Thursday

Shakira, son attacked by wild boars in Barcelona

CC™ Entertainment News

Colombian-Lebanese pop star Shakira has revealed how she was accosted by two wild boars, in a Barcelona Park.

The pigs reportedly made off with her handbag, which contained her phone. She told the story in a series of viral Instagram stories Wednesday.

“They’ve destroyed everything,” fumed the 44-year-old Grammy-winner of the pilfering pigs.

The attack was in the presence of her 8-year-old son Milan Pique Mebarak. 

Shakira — whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll — didn’t disclose when the incident occurred.

“Look at how two wild boar which attacked me in the park have left my bag,” lamented the “She Wolf” songstress to her 70.7 million ‘Gram followers.

“They were taking my bag to the woods with my mobile phone in it,” she said.

Holding the now recovered but torn bag towards the camera, she said: “Look at how two wild boar which attacked me in the park have left my bag.”

“They were taking my bag to the woods with my mobile phone in it,” the singer continued. “They’ve destroyed everything.”

She then turned to her son, whose father is the Barcelona footballer Gerard Piqué, and said: “Milan tell the truth. Say how your mummy stood up to the wild boar.”

Shakira is the latest victim of the increasingly aggressive hogs which have invaded the Catalan capital in recent years.

In 2016, Spanish police received 1,187 phone calls about wild hogs attacking dogs, plundering cat-feeders, holding up traffic and running into cars in the city.

In 2013, one city police officer attempted to take charge of the problem himself and shot at a boar with his service revolver, but missed and hit his partner instead.

From BBC and New York Post.

Wednesday

CC™ Investigative: The Northern "usual suspects" behind Boko Haram as Nigerians search for answers to the violent insurgency

CC™ Investigative

When the late National Security Adviser, Rtd. General Andrew Owoye Azazi  blamed the rise of insurgence by the fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram in the country on the internal wranglings of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties, he naturally made many in the corridors of power uncomfortable, at the time.

Not surprisingly and rather mysteriously, he was "killed" when his helicopter exploded over the skies of Bayelsa State after having been let-go by then President Goodluck Jonathan.

The late General Azazi was obviously privy to information regarding the real details behind Boko Haram. His position as the National Security Adviser at the time, put him at the head of that information. If anyone were to be in the know regarding the real truth behind the upsurge in the Islamic sect's violent insurgence, it had to be someone like Azazi as the nations top security head.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan had on several occasions admitted that they knew who was behind Boko Haram, and these were top level officials, mostly of Northern extraction.


Gen. Azazi explicitly declared to his audience, who was behind the unrest. He narrowed it down to the result of ‘unconstitutional’ PDP convention regulations, which determined who could run for President vs who could not run.


He went on further:
"The extent of violence did not increase in Nigeria until there was a declaration by the current president that he was going to contest. PDP got it wrong from the beginning, from the on-set by saying Mr A can rule, Mr A cannot rule, Mr B can rule, Mr B cannot rule, according to PDP’s convention, rules and regulation and not according to the constitution {applause} and that created the climate for what has manifest itself, this way. I believe that there is some element of politicization. is it possible that somebody was thinking that only Mr. A could win, and if he did not win, there will be problems in this society. Let’s examine all these issues to see whether the level of violence in the North East just escalated because Boko Haram suddenly became better trained, better equipped and better funded, and in any case how did they get it all done…{warning of Boko Haram becoming snipers – who could potentially target elite}
But, then I must also be quick to point out that today, even if all the leaders that we know in Boko Haram are arrested, I don’t think the problem would end, because there are tentacles. I don’t think that people would be satisfied, because the situations that created the problems are not just about the religion, poverty or the desire to rule Nigeria. I think it’s a combination of everything. Except you address all those things comprehensively, it would not work."
Intelligence sources have informed CC™ that although former President Jonathan knew (and still knows) exactly who the sponsors of Boko Haram are, he lacked the courage and political will to bring them to task as the "usual suspects" were actually aligned with Jonathan on ensuring that he got re-elected in the 2015 elections as long as he (Jonathan) "played ball".

One name did however stand out of the three "usual suspects" CC™ was able to gather credible information about. It was that of then Minister of Defense, Rtd. General Aliyu Mohammed Gusau. 


Gusau was always an ambitious man and those who know him very well not only say he is very "loyal", but they also pointed to a rather glaring trail in his professional dossier - he (Gusau) had always been in the "thick of the action" in just about every administration in Nigeria, from Babangida (a serial coup plotter himself) to Jonathan.


However, one thing always stood out, more-so in the administration of Nigerian Christian leaders from the South, namely Obasanjo and Jonathan; there was always insecurity of a religious nature that he (Gusau) although placed in charge of managing, had seemingly always found a way to allow spiral out of control. 


Gusau's history with Boko Haram is a rather interesting one. According to  TheNationOnline, 01/01/2012, "hardline allies of Jonathan’s went further, suggesting that northern rivals within the PDP – such as Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Aliyu Mohammed Gusau – have covert ties to Boko Haram." Ironically, Jonathan however continued to have the ear and vice-versa of Ibrahim Babangida and Aliyu Gusau.


Earlier as the NSA under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Gusau had told Obasanjo that "there was no evidence of such a group as Boko Haram in 2006 although there had been evidence to the contrary as far back as 2005. 


Here is an excerpt:

PMNews, September 14, 2011: Sources, however, indicated that the Azazi’s predecessor as NSA cannot be absolved of blame. It was gathered that the the issue of al-Qaeda affiliated cells in the North-East part of the country was pointed out to former President Olusegun Obasanjo as far back as 2006. It was noted for instance that Boko Haram, termed the “Nigerian Taliban”, had been operating in the clear since 2005 when General Aliyu Gusau (rtd.) was NSA. The former president was said to have in turn asked Gusau to investigate the issue. But Gusau, according to reports, told Obasanjo that no such group existed in the country.It was gathered that the same issue of Taliban presence in Nigeria was raised with the late President Umaru Yar’Adua in July 2007. “Goodluck Jonathan became President of Nigeria upon the death of Umaru Yar’Adua in May 2010. Former NSA Aliyu Mohammed Gusau was once again made National Security Adviser. Gusau could not possibly have missed the threat of Boko Haram. If his security operatives failed to raise the matter in their reports then the public statements released by Boko Haram and printed verbatim in Nigeria’s national newspapers should have raised questions from the NSA, if not alarm,” said Steven Davis, a public commentator. “The handling of the Boko Haram matter while Gusau was NSA resulted in a dramatic escalation in the conflict to the stage that it threatened the nation’s security,” he added.
Many media articles accused Aliyu Mohammed Gusau et al of being the terror mastermind(s) behind Boko Haram. 

An arms cache at the time in Kano with Hezbollah agents was linked to him and according to sources, he was under investigation with the result once again swept under the rug. 


It was under Gusau as NSA that Boko Haram acquired all their weapons and reigned terror. Gusau did nothing to check these terrorists. He even, according to Steven Davis as reported in PM News on Sept. 14, 2011, protected Boko Haram by telling then President Obasanjo that the group did not exist. 


This, despite series of attacks by the group. Gusau did not make any security report on the group, then called “Nigerian Taliban,” the paper alleges and Gusau even ordered the release of captured terrorists on the request of some Northern leaders, namely the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar III, a former security detail of former dictator, Rtd. General Ibrahim Babangida. 


This is not surprising as Sultan Abubakar is on record as having condemned the crackdown on Boko Haram.


In his capacity as NSA (three times to be precise) in Nigeria’s history, Gusau failed woefully and invariably assisted Boko Haram in becoming the menace they now are, with hundreds of thousands of deaths to their credit to date.
It remains puzzling that Jonathan appointed a man who actually retired as NSA to contest for the Nigerian Presidency against him (Jonathan), as Defense Minister when everything pointed to the fact that Gusau, in addition to being grossly inept (as his record had shown), had a history of being "soft" in his response to Islamic militant insurgencies in the past and was therefore not the logical answer to ensuring the outright defeat of Boko Haram.
Gusau and his Northern mischief makers, who are nothing short of avaricious predators, are now witnessing the proverbial chicken coming home to roost, with the recent trend of events.
The fact remains that Northern feudalism and its staunch protagonists remain the secret hands behind Boko Haram, the Fulani Herdsmen terrorists and all Islamic fundamentalist movements. President Buhari, the Sultan of Sokoto and Nasir El-Rufai, just to name a few, are the incumbent facilitators of these violent and murderous terrorists.
Asking the thief to watch the house is essentially what Nigerians are doing, by expecting this current administration to safeguard the lives and property of Nigerians.

Monday

Regarding the adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines

CC™ ViewPoint

By David Ibeleme, MD, MBBS; PG-Dip; MSc.; MPH

There have been a lot of reports of vaccine adverse affects on several platforms across the globe. This post serves to put some of the things into perspective based on what we know from the science regarding the COVID-19 vaccines at this time.

Before, I share my perspective I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the families of everyone who is reported to have passed as a result receiving any of the WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines.

I trust the Lord to comfort and strengthen them as they go through this season of bereavement.

It's always a sad time when anyone has an adverse reaction to a medication (in this case a vaccine) that is meant to make them feel better. It creates a sense of low confidence in the medical interventions and institutions and most certainly increases vaccine hesitancy.

For us as doctors and medical personnel who have taken an oath "to do no harm", it's always a major concern. We therefore always feel it for the individual(s) and their family, and our best wishes go to them for speedy recovery and in the case of fatalities our sincerest condolences are extended to their families.

There are currently over two hundred and thirty one million (>231M) recorded Covid-19 cases globally accounting for over four million seven hundred and thirty five thousand (>4.735M) deaths globally. Adding vaccine related adverse effects does not help the situation for us at all.

However, we must also note that everyone who takes a vaccine knows (or ought to be informed before the shot) that side effects generally ALWAYS follow.

These side effects are usually non-life threatening for the most parts and also indicate that the immune system is responding very well to the vaccine.

It must also be noted that every individual reacts differently to vaccines and even to medications generally (I have a cousin that developed a near fatal adverse reaction to Ibuprofen or Motrin).

My wife and I have had our vaccines (AstraZeneca COVID19 vaccine) already and we are doing well, along with a host of our friends and colleagues who have also had their vaccines.

Here in Trinidad and Tobago where I live, about 500,000 people have already had COVID19 vaccines and a phenomenally significant majority are doing very well. We have no officially confirmed vaccine related deaths to date and have less than ten (10) reported major adverse reactions, and these have all been resolved.

With respect to clotting issues in relation to the COVID19 vaccines; note that Clotting issues are way more common in the general population and in people who have had the COVID19 infection, than in people who have had the vaccine. That's the irrefutable fact.

Hence, the fact that one person develops (or some people develop) clotting, following vaccination should never negate the benefits of vaccines. Benefits that have been evident and undisputed for over two hundred (200) years.

Indeed the benefits of vaccines have been proven over the years COVID19 or no COVID19. Hence, the advent of COVID-19 should not change that. This is why most, if not all of us have been vaccinated against diseases like polio, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, pertussis, yellow fever, hepatitis, HPV, etc.

We can all testify that countless numbers of deaths have been prevented through the use of vaccines. Vaccination remains the major tool in the fight against infectious diseases.

I am a polio survivor, however, I have been left with permanent paralysis in my right lower limb because I was not vaccinated on time, against the polio virus.

Vaccines are manufactured under strict protocols to ensure safety and efficacy, and the current COVID19 vaccines approved by the WHO have definitely gone through these rigorous measures. This is also why they are given emergency use authorization before full authorization. The emergency use authorization is to help protect the most vulnerable in a pandemic and also in determining how the vaccines perform in the general population. Emergency use authorizations are not just for vaccines but for medications in general and even for laboratory tests. Medications are often pulled or recalled and not granted full authorization if or when they are found to cause significantly adverse effects while they have emergency use authorization.

Some people have stated that these COVID-19 vaccines are not the same as the original vaccines we have been taking for years. Please permit me to clarify that a bit. Of the over twenty (20) Covid-19 vaccines that have been approved by at least one WHO recognized authority; there are only two (2) mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Modena, these are the newest technology vaccines); nine (9) killed inactivated vaccines which include Sinopharm, Sinovac, Coronavac and Covaxin (these have the same technology for injectable polio, rabies, hepatitis A and influenza); five (5) viral vector vaccines which include AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sputnik V and Convidecia; four (4) protein subunit vaccines which are Abdala (from Cuba), Epivac-corona, RBD Dimer and Zivifax, one (1) conjugated vaccine, Soberana from Iran.

The technology for these vaccines have been with us for decades; mRNA for about thirty (30) years, conjugate and protein subunits for over forty (40) years, viral vector vaccines for about fifty (50) years and killed inactivated vaccines for over seventy (70) years.

To date over six (6) billion doses of COVID19 vaccines have been administered across two hundred and seventeen (217) countries globally. So far, over two and half billion (>2.5B) which accounts for over thirty three percent (33.2%) of the global population. It must also be noted that a very significant number of those vaccinated are doing very well and have significantly been protected against severe illness.

I must also indicate that correlation is not necessarily causation.

Hence, some reported fatalities following vaccinations have been clarified following autopsies as not being due to the vaccines, but due to some underlying condition that the deceased had which might not have been apparent to them or their relatives.

I encourage people who have had adverse effects and relatives of people who have died following vaccination to report them quickly and consistently to the relevant authorities. This will ensure that it can be properly investigated and also aid in the knowledge that we are acquiring regarding the vaccines. Remember that if it is not officially reported, then it cannot be officially confirmed and recorded.

Once again our sincere condolences go out to families whose relatives have had fatal adverse effects secondary to vaccine administrations or to any medications.

Let us continue to follow the recommended public health protocols and stay safe as we continue the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sunday

Nigerian-American Joseph Ladapo appointed surgeon general in Florida

CC™ Medical News

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has appointed Nigerian-American Joseph Ladapo as Florida surgeon general and Secretary of the Florida Department of Health.

“I am pleased to announce that Dr. Joseph Ladapo will lead the Florida Department of Health as our state's next Surgeon General," said Governor Ron DeSantis.

“Dr. Ladapo comes to us by way of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA with a superb background.”

DeSantis said Ladapo “has had both a remarkable academic and medical career with a strong emphasis in health policy research. Dr. Ladapo will bring great leadership to the Department of Health. I would also like to thank both Dr. Scott Rivkees and Dr. Shamarial Roberson for their hard work on behalf of all Floridians.”

Lieutenant-Governor Jeanette Nu±ez described Ladapo’s choice as “an excellent choice to serve as our next Surgeon General.”

“Dr. Ladapo has impeccable credentials and a strong vision to effectively serve the people of Florida at the helm of our public health agency. Through his service to our state, we will continue Florida's work to advance our public health goals,” Nu±ez said.

Ladapo said he is honored to have been chosen by Governor DeSantis to serve as Florida's next Surgeon General.

“We must make health policy decisions rooted in data and not in fear,” Ladapo said. ”

“From California, I have observed the different approaches taken by governors across the country and I have been impressed by Governor DeSantis' leadership and determination to ensure that Floridians are afforded all opportunities to maintain their health and wellness, while preserving their freedoms as Americans. It is a privilege to join his team and serve the people of Florida.”

Dr. Ladapo was recently granted a professorship at the University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine. Prior to joining UF, he served as an associate professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) caring for hospitalized patients.

He is a graduate of Wake Forest University, who also holds an MD from Harvard Medical School and a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Ladapo was recently granted a professorship at the University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine. Prior to joining UF, he was an Associate Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine caring for hospitalized patients.

Previously, he served as a faculty member in the Department of Population Health at NYU School of Medicine and as a Staff Fellow at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


AGENCY

Saturday

China’s central bank rules all crypto transactions are illegal

CC™ Financial News

China's central bank has declared all financial transactions involving cryptocurrencies illegal, sounding the death knell for the digital trade in China after a crackdown on the volatile currencies.

The global values of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin have massively fluctuated over the past year partly due to Chinese regulations, which have sought to prevent speculation and money laundering.

"Virtual currency-related business activities are illegal financial activities," the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said in an online statement Friday, adding that offenders would be "investigated for  in accordance with the law."

The notice bans all related financial activities involving cryptocurrencies, such as trading crypto, selling tokens, transactions involving virtual currency derivatives and "illegal fundraising".

Bitcoin, which had already been falling before the announcement, sank by as much as 8.9 percent to $41,019 in European afternoon trading before recovering slightly later in the day.

The  said that in recent years trading of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies had become "widespread, disrupting economic and financial order, giving rise to money laundering, illegal fund-raising, fraud, pyramid schemes and other illegal and criminal activities."

This was "seriously endangering the safety of people's assets," the PBOC said.

While crypto creation and trading have been illegal in China since 2019, further crackdowns this year by Beijing warned banks to halt related transactions and closed much of the country's vast network of  miners.

Friday's statement by the central bank sent the strongest yet signal that China is closed to crypto.

Control

Bitcoin, the world's largest digital currency, and other cryptos cannot be traced by a country's central bank, making them difficult to regulate.

Analysts say China fears the proliferation of illicit investments and fundraising from cryptocurrency in the world's second-biggest economy, which also has strict rules around the outflow of capital.

The crypto crackdown also opens the gates for China to introduce its own digital currency, already in the pipeline, allowing the central government to monitor transactions.

In June, Chinese officials said more than 1,000 people had been arrested for using the profits from crime to buy cryptocurrencies.

Several key Chinese provinces have banned the operation of cryptocurrency mines since the start of this year, with one region accounting for eight percent of the  needed to run the global blockchain—a set of online ledgers to record bitcoin transactions.

Bitcoin values tumbled in May on the back of a warning by Beijing to investors against speculative trading in cryptocurrencies.

"China's ban on all cryptocurrency trading activity will have some short-term impact on currency valuation, but long-term implications are likely to be muted," said Ganesh Viswanath Natraj, Assistant Professor of Finance at Warwick Business School.

"This ban will result in the migration of crypto investment opportunities to other hubs in Asia, such as Singapore's launch of the DBS digital currency exchange earlier this month," he added.

Friday

Thursday

Wenger criticizes 'emotional' response to his and Infantino's dubious biennial World Cup plan



CC™ Sports Desk

Arsene Wenger has criticized the "emotional" response to his controversial proposal to hold the World Cup every two years.

Former Arsenal manager Wenger, now working as FIFA's head of global development, caused dismay in many quarters by suggesting the World Cup should be played more often.

The tournament is currently held every four years, with the next edition set for Qatar in 2022.

Wenger's idea to stage the World Cup once every two years led to widespread criticism from managers, while UEFA issued a scathing response.

"There are real dangers associated with this plan. The dilution of the value of the No.1 world football event, whose quadrennial occurrence gives it a mystique that generations of fans have grown up with," European football's governing body said.

UEFA urged FIFA to stop "promotional campaigns" for the scheme before they have consulted the relevant stakeholders.

But Wenger believes those who study his suggestion properly begin to see the merit in it.

"I'm confident, but I do not know the forces who are for or against. I just make that proposal because I think it's good for the game," Wenger told the BBC's Sports Desk podcast.

"After the proposal for the World Cup every two years sometimes (there is an) emotional response.

"I'm not surprised. Many people who were completely against it changed their mind after having seen my proposal.

"Some people have judged only based on every two years of World Cup and it was more emotional because 'we've all grown up in that cycle', and I can understand that.

"But many responses who were negative came out because they had not completely seen the whole concept.

"This concept of course, every two years a World Cup makes only sense if you see the whole proposal and if you regroup the qualifiers." 


AFP

Wednesday

60% of people admitted to UK hospitals with COVID-19 are double-jabbed


CC™ Health News

Sixty percent of people being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 have had two doses of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the British government’s chief scientific adviser.

According to reports, the development comes as figures show most regions of England now have more coronavirus patients in hospital than at any point since mid-March.

Speaking at a Downing Street news briefing recently, Sir Patrick Vallance said: “In terms of the number of people in the hospital who’ve been double-vaccinated, we know it’s around 60 percent of the people being admitted to hospital with COVID.

“We do expect there to be over 1,000 people per day being hospitalized with coronavirus because of the increase in infections. But the rates should be lower than they have been previously because of the protective effects of vaccination.”

He said this was not surprising “because the vaccines are not 100 percent effective”.

“They’re very, very effective, but not 100 percent, and as a higher proportion of the population is double-vaccinated, it’s inevitable that those 10 percent of that very large number remain at risk, and therefore will be amongst the people who both catch the infection and end up in hospital.” Meanwhile, most regions of England now have more coronavirus patients in hospital than at any point since mid-March.

Two regions – south-west England and the combined area of north-east England and Yorkshire – are back to levels last seen more than four months ago.

For England as a whole, there are now 3,813 patients in hospital with COVID-19 – the highest number since 24 March. Sir Patrick also warned said there were “high levels of COVID and they are increasing”.

He said the UK was quite close to the previous “winter wave” of infections.

“In the winter wave, we were up to around 60,000 people testing positive per day,” he said.

“We are now somewhere on towards 50,000. So we’re quite close to the size of the winter wave of infections and this is going to increase.”

the outset, there is something like 50,000 or near 50,000 cases per day, or positives per day, at the moment being detected – with a doubling time of 11 days, you can see that that gets to pretty high numbers very quickly.

“And another doubling time will take you to even higher numbers, of course – that would be really quite, quite worrying. So we would like to see some flattening of this, some decrease in the trajectory, and ideally, as you rightly say, you’d like to see this coming down by September, as return of schools would add another pressure on top of that.”

England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam added the uncertainty would be “driven by human behavior over the next four to six weeks”.

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He said: “So really, it is kind of in everybody’s hands, yours and mine.

“If we are gradual and cautious, and we don’t tear the pants out of this just because we’re glad to have our full freedoms back, then we will materially affect the size and shape of the remainder of this epidemic curve and where the peak occurs, and how big it is.

“It is literally in the hands of the public, in terms of the behaviors.”


VANGUARD

Tuesday

Perceptual Organization - Making sense while thinking

Editor's Corner

In a recent article, I had stressed the fact that the human brain, in addition to being the most extraordinary creation of the human anatomy was also the epicenter of thought, conviction, emotions, consciousness and purpose. In this particular article, the subject/topic of perceptual organization will be the focus of my discussion.

It therefore seemed appropriate to start this discussion with a reference once again to the human brain, as perceptual organization would ‘naturally’ be a part or component of the intricate but detailed functionality of the human brain.

Knowing fully well that learning may play a significant role in perception, there is the school of thought that perceptual organization does reflect innate properties of the human brain. 

More recent work in perception seems to infer that studying perception is basically studying the human brain. In particular, there seems to be more and more, an alignment of such school of thought with physiological observations of the human brain.

What is Perceptual Organization and even more importantly, how does one organize raw sensory stimuli into meaningful experiences that would ultimately make sense (at least to a recipient of the experience generated by the said stimuli)?

Furthermore, in the process of making sense of the ‘sensation’, is the thinking process an evolving one and subject to an individual’s perceptual organization of his or her experiences? Also, what set of mental activities are involved in this organizational process and how ’influential’ are they in the process? Perception involves organization and grouping as well as distinguishing objects from their surroundings.

I do believe and will state that the organization of raw (sensory) stimuli into experiences that make sense and are meaningful to an individual or larger society would normally involve some cognitive functionality. This cognitive functionality would comprise processes such as thinking, knowing, remembering and in some cases, forgetting. This would seem to be a logical sequence as it makes for an organizational process that would ultimately seek to incorporate that which is favorable while through the forgetting process, eliminate that which the senses deem unfavorable.

Throughout this process, the importance of knowledge and experience will ultimately be established as knowing as a result of thinking generates a learned experiential state which whether favorable or unfavorable would ultimately help develop a perceptive frame of reference for the individual concerned. Now, I am not sure if I am making that much sense here, but I am simply stating what I think is in essence the obvious, based on my own perceptual organization.

In asking some of the questions I asked in the second paragraph of this article, I did not do that with the aim of necessarily answering the said questions. I did that in the hopes of asking even more questions by creating a forum for intellectual conversations as to what perceptual organization really is all about; without seeking to necessarily narrow down its definition. What seems to be rather clear however is the realization that knowledge and experience are probably the most critical components of the perceptive process since those two factors may in fact help us better make sense of the input to our sensory systems.

According to Gestalt laws of grouping, there is the school of thought that the whole differs from the sum of its parts (Ehrenstein, W. 1930). The Gestalt theorists for the most part in the 20th century sought to single out the brain processes that would ultimately be responsible for the organization of perception. They argued that while simple sensations essentially consisted of organized percepts, the percepts themselves could be said to be basic to experience. There are also various arguments out there that seek to identify whether or not these experiences are for the most part private (Ehrenstein, W. 1930).

As I had stated earlier, perception, in addition to involving organization and grouping, also involves the process of distinguishing an object from its surroundings (Ehrenstein, W. 1930). There is the notion that the moment we perceive an object, the surrounding area around the said object is then the background. Gestalt psychologists are the biggest proponents of this school of thought. That would seem to suggest a concept of separating the figure from the ground and according to the Gestalt school of thought, this process is replicated throughout the various experiences of the percepts themselves (Ehrenstein, W. 1930).

There is no question this is probably one of the most difficult (if not the most difficult concepts - perceptual organization) for me to chew on, but I am of the school of thought that a thorough understanding of the subject itself is an evolving one in as much as the knowledge and experience of the percepts themselves, as part of the complex make-up of the human brain.

References:
Ehrenstein, W. (1930). Figure-Ground Segregation. Current Psychology of Cognition, 117, 339-412.

Monday

Genesis G90 Goes for Slammed Japanese VIP Treatment, Comes Out Buttery Smooth

CC™ Automotive

Although we have seen rendering experts jump at almost anything created by the automotive world, it’s clear that some of them have their favorites. For one, in particular, very few new cars qualify as real-world darlings.

Abimelec Arellano, the virtual artist behind the abimelecdesign account on social media has gone into a new car appreciation spree recently. Not only did he play with the all-new 2022 Chevy Silverado ZR2 mere hours after its introduction, but also showcased one of his all-time contemporary favorites.


And believe it or not, it’s a simple and sensible (yet utterly luxurious) Genesis G90. The model that paved the way for Hyundai’s new luxury division to develop as a fully-blown premium brand is almost up for a new iteration, but that doesn’t mean the current, facelifted version doesn’t have what it takes to impress.

Besides, the pixel master didn’t leave it alone and in stock form. Explaining that he mostly loves the Genesis G90 for its Buick Roadmaster approach to automotive life (as opposed to the Mercedes-AMG side of things), he also slapped the South Korean limousine with a taste of the Japanese VIP atmosphere. The trend, which apparently was on his radar for quite a while, has to do with modifying luxury cars (traditionally, local ones) to extremes.

Those premium models get much larger and/or wider wheel arches. But that’s not all because they also feature custom suspension setups to get slammed “into the ground, quite literally.” Of course, the pixel master opted for his twists with this one. So, the G90 sits much lower but “is not quite on the ground, and while I enlarged the arches, they’re not wider.”

No worries, these aren’t the only changes. The paintjob features a Candy Dark Purple shade mixed with a little bit of Red Flake, and the interior comes with a fully custom treatment. Among the included changes are tan leather upholstery and lots of wood trim, a flower-stamped headliner, as well as bespoke engraved metal touches. Oh, and did we mention the Japanese VIP crowd-pleasing Weds Kranze LXZ wheels?