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Saturday, February 29, 2020

What the Trump budget says about the administration's health priorities

Cutting Funds for health care threatens the nation's future 
The Trump administration recently released its budget blueprint for the 2021 fiscal year, the first steps in the complex budgetary process.

The final budget will reflect the input of Congress, including the Democratic House of Representatives, and will look significantly different.

However, budget drafts by presidential administrations are not meaningless pages of paper. They are important policy documents highlighting goals, priorities and visions for the future of the country.

As a health policy expert, I find the vision brought forward by the Trump administration deeply concerning. Cuts to virtually all important health-related programs bode ill for nation's future. 

To make things worse, ancillary programs that are crucial for good health are also on the chopping block. 

To be sure, most of the proposed damage will find it hard to pass muster with Congress. Yet given the nation’s ever-growing debt Congress may soon be amenable to rolling back the nation’s health safety net.

Ummm, butter!

Image may contain: 1 person, possible text that says 'BUTTER GOOD AND GOOD FOR YOU YOUR NUTRITION TIP: BUTTER IS SLIPPERY. THAT'S WHY WE EAT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE το LUBRICATE OUR ARTERIES AND VEINS.'
From Fake Science, Donald Trump's main source of health and science information.

Here's the thing...

Image may contain: one or more people, possible text that says 'Here's the thing... Bernie has flaws. Elizabeth has flaws. Pete has flaws. Amy has flaws. Joe has flaws. Tom has flaws. Michael has flaws. But, none of them include being a vile, treasonous, corrupt demagogue with total disdain for human suffering and utter contempt for the rule of law.'

Stand by to repel invaders

DEM amends freshwater fishing rules to fight invasive plants choking RI waterways
Image result for inflated bladderwort
According to DEM's map (see link below), this plant is the worst invader
in Charlestown, infesting Watchaug Pond. It's called the Inflated
Bladderwort (a.k.a. Swollen Bladderwort or Utricularia inflata).
It is a carnivorous plant that captures and eats small crustaceans. If
you own any shrimp as pets, do not let them swim in Watchaug Pond.

Trying to reduce the spread of invasive species in Rhode Island waters, the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has amended the state's Freshwater Fisheries Regulations to prohibit the transport of any plant or plant part into or out of any Rhode Island waterbody on any type of boat, motor, trailer, fishing supplies, or gear. 

The new regulation carries a $100 fine for each violation.

"Many of the aquatic invasive plants in Rhode Island can reproduce from just one small plant fragment and do not need entire root systems to successfully establish in a new spot," said Katie DeGoosh-DiMarzio, Environmental Analyst with DEM's Office of Water Resources. 

"Cleaning off every bit of plant from recreational gear used at one pond is essential before visiting another — this includes boats, kayaks, canoes, motors, trailers, paddles, jet skis, fishing gear, waders, water tubes, and anchors. These efforts help combat the spread of aquatic invasive species in Rhode Island waterbodies."

Aquatic invasive plants are a major cause of impairment in Rhode Island's freshwater lakes. More than 100 lakes and ponds are plagued with at least one species of invasive plant, and at least one invasive plant type has been recorded in 27 river segments. 


Boomers have a drug problem, but not the kind you might think

"Polypharmacy" can kill you
Laurie Archbald-Pannone, University of VirginiaImage result for drug interactions

Baby boomers – that’s anyone born in the U.S. between 1946 and 1964 – are 20% of the population, more than 70 million Americans. Decades ago, many in that generation experimented with drugs that were both recreational and illegal.

Although boomers may not be using those same drugs today, many are taking medications, often several of them. And even if those drugs are legal, there are still risks of interactions and side effects.

The taking of multiple medications is called polypharmacy, typically four or more at the same time.

That includes prescriptions from doctors, over-the-counter medicines, supplements and herbs. Sometimes, polypharmacy can be dangerous.

I am a geriatrician, one of only 7,500 in the U.S. That’s not nearly enough to accommodate the surging number of elderly boomers who will need medical care over the next two to three decades – or help in dealing with the potential problems of multiple drug use.


Can you get rid of your student loans by filing for bankruptcy?

Depends more on other circumstances
Brent Evans, Vanderbilt University and Matthew Patrick Shaw, Vanderbilt University

Animated GIFPaying back student loans is not an easy thing to do. One out of every 5 borrowers with outstanding student loan debt has fallen behind their payments.

There are several ways borrowers can get help to deal with their debt burden. Bankruptcy is the most extreme. In general, the law does not allow you to get rid of student loans through bankruptcy. 

One exception to the rule is if a borrower can prove that paying back the loans “would impose an undue hardship on [them] and [their] dependents.” The threshold for proving that is pretty high. Plus, there’s not a lot of legal guidance on what precisely an undue hardship is.

Not many people try to get rid of student loans through bankruptcy. It could be because they either don’t know its an option or don’t think they will prevail. 

One study found that only 0.1% of student loan borrowers who have filed for bankruptcy tried to discharge their student loans. Among those who do try, the success rates are high. Nearly 40% of borrowers who challenge their student debt receive at least a partial discharge.

The U.S. Supreme Court has not yet weighed in on what exactly makes for an “undue hardship.” However, most federal courts follow the 1987 Second Circuit decision, Brunner v. New York.


Friday, February 28, 2020

How The Coronavirus Has Infected Trump’s Presidency

It’s already contaminated world stock markets and is spreading through the global economy
By Dana Kennedy

ImageNobody saw this coming. Turns out it may not be Bernie, Mike, Joe, Liz, Pete—or even Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff—who bring down Donald Trump.

Early indications suggest the coronavirus could spawn the pandemic that would torpedo the booming economy Trump calls his win. 

He assumes the state of the economy will sweep him back into office.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 2000 points Monday and Tuesday on coronavirus-fueled speculation. 
Image may contain: 1 person, possible text that says 'JUST PRAY THE VIRUS AWAY'

At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control warned Americans to “work with us to prepare for the expectation that this could be bad” and outlined how schools and businesses should prepare if the virus spreads. 

San Francisco announced a state of emergency Tuesday.


Series on slavery in Charlestown kicks off March 5th

Seriously, how do we prepare for COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Three questions answered
Aubree Gordon, University of Michigan

Editor’s note: Public health officials in the U.S. warned that the coronavirus, which has in large part spared the U.S., is coming and that the country needs to be prepared. But just what does this mean for you, as well as for public health officials? Aubree Gordon, public health scholar at the University of Michigan, explains.



Hot Water Reaction GIF by Robert E Blackmon
One of the most practical things you can do.
1. How do we prepare for something we can’t predict?

First and foremost, people need to be prepared for their daily life to be affected by public health measures that are put into place to try to limit the spread of the virus.

This could be anything from relatively benign social distancing measures, such as canceling large gatherings, to measures that may have a larger impact on day-to-day life, such as school and business closures. 

It is also possible that people may be asked to remain in their homes for an extended period of time if there is a large outbreak in their local area, such as what has occurred in China.

To prepare for this, it is best to have a two-week supply of food, personal hygiene items and sufficient supplies of any required prescription or nonprescription drugs. It is also important to keep copies of medical records for reference.

2. The US has only 57 cases so far. Why might that increase?

So far, all cases in the U.S. have been imported or directly connected to travel. That is, either someone came to the U.S. who was infected or had contact with someone who had recently traveled out of the country.


Why we need more “Bad Boy” laws

Attorney General charges 19 contractors for substandard or unfinished construction work

moves contractor GIFEDITOR'S NOTE: If you have ever used any of the contractors listed below, please send Progressive Charlestown an e-mail about your experience.

Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced on February 26 that seven contractors are facing felony charges and 10 more were arraigned on misdemeanor charges in Providence District Court for failing to comply with a final order from the Contractors' Registration and Licensing Board (CLRB). 

Two additional contractors reached agreements with CLRB as a result of this effort.

"The charges here are serious; we're not talking about cases where folks are dissatisfied with their paint color. These are hardworking Rhode Islanders who paid a lot of money for contractors to make improvements to their homes and were left high and dry," said Attorney General Neronha. 

"The defendants were given multiple opportunities to resolve their situations. Some took advantage of that opportunity. Others didn't. Those who didn't will now be held accountable, and this Office will pursue restitution to the homeowners and any fines owed."


Charlestown, other South County communities win state open space grants

DEM Announces $3.33 Million in Green Economy Bond Funding to Help Communities, Local Groups Protect Open Space
Image
South Kingstown Land Trust property on Yawgoo Pond
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced today the award of more than $3.33 million in grants to help communities and local organizations protect valuable green space throughout the state. 

Seventeen projects will receive matching grants to protect 904 acres of open space and farmland across Rhode Island. The funding is made possible by the 2016 Green Economy Bond, which was passed overwhelmingly by Rhode Island voters, and invests $35 million in preserving open space, improving recreational facilities, and cleaning up lands and waters.

Rhode Island's historic parks, bikeways, and green spaces provide opportunity for public enjoyment – in addition to improving the health of the environment, strengthening the state's climate resilience, and supporting the economy. 

According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation in Rhode Island generates $2.4 billion in consumer spending and supports 24,000 local jobs. Since 1985, over 11,000 acres of land have been protected.

"We're delighted to partner with cities, towns, and organizations to protect an incredible array of properties across Rhode Island," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "From Block Island to Little Compton to North Providence, these special lands delight families, support wildlife, and help support sustainable communities. Preserving Rhode Island's natural assets and increasing the public's access and enjoyment of our open spaces is a win-win for our residents and our quality of life."

Grants up to $400,000 – which may cover up to half of the project cost – were awarded to help preserve lands that offer significant natural, ecological, or agricultural value and those that connect or expand existing protected lands. DEM's successful open space grant program has provided funding for the preservation of over 11,000 acres of land across the state since its inception in 1985. 

DEM has worked with partners in every municipality to complete 184 easement transactions with land trusts and local communities to date, furthering the mission of preserving Rhode Island's precious resources and increasing the public's access and enjoyment of natural lands. 

Over the years, this grant program has resulted in the protection of places used by residents and tourists alike for outdoor recreation – and has contributed to the economic health of the state. These natural assets play a big role in the state's tourist economy by providing opportunities for the public to camp, fish, hunt, hike, and enjoy the great outdoors, while also bringing revenue to the local economy.

The open space grants being awarded today to protect 904 acres of open space and farmland include:

Town of Charlestown – Tucker Estates: $400,000 grant to acquire 66.5 acres of pitch pine forest in a column of nearly contiguous open space that extends from the coast at the Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge to the Carolina Management Area in Richmond. Its streams are tributary to the Wild and Scenic Pawcatuck River, and its field, pitch pines, oak forests, vernal pools, and rock outcrops provide habitat for species of state concern. With nearly 1,500 feet of frontage on Rt 91, it provides a rural landscape of field and forest along the scenic road and creates a forested frame for the National Register Carolina Village. Once owned by the town, it will provide public hiking and other passive recreation opportunities.


Federal Pell Grants help pay for college – but are they enough to help students finish?

Greatest legacy of beloved Rhode Island Senator needs more support
Laura Perna, University of Pennsylvania and Jeremy Wright-Kim, University of Pennsylvania


Claiborne Pell
Senator Pell (l.) shakes Reagan's hand as Pell Grant bill is signed into
law (Pell Institute photo)
 Grants are one way the federal government helps people pay for college.

During the 2020 to 2021 school year, eligible students can receive up to US$6,345 through the program, depending on where they go to school, how many classes they take and how much money their family makes.

Despite this assistance, students who receive Pell Grants are less likely than other students to graduate from a four-year institution within six years: 51% versus 59% for students who first enrolled in 2010. Six years is the timespan the federal government uses to measure graduation rates.

One reason for this disparity is that Pell Grant recipients tend to go to less selective colleges and universities. Graduation rates are lower for these institutions than for more selective institutions.

For instance, at four-year colleges with open admissions – that is, an institution where just about anyone who applies gets in – only 31% of students who first enrolled full-time in 2011 graduated within six years. At selective schools, which admit only a quarter of their applicants, 87% did.

We are scholars who study why students attend different colleges and other issues of fairness in higher education. One of our recent studies finds that institutions that enroll high numbers of Pell grant recipients also have other characteristics that are linked with lower graduation rates, such as having fewer students live on campus and spending less per student on instruction.


Thursday, February 27, 2020

People actually LIKE progressive ideas

The irony of the centrist-progressive debate
Image result for progressive ideasWith dozens of Democratic candidates, scores of televised debates, and swarms of reporters and pundits descending on the tiniest blip in polls, this campaign already feels never-ending. But at long last, we’re beginning what matters: Voting!

This year, in addition to decisions about candidates, voters will be making a decision about the future of our society. The question we face is whether we will continue the same-old politics of enriching and empowering the few at the expense of the rest of us, or will we pivot to implement transformative structural changes.

As you would expect, Trump and his sycophantic congress critters are howl-at-the-moon opponents of Medicare for All, the wealth tax, tuition-free college and trade school, the Green New Deal, universal child care, and the full package of populist policies that would begin reversing the scourge of inequality that continues spreading throughout our land.

But what about Democrats? Sadly, many of them are opposed, too.

Not grassroots Dems, of course — not the hard-hit, workaday people who need these reforms. But there’s a gaggle of don’t-rock-the-corporate-boat Democrats (mostly old-line pols, consultants, high-dollar donors, and other Washington insiders) who are declaring that the party must abandon proposals for big systemic changes.


Blame science and time travel


For more cartoons by Tom Tomorrow, CLICK HERE.

WPWA still has openings

Begins in 11 Days!

Beginners Fly Fishing Class
Limited to 10 Participants
Monday Evenings, March 9 - April 13
Highly recommended class!
Previous participants were asked "Were the visual aids satisfactory?"
Answers were all positive. Highlights were, "Yes. Flies, rods and reels, lines, leaders, tippets were all great visual aids."
"Yes. The fact that the instructor brought in his own gear was exceptional!"
Come find out for yourself.
Learn how to increase your comfort and knowledge enough to actually catch fish with a fly!  Join a life-long fly fisher who will explain and have hands on practice for topics such as casting, equipment/gear/tackle, knots, reading water, flies/hatches and stream etiquette.
Six classes at two-hours each, cost is $135, ten participants max.
Age: 14+ . Under 18 must register and also be accompanied by a paying adult.

For details and to register, click the link here to visit http://wpwa.org/events.php

Our Contact Information
Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association
203 Arcadia Road
Hope Valley, RI 02832
401-539-9017
www.wpwa.org

So how are we doing on COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

Trump has appointed his VEEP Mike Pence as the Coronavirus Czar.

Image may contain: one or more people and meme, possible text that says 'GOD HELP US Critical Space Flight Hare dware "DO NOT TOUCH IF THIS MORON IS SUPPOSED TO KEEP US SAFE FROM CORONAVIRUS OCCUPY DEMOCRATS'In October 2014, Trump tweeted against President Barack Obama’s choice for a similar position:

“Obama just appointed an Ebola Czar with zero experience in the medical area and zero experience in infectious disease control. A TOTAL JOKE!”

In 2018, Trump fired just about every government official who specialized in dealing with pandemic outbreaks, especially anyone who was involved in keeping the Ebola virus from the US. 

Now we have Mike Pence as the leader of efforts to block an outbreak in the US:

“Pence once called global warming a “myth,” downplayed the health risks of smoking, and as governor of Indiana, led his state into an HIV crisis by cutting funding to Planned Parenthood and initially opposing needle exchange programs. The vice president also has no medical experience.”

Pic of the MomentEd Mazza

Another example of Mike Pence’s medical and scientific expertise, this time from 2000:

“Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill. In fact, 2 out of every three smokers does not die from a smoking related illness and 9 out of ten smokers do not contract lung cancer.”

And Donald Trump says it’s all OK and getting better:

Image may contain: 1 person, possible text that says 'DON'T WORRY, AMERICA THE CORONAVIRUS IS NOTHING COMPARED TO WINDMILL CANCER! OCCUPY DEMOCRATS'"I don't think it is inevitable. I think we are doing a really good job. There is a chance it could get worse. There is a chance if could get fairly, substantially worse. Nothing is inevitable… The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA... The vaccine is coming along well."

But….

"In order to get a [coronavirus] vaccine that's practically deployable for people to use, it's going to be at least a year to a year and a half at best"

Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and top US expert on epidemics

It's NEVER too late to quit

Protective cells could cut risk of lung cancer for ex-smokers
Cancer Research UK


tcm vintage smoking classic film tcm GIF
Humphrey Bogart, died of cancer in 1957 at age 57
Protective cells in the lungs of ex-smokers could explain why quitting smoking reduces the risk of developing lung cancer, Cancer Research UK-funded researchers have determined.

Scientists from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and UCL have discovered that compared to current smokers, people who had stopped smoking had more genetically healthy lung cells, which have a much lower risk of developing into cancer.

The research, published in Nature today (Wednesday), is part of the £20 million ($US 26M) Mutographs of Cancer project, a Cancer Research UK Grand Challenge initiative. The project detects DNA 'signatures' that indicate the source of damage, to better understand the causes of cancer, and discover the ones we may not yet be aware of.

The study shows that quitting smoking could do much more than just stopping further damage to the lungs. Researchers believe it could also allow new, healthy cells to actively replenish the lining of our airways. This shift in proportion of healthy to damaged cells could help protect against cancer.

These results highlight the benefits of stopping smoking completely, at any age.


Insurance company-driven “fast and loose” treatment is dangerous to patients and doctors alike

In a Flawed Health Care System, Doctors Lament ‘Moral Injury’
adam ruins arrow GIF by truTVDR. KEITH CORL was working in a Las Vegas emergency room when a patient arrived with chest pain. 

The patient, wearing his street clothes, had a two-minute exam in the triage area with a doctor, who ordered an X-ray and several other tests. 

But later, in the treatment area, when Corl met the man and lifted his shirt, it was clear the patient had shingles. Corl didn’t need any tests to diagnose the viral infection that causes a rash and searing pain.

All those tests? They turned out to be unnecessary and left the patient with over $1,000 in extra charges.

The excessive testing, Corl said, stemmed from a model of emergency care that forces doctors to practice “fast and loose medicine.” Patients get a battery of tests before a doctor even has time to hear their story or give them a proper exam.

“We’re just shotgunning,” Corl said.


Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Amid the non-stop Trump news, don't ignore the persistent assault on the environment

Trump's environmental protection rollbacks quietly continue, but there are more signs of climate awakening in TV news.
donald trump GIF by nogThese days, the front pages and cable gabfests are nearly all-Trump: Impeachment hearings, Presidential Twitty-fits, pardon-a-paloozas and more.

American news organizations, particularly TV news, choose to devote little bandwidth or interest to Trump's relentless, ongoing assault on environmental protection.

Thus, these actions, which carry impacts that will be felt for decades, are carried out with relative stealth.

Trump's EPA chief Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, took another step toward unbuilding the regulatory wall in late January by finishing off what was left of the Obama-era Waters of the United States rule.

Wheeler's new rule would remove Clean Water Act protections from thousands of small or seasonal waterways and nearly half of America's wetlands, limiting the landmark 1973 law to "navigable" waterways.


Enshrining Trump's hero

Image may contain: 1 person

Small consolation

Image may contain: 1 person, meme, possible text that says 'ONE THING THAT TRUMP WILL NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IS HAVING HIS SPEECHES PLAGIARIZED BY A FUTURE PRESIDENT'

'Sea-level rise won't affect my house'

Even flood maps don't sway some coastal residents
Risa Palm, Georgia State University and Toby W. Bolsen, Georgia State University

Here is a sea level rise map for Charlestown from the FloodIQ.com online tool described below.
Advertisers understand that providing consumers with the facts will not sell products. To get people to stop and pay attention, successful advertising delivers information simply and with an emotional hook so that consumers notice and, hopefully, make a purchase.

Climate communication scientists use these same principles of messaging – visual, local and dramatic – to provide facts that will get the public’s attention. Such messaging is intended to help people understand risk as it relates to them, and perhaps, change their behavior as a result.

As social scientists studying the effectiveness of climate change communication strategies, we became curious about a particular message we found online. Some houses advertised for sale in South Florida were accompanied by banner ads with messages such as “Flooding hurts home value. Know more before you buy. Find out for free now.”

The ads were sponsored by the First Street Foundation through their website FloodIQ.com. The nonprofit foundation provides detailed aerial photos of present and future flooding as a consequence of rising sea level.

My colleague and I decided to survey residents of coastal South Florida to better understand how information affected their attitudes and opinions. Did these messages developed by a nonprofit organization change the perceptions of coastal residents who live in low-lying areas about the threat of coastal flooding as a result of sea level rise?


No cause for alarm

Pic of the Moment

‘Cultivate the Possibilities’ is theme of URI Master Gardener symposium, March 7

Featured speaker to discuss “Gardening as if the World Depends on It”

Image result for Tovah Martin Martin believes that every decision made as a gardener has a significant impact on birds, insects, deer and other elements of the environment, so she wants gardeners to rethink their gardens and their gardening practices.

That’s why she titled her upcoming presentation at the annual gardening symposium at the University of Rhode Island “Gardening as if the World Depends on It.”

“Every single thing that individual gardeners do has an effect on the world, and it’s very fulfilling,” said Martin, who has been gardening since childhood and is the author of Garden in Every Sense and Season

“I’ll be discussing things that I’ve discovered while working on my garden that have a much broader impact than you might imagine.”

The symposium, sponsored by the URI Master Gardener Program and designed for gardeners of all abilities, aims to inspire gardeners to take their gardens to the next level. It runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at the URI Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences, 120 Flagg Rd., Kingston campus.



Who is born a US citizen?

Citizenship rights for all who were born here
Carol Nackenoff, Swarthmore College and Julie Novkov, University at Albany, State University of New York


Image result for donald trump ancestors
Like most of us, Trump came from immigrant stock - recent, in his case.
Their children benefited from the Constitutional principle of birthright
citizenship
A recent court ruling about faraway American Samoa may have profound implications for a conflict that’s been going on for nearly 200 years: who gets to be an American citizen.

Debates over who gets citizenship and what kind of citizenship they get have always been intertwined with race in American history, as we have learned through our individual research on the historical status of Native Americans and African Americans and the research we have done together on restricting Chinese immigration.

Nonetheless, even in the highly racialized political environment of the late 19th century, the U.S. Supreme Court endorsed an expansive view of birthright citizenship – the idea that people born in a country are automatically citizens of that nation. In an 1898 ruling, the court decreed that the children of immigrants were citizens, regardless of their parents’ ancestry.

That decision laid the groundwork for the 21st-century ruling that people born in the U.S. Pacific island territory of American Samoa are U.S. citizens. If upheld on appeal, the ruling would overturn more than a century of federal policy, including congressional refusal to grant American Samoans citizenship status.


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Trump can’t win in November without foreign help

And the Republicans and his MAGAiacs are OK with that

Image result for trump and foreign interferenceDonald Trump needs foreign help to get reelected in 2020, just the way he needed Russia’s help in 2016.

In fact, Trump has made it perfectly clear to the world that he welcomes foreign interference on his behalf, telling ABC’s George Stephanopoulos last year, “I think I’d take it.”

Of course, he would—he needs it.

But that’s only what Trump has said in public.

In private, we know that he’s shaking down foreign leaders in any way possible in order to enlist their help in his reelection bid.

That’s exactly what Trump did in the “I would like you to do us a favor though” phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, urging him to investigate his political rivals eight times.

So publicly, Trump’s pushing out open calls for pro-Trump interference by foreign governments and, privately, he’s dropping the hammer on countries that need U.S. support in order to extract help from them in his quest to cheat the American people yet again.

But the mere acknowledgment that Trump will actually receive the help he has sought is cause for heads to roll.


What happens when Trump shoots a guy on 5th Avenue?


 For more cartoons by Ruben Bolling, CLICK HERE

How Trump is protecting us from the coronavirus

Pic of the Moment


No cause for alarm

“The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart."

Donald Trump, February 24

“It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump. Now, I want to tell you the truth about the coronavirus. I’m dead right on this. The coronavirus is the common cold, folks.

Right-wing radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh on February 24.

The Buck Stops Here

By KRISTEN J. DeMORANVILLE/ecoRI News contributor

Downs film animals vintage snow GIFChristian Floyd, a natural-resource scientist at the University of Rhode Island, spotted an unusual white-tailed deer carcass while birding on the South County Bike Path in mid-January.

Floyd went into the woods for a closer look at the carcass. His inspection revealed that this wasn’t a hunting fatality or natural death; the deer’s stomach looked as if it had exploded

The animal’s stomach was enlarged and bursting open with partially digested corn grains. 

The cause of the deer’s death was familiar to Floyd, who recalled a scene from his childhood,” I knew that rumen acidosis was responsible because my favorite goat, Maria, succumbed to the same fate after devouring the chicken feed.”

Ruminants, including deer, goats, and cattle, are a group of animals named after their specialized digestive system that allows them to eat large amounts of nutrient-poor plant material such as grass and woody shrubs. 


No excuses...

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Yesterday, February 24, the Dow ended down more than 1,000 points. So when will we see Trump fired into the Sun?
Image result for dow jones drop yesterday

Eating disorders are about emotional pain – not food

Take it from our Westerly neighbor, Taylor Swift
Michele Patterson Ford, Dickinson College


Taylor Swift, one of millions of Americans who has struggled with
an eating disorder. AP Images/Invision/Charles Sykes
In her documentary “Miss Americana,” music icon Taylor Swift disclosed her history of eating disorders. 

Her revelation underscores the fact these disorders do not discriminate. 

According to the advocacy and awareness organization Eating Disorders Coalition, they strike all genders, races, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Despite their prevalence – the problem is worldwide – myths about eating disorders abound. 

Such as that they are a choice. They are not. Or they’re not a big deal. They are. Or that a person with an eating disorder is always severely underweight. Not always.

As a licensed psychologist and psychology professor, I find it’s common for my clients and students to say “A little food helps me with my anxiety” or “I’m not thin enough to have an eating disorder.” 

Such beliefs often prevent people from recognizing they have a problem. More is involved in an eating disorder than food, or body image. Someone gripped by one is attempting to regulate some very difficult and complicated emotions.


Guns don’t make you happier

And guns don’t help you sleep better
By Science News Staff / Source

fail steve mcqueen GIF“We want to understand gun owners’ subjective experiences,” said lead author Dr. Terrence Hill, a researcher in the School of Sociology at the University of Arizona.

“We’re trying to understand when guns promote individual well-being, if at all, and that will add to the discussion of the role of guns in our society.”

In the happiness study, Dr. Hill and his colleagues analyzed 27 years of data from the National Opinion Research Center’s General Social Survey, collected between 1973 and 2018.

While the data initially seemed to point to a positive relationship between gun ownership and happiness, that relationship disappeared when the scientists factored respondents’ marital status into their analysis.

It turned out gun owners were more likely to be married, and being married — not gun ownership — was driving happiness.

When the researchers considered marital status and other variables such as race, religion and education in their analysis, gun owners and non-gun owners exhibited similar levels of happiness.

“Gun owners will often tell you that guns help them to feel safe, secure and protected. They will also tell you that guns empower them and make them feel independent and strong. They also talk about how just holding and handling guns is pleasurable,” Dr. Hill said.

“If guns do make people feel safe, secure and protected, if they are empowering, if they are contributing to feelings of pleasure, then they should promote happiness, but we don’t find any evidence of that. That calls into question whether or not these are real feelings that gun owners have, or are they just part of the culture of owning a gun?”

The data showed no difference between gun owners and non-gun owners in terms of their level of sleep disturbance.