Perhaps We Can Prevent Terrorism

Does it seem like we are winning the “war” on terror? Events in Paris, Syria, Iraq, and Libya in recent weeks make it hard to be optimistic.

We should not be surprised. Our pursuit of this “war” conflicts with scientific understanding of human behavior. When people are attacked, their biologically driven response is to counterattack. Yet we continue to pursue a military strategy that focuses narrowly on apprehending or attacking terrorists, while ignoring the collateral effects our actions have in inciting terrorism in the first place. Our science is consistent with the bumper sticker observation that “We are making terrorists faster than we can kill them.”

The physiological processes that underpin the harmful effects of stress are well understood. When people are exposed to trauma it “rewires” their physiology in ways that makes them hyper-vigilant to threat and quick to react to real or perceived danger with fear, anger, and aggression. This is the natural result of our evolutionary heritage – a survival mechanism. Both sides of any conflict are prone to become more belligerent when threatened–whether it is “justified” or not and whether such violence works in the modern world.

Human counter-aggressive tendencies are also a product —> Read More Here

Meet Danitsja, a Potty-Trained Sloth

Picture of a sloth using a toilet bowl
Danitsja, one of the many sloths rescued by Monique Pool, is the first to do her business in the toilet bowl. (Photo by Monique Pool)

By Lucy Cooke, NG Emerging Explorer

Sloths have something of a reputation for having eccentric bathroom habits, but this resident of a sanctuary in Suriname, really takes the … bidet.

When sloth conservationist Monique Pool rescued this particular sloth, named Danitsja, and brought her back to her sanctuary she discovered something totally extraordinary about her. When nature called, she would slowly crawl into Monique’s bathroom, gracefully and deliberately lower herself into the toilet and do her business in the bowl.

Be glad that you are never likely to be waiting to use a restroom after her. (Photo by Monique Pool)

Monique was astounded. As founder of the Green Heritage Foundation she has rescued hundreds of sloths, but had never met one with such impeccable bathroom behavior.

In the wild, sloths spend their lives camouflaged high up in the forest canopy, but roughly once a week they descend from the safety of their treetop home to do their business at the base of a tree. This ritual had long puzzled zoologists but is now believed by many —> Read More Here

White House: Science Indicates Parents Should Vaccinate Kids

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid the measles outbreak stemming from California, the White House is telling parents that science indicates they should vaccinate their children.

President Barack Obama’s press secretary says the science on vaccinations “is really clear.” Josh Earnest tells journalists that Obama believes vaccination decisions should be made by parents, with a bias toward good science. About 100 cases of the measles have been reported in the U.S. since last month in the second-biggest outbreak in at least 15 years. Most have been traced directly or indirectly to Disneyland in Southern California.

Earnest says federal officials are closely monitoring the outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says measles-mumps-rubella vaccine is 97 percent effective at preventing measles. —> Read More Here

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