An Interview with Gwenda Bond Who Made Lois Lane a YA Fiction Hero

Earlier this year I broke the news that Lois Lane was getting her own YA book. Great news and for me a moment of serendipity given that Lois Lane is part of the reason I ended up majoring in Journalism in college. For the past 75 years Lois Lane has been the first lady of DC having appeared in every form of media from radio, TV and movies and even the Broadway stage. And now she’ll have her first standalone book. The writer Gwenda Bond has written a terrific new book that presents Lois Lane a teenage investigative reporter which makes it a perfect read for anyone but is aimed at the lucrative YA market. Bond’s Lois actually fits in quite well with Katniss and Tris - she’s filled with courage and out to change the world. I chatted with Bond about Lois and her book just ahead of it hitting the stands on May 1.

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RE: An anatomy of a journalistic failure.
I’m really glad that this article was written, as it is an amazing learning tool for future journalists. It highlights pitfalls that journalists can face.
Personally, I was concerned when I wrote this. I reflected on my own techniques and the way that I have handled pitfalls. Although this is an extremely negative situation, something positive has come out of it for students of journalism. Read this case study if you can.
Did Rolling Stone do the right thing?

Brain Imaging Explains Reason for Good and Poor Language Outcomes in ASD Toddlers

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researchers say it may be possible to predict future language development outcomes in toddlers with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), even before they’ve been formally diagnosed with the condition.

The findings are published in the April 9 online issue of the journal Neuron.

A major challenge of ASD diagnosis and treatment is that the neurological condition – which affects 1 in 68 children in the United States, mostly boys – is considerably heterogeneous. Early symptoms differ between each ASD toddler, as does progression of the condition. No uniform clinical phenotype exists, in part because the underlying causes for different subtypes of autism are diverse and not well-understood.

“There is no better example than early language development,” said senior author Eric Courchesne, PhD, professor of neurosciences and co-director of the Autism Center of Excellence at UC San Diego. “Some individuals are minimally verbal throughout life. They display high levels of symptom severity and may have poor clinical outcomes. Others display delayed early language development, but then progressively acquire language skills and have relatively more positive clinical outcomes.”

In other words, said Courchesne, in some children with ASD language improves substantially with age; but in some it may progress too slowly or even diminish. The neurodevelopmental bases for this variability are unknown, he said. Differences in treatment quantity do not fully account for it. But numerous studies have shown that early, accurate diagnoses of ASD can improve treatment benefits in many affected children.

“It’s important to develop more and new biological ways to identify and stratify the ASD population into clinical sub-types so that we can create better, more individualized treatments,” said co-author Karen Pierce, PhD, associate professor of neurosciences and co-director of the Autism Center of Excellence.

In the Neuron paper, Courchesne, first author Michael V. Lombardo, PhD, a senior researcher at the University of Cambridge and assistant professor at the University of Cyprus, Pierce and colleagues describe the first effort to create a process capable of detecting different brain subtypes within ASD that underlie and help explain varying development language trajectories and outcomes. “We wanted to see if patterns of brain activity in response to language can explain and predict how well language skills would develop in a toddler with ASD before that toddler actually began talking,” said Courchesne.

The researchers combined prospective fMRI measurements of neural systems’ response to speech in children at the earliest ages at which risk of ASD can be clinically detected in a general pediatric population (at approximately ages 1-2 years) with comprehensive longitudinal diagnostic and clinical assessments of language skills at 3-4 years of age.

They found that pre-diagnosis fMRI response to speech in ASD toddlers with relatively good language outcomes was highly similar to non-ASD comparison groups with robust responses to language in superior temporal cortices, a region of the brain responsible for processing sounds so that they can be understood as language.

In contrast, ASD toddlers with poor language outcomes had superior temporal cortices that showed diminished or abnormal inactivity to speech.

In sum, the study found entirely different neural substrates at initial clinical detection that precede and underlie later good versus poor language outcome in autism. These findings, said researchers, will open new avenues of progress towards identifying the causes and best treatment for these two very different types of autism.

“For the first time, our study shows a strong relationship between irregularities in speech-activation in the language-critical superior temporal cortex and actual, real-world language ability in ASD toddlers,” said Lombardo.

The scientists said fMRI imaging also showed that the brains of ASD toddlers with poor language development processed speech differently, including how neural regions governing emotion, memory and motor skills were involved.

“Our work represents one of the first attempts using fMRI to define a neurofunctional biomarker of a subtype in very young ASD toddlers,” said Pierce. “Such subtypes help us understand the differences between persons with ASD. More importantly, they can help us determine how and why treatments are effective for some, but not all, on the autism spectrum.”

anonymous asked:

What does creationism mean

The idea that two centuries of consistent scientific data by thousands of logical minds is wrong.

“Young earth creationism is essentially the position that all of modern science, 90% of living scientists and 98% of living biologists, all major university biology departments, every major science journal, the American Academy of Sciences, and every major science organization in the world, are all wrong regarding the origins and development of life….but one particular tribe of uneducated, bronze aged, goat herders got it exactly right.”
— Chuck Easttom

It just hit me like a ton of bricks that I'm a journalism major.

Like all my efforts to change into another major and to stick to my pre-law curriculum have failed because I am a journalism major with no declared concentration. I love print journalism, I’ve never done broadcasting but I love the idea of the advertising concentration.

I still have 2 semesters left to decide but it’s not that long once you think.

I started January 2013. I may be 21 when I graduate from a two year program but at least I’m graduating. 

Death of giant galaxies spreads from the core

Astronomers have shown for the first time how star formation in “dead” galaxies sputtered out billions of years ago. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) have revealed that three billion years after the Big Bang, these galaxies still made stars on their outskirts, but no longer in their interiors. The quenching of star formation seems to have started in the cores of the galaxies and then spread to the outer parts. The results will be published in the 17 April 2015 issue of the journal Science.

A major astrophysical mystery has centred on how the massive, quiescent elliptical galaxies, common in the modern Universe, quenched their once furious rates of star formation. Such colossal galaxies, often also called spheroids because of their shape, typically pack in stars ten times as densely in the central regions as in our home galaxy, the Milky Way, and have about ten times its mass.

Astronomers refer to these big galaxies as red and dead as they exhibit an ample abundance of ancient red stars, but lack young blue stars and show no evidence of new star formation. The estimated ages of the red stars suggest that their host galaxies ceased to make new stars about ten billion years ago. This shutdown began right at the peak of star formation in the Universe, when many galaxies were still giving birth to stars at a pace about twenty times faster than nowadays.

“Massive dead spheroids contain about half of all the stars that the Universe has produced during its entire life,” said Sandro Tacchella of ETH Zurich in Switzerland, lead author of the article. “We cannot claim to understand how the Universe evolved and became as we see it today unless we understand how these galaxies come to be.”

Tacchella and colleagues observed a total of 22 galaxies, spanning a range of masses, from an era about three billion years after the Big Bang [1]. They used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) to peer at the galaxies from above our planet’s distorting atmosphere – WFC3 snapped detailed images in the near-infrared, revealing the spatial distribution of older stars within the actively star-forming galaxies.

The researchers also used the SINFONI) instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope to collect light from the galaxies, showing precisely where they were churning out new stars. SINFONI could make these detailed measurements of distant galaxies thanks to its adaptive optics system, which largely cancels out the blurring effects of Earth’s atmosphere.

“Hubble was able to show us how the stars are distributed within these galaxies in amazing detail,” commented Marcella Carollo, also of ETH Zurich and co-author of the study. “We were able to match this accuracy with SINFONI to find patches of star formation. Using the two telescope together, we were able to explore this population of galaxies in more detail than ever before.”

According to the new data, the most massive galaxies in the sample kept up a steady production of new stars in their peripheries. In their bulging, densely packed centres, however, star formation had already stopped.

“The newly demonstrated inside-out nature of star formation shutdown in massive galaxies should shed light on the underlying mechanisms involved, which astronomers have long debated,” says Alvio Renzini, Padova Observatory, of the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics.

A leading theory is that star-making materials are scattered by torrents of energy released by a galaxy’s central supermassive black hole as it sloppily devours matter. Another idea is that fresh gas stops flowing into a galaxy, starving it of fuel for new stars and transforming it into a red and dead spheroid.

“There are many different theoretical suggestions for the physical mechanisms that led to the death of the massive spheroids,” said co-author Natascha Förster Schreiber of the Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik in Garching, Germany. “Discovering that the quenching of star formation started from the centres and marched its way outwards is a very important step towards understanding how the Universe came to look like it does now.”



[1] The Universe’s age is about 13.8 billion years, so the galaxies studied by Tacchella and colleagues are generally seen as they were more than 10 billion years ago.

anonymous asked:

What does one write in an astrology notebook?

my first astrology notebook i used like a course notebook for school, where i’d learn about astrological stuff such as the elements and then take notes. it was my learning tool.

Now i just recently got a new one which i use to write down patterns i notice (in people or events) that coincide with specific astrological placements, my thoughts and ideas about planetary energies… bascially just my way to express my experience with the different parts of the astrological alphabet - planets, signs and houses.

here’s some ideas for anyone wanting to start an astrology notebook

  • keep track of how the daily moon signs affect your mood, energy and feelings or whether and how it controls your menstrual cycle etc
  • journal about your own charts, things youve learned, self-awareness youve gained, use it as a means of personal development
  • write your own interpreatations and descriptions of zodiac signs based on people you know
  • you could get a journal specifically for major transits such as the saturn return at the age of 29 or 30

shamelesslyreckless asked:

I'm a journalism major and honestly I can't believe someone would even ask him that. I understand wanting to ask questions that haven't been asked and trying to get a different story but that was just so far off from everything. He even jokingly mentions what are we promoting something? I definitely feel like the interviewer had a motive behind those questions...even the way he asked he was very apprehensive and said you don't have to answer these. He knew he shouldn't be bringing that stuff up.

Definitely.  That’s the thing– it started off as your usual junket interview.  

Then after four minutes, the guy just went with “oh by the way, you said this thing in 2008? Can you elaborate?”

Which is already a WTF, but Robert gamely replied to it. But the guy just wouldn’t … stop.  

It’s a junket interview about a comic book film.  If he had made it relevant to, say, Tony Stark’s history, that line of questioning would’ve made sense, and Robert probably would’ve answered it (and he’s done that in the past).

But it’s clearly obviously that that’s not what this guy is after.  It’s for the sensational scoop.

The fact that right after it happened he tweeted about it immediately, and rushed to get the video up ASAP, should tell you something.