This Week’s Guests:
— DR. JOHN RATEY on exercise and your brain
— Journalist DORI SMITH investigates: Who counts in NH?
– DR. JOHN RATEY on exercise and your brain
Can exercise actually make your brain more agile? Pull you out of depression?
“There’s an avalanche of neuroscience to support that (physical) exercise is good for the brain,” says Dr. John Ratey.
Tonight, Monitor co-host Mark Bebawi asks Dr. Ratey about findings in his brand new book, “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.” The book explains how to beat stress, lift your mood, fight memory loss, sharpen your intellect, and function better than ever — simply by elevating your heart rate and breaking a sweat.
New research has found that brain cell production can occur throughout life, even as we advance into old age. Exercise can help generate these new brain cells. In addition, exercise strengthens the connections between those cells (synaptic plasticity), providing more mental agility and actually allowing the brain to stay young even as the body ages.
In a journey through our mental circuits, Dr. Ratey will examine the mind-body connection, presenting startling research to prove that exercise is our best defense against everything from depression to ADD to addiction to aggression to menopause to Alzheimer’s. He also cites the revolutionary fitness program in Naperville, Illinois, which has put this school district of 19,000 kids first in the world of science test scores.
John J. Ratey, MD, is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is the author or coauthor of many books, including Driven to Distraction and A Users Guide to the Brain. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
by John J. Ratey, MD and Eric Hagerman
– Journalist DORI SMITH investigates: Who counts in NH?
Diebold optical scan voting machines count Access to the memory card — no sweat.
80% of New Hampshire’s votes
(Photos by BlackBoxVoting.org)
A statewide recount of the New Hampshire primary is been scheduled to begin on Wednesday, called for by Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich and little-known Republican candidate Albert Howard. One reason for the recount was the stunning reversal of expectations in NH. Polls, including even the Clinton campaign internal poll, showed Hillary Clinton coming in second to Barack Obama by margins ranging from 5 to 13%. Instead, Clinton tallied a 3% margin over Obama in NH. The pundits and pollsters were flummoxed, and since then have been turning themselves into pretzels to try to figure out what happened.
The Republican side had reporting anomalies:”Two hand count towns reported ‘zero’ votes for candidate Ron Paul to the media, even though they did have votes for him. The town of Sutton reported zero, but had 31 votes; the town of Greenville reported zero, but had 25 votes,” writes Bev Harris ["Red Flags over New Hampshire," 1-12-08, BlackBoxVoting.org].
Yet in the corporate media, important questions are going unasked: Could the NH primary election tallies be wrong, rather than the polls?
A second intriguing question they’ve not asked is, Who has access to the voting machines in New Hampshire?
A third question has been raised by Bev Harris. Who prints the paper ballots in NH, and were there extra ballots printed?
A fourth question is, should election training, programming, troubleshooting, and more be controlled by companies rather than election officials?
A fifth question has been answered: Would there ever be criminal behavior in elections in New Hampshire? Two top people in the chain of Republican command were convicted for phone-jamming in a tight Senate race there in 2002: former executive director of the NH Republican Party Chuck McGee, and James Tobin, the former regional director for both the RNC and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. After a $6 million defense of Tobin and the GOP, paid for by the GOP, his conviction was recently remanded on appeal. Still, there’s been no explanation of the phone records introduced at Tobin’s trial showing he made two dozen calls to the White House political office within three days around Election Day 2002, as the phone-jamming operation was finalized, carried out and abruptly shut down. [http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/03/21/national/a151832D16.DTL]
Pokey Anderson’s guest tonight is Dori Smith, who has been investigating election systems for over a year. Her new article up at BradBlog today investigates the New Hampshire primary and problems with voting machines. Her home state of Connecticut has just started using the same machines, Diebold (now called Premier) AccuVote Optical Scan machines. Dori’s 2006 and 2007 investigation has resulted in an investigation into violations of Connecticut voting regulations which is ongoing. She produces a wide-ranging weekly radio show, Talk Nation Radio (http://talknationradio.com), at WHUS in Connecticut, and also has produced for Pacifica.
Dori has looked into the little-known private vendor that supplies, programs and repairs voting equipment in New England; LHS Associates. LHS provides Diebold optical scan machines in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and over 80% of New Hampshire. LHS has unfettered access to voting machines before elections. Sometimes, LHS even replaces memory cards DURING an election. Memory cards are the crucial brains of the scanning/counting machine.
It was a Diebold optical scan machine that Harri Hursti famously hacked without even entering the room, using a programmed memory card, in front of Leon County, Florida election official Ion Sancho. Both Hursti and Sancho have been on The Monitor; Hursti told us that there is an executable program in the memory card, and that “once you change that program, you can do a lot of other stuff. … Since that same program will report your totals when you close the polls, once you control the program, the totals will be exactly what you want them to be. ” A memory card can be preloaded with votes or negative votes that could change the outcome. It could be programmed to credit one candidate for another’s votes, or countless other tricks. (See the Hursti hack at http://youtube.com/watch?v=J36Jfkxd1vA )
In a recorded interview with Dori Smith in 2006, LHS’s director of Sales and Marketing Ken Hajjar admitted that LHS routinely replaces voting machines, and the crucial memory cards, during elections.
Though such replacements go against strict laws in Connecticut, Ken Hajjar told her, “I mean, I don’t pay attention to every little law. It’s just, it’s up to the Registrars. All we are is a support organization on Election Day.” He described keeping three memory cards in the trunk of his car during elections and, in the event they had to be used, he argued, the chain of custody issues wouldn’t matter since, “once you run the [pre-election] test deck through, you’re golden.”
“We would have a whole bunch of machines in the trunk in the car and we hope the phone doesn’t ring, but if it does somebody tells us where to go, we replace the machine and then we go on our merry way,” said Hajjar. Hajjar has recently been discovered to have a 1990 conviction for narcotics trafficking.
Dori recently spoke with Town Clerk Linda Hartson of Exeter, NH. In Exeter at least, a memory card failure on Election Day could very well result in a switch being made by LHS.
Dori Smith: Let’s say the back up would fail what would they do?
Exeter, NH Town Clerk Hartson: LHS provides back up memory cards. But if a memory card failure were to occur during the election the vendor would arrive with another memory card. This is from LHS that I’m getting them and they are providing the back up. If they bring you another one, you just put it in. There’s no problem.
Smith: And it wouldn’t be a problem if that happened during the election?
Hartson: Nope nope nope nope. Because you could run the report off the machine and then just put in the new memory card and it would keep on going. That’s my understanding.
But, you don’t have to be an election vendor — an average person with $12 worth of tools and a little time alone with a Diebold opscan machine could remove the memory card, too. Which raises the big question … just how secure, accountable and transparent are elections in America?
“Diebold Voting Machine Failures Found Across State During New Hampshire Primary:
Election Officials Confirm that Employees from LHS Associates, Diebold’s Sole Programmer, Vendor, and Service Provider in NH,
Were Allowed to Access Vulnerable Optical-Scan Systems Throughout Election Day”
January 12, 2008
by Dori Smith
“Diebold Optical-Scan Failures Reported in Florida May be Affecting Connecticut As Well:
Faulty Memory Card Connectors, Undisclosed by the Company or the EAC, Discovered in Recent Election”
November 20, 2007
by Dori Smith