Last week, August 12, several countries, including Liberia, commemorated the International Youth Day to honor the actions of young people around the world to improve their well-being and that of their communities. During the said week, Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia in close collaboration with the Catholic Media Center, Radio Veritas launched ;“Youth Media Education Program”(YMEP).In sic with the theme for this year’s IYD: “Youth Civic Engagement” and in preparation for the Conference on Youth Involvement in Peace and Security, Amman-Jordan, to which the Executive Director of MOP-Liberia has been selected from a list of over ten thousand applicants across the globe, MOP Liberia organized schools debate on highlighting the role as well as the meaningful involvement of young people in peace and security. The theme of the debate: “Should young people be involved in peace and security issues?”We agreed that in actualizing the role of young people in peace and security, it is essential to deal directly with the issues of poverty, cronyism and corruption. Youth should first ask themselves if they are part of the problems or the solution and if they have done enough for their school and society, whether their attitudes and behaviours are in tune with national development.We also agreed the only way to defend peace is to sustain it. Young people, they argued play a cardinal role in maintaining peace and security, therefore, should be meaningfully involved.We concluded our debate and dialogue on the motion that for peace and security to prevail over conflicts, violence and war, government, policy makers and implementers must invest in social security and commit to a strategic partnership with young people.We must teach young people to live in peace and promote a culture that engages youth in poverty alleviation programmes, such as vocational and literary skills development. The issues of corruption, cronyism has to be dealt with at all level. We must also educate the population, especially those in positions of authority on what to do to take the lofty SDGs from rhetoric to reality. As Aristotle said: Good habits formed at youth make all the difference”Messengers of Peace (MOP) – Liberia is keen to empower young people to unleash their potentials and form habits that put them in the right position. We cannot and must not be seen to encourage corrupt practices. Young people must be proud of their achievements and strive for excellence.Peace and Development in Liberia, especially as we cope with the aftermath of Ebola and the countdown to an Ebola free country is essential and achievable if we address issues of poverty, cronyism, bribe and corruption.Our Ebola Educates programme continues and we seek your support. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to the very important visitors to new MOP office located on Broad Street and look forward to others as we partner to eradicate Ebola from our country.Until next week, when we come to you with our concluding article on: “Ebola Educates: Poverty, Cronyism, Corruption and Development-Part IV”, Peace First, Peace above all else, May Peace prevail on earth.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Source:https://aasldpubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/hep.30315 3d illustration of diseased liver. Image Credit: Explode / Shutterstock According to lead author Ramon Bataller, associate director of the Pittsburgh Liver Research Centre this had been speculated before but had never been proven. He said that it was always wondered why people in Russia or Wisconsin drink more than others and the answer has been that because the regions are colder. He said that this study connects not only alcohol consumption and colder climate but also the weather and alcoholic liver cirrhosis. Experts have said that drinking leads to a feeling of warmth because alcohol can increase the blood flow to the skin. Alcohol use and cold climate with lack of sunlight are also associated with increased depression rates, experts opine. By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDNov 20 2018A new study has shown that people who live in cold and dark regions tend to be heavy drinkers. The data comes from participants of around 193 countries and shows that there is a connection between weather, alcohol consumption as well as alcohol associated liver disease. The study results appear in the latest issue of the journal Hepatology. Further Reading The study shows that cold climate and lack of sunlight in associated with increased alcohol use as seen from data correlated from World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Meteorological Organisation. The researchers note that with decrease in total hours of daylight and average daily temperatures, the alcohol intake person also tends to rise as does the percentage of population that drinks alcohol. There is also a significant rise in binge drinking as the temperatures plummet and days shorten.The researchers have suggested that there should be higher pricing and stricter laws regarding alcohol use and advertising in the winter months to prevent alcohol use. Studies have shown that no amount of alcohol is safe for consumption. Alcohol use has been linked to myriad of diseases including those of the liver as well as several cancers.Following this study the WHO is also all set to release new data on alcohol consumption across Europe at a meeting in Edinburgh. The data shows that nearly half of all adult male population are at risk of short and long term health and social problems associated with harmful drinking. What is liver disease? Liver disease causes Liver disease diagnosis Liver disease treatment
Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 14 2018A randomized trial by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center researchers indicates that magnesium optimizes vitamin D status, raising it in people with deficient levels and lowering it in people with high levels.The study reported in the December issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is important because of controversial findings from ongoing research into the association of vitamin D levels with colorectal cancer and other diseases, including a recent report from the VITAL trial. It gave confirmation to a prior observational study in 2013 by the researchers that linked low magnesium levels with low vitamin D levels.The trial also revealed something new — that magnesium had a regulating effect in people with high vitamin D levels. The research provides the first evidence that magnesium may play an important role in optimizing vitamin D levels and preventing conditions related to vitamin D levels.Qi Dai, MD, PhD, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, the study’s lead author, described the ideal level as being in the middle range of a U-shape because vitamin D at this level has been linked to the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease in previous observational studies.However, vitamin D was not related to cardiovascular disease in the recent VITAL trial. He and Martha Shrubsole, PhD, research professor of Medicine, Division of Epidemiology, are investigating the role that magnesium may play with cancer as part of the Personalized Prevention of Colorectal Cancer Trial.”There’s a lot of information being debated about the relationship between vitamin D and colorectal cancer risk that is based upon observational studies versus clinical trials,” Shrubsole said. “The information is mixed thus far.”Related StoriesVitamin D supplement does not prevent type 2 diabetes in adults at high risk, study findsWinter prevents the Swiss population from producing daily doses of vitamin DLow vitamin D associated with potentially harmful vaginal bacteria in pregnant black womenThey became interested in a role for magnesium because people synthesize vitamin D differently with levels of the vitamin in some individuals not rising even after being given high dosage supplements.”Magnesium deficiency shuts down the vitamin D synthesis and metabolism pathway,” Dai said.The randomized study involved 250 people considered at risk for developing colorectal cancer because of either risk factors or having a precancerous polyp removed. Doses of magnesium and placebo were customized based on baseline dietary intake.”Vitamin D insufficiency is something that has been recognized as a potential health problem on a fairly large scale in the U.S.,” Shrubsole said. “A lot of people have received recommendations from their health care providers to take vitamin D supplements to increase their levels based upon their blood tests. In addition to vitamin D, however, magnesium deficiency is an under-recognized issue. Up to 80 percent of people do not consume enough magnesium in a day to meet the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) based on those national estimates.”Shrubsole stressed that the magnesium levels in the trial were in line with RDA guidelines, and she recommended dietary changes as the best method for increasing intake. Foods with high levels of magnesium include dark leafy greens, beans, whole grains, dark chocolate, fatty fish such as salmon, nuts, and avocados. Source:http://news.vumc.org/2018/12/14/study-shows-magnesium-optimizes-vitamin-d-status/
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 23 2019Tobacco isn’t the only thing being smoked in the Deep South, and for many, it’s only half of their habit.Marijuana, long thought to be a gateway drug to harder substances, turns out to be popular among cigarette smokers, with rates of co-use of the two substances increasing among adults from 2003-2012. Researchers don’t yet know how much of a problem that could pose for people trying to quit tobacco.As more states move to legalize medicinal marijuana and some to decriminalize recreational use, a better understanding is needed of how co-use of marijuana affects quit attempts by smokers.To learn more, a team of addiction investigators at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) led by Erin A. McClure, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, conducted an online survey of those who had used both marijuana and tobacco within a 30-day period about their smoking habits. Their results were published online on November 27, 2018 in Addictive Behaviors.”We focused on marijuana and tobacco because of the high prevalence of their co-use,” says Saima Akbar, first author on the article. “We don’t fully understand how these substances interact and what the implications are for treatment.”The MUSC team found that more participants used marijuana and tobacco sequentially than simultaneously. For example, more participants used a tobacco cigarette as a “chaser” to marijuana than smoked joints mixing both marijuana and tobacco, known as spiffs.The study also found that the degree to which marijuana and tobacco use were interrelated differed greatly by user. However, 26 percent of users reported they had smoked most of their cigarettes around the time they were using marijuana or were high. They were more likely to have a greater tobacco dependence and to smoke more cigarettes per day.”So, if somebody’s trying to quit smoking cigarettes, but they always use marijuana and tobacco together, it’s probably going to be much, much harder for them if they are still using marijuana than for somebody who uses both, but their use is not related in any way,” says McClure.The finding also raises the question of whether smoking tobacco after marijuana use enhances its subjective effects. More than 50 percent of those surveyed reported using tobacco cigarettes as a chaser. However, another 35 percent reported not doing so. It is possible that co-users of marijuana and tobacco who feel a more intense high because of the tobacco use would be more likely to use them closer together. They could have a harder time quitting smoking than those who did not feel such an enhanced high. This possibility requires further study.Related StoriesNicotine delivery devices are harmful and do not help smokers to quitStudy: Tobacco and alcohol usage are common in British reality television showsCo-use of cannabis and tobacco associated with worse functioning, problematic behaviorsWhat is clear from the researchers’ findings is that everyone’s habit is a little different, and cessation programs will need to be personalized if they are to be effective.McClure hopes to focus on tobacco cessation as she continues her research but also identify the people who will likely struggle with quitting due to their marijuana use. She then plans to further tailor treatment to these individuals to improve the likelihood that their smoking cessation efforts will be successful.”We need to tailor a treatment strategy for each individual rather than doing this one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t always work very well,” says McClure.For instance, in an age of medical marijuana and increasing legalization, not all users wanting to quit tobacco will want to discontinue marijuana as well. For some, with a lesser degree of interrelatedness between their use of the two substances, this may be possible. But for those with a higher degree of interrelatedness, dual cessation strategies could be needed.McClure is pursuing funds for a prospective clinical trial that would further explore how marijuana co-use affects tobacco cessation and compare quit attempts and cessation rates in co-users and tobacco-only users.”That trial would help us identify the people who are going to have more difficulty with quitting smoking cigarettes because of their marijuana use, and how we can tailor treatment for them,” says McClure. “It would also help clarify how we can tailor treatment for those not interested in quitting marijuana so that they still have the best chances of stopping cigarette smoking.” Source:https://web.musc.edu/about/news-center/2019/02/22/a-joint-problem-investigating-marijuana-and-tobacco-co-use
Explore further “That would never happen in San Francisco,” she said. When she lived in the city by the Bay, “everyone I knew was in tech.”Argyros said there’s “a little bit of groupthink in Silicon Valley. There’s a lot of people who have similar jobs, they read similar things. But New York is really too big to be dominated by one industry.” As New York City waits to hear whether it’s been chosen as the site for Amazon’s second headquarters, recent moves by another tech giant, Google, to expand its footprint in the city are helping to legitimize New York’s claim to be Silicon Valley East. Google is reportedly close to a reaching a $2.4 billion deal to add a landmark Meatpacking District building to its already substantial New York campus.The building, a block-long former Nabisco factory named after its ground-floor upscale food mall, Chelsea Market, sits across the street from Google’s current New York City headquarters, a massive, art deco, former shipping terminal that also occupies an entire city block.Google already leases space in Chelsea Market, which also contains offices for Major League Baseball and the local cable news channel NY1, among other tenants.If the sale goes through, it would be among the priciest real estate transactions for a single building in city history. It would also give Google a remarkable Manhattan campus to supplement its still-growing main headquarters in Mountain View, California.Representatives for Google did not respond to requests for comment about the company’s New York expansion plans.Google already occupies another former Nabisco cookie factory just west of Chelsea Market. And, across the street from that factory, it has also announced plans to lease another 320,000 square feet of space at Pier 57, an office and retail complex built on a pier over the Hudson River. This March 2, 2016, file photo shows the Google office building on Ninth Avenue in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. Google has been quietly expanding its footprint in the city and is reportedly close to reaching a $2.4 billion deal to add the landmark Chelsea Market building in the Meatpacking District to its already substantial New York campus. It’s the latest example of a big-name tech firm expanding in New York City, which has, for years, been trying to stake a claim as Silicon Valley East. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) In this Dec. 4, 2017, file photo, people walk by the the Google office building on Ninth Avenue in New York. Google has been quietly expanding its footprint in the city and is reportedly close to reaching a $2.4 billion deal to add the landmark Chelsea Market building in the Meatpacking District to its already substantial New York campus. It’s the latest example of a big-name tech firm expanding in New York City, which has, for years, been trying to stake a claim as Silicon Valley East. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) A report by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found that New York City had 7,600 tech firms in 2016, an increase of 23 percent since 2010. The report found that the average salary for tech employees in the city was $147,300. Julie Samuels, executive director of TechNYC, a trade association of New York tech companies, said the presence of large companies like Google and Amazon has created “a robust ecosystem” where young engineers and others move to New York to work for the large companies and then leave after a few years to found startups.Tasso Argyros, the founder of three-year-old startup ActionIQ, agreed. “One of the best things that happened for New York was when Google opened up their office here,” he said.Argyros said people in Silicon Valley told him he was “a little bit crazy” when he moved to New York in 2013. This May 15, 2012, file photo shows the landmark Chelsea Market building in New York’s Meatpacking District. Google, which has an office building across the street on Ninth Avenue, is reportedly close to reaching a $2.4 billion deal to add the Chelsea Market building, which stretches to 10th Avenue, to its already substantial New York campus. It’s the latest example of a big-name tech firm expanding in New York City, which has, for years, been trying to stake a claim as Silicon Valley East. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) This March 2, 2016, file photo shows the Google office building on Ninth Avenue in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. Google has been quietly expanding its footprint in the city and is reportedly close to reaching a $2.4 billion deal to add the landmark Chelsea Market building in the Meatpacking District to its already substantial New York campus. It’s the latest example of a big-name tech firm expanding in New York City, which has, for years, been trying to stake a claim as Silicon Valley East. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) A New York Post real estate writer this week dubbed Google’s slice of Manhattan “Alphabet City,” a reference to the name of both Google’s parent company and a neighborhood on Manhattan’s east side.The pending Chelsea Market deal was first reported by the real estate publication The Real Deal.The Google expansion comes as other tech companies, including Amazon, Facebook and Spotify, are also growing in the city. In addition to considering New York among the 20 finalists for its new eastern U.S. headquarters, Amazon recently signed a deal to bring 2,000 employees to a building, formerly occupied by The Associated Press, on Manhattan’s far west side.New York has been pitching itself as an alternative to Silicon Valley for years. And while tech many never rival financial services and Wall Street as the most important private-sector employer and economic driver in New York, it has established a legitimate footprint that goes beyond a few big-name companies. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Google expansion plans helping to turn NYC into tech hub (2018, March 4) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-google-expansion-nyc-tech-hub.html But his data-focused marketing company seeks to attract big companies as clients and it’s helpful to be in the New York area with its high concentration of Fortune 500 companies.”It’s much easier to be close to your customers,” he said.Samuels and Argyros said another advantage to New York is that tech isn’t the only game in town.Samuels said she was pleased to learn that she and her husband are the only parents in her 3-year-old son’s preschool class who work in tech. In this May 15, 2012, file photo, visitors walk through archways carved out of the brick walls at New York’s landmark Chelsea Market building in the Meatpacking District. Google, which has an office building across the street on Ninth Avenue, is reportedly close to reaching a $2.4 billion deal to add the Chelsea Market building, which stretches to 10th Avenue, to its already substantial New York campus. It’s the latest example of a big-name tech firm expanding in New York City, which has, for years, been trying to stake a claim as Silicon Valley East. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) Google to offer public Wi-Fi in NYC neighborhood (Update)
Citation: How we’re designing musical instruments with the help of disabled musicians and VR (2019, January 16) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-musical-instruments-disabled-musicians-vr.html Most new digital technologies tend to be designed with an able-bodied user in mind. The first desktop computers required fine motor skills to navigate software menus using a mouse, and mobile phones need users to press buttons, swipe screens, and so on. To use such technology a person needs to be fairly dexterous. Explore further This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. For our clarinettist we focused on the VIVE controllers, as they are more tactile than visual. They can also track physical positions in a space, which meant the clarinettist was able to position sounds in the 3-D Sonic LAB by having the VIVE controller strapped to his instrument.Inclusive thinking and designThese bespoke VR instrument designs featured in a showcase concert in November 2018, where disabled musicians performed alongside musicians from the Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble.The audience was positioned in a circle closely surrounding the musicians in order to enhance the immersive experience of the performance space.The disability equipment market worldwide is estimated to increase to more than US$8 billion by 2020, and sales of disabled equipment in the UK have increased over 93% over the last ten years. All technologies, including VR, can be inclusive if the perspective of disabled people is part of their design. Our approach reveals how new technologies can be developed, that actively engage disabled musicians in music making and demonstrate a commitment to quality of life for disabled musicians. We will continue to design instruments that can be used in VR, but we will now focus on using more affordable systems, with a view to creating a virtual reality ensemble of disabled and able-bodied musicians. How to dance to a synthetic band Virtual Reality technology opens up new experiences and possibilities in music for people with disabilities. Credit: Performance Without Barriers, Author provided The instrument was developed with able-bodied musicians in mind, so we designed it to take into account different types of mobilities. This led to one of our musicians with cerebral palsy playing a new VR instrument that was specifically designed to take into account her expressive upper body movements. It did not require her to use fine motor precision in her arms or fingers, which she does not possess. Virtual Reality technology opens up new experiences and possibilities in music for people with disabilities. Credit: Performance Without Barriers, Author provided Provided by The Conversation VR headsets are necessarily about what you see. However, we found that the tactile feedback from the hand-held controllers – through which a user accesses a menu and press commands to reach content – allowed this particular musician to play the instrument by feeling and hearing it, rather than seeing it through the headset. Not having to rely on the headset also meant she could maintain visual contact with other musicians during the performance.Another example of our collaborative VR design was working with a blind performer. Key to this musician were his virtuosic skills on the clarinet. The idea was to build on his expertise and adapt and enhance his musical performance skills using VR technologies.VR experiences are so concentrated on the visual experience that often they disregard the inherently immersive nature of sound, but it’s all around us, a proper 360° experience. Clearly, a visual headset was not relevant or helpful to this blind musician. We needed to focus on how we could use the other immersive qualities of a space for a music performance.Our team is based at the Sonic LAB in Queen’s, an immersive and fully customisable 3-D sound space – often referred to as the iMAX for the ears – we decided to adapt the VIVE technology to this existing context. In our Performance without Barriers research group, we design digital musical interfaces with disabled musicians in mind. This work engages disabled performers from the start of a new technology and looks at the specific abilities they have. In this way, technologies develop in tandem with them, taking into account their mobility, needs and creative interests.Current VR technology is designed for the able bodied, but more importantly it often allows only for passive interactions – listening to music performances, such as Elton John’s 360 concert, for example, or “riding” a rollercoaster. We were more interested in how disabled musicians can use VR technologies in an active and performative way.Working togetherOur research team consists of a diverse group, including electronic engineers, computer scientists, sonic arts researchers, immersive content designers, a soloist ensemble and a local group that helps disabled musicians perform and compose their own music independently. Together with these musicians, we teamed up with a US software developer, who was designing a VR musical instrument called the “Infinite Instrument”, running on a 360° VR headset called HTC VIVE. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.