Daily Archives: March 19, 2008

Teacher Forces Student To Relieve Himself In His Lunchbox

cfnews13.com | March 14, 2008

ORLANDO — An Orange County student said his teacher made him go to the bathroom in a lunchbox.

Now the boy and his mother want answers.

Quonterius Thomas said Thursday afternoon he asked his Language Arts teacher, Shaneeka Chambers, at Meadowbrook Middle School if he could go to the bathroom.

She said he only had two options — wait until the end of class or go to the bathroom in his lunchbox.

Quonterius’ mother, Shameka Bryant, went to the school Friday morning to confront administrators. Principal Valeria Maxwell told News 13 and Bryant they are investigating the incident.

According to Maxwell, Chambers was not in school Friday because of a teacher’s conference.

“I’m very upset and I want this teacher here to come forward and stop hiding, and own up to what she has done,” said Bryant.

Bryant said she will be seeking legal counsel to advise her on what she and her son should do next.

Kids loaned out for elite pedophile rape cruises

jersey kid rape

This is a place where the authorities allowed 43-year-old convicted paedophile Roger Holland to stand for election as an honorary constable officer— similar to a special cop in the UK, but with more powers.

newsoftheworld.co.uk | Mar 18, 2008

Paedophile yachtsmen were given children to abuse at sea

By Lucy Panton & Philip Whiteside

CHILDREN from the Jersey House of Horrors were loaned to rich paedophile yachtsmen as galley SEX SLAVES, a News of the World investigation reveals.

The youngsters were told by care staff the boat rides were treats—only to be assaulted and RAPED at sea by pervert toffs.

Details of the sick attacks emerged as we discovered even more blood has been found in a bath in the dungeon underneath the Haut de la Garenne home—and in the drains.

And our reporters have been told how builders on renovations at the home were urged by staff to BURN any bones they dug up.

We also uncover the full extent of the dark forces of corruption hampering the police investigation.

We can reveal worried cops feel under so much pressure over the abuse allegations they are preparing to BYPASS Jersey’s own legal system and hand their evidence to our government.

This could include files on up to seven social workers and carers who worked at the sinister home—including one nicknamed the ‘pinball wizard’ who HURLED kids against the walls to see how far they would BOUNCE.

At least two previous senior employees of children’s services on the island are also under investigation despite the attempts of corrupt former policemen, politicians and businessmen to scupper the inquiry.

We understand that two weeks ago Jersey ministers SECRETLY VOTED to have senior police investigator Lenny Harper removed from the case because they believed he was too open with the media. But the Chief of Police Graham Power refused.

Explosive

A source told us: “Such important figures have been implicated in the cover-up of abuse on the island that the cops feel the evidence should now be passed to the British government

“The latest revelations are explosive. It is going to cause massive waves within the political and legal world and could bring the whole of Jersey’s infrastructure crashing down.”

One of the most serious lines of inquiry in the investigation is that children were regularly loaned to wealthy yachtsmen to “do with them what they chose for the day,” according to our source close to the investigation.

Haut de la Garenne staff described the trips as a treat for children who spent long hours cooped up at the home. But in reality the kids were subjected to the vilest sexual abuse on board the luxury boats.

Our source said: “The allegations about the yachting community have come in from a number of different people. It is a very strong line of inquiry and when the evidence is made public people will be horrified.”

Meanwhile about a dozen bones found at the home have been sent to a DNA lab to find out how old they are —yet some bone fragments were too burnt to be tested.

Police have taken statements from local builders who were told: “If you find bones, get rid of them or burn them.” New blood spots have been discovered in cracks in a concrete bath in the underground chamber and have also been sent for tests and sniffer dogs trained to find blood have found scents in the drains underneath.

Forensic officers are now focusing on the wooden trapdoor leading to a second torture cellar in a bid to extract DNA or fingerprints.

Our source said: “Detectives are doing everything they can to ensure every scrap of evidence is properly investigated. They are very aware that the home dates back to 1856 and some of these bones could be very old.

“This is going to be a long process but the officers have been presented with so many accounts of abuse and cover-ups it is crucial we get answers. People disclosing the abuse have been easy to ignore but finally they are getting a chance to be taken seriously.”

The horrors being uncovered at Haut de la Garenne have revealed a Jersey tourists have never seen.

Former abused care home residents claim what happened to them has been covered up by those in high office, desperate not to tarnish Jersey’s good name or risk politicians in London reducing their power over the tiny, but extremely wealthy, island.

Although Jersey is part of the British Isles and under the Queen’s rule, it has a separate government system dating back to King John’s reign, and makes its own rules and laws.

Jersey’s 53-member parliament has no political parties. Its politicians, judges, policemen and business leaders come from a small elite—often linked by friendship or family.

The island’s equivalent of our Commons Speaker is also its top judge—so the system of checks and balances between politics and the law we have in the UK is almost non-existent.

This is a place where the authorities allowed 43-year-old convicted paedophile Roger Holland to stand for election as an honorary constable officer— similar to a special cop in the UK, but with more powers. They knew that six years earlier he had indecently assaulted a mentally impaired 14-year-old girl and admitted molesting another girl. But he got the job and in 1997 rose to become vingtenier—the second most senior cop on the island’s volunteer force.

In 2001 he was jailed for indecently assaulting a young girl in the back of a police van.

“Jersey has for too long been a law unto itself—it is time the truth came out,” says our source.

Among those fighting for that is ex-health minister Senator Stuart Syvret, who resigned over the cover-up and has given statements to police claiming two senior legal figures were involved in the abuse.

Mr Syvret said: “I have given formal statements to the police concerning a number of establishment individuals. Officers I have spoken to are from a force external to Jersey police at the request of Jersey police.” Solicitor Nick le Cornu is also demanding change. “Jersey’s political class have for 60 years been ignoring and covering up poverty and injustice,” he claimed.

Police investigator Lenny Harper, an outsider from Northern Ireland, was the target of a hate campaign— including threats to torch his house —after a string of cops were sacked for corruption. Colleagues say Harper, 56, laughed it off, saying: “I had the IRA on my tail for years—so a few disgruntled people are not going to deter me from doing my job.”

Now he’s facing the biggest test of his career—on the island of fear.

Related

More bones found at children’s home in abuse investigation

Virtual child passes mental milestone

NewScientist.com | Mar 18, 2008

by Celeste Biever

A virtual child controlled by artificially intelligent software has passed a cognitive test regarded as a major milestone in human development. It could lead to smarter computer games able to predict human players’ state of mind.

Children typically master the “false belief test” at age 4 or 5. It tests their ability to realise that the beliefs of others can differ from their own, and from reality.

The creators of the new character – which they called Eddie – say passing the test shows it can reason about the beliefs of others, using a rudimentary “theory of mind”.

“Today’s characters have no genuine autonomy or mental picture of who you are,” researcher Selmer Bringsjord of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, told New Scientist.

He aims to change that with future games and virtual worlds populated by genuinely intelligent computer characters able to predict and understand players actions and motives.

Bringsjord’s colleague Andrew Shilliday adds that their work will have applications outside of gaming. For example, search engines able to reason about the beliefs of a user might allow them to better understand their search queries.

False Beliefs

In real life, the “false belief test” is used by psychologists to help diagnose disorders such as autism. The subject is shown a scene in which a child puts an object in a drawer and leaves the room. While out of sight, the child’s mother moves the object somewhere else.

Unable to see the world through the eyes of others, young children – and some people with autism – taking the test predict that the child will look for the object in the place his mother left it. Only at 4 or 5 years old can they understand that the child falsely believes the object is still in the drawer.

Bringsjord’s team set up a similar scenario inside the virtual world Second Life. A video shows their character, Eddie, taking and passing the test (15 MB, .mov format).

Two avatars controlled by humans stand with Eddie next to one red and one green suitcase. One human avatar then leaves and while they are gone the remaining human avatar moves the gun from the red suitcase into the green one.

Eddie is then asked where the character that left would look for the gun. The AI software correctly realises they will look in the red suitcase.

Simple logic

Eddie’s software maintains a database of facts that is constantly updated, for example, the location of the gun. The reasoning engine uses these facts to make sense of situations.

Eddie can pass the test thanks to a simple logical statement added to the reasoning engine: if someone sees something, they know it and if they don’t see it, they don’t. The program can reason correctly that an avatar will not know the gun has moved unless it was there to see it.

An “immature” version of Eddie without the extra piece of logic cannot pass the test.

John Laird, a researcher in computer games and Artificial Intelligence (AI) at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, is not overly impressed. “It’s not that challenging to get an AI system to do theory of mind,” he says.

‘Necessary step’

He points out that last year, Cynthia Breazeal of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab programmed that ability into a physical robot called Leonardo. A video shows the robot passing the test.

More impressive demonstration, says Laird, would be a character, initially unable to pass the test, that learned how to do so – just as humans do.

But Bringsjord points out his is the first computer character to achieve theory of mind, something necessary if characters are to become smarter, better opponents and collaborators. His team are now attempting to make characters that can lie, which also requires reasoning about other people’s mental states.

Shilliday presented the work on Sunday 2 March at the first conference on Artificial General Intelligence in Memphis, Tennessee, US.

Report predicts 10 million baby boomers will have Alzheimer’s

The Gazette | Mar 18, 2008

By Cindy Hadish

In about the time it takes to toast your bread, someone in America develops Alzheimer’s disease. By mid-century that time will be cut by more than half.

A report released Tuesday shows an estimated 10 million baby boomers — one out of eight — will develop the progressive brain disorder.

Up to 5.2 million Americans have the disease.

“It’s not an aging issue,” said Kelly Hauer, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association East Central Iowa Chapter. “It’s a public health issue.”

In just two years, Iowa’s population of Alzheimer’s patients is predicted to grow from 65,000 to 69,000, according to the report, issued by the Alzheimer’s Association.

With 70 percent of Alzheimer’s patients living at home, the disease touches not only those afflicted, but their families and caregivers.

Last year, 95,733 Iowa caregivers provided more than 82 million hours of unpaid care for someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, valued at $874 million.

“It’s a tough job,” said Kathy Good, 61, of Cedar Rapids, whose husband, David Good, also 61, developed early onset Alzheimer’s at age 56.

A district court judge, David Good lost even simple abilities, such as finding the right word for “toothbrush.”

Kathy Good considers the couple lucky. Friends take her husband out to lunch or the YMCA. She has some flexibility in her job as a social worker. They have financial stability.

That’s not the same for everyone.

A bill in the Iowa Legislature would address the needs of Iowans living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

Senate File 2341 calls for a county-by-county review to determine services and future needs of people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, and address availability of caregiver services.

Another component of the bill addresses training for people who work in care facilities and those who care for an Alzheimer’s patient at home.

Tuesday’s report showed:

l Alzheimer’s is the seventh leading cause of death nationwide and the fifth-leading cause of death for those over age 65.

l Every 71 seconds, someone in America develops Alzheimer’s disease; by midcentury someone will develop Alzheimer’s every 33 seconds.

l By 2010, almost one-half million new cases of Alzheimer’s will occur annually; by 2050, there will be almost 1 million new cases each year.

l Women are nearly twice as likely as men to develop Alzheimer’s disease (17 percent vs. 9 percent) basically because women live longer.

l One in six women and one in 10 men age 55 and older can expect to develop Alzheimer’s disease in their lifetime.

Hauer said death rates from diseases such as stroke and breast cancer are declining as research money goes toward finding treatments and cures, but Alzheimer’s deaths continue an upward trend.

“We’ve got a disease that doesn’t have a cure,” she said. “With our graying state … now is the time to develop an effective blueprint to deal with this disease.”

Related

Alzheimer’s cases may quadruple by 2050

Creepy DARPA-funded quadruped army robot straight out of scifi

Boston Dynamics Releases New BigDog Footage

Four-legged robot walks on any terrain with a shockingly creepy gait.

IGN.com | Mar 17, 2008

by Gerry Block

March 17, 2008 – From an enthusiast’s point of view, the Japanese and Koreans have seemed to dominate the modern robotics field in recent times. Honda’s ASIMO is world famous, both for walking up, and falling down, flights of stairs, and both nations have displayed the results of highly active academic programs tasked with building increasingly lifelike robots designed to help the elderly and teach children in schools. Such programs are great for public relations, and are key to easing the public’s fears of a future in which robots will be ubiquitous and in constant interaction with humans.

America isn’t ignoring the developing robotics revolution, but as one might guess, our creations aren’t the type that’ll be playing with toddlers and finding the TV remote for grandma. Indeed, ours are being designed for fields quite removed from playgrounds, which is to say, the fields of battle. DARPA has been leveraging a serious budget to develop a wide range of technologies that will become part of the Army’s Future Combat System, and today, new footage of the product of a $10-million R&D grant and some genius engineering by Boston Dynamics has been released.

The company’s BigDog robot is a quadruped platform designed to help ground infantry cover longer distances by carrying a stockpile of their gear, thereby lightening the 60- to 90-pound loads soldiers currently carry on their backs. What makes the BigDog unique, and also quite frightening, is Boston Dynamic’s application of biologically-inspired movement, balance, and obstacle avoidance systems that, working together, make the BigDog appear horrifying lifelike as it walks over just about any terrain a human on foot could potentially tackle.

Nothing, it would seem, can unbalance the BigDog, be it a solid kick to the side or a slippery patch of ice or snow. The mannerisms of the BigDog AI’s movements in stumbling and then recovering could well be those of a deer’s natural instincts, which is a pretty serious advance in relation to the usual robot attitude of falling over and then continuing to try to walk why lying face down.

The newest BigDog prototype shown in the video is significantly improved over previous versions and is now capable of carrying up to 340-pounds of equipment. The bot has also gained the ability to jump, which is also pretty scary looking. There’s no word on when final products could be fielded, but some Future Combat Systems are expected to enter service as early as 2012. We expect a Fox special, “When Good BigDogs Go Bad” shortly thereafter, followed by the Great Robot Wars of 2023.

Related

Future Combat Systems

Future Combat Systems (FCS) is the Army’s modernization program consisting of a family of manned and unmanned systems, connected by a common network, that enables the modular force, providing our Soldiers and leaders with leading-edge technologies and capabilities allowing them to dominate in complex environments.