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Moving The Goal Posts On Bees: Now Their Microbiome Is At Risk

Apr 18 2018 - 08:04
The mix of bacteria (microbiome) of bee bread, the long-term food supply stored within a hive for young bees, is now at risk, according to a new estimate.

The scholars are blaming modern monoculture farming, commercial forestry and gardeners could be making it harder for honeybees to store food and fight off diseases, a new study suggests. Human changes to the landscape, such as large areas of monoculture grassland for livestock grazing, and coniferous forests for timber production, is affecting the diversity of the ‘microbiome’ associated with honeybees’ long-term food supply, the authors claim. 

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Chasing Evidence Of A Black Hole's Shadow

Apr 17 2018 - 12:04
One of the most fundamental predictions of Einstein's theory of relativity is the existence of black holes.

Although gravitational waves from binary black holes have been detected, direct evidence using electromagnetic waves hasn't happened and astronomers are searching for it with radio telescopes.  But then how can you tell them apart? Radio images have a limited resolution and image fidelity and at realistic image resolutions, even highly non-Einsteinian black holes seem like normal black holes.

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TROLL ALERT: Thousands Panic Over Fake Voice Mail - Warning Alien Invasion On April 18 - Alleged From MH370 Black Box‽

Apr 16 2018 - 21:04

This is going viral on Facebook and scaring thousands of people, many panic attacks, some suicidal. This is another of my Doomsday Debunked posts to help these vulnerable people, many of them young children, still at school, who read about this on their mobile devices. Ever since March 14th I've spent hours every day reassuring very scared and panicking people that the MH 370 flight recorder did not send a voice mail message to a random twitter user warning us of an alien invasion on 18th April. Honestly‽

This is a piling heap of stinking horse dung that attracts trolls like flies and beetles from thousands of kilometers away. Like the Titan Arum or Corpse Flower.

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Aggressive Moths More Resilient To Climate Change

Apr 16 2018 - 14:04
More competitive animal species, with males that compete intensively for mates, might be more resilient to the effects of climate change, according to a paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Sexual selection can provide a buffer against climate change and increase adaptation rates within a changing environment, the authors believe.

Moths exposed to increasing temperatures were produced more eggs and had better offspring survival when the population had more males competing for mating opportunities, three males for every female. 

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Phil/Evo Fundaments Of Our Deceiving In Denial, Justifying With Obvious Lies II: The Very Bottom

Apr 14 2018 - 04:04
Any justification is fundamentally deception because there is no link from fundamental meaninglessness to why I should go on living. My a priori finding myself embodied in a world and the necessary physical causal creation myth involving emergence by algorithmic evolution necessitates my finding myself evolved to keep on living as one main irrational basis underlying all my rationalizations (for any evolved observer in any possible world).

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Phil/Evo Fundaments For Our Slave Behavior, Deceiving In Denial, Killing, Rape, Justifying War With Obvious Lies

Apr 14 2018 - 04:04
I start with Bio-Evo (~580 words) although the Phil/Evo aspects (~890 words) are more fundamental. The latter are likely too difficult for most – but I encourage you to try - the issue of “holocaust denial” makes it at least entertaining.

 

Among the great apes, slavery is natural in all the races of the human (H). We should not be surprised about our personal slave behavior, as it comes natural. This co-evolution, or denied “back-reaction” of environment on the sub-systems is a general mechanism, consistently producing the denial of it, for example similar with rape:

 

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IARC Is Disconnected From Reality - That's Why Its Next Director Shouldn't Be An Epidemiologist

Apr 13 2018 - 09:04
If you read corporate media journalism articles about epidemiology in the United States, you are not wrong for distrusting science more than ever. Using nothing more than statistics, every week some new trace chemical is an "endocrine disruptor", strawberries are bad for you (unless they're organic) and cell phones are causing cancer.

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Copy / Paste / Publish Fake April 23 Doomsday - Astronomically Absurd Story Shared Virally By Journalists Including Fox News

Apr 12 2018 - 22:04
Nobody who ran this story even bothered to glance at a sky chart. The false claim is that the sun, moon and Jupiter will all be in Virgo on April 23. So what you might say? But actually none of them will be in that constellation, not only that, no other planet will be on that date either.

It’s a good way of locating some of the news sources that have no systems in place to filter out fake doomsdays. 

They just went copy / paste / publish from the red top tabloids trash newspapers in the UK such as the Daily Express. If anyone runs this story cross them off your list of reliable news sources on astronomy, science or religion.

That includes Fox news, Ladbible, Daily Mail, Daily Express (originated it), Sun, etc etc. 

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March For Science Faces An Existential Threat - From Within

Apr 11 2018 - 13:04
March For Science, an offshoot of Women's March, gave itself a positive name in 2017 but its motivations were not about science at all. It was about social authoritarianism and promoting a political agenda. And at the top of that agenda was being anti-Trump in much the same way the same groups eight and 12 and 16 years earlier were ant-Bush.

But things may be different in 2018. A lot of the more culturally militant people have quit or been (ironically) marginalized because the science community sees the real opportunity for gain - if they can apply pressure while also being part of a solution.

A lot less of this stuff from 2017


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Interpreting The Predictions Of Deep Neural Networks

Apr 10 2018 - 10:04
CERN has equipped itself with an inter-experimental working group on Machine Learning since a couple of years. Besides organizing monthly meetings and other activities fostering the dissemination of knowledge and active research on the topic, the group holds a yearly meeting at CERN where along with interesting presentations on advances and summaries, there are tutorials to teach participants the use of the fast-growing arsenal of tools that any machine-learning enthusiast these days should master.

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Vaccines: Decades Of Misinformation Have Succeeded

Apr 09 2018 - 15:04
Though less than a dozen school children will be slain by a gun in any given year, American society is mobilized with marches and media against firearms. Meanwhile, on average 55,000 Americans will die from the flu, which has a vaccine. In states like California, anti-vaccine sentiment ran so high on the coast that the state had to pass a law forcing parents to comply or not have their kids enrolled. Some schools in Marin county had fewer than 30 percent of children vaccinated. Philosophical exemptions just by families in the wealthiest parts of California exceeded the number of religious exemptions nationwide - by 1000 percent.

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Another Day, Another Organic Milk Recall

Apr 08 2018 - 16:04
Pelleh Farms of Swan Lake, New York has recalled its Pasteurized Whole Organic Milk Non-Homogenized products due to improper pasteurization.

At least it was almost pasteurized. In the demographic that thinks organic food is good, vaccines are bad, and science stopped at 1860, raw milk is on trend. They intentionally go without pasteurization in the belief that it contains more nutrients than safe milk.

Proper pasteurization heats milk to 161 degrees Fahrenheit to effectively eliminate all pathogenic bacteria, such as Listeria and Salmonella.  Raw milk chooses to let such bacteria remain, which is why pasteurization is credited with saving hundreds of millions of children since it became commonplace.

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People Would Rather Pop A Pill Than Exercise To Lower High Blood Pressure

Apr 08 2018 - 12:04
When the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention drastically lowered the 'blood sugar' level, the HbA1C test, to 5.7 percent for a potential precursor to disease labeled "prediabetes" the rest of the world jeered. In China, that would mean 500 million people worried they have a disease. In America, it would mean 80 million more potential patients. When it came to data, less than 5 percent of those with that A1C level would ever go on to develop type 2 diabetes...in their entire lives.

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Machine Learning For Phenomenology

Apr 06 2018 - 07:04
These days the use of machine learning is exploding, as problems which can be solved more effectively with it are ubiquitous, and the construction of deep neural networks or similar advanced tools is at reach of sixth graders.  So it is not surprising to see theoretical physicists joining the fun. If you think that the work of a particle theorist is too abstract to benefit from ML applications, you better think again. 

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The Northern White Rhino Should Stay Extinct

Apr 06 2018 - 06:04

A geriatric semi-captive rhino died in Kenya recently. “Sudan”, a 45-year-old northern white rhino was put to sleep as vets decided, after months of ill health, that his condition had deteriorated to the point where the levels of pain and quality of life were unacceptable.

From a conservation perspective, this does not sound like a big deal. Sudan was one old rhino. He was well past breeding age. So why did his death make headlines?

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Alternet And The Anti-Vaccine Movement

Apr 05 2018 - 16:04
Given the political demographic of the webzine Alternet and its anti-science mentality, it's not a huge surprise that its contributors are in common cause with the Russians and others who are merchants of doubt about American science and medicine.

What is shocking is that Alternet displays them so prominently. 

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No, Losing Your Money Does Not Increase Risk Of Death

Apr 04 2018 - 19:04
A recent analysis links sudden loss of wealth in middle or old age with a 50 percent higher risk of dying than those who do not have such loss. The effect can last for two decades, and whether participants are very wealthy or have only modest savings made no difference.

The paper is in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and they have gotten increasingly epidemiology focused and less scientific as the decade has progressed, so some skepticism is in order.  And it is justified, although corporate journalism claims have repeated the press release without reading the study itself.

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Another Day, Another Raw Milk Listeria Crisis

Apr 04 2018 - 18:04
Raw milk, which has been known for over a century to substantially increase the risk for bacterial illness, has led to another permanent government-ordered shutdown. 

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York entered a consent decree of permanent injunction against Vulto Creamery LLC of Walton, N.Y. so that they cannot prepare, process, manufacture, pack and/or hold FDA-regulated food products until they can ensure that Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause a rare but potentially life-threatening illness, is not present in their facility and their food.

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FDA Asks Public To Pressure Facebook And Twitter To Stop Seliing Illegal Opioid Ads

Apr 04 2018 - 16:04
The Justice Department has said that ending the flow of illegal opioids in the U.S. is a top law-enforcement priority but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn't want to wait years for courts to help, they are directly calling on the public to pressure sites like Google, Facebook, and Twitter to put a crimp on supplement and opioid sales.

At the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called on social media companies and internet companies to stop taking money for ads. Good luck with that. What he was really seeking is public help in pressuring them. Facebook and Twitter have repeatedly shown they are modern-day arms dealers and happily sell to both sides, so only the public can put the needed pressure on them.

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$400,000 Breakthrough Junior Challenge Competition Now Open

Apr 03 2018 - 14:04
The Breakthrough Prize Foundation announced has launched its fourth annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge competition designed to inspire creative thinking about fundamental concepts in the life sciences, physics and mathematics.

Students ages 13 to 18 from countries across the globe are invited to create original videos (up to three minutes in length) that illustrate a concept or theory in the life sciences, physics or mathematics. The submissions will be judged on the students’ ability to communicate complex scientific ideas in the most engaging, illuminating and imaginative ways.

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