Admit it: you’ve always wanted to play guitar, or perhaps, you’ve been meaning to pick it up again. Either way, you should!
New research has found that people with musical training on any instrument were able to certain task better in their old age when compared to non-musicians. So pick up your neglected jaw harp and get going on bringing those tunes in your head to life!
“The older musicians not only outperformed their older non-musician counterparts, they encoded the sound stimuli as quickly and accurately as the younger non-musicians,” said Northwestern neuroscientist Nina Kraus. “This reinforces the idea that how we actively experience sound over the course of our lives has a profound effect on how our nervous system functions.”
Kraus, professor of communication sciences in the School of Communication and professor of neurobiology and physiology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, is co-author of “Musical experience offsets age-related delays in neural timing” published online in the journal “Neurobiology of Aging.”
“These are very interesting and important findings,” said Don Caspary, a nationally known researcher on age-related hearing loss at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. “They support the idea that the brain can be trained to overcome, in part, some age-related hearing loss.”
In very unsurprising news: Starbucks has opened a new coffee shop. In surprising news: that Starbucks store is made from repurposed cargo containers!
With many containers scrapped at the end of an average lifespan of 20 years, the Starbucks solution served to convert a potential waste stream from the company’s supply chain into shop space.
This Tukwila store is also the first LEED-certified structure in town. It uses fully reclaimed material for the exterior. Rainwater collected from the roof reduces water consumption and nourishes surrounding “xeriscaping” — landscapes and plants that naturally require less water.
Being a chicken who’s sole purpose is egg-laying can be hard because of the horrible living conditions. Too many animals, in this case chickens, are held in enclosures that don’t allow for movement. This is starting to change for chickens in Europe as they have now been granted better enclosures thanks to some ethical activists!
On the first day of 2012, keeping hens in such cages became illegal, in all 27 countries of the European Union. Hens can still be kept in cages, but they must have more space, and the cages must have nest boxes and a scratching post. Last month, members of the British Hen Welfare Trust provided a new home for a hen they named “Liberty”. She was, they said, among the last hens in Britain still living in the type of cages we had opposed.
In the early 1970s, when the modern animal-liberation movement began, no major organisation was campaigning against the battery cage. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the mother of all animal-protection organisations, had lost its early radicalism long before. It focused on isolated cases of abuse, and failed to challenge well-established ways of mistreating animals on farms or in laboratories. It took a concerted effort by the new animal radicals of the 1970s to stir the RSPCA from its complacency towards the battery cage and other forms of intensive animal rearing.
A new study from MIT has concluded that female politicians boosts aspirations, educational achievement of young women. There have been a few international initiatives that look to improve the world by empowering women and now we know that getting more women into politics actually does make the world better!
Based on a survey of roughly 8,000 Indian adolescents and parents, the research paper, appearing this week in Science, notes that having women serve as the leader, or pradhan, of a village council erases the prevailing “gender gap” that tends to work in favor of young men, provided that female politicians remain visible in local government for an extended period of time.
“We think this is due to a role-model effect: Seeing women in charge persuaded parents and teens that women can run things, and increased their ambitions,” says Duflo, who is a co-founder of MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). She adds: “Changing perceptions and giving hope can have an impact on reality.”
This is certainly good news for people who eat: organic and sustainable food production is just as good – or even better – than the standard factory farming setup.
After an initial decline in yields during the first few years of transition, Rodale Institute claims the organic system soon rebounded to match or surpass the conventional system. Over time, FST became a comparison between the long term potential of the two systems.
*Organic yields match conventional yields.
*Organic outperforms conventional in years of drought. Organic fields increased groundwater recharge and reduced run-off.