Sam Parnia practices resuscitation medine. In other words, he helps bring people back from the dead — and some return with stories. Their tales could help save lives, and even challenge traditional scientific ideas about the nature of consciousness.”The evidence we have so far is that human consciousness does not become annihilated,” said Parnia, a doctor at Stony Brook University Hospital and director of the school’s resuscitation research program. “It continues for a few hours after death, albeit in a hibernated state we cannot see from the outside.”
It sounds supernatural, and if their memories are accurate and their brains really have stopped, it’s neurologically inexplicable, at least with what’s now known. Parnia, leader of the Human Consciousness Project’s AWARE study, which documents after-death experiences in 25 hospitals across North America and Europe, is studying the phenomenon scientifically.
Parnia discusses his work in the new book Erasing Death: The Science That Is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death. Wired talked to Parnia about resuscitation and the nature of consciousness.
A new climate model predicts more snowfall for Earth’s polar regions and highest altitudes but less overall for the world, U.S. researchers say.
The projections are the result of a climate model developed at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J.
The model suggests the majority of the planet would experience less snowfall as a result of warming due to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a decline that could spell trouble for regions such as the western United States that rely on snowmelt as a source of fresh water.
Scientists at Princeton University who have been analyzing the model said the greatest reductions in snowfall in North America would occur along t
Species: Onychomys torridus
Habitat: The arid badlands of south-western US and adjacent regions of Mexico, in burrows stolen from other rodents
In the dark expanses of the Sonoran desert in the US, a terrifying creature stalks the night, searching for fresh meat. Anything will do: crickets, rodents, tarantulas - the nastier the better.
Even the poisonous scorpion cannot escape the savage monster’s little pink paws. It fights bravely, stinging its attacker on the nose. To no avail. The mouse ignores the painful venom and cruelly breaks the scorpion’s tail by pummelling it into the ground, then bites its head and feasts on its flesh. Throwing its head back, the murderous animal howls at the moon.
No, it’s not the mythical Chupacabra. It’s the southern grasshopper mouse (Onychomys torridus), the only carnivorous mouse in North America. Its unique biology and resistance to scorpion venom may one day help researchers treat human pain disorders. But for now, it’s just after blood.
In an era of terrorist plots and WMD proliferation, this news may come as a slight relief: Among countries with the highest risk of terrorist attacks, the United States ranks “relatively low,” according to a new study.
The University of Maryland collected data on 104,000 instances of terrorism in 158 nations, and ranked the likelihood of each country witnessing a terrorist attack within its borders.
Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan earn the top positions. The U.S. slides in at No. 41.
“In global terms, this is a relatively low level of activity,” according to the study, first reported by The Washington Times .
[REPORT: DHS Spent Money on Zombie Simulation]
“North America is the least-likely region to be involved in a terrorist attack, though this is not the general impression among many of its residents,” says Steve Killelea with the Institute for Economics and Peace, which published the study using statistics and analysis from the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism .
Now for some much needed good news:
NEW YORK (JTA) — The recent conflict in Gaza and Israel casts a vivid spotlight on the need to strengthen relations between Jews and Muslims in countries around the world. It is crucial if we are to avoid importing the violence that has rocked the Holy Land to our communities.
The good news is that there is significant building of grass-roots Muslim-Jewish ties in North America, Europe and other regions — an ongoing process that is yielding positive results.
In the United States, mainstream Jewish organizations spoke up against the demagogic whipping-up of anti-Muslim hysteria like the cries in 2010 against the so-called Ground Zero mosque in New York City. American Jewish groups also spoke up against the passage this year by several state Legislatures of patently unconstitutional bills to “ban” Shariah law.
At the same time, prominent American Muslim leaders have spoken out publicly against Holocaust denial by representatives of Iran, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Before Gilad Shalit was released from captivity, American Muslim leaders also signed an open letter calling for his release.
Across the ocean, top European Muslim and Jewish leaders held a groundbreaking conference in Paris two months ago at which they vowed to work together to reduce conflicts between Jews and Muslims across the continent. They also pledged to join forces to oppose efforts in many countries to limit ritual practices that both faiths hold dear, such as circumcision and ritual slaughter.
Why has this blossoming of Muslim-Jewish relations in the Diaspora been taking place even as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has reached its nadir? […]
- Mitt Romney’s meandering statements and plain falsehoods about the auto industry finally caught up to him earlier this week when he told a big whopper that cannot be squared with the truth during a speech in Defiance, Ohio. He said that Jeep, the American icon and great Toledo institution, “is thinking of moving all production to China.”
Everyone paying attention to the election called him on it. Chrysler Group LLC has set the record straight, stating it has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America.
Defiance is an Ohio auto town whose most important employer is the General Motors (GM) plant that was saved by President Barack Obama. Voters there recognize that Romney’s claim is just plain foolish, because Jeep is expanding, not contracting — it’s been all over the Ohio press for a year.
Whether or not Mitt Romney makes it to the White House, his candidacy signals that Mormons have arrived in American political life. Just as President Obama’s nomination and election marked a sea change in the country’s tortured racial history, so Romney’s nomination has changed religious boundaries that have persisted for more than 160 years. No religious group has been more persecuted by the U.S. government, or more derided by other faiths present in the country, than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or the LDS Church, as many Mormons refer to it). Indeed, it was to seek a secure home to practice their heterodox beliefs, including polygamy, that Mormons moved from upstate New York to Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and finally the Salt Lake Valley in present-day Utah. Led by the irrepressible organizer Brigham Young, the Mormons did more than settle open land. They created a unique blend of communalism and capitalism, industriousness and religious faith, that withstood threats from Native Americans and, later, from the U.S. Army.
Today, some religious fundamentalists continue to rail against Mormons, while coastal sophisticates scoff at their earnest approach to life, religion, and family. Yet the methodical Mormon way, which stresses education, ambition, and charitable giving, has succeeded in ways equaled by few religious groups. Mormons enjoy levels of education and wealth higher than the national average, for example. Some 54 percent of LDS men and 44 percent of women have secured postsecondary education; the numbers for the general American population are 37 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Mormons also enjoy the nation’s highest rate of charitable giving.
And while many religious groups in the United States—including the Catholic and mainline Protestant churches, along with most non-Orthodox Jewish denominations—are struggling with declining numbers, the LDS Church is one of the nation’s fastest-growing. Its American membership jumped from 4 million to 6 million between 2000 and 2010. Its global growth over the same period was 45.5 percent, and today, most of its total membership of 14 million resides outside North America. The fastest growth is occurring in Brazil, the South Pacific, and Central America.
The slight problem with North America calling itself the ‘New Middle East’, is that overseas investors will treat it as such. Cue China. The latest $15.1bn offer for Canadian based Nexen, at a whopping 61% premium over its share price, follows a long line of Chinese resource investment in North America. CNOOC has form, holding a stake in MEG Energy and outright ownership of Opti Canada. Its Chinese partner in resource acquisition, Sinopec, has just snapped up international stakes in Talisman, having acquired Addax Petroleum in 2009. The ambitious Chinese outfit holds stakes in Syncrude and Devon Energy, with bids on the table for Daylight Energy - not to mention a white knight bid to help Chesapeake out of a deep shale gas hole. To complete the set, PetroChina has sunk $4bn into Canadian oil sands and British Columbia gas plays. China has even pumped $17bn into American markets since 2010 to keep the donkeys nodding. You get the picture: ‘Seven Sisters’ has become ‘Three Chinese Brothers’ as far as North America is concerned.
But it’s not just in the US and Canada where Beijing has been strutting its stuff in the Americas. They are serious players in Venezuela, Bolivia and Colombia, not to mention Brazil, where China is set to be one of the biggest overseas investors in pre-salt developments. It’s already extended $10bn cash for oil loans to Brasilia, while Sinopec took large stakes in Galp Energia in 2011. Sinopec swept up Repsol’s Brazilian holdings for $7.1bn in 2010, alongside Sinochem’s purchase of the Peregrino oil field from Statoil. It was no coincidence that Premier Wen Jiabao dropped in on Argentina in June 2012 with a view to plugging Ms. Kirchner’s hydrocarbon gaps. The list could go on (and on), but it’s the overall strategic point that needs to be made: China sees the Americas as a vital place to do business to grow (and hedge) its stake in the global energy game.
A hundred years ago, archaeologists thought Native Americans came to North America only 5,000 years ago. That belief changed in the 1920s and 1930s as researchers started finding stone projectile points associated with the fossils of mammoths and giant bisons—animals that went extinct more than 10,000 years ago. For decades, the oldest known points dated to 13,000 years ago. Called Clovis points, they contained characteristic “flutes,” or long, concave grooves, where a spear locked into place.
More recent evidence reveals humans reached the New World, via the Bering Strait, by at least 15,000 years ago. These early Americans weren’t making Clovis points. Last week, archaeologists announced in Science another example of pre-Clovis technology.
The tools come from Oregon’s Paisley Caves. Dennis Jenkins of the University of Oregon and colleagues determined people were living in the area by at least 14,000 years ago based on the radiocarbon dates of human coprolites (fossilized dung) found in the cave. They also found projectile points of the same age or slightly older than Clovis points. Known as the Western Stemmed Tradition, these points are narrower, lack flutes and require a different chipping method to make than Clovis points.
The largest volcanoes on our planet may take as little as a few hundred years to form and erupt.
These “supervolcanoes” were thought to exist for as much as 200,000 years before releasing their vast underground pools of molten rock.
Researchers reporting in Plos One have sampled the rock at the supervolcano site of Long Valley in California.
Their findings suggest that the magma pool beneath it erupted within as little as hundreds of years of forming.
That eruption is estimated to have happened about 760,000 years ago, and would have covered half of North America in its ash.
Such super-eruptions can release thousands of cubic kilometres of debris - hundreds of times larger than any eruption seen in the history of humanity.
Eruptions on this scale could release enough ash to influence the global weather for years, and one theory holds that the Lake Toba eruption in Indonesia about 70,000 years ago had long-term effects that nearly wiped out humans altogether.