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Saturday, January 25, 2020

$150,000 in Grants Available to Enhance and Promote Rhode Island-Grown Specialty Crops

March 31 deadline set for Specialty Crop Grant applications

Image result for specialty cropsThe RI Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announces that $150,000 in farm viability grant funding is available for projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops grown in Rhode Island.

The funds are from the US Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crop Block Grant program.

Specialty crops are defined by this federally supported program as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, and nursery crops including floriculture including Christmas Trees, cut flowers, honey, hops, and turf grass production.

Grant awards will range from $10,000 to $40,000 with no direct match required.

Funds may be used for research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health, product development, education, "buy local" initiatives, and for programs that provide for increased consumption and innovation, improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems, environmental concerns and conservation, and development of cooperatives.


Unexpected bug benefits

Study Shows ‘Organic’ Wounds Improve Produce
By Laura Muntean, Texas A&M AgriLife

Image result for bug leaf woundsTexas A&M AgriLife Research scientists have found benefits of insect leaf-wounding in fruit and vegetable production. 

Stress responses created in the fruits and vegetables initiated an increase in antioxidant compounds prior to harvest, the scientists say, which may make them healthier for human consumption.

“Many studies in the past supported this idea, but many others showed no differences,” said Luis Cisneros-Zevallos, AgriLife Research horticulture and food scientist in College Station and principal investigator for the study addressing this topic. 

“In our study we proved that wounding leaves in plants like those caused by insects produce healthier organic fruit.”


Common sense gun control bills introduced in RI General Assembly

Assault weapon, high-capacity magazine bans introduced

gun gatling GIFA trio of legislators are pressing for action on bills banning weapons that enable mass shootings.

Rep. Justine A. Caldwell, Sen. Gayle L. Goldin and Sen. Joshua Miller reintroduced their bills to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, saying such weapons have no legitimate purpose and that they endanger the public by enabling shooters to swiftly commit mass murder.

“We introduce these bills year after year. In the meantime, mass shootings continue to occur in America on an almost daily basis. After particularly large tragedies like Parkland, Las Vegas or Aurora, the public outrage about our lax gun laws swells, and yet here we are, still allowing the legal sale of weapons whose only purpose is to allow shooters to inflict as much damage as possible in a short time. What is it going to take for us to stop condoning the sale of weapons of mass murder?” said Senator Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence), who is sponsoring the bill to ban high-capacity magazines, a bill she has sponsored for years.


Friday, January 24, 2020

Even the Democrats Do Favors for the Rich

One of the few Democratic House bills allowed a Senate vote by Mitch McConnell turns out to be a $9 billion gift to well-off retirees
By Gerald E. Scorse, Progressive Charlestown guest columnist

Image result for required minimum distributionsIn 2017 a Republican-controlled Congress passed a tax cut hugely tilted to corporations and the wealthy. 

In the waning days of 2019, the Democratic-controlled House did a kind of me-too. It pushed through a retirement bill with a provision that gives billions to those in the upper tiers.

The House’s gift to the well-off was part of a deal finalizing federal spending for fiscal 2020. 

In a tweet summing up the agreement, tax expert Len Burman called it “the Zombie Extenders [aka tax breaks] and Fiscal Irresponsibility Act of 2019.”

In the case of retirement policy, nothing was as fiscally irresponsible as moving back the age for required minimum distributions (RMDs) from 70 1/2 to 72. An estimate from the Joint Committee on Taxation put the price tag for that change at $8.9 billion over the next decade.

And the number will only keep growing, with all those billions going to people who don’t need a dime.
  

Tip for remembering colors of the rainbow

Image may contain: 2 people, possible text that says 'How CAN YOU REMEMBER THE COLORS IN THE RAINBOW? In the United States, we remember the inventor of the prism, Roy G. Biv. Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet In Russia, they remember Soviet meteorologist Vib Gyor.'
From Fake Science, the only science site that uses words small enough for Donald Trump to understand

VIDEO: Should Facebook and Twitter stop Trump lies?

Art Speaks Out, February 1-2

Political art show by RI artists
By Robert Easton and Lin Collette



Artists have long used their work to comment on the state of the world. One thinks of Francisco Goya, Pablo Picasso, Kara Walker, Nancy Spero, Kathe Kollwitz, George Grosz, Diego Rivera—just to name a few.

Often it is difficult for artists to find a venue for art that speaks out. 

Galleries, art organizations and museums often don’t want to show or represent work that might offend their customers, members or visitors.

As an antidote, the Pawtucket Arts Collaborative presents “Art Speaks Out” curated by Rhode Island photographer Robert Easton. 

Using a variety of media that includes painting, photography, fiber art, collage and assemblage, participating artists from Rhode Island and the surrounding area are using their creativity to address social and political issues from various perspectives.

The exhibition lasts for one weekend, February 1st and 2nd. 

Hours are: Saturday, 1:00-9:00 pm; Sunday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm. The opening reception will take place on February 1st from 6:00 pm-9:00 pm.


America's most widely consumed oil causes genetic changes in the brain

Soybean oil linked to metabolic and neurological changes in mice
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA - RIVERSIDE

Image result for soybean oil
Photo: Genetic Literacy Project
New UC Riverside research shows soybean oil not only leads to obesity and diabetes, but could also affect neurological conditions like autism, Alzheimer's disease, anxiety, and depression.

Used for fast food frying, added to packaged foods, and fed to livestock, soybean oil is by far the most widely produced and consumed edible oil in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In all likelihood, it is not healthy for humans.

It certainly is not good for mice. The new study, published this month in the journal Endocrinology, compared mice fed three different diets high in fat: soybean oil, soybean oil modified to be low in linoleic acid, and coconut oil.

The same UCR research team found in 2015 that soybean oil induces obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and fatty liver in mice. Then in a 2017 study, the same group learned that if soybean oil is engineered to be low in linoleic acid, it induces less obesity and insulin resistance.

However, in the study released this month, researchers did not find any difference between the modified and unmodified soybean oil's effects on the brain. Specifically, the scientists found pronounced effects of the oil on the hypothalamus, where a number of critical processes take place.


Six Children Died in Border Patrol Care.

Democrats in Congress Want to Know Why.
By Robert Moore, special to ProPublica


Related imageAfter a ProPublica investigation into the death of a teenager in Border Patrol custody, House Democrats are ramping up pressure on the Trump administration to explain how six migrant children died after entering the U.S.

“I find it appalling that (Customs and Border Protection) has still not taken responsibility for the deaths of children in their care,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Thompson said that while some of the children’s deaths may not have been preventable, Customs and Border Protection, the federal agency that first deals with children who cross the border, seems “all too quick to pat themselves on the back for their handling of children last year. These deaths happened under their watch. I remain skeptical that real changes have been made.”

The Homeland Security border subcommittee will hold a hearing to examine the administration’s efforts to treat sick migrant children. The six who died in government custody between September 2018 and May 2019 were the first such deaths in a decade.


Image result for carlos vasquez CBP care
ProPublica via the Chicago Tribune
ProPublica’s December investigation into the death of Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy who died in a South Texas Border Patrol cell, raised concerns about actions by Border Patrol agents and contract medical personnel and whether the agency was truthful about the circumstances of the teenager’s death. 

The boy died on the floor of his cell on May 20, and a surveillance video obtained by ProPublica showed he was left alone for hours as his illness worsened.


Thursday, January 23, 2020

Do you have a Constitutional right to the truth from your government?

Can the Constitution stop the government from lying to the public?
Helen Norton, University of Colorado Boulder



The old joke says you can tell a politician is lying 
if his lips are moving.Alexander_P/Shutterstock.com
When regular people lie, sometimes their lies are detected, sometimes they’re not. Legally speaking, sometimes they’re protected by the First Amendment – and sometimes not, like when they commit fraud or perjury.

But what about when government officials lie?

I take up this question in my recent book, “The Government’s Speech and the Constitution.” 

It’s not that surprising that public servants lie – they are human, after all. But when an agency or official backed by the power and resources of the government tells a lie, it sometimes causes harm that only the government can inflict.

My research found that lies by government officials can violate the Constitution in several different ways, especially when those lies deprive people of their rights.

Clear violations

Consider, for instance, police officers who falsely tell a suspect that they have a search warrant, or falsely say that the government will take the suspect’s child away if the suspect doesn’t waive his or her constitutional rights to a lawyer or against self-incrimination. These lies violate constitutional protections provided in the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments.

If the government jails, taxes or fines people because it disagrees with what they say, it violates the First Amendment. And under some circumstances, the government can silence dissent just as effectively through its lies that encourage employers and other third parties to punish the government’s critics. 

During the 1950s and 1960s, for example, the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission spread damaging falsehoods to the employers, friends and neighbors of citizens who spoke out against segregation. 

As a federal court found decades later, the agency “harassed individuals who assisted organizations promoting desegregation or voter registration. In some instances, the commission would suggest job actions to employers, who would fire the targeted moderate or activist.”

And some lawsuits have accused government officials of misrepresenting how dangerous a person was when putting them on a no-fly list. Some judges have expressed concern about whether the government’s no-fly listing procedures are rigorous enough to justify restricting a person’s freedom to travel.


Predictable

Pic of the Moment

New research challenges rationale for controlled burning

Native people did not use fire to shape New England's landscape 
Wyatt Oswald, Emerson College; David R. Foster, Harvard University, and Elizabeth Chilton, Binghamton University, State University of New York


Old-growth forests prevailed in New England for thousands of years.
David Foster, CC BY-ND 
An interpretive sign stands at the edge of the Montague Plains Wildlife Management Area, a 1,500-acre state conservation property in central Massachusetts. 

It explains the site’s open land vegetation has been shaped by “millennia of fire” – and that the recent exclusion of fire has led to declines in this habitat and the species that call it home. 

It goes on to explain that fire is being reintroduced to the site through controlled burns “to reinvigorate fire-adapted species.”

The prescribed burning at Montague Plains and dozens of other conservation areas across New England is based on the belief that, for thousands of years, Native Americans cleared forests and used fire to improve habitat for the plants and animals they relied upon. 

The use of fire as a management tool is just one example of a broader shift in how ecologists and conservationists have come to think about the impacts of ancient humans. Increasingly, researchers believe Native people controlled ecosystems across much of the globe, from boreal regions to the Amazon, including many areas formerly deemed pristine.

Our new research, published in the journal Nature Sustainability, tests this human-centric view of the past using interdisciplinary, retrospective science. The data we collected suggest, in New England, this assumption is erroneous.


Arrowhead Dental asks for your support

Vote for Arrowhead in the 2020 Readers' Choice Awards
Providence Journal Readers' Choice Awards


Projo Photo

The Providence Journal Reader's Choice Awards have begun and nominations for Rhode Island's Best Dentist are underway! With generous support from patients like you we have received the honor of Top Dental Practice in Rhode Island three years running, and it is our hope that you consider us as this year’s Top Dentist once again. Voting for the nomination round ends January 26th.

We appreciate each vote that we receive during the contest and thank you for your continued trust in us as your dental home.


Where do the Democratic candidates stand on health care coverage?

Many paths to mostly the same destination
Simon F. Haeder, Pennsylvania State University



Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigeig at the Oct. 15, 2019
debate at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.
John Minchillo/AP Photo 
As Democratic presidential hopefuls prepare for the Iowa caucuses, Iran and foreign policy will likely play a central role.

But health care will remain the most important topic of debate for many Americans. No doubt, all the candidates will talk about their proposals for health health reform using terms like universal coverage, public option, “Medicare for All,” and single-payer.

What do these terms mean, and where do Democratic presidential candidates onstage in Iowa stand on expanding coverage to all Americans?

First things first: Who should be covered?

Most Western nations ensure that everyone living in their country has access to insurance coverage. This is referred to as universal coverage.

Generally, this coverage includes access to all needed services and benefits while protecting individuals from excessive costs.

The U.S. is an exception. Even the Affordable Care Act only created what’s called “near universal coverage” leaving millions of American uninsured.

From a policy perspective, achieving universal coverage is a worthwhile goal. There is ample evidence that insurance coverage generally improves the health and financial security of individuals.

There is no single pathway to universal coverage. Countries that have achieved it have done so in different ways

Democratic presidential candidates all agree that providing coverage to everyone is the ultimate goal. 

However, they differ widely on how – and how fast – to get there.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Rhode Island enviros gear up

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff. Videos available in the original article.

Related imageA feel-good event meant to galvanize environmentalists and the General Assembly had a few unwelcome side issues.

One of the guest speakers, House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi, D-Warwick, mentioned his support for a medical waste-to-energy facility, an operation aggressively opposed in the past by environmentalists and the Environment Council of Rhode Island (ECRI), the host of the Jan. 15 legislative coffee hour held at the Statehouse.

The advocacy group comprised of environmentalists and more than 60 local organizations has unified against past waste-incinerator proposals, or, in this case, use of a process called pyrolysis or gasification to convert plastics and other material into a burnable fuel.

The chemical procedure is often lumped in with waste incinerators because of the release of toxic emissions and greenhouse gases. In 2019, bills seeking to legalize pyrolysis died in committee. ECRI and other groups held a rally outside the Statehouse in 2018 to fight a bill that tried, and failed, to legalize biomass incineration.


Moscow Mitch Rules

Image may contain: one or more people

After Day 1 of Trump cover-up trial....

Pic of the Moment

Nearly all Americans want to get off fossil fuels

The vast majority of people in the world’s largest fossil fuel producing country want to phase them out.
By Basav Sen 

climate change anatomy GIFLate last year, The Washington Post reported a remarkable poll finding: Nearly half of American adults — 46 percent — believe the U.S. needs to “drastically reduce” fossil fuel use in the near future to address the climate crisis. Another 41 percent favor a more gradual reduction.

In short, almost 90 percent of us support transitioning off fossil fuels — including over half of Republicans, whose elected officials overwhelmingly support the industry.

This is remarkable. The U.S. is the world’s largest oil and gas producerthird largest coal producer, and the only country to leave the universally adopted Paris Climate Agreement. Yet nearly all of us want off these fuels.

You’d expect a media outlet to treat this as the immensely newsworthy (and headline-worthy) finding that it is — especially if that outlet commissioned the poll!

Yet The Washington Post buried these numbers in the 14th and 15th paragraphs of the story. Their headline? “Americans like Green New Deal’s goals, but they reject paying trillions to reach them.”

This assertion, while not outright false, is misleading.

The poll had a single vaguely worded question about the price tag for a national climate action plan, which asked whether respondents supported raising federal spending by unspecified “trillions.” Two-thirds of respondents said no.

Pollsters gave respondents no specifics on the amount of “trillions” we’re talking about, or how they would compare to the overall federal budget, huge existing line items like the military and fossil fuel subsidies, or the country’s GDP.



Move over, squid. Another ocean delicacy may be on the way

Sea urchins could prove to be Rhode Island’s next climate-resilient crop

Related image
Wikipedia
Atlantic purple sea urchins are common in coastal waters along the East Coast, and University of Rhode Island scientist Coleen Suckling thinks the Ocean State could become the home of a new industry to raise the spiny marine creatures for consumption in Japan and elsewhere around the world.

She has teamed with a company called Urchinomics, which is pioneering urchin ranching around the world. 

Suckling is testing a sea urchin feed the company developed in Norway to see if Rhode Island’s urchins will eat the product and, in turn, become commercially appealing.

Image result for sea urchins food
“Sea urchins are generally good at coping with climate change; they appear to be resilient to warming and ocean acidification,” said Suckling, URI assistant professor of sustainable aquaculture. 

“So they’re a good species to turn to for commercial harvest. And you can get a good return on your investment from them.”

The global sea urchin market is valued at about $175 million per year, with about 65 to 70 percent of the harvest being sold to Japan. 

Urchins are primarily used for sushi, though they are also an ingredient in a variety of other recipes as well.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Along the Pacific coast, the purple sea urchin population's growth has been called a "plague" because of the way they can eat their way through forests of kelp. Some areas of seabed have been so denuded of kelp that they are referred to as "urchin barrens." Hopefully, we will not see unintended consequences from URI's research. 


Could a woman defeat Donald Trump in 2020?

What political science research says - and doesn't say
Nathaniel Swigger, The Ohio State University



Image may contain: textU.S. presidential candidates Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren got into a fight this week. 

Warren reported that Sanders had, in a 2018 meeting, told her that he didn’t believe a woman could win over President Trump in the 2020 election. Sanders denied he said it.

But the two raised a question that many Americans may have asked. Can a woman win the upcoming presidential election?

Three women remain out of an original six in the Democratic primary for president: Sens. Warren and Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

They may face a harder road than the men in the race. Research on candidates has shown that women encounter a number of obstacles in a political campaign.

Gender stereotypes work against women. Voters may be less likely to see them as leaders, or may see them as credible only on “feminine” issues like education and child care, and question their ability on “masculine” issues like national security.

In a recent experiment, Dr. Meredith Meyer, associate professor of psychology at Otterbein University, and I showed that women candidates are better off focusing on so-called feminine issues regardless of the voter’s beliefs about gender.

“People often form negative attitudes against those who deviate from gender norms,” we concluded

“Female candidates who tend to focus on issues stereotypically thought of as feminine are generally more positively evaluated than those who focus on stereotypically masculine domains.”

This means that even though presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren enjoys widespread favorability among Democratic primary voters, they may be reluctant to vote for her. 

Defeating President Donald Trump is an important concern for these voters. As much as they might like Warren, they may prefer what they think is a safer bet for the general election.

But a man isn’t necessarily a safer bet than a woman.


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

They are all nuts

How Trump’s Psychosis Infects His Followers
By Bandy X. Lee

morph kubler ross GIF by weinventyouThe president’s personal lawyer and former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani wrote an opinion piece, “The Supreme Court Should Step In to Rule this Impeachment Unconstitutional.” 

The Washington Post reports him as donning the “constitutional scholar” cap in “very colorful terms.”

Giuliani said earlier he was prepared to testify at the president’s upcoming impeachment trial and would even try the case. Because Giuliani has mystified observers for some time, I am responding to a request to analyze his words.

First, allow me to remark on methodology. Ordinarily, I state that analyzing a public figure is complex and have previously declined comment on Kim Jong-un or Vladimir Putin. To offer a responsible, medically sound analysis, an abundance of high-quality information is necessary.

Rarely do we have the amount that Donald Trump offers, with decades of candid interviews and clips; numerous collateral reports by close associates, many under sworn testimony; and direct, unfiltered, near-hourly reporting of thoughts. 

A full diagnosis needs more, although a personal examination is not the deciding factor, as it can in some cases be harmful in assessing personalities that deceive or charm.


Trump deals with REAL issues


For more cartoons by Tom Tomorrow, CLICK HERE.

Yes it does

Image may contain: 1 person, possible text that says 'Once you realize that he works for Russia, not America, everything he does makes sense.'

Making airport parking less of a nightmare

Another success story from URI's international engineering program
Stanley Robotics robot positions a car into a parking spot
The Stanley Robotics robot positions a car into a parking
spot at the airport. Photo courtesy of Stanley Robotics.
One of the most inconvenient aspects of air travel happens on the ground and it’s on-site parking.
University of Rhode Island alumnus Ian McElroy is using technology to make parking at airports a stress-free experience.
As a software engineer, McElroy programs and tests electric-powered, autonomous robots that enable customers to drop their cars off at the airport and pick them up without waiting. 

The robot accomplishes this by lifting the vehicle up, bringing it to a vacant spot and knowing when to return it to the drop-off point.
The company McElroy works for is Stanley Robotics, which is based in France. After graduating in May 2019 with bachelor’s degrees in ocean engineering and French, through URI’s International Engineering Program, McElroy joined the rapidly growing start-up a few months later.
Responsible for coding, developing new features and fixing bugs in the system, McElroy plays an important role in getting the robots to work properly.

Get your Goop

In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
By Michael Schulson

Image result for snake oil vintage
Note that this product was once made
in Providence (Wikipedia)
For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing.

Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, seems poised to reach an even larger audience.

Last week, Goop announced details of three new ventures: a distribution partnership with the cosmetics giant Sephora; a “wellness experience at sea” with Celebrity Cruises; and — to the chagrin of many science advocates — a six-part series on Netflix, the streaming service with more than 150 million subscribers.

The Netflix show, set to debut later this month, will feature Paltrow and colleagues exploring a range of alternative healing practices, including energy healing, exorcism, and sessions with psychic mediums.

“What we try to do at Goop is to explore ideas that may seem out there, or too scary,” Elise Loehnen, the company's chief content officer, explains in the series trailer, which also boasts that the show will feature risky and unregulated treatments.

“We’re here one time, one life," Paltrow exudes in the trailer, reflecting her signature embrace-new-ideas attitude. "How can we really milk the shit out of this?”

The backlash was immediate. On Twitter, many doctors and scientists questioned why Netflix would partner with Goop. Some upset Netflix customers announced that they had cancelled their subscriptions.

“I’m frustrated that Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop and their pseudoscientific empire is being given a platform,” Timothy Caulfield, a professor of health law and science policy at the University of Alberta in Canada and a longtime Goop critic, told Undark.

Medical disinformation can have serious consequences, and it can spread quickly online. But Goop’s continued success raises question about how experts should effectively respond to questionable information — and about what it is, exactly, that Goop is selling to its many fans.


Worrying about being drafted doesn't mean you're disloyal

It's an old American tradition
Amy Rutenberg, Iowa State University



A large group of American male Reserve Officers Training Corps
students gather to protest the U.S. draft in the late 1930s.
Anthony Potter Collection/Getty Images 
Fear of imminent war and a draft have escalated in the wake of U.S. forces killing Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in early January.

Misinformation spread across social media platforms. The Selective Service System’s website crashed on Jan. 3.

Some people even received fraudulent texts, supposedly from the Army Recruiting Command, telling them that they had been selected for the draft.

But there is no draft in the United States at the moment and there hasn’t been one since 1973, when the Vietnam War ended. 

A 1979 law renewed the requirement that men register with the Selective Service on their 18th birthdays, but the agency cannot conscript anyone without approval from both houses of Congress and the president.

Nevertheless, the fear felt by young men and those who love them was real, and it’s a fear with a history.


Monday, January 20, 2020

MUSICAL VIDEO: That Don!

To watch this video - the perfect complement to Trump's impeachment trial - on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWbonwwFG-c

Abuse of power: then and now

Pic of the Moment

Impeachments by the numbers

Image

Ticking Bomb

By ROGER WARBURTON/ecoRI News contributor

Rhode Island, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has witnessed an increase in Lyme disease cases. (Roger Warburton/ecoRI News)
Rhode Island, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has witnessed an increase in Lyme disease cases. (Roger Warburton/ecoRI News)

New, emerging research suggests that the climate crisis is bad for human health.

To date, much of the reporting on the climate crisis has focused on the physical impacts of temperature increases, such as sea-level rise, melting ice caps, heat waves, and hurricanes.

Lately, scientists in a diverse range of disciplines have begun studying the wider impacts. 

For example, the respected medical journal Lancet has reported the results of an international, multidisciplinary collaboration that found widespread adverse health impacts from the climate crisis, such as a downward trend in crop yields worldwide, which threaten food production and food security, and rising temperatures and increased rainfall are increasing vulnerability to mosquito- and tick-borne diseases.

There are important consequences for Rhode Island, where the climate crisis is exacerbating a surge in Lyme disease. In fact, since 2001, Lyme disease has increased by more than 300 percent in the Northeast.

Tech help for dieters on the way

Researchers to test wearable device for weight loss
Brown University

Tonmoy Ghosh, a doctoral student at the University of Alabama,
models a wearable, high-tech ingestion monitor that monitors
food intake and may help users to lose weight.
Photo courtesy the University of Alabama.
Can a wearable device that monitors what you eat help you lose weight?

Researchers at the Miriam Hospital and Brown University, in collaboration with several other universities across the country, will seek to answer that question in a clinical trial funded by a $2.5 million grant from the National Institute of Health.

Graham Thomas, an associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior (research) at Brown and a behavioral scientist with the Miriam’s Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center, is the project’s co-principal investigator. 

He will use an ingenious device developed in collaboration with researchers at the University of Alabama to test the technology with adults with overweight or obesity.

“The hope is that this technology will give people a new, less burdensome way to monitor and take control of their eating,” Thomas said.

The device, clipped to prescription or nonprescription eyeglasses, includes a tiny, high-definition camera to photograph food as well as sensors that monitor chewing. 

The sensors accurately detect food intake and trigger the camera to record what was eaten and to measure when, how much and how fast the wearer eats.


Senators swear an oath and sign to attest it

Impeachment trial senators swear an oath aimed at guarding 'against malice, falsehood, and evasion'
Susan P. Fino, Wayne State University

Image result for Lindsey graham not impartial jurorThe 100 United States senators who are jurors in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump have taken a special oath in order to take part in that proceeding.

As they enter the active phase of the trial on Tuesday, this oath is supposed to govern their behavior.

It’s not the first oath that the lawmakers have taken in their Senate careers.

Members of Congress, as well as federal judicial officers and members of state legislatures, must swear to “support the Constitution.”

But the Constitution does not specify the form of the oath. So the very first Congress crafted an oath of office and – with minor modifications – that is the oath each member of Congress swears when he or she takes her seat in the House or the Senate.

There is a second oath that members of the Senate must take when conducting an impeachment trial.

The specific text for this oath was developed in 1868 for the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson. The rules for impeachment were revised by the Senate in 1986 for the trial of President Clinton.

The words of the oath and the requirement of a signature remain substantially the same:
I solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of (the president’s name), President of the United States, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: so help me God.”