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n2doc

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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Katie Couric puts the anti-vaccination movement into the mainstream

By Michael Hiltzik
December 4, 2013, 5:09 p.m.

The anti-vaccination movement has long been a public menace. It's responsible for the resurgence of numerous serious diseases that were on the decline, including measles, mumps and whooping cough.

Now the movement has been given a big booster shot by Katie Couric, who devoted a large portion of her daily talk show Wednesday to some highly emotional and scientifically dubious claims by critics of Gardasil, a leading vaccine for human papillomavirus, or HPV.

The segment focused on a mother convinced that her 20-year-old daughter died after a cycle of Gardasil immunization, and a second family whose 14-year-old daughter fell ill after the shots. Neither presented any medical evidence to support their claims.

Alarm about the show's HPV segment was raised in advance by science writer Seth Mnookin, who reported that he had been contacted in July by a producer for the show who suggested that the segment would be aimed at debunking the misconception that childhood vaccines are linked to autism. This is a dangerous claim retailed by, among others, the starlet Jenny McCarthy, who currently has a perch on the talk show "The View."


http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-katie-couric-20131204,0,4371413.story

Higher Wages Are Good for Companies Too

Jessica Weisberg

Barbara Gertz is 25 and works at a Walmart in Aurora, Colorado, stocking shelves on the overnight shift. She and her husband, a cement mason, can get by most months, but there have been days Barbara has called in sick because she can’t afford the gas to drive to work.

Higher wages would obviously benefit Barbara and her colleagues at Walmart who protested last Friday. They would also benefit fast food workers striking tomorrow in 100 cities across the country who earn, on average, $11,000 a year.

But according to Zeynep Ton, an adjunct professor at MIT Sloan School of Management, higher wages are better for companies, too.

Ton’s book, The Good Jobs Strategy: How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to Lower Costs and Boost Profits, comes out in January and in it, she describes how large retail companies like Mercadona, Trader Joe’s and Costco have been able to invest in workers without raising prices. “These companies think about employees not as costs to minimize but as capable human beings with the potential to generate sales and profits,” Ton recently wrote on her blog. “Doesn’t all this cost a lot? Of course it does. But that’s only part of the strategy. These companies also design and manage work in a way that makes their employees more productive and takes full advantage of a committed, motivated, and capable (that is, well-paid, well-trained, and well-treated) workforce.”

Here’s one of Ton’s favorite examples of why the so-called Good Jobs Strategy works: During the recession, both Walmart and Mercadona, Spain’s largest supermarket chain, had to cut costs and did so by reducing the variety of products they carried. Walmart customers were annoyed when their local store stopped carrying their favorite brand of potato chip, or toilet paper or T-shirt. Sales dropped; Walmart’s chief merchandising officer had to leave the company. At Mercadona, customers were unfazed if an item they wanted was out of stock because workers, who as a matter of company policy are trained in every department, were able to recommend a replacement. Sales figures increased, even after Mercadona reduced its prices by 10 percent. Workers would let management know if there was a particular product that too many customers seemed to miss. “They could do this because they are empowered, cross-trained and have the time to engage the customer,” Ton writes. By comparison, Barbara told me that “there’s just a total lack of respect” for associates at Walmart. She mentioned a friend who politely pointed out an inventory problem to her supervisor and was fired the next day for the very mistake she tried to correct.

more

http://www.thenation.com/blog/177468/higher-wages-are-good-companies-too#

Toon- Ten Reasons to be against Unions

Thursday TOON Roundup 4- The Rest

Detroit



Economy




NSA





China




Church


Thursday TOON Roundup 3- Health Care










Thursday TOON Roundup 2- Repubs












Thursday Toon Roundup 1- Droning on….
















NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls



The more things change, the more they stay the same….

A Nova visible to the naked eye Erupts in Centaurus


Nova Centauri 2013 imaged from São Paulo, Brazil. (Credit: Ednilson Oliveira).

If you live in the southern hemisphere, the southern sky constellation of Centaurus may look a little different to you tonight, as a bright nova has been identified in the region early this week.

The initial discovery of Nova Centauri 2013 (Nova Cen 2013) was made by observer John Seach based out of Chatsworth Island in New South Wales Australia. The preliminary discovery magnitude for Nova Cen 2013 was magnitude +5.5, just above naked eye visibility from a good dark sky site. Estimates by observers over the past 24 hours place Nova Cen 2013 between magnitudes +4 and +5 “with a bullet,” meaning this one may get brighter still as the week progresses.

All indications are that Nova Cen 2013 is a classical nova, a white dwarf star accreting matter from a binary companion until a new round of nuclear fusion occurs. Recurrent novae such as T Pyxidis or U Scorpii may erupt erratically in this fashion over the span of decades.

Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/106932/a-naked-eye-nova-erupts-in-centaurus/

Experts say the IPCC underestimated future sea level rise

Posted on 4 December 2013 by John Abraham
It looks like past IPCC predictions of sea level rise were too conservative; things are worse than we thought. That is the takeaway message from a new study out in Quaternary Science Reviews and from updates to the IPCC report itself. The new study, which is also discussed in depth on RealClimate, tries to determine what our sea levels will be in the future. What they found isn't pretty.

Predicting of sea level rise is a challenging business. While we have good information about what has happened in the past, we still have trouble looking into the future. So, what do we know? Well it is clear that sea levels began to rise about 100 years ago. This rise coincided with increasing global temperatures.

What causes sea level to rise? Really three things. First, water expands as it heats. Second, glaciers melt and water flows to the oceans. Third, the large ice caps on Greenland and Antarctica can melt and the liquid water enters the ocean; often the water transfer is added by calving at the ice fronts which result in icebergs that float into the ocean. In the past, much of the sea level rise was related to the first cause (thermal expansion). Now, however, more and more sea level rise is being caused by melting ice.

But this is all the past. What we really want to know is, how much will sea level rise in the future? There are a number of ways to predict the future. First, we can look at the deep past and see how sea level changed with Earth temperature long ago.

A second way to predict the future is through computational models. These models are computer programs which create a virtual-reality of the Earth. These virtual reality models are very useful because they allow scientists to play "what if" scenarios; but, they have their weaknesses as well. One of their weaknesses is that they don't necessarily capture all of the phenomena which cause sea level rise. It is believed by most scientists that the computer programs are too conservative.

more

http://skepticalscience.com/experts-IPCC-underestimated-sea-level-rise-Rahmstorf.html
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