Daily Archives: June 15, 2017

Professor Says ‘White Marble’ Actually Influences ‘White Supremacist’ Ideas 

A professor at the University of Iowa says that cherishing “white marble” in classical art actually contributes to “white supremacist ideas today.”Sarah BondSarah Bond, an assistant professor in Classics at the university, has penned an article at Hyperallergic, which describes itself as “a forum for playful, serious, and radical perspectives on art and culture in the world today” and boasts about 70,000 subscribers.Bond argues that “many of the statues, reliefs, and sarcophagi created in the ancient Western world were in fact painted” and “white marble” people are seeing today in classical artwork was actually supposed to be colored, Campus Reform reported.The professor therefore suggests that “the equation of white marble with beauty is not an inherent truth of the universe” and is in fact “a dangerous construct that continues to influence white supremacist ideas today.”She continued the article, adding that “most museums and art history textbooks contain a predominantly neon white display of skin tone” that “has an impact on the way we view the antique world.”

Source: Iowa University Professor Says ‘White Marble’ Actually Influences ‘White Supremacist’ Ideas | Heat Street

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A New Era for 3D Bioprinting Breakthroughs

Imagine having the ability to engineer organs and tissue on demand, reducing the years long wait time many patients must go through to receive a transplant.Or, a world where machines could instantly create a variety of medical materials to be used to streamline safety and efficacy testing, saving companies billions of dollars in research and development costs and reducing the need for experiments on animals and humans.It might sound like something from a science fiction movie, but it’s a future we may be moving towards due to innovations in the field of 3D bioprinting, according to a new report from market research firm IDTechEx.

3D bioprinting executes a similar process to traditional 3D printing—where 3D physical objects are created from a digital model on a layer-by-layer basis—except that live cell suspensions are utilized. This requires highly sterile printing conditions to maintain cell viability and higher printing resolution to place cells precisely to ensure the correct design and cell-to-cell distance. Multiple cell types have to be printed simultaneously to replicate complex tissues.This scientific technique has been under investigation in academia for the past 15 years, with researchers exploring devices that could create a layer-by-layer deposition to form a final three-dimensional construct.

Commercialization of this technology first occurred almost 10 years ago, signaling the rise of a number of high profile partnerships. Many of these partnerships have occurred with Organovo, a startup using a proprietary three-dimensional technology.  Organovo is working with a number of biopharmaceutical firms, including Roche, on ventures like assessing drug-induced toxicity on simulated liver tissue, and with L’Oreal to test potential product side -effects on artificial skin.

Source: A New Era for 3D Bioprinting Breakthroughs

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Scientists make biodegradable microbeads from cellulose 

Scientists and engineers from the University of Bath have developed biodegradable cellulose microbeads from a sustainable source that could potentially replace harmful plastic ones that contribute to ocean pollution.Ocean microplastics pollutionMicrobeads are little spheres of plastic less than 0.5 mm in size that are added to personal care and cleaning products including cosmetics, sunscreens and fillers to give them a smooth texture. However they are too small to be removed by sewage filtration systems and so end up in rivers and oceans, where they are ingested by birds, fish and other marine life.

Microbeads are found in cosmetics and personal care products such as toothpaste, sunscreen, hair gel and shower gel.It is estimated that a single shower can result in 100,000 plastic particles entering the ocean, contributing to the eight million tonnes of plastic that enters the ocean every year. It is feared that the particles could enter the food chain, harming wildlife but also potentially ending up in our food.As a result of recent campaigning by environmental groups, the UK Government has pledged to ban plastic microbeads in 2017.Biodegradable microbeadsNow a research team, from the University’s Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT), has developed a way of producing a biodegradable renewable alternative to plastic microbeads in a scalable, continuous manufacturing process.

The beads are made from cellulose, which is the material that forms the tough fibres found in wood and plants. In this process our scientists dissolve the cellulose to reform it into tiny beads by forming droplets that are then “set”. These microbeads are robust enough to remain stable in a bodywash, but can be broken down by organisms at the sewage treatment works, or even in the environment in a short period of time.The researchers anticipate they could use cellulose from a range of “waste” sources, including from the paper making industry as a renewable source of raw material.

Source: Scientists make biodegradable microbeads from cellulose | University of Bath

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‘Don’t eat and drive’ – Danny Healy-Rae compares eating a big meal to drink-driving 

EATING a big meal and getting behind the wheel of a car is as dangerous as drink-driving, Independent TD Danny Healy Rae has claimed.

The Kerry politician hit out at the Road Safety Authority today, saying it is on a “crusade to isolate people further in rural Ireland”.

Mr Healy Rae, who is a publican, is objecting to plans to introduce a mandatory three month driving ban for motorist caught with a blood alcohol level of 51-80mg of alcohol per 100ml. Currently such an offence is punished with a fine and penalty points.

Speaking at the Oireachtas Committee on Transport Mr Healy Rae said: “Can I say to you, and many people will agree with me. If you eat too much and get in behind the wheel of a car, then you’re a danger on the road because you are likely to fall asleep after eating a big meal.

WATCH: ‘Don’t eat and drive’ – Danny Healy-Rae compares eating a big meal to drink-driving
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“I for one, anyway, when I go home late this evening, when I know that, I don’t eat going in behind the wheel because I know what it will do.”

CEO of the RSA Moyagh Murdock said it was “disingenuous to say that there is no evidence to say alcohol was a factor in collisions where the toxicology showed levels 51-80”.

“It shows a lack of understanding of the effects of alcohol on the body, or an unwillingness to accept the facts in the first instance, but also a lack of understanding of the cognitive skills required to safely complete the driving task.”

Ms Murdock also hit out at the Vintners Federation who she accused of playing to “downplay the value of the lives” lost on the roads by “reducing them to an insignificant statistic”.

“You have all heard the light-heated jokes about the effect of alcohol on one’s self-awareness – after even one drink, you think your jokes become funnier, you think talking louder is better, you send texts to people you shouldn’t, you convince yourself you’re not a bad dancer, alarmingly you think you’ll be grand to drive home after a drink or 2 … you won’t.

“And anyone who tells you different is lying. Your driving becomes impaired just like all those other more innocent actions,” Ms Murdock said.

ARCHIVE VIDEO: ‘Nobody caused a fatality by having three glasses of Guinness’ – Danny Healy-Rae
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Source: ‘Don’t eat and drive’ – Danny Healy-Rae compares eating a big meal to drink-driving – Independent.ie

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In detail: How we are all pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered 

9 Jun 2017 at 06:01, Thomas ClaburnThe data collection industry, fattened on info snippets gleaned from social media and mobile devices, affects people’s lives but operates without meaningful scrutiny.According to a lengthy report released on Thursday by Cracked Labs, a cultural advocacy group based in Vienna, Austria, “A data environment has emerged in which individuals are constantly surveyed and evaluated, categorized and grouped, rated and ranked, numbered and quantified, included or excluded, and, as a result, treated differently.”Astute readers may hear an echo of the words of Patrick McGoohan as No 6 in the TV series The Prisoner: “I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! My life is my own!”Cracked Labs’ report, “Corporate Surveillance in Everyday Life: How Companies Collect, Combine, Analyze, Trade, and Use Personal Data on Billions,” explores the data gathering ecosystem in an effort to illuminate how companies collect information on consumers and how they use that information.

Source: In detail: How we are all pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered – by online biz all day • The Register

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Ontario Giant Rubber Duck Is Counterfeit, Says Artist Who Created Other Giant Rubber Duck 

Craig Samborski’s giant rubber “Mama Duck” sails up the Delaware River between Camden, N.J., and Philadelphia during a tall ships parade in June 2015.Matt Slocum/APThis is the story of a 61-foot-tall duck that is being called a counterfeit of a different giant duck, which itself is a replica of a beloved bath toy.Got that? Here we go.As part of a celebration for Canada’s 150th birthday, Ontario’s provincial government gave a grant to a waterfront festival, which will spend about $150,000 to rent and deploy a 6-story floating duck. The oversize toy weighs 11 tons and will visit six cities in the province.In addition to the typical grumbling you would expect about a government spending money to rent a giant rubber duck, there is also this: The original giant rubber duck maker says the fowl Ontario is getting is a counterfeit bird.

Source: Ontario Giant Rubber Duck Is Counterfeit, Says Artist Who Created Other Giant Rubber Duck : The Two-Way : NPR

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Prozac Nation Is Now the United States of Xanax 

This past winter, Sarah Fader, a 37-year-old social media consultant in Brooklyn who has generalized anxiety disorder, texted a friend in Oregon about an impending visit, and when a quick response failed to materialize, she posted on Twitter to her 16,000-plus followers. “I don’t hear from my friend for a day — my thought, they don’t want to be my friend anymore,” she wrote, appending the hashtag #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike.Thousands of people were soon offering up their own examples under the hashtag; some were retweeted more than 1,000 times. You might say Ms. Fader struck a nerve. “If you’re a human being living in 2017 and you’re not anxious,” she said on the telephone, “there’s something wrong with you.”It was 70 years ago that the poet W.H. Auden published “The Age of Anxiety,” a six-part verse framing modern humankind’s condition over the course of more than 100 pages, and now it seems we are too rattled to even sit down and read something that long (or as the internet would say, tl;dr).Anxiety has become our everyday argot, our thrumming lifeblood: not just on Twitter (the ur-anxious medium, with its constant updates), but also in blogger diaries, celebrity confessionals (Et tu, Beyoncé?), a hit Broadway show (“Dear Evan Hansen”), a magazine start-up (Anxy, a mental-health publication based in Berkeley, Calif.), buzzed-about television series (like “Maniac,” a coming Netflix series by Cary Fukunaga, the lauded “True Detective” director) and, defying our abbreviated attention spans, on bookshelves.

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PRISM’s Controversial Forerunner 

Long before Edward Snowden’s claims or revelations that the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency were monitoring and tracking the Internet, cell phones, e-mails and any other electronic communication they could get their hands on using a program known as PRISM, there existed PROMIS [Prosecutors Management Information Systems].

PROMIS was designed in the late 1970s and ‘80s to bring Department of Justice criminal case management from the dark ages into the light of the computer age. In the spring of 1981, the Reagan Administration hailed PROMIS as one of law enforcements greatest assets. By 1983, PROMIS had morphed into the behemoth of intelligence gathering. It was not state of the art it was the art.Over the ensuing decades PROMIS is reported to have been used by the DOJ, CIA, NSA, and several foreign intelligence agencies including Israel’s Mossad. The ownership of PROMIS has been the subject of federal court hearings and a congressional investigation.

Source: PRISM’s Controversial Forerunner – Consortiumnews

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Women-only ‘full nudity’ spa’s ‘no male genitals’ rule ignites transgender debate 

TORONTO — Controversy over a female-only spa’s “no male genitals” policy has reignited debate over the rights of transgender people to access traditionally gender-exclusive spaces, even as the federal government pushes stronger protections prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression.The uproar over Toronto’s Body Blitz Spa prompted a flurry of complaints on social media, with longtime regular Shelley Marshall among those vowing to boycott the luxurious retreat.Marshall says she tried to bring her transgender friend to the spa last year but was told she would only be welcome at the bathing suit-optional facility if she had undergone sex reassignment surgery.“I didn’t want to embarrass my friend, I didn’t want to humiliate my friend, I didn’t want all this to happen,” Marshall says of not speaking out at the time. “I’m embarrassed I never stuck up for my friend.”Toronto-based LGBTQ author Jia Qing Wilson-Yang tweeted last week that she was told not to visit the spa because they “won’t allow male genitalia.”

Source: Women-only ‘full nudity’ spa’s ‘no male genitals’ rule ignites transgender debate | National Post

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Fox News Drops ‘Fair and Balanced’ Motto 

Fox News is “Fair and Balanced” no more.In the latest sign of change at the cable news network, the “Fair and Balanced” motto that has long been a rallying cry for Fox News fans — and a finger in the eye of critics — is gone. The channel confirmed on Wednesday that slogan and network have parted ways.“The shift has nothing to do with programming or editorial decisions,” the network said in a statement. Instead, the slogan was dropped in part because of its close association with Roger Ailes, a network founder, former chairman and the originator of the phrase, who was fired in August in a sexual harassment scandal.The network said that “Fair and Balanced” was shelved as a marketing tool after Mr. Ailes’s departure. In its place is a new motto: “Most Watched, Most Trusted.”Another Fox slogan, “We Report, You Decide,” has also been retired, although the network said that it returned occasionally.Continue reading the main storyRELATED COVERAGEAt Fox News, Another Prominent Host Is Fired, and Another Week of Tough Headlines MAY 19, 2017Fox Reveals Cost of Sexual Harassment Allegations: $45 Million MAY 10, 2017CRITIC’S NOTEBOOKIn Conservative Prime Time, It’s Now Fox and Enemies MAY 3, 2017Some viewers may be surprised. Several Fox News personalities still toss the phrase “fair and balanced” into on-air conversation, though it no longer appears in graphics. Gabriel Sherman, longtime Fox News chronicler, reported on New York magazine’s website that the motto was gone for good.

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‘Human foie gras’ whets appetite of drugs giants

Paris (AFP) – As obesity expands waistlines in the Western world, a silent killer linked to the condition nicknamed “human foie gras” is spurring a potential bonanza worth billions for drugs giants.The disease, formally known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), is caused by a buildup of fat in the liver. It is already the leading ailment cited in requests for liver transplants in the United States, Cecile Rabian of France’s Gilead laboratory told AFP.”We imagine that this will also be the case in Europe very soon,” she added.The GlobalData research group estimates that NASH could underpin a market worth more than $25 billion (22 billion euros) by 2026.And the market should grow by a healthy 45 percent each year in the initial phases of the rollout of drugs to counter the disease, GlobalData says — with the main customer base in the United States, western Europe and Japan.

Source: ‘Human foie gras’ whets appetite of drugs giants

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