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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
Number of posts: 42,389

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Last four surgeons general call on CDC to resume gun violence studies

A ban on federal funding for gun violence research was criticized today by a group of four former U.S. surgeons general, including a President George W. Bush appointee.

These former public health leaders called on Congress to end the controversial 20-year-old ban, joining a growing number of doctors and elected officials who object to the 1996 federal budget amendment that essentially prohibits the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from investigating shootings as a public health problem.

The ban, long a sore spot in the medical community, jumped into the national spotlight after the 2014 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. President Obama ordered the CDC to get back to studying the causes of gun violence. But the agency didn't move because of the 1996 budget language that has been reauthorized every year by Congress.

“It is only through research that we can begin to address this menace to our nation’s public health,” wrote the three former surgeons general appointed by a Democrat, Regina Benjamin, Joycelyn Elders and David Satcher.



Sunday toon Roundup


Both Sides



The Issue

Sunday's Doonesbury: Another Trump Product Line!

Jamaica May Get Rid of Queen Elizabeth and Finally Legalize Marijuana

The Jamaican government is considering ousting Queen Elizabeth II as their official head of state, in addition to legalizing marijuana, the government revealed Thursday.

The country was ruled by the British for over 300 years, until peacefully gaining their independence in 1962, even as Queen Elizabeth officially remained at top, as she does in other remnants of the British Commonwealth, like Australia and Canada.

The Jamaican proposal, to be decided upon in the next year, would replace her with a Non-Executive President, according to Bloomberg.

A separate proposal would fully legalize marijuana in the country for "specified purposes," though it's unclear what that exactly means.


Weekend Toon Roundup 2: The Rest










The Split

Mr Fish

Weekend Toon Roundup 1: Repubs

Weekend Bernie Group Toons

Sanders supporters demonstrate at Clinton fundraiser in SF

Three hundred protesters, most of them supporters of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, demonstrated outside a San Francisco home Friday night where donors supporting rival Hillary Clinton had paid up to $353,000 to dine with her and Hollywood power couple George and Amal Clooney.

The Sanders campaign rallied its troops outside the swank Nob Hill home of venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar. They were kept about a block away from the actual event by a small contingent of police.

“Your money can’t buy Bernie,” one sign read. “You can’t sit with us unless you have money,” read another.
Potluck dinner for homeless

Other signs compared Clinton to fabled French queen Marie Antoinette of “Let them eat cake” fame.

“Hillary Clinton-ette is out of touch,” said a sign carried by Sanders supporter Mark Noviski, who said Clinton’s big-ticket dinner puts her at odds “with people on the street and what their needs are.”


Study: Dyson hand dryers spread more germs than paper towels, other dryers

LONDON, April 15 (UPI) -- Dyson Airblade hand dryers are in the news again, as media outlets report on a February study finding they spread significantly more germs than regular dryers or paper towels.

Researchers at the University of Westminster tested the hand dryer against the other two methods, finding they spread 60 times more viruses than regular dryers and 1,300 times more viruses than paper towels, according to the study, published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.

The Airblade has been championed by European public health officials, as well as the company itself, as a revolutionary way of drying hands in public bathrooms based on studies showing it filters out 99.9 percent of bacteria from air it blows around.

The Westminster study echoes another by the same researchers in 2014 that showed the Airblade spread 27 times more bacteria than paper towels, which researchers said reinforces overall concerns about hand dryers -- including those raised by Dyson about other methods of drying hands.



Pennsylvania Is About to Legalize Medical Marijuana

4/20 is just around the corner and now there’s even more reason to celebrate. Pennsylvania is set to become the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana.

On Wednesday, House representatives voted in favor of the bill that would allow individuals to use the substance for non-recreational purposes. The decision came pretty easy, with a 149-64 vote, and the legislation was then sent to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature. According to Time, he will sign it into law on Sunday. This comes after the state Senate approved the bill in 2014.

While a series of cheers erupted after the decision was made, not everyone was happy with the final vote. The Pennsylvania Medical Society stood in opposition over concerns about the overall effectiveness of medical marijuana.

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