Breaking through the wall

TASMANIAN POLICE were recently in the news, not for any clever crime control but for letting a prisoner slip away from prison, from under their very noses.


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Published: Sat 28 Jan 2012, 11:55 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 1:54 AM

To make matters worse, it is by now the talk of town how the cheeky prisoner actually announced his intention to escape from prison, on his Facebook account and proceeded to do exactly that.

Kyle Leslie Lynch, 19, and 21-year-old James Peter Sampson escaped from the minimum-security Ron Barwick prison over the weekend and till now, a statewide manhunt has drawn a blank.

“Kyle Leslie Lynch is getting out sooner then yas think boys. Its gonna be on!” the would be jail-breaker posted on his Facebook via a mobile phone and this, when inmates are not allowed to access social media in prison.

Acting prisons chief Greg Partridge says he is unsure how the prisoner got access to Facebook and he does not know if he had a mobile phone.

“Mobile phones are prohibited items in any of the prisons in Tasmania, so once again that’ll be part of the investigation.”

For the government and the prison officials, this incident is further embarrassment because this is, in fact, the third jail break this year. The incident has set off a fresh debate. We are sure the two escaped prisoners are happy the government dragged its feet on the reforms….

D for Depression

Getting rid of depression or pre-empting it could be as simple as eating a tuna sandwich or incorporating tuna in your diet in adequate quantities.

Researchers who have been studying the health of some 14,500 children since birth and into their adolescence have found a strong connection between incidence of depression and low levels of vitamin D during their childhood.

The University of Bristol researchers are pointing out to strong evidence that giving children a good intake of vitamin D — which we get from exposure to sunlight and from certain foods, like oily fish and fortified breakfast cereals — could help reduce depression in adolescence and adulthood.

The study, which looked at vitamin D levels in over 2,700 children in the Children of the 90s study when they were 9 years and 8 months old, found that those with higher levels of vitamin D were 10 per cent less likely to show signs of depression when they were tested again at the age of 13 years and 8 months old.

Vitamin D supplements are available in two different forms (D3 and D2) but it was not known until now whether both forms were associated with depression.

This research shows that the connection between vitamin D and depression is linked to the D3 form, which has important implications for future randomized controlled trials investigating whether vitamin D supplements can prevent depression or improve mood in depressed people.

We will leave the researchers to continue their study but in the meantime, don’t forget to send those tuna sandwiches for lunch. And while you are at it, pack some for yourself too…

Women and War

WE HAVE ALL known for a long time that a lot many wars have been fought by men warring over the possession of a woman and now, its official. Most conflicts in the world are driven by the male sex drive, a new Oxford University study has said.

The university’s Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology says that it is the “male warrior” instinct, which has helped men evolve to be aggressive to outsiders. The male sex drive is at the root of most conflicts worldwide be it football, hooliganism or some of the grimmest world wars, says the new study.

While the instinct for violence against others helped early men improve their status and gain more access to mates in terms of evolution, this has translated into largescale wars in modern times, the researchers say. “A solution to conflict, which is an all too common problem in societies today, remains elusive. One reason for this might be the difficulty we have in changing our mindset, which has evolved over thousands of years.

“Our review of the academic literature suggests that the human mind is shaped in a way that tends to perpetuate conflict with ‘outsiders’,” Prof Mark van Vugt, who led the study, said.

In contrast, women are naturally equipped with a “tend and befriend” attitude, meaning they seek to resolve conflicts peacefully in order to protect their children, the researchers said. The findings suggest that in every culture throughout history, men have been more likely than women to use violence when confronted by people they saw as outsiders.

The study, published in the ‘Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B’, is a review of evolutionary evidence for the so-called “male warrior hypothesis”.

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