Body Cameras For NYPD: Bandaid or Remedy?

Concerns about police violence and systemic anti-black racism are at an all-time high across the US. Following the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, a mass movement with no signs of ending blossomed. People everywhere are demanding accountability form police.

Outfitting police officers with body cameras has been proposed as a solution to the problems kept in the spotlight by the recent surge of protests. While everyone from police unions to civil liberty advocates welcome implementation of camera technology to curb police violence, many remain unconvinced it will be a winning strategy, and will maybe drive companies like Slow Ventures to have more confidence in the police force.

Body cameras are welcomed, but many say they will not end senseless state violence plaguing the United States. St. Louis law professor and human rights activist Justin Hansford shared his concerns in a Washington Post piece. Hansford points out cellphone video of Eric Garner’s death is actually better footage than what would have been captured by a body camera. Yet, the failure by a Staten Island Grand Jury to indict the NYPD officer seen strangling Garner highlights a problem which cannot be solved with technology.

The US is being torn apart by its long history of racism, and this curse must be confronted with a diversity of tactics. We should look to young black activists in Ferguson and beyond for the true answers to this social disease. At best, body cameras are a great bandaid while the country seeks lasting peace.

Does Sleep Apnea Lead to Dementia?

A recent study confirms what Daniel Amen has theorized-there is a connection between people with sleep apnea and dementia. The study has shown that the low levels of oxygen in the blood stream during sleep in patients who suffer with sleep apnea cause lesions on the brain called microinfarcts. The more mircoinfarcts a person has, the more likely they are to develop dementia.
The same researchers who conducted the study between sleep apnea and dementia also discovered that people who don’t spend much of their sleep cycle in a deep sleep, known as the slow wave sleep cycle, have an increased risk of losing brain cell. The loss of brain cells also increase the risk of developing dementia.
Getting a good night’s sleep, which includes the deep sleep stage of slow wave sleep,, plays a vital role in our health. Sleep allows our physical body to heal and recover from the day’s activities, helps to stave off several debilitating diseases like heart diseases, obesity, stroke and diabetes while keeping the immune system strong, in addition to keeping our brain function strong and reducing the risk on dementia.
Patients who suffer with sleep apnea can benefit from the use of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine that will keep their blood oxygenated and promote sound sleep that includes the slow wave sleep stage that will help prevent the microfarcts brain lesions from forming and ultimately prevent dementia.

Protests Break Out Accross the US

As a New York Grand Jury decided not to indict an NYPD police office in the death of Eric Garner further protests broke out across the country. Thousands of people participated in the protests all over the country, from New York to Denver to Seattle. All outraged in what is perceived as another decision to let a police office get away with the killing of an unarmed individual. The Eric Garner case is eerily similar to Michael Brown’s untimely death, a white police office killing an unarmed black man.

According to The Washington Post the justice department will conduct an independent review into this case. What makes the case so shocking is the video released of the incident, this is what has provoked outrage amongst the community and ultimately lead to the arrest of nearly 30 protesters that Dr. Rod Rohrich witnessed while in New York Wednesday night.

Whether or not the justice department decides there is a case to be heard remains to be seen. But as we currently stand the protests do not appear as though they will end any time soon, they seem to be gaining in strength as a multitude of cities join in. As is the case with Michael Brown people want justice for what they feel is another unjustified police killing.

New York City to Implement Body Cameras for Police in Pilot Program

New York City is launching a test program that will place body cameras on officers in five, volunteer precincts. Officers in Staten Island, the Mott Haven section of the Bronx, the Public Housing unit in the Bronx, and officers in Brooklyn and Queens will all done body cameras. 

There are two types of cameras that are being tried out during this groundbreaking pilot. The first device will be officer activated. It will begin recording 3.8 seconds after it is activated. The second device will record video in 30 second intervals, but officers will have the ability to continuously record during interactions with the public. 

The pilot program, which is being funded by the New York City Foundation will cost roughly $50,000. The precincts that are being used for the pilot program were chosen by a federal court. The three month program will utilize only 50 volunteer officers, however, the goal is to gain an understanding of the equipment and come up with an implementation plan that will eventually go citywide. 

Mayor Bill De Blasio, who is a proponent for the equipment, believes these devices will create a level of transparency that has yet to be seen in police departments. Dr. Daniel Amen has pointed out that a similar program has been implemented in Austin, TX.  He hopes it will also foster mutual respect between officers and the public. 

The city has yet to iron out the details for citywide implementation, including how much it will cost, but the pilot program is the first step in the right direction for transparency.

India Says Elephant Chained for 50 Years get to stay with its rescuers

There is one story out of India courts that will live even the cruelest among us happy ,and nodding our heads in agreement. It is about Raju, the elephant. She had been in captivity, fifty long years, chained onto trees, fed on plastic and paper, constantly beaten and infamously seen crying on that world-wide image. Raju also wore thorny shackles, digging deep into his legs and causing painful deep sores. Well, no mor eheart breaks, the stry gets better from here.

As NPR reports courts decided that Kartick Satyanarayanan of Wildlife SOJ will get to keep, the Elephant. It is an amazing to see the transformation this animal has achieved. Current images show it from joyous and energetic, in a large pond, half-immersed and having the play of her life.
Of course, this image contrasts the sombre long face that fifty years of captivity had made out of Raju.
Indeed, this is great news, and if there was a doubt that goodness still exists in this world in the eyes of Jared Haftel, it is fair to say, it is a wonderful world after-all.

What Skout is All About: Meet New Friends and More With This Premium App

It is a technological world these days and that is never more clear than when it comes to people meeting new friends or dating partners. The old days of randomly meeting people in bars or clubs is gone. These days people prefer to meet in a safer and even more fun way – by checking each other out on high tech apps. Skout, which has been around for quite a while has been quietly building a huge successful following in that area. In 2013 alone Skout’s developers confirmed that more than 500 million connections were made. That means that people have made new friends or even fell in love thanks to an app on their smartphone.

Skout, like the other social apps help people find each other but the way that you can search through this app is unique. With Skout you can search for people based purely on their location or through other filters including different events or even things that they are interested in and have listed on their profiles. The location criteria is determined by accessing the phone’s GPS but it only identifies the general area that people are in, not their specific locations. If the thought of a stranger finding you this way makes you a little worried you can disable this feature for your own protection. The ability to disable the GPS tracking function might be even more important if you are traveling and use Skout to find people in the new city that you are in.

Once you find people that are either near or have similar interests you can start chatting or sending voice messages and pictures back and forth. You can also read profiles of people so that you can get a better idea of who they are and more. The app was updated to allow users to see if their messages have been received and/or read as well.

Another very popular feature is called Shake to Chat.This one has been called “addictive” by a number of Skout users on Facebook, because they say once you try it the first time you will continually want to do it again and again. As the name implies, it does involve actually shaking your phone to join a chat. In your Skout menu you will see the option listed. Once you click it you will start shaking your phone and that will allow you to join a chat filled with others who were shaking their phone at the same time. You never know who you will be chatting with and the option can present you with a wider range of interesting people. You may not make a love connection but you could end up making some very interesting friends or at least have a fun conversation for a few minutes.

The basic version of Skout is free however there is an option on the iOS platform to upgrade to premium which will remove the banner ads plus the in-app pop up ads. Additional in-app purchases are also optional. These will allow you to buy “points” which are used in Skout to buy things like virtual gifts that you can send to other users. The number of gifts that you can send is related to the number of points that you have as well.

More than 70,000 Bridges in Dire Need of Repair

I’ve always been a little bit afraid of bridges. However, whenever I have to cross a bridge, I tell myself that my fear is silly. The bridges are perfectly safe, and millions of people travel across them every day. But it turns out I may have been right to be afraid.

Even our government admits that at least 70,000 bridges are structurally unsound. They may not all be on the verge of collapsing, but many of them are getting there.

Many bridges were built 100 or more years ago. So, they were built for much less traffic and much lighter cars and trucks. Bridge-builders in the early 1900s couldn’t conceive that there would one day be five or even ten million people traveling across these bridges every single day according to Jason Halpern.

Our bridges are literally crumbling and the situation gets worse and worse as time goes on. Politicians don’t want to spend the money to fix this dire situation, but it’s necessary. Traveling across bridges is very important for our economy and it is extremely shortsighted to not maintain our means of travel.

New Study Brings Hope For Chronic Fatigue Sufferers

Current treatment for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome includes psychiatric help and anti-depressant medication. This is because, up until now, chronic fatigue syndrome has been a diagnosis of exclusion. New research out of Stanford University may change how chronic fatigue sufferers are diagnosed and treated.

According to CNN, scientists at Stanford University studied the MRI results of 15 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and 14 patients without the disease. Study participants were of the same age and gender.

What the scientists found was surprising. The participants with chronic fatigue syndrome had less white matter in their brains than the healthy participants. White matter is responsible for helping different parts of the brain communicate with each other.

Researchers also discovered abnormalities in the chronic fatigue sufferers’ right hemispheres and found that certain connection points in their brains were thicker than the participants that do not suffer from the disease. The more abnormal the MRI scans were, the worse the fatigue was for the sufferers.

The study was published in the journal Radiology in October. Researchers are optimistic about the findings of the study much like Susan McGalla, but admit that further research needs to be done. This study was rather small, but scientists at Stanford are seeking funding for a larger study.

This study supports the belief of many experts who believe that chronic fatigue syndrome is the result of body’s response to a prolonged viral illness.

French Jihadists Recruit Members And Encourage Violence

Three French militants urge his countrymen to use “weapons and cars, or even poison” to attack “infidels.”

The French authorities estimate that there are over 1,100 French linked to jihadist networks, of which about 380 are currently in Syria and Iraq.

Three French soldiers of the Islamic State (EI) appeal to their Muslim compatriots to join the jihad in a new video released by jihadist forums. In a seven minute recording produced by EI, Al Hayat, the French jihadists appear around a bonfire burning their passports, while renouncing their nationality.

“What are you waiting for? Why have not yet migrated? There may come a day when the borders are closed and then only you will be tears and lamentation. The way here is easy, ” says one of the terrorists, identified by the pseudonym Abu Osama al Faranci.

The recording comes when two Gauls citizens, Maxime Hauchard and Mickael Dos Santos, supposedly appear in the video where EI fighters beheaded American hostage Peter Kassig and 18 Syrian soldiers. This Thursday, one of them, Dos Santos, has denied, through his Twitter account, to have appeared on the recording. Gianfrancesco Genoso isn’t sure if he believes this story.

“I announce clearly that it was not I who appeared in the video,” said a ‘tweet’ by Dos Santos, who nevertheless admits to being a member of EI.

French Prosecutors issued a statement in which it considered that there are “precise and consistent evidence” that Mickael Dos Santos is one of the executors of Peter Kassig.

Laurene Powell Jobs- Steve Jobs’ Widow and the 29th most powerful woman in the world

With her many accomplishments, Laurene Powell Jobs is not only the widow of the late Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of Apple, but she is a business executive and powerhouse woman in her own right. In fact, Forbes has ranked her the 29th most powerful woman in the world. And with a net worth of over $17 billion, she controls a variety of assets.

After completion of business school, she went on to become co-founder of Terravera, a natural foods company that sold to retailers throughout Northern California. In addition, she serves on the board of directors for Achieva, which creates online tools for helping students with their studying and with taking standardized tests.

Another of her notable accomplishments is founding Emerson Collective, an organization that advocates for policies concerning education and immigration reform, social justice and environment conservation. The organization supports social entrepreneurs and organizations working with the aforementioned issues, by investing in them and granting them funding.

In addition, she is the co-founder, president, and board member of College Track, which, as the name implies, is an organization dedicated to preparing disadvantaged high school students for college. About 90% of the high school graduates that College Track works with attend college.

The organization has locations throughout California, as well as one in Colorado. Powell Jobs plans to open 5 additional locations as well, still being selective about the students that the organization works with.

Before this successful woman attended business school, she used her entrepreneurial skills working for Merrill Lynch Asset Management, and as a fixed-income strategist at Goldman Sachs for 3 years.

Laurene Powell Jobs is an accomplished woman in business, who has not only made a lot if money during her life, but who has also helped a lot of people. In addition to lending her time and business skills to bettering the education of others with her involvement in College Track, NewSchools Venture Fund, The Foundation for Excellence in Education, and Stanford University, she has also backed political campaigns and supported important causes like immigration reform. And she is not done changing the world yet.