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Few innovations and creative gifts have slipped between the cracks. By far, education ranks highest in the furtherance of man’s ultimate achievement and intellectual expression of creative thought. There are schools of thought that believe that stimulating the embryo can contribute to or promote near genius education in children. The broadest frame of reference comes from doing so through music and reading, as this may promote mental expansion. Jill Binoche’s article “Make Baby Smarter in the Womb” states: “Research indicates that a variety of stimulation while babies are in the womb is the start to building and promoting cognitive development. From playing music to reading to physical interaction in utero, stimulated babies are able to begin life with an advantage, being born with what some researchers consider more confidence in themselves and the ability to learn more easily. In addition to stimulating and purposefully interacting with the baby, staying relaxed and keeping stress levels at a minimum for the mother are also necessary for promoting fetal brain development.” It is also widely accepted that preschools that facilitate supervised play allows infants to play out their thoughts or fears, this being their only avenue of expression, as opposed to adults being able to talk it through. Research continues to unravel and validate that ongoing intrinsic contribution that music brings to learning math, language and reasoning through auditory learning. Psychological proponents argue that during the most critical and accelerated years of learning in a child’s life – birth to six years old

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Since apologizing for his contribution to debunking the medicinal use of weed in August 2013, with claims of not carefully reviewing scientific data and lack of his own research, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, journalist, neurosurgeon, media personality etc. has now moved into the same hall of recognition as Christopher Columbus. The former has now discovered that weed may not be as harmful as previously thought and indeed should not have been classified as a Schedule 1 drug. Dr. Gupta’s statement reads: “We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in it.” No doubt Dr. Gupta’s apology has been well received by those countries that have been deeply involved in continuing scientific research of the medical benefits of the weed. He would have done well to ask any layman on the streets of Jamaica about the effects of weed, also called “the weed of wisdom.” While Kotch Magazine is in no way endorsing or encouraging the social use of weed, it was clear to the eyes of the writer that weed was not nearly as addictive or destructive as alcohol, for example. One would be hard put to find herb smokers sprawling on the side of the road, so inebriated as to be rendered of no use and forgetting how they got there. Fast forward to 2015, the sale of marijuana in Colorado for recreational purposes is growing with mind boggling profit. Colorado legalized the use of weed

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SIBLING RIVALRY – by Marlene Daley

Our mother, father, siblings, extended family, friends, neighbors, peers, culture, locale, education, colleagues, mates, experiences, travels, religion, spiritual inclination, beliefs, mundane trappings, and so on, are all necessary or preordained “enablers” on this journey of life, which leads to self-realization. But we must be particularly thankful when relationships with our siblings transition, blossom and bloom into something as wonderful as friendship, for without compromise, there will certainly be differences between “individuals” that makes for a relationship that is sometimes untenable. Dr. Wayne Dyer was right on the button when he said that, “Your friends are God’s way of apologizing for your relatives.” I guess he knew that despite the saying, “Blood is thicker than water,” and that family will more often than not be there in times of need, making friends within the family is often difficult. Take the scenario of a family of ten children who grew up in St. Kitts. They were thrust closely together not by intention but by virtue of the fact that throughout their upbringing they lived humbly in a small dwelling. Who would have thought that life’s natural arrangement would have driven a wedge between such constant close physical interaction, rather than pushing them psychologically apart. “The space was always too tight,” Steven the eighth in lineup, bemoaned, “I couldn’t wait to grow up and live on my own. I was suffocating.” That need for space manifested at an early age, far too soon for the many years of growth that it would have

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The recent detailed and most insightful reports emanating from none less than the Kaieteur News as it relates to the controversial Government of Guyana’s US$40 million terrestrial fibre optic cable that purportedly runs from the border town of Lethem to Georgetown is definitely one for the history books. The most recent revelation is that this undertaking is part of a larger US $100 million ICT project that includes a Long Term Evolution Network (LTE) under the ambit of something that parades itself as “ E-Governance”. This project is anything other than E-Governance because according to the industry best practices – the application of such a programme is geared towards the corrupt free delivery of basic state services to businesses, consumers, state employees and even government to government. Therein lies the conundrum – is this project above board, beyond reproach and can its principal architects seriously withstand professional scrutiny devoid of politics. The answer is a resounding NO! The hard questions that one begs to ask of the relevant authorities and their various underlings that have been assigned dubious roles in this ambitious but misguided undertaking are as follow: (A) Which state entity is really the one that owns this project? (B) Is it a public-private partnership as there have been many names from a number of well known local private sector entities aligned with the regime of the day that are linked to this nebulous undertaking? (C) Which company was assigned the main contract to design, deploy and maintain this

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The Rt Hon. the Baroness Patricia Scotland of Asthal QC This week the usual suspects that constitute the leadership of the Caribbean Community & Common Market (CARICOM) will be gathered for a weekend of deliberations, musical chairs, fun, frolic and self aggrandizement compliments of the overburdened CARICOM tax payer at some chic locale that the proverbial ‘Island in the Sun’ (Barbados) has to offer. In the meantime, close to 300,000 persons of Haitian heritage will be facing the gruesome reality of being kicked out of the Dominican Republic whilst The Commonwealth of the Bahamas continues relentlessly in forcibly repatriating hundreds of Haitians (born in The Bahamas) back to poverty stricken Haiti. Haiti can ill afford to absorb any more persons because it is still struggling to get on its feet following the disastrous earthquake that struck in 2010. In fact, it is an absolute disgrace and an insult to humanity that whilst Haiti is a full-fledged member of CARICOM – Haitians do not enjoy the full privileges of free movement under the Caribbean Single Market & Economy (CSME) and the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. The following are some important issues that the leaders and decision makers of CARICOM need to be asking themselves: (A)    Cuba is about to get a boost with projected strong investments in the local tourism sector with even a report that a group of institutional investors from the United Arab Emirates are interested in building a new airport in Havana. The thawing of relations with the United

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On June 7th., 1893 –  Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi ,  the father of the modern Indian independence movement was unceremoniously kicked off the first class section of a train whilst travelling from Durban to Pretoria in present day South Africa.  Gandhiji  or ‘Bapu’ as he was later on affectionately called was asked to move from the first class cabin to that of the van compartment because a white man sitting in the first class section objected to an Indian person sharing his same space.  Gandhi refused to budge on the basis that he was holding a first class ticket which he paid for and secondly having been admitted to practice as an Attorney in The British Commonwealth (South Africa was still a British colony) that he was therefore a subject of the British Realm and entitled to the same privileges and civil decorum he had come to enjoy years  earlier as a law student in Great Britain. Regrettably, that right was not realized until Mandela became President of South Africa more than 100 years later.  That event was start of South Africa’s long walk to freedom This epochal event in Gandhi’s life is what ultimately shaped his outlook on life thereafter because as he was kicked off that train in Pietermaritzburg – he chose to spend that cold and shivering winter night in the train station’s waiting room where he decided to stay in South Africa and wage the struggle against socio-economic and human injustices not just for persons of East Indian heritage but for the local black community as well. It is out of his principled stand that his policy of

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