Archive for October, 2015


Can we, as adults, grow new neurons? Neuroscientist Sandrine Thuret says that we can, and she offers research and practical advice on how we can help our brains better perform neurogenesis—improving mood, increasing memory formation and preventing the decline associated with aging along the way.

Neural stem cell researcher Sandrine Thuret studies the way adult brains create new nerve cells in the hippocampus — a brain area involved in memory and mood. Full bio

“It’s like having a global 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year search warrant running on whole  societies, including Australia.”

Senator Scott Ludlam

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Australia accessed private internet data gathered by the NSA even more than Britain, according to a previously unreported document released by Edward…

As Mental Health Week 2015 draws to a close, here’s an enaging and succinct short on Mindfulness…

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“Australia is one of the most vulnerable developed countries in the world to climate change impacts. This is already posing very significant challenges to food production. Food prices will continue to go up, the quality of food could be compromised and the seasonality of food could change as the climate continues to warm and weather patterns become more unpredictable. Many of our favourite foods, including milk, fruit, vegetables, wine and beef are already being affected by climate change and these impacts will grow as weather extremes get worse.”

The Climate Council’s Professor Lesley Hughes

The Tree:

Climate change represents a clear and growing threat to Australia’s food security, according to a new report from The Climate Council. Titled Feeding a hungry nation: climate change, food and farming in Australia, the report shows that rising temperatures and lower rainfall have already affected crop yields, and both yields and quality will continue to decrease as climate change drives more frequent and intense extreme weather events, such as bushfires and drought. As agricultural commodities are worth roughly $50 billion a year, and the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector employs 2.6 per cent of all Australians, the impact on Australia’s economy will likely be great – particularly if action to address climate change remains inadequate. The Climate Council warns that strong, urgent action to transition to a low carbon economy is needed, and if undertaken will – like more efficient use of water resources and protection of farmland from coal mining – help Australia secure its food supply while tapping into the vast co-benefits of climate action.

After marathon negotiations in Atlanta, leaders from 12 nations cement pactwhich coalition of critics say will raise the price of essential drugs, drive industrial scale agribusiness, and threaten workers rights

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by Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Amid a last minute scramble, leaders from the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries announced Monday that they had reached agreement on a sweeping trade deal, one that critics, including US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, say will slash standards and protections for both consumers and workers—with impacts to be felt across the globe.

The agreement, known as the Trans Pacific Partnership (or TPP), which would tie together as much as 40 percent of the world’s economy, has for nearly 8 years been negotiated in secret. Though details of the compromise were not yet revealed early Monday, critics said that—minutia aside—the global trade pact will certainly be a boon for corporate power…

“TPP is a deal for big business,” said Nick Dearden, director of the UK-based Nick Dearden,Global Justice Now.

“Wall Street and other big corporations have won again. It is time for the rest of us to stop letting multi-national corporations rig the system to pad their profits at our expense.”
– Bernie Sanders

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was also quick to condemn the deal. Saying he was disappointed but not surprised by the “disastrous” agreement, Sanders added: “Wall Street and other big corporations have won again. It is time for the rest of us to stop letting multi-national corporations rig the system to pad their profits at our expense.”

The compromise was reached after five days of round-the-clock negotiations in Atlanta, Georgia. U.S. President Barack Obama reportedly “spent recent days contacting world leaders to seal the deal.”

The negotiations had been extended after talks got stuck over the issue of how long a monopoly period should be allowed on next-generation biotech drugs. The compromise reportedly reached between the U.S. and Australia “is a hybrid that protects companies’ data for five years to eight years,” the New York Times reports, falling short of the 12 years desired by U.S. negotiators…’

::: click on through for this piece in full @ CommonDreams.org :::

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News…

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Climate change is unfair. While rich countries can fight against rising oceans and dying farm fields, poor people around the world are already having their lives upended — and their human rights threatened — by killer storms, starvation and the loss of their own lands. Mary Robinson asks us to join the movement for worldwide climate justice.

Mary Robinson served as president of Ireland from 1990 to 1997, and as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002. She now leads a foundation devoted to climate justice. Full bio
Without a clear plan for all forces in the region working together to stop ISIS, there is a huge risk of inflaming the situation to a point where there is a direct confrontation between Russian forces and American proxies, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Foreign Affairs spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said 01/10/15…

“Australia needs to get our planes out of Syria. We’re only adding to the chaos and confusion, and putting more lives at risk. The Liberal Government couldn’t articulate a strategy or exit plan when this involvement first began, and this mess we’re in is the result.

“There is no clarity around this alliance. Nuclear-armed states with an already strained relationship are proceeding on an ad-hoc basis. Already we’ve seen the consequences of this, with Russian bombs seemingly striking US-backed rebels, not ISIS.

“This is a tinderbox set to explode. Airstrikes from all sides must cease until the anti-ISIS forces have a shared understanding of how they’ll proceed.

“Australia could play a key role in bringing those parties together, instead of participating in uncoordinated airstrikes in Syria.

“It was heartening to see the Labor party highlight the need for a debate about the attacks on Syria. Perhaps next time they’ll give our servicemen and women their due and join the Greens in making this point before our forces are deployed, instead of rubber stamping every Coalition misadventure overseas in an effort to avoid being labelled ‘weak’ on National Security.

Russia and the United States agree to call urgent military talks to head off the risk of clashes between their forces after Moscow’s dramatic entrance into the Syrian war and its claimed assault on the Islamic State group.

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Current issue: October 2015

Syria’s nearby refugees; Corbyn, Labour’s lightning rod; Japan, what next for Okinawa? China’s modern-day emperor; UN, getting fit for the 21st century; Ivan Maisky remembered; Disneyland, behind the fantasy; streaming wars; Zapata westerns; Mercator supplement…

::: click cover above to access :::

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