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Carafem's 'spa-like' abortion clinic part of new U.S. trend

Reproductive health centres focus on holistic approach to ‘de-medicalize’ abortion
By Matt Kwong, CBC News Posted: Jan 02, 2016 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 02, 2016 5:00 AM ET

The comments, handwritten on pink cards in the welcome lounge, praise Carafem's "quick service" and its "classy, chic and modern atmosphere."

The reviews could describe any of the salons or boutiques sharing the same tony strip in the Friendship Heights district of Washington, D.C. But Carafem, with its natural-wood finishes and cheery wall art, offers a unique service to women here: Safe, anxiety-free abortions.

"We wanted to be a voice that women could hear unapologetically standing behind health care," Melissa Grant, Carafem's VP of health services, said recently from the clinic's flagship office.

"We'll have flowers, there's music, there's no harsh medical smells, images on the walls are of people smiling. We're trying to maintain an experience that is as friendly and comfortable as it possibly could be," says Grant, a former director of Planned Parenthood.



Nanoparticle-enhanced metals could radically change cars

UCLA scientists inject silicon carbide nanoparticles into a magnesium zinc alloy. The result is a metal with 'record breaking' strength and stiffness-to-weight.Scientists at UCLA have found a new way to inject silicon carbide nanoparticles into a molten alloy of magnesium and zinc, resulting a metal nanocomposite that demonstrates "record levels" of stiffness-to-weight and specific strength, and "superior stability" at high temperatures. Magnesium is already the lightest structural metal, this lab creation maintains its light weight but makes it much stronger. The researchers said they also developed a scalable manufacturing process, opening up a door to lighter and stronger cars, planes, medical devices, and electronics.

Silicon carbide is the ultra-hard material used in car clutches and carbon ceramic brakes. Nanoparticles have been injected into molten metal before, but the particles tend to clump together. The UCLA breakthrough came in getting silicon carbide nanoparticles to spread evenly throughout the molten magnesium, then using high-pressure torsion to compress the resulting metal and make it even stronger. By weight, the alloy is 14 percent silicon carbide, 86 percent magnesium. Head researcher Xiaochun Li said this first successful effort is "just scratching the surface of the hidden treasure for a new class of metals with revolutionary properties and functionalities."

This advance could be part of the solution to stricter corporate average fuel economy dictates on the way. On the alt-fuel side, being able to produce a lighter, stronger electric-vehicle chassis would help overcome some of the weight of the battery pack. Nevetheless, while the researchers say magnesium is abundant and they have a scalable manufacturing method, the question is, 'At what price?'


California Ships Hundreds of Troubled Children Out of State

At 14, Deshaun Becton’s life is a roadmap to California’s faltering efforts to care for its most troubled children.

Over more than a dozen turbulent years, he lived with a half-dozen foster families and in five different group homes. Now he is among the more than 900 children that California sends to out-of-state residential facilities, most of them in Utah, a ProPublica analysis shows.

Each of these children represents a surrender of sorts: a tacit acknowledgement that California — the nation’s biggest and, by some measures, richest state — somehow has no good answer for them.

In the late 1990s, after a 16-year-old boy died from abuse at an Arizona boot camp, California pledged not to export its troubled youth to out-of-state group homes and juvenile detention facilities that didn’t meet certain standards. The number of kids sent away plummeted.

Today, however, the state is grasping for options anew.

California has shuttered most of its secure facilities for youth and done away with almost all beds for children in psychiatric hospitals. It has moved to curtail the use of group homes, partly because, as ProPublica has reported, several have melted down into chaos in recent years. Most recently, the state has adopted reforms meant to keep children in need of acute care as close to home as possible, pumping money into county programs to create new centers and recruit foster families.



Teen Shot While 'Ding Dong Ditching' In Neighborhood

PRYOR, Oklahoma - A 14-year-old Pryor boy is out of surgery after being shot several times by his neighbor who has not been arrested.

Police said the teen and two of his friends were ringing doorbells and running off early New Year's Day when the homeowner came out to his front yard and started firing.

The case has been handed over to the district attorney who is looking into whether the shooting was justified.

The call went out as a home invasion, but when police got to the scene they quickly heard a different story. Police said the three boys did not try to break into the home.


Bernie vs. Hillary: the Real “Clash of Civilizations”?


If I’m an ardent fan of Bernie Sanders’ call for political revolution, it’s because I’m an equally ardent fan of Naomi Klein’s climate justice vision. That vision, which Klein convincingly argues for in This Changes Everything, entails a program of coordinated policies—essentially progressive ones—that nations must implement worldwide as preconditions for tackling humanity’s climate emergency. In depicting a world of peace, vastly greater economic equality, transparent, accountable government, democratic elections, and equitably shared responsibilities and benefits, Klein essentially provides the blueprint for a new and desperately needed global civilization—perhaps the first one to truly deserve the name.

Unfortunately, the road to Klein’s “brave new world” must begin in our bad old one. Klein herself is very aware of that fact. This Changes Everything amply laments humanity’s misfortune in having a neo-liberal “magic of markets” ideology enshrined in our planet’s seats of power when what’s urgently needed is a progressive ideology stressing democratic governments’ active intervention in markets for sake of the common good. Market solutions alone are clearly no more than a Band-Aid on our planet’s gaping climate hemorrhage, and as celebrated French economist Thomas Piketty convincingly shows in his book Capital, the natural, uncorrected tendency of capitalism is toward vast concentrations of wealth and plutocratic domination of government. Exactly the kind riding roughshod over democracy now, both domestically and globally.

But government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich must soon perish from the earth—or the climate perishes first.

And the necessary vehicle for dislodging the rich from unjust monopolization of power is and has always been revolution—an overthrow of the existing order. Now, nothing decrees that such an overthrow need be violent; England’s “Glorious Revolution” was dubbed glorious precisely because it was peaceful. But in calling for a political revolution (which he clearly intends to be peaceful), Bernie Sanders—alone among U.S. presidential candidates—has embraced the right diagnosis and remedy.



Toon: Herbal Supplement

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