Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα memory. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα memory. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Σάββατο, 17 Ιανουαρίου 2015

Japan marks 20th anniversary of killer quake in Kobe

Japan on Saturday marked the 20th anniversary of the Kobe earthquake that killed more than 6,400 people with renewed calls for the quake-prone nation to stay vigilant against the next "Big One."

More than 14,000 people gathered to commemorate the victims in the western port city of Kobe, where a 7.2-magnitude quake hit at 5:46 am on January 17, 1995.
The quake, which killed 6,434 people, levelled much of the city and sparked a major review of quake preparedness in the island-nation that suffers about one fifth of the world's most powerful tremors.

The warning was brought into reality four years ago when a 9.0 magnitude quake struck in March 2011, triggering a huge tsunami that smashed into the country's northeast coast, killing around 18,000 people and creating the world's worst nuclear emergency in a generation.

Kobe survivors and family members of victims gathered before dawn to lay bouquets and light thousands of candles in a park used as an evacuation centre after the 1995 jolt.

Later in the day, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended a memorial ceremony in the city and offered a one-minute prayer with some 500 other participants.

"By learning lessons from the disaster we will do our best to build a community

where we can live in safety," Eriko Yamatani, state minister for disaster management, told the ceremony.

The quake buried residents in flattened buildings and uprooted highway overpasses and train tracks, while fires raged through collapsed timber houses and acrid smoke darkened the sky.

Heavy damage to the harbour area, where nearly all of the 300 shipping berths were destroyed, dealt a severe blow to the city's economy, sparking a population exodus over the following months and years.

Japanese broadcasters and newspapers reminded citizens of the high probability of another big quake, with geologists saying a major event is overdue.

"We want to speed up preparations for building a strong country against disasters," the Asahi Shimbun said in an editorial.

"We cannot eliminate damage completely, but we can start making efforts any day now to reduce damage," the daily said.
AFP
http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/120502.aspx
17/1/15
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Παρασκευή, 26 Δεκεμβρίου 2014

Asia Marks 10th Anniversary of Tsunami

Beach side memorials, moments of silence, and religious services are planned across Asia on Friday to mark the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed at least 220,000 people in 2004.

The gigantic wave stuck a dozen countries around the Indian Ocean rim. It destroyed entire coastal communities, wiped out families and crashed over tourist-filled beaches the morning after Christmas.
The disaster was triggered by a 9.1-magnitude earthquake, the region's most powerful in 40 years, that sent waves roaring across the Indian Ocean at jetliner speeds as far away as East Africa. It was so powerful that it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters.

The tsunami led separatist rebels in Indonesia's Aceh province to lay down their arms in order to rebuild their lives. The three-decade rebellion against Indonesia ended in 2005, after having claimed 15,000 lives.

Indonesia was hardest hit by the tsunami, with more than 160,000 dead. Thousands more were killed in Thailand and Sri Lanka.
[ voanews.com]
26/12/14 
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Σάββατο, 26 Οκτωβρίου 2013

Study: Learning New Skills Keeps Aging Mind Sharp.

A new study shows that elderly adults who challenge their minds with increasingly difficult tasks maintain cognitive functioning better than those who do less demanding activities.
To keep our brains sharp as we age, we are often told to keep our minds active; “use it or lose it.” There actually is little scientific evidence to support that, however, according to psychologist Denise Park of the University of Texas at Dallas.

“Partially because it is very, very hard to do experiments with humans, where you randomly assign them to conditions where, say, you retire young, you do not retire; you do interesting things, you do boring things,” said Park.



So Park, head of the university’s Center for Vital Longevity, designed a study in which she and her colleagues randomly assigned 221 healthy aging and elderly adults to one of three groups.

“We asked people to learn new things, like quilting or photography. We asked other people to just do fun things like being in a social group. And then we asked other people to do things at home that seemingly would help their cognition or their mental function but were not likely to have a very large effect,” she said.

The participants engaged in their assigned activity for 15 hours per week over the course of three months.

At the end of that time, researchers found that the adults who learned new skills, such as digital photography or quilting or both, showed the greatest improvements on memory tests.

No improvements were seen in the scores of those in the social group that did activities together like go on field trips, nor among the third group that listened to classical music or did crossword puzzles.

Park believes the key to improved memory in the active learning group is that the participants constantly were challenged to acquire new skills, unlike those in the other two groups, who engaged in what she calls receptive activities.

While not a cure for age-related mental decline, Park thinks being actively engaged slows it down.

“So, I am not as interested in improving the function of people as they age in their later years. I am more interested in showing ultimately over time that by these novel experiences that involve a lot of mental operations that we can slow the rate at which people cognitively age,” she said.

Park said the latest data show the improvements were maintained for at least a year, and she and her colleagues plan longer term follow ups with the participants. She also is curious to learn whether engaging in demanding mental activities delays the onset of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.   

An article on the benefit of learning new skills for the elderly is published in the journal Psychological Science

voanews.com
26/10/13
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