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Modus Operandi: The Methods By Which EPA & ATSDR Keep The Fear Alive

Nov 07 2018 - 18:11
George Washington may be the only popularly elected ruler in History who, when his supporters offered to crown him King, relinquished his power, instead. Politically speaking, that was a very unnatural thing to do. Historically, federal agencies have not surrendered their power, even after their congressional mandates were accomplished. Instead, they have invented new problems to solve, thereby justifying their continued existence.

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Was Oumuamua A Solar Sail From An Alien Civilization That Flew Past Earth Last Year? Entertaining But Implausible Suggestion

Nov 06 2018 - 13:11

Short summary: it's an entertaining but rather far fetched proposal in an arxiv preprint not published anywhere but mentioned in a Scientific American op ed. Implausible for many reasons including its spectrum which is not the shiny spectrum you'd expect from a solar sail but the red of tholins mixed with rock and metal as you'd expect from an asteroid / comet.

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2018 Politics Is The 'Year Of The Woman' - Except In California

Nov 05 2018 - 08:11

The midterm elections are widely expected to usher in this century’s “year of the woman” – an explosion of women entering government.

Massachusetts will likely elect its first black woman to Congress, Arizona is poised to send its first woman to the U.S. Senate, and fully 50 percent of Democratic congressional nominees this year are women.

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Your Poop Is Alive. Here's What's In It

Nov 03 2018 - 14:11

If you’ve ever thought your poo is just a bunch of dead cells, think again. Most of it is alive, teeming with billions of microbes. Here’s what studies in healthy adults reveal makes up our poo.

Water

Our feces is largely (75%) made up of water, although this differs from person to person.

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KCNK13- A Potential Target For The Treatment Of Alcohol Abuse

Nov 02 2018 - 18:11
Alcohol is a drug which needs no introduction given its (multi)age-old impact on humanity.

One crucial question is “what makes some people crave alcohol in excess acutely ie a single sitting and/or chronically over time”? Scientists have long known that the answer involves the neurotransmitter dopamine in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the brain.

Recently Mark Brodie, Professor of Physiology and BioPhysics at the University of Illinois at Chicago published an interesting article in the journal Neuropharmacology. His research focused on the potassium channel KCNK13 which is found inside the membrane of dopaminergic neurons in the VTA.

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Marine Policy Journal Refuses To Retract Article They Must Know Is Bogus

Nov 02 2018 - 12:11
If the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), independent scientists, and fisheries experts all know a claim in an article is hopelessly flawed why would the journal Marine Policy dig in their heels, doing irreparable harm to the marine conservation they claim to care about?

When expressing concern about the article, NOAA wrote, "allegations made in the paper, are absent of transparency regarding the data, and assumptions supporting them are irresponsible and call into question the authors' conclusions."

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Stephen Hawking: 'There Is No God' - God: 'There Is No Stephen Hawking'

Nov 01 2018 - 17:11
In his just published final book, "Brief Answers to the Big Questions," physicist Satephen Hawking wrote, "There is no God. No one directs the universe" but in a universe where only 6% of what must exist is even matter that can be detected, the science community is unwilling to be as definitive as he was.

It may be that God is in the gaps, and different people have different definitions for what that is. Yet it may be perpetuating the false narrative that religion is on one pole and science is on another.

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Ticks Cause More Than Just Lyme Disease

Nov 01 2018 - 11:11
Lyme disease is the most prevalent tick-borne disease and is caused by the bacterial spirochete Borrelia. Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended two-tier method, Garg et al., claim that 72 percent of individuals they examined classified "negative" by the CDC two-tier lyme disease test showed positive for the Borellia biomarker, and other microbes such as Babesia, Bartonella, and Ehrlichia.

That means some lyme disease patients do not follow the "one microbe, one disease" Germ Theory, according to an analysis of patients at different disease stages which found they respond to various microbes 65 percent of the time. And that ticks carry more than just lyme disease.

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Hunter-Gatherers Live Nearly As Long As We Do Without Healthcare

Nov 01 2018 - 08:11

Modern life has many benefits. Transport, comfy furniture, smartphones, TV, the internet, dentistry and advanced medicine would be at the top of most people’s lists. Our bodies also show signs of responding positively to modern life. In almost every part of the world, we are much taller than we used to be. We also live much longer, with life expectancy inching towards 80 in many wealthy countries, while everyone “knows” ancient humans usually died in their twenties. But what I discovered while researching my book, is that things are more complex than that.

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6 Essential Comic Books For Halloween

Oct 31 2018 - 12:10

Comic books of the 1950s and 1960s made a point of their potential to terrify, with anthologies from Entertaining Comics, such as Haunt of Fear, Vault of Horror, and Tales of the Crypt, boasting covers with straplines such as “Within these pages dwell creatures from the terrifying beyond!”

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Accidents Aren't The Greatest Gun Worry For Youths - Male Violence Is

Oct 30 2018 - 17:10
Anti-gun proponents like to produce headlines showing a young child accidentally shot another family member with a pistol, but that kind of cultural framing may be doing more harm than good, because a new study reaffirms what most gun owners knew: Gun harm is not caused by lazy or irresponsible gun owners letting their kids get them by mistake, it is from assaults by men. And teenagers at greatest risk for committing acts of violence are at greatest risk of receiving it, not pre-schoolers.

Of the over 75,000 youths who visited emergency rooms for gun-related injuries from 2006 to 2014, 86.2 percent were males and overwhelmingly in large cities.

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Social Authoritarians Most Likely To Believe Fake News

Oct 30 2018 - 17:10
Fake news has become a common claim, and for good reason. The Russians, for example, have been caught using environmentalists, food activists, "journalism" professors, and trade groups to promote fear and doubt about American science and technology
.
But organic food shoppers and people scared of natural gas are not alone in believing fake news. A new study shows that dogmatic individuals, fundamentalists and delusional people of all kinds are more likely to believe fake news. The less open-minded a person is, the more likely they are to be swayed by fake news claims.

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Cosmic Embryo #8: What's Swimming On/in My Eyes?

Oct 30 2018 - 12:10
I woke up from a nap, on my back, looking up through my bedroom window at a brightly lit blue sky and saw them again: numerous small, uniform dots swimming in my field of view. This time I paid attention. They went right past the images of floaters in my eye. So they are a different plane. They moved at what seemed like nearly uniform speeds, although they sometimes went in arced trajectories. Each disappeared individually. Sometimes they seemed to radiate from a point, acting a bit like sparks in fireworks. They all remained in focus. Combined with uniform speed, this suggests they are all in the same plane. Two planes suggest themselves: my retina or the outer surface of my eye.

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Like Fewer Wildifires In The US? Thank Europeans

Oct 30 2018 - 12:10
Before the arrival of European immigrants to the western United States, up to 12 percent of it would burn each year. Somehow, even though science is well aware of that fact, political media today claim that wildfires are unprecedented and we are doomed. 

A new study notes again that the amount of wildfire occurring in the western U.S. remains far below the acreage burning when native Americans were not managing the ecology. The context is not to debunk modern beliefs about how superior native Americans were, but to talk about water.

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2002 NT7 Will NOT Hit Earth Feb 1, 2019 - Known Since Aug 1, 2002 - Normal For Asteroids To Be Removed From Sentry Impact Table

Oct 27 2018 - 00:10

I am getting many people contacting me scared of this asteroid, which was proved to miss Earth back on 1st August 2002! It is because of initial sensationalist reporting back on 23rd July 2002 when the story first broke, mainly in the British press, when they had far too little by way of observations to do a properly informed calculation. They just had preliminary data and didn’t know its position in 2019 even to within tens of millions of kilometers. The astronomers proved within weeks that it would miss. But the sensationalist press, especially the notorious red top tabloids in the UK still haven't caught up, or they accuse the astronomers of a cover up. This is also running in numerous YouTube videos by popular YouTube bloggers sharing the stories with their followers.

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How To Interact With Dark Matter

Oct 25 2018 - 08:10
What is Dark Matter (DM) and why should you care? I feel I should start this article by explaining these two things first, as we live in an age when nobody has time for long historical or context-setting introductions. 

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NGC 2467: The Pirate Of The Southern Skies Gets A New Image For Halloween

Oct 24 2018 - 11:10
Using FORS2, an instrument mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, government astronomers have observed the active star-forming region NGC 2467 — the Skull and Crossbones Nebula, called such because of the dust, gas and bright young stars gravitationally bound into the form of a grinning skull.

NGC 2467 skulks in the constellation Puppis, which translates rather unromantically as The Poop Deck. And this was taken in March, but released near Halloween, so ESO has something to talk about.

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Russian Fifth Columnists Convicted In Finland - Are Those Aiding Activists In The US Next?

Oct 21 2018 - 11:10
During the Obama administration, America's Director of National Intelligence exposed Russian efforts to undermine U.S. natural gas ("fracking") by supporting environmental groups using "donor advised" funds (large pools of money where individual participants can anonymously decide where to send the cash) in order to keep Europe, which has thrown the energy baby out with the political water by shutting down nuclear, suckling at the teat of Kremlin fossil fuels. They didn't want America exporting energy, the top export of Russia, and the way to do that was to pay activists to make fracking controversial at home so legislators would come down along predictable party lines.

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Can Statisticians Become Experimental Physicists?

Oct 19 2018 - 07:10
Before you brush off this post with the answer "of course", let me qualify the title. Of course anybody can become a particle physicist, although the learning curve can be steep and hard to climb up. But what I mean here is, can a student who has been trained as a statistician (through his or her bachelor and master degree) become a successful experimental particle physicist, without investing other years of his or her life in studying quantum mechanics and lots of other arcane physics topics ?

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Pierce Brosnan Is Why The Science Community Should Boycott The Breakthrough Institute Prize Ceremony On National Geographic

Oct 17 2018 - 11:10
The Breakthrough Institute has breathlessly announced that "acclaimed actor, producer and philanthropist Pierce Brosnan" will host the Breakthrough Prize ceremony, which they have self-declared is the “Oscars of Science”, on November 4th.

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