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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 43,633

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Why Fake Data When You Can Fake a Scientist?

BY ADAM MARCUS & IVAN ORANSKY

Hoss Cartwright, a former editor of the International Journal of Agricultural Innovations and Research, had a good excuse for missing the 5th World Congress on Virology last year: He doesn’t exist. Burkhard Morgenstern, a professor of bioinformatics at the University of Gottingen, dreamt him up, and built a nice little scientific career for him. He wrote Cartwright a Curriculum Vitae, describing his doctorate in Studies of Dunnowhat, his rigorous postdoctoral work at Some Shitty Place in the Middle of Nowhere, and his experience as Senior Cattle Manager at the Ponderosa Institute for Bovine Research. Cartwright never published a single research paper, but he was appointed to the editorial boards of five journals. Apparently, no one involved in the application processes remembered the television show Bonanza, or the giant but amiable cowboy named “Hoss” who was played by actor Dan Blocker. Despite Cartwright’s questionable credentials, he was invited to speak at several meetings such as the 5th World Congress on Virology—typically a mark of recognition as an expert.

Morgenstern was tired of the constant barrage of solicitations from suspect science journals asking him to join their editorial boards—the academic equivalent of the flood of credit card applications that anyone with a mailbox receives. “At some point I was just so fed up with all those spam emails from these junk publishers that I just did this little experiment,” he says. “I contacted them under the fake name Peter Uhnemann and asked to be accepted on the editorial board.” Uhnemann was a name borrowed from a German satirical magazine and Morgenstern’s first alter ego.

Uhnemann immediately joined the masthead of the journal Molecular Biology, which belongs to the publishing house OMICS International—which in August was sued by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for deceptive practices—and is produced “in association” with the Nigerian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Unfortunately, Morgenstern admits, he was a bit too subtle: “Hardly anybody knows the name ‘Peter Uhnemann,’ so I then tried it with a more popular name, and this happened to be Hoss Cartwright.”

more
http://nautil.us/issue/42/fakes/why-fake-data-when-you-can-fake-a-scientist

The US government is already quietly backing out of its promise to phase out private prisons

Critics have long denounced private prisons in the US as unsafe, inefficient and at times, inhumane. Those critics, who include inmates and activists, seemed to find a powerful ally earlier this year when the Department of Justice announced it would phase out its use of private prisons for federal prisoners. This wouldn’t mean the end of privately-run incarceration facilities (they’re also used by immigration authorities and states), but it was seen as a step forward. Except, that when the first contracts came up for re-negotiation this fall, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) quietly decided to renew them anyway. That decision, along with the election of Donald Trump, mean that the US is unlikely to see the use of private prison operators diminish any time soon.

Last week, CoreCivic (CCA), one of the country’s two largest prison operators, announced that the BOP had renewed its contract for two years to run the McRae Correctional Facility in Georgia. According to the company, the new agreement was barely changed, with only an 8% reduction in inmate beds. This despite an August memo from the deputy attorney general Sally Yates that stated that the Department of Justice, which oversees BOP, would either nix the contracts, or “substantially” reduce them when they came up for renewal.


Curiously, the BOP said the new contract, reduced the number of beds by 24%, and saved $6 million in costs, and followed DOJ instructions. The reason for the discrepancy? BOP initially provided Quartz only the maximum capacity of the facility as a basis for the calculation. CoreCivic presented the minimum number of beds it would get paid for—the fixed amount it is guaranteed by the contract.

Either way the contract renewal is spun, activists are disappointed. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the McRae facility neglected the medical care of some inmates, and unduly punished inmates with solitary confinement. In 2011, the group asked the BOP to shut the prison down.

more
http://qz.com/840337/the-us-government-is-already-quietly-backing-out-of-its-promise-to-phase-out-private-prisons/

One dead, 9 injured in Bourbon Street mass shooting in New Orleans; 2 arrests made

Source: New Orleans Advocate

One person was killed and nine others were injured in a mass shooting on Bourbon Street early Sunday morning, according to New Orleans police.

The incident occurred around 1:30 a.m. in the 100 block of Bourbon Street near the intersection of Iberville Street.

The extent of the victims' injuries is unknown. NOPD Supt. Michael Harrison told reporters at the scene that the victims range in age from 20-37. Two victims are women; eight are men.

Harrison said officers were able to arrest two men at the scene for illegally carry of a firearm. One of the men arrested is a victim.

Read more: http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/crime_police/article_787af20a-b482-11e6-9523-27a01d744e17.html

Toon: Banking Explained

Goldman Sachs sez: Economy needs higher oil prices

OPEC is closing in on a deal to cut production, which will surely cause oil prices to rise. Oil is already almost back to $50 per barrel, so cuts of nearly 1 million barrels per day could boost prices well into the mid-$50s, even up towards $60 per barrel. That will provide a windfall to oil producers around the world and the sacrifice for OPEC members will be more than paid for by higher revenues. For example, Iraqi officials say that for every $1 increase in the price of a barrel of oil, their revenues jump by $1 billion per year.

As a result, the odds of rising crude oil prices are high. But while that could be welcomed by the industry, consumers might not be as excited to see cheap gasoline disappear. After all, U.S. motorists have enjoyed two years of incredibly cheap fuel. Will rising oil prices put a dent in already tepid U.S and global economic growth?

Perhaps not. As Bloomberg reported, Goldman Sachs wrote in a Nov. 22 research note that the global economy could benefit from higher oil prices. That conclusion may not be obvious, but here is the logic the investment bank lays out: Higher oil prices lead to a wave of capital that flows into major oil producing countries such as Saudi Arabia. Unable to use all the capital, Saudi Arabia sends the excess savings back into the global financial system. Banks then use that capital to lend. Interest rates also fall as the financial markets are more liquid. The end result is lower interest rates, more financial liquidity, higher asset values and ultimately greater consumer confidence. In short, higher oil prices could boost economic growth.

more
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2016/11/26/economy-oil-prices-goldman-sachs/94431546/

Oh Boy! Trump reportedly considering Rohrabacher for SoS


California GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said Friday he is on President-elect Donald Trump’s list of potential picks for secretary of State.

“I have been told that I am under consideration to join President Trump’s team as Secretary of State. While my present intention, of course, is to continue to fight for liberty and freedom as a member of the House of Representatives, as a strong supporter of President-Elect Trump’s vision for America, it would be a privilege and an honor to serve as his Secretary of State,” he said in a statement.

Rohrabacher has served in the House since 1989 and worked as an assistant press secretary and speech writer for President Ronald Reagan. He is chair of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee for Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats.

Rohrabacher has made headlines for his friendly outlook on Russia, and he supported the right of Crimea to secede from the Ukraine. He also reportedly met with a Vladimir Putin confidant in Russia who had been sanctioned by the U.S.

more
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/307540-california-rep-says-hes-under-consideration-for-secretary-of-state

What a maroon!

Weekend Toon Roundup

Trump


















T-day




Castro


Bringing carbon-silicon bonds to life

Organic compounds containing silicon are important for a number of applications, from polymers to semiconductors. The catalysts used for creating carbon-silicon bonds, however, often require expensive trace metals or have limited lifetimes. Borrowing from the ability of some metallo-enzymes to catalyze other rare carbene insertion reactions, Kan et al. used heme proteins to form carbon-silicon bonds across a range of conditions and substrates (see the Perspective by Klare and Oestreich). Directed evolution experiments using cytochrome c from Rhodothermus marinus improved the reaction to be 15 times more efficient than industrial catalysts.

more

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6315/1048

CNN accidentally airs 30 minutes of non-stop hardcore porn (hoax)

Sorry folks, turns out to be a lie-
http://www.snopes.com/cnn-half-hour-porn/

4,000-Year-Old 'Thinker' Sculpture Uncovered in Israel



A ceramic vessel bearing the sculpture of a pensive-looking figure has been found in the Israeli city of Yehud.

The vessel dates back about 4,000 years, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). Archaeologists found the artifact during excavations in advance of a new housing development.

"It seems that at first the jug, which is typical of the period, was prepared, and afterwards, the unique sculpture was added, the likes of which have never before been discovered in previous research," Gilad Itach, the IAA excavation director, said in a statement.

more
http://www.livescience.com/56986-ancient-thinker-sculpture-uncovered-in-israel.html
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