Daily Archives: April 27, 2017

Study claims a link between diet sodas and stroke and dementia 

Excessive intake of sugar has been linked to a huge variety of health problems, many of them a consequence of the obesity that’s also linked to excessive sugar. That’s led many people to switch to drinks with artificial sweeteners that aren’t metabolized by the body. A new study is now suggesting that these sweeteners are associated with their own health risks, namely stroke and dementia. But the study doesn’t get into causality, and there’s enough oddities in the data to suggest that it’s not time to purge your fridge just yet.The study, run by a collaboration of Boston-based researchers, relied on a cohort of individuals that had been recruited starting in 1971. On average, every four years since, the participants have completed follow-up surveys and had their health checked out. Over 5,000 people are in this cohort, and they provide a rich source of epidemiological data.The authors started out intending to look at whether sugar-rich drinks increased the risk of strokes and dementia. So they eliminated a lot of people from this cohort because they’d previously experienced these or related issues. That reduced the study population considerably: under 3,000 for stroke, and under 1,500 for dementia.

Source: Study claims a link between diet sodas and stroke and dementia | Ars Technica

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Facebook Envisions Using Brain Waves to Type Words – Bloomberg

Facebook Inc.’s research unit Building 8 is working to make it possible for people to type using signals from their brains, part of the lab’s broader effort to free people from their phones.Regina Dugan, hired from Alphabet Inc. last year to oversee the lab, said that within “a few years’ time” Facebook aims to develop a system that can type at 100 words per minute, just from monitoring the brain, without using any kind of implant. The company is working with outside academics on the issue.This would give “the ability to text a friend without taking out your phone or the ability to send a quick email without leaving the party,” Dugan said Wednesday at the social network operator’s F8 developer conference. The technology may not require thinking in actual letters, she said. The lab also is working on a way for people to hear through their skin.

Source: Facebook Envisions Using Brain Waves to Type Words – Bloomberg

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U.S. May Not Be Able to Shoot Down North Korean Missiles, Say Experts

Top generals have been insisting for years that if North Korea launched a missile at the United States, the U.S military would be able to shoot it down.But that is a highly questionable assertion, according to independent scientists and government investigators.In making it, the generals fail to acknowledge huge questions about the effectiveness of the $40 billion missile defense system they rely on to stop a potential nuclear-armed ballistic missile fired by North Korean or Iran, according to a series of outside reviews.”They are leading political leaders to believe that they have a military capability that they don’t, in fact, have,” says physicist David Wright, who has studied the program for years as co-director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists

Source: U.S. May Not Be Able to Shoot Down North Korean Missiles, Say Experts – NBC News

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Study: It’s Racist to Teach Students Financial Literacy 

Students who graduated last year had more than $37,000 in student-loan debt alone, not to mention credit card debt. A recent Citizens Bank survey showed that nearly six in 10 millennials regretted their borrowing, also showing that many lacked the knowledge to effectively address their debt or make informed financial decisions.Colleges are stepping in and offering financial-literacy courses, sometimes at the behest of politicians and or even the Department of Education. But these courses are actually racist, argue two professors in a newly published paper in the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review.The paper, written by Duke’s William A. Darity and the New School’s Darrick Hamilton, argues that financial-literacy courses presume that the problem is simply that students of color lack of financial responsibility or financial knowledge.

Source: Study: It’s Racist to Teach Students Financial Literacy | Heat Street

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Physicists observe ‘negative mass’ 

Physicists have created a fluid with “negative mass”, which accelerates towards you when pushed.In the everyday world, when an object is pushed, it accelerates in the same direction as the force applied to it; this relationship is described by Isaac Newton’s Second Law of Motion.But in theory, matter can have negative mass in the same sense that an electric charge can be positive or negative.The phenomenon is described in Physical Review Letters journal.Prof Peter Engels, from Washington State University (WSU), and colleagues cooled rubidium atoms to just above the temperature of absolute zero (close to -273C), creating what’s known as a Bose-Einstein condensate.

Source: Physicists observe ‘negative mass’ – BBC News

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Dum Dums Pays Tribute to 48-Year Employee

Al Braun started what was to be a 90-day temporary gig at a Bryan, Ohio, candy factory in 1969. It turned into something with a little more staying power. On Friday, Braun ended his 48-year career with the Spangler Candy Company, maker of Dum Dums and other popular candies. His start was making bubble gum cigarettes, but for the last 25 years he’s worked as a Dum Dums bagger operator, overseeing the machine that bags the pops. 13ABC reports the factory pumps out about 12 million pops per production day, for a total of 2.5 billion a year; Braun played a part in the production of more than 50 billion of them. WCMH reports he pulled up to a reserved spot on Friday, capping off a last week at work that was probably more memorable than most, thanks to an April 17 Facebook post from the company.

“Al has made 50+ billion Dum Dums in over 48 years at the factory, and is retiring Friday, but HE THINKS NO ONE CARES. If you have enjoyed a Dum Dum since 1969, like (and share!) this post or Hashtag #thanksAl.” As of Monday morning it’s been shared nearly 200,000 times and has almost 150,000 reactions. WTHR rounds up uses of the hashtag from people telling stories of bringing the suckers (and joy) to kids in places like Rwanda and Guatemala. It could be the first of many such social media posts: 13ABC reports 20% of the 500-person company has been on the job at least 25 years, and 17 have logged more than 40 years. The station asks Braun the crucial question: What’s your favorite flavor? “Lemon Lime, Blue Raspberry and the mystery flavor,” he says. (In other lollipop news, here’s how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.)

Source: Dum Dums Pays Tribute to 48-Year Employee

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Former Obama Official Makes Jaw Dropping Claim About Climate Data Fraud

The massive climate change hoax has, once again, been outed as the obvious fraud that it is as a former Obama administration official claimed that data had been fudged to fit the narrative.

The Obama administration’s scam. The Daily Caller reported: “Former Energy Department Undersecretary Steven Koonin told The Wall Street Journal Monday that bureaucrats within former President Barack Obama’s administration spun scientific data to manipulate public opinion.”

“What you saw coming out of the press releases about climate data, climate analysis, was, I’d say, misleading, sometimes just wrong,” Koonin explained.

The manipulation is a team effort, with press officers that work with scientists in agencies such as the National Oceanic Administration (NOAA) and NASA, who then put together misleading press releases about the climate data, Koonin noted.

Koonin gives an example. Koonin, who worked in the Obama administration between 2009 and 2011, went on to reference a National Climate Assessment from 2014 which claimed to show that hurricane activity increased since 1980 — an assessment that, according to Koonin, was misleading.

“What they forgot to tell you, and you don’t know until you read all the way into the fine print is that it actually decreased in the decades before that,” Koonin said.

Koonin’s claim is also backed up by U.N.-published reports in 2014.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that there “is limited evidence of changes in extremes associated with other climate variables since the mid-20th century.” The panel went on to report that according to current data, there are “no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century.”

Others are working to expose the scam. The DC reported:

Koonin is not the only one claiming wrongdoing. House lawmakers with the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, for instance, recently jumpstarted an investigation into NOAA after a whistleblower said agency scientists rushed a landmark global warming study to influence policymakers.

Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, the committee’s chairman, will “move forward as soon as possible” in asking NOAA to hand over documents included in a 2015 subpoena on potential climate data tampering.

Koonin explained why this is important. He discussed his frustration over how political science has become and expressed that scientists should seek to “tell it like it is. You’re a scientist and it is your responsibility to put the facts on the table.”

What NASA and NOAA have done is a problem because “public opinion is formed by the data that is formed from those organizations and appears in newspapers.”

Source: Former Obama Official Makes Jaw Dropping Claim About Climate Data Fraud | The Federalist Papers

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Watch this all-electric ‘flying car’ take its first test flight in Germany 

Flying cars, that perennial dream for futurists that always seem to be at least five years away, may be a little closer to reality than we realize. A lot of prototypes have been showcased recently, and a lot of money is being tossed around. More people than ever seem to buy into the crazy notion that in the near future we’ll be buzzing between rooftops in private, autonomous drones. Today, Munich-based Lilium Aviation announced an important milestone: the first test flight of its all-electric, two-seater, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) prototype.In a video provided by the Munich-based startup, the aircraft can be seen taking off vertically like a helicopter, and then accelerating into forward flight using wing-borne lift.

Source: Watch this all-electric ‘flying car’ take its first test flight in Germany – The Verge

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Python with anorexia swallows £800 in vet bills – BBC News

A bearded dragon with an abscess, and a Burmese python with anorexia were among a record number of pets treated under insurance policies last year.The bearded dragon, a kind of lizard, had its sore jaw treated at a cost of £410.The food-resistant python proved even more expensive, costing £790 to treat.They were both among 932,000 pet insurance claims made in 2016, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).The total amount paid out to policy-holders was £706m, a 7% increase on 2015 and also a record high.Among other unusual treatments were:A cocker spaniel which swallowed a turkey baster on Christmas dayA white cockatoo with respiratory problemsAn English springer spaniel which swallowed a grass seed and needed surgery costing £3,400A lethargic cat which cost £366 to cureThe average cost of a claim is now £757, a 5% rise on 2015.

Source: Python with anorexia swallows £800 in vet bills – BBC News

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