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Science Tips For Managing Stress At Thanksgiving

Nov 24 2021 - 07:11
Sometimes people ask me if there is an evidence-based way to manage the stress of dealing with difficult relatives at Thanksgiving, and my short answer is "chloroform."

In modern hippie dippie wellness culture, that may not be the response people are seeking, they may want validation of essential oils or an app, but one thing most people don't realize is that stress is not about fads or even other people. We manage stress, we only think it manages us. 

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Does Juul Exploit Facebook's Algorithm To Suppress Criticism? Here Is Some Evidence

Nov 23 2021 - 11:11
I've long been a supporter of vaping devices because they are an effective smoking cessation and harm reduction tool for cigarette smokers. Juul is a successful company in that space, they came from virtually nowhere and had 75 percent of the market by 2018.

That's a free market success story, but then there were concerns about their marketing, specifically toward "nicotine naïve" - never smoked cigarettes - young people. I never bought into claims they were marketing to kids as strategy, though in a world of individuals some people employed there obviously said and did some dumb things.

But as their market share has plummeted due to controversy, nearly cut in half this year, they have perhaps demonstrated that their marketing efforts were corrupt all along.

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In A Pandemic World, Be Thankful For Pesticides

Nov 23 2021 - 06:11
This year, you're going to pay 24 percent more for a turkey, a tough bite out of the wallet for poor people and a dose of reality for economists and armchair pundits who claimed prior to today's "stagflation" that higher prices are no concern.

Imagine how much higher prices would be if food suffered the yield losses that occur without modern pesticides. This year I am thankful for my health and my family but also science. Outside my house are signs thanking healthcare workers, delivery people, and farmers - and if they made one for science, including vaccines and pesticides, I'd own it.

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Millennials: Pets Are The New Kids, And Plants Are The New Pets

Nov 22 2021 - 19:11
A survey of 1,111 Americans who own houseplants wanted to find out which varieties are most popular and how much people spend on the hobby, but they also found out how much they anthropomorphize their leafy little friends.

During the pandemic, 68 percent of Millennials took up a new hobby and nearly as many grew their houseplant collection.

Perhaps that's become part of the new cultural dynamic. 57 said having a houseplant supported their mental health while 81 percent say houseplants are a reasonable substitute if they are far from nature. 


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Single In America: What COVID-19 Has Changed About Dating Since 2020

Nov 22 2021 - 18:11
A demographically representative sample of 5,000 single adults between the ages of 18 and 98 finds a big switch in a post-pandemic world; only 78 percent believe being physically attractive is most important, compared to 90 percent in 2020.

And marriage is back. The number of singles who want a partner desiring marriage jumped from 58 percent  two years ago to 76  percent this year, with men and younger adults leading in the change.  Now, 42 percent of men are ready to find a long-term romantic relationship while women are just at 29 percent.


Not this year, men are leading the charge in heart's desire.

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The Average Kid Is Up To 8 Hours Of Digital Per Day, But Is That Bad?

Nov 22 2021 - 12:11
Recent survey results of 118 eight-to-twelve year-old children examined total hours of media consumed, hours of video game play, and number of media used concurrently. Then the authors correlated those to things like behavior, sleep, and psychological issues.

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One More Episode In The Dark Matter Search Saga

Nov 19 2021 - 12:11
Do you remember the DAMA-LIBRA experiment? It is a underground detector made of sodium iodide crystals buried under the rock of the Gran Sasso mountain in central Italy, which took data for over a decade in the search of the elusive signal that slowly-moving, massive particles would produce when they bounced off atoms of the active detector material. 

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Fact Check: IPCC's Transformative Change Maximises GOOD QUALITY OF LIFE With GROWTH In Everything We Value, Not COLLAPSE

Nov 18 2021 - 09:11

There is nothing even remotely resembling collapse of civilization in the IPBES or IPCC reports. So why do so many people say that’s what they are about?

I think it may be at least partly a misunderstanding of what the IPCC mean by “transformative change”, a misunderstanding which sadly is promoted in many articles in the mainstream media. If anyone says this, they haven't read the reports themselves, or at least not carefully.

The IPCC’s “transformative change” is not a collapse. Nor is it austerity. It’s positive, it’s growth in everything we value.

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North America Is About To Get Its Longest Partial Eclipse In The Last 580 years

Nov 17 2021 - 18:11
If you are in North America stay up late on Thursday night and you will see an eclipse lasting three hours and 28 minutes, the longest partial eclipse of this century and the longest in 580 years.

For East Coast observers, the partial eclipse begins a little after 2 a.m. Friday and reaches its maximum at 4 in the morning. For observers on the West Coast, it begins just after 11 p.m. Thursday and reaches a maximum at 1 a.m. Friday.

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Some Cats Are Better At 'Reading The Room'

Nov 17 2021 - 14:11
Do cats adjust their behavior to what works to get what they want or do they nag humans until people begin to respond in more agreeable ways?

Some cat owners, and probably most dog owners, might argue that cats engage in the latter and when it seems like the former it is just a lucky meeting of personalities. A new study in Animal Cognition finds they 'read the room' better than expected.

Cats were presented with a solvable task (an easily accessible treat in a container with a loose lid) and an unsolvable task (a treat in a closed container) in the presence of either an attentive or inattentive caregiver.

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The Warming Rate Of The Last 150 Years Surpasses Rate Of Change Over The Last 24,000

Nov 17 2021 - 12:11
For the last 10,000 years the earth has been in a warming cycle. The latest ice age ended around that time, a recurring phenomenon in nature where 90,000 of every 100,000 years were ice ages.

How warm has it gotten compared to other warming bursts since the last ice age ended? A lot. Maps of global temperature changes for every 200-year interval going back 24,000 years finds that the magnitude and rate warming over the last 150 years far surpasses the magnitude and rate of changes over the rest of the period - including when we were leaving an ice age.

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Natural Zinc Sulfides Are Ruining The Mary Rose, But Science Can Fix It

Nov 17 2021 - 11:11
As the crown jewel of Henry VIII’s, its flagship, the Mary Rose, patrolled the Atlantic with her heavy cannons for 34 years. It then spend 437 more buried beneath the turbulent English Channel before being recovered and placed on display at the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth, England. 

The Mary Rose sank during a naval battle with France in 1543 and was excavated in 1982, along with 19,000 objects from the Tudor period. There remains one thing the 510-year-old English warship can't defeat; nature.

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The Biden CDC Wants To Blame The Trump CDC For The Pandemic, But It's The Same CDC

Nov 16 2021 - 18:11
If you are old enough to vote, you should know that government agencies do not fire entire departments when the White House changes residents. Instead, most are career staffers and it does not matter who the president is, they are doing their jobs, and many do them quite well.

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The Supply Chain Impact On Thanksgiving

Nov 16 2021 - 11:11
In 1958, shortly after passaged of a misguided law related to chemicals and food - a problem that haunts trust in science like vaccines even today - America got its first government-created chemophobia craze. In cranberries.

The poorly worded Delaney Clause specified that any trace of an artificial chemical that had been linked to cancer - even if it was just epidemiological correlation or in a mouse and regardless of dose - had to be pulled from shelves. It was bizarre because the actual chemical did not matter, a natural version of the same chemical at 100X the dose was considered okay, it only mattered that it was artificial.(1)

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Farmers Can Get Infrastructure Funds From The Government Now Also - But You Have To Apply By Nov. 22

Nov 16 2021 - 09:11
While you may believe the worse thing to do to leave the "stagflation" we are experiencing is more government spending directed at other government union employees, it isn't all going to them and their politically allied contractors.

About 0.5% is allocated toward the groups who kept America from descending into anarchy over the last two years - government regulated food producers, processors and growers - can get new funding if they apply by November 22nd. Sorry, organic farmers, you have exempted yourself from government oversight so you may have a more difficult time.

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How To Define Systems That Defy Newton's 3rd Law

Nov 15 2021 - 23:11

Many physics students would tell you immediately off the bat what Newton's Third Law of Motion states.

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Organic Is Just A Label, Trade Groups And Lobbyists Prevent Testing, And That Is Why Fraud Is Easy

Nov 15 2021 - 18:11
Imagine you have a magic rock and you claim the magic rock helps people sleep. You get a President in office who believes in your magic rock and so allows the government to give you a special exemption from government rules which say magic rocks aren't real.

Then you begin to sell special magic rock labels touting that government halo, and soon groups line up to sell your magic rock labels to magic rock manufacturers for a fee. Along the way you redefine certain periods when you are awake as actually being asleep so you can include even more magic rocks.

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Not Supplemental: Omega-3 Fatty Acids Make No Difference In COVID-19

Nov 15 2021 - 15:11
Even at prescription strength doses, purified omega-3 fatty acid did not reduce incidents of hospitalizations and/or deaths among people with COVID-19, according to results from Scientific Sessions 2021. 

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Dyslexia Affects Visual Processing Beyond Just Reading

Nov 15 2021 - 15:11
Dyslexia is well-known to impact reading ability but it has been unclear which brain processes are affected by the condition. Whether dyslexia is, at its core, a visual processing disorder is hotly debated among researchers. With reading and writing a key challenge among children with dyslexia, increasing understanding of its effects on the brain might improve existing interventions. 

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China Is A Tough Quarantine During COVID-19 - Especially When The Government Kills Your Pets

Nov 15 2021 - 14:11
When China makes the news with SARS-CoV-2 quarantines, it is never good. The first time was because the government had arrested Li Wenliang, a whistleblower who sounded the alarm that something pretty awful was spreading through Wuhan, and he died in early February of 2020.

They kept him in jail for 30 days while they told the WHO to tell the world that there was nothing to fear. American journalists and social media dutifully repeated it and even said the US government was racist for wanting to cut flights from China in early 2020. Li was long dead by then. Soon, millions followed while the communist dictatorship scrubbed 15,000 coronaviruses in databases from its Wuhan labs and closed the wet market where they assured WHO the disease could not have originated.

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