Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 29th 2013 Contents A43
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Mark Risinger, 16, checks his Facebook page on his computer as his mother, Amy
Risinger, looks on at their home in Glenview, Illinois. An influential pediatrician's
group says unrestricted media use has been linked with violence, cyber-bullying,
school woes, obesity, lack of sleep and a host of other problems. AP PHOTO
British engineers have taken inspi-
ration from dolphins for a new type
of radar that could help detect road-
side bombs more easily.
The device sends out two pulses
instead of one, mimicking how dolphins
pinpoint their prey.
The twin inverted pulse radar
(TWIPR) can distinguish between the
electronics at the heart of an explosive
and other "clutter" such as pipes or
Experts said the system "showed
The radar device has been developed
by a team led by Prof Tim Leighton,
of the University of Southampton, and
scientists from University College, Lon-
Prof Leighton took his inspiration
from the way dolphins are able to
process their sonar signals to pinpoint
prey in bubbly water.
Some dolphins blow bubble nets
around schools of fish to force them
to cluster together.
Their sonar would not work if they
could not distinguish the fish from the
He wanted to see if the same tech-
nique would work with radio waves,
and so developed a system that also
sent out pulses in pairs.
Traditional radar typically sends out
just one pulse.
The device his team came up with
was just two cm in size and cost less
than £1 to put together.
The second pulse has the reverse
polarity of the first.
This means that if it hits an electronic
device, it turns the pulse into a positive,
which in turn gives off a very strong
In tests the team applied the radar
pulses to an antenna typical of the cir-
cuitry used in explosive devices, which
was surrounded by "clutter" metals.
The antenna showed up 100,000
times more powerfully than the other
Such a device could also be extremely
helpful in finding surveillance device
as well as bombs, the team said.
It could even help locate people
buried after an avalanche or earthquake
by detecting their mobile phones.
"Such technology could also be
extended to other radiations, such as
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and
light detection and ranging (Lidar)...
offering the possibility of early fire
detection systems," said Prof Leighton.
Gary Kemp, programme director at
technology consultancy Cambridge
Consultants, said that the system
He said: "We continue to take inspi-
ration from the many animal super-
senses found in nature, whether from
the sophisticated echolocation tech-
niques used by bats and cetaceans or
the remarkable chemical detection abil-
ity of dogs and bees.
"Any technology that increases the
probability of detecting IEDs [impro-
vised explosive device] or buried earth-
quake victims while reducing false
alarms will undoubtedly save lives," he
Doctors 2 parents: Limit kids
tweeting, texting & keep smart-
phones, laptops out of bedrooms.
The recommendations are bound
to prompt eye-rolling and LOLs
from many teens but an influential
pediatricians group says parents
need to know that unrestricted
media use can have serious con-
It s been linked with violence,
cyberbullying, school woes, obesity,
lack of sleep and a host of other
problems. It s not a major cause of
these troubles, but "many parents
are clueless" about the profound
impact media exposure can have
on their children, said Dr Victor
Strasburger, lead author of the new
American Academy of Pediatrics
"This is the 21st century and
they need to get with it," said Stras-
burger, a University of New Mexico
adolescent medicine specialist.
The policy is aimed at all kids,
including those who use smart-
phones, computers and other Inter-
net-connected devices. It expands
the academy s longstanding rec-
ommendations on banning televi-
sions from children s and teens
bedrooms and limiting entertain-
ment screen time to no more than
two hours daily.
Under the new policy, those two
hours include using the Internet
for entertainment, including Face-
book, Twitter, TV and movies;
online homework is an exception.
The policy statement cites a 2010
report that found US children aged
eight to 18 spend an average of
more than seven hours daily using
some kind of entertainment media.
Many kids now watch TV online
and many send text messages from
their bedrooms after "lights out,"
including sexually explicit images
by cellphone or Internet, yet few
parents set rules about media use,
the policy says.
"I guarantee you that if you have
a 14-year-old boy and he has an
Internet connection in his bed-
room, he is looking at pornogra-
phy," Strasburger said.
The policy notes that three-
quarters of kids aged 12 to 17 own
cellphones; nearly all teens send
text messages, and many younger
kids have phones giving them
"Young people now spend more
time with media than they do in
school---it is the leading activity
for children and teenagers other
than sleeping" the policy says.
Mark Risinger, 16, of Glenview,
Illinois, is allowed to use his smart-
phone and laptop in his room, and
says he spends about four hours
daily on the Internet doing home-
work, using Facebook and YouTube
and watching movies.
He said a two-hour Internet time
limit "would be catastrophic" and
that kids won t follow the advice,
"they ll just find a way to get
Strasburger said he realises many
kids will scoff at advice from pae-
Dolphin-inspired radar could
help detect roadside bombs
diatricians---or any adults.
"After all, they re the experts! We re
media-Neanderthals to them," he said.
But he said he hopes it will lead to more
limits from parents and schools, and
more government research on the effects
The policy was published online
Monday in the journal Pediatrics. It
comes two weeks after police arrested
two Florida girls accused of bullying a
classmate who committed suicide.
Police say one of the girls recently boast-
ed online about the bullying and the
local sheriff questioned why the sus-
pects parents hadn t restricted their
Mark s mom, Amy Risinger, said she
agrees with restricting kids time on
social media but that deciding on other
media limits should be up to parents.
"I think some children have a greater
maturity level and you don t need to
be quite as strict with them," said
Risinger, who runs a communications
consulting firm. (AP)
Docs to parents: Limit kids' texts, tweets, online
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