Monday, December 3, 2012

Tarpley Report

America Joins the Fight Against Austerity!

The proceedings of the public meeting for a "United Front Against Austerity" in NYC exceeded expectations of all concerned, in what was an electrifying event from beginning to end, birthing in essence a new political reality and movement in this nation against the very threat to our existence posed by the specter of austerity.

We are joining together not only to say “no” to austerity, but to provide a means where by people across this nation can express and advocate their inherent leadership to advocate such solutions to deal with the crisis.

We invoke the Constitutional covenant that whereas our government is to “promote the general welfare,” all calls for austerity are inherently opposed to this mission of the nation.

Through debate and discussion a call for a 1% Tax on Wall Street Transactions and to Federalize the Federal Reserve were recognized as indispensable foundation for a platform to deal with the crisis.
The 1% Wall Street Sales Tax is our leading-edge demand. This is absolutely vital, as such a tax not only taps a vast, untapped resource of revenue, but will also greatly restrain the predatory financial speculation that is responsible for the world economic and financial crisis. Our government needs revenue to fully fund and expand social obligations, necessities and opportunities to better our population's positive potential.
It is our second demand, to Federalize the Federal Reserve, that will begin the process of moving from our era of emergency and austerity to one of growth and development. Only by seizing our national power to create and direct long-term credit can we secure a future for a real economy based on physical production, and a population with the economic opportunity to prosper, create and share a sense of optimism about our national destiny.
With the power to finance infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture and other areas of production, we can achieve full employment for our impoverished urban and rural areas, and more productive employment for all people. We have urgent needs, such as the infrastructure deficit that has been painfully demonstrated in the wake of devastating storm Sandy, that can only be met by long-term national credit.
Yes, we can change our destiny. We are not limited by a lack of resources or ideas, but a lack of political power. The oligarchy representing a fraction of the 1% have sold our jobs to the lowest bidder, looted our futures, plunged our country into a state of permanent war and turned our democracy into a dictatorship. We can reverse this process, but we must work together.
Our conference was blessed by a number of historically important speakers, including 101 year old Amelia Boynton Robinson, one of the true heroines of the Civil Rights Movement. As Dr. King affirmed in his last days, our common cause is not any false “communitarian” ideal like those offered to us by today’s Wall Street Democrats, but for the genuine economic rights that unite working people of all races, cultures and creeds. The fight against austerity across this nation has the potential to ignite the spirit of courage, love, truth, justice and self respect that we will need to topple the oligarchs from their high perches and restore a government of, by and for the people. Austerity is not thrift, nor conservative, but is an affront to the spirit this of nation; against Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, that which we affirm.
The participants of the October 27 UFAA Public Assembly were greeted by a vivid rainbow reigning overhead in lower Manhattan that day, affirming to those looking for a sign that we can indeed see our way through this crisis.
Much work needs to be done, but this is what we must and will do. In solidarity with those in Greece, Spain, the UK, South Africa and other battlegrounds in the fight against austerity, we in America say NO, and we offer a way out. We say YES to rebuilding this nation, YES to honest work, YES to justice, and YES to the individual human spirit that brings each of us together to bring from this crisis “a more perfect union.”
Bruce Marshall
Moderator and participant

Raw: Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher shoots girlfriend, self

Updated Dec 2, 2012 4:21 AM ET 


It began like any other Saturday for the Kansas City Chiefs during the NFL season, their general manager and coach at work early to put final touches on this weekend's gameplan. Then they got a call to hurry to the parking lot.

The two men rushed through the glass doors of Chiefs headquarters and came face-to-face with linebacker Jovan Belcher, holding a handgun to his head.

Belcher had already killed his girlfriend and sped the short distance to Arrowhead Stadium, right past a security checkpoint guarding the entrance. Upon finding his bosses, Belcher thanked general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel for giving him a chance in the NFL. Then he turned away and pulled the trigger.

The murder-suicide shocked a franchise that has been dealing with controversies now made trivial by comparison: eight consecutive losses, injuries too numerous to count, discontent among fans and the prospect that Pioli and Crennel could be fired at season's end.

Authorities did not release a possible motive while piecing together the case, other than to note that Belcher and his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins, had been arguing frequently.

The two of them left behind a 3-month-old girl. She was being cared for by family.

The Chiefs issued a statement that said their game Sunday afternoon against the Carolina Panthers would go on as scheduled, even as the franchise tried to come to grips with the awfulness of Belcher's death.

"The entire Chiefs family is deeply saddened by today's events, and our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy, thoughts and prayers for the families and friends affected by this unthinkable tragedy," Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said in brief a statement.

A spokesman for the team told The Associated Press that Crennel plans to coach on Sunday.

"I can tell you that you have absolutely no idea what it's like to see someone kill themselves," said Kansas City Mayor Sly James, who spoke to Pioli shortly after the shootings.

"You can take your worst nightmare and put someone you know and love in that situation, and give them a gun and stand three feet away and watch them kill themselves. That's what it's like," James said. "It's unfathomable."

Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn told The Kansas City Star that when the team met later Saturday morning, Crennel broke the news to them.

KC police spokesman on murder-suicide involving Jovan Belcher. 

"It was obviously tough for coach to have to tell us that," Quinn said. "He really wasn't able to finish talking to us. We got together and prayed and then we moved on."
But Quinn said the team was so stunned, it was hard to digest what had happened.

"It's hard mostly because I keep thinking about what I could have done to stop this," he said. "I think everyone is wondering whether we would have done something to prevent this from happening."

The 25-year-old Belcher was from West Babylon, N.Y., and played college football at Maine. He signed with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent, made the team and hung around the past four years, eventually moving into the starting lineup. He played in all 11 games this season.

The NFL released a statement expressing sympathy and pledging "to provide assistance in any way that we can." The players' association has also been in touch with members of the Chiefs.

"We sincerely appreciate the expressions of sympathy and support we have received from so many in the Kansas City and NFL communities, and ask for continued prayers for the loved ones of those impacted," Hunt said. "We will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities and work to ensure that the appropriate counseling resources are available to all members of the organization."

The drama unfolded early Saturday when authorities received a call from a woman who said her daughter had been shot multiple times at a residence about five miles from the Arrowhead complex. The call came from Belcher's mother, who referred to the victim as her daughter.

"She treated Kasandra like a daughter," Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp said, adding that the woman had recently moved in with the couple, "probably to help out with the baby."

Police then got a phone call from the Chiefs' training facility, and Belcher's description matched the suspect description from the initial address. Snapp said officers pulled into the practice facility parking lot in a matter of minutes, in time to witness the suicide.
"Pioli and Crennel and another coach or employee was standing outside and appeared to be talking to him," Snapp said. "The suspect began to walk in the opposite direction of the coaches and the officers and that's when they heard the gunshot. It appears he took his own life."

The coaches told police they never felt in any danger.

"They said the player was actually thanking them for everything they'd done for him," Snapp said. "He was thanking them and everything. That's when he walked away and shot himself."

Members of the Chiefs mostly laid low Saturday, but a few reacted on Twitter.

"I am devastated by this mornings events," Pro Bowl linebacker Tamba Hali wrote. "I want to send my thoughts and prayers out to everyone effected by this tragedy."

A large group of Belcher's friends and relatives gathered Saturday at his boyhood home on Long Island.

His family turned the front yard into a shrine, with a large poster of Belcher, an array of his trophies, and jerseys and jackets from Kansas City, Maine and West Babylon High.

"He was a good, good person ... a family man. A loving guy," said family friend Ruben Marshall, who said he coached Belcher in youth football. "You couldn't be around a better person."

At least 20 people gathered for a large group hug in the driveway.

"He was a tremendous player and all those things, and his accolades speak for themselves, but he lit up when he spoke about his mom, or when he hugged his family after games," said Dwayne Wilmot, who was Belcher's position coach at Maine and is now an assistant coach at Yale.

"It's difficult to talk about Jovan in the past tense," he told the AP. "There's going to be unanswered questions, the why's of this tragedy. It'll never be truly known to us."
Wilmot said he'd stayed in touch with Belcher the past few years through social media.
"He was someone who took genuine pleasure in bringing happiness to others," Wilmot said. "I was so excited when he became a father, because I knew he'd be a great father."
His girlfriend's Facebook page shows the couple smiling and holding the baby.
Belcher is the latest among several players and NFL retirees to die from self-inflicted gunshot wounds during the past few years. The death of star linebacker Junior Seau, who shot himself in the chest at his California home last May, sent shockwaves around the league.

Seau's family, like those of other suicide victims, donated his brain tissue to medical authorities to determine if head injuries he sustained playing football might be linked to his death. That report has not been released, although an autopsy showed no underlying hemorrhaging or bruises on Seau's brain.

Belcher did not have an extensive injury history, though he was listed as having a head injury on a report from Nov. 11, 2009. Belcher played four days later against the Oakland Raiders.

Earlier this year, the NFL provided a grant to help establish an independently operated phone service that connects players, coaches, team officials and other staff with counselors trained to work through personal and emotional crises. The NFL Life Line is available 24 hours a day.

The season has been a massive disappointment for the Chiefs, who were expected to contend for the AFC West title. They're 1-10 and mired in an eight-game skid marked by injuries, poor play and fan upheaval. During the past few weeks there have been constant calls for Pioli and Crennel to be fired.

It's unknown how the Chiefs plan to pay tribute to Belcher during Sunday's game.

"His move to the NFL was in keeping with his dreams," said Jack Cosgrove, who coached Belcher at Maine. "This is an indescribably horrible tragedy."

Chiefs' Belcher kills girlfriend, himself
Engel: Don't blame the gun
Whitlock: No time to play a game
911 call details | Team attends service
Chiefs get emotional win | Reaction
Who was Belcher? | Career in pictures

DNA is directly photographed for the first time

Italian physics professor Enzo Di Fabrizio captures twisted ladder that props up life

Enzo Di Fabrizio
DNA's double-helix structure is on display for the first time in this electron microscope photograph of a small bundle of DNA strands.
updated 11/30/2012 4:15:53 PM ET

Fifty-nine years after James Watson and Francis Crick deduced the double-helix structure of DNA, a scientist has captured the first direct photograph of the twisted ladder that props up life. 

Enzo Di Fabrizio, a physics professor at Magna Graecia University in Catanzaro, Italy, snapped the picture using an electron microscope.

Previously, scientists had only seen DNA's structure indirectly. The double-corkscrew form was first discovered using a technique called X-ray crystallography, in which a material's shape is reconstructed based on how X-rays bounce after they collide with it.

Enzo Di Fabrizio
A bundle of DNA is supported by two silicon pillars.

But Di Fabrizio and his colleagues developed a plan to bring DNA out of hiding. They built a nanoscopic landscape of extremely water-repellant silicon pillars. When they added a solution that contained strands of DNA into this scene, the water quickly evaporated and left behind cords of bare DNA that stretched like tightropes between the tiny mesas.

They then shone beams of electrons through holes in the silicon bed, and captured high-resolution images of the illuminated molecules.

Di Fabrizio's images actually show a thread of several interwoven DNA molecules, as opposed to just two coupled strands. This is because the energy of the electrons used would be enough to destroy an isolated double helix, or a single strand from a double helix.

But with the use of more sensitive equipment and lower energy electrons, Di Fabrizio thinks that snapshots of individual double helices will soon be possible, New Scientist reports.

Molecules of DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, store the genetic instructions that govern all living organisms' growth and function.

Di Fabrizio's innovation will allow scientists to vividly observe interactions between DNA and some of life's other essential ingredients, such as RNA
(ribonucleic acid ). The results of Di Fabrizio's work were published in the journal NanoLetters.

New timeline proposed for the building of Stonehenge

Study says huge sandstone horseshoe built 4,600 years ago; smaller bluestones came later

Kieran Doherty  /  Reuters file
The sun sets behind Stonehenge in Wiltshire, southern England on Jan. 7, 2010.
updated 11/30/2012 
3:30:08 PM ET

Ancient people probably assembled the massive sandstone horseshoe at Stonehenge more than 4,600 years ago, while the smaller bluestones were imported from Wales later, a new study suggests. 

The conclusion, detailed in the December issue of the journal Antiquity, challenges earlier timelines that proposed the smaller stones were raised first.

"The sequence proposed for the site is really the wrong way around," said study co-author Timothy Darvill, an archaeologist at Bournemouth University in England. "The original idea that it starts small and gets bigger is wrong. It starts big and stays big. The new scheme puts the big stones at the center at the site as the first stage."

The new timeline, which relies on statistical methods to tighten the dates when the stones were put into place, overturns the notion that ancient societies spent hundreds of years building each area of Stonehenge. Instead, a few generations likely built each of the major elements of the site, said Robert Ixer, a researcher who discovered the origin of the bluestones, but who was not involved in the study.

"It's a very timely paper and a very important paper," Ixer said. "A lot of us have got to go back and rethink when the stones arrived."

Mysterious monument 

The Wiltshire, England, site of Stonehenge is one of the world's most enduring mysteries. No one knows why prehistoric people built the enigmatic megaliths, although researchers over the years have argued the site was originally a sun calendar, a symbol of unity or a burial monument.

Though only some of the stones remain, at the center of the site once sat an oval of bluestones, or igneous rocks (those formed from magma) that turn a bluish hue when wet or freshly cut. Surrounding the bluestones are five giant sandstone megaliths called trilithons, or two vertical standing slabs capped by a horizontal stone, arranged in the shape of a horseshoe.

Around the horseshoe, ancient builders erected a circular ring of bluestones. The sandstone boulders, or sarsens, can weigh up to 40 tons (36,287 kilograms), while the much smaller bluestones weigh a mere 4 tons (3,628 kg).

[ In Photos: A Walk Through Stonehenge ].

Past researchers believed the bluestone oval and circle were erected earlier than the massive sandstone horseshoe.

But when Darvill and his colleagues began excavations at the site in 2008, they found the previous chronology didn't add up. The team estimated the age of new artifacts from the site, such as an antler-bone pick stuck within the stones. Combining the new information with dating from past excavations, the team created a new timeline for Stonehenge's construction.

Like past researchers, the team believes that ancient people first used the site 5,000 years ago, when they dug a circular ditch and mound, or henge, about 361 feet (110 meters) in diameter.

But the new analysis suggests around 2600 B.C. the Neolithic people built the giant sandstone horseshoe, drawing the stone from nearby quarries. Only then did builders arrange the much smaller bluestones, which were probably imported from Wales. Those bluestones were then rearranged at various positions throughout the site over the next millennium, Darvill said.

"They sort out the local stuff first, and then they bring in the stones from Wales to add to the complexity of the structure," Darvill told LiveScience.

The new dating allows the archaeologists to tie the structure to specific people who lived in the area at the time, Darvill said. The builders of the larger sandstone structures were pig farmers found only in the British Isles.

In contrast, the bluestone builders would've been the Beaker people, sheep and cow herders who lived throughout Europe and are known for the distinctive, bell-shape pottery they left behind.

The new timeline "connects everything together, it gives us a good sequence of events outside, and it gives us a set of cultural associations with the different stages of construction," Darvill said.

Explorers to retrace Shackleton's Antarctic voyage

British-Australian team ready to re-create epic 800-mile journey in glorified rowboat

Image: Shackleton's hut

The hut that was used by Ernest Shackleton's British Antarctic (Nimrod) Expedition of 1907-09 has been restored at Cape Royds.
updated 12/2/2012 11:46:08 PM ET
Explorers are readying themselves for the first-ever re-creation of the epic voyage made by Britain's Ernest Shackleton on his ill-fated attempt to reach the South Pole in 1914, on an exact copy of Shackleton's lifeboat.
Shackleton's boat, the Endurance, became trapped in the Antarctic ice and was eventually crushed and sank. His attempt to raise the alarm is considered by many to be one of the greatest journeys ever made.
Shackleton took a small party from his crew and rowed 800 miles (1,287 kilometers) on the lifeboat James Caird from Elephant Island to South Georgia, where they knew they could get help from a whaling station. Their journey took from 1914 to 1916.

The modern-day British and Australian team, led by Australian explorer and environmentalist Tim Jarvis, will row the same route and then cross the mountainous, glacial interior of South Georgia to reach the north coast. They will use no equipment that was not available in Shackleton's time.

The Shackleton Epic team will depart from South America in early January, rowing an identical copy of Shackleton's 22.5-foot (6.85-meter) lifeboat before climbing the mountains.

Dangerous voyage 

The journey will not be without danger. The replica boat, named the Alexandra Shackleton after the British explorer's granddaughter, has no keel and capsizes very easily.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
TODAY’s Ann Curry reports on why British explorer Ernest Shackleton’s journey in the early 1900s has become part of today's explorations.

"You know, we ran the numbers and said what can we do with an exact replica of Shackleton's boat, without cheating, to try and make this ... less susceptible to capsize than what he had," Jarvis said.

Team members have practiced capsizing the vessel and trying to right it again — and have attempted to use their supplies, equipment and rocks as ballast, instead of just rocks as Shackleton did.

"We ran all the numbers, we fiddled around with rocks and our camera batteries because we are filming this ... and you know what? We came up with exactly the same configuration of how the ballast was loaded as what Shackleton did with rule of thumb," Jarvis said.

"It's amazing to think that (after) a hundred years, with all of our modern thinking, we've ended up with exactly what Shackleton had. But yeah, it's still a very tippy, very unsafe boat," he said.

Toasted with whisky in tin mugs 

Jarvis was toasted at a presentation in Sydney at the weekend with an identical whisky to that carried on board the original Endurance, served in tin mugs for added authenticity.
Jarvis, an environmental scientist and an experienced explorer, said he was inspired by Shackleton's leadership style and his ability to turn disaster into success.
He also said Shackleton's story was an ideal platform to promote his environmental message.
"Well, Shackleton was trying to save his men from the Antarctic, and we're now trying to save Antarctica from man," Jarvis said.
More about Antarctic odysseys:

Coast Guardsman dies as suspected drug boat rams cutter

LOS ANGELES -- A U.S. Coast Guardsman died and a second was wounded Sunday when they were thrown from a vessel that was rammed by a panga fishing boat under investigation for smuggling in the waters off the Southern California coast, officials said.

The Coast Guard Cutter Halibut was investigating a panga about 1 a.m. near Santa Cruz Island when it was struck by a boat suspected of smuggling drugs, officials said.

The guardsman was identified as Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III, 34, who was based in Marina del Rey.

During a press conference in Long Beach on Sunday, Capt. James Jenkins, the Coast Guard commander for the L.A. sector, praised Horne.
"Our fallen shipmate stood the watch, on the front lines, protecting our nation and we are all indebted to him for his service and sacrifice," Jenkins said.

Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert J. Papp said in a statement that the Coast Guard mourned his loss.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends and his shipmates aboard Coast Guard Cutter Halibut," Papp said.
The incident happened after a panga was spotted in the water near the island, the largest in the chain of Channel Islands in Santa Barbara County that sits about 20 miles southwest of Port Hueneme.

Mexican troops arrest 2 in killing of U.S. border agent

When the Coast Guard boat got closer, the panga motored toward them and struck the Coast Guard boat. The impact threw two of the four guardsmen from the boat into the water, officials said.

The other guardsman had minor injuries. He was taken to a hospital and released Sunday.

Horne died from severe head trauma.

The Coast Guard eventually stopped the fleeing panga, detained two people and seized drugs found onboard, officials said.

It's one in a string of cases in recent years -- a nearly daily occurrence -- in which boats are being found further north along the California coast ferrying both drugs and human cargo to evade a beefed-up law enforcement presence along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to authorities.

China tears down house in middle of highway after owner agrees to demolition

By the Associated Press:
Authorities have demolished a five-story home that stood incongruously in the middle of a new main road and had become the latest symbol of resistance by Chinese homeowners against officials accused of offering unfair compensation.

Xiayangzhang village chief Chen Xuecai told The Associated Press the house was bulldozed Saturday after its owners, duck farmer Luo Baogen and his wife, agreed to accept compensation of 260,000 yuan ($41,000).  Full story below picture

China Daily / Reuters 
FILE - This photo combo shows the before-and-after of a house (The house on Nov. 24.) that was sitting in the middle of a new main road on the outskirts of Wenling city in east China's Zhejiang province.  Authorities demolished the five-story home, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, that stood incongruously in the middle of the new main road and had become the latest symbol of resistance by Chinese homeowners against officials accused of offering unfair compensation. The homeowners had been the lone holdouts from a neighborhood that was demolished to make way for the main thoroughfare heading to a newly built railway station on the outskirts of the city. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT
updated 12/1/2012 10:47:42 AM ET

Authorities have demolished a five-story home that stood incongruously in the middle of a new main road and had become the latest symbol of resistance by Chinese homeowners against officials accused of offering unfair compensation.
Xiayangzhang village chief Chen Xuecai told The Associated Press the house was bulldozed Saturday after its owners, duck farmer Luo Baogen and his wife, agreed to accept compensation of 260,000 yuan ($41,000).
There was no immediate confirmation from Luo, whose cellphone was turned off Saturday.
The couple had been the lone holdouts from a neighborhood that was demolished to make way for the main thoroughfare heading to a newly built railway station on the outskirts of the city of Wenling in Zhejiang province.
The razing comes a week after images of the house circulated widely online in China, triggering a flurry of domestic and foreign media reports about the latest "nail house," as buildings that remain standing as their owners resist development are called.
Luo, 67, had just completed his house at a cost of about 600,000 yuan ($95,000) when the government approached him with their standard offer of 220,000 ($35,000) to move out — which he refused, Chen has previously said. The offer then went up to 260,000 yuan ($41,000) last week.
It was not immediately clear why Luo accepted the compensation in a meeting with officials Friday afternoon when the amount of money offered was the same as a week ago.
Village chief Chen said Luo was tired of all the media attention and voluntarily consented to the deal. "Luo Baogen received dozens of people from the media every day and his house stands in the center of the road. So he decided to demolish the house," Chen said.
Authorities commonly pressure residents to agree to make way for development with sometimes extreme measures, such as cutting off utilities or moving in to demolish when residents are out for the day. In Luo's case, however, he had told local reporters last week his electricity and water were still flowing.
Real estate is one of the big drivers of China's runaway growth in recent decades. But the rapid development has run into objections from many of the hundreds of thousands of residents who have been forced out to make way for new housing, factories and other business ventures, creating a major source of unrest.
Carolina Panthers v Kansas City Chiefs Getty Images

Crennel: “I wasn’t able to reach the young man”

To cap an emotional and informative opening segment to Football Night in America, Peter King of Sports Illustrated supplied some new details regarding Saturday’s tragic events in Kansas City.

Citing a source close to law enforcement on the scene, King explained that Jovan Belcher and Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli separately arrived at the parking lot outside the team’s facility, at approximately 8:00 a.m. local time.  Pioli noticed that Belcher seemed very upset.  Police say Pioli tried to calm him down.
At the same time, a Chiefs security officer saw that Belcher had a gun in his possession.  The security officer called police.
During a short conversation, Belcher thanked Pioli for giving him an opportunity as an undrafted free agent from Maine in 2009.  Belcher then asked Pioli to call coach Romeo Crennel and defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs so that he could thank them, too.
Crennel and Gibbs came outside, and Belcher thanked them profusely.  He wasn’t willing to talk to them or to be reasoned with.  Instead, he repeatedly thanked them.
“I wasn’t able able to reach the young man,” Crennel told King after the game, but Crennel declined to be specific about what Belcher had said.
Belcher then turned around, began to walk away and shot himself in the head.

Chiefs will have a moment of silence for all domestic violence victims

Getty Images
After wrestling with how to properly acknowledge a player who killed the mother of his infant daughter then killed himself on Saturday, the Chiefs have decided to conduct a moment of silence on Sunday for all victims of domestic violence.
According to Randy Moss of NFL Network, the Chiefs also will keep linebacker Jovan Belcher’s locker intact, at least for now.
The situation surely creates many conflicting emotions and thoughts for Chiefs players, who lost a teammate under unprecedented circumstances.  We continue to wish them well as they struggle with this tragedy.

Chiefs get second win, a moment’s relief

Getty Images

Nothing that happened on the field is going to comfort the Chiefs.
But for a moment, this will help.
A day after one of their own committed murder and then suicide, the Chiefs held on for a 27-21 win over the Panthers.
The Chiefs played a clean game from start to finish, with Brady Quinn completing 19-of-23 passes  for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Coupled with a 127-yard day for running back Jamaal Charles, it was the kind of game Kansas City fans haven’t enjoyed much.
It snapped an eight-game losing streak for the Chiefs (2-10), and marked their first win in regulation this season.
The Panthers (3-9) problems were with a defense that couldn’t stop anyone, ruining another in a string of positive games for quarterback Cam Newton, who threw for three touchdowns, with no turnovers.


This is your brain on exercise


Raji Cyrus/UCLA
A profile MRI of the brain with color shaded areas corresponding to areas of increased gray matter volume in active people. The blue crosshairs point to increased volume in the hippocampus with more calories burned per week. The hippocampus is the key memory and learning center of the brain.

Seniors who fit in the most daily physical activity – from raking leaves to dancing – can have more gray matter in important brain regions, researchers reported on Monday.

The scientists have images that show people who were the most active had 5 percent more gray matter than people who were the least active. Having more little gray brain cells translates into a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, other studies have shown.

 Dr. Cyrus Raji of the University of California in Los Angeles, who presented his team’s findings to a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America states:
“People really want to know what they can do to reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s disease?  This shows it is easier than you think.”
Raji’s team looked at the records of 876 adults, who were recruited into a larger study on heart health starting in 1989. They all got magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans in 1998 and 1999, when they were on average 78 years old, and filled out detailed questionnaires on exercise and other types of activity.

Most of them were a little overweight – with a body mass index or BMI of 27. People with BMIs above 25 are considered overweight and at 30 they are considered clinically obese.

The researchers found a huge difference in the amount of activity people reported. They were asked about everything from cycling to yard work, dancing and bicycle riding.

“The most active burned 3,434 calories per week (an extra 500 calories per day on average) compared to those in the bottom percentile who only burned 348 calories per week [through activities],” Raji said. “The most active had 5 percent more gray matter volume than the least active. That's a big number when you think about the tremendous biological forces that have to be at work for brain volume to change at all.”

And the MRIs showed the differences were in areas of the brain like the hippocampus, which is heavily damaged in Alzheimer’s disease.

“By strengthening this area, an active lifestyle can reduce risk for Alzheimer's,” Raji said. "Virtually all of the physical activities examined in this study are some variation of aerobic physical activity, which we know from other work can improve cerebral blood flow and strengthen neuronal connections.”

Money is limited for new medical research, so the UCLA team went through the records from another study -- that explains why some of the data is old.

"This is the largest study of its kind that has ever been done," Raji said.
But even older data can be a gold mine for researchers. To log exercise, the volunteers wrote down all the activities they could remember over a two-week period. Some went back and filled out questionnaires five years later, so Raji's team could make some comparisons.

"We found that individuals who increased calories burned over five years also had more gray matter volume," Raji said.

Raji isn't sure how some people only managed to burn off 348 extra calories a week, but said they may have been ill or even bedridden.

When they looked in more detail at the surveys, the researchers noted that it was the people who managed to work exercise into their daily lives who racked up the most weekly calories. So unless people enjoy standard “exercise” such as running, they should find something they like and are likely to stick to, said Raji.

“No pharmaceutical drug on the market has been shown to have these effects on the brain -- not a single drug,” said Raji. And exercise is available to anyone. “And it doesn’t cost anything,” he said.

In the first 10 years of the study, 97 people developed Alzheimer’s, and just about a quarter of them were in the top 25 percent of exercisers. Raji said the disease was detected very early in this study because the volunteers were being studied so intensely. “Most had not yet been diagnosed by their primary care physicians,” he said.

Now the team is going to go through the surveys to see if the people who had the most gray matter were the least likely to develop Alzheimer’s – or if the brain disease progressed more slowly in those with the most gray matter. And they want to follow up with as many of the volunteers as possible to see how they have fared.

“I really do believe that we have strong evidence that physical activity can be a way to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease,” Raji said.

How many calories can you burn doing various activities? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a calculator here. An hour of dancing can burn 330 calories an hour while walking burns about 280 calories an hour.

'Asperger's disorder' being dropped from psychiatrists' diagnostic guide

CHICAGO -- The now familiar term "Asperger's disorder" is being dropped. And abnormally bad and frequent temper tantrums will be given a scientific-sounding diagnosis called DMDD. But "dyslexia" and other learning disorders remain.

The revisions come in the first major rewrite in nearly 20 years of the diagnostic guide used by the nation's psychiatrists. Changes were approved Saturday.

Full details of all the revisions will come next May when the American Psychiatric Association's new diagnostic manual is published, but the impact will be huge, affecting millions of children and adults worldwide. The manual also is important for the insurance industry in deciding what treatment to pay for, and it helps schools decide how to allot special education.

This diagnostic guide "defines what constellations of symptoms" doctors recognize as mental disorders, said Dr. Mark Olfson, a Columbia University psychiatry professor. More important, he said, it "shapes who will receive what treatment. Even seemingly subtle changes to the criteria can have substantial effects on patterns of care."

Olfson was not involved in the revision process. The changes were approved Saturday in suburban Washington, D.C., by the psychiatric association's board of trustees.

The aim is not to expand the number of people diagnosed with mental illness, but to ensure that affected children and adults are more accurately diagnosed so they can get the most appropriate treatment, said Dr. David Kupfer. He chaired the task force in charge of revising the manual and is a psychiatry professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

One of the most hotly argued changes was how to define the various ranges of autism. Some advocates opposed the idea of dropping the specific diagnosis for Asperger's disorder. People with that disorder often have high intelligence and vast knowledge on narrow subjects but lack social skills.

Some who have the condition embrace their quirkiness and vow to continue to use the label.

And some Asperger's families opposed any change, fearing their kids would lose a diagnosis and no longer be eligible for special services.

But the revision will not affect their education services, experts say.

The new manual adds the term "autism spectrum disorder," which already is used by many experts in the field. Asperger's disorder will be dropped and incorporated under that umbrella diagnosis. The new category will include kids with severe autism, who often don't talk or interact, as well as those with milder forms.

Kelli Gibson of Battle Creek, Mich., who has four sons with various forms of autism, said Saturday she welcomes the change. Her boys all had different labels in the old diagnostic manual, including a 14-year-old with Asperger's.
"To give it separate names never made sense to me," Gibson said. "To me, my children all had autism."

Three of her boys receive special education services in public school; the fourth is enrolled in a school for disabled children. The new autism diagnosis won't affect those services, Gibson said. She also has a 3-year-old daughter without autism.

People with dyslexia also were closely watching for the new updated doctors' guide. Many with the reading disorder did not want their diagnosis to be dropped. And it won't be. Instead, the new manual will have a broader learning disorder category to cover several conditions including dyslexia, which causes difficulty understanding letters and recognizing written words.

The trustees on Saturday made the final decision on what proposals made the cut; recommendations came from experts in several work groups assigned to evaluate different mental illnesses.

The revised guidebook "represents a significant step forward for the field. It will improve our ability to accurately diagnose psychiatric disorders," Dr. David Fassler, the group's treasurer and a University of Vermont psychiatry professor, said after the vote.

The shorthand name for the new edition, the organization's fifth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, is DSM-5. Group leaders said specifics won't be disclosed until the manual is published but they confirmed some changes. A 2000 edition of the manual made minor changes but the last major edition was published in 1994.

Olfson said the manual "seeks to capture the current state of knowledge of psychiatric disorders. Since 2000 ... there have been important advances in our understanding of the nature of psychiatric disorders."

Catherine Lord, an autism expert at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York who was on the psychiatric group's autism task force, said anyone who met criteria for Asperger's in the old manual would be included in the new diagnosis.

One reason for the change is that some states and school systems don't provide services for children and adults with Asperger's, or provide fewer services than those given an autism diagnosis, she said.

Autism researcher Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer for the advocacy group Autism Speaks, said small studies have suggested the new criteria will be effective. But she said it will be crucial to monitor so that children don't lose services.

Other changes include:

—A new diagnosis for severe recurrent temper tantrums — disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. Critics say it will medicalize kids' who have normal tantrums. Supporters say it will address concerns about too many kids being misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder and treated with powerful psychiatric drugs. Bipolar disorder involves sharp mood swings and affected children are sometimes very irritable or have explosive tantrums.

—Eliminating the term "gender identity disorder." It has been used for children or adults who strongly believe that they were born the wrong gender. But many activists believe the condition isn't a disorder and say calling it one is stigmatizing. The term would be replaced with "gender dysphoria," which means emotional distress over one's gender. Supporters equated the change with removing homosexuality as a mental illness in the diagnostic manual, which happened decades ago.