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Rare Ideopathic Encephaly Tied to Higher IQ, Not Lower 58

Posted by samzenpus
from the consume-mass-quantities dept.
Timothy writes Cranial deformation is commonly linked to brain dysfunction; it is one of the most common serious conditions affecting fetal growth. Multiple factors are involved, but in nearly every case on record the result is debilitating; stillbirth or neonatal death are common. A mutation, though, has been observed among members of a New Jersey family which represents a rare case of heritable encephaly tied not to dysfunction, but to higher-than-average intelligence, and with no evident negative health consequences.

Donald R. DeCicco (not his real name) and his wife Prymaat of Paramus, both French-born naturalized U.S. citizens, were born with unremarkable physical characteristics, apart from a specific constellation of physical abnormalities affecting maxillofacial and brain development. In both of their cases, brain development appears to be ordinary, but with all brain lobes occupying a volume that is both larger and narrower than typical. All medical tests (and the couple's success as educated, productive members of society) make it clear that their condition has not prevented ordinary life, and may even have enhanced it; a series of MRI and PET scans conducted by Johns Hopkins researchers indicated that their above-average cerebella are at least as active and neuron-rich as are more run-of-the-mill subjects' brains, and tests of memory, cognition, and reasoning place both DeCicco and Clorhone in the top percentile of American rest subjects. A daughter, Connie, shares both their unusual skeletal growth pattern, and is similarly highly intelligent; perhaps this form of heritable encephaly should be thought of as akin to Marfan syndrome, for its pairing of both high intelligence and a characteristic bone-growth pattern. At least one researcher quoted in the linked article believes that less extreme forms of the same anomaly can be observed in some historical and contemporary figures, citing as examples both Vladimir Putin and actor Richard Belzer as bearing some tendency toward the same characteristic shape.

First described by a family physician and described in the Journal of the Society of the Federal Health Professionals,the condition has been labeled Sandler's Syndrome.
News

Parents Sue School After Pod Daughter Is Banned From Prom 33

Posted by samzenpus
from the pods-are-people-too dept.
With the prom season only a few months away kids and parents alike are starting to make plans for the big day. However, one girl's alien replacement might not get a chance to experience that special day if a school district has its way. Even though Darcy Swope's pod duplicate is virtually identical to her, the Santa Mira school district has decided she is not welcome to prom. School officials acknowledge the duplicate attended school and did Darcy's homework for an unknown period of time but say she isn't really a student and therefore doesn't belong at the dance. Darcy's parents disagree with the decision and have filed suit against the school, Her dad says, "We miss Darcy every day, but the thing that consumed her and is now pretending to be my daughter is almost the same and deserves to be treated the same." "She may not have that sparkle in her eye or the vocabulary as our flesh and blood daughter, but she has never missed curfew and has a thirst to learn. It would be a shame if Darcy II didn't get a chance to experience this important part of being human, even if she isn't one," adds her mother.
News

V'Ger Source Code Released 53

Posted by samzenpus
from the build-your-own dept.
One of the biggest hurdles to interstellar domination has always been the prohibitive cost of proprietary software for ships or super-weapons. That is all about to change thanks to a surprise move by a mysterious alien race of living machines who have released V'ger's source code. While you'll still need a way to generate a "twelfth-power energy field," this opens the door to many would-be conquerors and ultimate weapon enthusiasts. The release has been praised in terms of increased security and reduced costs by most, but some worry that cheaper, more secure super weapons aren't what the universe needs at this time. Federation spokesperson Lieutenant Ilia disagrees saying: "This is in the carbon units best interest. Many worlds have been infested, You will listen to me."

Comment: Re:Time to stock up on shotgun shells (Score 2) 162

by Pharmboy (#49361329) Attached to: How long until our skies are filled with drones?

That is silly. A falling bullet has a much lower speed than one that was just shot. I've been hit by shotgun pellets at the end of their range, it was like having gravel slung at you.

A returning bullet CAN hit someone, and possibly injure them if everything is lined up right, or there is a very low angle of fire, but they have a small fraction of the energy they had in the first km after being fired.

Comment: Re:So this is what they use donations for (Score 5, Informative) 103

by Pharmboy (#49224483) Attached to: Wikimedia Foundation Files Suit Against NSA and DOJ

Utterly stupid. The ACLU is picking up the tab. The only reason Wikipedia is doing it is because the last case was thrown out for lack of cause, and the NSA has specifically mentioned Wikipedia, so they can prove damages are specific to them. In short, Wikipedia is the only group that CAN sue them and prove they were singled out, based on the actual words of the NSA themselves. This makes it 10x more likely the case will go the distance.

Comment: Re:Big Data (Score 5, Insightful) 439

by Pharmboy (#49057709) Attached to: Will Submarines Soon Become As Obsolete As the Battleship?

Everyone knows that the military airplane became obsolete once radar was invented. Same thing here. Must be true....

Cat and mouse, as always. Stealth subs aren't a new idea (go watch Red October, one of my all time favs) and we have only scratched the surface in that area. Even in the 80s when I was in the air force, the Navy was considered the strongest leg of the Triad. That isn't likely to change soon, although the technology they use certainly will.

Comment: Re:"Privately owned drones"? (Score 1) 168

by Pharmboy (#49039441) Attached to: NoFlyZone.org Aims To Keep the Airspace Above Your Home Drone-Free

I was about to say that if you are in an area where it is acceptable to use shotguns (300ft from a home, in the county is the rule in NC) then yes, excellent target practice. I keep the shorter military/police grade buckshot in my combat shotgun, holds around 9 or 10 shells. But in all seriousness, these will be getting shot down, as not everyone cares what the law is, and will just pull out a gun and shoot it down even if they live in the city.

Comment: Re:Hot Glue Guns (Score 1) 175

by Pharmboy (#48615937) Attached to: 3D Printer?

And they can't afford $500 for a phone or $800 on a game console but they still do. $1000 is within reach of enough people to be called "consumer grade". That doesn't mean everyone can afford it. Not everyone can even afford a computer, but we still consider them consumer goods.

Comment: Re:Cocoa futures (Score 1) 323

by Pharmboy (#48397525) Attached to: MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

That was my thinking. Maybe we have giant silos of cacao, and those are dwindling, although I lack the imagination to think this is literally true. The whole premise looks like a reason to raise prices and profits.

If the world is eating more chocolate, it means the world is getting richer. Not many in China would be eating chocolate regularly 20 years ago, Same could be said of other areas.

Regardless, the math doesn't add up, particularly the future estimations of us consuming a million tons more than we make. The only place you see that kind of math is typically in the Ministry of Truth.

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