The research aims to produce valid information and must use reliable instruments that guarantee accurate and make it quantifiable and possible reproducibility. Allowing the exclusion or at least control prejudice of personal insights and trends that may distort the results.
for NG News
Published May 10, 2012
The sun is moving through the Milky Way slower than previously thought, according to new data from a NASA spacecraft.
From its orbit around Earth, the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) satellite measured the speeds of interstellar particles entering at the fringes of our solar system, 9 billion miles (14.5 billion kilometers) from the sun.
Plugging the new data into computer models, the IBEX team calculates that the sun is moving at about 52,000 miles (83,700 kilometers) an hour—about 7,000 miles (11,000 kilometers) slower than thought.
The discovery suggests that the protective boundary separating our solar system from the rest of the galaxy is missing a bow shock, a major structural component thought to control the influx of high-energy cosmic rays.
The sun is constantly sending out charged particles in all directions, forming a cocoon around the solar system called the heliosphere.
Like a boat moving through water, it's long been thought that the "bow" of the heliosphere forms a crescent-shaped shockwave as our solar system plows through the surrounding cloud of interstellar gas. (See "Solar System's 'Nose' Found; Aimed at Constellation Scorpius.")
But the new IBEX findings mean the sun is moving so slow that pressure from material flowing around the heliosphere is 25 percent lower than expected—not enough for a bow shock.
Until now, "all the solar system models and theories included a bow shock," said study leader David McComas of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.
"Having learned for nearly three decades about it, I was literally shocked when we found it was missing."
Cosmic-Ray Shielding Key for Life?
The absence of a bow shock is significant, McComas said, because it may indicate that the heliosphere is actually more robust than thought.
With less pressure from outside material, the boundary region isn't being compressed and therefore weakened as much as expected, which means it should better repel cosmic rays.
And understanding exactly how the heliosphere acts as a gatekeeper for cosmic rays could help scientists evaluate the chances for life on other worlds.
According to McComas, some researchers believe that the cosmic rays that do get through the heliosphere can impact Earth's climate, because the high-energy particles can ionize—or electrically charge—matter in the atmosphere, leading to heightened cloud formation and lightning generation.
Other experts think the particles could even be related to bursts of evolution or extinction in our planet's history, because the radiation can influence DNA patterns.
For now, the science behind how cosmic rays have influenced Earth is quite controversial, said Seth Redfield, an astronomer from Wesleyan University in Connecticut who was not involved with the new IBEX study.
Still, considering the rays' expected effects, Redfield said, "it seems obvious to me that there will be scenarios or times when the cosmic-ray flux on a planet is important and [is] having a major influence on the evolution of the planetary atmosphere or even on biological processes on its surface."
In that case, astronomers assessing the habitability of alien planets may need to start considering not only the chances for liquid water but also the strength of other stars' protective cocoons, study leader McComas said.
"There is no doubt," he said, "that questions about cosmic-ray shielding go right to the heart of some really important questions related to life as we know it."
The slower-sun study appears in this week's issue of the journal Science.
National Geographic has released this soon-to-be classic photograph of one shark eating another shark whole.
The photo comes from Daniela Ceccarelli, of Australia's Research Council Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. Ceccarelli was working with fellow researcher David Williamson on conducting a "fish census" off Great Keppel Island, part of the country's Great Barrier Reef. That's when Ceccarelli thought she spotted a brown-banded bamboo shark hanging out near the ocean's floor.
"The first thing that caught my eye was the almost translucent white of the bamboo shark," Ceccarelli told National Geographic in an email. Instead, as Ceccarelli moved in for a closer look she noticed a camouflaged wobbegong shark emerging from seclusion with the same bamboo shark partially wedged inside its jaws.
"It became clear that the head of the bamboo shark was hidden in its mouth," she said. "The bamboo shark was motionless and definitely dead."
As the New Scientist explains, Wobbegongs, aka carpet sharks, are silent predators, waiting at the bottom of the ocean floor for their pray to pass by. And as stunning as this photo may be, it's not uncommon for Wobbegongs to devour such large meals. Like several kinds of snakes, the Wobbegong has a dislocating jaw and rearward-pointing teeth that help it consume disproportionately large prey.
Although Wobbegongs bite humans with some regularity, these usually aren't actual attacks where the shark is hunting for prey. Rather, these bites tend to be more of a defensive reflex after the shark itself has been assaulted, usually by someone unintentionally stepping on it.
While shark attacks were down in the U.S. last year, deaths from shark bites more than doubled worldwide with 12 reported deaths all happening outside of the U.S. However, Florida still led the overall national count for most attacks, with 11 of the 29 attacks reported inside the U.S.
"We had a number of fatalities in essentially out-of-the-way places, where there's not the same quantity and quality of medical attention readily available," George Burgess, director of the Shark Attack File, told Gannett. "They also don't have histories of shark attacks in these regions, so there are not contingency plans in effect like there are in places such as Florida."
Nearly 850 million people use Facebook each month and roughly 480 million people use it every day. With a user rate like that and an upcoming $75 to $100 billion initial public offering, one might think Facebook is not only a highly visible company, but also one of Corporate America's most reputable.
But that's not really the case, according to the findings discovered by Harris Interactive. The company recently conducted its 13th annual Reputation Quotient Study, which measures companies' reputation with consumers.
In performing the survey, Harris first asked 17,000 people to chose the companies that are most visible to them on a daily basis. The respondents were then asked to rate the top 60 most visible companies on wide rage of attributes, including emotional appeal, products and services, social responsibility, vision and leadership, workplace environment and financial performance.
Apple bumped Google for the number one spot as the most reputable company in America, followed by Coca-Cola, Amazon.com and Kraft Foods. (See: Apple Ranks #1 With Consumers as J&J Tumbles in Harris Poll: Big Banks Come in Last)
But Facebook did not even make its way onto the most visible list of companies for consumers to rank, which is surprising for a company that has a shocking number of users and plans to go public. So how can this be? Well, it turns out that the public fails to recognize the social networking website as an actual corporation. Most people see Facebook rather as a tool, service or a channel for communication, says Robert Fronk, executive vice president for Harris Interactive.
While Facebook did not make the list this year, unlike last year, Harris still rated the company on its reputation. Facebook received a reputation rating bordering between fair and good, falling short of very good and excellent. The company's reputation waned in 2012 because 25% of the general public holds a negative perception of the company on a wide-rage of issues, including trust and respect. Those feelings are in line with the countless privacy concerns facing the company.
In terms of Facebook's shortcomings, here's what the study found:
People do not trust Facebook to do the right thing if faced with a problem.
People do not believe Facebook maintains high ethical standards.
People do not believe Facebook is sincere in its communications.
People do not believe Facebook is transparent in its communications.
Why does reputation matter anyway?
"One of the reasons companies want to build reputation is so that they can over time build equity so that when a crisis comes along, when they need to influence a particular stakeholder they have build up some of that equity," says Fronk. "And right now Facebook has an equity gap."
As mentioned, Facebook is set to go public in the coming months. But it turns out that only 7% of the general public would purchase shares in the company. Seventeen percent said they definitely would not. And 0% of the general public would recommend the stock to someone else.
"When you are going to be a public corporation there is a burden on you, there is an expectation for you to communicate a little bit more," says Fronk. "What the public is looking for are companies who communicate sincerely, with a certain amount of transparency and honesty and on those measures right now Facebook also has a serious gap."
Tell us what you think! Do you think Facebook has a good reputation? Would you buy stock in the company?
By Tecca | Today in Tech – Tue, Apr 10, 2012
Forget the light saber; the flashy sword is but a part of the fictional Star Wars universe. These five crazy, futuristic, and veritably frightening weapons may sound like they come from epic sci-fi flicks, but they're no mere figments of the imagination — they actually exist.
From pain rays to guns that can turn people into zombies, these weapons are no longer the stuff of fiction
1. Speech-suppressing gun
If there were ever a weapon made to fit Big Brother's world to a T, this is it. Let's say someone doesn't want to hear any more of your opinions. All they have to do is point this weapon at you and pull the trigger. This gun was designed by Japanese researchers to silence people by messing with their heads, but how exactly does it work?
Within a distance of 100 feet, a directional mic perched on top of the gun picks up whatever it is the target is saying. The boxy, directional speaker that makes up the bulk of the weapon then plays the sound back with a 0.2-second delay, effectively inducing delayed auditory feedback, a phenomenon caused by the echo of your own voice that interrupts your thoughts and renders you speechless.
While it's true that the weapon could be used to ensure silence in places like the library, it could also be used to silence protesters, important political figures, and other people who actually have important things to say. Talk about an Orwellian nightmare come true!
2. Vomit ray
This weapon could also prevent you from speaking your mind, but it's because you're going to be too busy to talk while you're throwing up your lunch. Back in 2007, the U.S. Navy signed a contract with a company called Invocon to develop a weapon that uses radio frequency (RF) to affect a person's sense of hearing and equilibrium. Anyone hit by these waves (which, by the way, can pass through walls) is expected to throw up and experience severe motion sickness — effects that were proven when the company demonstrated the weapon on a very unlucky individual.
In the same year, the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology department awarded $800,000 to a company called Intelligent Optical Systems (IOS) to develop the LED Incapacitator. It's a fancy flashlight that emits rapid pulse of different-colored lights to induce headache and dizziness, with vomiting as one of the possible aftereffects.
Want to make your own puke-inducing weapon? A couple of hardware hackers built one for $250, called it Bedazzler, and even posted instructions you can follow online. Part of Bedazzler's official page reads: "Yes this project does indeed cause: Nausea, dizziness, headache, flashblindness, eye pain and (occasional?) vomiting! So don't use it on your friends or pets." Although if you're building the Bedazzler because you're probably an evil overlord in training, we doubt you're going to take that advice.
Mobile pain ray3. Pain ray
More formally known as the Active Denial System (ADS), the pain ray is a weapon developed by the U.S. military that can — wait for it — cause excruciating pain by emitting high-powered waves similar to those from a microwave oven. Developed by the Pentagon, the system is composed of huge, vehicle-mounted plates. It was deployed to Afghanistan in June 2010 and pulled back just a month later without having been used.
It's unclear whether the military's plans to develop a rifle version of the system ever panned out. However, a smaller version of the pain ray called Silent Guardian was developed by defense technology company Raytheon and is currently available for use by law enforcement agencies.
While the ADS reportedly never saw action in the battlefield, it went through 10,000 trial exposures involving real people. The test subjects reported feeling like they were on fire a few seconds after being targeted, but the agonizing pain vanished as soon as they stepped out of the beam's way. The weapon was only designed to inflict pain and not actually burn anything, but around 0.1% of the test subjects reported blisters caused by second-degree burns. Double ouch!
New weapons could turn you into a zombie4. Mind-control gun
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin recently admitted that the country's government created a gun that can put people in a zombie-like state... at least for a short while. Or so we hope. Russia's mind-control gun attacks a target's central nervous system with electromagnetic radiation and is designed to be used for crowd control. While the government's keeping mum about the details, previous studies about the effects of electromagnetic radiation on the brain reveal that one of its possible effects is implanting thoughts and suggestions into a target's mind.
Good thing these scary zombie guns are confined to Russia and have not yet appeared in the United States, right? Well, in 2008, a U.S. company called Sierra Nevada Corporation announced that it was going to start producing the Medusa ray gun — a weapon that uses rapid microwave pulses that your brain perceives as extremely annoying sounds.
Soon after the company introduced Medusa, independent scientists came out to warn people that the weapon can't produce sounds annoying enough to disperse crowds unless it shoots strong microwave pulses that can literally fry your brain. Yikes. At least the Russian government was able to successfully test its zombie gun on real people (though to be fair, we're not exactly sure if any brains got fried in the process).
5. Self-guided bullet
The U.S. Sandia National Laboratories developed a new kind of bullet that could turn anyone into a sharpshooter in a heartbeat. The four-inch projectile has small fins on its tails similar to a dart that can steer it straight toward the target. As long as you shine a laser beam to what you want to hit, the sensor on the bullet's nose can follow it, even in the midst of strong winds and even if the target is up to a mile away. The self-guided bullet was designed for DARPA's Exacto program and will be used by the military and law enforcement agencies.
Could futuristic laser battles actually happen?Waiting for visible laser guns? Keep waiting
Many sci-fi fans are salivating for the day when handheld laser pistols become commonplace. Movies like Star Wars showcase powerful visible laser weapons in all shapes and sizes — from massive, ship-mounted cannons to tiny blasters that can fit in your pocket. Unfortunately, the chances of these types of firearms becoming a reality rests somewhere between slim and none.
There are several reasons why sci-fi laser weapons will never be possible. For starters, all current weaponized laser technology uses wavelengths of light that are invisible to the human eye. They can cause damage to a target, but you'd never be able to actually see the damaging rays the weapons generate. Second, since lasers travel at the speed of light, even if a visible laser weapon were conceptualized, you'd never actually be able to see the distinct glowing bars that are so common in futuristic firefights. On top of all that, lasers capable of doing damage to a target need massive power supplies, making the idea of a personal, portable laser weapon absolutely ludicrous.
Fascinating yet horrifying
Most of the weapons in this list may not be created to inflict fatal wounds, but they sure have terrifying implications. We know we don't want to experience awful pain, be turned into a zombie, or have our right to free speech taken away. Still, these creations represent fascinating advancements in science and technology. Let's just hope they don't fall into the hands of someone who has dreams of global domination.
[Image credits: U.S. Department of Defense]
There can't be many Internet users who haven't heard of Facebook – the social network site, brainchild of U.S. college student Mark Zuckerberg. But worryingly, it's not just our friends who are keeping up with what we're doing online. Debt collectors, potential employers and even lawyers could be finding out much more than you'd want them to. Here we examine the worrying trends on the social network site and consider how you can take steps to avoid being spied on.
Debt Collector Watch
It seems that debt collectors have caught on to how difficult it is to hide on Facebook. According to MSN Money, debt collectors are infiltrating social network pages, contacting you, your friends and family through the site to force you to pay what you owe.
One debt collection agent, Michelle Dunn, confirms that this is a strategy used by debt collection agencies today. "If you look like a really good-looking girl, a lot of people would accept a friendship even if they don't really know the person," she explains. Luckily the The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, designed to protect consumers against abusive practices by the debt collection industry, does offer you some protection in this area. Although it is not forbidden for collectors to post on your Facebook wall or ask your contacts of your whereabouts, they cannot post about your debt, because that is a serious breach of privacy. Nevertheless, it should be common practice not to accept friend requests from people you don't know, and of course, if you do owe money, in order to avoid being found and potentially harassed on Facebook, you should answer mail or calls or from collection agencies in the first instance. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away.
When you're applying for a new job, polishing up your resume may not be enough anymore. Rather, you should check what information is out there about you on the web. Facebook profiles are routinely being checked by your future employers. According to a survey carried out by Careerbuilder in 2009, 45% of employers check your social media presence when hiring, and some 35% of employers reported that they have found content on social networking sites that meant they did not hire the candidate. As social media has only grown over the past few years, we can only imagine that this figure would be much higher today.
More than half of the employers questioned said that provocative photos were the biggest factor contributing to a decision not to hire a potential employee, while 44% of employers pinpointed references to drinking and drug use as no-go areas. While this might seem obvious, you can never know what a company might deem "provocative." It seems wise to keep all content absolutely clean, otherwise who knows what job prospects you are thwarting.
In an even more worrying development in Maryland, a man has recently been asked to hand his Facebook login details over to his employee. He was outraged and made a complaint to the American Civil Liberties Union. As a result the updated policy at the Maryland Department of Corrections states that job candidates won't be asked to share their login or password information, but job applicants will be asked to log into Facebook "voluntarily" as an interviewer looks over their shoulders.
Beware what you post on the web, because, as a Staten Island woman recently discovered, the legal profession is snooping too. Dorothy McGurk claimed that she couldn't work, rarely left home and didn't socialize because of injuries from a 1996 car accident. The dancer, on disability, had been seeking lifetime alimony of $850 a month from her husband due to this accident. Unfortunately, Facebook revealed that all was not as it seemed, and showed that she was in fact working as a belly dancer. When the Facebook evidence came to light as evidence in court, the alimony was lost.
The Bottom Line
Unfortunately, many of us fail to realize that content we post on the Internet is really out there in the public domain. If you do want to continue using Facebook, what can you do to protect yourself from unwanted prying eyes? Be sure you've checked those privacy settings. It is sensible to keep any personal content away from the public eye. Also, be careful what you are making available to your networks. It might seem safe enough to let people who graduated from the same college as you view your profile, but this will include several thousand – if not tens of thousands of – people who you have never met nor know, and who may have ulterior motives when checking out your profile. Keep it clean and professional. Ask yourself: would you want your future employer to read this? If the answer is no, don't post it. There's really nowhere to hide on the world wide web.
ABC News – Wed, Apr 11, 2012
'Jesus Tomb' Controversy Rages …
Archaeologists working in Jerusalem claim that a discovery they made inside a burial tomb, dating back to the time of Jesus Christ, could shed new light on the origins of Christianity.
Biblical historian James Tabor, professor and chair of religious studies at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, is working with the team, led by controversial filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici. Using a camera mounted on a robotic arm, the team found a 2,000-year-old engraving, which they claim depicts Jesus' resurrection, on an ossuary -- a limestone burial box that contains human bones -- in a first-century tomb.
Their exploration of ancient life in the holy land is told in a new documentary for the Discovery Channel called "The Resurrection Tomb Mystery," which premieres on April 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
"It's almost like a moonscape feeling of something eerie, something kind of silent- a reverent feeling really," Tabor said. "Because these people died 2,000 years ago and now we are investigating their last memories, how they bury their dead, what they left behind, so that was there and then the excitement of, 'Well will there be something we'll find or will we find just another Jewish tomb'?"
But the team thinks they found something much more than that. Tabor believes the engraving found on the ossuary depicts the Biblical story of Jonah, who was swallowed by a whale in the Book of Jonah.
For many Christians, the Old Testament story of Jonah and the whale has come to symbolize the resurrection of Jesus. If the engraving is of Jonah, as Tabor believes, he said it would be the earliest Christian symbol of resurrection ever found.
However, many biblical scholars don't see it that way at all.
Mark Goodacre, an associate professor of religious studies at Duke University, who specializes in the New Testament, says there are other, far more likely, explanations as to what the engraving could be, such as a vase with handles.
"When is a fish not a fish? When it has handles, matching handles," he said. "It's a vessel. It's a vase. It's a vase that looks like many of the ones that you'll find in the early Roman period."
Yet Jacobovici and his colleagues believe that ancient Greek letters found on another ossuary a few feet away from the engraving also refer to resurrection.
"Now whether they were saying he rose or we will rise, we can argue about it, but the finds themselves are hard archaeology that show, you know, new light, shed new light on the big bang of Christianity," Jacobovici said.
But again, religious scholars say it is more like a big bust.
"He's seeing things that simply aren't there," Goodacre said. "His head is so full of 'DaVinci Code.'"
Robert Cargill, an assistant professor of classics and religious studies at the University of Iowa, told "Nightline" that the original image of the engraving that Tabor sent him is "clearly displaying the handles" but that the handles do not appear in the image that was distributed to the press.
"There are clearly handles on the top of the so-called 'Jonah fish' image, but Tabor and Jacobovici don't include them in their museum replicas or the CGI image," Cargill said. "No credible scholar except those that work with or for Simcha on this or some other project believe his conclusions... The evidence does not support their sensational claims. But that doesn't stop them from wanting it to be true, so in their minds, it's true."
Jacobovici has been criticized before when he made the claim five years ago that he had found Jesus' family tomb, with ossuaries that contained the bones of Jesus' mother Mary, Jesus himself, Mary Magdalene and perhaps -- as told in "The DaVinci Code" -- their love child.
But Tabor, among others, do believe that Jacobovici did find something significant -- that the two tombs, just 200 feet apart, are related somehow. Tabor has even collaborated on a new book called "The Jesus Discovery."
"We have one tomb that has the bones of Jesus and 200 feet away, people celebrating his resurrection," Tabor said. "They're able to put this together in a way that maybe people today haven't considered."
However, as Goodacre points out, there is no evidence that either tomb has anything to do with Jesus. But what Jacobovici and his critics can agree on is that exploring the inside of tombs dating back to the first century is "really exciting."
Fighter Pilots Claim Intimidation …
Two F-22 Raptor pilots have said publicly that not only are they afraid to fly the most expensive fighter jets in American history, but the military has attempted to silence them and other F-22 pilots by threatening their careers.
"There have been squadrons that have stood down over concerns. And there's been threat of reprisals," F-22 pilot Josh Wilson told CBS News' "60 Minutes" Sunday. "There's been threat of flying evaluation boards clipping our wings and doing ground jobs. And... in my case, potentially getting booted out of the Air Force.
"So right now there's an example being set of, 'Hey, if you speak up about safety, you're going to be out of the organization,'" Wilson said.
Despite the Air Force's glowing descriptions of the next-generation jet as America's future of air dominance, as an ABC News "Nightline" investigation broadcast last week found, unknown problems with the plane's oxygen system have already contributed to the death of one pilot, the near-death of another and mid-air scares for dozens more.
READ Exclusive: Family Demands Truth in Air Force F-22 Pilot's Death
Wilson and fellow F-22 pilot Jeremy Gordon, both veteran fighter pilots for the Virginia Air National Guard who came forward under whistleblower protection from Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R.-Ill.), have asked not to fly the F-22 anymore, according to CBS News, citing their concerns with the oxygen problem.
Gordon said that two weeks after he requested not to fly the jet, he was called before a board of officers.
"I was asked to make a decision that day whether I wanted to fly or find another line of work," he said.
Several current and former F-22 pilots contacted by ABC News for its investigation either did not respond or quickly declined to comment on the plane and two relatives of flyers told ABC News that the pilots had been instructed not to speak to the media on penalty of potentially losing their post with the F-22 -- a coveted position despite the safety concerns. One pilot, when initially contacted by ABC News for comment, agreed to speak on the record but only after he checked with the Air Force public affairs office. Since then, the pilot has not responded to any of ABC News' attempts to communicate.
Air Force spokesperson John Dorrian told ABC News he has no information about any pilots being explicitly told not to speak to the media about the Raptor and noted that several F-22 pilots have been made available to the press at Air Force events. Dorrian did say that if a member of the Air Force wishes to speak with the media as a representative of the Air Force, that engagement is conducted through the Air Force public affairs office, but whistleblowers are still protected.
"Corporately, the Air Force position is the Air Force is not going to tolerate any reprisal actions against whistleblowers," Dorrian said.
Since Wilson and Gordon are assigned to the Virginia Air National Guard, Dorrian said he did not have specific information on their case. Officials at the Virginia Air National Guard did not immediately return requests for comment for this report.
Top officials at the Air Force and Lockheed Martin refused to take part in one-on-one interviews with ABC News for its broadcast report, but the Air Force provided a statement last week in which it says the service is committed to "unparalleled dedication to flight safety."
"Flying America's premier fighter aircraft always entails risk but the Air Force has, and always will, take every measure to ensure the safety of our aircrews while delivering air superiority for the nation," the statement said. The Air Force has also stressed that reports of "hypoxia-like symptoms" are exceedingly rare -- more than two dozen compared to the thousands of flights flown without incident.
READ: Air Force's Full Statement in Response to ABC News Investigation
Last week the Air Force officially received the last F-22 Raptor from defense contracting giant Lockheed Martin, completing an order of 187 planes that cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $79 billion -- meaning that including research, development and production among other costs, each plane has a price tag of more than $420 million. Despite being the most advanced fighters on the planet, none of the planes have been used on a combat mission since they went combat-ready in late 2005. Critics told ABC News that's because the jet was designed to fight rival, sophisticated fighters – an enemy that doesn't exist right now.
F-22 Pilot Blamed in Fatal Crash After Plane Malfunction
Capt. Jeff Haney was flying the Air Force's next-generation stealth F-22 Raptor on a routine training mission in Alaska in November 2010 when a sudden malfunction cut off his oxygen completely. Capt. Haney never made a distress call but took his plane into a dive and, a little over a minute later, crashed into the winter wilderness at faster than the speed of sound.
After a lengthy investigation, an Air Force Accident Investigation Board could not find the cause of the malfunction but determined "by clear and convincing evidence" that in addition to other factors, Haney was to blame for the crash because he was too distracted by his inability to breathe to fly the plane properly.
READ: Air Force's Accident Investigation Board Report (PDF)
But Haney's sister, Jennifer, told ABC News in an exclusive interview she believes her brother blacked out trying to save himself and said that by blaming him, the Air Force was attempting to deflect attention from the ongoing, mysterious oxygen problem with the costly planes.
"I don't agree with [the Air Force]. I think there was a lot more going on inside that cockpit," Jennifer Haney said. "A cover-up? I don't know. But there's something."
In at least 25 cases since 2008, F-22 pilots have reported experiencing "hypoxia-like symptoms" in mid-air, according to the Air Force. Last year the Air Force grounded the full fleet of F-22s for nearly five months to investigate, but still no one knows what is going wrong, even as the planes are back in the air. Hypoxia is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain and is characterized by dizziness, confusion, lack of judgment and, eventually, unconsciousness.
In one case before the grounding, a pilot became so disoriented that his plane dropped down and skimmed treetops before he managed to save himself and return to base, an Air Force spokesperson told ABC News. Presumably speaking of the same incident, Gordon told "60 Minutes" the pilot had to be told he had hit the trees -- he didn't remember doing it himself.
Wilson described experiencing apparent hypoxia while in the cockpit as a "surreal experience" and Gordon said the onset is "insidious."
"Some pilots will go the entire mission, land and not know anything went wrong," Gordon said.
To Jennifer Haney, every time an F-22 goes up, it's risking the life of its pilot. She spoke to ABC News because she said she couldn't stand to see another family go through what hers had.
"I know that the Air Force has said that they were very proud to have Jeff and are very sorry for our loss -- well then, in Jeff's name, fix this," she said. "We want to make sure Jeff did not die in vain -- that his death will mean something and that if it saves lives of pilots now, future pilots, then he died for the greater good or something."
The Air Force has already begun to enact changes to the jet in hopes of mitigating the oxygen problem, including adding pilot-monitoring equipment and improving the emergency oxygen system.
But for all their effort, the Air Force still doesn't have what Jennifer Haney said is most important both to her family and to the families of pilots that risk their lives every day at the controls of the F-22: answers.
"I believe Jeff deserves that. That was my baby brother and I believe he deserves that. He deserves the truth to be told as to what happened. Not anybody's guesses," she said. "He deserves the truth. He deserves honor and so do his little girls."
WATCH '60 Minutes': Is the Air Force's F-22 Fighter Jet Making Pilots Sick?
| The Lookout
The Border Patrol will increase its use of unmanned predator drones. (Eric Gay/AP)Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher said at a House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing Tuesday that the country's 21,000 Border Patrol agents will refocus on information and intelligence gathering in the agency's new four-year strategy. The agency will also try to develop a better measurement for whether it is successfully keeping the border safe. Right now, the Border Patrol relies on how many people it has caught trying to cross the border as its main measure of success, but Fisher conceded that this "apprehension" figure doesn't show how many people are crossing undetected.
Fisher said the agents will more proactively communicate with people who live on the border, teaching them how to spot suspicious activity and potential drug runners. The Border Patrol will also increase the use of unmanned aircraft and helicopter flights to help it spot illegal activity.
Apprehensions have fallen sharply on the southern border since the economic downturn, and the number of Border Patrol agents has doubled since 2004, the last time the group released a strategy. Fisher told The Associated Press that under the new plan agents will more frequently punish people who try to cross the border illegally. Very few people, such as children and those who are ill, will simply be fingerprinted and turned back around as they were before, now that the increased manpower and decreased crossings give agents the resources to mete out stiffer consequences. Instead, more of those crossing will be jailed.
Marc Rosenblum, an immigration specialist with the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, testified that the Border Patrol's focus on blanketing highly trafficked illegal crossing areas may have left the official ports of entry vulnerable. Potential terrorists and drug runners could exploit the lower staffing and resources at these ports, he said.
Can a Kid Be a Psychopath?
By Shine | Parenting – 17 hours ago
http://l3.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/wzYuNfh0d0rJws_z6NXuoA--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTMxMA--/http:/media.zenfs.com/en-US/blogs/partner/470_2363712.0Can a young child really be a psychopath?The groundbreaking HBO documentary "Child of Rage" years ago showed how horrific abuse and neglect could leave a child unable to bond with other people, turning them into children "without conscience, who can hurt or even kill without remorse." In other words: the child becomes a psychopath.
But what about the kids who aren't abused? What about the ones who, for no discernible reason, do horrible things to other people?
Related: Why do children lie, cheat, and steal?
"I've always said that Michael will grow up to be either a Nobel Prize winner or a serial killer," his mother, Anne, tells Jennifer Kahn in a recent shocking New York Times Magazine article. At age 9, her son has an extreme temper, lashing out violently and deliberately and showing no empathy or remorse. He's intelligent, cold, calculating, and explosive. "It takes a toll," she says, explaining her comment. "There's not a lot of joy and happiness in raising Michael."
Experts are divided about whether it's right to label a child as a psychopath. On the one hand, their brains are still developing; since psychopathy is largely considered untreatable, such a label would carry a heavy, life-altering stigma. On the other hand, identifying "callous-unemotional" children early could allow for successful treatment -- or at least a heads-up to society.
But reaching such a diagnosis can be tricky. Certain tendencies, like narcissism and impulsiveness, that are obvious signs of a psychopath are also part and parcel of childhood. And callous-unemotional kids are often extremely intelligent; they're able to lie and manipulate without remorse, making it harder to understand what they're doing and why. "They don't care if someone is mad at them," Paul Frick, a psychologist at the University of New Orleans, told the New York Times. "They don't care if they hurt someone's feelings."
"If they can get what they want without being cruel, that's often easier," adds Frick, who has spent 20 years studying risk factors for psychopathy in children. "But at the end of the day, they'll do whatever works best."
The New York Times article mentions the case of 9-year-old Jeffrey Bailey Jr., who in 1986 pushed a 3-year-old into the deep end of a Florida swimming pool and then pulled up a chair to watch the child drown; after the toddler died, Bailey got up and went home. It's a disturbing crime -- and there are other equally disturbing cases of young kids committing cold-blooded murder.
In 1993, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, both 10 years old, took 2-year-old James Bulger by the hand and led the trusting toddler out of a shopping mall in Liverpool, England. Once away from the mall, they spent hours torturing him before beating him to death, reports said.
In 1998, Joshua Phillips' mother was cleaning his room when she discovered the dead body of their 8-year-old neighbor, Maddie Clifton, under his bed. The 14-year-old Phillips says he accidentally hit the girl in the eye with a baseball bat and then panicked when she screamed, so he took her to his room and beat and then stabbed her until she stopped.
Alyssa Bustamente was 15 when she confessed to luring her 9-year-old neighbor Elizabeth Olten into a nearby forest and killing her in 2009. "I strangled them and slit their throat and stabbed them now they're dead," Bustamante wrote in her diary at the time. "It was ahmazing. As soon as you get over the 'ohmygawd I can't do this' feeling, it's pretty enjoyable. I'm kinda nervous and shaky though right now. Kay, I gotta go to church now...lol." In February, she was sentenced to life in prison.
Eric Harris -- who, with his friend Dylan Klebold, killed 13 people and injured 24 others when they opened fire at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999 -- had several of the hallmarks of being a psychopath. As ABC News points out, he was described as "controlling, manipulative, and sadistic, but very much in touch with reality."
"Psychopaths don't feel guilty because they are blind to guilt," Frank Ochberg, a former FBI psychiatrist who led the counseling team after Columbine, told ABC News. And, unlike with psychosis (when people are delusional or out-of-touch with reality), psychopaths know exactly what they're doing -- they just don't care how it affects others.
It's not as if these kids simply lack a moral compass. In "Child of Rage," 6-year-old Beth opens her blue eyes wide and calmly tells her psychiatrist how she'd like to hurt, and even kill, her adoptive parents -- a Methodist preacher and his wife -- and her biological brother. She's calm and conversational as she describes how she has deliberately harmed and killed animals, how she drives pins into her brother and sexually molests him, how she repeatedly slammed his head into a cement floor and only stopped because someone caught her. Beth suffered extreme physical and sexual abuse and neglect by her biological parents, which experts say could explain her detached, calculating demeanor and her lack of "a sense of conscience." (She now claims that she was "healed" by the time she was 7 or 8, thanks to intensive therapy.) But Michael, in the New York Times Magazine article, seems to have grown up surrounded by love and affection.
So if nurture (or a lack of it) isn't the only way a person becomes a psychopath, how much does nature have to do with it? Some experts say that psychopathy, like other mental illnesses, may have a genetic component; others think that it is a neurological condition all its own, like autism is, though it's not part of the autism spectrum. Though some psychologists believe one can start seeing psychopathic traits as early as age 5, there is not yet a definitive test for children that young.
"You're not born a psychopath but the foundation is there," Robert Hare, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of British Columbia and author of "Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us," told MSNBC. He has developed specialized checklists to determine whether people age 12 and older show psychopathic tendencies. "We're all born with temperaments that can be shaped by the environment."
What do you think? Can a young, seemingly innocent child be a psychopath -- and are they just born that way?