The Daily Populous

Sunday August 18th, 2019 morning edition

image for Psilocybin-assisted mindfulness meditation linked to brain connectivity changes and persisting positive effects

New research indicates that psilocybin-assisted mindfulness meditation is associated with changes in functional brain connectivity — and these changes are related to an altered state of consciousness known as ego dissolution.

A team of scientists from the University of Zurich were interested in investigating the topic because both psychedelic drugs and meditation have been shown to alter brain regions involved in self-awareness.

In the randomized, double-blind study of 38 experienced meditators, the researchers administered a single dose of psilocybin or a placebo to participants during a 5-day mindfulness retreat.

Six hours after receiving psilocybin or placebo, the participants completed an assessment of altered states of consciousness.

The researchers found that this altered state of consciousness was associated with changes in brain connectivity.

Psilocybin-induced ego dissolution and changes in brain connectivity also predicted positive changes in attitudes about life, self, social behavior, mood, and spirituality at a 4 months follow-up assessment.

The results are largely in line with a previous study that examined the combination of psilocybin and meditation. »

TIL that when the CEO of discount supermarket chain ALDI was kidnapped, he haggled about his ransom money and claimed the sum as a tax-deductable business expense in court after his release

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Though challenged in recent times by rival “discounters” such as Lidl (also German-owned), Aldi achieved sales in 2009 of more than 50 billion euros worldwide.

He responded by haggling over the ransom sum, which was eventually fixed at seven million Deutschmarks, and was delivered to a highway rendezvous by the Bishop of Essen.

Albrecht went to court to claim it as a tax-deductible business expense. »

NRA Says New Florida Law Would Take Away Rifles From '10-Year-Old Little Girls' on Their Birthdays

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Marion Hammer, the chief NRA lobbyist, met with a group of economists in Florida on Friday to oppose the proposed ban of assault weapons, according to Shareblue Media.

She asked if a little girl who wanted to shoot a rifle with a pink stock would be convicted of a felony.

Opponents of the proposed Florida ban, including the NRA and other gun advocate groups, say the law is too broad. »

And Now, the Really Big Coal Plants Begin to Close

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Of all the coal plants to be retired in the United States in recent years, none has emitted more.

Bruce Mansfield, a massive coal plant in Pennsylvania, emitted nearly 123 million tons between 2010 and 2017.

And in western Kentucky, the Paradise plant emitted some 102 million tons of carbon over that period. »

Andrew Yang promises mass pardon to those imprisoned for nonviolent marijuana offenses

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Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang Andrew YangVideo of Andrew Yang dancing to the 'Cupid Shuffle' in South Carolina goes viral The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape Poll: Support for Sanders among college students reaches highest level since April MORE promised a "mass pardon" to those imprisoned for nonviolent marijuana convictions.

Yang told the crowd at a Concord, N.H., event hosted by the ACLU on Friday, "I'm going to mass pardon everyone who is in jail for nonviolent marijuana-related offenses," according to Fox News.

He also calls, on his website, to expunge federal convictions of all marijuana-related use or possession offenses. »