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Friday, December 13, 2019

Videos: Trump's war is definitely impossible to climb....ah....

 To watch this video on YouTube:

And here is the actual wall....

 To watch THIS video on YouTube:

 "You can cut through anything." See it on YouTube:

Do something

today's cat comic

So if you're accused of robbery, go and rob a bank

Pic of the Moment

High amounts of screen time begin as early as infancy

Children of first-time mothers, those in home-based childcare log most screen time
NIH/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

customer service hello GIFChildren's average daily time spent watching television or using a computer or mobile device increased from 53 minutes at age 12 months to more than 150 minutes at 3 years, according to an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, the University at Albany and the New York University Langone Medical Center. 

By age 8, children were more likely to log the highest amount of screen time if they had been in home-based childcare or were born to first-time mothers. The study appears in JAMA Pediatrics.

"Our results indicate that screen habits begin early," said Edwina Yeung, Ph.D., the study's senior author and an investigator in the Epidemiology Branch of NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). "This finding suggests that interventions to reduce screen time could have a better chance of success if introduced early."


Bacterial communities 'hitchhiking' on marine plastic trash
Marine Biological Laboratory

Image result for bacteria on marine plastic
Cornell University photo
Millions of tons of plastic trash are fouling the world's ocean, most of it tiny pieces of microplastic less than a quarter-inch in size. 

Even the smallest marine animals can ingest these microplastics, potentially threatening their survival.

Marine microplastics aren't floating solo, either -- they quickly pick up a thin coating of bacteria and other microbes, a biofilm known as "The Plastisphere." 

These biofilms can influence the microplastics' fate -- causing them to sink or float, or breaking them down into even tinier bits, for example. They can even make the plastic smell or taste like food to some marine organisms. But very little is known about what kinds of microbes are in the Plastisphere, and how they interact with one another and the plastic.

Now, using an innovative microscopy method developed at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole, scientists have revealed the structure of the microbial communities coating microplastic samples from a variety of ocean sites. 

The company that makes OxyContin could become a 'public trust'

What would that mean?
David Herzberg, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York 

Calif. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, discussing the
lawsuit his office has filed against Purdue Pharma.
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli 
Purdue Pharma, which makes OxyContin and other potentially addictive prescription opioids, has declared bankruptcy

It’s also facing thousands of lawsuits for its leading role in creating the opioid crisis.

The company is trying to reach a broad settlement with the many jurisdictions now suing. The settlement it’s proposing would transform the company from a profit-seeking privately held company into a “public beneficiary trust” that serves the public good.

I study the history of prescription drugs. Although there are some recent efforts to establish nonprofit drugmakers to help make certain pharmaceuticals more readily available, I know of no historical precedent for a big drugmaker like Purdue becoming a nonprofit public health provider.

But two similarly ambitious efforts to build alternatives to the profit-driven pharmaceutical model during and immediately after World War II suggest the potential limits of how well this arrangement might work.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Why the US military usually punishes misconduct but police often close ranks

EVERYONE must be accountable for the crimes they commitDwight Stirling, University of Southern California

NYPD officers turning their backs on New York mayor
Bill de Blasio after he remarked on police
violence, Jan. 4, 2015. AP Photo/John Minchillo, 
Many U.S. military members publicly disavowed President Trump’s decision to pardon Edward Gallagher, the former SEAL commando convicted of killing a teenage detainee in Iraq in 2017.

Gallagher’s alleged war crimes were nearly universally condemned up the chain of command, from enlisted men to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer

Indeed, it was Gallagher’s SEAL colleagues who reported the former commando’s actions.

This insistence on holding fellow service members accountable for bad behavior sharply differentiates the military from the police.

When police are revealed to have killed an unarmed suspect or used excessive force during arrest, police generally defend those actions

Cops who report wrongdoing are routinely ostracized as “rats” and denied promotions, according to a 1998 Human Rights Watch study. Researchers identify this so-called “blue wall of silence” – the refusal to “snitch” on other officers – as a defining feature of U.S. cop culture today.

Yet both soldiers and police officers put their lives on the line for their team every day. So what explains these two armed forces’ divergent attitudes toward bad behavior?

Don't worry, Donald. He still loves you.


Image may contain: 1 person, text

Image may contain: 1 person

Do your kids play sports?

Hidden gotcha in artificial turf installations
serie a football GIF by AS RomaWhen school systems, universities and colleges, or local governments choose to install artificial turf fields, they seem all bright, shiny green and clean. How many of those buyers pay attention to the endgame—the disposing of many tons of hazardous waste?

Intrepid reporting by Sharon Lerner at The Intercept, in collaboration with scientists at the Ecology Center (Ann Arbor), revealed that the so-called 'forever chemicals'—PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances)—are used in the production of artificial turf. 

They help in the manufacture of the artificial grass blades, which must be forced through an extruder to achieve the right size and shape. That process goes more smoothly when PFAS chemicals are added to the plastic before the blades are extruded.

'Forever' doesn't mean they stay in the 'grass' blades forever. It means they take a very long time to degrade in the environment. And, rather than staying in the blades, they travel, by leaching and by volatilizing. 

With surface temperatures of artificial turf on hot, sunny days reaching well above 120 deg F, this traveling shouldn't be a surprise. How much PFAS kids breath in while playing soccer hasn't been quantified.

VIDEO: Why it can be hard to stop eating even when you're full

Some foods may be designed that wayTera Fazzino, University of Kansas and Kaitlyn Rohde, University of Kansas

Bet you can’t eat just one. tlindsayg/Shutterstock
All foods are not created equal. Most are palatable, or tasty to eat, which is helpful because we need to eat to survive. For example, a fresh apple is palatable to most people and provides vital nutrients and calories.

But certain foods, such as pizza, potato chips and chocolate chip cookies, are almost irresistible. 

They’re always in demand at parties, and they’re easy to keep eating, even when we are full.

In these foods, a synergy between key ingredients can create an artificially enhanced palatability experience that is greater than any key ingredient would produce alone. Researchers call this hyperpalatability. Eaters call it delicious.

Initial studies suggest that foods with two or more key ingredients linked to palatability – specifically, sugar, salt, fat or carbohydrates – can activate brain-reward neurocircuits similarly to drugs like cocaine or opioids. They may also be able to bypass mechanisms in our bodies that make us feel full and tell us to stop eating.

Our research focuses on rewarding foods, addictive behaviors and obesity. We recently published a study with nutritional scientist Debra Sullivan that identifies three clusters of key ingredients that can make foods hyperpalatable. Using those definitions, we estimated that nearly two-thirds of foods widely consumed in the U.S. fall into at least one of those three groups.

The Army Quietly Re-Opens Its Infamous Germ Warfare Lab

Fort Detrick Laboratory experiments with ebola, plague and other deadly toxins; anthrax connection
By Sarah Okeson

In 1943, Fort Detrick was established as the US's primary biological
warfare center.
Research at a secretive Army germ warfare lab about 50 miles from Washington, D.C. that works with tularemia, which spreads more easily than anthrax, has been partially restarted after a federal inspection found two failures in containing unnamed germs or toxins.

No one was exposed to any germs or toxins at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick in Maryland, according to the institute commander. The institute, once the fiefdom of Sidney Gottlieb who conducted LSD mind-control experiments for the CIA, has a long history of safety lapses.

“Our concept is to start with a small group of people, secure approval for a limited number of studies, and then gradually expand,” said Col. E. Darrin Cox, the new commander of the institute.
The previous commander, Maj. Gen. Barbara Holcomb, who oversaw the lab when problems were found has retired.

The inspection also found the lab failed to implement safety procedures with lapses such as propping open a door while biohazard waste was removed.

In June, an inspection by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found leaks and mechanical problems with the lab’s new chemical system to decontaminate wastewater. 

The institute was also working with Ebola and the agents known to cause the plague and Venezuelan equine encephalitis when high-level research was voluntarily halted.

The lab will return to sterilizing with heat.

The inspection also found the lab systematically failed to implement safety procedures with lapses such as propping open a door while biohazard waste was removed.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Straight flush

Body count

BREAKING: Another day, another mass shooting:

On 12/4, Pearl Harbor Naval Base with 3 shot dead.

On 12/6, #PensacolaShooting Naval Base with at least 11 shot.

More Americans died by gun since 1968 than ALL US wars COMBINED. More in the last 2 years than the entire Vietnam War.


Some hyper-realistic masks more believable than human faces, study suggests
University of York

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un Hyper Realistic Silicone Masks by Hyperflesh revealed at Monsterpalooza 2017 Wins Facebook Top Ten
Stan Winston School
Hyper-realistic masks are made from flexible materials such as silicone and are designed to imitate real human faces -- down to every last freckle, wrinkle and strand of real human hair.

In a study by the Universities of York and Kyoto, researchers asked participants to look at pairs of photographs and decide which showed a normal face and which showed a person wearing a mask.

Surprisingly, participants made the wrong call in one-in-five cases.

The 20% error rate observed in the study likely underestimates the extent to which people would struggle to tell an artificial face from the real thing outside of the lab, the researchers say

The researchers collected data from participants from both the UK and Japan to establish any differences according to race. When asked to choose between photographs depicting faces of a different race to the trial participant, response times were slower and selections were 5% less accurate.