Eric Clapton Will Celebrate 50 Years Of Music With Four Shows In North America

first_imgWhile once a road warrior, Eric Clapton has slowed down his tour game in recent years. He’s promised before that retirement is near, but while these newly announced shows have not been named final just yet, they are certainly few of the last. Slowhand will celebrate his 50 years of music with two nights at Madison Square Garden in New York (March 19-20) and two nights at The Forum in Los Angeles (March 25-26), with special guests Jimmie Vaughn and Gary Clark Jr..His band will consist of  Walt Richmond, Steve Gadd, Nathan East, Chris Stainton, Sharon White and Michelle John. East coast pre-sale begins Thursday, December 1 at 12PM, with west coast dates starting Saturday, December 3 at 10AM.Last year, Clapton celebrated his 70th birthday with a slew of shows at the esteemed New York venue. In the program, he included a handwritten note that read: “I swear this is it, no more…..I know I’ve been threatening retirement for the last fifty years, but I didn’t think I’d ever really want to stop. I love what I do and always have done, but over the last few decades I’ve found what I was always really looking for, a loving family who love me just the way I am, which means I can relax and rest when I need to, and more and more I treasure the beauty of that….” The letter continued, “Hopefully, I might be able to remember and breathe some life into this old stuff…. in truth believe me, with these great guys to play with, I’ll be having the time of my life!”For more information, head to Eric Clapton’s website. See you at the shows![H/T JamBase]last_img read more

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Threat sensors: the neurons that regulate fear response

first_imgWalking down a dark alley, you might quicken your pace or even break out into a run — even if there is nothing there to harm you. Your instinct to flee is based on an ambiguous threat in your environment. But what part of your brain controls that response? How are those nebulous feelings relayed to your brain, and what compels you to run, or approach with caution?Harvard researchers discovered a specific type of brain cell that modulates how mice respond to threats. The findings help us understand how the hippocampus processes information about the environment and relays it to “subcortical” regions of the brain, which ultimately modulate behavior.“Threat sensors” are promising targets for future therapies that aim to change pathological responses to ambiguous threats, such as overgeneralization of fear in post-traumatic stress disorder.The new research sheds some light on that dark-alley response. Published in Nature Neuroscience, the study reveals a specific population of neurons in mice that regulate behavior in situations the animals have learned to associate with unpleasantness. It also identifies some surprising fight-or-flight circuitry between the hippocampus and deeper structures in the brain, beyond the “thinking” structure of the cortex.“What we really want to understand is how the brain guides behavior,” said Harvard Medical School’s Amar Sahay who led the study. “We know that the hippocampus encodes the details of episodic memories — our environmental context. It “gates” the activation of brain regions involved in flight or fear, and instructs these regions when they should come online. So when the hippocampus loses control of flight/fight/fear circuits, people experience dysregulation of fear and anxiety — as seen in many anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder.”The findings point to a population of brain cells that could be a promising targets for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.Support for the study includes a NARSAD Independent Investigator and Young Investigator Awards from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Biobehavioral Research Awards for Innovative New Scientists (BRAINS) grant R01 MH104175, and NIH grants R01 AG048908 and 1R01 MH111729. This work also received support from the Alzheimer’s Association, the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation, the Blue Guitar Fund, the Ellison Family, the Ellison Medical Foundation, the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Philippe Foundation, and the Whitehall Foundation. Read Full Storylast_img read more

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Child Abuse on the Rise in Lofa, RRF & SFCG Releases 1ST Human Rights…

first_imgThe Rights and Rice Foundation (RRF), in collaboration with Search for Common Ground (SFCG), has released the first human rights situation report on Lofa County, indicating that human rights are frequently violated with impunity.The report, released on  Wednesday at the head office of the Search For Common Ground in Sinkor, covered three month of monitors from October to December 2013 in Lofa.James Yarsieh, SFCG executive director, said that in May 2013, his organization and RRF completed a human rights baseline survey (HRBS), which found that human rights violations most frequently occur in four key areas: rape/ sexual violence, domestic violence, child abuse, and abuse by the security sector (illegal/arbitrary, detention, police brutality).“This was followed by recruitment and training of community-based  organizations, monitors who volunteered to participate in the human rights situation  report. “We prepared checklists to be used by monitors taking into account the findings of the baseline report,” Mr. Yarsieh said.Human rights monitors reported a total of 28 cases of child abuse with sixteen reports (57.2%) involving more than one kind of child abuse with categories including: child labor, 10 reports (35.7%) explicitly described neglect of some kind, and 11 reports (39.3%) indicating evidence of physical violence and abuse.According to the reports, the youngest victim was four years old; the oldest was 17 years old with the average of the victims at 11, and fifteen victims, female, amounting to (53.6%), nine victims (males) amounting (32.1%), and four victims not identified by gender with perpetrators mostly identified in these cases as family or friends.Eleven cases of domestic violence were verified; all reported cases of domestic violence indicated evidence of physical violence or injury inflicted on the victim, most often perpetrated by a male “friend” (which may be interpreted as a husband, a friend, a domestic partner, a boyfriend, or a fiancé, with no fatalities reported of all the cases.) In recognizing these issues, SFCG and RRF, with support from the European Union (EU), have undertaken a project to address capacity gaps in human rights violations. The goal of the project is to create a space for constructive dialogue among human right actors in Liberia.The objectives were twofold; to improve the quantity and quality of human rights monitors in two counties (Lofa and Bong); and to enhance the capacity of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INHCR) to coordinate human rights protection and promotion at the Country level.Commissioner Macdilla Howard of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) said the commission, in collaboration with the RRF & SFCG, would work on the recommendations  of the report for the betterment of the situation.She expressed thanks and appreciation for the work of the RRF & SFCG to ensure that many incidences of the violence against women would  be reduced in Lofa and others counties.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Crush hour

first_imgThe ramp that connects Interstate 80 to eastbound Interstate 580 collapsed after a speeding tanker truck with 8,600 gallons of gasoline slammed into a guard rail, sparking an explosion and intense fire, according to the California Highway Patrol. Tons of steel, concrete and asphalt blanketed part of the westbound Interstate 80 to Interstate 880 connector ramp that the truck was traveling on when it crashed. The part of the heavily traveled MacArthur Maze where the collapse occurred will be closed for weeks, if not months, causing the worst traffic disruption in the Bay Area for commuters since the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Local commuter rail officials said Sunday they will increase the capacity of their trains by 50 percent today, and the CHP released a list of alternative routes from San Francisco to the East Bay and from the northern part of the East Bay to the South Bay. CHP officer Trent Cross said officers believe the driver of the tanker truck was going faster than the 50 mph speed limit on the connector ramp between I-80 and I-880 when he lost control at about 3:40 a.m. He said officers are examining skid marks, debris and the damaged guardrail as they try to determine how fast the truck was traveling. He said James Mosqueda, 51, of Woodland, Calif., the driver of the tanker truck, crawled out of the passenger window, walked down the ramp to a gas station and took a taxi to a nearby hospital. He was later transferred to a hospital in San Francisco for treatment. Cross said Mosqueda had been licensed to drive the truck for 10 months. He works for the South San Francisco-based Sabek transportation company, and is being treated for second-degree burns to his face and neck. “If this had happened during weekday commute times, we would have had a very ugly incident on our hands,” Cross said, adding that it was fortunate that no one was killed or seriously injured in the accident or subsequent collapse of the ramp. “The bridge is replaceable. A life is not,” he said. It is too early to know what charges, if any, Mosquedo or his company might face, according to California Highway Patrol Commissioner Mike Brown. He said that the driver was coming from Contra Costa County but he would not say at an afternoon news conference where the driver was headed. “He was fresh on his route,” Brown said, adding that there was little information available because the “investigation is only hours old.” By the time CHP officers arrived at the scene, Mosqueda was already gone. Oakland fire crews fought the 2,000-degree blaze until shortly before 6 a.m. The crash sparked a series of explosions on the lower portion of the ramp where Mosqueda was driving from westbound Interstate 80 to southbound Interstate 880. The intense heat melted the steel screws on the upper deck of the ramp, which was built in the 1950s. Although the collapse has closed the ramp, motorists can continue to use Interstate 80 to get to and from San Francisco over the bridge. On an average weekday, about 45,000 vehicles typically drive over the ramp that collapsed, according to Caltrans Director Will Kempton. An estimated 35,000 cars drive over the lower bridge each day. Ordinarily, it isn’t that easy to knock down a freeway. But the fireball apparently erupted precisely at the Achilles’ heel of the skyway – the underside of the pier where all of the supporting steel girders are bare and unprotected by concrete or anything else, according to Berkeley civil engineering professor Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl. “I think this was really the perfect fire, tragically,” he said. The freeway collapsed more or less for the same reasons that the World Trade Center towers did on Sept. 11, 2001. The steel supports were baked at, and probably beyond, 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the point at which steel turns to rubber, said Astaneh, who studied the WTC collapse for the National Science Foundation and also studied the MacArthur Maze after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. “It’s not to say the steel melted. Some portions may have melted, but the steel got soft, like rubber,” he said. “When steel gets that warm, it loses its strength and cannot carry its load anymore.” Caltrans has not yet checked the support columns to make sure they are still viable. Agency spokeswoman Lauren Wonder said the agency has demolition contractors ready to remove the damaged roadway, but that she could not say how long it might take to rebuild the ramps. Kempton said that Caltrans officials are rushing to prepare an emergency proclamation, which he expected the governor to sign early in the week. The declaration would allow the Federal Highway Administration to reimburse Caltrans for the cost of repairing the ramp. “This is not going to be a cheap process,” Kempton said, noting that bridge engineers were already working on the design efforts. Kempton said state contracting rules have already been suspended to speed up the rebuilding. The rules normally require a competitive bidding process for public works projects. While he would not offer any kind of time frame for repairing the ramp, he said that it would be a quicker turnaround than in 1989, when the Cypress Freeway collapsed during the Loma Prieta quake and the Bay Bridge was closed for a month. Unlike then, when several roads were closed, Sunday’s bridge failure is relatively isolated and can be addressed immediately. State transportation officials advised motorists to take public transportation into and out of San Francisco. Oakland and San Francisco police will put extra officers on surface streets to help ease problems and congestion in the days to come. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said Sunday he was in contact with the Schwarzenegger administration and already there are plans to “fast-track” reconstruction of the collapsed portion of the roadway. “We’re all going to do what we can to fast-track reconstruction of the site,” he said. “We also are going to work with the labor parties. They understand the urgency.” Newsom said the Governor’s Office is looking at the model used by then-Gov. Pete Wilson to reconstruct damage caused by the 1994 Northridge Earthquake that closed Interstate 5 north of the San Fernando Valley. “Unquestionably this will be one of the more problematic commutes in recent memory,” he said, speaking about the short-term impact. It is too early to assess the economic impact from the crash, Newsom said, but he noted San Francisco’s population nearly doubles during the workday. And even with fast-track rebuilding, he warned, “These things do not happen overnight. “And so there’s going to be a lot of disruption and a lot of effort to redirect people on a more permanent basis.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! VIDEO: Bridge collapse SAN JOSE – As transportation officials braced for massive gridlock during today’s commute after the collapse of a key connector ramp near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge early Sunday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency and authorized free public transit rides to help people get to work. “I have issued an emergency declaration in order to begin immediate repair and replacement of the interchange in Emeryville,” according to a written statement released by the Governor’s Office. “This declaration will streamline public contracting and environmental codes and provide emergency funding to allow repair operations to begin immediately.” last_img read more

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