10 things you should never say to your kid’s teacher

What you should never tell a teacher (Thinkstock)

As a parent, you know that advocating for your child is in your job description. So when an issue arises with the person who’s molding his or her young mind, you’re going to speak up. But it’s important to choose your words carefully. “As with anyone whose service you depend on, it’s in your best interest to avoid coming off as too critical or demanding to your child’s teacher,” says Suzanne Tingley, a former teacher, principal and superintendent, and author of “How to Handle Difficult Parents”.“Expressing your concerns in a neutral way usually leads to a more constructive conversation and a better outcome for your kid.” Read on to learn which statements, however well-meaning, can land you in the “troublemaker” category.Photo by Thinkstock.

 

“My son says you don’t give him enough time to finish his tests. I’d like to hear your side of the story.”

Laying out the situation and asking for the teacher’s “side” may seem like a diplomatic approach, but to the teacher it reads as an attack, followed by a twist of the knife. “The kicker is the second part because it suggests you are mediating between two equals, like siblings who can’t get along,” says Tingley. A better tactic: “Jake seems to be struggling with his tests. What are you seeing?” When you start from a place of information-gathering, as opposed to putting the teacher on the defensive, you’ll likely get a fuller picture of what’s going on, says Tingley. (And you’ll save yourself the embarrassment if it turns out your son has been doodling during every test.) From there, you and the teacher can decide on the best way to address the problem.

“Henry is acting out because he’s bored in class.”

“As a teacher, you spend your life trying to make school interesting and challenging,” says Carolyn Bower, a former kindergarten teacher in Bangor, ME. “When someone says class is boring, it means you haven’t done your job.” The statement also may not be entirely accurate. “Parents often say this in response to a teacher bringing up a behavior problem, when the actual issue is a lack of self-control on the student’s part,” says Tingley. So instead of starting off with an excuse, find out what’s really going on and promise to speak to your child. If you truly believe he’s not being challenged, steer clear of hurtful generalizations and mention a specific problem and solution: “Henry seems to have the multiplication tables down. Could we give him something more challenging?”

 

“My child would never lie. If she says she handed in the paper, she handed it in.”

Here, you’re implying that the teacher misplaced the paper or is bluffing-which are both places you don’t want to go. As hard as it is to hear, “kids sometimes lie when they’re feeling cornered,” says Tingley. Even if that’s not the case with your conscientious student, acknowledging the mix-up and suggesting a solution is the best way to help your cause. Try: “Amanda says she turned in the paper. I don’t know what happened to it, but I’d hate to have her take a zero. Can she hand in something late?”

“We’re going on vacation for a week. Can you put together a packet of my daughter’s work so she doesn’t fall behind?”

You may think you’re doing the responsible thing, but unfortunately, this typical request is a bit insulting. “You’re implying you can replace teaching with a packet of worksheets,” says Jan Copithorne, a middle school special education teacher in Highland Park, IL. On top of that, “it’s a lot of extra work to anticipate everything that will happen in class over a week and put it together for one child.” Because kids miss so much when they’re kept out of school, Copithorne advises against pulling them out for an extended period, unless there’s a truly important event or a family emergency. If you’re set on your plans, ask the teacher for a general overview, like what chapters will be covered in each subject, and accept that your child will need to play catch-up when you get home.
“I know my son doesn’t want to take your honors class next year, but he needs it for college so I’m insisting he sign up for it.”

Some kids need a little nudge; others know their limits. You probably have a pretty good idea where your child falls, so be honest with yourself, then ask for the teacher’s opinion-not her endorsement-about signing up for advanced classes. “No teacher wants to see a student forced into a place he doesn’t want to be,” says Tingley. (And no parent should, either.) “What often happens is the kid who isn’t yet ready for the challenge ends up getting demoted to a regular class, which then feels like a failure,” says Tingley. Karen Patterson, a high school language arts teacher in Upper Arlington, OH, has also seen students who sign up for too many high-level courses “absolutely self-implode.” Sometimes, “a kid may love and want to take advanced history and language arts, but Mom is making him take advanced math too,” says Patterson, who advocates a less-is-more approach, pointing to the benefits of a lighter workload: more time for extracurricular activities, which also look great on college applications.

“Why do you give so much homework?”

Your daughter has been up late every night working on a book report and presentation, both due in the same week for the same teacher. So naturally this is the first thing you want to blurt out at the next parent-teacher conference. The reason you shouldn’t is because you are in effect saying, “You don’t know how to do your job” and “Why don’t you care about my child’s well-being?” says Tingley. Instead, phrase your question this way: “Julie’s been having trouble getting everything done. Are other kids having trouble, too?” Referencing the rest of the class depersonalizes things and can provide you, and the teacher, with some helpful perspective. For instance, if everyone is struggling, the teacher may realize that her expectations are too high. (If she doesn’t, feel free to take your concerns to the principal.) If instead it sounds like your child is the exception, discuss getting her some after-school help or moving her to a different class.
“Matt has had so many after-school activities lately, he couldn’t finish the reading.”

In the hierarchy of your child’s life, you and his teachers are the bosses-and you’d never tell your boss you couldn’t do your job because you were busy with trombone lessons, right? “Young children tend to have a lot of activities, but when they get to middle school they can’t be booked from 3:00 to 9:00 every night and keep up with their work,” says Copithorne. As a general rule, plan on your first grader devoting about ten minutes per night to homework; for each subsequent grade, add ten more minutes, says Tingley. So a fourth-grader might have 40 minutes worth of work, while a high school senior has two hours, which should still leave enough time for a few of your child’s favorite activities. “Students who do sports and clubs are typically more engaged in school,” says Tingley. “So it would be a mistake to take them out of everything.”

“Dear Mrs. Jones: Why did you give Emma this grade?”

Email is a wonderful tool for communicating with your child’s teacher. But it shouldn’t be used for firing off every question that pops into your head, particularly when there’s a better way to go about getting the answer. “A full-time teacher might have 110 kids, and their parents are all emailing, too,” says Patterson, who sometimes receives messages like the one above after posting grades. With many concerns, including those about low grades, talk to your child first. If she can’t provide an explanation and is old enough, have her bring it up with the teacher in person-the best way to communicate when a question requires a lengthy response. “Especially at the high school level, kids should be taking on some of this responsibility themselves,” says Patterson. If your child or you doesn’t receive a satisfactory answer, by all means, send a (non-accusatory) note: “Can we talk about what Emma can do to bring up her science grade? I’m also available by phone if you prefer.” In other words, think before you (cyber) speak.
“My daughter and her friends don’t speak to Beth because she’s not in their group anymore. That’s not bullying; they have a right to choose their friends.”

No parents want to believe their child is being cruel to other kids, so when a teacher brings up an issue like bullying, it’s tempting to play it down. And yet, “teachers don’t make those calls lightly, so when we do, we need parents’ help in reinforcing lessons,” says Bower. This can be trickier with girls than boys, since female altercations tend to be more insidious, says Tingley. But you can help “stop the stuff you see.” Ask the teacher what behavior she has witnessed in the classroom and talk to your child about why whispering behind another student’s back, or passing notes about her, is wrong.

“I spoke to the principal about how you failed half the class on that last test and she said I had to take the matter up with you first.”

“If you really want to tick off a teacher, this is the way to do it,” says Tingley. “There’s nothing more annoying than when someone brings an issue to your boss before you’ve had an opportunity to correct it.” As a parent, you might be inclined to do this if you don’t feel like dealing with a teacher you dislike or if you’re upset about something, such as an unjust grade. Still, unless something truly egregious has happened, like a teacher threatened your child or grabbed him roughly, it’s the wrong move. “There are certainly problems that warrant the principal’s attention,” says Tingley. “But in most cases you should follow the chain of command.”

 

original post at: http://shine.yahoo.com/team-mom/10-things-never-kid-39-teacher-163700676.html

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‘Star Wars’ hover bike now a reality

The Aerofex hover vehicle undergoes flight tests in California's Mojave Desert. (Aerofex)

A resurrected hover vehicle won’t fly through dense forests as effortlessly as the “Star Wars” speeder bikes from “Return of the Jedi,” but its intuitive controls could someday allow anyone to fly it without pilot training.

The aerial vehicle resembles a science fiction flying bike with two ducted rotors instead of wheels, but originates from a design abandoned in the 1960s because of stability and rollover problems. Aerofex, a California-based firm, fixed the stability issue by creating a mechanical system — controlled by two control bars at knee-level — that allows the vehicle to respond to a human pilot’s leaning movements and natural sense of balance.

“Think of it as lowering the threshold of flight, down to the domain of ATV’s (all-terrain vehicles),” said Mark De Roche, an aerospace engineer and founder of Aerofex.

Such intuitive controls could allow physicians to fly future versions of the vehicle to visit rural patients in places without roads, or enable border patrol officers to go about their duties without pilot training. All of it happens mechanically without the need for electronics, let alone complicated artificial intelligence or flight software.

“It essentially captures the translations between the two in three axis (pitch, roll and yaw), and activates the aerodynamic controls required to counter the movement — which lines the vehicle back up with the pilot,” De Roche told InnovationNewsDaily. “Since [the pilot’s] balancing movements are instinctive and constant, it plays out quite effortlessly to him.”

But Aerofex does not plan to immediately develop and sell a manned version. Instead, the aerospace firm sees the aerial vehicle as a test platform for new unmanned drones — heavy-lift robotic workhorses that could use the same hover technology to work in agricultural fields, or swiftly deliver supplies to search-and-rescue teams in rough terrain.

Even the soldiers or Special Forces might use such hover drones to carry or deliver heavy supplies in the tight spaces between buildings in cities. U.S. Marines have already begun testing robotic helicopters to deliver supplies in Afghanistan.

The hovering drones would not fly as efficiently as helicopters because of their shorter rotor blades, but their enclosed rotors have the advantage of a much smaller size and safety near humans.

“They are less efficient than a helicopter, which has the benefit of larger diameter rotors,” De Roche explained. “They do have unique performance advantages, though, as they have demonstrated flight within trees, close to walls and under bridges.”

Aerofex has currently limited human flight testing to a height of 15 feet and speeds of about 30 mph, but more out of caution rather than because of any technological limits. Older versions of the hover vehicles could fly about as fast as helicopters, De Roche said.

Flight testing in California’s Mojave Desert led to the presentation of a technical paper regarding Aerofex’s achievements at the Future Vertical Lift Conference in January 2012. The company plans to fly a second version of its vehicle in October, and also prepare an unmanned drone version for flight testing by the end of 2013.

Man buries wife in yard

In this Friday, Aug. 10, 2012 photo, James Davis, 73, stands over the grave of his wife, Patsy, in the front yard of the home they shared in Stevenson, Ala. The city sued to make Davis move his wife's remains from the residential tract, and Davis is asking the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals to block an order requiring him to disinter her remains. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

STEVENSON, Ala. (AP) — James Davis is fighting to keep the remains of his late wife right where he dug her grave: In the front yard of his home, just a few feet from the porch.

Davis said he was only abiding by Patsy Ruth Davis’ wishes when he buried her outside their log home in 2009, yet the city sued to move the body elsewhere. A county judge ordered Davis to disinter his wife, but the ruling is on hold as the Alabama Civil Court of Appeals considers his challenge.

Davis, 73, said he never expected such a fight.

“Good Lord, they’ve raised pigs in their yard, there’s horses out the road here in a corral in the city limits, they’ve got other gravesites here all over the place,” said Davis. “And there shouldn’t have been a problem.”

While state health officials say family burial plots aren’t uncommon in Alabama, city officials worry about the precedent set by allowing a grave on a residential lot on one of the main streets through town. They say state law gives the city some control over where people bury their loved ones and have cited concerns about long-term care, appearance, property values and the complaints of some neighbors.

“We’re not in the 1800s any longer,” said city attorney Parker Edmiston. “We’re not talking about a homestead, we’re not talking about someone who is out in the country on 40 acres of land. Mr. Davis lives in downtown Stevenson.”

A strong libertarian streak runs through northeast Alabama, which has relatively few zoning laws to govern what people do with their property. Even a neighbor who got into a fight with Davis over the gravesite — Davis said he punched the man — isn’t comfortable with limiting what a homeowner can do with his property.

“I don’t think it’s right, but it’s not my place to tell him he can’t do it,” said George W. Westmoreland, 79, who served three tours of duty in Vietnam. “I laid my life on the line so he would have the right to do this. This is what freedom is about.”

Westmoreland declined to discuss his specific objections to the grave.

It’s unclear when the appeals court might rule. Attorneys filed initial papers in the appeal on Friday. The decision could come down to whether the judges believe the front-yard grave constitutes a family plot that requires no approval or a cemetery, which would.

In the meantime, Davis has protested by running for City Council. A campaign sign hangs near a bigger sign in his yard that says: “Let Patsy Rest in Peace.”

A law professor who is familiar with the case said it’s squarely at the intersection of personal rights and government’s power to regulate private property. While disputes over graves in peoples’ yards might be rare, lawsuits over the use of eminent domain actions and zoning restrictions are becoming more common as the U.S. population grows, said Joseph Snoe, who teaches property law at Samford University in suburban Birmingham.

“The United States Supreme Court has said that the states, and the cities through the states, have the power to regulate. But if it goes too far … then the government’s got to pay, and there are certain things the government just doesn’t have the power to do,” he said. “As we get bigger and as government gets bigger and as people are more regulated … you start having more and more disagreements.”

Davis, a longtime carpenter, built the family’s home on a corner on Broad Street about 30 years ago in Stevenson, a town of about 2,600 in northeast Alabama. Once a bustling railroad stop, the city is now so quiet some people don’t bother locking their doors. Stars twinkle brightly in the night sky; there aren’t many lights to blot them out.

Davis first met Patsy when she was a little girl. They were married for 48 years, but she spent most of her final days bedridden with crippling arthritis. Seated on a bench beside her marble headstone and flower-covered grave, Davis said he and his wife planned to have their bodies cremated until she revealed she was terrified by the thought.

“She said this is where she wanted to be and could she be put here, and I told her, ‘Yeah,'” Davis said. “I didn’t think there’d be any problem.”

There was, though. A big one.

After his wife died on April 18, 2009, the City Council rejected Davis’ request for a cemetery permit. The decision came even though the county health department signed off on the residential burial, saying it wouldn’t cause any sanitation problems.

Ignoring the council’s decision, Davis said he and a son-in-law cranked a backhoe and dug a grave just a few feet from the house. A mortuary installed a concrete vault, and workers lowered Patsy’s body into the plot in a nice, metal casket.

The city sued, and the case went to trial early this year. That’s when a judge ordered Davis to move his wife’s remains to a licensed cemetery. That order is on hold to give the state appeals court time to rule.

For now, Davis visits his wife’s grave each time he walks out the front door. He puts fresh artificial flowers on it regularly, and he washes off the marker when raindrops splatter dirt on the gray stone. At Christmas, he said, he and other relatives hold a little prayer vigil around the grave, which is beside an old wooden garage.

Edmiston said the man rejected several compromises from the city, including the offer of two plots in the municipal graveyard.

While state officials say they don’t know how many people might be buried on residential lots in Alabama, burials on private property in Alabama are not uncommon, said Sherry Bradley, deputy environmental director for the state Department of Public Health.

While the state can regulate cemeteries, Bradley said it doesn’t have any control over family burial plots. The city contends the grave at Davis’ home is an illegal cemetery that falls under government oversight, said Edmiston, the city lawyer.

If nothing else, Edmiston said, the appeals court might decide what constitutes a “family burial plot” in Alabama, and what’s a cemetery.

“It would be far-reaching if they say anyone can bury someone in their front yard if there are no drainage issues,” he said.

As it is, Davis said his five children will bury him in the yard beside Patsy after he dies, and they and his 15 grandchildren will care for the property from then on.

“That’s my perpetual care,” said Davis, referring to the city’s worry about what the grave will look like after he dies.

Davis is adamant that he won’t move the body, regardless of what any court says.

“If they get it done it’ll be after I’m gone,” said Davis. “So if they order her to be moved, it’s a death sentence to me. I’ll meet Mama sooner than I planned on it.”

original post at: http://news.yahoo.com/ala-man-fights-keep-wife-buried-front-yard-153303814.html

15 things women do that turn off guys

How women turn men off (Thinkstock)

If you are looking to attract a man with your fluffy false lashes and your flowing fake mane, it is time to take a different approach. We scouted the truth and discovered the things women do that make men turn the other way. All in all, men love to see the woman underneath the makeup, so ditch the dramatic routine and go natural for once.

“It gets on my nerves when women take too much time on makeup. You would think after a lifetime they would have the process down to less than 45 minutes!” -Christopher

“If she has to be at work at 6am and uses the hair dryer, it wakes me up. Then, just when I get back to sleep. She is wearing her heels in the bathroom and the kitchen. Click. Click. Can’t you wear slippers?” -Pablo

“I’m picky about oral hygiene – brushing, flossing, mouthwash. She has to brush her teeth before bed and in the morning before we kiss. That extra care once we reach a certain level of intimacy is important.” -Rod

“I can’t stand when she has wet hair after the shower and lays on my pillow, I usually roll over on the wet spot.” -Jeff

“My wife doesn’t dye her hair often enough. I don’t like to see those dark roots.” -Anonymous

“Certain scents turn me off. I don’t like anything cucumber or vanilla. I’ve told my girlfriend that I like her natural smell better.” -Josh

“I wish my girlfriend would get a manicure more often instead of doing it herself. She is pretty low-maintenance.” -Shaun

“I don’t like extensions because when you put your hands in her hair you can feel all the lumps. It might be good to look at but not to touch.” -Robert

“My wife spends 20 minutes after the shower putting on body lotion. Apparently it has to be applied evenly. For me, it is just a time suck.” -R.D.S.

“Those thick eyelashes that women put on are annoying. It makes a woman stick out and people know that they aren’t real. I like a woman who looks nice and natural. Regular people don’t need all those eyelashes.” -Lindsay

“Excessive tattoos. I think inappropriately placed tattoos are a turnoff. No matter how pretty she is. Plus, they are addictive. You get one, you have to have another.” -Anonymous

“I hate hair all over the sink and floor. I wish women would be mindful of how their beauty products and hair can clog up a common space, especially the bathroom.” -Stevie

“They don’t put caps back on things or they put it on but they don’t screw it on so when I go get something it spills.” -Connor

“I hate it when women wear any type of fragrance – I like showers.” -Bryan

original post at: http://shine.yahoo.com/beauty/15-biggest-beauty-turnoffs-real-guys-150900080.html

Best Way to Live Longer

One of the best ways to live longer (Corbis)

If you want to know how long you will live, you might stop fretting over genetics and family history and instead look at your educational achievements. Education is certainly not the only variable associated with longer lives, but it may be the most powerful.

Recent study findings published in the journal Health Affairs present a remarkable update to the already considerable research showing education to be a powerful predictor of longer life spans.

“The lifelong relationships of education and its correlates with health and longevity are striking,” the article said. “Education exerts its direct beneficial effects on health through the adoption of healthier lifestyles, better ability to cope with stress, and more effective management of chronic diseases. However, the indirect effects of education through access to more privileged social position, better-paying jobs, and higher income are also profound.”

While the findings are good news for educated Americans, they also indicate that medical and lifestyle breakthroughs that have triggered the much-publicized longevity revolution are not being enjoyed by less-educated Americans whose lifespans have fallen further behind over time. This trend has implications for the debate about raising the Social Security retirement age. It also adds a compelling mortality tale to the economic costs of the nation’s falling educational-achievement levels compared with other nations.

Within U.S. racial groups, educational achievement is associated with significant longevity benefits. But compared across racial groups, the longevity gap is even greater, which indicates continued race-based differences in how long Americans live. The Health Affairs article was co-authored by 15 leading academic experts in aging and longevity. The research was conducted by the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on an Aging Society.

“We found that in 2008 U.S. adult men and women with fewer than twelve years of education had life expectancies not much better than those of all adults in the 1950s and 1960s,” the article said. “When race and education are combined, the disparity is even more striking.”

Within racial and ethnic groups, there was a pronounced longevity benefit when comparing people with 16 or more years of school with those with less than 12 years. Among women, the differences in life expectancy at birth were 10.4 years among whites, 6.5 years among blacks, and 2.9 years for Hispanics. Among men, the gaps were 12.9 years among whites, 9.7 years among blacks, and 5.5 years for Hispanics.

But the differences were more striking across all racial groups. “White U.S. men and women with 16 years or more of schooling had life expectancies far greater than black Americans with fewer than 12 years of education–14.2 years more for white men than black men, and 10.3 years more for white women than black women,” the article said.

“These gaps have widened over time and have led to at least two ‘Americas,’ if not multiple others, in terms of life expectancy, demarcated by level of education and racial-group membership.” Compared with similar 1990 measures, by 2008, the gap among men had widened by nearly a year, and among women, by more than two-and-a-half years.

“The current life expectancy at birth for U.S. blacks with fewer than twelve years of education is equivalent to the life expectancy observed in the 1960s and 1970s for all people in the United States, but blacks’ longevity has been improving with time,” the article said.

That hasn’t been the case for whites. “White males with fewer than twelve years of education currently have a life expectancy at birth equivalent to that of all men in the United States born in 1972, while white females with similar education have the life expectancy of all women in the country born in 1964,” it added. “And the longevity of these white males and females is growing worse over time.”

The impact of education on lifespans is so powerful, the authors said, that improving people’s health and lifestyle behaviors alone “are not likely to have a major impact on disparities in longevity.” The authors called on policymakers to “implement educational enhancements at young, middle, and older ages for people of all races, to reduce the large gap in health and longevity that persists today.”

original post at: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/education-predictor-longer-life-161945519.html

New Theory on Stonehenge

The mysterious structure of Stonehenge may have been built as a symbol of peace and unity, according to a new theory by British researchers.

During the monument’s construction around 3000 B.C. to 2500 B.C., Britain’s Neolithic people were becoming increasingly unified, said study leader Mike Parker Pearson of the University of Sheffield.

“There was a growing islandwide culture — the same styles of houses, pottery and other material forms were used from Orkney to the south coast,” Parker Pearson said in a statement, referring to the Orkney Islands of northern Scotland. “This was very different to the regionalism of previous centuries.”

By definition, Stonehenge would have required cooperation, Parker Pearson added.

“Stonehenge itself was a massive undertaking, requiring the labor of thousands to move stones from as far away as west Wales, shaping them and erecting them. Just the work itself, requiring everything literally to pull together, would have been an act of unification,” he said. [ Photos: A Walk Through Stonehenge ]

The new theory, detailed in a new book by Parker Pearson, “Stonehenge: Exploring the Greatest Stone Age Mystery” (Simon & Schuster, 2012), is one of many hypotheses about the mysterious monument. Theories range from completely far-fetched ( space aliens or the wizard Merlin built it!) to far more evidence-based (the monument may have been an astronomical calendar, a burial site or both).

The culture of Stonehenge
Along with fellow researchers on the Stonehenge Riverside Project, Parker Pearson worked to put Stonehenge in context, studying not just the monument but also the culture that created it.

What they found was evidence of a civilization transitioning from regionalism to a more integrated culture. Nevertheless, Britain’s Stone Age people were isolated from the rest of Europe and didn’t interact with anyone across the English Channel, Parker Pearson said.

“Stonehenge appears to have been the last gasp of this Stone Age culture, which was isolated from Europe and from the new technologies of metal tools and the wheel,” Parker Pearson said.

Stonehenge’s site may have been chosen because it was already significant to Stone-Age Britons, the researchers suggest. The natural land undulations at the site seem to form a line between the place where the sun rises on the summer solstice and where it sets in midwinter, they found. Neolithic people may have seen this as more than a coincidence, Parker Pearson said.

“This might explain why there are eight monuments in the Stonehenge area with solstitial alignments, a number unmatched anywhere else,” he said. “Perhaps they saw this place as the center of the world.”

Theories and mystery
These days, Stonehenge is nothing if not the center of speculation and mystery. The monument has inspired its fair share of myths, including that the wizard Merlin transported the stones from Ireland and that UFOs use the circle as a landing site.

Archaeologists have built some theories on firmer ground. Stonehenge’s astronomical alignments suggest that it may have been a place for sun worship, or an ancient calendar. A nearby ancient settlement, Durrington Walls, shows evidence of more pork consumption during the midwinter, suggesting that perhaps ancient people made pilgrimages to Stonehenge for the winter solstice, Parker Pearson and his colleagues have found.

Stonehenge may have also been a burial ground, or a place of healing. Tombs and burials surround the site, and some skeletons found nearby hail from distant lands. For example, archaeologists reported in 2010 that they’d found the skeleton of a teenage boy wearing an amber necklace near Stonehenge. The boy died around 1550 B.C. An analysis of his teeth suggested he came from the Mediterranean. It’s possible that ill or wounded people traveled to Stonehenge in search of healing, some archaeologists believe.

Other researchers have focused on the sounds of Stonehenge. The place seems to have “lecture-hall” acoustics, according to research released in May. One archaeologist even suggests that the setup of the stones was inspired by an acoustical effect in which two sounds from different sources seem to cancel each other out.

original post at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47923931/ns/technology_and_science-science/

Sandusky Guilty on 45 Counts of Sex Abuse

Image: Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, leaves court in handcuffs after being convicted on Friday (© Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse Friday night and faces spending the rest of his life in state prison. His attorney said he would appeal the verdict.

Sandusky’s attorney, Joseph Amendola, asked Judge John Cleland to allow Sandusky to be released on house arrest, but Cleland summarily rejected the request, saying: “Bail is revoked. Mr. Sandusky is remanded to the custody of the sheriff.”

Michael Isikoff, John Yang, Ron Allen, Marianne Haggerty and Hannah Rapplye of NBC News and Jim Gold of msnbc.com contributed to this report by Kimberly Kaplan of NBC News and M. Alex Johnson of msnbc.com. Follow M. Alex Johnson on Twitter and Facebook.

Sandusky was immediately led out of the courthouse in handcuffs as a large crowd of onlookers cheered. Sentencing was set for late September.

Sandusky, 68, the former longtime defensive coordinator for the Penn State University football team, had denied all 48 counts alleging that he abused 10 boys over 15 years. Two grand jury reports accused him of having used his connection to one of the nation’s premier college football programs to “groom” the boys, whom he met through his Second Mile charity for troubled children, for sexual relationships.

Several of the counts are so-called mandated felonies, meaning Cleland has no discretion in sentencing. NBC News reported that he faces a minimum of 60 years in prison.

Cleland, who is a senior judge in McKean County, was brought to Centre County to oversee the trial after local judges recused themselves.

Amendola, who was interrupted by hecklers outside the courthouse several times, said he had expected the outcome and respected the verdict of the jurors, who didn’t speak to reporters afterward.

Defense attorney Joseph Amendola speaks outside the courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., after his client, Jerry Sandusky, was found guilty of sexually abusing children.

Amendola said he believed Sandusky had legitimate grounds for appeal, saying his client had “an uphill battle” because of the extensive pretrial publicity.

“We said we were attempting to climb Mount Everest from the bottom of the mountain. Obviously, we didn’t make it,” he said.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly, whose office prosecuted Sandusky, said, “A serious child predator … has been held accountable for his crimes.”

Kelly thanked the victims, who she said “came forward to bravely testify in this trial and to finally put a stop to the crimes that were committed.”

“We hope that our search for justice will help them and perhaps others looking on nearby and afar,” she said.

Grace Gordon, 49, of Bellefonte, also welcomed the verdict but lamented the damage the trial had done to Bellefonte and Centre County.

“It’s hard. It really is, to see a small town torn apart like this,” said Gordon, who was outside the courthouse with her 23-year-old son and his girlfriend.

Gordon said her father, wrho worked with Sandusky at Penn State, “would have just been devastated to know about this.”

“You’d never, ever have dreamed that he’d be that kind of person,” Gordon said. “What he did to those kids is just horrendous.”

The university that Sandusky served for decades said in a statement late Friday that “we have tremendous respect for the men who came forward to tell their stories publicly. No verdict can undo the pain and suffering caused by Mr. Sandusky, but we do hope this judgment helps the victims and their families along their path to healing.”

The university said it would seek to “fairly … compensate” the victims and invited them to participate in a program to “facilitate the resolution of claims against the University arising out of Mr. Sandusky’s conduct.”

It said it intended to get in contact with lawyers for the victims “in the near future.”

A trial that riveted the nation
The trial, which opened June 11, culminated months of intense attention that led to the firing of head coach Joe Paterno, who won more games than any other major college football coach in history, many of them with Sandusky at his side.

Paterno died exactly five months ago, a few weeks after the Penn State Board of Trustees dismissed him for not having done enough to stop Sandusky’s abuse.

Jurors heard often-graphic testimony from eight of the 10 victims whose accounts were included in two grand jury reports. They told how Sandusky would first win their trust by giving them gifts and taking them on trips with the football team before progressing to hugging, kissing, increasingly sexual touching and, in some cases, oral and anal sex.

In a rare occurrence in an abuse trial, prosecutors also presented the testimony of a corroborating eyewitness — Sandusky’s former Penn State coaching colleague Michael McQueary, who said that he saw a young boy, identified in the first grand jury report as “Victim 2,” in a Penn State shower with Sandusky.

McQueary said the boy had his hands against the wall and that Sandusky was standing up against him from behind. He said he heard a “skin-on-skin smacking sound” and that he had “no doubt” that Sandusky was engaging in anal sex with the boy.

Because they were sequestered, without access to computers, phones or any other way to hear news coverage, the jury of seven women and five men wouldn’t have heard newer, potentially damaging information from two other accusers that emerged after they began deliberations.

Sandusky’s adopted son Matt said he had been prepared to testify that he, too, was a victim of abuse by his father, according to a statement issued Thursday by attorneys who said they are representing the younger Sandusky.

(NBC News and msnbc.com generally do not identify victims of sexual assaults, but Matt Sandusky chose to identify himself in a public statement released through his attorneys.)

Matt Sandusky: From staunch defender to possibly his father’s most damning accuser

Amendola said Friday night that Jerry Sandusky abandoned plans to testify in his own defense because of the prospect of damaging rebuttal testimony by his son.

Nor would they have heard the account of Travis Weaver, 30, of Ohio, who attended Second Mile camps as a youth. Weaver told NBC News in an interview that aired Thursday night that Sandusky performed oral sex on him in the upstairs bedroom of the Sanduskys’ home.

Weaver testified to one of the two grand juries but wasn’t mentioned in the grand jury reports or called as a witness during the trial.

The end of the trial doesn’t mean the case is over.

Two former top Penn State officials, former Athletic Director Timothy Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz, face perjury charges in connection with their grand jury testimony in December, in which prosecutors alleged that concealed what they knew about Sandusky’s conduct.

original post at: http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/22/12363955-sandusky-convicted-of-45-counts-plans-to-appeal?lite