High school students who feel they do not fit in are less likely to attend college — particularly girls who are gay or obese — according to new research from The University of Texas at Austin.
"Because social experiences in high school have such demonstrable effects on academic progress and attending college, the social concerns of teenagers are educational concerns for school," says sociologist Robert Crosnoe.
Crosnoe has completed one of the most comprehensive studies of the long-term effects on teenagers who say they don't fit in. He used national statistics from 132 high schools and spent more than a year inside a high school in Texas with 2,200 students, observing and interviewing teenagers. His findings will be published in his new book "Fitting In, Standing Out" (Cambridge University Press, April 11).
"Kids who have social problems — often because they are overweight or gay are at greater risk of missing out on going to college simply because of the social problems they have and how it affects them emotionally," says Crosnoe, a Sociology Department professor and Population Research Center affiliate. "Not because of anything to do with intelligence or academic progress."
Girls were 57 percent and boys 68 percent less likely than peers of the same race, social class and academic background to attend college if they had feelings of not fitting in, according to the study. Particularly at risk were girls who are obese, who are 78 percent less likely to attend college than non-obese girls, and those who are gay, who are 50 percent less likely to attend.
Crosnoe found feelings of not fitting in led to increased depression, marijuana use and truancy over time. Those coping strategies interrupt the education process — the classes teenagers take, the grades they make — which, in turn, affect their ability to go to college.
"Teenagers cope with the discomforts of not fitting in, including being bullied, in ways that are protective in the short term, but disastrous in the long term," says Crosnoe.
His research, funded by the National Institutes of Health and William T. Grant Foundation, has resulted in recommendations for how parents, teachers and policymakers can ensure that the social side of high school supports, rather than undermines, academics. It comes at a time when state lawmakers and federal policymakers are tackling bullying — often a cause of teenage social problems — as a national crisis.
Hundreds of thousands of individuals globally celebrate today (May 5, 2011 - TA note) the confirmation that their efforts to end the torturous pre-trial confinement conditions inflicted upon US Army PFC Bradley Manning have been successful. Manning's lead defense attorney, David E. Coombs of Rhode Island, has personally verified that Manning is indeed being held in Medium Custody confinement at the Joint Regional Corrections Facility (JRCF) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as claimed by the Army last week.
"We won this battle because 600,000 individuals took the time to write letters and sign petitions, because thousands called the White House switchboard, because 300 of America's top legal scholars decried Bradley's pre-trial conditions as a clear violation of our Constitution's 5th and 8th Amendments," declared Jeff Paterson of Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network. "We won this battle because over a hundred concerned citizens engaged in civil disobedience at the White House and at Quantico, and because our grassroots campaign shows no sign of slowing."
These new conditions reflect a dramatic improvement for Manning following his transfer to Fort Leavenworth on April 20, 2011, after having suffered extreme solitary-like confinement at US Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. During the nine months at Quantico, Manning was denied meaningful exercise, social interaction, sunlight, and was at times kept completely naked. These conditions were unique to Manning and were illegal under US military law as they clearly amounted to pre-trial punishment.
"I was able to tour the (Fort Leavenworth) facility and meet with PFC Manning last week. PFC Manning is now being held in Medium Custody. He is no longer under.harsh pretrial confinement conditions. Unlike at Quantico, PFC Manning's cell has a large window that provides adequate natural light....PFC Manning is able to have all of his personal items in his cell, which include his clothing, his legal materials, books and letters from family and friends....Each pre-trial area (including PFC Manning's) has four cells, and each pre-trial detainee is assigned to his own cell. The cells are connected to a shared common area, with a table, a treadmill, a television and a shower area....PFC Manning and his group are taken to the outdoor recreation area [for approximately two hours daily]," explained Coombs on his blog at www.armycourtmartialdefense.info hours ago.
"President Obama's recent pronouncement that Bradley Manning 'broke the law' amounts to Unlawful Command Influence, something clearly prohibited because it's devastating to the military justice system. Manning will eventually be judged by a jury of career military officers and noncommissioned officers. Will they be able to set aside the declaration of their commander in chief?" explains attorney Kevin Zeese, a member of the Bradley Manning Support Network. "Along with the illegal pre-trial punishment already inflicted upon Bradley, the government has more than enough legal basis to drop the prosecution. Instead, the death penalty or life in prison hangs over Manning's head."
After nearly a year in confinement, the Army is expected to soon announce Manning's first public hearing, an Article 32 pre-trail proceeding, which will be held in the Washington DC area. Scores of international solidarity events are already being planned.
US Army intelligence analyst Private First Class Bradley E. Manning, 23-years-old, was arrested in Iraq on May 26, 2010. He still awaits his first public court hearing, now expected to begin in June 2011. Over 4,300 individuals have contributed over $333,000 towards PFC Manning's legal fees and related public education efforts. The Bradley Manning Support Network is dedicated to thwarting the military's attempts to hold a secret court martial, and to eventually winning the freedom of PFC Manning.
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have achieved a breakthrough in the field of nanoscience by successfully altering nanocrystal properties with impurity atoms -- a process called doping – thereby opening the way for the manufacture of improved semiconductor nanocrystals.
Semiconductor nanocrystals consist of tens to thousands of atoms and are 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. These tiny particles have uses in a host of fields, such as solid-state lighting, solar cells and bio-imaging. One of the main potential applications of these remarkable materials is in the semiconductor industry, where intensive miniaturization has been taking place for the last 50 years and is now in the nanometer range.
However, these semiconductors are poor electrical conductors, and in order to use them in electronic circuits, their conductivity must be tuned by the addition of impurities. In this process, foreign atoms, called impurities, are introduced into the semiconductor, causing an improvement in its electrical conductivity.
Today, the semiconductor industry annually spends billions of dollars in efforts to intentionally add impurities into semiconductor products, which is a major step in the manufacturing of numerous electronic products, including computer chips, light emitting diodes and solar cells.
Due to the importance of doping to the semiconductor industry, researchers worldwide have made continuing attempts at doping nanocrystals in order to achieve ever greater miniaturization and to improve production methods for electronic devices. Unfortunately, these tiny crystals are resistant to doping, as their small size causes the impurities to be expelled. An additional problem is the lack of analytical techniques available to study small amounts of dopants in nanocrystals. Due to this limitation, most of the research in this area has focused on introducing magnetic impurities, which can be analyzed more easily. However, the magnetic impurities don't really improve the conductivity of the nanocrystal.
Prof. Uri Banin and his graduate student, David Mocatta, of the Hebrew University Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, have achieved a breakthrough in their development of a straightforward, room- temperature chemical reaction to introduce impurity atoms of metals into the semiconductor nanocrystals. They saw new effects not previously reported. However, when the researchers tried to explain the results, they found that the physics of doped nanocrystals was not very well understood.
Bit by bit, in collaboration with Prof. Oded Millo of the Hebrew University and with Guy Cohen and Prof. Eran Rabani of Tel Aviv University, they built up a comprehensive picture of how the impurities affect the properties of nanocrystals. The initial difficulty in explaining this process proved to be a great opportunity, as they discovered that the impurity affects the nanocrystal in unexpected ways, resulting in new and intriguing physics.
"We had to use a combination of many techniques that when taken together make it obvious that we managed to dope the nanocrystals. It took five years but we got there in the end," said Mocatta.
This breakthrough was reported recently in the prestigious journal Science. It sets the stage for the development of many potential applications with nanocrystals, ranging from electronics to optics, from sensing to alternative energy solutions. Doped nanocrystals can be used to make new types of nanolasers, solar cells, sensors and transistors, meeting the exacting demands of the semiconductor industry.
A consortium of scientists is developing a new type of large fluid battery that will be able to store enough renewable energy to power 2,000 homes. One of the roadblocks to large-scale renewable energy adoption is that it is intermittent — if the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing power can’t be generated, so there is a tremendous need for systems that store excess power to be released as needed. These new batteries are based on redox flow technology — which converts chemical energy to electrical currents very quickly — and each one will be the size of a handball court.
The scientists have already developed a working 2 kilowatt battery and are hoping to scale the model up to 20 megawatt hours. “The process already works reliably,” notes Dr. Christian Dötsch, business unit manager for a participating institute, Energy Efficiency Technologies at UMSICHT. “The challenge lies in the upscale version, the enlargement of these plants.”
In principle the scientists believe they can build an 80 kW battery with their present technology, and they hope to get a 20 kW system up and running by the end of this year. They are working on new membranes and battery designs that have the potential to create batteries with megawatt capacities in about five years. Though they’ve got a long way to go to reach their desired capacity, this technology is a promising candidate for large-scale renewable power storage facilities.
ZM Global Radio is a weekly radio show presented by various active coordinators of The Zeitgeist Movement in a rotational fashion. These broadcasts discuss the developments and aims of The Zeitgeist Movement.
This wednesday May 4th 2011 at 4pm EDT Cliff Faber, coordinator of the Canadian Chapter, will host The Zeitgeist Movement's Global Radio show.
He will talk about the upcoming Zeitgeist media Festival and will look at chapters and their continued goal of reaching the masses through continued awareness campaigns. A couple guests will be on hand to talk about some very effective campaign strategies that they are using for spreading the message of a Resource Based Economy to the global public.
On May 1, 2011 Pres. Barack Obama appeared on national television with the spontaneous announcement that Osama bin Laden, the purported organizer of the tragic events of September 11th 2001, was killed by military forces in Pakistan.
Within moments, a media blitz ran across virtually all television networks in what could only be described as a grotesque celebratory display, reflective of a level of emotional immaturity that borders on cultural psychosis. Depictions of people running through the streets of New York and Washington chanting jingoistic American slogans, waving their flags like the members of some cult, praising the death of another human being, reveals yet another layer of this sickness we call modern society.
It is not the scope of this response to address the political usage of such an event or to illuminate the staged orchestration of how public perception was to be controlled by the mainstream media and the United States Government. Rather the point of this article is to express the gross irrationality apparent and how our culture becomes so easily fixed and emotionally charged with respect to surface symbology, rather than true root problems, solutions or rational considerations of circumstance.
The first and most obvious point is that the death of Osama bin Laden means nothing when it comes to the problem of international terrorism. His death simply serves as a catharsis for a culture that has a neurotic fixation on revenge and retribution. The very fact that the Government which, from a psychological standpoint, has always served as a paternal figure for it citizens, reinforces the idea that murdering people is a solution to anything should be enough for most of us to take pause and consider the quality of the values coming out of the zeitgeist itself.
However, beyond the emotional distortions and tragic, vindictive pattern of rewarding the continuation of human division and violence comes a more practical consideration regarding what the problem really is and the importance of that problem with respect to priority.
The death of any human being is of an immeasurable consequence in society. It is never just the death of the individual. It is the death of relationships, companionship, support and the integrity of familial and communal environments. The unnecessary deaths of 3000 people on September 11, 2001 is no more or no less important than the deaths of those during the World Wars, via cancer and disease, accidents or anything else.
As a society, it is safe to say that we seek a world that strategically limits all such unnecessary consequences through social approaches that allow for the greatest safety our ingenuity can create. It is in this context that the neurotic obsession with the events of September 11th, 2001 become gravely insulting and detrimental to progress. An environment has now been created where outrageous amounts of money, resources and energy is spent seeking and destroying very small subcultures of human beings that pose ideological differences and act on those differences through violence.
Yet, in the United States alone each year, roughly 30,000 people die from automobile accidents, the majority of which could be stopped by very simple structural changes. That's ten 9/11's each year... yet no one seems to pine over this epidemic. Likewise, over 1 million Americans die from heart disease and cancer annually - causes of which are now easily linked to environmental influences in the majority. Yet, regardless of the over 330 9/11's occurring each year in this context, the governmental budget allocations for research on these illnesses is only a small fraction of the money spent on “anti-terrorism” operations.
Such a list could go on and on with regard to the perversion of priority when it comes to what it means to truly save and protect human life and I hope many out there can recognize the severe imbalance we have at hand with respect to our values.
So, coming back to the point of revenge and retribution, I will conclude this response with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., likely the most brilliant intuitive mind when it came to conflict and the power of non-violence. On September 15, 1963 a Birmingham Alabama church was bombed, killing four little girls attending Sunday school.
In a public address, Dr. King stated:
“What murdered these four girls? Look around. You will see that many people that you never thought about participated in this evil act. So tonight all of us must leave here with a new determination to struggle. God has a job for us to do. Maybe our mission is to save the soul of America. We can't save the soul of this nation throwing bricks. We can't save the soul of this nation getting our ammunitions and going out shooting physical weapons. We must know that we have something much more powerful. Just take up the ammunition of love.”
Future buildings may use heat to cool off more efficiently, using new materials developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The materials could enable compact adsorption chillers inside homes and office buildings.
Adsorption chillers are a type of air conditioner that runs on waste heat, requiring very little electricity. But they’re big and expensive, which has limited their use to large, hot places like power plants or industrial spaces, as Technology Review explains.
PNNL received a grant last summer from the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, ARPA-E, to build smaller adsorption chillers based on PNNL-developed nanostructured metal-organic heat carriers, or MOHCs. The material is more porous than existing adsorption materials, which makes them more efficient. PNNL researchers displayed the new material at a recent conference.
Adsorption is the binding of molecules or particles to a surface. In an adsorption chiller, hot water drives the cooling process instead of electricity. An evaporated refrigerant (in this case, water) binds to the surface of silica gel. The gel acts as a sponge for water vapor, and when the gel is heated, the water molecules are released, condensing into water droplets when the pressure rises.
The nanostructured MOHCs are even better sponges, trapping three or four times more water by weight, which can reduce the size of the system. They are also more efficient at releasing the water molecules, further reducing the chiller’s size; Tech Review gives the full breakdown here.
PNNL says a variety of heat sources can be used to warm up the MOHCs and free the water vapor, such as burning natural gas or other fuels, heating with solar thermal, or capturing engine or fuel cell system waste heat.
Friends, Below is the updated Mission Statement of The Zeitgeist Movement.
As many in the community might be aware, The Zeitgeist Movement is no longer in partnership with The Venus Project due to Jacque Fresco's interest to keep a more centralized focus on his work.
While TZM supports and advocates the concepts that encompass TVP, The Movement's focus has now become more open and flexible in its pursuit of a 'Resource Based Economic Model', inviting a larger community of sustainable perspectives and activism than before.
Thank you. ZM
- MISSION STATEMENT [Updated April 24th '11] -
Founded in 2008, The Zeitgeist Movement is a Sustainability Advocacy Organization which conducts community based activism and awareness actions through a network of Global/Regional Chapters, Project Teams, Annual Events, Media and Charity Work.
The Movement's principle focus includes the recognition that the majority of the social problems which plague the human species at this time are not the sole result of some institutional corruption, scarcity, a political policy, a flaw of "human nature" or other commonly held assumptions of causality in the activist community. Rather, The Movement recognizes that issues such as poverty, corruption, collapse, homelessness, war, starvation and the like appear to be "Symptoms" born out of an outdated social structure. While intermediate Reform steps and temporal Community Support are of interest to The Movement, the defining goal here is the installation of a new socioeconomic model based upon technically responsible Resource Management, Allocation and Distribution through what would be considered The Scientific Method of reasoning problems and finding optimized solutions.
This "Resource-Based Economic Model” is about taking a direct technical approach to social management as opposed to a Monetary or even Political one. It is about updating the workings of society to the most advanced and proven methods Science has to offer, leaving behind the damaging consequences and limiting inhibitions which are generated by our current system of monetary exchange, profits, corporations and other structural and motivational components.
The Movement is loyal to a train of thought, not figures or institutions. In other words, the view held is that through the use of socially targeted research and tested understandings in Science and Technology, we are now able to logically arrive at societal applications which could be profoundly more effective in meeting the needs of the human population. In fact, so much so, that there is little reason to assume war, poverty, 95% of most crime and many other money-based scarcity effects common in our current model cannot be resolved over time.
The range of The Movement's Activism & Awareness Campaigns extend from short to long term. The long term view, which is the transition into a Resource-Based Economic Model, is a constant pursuit and expression, as stated before. However, in the path to get there, The Movement also recognizes the need for transitional Reform techniques, along with direct Community Support.
For instance, while "Monetary Reform" itself is not an end solution proposed by The Movement, the merit of such legislative approaches are still considered valid in the context of transition and temporal integrity. Likewise, while food and clothes drives and other supportive projects to help those in need today is also not considered a long term solution, it is still also considered valid in the context of helping others in a time of need, while also drawing awareness to the principle goal.
The Zeitgeist Movement also has no allegiance to a country or traditional political platforms. It views the world as a single system and the human species as a single family and recognizes that all countries must disarm and learn to share resources and ideas if we expect to survive in the long run. Hence, the solutions arrived at and promoted are in the interest to help everyone on the planet Earth, not a select group.
Researchers at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University have demonstrated bio-inspired structures that self-assemble from simple building blocks: spheres.
The helical "supermolecules" are made of tiny colloid balls instead of atoms or molecules. Similar methods could be used to make new materials with the functionality of complex colloidal molecules. The team publishes its findings in the Jan. 14 issue of the journal Science.
"We can now make a whole new class of smart materials, which opens the door to new functionality that we couldn't imagine before," said Steve Granick, Founder Professor of Engineering at the University of Illinois and a professor of materials science and engineering, chemistry, and physics.
Granick's team developed tiny latex spheres, dubbed "Janus spheres," which attract each other in water on one side, but repel each other on the other side. The dual nature is what gives the spheres their ability to form unusual structures, in a similar way to atoms and molecules.
In pure water, the particles disperse completely because their charged sides repel one another. However, when salt is added to the solution, the salt ions soften the repulsion so the spheres can approach sufficiently closely for their hydrophobic ends to attract. The attraction between those ends draws the spheres together into clusters.
At low salt concentrations, small clusters of only a few particles form. At higher levels, larger clusters form, eventually self-assembling into chains with an intricate helical structure.
"Just like atoms growing into molecules, these particles can grow into supracolloids," Granick said. "Such pathways would be very conventional if we were talking about atoms and molecules reacting with each other chemically, but people haven't realized that particles can behave in this way also."
The team designed spheres with just the right amount of attraction between their hydrophobic halves so that they would stick to one another but still be dynamic enough to allow for motion, rearrangement, and cluster growth.
"The amount of stickiness really does matter a lot. You can end up with something that's disordered, just small clusters, or if the spheres are too sticky, you end up with a globular mess instead of these beautiful structures," said graduate student Jonathan Whitmer, a co-author of the paper.
One of the advantages of the team's supermolecules is that they are large enough to observe in real time using a microscope. The researchers were able to watch the Janus spheres come together and the clusters grow -- whether one sphere at a time or by merging with other small clusters -- and rearrange into different structural configurations the team calls isomers.
"We design these smart materials to fall into useful shapes that nature wouldn't choose," Granick said.
Surprisingly, theoretical calculations and computer simulations by Erik Luijten, Northwestern University professor of materials science and engineering and of engineering sciences and applied mathematics, and Whitmer, a student in his group, showed that the most common helical structures are not the most energetically favorable. Rather, the spheres come together in a way that is the most kinetically favorable -- that is, the first good fit that they encounter.
Next, the researchers hope to continue to explore the colloid properties with a view toward engineering more unnatural structures. Janus particles of differing sizes or shapes could open the door to building other supermolecules and to greater control over their formation.
"These particular particles have preferred structures, but now that we realize the general mechanism, we can apply it to other systems -- smaller particles, different interactions -- and try to engineer clusters that switch in shape," Granick said.
About: ZM Global Radio is a weekly radio show presented by various active coordinators of The Zeitgeist Movement in a rotational fashion. These broadcasts discuss the developments and aims of The Zeitgeist Movement. http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com
This Wed., April. 27th 2011 at 4pm EDT (for the world Time Table variations, please verify this LINK) Federico Pistono, coordinator of the Italian Chapter, will host The Zeitgeist Movement's Global Radio show, covering the topics of collaboration and organization.