The fine line between adolescent and adult

Laurence Steinberg reported for the Boston Globe on the Dzokhar Tsarnaev trial. She raised an interesting point about Tsarnaev’s age. Is he an adolescent or an adult?

Steinberg is a professor of psychology at Temple University and focuses her research on adolescence.

Mixing scientific facts, Justice and the marathon bombing trial, Steinberg did a great job with her article.

“Proffering developmental immaturity as a mitigating factor in a trial involving individuals who are Tsarnaev’s age is consistent with recent discoveries in the study of brain development, which show that substantial maturation continues well beyond 18. We can’t point to a specific chronological age at which the adolescent brain becomes an adult brain, because different brain regions mature along different timetables, but important developments, some of which are relevant to sentencing decisions, are still ongoing during the early 20s,” Steinberg wrote.



Plane crashes in France, a worldwide news

When I opened The Boston Globe website this morning, the first thing I saw was the headline about the Germanwings Airbus A320 plane, which crashed in the French Alps earlier this morning.


The plane was going from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany. The cause of the crash is still unkown.

The news spread internationally in less than a couple of hours.

It was interesting to have a look at different newspapers this morning and see how they deal with a breaking news story.

It turns out that they all dealt with it the same way. They all mentionned the same facts, almost in the same order.

The only differences were in the multimedia content choices.

Le Monde and Die Welt put on some twitter feeds or news feeds in their articles so that people could have a better idea of what happened when.

El Pais and The Guardian used some videos of speeches, some others put on some pictures of the victims’ families.

Antibiotics, what are the risks?


Frontline, in “The trouble with antibiotics” raised a concern that could affect every one of us. Are the antibiotics given to cattle and poultry a threat to human health?

In this piece, Frontline made a terrific job. The video, which is almost 40 minutes long, is interesting from the beginning to the end and very visual. The Frontline team gathered several experts with opposing views on the matter and confronted them in a very smooth way.

David Hoffman
David E. Hoffman

The written story is a little redundant with the video but gathers all the main points and useful links to sources they used. I also find it a little strange that the main journalist for the video, David E. Hoffman, is not the same journalist who wrote the article, Jason M. Breslow.

The layout of the webpage is very clear. At the bottom of the page, there are some previous videos related to the topic, which enable the viewers to have a general idea of the main developments of the story.

I would be curious to know if such studies were made in different countries and what they found. I would also like to know to what extent other countries use antibiotics for livestock and if some antibiotics are prohibited already.

Photo credits: Chicken farm, Wikipedia ; Picture of David E. Hoffman, New America Foundation. Some Rights Reserved, Creative Commons.

Tsarnaev’s trial, last minute concerns

The Boston Herald and the Boston Globe raised different concerns about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial, which is going to begin soon.

Tsarnaev, 21, is accused of dropping a backpack containing a bomb during the Boston Marathon, two years ago. The bomb killed four people and left many injured.

The challenge for the trial will not be to found out if Tsarnaev is guilty or not but to decide whether he should be executed or not.

“The FBI has already released surveillance footage of him at the scene, and prosecutors allege they have video footage of him dropping a backpack containing a bomb behind Martin Richard, an 8-year-old Dorchester boy who was killed in the attacks,” Milton J. Valencia wrote for the Boston Globe.

This unusual trial also raises last minute concerns such as, should he plead guilty or not guilty or who should be part of the jury.

The Boston Globe chose to focus on the plea, in “Tsarnaev plea now the big question,” whereas the Boston Herald emphasized more on the jury part of the story, in “Bulger jurors to Tsarnaev panel: It’s going to be tough.”

One could read in the Boston Globe today:

TsarnaevGlobe“But now, with his lawyers set this week to make their first public declaration in closely watched opening statements, one remaining legal quandary still stands before him: Should he change his plea from not guilty to guilty?
A strange concept, perhaps, considering there is no chance that a guilty plea would prompt prosecutors to lessen the charges he faces. But legal analysts say that continuing to maintain his innocence in the face of seemingly overwhelming evidence against him could actually serve to antagonize jurors — the same jurors who ultimately have the power to sentence him to death.”

The Boston Herald, chose a very interesting angle to its story by drawing a parallel between the jurors who served for the trial of James “Whitey” Bulger, a mobster, and Tsarnaev’s trial.

A Bulger juror from Brockton, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there’s only one way for Tsarnaev’sTsarnaevHerald jurors to cope: “Just go through it. That’s what I did,” he said. “I’m glad I had the experience, but at the same time, it was tough. The films, the testimony … I think I’ve moved on. I’m a Christian and that’s my foundation. I know who’s in charge.”