People who believe Amanda Knox is guilty should probably educate themselfs about the case and read thisAbsence of Evidence is Evidence of AbsenceThe Amanda Knox/Raffaele Sollecito case isn’t really about (the alleged) evidence, it is about lack of evidence—evidence that would have to be there if Knox and Sollecito participated. A shooting victim has an entry wound. That is evidence. If you tell me you have a shooting victim, but there’s no entry wound, the lack of evidence shows your theory to be impossible. No entry wound→ no evidence→ no shooting. A complete case consists of not just what’s at the crime scene, but what’s not at the crime scene. This is simply basic investigation: Investigation 101. The prosecutors and investigators in this case simply ignored the implications of what they could not find.In the Amanda Knox/Raffaele Sollecito case, we have a conflict between an implausibly small amount of highly suspect “evidence” that is alleged to be at the scene vs. a vast amount of missing evidence that would have HAD to be at the scene if Amanda and Raffaele had participated at all, and even more so if they had participated in the way the prosecutors allege. While the prosecution’s evidence is scant, contrived and likely non-existent; the mountain of missing evidence is absolutely overwhelming and compelling. And they both can’t be right because they are mutually exclusive.If Amanda and Raffaele had actually killed Meredith in company with Rudy Guede, the following evidence WOULD have been there:BLOOD TRANSFER1. Meredith’s room would have been filled with the bloody footprints, handprints and smears of THREE PEOPLE, not one.In the world of homicide (and other) investigations, law enforcement officials and prosecutors use the word “transfer”. Transfer is what it sounds like; the transfer of physical evidence from one person to another. Transfer is especially prevalent in murders (especially by stabbing) and rape. The nature of this case indicates that it would have the MOST transfer of any type of case.2/3 of the required evidence missing, means 2/3 of the people were not there.If the prosecution’s story is true, we are missing all credible evidence of the participation of, or even presence of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in the cottage at the time of the murder.With three alleged assailants, that would mean that 2/3 of the evidence is simply missing. Evidence of Rudy Guede’s presence and participation are everywhere; bloody footprints, DNA, fingerprints, palm prints, bodily fluids, hair and even fecal matter. Nobody; not even Rudy Guede disputes this evidence. How then can the total absence of evidence of any other person be explained? The prosecution cannot provide an answer.The sheer volume of forensic evidence of Guede’s presence is overwhelming. Evidence of any other person’s presence or involvement could not be erased without wiping out that of Guede’s. Therefore, the room could not have been cleaned, and was not cleaned. This means that the missing evidence was not removed—it was never there.Amanda Knox is alleged to be the person who stabbed Meredith Kercher. She would therefore have been in VERY close proximity to Meredith—well within an arm length. Blood spatter evidence at the scene is consistent with ‘projected’, or ‘medium velocity impact spatter (MVIS) blood stains which travel at between 1.5 meters per second (mps) and 7.5 mps. (That is an arm-length in ½ second). Blood was spattered several feet away from Meredith’s wounds. It is inconceivable that the person stabbing Meredith was not contaminated by blood spatter. Guede was.Anybody holding Meredith (such as was alleged by the prosecution) would be within the spatter zone. Again; blood on clothes and skin. This would mean that both Raffaele and Guede would have had substantial amounts of Meredith’s blood on them as they were alleged to have held Meredith.The volume of blood in a woman the size of Meredith is between 4 and 5 liters. Approximately 2 liters of blood loss results in death. That would indicate that at least two liters (a little over half a gallon) of blood was spilled on the hard-surfaced floor.Nobody disputes that Meredith was fighting bravely for her life to her last breath. There were 46 wounds on her body consistent with such a struggle. With three persons wrestling and stabbing, it is impossible that contact blood transfer did not occur; on the feet, on the clothing and on the hands of any alleged perpetrator. Especially when fighting in the small confines of Meredith’s bedroom. And the footprints would occasionally overlap.Guede stepped in the blood, Guede put his hand in the blood, Guede touched surfaces all around the room. Yet neither Amanda Knox, nor Raffaele Sollecito came in contact with any blood? This is difficult to conceive, as even if they avoided the large blood pools and spatters, it would be impossible to avoid stepping on the bloody (but sometimes latent) footprints left by Guede.It is all the more impressive that examiners found latent (but non-blood) footprints claimed to be of Amanda all through the house….but NONE in Meredith’s room. This is an impossible result if Amanda had been involved in the murder. Against all of this missing evidence is a bra clasp that sat for six weeks in a pile of dust with a questionable DNA marking related to Sollecito, and a bloody footprint of Guede that the prosecution asserted to have belonged to Raffaele.
Artist Heather Hansen makes magnificent large-scale drawings using her body’s full range of motion. Mesmerizing, indeed, but not new – artist Tony Orrico, “the human spirograph,” gave the technique notoriety in 2011.
But then again, lest we forget, all art builds on what came before.
In his latest email newsletter, David Byrne explores the travesties of performance royalties on commercial radio:
I’ve been getting together in the last few months with a small group of musicians and writers who are concerned that there is no organization to represent us on many of the issues that affect us. More on that later. One issue that has been discussed recently is the payment of performance royalties on commercial radio broadcasts in the U.S.
When many of us think of the song “Respect,” we think of Aretha Franklin. Many people are shocked to learn that Aretha never made a penny from all the radio broadcasts of her performance of R-E-S-P-E-C-T (this is because she wasn’t the composer.) It’s true—many musicians receive little compensation or struggle to pay bills despite having widely-aired recordings. Executive Director of The Jazz Foundation, Wendy Oxenhorn, recently released an eye-opening statement explaining why performance royalties on radio broadcasts are so vital:
For nearly 14 years, I’ve been working to save jazz and blues musicians from eviction, homelessness and hunger. On a daily basis, legends who recorded with Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Chet Baker, Miles Davis are having to be saved. Even the legends themselves; including Odetta, Abbey Lincoln, Hank Jones, Elvin Jones, Ruth Brown, Etta James and so many others have been touched by the Jazz Foundation of America. Had there been radio royalties all these years, I can guarantee that many of the crises these great talents have had to face in their old age would never have had to exist.
Byrne urges us to show our respect for music by joining him in signing this petition.
More on the royalty atrocities against artists can be found in Byrne’s altogether indispensable How Music Works.
How Long Can Humans Stay Awake?
Like breathing, sleep is a fundamental human requirement. It has even been said that one could survive for three times as long without food as one could without sleep. Indeed, one of the better known experiments on this subject found that depriving rats entirely of sleep resulted in their death, or near-dying state, within 11-32 days.
Despite research such as this, there is still much which remains unexplained around the importance of sleep. In fact, in the study described above, it cannot be established that sleep deprivation was the cause of these animals’ deaths. A number of the methods used in research can be identified as potential causes – the animals being wakened using an electric shock each time they lapsed into sleep, for example.
In 2012, a 26-year-old Chinese man reportedly died 11 days into a sleepless attempt to watch every game of the European Cup. But he was also drinking alcohol and smoking throughout, making it difficult to ascertain his cause of death. No human has ever definitively died from lack of sleep alone, and for obvious ethical reasons, scientists can’t find the breaking point in the lab. We are aware however, of cases outside scientific study where people have died after periods of no sleep at all.
Morvan’s syndrome is characterized by muscle twitching, pain, excessive sweating, weight loss, periodic hallucinations, and severe loss of sleep (agrypnia). Michel Jouvet and his colleagues in Lyon, France, studied a 27-year-old man with this disorder and found he had virtually no sleep over a period of several months. During that time he did not feel sleepy or tired and did not show any disorders of mood, memory, or anxiety. Nevertheless, nearly every night between 9:00 and 11:00 p.m., he experienced a 20 to 60-minute period of auditory, visual, olfactory, and somesthetic (sense of touch) hallucinations, as well as pain and vasoconstriction in his fingers and toes.
Another rare disorder, Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI), is an autosomal dominate disease that is invariably fatal after about 6 to 30 months without sleep. Once an individual begins to show the symptoms of FFI, starting with insomnia, the illness progresses quickly and further symptoms emerge. These symptoms include hallucinations, weight loss and finally dementia before their death.
The best-known case of FFI is that of Michael Corke, who died after 6 months of total sleep deprivation. As with the clinical experiments on animals, it is very difficult to determine whether lack of sleep is the definitive cause of death in people suffering from FFI. Thus, we cannot conclude that 6 months really is how long you can go without sleep before you die.
So, how long can you survive without sleep?
Ultimately, we do not know. Sleep science is a young discipline and only in the last few decades have we really started to make advances in our understanding of the importance and functions of sleep. In the 1960s a high school student named Randy Gardner set out to break the world record for the longest time spent awake. During the experiment he contracted problems with eyesight as well as various cognitive deficiencies, such as speech and memory problems. Towards the end of the experiment he also started to hallucinate. These symptoms emerged within just 264 hours (about 11 days).
The more difficult answer to this question revolves around the definition of “awake.” As mentioned above, prolonged sleep deprivation in normal subjects induces altered states of consciousness (often described as “microsleep”), numerous brief episodes of overwhelming sleep, and loss of cognitive and motor functions. We all know about the dangerous, drowsy driver, and we have heard about sleep-deprived British pilots who crashed their planes (having fallen asleep) while flying home from the war zone during World War II. Randy Gardner was “awake” but basically cognitively dysfunctional at the end of his ordeal.
What we do know is that it is unwise to ignore our need for sleep: it can be delayed but not defeated. The negative side effects of partial sleep deprivation have been observed in countless research studies and it is safe to assume that these would only be worsened by prolonged total sleep deprivation.
How much sleep we really need depends on how old you are, what’s happening in your brain, and even your gender. On average, women sleep longer than men. And babies sleep longer than older people. It’s not uncommon for infants to sleep between 15 and 18 hours a night, while elderly adults report feeling rested at around six hours. And school aged kids, even teenagers, may need between 9 and 11 hours a night. New research also suggests that neurobiologically, young people would benefit from sleeping in, to aid in neuronal pruning and rewiring of nerve networks. Indeed, the early-morning school schedule, which coincides with mom and dad’s work schedule, may not be ideal for health or learning. The average adult requires somewhere between 7 and 8 hours of sleep, but when it comes down to it, different sleep strokes for different folks. It’s important to know your body, and to make sure that your particular sleep requirements are fulfilled.
If your federal spy satellite logo can evoke James Bond villains… I guess you have to do it?