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Archive for January 22, 2012

Boko Haram’s Rise in Nigeria Sparks Civil War Fears

January 22, 2012 2 comments

voanews.com

A survivor of a bomb attack rests at a hospital bed in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, January 21, 2012.

Photo: Reuters
A survivor of a bomb attack rests at a hospital bed in Nigeria’s northern city of Kano, January 21, 2012.

Friday’s deadly bomb attacks in Nigeria’s second largest city, Kano, are the latest in a series of spectacular strikes by the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram. The coordinated series of assaults on police stations and other government offices killed at least 200 people. The rise of Boko Haram is sparking concerns that Africa’s most populous country may be edging closer to civil war.

Nigeria’s Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka predicted it; political analysts are regularly asked about it; and the Kano attacks prompted the Leadership newspaper to run as its weekend edition headline, “Finally, Boko Haram Launches War.”

The radical Islamist Boko Haram has made headlines with increasing frequency lately for a series of audacious terrorist strikes. Among them, a Christmas Day bomb blast that Read more…

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Study of the Day: Soon, You May Download New Skills to Your Brain

January 22, 2012 Comments off

theatlantic.com

New research suggests it may be possible to learn complex tasks with little to no conscious effort, just like in The Matrix. Whoa, indeed.

PROBLEM: Unlike Neo in The Matrix or the titular superspy in the comedy series Chuck, we can’t master kung fu just by beaming information to our brain. We have to put in time and effort to learn new skills.

METHODOLOGY: Researchers from Boston University and Japan’s ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories designed a decoded functional MRI neurofeedback method that induces a pre-recorded activation pattern in targeted early visual brain areas that could also produce the pattern through regular learning. They then tested whether repetitions of the fMRI pattern caused an improvement in the performance of that visual feature.

RESULTS: The experiments successfully demonstrated that Read more…

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January 19, 2012 : Coldest Day Globally In At Least 10 Years

January 22, 2012 1 comment

real-science.com

Global temperatures are plummeting, and the temperature recorded by AMSU satellite of 251.858K on January 19 was the coldest of any day since at least 2002.

January 19, 2012 : Coldest Day Globally In At Least 10 Years

http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/data/amsu_daily_85N85S_ch05.r002.txt Read more…

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Iranian trucks carrying missile materials intercepted en route to Syria

January 22, 2012 Comments off

todayszaman.com

Turkish authorities have seized five trucks suspected of carrying arms from Iran to Syria over the past few days. (Photo: AA)
20 January 2012 / TODAY’S ZAMAN, ANKARA
Four Iranian trucks were stopped two weeks ago in Turkey’s Kilis province on the border with Syria and were found to be carrying raw materials used in the making of ballistic missiles, Turkish daily Taraf has reported.

Four trucks with Iranian license plates were intercepted by Turkish authorities two weeks ago at the Öncüpınar Border Gate in Kilis province, which lies to the north of Syria, a country to which Turkey has been blocking the delivery of arms shipments since pro-democracy protests turned bloody in the Arab country.

Although the contents of the trucks were not publicized by customs officials, Taraf stated that on Friday it obtained reports confirming the trucks’ dangerous load. According to the daily, one of the trucks was carrying four six-meter-long cylindrical tanks and heat-resistant materials, while the other three were carrying 66 tons of sodium sulfate, all of which were on Read more…