Ricardo Orrego y el Analfabetismo Digital.

Mención frecuente tiene la palabra tecnología dentro de los escenarios propios de telecomunicaciones, información y despliegue multimedia. El ejemplo de hoy nos remite a preguntas que parecen casi inconexas con el Mundial de Fútbol de Brasil 2014: ¿por qué esa vocación de personajes ancianos (no proclives al aprendizaje) para descalificar recursos informáticos evadiendo su propia torpeza? ¿Cuántas veces vamos a escuchar a un experto deportivo, académico o político evadir la crítica personal o escaparse a responder ¨no sé¨ o ¨me equivoqué¨? ¿Hasta qué punto sustentamos nuestro periodismo en lugares comunes de conversaciones vacías como la pertinencia de ese algo distinto intitulado tecnología?

Un problema elemental de comprensión de lectura digital describe la diatriba de seis comentarios de Ricardo Orrego cuestionando el segundo gol de Francia en su partido inaugural frente a Honduras. No leer un texto completo u observar en su totalidad un paquete de información son déficits razonables en los primeros años de educación escolar media. Fundar una exposición en un medio masivo de información (Caracol TV, con el rating del Mundial de Fútbol) en un error de análisis de información propio en salones de clase con preadolescentes nos recuerda cuán pertinente vuelve a ser reforzar habilidades ínfimas escolares antes de proporcionar un micrófono y salario a un personaje tan elemental como Ricardo.

Mars Curiosity rover’s Top 5 discoveries

NASA’s Curiosity rover has already made a number of remarkable discoveries in just seven months on Mars. Here’s a “Top Five” list:

— Chemicals of life: NASA announces Tuesday that analysis of a Martian rock finds chemistry that could have once supported living things on the Red Planet.

— Once-habitable environment: More than three billion years ago, relatively freshwater flowed over clay lake beds packed with minerals useful for biochemistry, inside Gale Crater, where the rover now roams.

— Gray Mars: The drill on the rover revealed sub-surface conditions on Mars that point to distinctly different coloration for the Red Planet in the past. Instead of the ubiquitous ruddy dust now coating the planet, a mudstone gray appears to have carpeted the floor of Gale Crater.

— Aloha, Mars: An X-ray spectrum analysis of the surface dust on Mars finds that chemically it resembles the basaltic lava spewed from Hawaii’s volcanoes. The find points to volcanic origins for the dust.

STORY: Life on Mars? Rover shows it could’ve been possible

— Astronaut hazards: Radiation monitoring sensors on the rover have confirmed that radiation on the Martian surfaces rivals conditions in interplanetary space, important knowledge for the safety of future explorers.

via Mars Curiosity rover’s Top 5 discoveries.

‘Organic’ a waste of money? Depends on your reason for buying it – latimes.com

‘Organic’ a waste of money? Depends on your reason for buying it

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Gayle King speaks with registered dietitian Samantha Heller about a new study that says organically grown food is not more nutritious than non-organic foods.

By Rene Lynch

September 4, 2012, 12:20 p.m.

The American public has been hammered for years by seemingly everyone from First Lady Michelle Obama to Dr. Oz that buying organic produce is the way to go. Many of us have dutifully complied, even as it left a sizable dent in our bank account.

Now a new study suggests that buying organic might not be worth the money. The research, out of Stanford University, found that organic produce isn’t necessarily healthier than more conventional produce.

Consumers might well ask: Can’t all you “experts” with your fancy degrees and titles agree on anything?

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Further, although the study found that organic produce carried fewer pesticides, the levels detected in the conventionally grown produce were well within federally established safety guidelines, the study says.

The upshot? “There isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods, if you’re an adult and making a decision based solely on your health,” study senior author Dr. Dena Bravata of Stanford’s Center for Health Policy said in a university statement.

Instead of clarifying the issue of organics for the public, this latest study might complicate it, with some saying that  the findings miss the point and actually pose a red herring for consumers. 

One of the most recognized voices in this arena, author Michael Pollan, tweeted that nutritional questions are not necessarily the reason for the “buy organic” movement. There’s a long list of reasons to go organic, including limiting exposure to pesticides and a way of farming that is more environmentally friendly. (The Atlantic posted a reaction piece online titled “Organic Food Isn’t More Nutritious, But That Isn’t the Point.”)

Take the temperature over on Twitter, and you’ll find many blaming not just the study but the media as well for allegedly distorting the study’s findings with an overly negative headline and stories that miss the nuance. 

Our sister blog, Booster Shots, delved further into the study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and its findings.

The study is only the latest in a long list of seemingly contradictory health news, made more confusing by the media’s desire to boil months and years of research into a single headline.

One day, coffee is good for you, the next it’s bad. One day eggs are good for you, the next day egg yolks are right up there with smoking(!).

One finding that we won’t argue with: that fried food isn’t always bad for you — especially when that chicken is fried in heart-friendly olive oil or sunflower oil.

via 'Organic' a waste of money? Depends on your reason for buying it – latimes.com.

Full transcript of Julian Assange’s speech outside Ecuador’s London embassy – Home News – UK – The Independent

“Can you hear me?

“I am here today because I cannot be there with you today. But thank you for coming. Thank you for your resolve and your generosity of spirit.

“On Wednesday night, after a threat was sent to this embassy and the police descended on this building, you came out in the middle of the night to watch over it and you brought the world’s eyes with you.

“Inside this embassy, after dark, I could hear teams of police swarming up into the building through its internal fire escape. But I knew there would be witnesses. And that is because of you.

“If the UK did not throw away the Vienna conventions the other night, it is because the world was watching. And the world was watching because you were watching.

“So, the next time somebody tells you that it is pointless to defend those rights that we hold dear, remind them of your vigil in the dark before the Embassy of Ecuador.

“Remind them how, in the morning, the sun came up on a different world and a courageous Latin America nation took a stand for justice.

And so, to those brave people. I thank President Correa for the courage he has shown in considering and in granting me political asylum.

“And I also thank the government, and in particular Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, who upheld the Ecuadorian constitution and its notion of universal rights in their consideration of my asylum. And to the Ecuadorian people for supporting and defending this constitution.

“And I also have a debt of gratitude to the staff of this embassy, whose families live in London and who have shown me the hospitality and kindness despite the threats we all received.

“This Friday, there will be an emergency meeting of the foreign ministers of Latin America in Washington DC to address this very situation.

“And so, I am grateful to those people and governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, and to all other Latin American countries who have come out to defend the right to asylum.

“And to the people of the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden and Australia who have supported me in strength, even when their governments have not. And to those wiser heads in government who are still fighting for justice. Your day will come.

“To the staff, supporters and sources of Wikileaks, whose courage and commitment and loyalty has seen no equal.

“To my family and to my children who have been denied their father. Forgive me, we will be reunited soon.

“As Wikileaks stands under threat, so does the freedom of expression and the health of all our societies. We must use this moment to articulate the choice that is before the government of the United States of America.

“Will it return to and reaffirm the values, the revolutionary values it was founded on, or will it lurch off the precipice dragging us all into a dangerous and oppressive world, in which journalists fall silent under the fear of prosecution and citizens must whisper in the dark?

“I say it must turn back. I ask President Obama to do the right thing. The United States must renounce its witch-hunts against Wikileaks. The United States must dissolve its FBI investigation.

“The United States must vow that it will not seek to prosecute our staff or our supporters. The United States must pledge before the world that it will not pursue journalists for shining a light on the secret crimes of the powerful.

“There must be no more foolish talk about prosecuting any media organisation; be it Wikileaks, or be it the New York Times.

“The US administration’s war on whistleblowers must end.

“Thomas Drake, William Binney and John Kirakou and the other heroic whistleblowers must – they must – be pardoned or compensated for the hardships they have endured as servants of the public record.

“And to the Army Private who remains in a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, who was found by the United Nations to have endured months of torturous detention in Quantico, Virginia and who has yet – after two years in prison – to see a trial: he must be released.

“Bradley Manning must be released.

“And if Bradley Manning did as he is accused, he is a hero and an example to us all and one of the world’s foremost political prisoners.

“Bradley Manning must be released.

“On Wednesday, Bradley Manning spent his 815th day of detention without trial. The legal maximum is 120 days.

“On Thursday, my friend Nabeel Rajab, President of the Bahrain Human Rights Centre, was sentenced to three years in prison for a tweet. On Friday, a Russian band were sentenced to two years in jail for a political performance.

“There is unity in the oppression. There must be absolute unity and determination in the response.

“Thank you.”

via Full transcript of Julian Assange's speech outside Ecuador's London embassy – Home News – UK – The Independent.

UK medical school teaching on physical activity virtually ‘non-existent’ | Science Codex

UK medical school teaching on physical activity virtually ‘non-existent’

posted on: july 27, 2012 – 11:00pm

[Physical activity education in the undergraduate curricula of all UK medical schools. Are tomorrow’s doctors equipped to follow clinical guidelines? Online First doi 10.1136/bjsports-2012-091380]

UK medical school teaching on physical activity is “sparse or non-existent,” finds research published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine today.

This knowledge gap will leave tomorrow’s doctors ill equipped to promote physical activity effectively to their patients and stem the rising tide of serious disease associated with lack of exercise, say the authors.

They base their findings on the results of a survey sent to the curriculum lead or director for medical studies for each of the UK’s 31 medical schools.

This asked about the form and content of key aspects of education on the promotion of physical activity, in accordance with national guidelines, and the total amount of time given over to teaching the basic science and health benefits of physical activity across the undergraduate course.

The education leads were asked to name the specific teaching modules in which physical activity education appeared. And they were asked if the Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO’s) guidance on physical activity―which spans all age groups, and which was published last July―appeared anywhere in the curriculum.

The responses uncovered “some alarming findings, showing that there is widespread omission of basic teaching elements,” say the authors.

All the medical schools responded. Only four (15.5%) included physical activity in each year of the undergraduate course. Five (16%) did not include any specific teaching on it in their undergraduate courses.

Only half (15) schools included the current CMO guidance on physical activity in their course, despite it being endorsed by all four UK departments of health.

Its absence points to a major disconnect between undergraduate medical education, evidence based clinical guidelines for the treatment and management of many long term conditions, and national policy, with its emphasis on good health and disease prevention, say the authors.

The total amount of time spent on teaching physical activity was “minimal”, the responses showed, averaging just 4 hours compared with an average of 109 hours for pharmacology, say the authors.

The specific modules in which physical activity featured varied widely, but it was most often included in public health, cardiology, respiratory medicine and endocrinology.

Only two schools said it was included in health promotion and in community and general practice.

The authors point to 39 different clinical guidelines for specific diseases and conditions in which physical activity features as a method of treatment, and highlight the fact that most of the population lives largely sedentary lives.

“A basic understanding of the benefits of physical activity, how to effectively promote it (with behaviour change techniques), and combat sedentary behaviour for different age groups underpin the ability of future doctors to manage modern non-communicable chronic diseases and follow clinical guidelines,” conclude the authors.

They call for dedicated teaching time on physical activity for all medical students, as a matter of urgency.

Source: BMJ-British Medical Journal

via UK medical school teaching on physical activity virtually 'non-existent' | Science Codex.

Se nos ha muerto Esther Tusquets | El blog de Santiago González | Blogs | elmundo.es

Siempre me ha parecido que la mujer de la foto tenía rasgos nobles, mirada inteligente y gesto afable. Habría cumplido los 76 a finales del mes que viene, se llamaba Esther Tusquets y se nos murió ayer en el hospital Clínic de Barcelona. Fue la gran editora de nuestra vida para mucha gente de mi generación. Gracias a ella descubrimos a Umberto Eco y a Mafalda, a Virginia Woolf y hasta al hijo de puta de Louis Ferdinand Céline. No quiero decir que si ella no hubiera existido o se hubiese dedicado a otros menesteres, no habríamos conocido a Quino, ni habríamos leído ‘El nombre de la rosa’ o ‘Viaje al fin de la noche’, pero fue ella quien nos los acercó y esas cosas unen mucho.

No tanto, sin embargo, en lo que a mí respecta como su acividad de escritora y, más concretamente, de memorialista. Su enfermedad de Párkinson era necesariamente el final para una mujer cuyos libros más personales, los que conforman sus memorias, son de una radical sinceridad, infrecuente de manera especial en los autores de memorias. “Cuando escribo no pienso en los lectores ni en las feministas”, dice en su último libro, ‘Tiempos que fueron’, escrito a cuatro manos con su hermano, Oscar, y publicado hace seis meses. Me habían impresionado ‘Habíamos ganado la guerra’ y ‘Confesiones de una vieja dama indigna’ y destaqué en ‘Lágrimas socialdemócratas’ su rareza en la Cataluña y la España de la memoria histórica:

Hay, en el mundo de la izquierda, una excepción, que para mayor mérito, es catalana. La editora Esther Tusquets tituló sus memorias ‘Habíamos ganado la guerra’. El libro tuvo una extraordinaria acogida y la autora escribió una segunda parte, ‘Confesiones de una vieja dama indigna”. Comienza en este libro con la idea de contar sus recuerdos sobre la guerra civil y la inmediata postguerra durante una cena en la casa que Marta Pesarrodona tenía en Sant Cugat:

“Se habló de la guerra civil, y Marta afirmó, con la seguridad que pone siempre en cuanto dice:_ “La guerra la perdieron o la perdimos todos”. Yo protesté que no. Y enseguida pasamos a hablar de otras cuestiones. Pero luego, más tarde, estuve dándole vueltas a la idea, y recordando mi infancia, recordando como era, o como la había vivido yo, la Barcelona de los años 40 y 50, y considerando lo mucho y bien que se había novelado la posguerra desde el bando de los vencidos, y lo menos y peor desde el bando de los vencedores. Y se me ocurrió que algunas de las cosas que había vivido yo ?niña burguesa, hija de padres franquistas, sobrina de monseñor Tusquets (que había jugado un papel importante en el alzamiento y era amigo del Generalísimo), alumna del Colegio Alemán en la etapa más exacerbada del nazismo- podían tener interés para otros”.

Considerarse de izquierdas y mantener esta actitud tenía un mérito en una España en la que el mismísimo presidente del Gobierno podó simbólicamente la rama franquista de su árbol genealógico y su vicepresidenta podó la biografía de su propio padre, para limitarla a la inhabilitación que sufrió en la postguerra, al tiempo que ocultaba cargos, honores y condecoraciones que  la dictadura le concedió más tarde. Ayer tuve noticia de su fallecimiento cuando me disponía a comer con Carlos Herrera en Sanlúcar, pero de esto escribiré mañana.

Háganse el favor de comprar los libros citados de esta autora, así como la última pata de sus memorias que yo aún no he leído, pero que ya tengo encargado: ‘Confesiones de una editora poco mentirosa’.

via Se nos ha muerto Esther Tusquets | El blog de Santiago González | Blogs | elmundo.es.