Thursday, July 21, 2016

Anatomical Coordinates

In many disciplines, anatomical coordinates are used to describe the location of a feature in or on an organism's body.

The coordinates used to locate features on an organism depend on the physiology of that organism. The way an organism stands is one factor that influences which terms are used; for bipedal organisms (like people) the way planes are oriented is different than for quadrupedal creatures. For example, you can see in the picture that the transverse plane goes horizontally through the bipedal organism's belly. In a quadrupedal organism, it would go vertically to intersect the belly.

The type of symmetry in its body plan is another factor; while many species are bilaterally symmetrical, some (like starfish) are radially symmetrical.

Here's a list of some anatomical coordinate and an explanation of each terms, or pair of terms if applicable.

Superior/inferior: From the top of an organism to the bottom of an organism, moving vertically.
Ex: In humans, the feet are inferior to the knees.

Posterior/anterior: From the front of an organism to the back of an organism, moving horizontally.
Ex: Sharks have a pelvic fin anterior to their anal fin.

Medial/lateral: Close to an organism's midline to far from an organism's midline, moving outward from the center.
Ex: When it comes to the features on your head, your ears are lateral and your nose is medial.

Dorsal/ventral: From an organism's back to and organism's belly.
Ex: Chimpanzee infants ride ventrally on their mothers by clinging to their stomachs.

Rostral/caudal: From an organism's nasal region to an organism's tail/hind region.
Ex: On a dog's head, its eyes are located rostrally compared to its ears.

Sagittal: A bilateral split separating the left side of an organism from the right side of an organism. Think of a hot dog in a bun.
Ex: Gorillas have a huge sagittal crest of bone on top of their skulls, to which their sizable jaw muscles are attached.

Horizontal/transverse: A bilateral split separating the top of an organism from the bottom of an organism. Think of a hamburger on a bun.
Ex: Zebra legs are marked with horizontal/transverse stripes.

Frontal/coronal: A bilateral split separating the belly of the organism from the back of the organism.

Proximal/distal (not illustrated): Close to the point of origin from the body to far from the point of origin from body.
Ex: Elephants have nostrils on the distal ends of their trunks.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Chimpanzees in the Stone Age

What makes humans special in the animal kingdom? Decades ago, one of the answers to this question was tools. Humans were unique, many thought, in their genetic heritage of conceiving and constructing useful items from natural materials. Then, in 1960, Jane Goodall witnessed chimpanzees using stripping grass stalks and using them to fish for termites. Her mentor, Louis Leakey, said this:

“Now we must redefine ‘tool’, redefine ‘man’, or accept chimpanzees as humans.”

Since then, we have learned a lot about tool use in the animal kingdom; dolphins use sponges to stir up sand, elephants scratch themselves with branches, crows hold twigs in their beaks to probe for insects, and primates have been recorded selecting or modifying items in their environment to serve as sponges, pillows, spears, hammers, and even possibly medicine.

Nut cracking is an especially well-documented illustration of the observational learning, forethought, and problem-solving required by tool use. As shown in the second video, some nut cracking sites have been in use for so many generations, pits have been worn into the anvil stones. Obviously, this is a behavior that monkeys and apes have been at for a long time.

A 2007 discovery in Côte d’Ivoire, Africa, offers hints about just how long that might be. A team of 'primate archaeologists' led by Christophe Boesch excavated a section of rainforest known to have been occupied by chimpanzees for a long time. They discovered tools- heavy stones bearing traces of starch- more than 4,000 years old. The hammer stones are heavy, much heavier than a stone a human would choose, which is unsurprisingly considering chimpanzees' amazing upper body strength. The starch residue, a product of cracking countless tough husks, comes from a nut that chimpanzees eat but humans don't. This evidence indicates that chimpanzees have been using stone tools for since at least 2000 BC-- around when humans began making paved roads-- and possibly much longer than that.

The idea that other animals make and use tools is still relatively new, and newer still is the idea that they may have their own archaeological sites worth looking for. These hidden sites could have much to teach about the evolution of intelligence in our family tree.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Black People Killed by Police in the United States

This entry is the start of an attempt to compile all on-duty, non-military police incidents since January 2000 that resulted in the death of a black man, woman, or child. New information will be added whenever possible but it will likely never be exhaustive.

All information is taken from Wikipedia or local news sites. I check the information with multiple sources when possible but nothing has been independently verified. Please let me know if you find an error and can provide a source.

Current number of entries: 38

Last update: July 21, 2016
Changes made: Entry added for Dondi Johnson, updates made to Freddie Gray's entry.

March 16, 2000 - Patrick Dorishmond, 26 - New York City, New York
Undercover police officers approached Dorishmond and his friend Kevin Kaisper on the street and asked if they knew where to buy marijuana. Dorishmond became angry and tried to punch one of the officers. Officer Anthony Vasquez shot Dorishmond once in the chest and he died at the scene. Kaisper claims the officers never identified themselves.
Legal Action: Vasquez was not indicted. The city of New York awarded Dorishmond's family $2.25 million in a wrongful death suit.
Wikipedia Link

June 12, 2000 - Ronald Beasley, ?, St. Louis County, Missouri
Police officers confronted Beasley and his friend, Earl Murray outside a restaurant in relation to drug suspicions. Beasley and Murray attempted to flee in a car when police shot both of them. Beasley and Murray were not armed.
Legal Action: No officers were indicted.
Southeast Missourian Link

June 12, 2000 - Earl Murray, ?, St. Louis County, MissouriPolice officers confronted Murray and his friend, Ronald Beasley outside a restaurant in relation to drug suspicions. Beasley and Murray attempted to flee in a car when police shot both of them. Beasley and Murray were not armed.
Legal Action: No officers were indicted.
Southeast Missourian Link

October 4, 2000 - John Adams, 64 - Lebanon, Tenessee
Police conducted a raid on the wrong house. Believing it was a home invasion, Adams' wife called for him to get his gun. Adams fired the first shot and police responded. Adams was shot at least three times and later died at a hospital.
Legal Action: Lieutenant Steve Nokes, who led the raid, was indicted for reckless homicide, tampering with evidence, and aggravated perjury. At his trial, Nokes was acquitted of all charges. Three other officers were not indicted and were placed on leave. The city of Lebanon awarded Adams' family $200,000 plus a monthly stipend.
ABC News Link
Google News Scan of Newspaper Link

October 28, 2000 - Anthony Lee, 39 - Los Angeles, California
Lee was attending a Halloween house party, not costumed but in possession of a rubber gun replica. Police responded to a noise complaint at the residence and were let inside by a security guard. Officer Terril Hopper saw Lee and some friends in a bedroom and shot them through a glass door. Lee was hit four times and died at the scene. Hopper claimed Lee aimed the rubber gun at him.
Legal Action: Hopper was not indicted. The LAPD awarded Lee's sister $225,000 in an out-of-court settlement.

November 7, 2001 - Timothy Hood, 22 - Athens, Georgia
Hood was shot after he held a gun to an officer's head and the officer was able to disarm him.
Legal Action: No officers were indicted.
Augusta Chronicle Link

December 5, 2002 - James Taylor, 50 - Lousville, Kentucky
Taylor was already handcuffed when he allegedly lunged at Detective Bryan Luckett with a box cutter. Detective Michael O'Neil shot Taylor seven times.
Legal Action: O'Neil was not indicted.
USA Today Link

March 8, 2003 - Michael Pleasance, 23 - Chicago, Illinois
Pleasance and his friend, Patrick Anderson, were inside a CTA station when Anderson was involved in a fight. Officer Alvin Weems, who was on-duty but not wearing a uniform or carrying a badge or radio, drew a gun and intervened. Pleasance stood nearby, holding Anderson's jacket, as Weems restrained Anderson. Weems shot Pleasance in the head and he died at the scene.
Legal Action: The Independent Police Review Authority recommended Weems be fired; instead, he was put on a 30-day suspension, then later promoted to detective. The city of Chicago awarded Pleasance's family $3 million in a wrongful death suit.  (Note: Weems committed suicide in 2011.)
Huffington Post Link (Footage Included)

May 5, 2003 - Kendra James, 21 - Portland, Oregon
James was a passenger in a car during a traffic stop. After the driver was detained, James got into the driver's seat. Officer Scott McCollister claimed to have tried several methods of removing James from the car before she began to move the vehicle and he shot her once in the head.
Legal Action: McCollister was not indicted.
Wikipedia Link

May 22, 2003 - Ousmane Zongo, 43 - New York City, New York
Police conducted a raid on a warehouse where Zongo worked. Officer Bryan Conroy, undercover as a postal worker, encountered Zongo during the raid; Zongo fled and Conroy cornered him at a dead end and shot him four times.
Legal Action: Conroy was convicted of criminally negligent homicide, fired from the police force and sentenced to 5 years probation. The city of New York awarded Zongo's family $3 million in a wrongful death suit.
Wikipedia Link

December 10, 2003 - Kenneth Walker, 39 - Colombus, Georgia
A special response unit pulled over the car in which Walker was a passenger, mistakenly believing the vehicle contained drug crime suspects from across state lines. When all passengers were being removed, Deputy David Glisson shot Walker twice in the head and he died later at a hospital. Glisson claims Walker was reaching into his pocket. Walker was not armed.
Legal Action: Glisson was not indicted. He was fired from the police force.
Ledger-Enquirer Link (Footage Included)

January 3, 2004 - Michael Newby, 19 - Louisville, Kentucky
Undercover officer McKenzie Mattingly was involved with a scuffle with Newby during a drug buy. During the encounter, Mattingly shot Newby three times in the back, claiming Newby had reached for his gun.
Legal Action: Mattingly was indicted for murder but acquired of all charges. He was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department and as of August 2010, was working as a patrol officer for the Bardstown Police Department.
NBC News Link

January 24, 2004 - Timothy Stansbury, 19 - New York City, New York
Officer Richard Neri was one of two officers conducting an inspection of an apartment stairwell. Stansbury entered the stairwell from another door and Neri fired once, hitting Stansbury in the chest. Neri claimed he was startled and discharged his weapon accidentally.
Legal Action: Neri was not indicted. He was placed on temporary leave and reassigned to a clerk's office. The city of New York awarded Stansbury's family $2 million.
Wikipedia Link

?, 2005 - Dondi Johnson, 42 - Baltimore, Maryland 
Johnson was taken into custody for public urination. He was handcuffed and placed into a police vehicle where he was not buckled. During the ride, Johnson suffered a fractured spine, was rendered paraplegic, and died two weeks later.
Legal Action: No information found about action against officers. The city of Baltimore awarded Johnson's family $7.6 million, later reduced to a payout of $200,000.
Baltimore Sun Link

November 21, 2006 - Kathryn Johnston, 92 - Atlanta, Georgia
Three undercover officers conducted a raid on Johnston's house. Johnston fired one shot, which did not hit any of the officers. Police responded by firing 39 shots, at least 5 of which hit Johnston, who died at the scene.
Legal Action: Officers Jason Smith, Gregg Junnier, and Arthur Tesler were convicted of manslaughter and other charges for falsifying evidence surrounding the raid on Johnston's house.
Wikipedia Link

November 25, 2006 - Sean Bell, 23 - Queens, New York
Seven undercover officers confronted Bell and two friends outside a strip club. Bell and his friends were in a vehicle when one officer, Gescard Isnora drew his gun and ordered them out of the car. Bell attempted to drive away, striking the officer and hitting an unmarked police vehicle. Isnora claimed he saw a passenger reached for a gun. Five officers opened fire, firing 50 shots into the vehicle. Bell was hit four times.
Legal Action: Isnora and two other officers were indicted by a grand jury and later acquitted of all charged.
Wikipedia Link

January 4, 2008 - Tarika Wilson - Lima, Ohio
A SWAT team conducted a raid on Wilson's home in an attempt to arrest her boyfriend. During the raid, shots were fired. Sgt Joseph Chavalia shot Wilson while she was holding her infant son. The baby was injured but survived.
Legal Action: No officers were indicted. Chavalia was placed on temporary leave.
New York Times Link

May 14, 2010 - Aiyana Stanley Jones, 7 - Detroit, Michigan
Jones was in her home when officers conducted a raid on the residence. A flash grenade was fired through a front window, then Officer Joseph Weekley entered through the front door and fired one shot. Jones was hit and died at the scene.
Legal Action: Weekley was tried two times, with both trials ending in a mistrial. Before the third trial, all charges against him were dismissed by a county prosecutor in February 2015.
Wikipedia Link

March 15, 2012 - Shereese Francis, 29 - Queens, New York
Officers arrived at diagnosed schizophrenic Francis's home after her sister called for an ambulance because she wanted Francis to be taken to the hospital. After a verbal exchange, four officers tried to physically subdue Francis. When she resisted, they pushed her onto a bed and handcuffed her, after which she went into cardiac arrest. Francis was pronounced dead later a hospital.
Legal Action: An investigation was launched and Francis's family is suing for the release of all information relating to her death.
Wall Street Journal Link

December 12, 2012 - Tederalle Satchel, 28 - Hearne, Texas
Officers responded to a report of shots being fired from a vehicle at an apartment complex. When they arrived, they encountered a group of people in the parking lot. Shots were fired; Satchel, who was allegedly mentally retarded, was shot by Officer Stephen Stem and later died at the scene. Satchel's aunt says police waited 20 minutes before administering first aid to Satchel, and that they moved Satchel's body after his death. The police department has not released any details of the encounter.
Legal Action: Stem was not indicted and was placed on temporary leave. (Note: Two years later, Stem shot and killed Pearlie Golden and was fired from the police force.)
The Eagle Link

March 9, 2013 - Kimani Gray, 16 - Brooklyn, New York
Two undercover police officers, Sergeant Mourad Mourad and Officer Jovaniel Cordova, approached Gray and a group of his friends. Police claim Gray fidgeted with the waistband of his pants, moved away from the group, then pointed a gun at police, prompting them to shoot him seven times. Some sources say witnesses claim Gray was not carrying a gun and that police did not identify themselves. Gray died later at a hospital.
Legal Action: Mourad and Cordova were not indicted.
New York Times Link

July 12, 2013 - Deion Fludd, 17 - New York City, New York
In May of 2013, police confronted Fludd after he skipped a turnstile in a subway. When the teen fled, officers pursued and claim Fludd was clipped by a passing train. Fludd died a month later in a hospital. His mother claims he repeatedly denied being hit by a train, saying instead he was beaten by police.
Legal Action: Fludd's mother is suing the NYPD for use of excessive force.
Daily Mail Link

August 15, 2013 - Carlos Alcis, 43 - Brooklyn, New York
Officers responded to a report of a woman being assaulted and robbed. When a witness claimed the suspect fled into Alcis' apartment building, officers began a door to door search. During the search of Alcis' apartment, the man collapsed of a heart attack. Alcis' family claims the police ignored his distress until he began bleeding at the mouth, then directed one of Alcis' sons to perform CPR. A family member called for an ambulance but Alcis died at the scene.
Legal Action: An investigation was launched.
Daily News Link

October 3, 2013 - Miriam Carey, 34 - Washington D.C.
Carey went through a White House checkpoint in her car, striking a Secret Service officer and going on to speed through traffic without stopping at red lights. She evaded a vehicle box-in by officers and was eventually forced off the road. During the chase, shots were fired at her car and she was hit five times, including one bullet to the head. She died later at a hospital.
Legal Action: No officers were indicted.
Wikipedia Link

February 16, 2014 - Yvette Smith, 47 - Bastrop, Texas
Officers responded to a call from Smith's home reporting two men fighting over money. When they arrived, they issued a command for Smith to exit the house. When she stepped through the door, Deputy Daniel Willis shot her twice.
Legal Action: Willis was indicted for murder and awaits trial. He was fired from the Bastrop County Sheriff's Office.
KXAN News Link

May 7, 2014 - Pearlie Golden, 93 - Hearne, Texas
Officers responded to a call from Golden's nephew after the woman threatened her family with a gun. When they arrived at the scene, Golden reportedly "brandished a weapon" and Officer Stephen Stem made three shots, at least two of which hit Golden. Golden died later at a hospital.
Legal Action: Stem was not indicted. He was fired from the Hearne City Police Department. (Note: This was Stem's second lethal shooting in two years. The first was Tederalle Satchell in 2012.)
Huffington Post Link

September 21, 2014 - Cameron Tillman, 14 - Houma, Louisiana
Officers responded to a report of armed suspects burglarizing an abandoned house. When police arrived, they attempted to make contact with the suspects inside the house. A deputy shot Tillman once and he died at the scene. It was later revealed he was armed with a BB gun.
Legal Action: An investigation was launched.
CBS News Link

October 17, 2014 - Laquan McDonald, 17 - Chicago, Illinois
Officers responded to a report of a suspect trying to break into a car. When officers arrived, they confronted McDonald, who ignored directions to drop his weapon, a knife. McDonald left the scene; police followed him and McDonald again ignored directions to drop his weapon. When he reportedly lunged at an officer, an officer shot McDonald multiple times and he died at a hospital.
Legal Action: An investigation was launched.
Chicago Tribune Link

November 12, 2014 - Tanisha Anderson, 37 - Cleveland, Ohio
Officers responded to a report of Anderson disturbing the peace. At the residence, officers conversed with Anderson, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. There was a struggle, and officers claim Anderson went limp, but Anderson's family claims to have witnessed an officer slam Anderson's head into the pavement to subdue her. Anderson lost consciousness at the scene and died later at a hospital.
Legal Action: An investigation was launched. Link

November 21, 2014 - Carey Smith-Viramontes - Long Beach, California
Officers responded to a report of a missing girl and located her inside a house with Smith-Viramontes, her boyfriend. Smith-Viramontes confronted police with a knife; he was shot and died at the scene.
Legal Action: An investigation was launched.
LA Times Link

November 22, 2014 - Tamir Rice, 12 – Cleveland, Ohio
Rice was playing with a BB gun at a park when a civilian called an emergency number. When police arrived in a patrol car, Officer Timothy Loemann fired two shots at Rice while the car was still in motion. Rice was hit in the chest and died the next day.
Legal Action: Loemann was not indicted and has since resigned after being deemed unfit for duty.
Wikipedia Link
Footage of the Incident

July 17, 2014 - Eric Garner, 43 - Staten Island, New York
Police confronted Garner on the sidewalk and in the struggle that ensued, Officer Daniel Pantaleo put his arm around Garner's throat. Garner died in a hospital shortly after, of neck and chest compression.
Legal Action: Pantaleo was not indicted.
Wikipedia Link
Footage of the Incident

August 5, 2014 - John Crawford III, 22 - Dayton, Ohio
Crawford was shot by police as he stood in a Walmart, talking on the phone and holding an air rifle pointing at the ground. He later died at a hospital.
Legal Action: No officers were indicted.
Washington Post Link

August 9, 2014 – Michael Brown, 18 – Ferguson, Missouri
Brown was on foot when Officer Darren Wilson approached in a police car. A struggle occurred through the window of Wilson's vehicle and Wilson's gun was fired. Brown fled and was eventually shot by more than half a dozen bullets. Witness testimony disagrees on whether or not Brown had his hands raised in surrender and if he was advancing on Wilson or not.
Legal Action: Wilson was not indicted.
Wikipedia Link

August 12, 2014 - Ezell Ford, 25 - Los Angeles, California
Ezell, who had a history of mental illness, was walking on the street when two officers on patrol confronted him. A struggle occurred in which Ezell reportedly tried to grab an officers gun. Both officers fired and Ezell was hit. He was detained and died later at a hospital.
Legal Action: An investigation was launched.
Washington Post Link

August 13, 2014 - Michelle Cusseaux, 50 - Phoenix, Arizona
Cusseaux was shot and killed when officers came to her home to take her to a court-ordered psychiatric facility. Officers said Cusseaux threatened them with a hammer.
Legal Action: An investigation was launched.
Phoenix New Times Link

August 19, 2014 - Kajieme Powell, 25 - St. Louis, Missouri
Police responded to two calls, one from a convenience store clerk claiming Powell stole some food, and another from a woman claiming Powell was acting strange and holding a knife. When two officers confronted him, Powell refused to drop his knife. Officers opened fire and Powell was hit multiple times.
Legal Action: Powell's family has filed a wrongful death suit.
Huffington Post Link (Footage Included)

November 20, 2014 - Akai Gurley, 28 - Brooklyn, New York
Officer Peter Liang was one of two officers conducting an inspection of an apartment stairwell. Gurley and his girlfriend, Melissa Butler, entered the stairwell after their elevator did not show up. Liang fired one shot; Gurley was hit in the chest and died later at a hospital. Liang claimed his gun discharged accidentally.
Legal Action: Liang was indicted in February 2015 and is awaiting trial.
New York Times Link

December 2, 2014 - Rumaine Brisbon, 34 - Phoenix, Arizona
Police responded to a call about a drug deal. Brisbon fled, an officer pursued him and in the following struggle, Brison was shot twice in the chest. The office claimed he felt the handle of a gun in Brisbon's pocket but it was a bottle of pills; Brisbon was not armed.
Legal Action: An investigation was launched.
ABC News Link

March 24, 2015 - Kendrec McDade, 19 - Pasadena, California 
Officers Jeffrey Newlen and Mathew Griffin responded to a report of armed robbery and encountered McDade and a friend in a nearby alley. McDade allegedly reached for something in his waistband and officers shot him several times. He died later at a hospital. No guns or stolen items were recovered from the scene and it was later discovered the caller had lied about the presence of weapons.
Legal Action: No officers were indicted. Newlen and Griffin were not indicted. The city of Pasadena settled out of court with McDade's parents for $1 million.
Huffington Post Link

April 12, 2015 - Freddie Gray, 25 - Baltimore, Maryland
Police confronted Gray on the streets; he fled, six officers pursued and tackled him. When he was found to be in possession of a switchblade, he was taken into custody and placed into a police vehicle. Officers claimed the arrest took place without incident and bystanders claimed police beat Gray with batons and held him down by his neck. Gray fell into a coma, where he died on April 19th with a severed spinal chord, a damaged larynx, and fractured vertebra. An autopsy indicated his injuries were sustained after his arrest, inside the police vehicle, but it was not determined if the injuries were self-inflicted or otherwise.
Legal Action: All six officers were convicted by Baltimore chief prosecutor, with charges ranging from second-degree murder to misconduct in office.
Wikipedia Link

July 6, 2016 - Philando Castile - St. Anthony, Minnesota
Officer Jeronimo Yanez pulled over Castile as part of a search for suspects in a recent robbery. Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, was in the car, as was her 4-year-old daughter. Reynolds claims Castile complied with officers orders and informed them he was carrying a concealed weapon, for which he was licensed, but that Yanez shot Castile four times while he was raising his hands. Reynolds claims no first aid was administered to Castile on the scene, and that she was handcuffed; another witness took a video showing an officer administering first aid. Castile was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center where he was pronounced dead in the emergency room.
Legal Action: The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension opened an investigation.
CBS News Link