And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Linkee-poo can dim the lights and sing you songs full of sad things

Sorry all my Russian friends, getting hammered at work so I'm a little late. I know it screws up your workday.

"'Intact lunar lava tubes offer a pristine environment to conduct scientific examination of the Moon’s composition and potentially serve as secure shelters for humans and instruments,' an abstract to a study published in Geophysical Research Letters." I think one of my early short stories used this as a plot point. Also, and here's a thought, robotic miners creating habitats under the surface of both the Moon and Mars using the surface materials as building supplies.

Does it hurt when you die? "…(S)cientists say people are aware they’re dead because their consciousness continues to work after the body has stopped showing signs of life." Apparently there's a way to find out. It's not really all that surprising given you can survive a few minutes without breathing/circulation before your cells stop working. So far as I've seen, though, the experiment on out of body experiences hasn't produced a positive yet.

"Researchers found yeast with high levels of the sugar known as glucose overstimulated the same proteins often found mutated inside human tumors, making cells grow faster. The finding, published in Nature Communications on Friday, aims to shed light on how cancer develops." Now there's a big difference between yeast and multi-cellular animals, and it depends on "high levels" (note, feed any organism high levels of one type of food and you'll get cancer). Also, your body uses glucose (especially your neurons). However if they were to find a link between processed sugars and cancer growth that could explain the rise of cancers in our society. And while it might not be a cause of cancer by itself, it could be what fuels cancers' growth outstripping your body's immune system ability to clear them out.

BTW, there's rumors that the new budget slashes the NIH research budget. The NIH is where a lot of those new, nifty, novel cancer treatments (like stimulating your immune system to fight your cancer) come from.

"The total number of flying insects in protected areas in Germany has dropped by over 75 percent in the past 27 years. Scientists noted the major decline of bees, butterflies, moths and other winged creatures across 63 key areas and said it could not be explained by changes to habitat or weather, instead speculating that widespread pesticide use may be to blame." Nothing to worry about, just our food supply.

If you want to know what is wrong with business and government in the USA, all you need to do is follow the Amazon's second headquarters search. Note to municipalities, bigger deals are almost never worth it. Even the smaller deals (which I had to oversee) aren't worth it (but they have a better chance of breaking even, if you negotiate the deal correctly). "Corporate subsidies, by one conservative estimate, top $70 billion a year. That's what cities and states give away in foregone taxes and other concessions to companies — sometimes for the prospect of new jobs and sometimes just to keep existing ones." The little guy, you and me, we foot that bill in higher taxes.

"The good news is the mess doesn't necessarily mean you missed. The bad news is that medicine you wiped off your face is wasted by design — and it's well-known to the drug companies that make the drops." That dribble down your face is costing you money and the pharmaceutical industry has had a solution for decades.

"Researchers warn that large parts of biomedical science could be invalid due to a cascading history of flawed data in a systemic failure going back decades. A new investigation reveals more than 30,000 published scientific studies could be compromised by their use of misidentified cell lines… the problem is as serious as it is simple: researchers studying lung cancer publish a new paper, only it turns out the tissue they were actually using in the lab were liver cells. Or what they thought were human cells were mice cells…" You've got your peanut butter in my chocolate.

"The FBI has recovered a three-month-old baby and a five-year-old in Denver during a nationwide child sex trafficking investigation… Some 84 minors were recovered and 120 traffickers were arrested as part of the sting."

"George Soros, the billionaire hedge fund manager and a major Democratic donor, has given $18 billion to his Open Society Foundations, one of the largest transfers of wealth ever made by a private donor to a single foundation." That sound you hear is the conservative conspiracy theory machine get into a higher gear.

"President Trump, in a personal phone call to a grieving military father, offered him $25,000 and said he would direct his staff to establish an online fundraiser for the family, but neither happened, the father said." Just no fucking clue. All these self-inflicted wounds just don't seem to be getting through.

"President Trump suggested Wednesday that former FBI director James B. Comey had intended to spare Democrat Hillary Clinton from prosecution 'long before investigation was complete' into her government email practices." I know people who wait until the night before a paper is due to write it find this strange and potentially damaging. Those who have their shit together aren't surprised.

"President Donald Trump engaged in a public feud Wednesday with a Democratic congresswoman over her claim that he told the widow of a US serviceman killed in an ambush in Niger that 'he knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt.'" Trump says he has proof he didn't, but the widow confirms the story. Okay, I believe that's a call, time to show your cards, Mr. President.

"The unresolved battles -- over a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, immigration, health-care subsidies, Planned Parenthood and storm relief -- are hanging over talks on must-pass spending legislation to keep the government open after Dec. 8. The spending measure is at risk of becoming so weighted with controversial items that it collapses." When brinksmanship becomes standard operating procedure. Just a note that CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, expired in September, and now it's looking like there won't be a fix until December. That's a delay that can be counted in lives lost, future income lost, and general pain and suffering.

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