If you have a bachelor’s degree, guess what?

Making Space For People Who Are Out Of the Spotlight
by Michel Martin
July 30, 2014
http://www.npr.org/2014/07/30/336538663/making-space-for-people-who-are-out-of-the-spotlight

If you have a bachelor’s degree or higher, if your annual household income is $60,000 or more, or if you have a passport, guess what? You are a minority, because most people don’t have those things.

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Tuna, Tiger Of The Ocean

A 12-day-old larvae that has developed teeth.

Farming The Bluefin Tuna, Tiger Of The Ocean, Is Not Without A Price
July 30, 2014
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/07/30/336339179/farming-the-bluefin-tuna-tiger-of-the-ocean-is-not-without-a-price

A tuna’s natural diet consists of other fish. Lots of other fish. Right now, there are tuna “ranches” that capture young tuna in the ocean and then fatten them up in big net-pens. According to Greenberg, those ranches feed their tuna about 15 pounds of fish such as sardines or mackerel for each additional pound of tuna that can be sold to consumers. That kind of tuna production is environmentally costly.

But Greenberg says the basic fact that they eat so much makes him wonder whether tuna farming is really the right way to go. It increases the population of a predator species that demands lots of food itself.

“Why would you domesticate a tiger when you could domesticate a cow,” he asks — or, even better, a chicken, which converts just 2 pounds of vegetarian feed into a pound of meat.

If farmed tuna really can reduce the demand for tuna caught in the wild, it would be worth doing. But it might do more good, he says, to eat a little lower on the marine food chain. We could eat more mussels or sardines.

To sleep: perchance to learn

The dreaming brain can produce complex language output.

To sleep: perchance to learn
Robert Stickgold
Nature Neuroscience  (September 2012) 15, 1322–1323
http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v15/n10/full/nn.3223.html

Not only can the sleeping brain perceive sensory information, it can learn from this information, leading to changed behaviors the next day: it can come to associate a sound with a pleasant or unpleasant odor and react, both while still asleep and after waking, with a deeper or shallower breath. But classic ‘sleep learning’ remains just a dream.

related:
Sounds during sleep may help you remember
2009
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120573613

Rasmussen syndrome

In rare cases, a lesion, usually identified by MRI and confirmed by biopsy, and in some cases by special autoantibodies, takes the form of a chronic focal encephalitis.
In 1958, Rasmussen described three children in whom the clinical problem consisted of intractable focal epilepsy in association with a progressive hemiparesis.
The cerebral cortex disclosed a mild meningeal infiltration of inflammatory cells and an encephalitic process marked by neuronal destruction, gliosis, neuronophagia, some degree of tissue necrosis, and perivascular cuffing. Many additional cases were soon uncovered and Rasmussen was able to summarize the natural history of 48 personally observed patients (see the often cited monograph by Andermann).

Adams & Victor’s Principles of Neurology, 10e
Chapter 16. Epilepsy and Other Seizure Disorders
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education.

The “summer slide”

In Asheville, N.C., Summer Vacation Lasts Just A Few Weeks
July 21, 2014
http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/07/21/333399980/in-asheville-nc-summer-vacation-lasts-just-a-few-weeks

It’s July, and students are returning after just five weeks of break. This public school is beginning a three-year experiment, running on a year-round schedule for the first time. The students will get the same number of school days as others in the district, just distributed differently: five weeks in the summer, three-week breaks in September and March, plus a winter holiday vacation.

A primary motivation for the change is to make sure kids don’t fall behind academically over the long summer break — a phenomenon known as the “summer slide.”

JOHNSEN: Cyrus, the assistant superintendent says, even if test scores don’t improve he still likes the idea of a year-round calendar. After all, the one we’ve got now is based on an agrarian lifestyle that most of us don’t live by.