Monthly Archives:April 2019

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Cowboys-Packers set for NFL battle

April 29th, 2019 / / categories: 柳州桑拿 /

In a rematch of a brutally cold 1967 playoff classic dubbed the “Ice Bowl,” the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers top a weekend of intense knockout clashes.

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The Cowboys, unbeaten on the road this season, travel to Green Bay, perfect at home in the campaign, in sub-freezing conditions and one team will have its title dreams ended on Sunday (Monday (AEDT).

“We don’t pay attention to them being 8-0 on the road because they haven’t come here and beaten us here at Lambeau,” Packers defensive back Micah Hyde said. “But it’s going to be a tough matchup and we understand that.”

It’s the first time the Cowboys have visited Lambeau Field for a playoff game since New Year’s Eve in 1967, when Bart Starr’s late touchdown plunge in wind chills averaging minus-48 (minus-44 Celsius) gave the Packers a 21-17 triumph on their way to winning the second Super Bowl.

The last time an unbeaten road team visited an unbeaten host in the playoffs came in 1972 when visiting Miami won at Pittsburgh on the way to the only undefeated Super Bowl championship run.

“This will be a big challenge,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.

“It’s definitely something that jumps off the stat sheet when you see eight wins on the road.”

The Cowboys, featuring NFL rushing champion DeMarco Murray and standout quarterback Tony Romo, have lost their past six road playoff games while the Packers, whose quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been nagged by a calf injury, has thrown 38 touchdowns without an interception in 477 passes over his past 16 home games.

The Cowboys have not reached the Super Bowl since winning their third in four seasons in 1996.

And since the Packers last won the Super Bowl in 2011, they saw a 15-1 season end with a home playoff loss to the New York Giants and exits to San Francisco the past two years.

The Packers-Cowboys victor will face the winner of Sunday’s (Monday AEDT) clash between defending Super Bowl champion Seattle or upstart Carolina, who are only the second playoff qualifier with a losing regular-season record, in the National Conference final.

In the American Conference, Denver quarterback Peyton Manning will guide the Broncos against his former club, the visiting Indianapolis Colts, on Sunday (Monday AEDT) while the top seed New England Patriots play host on Saturday (Sunday AEDT) to Baltimore, the Ravens fresh off winning their playoff opener at Pittsburgh.

Winners of the conference finals on January 18 will advance to the Super Bowl championship spectacle on February 1 at Glendale, Arizona.

“We’re big admirers of Vettel,” said Alejandro Agag on Thursday.

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“He just doesn’t like Formula E. Maybe one day we can convince him to come to Formula E.”

A pack of high-pitch humming electric vehicles will career through the streets of Buenos Aires on Saturday at speeds of up to 220 kilometres per hour (136 miles per hour) in the fourth race of Formula E’s debut season.

Spanish businessman Agag hopes the series, which has the blessing of the FIA, motor sport’s governing body, will help electric vehicles shrug off an image problem and fine-tune their technologies.

Vettel’s comments, made before the inaugural race, would not have helped.

“People don’t think of them as quick, as cool” Agag said. “We respect what Vettel thinks, but I also respect what Alain Prost thinks,” he said, referring to the former Formula One great who heads up the championship’s e.dams-Renault team.

The cars look similar to those used in Formula One, with F1 teams McLaren and Williams supplying the electronics and battery respectively. Renault oversees the integration of various systems and Michelin provides the tyres.

Agag said he hoped to get more manufacturers on board, with the ultimate aim of becoming a fully-fledged world championship.

“We think that next year we will have at least four or five manufacturers in the championship,” Agag said, adding that it had taken “a miracle” to put the series together in two years.

“Two years ago we didn’t have cars, we didn’t have venues, we didn’t have teams. We didn’t have sponsors or broadcasters,” said Agag. “Today we have a championship going full-on with big fights between the drivers.”

(Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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War crimes and crimes against humanity, including ethnic cleansing of Muslims, were committed in the Central African Republic, but there was no genocide, a UN report says.

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The 127-page report by a UN commission of inquiry said all sides committed human rights violations over the past two years including rape, murder, recruitment of child soldiers, torture and burning of homes.

“Thousands of people died as a result of the conflict” that exploded after the March 2013 coup that overthrew long-time leader Francois Bozize, said the report released on Thursday.

“Human rights violations and abuses were committed by all parties,” it said.

The commission was unable to provide a casualty figure, but said estimates of between 3000 and 6000 dead “fail to capture the full magnitude of the killing that occurred”.

The Muslim Seleka coalition of former leader Michel Djotodia and the anti-balaka militia that fought them “are also responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity”, according to the report.

“Although the commission cannot conclude that there was a genocide, ethnic cleansing of the Muslim population by the anti-balaka constitutes a crime against humanity,” it said.

The commission of inquiry appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon a year ago said there was no reason to assume that grave crimes, including genocide, will be averted in the future.

But it pointed to the deployment of French and African forces as well as UN peacekeepers as being “primarily responsible for the prevention of an even greater explosion of violence”.

The UN Security Council in September dispatched a 12,000-strong UN peace force to take over from an African Union-led mission working to restore stability alongside French forces.

The Central African Republic continues to be hit by waves of violence, although the capital remains calmer.

The International Criminal Court announced in September that it was investigating an “endless list” of atrocities committed in the Central African Republic.

To compile its report, the commission of inquiry interviewed 910 victims and witnesses, mostly in the Bangui region but also in the west and in neighbouring Cameroon.

Cameroonian judge Bernard Acho Munu led the commission that included Mauritanian human rights official Fatima M’Baye and former Mexican foreign minister Jorge Castaneda.

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Why men never remember anything

April 29th, 2019 / / categories: 柳州桑拿 /

Recently, I was visiting my family in Seattle, and we were doing that thing families do: retelling old stories.

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As we talked, a common theme emerged. My brother hardly remembered anything from our childhood, even the stories in which he was the star player. (That time he tumbled down the basement steps? Nope. That panicky afternoon when we all thought he’d disappeared, only to discover he’d been hiding in his room, and then fell asleep? Nothing.) “Boys never remember anything,” my mom huffed. 

She’s right. Researchers are finding some preliminary evidence that women are indeed better at recalling memories, especially autobiographical ones. Girls and women tend to recall these memoriesfaster and with more specific details, and some studies have demonstrated that these memories tend to be more accurate, too, when compared to those of boys and men. And there’s an explanation for this: It could come down to the way parents talk to their daughters, as compared to their sons, when the children are developing memory skills.

To understand this apparent gender divide in recalling memories, it helps to start with early childhood — specifically, ages 2 to 6. Whether you knew it or not, during these years, you learned how to form memories, and researchers believe this happens mostly through conversations with others, primarily our parents. These conversations teach us how to tell our own stories, essentially; when a mother asks her child for more details about something that happened that day in school, for example, she is implicitly communicating that these extra details are essential parts to the story.

And these early experiments in storytelling assist in memory-making, research shows. One recent study tracked preschool-age kids whose mothers often asked them to elaborate when telling stories; later in their lives, these kids were able to recall earlier memories than their peers whose mothers hadn’t asked for those extra details.

But the way parents tend to talk to their sons is different from the way they talk to their daughters. Mothers tend to introduce more snippets of new information in conversations with their young daughters than they do with their young sons, research has shown. And moms tend to ask more questions about girls’ emotions; with boys, on the other hand, they spend more time talking about what they should do with those feelings.

This is at least partially a product of parents acting on gender expectations they may not even realize they have, and the results are potentially long-lasting, explained Azriel Grysman, a psychologist at Hamilton College who studies gender differences and memory. “The message that girls are getting is that talking about your feelings is part of describing an event,” Grysman said. “And for boys, emotions are something to be concerned with when they are part of a larger issue, but otherwise not. And it’s quite possible, over time, that those tendencies will help women establish more connections in their brains of different pieces of an event, which will lead to better memory long-term.”

Because a memory doesn’t exist the way we tend to imagine it; it’s not a singular, fully formed thing buried in some small corner of the mind. Instead, it’s “a pattern of mental activity, and the more entry points we have to what that pattern might be, the more chances we have to retrieve it,” Grysman said. Researchers call those entry points “retrieval cues,” and they can be as seemingly mundane as what you were feeling, what you were eating, or what you were wearing.

The more entry points you’ve got about an event, the more likely you are to remember it. It’s how Grysman advises his students to study for tests. “I tell them to try to make links between the material they’re studying and other parts of their lives, and those other parts of their lives serve as entry points,” he said.

So Grysman’s theory, which he explored in an extensive review of the literature published last year, is that those early conversations with your parents implicitly told you which details are important to remember about the things that happen to you, and which are not. And because parents’ conversations with girls include references to both more information and more emotion, they’re setting their daughters up to have stronger memories over their lives. (Though it’s worth pointing out: Grysman acknowledges in his 2013 paper that gender identity is of course much more complicated than biological sex, and not every individual’s experience is going to mirror that of the children in the research on which he’s based his theory.)

At this point in our conversation, I couldn’t help asking Grysman how his own memory is. “I thought I had a great memory until I got married,” he said. “Now, I’m realizing more and more how much I don’t remember, compared to somebody else. Dates, facts, figures — I’m great at those things. But those are things where we don’t find gender differences. I can quote you the Stanley Cup winners back from 1914, but I can’t remember conversations.”

And that’s actually how he became interested in studying gender difference in autobiographical memory recall in the first place. Several years ago, his wife referenced some recent, important conversation they’d apparently had with a friend. He had no memory of it. “That’s really what spurred this,” he said. So I asked him if he remembered now what that conversation was about.

“I don’t,” he admitted, “and maybe that proves the point.”

This article originally appeared on Science of Us: Why Men Never Remember Anything. © 2015 All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.

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Why do women cry more than men?

April 29th, 2019 / / categories: 柳州桑拿 /

I cry incredibly, embarrassingly easily.

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When I was maid of honor at my best friend’s wedding last summer, I burst into tears the minute I started walking down the aisle. That’s understandable, but I also cry at smaller, stupider things: during nearly every distance-running race I’ve ever participated in, for instance, or at that Apple ad about the girl who makesthe sweet DIY duet for her grandmother. 

Crying and me, we are very comfortable with one another, and I always assumed this was mostly owing to reasons best explained by psychology, maybe also a little therapy, and possibly my gender. But a recent, lengthy email exchange with “leading tear researcher” Ad Vingerhoets pointed me toward a simpler yet weirder explanation: Maybe I just have really shallow tear ducts, which are more quickly filled up and spilled over. This appears to be the case for most women when compared to men, and maybe this, plus some relevant hormonal changes that happen around puberty, is part of a physiological explanation as to why men tend to cry less often than women. 

Vingerhoets is a clinical psychologist at Tilburg University and the author of thebook Why Only Humans Weep: Unravelling the Mysteries of Tears; he’s also one of the few researchers out there currently studying emotional tears — those triggered by feelings rather than, say, onions or other irritants. His work suggests that the stereotype about women crying more is true: Women cry 30 to 64 times a year, whereas men cry just 6 to 17 times per year. (Or they say they do, at least. Much of this research relies on self-reporting, which means men could be underreporting how much they tear up. But Vingerhoets’s estimate is in line with past research conducted by others — although that was also self-reported.)

Vingerhoets has also studied the average length of time a crying bout lasts (again, based on self-reports). He surveyed more than 5,000 young adults from about three dozen countries, and found that women say they usually cry for six minutes at a time, on average; men, on the other hand, say they cry about two to three minutes on average. He shared the results of that survey with me in an email:

We can intuit that men cry less often than women owing to social conditioning; crying doesn’t really fit in with our image of stereotypical manhood, after all, and that’s no doubt a partial explanation of why men are more likely to hold in their tears. But men may also be biologically built to shed fewer tears, Vingerhoets and other experts suggest.

Back to the tear ducts, for example. “There are several studies over the years that have shown that men have larger tear ducts in their eyes, so that it is less likely for the tears to well up to the point of spilling over the eyelid onto the cheek,” said Dr. Geoffrey Goodfellow, an associate professor at the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. There’s also this paper from the 1960s, in which a physician from the University of Michigan reports how he used male and female skulls to measure the length and depth of tear ducts, finding that women’s were shorter and shallower.

Hormones also may provide an explanation, too, including testosterone, which, Vingerhoets believes, inhibits crying. Male prostate cancer patients, for example, tend to become more emotional when treated with medications that lower their testosterone levels. But this isn’t just about testosterone: Back in the 1980s, biochemist William H. Frey and his team analyzed the chemical makeup of emotional tears and compared them to tears caused by irritants. They found, among other things, that emotional tears tend to contain prolactin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that is associated with emotion. Vingerhoets passed on a 2012 paper from a team of Nigerian scientists that he said may help connect this to the gender difference in crying.

From the paper:

[A]dult women have serum prolactin levels almost sixty percent above the average male. This difference may help to explain why women as a whole cry more frequently … . Before puberty, the serum prolactin levels are the same in both sexes, and studies have found that the crying level of boys and girls is much more similar before puberty.

Lauren Bylsma, an associate professor in psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh who has studied crying with Vingerhoets, said that this difference in prolactin levels “may help explain these differences in crying, as well as other differences in emotional expression and depression vulnerability between men and women.” Next time I find myself crying over something that is maybe not entirely worthy of tears, I hope I will manage to blurt out something about prolactin! and tiny tear ducts! in between sobs. 

This article originally appeared on Science of Us: Why Do Women Cry More Than Men? © 2015 All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.