In Boston this winter, jail inmates have been shoveling out fire hydrants, streets, and buried train lines in the face of historic snow. Clearly, Massachusetts needs the help. But instead of using current inmates for the task, Boston would be better served to employ newly released inmates desperate for cash. It’s just one example of how public officials tend to focus on those currently behind bars, instead of placing their emphasis on reintegrating former prisoners into society.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has actually praised the use of current inmates as “an important component to successful re-entry.” There’s no question that it’s a cheap solution. After all, the median wage in state prisons is 20 cents per hour. Those who have already paid their time, by contrast, would need to be paid the prevailing wage. And the union workers performing the same tasks are paid $30 an hour.
“Doubt is our product”
Peter Sinclair from the Yale Climate Forum reviews a documentary that details how marketing doubt about science became profitable for multiple industries and their shills.
In March 2015, Robert Kenner, the Director of “Food Inc” and other acclaimed documentaries, will debut his newest, “Merchants of Doubt”.
Based on the book by Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway, the film follows the development of sophisticated methods for distorting science, used by the Tobacco industry to hide the poisonous nature of their products, and adapted by the Fossil Fuel industry to distort the science around climate change.
Note: the documentary has had limited showings in the UK and US at festivals and limited venues, the Official release is in March.
It’s a single study, so it will need to be both validated and replicated before it becomes proof of anything, however this link to cytokine levels is truly worthy of much more investigation.
Researchers at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health identified distinct immune changes in patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, known medically as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) or systemic exertion intolerance disease. The findings could help improve diagnosis and identify treatment options for the disabling disorder, in which symptoms range from extreme fatigue and difficulty concentrating to headaches and muscle pain.
These immune signatures represent the first robust physical evidence that ME/CFS is a biological illness as opposed to a psychological disorder, and the first evidence that the disease has distinct stages. Results appear online in the new American Association for the Advancement of Science journal, Science Advances.
With funding to support studies of immune and infectious mechanisms of disease from the Chronic Fatigue Initiative of the Hutchins Family Foundation, the researchers used immunoassay testing methods to determine the levels of 51 immune biomarkers in blood plasma samples collected through two multicenter studies that represented a total of 298 ME/CFS patients and 348 healthy controls. They found specific patterns in patients who had the disease three years or less that were not present in controls or in patients who had the disease for more than three years. Short duration patients had increased amounts of many different types of immune molecules called cytokines. The association was unusually strong with a cytokine called interferon gamma that has been linked to the fatigue that follows many viral infections, including Epstein-Barr virus (the cause of infectious mononucleosis). Cytokine levels were not explained by symptom severity.
Just add methane.
Liquid water is a requirement for life on Earth. But in other, much colder worlds, life might exist beyond the bounds of water-based chemistry.
Taking a simultaneously imaginative and rigidly scientific view, Cornell chemical engineers and astronomers offer a template for life that could thrive in a harsh, cold world - specifically Titan, the giant moon of Saturn. A planetary body awash with seas not of water, but of liquid methane, Titan could harbor methane-based, oxygen-free cells that metabolize, reproduce and do everything life on Earth does.
Their theorized cell membrane, composed of small organic nitrogen compounds and capable of functioning in liquid methane temperatures of 292 degrees below zero, is published in Science Advances, Feb. 27. The work is led by chemical molecular dynamics expert Paulette Clancy, the Samuel W. and Diane M. Bodman Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, with first author James Stevenson, a graduate student in chemical engineering. The paper’s co-author is Jonathan Lunine, the David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Astronomy.
Immigration officials are moving to deport at least 150 Bosnians living in the United States who they believe took part in war crimes and “ethnic cleansing” during the bitter conflict that raged in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
In all, officials have identified about 300 immigrants who they believe concealed their involvement in wartime atrocities when they came to the United States as part of a wave of Bosnian war refugees fleeing the violence there. With more records from Bosnia becoming available, the officials said the number of suspects could eventually top 600.
“The more we dig, the more documents we find,” said Michael MacQueen, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement historian who has led many investigations in the agency’s war crimes section. The accused immigrants, many of them former soldiers from Bosnia, include a soccer coach in Virginia, a metal worker in Ohio and four hotel casino workers in Las Vegas.
It seemed as if the Ebola crisis was abating.
New cases were plummeting. The president lifted travel restrictions, and schools were to reopen. A local politician announced on the radio that two 21-day incubation cycles had passed with no new infections in his Freetown neighborhood. The country, many health officials said, was “on the road to zero.”
Then Ebola washed in from the sea.
Sick fishermen came ashore in early February to the packed wharf-side slums that surround the country’s fanciest hotels, which were filled with public health workers. Volunteers fanned out to contain the outbreak, but the virus jumped quarantine lines and cascaded into the countryside, bringing dozens of new infections and deaths.
Thousands are expected to march through central Moscow to mourn veteran liberal politician Boris Nemtsov, whose killing has shaken Russia’s beleaguered opposition.
The mourning march could serve to energize the opposition or it could prove to be a brief outpouring of emotions that once again dissipate.
Whoever was responsible for the murder, the signal it sends to President Vladimir Putin’s foes is that if Nemtsov can be killed for his political activism then no one is safe.
Avers performs “Harvest” at WNRN in Charlottesville, Virginia. Subscribe to our channel to see more in studio performances!
According to their FB page, they are hooked into mostly East Coast gigs right now, but will be at SXSW.
Actually it turns out that the oil industry has known that fracking causes earthquakes as far back as 1980. Since this was a problem, they simply pretended it wasn’t. In other words, business as usual.
Thanks to a revolutionary new energy-extraction technique called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” America is suddenly feeling a lot like the Beverly Hillbillies. Over the past five years, Al-Jazeera reports, oil production across the country has increased by 3.7 million barrels daily, while the U.S. has also become the world’s largest producer of natural gas.
But a growing body of evidence suggests that the operations involved with fracking may be responsible for the increasing number of earthquakes being recorded around the country. In Oklahoma, researchers recorded an unprecedented 585 magnitude-3 earthquakes in 2014 alone, with other spikes noted in states in the Midwest and Southwest involved in energy extraction.
You’ve got to give them credit, though, for the sheer audacity and brazenness with which they pulled it off. The question now becomes, now that we know, what are we going to do about it?
Here’s an interesting article on the roots of Tea Party ‘conservatism’.
It argues that they represent a far older conservatism, one from Europe where the ‘individual’ is assigned a place by God and nature and any attempts to change that imperils both society and the individual’s soul.
It ties in with my frequent observation that to Tea Party ‘conservatives’ that America is not a nation but a faith. They oppose modern society because modernism is, they believe, antithetical to faith.