Tuesday, May 15, 2007

News and Blogs Together, Tuesday, May 15, 2007

  • Biggest news today, the second straight year of increase in violent crimes looks pretty sure after a 3.7% increase for the first six months, primarily because of younger offenders again, like in the 80s. DOJ has its explanations, but the one that cracks me up? ". . . laws in some states provide few, if any, tough penalties on juvenile offenders." Please, stop it, you're killing me. What a story. No names, no examples. Somebody please tell me where these “states” are and if any of them house the cities and suburbs this report claims to have investigated. My sides are hurting.
  • Wouldn't really want to be the one doing this research since it shows eat-up child brains (that got your attention, I suspect), but the pictures of brains of crystal meth users and their children if in the womb at the time show definite swelling, inflammation, and less organized nerve fibers. And the effects can go on for a year or two even after stopping, maybe explaining the continuing craving. Next up for study? Comparing teen meth users and non-users. We'll let you know.
  • More MRI experiments and possibilities for technocorrections. "What might have been" or fictive learning affects the brain and plays an important role in the choices individuals make -- and may play a role in addiction, said Baylor College of Medicine researchers and others in a report that appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Fictive learning, it's called, and here's how they want to use it: "These results provide a new tool for exploring issues related to addiction," Montague said. "For example, why does a person choose using a drug even though he or she can imagine the bad consequences that can result" We now have a way to measure quantitatively the balance between reward-seeking (like seeking a drug) and the thoughts that could intervene."
  • THE resource on the Adam Walsh act, now available at Sex Crimes Blog. Thanks for all the hard work, Corey.
  • Never get tired of the "drug court successes" stories. Here's one from MD. Meanwhile in NV, drug courts are just one of the things two of the state's Sup Crt justices are pushing, along with revised sentencing laws, to get the state's budget and prison probs under control.
  • REALLY depressing story on how the Japanese deal with rape if you’re in the mood to be depressed. I'm serious. Don't go there if you're not. (Now you're bound to, aren't you?)
  • Finally, I've tried to resist, and I apologize for my weakness. Poor Paris Hilton is so traumatized by her recent conviction and the prospect of jail that she just can't be expected to participate in the trial where she's getting sued for basically sounding like who she is. You catch yourself wishing this little girl would have some "grow up" sprinkled on her before you realize whom you're thinking about. Maybe this--a statue of her getting autopsied, complete with that little rat she calls a dog on her chest--will capture her attention to the possibilities that seem to be closing in on her. But then you get this part of the story: The 42-year-old artist, a father of three from Moosup, Conn., acknowledges that Hilton's primary claim to fame is "as a seductress. But I do respect her ability to build this career out of pretty much nothing." . . . Pretty much???

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