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West Florissant, Mo. Explodes in Protest of Police Shooting, More Than 30 Arrests

West Florissant, Mo. Explodes in Protest of Police Shooting, More Than 30 Arrests

Special to the NNPA from the St. Louis American

The Target parking lot of the Buzz Westfall Shopping Center was filled with dozens and dozens of police vehicles and the area of West Florissant from Jennings to Ferguson was blocked off. Helicopters and tanks –as well as vehicles from a host of area departments – descended on West Florissant as looting and vandalism…

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Suppress Voting, Impeach Obama and Close HBCUs

Suppress Voting, Impeach Obama and Close HBCUs

By Peter Grear

Our campaign has sought to educate our communities to the point that they would organize and mobilize for a massive voter turnout for the November General Election and beyond. 

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Risky Situations Increase Women’s Anxiety, Hurt Their Performance Compared to Men

Risky Situations Increase Women’s Anxiety, Hurt Their Performance Compared to Men

Study author Susan R. Fisk

“On the surface, risky situations may not appear to be particularly disadvantageous to women, but these findings suggest otherwise,” 

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Voter Suppression: An Existential Threat to Democracy

Voter Suppression: An Existential Threat to Democracy

By Peter Grear

To properly understand where we are today, we must look to history, to Black Slavery.  Slavery has existed since the time of ancient civilizations and in its inception was based upon conquerors enslaving the conquered without regards to race.  

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Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Charlotte, NC (BlackPR.com)

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a business executive, was installed as the 2014-2018 International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA)

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Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

New York (BlackPR.com)

New York (BlackPR.com) -- Nielsen today announced that Andrew McCaskill has joined Nielsen as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications. He will report to Chief Communications Officer Laura Nelson.

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Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Written by Peter Grear

With this article we will start detailing the ingredients of a revisable action plan that needs comments and revisions as we move toward the Tuesday, November 4, 2014 General Election.  

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Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Written by Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I confess that I’m amazed. The Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of North Carolina announced last week that they have launched theNorth Carolina Black Advisory Board (BRAB) 

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Optimal Workout Partner Encourages Less to Motivate

Written by Featured Organization on 13 May 2013.

The best workout partner may be one who understands that silence is golden, according to one Kansas State University researcher in the College of Human Ecology. Brandon Irwin, assistant professor of kinesiology, recently found that individuals tend to work out longer when their partner was perceived to be more skilled and was one who kept verbal encouragement to a minimum.

Irwin worked with researchers at Michigan State University on the study "You Can Do It: the Efficacy of Encouragement in Motivating the Weak Link to Exercise Longer During an Online Exercise Video Game," which will be published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. He said the team's goal was to determine how to increase motivation during physical activity.

"People like to exercise with other people," Irwin said. "In exercise groups, people tend to encourage each other, saying things like, 'Come on, you can do it.' We wanted to find out what effect this had on motivation."

In a separate study, Irwin discovered the optimal exercise partner is 40 percent better than the other, motivating the less skilled partner to exercise for a longer period of time and at an increased rate. In this study, 115 participants were told to do planks, an abdominal exercise, for as long as they could.

Next, the researchers told a group of participants they would be exercising with a partner who was slightly better, although the partner was a looped video recording. A third group was told they would be exercising with a partner -- also a recording -- but this time, the partner verbally encouraged them.

"Initially, it made sense to us that encouragement would be motivating," Irwin said. "However, we found almost the opposite to be true. When exercising with someone who is slightly better and who is not verbally encouraging, participants exercised longer than if conditions were the same but that person was verbally encouraging them. We didn't expect that."

Irwin said the researchers' best guess for why this happened is that those who received encouragement from a partner whom they perceived as more skilled may have interpreted the comments as condescending.

"If two individuals are exercising together and one is constantly saying 'you can do this' to the other, it may be taken as patronizing," Irwin said. "Those who received encouragement may have felt condescended, or even that their virtual partner was encouraging themselves, since no names were used."

Participants in the study were not aware that their partner was a recording and would never stop the exercise. The researchers told all participants that as soon as they stopped, their partner had to stop.

"Being the 'weak link' is a big motivator in partner or group exercise," Irwin said. "You don't want to let your partner down. We're honing in on that aspect of group exercise."

Irwin said this research could be used in designing electronic media, including both video games and social media. In a video game, the research findings could help develop the best virtual character in an exercise-based video game, like the Nintendo Wii Fit.

"Our research suggests that the best virtual workout partner is someone who is a little better than you and doesn't encourage you under certain conditions," he said.

Irwin added that these principles could also be applied to real workout partners on a proposed social media fitness website. Partners could be matched through an algorithm that would be used to dictate how much communication they should have.

"When you're communicating through an electronic medium, the designer puts restrictions on what and how you communicate with each other," Irwin said. "If you're partnered with your ultimate workout buddy, your communication could be facilitated or inhibited, depending on your preferences."

Irwin was the principle investigator of this study, which was supported by a $149,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Michigan State University. •

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