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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 37,257

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Environmental Scientist

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Why does this guy still have a job?

Georgetown Prof: Assassinating Obama Isn't the Worst Idea in the World

Michael Scheuer has long been a grenade-tosser, from his days as a CIA officer to his anonymous 2004 broadside against the war on terror, "Imperial Hubris." Now, the Georgetown instructor has fine-tuned his argument: Barack Obama and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron are legitimate targets for assassination.

That was part of Scheuer's argument in a rambly, controversial late-December post on his blog, non-intervention.com. After arguing that Obama and his British counterpart have broken myriad laws through NSA surveillance and warmongering, are making more enemies among Islamists, and will further erode civil liberties, he goes for the literal jugular:

In their palpable desperation, Obama and Cameron will expand the use of those weapons and, by doing so, they will protect the growing power and durability of our Islamist enemies, while undermining the constitutional structure, the rule of law, and the civil liberties which, since England's Glorious Revolution (1688-89), Anglo-Americans have built and defended against the despotic drift of their rulers with argument, protest, and — if at last needed — violence.

The following week, he sharpened his focus:

Clearly, Mr. Obama, in a paraphrase of the Rev. Mayhew's words, is on the verge of "un-presidenting" himself not only by putting himself above the law, but also by making himself the sole source of some laws. If this process continues, American citizens are duty bound to act in the manner they deem most useful to stop the consolidation of arbitrary power in, and its exercise by the national government.

Stock tea party imagery, if weirdly Anglophilic, right? It's consistent with other angry populist comments on his blog about "Mrs. Clinton's American-killing performance in Libya" and an Ivy League-educated "self-designated coterie of elitists who believe they are born to rule rather than govern Americans."


The NASA Studies on Napping

It's popular these days to make the claim that napping is good for you. This author has even built an entire startup on the premise that we should nap more and better. But what data is this conclusion based on? One important study by NASA for the most part.

In the 1980s and 1990s, NASA and the FAA were studying whether or not in-cockpit napping could improve the job performance and safety of pilots flying long haul routes. The results are somewhat technical, but almost all contemporary news articles citing a measurable increase in on-job performance due to napping are actually based on this data.

In the study, NASA teams first picked out a group of commercial airline flight pilots flying a standard itinerary between Hawaii, Japan and Los Angeles. They then divided the pilots into two groups: A Rest Group (RG) that was allowed a 40 min cock-pit nap during the cruise portion of each flight and a No Rest Group (NRG) that was not allowed a mid-flight nap. Over the course of a six day study, the pilots flew four (4) flights during which NASA teams analyzed them for wakefulness before, during and after their flights. The teams even brought along EEG and EOG machines to measure the pilots’ brain activity during the tests to confirm whether or not the pilots sleeping, and how alert they were.

The most interesting results were as follows:

Reaction Time - Using a measure of reaction time called a "PVT Trial" the teams found that the naps helped pilots maintain their baseline reaction speed over the course of the flight. The data below show that over the course of a flight (from pre-flight to post-flight) the napping pilots maintained their reaction speed versus their non-napping colleagues, who tended to grow slower over the course of the flight. More importantly, the napping pilots maintained that reaction speed on subsequent flights, whereas the non-nappers pilots suffered accumulate fatigue from previous flights.



What scientific idea is ready for retirement?


Professor of medicine and director of the MDS Centre, Columbia University, New York

An obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed in cancer research is that mouse models do not mimic human disease well and are essentially worthless for drug development. We cured acute leukaemia in mice in 1977 with drugs that we are still using in exactly the same dose and duration today in humans with dreadful results. Imagine the artificiality of taking human tumour cells, growing them in lab dishes, then transferring them to mice whose immune systems have been compromised so they cannot reject the implanted tumours, and then exposing these "xenografts" to drugs whose killing efficiency and toxicity profiles will then be applied to treat human cancers. The pitfalls of such an entirely synthesized non-natural model system have also plagued other disciplines.

A recent scientific paper showed that all 150 drugs tested at the cost of billions of dollars in human trials of sepsis failed because the drugs had been developed using mice. Unfortunately, what looks like sepsis in mice turned out to be very different than what sepsis is in humans. Coverage of this study by Gina Kolata in the New York Times incited a heated response from within the biomedical research community.

One blogger said: "There is no basis for leveraging a niche piece of research to imply that mice are useless models for all human diseases." In an article for the Jackson Laboratory, three leading physician scientists concluded: "The key is to construct the appropriate mouse models and design the experimental conditions that mirror the human situation."

The problem is there are no appropriate mouse models that can mimic the human situation. So why is the cancer research community continuing to be dominated by the dysfunctional tradition of employing mouse models to test hypotheses for development of new drugs?

many more


California Researchers To Monitor State’s Kelp Forests For Fukushima Radioactive Contamination

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Researchers from California State University Long Beach are set to monitor the state’s kelp forests for radioactive contamination resulting from the meltdown of Fukushima’s nuclear power plant in Japan.

Radioactive iodine traces from the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and meltdown had been detected a month later in kelp forests along the Orange County shoreline.

The ongoing study, which has been dubbed Kelp Watch 2014, aims to examine samples of Giant Kelp and Bull Kelp all along the California coast.

“The California kelp forest is a highly productive and complex ecosystem and a valuable state resource,” CSULB biology professor Steven L. Manley said.

Manley is partnering with scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for the study.



Tuesday Toon Roundup 3- The Rest







Tuesday Toon Roundup 2- A-roid

Tuesday Toon Roundup 1- Jersey Shore

The Flood Next Time

The little white shack at the water’s edge in Lower Manhattan is unobtrusive — so much so that the tourists strolling the promenade at Battery Park the other day did not give it a second glance.

Up close, though, the roof of the shed behind a Coast Guard building bristled with antennas and other gear. Though not much bigger than a closet, this facility is helping scientists confront one of the great environmental mysteries of the age.

The equipment inside is linked to probes in the water that keep track of the ebb and flow of the tides in New York Harbor, its readings beamed up to a satellite every six minutes.

While the gear today is of the latest type, some kind of tide gauge has been operating at the Battery since the 1850s, by a government office originally founded by Thomas Jefferson. That long data record has become invaluable to scientists grappling with this question: How much has the ocean already risen, and how much more will it go up?


Mitt Romney dances onstage at young Mormons conference [VIDEO]

Jan. 13 (UPI) -- There's something so special about seeing middle-aged politicians dance, and Mitt Romney's onstage hoedown is no exception.
The former Republican presidential candidate attended a regional conference for Young Single Adults of the Latter-Day Saints Church in Arizona on Saturday, where he obliged artist Alex Boye by learning how to dance "Gangnam Style."

The brief dance session obviously delighted the audience, who documented it on social media.

Video at link http://www.upi.com/blog/2014/01/13/Mitt-Romney-dances-onstage-at-young-Mormons-conference-VIDEO/4801389663222/

I can't wait until he does the part in the elevator with Ted Cruz grinding over him.....

Iranian news agency says the U.S. is secretly run by Nazi space aliens.


Iran's semi-official news outlets have something of a reputation for taking conspiracy theorism to the next level. They've written on Israel's secret plans to annex Iraq, the conspiracy by Western media to fabricate quotes by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemning the Holocaust and the secret Jewishness of the British royal family. You may notice a certain theme here.

On Sunday, the hard-line semi-official Fars News dropped one of its biggest bombshells yet: The United States government has been secretly run by a "shadow government" of space aliens since 1945. Yes, space aliens. The alien government is based out of Nevada and had previously run Nazi Germany. It adds, for timeliness, that the controversial NSA programs are actually a tool for the aliens to hide their presence on Earth and their secret agenda for global domination. This is all asserted as incontrovertible fact with no caveats.

There are so many wonderful details here. As proof that aliens were secretly behind the Nazis, the report explains that Germany built hundreds of submarines toward the end of the war, far more than would have been possible with mere human technology. It does not explain why aliens with access to interstellar travel built subs that were so grossly incapable against the British navy, or why all-powerful extraterrestrials were unable to help the Nazis resist an invasion by Allied forces that are mere cavemen relative to their own technology. So far, these are pretty unimpressive aliens.

In any case, after losing the war, the aliens apparently installed themselves as the secret force behind the United States government. President Obama is said to be a tool of the aliens, though anti-alien factions within the U.S. government are fighting to topple him. Their present aim is to install a global surveillance system that will, somehow, allow them to finally impose a one-world government and enslave humanity.



Don't let the house republicans see this! Issa will be holding hearings next.....
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