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100 Years Old. 5 World Records.

SAN DIEGO — Don Pellmann had been at the San Diego Mesa College track for less than an hour Sunday morning and had already moved his lawn chair twice to remain in the shade, which was receding fast. By the time Pellmann set his fifth age-group world record, in the early afternoon, the temperature on the track was creeping toward 100, which also happens to be the birthday Pellmann recently celebrated.

Pellmann, the most senior athlete in the San Diego Senior Olympics, became the first centenarian to break 27 seconds in the 100-meter dash and the first to clear an official height in the high jump. He also broke records for men in the 100-and-over age group in the shot-put and the discus and set a record in the long jump.

Olga Kotelko holds more than 30 world records in her age category.Phys Ed: Does Exercise Change Your Brain?SEPT. 2, 2015
Wearing baggy shorts and a faded red T-shirt with “Donald Pellmann Established 1915 Milwaukee, WI” written across the front, he opened his program by trying to become the oldest man, by roughly nine years, to record a height in the pole vault. He dislodged the bar three times at 3 feet 1 ¾ inches, which gnawed at him the rest of the day.

“I thought I was in better shape,” he said.



Lab-grown kidneys work in animals

Scientists say they are a step closer to growing fully functioning replacement kidneys, after promising results in animals.

When transplanted into pigs and rats, the kidneys worked, passing urine just like natural ones.

Getting the urine out has been a problem for earlier prototypes, causing them to balloon under the pressure.

The Japanese team got round this by growing extra plumbing for the kidney to stop the backlog, PNAS reports.

Although still years off human trials, the research helps guide the way towards the end goal of making organs for people, say experts.



Down the Memory Hole: NYT Erases CIA’s Efforts to Overthrow Syria’s Government

FAIR has noted before how America’s well-documented clandestine activities in Syria have been routinely ignored when the corporate media discuss the Obama administration’s “hands-off” approach to the four-and-a-half-year-long conflict. This past week, two pieces—one in the New York Times detailing the “finger pointing” over Obama’s “failed” Syria policy, and a Vox “explainer” of the Syrian civil war—did one better: They didn’t just omit the fact that the CIA has been arming, training and funding rebels since 2012, they heavily implied they had never done so.

First, let’s establish what we do know. Based on multiple reports over the past three-and-a-half years, we know that the Central Intelligence Agency set up a secret program of arming, funding and training anti-Assad forces. This has been reported by major outlets, including the New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel and, most recently, the Washington Post, which—partly thanks to the Snowden revelations—detailed a program that trained approximately 10,000 rebel fighters at a cost of $1 billion a year, or roughly 1/15th of the CIA’s official annual budget.

In addition to the CIA’s efforts, there is a much more scrutinized and far more publicized program by the Department of Defense to train “moderate rebels,” of which only a few dozen actually saw battle. The Pentagon program, which began earlier this year and is charged with fighting ISIS (rather than Syrian government forces), is separate from the covert CIA operation. It has, by all accounts, been an abysmal failure.

One thing the DoD’s rebel training program hasn’t been a failure at, however, is helping credulous reporters rewrite history by treating the Pentagon program as the only US effort to train Syrian rebels–now or in the past. As the US’s strategy in Syria is publicly debated, the CIA’s years-long program has vanished from many popular accounts, giving the average reader the impression the US has sat idly by while foreign actors, Iranian and Russian, have interfered in the internal matters of Syria. While the White House, Congress and the Pentagon can’t legally acknowledge the CIA training program, because it’s still technically classified, there’s little reason why our media need to entertain a similar charade.



Tuesday Toon Roundup 3: The Rest





Tuesday Toon Roundup 2: Pope Visit

Tuesday Toon Roundup 1- Another One Bites The Dust

People Want to Hear What Bernie Sanders Has to Say. The DNC Doesn't.

The party's insistence on six debates isn't helping anyone—except Hillary Clinton.


Remember that scene at the end of The Perfect Storm, when Mark Wahlberg bobs to the surface of a truly mountainous sea, and the camera pans away until he's almost invisible among massive waves? That was what I thought of when the mysteriously still-employed Debbie Wasserman Schultz got up on the stage at the New Hampshire Democratic State Convention and found herself deluged with chants of "More debates!" She came dangerously close to losing the hall entirely.

A couple of times, DWS tried to make the case that "we" should not be fighting amongst "ourselves" and that "we" should concentrate instead on keeping one of the increasingly loopy Republican candidates away from the nuclear codes. Fair enough, but an inadequate response to a legitimate concern that DWS is using every ounce of her barely distinguishable leadership of the Democratic National Committee to monkey with the nominating process to the advantage of her favorite candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton. It is not so much the limited number of debates that got up people's nose. It's that the DNC, led by its chairperson, actually threatened to sanction anyone who wanted to stage a debate, or a "candidate forum," outside of the formal party structure.

"While a six sanctioned debate schedule is consistent with the precedent set by the DNC during the 2004 and 2008 cycles, this year the DNC will further manage the process by implementing an exclusivity requirement," the statement announcing the debates explained. "Any candidate or debate sponsor wishing to participate in DNC debates, must agree to participate exclusively in the DNC-sanctioned process. Any violation would result in forfeiture of the ability to participate in the remainder of the debate process."

This is, quite simply, a crock. If a couple of candidates want to get up on a stage and knock around each other's ideas on Iran, say, or the carried-interest deduction, you're going to blackball them from the formal process? Who the fck are you when you're at home anyway? And this truncated process already is in play in New Hampshire.


One-third of British people born in 2015 'will develop dementia'

One in three people born this year will develop dementia, according to new figures.

The Alzheimer’s Research UK charity warned of a “looming national health crisis” as the population ages.

It called for greater efforts across the globe to help develop new treatments.
Dementia affects 850,000 people in the UK, resulting in the loss of brain cells. The most common type is Alzheimer’s disease.

Early symptoms include problems with memory and thinking. As the disease progresses, people can experience difficulty with walking, balance and swallowing.

Alzheimer’s Research UK said age was the biggest risk factor for developing dementia.


Japan Dumbs Down Its Universities

By Noah Smith
Most people who follow news from Japan will be paying attention to the economy, or possibly to the fist-fight that broke out in the Diet over security policy. But there was a huge and very worrying change in Japanese education policy that somehow hasn't received much public notice.

Essentially, Japan’s government just ordered all of the country’s public universities to end education in the social sciences, the humanities and law.

The order, issued in the form of a letter from Hakubun Shimomura, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, is non-binding. The country’s two top public universities have refused to comply. But dozens of public schools are doing as the government has urged. At most of these universities, there will be no more economics majors, no more law students, no more literature or sociology or political science students. It’s a stunning, dramatic shift, and it deserves more attention than it’s receiving.

It is also a very bad sign for Japan, for a number of reasons.


Pope Francis, Bernie Sanders and the moral imperative of systemic change

Both men agree that the system is broken and radical transformation is necessary
September 21, 2015 2:00AM ET
by Gar Alperovitz

Two men in their 70s have been addressing massive crowds and sparking the imagination and passions of American progressives. Both have been featured on the cover of Time magazine.

On a first look, however, they couldn’t be more different. One is a Jewish-American self-proclaimed “democratic socialist” politician from Vermont; the other, a Catholic religious leader from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Bernie Sanders and Pope Francis, however, share a moral vision of the limitations and real-life repercussions of our current political-economic system as well as a sincere desire to change it.

This surprising intersection of political-economic ideas rooted in morality also reminds us that many people of the sixties generation not only have a history in common, but have become highly successful and moved into positions of considerable influence. Moreover, the huge response in America, to the Sanders campaign in particular, tells us something important not only about the state of this country, but also about what people with conviction can accomplish, despite their age. The moral courage in the face of systemic challenges demonstrated by both leaders recalls the sixties generation they are both a product of; Sanders as a civil rights activist amidst intense social turmoil and the Pope as a young religious leader during a time of military dictatorship and right-wing death squads.

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