Friday, September 02, 2016

More evolved brains require more energy

There has long been a view that the most recent evolutionary advance was an increase in brain complexity (more folding etc.), and perhaps cortical complexity in particular. A more complex brain would use more energy so the findings below dovetail with that

A University of Adelaide-led project has overturned the theory that the evolution of human intelligence was simply related to the size of the brain—but rather linked more closely to the supply of blood to the brain.

The international collaboration between Australia and South Africa showed that the human brain evolved to become not only larger, but more energetically costly and blood thirsty than previously believed.

The research team calculated how blood flowing to the brain of human ancestors changed over time, using the size of two holes at the base of the skull that allow arteries to pass to the brain. The findings, published in the Royal Society Open Science journal, allowed the researchers to track the increase in human intelligence across evolutionary time.

"Brain size has increased about 350% over human evolution, but we found that blood flow to the brain increased an amazing 600%," says project leader Professor Emeritus Roger Seymour, from the University of Adelaide. "We believe this is possibly related to the brain's need to satisfy increasingly energetic connections between nerve cells that allowed the evolution of complex thinking and learning.

"To allow our brain to be so intelligent, it must be constantly fed oxygen and nutrients from the blood.

Smarter brains are blood-thirsty brainsHuman skulls, showing the location of two openings for the internal carotid arteries that supply the cerebrum of the brain almost entirely. The sizes of these openings reveal the rate of blood flow, which is related to brain metabolic rate and cognitive ability. Credit: Edward Snelling. Sourced from the Raymond Dart Collection of Human Skeletons, School of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand.
"The more metabolically active the brain is, the more blood it requires, so the supply arteries are larger. The holes in fossil skulls are accurate gauges of arterial size."

The study was a new collaboration between the Cardiovascular Physiology team in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Adelaide and the Brain Function Research Group and Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Co-author Dr Edward Snelling, University of the Witwatersrand, says: "Ancient fossil skulls from Africa reveal holes where the arteries supplying the brain passed through. The size of these holes show how blood flow increased from three million-year-old Australopithecus to modern humans. The intensity of brain activity was, before now, believed to have been taken to the grave with our ancestors."

Honours student and co-author Vanya Bosiocic had the opportunity to travel to South Africa and work with world renowned anthropologists on the oldest hominin skull collection, including the newly-discovered Homo naledi.

"Throughout evolution, the advance in our brain function appears to be related to the longer time it takes for us to grow out of childhood. It is also connected to family cooperation in hunting, defending territory and looking after our young," Ms Bosiocic says.

"The emergence of these traits seems to nicely follow the increase in the brain's need for blood and energy."


White Lives Matter declared a hate group by SPLC

The big haters are actually the SPLC.  Almost any conservative group is a hate group according to them

A white nationalist group called White Lives Matter, which calls itself an opponent of the Black Lives Matter movement, has been declared a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that tracks extremist groups in the United States.

“The White Lives Matter website says their movement is dedicated to the preservation of the white race. That tells you all you need to know,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. “They’re against integration, immigration. This is standard white supremacist stuff.”

The group, which grew out of a social media meme, argues that white Americans are victims of a genocide caused by factors like the immigration of nonwhite people and marriage between white Christians and nonwhites or Jews, Beirich said. The law center’s designation is meant to draw attention to and increase scrutiny of the group’s activities.

Last week, its members held a protest outside the Houston office of the NAACP to demand that it denounce Black Lives Matter, according to video posted online by the group. The Houston Chronicle reported some of the protesters carried rifles and Confederate flags.

Researchers with the law center said White Lives Matter had been promoted by the Aryan Renaissance Society, a group in Texas that is a member of the United Aryan Front, a white nationalist coalition.

Beirich said the center’s designation focused on one chapter of the group based in Nashville that is led by Rebecca Barnette, a leader of the Aryan Strikeforce, a skinhead group, and the National Socialist Movement, America’s largest neo-Nazi group.

Barnette did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment Monday, but White Lives Matter posted several videos criticizing the Southern Poverty Law Center to its YouTube channel in the past two days. One video described White Lives Matter’s members as “just the guy next door.”

Beirich said the number of white supremacist groups in the United States had grown in the past year and attributed that to the racially charged rhetoric of the presidential campaign. There are 892 active hate groups in the country, the law center said.

“Certainly we’ve got people who are much more energized in a way that didn’t exist before, and that’s all because of the presidential campaign,” Beirich said before specifying Donald Trump, the Republican nominee. “Trump has given these people hope they didn’t have before that they could influence politics or that they would at least be listened to.”

Barnette described herself as White Lives Matter’s cofounder in her profile on, a Russian social networking site preferred by white nationalists for its lenient approach to posts that contain racist content. She said the group’s name had “been picked up by several other groups who are doing their own things with it.”

Mark Pitcavage, a researcher at the Anti-Defamation League, agreed that the phrase had spread beyond the group. “White Lives Matter is a concept around which you can organize an event without necessarily being a formal organization,” he said. “It is essentially the sum of the number of people who have done actions in the name of White Lives Matter.” “For white supremacists, ‘White Lives Matter’ is an obvious meme, so they will use it,” he said.

On, Barnette defended the group, writing that its members were unfairly labeled “domestic terrorists.” In other posts, she argued that white women represent “the elite of the human species.” She also shared Nazi memes and frequently used racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic slurs.

“We do not live by the code of the nonwhites,” she wrote in one post calling for her followers to take action against the federal government, Jews, and African-Americans. “Our forefathers built the nation that is being allowed to be destroyed.” Later she added, “I wish Hitler were here alive and well today.”


Kaepernick's Offense Is Lack of Patriotism AND Ignorance

Let's take a look at the America this spoiled star so detests

Ending the interminably long silence in our national discussion of racial issues (insert tongue firmly in cheek here), San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick reignited the racial firestorm. After his refusal to stand for the national anthem before last Friday’s game, Kaepernick defended his position by saying he is “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. … There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Boy, oh boy.

Kaepernick’s comments have stoked fierce responses from all points of the ideological spectrum, from those excoriating him as an ungrateful brat, to those arguing that his actions are themselves a form of patriotism. Those who are outraged at his comments are outraged for understandable reasons; they feel his actions and comments are an insult to the millions of Americans who have served in our military and fought and died to defend the freedoms he enjoys; they are incensed by his claims of oppression (he never knew his black father and was given up by his white mother at six weeks, to a white couple who, by all accounts, gave him nothing but love and support on his journey to becoming an NFL quarterback making $19 million a year while currently riding the bench); and they are outraged at his distorted view of America.

On the flip side, his supporters claim critics are trying to deny Kaepernick his right to free speech. They claim he is the true patriot for speaking out against oppression, and they are patriots for defending him against his critics. But the reality is that no one is trying to impede his right to speak; however, the rest of us have free speech rights too, which means we can tell him what an ignorant jackass he is.

Let’s examine Kaepernick’s claims. He says that America is a country that “oppresses black people and people of color.” This is a mixed bag. On the one hand, blacks in America, even blacks in urban poverty plantations enjoy a standard of living higher than most of the rest of the world. According to a recent study, the vast majority of “poor” Americans have a TV, a DVD player, at least one cell phone, a computer, a car, air conditioning, and more living space than the average European. On the other hand, blacks in America (at least those in the inner city) suffer deeply from being denied the educational choice that would put them on the path to prosperity; they suffer from unbelievably high rates of unwed pregnancy (a prime predictor of generational poverty), and they suffer from high crime rates without being able to defend themselves. On the other hand (we know, that’s three hands…), blacks vote overwhelmingly for the very Democrat Party that has long inflicted upon them the policies that have brought them so much suffering.

Kaepernick also referred to “bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” Presumably, since he mentioned paid leave, he is not referring to the drug dealers and gang bangers and common street thugs who are responsible for literally thousands of black deaths in Barack Obama’s hometown of Chicago since 2009, with the perpetrator of the crimes almost always being black.

One can only assume, then, that this is a reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, which is based on the fraudulent idea that innocent black men are dying in droves at the hands of racist white police. The problem with that is, with few exceptions, the most notorious cases of the last few years involved not innocent black men, but career criminals who died while attacking cops or resisting arrest. This isn’t cops getting away with murder; this is criminals who suffer the consequences of their actions.

Kaepernick’s supporters are equally as ignorant.

Patrick Tomlinson of The Hill wrote, “In a month when black demonstrators were told ‘violence is never justified,’ and blacks marching peacefully were told to ‘stop impeding traffic,’ we now have a black man who literally took no action at all by choosing to remain seated.” Therefore, Tomlinson moaned, “Apparently, there is no appropriate way for blacks to voice their concerns.” Evidently, he thinks setting neighborhoods on fire, looting and vandalizing, dragging innocent white motorists from their vehicles and beating them, and shutting down traffic are all legitimate ways for blacks to have their voices heard.

NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabar (born Lew Alcindor before converting to Islam and changing his name) said Kaepernick “behaved in a highly patriotic manner that should make all Americans proud.” He further argued that “what’s really un-American” is that “50 years after Ali was banned for boxing … we still need to call attention to the same racial inequalities.” Apparently lost on him is the irony of a rich black athlete making these claims — in a land where a black man is president, with a black attorney general, and where there is institutional racial discrimination against whites in favor of minorities.

He’s not alone, though, in the black community, or the Hollywood glitterati, and he’s not even the worst offender of our intelligence.

The most offensive thing about Kaepernick’s rant was that it vilifies our nation while ignoring its virtues. Yes, America once allowed slavery (thanks, Democrats!), but we also tried to eradicate it in the original Constitution, and eventually ended the practice after fighting the bloodiest war in our history. Even today, though we are not a perfect nation, is there any other nation, as Donald Trump asked rhetorically in his typically ham-fisted way, that would work better for Kaepernick? That would give so many opportunities to prosper?

Interestingly, and largely ignored by the Leftmedia, Kaepernick also teed off on Hillary Clinton and her crimes, saying, “If it was any other person, they’d be in prison.”

Kaepernick would do well to study the life and works of Frederick Douglass, a freed slave who was a fierce voice in the fight for abolition and racial equality. Here was a man who understood oppression, yet he loved this country, and urged other blacks to fight for it. He used to play the “Star-Spangled Banner” on the violin for his grandchildren in the years following the War Between the States, and in an 1871 speech at Arlington National Cemetery, he proclaimed that “if the star-spangled banner floats only over free American citizens in every quarter of the land, and our country has before it a long and glorious career of justice, liberty, and civilization, we are indebted to the unselfish devotion of the noble army.”

Douglass understood that our nation was, and still is, made up of imperfect people. Yet hundreds of thousands of men and women have shed their blood in the defense of this nation and the ideals it embodies, however imperfectly lived. They died for this land of freedom, based on the idea that “all men are created equal.” They died not because we are a sinless, perfect nation, but because this is the only nation in history formed under these ideals, and which has striven mightily to weave them into our national character, even at the cost of the blood of our sons and daughters.

And that, Colin, is why we stand for our national anthem.


Australia: Black elders call it racism when a black kid is killed while stealing

No awareness shown that the whole thing originated in black crime

Community leaders have called for calm after a violent riot sparked by the death of a 14-year-old Indigenous boy in WA, but have also voiced concerns about racism they fear sparked the incident.

Elijah Doughty, who was killed after he was allegedly struck by the driver of a ute while riding a motorcycle in Kalgoorlie, was remembered at an emotional candle-lit vigil attended by hundreds of community members last night.

The motorcycle was allegedly stolen, and according to Western Australian police was linked to the driver of the utility.

Violent scenes erupted on Tuesday outside the town's courthouse after the accused was charged with manslaughter, with many voicing frustration that the charge was not more serious.

A dozen police officers were injured as people threw rocks and bottles, and five police cars and a local business were damaged. Several people were arrested and charged.

But after the violence waned, two senior members of the community highlighted vicious race-based comments on Kalgoorlie community social media pages, and say they contributed to the atmosphere of tension in the town.

Bruce Smith said the death and subsequent riot had affected not just the community of Kalgoorlie, but Indigenous people across the country.

Elijah Doughty has been remembered as a great footballer. © Facebook via ABC News Elijah Doughty has been remembered as a great footballer. He called on the police to tackle an undercurrent of racism he said had boiled over onto social media, where Aboriginal people were being threatened with rape and violence.

"Those are the ones that are going to continue brewing those attitudes we don't want to see, and it's all coming out on social media, on Facebook.

"Our Indigenous people living in Kalgoorlie and Boulder, they will continue living [here].

"They have been living here for a long, long time, and they are part of this community, whether other people like it or not, non-Aboriginal people like it or not.

"They've got to learn that these people are going to live, and their descendents are going to live, and the justice system that's going to serve them should be put right so that the future generation of our youths in this town, Goldfields and Boulder, are being protected."

He said there was a feeling of frustration about the justice system and the comparative leniency of the charge against Elijah's alleged killer, which may have sparked the riot.

"I think what we need to see is, 'where is the justice'," he said.

"What are they going to do about it? The justice system, is it working for all Australians?"

Elder Aubrey Lynch, whose grandson was close to Elijah, said he was disappointed to see the violence on the streets of Kalgoorlie, and that it was ruining the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

"We don't like violence anywhere in any case, because violence causes more trouble.

"Here we are trying to build that relationship, and this kind of thing is going to happen, it's going to separate us all."

Acting Kalgoorlie Mayor Allan Pendal described the riot as the worst violence he had seen in the town in three decades.

He said it would be naive to suggest there was not a simmering tension between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in the town, but no-one, including the police, expected such a turn of events.

"I think they [the police] were caught off-guard," he said.

"From here we've got to, from the city's point of view, meet with their leadership people, community leaders and police and try to address the issues that are there.

Elijah's grandfather said he hoped some lesson could be learnt from the boy's death.

"I just think, well, if anything can come out of it good, it'd be for the community to wake up to themselves and realise, to keep their kids home, not let them roam the streets and the wider community to help the Aboriginal people work together and live together, live side by side instead of having this hatred," he said.

Community comes together to remember lost child

A large number of children and families gathered peacefully last night at a makeshift shrine where Elijah died, lighting candles and festooning the area with flowers and coloured lights.

A local supermarket donated food.

There has been an outpouring of grief on social media for the child, with many sharing his photo and messages of support for his family.

"Rest easy dude, devastating news, thoughts are with ya pop and brothers and family," Rory Kelly wrote.

Elijah's grandfather Albert Doughty said his grandson was a talented footballer.

"He was a good sportsman. He's played for Kalgoorlie City Football Club since he was 11. They got in the grand final. But he won't be there," he said.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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