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Ear to the Ground

Singing Along to ‘The Sound of Music’ Fights Dementia

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Posted on Nov 18, 2013

A new study finds crooning show tunes helps exercise the brain; Germany’s approach to the environment via politics and protest poses a model to be emulated; meanwhile, whistle-blower Edward Snowden leaked about 200,000 classified documents, according to the NSA chief. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

Study: Singing Show Tunes Helps Fight Dementia
Some good news for all you theatre queens out there: a recent study suggests that belting out classic show tunes can help boost the brain function of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

A History of Slavery and Genocide Is Hidden in Modern DNA
There are plenty of ways to study history.

This Bulletproof Suit Lets You Escape the Line of Fire in Style
Despite the classy appearance, there’s something about an exorbitantly pricey bulletproof men’s suit that screams publicity stunt.

Underwater Kites Can Harness Ocean Currents to Create Clean Energy
Underneath the ocean surface, kites would be free to drift with the breeze-like current, just like their airborne brethren do on the wind.

After-School Activities Make Educational Inequality Even Worse
How middle-class parents use soccer, ballet, and chess to solidify their children’s advantage over others,

Economist of the day: Kshama Sawant
The final vote tally is now in: Kshama Sawant, an economist and a socialist, has been elected to the Seattle city council.

What The US Can Learn From Germany’s Stunning Environmental Movement
A key to Germany’s success is a persistent and uncompromising environmental movement that has used civil resistance and protest ad well as independent electoral politics to achieve its goals.

Court Demands: How Does Government Turn Off The Internet?
A federal court has demanded that the US Department of Homeland Security reveal its protocol for the use of a so-called “internet kill switch.”

Robot Detects Locations of Radioactive Leaks at Crippled Fukushima Nuclear Plant
For the first time, a remote-controlled robot has detected the exact spot of radioactive water leaks from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant’s Reactor 1, local media reported.

NSA Chief Says Snowden Leaked Up to 200,000 Secret Documents
Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked as many as 200,000 classified U.S. documents to the media, according to little-noticed public remarks by the eavesdropping agency’s chief late last month.

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