SO WHAT HAPPENED TO : Anders Breivik : Alien Worlds : Women And Children First : Baboons And Four-Letter Words
Posted in Q-News on 15. Apr, 2012
Last year Anders Breivik killed 77 people â€“now itâ€™s room service, his own suite and Japanese meditation
Today, as he has every day forÂ the past eight months, Anders Behring Breivik will sit down to a wholesome breakfast of porridge or home-made brown bread served with either cheese or ham, and a jug of black coffee.
And, as he has every day since his arrest, he will eat alone.
The man responsible for Norwayâ€™s most notorious mass murder is kept apart from the other inmates in Ila, a former Nazi concentration camp turned high-security prison. If they could get near him they might kill him.
Tomorrow, Breivik, who killed 77 people on July 22 last year, will go on trial in the Norwegian capital, Oslo.
The 33-year-old set off a bomb in the centre of the capital that killed eight people and then two hours later went on a shooting rampage on the island of Utoya, killing another 69, many of them teenage members of the Norwegian Labour Partyâ€™s youth wing attending a summer camp.
Breivik does not denyÂ his role in the worst peace-time massacre in modern Norwegian history. Nor has he shown a shred of remorse.
In his mind, the killing spree was a necessary PR exercise, designed to draw attention to his extremist views about what he says is the Marxist Islamic takeover of Europe.
In court, he intends to plead not guilty. His lawyers say he will claim he acted in self-defence.
Ila, seven miles outside of Oslo, is where heroes of the Norwegian resistance movement were imprisoned, tortured and, on occasion, executed by the Nazis. No doubt Breivik, who appears to see himself as some sort of freedom fighter, deems it appropriate.
A prisoner as dangerous as he is would normally have been sent to Ringerike, Norwayâ€™s highest security prison, but this was ruled out because of its location overlooking Utoya.
Ila is a modestly sized facility with 124 cells, in which two to three guards normally patrol a division made up of 12 cells.
However, surveillance is more stringent if the prisoner is on the highest security level possible â€“ as is the case with Breivik.
After the early breakfast he then undertakes his regular exercise regime in his gym, where he hasÂ a treadmill.
Breivik enjoys a â€˜suiteâ€™ of three adjoining 86â€‰sq ft cells. One is a bedroom, one the gym and the third has a computer â€“ without internet access â€“ and serves as a study.
Randi Rosenqvist, a court psychiatrist who has assessed Breivikâ€™s mental health, has said he has compared his time in prison with being in â€˜kindergartenâ€™.
Indeed, the leniency with which he is being treated has outraged some in Norway but is, in fact, entirely in keeping with the countryâ€™s penal system, one of the most â€˜progressiveâ€™ in Europe. The focus is on rehabilitation rather than punishment.
After a brisk work-out, Breivik settles down to read the newspapers. Once he has caught up with the news and the latest on his upcoming trial, he either plays a computer game â€“ only non-violent games are allowed â€“ or relaxes in front of a DVD or a television show.
He has access to a family package of 15 television channels. In 2009 prisoners campaigned for, and were granted, access to legal pornography in their cells. He also has a room-service bell which he can ring to have cigarettes delivered to him.
After lunch, the killer is allowed a spell of fresh air in an enclosed yard. The precise schedule is kept fluid for security reasons.
Most days Breivik is questioned by investigators and, until recently, psychiatrists. There is usually some contact with his lawyers.
He is also allowed to write letters, a privilege he exercised to the full last month in a 38-page open letter to three Norwegian news websites.
Being diagnosed as a psychotic paranoid schizophrenic by two court-appointed psychiatrists â€“ Synne Sorheim and Torgeir Husby â€“ was â€˜the ultimate humiliationâ€™, he wrote. The Norwegian media and families of the victims campaigned for a second psychiatric report.
The new analysis, presented last week, concluded that Breivik has a narcissistic personality disorder but that he is sane and is highly likely to commit similar violent atrocities again if given the chance.
Key attributes of someone with such a disorder are that they feel special and chosen, and demonstrate a clear lack of empathy.
In his letter, Breivik claims he practises Japanese â€˜Bushidoâ€™ meditation daily to stop himself feeling anything, and that he has practised this for many years.
Devastation: A building was torn apart a car bomb planted in Oslo’s government district by confessed killer Anders Behring Breivik
After letter-writing, it is dinner. Breivik can expect to be served typical Norwegian fare such as meatballs with gravy and potatoes, or cod.
Following dinner, he talks to his lawyers or writes. Those who have observed him say he sleeps soundly at night.
He is allowed to receive visitors but he has had none. His father, a Norwegian diplomat who divorced his mother when Breivik was a baby, claims not to have spoken to his son for ten years and has expressed disgust at his behaviour.
Until shortly before the attacks Breivik lived in an Oslo apartment with his mother, Wenche Behring.
She has been described as a â€˜friendlyâ€™ woman who doted on her son. However, in the rambling 1,500-page â€˜manifestoâ€™ Breivik published online before the attacks, he declared that she had â€˜the intellectual capacity of a ten-year-oldâ€™.
Since the massacre, she has been undergoing psychiatric treatment for shock. She has said she never wants to see her son again and has refused to visit him.
The trial is expected to last forÂ ten weeks. Breivikâ€™s lead counsel is Geir Lippestad.
The killer specifically asked for Lippestad, who once defended a neo-Nazi accused of murder, Ole Nicolai Kvisler. Lippestad has revealed that his initial reaction when he was asked to defend Breivik was to refuse, but he says he realised equal rights for all was â€˜a vital brick in the wall of democracyâ€™.
However, he recently told French newspaper Le Monde: â€˜I feel I have lost my soul in this case.Â I hope to get it back once itâ€™s over â€“ and that it will be in the same condition as before.â€™
There is speculation that Breivik could eventually be jailed in Halden Prison, Norwayâ€™s second largest.
With no bars on any of the windows, it has been said to be the worldâ€™s most luxurious prison, boasting facilities such as a climbing wall,Â a state-of-the-art recording studio for budding musicians, private bathrooms and flatscreen TVs inÂ the bedrooms.
Inmates can even have access to their own personal trainer.
But there is every reason to believe that after the trial, Breivik will appeal to a higher court in a bid to drag out the legal process.
The killer wants as much attention as he can get. And that, at least, seems guaranteed.
Welcome to our new lizard overlords: Study suggests alien worlds could be full of super-intelligent dinosaurs
- Life-forms based on different amino acids could be intelligent dinosaurs
- Mammals only triumphed on Earth due to ‘accident’ of asteroid
- ‘We would be better off not meeting them,’ says American scientist
Nasa’s Kepler telescope scans the skies for ‘habitable worlds’ – but an American chemist has suggested the whole project might be a terrible idea.
Ronald Breslow suggests that life-forms based on slightly different amino acids and sugars could take the form of huge, ferocious dinosaurs that have evolved to have human-like intelligence and technologies.
‘We would be better off not meeting them,’ says Breslow, who claims that it was a stroke of luck that an asteroid wiped out dinosaurs on earth, leaving the field clear for mammals such as humans.
On other worlds, dinosaurs could have evolved into huge, intelligent warriors armed with hi-tech weaponry – but without losing their hunger for fresh meat.
‘Of course,’ Breslow says, ‘Showing that it could have happened this way is not the same as showing that it did. An implication from this work is that elsewhere in the universe there could be life forms based on D-amino acids and L-sugars.
‘Such life forms could well be advanced versions of dinosaurs, if mammals did not have the good fortune to have the dinosaurs wiped out by an asteroidal collision, as on Earth.
‘We would be better off not meeting them.’
In the report, noted scientist Ronald Breslow, Ph.D., discusses the century-old mystery of why the building blocks of terrestrial amino acids (which make up proteins), sugars, and the genetic materials DNA and RNA exist mainly in one orientation or shape.
There are two possible orientations, left and right, which mirror each other in the same way as hands.
In order for life to arise, proteins, for instance, must contain only one chiral form of amino acids, left or right.
With the exception of a few bacteria, amino acids in all life on Earth have the left-handed orientation.
Most sugars have a right-handed orientation. How did that so-called homochirality, the predominance of one chiral form, happen?
Breslow describes evidence supporting the idea that the unusual amino acids carried to a lifeless Earth by meteorites about 4 billion years ago set the pattern for normal amino acids with the L-geometry, the kind in terrestial proteins, and how those could lead to D-sugars of the kind in DNA.
Women and children last? In real sea disasters, chivalry takes a back seat – TWICE as many men survive sinking ships
- Study of 18 maritime disasters
- 17.8% of women survived – 34.5% of men
- ‘It really is every man for himself’ – scientist
When the Titanic sank beneath the waves, men famously stood back from the boats, and women and children fled to safety first.
But a new study suggests that the chivalrous rule of ‘women and children first’ rarely happens – and may only have happened on the Titanic because the captain threatened to shoot men who got into the lifeboats.
A new analysis of 18 maritime disasters where 15,000 people died only 17.8 percent of the women survived versus 34.5 percent of the men.
Jim Maloney played by Peter McDonald in the new TV series of Titanic: But real sea disasters tend to be much less chivalrous
Contemporary painting illustrating the sinking of the White Star Liner, Titanic after it struck an iceberg whilst sailing south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland on April 14 1912
Of the Titanic’s passengers, 70% of the women were saved, but just 20% of the men.
The idea of saving ‘women and children first’ has been described as ‘the unwritten law of the sea’.
But a new analysis of maritime disasters suggests that women and children are often left to last – and that even on the Titanic, the ‘chivalry’ was helped by the fact that the captain threatened to shoot men who got into the lifeboats before women.
Economists Mikael Elinder and Oscar Erixon of Uppsala University analyzed 18 of the world’s most famous maritime disasters from 1852 to 2011.
‘The Titanic disaster has generated immense public and scholarly interest, and as one of the most extensively covered events in history obtained an almost mythological status,’ say the researchers.
‘The evacuation of the Titanic serves as the prime example of chivalry at sea. Men stood back, while women and children were given priority to board the lifeboats.
They found that men actually have a distinct survival advantage.
Elinder said Thursday when it comes to sinking ships â€˜it appears as if it is every man for himself.â€™
The White Star Liner RMS Titanic, built by Harland & Wolff in Belfast, 4th February 1912, preparing to leave for Southampton for her maiden voyage to New York on April 10th 1912. The steamship sank on April 15th 1912 off the coast of NewFoundland
The actual iceberg which sank the liner Titanic in April 1912 photograaphed from the German ship Prinz Adalbert
Meanwhile, new research into the behaviour of passengers onboard the Titanic, continues to puzzle scientists.
Whilst women and children were given priority, men stood on the deck smoking cigars and the ship’s band infamously ‘played on’.
David Savage, an economist at Queensland University in Australia said: ‘There was no pushing and shoving. (It was) very, very orderly behavior.’
Savage was contrasting the behaviour of the passengers on the ancient ship with those on the Lusitania, another ship, which also sank around the same time.
He eventually concluded that the the panic on the Lusitania was a direct result of the sheer speed in which the boat sank.
Savage affirmed that given the Lusitania was under water in just 17 minutes, a stark contrast with theÂ Â two-and-a-half hours it took to floor the Titanic, that passengers instinct won out as they raced for the lifeboats.
Those that managed to swim to them were rescued, increasing the chances of men surviving as many women were responsible for their children.
Watch your language around baboons – clever beasts can ‘recognise’ four-letter words
- Baboons can recognise dozens of words
- Monkeys have 75% accuracy
- Tests using touchscreen apps
It may not be quite the same as producing the complete works of Shakespeare, but baboons have shown they can master one of the basic elements of literacy.
In tests, the monkeys learned to distinguish between genuine English words and â€˜nonsenseâ€™ sequences of letters.
Recognising words in this way was previously assumed to require the kind of language skills only humans possess.
Experts now believe when people read written words they draw on an ancient ability that predates human evolution.
The French scientists studied a group of six baboons housed in an enclosure that contained several booths holding computers with touch-sensitive screens.
The animals, which had free access to the booths, were presented with sequences of four letters, and by tapping one of two shapes on the screen, could signify if they were seeing a word or a non-word.
A correct response earned a food reward.
Over a month and a half, the baboons learned to discriminate dozens of words from more than 7,000 non-words with almost 75% accuracy.
This ability to identify specific combinations of letters is called â€˜orthographic processingâ€™ and is a key component of reading.
Writing in the journal Science, the researchers led by Dr Jonathan Grainger, from Aix-Marseille University, concluded: â€˜Our study may… help explain the success of the human cultural choice of visually representing words using combinations of aligned, spatially compact, ordered sequences of symbols.
â€˜The primate brain might therefore be better prepared than previously thought to process printed words, hence facilitating the initial steps toward mastering one of the most complex of human skills: reading.â€™
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