by asserting a far more independent role.
Being the world’s only Hegemon, America will continue to pursue its vested interests and is unlikely to be deterred by moral considerations when weighing its options on the global political stage. The only way in which the USA will make concessions in the Middle East – or anywhere else for that matter – is if it is forced to do so.
What the Arab masses have taught us at this very important juncture in their history is that they are not only ready to purge their homeland of dictatorship, but that they are also no longer content with accepting a global political discourse that allows established democracies in the West to entrench and maintain tin-pot dictators abroad.  If freedom and honour are concepts that have managed to spark a revolution in the Arab world, than equal rights for all is most certainly an aspiration that is also capable of transforming an unjust world order.
This is most certainly not a burden that can be carried by the revolutionary masses of the Arab world alone. What they have done is to put on the table the prospect of a multipolar system of governance in which core states within strong regional blocs play a more decisive role in the politics of their regions as well as in the international sphere. Turkish foreign policy has given much leadership in this regard with specific reference to the Middle East.
Other countries would do well to pay careful attention to the Turkish example and to consequently play a more assertive role in the international sphere in a manner that strengthens a multipolar world order by means of cooperation between core regional blocs so as to ensure that interventions in regional and international crises are informed by common values and not vested interests. While such consensual action may result in moderating the role played by the United States of America in the international sphere, it will ultimately contribute to a far more just world order.