the mouse gnaws the net imprisoning the doves

“The Mouse Gnaws the Net Imprisoning the Doves”, Folio from a Kalila wa Dimna. 18th century. Origins of this version: Egypt or Syria culture. Ink and opaque watercolor on paper. This is part of an allegorical fable.

Climate change increased the number of deaths

The increased temperatures caused by ongoing climate change in Stockholm, Sweden between 1980 and 2009 caused 300 more premature deaths than if the temperature increase did not take place. In Sweden as a whole, it would mean about 1,500 more premature deaths, according to a study from researchers at Umeå University published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Global warming does not only give a general increase in temperature, but it also increases the frequency, intensity and duration of heat waves.

I don’t do many of these kinds of stories, but it is getting to be a crowded field of products, Apple iPad Air and 11 other tablets compared: which is best? While Apple products are still looking good, the competition has gotten much better. Those who like Android will especially like the new Samsung Galaxy Note. Sorry to say something good about Microsoft, but the Surface 2 looks good and runs traditional Office apps – which some of us still have to work with.

alien world with possiblity of life, secede and show us mortals how it is done

Electrotower, Coney Island. c.1903.

Electrotower, Coney Island. c.1903.

An alien world dripping with water? Scientists see possibility of life

Scientists have found the shredded remains of a large, water-rich asteroid raining down on the embers of a dead star, 170 light-years from Earth.

It is the first time that scientists have found a mix of rock and water in a solar system that is not our own. The discovery also suggests that hundreds of millions of years ago, this distant solar system could have been conducive to life as we know it.

“What we know is that this system had the main ingredients to build planets like the Earth,” said Boris Gänsicke of the University of Warwick in England, who coauthored a paper about the discovery.

Finding life, especially something advanced as say a plant, would be a starling discovery just in terms of pure science. Though it would also create, not some theological and philosophical problems, but even more than we already have. While Wikipedia is not the last word on every detail of a subject, they do a fair job of introducing one into the shear number of creation myths that exists, without taking extraterrestrial life into account. Just a sample: Creation from chaos: Sumerian creation myth,  Greek cosmogonical myth; Emergence myths: Hopi creation myth; Ex nihilo (out of nothing):  Islamic creation myth, Genesis creation myth (Christianity and Judaism); World Parent: Heliopolis creation myth, Hiranyagarbha creation myth; Central Asian: Mongolian creation myth.

For Every Fighter a Woman Worker

For Every Fighter a Woman Worker/ United War Work Campaign/ Care for Her through the YWCA. Designed by Adolph Treidler, 1918.

Pat Buchanan: Is Red State America Seceding?

In the last decade of the 20th century, as the Soviet Empire disintegrated, so, too, did that prison house of nations, the USSR.

Out of the decomposing carcass came Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Moldova, all in Europe; Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Caucasus; and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in Central Asia.

The spirit of secession, the desire of peoples to sever ties to nations to which they have belonged for generations, sometimes for centuries, and to seek out their own kind, is a spreading phenomenon.

What are the forces pulling nations apart? Ethnicity, culture, history and language – but now also economics. And separatist and secessionist movements are cropping up here in the United States.

Conservatives have been flirting with secession as far back as i can remember – certainly during the Clinton administration and have read stuff from the 1950s by the old John Birch Society conservatives advocating secession. While some libertarians have also joined in, they generally stick with some nebulous ideas about creating some utopian state of their own. There are many decent, moderate minded Americans living in every state where these secessionist’s yearnings are loudest ( Texas, Arizona, Alaska and North Carolina come to mind) so I’m not in favor of punishing those moderate Americans with the spiteful cravings of a vocal minority. Though I do wonder about what seems to be holding up the secessionist and the utopian crowd. Where are the candidates  running on a secession platform. Why haven’t the conservatives and libertarians who have all the answers and are more perfect than the rest of us used their fortunes and skills to create a new nation. They’d finally be able to have some solid proof, a living example of how anything and everything should be done in their pure societies. Back in middle-school we had a saying, put up or shut-up.

yellow fall wheat wallpaper, the myths of free trade and growth

yellow fall wheat wallpaper

yellow fall wheat wallpaper

 

‘Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism’

Second, the way “infant” economies become “mature” economies is not via free trade. It never has been and never will be. Whether it be the mature economies of Britain (which began to seriously grow in the early 1600s), America (late 1700s), Japan (1800s), or Brazil (1900s), in every single case, worldwide, without exception, the economic strength and maturity of a nation came about as a result not of governments “standing aside” or “getting out of the way” but instead of direct government participation in and protection of the “infant” industries and economy.

The modern history of protectionist trade policies goes back to ancient Rome, stretches through the reigns of a series of King Henry’s in the UK, through Alexander Hamilton’s tenure as Secretary of the Treasury under George Washington, through the trade policies of Dwight D. Eisenhower and JFK, and continues today with China, Korea, the Middle East, and the rapidly-growing Brazilian economy.

[  ]…Once “strategic” and “important” industries are identified, government both encourages and protects their domestic growth in a variety of ways. These include subsidies, legal protections (like patent laws), import tariffs to protect against foreign competition, strong industry regulation to ensure quality, and development of infrastructure to ease manufacture, distribution, sales, and use of the product.

As Ha-Joon Chang points out in his brilliant book Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism,” in 1933 a clothing manufacturing company decided to branch out into the manufacture of automobiles. They had everything going against them – their nation had no really serious domestic auto industry, the company had no experience with the product, and other nations (particularly the US and Great Britain) were already making world-class vehicles that had captured most of the world’s markets.

But the company caught the imagination of its country’s leadership, and a ministry of trade decided to help it along. Government subsidies helped the company develop their first car. Decades of high import tariffs protected it from foreign competition as it grew into a serious contender. Domestic content laws both made sure the company used parts made within the country, and also guaranteed that domestic competitors would have to, thus building a strong base of domestic companies supportive of an auto industry, from tires to plastic components to precision machine tools and electronics.

In 1939 the country even kicked out both GM and Ford from sales within the country, and the nation’s single wholly-owned bank bailed out the struggling textile manufacturer as it moved relentlessly forward in the development of an automobile.

That company, originally known as The Toyoda Automatic Loom Company, is today known as Toyota, and manufactures the infamous Lexus that Tom Friedman mistakenly thought was successful because the world is “flat” and trade is “free.” In fact, the success of the Lexus (and the Prius and every other Toyota) is entirely traceable to massive government intervention in the markets by Japan over a fifty-year period that continues to this very day.

Like so many other words heard in everyday political speech, free trade has been a code word for some time. My neighbors think of it as this nice little system that means they can buy ham slightly cheaper at store X than at store Y. In reality it becomes the nice sounding grand old American tradition morphed into the right to ship jobs to Asia and hobble organized labor – though who object are Marxist radicals who do not want everyone to live up to their potential to be the next billionaire. Free markets is code for not allowing labor to have too much power because it takes away the freedom of rent-seekers to squeeze as much money as they can out of labor without paying them a living wage or simply taking the lion’s share of the profits created by someone else work, ideas, research or invention.

What’s That Smell?

Using advanced statistical techniques, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Bates College have developed an approach to systematically describing smells.

This work may help guide future studies pertaining to how smells are represented in the brain. The research suggests that there are 10 basic categories of odor including fruity, minty, lemony—and sickening.

Senses such as hearing and vision can be discussed in terms that most people understand and that are tied to measurable physical phenomena. But the sense of smell, or olfaction, has thus far not lent itself to such a systematic understanding of what smells we perceive and how those perceptions relate to physical phenomena.

I’m amazed at how the brain, to an extraordinary degree, links smells with memory. Suede, which is probably partly a smell from the chemical tanning process, brings back very distinct sharp memories of someone I knew as a teenager. While some perfumes/colognes bring back other memories.

new york wallpaper, brain tumor switch identified

Retro New York wallpaper

Retro New York wallpaper

 

Obamacare or The Affordable Care Act already seems like it is generally bending the cost curve of health care inflation. But one of the factors that will help is all that silly public funding for medical-science research to institutions like the UT Southwestern Medical Center, Researchers Identify a Switch Which Controls Growth of Most Aggressive Brain Tumor Cells

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified a cellular switch that potentially can be turned off and on to slow down, and eventually inhibit the growth of the most commonly diagnosed and aggressive malignant brain tumor.

Findings of their investigation show that the protein RIP1 acts as a mediator of brain tumor cell survival, either protecting or destroying cells. Researchers believe that the protein, found in most glioblastomas, can be targeted to develop a drug treatment for these highly malignant brain tumors.

Some of UT Southwestern Medical Center’s funding came through the National Institutes of Health, NASA, and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

PROFESSOR MAYER’S TOPOPHONE.

The aim of the topophone, which was invented and patented by Professor A. M. Mayer, last winter, is to enable the user to determine quickly and surely the exact direction and position of any source of sound. Our figure shows a portable style of the instrument; for use on ship-board it would probably form one of the fixtures of the pilot-house or the “bridge,” or both. In most cases arising in sailing through fogs, it would be enough for the captain or pilot to be sure of the exact direction of a fog horn, whistling buoy, or steam whistle; and for this a single aural observation suffices.

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, NEW YORK, July 3, 1880.

Just One Senator Is Single-Handedly Preventing The First Gay Black Federal Judge From Being Confirmed. That senator is 2016 conservative presidential hopeful Marco Rubio (R-FL). To be fair, Marco may not understand what he’s doing, his maid still helps him tie his sneakers in the morning.

about that one world government conspiracy, human gut brewery

Canadian Pacific Railway 4-6-2, March 1960. Gelatin silver print. D. Plowden.

Canadian Pacific Railway 4-6-2, March 1960. Gelatin silver print. D. Plowden. Part of that smoke is condensation from the cold, the other part  is coal ash, so only partly romantic nostalgia for the past.

If you grew up in the southern U.S. you grew up with ramblings about One World Govmint and the United Nations. That conspiracy theory is bone-headed in many ways, but one of the worse aspects is that it distracts from the reality that the people who believe it really are owned and help to perpetuate being owned, Exposing the Financial Core of the Transnational Capitalist Class

… people on the boards of directors of the top ten asset management firms and the top ten most centralized corporations in the world … [they find that] … there is a total of thirteen firms, which collectively have 161 directors on their boards … [and] … this group of 161 individuals represents the financial core of the world’s transnational capitalist class. They collectively manage $23.91 trillion in funds and operate in nearly every country in the world. They are the center of the financial capital that powers the global economic system. Western governments and international policy bodies work in the interests of this financial core to protect the free flow of capital investment anywhere in the world.

The writing is a little more breathless than I’d like. It is simply a matter of fact that a few people push the western economies the way they want. They wanted austerity – and they largely got it. many countries are having what Paul Krugman called a dead-cat bounce (a policy of simply shutting down half the economy for a year or two, then letting it start up again, is a smashing success)– the economies were is such bad shape that they had to inch above bottom eventually. Sure local legislators still pass laws that are propelled by local interests, but they are generally not that big an influence on the world economy. Though even locally conservative organizations like ALEC have had a big impact on the lives of average workers and their families.

North Star House

North Star House stairway, 1960. Architecture in the 20th Century. Volume III.

 

And dash of science, Auto-Brewery Syndrome: Apparently, You Can Make Beer In Your Gut

So the team searched the man’s belongings for liquor and then isolated him in a hospital room for 24 hours. Throughout the day, he ate carbohydrate-rich foods, and the doctors periodically checked his blood for alcohol. At one point, it rose 0.12 percent.

Eventually, McCarthy and Cordell pinpointed the culprit: an overabundance of brewer’s yeast in his gut.

That’s right, folks. According to Cordell and McCarthy, the man’s intestinal tract was acting like his own internal brewery.

Ordinarily the bacteria in your gut would kill most of the yeast, so this man may have some kind of medical condition that suppresses his gut bacteria.

blue hyacinth wallpaper, the brain prion from hell, no right to be obnoxious

blue hyacinth wallpaper

blue hyacinth wallpaper

Prions are kinds of proteins. Organic compounds that we ordinarily think of as harmless. After all they’re not bacteria or fungi. Not so with the prions that cause Mad Cow disease or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. N.H. patients possibly exposed to fatal brain disease

Eight patients at a New Hampshire hospital may have been exposed to a rare, fatal brain disease from surgery equipment that was used on a patient who likely had the incurable disease, state health officials said Wednesday.

The patients underwent brain surgery at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester between May and August and have been notified of their potential exposure, the officials said during a news conference.

The equipment, rented from Minneapolis-based Medtronic, may also have been used on five patients in unnamed other states before health officials realized the instruments were possibly contaminated with tissue from the initial patient. That person had undergone surgery in May, but only last month was it discovered that the patient had symptoms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Standard methods for sterilizing surgical equipment before every operation do not protect against the rare disease, specialists said.

And they’re understating the case when they say the standard methods for cleaning surgical instruments do not kill all the prions. using these steaming hot high pressure autoclaves, the usual sterilizing detergents do not kill them all. A researcher at National Institutes of Health said that some of them can even survive incineration. These specific prions are rare and the people who are mentioned in the article are not positively going to be infected. Though if anyone is, there is no cure.

Saducismus triumphatus

Saducismus triumphatus: or, Full and plain evidence concerning witches and apparitions. In two parts. The first treating of their possiblity. The second of their real existence. By Joseph Glanvil 1636-1680., late Chaplain in Ordinary to His Majesty, and fellow of the Royal Society. The second edition. With two authentick, but wonderful stories of certain Swedish witches; done into English by Anth. Horneck D.D. 1682. Of course they have proof and it must be true since this an old book written by a chaplain. 

Fiona Apple and Dave Chappelle: Are Artists Obligated to Appease Disrespectful Audiences?

Last week, Fiona Apple performed at a Louis Vuitton-sponsored show in Tokyo, one that paid tribute to women like Kate Moss, Sofia Coppola, and Catherine Deneuve (the event was called “Timeless Muses”). As you may expect at this type of event, people were chatty and less interested in the music being performed onstage for their entertainment. Annoyed with the noise coming from the crowd, Apple allegedly cursed at the audience stormed off stage following her set. Her behavior, of course, was labeled as “a meltdown,” and the seemingly unstable Apple — whose public acknowledgement of mental illness has never particularly worked in her favor — was yet again portrayed as a loon.

Apple’s performance at the Louis Vuitton show took place the same day that news broke online of comedian Dave Chappelle’s disastrous stand-up set at Funny or Die’s The Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival in Hartford, Connecticut. In response to visibly and audibly drunk audience members who yelled to the stage to get his attention, Chappelle responded in a way that probably isn’t too surprising: he told them to shut up. When the audience booed and continued to heckle him, he sat on stage until his time was up. Obviously, the media reported that he, too, had a meltdown.

I’m not buying the argument that since someone bought a ticket they are entitled to any kind of obnoxious behavior. Other people paid for their tickets as well. Most of these artists understand that there is going to be some chatter during their performance; one of the reason the amplifiers at concerts are so loud. But purposely disrupting them is not. No one bought the right, along with that ticket to put on their own little show. The performers have every right to be upset, and being upset is no more a meltdown than when the rowdy members of the crowd were upset when they were harassed at work or school. I think this tendency to describe female performers this way is mostly the gossip press, whose sole purpose in life is to get some rise out of people one way or the other. They don’t care as long as readers are agitated for and against what they wrote.

snowy central park wallpaper

snowy central park wallpaper

snowy central park wallpaper

A microbe in the gut of a stick insect could help scientists to unravel the puzzle of antibiotic resistance

Professor Tony Maxwell, head of biological chemistry, said: “We have discovered the microbe in the stick insect’s gut is resistant to toxins and infections it could never have been exposed to.

“This indicates that there is a general mechanism at work.

Perfectly designed humans learning from an organism the size of a pen dot.

Palma

Palma – a city plan map, 1593. By Pasquale Cicogna and Georg Braun.

The details at the link are well explained, if a little complicated, but this is the end result, Health Insurance “Coverage Gap” Coming to a Red State Near You

The resulting Republican body count is staggering. Thanks to the GOP’s rejection of Medicaid expansion, 1.3 million people in Texas, 1 million in Florida, 534,000 in Georgia and 267,000 in Missouri will be ensnared in the coverage gap.

A combination of people who are seniors, or poor or elderly and poor. Conservatives would either respond with a cheer at the prospect of their deaths or tell them to get a job in the fast food industry.