Japan scientists can 'read' dreams


Scientists in Japan said they had found a way to "read" people's dreams, using MRI scanners to unlock some of the secrets of the unconscious mind.

Researchers have managed what they said was "the world's first decoding" of night-time visions, the subject of centuries of speculation that have captivated humanity since ancient times.

In the study, published in the journal Science, scientists at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories, in Kyoto, western Japan, used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to locate exactly which part of the brain was active during the first moments of sleep.

They then woke up the dreamer and asked him or her what images they had seen, a process that was repeated 200 times.

These answers were compared with the brain maps that had been produced by the MRI scanner.

Researchers were then able to predict what images the volunteers had seen with a 60 percent accuracy rate, rising to more than 70 percent with around 15 specific items including men, words and books, they said.

"We have concluded that we successfully decoded some kinds of dreams with a distinctively high success rate," said Yukiyasu Kamitani, a senior researcher at the laboratories and head of the study team.

"I believe it was a key step towards reading dreams more precisely," Kamitani told AFP.


AFP, photo by adam_erlebacher

Provincial airplane terminals go over head of London PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 09 December 2014 19:12



The primary general immediate flight from the UK to China outside London takes off on Monday, as Cathay Pacific dispatches its Manchester-Hong Kong administration.

It is an iconic issue. In gathered southeast England, moves to stretch limit are in halt. The UK's enormous commonplace airplane terminals, in the mean time, are caught up with boosting long-separation flights, opening up immediate courses to the billions-solid fare markets of Asia.

Stanley Chan, of Chi Yip, a gathering that runs and supplies Chinese shops and restaurants over the UK, said the Manchester flight — which takes 12 hours and will run four times each week — will help grow the business. "Some time recently, holders needed to stay overnight in Frankfurt, Paris or Amsterdam. Time is cash.

"In the event that we can discover items the Chinese need, we will fare and offer there. They have had a considerable measure of sustenance outrages and it is a boundless business sector."


Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 December 2014 19:22
Cambridge University graduates destined to get a job, says worldwide report PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 09 December 2014 19:32



Cambridge University has come top of an universal association table distributed today positioning foundations on the employability of their  graduates.

The college climbs from third place a year ago – thumping Oxford University, which moves down to fourth place, off the top spot. In any case, the coordinators of the alliance table – French human assets consultancy Emerging and German surveying organization Trendence – have issued a cautioning to Western colleges that Asian organizations could be going to thump them off their perch.the table demonstrates the extent of Asian colleges in the main 150 has multiplied in the previous four years from 10 every penny to 20 every penny.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 December 2014 19:37
Arsenal stars wear Christmas jumpers for Save the Children PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 09 December 2014 19:39


The temperament around the Arsenal camp was anything besides bubbly this weekend after an excruciating thrashing to Stoke.

However Gunners stars have brought some welcome light help to incidents by wearing a few Christmas jumpers for a decent cause.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 December 2014 19:43
China film mogul says $62m van Gogh buy cheaper than expected PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 10 December 2014 11:52



A Chinese film mogul who purchased a Vincent van Gogh still life for a record $62 million, Saturday admitted he would have paid even more for the masterpiece.

Wang Zhongjun, chairman of the high-powered Huayi Brothers film studio, bought van Gogh's 1890 painting "Still Life, Vase with Daisies and Poppies" for $61.8 million at Sotheby's in New York in November.

Speaking at a presentation at the auction house's Hong Kong gallery Wang said the price -- a record for a still life painting by the artist -- was "a bit lower" than he had been expecting to pay.

"I like it, it's not a matter of price, it's like I didn't spend money, it hangs on the wall and it belongs to me," Wang said.

"Van Gogh is my favourite artist in terms of his use of colours and many other aspects," he added.

The painting had been valued at $30 to $50 million before the sale.

Wang, who will be hanging the piece at his Hong Kong home, is the latest wealthy Chinese businessman to make an eyebrow-raising art purchase.

Forbes Magazine put Wang's net worth at nearly $1 billion, the 268th richest person in China.

Huayi Brothers Media is one of the largest private entertainment groups in China and has produced and distributed some of the country's popular movies and television productions, according to its website.



Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 11:56
Sydney hostage drama: a jihadist propaganda win? PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 17 December 2014 17:48



His motives are a mystery and his acts described as random and deranged, but analysts say the gunman who took a Sydney cafe full of terrified people hostage could still score a propaganda coup for jihadists.

Bearing a black jihadist flag, the Iranian-born Islamist created precisely the sort of lone-wolf attack urged by groups such as the Islamic State -- replete with bomb threats, hostages and panic in a major Western city.

Although any link to a specific group has yet to be established, the explosions and flashes of the dramatic police storming of the cafe that left two hostages and the hostage-taker dead, drove home the increasing reality of the "lone wolf" threat.

The gunman was named in Australian media as an Iranian-born "cleric" called Man Haron Monis, aged 49, who had sent offensive letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers and was out on bail on charges of being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife.

He was described as a "fringe Islamist" who acted on his own, and while the reasons for his acts remained murky, analysts said IS could take it as a win for their cause.

"The key thing with these attacks isn't to cause lots of casualties, it is to cause a media buzz, get everyone focused on it, everyone talking about it," said Matthew Henman, the head of London-based IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Centre.



Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 December 2014 17:52
The urban communities that are beating London in the house value expansion stakes PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 19 December 2014 13:55



House costs in five urban communities around Britain have developed at a speedier rate than the capital's cooling property advertise lately, new information shows.

Property costs in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Southampton, Bristol and Birmingham have expanded at a quicker pace than London in the three months to November, as per the most recent Hometrack UK Cities House Price Index.

On the off chance that house costs in London developed by 0.5 every penny in the quarter – the same rate of development as Manchester, Portsmouth and Belfast - Edinburgh overwhelmed the capital with the greatest climb at 1.8 every penny amid the same period.

Glasgow and Southampton likewise saw house costs climbing speedier than London, with a 0.9 every penny climb, while Bristol and Birmingham both recorded a 0.6 every penny inspire, Hometrack said.


Last Updated on Friday, 19 December 2014 14:00
F1 champion Hamilton ready for new title fight PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 26 November 2014 14:16



Two-time world champion Lewis Hamilton said Monday he is determined to keep winning Formula One titles after his triumph in Abu Dhabi.

After a night of partying following Sunday's Grand Prix victory, the 29-year-old Briton said he would get immediately down to work improving the car for next season.

"We want to be able to go into next season and compete again and be as strong as possible.

"That's obviously going to be the goal and I have absolute faith in the team that we will come back very, very strong next year."

Hamilton's victory, after Mercedes teammate and season long rival Nico Rosberg made a poor start from pole position and then suffered mechanical problems on his way to finishing 14th, added a second title to the first won in 2008.


Mercedes dominated the season with a record 16 wins in 19 races – 11 to Hamilton and five to Rosberg – and produced speed and consistency that left their rivals stranded.

The team now appear poised to enjoy an era of supremacy like that of Germans Michael Schumacher, at Ferrari, and Sebastian Vettel, at Red Bull.

"The first title was an exceptional and an incredible feeling for me,” said Hamilton.

"That was achieving a life-long goal of getting to Formula One and winning the world championship. I don't know if I was in a place to really embrace it and absorb it in the way I can today.

"Being a part of this team is definitely a more satisfying feeling. Winning this championship with this team -- a young team that has worked so hard to get to where we are," he added.

"To be a part of that is something really very special.

"You see the atmosphere in the team, you see the guys at the factory and what's gone on with the partnership with Petronas and all the guys back at the factories in Brackley and Brixworth putting the team together.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 November 2014 14:27
Beirut's 'fairytale' villa comes back to life PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 10 December 2014 11:48


Like a mirage in the middle of Beirut's high-rise seafront, the exquisite mansion is a lonely reminder of this city's romantic past.

Rose House is an architectural gem, an Ottoman villa perched rather bizarrely next to an equally elegant lighthouse overlooking the Mediterranean.

As newly built apartment blocks crowd in on its palm trees and delicate ochre-pink arches, it has become a symbol to Beirutis of the lightness and beauty their city seems to be losing.

A rare survivor not just of the 15-year civil war that claimed so many of its historic mansions, but the building boom that came with peace from 1990, it is even said to haunt some of their dreams.

The villa that once hosted French president Charles de Gaulle and American abstract artist John Ferren -- a friend of Picasso -- also inspired a film, "Around the Pink House".

Yet its fortunes declined over the years.

But a chance visit by British painter Tom Young and his wife as they strolled along the seafront, together with the enthusiasm of a Lebanese property developer, has brought hope that the villa will be restored and revived.



Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 11:51
Fitch downgrades France rating to AA PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 15 December 2014 20:01


Ratings agency Fitch cut France's credit grade by one notch to "AA" on Friday, saying Paris's efforts to trim its fiscal deficit have fallen short to avoid a downgrade.

"The weak outlook for the French economy impairs the prospects for fiscal consolidation and stabilizing the public debt ratio," Fitch said.

The AA grade -- two steps below the top triple-A rating -- was decided despite France having reduced its projected deficit for fiscal 2015 to 4.1 percent of GDP, down from 4.3 percent, under pressure from the European Commission.

"On its own, this will not be sufficient to significantly change Fitch's projections of France's government debt dynamics," the agency said.

"The 2015 budget involves a significant slippage against prior budget deficit targets."

It noted that the draft 2015 budget projected government debt to GDP ratio will peak at 98 percent in 2016, higher and later than previous projections.

But Fitch doubted those targets could be met.



Last Updated on Monday, 15 December 2014 20:04
British student raises thousands for 'homeless hero' PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 17 December 2014 17:21

A British student has raised thousands of pounds for a "homeless hero" who offered her his last few coins to get home at night after she lost her bank card.

The online fundraising page reached over £16,500 ($26,000, 20,500 euros) on Wednesday after student Dominique Harrison-Bentzen's campaign went viral.

"After losing my bank card and having no money in the early hours, a homeless man approached me with his only change of three pounds and insisted I took it to pay for a taxi," Harrison-Bentzen wrote on the page.

"I didn't take the money but I was touched by such a kind gesture from a man who faces ignorance every day."


Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 December 2014 17:30
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