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Survey Claims Vaping Has Already Caused Heart Disease, But There's A Big Catch

Mar 21 2019 - 12:03
Survey results presented at the American College of Cardiology 2019 Annual Scientific Session led to a declaration that went well beyond the evidence - they said electronic cigarettes can lead to a dramatic increase in the odds of having a heart attack, coronary artery disease, and even depression and used that to state, "These data are a real wake-up call and should prompt more action and awareness about the dangers of e-cigarettes." 

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Quantum Chess!

Mar 20 2019 - 05:03
Stuck at home with a flu (great!, this way I miss the Neutel 2019 conference in Venice, among other things...), I spend an inordinate amount of hours in bed, with my brains boiling. This is no good, as typically I come out with weird ideas that, if later developed when I recover, would end up sucking more of my time. 

The example I can bring from last night is a potentially groundbreaking extension of the game of chess (or maybe not). During a couple of sleepless hours I came up with part of what I am writing up here; the rest was filled in during the following daily hours...

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Marijuana Became Legal In Washington State, And Became Less Cool To Teens

Mar 19 2019 - 13:03
In Washington state, once retail sales were legalized, marijuana use by 8th and 10th graders actually declined.

An obvious argument is that by legalizing it, the black market began to evaporate, and ethical vendors with legal businesses to lose are less likely to give it to children. Smoking is a "pediatric" disease because if people don't take it up early, they likely never will. But when criminals are the source of something, it becomes cool to rebellious teens, and consorting with criminals adds another layer of risk. 

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Kahweol Acetate, Cafestol In Coffee May Inhibit Prostate Cancer

Mar 18 2019 - 17:03
A pilot study using drug-resistant cancer cells in cell cultures and in mice has found that the compounds kahweol acetate and cafestol in coffee may inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. The results were presented at the European Association of Urology congress in Barcelona and published in The Prostate.

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Medical Societies Have Alarming Government Influence And Are Often Biased Toward Themselves

Mar 18 2019 - 10:03
It won't be a surprise if you believe that most surgeons promote surgery - for you. For themselves, they're a little more cautious. It's no different than a real estate person who tells you to list your house at a lower cost than they would list it for themselves - their commission is 2-5% on your sale so moving a house faster is more important to them than if it was their own home, where they'd get up to 100% of the additional revenue and wait a little longer to get the higher price.

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World's Oldest Semen As Viable As Sperm From Last Year

Mar 17 2019 - 19:03

Semen stored in a laboratory in Sydney has been defrosted and successfully used to impregnate 34 Merino ewes, with the resulting live birth rate as high sperm frozen for just 12 months.

The authors believe the sperm used is the oldest viable stored semen of any species in the world and definitely the oldest sperm used to produce offspring.  The original semen samples were donated from sires owned by the Walker family. Those samples, frozen in 1968 by Dr Steven Salamon, came from four rams, including 'Sir Freddie' born in 1963, owned by the Walkers on their then property at Ledgworth. The Walkers now run 8000 sheep at 'Woolaroo', at Yass Plains, and maintain a close and proud relationship with the animal breeding program at the University of Sydney. 

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Today 33 Million Americans Will Claim To Be Irish, But On St. Patrick's Day In 1776 Few Irish Wanted To Be American

Mar 17 2019 - 12:03
Many people don't realize July 4th, 1776 was not the day the war between America and Britain started, it's simply the day we traitorous colonists finally had enough of our own country's army attacking us, taking over our homes, stealing our food, locking up our guns, and throwing us in jail for no reason and we put the separation in writing.

It's why prohibitions against those actions, and other individual rights, ended up in the US Constitution in 1789. Thank you for noting that individual rights should be listed along with the powers of the federal government, Thomas Jefferson. 

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New Claim Is That Weedkiller Glyphosate Causes Higher Phosphorus Levels Too

Mar 14 2019 - 19:03
With a strange verdict by a jury in San Francisco, it became open season on glyphosate, a common weedkiller in use for generations. One new claim is that it leads to higher phosphorous levels.

Yet glyphosate only contains trace nutrients, nothing like what fertilizer has. Overuse of phosphorus-based fertilizer in some areas have led to a saturation of the soil’s capacity to hold the nutrient, which increases the likelihood that any additional phosphorus applied to the land will run off into waterways and cause of harmful algal blooms and deoxygenation leading to fish death.

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Now It's Time To Target Essay Mills, Companies Which Write Student Assignments For A Fee

Mar 14 2019 - 19:03
The U.S. college admissions scandal, where wealthy elites paid to circumvent an arbitrary entrance scoring system at some privileged schools by gaming it, has already led to lawsuits because the value of a degree from USC, Stanford, Yale and others involved has been devalued, students and their lawyers claim.

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Forests Are The Green Lung Of The Earth - And The Younger The Better

Mar 13 2019 - 18:03
Though the common refrain is that old growth rainforests are the only way to stave off global warming and must be preserved at all costs, a new analysis makes the case for logging and takes some hot air out of the environmental balloon. 

It found that the world’s largest carbon sinks are located in young, regrowing forests.

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Farmers Flee From Organic Consumers Association, Who Then Slash Funding To Their US Right To Know Subsidiary

Mar 13 2019 - 18:03
The Laura and John Arnold Foundation was created by a hedge fund magnate to devote some of their Wall Street wealth to education reform, public pension reform, criminal justice reform, dietary policy, and improving reproducibility in science. 

Those are all positive things, so why last year did they also give money to one of those most corrupt, hate-filled, lying, mercenary organizations in America. U.S. Right To Know is an industry front group that exists to attack scientists and undermine public confidence in food and medicine for their donors/clients, who sell unfailingly "alternatives" to the science and health consensus. They even launder dark money payments to outlets willing to help. More on that below.

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Toward A Solution Of The DAMA-Libra Dark Matter Puzzle

Mar 12 2019 - 05:03
What is dark matter (DM)? This is one of the most pressing questions in fundamental science nowadays. We have observed that only one fifth of the matter that exists in the Universe clusters into stars and emits light - the rest appears to only interact gravitationally, producing phenomena we can study through the dynamics of galaxy rotation or by observing the deflection of light passing through it.

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Read Arkani-Hamed's Interview: Learn From The Clear Thinkers

Mar 08 2019 - 14:03
Nima Arkani-Hamed needs no introduction - he's a superstar theoretical physicist, and whenever he speaks, his colleagues listen - so much so that his seminars regularly overrun twice past their scheduled duration, without anybody blinking. 
And today it's your lucky day (and mine), as you get to listen to a clear thinker explaining what really is the status of research in fundamental physics, and why it is actually extremely exciting, much to the discomfort of those who would prefer that public money were spent to reduce taxes (if you don't get the pun, please leave).

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Pancreatic Cancer And Why Alex Trebek Is Right To Have Hope

Mar 08 2019 - 14:03
Legendary "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek recently announced that at age 78 he has been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Then he stated he was confident he was going to beat the odds. Was he just engaging in positive thinking publicly while getting things in order privately? Nearly 80, with stage IV cancer, and in the pancreas? Aren't those all really bleak from a prognosis point of view?

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Today Kicks Off British Science Week

Mar 08 2019 - 02:03
Today through March 19th (or 19 March, since the British like to do things wrong even if they make more sense) is British Science Week, where they celebrate Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in a formal way. Informally they celebrate it every day, since they use cell phones, televisions, mass transit and residents of London are photographed by government 300 times each day. 

They have citizen science programs, activity packs for all ages and even a 5K run. I don't know how running a 5K fits into science but neither does dancing your PhD, and that's still pretty cool.


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CERN Deliberates Against Strumia

Mar 07 2019 - 16:03
Today's news is that five months after Alessandro Strumia's controversial talk at a conference on "Theory and Gender", CERN decided to terminate the Italian theorist's status of "guest professor", effectively cutting its ties with him. The decision certainly affects the ability of Strumia to further his research in particle phenomenology, which centered on models of physics beyond the Standard Model, and is rather unprecedented. 

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Are North Korea Rebuilding Missile Test Site To Prepare For A Dramatic Media Event Blowing Them Up?

Mar 07 2019 - 16:03

First this site has never been used for missile launching. It has only been used for satellites as part of North Korea’s ambitious civilian space program. They want to become one of the few countries able to launch satellites to geostationary orbit.

Although it could be used for a missile test, this seems unlikely. One suggestion is that it is to have more things to offer to demolish as part of future negotiations. Other suggestions include signaling impatience with the pace of negotiations, and a chess move to ratchet up pressure on Washington. It is not an attempt to do anything in secret as they know the world watches everything they do here. Whatever their reasons, they are doing it intentionally for show.

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Bell Burnell Pulsar Chart, Newton's Annotated Principia, and Darwin’s Personal On The Origin of Species Go On Display Tomorrow

Mar 07 2019 - 15:03
An exhibition marking the 200th anniversary of the Cambridge Philosophical Society begins tomorrow and will run  until August 31, 2019 at Cambridge University Library.

"Discovery: 200 years of the Cambridge Philosophical Society" notes its role in some of the most significant scientific advances of the period, including Darwin’s theory of evolution, Lord Rayleigh’s seminal work on waves (Cambridge’s first Nobel Prize - they've now had 107 reside there), and the birth of ‘Big Data’ experiments from the 19th century.

One display especially relevant for International Women’s Day is the chart which captures the moment pulsars were discovered by Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell. It will be on display for the first time.

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The Next Generation Of Parents May Think It's Normal To Let Kids Play Again

Mar 06 2019 - 19:03
Two generations ago, it was normal for kids to play out on the street. But trust in media was high then and sensationalized accounts of kidnappings and white vans and accidents led to helicopter parents worried that their children would be kidnapped.(1) Today, unless there is an organized play date scheduled well in advance, kids are likely to stay indoors. Sports will cause concussions, after all.

That has led to kids being isolated and often obese.

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Socialist Libertarianism: How To Get 7 Beliefs Common To All Cultures Worldwide

Mar 05 2019 - 16:03
A paper in Current Anthropology uses writing to distill what the authors believe are seven rules of morals common worldwide

It's certainly a catchy idea for people who sit at the bar asking why Arabs and Israelis in the Middle East can't get along but there is a big problem putting them into practice. Some morals aren't creating common ground because they are in opposition to each other. 

The seven common moral beliefs Drs. Curry, Mullins, and Whitehouse, all of Oxford, list are: helping your family, helping a larger cause, reciprocity, being brave, respecting authority, dividing resources equally or by splitting the difference, and respecting the property of others. 

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