Saturday, February 16, 2013

RCI Cybermagazine

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Episode date 15 February 2013
Interviews and reports
Early music lessons change the brain
(courtesy Lynn Desjardins)
People who get musical training before the age of 7 form stronger connections in the brain than those who train later according to a new study. 

Researchers at a Concordia University lab and the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University were surprised at the extent of the difference between the two. Those who trained earlier had stronger connections between motor regions. Those are the parts of the brain that help plan and carry out movements.

The study suggests that the time between ages six and eight are what the researchers call a “sensitive period.” During this time musical training interacting with brain development causes changes both in motor abilities and the actual structure of the brain. Playing a musical instrument requires a person to co-ordinate hands with visual or auditory stimuli. Reseachers think doing so before the age of seven boosts the connections in the areas of the brain needed to do that. They think those changes are long-lasting.
Canada’s position toward Mexico contradictory, Canadian Council for Refugees says
(Photo: Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
Canada’s decision to list Mexico as a safe country of origin is contradictory and goes against the Refugee Convention, says the president of the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR), Loly Rico.

Rico says that the notion of “safe country” has to be challenged.

“They don’t see that some of these countries they have a situation where some of the people living there they have suffered persecution and the state cannot protect them,” she said.
Eye on the Arctic – 'Close calls' part of the job says Canadian polar bear monitor
Photo courtesy of the Hamlet of Arviat
Each week, Eye on the Arctic turns its focus on the issues or people making a difference in Canada’s northern regions.
Arviat, a predominantly Inuit community of 2800 people in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, has long been plagued by the increasing number of rogue polar bears in the community.

Nobody is quite sure why the problem is becoming more common, but the worries it has created are shared by all residents.

Sled dogs and property have been attacked. And parents and locals have long been worried about the dangers the bears pose for people, especially children, in the community.

But a recent project put in place by the World Wildlife Fund and the Hamlet of Arviat called “The Human-Polar Bear Conflict Reduction Project” seems to be turning things around.
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Some air pollution down
Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press
Emissions of mercury, lead and cadmium were down in Canada in 2011 as compared to the year before. Sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxides were down too reports the government's environment department. The government cannot take credit for reducing air pollution. [...]
Belugas trapped under Arctic ice
(submitted photo/Nunutsiak News)
The fickleness of nature can be deadly to some, a benefit to others. About 20 beluga whales are still currently trapped under the ice in Nunavut in CanadaĆ¢€™s far north. They are surviving thanks to two small breathing holes. [...]
Ontario summer festival to be curated by Grammy winners Mumford & Sons
(David Royal/Monterey County Herald/Associated Press
Mumford & Sons, the British folk-rock band who took home the coveted Grammy award for Album of the Year in 2013, will headline and curate a music festival in Ontario this summer. [...]
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