March 18, 2013The annual meeting for horse enthusiast ‘Caballeros Del Sol Trail Ride’ returns to Arcosanti for the third time.This week-long meeting includes daily trail rides for charity. The group donates proceeds to worthy causes like Rainbow Acres in Camp Verde, a facility for developmentally challenged adults.[A view of the camp from east, you can see Arcosanti on the second mesa above the camp; photo by Chihiro Saito][View of the camp from the mesa south of it; photo by Chihiro Saito][Construction volunteer Scott Neigut and visiting alumnus Patrick Doyle have a conversation; photo by Chihiro Saito]Their self-sufficient camp in Arcosanti’s ‘second field’ includes a large tent with a kitchen, where all the meals are catered. There is also evening entertainment, singing and dancing.[Chihiro took a peak inside of the community tent; photo by Chihiro Saito]You can see reports of previous visits at2007 CABALLEROS DEL SOL BENEFIT TRAIL RIDE2004 CABALLEROS DEL SOL BENEFIT TRAIL RIDE
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 11 2018A new study led by York University researchers has found that fluoride levels in urine are twice as high for pregnant women living in Canadian cities where fluoride is added to public drinking water as for those living in cities that do not add fluoride to public water supplies.The study “Community Water Fluoridation and Urinary Fluoride Concentrations in a National Sample of Pregnant Women in Canada” was published today in Environmental Health Perspectives. It is the first study in North America to examine how fluoride in water contributes to urinary fluoride levels in pregnant women. The research was conducted as part of a larger study funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) investigating whether early life exposure to fluoride affects the developing brain.”We found that fluoride in drinking water was the major source of exposure for pregnant women living in Canada. Women living in fluoridated communities have two times the amount of fluoride in their urine as women living in non-fluoridated communities,” said Christine Till, an associate professor of Psychology in York’s Faculty of Health and lead author on the study.The Maternal Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) study recruited 2,001 pregnant women between 2008 and 2011. The women lived in 10 large cities across Canada. Seven of the cities (Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, Sudbury, Halifax, Edmonton and Winnipeg) added fluoride to municipal water while three (Vancouver, Montreal and Kingston) did not.Urine samples were collected during each trimester of pregnancy for over 1,500 women. Fluoride levels in municipal water treatment plants that provided water to each women’s home were obtained. Information about each woman’s demographics, lifestyle and medical history was also collected.Related StoriesResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionStudy offers clues about how to prevent brain inflammation in Alzheimer’sStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingIn addition to fluoridated water, sources of fluoride can include toothpastes, mouth rinses, as well as processed beverages and food, especially those made with fluoridated water. Beyond water, products such as tea have previously been found to have high concentrations of natural fluoride.In this study, fluoride level in water was the main determinant of fluoride level in the women’s urine. Higher consumption of black tea was also correlated with higher levels of urinary fluoride in pregnant women.The levels of fluoride among pregnant women living in fluoridated communities in Canada were similar with levels reported in a prior study of pregnant women living in Mexico City where fluoride is added to table salt.”This finding is concerning because prenatal exposure to fluoride in the Mexican sample has been associated with lower IQ in children. New evidence published today in Environment International also reported an association between higher levels of fluoride in pregnancy and inattentive behaviours among children in the same Mexican sample,” said Till.The research team, including experts from Simon Fraser University, Université Laval, Indiana University, University of Montreal and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, is investigating whether prenatal exposure to fluoride in Canadian children results in IQ deficits, similar to the Mexican study.Fluoride has been added to public drinking water in Canadian and American communities since the 1940s as a means of preventing tooth decay. Today, about 40 per cent of Canadians and 74 percent of the U.S. population on public water supplies receive fluoridated water. Source:https://www.yorku.ca/
Dec 14 2018A 2-year-old girl with an extreme form of hydrocephalus could someday lead a more normal life, thanks to a remarkable surgical intervention aided by state-of-the-art technologies used by a leading pediatric team supervised by two assistants professors of medicine at Université de Montréal.The child, who underwent two operations at CHU Sainte-Justine children’s hospital in Montreal, including a total cranial vault reconstruction, could not even sit upright because of the size and weight of her head. Her brain was being compressed by an excess of cerebrospinal fluid.Related StoriesHome-based support network helps stroke patients adjust after hospital dischargeTen-fold rise in tongue-tie surgery for newborns ‘without any real strong data’Study: Two-thirds of pneumonia patients receive more antibiotics than they probably needUsing virtual modelling and three-dimensional technology supported by a 3D printer, and after a 12-hour operation, surgeons were able to open the child’s abnormally large skull and reconstruct it to closer to normal dimensions. Prior to the procedure, her skull contained three litres of cerebrospinal fluid, while the normal amount is 150 millilitres. To achieve this amazing feat, the team made a detailed model of the girl’s skull, numbering the sections so they could later put them back in place, somewhat like a puzzle.”Our little patient suffered from an enlarged skull, otherwise known as extreme macrocrania,” said Dr. Alexander Weil, a pediatric neurosurgeon (MD, FRCSC, FAANS, FACS) at CHU Sainte-Justine. “If we hadn’t operated, she would have continued to be weighed down and immobilized by the size and weight of her head. This surgery gives us hope that she will now be able to develop and live more normally.” Added Dr. Daniel Borsuk, the hospital centre’s head of plastic surgery (MD, MBA, FRCSC, FACS): “The collaborative efforts of an experienced multidisciplinary team, which made it possible to successfully carry out this complex surgery.”The surgeons expressed their heartfelt thanks to all the health professionals who took part, as well as to the child’s family for placing their trust in the medical team. Source:https://www.umontreal.ca/
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 16 2019Higher coronary artery calcium levels in middle-age were associated with structural heart abnormalities linked to future heart failure, particularly among blacks, according to new research in Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging, an American Heart Association journal.Coronary artery calcium (CAC) is the buildup of calcified plaque made up of fat, calcium and cholesterol. The calcium found in this type of plaque is not related to dietary calcium. Elevated cholesterol levels in the blood can contribute to plaque buildup, known as atherosclerosis, which narrows the channel within an artery and reduces blood flow.CAC is a risk marker for heart health problems, and CAC screening was added to the American Heart Association’s 2018 cholesterol management guidelines to further improve early detection of heart health abnormalities, especially among people who might be at a higher risk. A CAC score of zero indicates there is low risk in the absence of other high-risk conditions, while a score above zero indicates increasing risk.In this study, researchers tracked 2,449 people (52% white, 57% women) from young adulthood to middle-age. Non-invasive computed tomography imaging tests were used to gauge the participants’ vascular health, with participants’ imaging tests and CAC scores compared at years 15 and 25 of the study period.By year 25, participants’ average age was about 50. Seventy-two percent of the group had a CAC score of zero compared with 77% a decade earlier. Moreira and team found that increases in CAC scores were independently related to increasing age, male sex, black race, higher systolic blood pressure, higher total cholesterol, diabetes mellitus and current smoking, as well as the use of medications to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Additionally, they found: Related StoriesImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesWeightlifting is better for the heart than cardioBlacks already face a greater risk and burden of heart disease and stroke: 60% of adult black men and 57% of adult black women have some form of cardiovascular disease, compared with 50% of white men and 43% of white women.”Racial differences in our findings may be due to genetic factors or perhaps greater exposure to cardiovascular risk factors that usually appear earlier in blacks,” Moreira said. “We need more research to examine the link between coronary artery calcium and heart health.””Prior studies have shown that presence of CAC and higher CAC scores are associated with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in young to middle aged adults. The results of this study are important as they highlight that presence of CAC and higher CAC scores may also be associated with echocardiographic markers of subclinical LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction,” said Salim Virani, M.D., a member of the writing committee for the American Heart Association’s 2018 cholesterol guidelines and director of the Cardiology Fellowship Training Program at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “Given the burden of morbidity and mortality associated with heart failure, these are important findings. Prior studies from this cohort have also shown that a better risk factors profile in young adulthood is associated with much lower CAC and therefore, these results further highlight the importance of primordial prevention and risk factor modification in early adulthood.”Source:American Heart AssociationJournal reference:Moreira, H.T. et al. (2019) Coronary Artery Calcium From Early Adulthood to Middle Age and Left Ventricular Structure and Function. Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging. doi.org/10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.119.009228. Compared with patients who had CAC scores of zero, those who had higher CAC scores at middle-age had a 12% increase in left ventricular mass and a 9% increase in left ventricular volume, independent of other risk factors including demographic information and cardiovascular risks. Abnormalities in the left ventricle means the heart had to work harder to effectively pump blood, and as a result, became enlarged and thickened, a risk factor for heart failure. These findings were even more significant among blacks. For every one-unit change in a CAC score, blacks had four times higher increase in left ventricular mass compared with whites. While progression in CAC over the follow-up was strongly related to higher left ventricular mass in blacks, this relationship was not significant in whites. We looked at early adulthood to middle-age because this is a window in which we can see abnormalities that might not be causing symptoms, but could later increase the risk of heart problems. Prevention and control of these abnormalities are key, so early identification of risks can be crucial.”Henrique Turin Moreira, M.D., Ph.D., study co-author and an attending physician at Hospital das Clínicas de Ribeirão Preto at the University of São Paulo in Brazil
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 25 2019New research suggests that adding 30 minutes of daily outdoor activity reduces the progression of nearsightedness, called myopia, in children if the activity is continued. The study, conducted by researchers in Beijing, China, is published in the May 2019 issue of Translational Vision Science & Technology (TVST).Myopia is recognized as a major public health issue in East Asia, particularly in China, and is expected to affect half of the world’s population by 2050, according to a 2016 study out of the Brien Holden Vision Institute. Evidence shows that severe myopia increases the risk of developing glaucoma or a detached retina, diseases that can lead to vision loss. Myopia is caused by the lengthening of the eye, which impacts how light is bent when entering the eye and, as a result, affects vision.Related StoriesWhy Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping ChildrenNew network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks to improve systems of careChaos in the house and asthma in children – the connectionScientists, led by Dr. Yin Guo of the Tongren Eye Care Center, Beijing Tongren Hospital at Capital Medical University, studied 382 children ages 6 and 7 at two Beijing-area schools for one year in a prospective interventional study. Students in the study group jogged for 30 minutes outdoors daily. The control group did not add this extra outdoor activity to their schedules.Examinations at the end of one year showed that students in the study group without myopia at the baseline had lower incidence of myopia compared with students in the control group. Students with myopia at baseline also showed slower progression of myopia compared with students in the control group. Annual follow-up exams following the conclusion of the one-year study showed that in year four, incidence of myopia was similar among the study and control groups. Our research provides further evidence and confirmation of an association between increased outdoor activity and decreased prevalence and incidence of myopia. This study also indicates that increasing outdoor activity may delay the progression of myopia for up to two years. We now need to translate these findings into action among children in China and around the world in order to help preserve their vision.”Dr. Yin Guo of the Tongren Eye Care Center The authors also indicate that their results could have implications for how China and other countries structure childhood outdoor activity levels to combat the increasing incidence of myopia and its progression.This latest study on myopia and activity in children adds to a growing body of scientific research on this topic. Additional studies were presented at the ARVO 2019 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC, pointing to increased contact with man-made and indoor environments as potential causes of myopia. Additional information on myopia research is available in a February 2019 special issue of IOVS, International Myopia Institute (IMI) White Papers. Source:Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)Journal reference:Guo, Y. et al. (2019) Outdoor Jogging and Myopia Progression in School Children From Rural Beijing: The Beijing Children Eye Study. Translational Vision Science & Technology (TVST). doi.org/10.1167/tvst.8.3.2
Protesters in Washington on February 27 urged lawmakers to reverse regulators and restore “net neutrality” rules that require all data to be treated equally Citation: US Senate votes to restore ‘net neutrality’ rules (2018, May 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-senate-votes-net-neutrality.html Explore further © 2018 AFP The 52-47 vote is likely to be symbolic, however, since the measure faces an uphill battle in the House of Representatives and would need enough lawmaker support to overturn a probable presidential veto.The vote marked the latest step in a contentious fight over rules governing online access over the past decade including court challenges and various moves by regulators.In December, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 along party lines to reverse a 2015 order which established net neutrality and which itself had faced court challenges and intense partisan debate.In the Senate, three Republicans joined Democrats in the vote under the Congressional Review Act, which allows lawmakers to overturn a regulatory body.FCC chairman Ajit Pai, appointed by President Donald Trump, has argued that the 2015 rules were “heavy-handed” and failed to take into account the rapidly changing landscape for online services and were discouraging investment in advanced networks.Net neutrality backers have argued that clear rules are needed to prevent internet service providers from blocking or throttling services or websites for competitive reasons.Some activists fear internet service providers will seek to extract higher fees from services that are heavy data users, like Netflix or other streaming services, with these costs passed on to consumers.The battle has been largely along party lines, and has also been split with large tech firms supporting neutrality and telecom operators backing more flexible rules.Although the Senate vote may not succeed in restoring neutrality rules, backers said it would allow voters to know where their lawmakers stand.Democratic Senator Ed Markey said on Twitter the vote would “show the American people who sides with them, and who sides with the powerful special interests and corporate donors who are thriving under the @realDonaldTrump administration.”Ferras Vinh of the Center for Democracy & Technology, a digital rights group, welcomed the vote.”Without net neutrality protections, internet service providers will have an explicit license to block, slow, or levy tolls on content, which will limit choices for internet users and suffocate small businesses looking to enter the market,” Vinh said.”These protections are the guiding principles of the open internet, facilitating innovation and enabling the spread of new ideas.”But USTelecom, an industry group representing major broadband carriers, expressed disappointment.”This vote throws into reverse our shared goal of maintaining an open, thriving internet,” said association president Jonathan Spalter.”Consumers want permanent, comprehensive online protections, not half measures or election-year posturing from our representatives in Congress.” The US Senate voted Wednesday to restore so-called “net neutrality” rules aimed at requiring all online data to be treated equally, the latest step in a years-long battle on internet regulation. Top tech lobby joins legal battle to keep ‘net neutrality’ 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.
At first glance, “Edmond de Belamy,” the portrait of a gentleman dressed in black and framed in gold, could be any standard portrait from the 18th or 19th century.Up close, the image is more intriguing. The face is fuzzy and the picture seemingly unfinished. Instead of an artist’s signature, it bears the stamp of a mathematical formula on the bottom right.It’s the brainchild of French collective Obvious, whose aim is to use artificial intelligence to democratize art. To make the painting, artist Pierre Fautrel ran 15,000 classic portraits through a computer software.Once the software “understood the rules of portraiture,” using a new algorithm developed by Google researcher Ian Goodfellow, it then generated a series of new images by itself, Fautrel said.The French collective selected 11, calling them the “Belamy family,” one of which on Thursday fetched $432,500 at Christie’s in New York, the epicenter of the traditional art market.The price smashed its pre-sale estimates of $7,000 to $10,000. Christie’s said the work was snapped up by an anonymous telephone bidder after a five-way battle on the phone, online and one would-be buyer in the room.But is it art? Fautrel, 25, insists that it is.”Even if the algorithm creates the image,” he told AFP “we are the people who decided to do this, who decided to print it on canvas, sign it as a mathematical formula, put it in a gold frame.”‘Tipping point’He compared AI art to early photography of the 1850s, which he says critics rubbished at the time as “not being art and which would destroy artists.”Richard Lloyd, international head of prints and multiples at Christie’s, persuaded the collective to put the print up for sale in order to foster a debate about artificial intelligence in art.”I know it’s a debate that’s going on quite widely, I thought that in a way this marked a watershed—or slightly a tipping point,” he told AFP.Leaving aside the art debate, there are legal questions. Is the collective or the algorithm the artist? What are the copyright issues?For Lloyd, this is just the beginning of AI art.”This is developing incredibly fast. Only in five or 10 years we will look back on this and it will look very different,” he told AFP.”Artists who are great adopters of technology, they will seize AI,” he predicted. “Artists will use it to generate images which they will then modify … It will be quite seamless.”There is also a benefit to the client.”It gives you privilege that only very wealthy people in previous centuries had—to commission works of art painted just for you,” Lloyd said. 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. © 2018 AFP A portrait made by algorithm smashed new boundaries Thursday, selling for $432,500 and becoming the first piece of Artificial Intelligence art sold at a major auction house, Christie’s said. When the line between machine and artist becomes blurred Citation: Algorithm art fetches $432,500 at NY auction: Christie’s (2018, October 25) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-algorithm-art-ny-auction-christie.html Explore further
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. Authorities in the US state of Pennsylvania have given Uber the green light to resume testing self-driving cars, the ride-sharing giant said Tuesday, after a fatal crash in Arizona prompted a pause. Uber is in a self-driving car race with an array of companies including Alphabet-owned Waymo Explore further Uber said it had received authorization to put autonomous cars back on the road in Pittsburgh, where it has a lab devoted to the technology, but has yet to actually do so.The San Francisco-based company suspended use of self-driving cars in March after one struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.The Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode with an operator behind the wheel when it hit a woman walking in the street.In July, Uber said it was using cars with human drivers to test and improve autonomous capabilities.The company, which is preparing to go public with an offering of shares next year, is in a self-driving car race with an array of companies including Alphabet-owned Waymo.A self-driving car service being tested by Waymo was opened up to more people in the Phoenix, Arizona area, last month, according to chief John Krafcik.About 400 “early riders” were already taking part in the fledgling service Waymo began testing early last year, Krafcik told a Wall Street Journal technology conference in Southern California.He explained they can use a smartphone application to summon autonomous vehicles any time of day to get about in an area of around 100 square miles (250 square kilometers).Over the course of several months, Waymo will open the service up to more people and give riders “more autonomy” in what they can do with it.Waymo earlier this year announced it was adding as many as 62,000 Fiat Chrysler minivans to its autonomous fleet in an expanded collaboration by the companies. Waymo to expand fledgling self-driving car service © 2018 AFP Citation: Pennsylvania lets Uber self-driving cars back on roads (2018, December 19) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-pennsylvania-uber-self-driving-cars-roads.html
Explore further New Zealand’s government plans a new tax targeting online giants like Google and Facebook that earn plenty of money in the country but pay little tax. This July 19, 2016, file photo shows the Google logo at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. New Zealand’s government announced plans on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, for a new tax targeting online giants like Google and Facebook that earn plenty of money in the country but pay little tax. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there’s a gap that needs to be closed. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File) New Zealand halts Huawei from 5G upgrade over security fears © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there’s a gap that needs to be closed.”Our current tax system is not fair in the way that it treats individual taxpayers and the way that it treats multinationals,” she said. “It’s not fair.”She said the proposed digital services tax would tax multinational online companies at about 2 or 3 percent on the revenue they generate in New Zealand, a rate that is in line with other countries considering similar taxes.Revenue Minister Stuart Nash said foreign online companies have a competitive advantage over local companies that do pay significant amounts of tax. He said the new tax that was announced on Monday could be implemented next year.Nash said New Zealand would continue working with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, to find an international solution to the problems of taxing big online companies, but that New Zealand was not going to wait around.”The OECD can move at a rather slow rate,” he said.New Zealand’s government estimates that online multinationals do about 2.7 billion New Zealand dollars ($1.9 billion) worth of business in the country each year, and that the new tax could generate up to 80 million New Zealand dollars ($55 million) annually.The most recent New Zealand company filings indicate Google paid NZ$392,000 in income taxes in the 2017 calendar year. The company, which declined to comment, claimed a NZ$1 million loss over the year after booking much of its revenue in other countries.The last publicly available figures from Facebook show the company paid NZ$43,000 in taxes in New Zealand in 2014.Facebook said in a statement that it complies with applicable tax laws in New Zealand and every other country in which it operates. It said it’s moving to a “local selling model” to provide more transparency to governments and policy makers.Amy Adams, the finance spokeswoman for the conservative opposition National Party, said the party agrees that multinationals should pay their fair share of taxes but that it supports the OECD work being ramped up. She said New Zealand will find it difficult to go out on its own without people missing out on what the global market has to offer. Citation: New Zealand plans new tax for giants like Google, Facebook (2019, February 19) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-zealand-tax-giants-google-facebook.html 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.