Zephyr López Cervilla2014-03-16 23:53:21
Ron Paul slams US on Crimea crisis and says Russia sanctions are 'an act of war'
By Paul Lewis (The Guardian, Washington). March 15, 2014
theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/15/ron-paul-crimea-russia-sanctions-act-of-war 
Excerpt:
• Paul tells Guardian change in Ukraine is US-backed coup
• Views are opposite to those of son, Senator Rand Paul

<< “The evidence is pretty clear that the NGOs [non-governmental organisations] financed by our government have been agitating with billions of dollars, trying to get that government changed,” he said. “Our hands are not clean.”

There is broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for the movement that brought about the departure of Yanukovych, as well as criticism of Putin for Russia’s military intervention in Crimea, >>

<< His son, an increasingly strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination, made a similar point in the Senate on Thursday, when he voted against a bill providing aid to Ukraine.

The Kentucky senator is far more pragmatic than his father, however, >>

<< “His continuing occupation of Ukraine is completely unacceptable, and Russia’s president should be isolated for his actions.”

He added: “Economic sanctions and visa bans should be imposed and enforced without delay.”

His father took the opposite view. “I think sanctions are horrible. They’re acts of war,” he told the Guardian.

“It is based on a moral principle of theft. They want to target sanctions against 20 or 30 bad Russians who they claim have committed a crime against humanity, and therefore we’re going to freeze their assets and steal them from them.”

When it was suggested his position was opposite to that of his son, Paul replied: “Neither he nor I have ever pretended our views are identical. >>

Related column:

• Jonathan Chait. The Pathetic Lives of Putin’s American Dupes. New York magazine. March 14, 2014.
nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/pathetic-lives-of-putins-american-dupes.html 

URL related G+ posts: 
plus.google.com/+PradheepShanker/posts/bdzBDhzijrD 
plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/QXeXW3TbKFA 
plus.google.com/+presstv/posts/fi19dff2LL7 
plus.google.com/108549873871553806005/posts/VWxqQ7j27bp 
plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/AeCAj5kQuQY 
plus.google.com/+EuropeanCommission/posts/CiJbXmFYiL8 
plus.google.com/+BoingBoing/posts/YWK4rtjmMS2 

#ronpaul   #ukraine   #russia   #crimea   #randpaul  
____________________ 
  • 87 plusses - 150 comments - 13 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-07 19:09:20
    "A Garden in a Bottle"
    The following post has been recently shared in this community:
    plus.google.com/108368588427369921804/posts/SBNSxuq6Gpk 

    It provides no references to its content. I tried to add a comment questioning the reliability of its information, as it seems it has been taken from an article published in a well-known tabloid,

    · Wilkes, David. Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years. Daily Mail. 24 January 2013
    dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html 

    On the other hand, without any reliable test (for instance, a radioisotope analysis {e.g., [14C]:[12C]}, or an analysis of the relative [stable] isotopic composition of the inside gas and plant tissues {e.g., [18O]:[16O], [15N]:[14N]}) there's no evidence supporting that this jar has been effectively sealed for such a long time.
    ____________ 

    However, +Tufail M. (the re-sharer) seems to have systematically deleted every attempt (of an overall of 3) after a short while of having posted them.

    I'm not particularly concerned about the authenticity of the content of every single post as long as anyone is allowed to express their opinion about its credibility and reliability, what in my view, hasn't been respected here.

    PD: Now that I've checked, I'm not the only one who has questioned such claims:

    · DeVil. Can a plant survive bottled in its own ecosystem for 50 years? Skeptics Stack Exchange. April 14, 2013
    skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15838/can-a-plant-survive-bottled-in-its-own-ecosystem-for-50-years 

    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the Skeptical movement.
  • 28 plusses - 4 comments - 6 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-04-04 07:18:41
    -flickr.com - Minor Protest Title: 267_6766 "Non-therapeutic Circumcision"
    By DB King. October 11, 2005 (Washington D.C.)
    Source: flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/51682205 (license terms below)
    Minor protest in front of Washington Convention Center in connection with the American Association of Pediatricians annual meeting

    Edit:  I've expanded the post with further quotes.

    Excerpts from Wikipedia:
    <<Circumcision is probably the world's most widely performed procedure. Approximately one-third of males worldwide are circumcised, most often for reasons other than medical indication. The WHO estimated in 2007 that 664,500,000 males aged 15 and over are circumcised (30% global prevalence), almost 70% of whom are Muslim. Circumcision is most prevalent in the Muslim world, Israel, South Korea, the United States and parts of Southeast Asia and Africa. It is relatively rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa and Oceania and most of Asia. Prevalence is near-universal in the Middle East and Central Asia. Non-religious circumcision in Asia, outside of the Republic of Korea and the Philippines, is rare, and prevalence is generally low across Europe. Estimates for individual countries include Spain and Colombia less than 2%; Brazil 7%; Taiwan 9%; Thailand 13%; and Australia 58.7%. Prevalence in the United States and Canada is estimated at 75% and 30% respectively. Prevalence in Africa varies from less than 20% in some southern African countries to near universal in North and West Africa.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Prevalence 
    See also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_circumcision 

    <<Circumcision is the world's oldest planned surgical procedure, suggested by anatomist and hyperdiffusionist historian Grafton Elliot Smith to be over 15,000 years old, pre-dating recorded history. There is no firm consensus as to how it came to be practiced worldwide. One theory is that it began in one geographic area and spread from there; another is that several different cultural groups began its practice independently. In his 1891 work History of Circumcision, physician Peter Charles Remondino suggested that it began as a less severe form of emasculating a captured enemy: penectomy or castration would likely have been fatal, while some form of circumcision would permanently mark the defeated yet leave him alive to serve as a slave.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#History 

    <<Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East in the 4th century BCE, and in the following centuries ancient Greek cultures and values came to the Middle East. The Greeks abhorred circumcision, making life for circumcised Jews living among the Greeks (and later the Romans) very difficult. Antiochus Epiphanes outlawed circumcision, as did Hadrian, which helped cause the Bar Kokhba revolt. During this period in history, Jewish circumcision called for the removal of only a part of the prepuce, and some Hellenized Jews attempted to look uncircumcised by stretching the extant parts of their foreskins. This was considered by the Jewish leaders to be a serious problem, and during the 2nd century CE they changed the requirements of Jewish circumcision to call for the complete removal of the foreskin, emphasizing the Jewish view of circumcision as intended to be not just the fulfillment of a Biblical commandment but also an essential and permanent mark of membership in a people.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Middle_East.2C_Africa_and_Europe 

    <<Circumcision has only been thought of as a common medical procedure since late Victorian times. In 1870, the influential orthopedic surgeon Lewis Sayre, a founder of the American Medical Association, began using circumcision as a purported cure for several cases of young boys presenting with paralysis or significant gross motor problems. He thought the procedure ameliorated such problems based on a "reflex neurosis" theory of disease, with the understanding that a tight foreskin inflamed the nerves and caused systemic problems. The use of circumcision to promote good health also fit in with the germ theory of disease, which saw validation during the same time period: the foreskin was seen as harboring infection-causing smegma (a mixture of shed skin cells and oils). Sayre published works on the subject and promoted it energetically in speeches. Contemporary physicians picked up on Sayre's new treatment, which they believed could prevent or cure a wide-ranging array of medical problems and social ills, including masturbation (considered by the Victorians to be a serious problem), syphilis, epilepsy, hernia, headache, clubfoot, alcoholism and gout. Its popularity spread with publications such as Peter Charles Remondino's History of Circumcision. By the turn of the century, in both America and Great Britain, infant circumcision was nearly universally recommended.

    After the end of World War II, Britain moved to a nationalized health care system, and so looked to ensure that each medical procedure covered by the new system was cost-effective. Douglas Gairdner's 1949 article "The Fate of the Foreskin" argued persuasively that the evidence available at that time showed that the risks outweighed the known benefits. The procedure was not covered by the national health care system, and circumcision rates dropped in Britain and in the rest of Europe. In the 1970s, national medical associations in Australia and Canada issued recommendations against routine infant circumcision, leading to drops in the rates of both of those countries. In the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics has, over the decades, issued a series of policy statements regarding circumcision, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

    An association between circumcision and reduced heterosexual HIV infection rates was suggested in 1986. Experimental evidence was needed to establish a causal relationship, so three randomized controlled trials were commissioned as a means to reduce the effect of any confounding factors. Trials took place in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.[10] All three trials were stopped early by their monitoring boards on ethical grounds, because those in the circumcised group had a lower rate of HIV contraction than the control group. Subsequently, the World Health Organization promoted circumcision in high-risk populations as part of an overall program to reduce the spread of HIV, although some have challenged the validity of the African randomized controlled trials, prompting a number of researchers to question the effectiveness of circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy.[68][69][70][71]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Modern_times 

    <<In some cultures, males must be circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is commonly practiced in the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

    Judaism
    Circumcision is very important to Judaism, with over 90% of adherents having the procedure performed as a religious obligation. The basis for its observance is found in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis chapter 17, in which a covenant of circumcision is made with Abraham and his descendants. Jewish circumcision is part of the brit milah ritual, to be performed by a specialist ritual circumciser (a mohel) on the eighth day of a newborn son's life (with certain exceptions for poor health). Jewish law requires that the circumcision leave the glans bare when the penis is flaccid. Converts to Judaism must also be circumcised; those who are already circumcised undergo a symbolic circumcision ritual. Circumcision is not required by Judaism for one to be considered Jewish, but adherents foresee serious negative spiritual consequences if it is neglected.

    Islam
    Although there is debate within Islam over whether it is a religious requirement, circumcision (called khitan) is practiced nearly universally by Muslim males. Islam bases its practice of circumcision on the Genesis 17 narrative, the same Biblical chapter referred to by Jews. The procedure is not mentioned in the Quran, but rather adherents believe it is a tradition established by Islam's prophet Muhammad directly (following Abraham), and so its practice is considered a sunnah (prophet's tradition). For Muslims, circumcision is a matter of cleanliness, purification and control over one's baser self (nafs). There is no agreement across the many Islamic communities about the age at which circumcision should be performed. It may be done from soon after birth up to about age 15, with it most often performed at around six to seven years of age. The timing can correspond with the boy's completion of his recitation of the whole Quran, with a coming-of-age event such as taking on the responsibility of daily prayer or betrothal. Circumcision may be celebrated with an associated family or community event. Circumcision is recommended for, but is not required of, converts to Islam.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Cultures_and_religions 

    <<The origination of male circumcision is not known with certainty. It has been variously proposed that it began as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy's entrance into adulthood, as a form of sympathetic magic to ensure virility or fertility>>
    <<as a means of humiliating enemies and slaves by symbolic castration, as a means of differentiating a circumcising group from their non-circumcising neighbors, as a means of discouraging masturbation or other socially proscribed sexual behaviors, as a means of removing "excess" pleasure, as a means of increasing a man's attractiveness to women, as a demonstration of one's ability to endure pain, or as a male counterpart to menstruation or the breaking of the hymen, or to copy the rare natural occurrence of a missing foreskin of an important leader, and as a display of disgust of the smegma produced by the foreskin. It has been suggested that the custom of circumcision gave advantages to tribes that practiced it and thus led to its spread. Darby describes these theories as "conflicting", and states that "the only point of agreement among proponents of the various theories is that promoting good health had nothing to do with it." Immerman et al. suggest that circumcision causes lowered sexual arousal of pubescent males, and hypothesize that this was a competitive advantage to tribes practising circumcision, leading to its spread. Wilson suggests that circumcision reduces insemination efficiency, reducing a man's capacity for extra-pair fertilizations by impairing sperm competition. Thus, men who display this signal of sexual obedience, may gain social benefits, if married men are selected to offer social trust and investment preferentially to peers who are less threatening to their paternity. It is possible that circumcision arose independently in different cultures for different reasons.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision 

    <<According to Hodges, ancient Greek aesthetics of the human form considered circumcision a mutilation of a previously perfectly shaped organ. Greek artwork of the period portrayed penises as covered by the foreskin (sometimes in exquisite detail), except in the portrayal of satyrs, lechers, and barbarians. This dislike of the appearance of the circumcised penis led to a decline in the incidence of circumcision among many peoples that had previously practiced it throughout Hellenistic times. In Egypt, only the priestly caste retained circumcision, and by the 2nd century, the only circumcising groups in the Roman Empire were Jews, Jewish Christians, Egyptian priests, and the Nabatean Arabs. Circumcision was sufficiently rare among non-Jews that being circumcised was considered conclusive evidence of Judaism (or Early Christianity and others derogatorily called Judaizers) in Roman courts—Suetonius in Domitian 12.2 described a court proceeding in which a ninety-year-old man was stripped naked before the court to determine whether he was evading the head tax placed on Jews and Judaizers.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Greco-Roman_world 

    <<Europeans, with the exception of the Jews, did not practice male circumcision. A rare exception occurred in Visigothic Spain, where during the armed campaign king Wamba ordered to circumcise everyone who committed atrocities against civilian population.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Middle_Ages 

    <<Historically, neonatal circumcision was promoted during late Victorian times in the English-speaking parts of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom and was widely practiced during the first part of the 20th century in these countries. However, the practice declined sharply in the United Kingdom after the Second World War, and somewhat later in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has been argued (e.g., Goldman 1997) that the practice did not spread to other European countries because others considered the arguments for it fallacious. In South Korea, circumcision was largely unknown before the establishment of the United States trusteeship in 1945. More than 90% of South Korean high school boys are now circumcised, but the average age of circumcision is 12 years, which makes South Korea a unique case.

    Infant circumcision has been abandoned in New Zealand and Britain, and is now much less common in Australia and in Canada (see table 1). The decline in circumcision in the United Kingdom followed the decision by the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 not to cover the procedure following an influential article by Douglas Gairdner which claimed that circumcision resulted in the deaths of about 16 children under 5 each year in the United Kingdom.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_19th_century_and_beyond 

    <<
    Male circumcision to prevent masturbation
    Non-religious circumcision in English-speaking countries arose in a climate of negative attitudes towards sex, especially concerning masturbation. In her 1978 article The Ritual of Circumcision, Karen Erickson Paige writes: "In the United States, the current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice. The original reason for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or prepuce, was to control 'masturbatory insanity' – the range of mental disorders that people believed were caused by the 'polluting' practice of 'self-abuse.'"

    "Self-abuse" was a term commonly used to describe masturbation in the 19th century. According to Paige, "treatments ranged from diet, moral exhortations, hydrotherapy, and marriage, to such drastic measures as surgery, physical restraints, frights, and punishment. Some doctors recommended covering the penis with plaster of Paris, leather, or rubber; cauterization; making boys wear chastity belts or spiked rings; and in extreme cases, castration." Paige details how circumcision became popular as a masturbation remedy:

    "In the 1890s, it became a popular technique to prevent, or cure, masturbatory insanity. In 1891 the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England published On Circumcision as Preventive of Masturbation, and two years later another British doctor wrote Circumcision: Its Advantages and How to Perform It, which listed the reasons for removing the 'vestigial' prepuce. Evidently the foreskin could cause 'nocturnal incontinence,' hysteria, epilepsy, and irritation that might 'give rise to erotic stimulation and, consequently, masturbation.' Another physician, P.C. Remondino, added that 'circumcision is like a substantial and well-secured life annuity...it insures better health, greater capacity for labor, longer life, less nervousness, sickness, loss of time, and less doctor bills.' No wonder it became a popular remedy."

    At the same time circumcisions were advocated on men, clitoridectomies (removal of the clitoris) were also performed for the same reason (to treat female masturbators). The US "Orificial Surgery Society" for female "circumcision" operated until 1925, and clitoridectomies and infibulations would continue to be advocated by some through the 1930s. As late as 1936, L. E. Holt, an author of pediatric textbooks, advocated male and female circumcision as a treatment for masturbation.

    One of the leading advocates of circumcision was John Harvey Kellogg. He advocated the consumption of Kellogg's corn flakes to prevent masturbation, and he believed that circumcision would be an effective way to eliminate masturbation in males.

    "Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice."

    Robert Darby, writing in the Australian Medical Journal, noted that some 19th-century circumcision advocates—and their opponents—believed that the foreskin was sexually sensitive:

    In the 19th century the role of the foreskin in erotic sensation was well understood by physicians who wanted to cut it off precisely because they considered it the major factor leading boys to masturbation. The Victorian physician and venereologist William Acton (1814–1875) damned it as "a source of serious mischief", and most of his contemporaries concurred.

    Both opponents and supporters of circumcision agreed that the significant role the foreskin played in sexual response was the main reason why it should be either left in place or removed. William Hammond, a Professor of Mind in New York in the late 19th century, commented that "circumcision, when performed in early life, generally lessens the voluptuous sensations of sexual intercourse", and both he and Acton considered the foreskin necessary for optimal sexual function, especially in old age. Jonathan Hutchinson, English surgeon and pathologist (1828–1913), and many others, thought this was the main reason why it should be excised.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_to_prevent_masturbation 

    In United States
    <<A study in 1987 found that the prominent reasons for parents choosing circumcision were "concerns about the attitudes of peers and their sons' self concept in the future," rather than medical concerns.[51] A 1999 study reported that reasons for circumcision included "ease of hygiene (67 percent), ease of infant circumcision compared with adult circumcision (63 percent), medical benefit (41 percent), and father circumcised (37 percent)." The authors commented that "Medical benefits were cited more frequently in this study than in past studies, although medical issues remain secondary to hygiene and convenience."[52] A 2001 study reported that "The most important reason to circumcise or not circumcise the child was health reasons."[53] A 2005 study speculated that increased recognition of the potential benefits may be responsible for an observed increase in the rate of neonatal circumcision in the USA between 1988 and 2000.[54] In a 2001 survey, 86.6% of parents felt respected by their medical provider, and parents who did not circumcise "felt less respected by their medical provider".[53]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Circumcision_since_1950 
    _________________ 


    Excerpt from
    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG (May 2010)

    ABSTRACT

    "The official viewpoint or KNMG and other related medical / scientific organisaties Is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children's rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications - bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is powerful Therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to Actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."

    PREAMBULE

    POSITION OF THE KNMG WITH REGARD TO NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS
     . . . 
    <<The reason for our adoption of an official viewpoint regarding this matter is the increasing emphasis on children’s rights. It is particularly relevant for doctors that children must not be subjected to medical proceedings that have no therapeutic or preventative value. In addition to this, there is growing concern regarding complications, both minor and serious, which can occur as a result of circumcising a child. A third reason for this viewpoint is the growing sentiment that there is a discrepancy between the KNMG’s firm stance with regard to female genital mutilation and the lack of a stance with regard to the non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as the two have a number of similarities.

    The initial objective of this viewpoint is to initiate public discussion of this issue. The ultimate aim is to minimise non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors.>>
     . . . 
    — Prof. Dr. Arie Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman (Chairman of KNMG)
     . . . 

    BACKGROUND STUDY FOR KNMG VIEWPOINT

    NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS

    INTRODUCTION
     . . . 
    <<Until a few years ago, the attitude towards circumcision was fairly permissive, and circumcision was legitimised by appealing to freedom of religion and supposed medical benefits. In recent years, the attitude towards circumcision appears to have been changing. This is probably partly the result of the debate about female genital mutilation (FGM). With the global condemnation of this practice, including in its non-mutilating, symbolic form, the question regularly arises why circumcision should be judged differently than FGM. These days, more critical articles are being published about circumcision.[1] These articles point to the rights of children, the absence of medical benefits and the fact that this is a mutilating intervention that regularly leads to complications and can cause medical and psychological problems, both at a young and a later age.>>
     . . . 
    <<
    MEDICAL/PREVENTATIVE
    In the past, circumcision was performed as a preventative and treatment for a large number of complaints, such as gout, syphilis, epilepsy, headaches, arthrosis, alcoholism, groin hernias, asthma, poor digestion, eczema and excessive masturbation.[10] Due to the large number of medical benefits which were wrongly ascribed to circumcision, it is frequently asserted that circumcision is ‘a procedure in need of a justification’.[11] In recent decades, evidence has been published which apparently shows that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS[12], but this evidence is contradicted by other studies.[13]>>

    <<Further, there is apparent evidence that circumcision offers protection against complaints such as HPV infection, urinary tract infections and penis cancer. However, these studies, too, are controversial.[16] Moreover, urinary tract infections can be successfully treated with modern healthcare. Children with inborn abnormalities to the urinary tract can generally be successfully helped by a foreskin-widening operation, which makes the foreskin easier to clean.

    In response to the possible medical benefits, a large number of complications resulting from circumcision are described: infections, bleeding, sepsis, necrosis, fibrosis of the skin, urinary tract infections, meningitis, herpes infections, meatisis, meatal stenosis, necrosis and necrotising complications, all of which have led to the complete amputation of the penis.[17] Deaths have also been reported.[18] The AAFP estimates the number of deaths as 1 in 500,000.[19] That would mean that in the United States, two children die each year as a result of the intervention.

    Alongside these direct medical complications, psychological problems[20] and complications in the area of sexuality have also been reported,[21] as have extreme pain experiences in newborns causing behavioural changes which are still apparent years later.[22] [23] Similarly, the high social costs of circumcision as a result of complications have been cited.[24]

    Even if there were slight medical benefits connected with circumcision for medical-preventative reasons, it is questionable whether these possible medical benefits would compensate for the risk of complications. Certainly when it comes to children, who cannot make this assessment themselves, the possible medical benefits should be significant and the risk of complications small for the intervention to be justifiable.

    It is a generally accepted moral principle that children may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as is the case for vaccinations, for example. In the case of preventative medical interventions, there needs to be a clear individual or public health benefit which cannot be achieved in another, less intrusive way.

    Thus circumcision as a preventative against urinary tract infections or HIV/AIDS would need to be weighed against other, less intrusive forms of prevention (such as antibiotics, condom use, sex education or behavioural changes) and a scientific cost/benefit analysis made. Only if the results of this cost/benefit analysis were positive should the intervention be offered to all parents of small boys on public health grounds.

    In addition, it would need to be demonstrated that it was essential that the circumcision be performed during childhood or infancy, rather than waiting until the boy had reached an age at which the risk was relevant (such as in HIV infection) and he could make a decision about the intervention for himself. After all, in many cases, such as in HPV or HIV prevention, it will be possible to put off circumcision until the boy reaches an age at which he can elect to have the intervention himself or instead choose alternatives such as using condoms, HPV vaccination or abstinence.


    DOCTORS' ORGANISATIONS ABROAD

    A large number of doctors’ organisations have pronounced on the supposed medical benefits of circumcision for medical/preventative reasons, set against the risk of complications.

    In 2003, the British Medical Association stated: ‘The medical benefits previously claimed have not been convincingly proven. (...) The British Medical Association considers that the evidence concerning health benefits from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it.’[25]

    The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in 1999: ‘Existing scientific evidence ... [is] not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.’[26] The American Medical Association endorsed this position in December 1999 and now rejects circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. The AMA further states: ‘parental preference alone is not sufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure on a child’.[27]

    Other doctors’ organisations in Australia and Canada have taken similar positions.[28] For example, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians asserts: ‘Review of the literature in relation to risks and benefits shows there is no evidence of benefit outweighing harm for circumcision as a routine procedure in the neonate.’[29]

    In its viewpoint, the Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons states: ‘the AAPS does not support the routine circumcision of male neonates, infants or children in Australia. It is considered to be inappropriate and unnecessary as a routine to remove the prepuce, based on the current evidence available’.

    The Canadian Paediatric Society states: ‘The overall evidence of the benefits and dangers of circumcision is so evenly balanced that it does not support recommending circumcision as a routine procedure for newborns’.[30]

    The American Academy of Family Physicians believes that the medical benefits of circumcision are ‘conflicting or inconclusive’. The decision should therefore be left to parents: ‘The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends physicians discuss the potential harms and benefits of circumcision with all parents or legal guardians considering this procedure for their newborn son’.[31]

    In Sweden, a law was introduced in 2001 after a child died after NTC as a result of an incorrect dose of the painkiller Ketogan. A first version of the law implied a total prohibition of circumcision for non-therapeutic reasons up to the age of 18. Under pressure from Jewish organisations, and out of fear that the practice would be driven underground, the law was later watered down. The law now states that non-therapeutic circumcision may only be performed in the first two months after birth and only under local or general anaesthetic. This anaesthetic may only be administered by a doctor or a qualified nurse. The circumcision itself may only be performed by a doctor or a mohel specially trained for the procedure, who has followed a course and has a licence from the Ministry of Health.

    The prevailing consensus in the medical world is that there may be some medical benefits associated with circumcision but that these benefits, weighed against alternatives and the risk of complications from circumcision, are insufficiently great to be able to recommend routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. There is currently not a single medical association that recommends routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons.

    Given the above, the rest of this memo uses the term non-therapeutic circumcision (NTC). This refers to circumcision in boys and men for reasons other than medical/ therapeutic reasons.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION VS. NTC

    [NTC: Non-therapeutic Circumcision]

    The practice of FGM has been prohibited by law in the Netherlands since 1993 in both adult and minor women and girls. In various viewpoints, the KNMG and NVOG have rejected all forms of FGM, including the most mild form, in adult women, as well as reinfibulation[38] following childbirth. The form which most closely resembles NTC, circumcision, is also unanimously rejected in virtually all the literature.[39] [40] In spite of this, the practice of FGM still occurs regularly, particularly among girls from North Africa. This led the internist Jannes Mulder to call in Medisch Contact for the mildest form of FGM, ‘sunna light’, to be tolerated.[41] This intervention proposed by Mulder consists of a small prick in the foreskin of the clitoris, causing a drop of blood to be released.

    No tissue is removed, and the girl suffers no damage to her body, and there is no effect on sexual function. According to Mulder, the practice of FGM could in this way eventually be redirected into innocent, symbolic forms.
    His proposal attracted purely negative reactions, generally based on the principled position that any form of FGM, including a symbolic one, must be treated as child abuse. “When it comes to the integrity of the girl’s body, no single compromise must be made”, states Pharos, knowledge centre for the prevention and tackling of female circumcision. The Netherlands Municipal Health Services (GGD) stated: “A girl is fine as she is.” Even so, this ‘sunna light’ is far less intrusive than NTC, in which part of the erotogenic tissue of the penis is removed.

    In a response to the criticism of his article, Jannes Mulder points to the difference in how NTC and FGM are judged: ‘No one says a word about the Jewish practice of circumcising boys. This traditional ‘abuse’ involves more than my single drop of blood. Some see the circumcision of Muslim boys as a hygienic intervention. That argument conceals a deeper motive. After all, there is no culture that preventatively deals with dirty ears by cutting them off.’[42]

    In an article in Medisch Contact, Karim and Hage (former board members of the Netherlands Association for Plastic Surgery, NVPC) similarly point to what they see as the discriminating fact that circumcision in girls is categorically rejected (even in its non-mutilating form) but that it is permitted in boys.[43] However, in the authors’ view, there are no reasons why FGM and NTC should be judged differently in moral or legal terms.

    The Partij voor de Vrijheid (Freedom Party) responded to the article by Karim and Hage through the person of Ms Agema with questions in the Dutch Lower House calling on the State Secretary not to prohibit the circumcision of boys. ‘Can we be assured that the Dutch government will not bow to this discrimination argument and that circumcision of boys will remain permitted?[44]

    FGM and NTC are generally seen as two separate practices, which need to be evaluated differently. For example, doctors’ organisations often devote different statements to the two practices.

    In the literature, little attention is given to legitimating the different treatment given to the two practices: apparently the difference is regarded as self-evident.[45] FGM is generally viewed as a serious violation of the rights of the child, while NTC is seen as something which parents may decide on for themselves. In the literature that exists, a number of arguments are made which are intended to justify a different evaluation of FGM and NTC.

    SEXUAL FUNCTION
    One of the most frequently used arguments for treating the two interventions differently is that FGM leads to the impairment of sexual function in the woman; supposedly, NTC has no such impact on the man.

    However, FGM takes many forms. There is the most severe form, infibulation, in which the inner and outer labia are stitched together and the clitoris is removed. However, there are also much milder forms of FGM, in which only the foreskin of the clitoris is removed. However, sunna light, as proposed by Mulder and previously proposed by Bartels[46], in which no tissue is removed, is also universally rejected. The WHO also rejects all forms of FGM: ‘Female genital mutilation of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice and a violation of the human rights of girls and women’.[47] The WHO explicitly includes in this the mild forms of FGM, in which no tissue is removed. So the argument for rejecting FGM is not that FGM interferes with female sexuality, but that it is a violation of the rights of the woman.

    ‘The guiding principles for considering genital practices as female genital mutilation should be those of human rights, including the right to health, the rights of children and the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex’.[48]
    Another part of this argument says that NTC does not affect male sexuality. The foreskin is regarded as a part of the body that has no function at all in male sexuality. Many sexologists contradict this idea: in their view, the foreskin is a complex, erotogenic structure that plays an important role ‘in the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts, such as penetrative intercourse and masturbation’.[49] The many attempts by men to restore their foreskins by mechanical or surgical means also contradict the idea that the foreskin is a useless part of the body.[50]

    NTC is sometimes compared to interventions such as tattoos and piercings.[51] On this view, Jews and Muslims see NTC not as an infringement of physical integrity, but as an innocent perfectioning of the body, comparable to tattoos and piercings. However, an important legal distinction between NTC in children and piercings and tattoos is that it is prohibited to tattoo or pierce children under the age of 16.[52] In other words, tattoos and piercings can only be done if a child is old enough to ask for them itself.

    NO THEORY OF OPPRESSION
    A second much-used argument to separate FGM from NTC is that FGM comes from a theory of female oppression, of which FGM is an expression. Since there is no such theory of oppression at play in NTC, this would make FGM morally more reprehensible than NTC.

    This argument can be refuted in two ways. Firstly, the historical background of NTC is extremely complex, and is in any case rooted in the desire to control male sexuality. Thus NTC was deployed in the past to combat excessive onanism, and it was also used to ‘brand’ slaves.[53] So the background to NTC is not as unambiguous as is often thought.

    There is another reason why the argument does not hold. The reason why FGM is condemned is not because it comes forth from a theory of female oppression but because it is harmful to them and represents a violation of their physical integrity. FGM would also be condemned if it were done out of aesthetic considerations or as a way of ‘venerating’ women. Even if women were to want FGM themselves at a later age, doctors would probably not be permitted to meet their request.

    The right to physical integrity is an inalienable human right, like the right to life and the right to personal freedom. These are inalienable rights, which is to say that the patient’s permission does not offer sufficient justification to be allowed to perform the intervention. Besides permission, there must also always be an additional reason, such as a medical interest. From this it follows that even if women did not regret the intervention, doctors would not be permitted to commit serious infringements of the integrity of the body, such as FGM.

    EMBEDDED IN CULTURE
    A third argument often made for drawing a distinction between FGM and NTC is that NTC is a much older practice than FGM, and that NTC is far more embedded in existing religious groups such as Islam and Judaism. However, this is open to question: both NTC and FGM have been practised for centuries by many different peoples and for many different reasons. And FGM also has an important ritual, religious and identifying significance for many peoples. So it cannot be said with certainty that NTC is older than FGM. Even if it were, it is still questionable whether this argument is morally relevant. It is not the history of a practice which is of decisive importance, but whether a particular practice is a violation of the rights of the child.

    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VS. PHYSICAL INTEGRITY

    NTC in minors is regarded by many authors as a violation of physical integrity.[54] However, they subsequently often conclude that NTC falls under the right to religious freedom, and that parents may therefore decide for themselves whether they wish to have this intervention carried out.
    The right to religious freedom means that parents are free to raise their children in a religion or philosophy of their own choosing. However, the right to religious freedom does not apply only to parents, but also to children. The right to religious freedom of the child implies that the child must at a later age have the right to choose a religion or philosophy of life for itself, or to reject the one in which it was raised.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    CONCLUSION

    - There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in the light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/ therapeutic grounds. Insofar as there are medical benefits, such as a possibly reduced risk of HIV infection, it is reasonable to put off circumcision until the age at which such a risk is relevant and the boy himself can decide about the intervention, or can opt for any available alternatives.

    - Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications. The most common complications are bleeding, infections, meatus stenosis (narrowing of the urethra) and panic attacks. Partial or complete penis amputations as a result of complications following circumcisions have also been reported, as have psychological problems as a result of the circumcision.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is contrary to the rule that minors may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be convincingly demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as in the case of vaccinations.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child’s right to autonomy and physical integrity.

    - The KNMG calls on (referring) doctors to explicitly inform parents/carers who are considering non-therapeutic circumcision for male minors of the risk of complications and the lack of convincing medical benefits. The fact that this is a medically non-essential intervention with a real risk of complications makes the quality of this advice particularly important. The doctor must then record the informed consent in the medical file.

    - The KNMG respects the deep religious, symbolic and cultural feelings that surround the practice of non-therapeutic circumcision. The KNMG calls for a dialogue between doctors’ organisations, experts and the religious groups concerned in order to put the issue of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors on the agenda and ultimately restrict it as much as possible.

    - There are good reasons for a legal prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as exists for female genital mutilation. However, the KNMG fears that a legal prohibition would result in the intervention being performed by non-medically qualified individuals in circumstances in which the quality of the intervention could not be sufficiently guaranteed. This could lead to more serious complications than is currently the case.>>


    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a publication setting out the Position of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot bevordering der Geneeskunst (KNMG), adopted by the Board of the Federation and effective as from 27 May 2010.

    The KNMG physicians’ federation represents over 53,000 physicians and medical students. KNMG member organisations include the Koepel Artsen Maatschappij en Gezondheid (Umbrella organisation for physicians and health – KAMG), the Landelijke vereniging van Artsen in Dienstverband (National society of employee physicians – LAD), the Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging (National society of general practitioners – LHV), the Netherlands Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB), the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Verzekeringsgeneeskunde (Netherlands society of insurance medicine – NVVG), the Orde van Medisch Specialisten (Order of medical specialists – OMS) and the Dutch Association of Elderly Care Physicians and Social Geriatricians (Verenso).


    — KNMG. Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG Viewpoint (2010)
    URL: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Publicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm 
    PDF: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/web/file?uuid=579e836d-ea83-410f-9889-feb7eda87cd5&owner=a8a9ce0e-f42b-47a5-960e-be08025b7b04&contentid=77976 
    _______________ 

    URL related G+ posts:
    plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/hVYmaN4v38P 
    plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/RawvufH5Q86 
    plus.google.com/118135535337532829792/posts/HhdEseNQrFn 
    _______________ 

    DB King (David): dbkingsdc.blogspot.com 
    License terms: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) 
    creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en 
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  • 9 plusses - 37 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-12-20 04:25:09
    RESHARE:
    SOCIALISM
    ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ 
    Where you can purge fellow comrades,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge 
     . . . 
    Deport political dissidents or send them to gulags,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag 
     . . . 
    Starve people to death,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_famine_of_1932–1933 
     . . . 
    Blow up nuclear plants and produce radioactive rain,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster 
     . . . 
    And be praised for your heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_the_Soviet_Union 
     . . . 
    For having 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 children,
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awards_and_decorations_of_the_Soviet_Union 

    Or for having reported your father to the political police (sentenced to 10 years in a labour camp for forging documents, and later executed.)
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlik_Morozov 
    __________ 

    URL via G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/114167164349903533897/posts/Vn51zrfbbNY 
    __________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 4 plusses - 35 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-07-18 06:49:51
    More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing Our Most Common Diseases
    By Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. (NutritionFacts.org). July 15, 2013
    youtu.be/qyyHsb6WGgY (1 h 2 min 5 sec)
    New upload: youtu.be/B-8ovk81nNM (1 h 2 min 3 sec)

    Comment: A presentation that is a compendium of his recent reviews.

    Video Blurb:
    << DESCRIPTION: Dr. Greger has scoured the world's scholarly literature on clinical nutrition and developed this brand-new live presentation on the latest in cutting-edge research on how a healthy diet can affect some of our most common medical conditions.

    In my annual nutrition review last year, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uproo...), I explored the role diet may play in preventing, arresting, and even reversing our top 15 killers. Actually, if you recall, the top 16. Since side effects from prescription drugs kill an estimated 100,000 Americans a year, the sixth leading cause of death may actually be doctors. 
    And that's just from adverse drug reactions. Add in medical mistakes (which the Institute of Medicine estimates kills at least 44,000 Americans) and that brings "health"care up to our country's third leading cause of death. Throw in hospital-acquired infections, and we're talking maybe 187,000 Americans dead every year (and millions injured) by medical care. 

    The best way to avoid the adverse effects of medical and surgical tests and treatments is not to avoid doctors, but to avoid getting sick in the first place. This year I thought I'd run through the top dozen reasons people visit their doctors to highlight some of the latest research in hopes of moving my colleagues and me lower down the list of common killers. >>
    ___________ 

    << Michael Greger, M.D., is an American physician, author, vegan and professional speaker. He is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine. He became vegan in 1990.[1] He is currently the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Greger 
  • 3 plusses - 22 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-11-12 05:58:58
    RESHARE:
    facebook.com/ILIWIWUITMABOIP - German Solar Power Plants Produced a World Record 22 GW of electricity
    By I love it when I wake up in the morning and Barack Obama is President. November 11, 2012
    facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=477159532318469 

    Quiz: Can you spot the basic MISTAKE in the text of this meme?

    <<German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour, equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity.
    Solar power in the United States has been demonized as a "Left Wing conspiracy".>> [ sic ]

    Shame on you, N. Allnoch, E. Kirschbaum and/or Reuters!

    uk.reuters.com - Germany sets new solar power record, institute says
    By Erik Kirschbaum BERLIN | Sat May 26, 2012
    uk.reuters.com/article/2012/05/26/us-climate-germany-solar-idUKBRE84P0FI20120526 

    (Reuters) - German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour - equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity - through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday, the head of a renewable energy think tank said.
    ________________________ 

    Excerpt from G+ post comments:

    Skane Canyon Nov 11, 2012 6:47 AM+5
    Germany is blowing everyone else away at solar power production. And they are even farther north than we are. We could be doing a lot better here in the U.S. if it weren't for all the years of suppression, but that said, we are not at the bottom of the list either. I feel as though we are reaching a turning point. I'm seeing more and more solar panels on houses where I live. Maybe a sort of grass roots movement is taking place that will tell politicians and big energy that we demand it.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 7:17 AM
    An yet three major solar companies were approved for loans by Obama. Two have gone out of business because of the bureaucracy from the loans. In other words they couldn't use the money loaned to them to build a panel better an cheaper than the Chinese.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 7:22 AM +3
    I'm curious why the thermal concentration style isn't more common for large scale installation instead of PV. It's quite a bit more efficient, and if I remember right there was one in Spain that had enough stored energy to keep juice flowing in the event that the sun failed to rise for a week. 
    Since it shares a lot of components it could be backed up by a more conventional natural gas generator or something (in case it's night time for more than a week...) 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 7:30 AM +1
    Because they raise the overall temperature in the area. Change weather patterns a promote desertification! I believe there are only three in the US, two in California an one in the Mid West. None produce enough electricity to power much.
    _________________ 

    Duncan Margetts Nov 11, 2012 7:34 AM +3
    +Curtis Edenfield Cant work out if you're serious or being satirical? How can a solar thermal concentration plant raise temperatures in the area they are located in? That would require a net ingress of energy to the area.. in fact, its clear that energy is being taken OUT of the area in which its being generated... please elaborate.
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 8:21 AM +1
    +Curtis Edenfield 
    Same thoughts as Duncan. I cannot figure out of your joking around or a total nut!
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 8:24 AM +2
    It could be due to storage of molten salt? 
    I'm curious about the desertification. In North America that might be due to covering entire industrial properties in a thick layer of gravel. 
    I'm baffled by the local zoning for a couple PV parks here. They took farm land, covered it in gravel and solar panels. Which isn't great, but there is hundreds of acres of abandoned industrial land here that hasn't been touched in 40 years. 
    _________________ 

    Timothy Chase Nov 11, 2012 8:43 AM +3
    +Curtis Edenfield wrote, "An yet three major solar companies were approved for loans by Obama. Two have gone out of business because of the bureaucracy from the loans."

    Do you have a source for that?

    I understand that the default rate is actually quite low:

    "The default rate on the U.S. clean- energy loan program that funded Solyndra LLC is a fraction of what the government budgeted for losses.

    "The BGOV Barometer shows the default rate on the $16.1 billion Energy Department loan portfolio is less than 3.6 percent. The White House planned for defaults of as much as 12.85 percent for loans to solar, wind and bio-energy projects, according to the Office of Management and Budget."

    Solyndra Losses a Fraction of Default Budget: BGOV Barometer
    By Jim Efstathiou Jr. - Nov 9, 2011 9:00 PM PT
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-10/solyndra-losses-a-fraction-of-default-budget-bgov-barometer.html
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 8:53 AM (edited)
    In my opinion it can only be due to one of the two following processes (or a combination of the two):
    1. they cause a reduction in annual or seasonal precipitation;
    2. they indirectly increase plant evapotranspiration by rising local temperatures during the central hours of the day (solar plants contribute to decrease the albedo by absorbing radiant energy or converting it into heat). Also, higher temperatures would increase the direct evaporation from the terrain before it's absorbed from the soil by the vegetation.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 8:48 AM
    The oldest site of concentration reactor is in the California desert. The area around the reactor has had a heat index rise of a half a degree. Plants as well as animals no longer habitat the area surrounding the site. This reactor was built in the 70's an has been in operation since. It has killed the living Sonoran desert around it.

    About four years ago, several engineers got together to speculate on how to use solar energy to supply the entire planet. They designed a solar collection array over a 100 miles square in the Sahara. In fifty years time after completion of such a project. The Sahara would grow over 100 times faster. In other words it would cover greater that 7/10's of Africa at that point. This is because it raises the overall temperature of the area! In in simple terms it raise the ambient temperature of the area around it!
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 8:49 AM +3
    Solyndra was doing something fairly different. Their failure doesn't have much to do with the technology they were working on or solar power in general 
    _________________ 

    Ivan Raszl Nov 11, 2012 8:53 AM +2
    A typical nuclear plant produces 4GW, which means 22GW is only 5.5 plants. ;)

    Also, this was only a peak production record not a sustained or reliable amount of energy produced. Within hours the production went down to zero. :D

    Germany shuts down its own nuclear plants and buying electricity from the Czech Republic which is incidentally produced by nuclear. It's all politics and BS.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 8:58 AM
    It was my understanding because of the loan, there were not to compete directly with the Chinese on similar designs. I can't back the up, because it was considered hearsay rom disgruntled employees.
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 9:00 AM +1
    +Curtis Edenfield 
    You are a nut!!

    +Ivan Raszl 
    It is politics and panic. Even when you take out climate change, nuclear is still better overall than other energy sources. How many die every year from pollution and other problems from coal etc. power plants? 

    People expect nuclear to have a perfect safety record but let other types of plants generate all kinds of pollution etc. that affect our health.

    Still, for a long term solution, alternative energy sources are the way to go. They need time and investment to make them really work. A combination of sources is needed with both nuke and solar playing a part. 
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 9:07 AM (edited) +1
    +Ivan Raszl, that's the key point. Their peak production was achieved during the central hours of a quite unusual day that was sunny in all Germany, just some weeks before the summer solstitium. Their sustained production (the annual production) is way lower. Germany is an awful place to instal solar plants. I guess their intention is using their plants to convince other countries to instal solar plants and sell them the panels (or mirrors) that they produce, some sort of demonstration plants.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:07 AM +1
    +Curtis Edenfield solar one is in the Mojave, it was sited in an area where it would have minimal impact on wildlife. As far as I can determine there isn't anything suggesting mass destruction of flora and fauna. Including pretty pictures of wildlife amongst the array from the National Park Service. 
    I couldn't find any concentrator in the sonoran desert, I assume you mixed them up. 
    If a change of 0.5 degrees is enough to cause massive desertification global warming should be much more alarming. 
    I did see some reports of isreal considering solar concentration towers to combat desertification. I'm not sure where your information is coming from but it's not on the first few pages of google 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:08 AM
    +Thoughts on Religion Yes a very well informed an educated nut! Yet I see no rebuttal disputing what I've said from you. 
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 9:13 AM
    +Curtis Edenfield You just seem to out there for me to bother with and I am not even sure of your point. Besides, solar panels are most certainly taking energy out of a system to use elsewhere. Looks like Eric Muller did a nice job of it though.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:19 AM
    I have a National Geo article about Solar One, I'll see if it's on line! It talked about heat in the atmosphere around the plant increasing enough to cause environmental impact.
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 9:21 AM (edited)
    +Thoughts on Religion: "solar panels are most certainly taking energy out of a system to use elsewhere"
    - What system? Have you ever heard of the albedo? You need first to define your system properly.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:21 AM
    +Thoughts on Religion it could create a localized hot spot, probably less than most industrial processes, but it's not out of the question. 
    Though it is capturing the heat and putting it elsewhere. 
    Usually they are located in arid areas with high insolation. Vegetation moderates the temperature quite a bit. On the other hand the array would create cool spots of shade over quite a wide area. 
    What he's saying isn't crazy enough that I didn't have to look it up. I can follow it. Based on a quick look though, it seems incorrect. 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:26 AM
    From Wikipedia

    Photovoltaics are best known as a method for generating electric power by using solar cells to convert energy from the sun into a flow of electrons. The photovoltaic effect refers to photons of light exciting electrons into a higher state of energy, allowing them to act as charge carriers for an electric current. The photovoltaic effect was first observed by Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel in 1839.[6][7] The term photovoltaic denotes the unbiased operating mode of a photodiode in which current through the device is entirely due to the transduced light energy. Virtually all photovoltaic devices are some type of photodiode.

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:26 AM
    From Wikipedia

    Professor Giovanni Francia (1911–1980) designed and built the first concentrated-solar plant. which entered into operation in Sant'Ilario, near Genoa, Italy in 1968. This plant had the architecture of today's concentrated-solar plants with a solar receiver in the center of a field of solar collectors. The plant was able to produce 1 MW with superheated steam at 100 bar and 500 degrees Celsius.[8] The 10 MW Solar One power tower was developed in Southern California in 1981, but the parabolic-trough technology of the nearby Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS), begun in 1984, was more workable. The 354 MW SEGS is still the largest solar power plant in the world.
    _________________ 

    Thoughts on Religion Nov 11, 2012 9:29 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla No, I have not heard of it!
    What I want to say is this. If you are collecting energy with solar panels, then it is being used elsewhere. What is being absorbed by the solar panels is not available to heat the ground etc. So, I cannot see how it could be causing an area to heat up, unlike burning something which clearly is. 

    Anyway, my point is this. Something needs to be done about climate change etc. I favor a approach that uses solar, nuke etc. ANything to move away from fossil fuel!
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:30 AM (edited)
    Now can any of you truly say not all that reflective energy is not going just to were it's focused to? Part of that energy is reflected back into the atmosphere surrounding the site. What is part of that energy heat.
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 9:35 AM (edited)
    +Eric Muller, you do consider the fact that a significant part of the sunlight that hits the Earth surface is reflected back to upper layers of the atmosphere and the outer space, right? That is, unless you deflect that light with a mirror to heat something or you use that energy to generate electricity or to ionize molecules.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:33 AM
    The ones in Spain are the only sites that have plants around it. Most are being built in the Middle East desert or Western US desert.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 9:37 AM
    +Curtis Edenfield I'm not sure what you were trying to show with the wiki paste.
    The goal would be to have all the panels directing energy back to the collection point. Any leakage lowers the efficiency so it will be avoided. Even if there is some it would be significantly less than what was being captured and turned into steam, molten salt, or whatever. 

    Eric Muller* Nov 11, 2012 9:39 AM
    If you had all the mirrors just point off into the atmosphere and not at anything, it shouldn't heat the area any more than usual. 

    Eric Muller* Nov 11, 2012 9:44 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, was this the albedo thing?
    +Curtis Edenfield yeah there is a few others, but as it turns out deserts have high insolation. They also have large open spaces.
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:47 AM
    Yes I know this, they aim these mirror with a precision of + or - .00000003 of an inch. The majority of the energy is going to the collector, but there is always a factor of heat loss to the atmosphere, what the consider acceptable amounts. This energy increases the temp in the area creating something similar to heat island effect like in urban settings

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:50 AM
    Here's something simple look at the grass in the pic of the Spain site. Is the temp there the same as say a couple hundred yards of site? 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 9:55 AM
    +Eric Muller Have you ever been near a glass high rise i a city? Even in the winter time it creates a huge amount of reflective energy, changing temps through out the area of reflection.
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 10:01 AM (edited)
    +Eric Muller: "I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, was this the albedo thing?"

    - That solar plants contribue to decrease the albedo in a greater extent than the efficiency of the plant using sunlight to produce electricity. In the case of photovoltaic panels no more than 21%: 

    <<Currently the best achieved sunlight conversion rate (solar panel efficiency) is around 21% in commercial products>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_panel#Efficiencies 

    As for the solar thermal collectors, I haven't yet found their net efficiency converting all the light that they collect into useful energy (at least not here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_thermal_collector), but I doubt it will be much greater but rather probably lower, the main advantage of these plants is their cost efficiency, not their energetic efficiency.
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:01 AM+1
    http://www.greenworldinvestor.com/2011/07/07/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-solar-thermal-energy-power-towersparabolic-troughs/
    I found this, there might be something to the desertification if it uses water, particularly from a local source from an already arid area. It also hints at wildlife problems but isn't too specific. 
    Since it's an industrial process I imagine it heats the local area some. I don't think it's related to albedo (more reflectivity should lower the temperature). I also don't think it's much like the heat island effect. 
    Other industrial power generation would show a much more dramatic local temperature increase, plus contribute to greenhouse gas emissions (with the exception of nuclear) 
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:25 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla photovoltaic panels are around 35 percent efficient for the expensive high performance stuff. Solar thermal is quite a bit more efficient. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentrated_solar_power#section_4
    Most large scale power generation uses super heated steam. It gets more efficient as temperatures rise, so using molten salt is expensive but the best way to go for efficiency. The salt is at around 700C so you then use that to generate steam with a heat exchanger. 

    That's why I was saying earlier, I wonder why you don't see more. They outperform PV easily. 
    _________________ 

    Curtis Edenfield Nov 11, 2012 10:47 AM (edited)
    Ok here's something else pretty simple to chew on. All that sunlight hits the surface of the water on the planet, as well as the snow caps. Lets increase that by 1/10 now 8/10 or 4/5 of the earth is covered by a reflective surface. What do you think would happen to atmospheric conditions then? That energy won't go back into space. Look at what happened in history when the sun was block from reflecting. 
    _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 11, 2012 11:14 AM (edited)
    +Eric Muller: "I don't think it's related to albedo (more reflectivity should lower the temperature). I also don't think it's much like the heat island effect."

    - But they don't probably have a total greater reflectivity but a lower one even though the light is deflected by mirrors, since it isn't reflected back to the space but to a thermal collector. So the efficiency must be measured there rather than on the mirrors. How much of the light that hits the thermal collector is converted into electricity and what percentage it is dissipated as heat? Is this amount of electric energy greater than the light that would have been reflected back to space (or just high above the surface, away from the ground and the vegetation) in case the mirrors weren't there?

    Additionally, the mirrors absorb some light energy that will be later dissipated as heat.

    +Eric Muller: "photovoltaic panels are around 35 percent efficient for the expensive high performance stuff. Solar thermal is quite a bit more efficient."

    - In any case, probably never more than 50% since the most efficient thermal power station can't attain efficiencies greater than 48%: 

    <<The energy efficiency of a conventional thermal power station, considered as salable energy as a percent of the heating value of the fuel consumed, is typically 33% to 48%. This efficiency is limited as all heat engines are governed by the laws of thermodynamics. The rest of the energy must leave the plant in the form of heat. This waste heat can go through a condenser and be disposed of with cooling water or in cooling towers.>>

    <<The Carnot efficiency dictates that higher efficiencies can be attained by increasing the temperature of the steam. Sub-critical fossil fuel power plants can achieve 36–40% efficiency. Super critical designs have efficiencies in the low to mid 40% range, with new "ultra critical" designs using pressures of 4400 psi (30.3 MPa) and multiple stage reheat reaching about 48% efficiency. Above the critical point for water of 705 °F (374 °C) and 3212 psi (22.06 MPa), there is no phase transition from water to steam, but only a gradual decrease in density.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_power#Efficiency 
    _________________ 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:55 AM
    It cools. Snow and clouds reflect a lot of solar energy back into space. That's another reason why the large scale polar ice melt is a concern.
    The use of black asphalt and black roofing contributes to the heat island effect (not the sole cause) it absorbs the Suns energy instead of reflecting it. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 10:57 AM
    On the other hand if you aimed those reflective surfaces at something that would absorb the heat, then it wouldn't go into space. You would be able to do something with it. 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 11:04 AM
    http://www.zenithsolar.com/product.aspx?id=287 It's probably marketing, and it's combined concentrated PV and thermal but that's saying it gets 72 percent or better 

    Eric Muller Nov 11, 2012 11:16 AM
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivanpah_Solar_Power_Facility#section_5
    That talks a bit more specifically about the impact on wildlife. It also talks about what's being done to reduce water consumption. _________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Nov 12, 2012 9:32 AM (edited)
    In the page about albedo there some examples of different surfaces (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo). The albedo of crops is between 25% and 15%, the albedo of meadows between 10 and 20% and forests roughly between 6% and 14%. Assuming a 15%, part of the remaining 85% is used in the photosynthesis: 

    <<Plants usually convert light into chemical energy with a photosynthetic efficiency of 3–6%.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis#Efficiency 

    Say a 5% during the central hours. 
    However, there's still another energy output from the system. Part of the energy captured by the vegetation is used to pump water, driven by the change of phase that takes place in the stomata, when the water passes to water vapor by absorbing heat.

    So we need to know how much energy is required to transpire all the water that the vegetation is draining from the soil and the water that is directly evaporated from the ground (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evapotranspiration), since all that energy absorbed won't contribute to heat the surroundings.

    <<Given the Earth's surface area, that means the globally averaged annual precipitation is 990 millimetres (39 in).>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rain#Global_climatology

    Assuming most of the rain water is evapotranspirated, say 500 L/m^2 per year,  which are 33,333 mol H2O/m^2. The standard enthalpy of vaporization at 298.15 K (25ºC) is 44 kJ/mol H2O. Thus the total energy required to vaporize 27,778 mol of H2O at 25ºC and 1 bar is 1,222 MJ per m^2 and year, that is 38.73 W/m^2
    (1 year = 31557600 seconds) 

    Annual Global Mean Energy Budget of Solar Radiation
    <<The energy budget of solar radiation can be derived by combining observations and modeling studies, which show the combined effects of atmospheric gases, aerosols, clouds, and surfaces. Under the annual global mean condition, the incident solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere is 342 W/m^2. Of this incident solar radiation, 67 W/m^2 is absorbed during passage through the atmosphere. A total of 107 W/m^2 is reflected back to space: 30W/m^2 from the surface and 77 W m^2 from clouds and aerosols and atmosphere. The remaining 168W/m^2 is absorbed at the Earth’s surface. It is noted that while the incoming and reflected solar irradiances at the top of the atmosphere are constrained by satellite observations, uncertainties may exist for the partitioning of the absorbed solar radiation between the atmosphere and the surface on the global scale.>>
    curry.eas.gatech.edu/Courses/6140/ency/Chapter3/Ency_Atmos/Radiation_Solar.pdf 

    Incident solar radiation at Earth surface: 
    30 W/m^2 + 168 W/m^2 = 198 W/m^2 
    15% of 198 W/m^2 is 30 W/m^2 (flux radiation reflected from surface back to space)
    5% of 168 W/m^2 is 8.4 W/m^2 spent in photosynthesis.

    Flux of energy dissipated as heat by terrain and vegetation: 
    168 W/m^2 - 38.73 W/m^2 - 8.4 W/m^2 = 121 W/m^2

    Thermal collector plant:

    <<Telescopes and other precision instruments use front silvered or first surface mirrors, where the reflecting surface is placed on the front (or first) surface of the glass (this eliminates reflection from glass surface ordinary back mirrors have). Some of them use silver, but most are aluminium, which is more reflective at short wavelengths than silver. All of these coatings are easily damaged and require special handling. They reflect 90% to 95% of the incident light when new.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror#Instruments 

    Absorbed by the mirrors: 10% of 198 W/m^2 ≈ 19.5 W/m^2 (dissipated as heat from mirrors)

    Flux light incident on thermal collector: 90% of 198 W/m^2 ≈ 178.2 W/m^2 

    <<Of all of these technologies the solar dish/Stirling engine has the highest energy efficiency. A single solar dish-Stirling engine installed at Sandia National Laboratories National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) produces as much as 25 kW of electricity, with a conversion efficiency of 31.25%. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_thermal_energy#Conversion_rates_from_solar_energy_to_electrical_energy 

    On the other hand, 

    <<The PS10 is located 20 km west of Seville (which receives at least nine hours of sunshine 320 days per year, with 15 hours per day in mid summer). The solar receiver at the top of the tower produces saturated steam at 275 °C. The energy conversion efficiency is approximately 17%.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS10_Solar_Power_Plant 

    Flux of electric energy (a great overestimation):
    31.25% of 198 W/m^2 is 61.875 W/m^2

    Flux energy dissipated from thermal collector and mirrors as heat: 136.125 W/m^2

    Flux of energy dissipated from thermal collector: 
    136.125 W/m^2 (thermal collector) - 19.5 W/m^2 (mirrors) = 116.625 W/m^2

    Efficiency thermal collector: 
    (178.2 W/m^2 - 116.625 W/m^2) / 178.2 W/m^2 = 34.55% 

    Conclusion:
    under conditions of significant evapotranspiration mainly driven by local vegetation (e.g., 500 L/m^2 per year), the average flux of heat dissipated by the vegetation and the terrain (121 W/m^2) is significantly lower than the average flux of heat dissipated by the thermal collector station (136 W/m^2).

    Note: the direct evaporation from the terrain under the thermal collector station hasn't been considered. THis value may vary greatly depending on the porosity and permeability of the terrain, but in any case, it'll be usually much less significant than in a terrain covered with vegetation, since plants are very efficient transpiration systems capable to pump large amounts of water from the soil, water that otherwise would percolate to the phreatic zone. 
    Also, I haven't taken into account the light reflected by the thermal collector or absorbed by the air (by gas molecules and aerosols) before it reaches the collector.
    _________________ 

    Further reading:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS10_Solar_Power_Plant 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS20 
    nrel.gov/csp/solarpaces/project_detail.cfm/projectID=38 
    nrel.gov/csp/solarpaces/project_detail.cfm/projectID=39 

    scientificamerican.com/slideshow.cfm?id=10-largest-renewable-energy-projects 

    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/111635150542674847021/posts/97mdARxzGRc 
    _________________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 6 plusses - 3 comments - 7 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-08 17:08:01
    "A Garden in a Bottle"
    The following post has been recently shared in this community:
    plus.google.com/108368588427369921804/posts/SBNSxuq6Gpk 

    It provides no references to its content. I tried to add a comment questioning the reliability of its information, as it seems it has been taken from an article published in a well-known tabloid,

    · Wilkes, David. Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years. Daily Mail. 24 January 2013
    dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html 

    On the other hand, without any reliable test (for instance, a radioisotope analysis {e.g., [14C]:[12C]}, or an analysis of the relative [stable] isotopic composition of the inside gas and plant tissues {e.g., [18O]:[16O], [15N]:[14N]}) there's no evidence supporting that this jar has been effectively sealed for such a long time.
    ____________ 

    However, +Tufail M.  (the re-sharer) seems to have systematically deleted every attempt (of an overall of 3) after a short while of having posted them.

    I'm not particularly concerned about the authenticity of the content of every single post as long as anyone is allowed to express their opinion about its credibility and reliability, what in my view, hasn't been respected here.
    _______________ 

    Edit: Now that I've checked, I'm not the only one who has questioned such claims:

    · DeVil. Can a plant survive bottled in its own ecosystem for 50 years? Skeptics Stack Exchange. April 14, 2013
    skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15838/can-a-plant-survive-bottled-in-its-own-ecosystem-for-50-years 

    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the Skeptical movement.

    Comment:
    I also noticed that in addition to the Daily Mail[1], the "news" was also covered by The Times and published the following day[2]. 

    Unlike the opinion expressed in the comments posted on the Skeptical website that I cite below[3], I don't consider that the mere reference in a reputed newspaper adds any credibility to the phenomenon. 

    Without an analysis of the specimen, there is no way to determine whether the claims about the experiment are correct, regardless of who echoes them.

    References:

    1. Wilkes, David. Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years. Daily Mail. 24 January 2013
    dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html 

    2. de Bruxelles, Simon. Plant survives 50 years locked in a bottle. The Times. 15 February, 2013
    thetimes.co.uk/tto/science/biology/article3667780.ece 

    3. DeVil. Can a plant survive bottled in its own ecosystem for 50 years? Skeptics Stack Exchange. April 14, 2013
    skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15838/can-a-plant-survive-bottled-in-its-own-ecosystem-for-50-years _________________ 
  • 12 plusses - 1 comments - 4 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-01-15 00:02:16
    Stefan Molyneux (freedomainradio.com) - Spanking Debate
    List: The Facts About Spanking 

    Comment:
    I harbor confronted views on this issue. On the one hand I believe it's a very bad idea to spank children, and that nothing good is going to produce. On the other, I believe that parents own their children (specifically mothers unless both parents have agreed otherwise) until they become capable to emancipate from them.
    Based on the latter point, parents should have the right to choose how to rear their children as long as they don't harm third persons. So while I would discourage the use of any kind violence against children, I find objectable meddling in the way children are brought up in other families, and repellent to police and force others to adhere to my personal views on how to rear their children. As I said before, they are their children, not mine.

    1/5 (17 min 07 s): The Facts About Spanking 
    2/5 (43 min 30 s): The Case Against Spanking - A Freedomain Radio interview with Jordan Riak 
    3/5 (11 min 14 s): Spanking Versus Permissiveness - Philosophical Parenting 
    4/5 (41 min 54 s): Parenting Without Punishment - Dr Elizabeth Gershoff Interviewed 
    5/5 (20 min 24 s): Freedomain Radio: Occupy Wall Street Protests, and Spanking Rebuttals 

    Further viewing:
    (51 min): An Introduction to Peaceful Parenting :) 
    (1 h 18 min 24 s): Peaceful Parenting and Universal Ethics - From Freedomain Radio 
    (58 min 25 s): How to Become Free - Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio interviewed by John Bush 

    Sources (1/5 video):
    pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/101/4/723.full 
    stopspanking.com/#Statistics%20You%20Need%20to 
    themoneytimes.com/node/85300 
    repeal43.org/research 
    utexas.edu/know/2009/09/21/elizabeth_gershoff 
    latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2009/09/spanking-iq.html 
    nospank.net/johnson2.htm 
    neverhitachild.org 
    nospank.net/straus15.pdf 
    stophitting.com/index.php?page=factsvsopinions 
    naturalchild.org/jan_hunt/spanked.html 
    content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1926222,00.html 
    nospank.net 

    fdrurl.com/spanking 
    board.freedomainradio.com/topic/29220-the-facts-about-spanking 

    URL source G+ post:
    plus.google.com/+AndrewCarpenter/posts/THEwrsmp8GS 
    _________________________ 
  • 0 plusses - 24 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-22 01:06:01
    RESHARE:
    Doghouse Diaries - What Each Country Leads The World In
    thedoghousediaries.com/maplesyrup 
    Detailed map: thedoghousediaries.com/large/5414.png 
    Comment:
    According to a survey comissioned by the European Comission (an Eurobarometer), Sweden is/was by no means the country with greatest atheist population or greatest percentage of atheists, not even in Europe, which is/was France, with 33% (in 2005), followed by Czeck Republic, 30%, Netherlands, 27%, and Estonia, 26%, versus 23% of Sweden (and France with also much larger population than Sweden):

    · TNS Opinion Social. Special Eurobarometer 225 "Social values, Science and Technology". Special Eurobarometer (European Comission) (2005) vol. 225 (Wave 63.1) p. 9
    ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_225_report_en.pdf (page 9)

    This info is supported by other independent surveys. For instance, in this other more recent survey (2012), Czeck Republic and France kept strong among those who consider themselves as convinced atheists (30% and 29% respectively) whereas Sweden fell to 8% (not even among the top 10 of the countries surveyed) (and Netherlands to 14%):

    · WIN-Gallup International. Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism - 2012. Red C Opinion Poll (2012) pp. 4, 9, 14-15,16-17
    redcresearch.ie/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/RED-C-press-release-Religion-and-Atheism-25-7-12.pdf 

    Commentaries on results:

    · Fisher, Max and Dewey, Citlin. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live. _Washington Post. May 23, 2013
    washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/05/23/a-surprising-map-of-where-the-worlds-atheists-live 

    · Mehta, Hermant. Survey Says: Atheism is on the Rise Worldwide (and in America). Friendly Atheist. August 10, 2012
    patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/08/10/survey-says-atheism-is-on-the-rise-worldwide-and-in-america 

    · Mehta, Hermant. Where Are the World’s Atheists? Friendly Atheist. May 25, 2013
    patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/05/25/where-are-the-worlds-atheists 
    _____________ 

    On the other hand, this infographic shows several other issues:
    In my opinion it's clearly politically slanted. For instance, it calls homeownership "living the American dream" (conveniently assigned to Bulgaria, a country with poor reputation on account to economic prosperity), whereas it assigns Norway (another mixed economy like Sweden) the highest levels of "democracy", a rather subjective magnitude, hard to measure or estimate.

    Likewise, Denmark has been assigned as the leading country in "education" (another subjective magnitude hard to measure and extrapolate bwtween populations), whereas there's an objective magnitude in which Denmark largely exceeds any other country in the world, meat production per capita:

    Population | Annual meat production | production per capita
    Country/Territory | Population 2010 OECD estimate | Annual meat production (tons/yr) | Annual meat production per capita (kg/capita/yr)

    Denmark | 5,534,738 | 2,050,838 | 370.5
    New Zealand | 4,367,800 | 1,327,363 | 303.9
    Ireland | 4,467,854 | 951,377 | 212.9
    Uruguay | 3,356,584 | 626,958 | 186.8
    Australia | 22,299,800 | 4,071,666 | 182.6
    Belgium | 10,839,905 | 1,895,614 | 174.9
    Netherlands | 16,574,989 | 2,660,663 | 160.5
    United States of America | 309,349,689 | 42,462,656 | 137.3
    Canada | 34,108,752 | 4,374,055 | 128.2
    Brazil | 193,252,604 | 23,890,325 | 123.6
    Spain | 45,989,016 | 5,530,072 | 120.2
    Argentina | 40,518,951 | 4,555,430 | 112.4
    Austria | 8,375,290 | 917,436 | 109.5
    Belarus | 9,480,178 | 1,019,500 | 107.5
    Germany | 81,802,257 | 8,359,182 | 102.2

    — Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Production > Livestock Primary. FAOSTAT
    faostat.fao.org/site/569/DesktopDefault.aspx?PageID=569 

    Source population data:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population_in_2010 

    A relevant magnitude considering the strong opposition raised against such industrial practices.
    _____________ 

    As in the above example, they have often chosen outstanding variables arbitrarily. For instance, they assign Myanmar (Burma) and Angola as the leaders in speaking Burmese and Umbundu respectively, what is probably accurate but irrelevant, and they also assign Senegal as the leader on not spending in military (what is probably inaccurate), 

    << On December 21, 2011, Senegal media reported that 12 soldiers were killed in Senegal's Casamance region following a separatist rebel attack on an army base near the town of Bignona.[15] Three more soldiers were killed in an attack the Senegalese government blamed on separatists in the region on February 14, 2012.[16] The attacks continued into March as four soldiers were killed and eight others injured in two separate incidents on the 11th and 23rd.[17]

    On April 5, 2012, newly sworn-in President Macky Sall said that ensuring peace in the south would be a top priority for his administration in his first public speech since taking office. He also expressed confidence that the leaders of Gambia and Guinea-Bissau can be involved in the efforts to find a solution to the long-running conflict.[18] >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casamance_conflict#Recent_developments 
    (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustin_Tine)


    Whereas Costa Rica (ranked here as leader in happiness, again, a rather subjective magnitude hard to extrapolate between populations), is well-known for not even having a permanent standing army:

    << In 1949, the abolition of the military was introduced in Article 12 of the Costa Rican Constitution. The budget previously dedicated to the military now is dedicated to security, education and culture; >>
    << Costa Rica maintains small forces capable of law enforcement and foreign peacekeeping, but has no permanent standing army. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_Costa_Rica 
    _____________ 

    I'll also mention the leading magnitude assigned to Spain, here considered as the leading country in "cocaine use", what in myoopinion is a misleading statement.
    First, the stats on cocaine use are based on rather imprecise estimations due to the ilegal character of its comercialization and consumption. 

    Also, (and probably partially motivated by the nature of the unofficial source of this information), it doesn't differentiate between consumption of resident population and the visitor consumption, which turns out to be majoritary, as Spain is the third/fourth country in number of visitors annually, and the second country in tourism revenue just after the US:

    · UNWTO. UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2013 Edition. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), June 2013, p. 6, 8-12
    dtxtq4w60xqpw.cloudfront.net/sites/all/files/pdf/unwto_highlights13_en_hr_0.pdf 
    Source: mkt.unwto.org 

    · UNWTO International tourism receipts surpass US$ 1 trillion in 2011. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Press Release No.:  PR 12027, Madrid, May 7, 2012
    media.unwto.org/en/press-release/2012-05-07/international-tourism-receipts-surpass-us-1-trillion-2011 
    Table 2:
    s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/storageapi/sites/all/files/pdf/worlds_top_destinations_pr_27.pdf 

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism#Most-visited_countries_by_international_tourist_arrivals 

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism#International_tourism_receipts 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Tourism_rankings#International_tourism_receipts_2012 

    Finally, the profile of the recreational cocaine consumer fits better to the profile of tourist visiting Spain (age, interests, ). than to the tourist profile visiting other countries like France or Germany.


    Edit: the only link provided (in Wikipedia) is broken:

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_prevalence_of_cocaine_use 

    Broken link: 
    United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 2006.
    unodc.org/unodc/en/world_drug_report.html 

    That was noticed and warned by an anonymous user in the Chicago area (74.7.164.149) on October 18, 2013, probably Allison Sekuler herself (since she lives in Evanston, IL), the original poster of this infographic and perhaps its author.

    I found this other report (updated):

    · UNODC. World Drug Report 2013. United Nations publication. Sales No. E.13.XI.6
    unodc.org/unodc/secured/wdr/wdr2013/World_Drug_Report_2013.pdf 
    unodc.org/wdr/index.html 

    Unfortunately, cocaine use isn't reproted country by country, but there are the numbers for some of them. The access to the data from which those numbers have been collected is not provided, but it's claimed to come from their own questionaries:

    "Source: UNODC, data from annual report questionnaire and other official sources; annual report questionnaire and EMCDDA (preva- lence)." (p. 45)

    Perhaps it isn't publicly available anymore:

    << The Annual Report Questionnaire for 2012 should be prepared using the electronic version of the questionnaire which is available from the newly created ARQ Internet portal at https://arq.unodc.org/ . This website is password protected. Login names and passwords are communicated to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs through the Permanent Missions. >>
    unodc.org/unodc/en/commissions/CND/10-GlobalData.html 

    I also found this from a previous report:

    6.1 consumption from World Drug Report 2011_United Nations publication. p. 209-240_ [ 6.1.1.2 Cocaine p. 212-216 ]
    unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/WDR2011/StatAnnex-consumption.pdf 

    Several territories show higher or similar cocaine use than Spain (2.6%, 2010):

    Annual Prevalence of Use of the population aged 15-64 (unless otherwise indicated)
    Scotland 3.9% [3.7 - 4.0] (2009)
    Isle of Man 3.5% [2.4 - 4.6] (2007)
    Spain 2.6% (2010)
    Argentina 2.6% (2006)
    England and Wales 2.5% (2010)
    Chile 2.4% (2008)
    United States of America 2.4% (2009)
    Italy 2.2% (2008)
    Australia 1.9% (2007)
    Northern Ireland 1.9% (2007)
    Monaco 1.9% [1.7 - 2.0] (2007)
    Ireland 1.7% (2007)
    Denmark 1.4% (2008)
    Uruguay 1.4 (2006)


    Notice that UK, as a whole, would have averaged the same percentage as Spain:

    { 2.5% [England and Wales, 2010] x (56,076,000 [England and Wales, 2011 census] ) + 3.9% [Scotland, 2009]  x (5,313,600 [Scotland, Mid-2011 estimates] ) + 1.9% [Northern Ireland, 2007] x (1,810,863 [Northern Ireland, 2011 census] )} / 63,186,763 [United Kingdom, 2011 census]

    56076000+5299900+1810863 = 63186763
    (2.5*56076000+3.9*5313600+1.9*1810863)/63186763 = 2.60107769249

    53012456+3063456+5295403+1810863 = 63182178
    (2.5*(53012456+3063456)+3.9*5295403+1.9*1810863)/63182178 = 2.60013973244

    England and Wales:
    ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_270487.pdf 
    Scotland:
    www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/theme/population/estimates/mid-year/2012/index.html 
    www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/files2/stats/population-estimates/mid2012/mid-2011-2012-pop-est.pdf 
    Northern Ireland:
    nisra.gov.uk/Census/key_report_2011.pdf 
    UK:
    ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/census/2011/uk-census/index.html 
    _________________________ 

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    plus.google.com/112366735963271550830/posts/2fFBKamdMuq 
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    Where Each Country Leads
    Everyone is good at something, even if it's just maple syrup and impact craters...

    For the full size image, check out http://goo.gl/tSvWem from the doghousediaries

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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-04-04 11:08:30
    -flickr.com - Minor Protest Title: 267_6766 "Non-therapeutic Circumcision"
    By DB King. October 11, 2005 (Washington D.C.)
    Source: flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/51682205 (license terms below)
    Minor protest in front of Washington Convention Center in connection with the American Association of Pediatricians annual meeting

    Excerpts from Wikipedia:
    <<Circumcision is probably the world's most widely performed procedure. Approximately one-third of males worldwide are circumcised, most often for reasons other than medical indication. The WHO estimated in 2007 that 664,500,000 males aged 15 and over are circumcised (30% global prevalence), almost 70% of whom are Muslim. Circumcision is most prevalent in the Muslim world, Israel, South Korea, the United States and parts of Southeast Asia and Africa. It is relatively rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa and Oceania and most of Asia. Prevalence is near-universal in the Middle East and Central Asia. Non-religious circumcision in Asia, outside of the Republic of Korea and the Philippines, is rare, and prevalence is generally low across Europe. Estimates for individual countries include Spain and Colombia less than 2%; Brazil 7%; Taiwan 9%; Thailand 13%; and Australia 58.7%. Prevalence in the United States and Canada is estimated at 75% and 30% respectively. Prevalence in Africa varies from less than 20% in some southern African countries to near universal in North and West Africa.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Prevalence 
    See also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_circumcision 

    <<Circumcision is the world's oldest planned surgical procedure, suggested by anatomist and hyperdiffusionist historian Grafton Elliot Smith to be over 15,000 years old, pre-dating recorded history. There is no firm consensus as to how it came to be practiced worldwide. One theory is that it began in one geographic area and spread from there; another is that several different cultural groups began its practice independently. In his 1891 work History of Circumcision, physician Peter Charles Remondino suggested that it began as a less severe form of emasculating a captured enemy: penectomy or castration would likely have been fatal, while some form of circumcision would permanently mark the defeated yet leave him alive to serve as a slave.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#History 

    <<Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East in the 4th century BCE, and in the following centuries ancient Greek cultures and values came to the Middle East. The Greeks abhorred circumcision, making life for circumcised Jews living among the Greeks (and later the Romans) very difficult. Antiochus Epiphanes outlawed circumcision, as did Hadrian, which helped cause the Bar Kokhba revolt. During this period in history, Jewish circumcision called for the removal of only a part of the prepuce, and some Hellenized Jews attempted to look uncircumcised by stretching the extant parts of their foreskins. This was considered by the Jewish leaders to be a serious problem, and during the 2nd century CE they changed the requirements of Jewish circumcision to call for the complete removal of the foreskin, emphasizing the Jewish view of circumcision as intended to be not just the fulfillment of a Biblical commandment but also an essential and permanent mark of membership in a people.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Middle_East.2C_Africa_and_Europe 

    <<Circumcision has only been thought of as a common medical procedure since late Victorian times. In 1870, the influential orthopedic surgeon Lewis Sayre, a founder of the American Medical Association, began using circumcision as a purported cure for several cases of young boys presenting with paralysis or significant gross motor problems. He thought the procedure ameliorated such problems based on a "reflex neurosis" theory of disease, with the understanding that a tight foreskin inflamed the nerves and caused systemic problems. The use of circumcision to promote good health also fit in with the germ theory of disease, which saw validation during the same time period: the foreskin was seen as harboring infection-causing smegma (a mixture of shed skin cells and oils). Sayre published works on the subject and promoted it energetically in speeches. Contemporary physicians picked up on Sayre's new treatment, which they believed could prevent or cure a wide-ranging array of medical problems and social ills, including masturbation (considered by the Victorians to be a serious problem), syphilis, epilepsy, hernia, headache, clubfoot, alcoholism and gout. Its popularity spread with publications such as Peter Charles Remondino's History of Circumcision. By the turn of the century, in both America and Great Britain, infant circumcision was nearly universally recommended.

    After the end of World War II, Britain moved to a nationalized health care system, and so looked to ensure that each medical procedure covered by the new system was cost-effective. Douglas Gairdner's 1949 article "The Fate of the Foreskin" argued persuasively that the evidence available at that time showed that the risks outweighed the known benefits. The procedure was not covered by the national health care system, and circumcision rates dropped in Britain and in the rest of Europe. In the 1970s, national medical associations in Australia and Canada issued recommendations against routine infant circumcision, leading to drops in the rates of both of those countries. In the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics has, over the decades, issued a series of policy statements regarding circumcision, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

    An association between circumcision and reduced heterosexual HIV infection rates was suggested in 1986. Experimental evidence was needed to establish a causal relationship, so three randomized controlled trials were commissioned as a means to reduce the effect of any confounding factors. Trials took place in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.[10] All three trials were stopped early by their monitoring boards on ethical grounds, because those in the circumcised group had a lower rate of HIV contraction than the control group. Subsequently, the World Health Organization promoted circumcision in high-risk populations as part of an overall program to reduce the spread of HIV, although some have challenged the validity of the African randomized controlled trials, prompting a number of researchers to question the effectiveness of circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy.[68][69][70][71]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Modern_times 

    <<In some cultures, males must be circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is commonly practiced in the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

    Judaism
    Circumcision is very important to Judaism, with over 90% of adherents having the procedure performed as a religious obligation. The basis for its observance is found in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis chapter 17, in which a covenant of circumcision is made with Abraham and his descendants. Jewish circumcision is part of the brit milah ritual, to be performed by a specialist ritual circumciser (a mohel) on the eighth day of a newborn son's life (with certain exceptions for poor health). Jewish law requires that the circumcision leave the glans bare when the penis is flaccid. Converts to Judaism must also be circumcised; those who are already circumcised undergo a symbolic circumcision ritual. Circumcision is not required by Judaism for one to be considered Jewish, but adherents foresee serious negative spiritual consequences if it is neglected.

    Islam
    Although there is debate within Islam over whether it is a religious requirement, circumcision (called khitan) is practiced nearly universally by Muslim males. Islam bases its practice of circumcision on the Genesis 17 narrative, the same Biblical chapter referred to by Jews. The procedure is not mentioned in the Quran, but rather adherents believe it is a tradition established by Islam's prophet Muhammad directly (following Abraham), and so its practice is considered a sunnah (prophet's tradition). For Muslims, circumcision is a matter of cleanliness, purification and control over one's baser self (nafs). There is no agreement across the many Islamic communities about the age at which circumcision should be performed. It may be done from soon after birth up to about age 15, with it most often performed at around six to seven years of age. The timing can correspond with the boy's completion of his recitation of the whole Quran, with a coming-of-age event such as taking on the responsibility of daily prayer or betrothal. Circumcision may be celebrated with an associated family or community event. Circumcision is recommended for, but is not required of, converts to Islam.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Cultures_and_religions 

    <<The origination of male circumcision is not known with certainty. It has been variously proposed that it began as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy's entrance into adulthood, as a form of sympathetic magic to ensure virility or fertility>>
    <<as a means of humiliating enemies and slaves by symbolic castration, as a means of differentiating a circumcising group from their non-circumcising neighbors, as a means of discouraging masturbation or other socially proscribed sexual behaviors, as a means of removing "excess" pleasure, as a means of increasing a man's attractiveness to women, as a demonstration of one's ability to endure pain, or as a male counterpart to menstruation or the breaking of the hymen, or to copy the rare natural occurrence of a missing foreskin of an important leader, and as a display of disgust of the smegma produced by the foreskin. It has been suggested that the custom of circumcision gave advantages to tribes that practiced it and thus led to its spread. Darby describes these theories as "conflicting", and states that "the only point of agreement among proponents of the various theories is that promoting good health had nothing to do with it." Immerman et al. suggest that circumcision causes lowered sexual arousal of pubescent males, and hypothesize that this was a competitive advantage to tribes practising circumcision, leading to its spread. Wilson suggests that circumcision reduces insemination efficiency, reducing a man's capacity for extra-pair fertilizations by impairing sperm competition. Thus, men who display this signal of sexual obedience, may gain social benefits, if married men are selected to offer social trust and investment preferentially to peers who are less threatening to their paternity. It is possible that circumcision arose independently in different cultures for different reasons.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision 

    <<According to Hodges, ancient Greek aesthetics of the human form considered circumcision a mutilation of a previously perfectly shaped organ. Greek artwork of the period portrayed penises as covered by the foreskin (sometimes in exquisite detail), except in the portrayal of satyrs, lechers, and barbarians. This dislike of the appearance of the circumcised penis led to a decline in the incidence of circumcision among many peoples that had previously practiced it throughout Hellenistic times. In Egypt, only the priestly caste retained circumcision, and by the 2nd century, the only circumcising groups in the Roman Empire were Jews, Jewish Christians, Egyptian priests, and the Nabatean Arabs. Circumcision was sufficiently rare among non-Jews that being circumcised was considered conclusive evidence of Judaism (or Early Christianity and others derogatorily called Judaizers) in Roman courts—Suetonius in Domitian 12.2 described a court proceeding in which a ninety-year-old man was stripped naked before the court to determine whether he was evading the head tax placed on Jews and Judaizers.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Greco-Roman_world 

    <<Europeans, with the exception of the Jews, did not practice male circumcision. A rare exception occurred in Visigothic Spain, where during the armed campaign king Wamba ordered to circumcise everyone who committed atrocities against civilian population.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Middle_Ages 

    <<Historically, neonatal circumcision was promoted during late Victorian times in the English-speaking parts of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom and was widely practiced during the first part of the 20th century in these countries. However, the practice declined sharply in the United Kingdom after the Second World War, and somewhat later in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has been argued (e.g., Goldman 1997) that the practice did not spread to other European countries because others considered the arguments for it fallacious. In South Korea, circumcision was largely unknown before the establishment of the United States trusteeship in 1945. More than 90% of South Korean high school boys are now circumcised, but the average age of circumcision is 12 years, which makes South Korea a unique case.

    Infant circumcision has been abandoned in New Zealand and Britain, and is now much less common in Australia and in Canada (see table 1). The decline in circumcision in the United Kingdom followed the decision by the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 not to cover the procedure following an influential article by Douglas Gairdner which claimed that circumcision resulted in the deaths of about 16 children under 5 each year in the United Kingdom.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_19th_century_and_beyond 

    <<
    Male circumcision to prevent masturbation
    Non-religious circumcision in English-speaking countries arose in a climate of negative attitudes towards sex, especially concerning masturbation. In her 1978 article The Ritual of Circumcision, Karen Erickson Paige writes: "In the United States, the current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice. The original reason for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or prepuce, was to control 'masturbatory insanity' – the range of mental disorders that people believed were caused by the 'polluting' practice of 'self-abuse.'"

    "Self-abuse" was a term commonly used to describe masturbation in the 19th century. According to Paige, "treatments ranged from diet, moral exhortations, hydrotherapy, and marriage, to such drastic measures as surgery, physical restraints, frights, and punishment. Some doctors recommended covering the penis with plaster of Paris, leather, or rubber; cauterization; making boys wear chastity belts or spiked rings; and in extreme cases, castration." Paige details how circumcision became popular as a masturbation remedy:

    "In the 1890s, it became a popular technique to prevent, or cure, masturbatory insanity. In 1891 the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England published On Circumcision as Preventive of Masturbation, and two years later another British doctor wrote Circumcision: Its Advantages and How to Perform It, which listed the reasons for removing the 'vestigial' prepuce. Evidently the foreskin could cause 'nocturnal incontinence,' hysteria, epilepsy, and irritation that might 'give rise to erotic stimulation and, consequently, masturbation.' Another physician, P.C. Remondino, added that 'circumcision is like a substantial and well-secured life annuity...it insures better health, greater capacity for labor, longer life, less nervousness, sickness, loss of time, and less doctor bills.' No wonder it became a popular remedy."

    At the same time circumcisions were advocated on men, clitoridectomies (removal of the clitoris) were also performed for the same reason (to treat female masturbators). The US "Orificial Surgery Society" for female "circumcision" operated until 1925, and clitoridectomies and infibulations would continue to be advocated by some through the 1930s. As late as 1936, L. E. Holt, an author of pediatric textbooks, advocated male and female circumcision as a treatment for masturbation.

    One of the leading advocates of circumcision was John Harvey Kellogg. He advocated the consumption of Kellogg's corn flakes to prevent masturbation, and he believed that circumcision would be an effective way to eliminate masturbation in males.

    "Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice."

    Robert Darby, writing in the Australian Medical Journal, noted that some 19th-century circumcision advocates—and their opponents—believed that the foreskin was sexually sensitive:

    In the 19th century the role of the foreskin in erotic sensation was well understood by physicians who wanted to cut it off precisely because they considered it the major factor leading boys to masturbation. The Victorian physician and venereologist William Acton (1814–1875) damned it as "a source of serious mischief", and most of his contemporaries concurred.

    Both opponents and supporters of circumcision agreed that the significant role the foreskin played in sexual response was the main reason why it should be either left in place or removed. William Hammond, a Professor of Mind in New York in the late 19th century, commented that "circumcision, when performed in early life, generally lessens the voluptuous sensations of sexual intercourse", and both he and Acton considered the foreskin necessary for optimal sexual function, especially in old age. Jonathan Hutchinson, English surgeon and pathologist (1828–1913), and many others, thought this was the main reason why it should be excised.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_to_prevent_masturbation 

    In United States
    <<A study in 1987 found that the prominent reasons for parents choosing circumcision were "concerns about the attitudes of peers and their sons' self concept in the future," rather than medical concerns.[51] A 1999 study reported that reasons for circumcision included "ease of hygiene (67 percent), ease of infant circumcision compared with adult circumcision (63 percent), medical benefit (41 percent), and father circumcised (37 percent)." The authors commented that "Medical benefits were cited more frequently in this study than in past studies, although medical issues remain secondary to hygiene and convenience."[52] A 2001 study reported that "The most important reason to circumcise or not circumcise the child was health reasons."[53] A 2005 study speculated that increased recognition of the potential benefits may be responsible for an observed increase in the rate of neonatal circumcision in the USA between 1988 and 2000.[54] In a 2001 survey, 86.6% of parents felt respected by their medical provider, and parents who did not circumcise "felt less respected by their medical provider".[53]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Circumcision_since_1950 
    _________________ 


    Excerpt from
    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG (May 2010)

    ABSTRACT

    "The official viewpoint or KNMG and other related medical / scientific organisaties Is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children's rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications - bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is powerful Therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to Actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."

    PREAMBULE

    POSITION OF THE KNMG WITH REGARD TO NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS
     . . . 
    <<The reason for our adoption of an official viewpoint regarding this matter is the increasing emphasis on children’s rights. It is particularly relevant for doctors that children must not be subjected to medical proceedings that have no therapeutic or preventative value. In addition to this, there is growing concern regarding complications, both minor and serious, which can occur as a result of circumcising a child. A third reason for this viewpoint is the growing sentiment that there is a discrepancy between the KNMG’s firm stance with regard to female genital mutilation and the lack of a stance with regard to the non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as the two have a number of similarities.

    The initial objective of this viewpoint is to initiate public discussion of this issue. The ultimate aim is to minimise non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors.>>
     . . . 
    — Prof. Dr. Arie Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman (Chairman of KNMG)
     . . . 

    BACKGROUND STUDY FOR KNMG VIEWPOINT

    NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS

    INTRODUCTION
     . . . 
    <<Until a few years ago, the attitude towards circumcision was fairly permissive, and circumcision was legitimised by appealing to freedom of religion and supposed medical benefits. In recent years, the attitude towards circumcision appears to have been changing. This is probably partly the result of the debate about female genital mutilation (FGM). With the global condemnation of this practice, including in its non-mutilating, symbolic form, the question regularly arises why circumcision should be judged differently than FGM. These days, more critical articles are being published about circumcision.[1] These articles point to the rights of children, the absence of medical benefits and the fact that this is a mutilating intervention that regularly leads to complications and can cause medical and psychological problems, both at a young and a later age.>>
     . . . 
    <<
    MEDICAL/PREVENTATIVE
    In the past, circumcision was performed as a preventative and treatment for a large number of complaints, such as gout, syphilis, epilepsy, headaches, arthrosis, alcoholism, groin hernias, asthma, poor digestion, eczema and excessive masturbation.[10] Due to the large number of medical benefits which were wrongly ascribed to circumcision, it is frequently asserted that circumcision is ‘a procedure in need of a justification’.[11] In recent decades, evidence has been published which apparently shows that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS[12], but this evidence is contradicted by other studies.[13]>>

    <<Further, there is apparent evidence that circumcision offers protection against complaints such as HPV infection, urinary tract infections and penis cancer. However, these studies, too, are controversial.[16] Moreover, urinary tract infections can be successfully treated with modern healthcare. Children with inborn abnormalities to the urinary tract can generally be successfully helped by a foreskin-widening operation, which makes the foreskin easier to clean.

    In response to the possible medical benefits, a large number of complications resulting from circumcision are described: infections, bleeding, sepsis, necrosis, fibrosis of the skin, urinary tract infections, meningitis, herpes infections, meatisis, meatal stenosis, necrosis and necrotising complications, all of which have led to the complete amputation of the penis.[17] Deaths have also been reported.[18] The AAFP estimates the number of deaths as 1 in 500,000.[19] That would mean that in the United States, two children die each year as a result of the intervention.

    Alongside these direct medical complications, psychological problems[20] and complications in the area of sexuality have also been reported,[21] as have extreme pain experiences in newborns causing behavioural changes which are still apparent years later.[22] [23] Similarly, the high social costs of circumcision as a result of complications have been cited.[24]

    Even if there were slight medical benefits connected with circumcision for medical-preventative reasons, it is questionable whether these possible medical benefits would compensate for the risk of complications. Certainly when it comes to children, who cannot make this assessment themselves, the possible medical benefits should be significant and the risk of complications small for the intervention to be justifiable.

    It is a generally accepted moral principle that children may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as is the case for vaccinations, for example. In the case of preventative medical interventions, there needs to be a clear individual or public health benefit which cannot be achieved in another, less intrusive way.

    Thus circumcision as a preventative against urinary tract infections or HIV/AIDS would need to be weighed against other, less intrusive forms of prevention (such as antibiotics, condom use, sex education or behavioural changes) and a scientific cost/benefit analysis made. Only if the results of this cost/benefit analysis were positive should the intervention be offered to all parents of small boys on public health grounds.

    In addition, it would need to be demonstrated that it was essential that the circumcision be performed during childhood or infancy, rather than waiting until the boy had reached an age at which the risk was relevant (such as in HIV infection) and he could make a decision about the intervention for himself. After all, in many cases, such as in HPV or HIV prevention, it will be possible to put off circumcision until the boy reaches an age at which he can elect to have the intervention himself or instead choose alternatives such as using condoms, HPV vaccination or abstinence.


    DOCTORS' ORGANISATIONS ABROAD

    A large number of doctors’ organisations have pronounced on the supposed medical benefits of circumcision for medical/preventative reasons, set against the risk of complications.

    In 2003, the British Medical Association stated: ‘The medical benefits previously claimed have not been convincingly proven. (...) The British Medical Association considers that the evidence concerning health benefits from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it.’[25]

    The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in 1999: ‘Existing scientific evidence ... [is] not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.’[26] The American Medical Association endorsed this position in December 1999 and now rejects circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. The AMA further states: ‘parental preference alone is not sufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure on a child’.[27]

    Other doctors’ organisations in Australia and Canada have taken similar positions.[28] For example, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians asserts: ‘Review of the literature in relation to risks and benefits shows there is no evidence of benefit outweighing harm for circumcision as a routine procedure in the neonate.’[29]

    In its viewpoint, the Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons states: ‘the AAPS does not support the routine circumcision of male neonates, infants or children in Australia. It is considered to be inappropriate and unnecessary as a routine to remove the prepuce, based on the current evidence available’.

    The Canadian Paediatric Society states: ‘The overall evidence of the benefits and dangers of circumcision is so evenly balanced that it does not support recommending circumcision as a routine procedure for newborns’.[30]

    The American Academy of Family Physicians believes that the medical benefits of circumcision are ‘conflicting or inconclusive’. The decision should therefore be left to parents: ‘The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends physicians discuss the potential harms and benefits of circumcision with all parents or legal guardians considering this procedure for their newborn son’.[31]

    In Sweden, a law was introduced in 2001 after a child died after NTC as a result of an incorrect dose of the painkiller Ketogan. A first version of the law implied a total prohibition of circumcision for non-therapeutic reasons up to the age of 18. Under pressure from Jewish organisations, and out of fear that the practice would be driven underground, the law was later watered down. The law now states that non-therapeutic circumcision may only be performed in the first two months after birth and only under local or general anaesthetic. This anaesthetic may only be administered by a doctor or a qualified nurse. The circumcision itself may only be performed by a doctor or a mohel specially trained for the procedure, who has followed a course and has a licence from the Ministry of Health.

    The prevailing consensus in the medical world is that there may be some medical benefits associated with circumcision but that these benefits, weighed against alternatives and the risk of complications from circumcision, are insufficiently great to be able to recommend routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. There is currently not a single medical association that recommends routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons.

    Given the above, the rest of this memo uses the term non-therapeutic circumcision (NTC). This refers to circumcision in boys and men for reasons other than medical/ therapeutic reasons.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION VS. NTC

    [NTC: Non-therapeutic Circumcision]

    The practice of FGM has been prohibited by law in the Netherlands since 1993 in both adult and minor women and girls. In various viewpoints, the KNMG and NVOG have rejected all forms of FGM, including the most mild form, in adult women, as well as reinfibulation[38] following childbirth. The form which most closely resembles NTC, circumcision, is also unanimously rejected in virtually all the literature.[39] [40] In spite of this, the practice of FGM still occurs regularly, particularly among girls from North Africa. This led the internist Jannes Mulder to call in Medisch Contact for the mildest form of FGM, ‘sunna light’, to be tolerated.[41] This intervention proposed by Mulder consists of a small prick in the foreskin of the clitoris, causing a drop of blood to be released.

    No tissue is removed, and the girl suffers no damage to her body, and there is no effect on sexual function. According to Mulder, the practice of FGM could in this way eventually be redirected into innocent, symbolic forms.
    His proposal attracted purely negative reactions, generally based on the principled position that any form of FGM, including a symbolic one, must be treated as child abuse. “When it comes to the integrity of the girl’s body, no single compromise must be made”, states Pharos, knowledge centre for the prevention and tackling of female circumcision. The Netherlands Municipal Health Services (GGD) stated: “A girl is fine as she is.” Even so, this ‘sunna light’ is far less intrusive than NTC, in which part of the erotogenic tissue of the penis is removed.

    In a response to the criticism of his article, Jannes Mulder points to the difference in how NTC and FGM are judged: ‘No one says a word about the Jewish practice of circumcising boys. This traditional ‘abuse’ involves more than my single drop of blood. Some see the circumcision of Muslim boys as a hygienic intervention. That argument conceals a deeper motive. After all, there is no culture that preventatively deals with dirty ears by cutting them off.’[42]

    In an article in Medisch Contact, Karim and Hage (former board members of the Netherlands Association for Plastic Surgery, NVPC) similarly point to what they see as the discriminating fact that circumcision in girls is categorically rejected (even in its non-mutilating form) but that it is permitted in boys.[43] However, in the authors’ view, there are no reasons why FGM and NTC should be judged differently in moral or legal terms.

    The Partij voor de Vrijheid (Freedom Party) responded to the article by Karim and Hage through the person of Ms Agema with questions in the Dutch Lower House calling on the State Secretary not to prohibit the circumcision of boys. ‘Can we be assured that the Dutch government will not bow to this discrimination argument and that circumcision of boys will remain permitted?[44]

    FGM and NTC are generally seen as two separate practices, which need to be evaluated differently. For example, doctors’ organisations often devote different statements to the two practices.

    In the literature, little attention is given to legitimating the different treatment given to the two practices: apparently the difference is regarded as self-evident.[45] FGM is generally viewed as a serious violation of the rights of the child, while NTC is seen as something which parents may decide on for themselves. In the literature that exists, a number of arguments are made which are intended to justify a different evaluation of FGM and NTC.

    SEXUAL FUNCTION
    One of the most frequently used arguments for treating the two interventions differently is that FGM leads to the impairment of sexual function in the woman; supposedly, NTC has no such impact on the man.

    However, FGM takes many forms. There is the most severe form, infibulation, in which the inner and outer labia are stitched together and the clitoris is removed. However, there are also much milder forms of FGM, in which only the foreskin of the clitoris is removed. However, sunna light, as proposed by Mulder and previously proposed by Bartels[46], in which no tissue is removed, is also universally rejected. The WHO also rejects all forms of FGM: ‘Female genital mutilation of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice and a violation of the human rights of girls and women’.[47] The WHO explicitly includes in this the mild forms of FGM, in which no tissue is removed. So the argument for rejecting FGM is not that FGM interferes with female sexuality, but that it is a violation of the rights of the woman.

    ‘The guiding principles for considering genital practices as female genital mutilation should be those of human rights, including the right to health, the rights of children and the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex’.[48]
    Another part of this argument says that NTC does not affect male sexuality. The foreskin is regarded as a part of the body that has no function at all in male sexuality. Many sexologists contradict this idea: in their view, the foreskin is a complex, erotogenic structure that plays an important role ‘in the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts, such as penetrative intercourse and masturbation’.[49] The many attempts by men to restore their foreskins by mechanical or surgical means also contradict the idea that the foreskin is a useless part of the body.[50]

    NTC is sometimes compared to interventions such as tattoos and piercings.[51] On this view, Jews and Muslims see NTC not as an infringement of physical integrity, but as an innocent perfectioning of the body, comparable to tattoos and piercings. However, an important legal distinction between NTC in children and piercings and tattoos is that it is prohibited to tattoo or pierce children under the age of 16.[52] In other words, tattoos and piercings can only be done if a child is old enough to ask for them itself.

    NO THEORY OF OPPRESSION
    A second much-used argument to separate FGM from NTC is that FGM comes from a theory of female oppression, of which FGM is an expression. Since there is no such theory of oppression at play in NTC, this would make FGM morally more reprehensible than NTC.

    This argument can be refuted in two ways. Firstly, the historical background of NTC is extremely complex, and is in any case rooted in the desire to control male sexuality. Thus NTC was deployed in the past to combat excessive onanism, and it was also used to ‘brand’ slaves.[53] So the background to NTC is not as unambiguous as is often thought.

    There is another reason why the argument does not hold. The reason why FGM is condemned is not because it comes forth from a theory of female oppression but because it is harmful to them and represents a violation of their physical integrity. FGM would also be condemned if it were done out of aesthetic considerations or as a way of ‘venerating’ women. Even if women were to want FGM themselves at a later age, doctors would probably not be permitted to meet their request.

    The right to physical integrity is an inalienable human right, like the right to life and the right to personal freedom. These are inalienable rights, which is to say that the patient’s permission does not offer sufficient justification to be allowed to perform the intervention. Besides permission, there must also always be an additional reason, such as a medical interest. From this it follows that even if women did not regret the intervention, doctors would not be permitted to commit serious infringements of the integrity of the body, such as FGM.

    EMBEDDED IN CULTURE
    A third argument often made for drawing a distinction between FGM and NTC is that NTC is a much older practice than FGM, and that NTC is far more embedded in existing religious groups such as Islam and Judaism. However, this is open to question: both NTC and FGM have been practised for centuries by many different peoples and for many different reasons. And FGM also has an important ritual, religious and identifying significance for many peoples. So it cannot be said with certainty that NTC is older than FGM. Even if it were, it is still questionable whether this argument is morally relevant. It is not the history of a practice which is of decisive importance, but whether a particular practice is a violation of the rights of the child.

    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VS. PHYSICAL INTEGRITY

    NTC in minors is regarded by many authors as a violation of physical integrity.[54] However, they subsequently often conclude that NTC falls under the right to religious freedom, and that parents may therefore decide for themselves whether they wish to have this intervention carried out.
    The right to religious freedom means that parents are free to raise their children in a religion or philosophy of their own choosing. However, the right to religious freedom does not apply only to parents, but also to children. The right to religious freedom of the child implies that the child must at a later age have the right to choose a religion or philosophy of life for itself, or to reject the one in which it was raised.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    CONCLUSION

    - There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in the light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/ therapeutic grounds. Insofar as there are medical benefits, such as a possibly reduced risk of HIV infection, it is reasonable to put off circumcision until the age at which such a risk is relevant and the boy himself can decide about the intervention, or can opt for any available alternatives.

    - Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications. The most common complications are bleeding, infections, meatus stenosis (narrowing of the urethra) and panic attacks. Partial or complete penis amputations as a result of complications following circumcisions have also been reported, as have psychological problems as a result of the circumcision.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is contrary to the rule that minors may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be convincingly demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as in the case of vaccinations.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child’s right to autonomy and physical integrity.

    - The KNMG calls on (referring) doctors to explicitly inform parents/carers who are considering non-therapeutic circumcision for male minors of the risk of complications and the lack of convincing medical benefits. The fact that this is a medically non-essential intervention with a real risk of complications makes the quality of this advice particularly important. The doctor must then record the informed consent in the medical file.

    - The KNMG respects the deep religious, symbolic and cultural feelings that surround the practice of non-therapeutic circumcision. The KNMG calls for a dialogue between doctors’ organisations, experts and the religious groups concerned in order to put the issue of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors on the agenda and ultimately restrict it as much as possible.

    - There are good reasons for a legal prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as exists for female genital mutilation. However, the KNMG fears that a legal prohibition would result in the intervention being performed by non-medically qualified individuals in circumstances in which the quality of the intervention could not be sufficiently guaranteed. This could lead to more serious complications than is currently the case.>>


    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a publication setting out the Position of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot bevordering der Geneeskunst (KNMG), adopted by the Board of the Federation and effective as from 27 May 2010.

    The KNMG physicians’ federation represents over 53,000 physicians and medical students. KNMG member organisations include the Koepel Artsen Maatschappij en Gezondheid (Umbrella organisation for physicians and health – KAMG), the Landelijke vereniging van Artsen in Dienstverband (National society of employee physicians – LAD), the Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging (National society of general practitioners – LHV), the Netherlands Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB), the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Verzekeringsgeneeskunde (Netherlands society of insurance medicine – NVVG), the Orde van Medisch Specialisten (Order of medical specialists – OMS) and the Dutch Association of Elderly Care Physicians and Social Geriatricians (Verenso).


    — KNMG. Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG Viewpoint (2010)
    URL: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Publicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm 
    PDF: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/web/file?uuid=579e836d-ea83-410f-9889-feb7eda87cd5&owner=a8a9ce0e-f42b-47a5-960e-be08025b7b04&contentid=77976 
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-06-19 04:49:17
    IS the social requirement of wearing shoes an institutionalized etiquette for the individual's oppression?

    Don't take me wrong. I'm not against shoes likewise I don't oppose hats. I'm against the social expectation that you should be wearing shoes at all time.
    Shoes were originally developed as a tool. They were an effective protection in cold environments like Europe, Central Asia and North America before the end of the last glacial period, while walking across mountain glaciers, or on very hot surfaces like the sand of the desert in the sun.

    Now let me explain why shoes may have become a tool for the individual's oppression.
    If you get used to wearing shoes every day since your early childhood your foot won't develop normally. Your toes are prone to get crooked, particularly your big toes will misaligned respect to your foot major axis. This translates into lower efficiency for walking and running.

    Without the feedback provided by your bare soles against the ground your running gait will also develop poorly, making your movements more clumsy and less efficient.

    This is nothing new, actually. Podiatrists and orthopedists were already aware of it, more than a century ago:

    — Hoffmann P. Conclusions drawn from a comparative study of the feet of barefooted and shoe-wearing peoples. J Bone Joint Surg Am (1905) vol. s2-3 (2) pp. 105-136
    jbjs.org/article.aspx?Volume=s2-3&page=105 (open source)
    PDF 1: jbjs.org/pdfaccess.ashx?ResourceID=54135&PDFSource=17 
    PDF 2: bsmpg.com/Portals/52884/docs/1905Hoffman.pdf 


    And recent research also agrees with such assumption:

    — Rao UB and Joseph B. The influence of footwear on the prevalence of flat foot. A survey of 2300 children. J Bone Joint Surg Br (1992) vol. 74 (4) pp. 525-7
    PDF: bjj.boneandjoint.org.uk/content/74-B/4/525.full.pdf 

    — Sachithandam V and Joseph B. The influence of footwear on the prevalence of flat foot. A survey of 1846 mature persons. J Bone Joint Surg Br (1995) vol. 77 (2) pp. 254-7
    PDF: bjj.boneandjoint.org.uk/content/77-B/2/254.full.pdf 

    — Kerrigan DC et al. The effect of running shoes on lower extremity joint torques. PM&R (2009) vol. 1 (12) pp. 1058-63
    pmrjournal.org/article/S1934-1482(09)01367-7/fulltext 
    PDF 1: download.journals.elsevierhealth.com/pdfs/journals/1934-1482/PIIS1934148209013677.pdf 
    PDF 2: nmtmidwest.com/running_shoes_vs_barefoot.pdf 

    — Hasegawa H et al. Foot strike patterns of runners at the 15-km point during an elite-level half marathon. J Strength Cond Res (2007) vol. 21 (3) pp. 888-93
    journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2007/08000/Foot_Strike_Patterns_of_Runners_At_the_15_Km_Point.40.aspx 

    — Buchen L. A softer ride for barefoot runners. Nature News (2010)
    nature.com/news/2010/100127/full/news.2010.36.html 

    — Jungers WL. Biomechanics: Barefoot running strikes back. Nature (2010) vol. 463 (7280) pp. 433-4
    nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7280/full/463433a.html 

    — Lieberman DE et al. Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners. Nature (2010) vol. 463 (7280) pp. 531-5
    nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7280/full/nature08723.html 


    Heels, wearing routinely shoes with heels causes the shortening of your Achilles tendons. In such condition you can't run without heels above certain speed more than a short distance without injuring your tendons due to overstretching.
    Wearing routinely shoes causes your calf muscles to become shortened and prone to injury if you aren't wearing supportive heels.

    All these physical limitations make it easier dominate people, just as they usually clip the wings of ducks and geese to prevent flight.
    A common practice was to seize shoes of the prisoners so that they couldn't escape or at least so that they couldn't go very far. Of course, this wouldn't work with people who hadn't been grown up wearing shoes, thus becoming dependent of them for their locomotion.

    The limitations in the individual's autonomy  that wearing shoes cause are even stronger with women shoes. High and narrow heels, narrow toe caps, and unstable support causing unsteady gait and shortening the wearer's stride. All those features further contribute to make women who commonly wear such kind of shoes to become more vulnerable when trying to flee from a chase or assault.

    Actually, wearing high heels isn't so different from the traditional Chinese custom of foot binding to women (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_binding).
    From Wikipedia:

    << The high heel has been a central battleground of sexual politics ever since the emergence of the women's liberation movement of the 1970s. Many second-wave feminists rejected what they regarded as constricting standards of female beauty, created for the subordination and objectifying of women and self-perpetuated by reproductive competition and women's own aesthetics.[18] Some feminists argue that the high heels were designed to make women helpless and vulnerable, perpetuating the gender role of males as protectors of the slowly staggering women. High heels have also been blamed for reducing the woman to a sex object by sacrificing practical comfort in favour of an alleged increase in sex appeal. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-heeled_footwear 

    << The earliest known shoes are sandals dating from approximately 7,000 or 8,000 B.C., found in the Fort Rock Cave in the US state of Oregon. in 1938.[1] The world's oldest leather shoe, made from a single piece of cowhide laced with a leather cord along seams at the front and back, was found in a cave in Armenia in 2008 and is believed to date to 3,500 B.C.[2][3] Ötzi the Iceman's shoes, dating to 3,300 BC, featured brown bearskin bases, deerskin side panels, and a bark-string net, which pulled tight around the foot.[2] However, it is estimated that shoes may have been used long before this, but it is difficult to find evidence of the earliest footwear due to the highly perishable nature of early shoes.[4] By studying the bones of the smaller toes (as opposed to the big toe), it was observed that their thickness decreased approximately 40,000 to 26,000 years ago. This led archaeologists to deduce that wearing shoes resulted in less bone growth, resulting in shorter, thinner toes.[5] These earliest designs were very simple in design, often mere "foot bags" of leather to protect the feet from rocks, debris, and cold. They were more commonly found in colder climates.

    Many early natives in North America wore a similar type of footwear known as the moccasin. These are tight-fitting, soft-soled shoes typically made out of leather or bison hides. Many moccasins were also decorated with various beads and other adornments. Moccasins were not designed to get wet, and in wet weather and warm summer months, most Native Americans went barefoot.[6] >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoe#History 

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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-04-04 06:48:43
    -flickr.com - Minor Protest Title: 267_6766 "Non-therapeutic Circumcision"
    By DB King. October 11, 2005 (Washington D.C.)
    Source: flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/51682205 (license terms below)

    Minor protest in front of Washington Convention Center in connection with the American Association of Pediatricians annual meeting

    Excerpts from Wikipedia:
    <<Circumcision is probably the world's most widely performed procedure. Approximately one-third of males worldwide are circumcised, most often for reasons other than medical indication. The WHO estimated in 2007 that 664,500,000 males aged 15 and over are circumcised (30% global prevalence), almost 70% of whom are Muslim. Circumcision is most prevalent in the Muslim world, Israel, South Korea, the United States and parts of Southeast Asia and Africa. It is relatively rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa and Oceania and most of Asia. Prevalence is near-universal in the Middle East and Central Asia. Non-religious circumcision in Asia, outside of the Republic of Korea and the Philippines, is rare, and prevalence is generally low across Europe. Estimates for individual countries include Spain and Colombia less than 2%; Brazil 7%; Taiwan 9%; Thailand 13%; and Australia 58.7%. Prevalence in the United States and Canada is estimated at 75% and 30% respectively. Prevalence in Africa varies from less than 20% in some southern African countries to near universal in North and West Africa.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Prevalence 
    Also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_circumcision 

    <<Circumcision is the world's oldest planned surgical procedure, suggested by anatomist and hyperdiffusionist historian Grafton Elliot Smith to be over 15,000 years old, pre-dating recorded history. There is no firm consensus as to how it came to be practiced worldwide. One theory is that it began in one geographic area and spread from there; another is that several different cultural groups began its practice independently. In his 1891 work History of Circumcision, physician Peter Charles Remondino suggested that it began as a less severe form of emasculating a captured enemy: penectomy or castration would likely have been fatal, while some form of circumcision would permanently mark the defeated yet leave him alive to serve as a slave.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#History 

    <<Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East in the 4th century BCE, and in the following centuries ancient Greek cultures and values came to the Middle East. The Greeks abhorred circumcision, making life for circumcised Jews living among the Greeks (and later the Romans) very difficult. Antiochus Epiphanes outlawed circumcision, as did Hadrian, which helped cause the Bar Kokhba revolt. During this period in history, Jewish circumcision called for the removal of only a part of the prepuce, and some Hellenized Jews attempted to look uncircumcised by stretching the extant parts of their foreskins. This was considered by the Jewish leaders to be a serious problem, and during the 2nd century CE they changed the requirements of Jewish circumcision to call for the complete removal of the foreskin, emphasizing the Jewish view of circumcision as intended to be not just the fulfillment of a Biblical commandment but also an essential and permanent mark of membership in a people.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Middle_East.2C_Africa_and_Europe 

    <<Circumcision has only been thought of as a common medical procedure since late Victorian times. In 1870, the influential orthopedic surgeon Lewis Sayre, a founder of the American Medical Association, began using circumcision as a purported cure for several cases of young boys presenting with paralysis or significant gross motor problems. He thought the procedure ameliorated such problems based on a "reflex neurosis" theory of disease, with the understanding that a tight foreskin inflamed the nerves and caused systemic problems. The use of circumcision to promote good health also fit in with the germ theory of disease, which saw validation during the same time period: the foreskin was seen as harboring infection-causing smegma (a mixture of shed skin cells and oils). Sayre published works on the subject and promoted it energetically in speeches. Contemporary physicians picked up on Sayre's new treatment, which they believed could prevent or cure a wide-ranging array of medical problems and social ills, including masturbation (considered by the Victorians to be a serious problem), syphilis, epilepsy, hernia, headache, clubfoot, alcoholism and gout. Its popularity spread with publications such as Peter Charles Remondino's History of Circumcision. By the turn of the century, in both America and Great Britain, infant circumcision was nearly universally recommended.

    After the end of World War II, Britain moved to a nationalized health care system, and so looked to ensure that each medical procedure covered by the new system was cost-effective. Douglas Gairdner's 1949 article "The Fate of the Foreskin" argued persuasively that the evidence available at that time showed that the risks outweighed the known benefits. The procedure was not covered by the national health care system, and circumcision rates dropped in Britain and in the rest of Europe. In the 1970s, national medical associations in Australia and Canada issued recommendations against routine infant circumcision, leading to drops in the rates of both of those countries. In the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics has, over the decades, issued a series of policy statements regarding circumcision, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

    An association between circumcision and reduced heterosexual HIV infection rates was suggested in 1986. Experimental evidence was needed to establish a causal relationship, so three randomized controlled trials were commissioned as a means to reduce the effect of any confounding factors. Trials took place in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.[10] All three trials were stopped early by their monitoring boards on ethical grounds, because those in the circumcised group had a lower rate of HIV contraction than the control group. Subsequently, the World Health Organization promoted circumcision in high-risk populations as part of an overall program to reduce the spread of HIV, although some have challenged the validity of the African randomized controlled trials, prompting a number of researchers to question the effectiveness of circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy.[68][69][70][71]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Modern_times 

    <<In some cultures, males must be circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is commonly practiced in the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

    Judaism
    Circumcision is very important to Judaism, with over 90% of adherents having the procedure performed as a religious obligation. The basis for its observance is found in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis chapter 17, in which a covenant of circumcision is made with Abraham and his descendants. Jewish circumcision is part of the brit milah ritual, to be performed by a specialist ritual circumciser (a mohel) on the eighth day of a newborn son's life (with certain exceptions for poor health). Jewish law requires that the circumcision leave the glans bare when the penis is flaccid. Converts to Judaism must also be circumcised; those who are already circumcised undergo a symbolic circumcision ritual. Circumcision is not required by Judaism for one to be considered Jewish, but adherents foresee serious negative spiritual consequences if it is neglected.

    Islam
    Although there is debate within Islam over whether it is a religious requirement, circumcision (called khitan) is practiced nearly universally by Muslim males. Islam bases its practice of circumcision on the Genesis 17 narrative, the same Biblical chapter referred to by Jews. The procedure is not mentioned in the Quran, but rather adherents believe it is a tradition established by Islam's prophet Muhammad directly (following Abraham), and so its practice is considered a sunnah (prophet's tradition). For Muslims, circumcision is a matter of cleanliness, purification and control over one's baser self (nafs). There is no agreement across the many Islamic communities about the age at which circumcision should be performed. It may be done from soon after birth up to about age 15, with it most often performed at around six to seven years of age. The timing can correspond with the boy's completion of his recitation of the whole Quran, with a coming-of-age event such as taking on the responsibility of daily prayer or betrothal. Circumcision may be celebrated with an associated family or community event. Circumcision is recommended for, but is not required of, converts to Islam.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Cultures_and_religions 

    <<The origination of male circumcision is not known with certainty. It has been variously proposed that it began as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy's entrance into adulthood, as a form of sympathetic magic to ensure virility or fertility>>
    <<as a means of humiliating enemies and slaves by symbolic castration, as a means of differentiating a circumcising group from their non-circumcising neighbors, as a means of discouraging masturbation or other socially proscribed sexual behaviors, as a means of removing "excess" pleasure, as a means of increasing a man's attractiveness to women, as a demonstration of one's ability to endure pain, or as a male counterpart to menstruation or the breaking of the hymen, or to copy the rare natural occurrence of a missing foreskin of an important leader, and as a display of disgust of the smegma produced by the foreskin. It has been suggested that the custom of circumcision gave advantages to tribes that practiced it and thus led to its spread. Darby describes these theories as "conflicting", and states that "the only point of agreement among proponents of the various theories is that promoting good health had nothing to do with it." Immerman et al. suggest that circumcision causes lowered sexual arousal of pubescent males, and hypothesize that this was a competitive advantage to tribes practising circumcision, leading to its spread. Wilson suggests that circumcision reduces insemination efficiency, reducing a man's capacity for extra-pair fertilizations by impairing sperm competition. Thus, men who display this signal of sexual obedience, may gain social benefits, if married men are selected to offer social trust and investment preferentially to peers who are less threatening to their paternity. It is possible that circumcision arose independently in different cultures for different reasons.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision 

    <<According to Hodges, ancient Greek aesthetics of the human form considered circumcision a mutilation of a previously perfectly shaped organ. Greek artwork of the period portrayed penises as covered by the foreskin (sometimes in exquisite detail), except in the portrayal of satyrs, lechers, and barbarians. This dislike of the appearance of the circumcised penis led to a decline in the incidence of circumcision among many peoples that had previously practiced it throughout Hellenistic times. In Egypt, only the priestly caste retained circumcision, and by the 2nd century, the only circumcising groups in the Roman Empire were Jews, Jewish Christians, Egyptian priests, and the Nabatean Arabs. Circumcision was sufficiently rare among non-Jews that being circumcised was considered conclusive evidence of Judaism (or Early Christianity and others derogatorily called Judaizers) in Roman courts—Suetonius in Domitian 12.2 described a court proceeding in which a ninety-year-old man was stripped naked before the court to determine whether he was evading the head tax placed on Jews and Judaizers.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Greco-Roman_world 

    <<Europeans, with the exception of the Jews, did not practice male circumcision. A rare exception occurred in Visigothic Spain, where during the armed campaign king Wamba ordered to circumcise everyone who committed atrocities against civilian population.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_Middle_Ages 

    <<Historically, neonatal circumcision was promoted during late Victorian times in the English-speaking parts of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom and was widely practiced during the first part of the 20th century in these countries. However, the practice declined sharply in the United Kingdom after the Second World War, and somewhat later in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has been argued (e.g., Goldman 1997) that the practice did not spread to other European countries because others considered the arguments for it fallacious. In South Korea, circumcision was largely unknown before the establishment of the United States trusteeship in 1945. More than 90% of South Korean high school boys are now circumcised, but the average age of circumcision is 12 years, which makes South Korea a unique case.

    Infant circumcision has been abandoned in New Zealand and Britain, and is now much less common in Australia and in Canada (see table 1). The decline in circumcision in the United Kingdom followed the decision by the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 not to cover the procedure following an influential article by Douglas Gairdner which claimed that circumcision resulted in the deaths of about 16 children under 5 each year in the United Kingdom.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_in_the_19th_century_and_beyond 

    Male circumcision to prevent masturbation
    Non-religious circumcision in English-speaking countries arose in a climate of negative attitudes towards sex, especially concerning masturbation. In her 1978 article The Ritual of Circumcision, Karen Erickson Paige writes: "In the United States, the current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice. The original reason for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or prepuce, was to control 'masturbatory insanity' – the range of mental disorders that people believed were caused by the 'polluting' practice of 'self-abuse.'"

    "Self-abuse" was a term commonly used to describe masturbation in the 19th century. According to Paige, "treatments ranged from diet, moral exhortations, hydrotherapy, and marriage, to such drastic measures as surgery, physical restraints, frights, and punishment. Some doctors recommended covering the penis with plaster of Paris, leather, or rubber; cauterization; making boys wear chastity belts or spiked rings; and in extreme cases, castration." Paige details how circumcision became popular as a masturbation remedy:

    "In the 1890s, it became a popular technique to prevent, or cure, masturbatory insanity. In 1891 the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England published On Circumcision as Preventive of Masturbation, and two years later another British doctor wrote Circumcision: Its Advantages and How to Perform It, which listed the reasons for removing the 'vestigial' prepuce. Evidently the foreskin could cause 'nocturnal incontinence,' hysteria, epilepsy, and irritation that might 'give rise to erotic stimulation and, consequently, masturbation.' Another physician, P.C. Remondino, added that 'circumcision is like a substantial and well-secured life annuity...it insures better health, greater capacity for labor, longer life, less nervousness, sickness, loss of time, and less doctor bills.' No wonder it became a popular remedy."

    At the same time circumcisions were advocated on men, clitoridectomies (removal of the clitoris) were also performed for the same reason (to treat female masturbators). The US "Orificial Surgery Society" for female "circumcision" operated until 1925, and clitoridectomies and infibulations would continue to be advocated by some through the 1930s. As late as 1936, L. E. Holt, an author of pediatric textbooks, advocated male and female circumcision as a treatment for masturbation.

    One of the leading advocates of circumcision was John Harvey Kellogg. He advocated the consumption of Kellogg's corn flakes to prevent masturbation, and he believed that circumcision would be an effective way to eliminate masturbation in males.

    "Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice."

    Robert Darby, writing in the Australian Medical Journal, noted that some 19th-century circumcision advocates—and their opponents—believed that the foreskin was sexually sensitive:

    In the 19th century the role of the foreskin in erotic sensation was well understood by physicians who wanted to cut it off precisely because they considered it the major factor leading boys to masturbation. The Victorian physician and venereologist William Acton (1814–1875) damned it as "a source of serious mischief", and most of his contemporaries concurred.

    Both opponents and supporters of circumcision agreed that the significant role the foreskin played in sexual response was the main reason why it should be either left in place or removed. William Hammond, a Professor of Mind in New York in the late 19th century, commented that "circumcision, when performed in early life, generally lessens the voluptuous sensations of sexual intercourse", and both he and Acton considered the foreskin necessary for optimal sexual function, especially in old age. Jonathan Hutchinson, English surgeon and pathologist (1828–1913), and many others, thought this was the main reason why it should be excised.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Male_circumcision_to_prevent_masturbation 

    In United States
    <<A study in 1987 found that the prominent reasons for parents choosing circumcision were "concerns about the attitudes of peers and their sons' self concept in the future," rather than medical concerns.[51] A 1999 study reported that reasons for circumcision included "ease of hygiene (67 percent), ease of infant circumcision compared with adult circumcision (63 percent), medical benefit (41 percent), and father circumcised (37 percent)." The authors commented that "Medical benefits were cited more frequently in this study than in past studies, although medical issues remain secondary to hygiene and convenience."[52] A 2001 study reported that "The most important reason to circumcise or not circumcise the child was health reasons."[53] A 2005 study speculated that increased recognition of the potential benefits may be responsible for an observed increase in the rate of neonatal circumcision in the USA between 1988 and 2000.[54] In a 2001 survey, 86.6% of parents felt respected by their medical provider, and parents who did not circumcise "felt less respected by their medical provider".[53]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision#Circumcision_since_1950 
    _________________ 


    Excerpt from
    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG (May 2010)

    ABSTRACT

    "The official viewpoint or KNMG and other related medical / scientific organisaties Is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children's rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications - bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is powerful Therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to Actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."

    PREAMBULE

    POSITION OF THE KNMG WITH REGARD TO NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS
     . . . 
    <<The reason for our adoption of an official viewpoint regarding this matter is the increasing emphasis on children’s rights. It is particularly relevant for doctors that children must not be subjected to medical proceedings that have no therapeutic or preventative value. In addition to this, there is growing concern regarding complications, both minor and serious, which can occur as a result of circumcising a child. A third reason for this viewpoint is the growing sentiment that there is a discrepancy between the KNMG’s firm stance with regard to female genital mutilation and the lack of a stance with regard to the non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as the two have a number of similarities.

    The initial objective of this viewpoint is to initiate public discussion of this issue. The ultimate aim is to minimise non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors.>>
     . . . 
    — Prof. Dr. Arie Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman (Chairman of KNMG)
     . . . 

    BACKGROUND STUDY FOR KNMG VIEWPOINT

    NON-THERAPEUTIC CIRCUMCISION OF MALE MINORS

    INTRODUCTION
     . . . 
    <<Until a few years ago, the attitude towards circumcision was fairly permissive, and circumcision was legitimised by appealing to freedom of religion and supposed medical benefits. In recent years, the attitude towards circumcision appears to have been changing. This is probably partly the result of the debate about female genital mutilation (FGM). With the global condemnation of this practice, including in its non-mutilating, symbolic form, the question regularly arises why circumcision should be judged differently than FGM. These days, more critical articles are being published about circumcision.[1] These articles point to the rights of children, the absence of medical benefits and the fact that this is a mutilating intervention that regularly leads to complications and can cause medical and psychological problems, both at a young and a later age.>>
     . . . 
    <<
    MEDICAL/PREVENTATIVE
    In the past, circumcision was performed as a preventative and treatment for a large number of complaints, such as gout, syphilis, epilepsy, headaches, arthrosis, alcoholism, groin hernias, asthma, poor digestion, eczema and excessive masturbation.[10] Due to the large number of medical benefits which were wrongly ascribed to circumcision, it is frequently asserted that circumcision is ‘a procedure in need of a justification’.[11] In recent decades, evidence has been published which apparently shows that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS[12], but this evidence is contradicted by other studies.[13]>>

    <<Further, there is apparent evidence that circumcision offers protection against complaints such as HPV infection, urinary tract infections and penis cancer. However, these studies, too, are controversial.[16] Moreover, urinary tract infections can be successfully treated with modern healthcare. Children with inborn abnormalities to the urinary tract can generally be successfully helped by a foreskin-widening operation, which makes the foreskin easier to clean.

    In response to the possible medical benefits, a large number of complications resulting from circumcision are described: infections, bleeding, sepsis, necrosis, fibrosis of the skin, urinary tract infections, meningitis, herpes infections, meatisis, meatal stenosis, necrosis and necrotising complications, all of which have led to the complete amputation of the penis.[17] Deaths have also been reported.[18] The AAFP estimates the number of deaths as 1 in 500,000.[19] That would mean that in the United States, two children die each year as a result of the intervention.

    Alongside these direct medical complications, psychological problems[20] and complications in the area of sexuality have also been reported,[21] as have extreme pain experiences in newborns causing behavioural changes which are still apparent years later.[22] [23] Similarly, the high social costs of circumcision as a result of complications have been cited.[24]

    Even if there were slight medical benefits connected with circumcision for medical-preventative reasons, it is questionable whether these possible medical benefits would compensate for the risk of complications. Certainly when it comes to children, who cannot make this assessment themselves, the possible medical benefits should be significant and the risk of complications small for the intervention to be justifiable.

    It is a generally accepted moral principle that children may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as is the case for vaccinations, for example. In the case of preventative medical interventions, there needs to be a clear individual or public health benefit which cannot be achieved in another, less intrusive way.

    Thus circumcision as a preventative against urinary tract infections or HIV/AIDS would need to be weighed against other, less intrusive forms of prevention (such as antibiotics, condom use, sex education or behavioural changes) and a scientific cost/benefit analysis made. Only if the results of this cost/benefit analysis were positive should the intervention be offered to all parents of small boys on public health grounds.

    In addition, it would need to be demonstrated that it was essential that the circumcision be performed during childhood or infancy, rather than waiting until the boy had reached an age at which the risk was relevant (such as in HIV infection) and he could make a decision about the intervention for himself. After all, in many cases, such as in HPV or HIV prevention, it will be possible to put off circumcision until the boy reaches an age at which he can elect to have the intervention himself or instead choose alternatives such as using condoms, HPV vaccination or abstinence.


    DOCTORS' ORGANISATIONS ABROAD

    A large number of doctors’ organisations have pronounced on the supposed medical benefits of circumcision for medical/preventative reasons, set against the risk of complications.

    In 2003, the British Medical Association stated: ‘The medical benefits previously claimed have not been convincingly proven. (...) The British Medical Association considers that the evidence concerning health benefits from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it.’[25]

    The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in 1999: ‘Existing scientific evidence ... [is] not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.’[26] The American Medical Association endorsed this position in December 1999 and now rejects circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. The AMA further states: ‘parental preference alone is not sufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure on a child’.[27]

    Other doctors’ organisations in Australia and Canada have taken similar positions.[28] For example, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians asserts: ‘Review of the literature in relation to risks and benefits shows there is no evidence of benefit outweighing harm for circumcision as a routine procedure in the neonate.’[29]

    In its viewpoint, the Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons states: ‘the AAPS does not support the routine circumcision of male neonates, infants or children in Australia. It is considered to be inappropriate and unnecessary as a routine to remove the prepuce, based on the current evidence available’.

    The Canadian Paediatric Society states: ‘The overall evidence of the benefits and dangers of circumcision is so evenly balanced that it does not support recommending circumcision as a routine procedure for newborns’.[30]

    The American Academy of Family Physicians believes that the medical benefits of circumcision are ‘conflicting or inconclusive’. The decision should therefore be left to parents: ‘The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends physicians discuss the potential harms and benefits of circumcision with all parents or legal guardians considering this procedure for their newborn son’.[31]

    In Sweden, a law was introduced in 2001 after a child died after NTC as a result of an incorrect dose of the painkiller Ketogan. A first version of the law implied a total prohibition of circumcision for non-therapeutic reasons up to the age of 18. Under pressure from Jewish organisations, and out of fear that the practice would be driven underground, the law was later watered down. The law now states that non-therapeutic circumcision may only be performed in the first two months after birth and only under local or general anaesthetic. This anaesthetic may only be administered by a doctor or a qualified nurse. The circumcision itself may only be performed by a doctor or a mohel specially trained for the procedure, who has followed a course and has a licence from the Ministry of Health.

    The prevailing consensus in the medical world is that there may be some medical benefits associated with circumcision but that these benefits, weighed against alternatives and the risk of complications from circumcision, are insufficiently great to be able to recommend routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons. There is currently not a single medical association that recommends routine circumcision for medical/preventative reasons.

    Given the above, the rest of this memo uses the term non-therapeutic circumcision (NTC). This refers to circumcision in boys and men for reasons other than medical/ therapeutic reasons.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION VS. NTC

    [NTC: Non-therapeutic Circumcision]

    The practice of FGM has been prohibited by law in the Netherlands since 1993 in both adult and minor women and girls. In various viewpoints, the KNMG and NVOG have rejected all forms of FGM, including the most mild form, in adult women, as well as reinfibulation[38] following childbirth. The form which most closely resembles NTC, circumcision, is also unanimously rejected in virtually all the literature.[39] [40] In spite of this, the practice of FGM still occurs regularly, particularly among girls from North Africa. This led the internist Jannes Mulder to call in Medisch Contact for the mildest form of FGM, ‘sunna light’, to be tolerated.[41] This intervention proposed by Mulder consists of a small prick in the foreskin of the clitoris, causing a drop of blood to be released.

    No tissue is removed, and the girl suffers no damage to her body, and there is no effect on sexual function. According to Mulder, the practice of FGM could in this way eventually be redirected into innocent, symbolic forms.
    His proposal attracted purely negative reactions, generally based on the principled position that any form of FGM, including a symbolic one, must be treated as child abuse. “When it comes to the integrity of the girl’s body, no single compromise must be made”, states Pharos, knowledge centre for the prevention and tackling of female circumcision. The Netherlands Municipal Health Services (GGD) stated: “A girl is fine as she is.” Even so, this ‘sunna light’ is far less intrusive than NTC, in which part of the erotogenic tissue of the penis is removed.

    In a response to the criticism of his article, Jannes Mulder points to the difference in how NTC and FGM are judged: ‘No one says a word about the Jewish practice of circumcising boys. This traditional ‘abuse’ involves more than my single drop of blood. Some see the circumcision of Muslim boys as a hygienic intervention. That argument conceals a deeper motive. After all, there is no culture that preventatively deals with dirty ears by cutting them off.’[42]

    In an article in Medisch Contact, Karim and Hage (former board members of the Netherlands Association for Plastic Surgery, NVPC) similarly point to what they see as the discriminating fact that circumcision in girls is categorically rejected (even in its non-mutilating form) but that it is permitted in boys.[43] However, in the authors’ view, there are no reasons why FGM and NTC should be judged differently in moral or legal terms.

    The Partij voor de Vrijheid (Freedom Party) responded to the article by Karim and Hage through the person of Ms Agema with questions in the Dutch Lower House calling on the State Secretary not to prohibit the circumcision of boys. ‘Can we be assured that the Dutch government will not bow to this discrimination argument and that circumcision of boys will remain permitted?[44]

    FGM and NTC are generally seen as two separate practices, which need to be evaluated differently. For example, doctors’ organisations often devote different statements to the two practices.

    In the literature, little attention is given to legitimating the different treatment given to the two practices: apparently the difference is regarded as self-evident.[45] FGM is generally viewed as a serious violation of the rights of the child, while NTC is seen as something which parents may decide on for themselves. In the literature that exists, a number of arguments are made which are intended to justify a different evaluation of FGM and NTC.

    SEXUAL FUNCTION
    One of the most frequently used arguments for treating the two interventions differently is that FGM leads to the impairment of sexual function in the woman; supposedly, NTC has no such impact on the man.

    However, FGM takes many forms. There is the most severe form, infibulation, in which the inner and outer labia are stitched together and the clitoris is removed. However, there are also much milder forms of FGM, in which only the foreskin of the clitoris is removed. However, sunna light, as proposed by Mulder and previously proposed by Bartels[46], in which no tissue is removed, is also universally rejected. The WHO also rejects all forms of FGM: ‘Female genital mutilation of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice and a violation of the human rights of girls and women’.[47] The WHO explicitly includes in this the mild forms of FGM, in which no tissue is removed. So the argument for rejecting FGM is not that FGM interferes with female sexuality, but that it is a violation of the rights of the woman.

    ‘The guiding principles for considering genital practices as female genital mutilation should be those of human rights, including the right to health, the rights of children and the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex’.[48]
    Another part of this argument says that NTC does not affect male sexuality. The foreskin is regarded as a part of the body that has no function at all in male sexuality. Many sexologists contradict this idea: in their view, the foreskin is a complex, erotogenic structure that plays an important role ‘in the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts, such as penetrative intercourse and masturbation’.[49] The many attempts by men to restore their foreskins by mechanical or surgical means also contradict the idea that the foreskin is a useless part of the body.[50]

    NTC is sometimes compared to interventions such as tattoos and piercings.[51] On this view, Jews and Muslims see NTC not as an infringement of physical integrity, but as an innocent perfectioning of the body, comparable to tattoos and piercings. However, an important legal distinction between NTC in children and piercings and tattoos is that it is prohibited to tattoo or pierce children under the age of 16.[52] In other words, tattoos and piercings can only be done if a child is old enough to ask for them itself.

    NO THEORY OF OPPRESSION
    A second much-used argument to separate FGM from NTC is that FGM comes from a theory of female oppression, of which FGM is an expression. Since there is no such theory of oppression at play in NTC, this would make FGM morally more reprehensible than NTC.

    This argument can be refuted in two ways. Firstly, the historical background of NTC is extremely complex, and is in any case rooted in the desire to control male sexuality. Thus NTC was deployed in the past to combat excessive onanism, and it was also used to ‘brand’ slaves.[53] So the background to NTC is not as unambiguous as is often thought.

    There is another reason why the argument does not hold. The reason why FGM is condemned is not because it comes forth from a theory of female oppression but because it is harmful to them and represents a violation of their physical integrity. FGM would also be condemned if it were done out of aesthetic considerations or as a way of ‘venerating’ women. Even if women were to want FGM themselves at a later age, doctors would probably not be permitted to meet their request.

    The right to physical integrity is an inalienable human right, like the right to life and the right to personal freedom. These are inalienable rights, which is to say that the patient’s permission does not offer sufficient justification to be allowed to perform the intervention. Besides permission, there must also always be an additional reason, such as a medical interest. From this it follows that even if women did not regret the intervention, doctors would not be permitted to commit serious infringements of the integrity of the body, such as FGM.

    EMBEDDED IN CULTURE
    A third argument often made for drawing a distinction between FGM and NTC is that NTC is a much older practice than FGM, and that NTC is far more embedded in existing religious groups such as Islam and Judaism. However, this is open to question: both NTC and FGM have been practised for centuries by many different peoples and for many different reasons. And FGM also has an important ritual, religious and identifying significance for many peoples. So it cannot be said with certainty that NTC is older than FGM. Even if it were, it is still questionable whether this argument is morally relevant. It is not the history of a practice which is of decisive importance, but whether a particular practice is a violation of the rights of the child.

    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VS. PHYSICAL INTEGRITY

    NTC in minors is regarded by many authors as a violation of physical integrity.[54] However, they subsequently often conclude that NTC falls under the right to religious freedom, and that parents may therefore decide for themselves whether they wish to have this intervention carried out.
    The right to religious freedom means that parents are free to raise their children in a religion or philosophy of their own choosing. However, the right to religious freedom does not apply only to parents, but also to children. The right to religious freedom of the child implies that the child must at a later age have the right to choose a religion or philosophy of life for itself, or to reject the one in which it was raised.>>
     . . . 

    <<
    CONCLUSION

    - There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in the light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/ therapeutic grounds. Insofar as there are medical benefits, such as a possibly reduced risk of HIV infection, it is reasonable to put off circumcision until the age at which such a risk is relevant and the boy himself can decide about the intervention, or can opt for any available alternatives.

    - Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications. The most common complications are bleeding, infections, meatus stenosis (narrowing of the urethra) and panic attacks. Partial or complete penis amputations as a result of complications following circumcisions have also been reported, as have psychological problems as a result of the circumcision.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is contrary to the rule that minors may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be convincingly demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as in the case of vaccinations.

    - Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child’s right to autonomy and physical integrity.

    - The KNMG calls on (referring) doctors to explicitly inform parents/carers who are considering non-therapeutic circumcision for male minors of the risk of complications and the lack of convincing medical benefits. The fact that this is a medically non-essential intervention with a real risk of complications makes the quality of this advice particularly important. The doctor must then record the informed consent in the medical file.

    - The KNMG respects the deep religious, symbolic and cultural feelings that surround the practice of non-therapeutic circumcision. The KNMG calls for a dialogue between doctors’ organisations, experts and the religious groups concerned in order to put the issue of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors on the agenda and ultimately restrict it as much as possible.

    - There are good reasons for a legal prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as exists for female genital mutilation. However, the KNMG fears that a legal prohibition would result in the intervention being performed by non-medically qualified individuals in circumstances in which the quality of the intervention could not be sufficiently guaranteed. This could lead to more serious complications than is currently the case.>>


    The non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a publication setting out the Position of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot bevordering der Geneeskunst (KNMG), adopted by the Board of the Federation and effective as from 27 May 2010.

    The KNMG physicians’ federation represents over 53,000 physicians and medical students. KNMG member organisations include the Koepel Artsen Maatschappij en Gezondheid (Umbrella organisation for physicians and health – KAMG), the Landelijke vereniging van Artsen in Dienstverband (National society of employee physicians – LAD), the Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging (National society of general practitioners – LHV), the Netherlands Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB), the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Verzekeringsgeneeskunde (Netherlands society of insurance medicine – NVVG), the Orde van Medisch Specialisten (Order of medical specialists – OMS) and the Dutch Association of Elderly Care Physicians and Social Geriatricians (Verenso).


    — KNMG. Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors. KNMG Viewpoint (2010)
    URL: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Publicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm 
    PDF: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/web/file?uuid=579e836d-ea83-410f-9889-feb7eda87cd5&owner=a8a9ce0e-f42b-47a5-960e-be08025b7b04&contentid=77976 
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-08-30 16:46:23
    freedomainradio.com - Why Atheists Are Angry at Religion
    By Stephan Molyneux. August 29, 2013 (2 h 5 min 57 sec)
    youtu.be/22QrCHRi8TM#t=847 (From 14:07 to 44:35)
    Video blurb:
    << Stefan Molyneux takes listener calls and discusses accents, teaching critical thinking to your religious children [from 3:25 to 14:07], why atheists are angry at religion [from 14:07 to 44:35], approaching people with curiosity, free market efficiency in the use of resources [from 45:45 to 1:22:55], leaving an immoral job and having a life plan. >>

    Why Atheists Are Angry At Religion 
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-06-30 17:14:11
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    Did you win at solitaire

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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-06-07 23:57:00
    informationisbeautiful.net - Snake Oil? Scientific evidence for popular health supplements showing tangible health benefits when taken orally by an adult with healthy diet
    By Davd McCandless and Andy Perkins (code). Research: Miriam Quick. May 2011 

    Others: Pearl Doughty-White, Alexia Wdowski

    Source: PubMed, cochrane.org 
    Large human blind placebo-controlled trials only.
    Click bubble to see key study
    Popularity (Google hits) [bubble size]
    One To Watch (OTW) (few studies but promising results) [orange bubbles]

    "All content Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial David McCandless 2009 (unless otherwise stated)"
    informationisbeautiful.net/play/snake-oil-supplements 
    -------------------------------------- 

    Comment:

    All these are (or aren't), but here you aren't all those that they are.
    Also notice: 
    - "Large human blind placebo-controlled trials only" and also
    - "when taken orally by an adult with healthy diet"

    I've detected several flaws. They have assigned that there's null evidence 
    of reveratrol's anti-carcinogenic capacity, whereas both linked papers consider resveratrol can prevent cancer and be used in anti-cancer treatment: 

    <<numerous preclinical findings suggest resveratrol as a promising nature's arsenal for cancer prevention and treatment.>>  
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18550275 
    <<Our analysis of published data strengthen support that resveratrol displays novel roles in various cellular processes, and help to establish an expanded molecular framework for cancer prevention by resveratrol in vivo.>>  
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20623546 

    Also, the evidence scale in the diagram doesn't totally match the data sheet. In the sheet, 4 is considered as "good" evidence, whereas in the diagram, the products with 4 has been considered only as "promising."
    For some reason, even though the scale goes from 0 to 6, no product has been given 6 (strong evidence), whereas for instance, in the linked papers the evidence that folic acid can prevent certain birth defects i considered as strong:  

    <<Only one study assessed the incidence of NTDs and the effect was not statistically significant (RR 0.08, 95% CI 0.00 to 1.33) although no events were found in the group that received folic acid. Folic acid had a significant protective effect for reoccurrence (RR 0.32, 95% CI 0.17 to 0.60).>>  
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20927767 
    <<Any level of use in the first 3 months after conception resulted in a lowered risk as well (OR = 0.60; 95% CI = 0.46-0.79).>>  
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7619926

    I personally find more reliable the compendium of the results of the more relevant studies on different herbs and supplements provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NIH) in their MedlinePlus health information service (although the number of products reviewed is more limited). Besides, the scale of possible effectiveness makes more sense: 

    nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/herb_All.html
    -------------------------------------- 

    List of products included in the SnakeOil's data sheet arranged according to their evidence on health effectiveness:

    (6) Strong Evidence (none?!)
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

    (5)

    062. garlic - blood pressure ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18554422ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20594781
    059. folic acid - certain birth defects ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20927767ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7619926
    092. melatonin - insomnia in the elderly ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18036082ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21845053
    053. fish oil / omega 3 - heart disease ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19609891ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19106137
    156. vitamin D - general health, all-cause mortality ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18375700ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21415774
    165. zinc - colds ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21328251
    100. niacin (vitamin B3) - heart disease ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20208032ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9915658
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

    (4) Good evidence

    071. green tea - cholesterol ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11897173ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12824094
    041. dark chocolate - blood pressure ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20584271ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19910929
    023. calcium + vitamin D - breast cancer in premenopausal women, cancer ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17533208ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17556697
    052. fish oil /omega 3 - cancer symptoms ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17408522ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12506181
    007. antioxidants - infertility in men ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20378409
    158. vitamin D - bone health ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18689393ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18088161
    051. fish oil / omega 3 - colorectal cancer ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17493949ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17823383
    106. omega 6 - heart health ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19171857
    102. olive leaf extract - blood pressure, cholesterol ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21036583ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18729245
    034. coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) - blood pressure ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17287847
    161. vitamin K2 - heart disease OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20850029ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15514282
    140. tyrosine - alertness, wakefulness, memory ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7794222
    072. hawthorn [ Crataegus curvisepala, C. oxycantha, C. monogyna ] - blood pressure ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16149711
    098. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) - mental health OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18534556ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18436195
    039. creatine - cognition ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14561278ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19773644
    125. Rhodiola rosea - fatigue ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19016404ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11081987
    112. peppermint oil - Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19008265
    042. devil's claw [ Harpagophytum procumbens ] - arthritis ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14669250ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17212570
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

    WORTH IT LINE
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
    (3.5)

    055. fish oil / omega 3 - depression, mental illness ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15535884ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20925595
    022. calcium - osteoporosis in postmenopausal women ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21289325ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18412990
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

    (3)

    073. honey - cough in children ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20091616ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20618098
    121. probiotics - diarrhea, gastrointestinal and respiratory infections ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20107143ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16148529
    045. Echinacea - colds ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16437427ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17597571
    123. red yeast rice [ Monascus purpureus ] - cholesterol, heart disease OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18549841ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20975018
    151. vitamin B8 (inositol) - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), panic disorder, depression OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8780431
    063. ginger - nausea and vomiting ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10793599ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17957907
    162. vitamin K2 - osteoporosis ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10227010springerlink.com/content/v4288732927n2072
    021. calcium - colorectal cancer ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9887161ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11073017
    004. Aloe vera - diabetes ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10885091 Antidiabetic activity of Aloe vera L juice. II. clinical trial in diabetes mellitus patients in combination with glibenclamide
    143. valerian [ Valeriana officinalis ] - insomnia ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17145239ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17517355
    099. nettle [ Urtica dioica ] - prostate-related urinary problems OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16635963ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18038253
    120. probiotics - Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) [ Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 and B. coagulans GBI-30, 6086] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19277023
    079. krill oil - Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12777162ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19332970
    090. magnesium - blood pressure ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18390781
    133. St. John's wort [ Hypericum perforatum ] - depression, Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) nccam.nih.gov/health/stjohnswort/sjw-and-depression.htmncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18843608
    030. cinnamon - type 2 diabetes ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17381386ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14633804
    091. magnesium + vitamin B6 - child Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD) ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16846100ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16579066
    70. green tea - cancer ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19588362  
    031. coconut oil - obesity, cholesterol ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14608053
    085. licorice root [ Glycyrrhiza glabra ] - dyspepsia ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11505331
    134. sunlight - kidney cancer in men OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20213683
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

    (2)

    077. iron - chid development (when not anaemic) ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20410098
    095. milk thistle [ Silybum ] - hepatitis ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18458640
    152. vitamin C - colds ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17636648
    103. omega 3 - child Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17435458ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18448859
    050. feverfew ( Tanacetum parthenium ) - migraine ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14973986ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16232154
    038. cranberry juice [ Vaccinium subgen. Oxycoccus ] - urinary tract infections, kidney stones ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18253990efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/943.htm
    132. spirulina [ Spirulina maxima ] - blood pressure, cholesterol ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18039384
    096. methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) - arthritis ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16309928
    074. horse chestnut seed extract [ Aesculus hippocastanum ] - chronic venous insufficiency OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16437450ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19247403
    082. L-lysine - herpes simplex [HSV] OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6435961ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3115841
    037. coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) - migrane ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15728298
    005. Andrographis paniculata - respiratory tract infections OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14748896
    054. fish oil / omega 3 - child intelligence ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20171055ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12509593
    083. lavender ( Lavandula angustifolia ) - depression ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12551734
    020. bromelain (an extract pineapple plant) - arthritis ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15841258
    060. GABA - stress, anxiety ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16971751
    065. ginseng ( Panax ginseng ) - cognitive performance ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15982990
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

    (1.5)

    017. black tea - heart disease, stress nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/997.html
    135. taurine - weight loss, cholesterol ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15221507
    081. L-carnitine - diabetes, impotence ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10067662ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12568837
    129. selenium - cancer ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20568891ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12433704
    018. borage seed oil - rheumatism ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8214997
    080. L-arginine - exercise performance_ ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20724562ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21399536
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

    (1) Low Evidence

    046. elderberry [ Sambucus ] - cholesterol OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14749743
    153. vitamin D - cancer OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20164683ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17556697
    137. tryptophan and 5-HTP - depression in women ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16767422ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11869656
    118. probiotics - athletic performance ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17618005
    061. garlic - cancer ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16484572
    056. fish oil / omega 3 - Alzheimer's disease, dementia ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17030655ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18573585
    067. goji berry (wolfberry) [ Lycium ] (lutein and zeaxanthin) - eye health ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15604618ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15705234
    088. lutein - eye health ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11431456
    035. coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) - heart disease ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16190504
    009. astaxanthin - oxidative stress OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19656058
    164. xylitol - teeth ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15153702
    149. vitamin B2 (riboflavin) - migraine ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15257686
    141. ubiquinol - heart disease OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19096107
    114. polyphenols - heart disease ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15640497
    015. black cohosh [ Cimicifuga racemosa ] - menopause ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15969244
    138. turmeric [ Curcuma longa ] (curcumin) - cancer OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20214562
    160. vitamin K2 - prostate cancer OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18400723ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20335553
    058. flaxseed oil - breast cancer ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15897583
    064. Gingko biloba - dementia ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20040554
    087. lingzhi [ Ganoderma lucidum ] + San Miao San (Sān miào wán): 50% Cangzhu (cāng zhú) [ Rhizoma atractylodis, the root of Atractylodes lancea or Atractylodes chinensis ] + 33% Huangbai (huáng bǎi) [ Cotex phellodendri, the bark of Phellodendron chinense or Phellodendron amurense ] + 17% Niuxi (huái niú xī) [ Radix achyranthes Bidentatae, the root of Achyranthes Bidentata ] - arthritis ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17907228ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16873089
    028. chromium - diabetes ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12081828  (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17519436 ?)
    047. elderberry [ Sambucus ] - flu OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19548290ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15080016
    075. hyaluronic acid - arthritis (only when injected) ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14679274
    139. turmeric [ Curcuma longa ] (curcumin) - peptic ulcer OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20438867ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11485087
    157. vitamin D - depression, mood disorders ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16554952ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19187703
    122. quercetin - athletic performance ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19927026
    104. omega 3: ALA - heart disease ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15890766ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19664246
    044. dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) - memory in young men OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16231168
    016. black tea - cancer nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/997.htmlncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21538852
    094. milk thistle [ Silybum ] - diabetes ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9126802
    019. boron - menopause ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3678698
    144. valerian [ Valeriana officinalis ] - anxiety OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17054208
    066. glucosamine - arthritis, joint pain ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20847017ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19903416
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

    (0.5)

    011. B vitamins - Alzheimer's disease ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18854539ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21216507
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

    (0) No Evidence

    159. vitamin E - mortality ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17327526
    154. vitamin D - heart disease ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20816120ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21147944
    105. omega 6 - cancer (no studies in humans) ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16264182ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16705127
    155. vitamin D - diabetes  ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20194237ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20150805
    089. lycopene - prostate cancer ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16434593
    068. grape seed extract - wound healing, swelling ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16546280
    147. vitamin A: retinol - birth defects ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9431575ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16243460
    048. evening primrose oil [ Oenothera ] - Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8721802ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2201888
    130. silicic acid - Alzheimer's disease OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16988476
    006. antioxidants - mortality ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17327526ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15153272
    146. vitamin A: beta-carotene - cancer ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18689373ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18429004
    012. beta-glucans - cancer OTW ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19515245
    128. saw palmetto [ Serenoa repens or Sabal serrulatum ] - prostate-related urinary problems ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19370565ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16467543
    057. fish oil / omega 3 - Crohn's disease, asthma, diabetes ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19160277ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20564531ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17443620 
    043. dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) - aging ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17050889
    001. açaí palm [ Euterpe oleracea ] - weight loss, diabetes quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/PhonyAds/acai.htmlabcnews.go.com/Health/Diet/story?id=6434350
    008. aspartic acid
    010. astragalus [ Astragalus onobrychis ] OTW
    013. bitter melon [ Momordica charantia ] - diabetes
    014. bitter orange [ Citrus × aurantium ]
    024. capsaicin - cancer (no human trials)
    025. cat's claw [ Uncaria rhynchophylla ] - cancer, viruses, immune system (no human supplementation trials)
    026. chamomile [ Chamaemelum nobile and Matricaria chamomilla ] - bowel disorders (no evidence) nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/752.htmlnccam.nih.gov/health/chamomile/ataglance.htmncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/19593179nccam.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/040310.htm
    027. chasteberry [ Vitex agnus-castus ] - (no evidence)
    029. chondroitin - arthritis (no evidence)
    032. collagen
    033. copper
    040. dandelion [ Taraxacum officinale ]
    049. fenugreek [ Trigonella foenum-graecum ] - cancer prevention, diabetes
    069. grapefruit seed extract - antibiotic, antifungal (no human trials)
    078. isoflavones
    084. lavender ( Lavandula angustifolia ) - sleep, relaxation (no studies)
    086. lignans
    093. methionine
    101. noni [ Morinda citrifolia ]
    107. omega 9
    108. palm oil [ Elaeis guineensis ]
    109. pancreatin
    110. papain
    111. pau d'arco [ Tabebuia ]
    113. phenylalanine
    115 potassium - blood pressure
    116. prebiotics - no studies yet
    117. prickly pear [ Opuntia ficus-indica ] - diabetes
    119. probiotics - cholesterol, blood pressure
    126. rose hip [ Rosa ]
    127. royal jelly
    131. slippery elm [ Ulmus rubra ] - sore throat
    136. trypsin
    142. uva ursi (Kinnikinnick or Pinemat manzanita) [ Arctostaphylos uva-ursi ]
    145. vanadium
    148. vitamin B1
    150. vitamin B5 - cholesterol, arthritis (no human studies)
    163. wheatgrass [ Triticum aestivum ]

    124. resveratrol - cancer, diabetes, heart health OTW ????? ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18550275ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20623546

    See Data:
    docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Altk3Tn01ZsWdDRVN19EeENwd1pQY1ZyV1AwTnJCMnc&hl=en#gid=0 
    -------------------------------------- 
  • 6 plusses - 3 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-09-28 06:54:34
    RESHARE:
    plus.google.com - This Is Our Plan to Overcome the Debt Crisis
    By Singer. Uploaded September 28, 2012

    Governments: "We'll sell bonds to you so we can bail you out with loans"
    Banks: "We'll borrow money from you so we can buy your bonds"

    URL source G+ post: plus.google.com/115288001414266277268/posts/3QcCQRLVCgj 
    ___________________________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 9 plusses - 1 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-07-20 05:08:26
    RESHARE:
    desirablebody.co.uk - World Obesity Map (worldObesitymap)
    desirablebody.co.uk/data/world-obesity 

    Max Huijgen Jul 19, 2013 8:53 PM
    Best country to live? Norway is happy, rich and healthy
    Obesity and income are related, but happiness is not. Food for thought, but first find the source for their happiness data. I'll believe it when I see it (maybe).

    Comment:
    Norway's economy is flooded with oil and natural gas (hence their GDP per capita 4th). They are also fatter than even their neighbors, so they aren't really so healthy.
    On the other hand, Japan is overall much better candidate (obesity 166th, happiness 5th, GDP per capita 13th without any oil or gas). Interestingly, with also the highest life expectancy in the world:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy 

    Singapore may be also a good candidate, with similar GDP (PPP) per capita to Norway (without any oil or gas) and higher life expectancy:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita 

    You may also consider Switzerland (obesity 122nd, happiness 35th, GDP per capita 5th without any oil or gas) where many are fat but so many in relative terms as among the Norwegians (obesity 93rd, happiness 29th, GDP per capita 4th).

    Finally, I also noticed than among the 10 "happiest" countries in the world there are countries with some of the highest crime and homicide rates (homicide rate per 100,00 population in the last year with data):

    1st Costa Rica (10.0), 3rd Colombia (31.4), 4th Belize (41.4), 5th El Salvador (69.2), 6th Jamaica (40.9), 7th Panama (21.6), 8th Nicaragua (12.6), 9th Venezuela (45.1), 10th Guatemala (38.5).

    For comparison: Singapore (0.3), Japan (0.4), Norway (0.6), Switzerland (0.7), China (1.0), UK (1.2), Canada (1.6), India (3.5), USA (4.8), Russian Fed. (10.2).

    Intentional homicide, count and rate per 100,000 population (1995 - 2011). United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 2012
    unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/statistics/crime/Homicide_statistics2012.xls 

    So maybe they feel so happy for being still alive?
    _____________ 

    +Max Huijgen: "The differences within Europe are remarkable with Spain and Turkey quite obese, while Italy and Greece with a similar climate and mediterranean diet being almost extremes. Same for Swiss versus most of its neighbors."

    — It is even more remarkable that the the life expectancy in Spain (82.2 y) is the 3rd longest in the OECD countries after Japan (83.0 y) and Switzerland (82.6 y) (in OECD is 79.7 y, and in EU27 78.7 y)[1] despite having a greater percentage of obese population than the OECD average (53.6% vs. 52.7%)[2], with more smokers (26.20% vs. 21.30)[3a, 3b], more alcohol consumption (11.40 L EtOH/y/hab vs. 9.49 L EtOH/y/hab)[4a, 4b], and a similar expenditure on health as a percentage of GDP to the average in the OECD (9.6% vs. 9.5%).

    I attribute it to two factors. One of them is the relatively lower infant mortality rate in Spain than in most other countries of the OECD (3.20 deaths per 1 000 live births vs. 4.29 deaths per 1 000 live births), the 10th lowest rate (note than Japan is 3rd, with 2.30 deaths per 1 000 live births)[6a, 6b]. It is well known that the main effector in life expectancy (at birth) is infant mortality because the infants are the group of population furthest from the mean (and often the most numerous group too).

    After some reflection I reckoned than there's a second factor that contributes to Spain's remarkable life expectancy against other health related statistics, and perhaps with stronger influence than infant mortality. That is the low natality rate in Spain when compared to the OECD, that have been sustained at least since 1990 (in 1990: 1.36 children born to women aged 15 to 49 vs. 1.91 children born to women aged 15 to 49, in 2000: 1.23 vs. 1.68, in 2010: 1.38 vs. 1.74)[7].

    Since there's a relative scarcity of infant and young population when compared to other age groups, the infant and childhood mortality rate will have a relative lower effect on life expectancy and, as I said above, the mortality in those groups of population are the most influential on life expectancy since they are the farthest groups from the mean.

    If my hypothesis is correct, should we expect this effect to tend to disappear in the future?
    Not necessarily. If the natality rate continues well below other countries, its effects on life expectancy will persist. The drawback of course is that the size of the population will become smaller and smaller, unless corrected by the inflow of a generally not so young immigrant population, what will further contribute to extend life expectancy at birth. 

    References:
    1. www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/oecd-factbook-2013/life-expectancy_factbook-2013-95-en 
    2. www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/oecd-factbook-2013/overweight-and-obesity_factbook-2013-100-en 3a. www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/oecd-factbook-2013/smoking_factbook-2013-98-en 
    3b. dx.doi.org/10.1787/888932710726 
    4a. www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/oecd-factbook-2013/alcohol-consumption_factbook-2013-99-en 
    4b. dx.doi.org/10.1787/888932710783 
    5. www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/oecd-factbook-2013/health-expenditure_factbook-2013-103-en 
    6a. www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/oecd-factbook-2013/infant-mortality_factbook-2013-96-en 
    6b. dx.doi.org/10.1787/888932710631 
    7. www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/oecd-factbook-2013/total-fertility-rates_factbook-2013-table9-en 
    Complete publication: dx.doi.org/10.1787/factbook-2013-en 
    _______________________________ 

    URL source comment G+ post:
    plus.google.com/112352920206354603958/posts/AGTJgsqn763 
    _______________________________ 

    Reshared text:
    What does having more money gain for you?  Fat. Not happiness.

    Surprised? I know I should not be. But I was. 

    The richest countries in the world also have a significantly higher percentage of their populations that are obese. This is not surprising.

    What is a little surprising is that neither the month nor their increased accessibility to food seems to cause them to be happy. (There are some exceptions, Argentina seems to be obese and happy :)).

    In fact the happiest countries in the world are the ones that are neither rich nor have all this food to eat.

    What does that say about what all these people in rich countries are working towards?

    In America we have amongst the longest work hours in the world, the smallest vacations, the least amount of leave options for new babies or taking care of family, and all that ensures we have money and lots of food.

    But none of that makes us happy.

    So what are we solving for?

    I'm not saying that we should all give up money and be poor. I'm saying that maybe our priorities are misplaced.

    #yolo

    PS: Remember, correlations don't imply causality. In this case there is plenty of data that would allow us to do a test and control based on knowledge we already have (though the authors do not go through that exercise).

    Source: http://goo.gl/Om9LU
  • 5 plusses - 8 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-06-19 04:01:00
    IS the social requirement of wearing shoes an institutionalized etiquette for the individual's oppression?

    Don't take me wrong. I'm not against shoes likewise I don't oppose hats. I'm against the social expectation that you should be wearing shoes at all time.
    Shoes were originally developed as a tool. They were an effective protection in cold environments like Europe, Central Asia and North America before the end of the last glacial period, while walking across mountain glaciers, or on very hot surfaces like the sand of the desert in the sun.

    Now let me explain why shoes may have become a tool for the individual's oppression.
    If you get used to wearing shoes every day since your early childhood your foot won't develop normally. Your toes are prone to get crooked, particularly your big toes will misaligned respect to your foot major axis. This translates into lower efficiency for walking and running.

    Without the feedback provided by your bare soles against the ground your running gait will also develop poorly, making your movements more clumsy and less efficient.

    This is nothing new, actually. Podiatrists and orthopedists were already aware of it, more than a century ago:

    — Hoffmann P. Conclusions drawn from a comparative study of the feet of barefooted and shoe-wearing peoples. J Bone Joint Surg Am (1905) vol. s2-3 (2) pp. 105-136
    jbjs.org/article.aspx?Volume=s2-3&page=105 (open source)
    PDF 1: jbjs.org/pdfaccess.ashx?ResourceID=54135&PDFSource=17 
    PDF 2: bsmpg.com/Portals/52884/docs/1905Hoffman.pdf 


    And recent research also agrees with such assumption:

    — Rao UB and Joseph B. The influence of footwear on the prevalence of flat foot. A survey of 2300 children. J Bone Joint Surg Br (1992) vol. 74 (4) pp. 525-7
    PDF: bjj.boneandjoint.org.uk/content/74-B/4/525.full.pdf 

    — Sachithandam V and Joseph B. The influence of footwear on the prevalence of flat foot. A survey of 1846 mature persons. J Bone Joint Surg Br (1995) vol. 77 (2) pp. 254-7
    PDF: bjj.boneandjoint.org.uk/content/77-B/2/254.full.pdf 

    — Kerrigan DC et al. The effect of running shoes on lower extremity joint torques. PM&R (2009) vol. 1 (12) pp. 1058-63
    pmrjournal.org/article/S1934-1482(09)01367-7/fulltext 
    PDF 1: download.journals.elsevierhealth.com/pdfs/journals/1934-1482/PIIS1934148209013677.pdf 
    PDF 2: nmtmidwest.com/running_shoes_vs_barefoot.pdf 

    — Hasegawa H et al. Foot strike patterns of runners at the 15-km point during an elite-level half marathon. J Strength Cond Res (2007) vol. 21 (3) pp. 888-93
    journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2007/08000/Foot_Strike_Patterns_of_Runners_At_the_15_Km_Point.40.aspx 

    — Buchen L. A softer ride for barefoot runners. Nature News (2010)
    nature.com/news/2010/100127/full/news.2010.36.html 

    — Jungers WL. Biomechanics: Barefoot running strikes back. Nature (2010) vol. 463 (7280) pp. 433-4
    nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7280/full/463433a.html 

    — Lieberman DE et al. Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners. Nature (2010) vol. 463 (7280) pp. 531-5
    nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7280/full/nature08723.html 


    Heels, wearing routinely shoes with heels causes the shortening of your Achilles tendons. In such condition you can't run without heels above certain speed more than a short distance without injuring your tendons due to overstretching.
    Wearing routinely shoes causes your calf muscles to become shortened and prone to injury if you aren't wearing supportive heels.

    All these physical limitations make it easier dominate people, just as they usually clip the wings of ducks and geese to prevent flight.
    A common practice was to seize shoes of the prisoners so that they couldn't escape or at least so that they couldn't go very far. Of course, this wouldn't work with people who hadn't been grown up wearing shoes, thus becoming dependent of them for their locomotion.

    The limitations in the individual's autonomy  that wearing shoes cause are even stronger with women shoes. High and narrow heels, narrow toe caps, and unstable support causing unsteady gait and shortening the wearer's stride. All those features further contribute to make women who commonly wear such kind of shoes to become more vulnerable when trying to flee from a chase or assault.

    Actually, wearing high heels isn't so different from the traditional Chinese custom of foot binding to women (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_binding).
    From Wikipedia:

    << The high heel has been a central battleground of sexual politics ever since the emergence of the women's liberation movement of the 1970s. Many second-wave feminists rejected what they regarded as constricting standards of female beauty, created for the subordination and objectifying of women and self-perpetuated by reproductive competition and women's own aesthetics.[18] Some feminists argue that the high heels were designed to make women helpless and vulnerable, perpetuating the gender role of males as protectors of the slowly staggering women. High heels have also been blamed for reducing the woman to a sex object by sacrificing practical comfort in favour of an alleged increase in sex appeal. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-heeled_footwear 

    << The earliest known shoes are sandals dating from approximately 7,000 or 8,000 B.C., found in the Fort Rock Cave in the US state of Oregon. in 1938.[1] The world's oldest leather shoe, made from a single piece of cowhide laced with a leather cord along seams at the front and back, was found in a cave in Armenia in 2008 and is believed to date to 3,500 B.C.[2][3] Ötzi the Iceman's shoes, dating to 3,300 BC, featured brown bearskin bases, deerskin side panels, and a bark-string net, which pulled tight around the foot.[2] However, it is estimated that shoes may have been used long before this, but it is difficult to find evidence of the earliest footwear due to the highly perishable nature of early shoes.[4] By studying the bones of the smaller toes (as opposed to the big toe), it was observed that their thickness decreased approximately 40,000 to 26,000 years ago. This led archaeologists to deduce that wearing shoes resulted in less bone growth, resulting in shorter, thinner toes.[5] These earliest designs were very simple in design, often mere "foot bags" of leather to protect the feet from rocks, debris, and cold. They were more commonly found in colder climates.

    Many early natives in North America wore a similar type of footwear known as the moccasin. These are tight-fitting, soft-soled shoes typically made out of leather or bison hides. Many moccasins were also decorated with various beads and other adornments. Moccasins were not designed to get wet, and in wet weather and warm summer months, most Native Americans went barefoot.[6] >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoe#History 

    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/106867940376329873392/posts/3N9SYDnUnbT ____________________ 
  • 7 plusses - 3 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-11-17 01:13:46
    Jay Leno's Garage - McLaren Day at Circuit of The Americas
    By Jay Leno. November 15, 2013
    youtu.be/doJcc-A82FA (27 min 43 sec)
    Comment: very cool video of Jay Leno visiting the McLaren F1 Team at the Austin circuit in Texas.
  • 10 plusses - 1 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-05-25 09:53:01
    RESHARE:
    plus.google.com - Why 42 Is the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything"
    By John Báez. May 24, 2013

    via +Thomas Egense 
    URL via G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/103541237243849171137/posts/FaE7dvhAQSm 
    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/117663015413546257905/posts/VebrAE5kMNN 
    _____________________ 

    Reshared text:
    In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, the number 42 is the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything".  But he didn't say what the question was!  Let me reveal that now.

    If you try to get several regular polygons to meet snugly at a point in the plane, what's the most sides any of the polygons can have?  42

    The picture shows an equilateral triangle, a regular heptagon and a regular 42-gon meeting snugly at a point.  The reason this works is that

    (1/2 - 1/3) + (1/2 - 1/7) + (1/2 - 1/42) = 1

    There are 17 solutions of

    (1/2 - 1/p) + (1/2 - 1/q) + (1/2 - 1/r) = 1

    with p ≤ q ≤ r, but this one features the biggest number of all!

    But why is this so important?  Well, you can take

    (1/2 - 1/3) + (1/2 - 1/7) + (1/2 - 1/42) = 1

    and rewrite it like this:

    1/2 + 1/3 + 1/7 + 1/42 = 1

    So, 1/2 + 1/3 + 1/7 comes very close to 1.  And in fact, if you look for natural numbers a, b, c that make

    1/a + 1/b + 1/c

    as close to 1 as possible, while still less than 1, the very best you can do is 1/2 + 1/3 + 1/7.  It comes within 1/42 of equalling 1.

    And why is this important?  Well, suppose you're trying to make a doughnut with at least two holes that has the maximum number of symmetries.  More precisely, suppose you're trying to make a Riemann surface with genus g ≥ 2 that has the maximum number of symmetries.  Then you need to find a highly symmetrical tiling of the hyperbolic plane by triangles whose interior angles are π/a, π/b  and π/c, and you need

    1/a + 1/b + 1/c < 1

    for these triangles to fit on the hyperbolic plane.  A clever trick then lets you get a Riemann surface with at most

    2(g-1)/(1 - 1/a - 1/b - 1/c)

    symmetries.  So, you want to make 1 - 1/a - 1/b - 1/c be as small as possible!  And thanks to what I said, the best you can do is

    1 - 1/2 - 1/3 - 1/7 = 1/42

    So, your surface can have at most

    84(g-1)

    symmetries.  This is called Hurwitz's automorphism theorem.   The number 84 looks really mysterious when you first see it - but it's really there because it's twice 42.

    In particular, the famous mathematician Felix Klein studied the most symmetrical doughnut with 3 holes.  It's a really amazing thing!  It has

    84 × 2 = 168

    symmetries.  That number looks really mysterious when you see it.  Of course it's the number of hours in a week, but the real reason it's there is because it's four times 42.

    But why is this stuff the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything?  I'm not sure, but I have a crazy theory.  Maybe all matter and forces are made of tiny little strings!  As they move around, they trace out Riemann surfaces in spacetime.  And when these surface are as symmetrical as possible, the size of their symmetry group is a multiple of 42, thanks to the math I just described.

    For more details, see:

    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/klein.html

    and for a webpage version of this post with a few more pictures, see:

    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/42.html
  • 6 plusses - 2 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-08-16 09:16:57
    guardian.co.uk - Fusion power: is it getting any closer?
    By Leo Hickman. August 23, 2011

    For decades, scientists have been predicting that, one day, the same process that powers the sun will give us virtually unlimited cheap, clean electricity. Are they wrong?

    Related links:

    www.efda.org
    www.ccfe.ac.uk/CCFE.aspx
    fusionforenergy.europa.eu
    www-jt60.naka.jaea.go.jp/english/index-e.html

    ITER iter.org 
    JET www.efda.org/jet 
    www.ccfe.ac.uk/JET.aspx 
    JT-60SA jt60sa.org 
    MAST www.ccfe.ac.uk/MAST.aspx

    Further reading:

    A more recent article:

    Fusion: The quest to recreate the Sun’s power on Earth
    By Gaia Vince. August 13, 2012
    bbc.com/future/story/20120810-the-quest-to-recreate-the-sun
    Gaia Vince watches the construction of the world’s biggest fusion energy reactor and wonders whether this ambitious and expensive project will actually work.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iter

    Magnetic confinement
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_confinement_fusion
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokamak
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_tokamak
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellarator
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spheromak
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reversed_field_pinch
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field-reversed_configuration
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levitated_dipole
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z-pinch
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dense_plasma_focus

    Inertial confinement
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inertial_confinement_fusion
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubble_fusion
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teller%E2%80%93Ulam_design
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pure_fusion_weapon
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inertial_electrostatic_confinement
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farnsworth%E2%80%93Hirsch_fusor
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polywell

    Magnetized Inertial Fusion
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetized_Inertial_Fusion
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetized_Liner_Inertial_Fusion
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetized_target_fusion

    Other
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muon-catalyzed_fusion
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyroelectric_fusion
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migma 
    ________________________ 
  • 2 plusses - 3 comments - 5 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-09-21 06:01:10
    nytimes.com - Foes of Modified Corn Find Support in a Study
    By Andrew Pollack. September 19, 2012

    Reference paper: 

    - Seralini G-E et al. Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Food and Chemical Toxicology (2012), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2012.08.005
    URL PDF (open access): http://research.sustainablefoodtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Final-Paper.pdf 
    Manuscript source: 
    research.sustainablefoodtrust.org/resources 
    research.sustainablefoodtrust.org 
    sustainablefoodtrust.org 

    Comment:
    I found particularly interesting the following remark:

    "We have to ask whether a diet with this level of maize is normal for rats. Another control with an alternative diet should have been included."
    — Dr Wendy Harwood (senior scientist, John Innes Centre).

    - Various. Press Releases: Expert reaction to GM maize causing tumours in rats Science Media Center. 19 September 2012
    www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-gm-maize-causing-tumours-in-rats 

    If a diet with a high level of corn isn't normal and can lead to a increase the incidence of tumors, what may it do on humans? In a number of developing countries maize is the main source of protein, and protein isn't particularly abundant in maize what means that maize is their main and almost exclusive staple.[1]
    ______________________  

    Reference 1:

    Table 1. Importance of maize in the diet of individuals in selected African countries with respect to the percentage of calories and protein in the total diet.

    Country
    Lesotho | Zambia | Malawi | Zimbabwe | Kenya | Tanzania | South Africa | Togo | Cape Verde | Swaziland | Mozambique | Ethiopia | European Union | United States | World
     Maize as:
    % Total Calories
    58% | 57% | 54% | 38% | 36 |% 33% | 33% | 25% | 24% | 23% | 22% | 21% | 1% | 3% | 5%
    % Total Protein
    55% | 60% | 55% | 46% | 34% | 33% | 33% | 29% | 26% | 24% | 31% | 17% | 1% | 2% | 5%

    a Estimates calculated from FAO food balance sheets; FAOSTAT data, 2003.

    - Krivanek AF et al. Breeding and disseminating quality protein maize (QPM) for Africa. African Journal of Biotechnology (2007) vol. 6 (4) pp. 312-324
    http://academicjournals.org/AJB/abstracts/abs2007/19Feb/Krivanek%20et%20al.htm 
    ______________________  

    - Pollack, Andrew. Foes of Modified Corn Find Support in a Study. The New York Times. September 19, 2012
    nytimes.com/2012/09/20/business/energy-environment/disputed-study-links-modified-corn-to-greater-health-risks.html 

    Related webpages: 

    - Grayer, Michael. in which I blow a gasket and get very uppity about this GM-food study which appears to have everyone going nuts at the moment. michaelgrayer's posterous. September 19, 2012
    http://michaelgrayer.posterous.com/in-which-i-blow-a-gasket-and-get-very-uppity 

    - Kniss, Andrew. Why I think the Seralini GM feeding trial is bogus _Control Freaks. Wyoming Weed Science in (almost) Real Time. September 19, 2012_
    weedcontrolfreaks.com/2012/09/why-i-think-the-seralini-gm-feeding-trial-is-bogus 

    - Revkin, Adrew C. Single-Study Syndrome and the G.M.O. Food Fight The Opinion Pages: Dot Earth. The New York Times. September 20, 2012
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/the-gmo-food-fight-rats-cancer-and-single-study-syndrome/?smid=tw-share 

    - Carman, Tim. French scientists question safety of GM corn. The Washington Post. September 19, 2012
    washingtonpost.com/blogs/all-we-can-eat/post/french-scientists-question-safety-of-gm-corn/2012/09/19/d2ed52e4-027c-11e2-8102-ebee9c66e190_blog.html 

    - Willingham, Emily. Was it the GMOs or the BPA that did in those rats? Words, words, words. September 23, 2012
    emilywillinghamphd.com/2012/09/was-it-gmos-or-bpa-that-did-in-those.html 

    - Orac. Bad science about GMOs: It reminds me of the antivaccine movement. Science Blogs - Respectful Insolence. September 24, 2012
    scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/09/24/bad-science-on-gmos-it-reminds-me-of-the-antivaccine-movement 

    - Philpott, Tom. Does GMO Corn Really Cause Tumors in Rats? Mother Jones. September 21, 2012
    motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/09/gmo-corn-rat-tumor#comment-657883136 
    ________________________ 
    via +Matt Kuenzel  #GMfeedtrial
    URL source G+ post: plus.google.com/106919440800476787564/posts/NGwRQgiRDoN _______________________________ 
  • 2 plusses - 14 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-04-12 02:44:54
    Chrome Extension - G+ Whitespace Fix (to extend your stream)

    Comment: this is what I was looking for.
    Edit: Another extension named "GExtend" also works in a similar way:
    chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/dgkjhlnnlabicokdgaecdeihkdlkdhjm
    And if you don't need the post stretched but still want the stream in the center of the screen there's another extension maned "Whitespace Remover for Google Plus":
    chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hjhgeibimkoddhdkkgimnipkdodobgpm
    It's the most similar thing to the previous layout. The only esthetic downside is that the grey band of the left gets widened so the background will be half grey and half white.

    via +Alex Fung
    URL source post: https://plus.google.com/u/0/112366735963271550830/posts/87JKQYPs2FP
  • 2 plusses - 5 comments - 4 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-07-12 06:37:28
    plus.google.com - The fatal misstep of intellectuals
    By Thomas Sowell. 2009

    Comment:
    I'm not fond of posting quotes, that's why I'm posting this quote. It's almost the antithesis of the eye-opening statement attributed to some eminent celeb that periodically appear in my stream. 
    _______________________ 

    “The fatal misstep of intellectuals is assuming that superior ability within a particular realm can be generalized to superior wisdom or morality overall. Chess grand masters, musical prodigies and others who are as remarkable within their respected specialties as intellectuals within theirs, seldom make that mistake.”

    — Thomas Sowell in "Intellectuals and Society".

    Reference:
    - Sowell, Thomas (2009). Intellectuals and Society. Basic Books, New York, NY.  ISBN-13: 978-0465019489

    - Video interview to Thomas Sowell on "Intellectuals and Society":
    Thomas Sowell on Intellectuals and Society (quote: 2:14 - 2:37)
    - Transcript of the interview: media.hoover.org/sites/default/files/documents/Thomas-Sowell-12-11-09.pdf 

    About the book:
    1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectuals_and_Society
    2. nationalreview.com/articles/228901/intellectuals-and-society/thomas-sowell
    3. amazon.com/Intellectuals-Society-Thomas-Sowell/dp/046501948X 
    _______________________ 
  • 3 plusses - 8 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-09-29 23:55:23
    James Besson - The Empirical Evidence on Patents: Do They Work Like Property?
    By Duke University School of Law. February 27, 2006
    The Center for the Study of the Public Domain
    Video: youtu.be/Ih11oGsBRSY 
    Audio: mediastream.law.duke.edu/mp3cast/02272006bessen64.mp3 

    Q: Empirical Evidence on Patents: Do They Work Like Property?
    A: No (or at least no for everyone), dispute costs > incentives.

    Comment:
    The question he's trying to answer is whether patent system is working well as a property system [16:16], rather than whether the patent sytem works better than without patents.
    Don't be fooled, the net positive incentive provided by the patent system in 1987 [22:27] (just before things started to go bad from 1999 [22:51] onwards) doesn't mean that innovation and economic growth is greater with patents than without them, it only means that in an economy in which patents exists, firms are better off by investing in patents because their added value exceeds litigation costs. 

    A suitable analogy to compare the results of economies with and without patent system could be the paving of a road with asphalt or sharp rocks. 
    If you drive on a road covered with sharp rocks, you're better off fitting very thick tires in your automobile (the patents) to prevent punctures (lawsuits) rather than periodically repairing punctures (compensations due to lawsuits against patent infringement); whereas on an asphalted road you can fit thinner, lighter tires because there're little risk of having a flat tire (a lawsuit). 
    Granted, in a road made of sharp rocks, you're better off fitting thick tires, but it's a road made of sharp rocks the fastest road that we can build?

    Another analogy (I'm inspired today). In a world where conflicts can be easily resolved by means of the use of force, nations have a net positive incentive to develop and maintain a strong military (patents). In contrast, in a world in which it is unacceptable that nations try to resolve international conflicts by means of force, most of the resources will be invested on promoting economic development instead of in fighting each other.

    Just imagine a monopolistic economy in which each sector is controled by a single corporation (just a single phone company, a single water supplier, just one power company, one food supplier, a single furniture seller, a single auto maker, just a book publisher, only a computer manufacturer, you get the idea). No fuzzy boundaries between different businesses, so no chance of litigation due to overlapping interests.
    Each corporation would need to invest a great amount of money to buy a monopolistic patent and then pay a tax fixed as a percentage of their profits. Over time the investment would turn profitable, so there would be a net positive incentive provided by this monopolistic patent system. Yet, would it be the most efficient way to develop the economy and improve the services supplied to the general population?
    _____________________ 

    Supplementary material:

    ffii.org - Jim Bessen: Do Patents Work as Property?
    Review of a Lecture at Duke Law School
    http://eupat.ffii.org/10/03/bessen 

    Jim Bessen and colleagues found by statistical analysis that innovators are nowadays, unlike 20 years ago, losing more money by patent litigation than they are gaining from patent royalties. Bessen correlates these findings to changes in patent law which made the boundaries of patents more fuzzy.

    Related publications:

    - Bessen, James and Meurer, Michael J. Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk Princeton University Press. March, 2008
    1. researchoninnovation.org/dopatentswork 
    2. amazon.com/Patent-Failure-Bureaucrats-Lawyers-Innovators/dp/0691143218 
    3. nytimes.com/2007/07/15/business/yourmoney/15proto.html?_r=1 
    patentlyo.com/patent/2007/07/do-patents-disc.html 

    - Bessen J and Hunt RM. An Empirical Look at Software Patents. Working Paper (2004) 03-17/R
    researchoninnovation.org/swpat.pdf 

    - Bessen J and Maskin E. Sequential Innovation, Patents, and Imitation. Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Department of Economics (2000) 11/99
    researchoninnovation.org/patent.pdf 
    _____________________ 

    Related lectures recorded in video:

    harvard.edu - Jim Bessen on “Patent Failure” (Berkman Luncheon Series)
    By Mike Deehan. March 4, 2008
    http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/mediaberkman/2008/03/04/jim-bessen-on-patent-failure 

    Video blurb:
    Jim Bessen, Lecturer of Law at Boston University Law School, was the guest speaker this week at the Berkman Center’s Luncheon Series.

    Bessen’s presentation is titled “Patent Failure”. Bessen analyzes a broad range of evidence on the economic performance of the patent system. He finds that patents provide strong incentives for firms in a few industries, but for most firms today, patents actually discourage innovation because they fail to perform as well-defined property rights. This analysis provides a guide to policy reform.

    Runtime: 56:14, size: 320×240, 165.4MB, .MOV, H.264 codec

    Video: 
    http://wilkins.law.harvard.edu/events/luncheons/2008-03-04_bessen/2008-03-04_bessen320.mov 
    Audio: 
    http://wilkins.law.harvard.edu/events/luncheons/2008-03-04_bessen/2008-03-04_bessen.mp3 
    _____________________ 

    tvworldwide.com - 11:00 a.m. Panel Discussion: Property Rights and Patent Reform (The Progress & Freedom Foundation
    Aspen Summit 2007)
    By Michael Meurer et al. August 20, 2007
    tvworldwide.com/events/pff/070819 

    Video blurb:
    -John F. Duffy, Oswald Symister Colclough Research Professor of Law, George Washington University, and Adjunct Fellow, The Progress & Freedom Foundation (Moderator) 
    -Mark Chandler, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Cisco Systems, Inc. 
    -Bronwyn H. Hall, Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley 
    -F. Scott Kieff, Professor of Law, Washington University School of Law & Research Fellow, Hoover Institution 
    -Michael Meurer, Professor of Law, Michaels Faculty Research Scholar, Boston University School of Law

     Video: 
    tvworldwide.com/events/pff/070819/default.cfm?id=8800&type=wmhigh&test=0 
    _____________________ 

    Empirical Evidence on Software Patents
    By James Bessen.
    Wes Cohen (moderator), Bronwyn Hall (UC Berkeley), Jim Bessen (Boston University/ROI), Mark Webbink (Red Hat)

    researchoninnovation.org/swconf/Empirical_Evidence_Bessen.html 
    Slides: researchoninnovation.org/swconf/bessenslides.pdf 
    _____________________ 

    researchoninnovation.org - Legal Perspectives on Software Patents
    By Mike Meurer.
    Robert Plotkin (moderator), John Duffy (George Washington University), Peter Menell (UC Berkeley), Mike Meurer (Boston University), Jay Dratler (University of Akron)

    researchoninnovation.org/swconf/Legal_Perspectives_Meurer.html 
    Slides: http://www.researchoninnovation.org/swconf/meurerslides.ppt 
    _____________________ 

    James Besson - Empirical Evidence on Patents: Do They Work Like Property? 
    Related G+ post: https://plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/KwRkrNWT8BX 
    _____________________________  
  • 3 plusses - 10 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-08-26 23:45:40
    RESHARE:
    spiegel.de - No Copyright Law. The Real Reason for Germany's Industrial Expansion?
    By Frank Thadeusz. August 18, 2010

    Did Germany experience rapid industrial expansion in the 19th century due to an absence of copyright law? A German historian argues that the massive proliferation of books, and thus knowledge, laid the foundation for the country's industrial might.

    Excerpt:
    <<German authors during this period wrote ceaselessly. Around 14,000 new publications appeared in a single year in 1843. Measured against population numbers at the time, this reaches nearly today's level. And although novels were published as well, the majority of the works were academic papers.

    The situation in England was very different. "For the period of the Enlightenment and bourgeois emancipation, we see deplorable progress in Great Britain," Höffner states.

    Equally Developed Industrial Nation
    Indeed, only 1,000 new works appeared annually in England at that time -- 10 times fewer than in Germany -- and this was not without consequences. Höffner believes it was the chronically weak book market that caused England, the colonial power, to fritter away its head start within the span of a century, while the underdeveloped agrarian state of Germany caught up rapidly, becoming an equally developed industrial nation by 1900.

    Even more startling is the factor Höffner believes caused this development -- in his view, it was none other than copyright law, which was established early in Great Britain, in 1710, that crippled the world of knowledge in the United Kingdom.

    Germany, on the other hand, didn't bother with the concept of copyright for a long time. Prussia, then by far Germany's biggest state, introduced a copyright law in 1837, but Germany's continued division into small states meant that it was hardly possible to enforce the law throughout the empire.>>

    <<Yet a historical comparison, at least, reaches a different conclusion. Publishers in England exploited their monopoly shamelessly. New discoveries were generally published in limited editions of at most 750 copies and sold at a price that often exceeded the weekly salary of an educated worker.

    London's most prominent publishers made very good money with this system, some driving around the city in gilt carriages. Their customers were the wealthy and the nobility, and their books regarded as pure luxury goods. In the few libraries that did exist, the valuable volumes were chained to the shelves to protect them from potential thieves.

    In Germany during the same period, publishers had plagiarizers -- who could reprint each new publication and sell it cheaply without fear of punishment -- breathing down their necks. Successful publishers were the ones who took a sophisticated approach in reaction to these copycats and devised a form of publication still common today, issuing fancy editions for their wealthy customers and low-priced paperbacks for the masses.

    A Multitude of Treatises
    This created a book market very different from the one found in England. Bestsellers and academic works were introduced to the German public in large numbers and at extremely low prices. "So many thousands of people in the most hidden corners of Germany, who could not have thought of buying books due to the expensive prices, have put together, little by little, a small library of reprints," the historian Heinrich Bensen wrote enthusiastically at the time.

    The prospect of a wide readership motivated scientists in particular to publish the results of their research. In Höffner's analysis, "a completely new form of imparting knowledge established itself."

    Essentially the only method for disseminating new knowledge that people of that period had known was verbal instruction from a master or scholar at a university. Now, suddenly, a multitude of high-level treatises circulated throughout the country.

    The "Literature Newspaper" reported in 1826 that "the majority of works concern natural objects of all types and especially the practical application of nature studies in medicine, industry, agriculture, etc." Scholars in Germany churned out tracts and handbooks on topics such as chemistry, mechanics, engineering, optics and the production of steel.>>

    URL source G+ post: plus.google.com/110513304172301520239/posts/3sdMY8WGJLb 
    ______________________ 

    Reshared text:
  • 4 plusses - 4 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-07-11 20:35:01
    RESHARE:
    plus.google.com - Map of the World: 1. Hobo-Dyer Projection, 2. South Facing Upwards 3. International Date Line Centered
    Uploaded by Farran Lee. July 11, 2012

    Comment:
    I've thought of 2 other ways to map the world:

    1. a disk-shaped representation with the North Pole in the center, similar to the UN flag (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_United_Nations), but mantaining the relative surface areas of the land and ocean masses. 
    The UN emblem corresponds to an azimuthal equidistant projection (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azimuthal_equidistant_projection) which isn't an equal-area projection (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azimuthal_projection#Equal-area). In contrast, I suggest a Lambert azimuthal equal area projection centered in the North Pole (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambert_azimuthal_equal-area_projection), rather than in a point of the equator unlike it has been depicted in Wikipedia. 

    2. projecting the geography of the globe on the surface of a polyhedron (e.g., a truncated icosahedron) and then unfolding the faces on a flat map.

    Picture of an unfolded truncated icosahedron:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Truncated_icosahedron_flat.png

    This projection slightly alters the relative surface area and distances between the periphery and the center of each face. But since the faces are homogeneously distributed all around the globe, the distorsion wouldn't generate large areas overdimensioned and underdimensioned.
    This representation corresponds to a Snyder’s equal-area polyhedral projection used for geodesic grids (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geodesic_grid) but unfolded.
    ________________ 

    As in the case of the disk-shaped representation, I place the North Pole in the center the projection once the polyhedral projection is unfolded on a flat surface. For several reasons:

    1. Most of the emerged land masses are located around the North Pole.

    2. Most of the world population live around the North Pole.

    3. None of the populated areas in the Northern hemisphere is particularly priviledged over the rest. Even the areas in the Southern hemisphere aren't so marginalized since the relief of the periphery on a disk-shaped representation is easily more distinguishable than the center.

    4. The most distorted area is the Antarctic (specially in the disk-shaped representation) what isn't a big issue since there's no permanent human population in that area.
    ________________ 

    To conclude:

    - 1 is a better representation than 2 to easily pinpoint the relative position of points when there's a long distance between them.

    - 2 is a better representation than 1 at the local level, since the distorsion in the relative distances and surface areas represented in the same face is moderate. 

    - As in the case of the circular projection, there's no distorsion of the relative surface areas between large areas. 

    - In contrast, in both cases there's some distorsion between distances at the large scale, which is more important between the peripheral points in the disk-shaped representation.

    URL source G+ post: plus.google.com/111993317164904084662/posts/CUpPBRCJ4Bf ________________ 

    Related information:
    1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambert_azimuthal_equal-area_projection 
    2. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dymaxion_map
    3. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geodesic_grid 
    4. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azimuthal_projection#Equal-area 
    5. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azimuthal_equidistant_projection ________________ 

    Reshared text:
    +Ronnie Boadi provided a link to an excellent article about the warped accepted appearance of our World: directionsmag.com/features/a-more-realistic-view-of-our-world/129763 . Our perception of the world is important, and teaching it 'wrongly' to everyone is damaging to people's views on the global society.

    The Hobo-Dyer Projection: This is probably the most realistic rectangular projection of the globe - to maintain equal area of landmass, "the shapes have become progressively flatter [but wider] towards the poles, but shapes between 45° north and south are well preserved." (full view: moyakarta.ucoz.ru/rastr/anti-world-map.jpg)

    The reason this map appears to be upside-down is due to the etymology of the word 'north'. According to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North "The word north is related to the Old High German nord, both descending from the Proto-Indo-European unit ner-, meaning "down" (or "under")."
    Down, under. Not Up or above.

    Modern society (and generally whoever created the map) has always made the Northern Hemisphere more important over the rest of the world. The previous accepted version, the Mercator Projection, placed the equator 2/3s down the map, elongating the north greatly. Larger landmass creates the illusion of being greater.

    Blergh, I'm bored of typing, but hopefully you get the point I'm trying to make. Perception is an incredibly important thing.
    
  • 5 plusses - 7 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-10-16 00:46:02
    sciencedaily.com - Increase in Allergies Is Not from Being Too Clean, Just Losing Touch With 'Old Friends' October 2, 2012

    EXCERPT:
    Professor Sally Bloomfield: "The underlying idea that microbial exposure is crucial to regulating the immune system is right. But the idea that children who have fewer infections, because of more hygienic homes, are then more likely to develop asthma and other allergies does not hold up."

    Dr Rosalind Stanwell-Smith: "Allergies and chronic inflammatory diseases are serious health issues and it's time we recognised that simplistically talking about home and personal cleanliness as the cause of the problem is ill-advised, because it's diverting attention from finding workable solutions and the true, probably much more complex, causes."

    Professor Graham Rook: "The rise in allergies and inflammatory diseases seems at least partly due to gradually losing contact with the range of microbes our immune systems evolved with, way back in the Stone Age. Only now are we seeing the consequences of this, doubtless also driven by genetic predisposition and a range of factors in our modern lifestyle -- from different diets and pollution to stress and inactivity. It seems that some people now have inadequately regulated immune systems that are less able to cope with these other factors."

    Dr Stanwell Smith: "Since the 1800s, when allergies began to be more noticed, the mix of microbes we've lived with, and eaten, drunk and breathed in has been steadily changing. Some of this has come through measures to combat infectious diseases that used to take such a heavy toll in those days -- in London, 1 in 3 deaths was a child under 5. These changes include clean drinking water, safe food, sanitation and sewers, and maybe overuse of antibiotics. Whilst vital for protecting us from infectious diseases, these will also have inadvertently altered exposure to the 'microbial friends' which inhabit the same environments."

    <<But we've also lost touch with our "old friends" in other ways: our modern homes have a different and less diverse mix of microbes than rural homes of the past. This is nothing to do with cleaning habits: even the cleanest-looking homes still abound with bacteria, viruses, fungi, moulds and dust mites. It's mainly because microbes come in from outside and the microbes in towns and cities are very different from those on farms and in the countryside.>>

    Professor Sally Bloomfield: "The good news is that we aren't faced with a stark choice between running the risk of infectious disease, or suffering allergies and inflammatory diseases. The threat of infectious disease is now rising because of antibiotic resistance, global mobility and an ageing population, so good hygiene is even more vital to all of us."

    Professor Graham Rook: "How we can begin to reverse the trend in allergies and CID isn't yet clear. There are lots of ideas being explored but relaxing hygiene won't reunite us with our Old Friends -- just expose us to new enemies like E. coli O104."

    Professor Sally Bloomfield: "One important thing we can do is to stop talking about 'being too clean' and get people thinking about how we can safely reconnect with the right kind of dirt."
    _____________ 

    Review article of reference (open access):

    - Smith RS et al. The Hygiene Hypothesis and its implications for home hygiene, lifestyle and public health. International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (2012) pp. 1-113
    www.ifh-homehygiene.org/IntegratedCRD.nsf/a639aacb2d462a2180257506004d35db/00bf50c9379c013c80257a7f0043aaa2?OpenDocument 
    PDF: www.ifh-homehygiene.org/IntegratedCRD.nsf/a639aacb2d462a2180257506004d35db/00BF50C9379C013C80257A7F0043AAA2/$File/Hygiene%20hypothesis%20review_19092012.pdf 

    Articles and references somehow related:

    - Gitig, Diana. Has our war on microbes left our immune systems prone to dysfunction? Ars Technica (Condé Nast). October 14, 2012
    arstechnica.com/science/2012/10/book-review-an-epidemic-of-absence-takes-on-the-worms-youre-missing 

    - Velasquez-Manoff, Moises. An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases (book)

    - Velasquez-Manoff, Moises. An Immune Disorder at the Root of Autism. The New York Times August 25, 2012
    nytimes.com/2012/08/26/opinion/sunday/immune-disorders-and-autism.html?pagewanted=all 

    - Keim, Brandon. Q&A: Parasites, Modern Life and Immune Systems Gone Haywire Wired. September 4, 2012
    wired.com/wiredscience/2012/09/epidemic-of-absence 
    _______________ 

    Criticism of the article (and book) written by Moises Velasquez-Manoff:

    Comment: The hypothesis that he supports in his article, the existence of a link between a dysregulation of the immune system and many of the recently diagnosed cases of autism, has been negatively criticized by some scientists: 

    - Willingham, Emily. Autism, immunity, inflammation, and the New York Times. Words, Words, Words. August 27, 2012
    emilywillinghamphd.com/2012/08/autism-immunity-inflammation-and-new.html 

    - Willingham, Emily. An analysis of the sources supplied for the NYT autism and inflammation op-ed. Words, Words, Words. September 2, 2012
    emilywillinghamphd.com/2012/09/an-analysis-of-sources-supplied-for-nyt.html 

    - Eisen, Jonathan. Velasquez-Manoff opinion piece in the NY Times on autism, parasites & inflammation; nice ideas; not enough caveats. The Tree of Life. August 26, 2012
    phylogenomics.blogspot.com.es/2012/08/velasquez-manoff-opinion-piece-in-ny.html 

    - Koerth-Baker, Maggie. Autism is more than a parasite deficiency. BoingBoing.net. August 27, 2012
    boingboing.net/2012/08/27/autism-is-more-than-a-parasite.html 
    _______________ 

    Comment:
    I often disagree with the predominant stance of the science blogs on different topics. However, my first impression on this issue was coincident with the main content on the above mentioned blogs even before I could read any them. 
    Particularly, their stance on the supposed link between an immune dysregulation caused hypothetically by the absence of certain exogenous stimuli and the autism epidemic that allegedly has spread in the last decades throughout the developed countries (even though the increase in autism incidence is more than dubious). 
    This excerpt summarizes the leitmotif of their content: 

    <<Willingham's basic point: There is an atmosphere of desperation and panic surrounding autism, which has lead some parents to try a range of risky interventions in the hopes of "curing" it. Given that, maybe it's irresponsible to claim that a hypothetical factor in autism is the absolute cause. Especially when the proposed treatment—intentional infection with parasitic whipworms—comes with its own downsides, including growth retardation in children, anemia, and even rectal prolapse.>>
    — Maggie Koerth-Baker
    _______________ 
    sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003082734.htm 

    URL related G+ post:  plus.google.com/100647702320088380533/posts/WKpwDezKCT9 
    ________________________ 
  • 7 plusses - 2 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-09-02 05:22:54
    RESHARE:
    youtube.com - Clint Eastwood Speech at the Republican Convention
    By PBS News Hour. August 30, 2012

    Excerpt from comments G+ post:

    +Christof Rack-Stefaniak: "http://p.twimg.com/A1mdi6tCIAAuKjP.jpg"

    +Michael Facente: "Rich, white, old dude that likes to shoot minorities endorses Romney!"

    +Cynthia Fusillo: "Jeez clint eastwood got old. For a while there I was like um who is he talking to?"

    +Brandon Trivett: "He's getting a bit senile at his old age. Old folks home for u Mr Eastwood."

    +Olaf Iwankow: "Personification of the party. Old, Cranky and Perplexed"

    +Razo Marco: "wow. the legend forgot how to talk. this is epic fail."

    +mathew murphy: "Angry old white guy argues with imaginary version of Barack Obama."

    +Neil Mcginnis: "Looks like he's slipping into senility.. Another old white man dislikes Obama.."

    Ageism
    <<Ageism, or age discrimination is stereotyping and discriminating against individuals or groups because of their age. It is a set of beliefs, attitudes, norms, and values used to justify age based prejudice, discrimination, and subordination.[1] This may be casual or systematic.[2][3] The term was coined in 1969 by Robert Neil Butler to describe discrimination against seniors, and patterned on sexism and racism.[4] Butler defined Ageism as a combination of three connected elements. Among them were prejudicial attitudes towards older people, old age, and the aging process; discriminatory practices against older people; and institutional practices and policies that perpetuate stereotypes about older people[5] >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ageism 

    +Kathy Schneider: "Come on +Alain Lemay, have some compassion, he is elderly.  He did a great job for his age.  There are people his age in homes not able to use a fork. "

    +Alain Lemay: "I do have compassion +Kathy Schneider. I think he was somewhat exploited here. I have a grandmother that i love dearly. She tends to ramble, al lot. The last thing I would do to her is stick her up on a stage and let her embarrass herself for my own gain."
     
    Benevolent prejudice
    <<Age-based prejudice and stereotyping usually involves older or younger people being pitied, marginalized, or patronized. This is described as "benevolent prejudice" because the tendency to pity is linked to seeing older or younger people as "friendly" but "incompetent." This is similar to the prejudice most often directed against women and disabled people. Age Concern’s survey revealed strong evidence of "benevolent prejudice." 48% said that over-70s are viewed as friendly (compared to 27% who said the same about under-30s). Meanwhile, only 26% believe over-70s are viewed as capable (with 41% saying the same about under-30s).[15]>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ageism#Benevolent_prejudice 

    URL source comments G+ post: plus.google.com/+GuyKawasaki/posts/6g4RT1imcf3 
    __________________________

    Excerpt from comments on related G+ post:

    Ron Miller Sep 3, 2012 7:52 PM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla I think it is just a light joke.  I don't think most people see it that deeply and most people - my parents who are in their 70s - think it is kind of funny. 

    This is discrimination against just about everyone.  But we treat our elderly pretty well.  Medicare, Social Security and, largely I would argue, overall respect.
    ________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 3, 2012 9:13 PM
    +Ron Miller: "I think it is just a light joke.  I don't think most people see it that deeply and most people - my parents who are in their 70s - think it is kind of funny."

    - There are also racist and sexist jokes, and some of them are even funny, but most people don't dare to post. Somehow it seems that ageism has become socially acceptable and can be used as a valid argument in discussions.
    You wouldn't imagine how frequent the allusion of Eastwood's old age has been used to debunk his speech on the RNC. A few examples:

    +Christof Rack-Stefaniak: http://p.twimg.com/A1mdi6tCIAAuKjP.jpg  
    +Michael Facente: "Rich, white, old dude that likes to shoot minorities endorses Romney!"  
    +Cynthia Fusillo: "Jeez clint eastwood got old. For a while there I was like um who is he talking to?"  
    +Brandon Trivett: "He's getting a bit senile at his old age. Old folks home for u Mr Eastwood."  
    +Olaf Iwankow: "Personification of the party. Old, Cranky and Perplexed"  
    +Razo Marco: "wow. the legend forgot how to talk. this is epic fail."   
    +mathew murphy: "Angry old white guy argues with imaginary version of Barack Obama."  
    +Neil Mcginnis: "Looks like he's slipping into senility.. Another old white man dislikes Obama.."
    +Kathy Schneider: "Come on +Alain Lemay, have some compassion, he is elderly.  He did a great job for his age.  There are people his age in homes not able to use a fork. "
    +Alain Lemay: "I do have compassion +Kathy Schneider. I think he was somewhat exploited here. I have a grandmother that i love dearly. She tends to ramble, al lot. The last thing I would do to her is stick her up on a stage and let her embarrass herself for my own gain."
    plus.google.com/+GuyKawasaki/posts/6g4RT1imcf3 

    +Ron Miller: "we treat our elderly pretty well.  Medicare, Social Security"

    - That is a paternalist attitude. The elderly don't need a treatment different from the rest of the people. Many of them have invested their wealth in a retirement plan and have paid for their medical care. If the public system is broken they aren't more responsible than anyone else, so everyone should contribute to pay the debt of the public system.  

    URL related G+ post: https://plus.google.com/103949261056887216874/posts/ZpzM4uHq9Sw 
    ____________________________ 

    Reshared text:
    (Fri01) Make Mitt's day...

    (Shared using #DoShare )
  • 2 plusses - 11 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-09-23 09:04:12
    RESHARE:
    "Piracy" is not stealing since intellectual "property" (IP) is not property
    September 23, 2013

    Excerpt from comments from G+ post:

    Kavin Mueller Sep 23, 2013 9:37 AM
     I highly doubt the jailbreak community will pursue a viable option to bypass activation lock. The jailbreak devs have said time and time again they are against piracy, and trying to activate a stolen iPhone is no different than piracy. 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 23, 2013 9:44 AM
    How not? Copyright infringement (aka "piracy") undermines IP "rights" (aka IP privileges), whereas bypassing activation lock may contribute to encourage actual theft.

    Scott Barrett Sep 23, 2013 9:46 AM
    Digital theft is a subcategory of theft, as is personal theft (stealing personal belongings). They're different apples of the same tree.

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 23, 2013 10:21 AM
    +Scott Barrett: "Digital theft is a subcategory of theft, as is personal theft (stealing personal belongings)."

    — By no means. Information isn't a real property (an example of this is that you can't own my thoughts). Without property there's no theft. They (the Government and the IP lobbyists) call it now "theft" (or "piracy") to make it look bad. But it isn't a theft of property since

    1. IP isn't treated as property. Real property doesn't have expiration date and a reproduction of a physical property isn't considered to be the same property (e.g., two iPhone devices can be independently owned by two different people).

    2. IP "rights" aren't granted to everybody. Other kinds of intellectual work are not protected by IP laws (e.g., the description of laws of nature, mathematical theorems, science discoveries, design of nuclear devices, dance movements, choreography, gymnastic acrobatics), the limits of their coverage are arbitrary, therefore IP isn't a right but a privilege granted to a minority. 

    3. Unlike real property, IP didn't exist until the modern age (from 18th-19th century onwards). Unlike physical property, IP isn't the result of any kind of negotiation among the members of society or social consensus but rather it was an imposition by the rulers on their subjects.

    4. Finally, IP undermines your right to actual property (i.e., material property) since it restricts your right to use your material property as you see fit under the threat of initiation of force against you and confiscation of your real property.
    _________________________ 

    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/107538609516533294205/posts/R8eWVA3rgAp 
    _________________________ 

    Reshared text:
    The single best feature in iOS 7 is activation lock. I hope thieves take note of this. Any apple device running iOS 7 is worthless to anyone other than the owner. Running a lower version of iOS makes you more likely to be targeted now IMO. 
  • 7 plusses - 4 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-05-13 07:16:48
    Why Mike Elgan is the 'Statist Douchebag of the Year.'
    Self. May 13, 2012

    Excerpt from comments:

    Zephyr López Cervilla May 13, 2012 8:36 AM (edited)
    All his rant is more an apology of Statism than an accurate description of the facts. The states don't own their citizens (unless you're a Cuban, a North Korean or a Chinese "subject").

    Silicon Valley wasn't created by the US government but by private initiative (originated around Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, founded by a William Shockley, a researcher who had previously worked at Bell Labs, labs owned by a private corporation).

    And those elite universities (many of them privately owned) aren't free, most of their students have to pay onerous fees for their tuition.

    Finally, the claim that America (the US Government?) is the creator of the Internet (as we know it) is ignoring all the development of the WWW that took place in the CERN facilities (primarily carried out by Tim Berners-Lee, a British researcher), that allowed sharing information between different platforms using different software. If something did the US Government was to delay the popularization of Internet with restrictions on the use of the Internet to carry commercial traffic until 1995.

    If there's a douchebag here this is Mike Elgan.
    ----------------------------

    A typical comment by a statist:

    P E Sharpe May 13, 2012 7:26 AM
    If he benefited in any way from the infrastructure of the city in which he lived, he has an obligation to pay taxes to the city. Likewise to the State. Likewise to the country. A company and an individual do not live an autonomous existence, all parental and collegial affirmations to the contrary. If he was a citizen, he benefited. Period.
    ----------------------------

    Zephyr López Cervilla May 13, 2012 9:21 AM (edited)
    He and/or his family have payed more than enough taxes all these years for the use of any of those services and infrastructure.
    On the other hand, the US Government has no say in privately owned companies, specially those that make much of their annual revenue overseas. If any potential entrepeneur was forced to pay high taxes for the rest of their lives you wouldn't see the creation of so many new companies in the States, they would simply move somewhere else.
    ----------------------------
    URL via post: plus.google.com/109667384864782087641/posts/VfWFbGWrU6k
    via +Jonathan Langdale
    ----------------------------

    References:

    <<The ideology of statism espoused by fascism holds that sovereignty is not vested in the people but in the nation state, and that all individuals and associations exist only to enhance the power, prestige and well-being of the state. It repudiates individualism and exalts the nation as an organic body headed by the Supreme Leader and nurtured by unity, force, and discipline. Fascism and some forms of corporatism extol the moral position that the corporate group, usually the state, is greater than the sum of its parts and that individuals have a moral obligation to serve the state.>>
    1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statism

    2. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_World_Wide_Web
    3. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Internet
    ----------------------------

    Text original post:

    Mike Elgan originally shared this post*:
    Why Eduardo Saverin is the 'Ungrateful Douchebag of the Year.'

    +Farhad Manjoo lays bare the shamelessness and depravity of Eduardo Saverin's decision to renounce his American citizenship to avoid U.S. taxes before the Facebook IPO that will make him billions.

    As Manjoo points out, America saved Saverin's life, educated him; created the Internet without which Facebook could not exist; created the elite university where he could meet someone like Mark Zuckerberg; created Silicon Valley where a company like Facebook could grow; thrive and have a $100 billion IPO; created the U.S. legal system, which protected his investment in Facebook when in many other countries he would have lost it.

    Saverin was happy to be American when it afforded him these many opportunities, and the coming opportunity to gain $5 billion or so for his relatively marginal contribution to the creation of Facebook. And now that it's time to cash in, suddenly he's renouncing his citizenship to avoid contributing back to the country that made him rich beyond imagination.

    So you and I will have to keep on paying taxes to support the US government. But not Saverin. He's just going to take the billions America made possible and give nothing back.

    What a greedy, shameless, ungrateful douchebag.

    http://pandodaily.com/2012/05/12/what-eduardo-saverin-owes-america-hint-nearly-everything/
    ----------------------------
    *: plus.google.com/113117251731252114390/posts/Uz6CaW2qqaM
    ----------------------------

    Comment:
    I must say I'm not surprised by Elgan's statist stance. He had already supported the military intervention of the US Armed Forces in Libya and their participation in the slaughtering of Gaddafi, referring to everyone else who disagreed with his war mongering stance as "Gaddafi apologist,"[1] and blocking others to prevent that they could question his political views.
    1. plus.google.com/113117251731252114390/posts/hVv2MHoqLdP

    Related posts:
    plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/5goNHv8ahG
    plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/fzngz4o8Yr4
    ----------------------------
    #mikeelgan
  • 2 plusses - 13 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-08-10 22:38:57
    RESHARE:
    Jean-Luc Cornec - 'Telephone Sheep' 1989
    Museum für Kommunikation (Museum of Communications), Frankfurt am Main (Deutschland)

    An installation of 32 sheep that at times ring. The starting point for this work was the phone as a closed system whose elements combined in a new way.

    (1989) Eine Installation aus 32 Schafen zeitweilig klingelnden Schafen. Ausgangspunkt für diese Arbeit war das Telefon als geschlossenes System, dessen Elemente ich neu kombiniere.
    http://jeanluc.cornec.de/arbeiten/tribut 
    __________________ 

    The museum:

    amusingplanet.com - Inside Frankfurt Museum of Communication
    By Kaushik. August 1, 2010
    amusingplanet.com/2010/08/inside-frankfurt-museum-of.html

    de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum_f%C3%BCr_Kommunikation_Frankfurt 
    __________________ 

    'Telephone Sheep' Gallery:

    whatthecool.com - Sheep Sculptures Made Out of Rotary Phones
    August 18, 2010
    http://whatthecool.com/post/973293104/rotary-phone-sheep-sculptures 

    mag.ceza.me - Jean-Luc Cornec: Des moutons écolochics et recyclés , avec de la laine au bout du fil
    January 25, 2010
    http://mag.ceza.me/art/jean-luc-cornec-des-moutons-ecolochics-et-recycles-avec-de-la-laine-au-bout-du-fil-1888 

    greenupgrader.com - Telephone Sheep Exhibit by Artist Jean Luc Cornec
    By Doug Gunzelmann. July 19, 2008
    http://greenupgrader.com/2492/telephone-sheep-exhibit-by-artist-jean-luc-cornec 

    inhabitat.com - Jean Luc Cornec's Re-purposed Rotary Phone Sheep
    By Moe Beitiks, 23 January, 2010
    http://inhabitat.com/jean-luc-cornecs-re-purposed-rotary-phone-sheep

    Jean-Luc Cornec at work:
    tribuneindia.com/2011/20110703/spectrum/main1.htm 
    __________________ 

    Reshared text:
    Telephone Sheep by Jean-Luc Cornec
     
    Museum for Communications
     
    Frankfurt Main, Germany
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-23 07:33:52
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    cartoonstock.com - Cartoons on Government, Politicians, Education, Healthcare, Insurance, Lawyers, Legal System, Corporations (88 photos)
    By Marty Brucella.
    cartoonstock.com/fullsearch.asp?performSearch=TRUE&mainArchive=mainArchive&MA_Artist=Bucella,%20Marty 

    Reshared text:
    Marty Brucella - On Government, Politicians, Education, Healthcare, Insurance, Lawyers, Legal System, Corporations (88 photos)
    cartoonstock.com/fullsearch.asp?performSearch=TRUE&mainArchive=mainArchive&MA_Artist=Bucella,%20Marty
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-10-17 09:31:39
    aether.lbl.gov - Alpha Centauri. A Candidate for Terrestrial Planets And Intelligent Life
    By Smoot Group (George Smoot). Last update: October 15, 1997
    aether.lbl.gov/www/classes/p139/speed/Alpha-Centauri.html 

    Excerpt:
    <<For the third test, a system must demonstrate stable conditions. The star's brightness must not vary so much that the star would alternately freeze and fry any life that does manage to develop around it. But because Alpha Centauri A and B form a binary pair there's a further issue. How much does the light received by the planets of one star vary as the other star revolves around it ? During their 80-year orbit, the separation between A and B changes from 11 AU to 35 AU. As viewed from the planets of one star, the brightness of the other increases as the stars approach and decreases as the stars recede. Fortunately, the variation is too small to matter, and Alpha Centauri A and B pass this test. However, Proxima fails this test, too. Like many red dwarfs it is a flare star, prone to outbursts that cause its light to double or triple in just a few minutes.>>
     . . . 
    <<Now to the final question. Do we find at Alpha Centauri warm, rocky planets like Earth, full of liquid water ? Unfortunately, we don't know yet whether Alpha Centauri even has planets or not. What we know is that in a binary system the planets must not be too far away from a particular star, or else their orbits become unstable. If the distance exceeds about one fifth of the closest approach of the two stars then the second member of the binary star fatally disturbes the orbit of the planet. For the binary Alpha Centauri A and B, their closest approach is 11 AU, so the limit for planetary orbits is at about 2 astronomical units. Comparing with our system, we see that both Alpha Centauri A and B might hold four inner planets like we have Mercury (0.4 AU), Venus (0.7 AU), Earth (1 AU) and Mars (1.5 AU). Therefore, both Alpha Centauri A and B might have one or two planets in the life zone where liquid water is possible.

    Terrestrial Life Conditions: | Sun | α Centauri A | α Centauri B | Proxima
    On the main sequence? | Yes | Yes | Yes | Yes
    Of the right spectral type? | Yes | Yes | Maybe | No
    Constant in brightness? | Yes | Yes | Yes | No
    Old enough? | Yes | Yes | Yes | No?
    Rich in metals? | Yes | Yes | Yes | ?
    Has stable planetary orbits? | Yes | Yes | Yes | Yes
    Could planets form? | Yes | ? | -?- ((Yes)) | Yes
    Do planets actually exist? | Yes | ? | -?- ((Yes)) | ?
    Small rocky planets possible? | Yes | Yes | Yes | Yes?
    Planets in the life zone? | Yes | Maybe | Maybe | No
    >>

    Article of reference:
    - Croswell K and Carroll M. Does Alpha Centauri have intelligent life? Astronomy 19 (1991), No. 4, pgs. 28 - 37
    http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/9105130690/does-alpha-centauri-have-intelligent-life 
    _____________ 

    - James, Andrew. Part 6. Voyage to Alpha Centauri The Imperial Star Alpha Centauri. Last Update: June 1, 2010
    southastrodel.com/PageAlphaCen006.htm 
    _____________ 

    Related discovery 1:

    - Hand, Eric. The exoplanet next door Nature News. October 16, 2012
    nature.com/news/the-exoplanet-next-door-1.11605 
    Earth-sized world discovered in nearby α Centauri star system.

    - ESO. Planet Found in Nearest Star System to Earth eso1241 — Science Release. October 16, 2012
    eso.org/public/news/eso1241 
    ESO’s HARPS instrument finds Earth-mass exoplanet orbiting Alpha Centauri B

    - Plait, Phil. Alpha Centauri Has a Planet! Discover Magazine. Bad Astronomy (Blog). October 16, 2012
    blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/10/16/alpha-centauri-has-a-planet 

    - Mann, Adam. Earth-Sized Planet Discovered Orbiting Around Nearest Star. Wired. October 16, 2012
    wired.com/wiredscience/2012/10/earth-exoplanet-alpha-centauri 

    - Boyle, Alan. How to take a trip to Alpha Centauri NBCNews.com. Cosmic Log. October 17, 2012
    cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/17/14516293-how-to-take-a-trip-to-alpha-centauri 
    ____________ 

    Stephane Udry (astronomer, Geneva University in Switzerland): "Most of the low-mass planets are in systems of two, three, up to six or seven planets, so finding in our closest neighbour one Earth-mass planet ... opens a really good prospect for detecting planets in the habitable zone in the system that is very close to us."

    <<The measurement is difficult because of variations in the star's light caused by other phenomenon, such as flares and magnetic storms, similar to sunspots on the sun.>>

    Artie Hatzes (astronomer, Thuringian State Observatory in Tautenburg, Germany): "Trying to extract a signal that you are interested in when it is in the presence of "noise" - in this case the variability of the star -- is difficult. One has to apply special analysis methods and tricks. The real challenge, in this particular case, was in how to analyze the data."
    "I still have my doubts. Even though there is clearly a signal in the data at 3.26 days, the nature of this is still open to debate."

    - Klotz, Irene (Discovery News). Earth-sized world found next door ABC Science. News in Science. October 17, 2012.
    abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/10/17/3612356.htm 
    ____________ 

    Star Positioning:
    ESO. A journey to Alpha Centauri. HD

    Article of reference:
    - Dumusque X et al. An Earth mass planet orbiting Alpha Centauri B. Nature (2012) to be published (eso1241)
    eso.org/public/archives/releases/sciencepapers/eso1241/eso1241a.pdf 
    At Nature website:
    nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature11572.html 
    Supplementary information:
    nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/extref/nature11572-s1.pdf 
    nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/extref/nature11572-s2.txt 
    _____________________ 

    Related discovery 2:

    Armchair astronomers find planet in quadruple star system. Phys.org. October 15, 2012
    phys.org/news/2012-10-armchair-astronomers-planet-quadruple-star.html 

    - Johnson, Michele *Citizen Scientists Discover Four-Star Planet with NASA Kepler.* NASA Mission News. October 15, 2012
    nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/kepler-ph1.html 

    Article of reference: 
    - Schwamb ME et al. Planet Hunters: A Transiting Circumbinary Planet in a Quadruple Star System. Astrophysical Journal (2012) draft version
    arxiv.org/abs/1210.3612 PDF: arxiv.org/pdf/1210.3612v1 
    _____________________ 

    - Dole, Stephen H. Habitable Planets for Man. The RAND Corporation (1964) pp. 1-114
    1. rand.org/pubs/commercial_books/CB179-1.html 
    1. PDF: rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/commercial_books/2007/RAND_CB179-1.pdf 
    2. http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA473471 
    2. PDF: dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA473471 

    Podcast Episode:
    - Woo, Joanna and Brar, Rupinder. Episode 7: Extrasolar Planets with Ryan North The Titanium Physicists Podcast. January 22, 2012
    titaniumphysicists.brachiolopemedia.com/2012/01/22/episode-7-extrasolar-planets-with-ryan-north 
    MP3 file: traffic.libsyn.com/titaniumphysics/Ep_7_Ti_Phy_Extra_Solar_Planets.mp3 (34:32)
    _____________________ 

    Other: 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_Centauri 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_Centauri_Bb 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxima_Centauri 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_Centauri_in_fiction 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_locking 

    Related G+ posts:
    via +Jenny Winder 
    plus.google.com/116017061364727182937/posts/2rcQa8PJoAK 
    plus.google.com/116017061364727182937/posts/J3kLPidTBbg 

    plus.google.com/110978315648533764743/posts/6AFNk5RYahc 
    plus.google.com/106505577291311813232/posts/4tzy9YsP2q4 
    _____________________ 
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-06-04 04:55:06
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    scientificamerican.com - Ultra Marathons Might Be Ultra Bad for your Heart
    By Katherine Harmon. June 4, 2012

    Excerpt:

    <<The researchers found that many of these athletes had temporarily elevated levels of substances that promote inflammation and cardiac damage. One study found that as many as half of runners in the midst of, or who have just finished, a marathon show these spikes, which can last for days after an event. And over time and with repeated exposure, these compounds can lead to scarring of the heart and its main arteries as well as to enlarged ventricles—all of which can in turn lead to dangerous irregular heart beats (arrhythmia) and possibly sudden cardiac death.>>

    <<Earlier this year ultra runner Micah True, also known as Caballo Blanco, made famous by Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run (Knopf, 2009) for running with the Tarahumara tribes in Mexico, died at the age of 58 while on a relatively short trail run. The medical report concluded that he had a scarred, enlarged heart and likely died from arrhythmia.>>

    <<Screening for factors to find people who might be at a particular risk so far is unproven and would likely be expensive. So the researchers suggest that athletes dial back intense exercise to about an hour per day (sessions can be longer if exercise is less rigorous) or at least have regular visits with their doctors to check up on their heart health.>>

    <<An analysis published May 30 in PLoS ONE also highlights potential downsides of exercise for some people. Claude Bouchard of the Human Genomics Laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge Louisiana, and his colleagues report that in many exercise studies, moderate to intense exercise elevated one or more indicators of risk for cardiac disease or diabetes in a subset (about 10 percent) of the population in the analysis. The authors did not follow the subjects to see if these people were actually more likely to have poor health outcomes, however. And for the rest of the subjects, most of them saw improvements in these risk factors.

    But the new findings do not negate the benefits of regular exercise for most people. It adds an average of seven extra years of life expectancy, and it also increases the likelihood that people will spend more of those years relatively trim and in good health. “Exercise is one of the most important things you need to do on a daily basis,” O’Keefe said. But, he noted, “extreme exercise is not really conductive to great cardiovascular health. Beyond 30 to 60 minutes per day, you reach a point of diminishing returns.”

    Indeed, a long-term study of 52,000 runners found that those who ran one to 20 miles a week spaced out over two to five days and at an 8.5- to 10-minute mile lived longest.>> 

    URL source post: plus.google.com/u/0/107991184034868817056/posts/i3dsaQ9ZTGP 
    -------------------------------- 

    Reference paper:  

    - Bouchard C, Blair SN, Church TS, Earnest CP, Hagberg JM, et al. (2012) Adverse Metabolic Response to Regular Exercise: Is It a Rare or Common Occurrence? PLoS ONE 7(5): e37887. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037887 
    plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0037887

    ABSTRACT  

    Background
    Individuals differ in the response to regular exercise. Whether there are people who experience adverse changes in cardiovascular and diabetes risk factors has never been addressed.

    Methodology/Principal Findings
    An adverse response is defined as an exercise-induced change that worsens a risk factor beyond measurement error and expected day-to-day variation. Sixty subjects were measured three times over a period of three weeks, and variation in resting systolic blood pressure (SBP) and in fasting plasma HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TG), and insulin (FI) was quantified. The technical error (TE) defined as the within-subject standard deviation derived from these measurements was computed. An adverse response for a given risk factor was defined as a change that was at least two TEs away from no change but in an adverse direction. Thus an adverse response was recorded if an increase reached 10 mm Hg or more for SBP, 0.42 mmol/L or more for TG, or 24 pmol/L or more for FI or if a decrease reached 0.12 mmol/L or more for HDL-C. Completers from six exercise studies were used in the present analysis: Whites (N = 473) and Blacks (N = 250) from the HERITAGE Family Study; Whites and Blacks from DREW (N = 326), from INFLAME (N = 70), and from STRRIDE (N = 303); and Whites from a University of Maryland cohort (N = 160) and from a University of Jyvaskyla study (N = 105), for a total of 1,687 men and women. Using the above definitions, 126 subjects (8.4%) had an adverse change in FI. Numbers of adverse responders reached 12.2% for SBP, 10.4% for TG, and 13.3% for HDL-C. About 7% of participants experienced adverse responses in two or more risk factors.

    Conclusions/Significance
    Adverse responses to regular exercise in cardiovascular and diabetes risk factors occur. Identifying the predictors of such unwarranted responses and how to prevent them will provide the foundation for personalized exercise prescription.

    plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0037887
    -------------------------------- 

    Related articles in Scientific American:

    scientificamerican.com - Study Sheds Light on Hidden Heart Danger for Athletes
    By Sarah Graham. April 22, 2002
    scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=study-sheds-light-on-hidd
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

    scientificamerican.com - Fit Body, Fit Mind? Your Workout Makes You Smarter [Preview]
    By Christopher Hertzog, Arthur F. Kramer, Robert S. Wilson and Ulman Lindenberger. July 1, 2009
    scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=fit-body-fit-mind

    -------------------------------- 
    #ultrarunning   #ultramarathon   #caballoblanco   #christophermcdougal   #borntorun   #endurancesports   #enduranceracing   #enduranceexercises   #endurance  
    -------------------------------- 

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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-09-29 15:51:36
    theamericanconservative.com - Patent Nonsense
    By Sheldon Richman. January 18, 2012
    theamericanconservative.com/articles/patent-nonsense 

    "Intellectual property enforces a monopoly over the mind."

    Excerpt:

    <<Why should an inventor or author have an exclusive right, whether in perpetuity or for a finite period?>>

    <<there is a distinction between physical objects and ideas that is crucial to the property question. Two or more people cannot use the same pair of socks at the same time and in the same respect, but they can use the same idea—or if not the same idea, ideas with the same content. That tangible objects are scarce and finite accounts for the emergence of property rights in civilization. Considering the nature of human beings and the physical world they inhabit, if individuals are to flourish in society they need rules regarding thine and mine. But “ideal objects” are not bound by the same restrictions. Ideas can be multiplied infinitely and almost costlessly; they can be used nonrivalrously.

    If I articulate an idea in front other people, each now has his own “copy.” Yet I retain mine. However the others use their copies, it is hard to see how they have committed an injustice>>

    <<Contrary to [Ayn] Rand, ideas, while inherent in purposeful human action, have no role in establishing ownership>>

    <<In practical terms, when one acquires a copyright or a patent, what one really acquires is the power to ask the government stop other people from doing harmless things with their own property. IP is thus inconsistent with the right to property.

    An IP advocate might challenge the proposition that two or more people can use the “same” idea at the same time by noting that the originator’s economic return from exploiting the idea will likely be smaller if unauthorized imitators are free to enter the market. That is true, but this confuses property with economic value. In traditional property-rights theory, one owns objects not economic values. If someone’s otherwise unobjectionable activities lower the market value of my property, my rights have not been violated.>>

    <<Property rights arose to grapple with natural scarcity; “intellectual property” rights were invented to create scarcity where it does not naturally exist.>>

    <<Don’t patents encourage innovation and therefore bestow incalculable benefits on all us? This crosses the boundary from justice to utilitarian considerations. The concern here is not with rewards to the innovator but with the good of society.>>

    <<as libertarian legal theorist Stephan Kinsella points out, the implied cost-benefit analysis is a sham. Defenders tout IP’s hypothesized benefits while presuming the costs are virtually zero. Ignored are the costs in innovation never ventured for fear of legal reprisal, in resources consumed during litigation, in talent diverted to protecting IP rather than producing useful goods, and so on.>>

    <<IP proponents are guilty of doing a priori history. Real history undermines the utilitarian case for patents and copyright. In their book, Against Intellectual Monopoly, pro-market economists Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine show that IP impedes innovation. For example, James Watt’s steam engine improved very little while his patents were in effect—he was too busy suing anyone he could for patent infringement. Only once the patents expired in 1800 did improvements in the steam engine accelerate.

    The IP defender might counter that without patents there might not have been a steam engine at all. Boldrin and Levine’s historical analysis shows this to be implausible. People invented things long before patents. Innovators have understood the advantages of being first to market even without the prospect of monopoly privilege. (Shakespeare created without copyright, as did Charles Dickens in the U.S. market.) The first company to put wheels on luggage, Travelpro, had no patent, and the idea was soon copied. But the company is still a player in the industry.>>

    <<Boldrin and Levine devote an entire chapter to the toughest nut, pharmaceuticals, which we supposedly would have to do without but for the protection of intellectual property. The high fixed cost of research, development, and testing, and the low marginal cost of production are said to preclude any significant innovation without the monopoly protection afforded by patents. Who would sink so much money into a product only to face copycat competitors with no development costs? Here IP is thought to be literally a matter of life and death.

    Things are not what they seem. Write Boldrin and Levine:

    Historically, intellectual monopoly in pharmaceuticals has varied enormously over time and space. The summary story: the modern pharmaceutical industry developed faster in those countries where patents were fewer and weaker… .  [I]f patents were a necessary  requirement for pharmaceutical innovation, as claimed by their supporters,  the large historical and cross-country variations in the patent protection  of medical products should have had a dramatic impact on national pharmaceutical industries. In particular, at least between 1850 and 1980, most drugs and medical products should have been invented and produced in the United States and the United Kingdom, and very little if anything produced in continental Europe. Further, countries such as Italy, Switzerland, and, to a lesser extent, Germany, should have been the poor, sick laggards of the pharmaceutical industry until recently. Instead, the opposite was true for longer than a century.>>

    <<Underlying the IP defense is the faulty assumption that imitation produces little value when in fact it is critical to competitive markets and progress, most of which comes through incremental improvements to existing ideas rather than big dramatic breakthroughs.>>
    _____________________________ 

    Excerpt from comments:

    Federal Farmer says:
    January 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm
    <<Thank you for publishing this thoughtful critique of intellectual property. Richman cites Watt and the steam engine as an example of how patent law impedes rather than promotes innovation. There are other, related examples of so-called multiple invention that undermine the claim that patent monopolies are the key to innovation: the telephone, the radio, and the light bulb just to name a few.

    With regard to the pharmaceutical industry, I agree that it is also right to question the value of the IP regime there too. It is true development costs are high, but that is largely because a pharmaceutical manufacturer must perform years of clinical trials to demonstrate a drug is safe and effective to the FDA before it can sell a drug on the market.>>

    <<The federal courts’ willingness to recognize gene patents also inhibits innovation in the pharmaceutical and health care industries. In the Myriad Genetics case that is working its way through the federal courts now, one commercial entity is claiming the right to exclude researchers and competitors to use the BRAC1 and BRAC2 breast cancer genes in diagnostics and other medical practices. The Federal Circuit, which other than the Supreme Court is the highest federal appellate court on patent law matters, recently affirmed that Myriad’s claims are patentable subject matter. The implications are startling and costly.>>
    _____________________ 

    Anonymous says:
    January 18, 2012 at 11:40 pm
    <<I don’t understand why so many IP supporters absolutely shut down their capacity to think when this subject is brought up. Posting here fresh off the heels of reading the comments on a similar article on a more mainstream Conservative news site, it amazes me that people, on what is a genuinely arguable subject, resort to the most mind-numbing points of contention. It must be an emotional response to what people perceive as a threat to what they feel they have the right to, but you’d think they’d at least extend this fervor to material property; they never seem to.
    This article doesn’t have many comments yet. Hopefully TAC’s readership can operate differently.
    _____________________ 

    Joel says:
    January 19, 2012 at 8:30 am
    <<One other aspect you might have been included (especially topical in light of the SOPA debate) is how as ease of copying advances, the protection of intellectual property has become the justification for an ever-increasing police state.>>
    _____________________ 

    jb says:
    January 19, 2012 at 11:15 am
    An IP advocate might challenge the proposition that two or more people can use the “same” idea at the same time by noting that the originator’s economic return from exploiting the idea will likely be smaller if unauthorized imitators are free to enter the market.

    <<It’s true that I can reduce an originator’s economic return on an idea by exploiting that idea myself. But I can also reduce his return by coming up with an original and superior idea, and no one finds that objectionable. So whatever other arguments may be made for or against IP, reducing the economic return on an idea is not in itself a wrong that one is entitled to be protected against.>>
    _____________________ 

    D. Saul Weiner says:
    February 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm
    <<Agree with Federal Farmer that high drug development costs are not necessarily inherent, but to a large extent driven by the FDA regulatory gauntlet.

    Another critical item to note in this regard is how the patent regime has very much skewed the practice of medicine toward pharmaceutical usage and away from natural and non-patentable therapeutics. In a system rife with medical licensing (another form of monopoly), it becomes possible for those who profit from patents to ensure that this mode of medical practice becomes the dominant one>>
    _____________________ 

    Bobby Cathey says:
    May 31, 2012 at 11:56 pm
    <<However, a point that was missing from the article however was the fact that terms of patent in the United States are only a limited period of time. This is actually a big indicator of how suppressive Patents are to innovation. You will never hear a proponent of Patents come out in favor of perpetually held patents. Why only 20 years? Where did this magic number come from? Why not 50 years? 100 years? 1,000 years? If IP proponents truly thought Patents were legitimate, they would advocate for the perpetuity of these “property rights”.>>
    _____________________ 


    Further reading:

    - Explicitly cited in this article:

    - Boldrin, Michele and Levine, David K. Against Intellectual Monopoly. Cambridge University Press, 2008 (print version) 
    PDF final online version (January 2, 2008): 
    http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/papers/imbookfinalall.pdf 
    Excerpt: plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/aPA3xZEQpHF 

    - Kinsella,  N. Stephan. How Intellectual Property Hampers the Free Market. The Free Man (thefreemanonline.org), Foundation for Economic Education. June, 2011
    thefreemanonline.org/features/how-intellectual-property-hampers-the-free-market 

    - Other works:

    - Boldrin, Michelle and Levine, David K. The Case Against Patents. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Working Paper Series (2012) 2012-035A
    http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2012/2012-035.pdf

    - Kinsella, N Stephan. Against Intellectual Property. Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2008 (print version) 
    Source: http://mises.org/resources/3582/Against-Intellectual-Property
    PDF: http://mises.org/books/against.pdf
    ePub: http://mises.org/books/AgainstIP.epub 
    _____________________ 


    - References and links of several studies on the subject:

    - Torrance, Andrew W and Tomlinson, Bill. Patents and the Regress of Useful Arts. Columbia Science and Technology Law Review (2009) vol. 10 pp. 130-168
    stlr.org/volumes/volume-x-2008-2009/torrance (link PDF broken)
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1411328 (PDF available) 

    - Meloso, Debrah et al. Promoting intellectual discovery: patents versus markets. Science (2009) vol. 323 (5919) pp. 1335-9
    sciencemag.org/content/323/5919/1335.full 
    http://arstechnica.com/science/2009/03/study-markets-provide-an-alternative-to-patent-monopolies 

    - Moser, Petra. How Do Patent Laws Influence Innovation? Evidence From Nineteenth-Century World's Fair. American Economic Review, 2005, v95(4,Sep), 1214-1236.
    researchoninnovation.org/tiip/archive/2005_1e.html
    http://papers.nber.org/papers/w9909 

    - Machlup, Fritz. An Economic Review of the Patent System. Study commission by the Subcommitttee on Patents,  Trademarks, and Copyrights of the Committee on the Judiciary, US Senate, 85th Congress, second session. Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing Office, 1958.
    http://mises.org/document/1182 
    http://library.mises.org/books/Fritz%20Machlup/An%20Economic%20Review%20of%20the%20Patent%20System_Vol_3.pdf 
    http://mises.org/etexts/patentsystem.pdf 

    - Bessen, James and Meurer, Michael J. Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk Princeton University Press. March, 2008
    1. researchoninnovation.org/dopatentswork 
    2. amazon.com/Patent-Failure-Bureaucrats-Lawyers-Innovators/dp/0691143218 
    3. nytimes.com/2007/07/15/business/yourmoney/15proto.html?_r=1 
    patentlyo.com/patent/2007/07/do-patents-disc.html 

    - Hensen, Stephen et al. The Effects of Patenting AAAS in the Scientific Community. American Association for the Advancement of Science (2006)
    http://sippi.aaas.org/survey 
    http://sippi.aaas.org/survey/AAAS_IP_Survey_Report.pdf

    - Leveque, François and Meniere, Yann. The Economics of Patents and Copyright. Berkeley Electronic Press (2004)
    bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1001&context=leveque 

    - Landes, William M. and Posner, Richard A. An Economic Analysis of Copyright Law. J. Legal Stud. (June 1989) vol. 325 pp. 325-33, 344-53
    cyber.law.harvard.edu/IPCoop/89land1.html 

    - Bell, Tom W. Prediction Markets for Promoting the Progress of Science and the Useful Arts. George Mason Law Review (2006) vol. 14 (1) pp. 37-92
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=925989 

    - Lemley, Mark. Rational ignorance at the patent office. Northwestern University Law Review (2000) vol. 95 (4) pp. 1-34
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=261400 

    - Ritter DS. Switzerland’s Patent Law History. Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. (2004) vol. 14 pp. 463-496
    law2.fordham.edu/publications/articles/200flspub6401.pdf

    - Bessen J and Hunt RM. An Empirical Look at Software Patents. Working Paper (2004) 03-17/R
    researchoninnovation.org/swpat.pdf 

    - Bessen J and Maskin E. Sequential Innovation, Patents, and Imitation. Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Department of Economics (2000) 11/99
    researchoninnovation.org/patent.pdf 


    Main source: stephankinsella.com/2009/07/yet-another-study-finds-patents-do-not-encourage-innovation 

    - Bessen, Jim. Do Patents Work as Property?
    Review of a Lecture at Duke Law School
    http://eupat.ffii.org/10/03/bessen
    (Empirical Evidence on Patents: Do They Work Like Property?)

    Jim Bessen and colleagues found by statistical analysis that innovators are nowadays, unlike 20 years ago, losing more money by patent litigation than they are gaining from patent royalties. Bessen correlates these findings to changes in patent law which made the boundaries of patents more fuzzy.
    ________________ 

    URL related G+ post:
    plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/DhEwwFH3jq7 
    ______________________________ 
  • 2 plusses - 10 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-02 00:45:24
    RESHARE:
    LOL, Not the Killy Parts!

    That's funny, isn't it?

    Reshared text:
  • 4 plusses - 5 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-23 07:27:13
    RESHARE:
    cartoonstock.com - Cartoons on Government, Politicians, Education, Healthcare, Insurance, Lawyers, Legal System, Corporations (88 photos)
    By Marty Brucella.
    cartoonstock.com/fullsearch.asp?performSearch=TRUE&mainArchive=mainArchive&MA_Artist=Bucella,%20Marty 

    Reshared text:
    Marty Brucella - On Government, Politicians, Education, Healthcare, Insurance, Lawyers, Legal System, Corporations (88 photos)
    cartoonstock.com/fullsearch.asp?performSearch=TRUE&mainArchive=mainArchive&MA_Artist=Bucella,%20Marty
  • 6 plusses - 0 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-08-27 20:36:52
    RESHARE:
    geekologie.com - Pretty Kitty!: Chimera Cat Is Its Own Fraternal Twin
    August 22, 2012
    geekologie.com/2012/08/pretty-kitty-chimera-cat-is-its-own-frat.php

    Excerpt from G+ via post comments:

    Zephyr López Cervilla August 27, 2012 2:19 PM (edited)
    Among marmosets and tamarins (several genera of New World monkeys) chimerism is very frequent. There has been reported even some case in which an individual had two genetic fathers instead of a mother and a father:
     . . . 
    "One breeding female, whose uterine twin was a male, produced offspring that inherited her sibling’s alleles. This documents the possibility that an XY primordial germ cell is capable of maturing and producing viable eggs in a female, a phenomenon that has not been documented for primates. Al- though we are not currently able to document the fate of the Y chromosome during development of the female’s oocytes, our data suggest the intriguing possibility that a female may pass on a Y chromosome to her offspring."

    - Ross CN et al. Germ-line chimerism and paternal care in marmosets ( Callithrix kuhlii ). Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (2007) vol. 104 (15) pp. 6278-82
    pnas.org/content/104/15/6278.full 
    _______________________  

    Zephyr López Cervilla August 27, 2012 10:04 PM
    +John Baez: "Far out, +Zephyr López Cervilla!  That's amazing. Two questions: 1) Why do you know about this?  2) Why might chimerism be more common among these species?""
     . . . 
    2) According to this same paper, chimerism between DZ twins may be favored to promote paternal care. These species present several traits that make paternal care particularly important, they have small body size, two offspring per pregnancy, the adult/offspring ratio is higher than in other primates, their population live in groups of small size and alloparental care. All these traits make the involvement of the father in the rearing of the offspring particularly advantageous. 

    What does have to do chimerism with all this? According to their suggested theory (supported by statistical correlation), genetic fathers will perceive chimeric offspring as closer relatives. 

    Supposing that they rely on molecular clues to estimate kinship, the individual of the offspring whose cells come from two cells lines derived from two spermatozoids (and two ovules) will express a greater variety of molecules specific of the father (although in lesser amount). 

    It hasn't to be limited to molecular clues, though. Other traits (behavior, physiognomy) could be differently affected as well. 

    For instance, genetic traits of dominant expression are more likely to be shared between the parent and the chimeric offspring if the father is heterozygotic, whereas in the case of homozygotic fathers, chimerism won't cause on average any difference in the expression of that trait in the offspring. 

    Codominant and quantitative traits will also be on average more similar between fathers and chimeric offspring than between fathers and nonchimeric offspring.

    Reference:

    - Ross CN et al. Germ-line chimerism and paternal care in marmosets ( Callithrix kuhlii ). Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (2007) vol. 104 (15) pp. 6278-82
    pnas.org/content/104/15/6278.full 
    _______________________  

    Some related papers:

    - Watkins DI et al. A primate species with limited major histocompatibility complex class I polymorphism. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (1988) vol. 85 (20) pp. 7714-8
    [ Saguinis oedipus (cotton-top tamarin)]
    pnas.org/content/85/20/7714.full.pdf 

    - Antunes SG et al. The common marmoset: a new world primate species with limited Mhc class II variability. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (1998) vol. 95 (20) pp. 11745-50
    [ Callithrix jacchus ]
    pnas.org/content/95/20/11745.full 

    - Cadavid LF et al. Evolutionary instability of the major histocompatibility complex class I loci in New World primates. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (1997) vol. 94 (26) pp. 14536-41
    pnas.org/content/94/26/14536.full 
    _______________________  

    - Starzl TE. Chimerism and tolerance in transplantation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (2004) vol. 101 Suppl 2 pp. 14607-14
    pnas.org/content/101/suppl.2/14607.full 

    - Billingham RE et al. Transplantation Immunity, Immunological Tolerance, and Chicken x Turkey Interspecific Hybrids. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (1961) vol. 47 (7) pp. 1039-43
    pnas.org/content/47/7/1039.full.pdf 

    Shizuru JA et al. Purified hematopoietic stem cell grafts induce tolerance to alloantigens and can mediate positive and negative T cell selection. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (2000) vol. 97 (17) pp. 9555-60
    pnas.org/content/97/17/9555.full.pdf 
    _______________________  

    URL source G+ comments G+ post: plus.google.com/117663015413546257905/posts/ZjDkQC9ULvN 
    _______________________  

    Reshared text:
    Venus, the Heterochromatic Chimera Cat

    Venus the Chimera split face, two face, odd eye, 2 diff color eyes... cat gone viral

    Meet Venus, the three year old heterochromatic (http://goo.gl/pYddP) chimera cat :3 Literally, she's her own fraternal twin!

    Chimera cat is one individual organism, but genetically its own fraternal twin. A chimera is typically formed from four parent cells (either two fertilized eggs, or two early embryos that have fused together). When the organism forms, the cells that had already begun to develop in the separate embryos keep their original phenotypes and appearances. This means that the resulting animal is a mixture of tissues and can look like this gorgeous (but bizarre) kitty.

    (Source: http://goo.gl/LsuUO) #caturday #scienceeveryday
  • 6 plusses - 0 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-09-27 07:24:27
    scientificamerican.com - Why Airplane Windows Don't Roll Down
    By Life's Little Mysteries. September 25, 2012
    scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-airplane-windows-dont 

    Comment:
    Certainly, there are some technical reasons that explain why airplane windows for passengers can't roll down (some cockpit windows can be opened in airliners such as the McDonnell Douglas DC-10, or a vent in the case of the Boeing 747), but none of them are related to what has been suggested in recent posts (as far as I know). The argument of sudden depresurization fails for its own weight. If it was this of great concern the doors of the cabin couldn't be opened either, specially during flight, but on the contrary, the cabin doors do open. 

    For some reason many people have assumed that the possibility to open the cabin windows would mean their practicability by any passenger at any time and under any conditions, but this hasn't to be necessarily the case. There are technical solutions to prevent passengers from opening the windows when this weren't advisable. Likewise, in certain situations the passengers are instructed on how to open the doors even though they usually aren't allowed to do so.
    _______________________ 

    Excerpts from different sources:

    <<Further, the captain did not initiate the “Emergency Evacuation” checklist, which was required to be initiated during the preparation for landing. The “Emergency Evacuation” checklist includes depressurizing the airplane before landing.  If this checklist had been initiated, it would have provided another opportunity for the crew to accomplish the necessary depressurization that was missed on the “Fire & Smoke” checklist checklist includes depressurizing the airplane before landing.>>
    ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/1998/AAR9803.pdf (page 59)

    DC-10 FLIGHT MANUAL
    . . . DC-10 EMERGENCY EVACUATION (LAND)

    . . . INFLIGHT PREPARATION (IF REQUIRED)
    1. Crew & Couriers (flight Attendents and Passengers, if onboard) ...........NOTIFY

     A. On pasenger flights, time permitting: 
    . (1) Summon the Senior Flight Attendant to brief:
    . . (a) Nature of emergency.
    . . (b) Time remaining to prepare.
    . . (c) Cockpit commands "Brace For Landing."
    . . (d) Cockpit commands "Evacuate."
    . . (e) Special instructions.
    . (2) Brief passengers:
    . . (a) Nature of emergency.
    . . (b) Plan of action.
    . . (c) Follow Flight Attendent directions.
     B. On cargo aircraft the S/O briefs te jumpseaters.

    2. ATC and Company .....................NOTIFY

    3. Cockpit Doorlock CB (LM E-2) .....................TRIP

    4. Fuel .....................DAMP, AS REQUIRED

    5. Depressurization ...............DEPRESSURIZE BEFORE LANDING

     A. Cabin Pressure Auto/Man selector .....................MAN

     B. Manual Cabin Altitude control .....................OPEN

    6. Cockpit Loose Items .....................SECURED

    . . . THIRTY SECONDS PRIOR TO TOUCHDOWN

    7. Announce ....................."BRACE FOR LANDING"

    . . . GROUND EVACUATION AFTER STOPPED

    8. Parking Brake .....................SET

    9. Tower Ground .....................NOTIFIED

    10. Emergency Power Switch .....................ON

    11. Start Levels .....................OFF
    ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/1998/AAR9803.pdf (page 111)


    <<The flight engineer attempted to open the primary doors (doors L1 and R1),[16] but the doors would not immediately open.  Meanwhile, the captain attempted to open his cockpit window and felt resistance, and when he broke the air seal he heard air escape with a hissing noise.  He shouted to the others that the airplane was still pressurized.  The flight engineer then rotated the outflow valve control to the open position (thereby depressurizing the airplane), and again attempted to open the L1 and R1 doors.  Both of the evacuation slides deployed; however, the L1 door only partially opened. After the airplane was depressurized, both the captain and first officer opened their cockpit windows. The captain said that at that point the smoke was colored gray to black, and then turned black and had a “horrible acrid” smell.  He said he had to hold his breath until his window opened and the smoke “billowed out the window like a chimney.”>>
    ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/1998/AAR9803.pdf (page 9)
    ___________________ 


    Some examples of inflight fires:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Canada_Flight_797 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Airtours_Flight_28M 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudia_Flight_163 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ValuJet_Flight_592 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Airways_Flight_295 
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UPS_Airlines_Flight_6 
    *Here more: *
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Airliner_accidents_and_incidents_caused_by_in-flight_fires 
    Also related: 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Airliner_accidents_and_incidents_involving_in-flight_depressurization 
    More general lists: 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_accidents_and_incidents_on_commercial_airliners 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Lists_of_aviation_accidents_and_incidents 
    _______________________ 

    <<At some point during the flight, a fire developed in the cargo section on the main deck; the fire was probably not extinguished before impact. The 'smoke evacuation' checklist calls for the aircraft to be depressurised, and for two of the cabin doors to be opened. No evidence exists that the checklist was followed, or the doors opened. A crew member might have gone into the cargo hold to try to fight the fire. A charged fire extinguisher was later recovered from the wreckage on which investigators found molten metal.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Airways_Flight_295#History_of_the_flight 
    _______________________ 

    <<The investigation revived safety concerns about the effects of smoke in the cockpit. The crash also revived concerns over whether smoke hoods should be allowed in the cockpit.[21] Prior to the crash of UPS Flight 6, debate over whether manufacturers and regulators had been doing enough to prevent airborne fires had occurred.[22] Around the time of the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board had asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to install automatic fire extinguisher systems in the holds of cargo aircraft. UPS Airlines followed FAA regulations, which stated that pilots should depressurize the main cabin and climb to an altitude of at least 20,000 feet (6,100 m) upon detection of a fire so as to deprive the flames of oxygen.[23] >>
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UPS_Airlines_Flight_6#Investigation

    References
    21. Malas, Nour and Andy Pasztor. "UPS Crash Puts Focus on Smoke in Cockpit." The Wall Street Journal. September 7, 2010. Retrieved September 8, 2010. 
    online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703713504575476081455429968.html 
    22. Cummins, Chip and Andy Pasztor. "UPS Cargo Plane Crashes Near Dubai." The Wall Street Journal. September 4, 2010. Retrieved September 8, 2010. 
    online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703946504575469830201125788.html 
    23. Downs, Jere. "NTSB has been seeking fire fighting equipment on cargo planes." The Courier-Journal. September 9, 2010.  
    courier-journal.com/article/20100909/BUSINESS/309090028/UPS-crash-comes-regulators-debate-fire-fighting-cargo-planes 
    _______________________ 

    <<At 06:12 BST, during the takeoff phase, Captain Peter Terrington and First Officer Brian Love heard a loud thump coming from underneath the plane. Thinking a tyre had burst, they abandoned takeoff and activated the thrust reversers. Taking care in applying gradual braking, the crew steered the plane onto a taxiway off to the right of the runway and into a slight prevailing wind. As the plane stopped, the crew discovered that the No. 1 engine was on fire.

    By this time, fuel spilling from the port wing combined with the light wind had fanned the fire into a giant blaze. Fire quickly found its way into the passenger cabin, creating toxic smoke and causing the deaths of 53 passengers and two cabin crew, 48 of them from smoke inhalation. 78 passengers and four crew escaped, with 15 people sustaining serious injuries. One passenger, a man rescued 33 minutes after the outbreak of fire after being found unconscious in the aisle, died in the hospital 6 days later as a result of his injuries>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Airtours_Flight_28M#Accident  
    _______________________ 

    Depressurisation As Fire Extinguisher?
    By
    faro  From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1363 posts, RR: 0
    Posted Fri Oct 7 2011 09:37:18 your local time (11 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2562 times
    airliners.net/aviation-forums/tech_ops/read.main/306265 
    --------------------- 
    Markhkg  From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 957 posts, RR: 2
    Reply 1, posted Fri Oct 7 2011 10:39:03 your local time (11 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2535 times:
    <<A second but related topic is smoke evacuation. This is typically used when there is a great deal of smoke in the cabin but (in general) the PIC is reasonably assured the fire is extinguished (introducing more oxygen to an unextinguished fire could be catastrophic). The B-747 in some older cabin crew manuals had a fairly unique procedure of having the flight crew descend the aircraft, depressurize the cabin and the cabin crew disarmed a main cabin door (usually two) and open it a "crack", allowing for air flow. The door handle was apparently also secured during this procedure. (Note: the cabin door is not fully opened.) Other aircraft, like the Gulfstream 550 has a dedicated "smoke evacuation" button, which in the case of the Gulfstream depressurizes a seal around the aft baggage door to allow for smoke to leave the aircraft.>>
    --------------------- 
    lowrider  From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 11
    Reply 3, posted Fri Oct 7 2011 11:27:28 your local time (11 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2516 times:
    _<<Its more than a subject, it is in the QRH. The operating theory is that depressurizing the cabin up to FL250 will reduce the available oxygen enough to slow, if not extinguish most fires. I don't care to test this personally, but I see it mostly as measure to buy a little more time to get to an airport.>>
    --------------------- 
    CosmicCruiser  From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2106 posts, RR: 17
    Reply 5, posted Fri Oct 7 2011 15:49:48 your local time (11 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2403 times:
    <<Actually it's part of the checklist on the cargo jets I've flown. It worked as advertised for one of our crew a few years ago and probably saved their lives.>>
    --------------------- 
    francoflier  From France, joined Oct 2001, 2858 posts, RR: 11
    Reply 10, posted Fri Oct 7 2011 21:49:10 your local time (11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2244 times:
    <<It's still on the manuals today, up to the 744. The procedure is still taught to cabin and cockpit crew alike. There is a specially designed strap that holds the door handle in a certain position to keep it ajar. One or two doors are then opened (depending on the location of the smoke) to create a draft of air to evacuate said smoke.>>

    <<Note that the 747 also has a 'vent' behind the overhead C/B panel in the cockpit which can be opened by the flight crew to help evacuate cockpit smoke. ...The escape hatch technique is a lot more radical and effective, if unofficial, provided you're depressurized.

    As for the 744 cargo, main deck fire fighting procedure includes depressurizing the cabin to 25000 ft. As said above, it slows the fire rather than smother it. Every minute helps when you're possibly hours away from a suitable field in the middle of the Pacific ocean.>>
    --------------------- 
    jetpilot  From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3128 posts, RR: 34
    Reply 12, posted Sat Oct 8 2011 20:30:50 your local time (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1977 times:
    <<It's easy to depressurize an aircraft. Just turn the bleeds off supplying pressurized air.>>
    --------------------- 
    Markhkg  From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 957 posts, RR: 2
    Reply 16, posted Sun Oct 9 2011 22:40:59 your local time (11 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1726 times:
    Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 15):
    I can say that the procedure worked as advertised for out DC-10 crew yrs ago that landed in Newburg NY

    CosmicCruiser, was this N68055? It is a very interesting case study, but I was surprised that the effectiveness of raising the cabin altitude wasn't really explored by the NTSB. (It would have seemed to be the perfect case study for this.)

    For those interested, http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/1998/AAR9803.pdf 

    _One of the NTSB findings interested me, "The evacuation was delayed because the flightcrew failed to ensure that the
    airplane was properly depressurized.">>_
    --------------------- 
    KingairTA  From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 374 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 18, posted Tue Oct 11 2011 23:07:50 your local time (11 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1417 times:
    _<<On the C-130 Emergency depresuriztion was part of Fuselage fire/Smoke and Fume elimination. If the out flow valve and safety valve couldn't depress fast enough one could pull a handle and have the center overhead emergency hatch pop out dumping the cabin pressure almost instantaniously.>>

    Further reading:

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncontrolled_decompression 
    airliners.net/aviation-forums/tech_ops/read.main/306265 
    747 EMERGENCY CHECKLIST part2 
    iasa.com.au/folders/Safety_Issues/Cabin_Safety/deadlydoors.html 
    flightsafety.org/ccs/ccs_nov-dec02.pdf 
    http://www.fire.tc.faa.gov/2010Conference/files/Cargo_Fire/HillDepressurizationFreighter/HillDepressurizationFreighterPres.pdf 
    _________________________ 

    Other articles/blog entries on Mitt Romney's comment:

    gawker.com - Romney Doesn’t Know Why Airplane Windows Won’t Open, Calls The Closed Window Policy ‘A Real Problem’
    By Caity Weaver. September 24, 2012
    http://gawker.com/5945967/romney-doesnt-know-why-airplane-windows-wont-open-calls-the-closed-window-policy-a-real-problem

    huffingtonpost.com - UPDATE: Mitt Romney Wonders Why Ann Romney's Airplane Windows Don't Roll Down
    September 27, 2012
    huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/24/mitt-romney-airplane-windows_n_1910930.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular 

    nymag.com - Mitt Romney Doesn’t Get Why Airplane Windows Don’t Open [Updated]
    By Dan Amira. september 24, 2012
    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/09/romney-wonders-why-airplane-windows-dont-open.html 

    blogher.com - Why We Can't Open The Windows Inside A Plane
    By avflox. September 25, 2012
    blogher.com/why-we-cant-open-windows-inside-plane 

    wonkette.com - Science Genius Mitt Romney Thinks Airplane Windows Should Open
    By Rebecca Schoenkopf. September 24, 2012
    http://wonkette.com/484977/science-genius-mitt-romney-thinks-airplane-windows-should-open 

    latimes.com - Mitt Romney pulls in $6 million at Beverly Hills fundraiser
    By Seema Mehta. September 23, 2012
    latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-romney-beverly-hills-fundraiser-20120922,0,2317962.story 

    Mitt Romney: I don't understand why plane windows don't open. !
    By Rachel Maddow (msnbc.com). September 24, 2012
    _________________________ 

    Related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+CarterGibson/posts/6ypwiwnCvhq 
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    _________________________ 
  • 1 plusses - 13 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-04-03 01:52:13
    examiner.com - George Zimmerman weighs 170#; Trayvon Martin 160#
    By Kyle Rogers. March 28, 2012

    Trayvon Martin: 6'0'' 160 lb.
    George Zimmerman: 5'9'' 170 lb.

    Excerpt:
    <<Literally tens of thousands of publications and media outlets have reported that George Zimmerman weighed 250 pounds and Trayvon Martin weighed 140 pounds.

    The weight of 250 pounds for George Zimmerman was based on a police report that was over six years old. He has since lost a lot of weight. Newer pictures of Zimmerman show a much slimmer man.

    Media outlets have reported several different heights for George Zimmerman. They have ranged from 5'2" to 5'9". The Sanford police report from the night of the shooting lists Zimmerman at 5'9".

    The police surveillance video, recently shown on ABC National News shows a fairly slender George Zimmerman the night of the attack. A close friend of Zimmerman, Joe Oliver, says Zimmerman is 5'8" and currently only weighs 170 pounds.

    The police estimated Trayvon at 6'0" and 160 pounds* when they wrote the police report the night he was shot. This was probably a conservative estimate, as his family has reported his height at 6'2".
    *Source: sanfordfl.gov/investigation/docs/Twin%20Lakes%20Shooting%20Initial%20Report.pdf
    Edit: the police have removed the report from their site. I've found another copy of it here:
    1. documentcloud.org/documents/329568-twin-lakes-shooting-initial-report.html
    2. scribd.com/gene_park_3/d/86834808-Twin-Lakes-Shooting-Initial-Report
    3. liveleak.com/view?i=25c_1333056517

    Literally, thousands of media outlets have either reported false weights, or have stated "Zimmerman outweighed Martin by 100 pounds." As far as I can tell, not a single media outlet has printed a retraction.>>

    Ref.:
    examiner.com/charleston-conservative-in-charleston-sc/george-zimmerman-weighs-170-trayvon-martin-160

    Picture of both (more recent): cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/large_lightbox/hash/05/1a/1332984930_zimmerman.jpg

    ----------------------------------

    From Wikipedia:

    Accusations of media bias
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Trayvon_Martin#Accusations_of_media_bias

    NBC alters 911 recording
    After playing a recording of Zimmerman's 911 call, NBC was accused of selectively editing it to make Zimmerman appear racist. On the recording played by NBC Zimmerman was heard saying, "This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black." In the original 911 recording, however, Zimmerman actually said, "This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about." The 911 operator was then heard asking, "OK, and this guy - is he black, white or Hispanic?" Zimmerman answered, "He looks black."[128] The Washington Post wrote that NBC's alteration "would more readily paint Zimmerman as a racial profiler. In reality’s version, Zimmerman simply answered a question about the race of the person whom he was reporting to the police. Nothing prejudicial at all in responding to such an inquiry... it’s a falsehood with repercussions. Much of the public discussion over the past week has settled on how conflicting facts and interpretations call into question whether Zimmerman acted justifiably or criminally... To portray that exchange in a way that wrongs Zimmerman is high editorial malpractice..."[128] Sean Hannity said of this editing, "They forgot the dispatcher’s question! How could NBC, in good conscience, do that?" Brent Bozell was quoted as saying, "This isn’t bias, this isn’t distortion, this is an all-out falsehood by NBC News."[150]

    Publication of outdated photographs
    Associated Press reported that at the time of the shooting, Martin was older than "the baby-faced boy in the photo that has been on front pages across the country," and that Zimmerman wasn't "the beefy-looking figure in the widely published mugshot," and that these outdated photos "may have helped shape initial public perceptions of the deadly shooting."[151]

    References
    128. ^ a b c Wemple, Erik (March 31, 2012). "NBC to do 'internal investigation' on Zimmerman segment". The Washington Post.
    washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/post/nbc-to-do-internal-investigation-on-zimmerman-segment/2012/03/31/gIQAc4HhnS_blog.html
    150. NBC News Accused of Editing 911 Call in Trayvon Martin Controversy, Hollywood Reporter, March 30, 2012
    hollywoodreporter.com/news/trayvon-martin-nbc-news-editing-911-call-306359
    151. Old photos may be deceptive in Fla. shooting case, San Francisco Chronicle, March 30, 2012
    sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/03/30/national/a124959D75.DTL&tsp=1

    ----------------------------------

    myfoxtampabay.com - Witness: Martin attacked Zimmerman
    Updated: Monday, 26 Mar 2012, 2:57 PM EDT
    Published : Friday, 23 Mar 2012, 5:47 PM EDT
    myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/state/witness-martin-attacked-zimmerman-03232012

    ORLANDO - A witness we haven't heard from before paints a much different picture than we've seen so far of what happened the night 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed.

    The night of that shooting, police say there was a witness who saw it all.

    Our sister station, FOX 35 in Orlando, has spoken to that witness.

    What Sanford Police investigators have in the folder, they put together on the killing of Trayvon Martin few know about.

    The file now sits in the hands of the state attorney. Now that file is just weeks away from being opened to a grand jury.

    It shows more now about why police believed that night that George Zimmerman shouldn't have gone to jail.

    Zimmerman called 911 and told dispatchers he was following a teen. The dispatcher told Zimmerman not to.

    And from that moment to the shooting, details are few.

    But one man's testimony could be key for the police.

    "The guy on the bottom who had a red sweater on was yelling to me: 'help, help…and I told him to stop and I was calling 911," he said.

    Trayvon Martin was in a hoodie; Zimmerman was in red.

    The witness only wanted to be identified as "John," and didn't not want to be shown on camera.

    His statements to police were instrumental, because police backed up Zimmerman's claims, saying those screams on the 911 call are those of Zimmerman.

    "When I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point," John said.

    Zimmerman says the shooting was self defense. According to information released on the Sanford city website, Zimmerman said he was going back to his SUV when he was attacked by the teen.

    Sanford police say Zimmerman was bloody in his face and head, and the back of his shirt was wet and had grass stains, indicating a struggle took place before the shooting.

    ----------------------------------
  • 1 plusses - 13 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-11 17:19:46
    RESHARE:
    Citroën 2CV Concept Car Design (2008). By David Portela.

    Comment 2: I like that the designer has tried to minimize aerodynamic drag by designing the rear end with a conical shape. I'd have used narrower tires to minimize drag and friction with the ground like in the Aptera E, though.
    I wonder how the wheels will turn to take corners.

    Comment 2: Actually two (2005 Citroën Evoque):

    · Neff, John. Citroen 2CV reinvented for design contest. Autoblog. July 7, 2005
    autoblog.com/2005/07/07/citroen-2cv-reinvented-for-design-contest 
    << 2005 World Automotive Design Competition by Guillaume Daniel, Julien Lebely and Richard Pedron, at the time students of transportation design at Creapole. >>
    carbodydesign.com/archive/2007/05/03-citroen-2cv-preview 

    Other sources:

    4 wallpaper pictures (1280x960 & 1920x1440):
    seriouswheels.com/cars/2008/top-2008-Citroen-2CV-Concept-Design-by-David-Portela.htm 

    << Good news for the legendary Citroen 2CV lovers. Designer David Portela is reinterpreting the classic model. In order to retain the charm of the original 2CV, this new Citroen 2CV Concept features the same curved bonnet, slab sides and covered rear wheels. Keeping trademark details such as the slatted bonnet, the concept features flush modernistic panoramic windows and Steampunky exteriors. The old Citroen 2CV with mordern design. >>
    likecool.com/Citroen_2CV--Concept--Car.html 

    << This Citroen concept car has just entered from future for all Citroen 2CV lovers. This concept is designed by David Portela to present a classic model. You will get what you can expect from Citroen 2CV such as the same curved bonnet, hunk sides, roofed rear wheels and much more. Not only this, this futuristic robo-car also features modernistic panoramic windows and steampunky exteriors. Once you have this on the road, you will surely have a feeling of uniqueness and unbelievable. So, get ready to give a modern look to your old Citroen 2CV and just zoom…!!! >>
    tuvie.com/this-could-be-the-future-of-citroen-2cv-car 

    citroen-ca.com/News.html 

    Reshared text:
    What do you think about this futuristic design for the #Citroen #2CV?
  • 3 plusses - 8 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-08-27 17:40:42
    RESHARE:
    nature.com - African genes tracked back. Method extends archaeological and linguistic data by tracing early human migration
    By Erika Check Hayden (Nature | News). August 27, 2013
    nature.com/news/african-genes-tracked-back-1.13607 

    Comment:
    Such explanation may explain the following previous results:

    << The virtual absence of MATP 374*G–derived allele in the sub-Saharan African populations that we examined in the CEPH-Diversity Panel is consistent with the origin of this mutation outside of Africa after the divergence of modern Asians and Europeans. In contrast, the SLC24A5 111*A–derived allele is found at low frequencies in several sub-Saharan populations including the West African Mandenka and Yoruba, the Southern African San, and South West Bantu. The relatively high frequencies of the derived allele in Central Asian, Middle Eastern, and North Africa seem likely to be due to gene flow with European populations. Similarly, the presence of the derived allele (albeit at low frequencies) in some sub-Saharan African populations may be due to recent gene flow from European and Central Asian populations. Alternatively, the derived allele may have existed in the ancestral human population and was lost in the ancestors of modern East Asians but retained in the ancestral European population. The allele then rose to high frequency in Europeans following the divergence of European and East Asian ancestral groups. >>

    << The pattern of diversity at ASIP 8818*G allele (the ancestral allele associated with darker pigmentation) indicates a role primarily in African/non-African divergence (sub- Saharan African frequency: 66%, all other populations: 14%) rather than between darkly and lightly pigmented populations. At OCA2 355, the derived allele (linked with lighter pigmentation) occurs at its highest frequencies across Europe and Asia but is also relatively common among Native American populations (18–34%) and is present at much lower frequencies (0–10%) among Bantu-speaking African groups. In contrast, the ancestral allele associated with dark pigmentation has a shared high frequency in sub-Saharan African and Island Melanesians. A notable exception is the relatively lightly pigmented San population of Southern Africa where the derived allele predominates (93%), although this may be simply due to small sample size (n = 14). >>

    - Norton HL et al. Genetic evidence for the convergent evolution of light skin in Europeans and East Asians. Molecular Biology and Evolution (2007) vol. 24 (3) pp. 710-22
    Open access: mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/24/3/710.long 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17182896)
    _______________________ 

    Paper of reference:

    Submitted version: Pickrell JK et al. Ancient west Eurasian ancestry in southern and eastern Africa. (2013) arXiv:1307.8014 [q-bio.PE]
    arxiv.org/abs/1307.8014 

    Related references:

    - Beleza S et al. The timing of pigmentation lightening in Europeans. Molecular Biology and Evolution (2013) vol. 30 (1) pp. 24-35
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22923467)

    - Cerqueira CCS et al. Predicting Homo pigmentation phenotype through genomic data: from Neanderthal to James Watson. Am J Hum Biol (2012) vol. 24 (5) pp. 705-9
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22411106)

    Gibbons A. European skin turned pale only recently, gene suggests. Science (2007) vol. 316 (5823) pp. 364-364
    PDF (open access): galsatia.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/blanche_paleur.pdf 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17446367)

    Eiberg H et al. Blue eye color in humans may be caused by a perfectly associated founder mutation in a regulatory element located within the HERC2 gene inhibiting OCA2 expression. Hum Genet (2008) vol. 123 (2) pp. 177-87
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18172690)

    - Sturm RA et al. A single SNP in an evolutionary conserved region within intron 86 of the HERC2 gene determines human blue-brown eye color. Am J Hum Genet (2008) vol. 82 (2) pp. 424-31
    Open access: cell.com/AJHG/retrieve/pii/S0002929707000407
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18252222)

    Other articles:

    - Karl Gruber. Europeans did not inherit pale skins from Neanderthals. New Scientist. September 26, 2012
    newscientist.com/article/dn22308-europeans-did-not-inherit-pale-skins-from-neanderthals.html 

    - Kirchweger G. The Biology of Skin Color: Black and White. Discover (2001) vol. 22 (2)
    Reprinted: pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/07/3/text_pop/l_073_04.html 

    - Viale G et al. Brown eyes, blue eyes. From a gene to its protein. Center of the University & School of Milan for Bioscience  education (2008)
    PDF: cusmibio.unimi.it/scaricare/BB_eyes_paris_final.pdf 
    _______________________ 

    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/113317091656822256563/posts/MQiPMKXzpRd 
    _______________________ 

    Reshared text:
    The first humans left Africa some 200,000 years ago, dispersing to populate the rest of the world. But this was not a one-way trip: some people came back. Scientists say that they have traced a reverse migration that, in two steps, carried genes from the rest of the world back to southern Africa, long before European colonizers arrived.
    http://www.nature.com/news/african-genes-tracked-back-1.13607?WT.mc_id=GPL_NatureNews
  • 4 plusses - 2 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-01-15 00:03:25
    Stefan Molyneux (freedomainradio.com) - Spanking Debate
    List: The Facts About Spanking 

    Comment:
    I harbor confronted views on this issue. On the one hand I believe it's a very bad idea to spank children, and that nothing good is going to produce. On the other, I believe that parents own their children (specifically mothers unless both parents have agreed otherwise) until they become capable to emancipate from them.
    Based on the latter point, parents should have the right to choose how to rear their children as long as they don't harm third persons. So while I would discourage the use of any kind violence against children, I find objectable meddling in the way children are brought up in other families, and repellent to police and force others to adhere to my personal views on how to rear their children. As I said before, they are their children, not mine.

    1/5 (17 min 07 s): The Facts About Spanking 
    2/5 (43 min 30 s): The Case Against Spanking - A Freedomain Radio interview with Jordan Riak 
    3/5 (11 min 14 s): Spanking Versus Permissiveness - Philosophical Parenting 
    4/5 (41 min 54 s): Parenting Without Punishment - Dr Elizabeth Gershoff Interviewed 
    5/5 (20 min 24 s): Freedomain Radio: Occupy Wall Street Protests, and Spanking Rebuttals 

    Further viewing:
    (51 min): An Introduction to Peaceful Parenting :) 
    (1 h 18 min 24 s): Peaceful Parenting and Universal Ethics - From Freedomain Radio 
    (58 min 25 s): How to Become Free - Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio interviewed by John Bush 

    Sources (1/5 video):
    pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/101/4/723.full 
    stopspanking.com/#Statistics%20You%20Need%20to 
    themoneytimes.com/node/85300 
    repeal43.org/research 
    utexas.edu/know/2009/09/21/elizabeth_gershoff 
    latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2009/09/spanking-iq.html 
    nospank.net/johnson2.htm 
    neverhitachild.org 
    nospank.net/straus15.pdf 
    stophitting.com/index.php?page=factsvsopinions 
    naturalchild.org/jan_hunt/spanked.html 
    content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1926222,00.html 
    nospank.net 

    fdrurl.com/spanking 
    board.freedomainradio.com/topic/29220-the-facts-about-spanking 

    URL source G+ post:
    plus.google.com/+AndrewCarpenter/posts/THEwrsmp8GS 
    _________________________ 
  • 3 plusses - 10 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-08-24 23:47:05
    bbc.co.uk - Date set for desert Earth
    By BBC News. February 21, 2000

    Comment:
    According to this calculation the Earth will become inhabitable after half a billion of years or perhaps after a billion years. Somewhere else I had read that it won't last much more than a billion years. This article was published 12 years ago, does anyone know of a more recent estimation of the remaining time of life on Earth?

    - BBC News. Date set for desert Earth. bbc.co.uk February 21, 2000 [based on Prof. James Kasting (Pennsylvania State University) calculations]
    news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/sci/tech/specials/washington_2000/649913.stm 

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Kasting 
    www3.geosc.psu.edu/~jfk4/PersonalPage/Kasting.htm 

    - J.F. Kasting, D. Catling. "Evolution of a Habitable Planet" Ann. Rev. Atron. Astrophys. 41: 429-463 (2003)
    www3.geosc.psu.edu/~jfk4/PersonalPage/Pdf/annurev_03.pdf 
    __________________________ 

    URL related G+ post: plus.google.com/115288001414266277268/posts/RdQdbEFxK3 
    __________________________ 
  • 0 plusses - 14 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-09-09 01:54:14
    NutritionFacts.org - Tightening the Bible Belt By Michael Greger, M.D.
    September 7, 2012 youtu.be/mhYww1XPDWc (2 min 13 sec)
    Comment: who said the Bible was useless? Here a practical application:
  • 6 plusses - 1 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-12-21 10:36:22
    discovermagazine.com - How common are godless liberals?
    By Razib Khan. February 24, 2012
    blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2012/02/how-common-are-godless-liberals 

    Comment: I wonder whether (American*) liberal atheists are really atheists. For instance, Marxism has been often characterized as a Christian heresy.
    (*en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_liberalism_in_the_United_States)

    Excerpt from comments:

    Paul Vasquez Feb 24, 2012
    It's funny. I consider myself more of a humanist than an atheist because if I had the choice of sitting down for coffee with a liberal Christian or a conservative atheist, I think I would choose the liberal Christian. Conservative atheism always strikes me as people who just want to use atheism as an excuse for selfish and bad behavior.

    Betsy McCall Feb 24, 2012
    +Paul Vasquez Yeah, I think the author of the article is on to something when he says that the "conservatives" in the survey are probably libertarians. Of course, they are just as capable of being irrational as believers.

    Paul Vasquez Feb 24, 2012
    Yes, I think most conservative atheists are libertarians.
    _______ 

    Michael Bernstein Feb 24, 2012
    "When I see these results I’m always surprised by the proportions of atheists & agnostics who define themselves as conservative. It seems way too high. I think this is due to libertarians who check the conservative option."

    I think that sentiment probably reflects a bit of a biased view as to what conservatism is. There are definitely fiscal (and even social) conservatives that aren't religious.

    For example, a chunk of this group could be uncharitably labelled 'Rich folks who think religion is for the little people'. Among other aspects of this group, they are the ones who frequently use libertarians as catspaws, without actually being libertarian themselves.

    Another chunk could be labelled 'Goldwater and/or Buckley Conservatives'. The remaining ones may be getting chased out of the GOP these days, but they definitely exist, and don't really fit under the label 'libertarian'. 

    Note: I am NOT describing myself.
    _______ 

    Jeff Weiss Feb 24, 2012 (edited) +2
    There's no such thing as a socially conservative atheist. Or if there is, maybe they could explain why they oppose homosexuality or birth control, without mentioning religion.

    Betsy McCall Feb 24, 2012
    +Jeff Weiss I won't go so far as to say they don't exist, but I think it is a sign of not fully escaping the hold of "tradition", which almost by definition includes religion.

    Jeff Weiss Feb 24, 2012
    +Betsy McCall ok, so they can claim to be socially conservative, but then if asked to explain it, they would inevitably not be able to, right?
    _______ 

    Michael Bernstein Feb 25, 2012 (edited) +1
    Here is the thing: Ignoring for the moment party affiliation, socially conservative positions can range from "I want to turn the wheel back to an idyllic imagined past" to "hold on, let's slow down and not throw the baby out with the bathwater", just as social progressive positions can range from "lets move forward with all due haste and caution" to "damn the torpedos, full steam ahead to an imagined idyllic future".

    Importantly, people may peg the conservative/progressive meter differently depending on the issue (as the broad fiscal/social split shows in general principle), and the amalgam of positions an individual takes doesn't have to make sense or even be consistent.
    _______ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Feb 25, 2012 (edited)
    I wonder whether the liberal atheists are really atheists. Socialism has been often characterized as a heresy of Christianity.
    _______ 

    Betsy McCall Feb 26, 2012
    +Zephyr López Cervilla I don't even know what that means. I'm liberal. I don't believe in god. I'm certainly not a Christian heretic.
    _______ 

    - Here you are, not very different from what I remembered. Instead of Socialism, they refer to Communism and Marxism, 

    <<The late Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, referred to Communism as a Christian heresy. He meant that Communism had laid hold on certain truths which are essential parts of the Christian view of things, although bound to them are theories and practices which no Christian could ever accept.

    II. 

    The theory, though surely not the practice, of Communism challenges us to be more concerned about social justice. With all of its false assumptions and evil methods, Communism arose as a protest against the injustices and indignities inflicted upon the underprivileged. The Communist Manifesto was written by men aflame with a passion for social justice. Karl Marx, born of Jewish parents who both came from rabbinic stock, and trained, as he must have been, in the Hebrew Scriptures, could never forget the words of Amos: "Let judgment roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream." Marx's parents adopted Christianity when he was a child of six, thus adding to the Old Testament heritage that of the New. In spite of his later atheism and antiecclesiasticism, Marx could not quite forget Jesus' concern for "the least of these." In his writings, he champions the cause of the poor, the exploited, and the disinherited. 

    Communism in theory emphasizes a classless society. Although the world knows from sad experience that Communism has created new classes and a new lexicon of injustice, in its theoretical formulation it envisages a world society transcending the superficialities of race and color, class and caste. Membership in the Communist party theoretically is not determined by the color of a man's skin or the quality of blood in his veins. 

    Christians are bound to recognize any passionate concern for social justice. Such concern is basic in the Christian doctrine of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. The Gospels abound with expressions of concern for the welfare of the poor. Listen to the words of the Magnificat: "He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away." No doctrinaire Communist ever expressed a passion for the poor and oppressed such as we find in the Manifesto of Jesus which affirms: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." 

    Christians are also bound to recognize the ideal of a world unity in which all barriers of caste and color are abolished. Christianity repudiates racism. The broad universalism standing at the center of the gospel makes both the theory and practice of racial injustice morally unjustifiable. Racial prejudice is a blatant denial of the unity which we have in Christ, for in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, bond nor free, Negro nor white.

    In spite of the noble affirmations of Christianity, the church has often lagged in its concern for social justice and too often has been content to mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. It has often been so absorbed in a future good "over yonder" that it forgets the present evils "down here." Yet the church is challenged to make the gospel of Jesus Christ relevant within the social situation. We must come to see that the Christian gospel is a two-way road. On the one side, it seeks to change the souls of men and thereby unite them with God; on the other, it seeks to change the environmental conditions of men so that the soul will have a chance after it is changed. Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and yet is not concerned with the economic and social conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is the kind the Marxist describes as "an opiate of the people.">>

    — King, ML, Jr. Strength to Love. HarperCollins Publishers, 1963. "How should a christian view Communism?" (pp. 100-102)
    redmoonrising.com/AmericanBabylon/christandcomm.htm 
    amazon.com/dp/0060647108 (look up 'heresy')  
    ____________ 

    Also, 

    << Arnold Toynbee characterized Communist ideology as a "Christian heresy" in the sense that it focused on a few elements of the faith to the exclusion of the others.[52] Donald Treadgold interprets Toynbee's characterization as applying to Christian attitudes as opposed to Christian doctrines.[53] In his book, "Moral Philosophy", Jacques Maritain echoed Toynbee's perspective, characterizing the teachings of Karl Marx as a "Christian heresy". [54] After reading Maritain, Martin Luther King, Jr. commented that Marxism had arisen in response to "a Christian world unfaithful to its own principles." Although King criticized the Soviet Marxist-Leninist Communist regime sharply, he nonetheless commented that Marx's devotion to a classless society made him almost Christian. Tragically, said King, Communist regimes created "new classes and a new lexicon of injustice."[55]>>

    — Wikipedia editors. Christian views on poverty and wealth.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_views_on_poverty_and_wealth#Marxism 

    References

    52. Toynbee A. A Study of History. 1961 (p. 545)
    "The Communist ideology was a Christian heresy in the sense that it had singled out several elements in Christianity and had concentrated on these to the exclusion of the rest. It had taken from Christianity its social ideals, its intolerance and its fervour."

    53. Treadgold DW. The West in Russia and China: Russia, 1472-1917. Cambridge University Press, 1973 (p. 256)
    books.google.com/books?id=Fg04AAAAIAAJ&q=Communist+ideology+Christian+heresy#v=snippet&q=Communist%20ideology%20Christian%20heresy&f=false 

    54. Maritain J. Moral Philosophy.
    "This is to say that Marx is a heretic of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and that Marxism is a 'Christian heresy', the latest Christian heresy"

    55. Jackson TF and King ML Jr. From civil rights to human rights: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the struggle for economic justice. University of Pennsylvania Press. 2007 (p. 42)
    books.google.com//books?id=B8k6btUYR68C&q=lexicon#v=snippet&q=lexicon 
    ____________ 

    Further references:

    <<For that matter, scholarship over the last 20 years, when more mainstream academics have begun to think more clearly about the subject of Marxism, has noted the strange respects in which Marxism itself reads like a Christian heresy, in which a new age is to be ushered in by a transformation of human nature in a grand historical dialectic. In traditional Christianity, the ennobling of human nature takes place because of Christ's Incarnation; in Marxism, the State takes His place. Marxism offers a theory of sin (private property) and salvation (collective ownership), a church that dispenses grace (the State, as administered by the vanguard of the proletariat), and a litany of saints and sinners. (Of course, it was far more violent than even the worst of the excesses of the Inquisition.) 

    So, in fact, it is not too much of a stretch for Christian heresy to embrace Marxism as a creed, since, as G.K. Chesterton said, heresy is often truth gone mad. Liberation theology is the admixutre of one small truth (God cares about the poor) with so much error that it resulted in a madness that saw Christians champion what amounted to terrorism against propertied elites. Of course, it didn't work out the way the theologians imagined it would. 

    The breeding ground for libertarian theology was, of course, Roman Catholicism, the world's largest branch of Christianity and the religion of Latin America. So long as socialism and communism were seen as essentially godless, they would have a limited appeal among a traditionally religious population group. But newly baptized, socialist theory had a great chance for political and popular success, despite a hundred years of failure in both theory and practice.>>

    — Sirico, Fr. Robert (Catholic priest and president of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty in Grand Rapids, Michigan.) Catholics for Marx. FrontPageMagazine.com. June 3, 2004
    webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:XuKPQDx2Zm4J:archive.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp%3FID%3D13586+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk 
    ____________ 


    <<Communism, Toynbee argued, is a species of Christian heresy. Is that true, do you think?  In what sense would you argue that it's true, if you agree?>>

    — Berlinski, Claire (Editor.) Communism as Christian Heresy Ricochet.com December 25, 2010
    ricochet.com/main-feed/Communism-as-Christian-Heresy 
    ____________ 

    +Betsy McCall: "I think the author of the article is on to something when he says that the "conservatives" in the survey are probably libertarians. Of course, they are just as capable of being irrational as believers."

    - Or just as capable of being irrational as liberal atheists. 

    URL source G+ post:
    plus.google.com/110240143550654748022/posts/5v5VXzyHWq6 
    ___________________ 
  • 1 plusses - 10 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-04-16 03:47:16
    RESHARE:
    Comment: I side with +Mary Mangan's comments on this issue (see below URL of the post that she has re-shared).
    I oppose any Government mandate on any issue on moral grounds, GMO labeling is no exception. Consumer demands should be driven by their choices, not Government's use of force and coercion to regulate the market. If some people want to know the exact nature and composition of the product they are going to purchase, its source, and the process applied to produce it, they should choose those products whose labels provide that sort of information. As long as suppliers don't include misleading information (what should be regarded as fraud and treated as a breakage of contract), consumer's freedom of choice is being respected.

    URL G+ post reshared by Mary Mangan:
    plus.google.com/115686712405727979216/posts/iKpTdJ7AxMY

    Reshared text:
    * GMO Labelling Quiz*

    
  • 5 plusses - 2 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-08-03 21:18:29
    RESHARE:
    informationisbeautiful.net - 20th Century Death
    By David McCandless et al. 
    informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/20th-century-death 

    Comment:
    If I'm not wrong, most COPD cases are also related to smoking, and many cases of cardiovascular disease and different types of cancer in addition to lung cancer.
    Also, considering that it's thought that about half of cases of cancer are preventable,[1] they could have depicted their links with their ultimate causes in addition to tobacco and alcohol, such as an inadequate diet low in fiber, high consumption of sodium, too hot drinks, smoked food, red or processed meat, low fruit and vegetable diet, etc.[1] And likewise with the link of cardiovascular disease with diet, and the link of overweight/obesity with cardiovascular diseases and other pathologies. Overweigh/obesity isn't even specifically mentioned, only included in non-communicable diseases excluding cancer. But it turns out that overweight/obesity is linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes as well as cancer[1] (e.g., breast cancer).

    In addition, they missed this major famine, with 6-8 million deaths: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_famine_of_1932–33 
    (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droughts_and_famines_in_Russia_and_the_Soviet_Union)


    Source:
    1. Jess Harris. The causes of cancer you can control. Cancer Research UK. December 7, 2011
    http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2011/12/07/the-causes-of-cancer-you-can-control 
    Download a hi-res PDF of this graphic: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Attributable-risk-circles-poster.pdf 
    ______________________ 

    All data:
    docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aqe2P9sYhZ2ndDFON0Zidmh0ZHc1WGU4NHMzQ1AtMVE#gid=21 
    PDF: infobeautiful3.s3.amazonaws.com/free_posters/iib_death_wellcome_A4x4.zip 

    Sources:
    - Changing Levels and Trends in Mortality: the role of patterns of death by cause. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. United Nations. New York, 2012.
    un.org/esa/population/publications/levelsandtrendsinmortality/Changing%20levels%20and%20trends%20in%20mortality.pdf 

    apps.who.int/healthinfo/statistics/mortality/whodpms 

    - Lopez AD et al. Global and regional burden of disease and risk factors. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank (2006)
    files.dcp2.org/pdf/GBD/GBD.pdf 

    stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?DataSetCode=HEALTH_STAT 
    ______________________ 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/+CancerResearchUK/posts/2vasADVecpk 
    plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/2rtgWVHRXNC 
    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/112847310756615438437/posts/Fxziwtefqrr 
    ______________________ 

    Reshared text:
    Visualizing the major causes of death in the 20th Century 

    Bigger view: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/20th-century-death/
  • 5 plusses - 2 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-07-04 19:35:47
    RESHARE:
    The SUV of the American Pioneer

    Comment: A great progress in wheeled transportation, the driver no longer has to seat on the outside of the diligence or shout out "whoa, horse!"

    Reshared text:
    The huge progress of America's transportation Industry.

    I passi da gigante dell'America nel campo dei trasporti.
  • 5 plusses - 2 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-09-11 22:48:12
    RESHARE:
    plus.google.com - Biological Perpetual Motion Machine
    Uploaded by Sean Bonner. February 9, 2012

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_motion 

    1. Cat always lands on its feet.
    2. Bread with butter always falls buttered side down.
    3. Fasten the bread with butter to cat's back.
    4. Cat will keep rotating and never fall on te ground.
    5. Attach the cat-bread to the generator.
    6. ∞ Infinite energy!
    ______________________ 

    Comment:
    I would have said that it was an cheap and energetically efficient levitation system (you'd only have to feed the cat).
    Actually, it should be the other way around. The belly of the cat should be facing the buttered side of a very large bread slice.

    via +Nicu Zaporojan 
    URL via G+ post: plus.google.com/109435527326101648962/posts/JYBzNtJK37z 
    URL source G+ post: plus.google.com/101629211371073711149/posts/BKpiyYPDPYL 
    ________________________ 

    Reshared text:
    Science!
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-12-11 16:13:57
    Statist Logic 101: "If we taxed religious organiations, we could send 28 rovers to Mars, PER YEAR?"
    Posted by Michael Weddington. Dec 10, 2013 (Atheism Humour & Memes)
    Caption: Having some fun with pseudo-atheistical Statists.

    << An estimated $71 billion per year is lost in US tax revenue because of religions tax excemptions.(1)
    NASA's Curiosity rover cost $2.5 billion.(2)
    So let me get this straight:
    If we taxed religious organiations, we could send 28 rovers to Mars, PER YEAR?
    That is onerover every two weeks. FOREVER.
    (1) http://usat.ly/Lbo1hi 
    (2) http://1.usa.gov/Q50qNd >>
    ___________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Dec 10, 2013 4:23 PM
    That money is not lost because it never belonged to the Government.
    ___________ 

    Stephen Gardner Dec 10, 2013 4:46 PM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla here is an idea for you -- tell the government that the money you made from your business doesn't belong to them and then not pay taxes.  I am sure you will have lots of time with your prison buddies to contemplate how well this worked out for you.  LMAO
    ___________ 

    Franklin Stone Dec 10, 2013 4:48 PM +1
    No but it did belong to the rest of us, religions get special exemptions from taxes but do not provide the services to the communities the way they once did when the exemption was the only way a church could function when they were giving away all their money to people in need. Now they keep the money they get and don't pay taxes, and it costs the tax payers 71 billion dollars. If you are okay with that +Zephyr López Cervilla then you need to reevaluate your stance on the place of religion in our society because you are doing it wrong. 
    ___________ 

    Roger Garvin Dec 11, 2013 1:05 AM +1
    +Zephyr López Cervilla
    Good luck operating a business without everything the government has provided with 'not their money' like roads, power, law enforcement, fire protection, contract enforcement, communications, a consistent economic system, stable monetary units for trade, defense from invasion, making and enforcing trade agreements with other countries, fair trade laws, incorporation standards, fair commerce standards etc etc...you think anarchy is going to allow anyone to operate a fair and profitable business, you haven't really thought about the role our government takes on for our society at all.
    ___________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Dec 11, 2013 4:11 PM
    +Roger Garvin: "Good luck operating a business without everything the government has provided with 'not their money' like roads,"

    — How clever! Without the Government, who would build the roads?

    1. Adam Kokesh. But who will build the roads?!? . Adam Vs. the Man (adamvstheman.com/podcast). Nov 20, 2012.
    youtu.be/EGIYCBnod7o (13 min 1 sec)

    2. plus.google.com/+BradDillon/posts/hJTW8ahzP9y 
    3. plus.google.com/+AlanLovejoy/posts/BxS9dr1rNQc 
    4. plus.google.com/110435692290027025229/posts/SCVgbpc4sNx 
    5. plus.google.com/107343690978758702523/posts/9oy7qbDZBYX 
    6. plus.google.com/107044084667875956662/posts/BjonAYDidZd 
    7a. plus.google.com/+Libertarianprepper/posts/dabpN8o26Kk 

    7b. Libertarian Prepper. Without Government, Who Will Build the Roads? LibertarianPrepper.com Nov 20, 2013
    libertarianprepper.com/without-government-who-will-build-the-roads 

    8. <<When asked, “who will build the roads?” I’m often inclined to say, “I don’t know.” This usually creates a sense of triumph in the opposing party, that the admission of “I don’t know” confirms their suspicion that the market is inferior to state coercion. But “I don’t know” isn’t an admission of defeat, but rather, an admission that I can’t predict the market process. I was eight years old when my family got our first computer; I remember it clearly but in no way could I have predicted what the future of computers would hold. The same is true for roads and other infrastructure thought only to be capable by a territorial monopoly.>>

    — Caleb McMillan. But who will build the roads? Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada (mises.ca). Nov 4, 2012.
    mises.ca/posts/blog/but-who-will-build-the-roads 


    Believe it or not, I don't need a Government to build roads. People used to build roads without a Government that "payed" for it. I like to use the paradigmatic example of the Roman roads. Contrary to popular belief, in the ancient Rome many roads, if not most, weren't built and maintained by the Government (or the Roman legions) but by private citizens:


    << Viae privatae, rusticae, glareae and agrariae

    The second category included private or country roads, originally constructed by private individuals, in whom their soil was vested, and who had the power to dedicate them to the public use.[11] Such roads benefited from a right of way, in favor either of the public or of the owner of a particular estate. Under the heading of viae privatae were also included roads leading from the public or high roads to particular estates or settlements. These Ulpian considers to be public roads themselves.[11]

    Features off the via were connected to the via by viae rusticae, or secondary roads.[11] Both main or secondary roads might either be paved, or left unpaved, with a gravel surface, as they were in North Africa. These prepared but unpaved roads were viae glareae or sternendae ("to be strewn"). Beyond the secondary roads were the viae terrenae, "dirt roads". >>

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_roads#Viae_privatae.2C_rusticae.2C_glareae_and_agrariae 

    << Viae vicinales

    The third category comprised roads at or in villages, districts, or crossroads, leading through or towards a vicus or village.[11] Such roads ran either into a high road, or into other viae vicinales, without any direct communication with a high road. They were considered public or private, according to the fact of their original construction out of public or private funds or materials. Such a road, though privately constructed, became a public road when the memory of its private constructors had perished.[11]

    Siculus Flaccus describes viae vicinales as roads "de publicis quae divertunt in agros et saepe ad alteras publicas perveniunt" (which turn off the public roads into fields, and often reach to other public roads). The repairing authorities, in this case, were the magistri pagorum or magistrates of the cantons. They could require the neighboring landowners either to furnish laborers for the general repair of the viae vicinales, or to keep in repair, at their own expense, a certain length of road passing through their respective properties.[11] >>

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_roads#Viae_vicinales 


    And many Roman roads, either public or private, weren't "free"either:


    << Governance and financing

    With the conquest of Italy, prepared viae were extended from Rome and its vicinity to outlying municipalities, sometimes overlying earlier roads. Building viae was a military responsibility and thus came under the jurisdiction of a consul. The process had a military name, viam munire, as though the via were a fortification. Municipalities, however, were responsible for their own roads, which the Romans called viae vicinales. The beauty and grandeur of the roads might tempt us to believe that any Roman citizen could use them for free, but this was not the case. Tolls abounded, especially at bridges. Often they were collected at the city gate. Freight costs were made heavier still by import and export taxes. These were only the charges for using the roads. Costs of services on the journey went up from there.

    Financing road building was a Roman government responsibility. Maintenance, however, was generally left to the province. The officials tasked with fund-raising were the curatores viarum, similar to a supervisor who manages and administers. They had a number of methods available to them. Private citizens with an interest in the road could be asked to contribute to its repair. High officials might distribute largesse to be used for roads. Censors, who were in charge of public morals and public works, were expected to fund repairs suâ pecuniâ (with their own money). >>

    << The construction and care of the public roads, whether in Rome, in Italy, or in the provinces, was, at all periods of Roman history, considered to be a function of the greatest weight and importance. This is clearly shown by the fact that the censors, in some respects the most venerable of Roman magistrates, had the earliest paramount authority to construct and repair all roads and streets. Indeed, all the various functionaries, not excluding the emperors themselves, who succeeded the censors in this portion of their duties, may be said to have exercised a devolved censorial jurisdiction.[11] >>

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_roads#Governance_and_financing 


    Yet, the Statist indoctrination will make people believe whatever they are told with or without evidence, especially when provided by the public education system. 

    But why building roads was considered so important in the Roman Empire? Perhaps did they care for the wellbeing and economic prosperity of their subjects?


    << More frequently, the Romans used roads. Also with so much of Western Europe conquered by the Romans, the Romans needed roads to move their troops around quickly. Poorly built roads would not help this.>>
    << A good road system also made it easier for the emperors to control their empire as messages and orders could be sent quickly. >>

    — Chris Trueman. Roman Roads. History Learning Site.
    historylearningsite.co.uk/roman_roads.htm 


    Extending this point, why did Eisenhower launched the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s?


    << The Interstate Highway System gained a champion in President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was influenced by his experiences as a young Army officer crossing the country in the 1919 Army Convoy on the Lincoln Highway, the first road across America. Eisenhower gained an appreciation of the Reichsautobahn system, the first "national" implementation of modern Germany's Autobahn network as a necessary component of a national defense system while he was serving as Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II.[9] He recognized that the proposed system would also provide key ground transport routes for military supplies and troop deployments in case of an emergency or foreign invasion. >>

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_Highway_System#Planning 


    As Adam Kokesh mentioned in his podcast, there's no clear reason to believe that the most efficient and cost-effective transportation system has to be a national road network.

    Traditionally, trade routes were mainly maritime ones, and still today, the cheapest way to transport goods and commodities is on boats. Despite the extensive, overdeveloped road network across the continents, most of the human population remains living along the coast, nearby extensive lakes or sailable rivers. I would say that for a good reason.

    Freeing the resources spent in building and maintaining roads, and the extra energetic cost of maintaining large inland populations (heating in winter, fuel for long-distance road transportation) would contribute to cut down prices and boost economic prosperity in most industrial societies. 


    +Roger Garvin: "power,"

    — Electric power used to be provided by private companies, including hydroelectric power. Now if you want to live in the middle of nowhere and have access to grid you'll have to pay a premium for your fancy lifestyle.


    +Roger Garvin: "law enforcement,"

    — What laws? The laws that give the Government power to appropriate private property, to imprison and kill innocent people (locally or abroad), to curtail individual freedoms and interfere in commercial trade?
    If it is this law enforcement, I don't want it.


    +Roger Garvin: "fire protection,"

    — If I can pay someone to tow my car, or hire an insurance to do it for me, I can't why I can't pay for fire protection service to a private provider, or hire an insurance to do it for me. It's perhaps Government money holier than mine.

    On the other hand, it's comforting to remember how effective the public fire department turned out to be in San Francisco, 1906:

    << As water mains were also broken, the city fire department had few resources with which to fight the fires. Several fires in the downtown area merged to become one giant inferno. Brigadier General Frederick Funston, commander of the Presidio of San Francisco and a resident of San Francisco, tried to bring the fire under control by detonating blocks of buildings around the fire to create firebreaks with all sorts of means, ranging from black powder and dynamite to even artillery barrages. Often the explosions set the ruins on fire or helped spread it. >>

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1906_San_Francisco_earthquake 

    Or in Chicago, 1871:

    << The city's fire department received the first alarm when a fire alarm was pulled at a pharmacy at 21:40, while the fire was still small. When the blaze got bigger, the guard realized that there actually was a new fire and sent firefighters, but in the wrong direction. >>
    << The attempts to stop the fire were unsuccessful. The mayor had even called surrounding cities for help, but by that point the fire was simply too large to contain. When the fire destroyed the waterworks, just north of the Chicago River, the city's water supply was completely cut off, and the firefighters were forced to give up.

    As the fire raged through the central business district, it destroyed hotels, department stores, Chicago's City Hall, the opera house and theaters, churches, and printing plants. The fire continued spreading northward, driving fleeing residents across bridges on the Chicago River. There was mass panic as the blaze jumped the river's main stem and continued burning through homes and mansions on the city's north side. Residents fled into Lincoln Park and to the shores of Lake Michigan, where thousands sought refuge from the flames. >>

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Chicago_Fire#Spread_of_the_blaze 


    +Roger Garvin: "contract enforcement,"

    — Even today, most legal disputes are solved away from the courts. Insurers and lawyers of both sides often reach an agreement satisfactory for both parties without requiring of an arbitrary court ruling provided by the State, and without the financial meltdown of having to pay for the legal costs.

    As for the criminal law, most of the "crimes" are drug-related, that is, brn from the systematic State violation of the individual right to use your body as you see fit, or the economic freedom to supply for a market demand.


    +Roger Garvin: "communications,"

    — You caught me!:

    · Thompson, Clive. How to Keep the NSA Out of Your Computer. Mother Jones. August 2003 (September/October Issue)
    motherjones.com/politics/2013/08/mesh-internet-privacy-nsa-isp 

    · Clark, Jeff. Internet Alternatives. The Data Center Journal. September 3, 2013
    datacenterjournal.com/it/internet-alternatives 

    · Build a parallel internet. Avoid control. Before It's News. January 23, 2013
    beforeitsnews.com/eu/2013/01/build-a-parallel-internet-avoid-control-2503606.html 
    Source:
    · Tapestry. Build a parallel internet. Avoid control. The Tap Blog. January 23, 2013
     the-tap.blogspot.com/2013/01/build-parallel-internet-avoid-control.html 

    · Harison, David. The Independent Network - An Alternative to the Internet. DavidHarrison.org
    davidharrison.org/inet.html 

    · Cringely, Robert X. Just Say No: David Harrison wants to replace your Internet. I, Cringely (PBS.org). February 22, 2007
    pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2007/pulpit_20070222_001749.html 

    · Project Meshnet
    projectmeshnet.org 

    · Eliot. Ronja optical data link. Hack a Day. June 13, 2005
    hackaday.com/2005/06/13/ronja-optical-data-link 

    · RONJA. Twibright Labs Chat
    ronja.twibright.com 
    ronja.twibright.com/installations.php 

    · RONJA. Wikipedia.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RONJA 

    · Li-Fi. Wikipedia.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li-Fi

    · Free-space optical communication. Wikipedia.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-space_optical_communication 

    · Wireless Community Network. Wikipedia.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_community_network 

    9. plus.google.com/+AlanLovejoy/posts/WzvR5gjsDe6 


    +Roger Garvin: "a consistent economic system, stable monetary units for trade,"

    — Yep consistent. It goes consistently from economic bubble to recession, and go back again. The consistency that your fiat money will have less value tomorrow than today because the Government debases the currency by printing more Monopoly money, spending more, and increasing the sovereign debt year after year.


    +Roger Garvin: "defense from invasion,"

    — Whom invaders are you afraid of, the Mexicans? the Chinese? the Iranians? But I repeat myself, all those are actually the same, Statists. So you would be in good like-minded company.


    +Roger Garvin: "making and enforcing trade agreements with other countries,"

    — No countries, no need of enforcing any trade agreements.


    +Roger Garvin: "fair trade laws, incorporation standards, fair commerce standards"

    — Particularly fair for the myriad of bureaucrats who created them and make a living thanks to them. 


    +Roger Garvin: "you think anarchy is going to allow anyone to operate a fair and profitable business, you haven't really thought about the role toll our government takes on for our society at all."

    — Fixed!

    But you are right, anarchy isn't going to allow anyone to do anything. It's anyone who is going to allow anyone to do whatever by themselves, without need of paying for their protection to a bossy gang of thugs.
    ____________________ 

    Roger Garvin Dec 11, 2013
    Anarchy just isn't going to work.

    Roger Garvin Dec 11, 2013
    +Zephyr López Cervilla

    Anarchy just isn't going to work. Do you really believe the activity of so many individuals and small groups acting in their own self-interest is going to self organize into a an efficient, fair and practical system over the whole of the population?
    Yes, the interstate system was designed after Eisenhower recognized the military potential of the German autobahn. Today it carries about 70% of the products transported domestically, not to mention its utility to the citizens to commute, do business, travel, and work. A safe, uniform system will not arise from a patchwork of individual works projects and would be far more inefficient overall. And you did point out that some authority was there to require the resources for maintenance  of parts of the road they were deemed responsible for, so someone is still required to pay one way or another. Wouldn't it be more fair for a public use road to be paid for by the public?
    Yes, most contract dispute are settled out of court. Litigation is expensive and parties tend to have more to lose so they agree in the contract to arbitration. This is because the law requires them to follow the stipulations of their contract. The guarantee that contracts are binding and enforceable backed by the full force of the law is what allows good faith business transactions in the first place.
    A working and stable economy. Forgive me for stable economy, I was trying to convey a uniform understandable currency to facilitate trade. You are justified in pointing out the dot com bubble, housing bubble, banking and economic crisis, but this is more an indictment of an under regulated free trade market than government taxation. Pure capitalism is not viable as history has proven.
    Fire protection. Yes, it used to suck really bad. Was worse when the only option was a line of men handing off buckets to one another. Earthquake scenarios weren't planned for. The  physics of fire wasn't understood. The government used tax money to study many tragedies and failures, to support research and support development of technology. Laws and fire codes were passed to make buildings safer and easier to escape.
    Law enforcement. I've gotten some traffic tickets, didn't like it, but the other contacts with the police, they were their when I needed them and protected me from serious injury and/or loss of property. I haven't ever been subjected to an unlawful search, harassed, denied my rights or mistreated, nor do I know anyone personally who has been. Police abuse occurs, I know, but to my knowledge it is more the exception than the rule. Without police, we would face significant more risk. (The area I live in has plenty of assaults, robberies and burglaries as it is)
    Communications-the government helped ensure access for everyone and broke apart the monopoly that was fixing high prices and retarding innovation will helped bring about the communication revolution we've experienced. Technology threatens our privacy. The threat  comes from both the government and from corporations. No government would give us less ability to try to reign in these abuses.Not that we will. It seems Americans seem apathetic about the Snowden revelations. This disturbs me as much as you. There has been little outcry or demands that the government make changes.  But with no government, I think fairly quickly local or regional tyrants would terrorize their way to power fairly quickly.

    Respectfully,
    Roger G
    ____________________ 

    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/+MichaelWeddingtonExecutiveCleaning/posts/Gns8EGY5ZXm 
    ____________________ 
  • 6 plusses - 5 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-06-19 14:28:52
    I report that one of my posts has been removed from the discussion section by the moderator +Mike Noyes without reasoned justification:
    plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/KBNkTC3SoWr 
    #barefoot   #barefootrunning  
  • 0 plusses - 13 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-07-22 18:19:09
    theatlantic.com - The Vitamin Myth: Why We Think We Need Supplements
    By Paul Offit. July 19, 2013
    theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/07/the-vitamin-myth-why-we-think-we-need-supplements/277947 

    Nutrition experts contend that all we need is what's typically found in a routine diet. Industry representatives, backed by a fascinating history, argue that foods don't contain enough, and we need supplements. Fortunately, many excellent studies have now resolved the issue.

    Excerpt from comments:

    Christa Laser Jul 22, 2013 2:15 AM +1
    There are plenty of studies supporting the health benefits of vitamin doses within the recommended daily values.  This article cherry picks studies on extremely high doses.

    Michael J. Coffey Jul 22, 2013 2:35 AM +1
    +Christa Laser I think the question that the article raises for me (plus what you said) is if there are health benefits within recommended daily allowance, then it's not true that you "can't get enough from your diet" because that's where the RDA's come from.  And if you can get it from your food, there's no need for supplements.  And the basic message of the article seems to be that the supplement industry is based on something not supported by science.  You say there are plenty of studies--do you know of any that show that supplements are better than diet alone as long as the RDAs are met?

    Christa Laser Jul 22, 2013 3:06 AM
     I don't think there are any saying that supplements beat getting the same vitamins in your diet.  Nonetheless, here's one saying supplements decrease cancer risk: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/18/health/daily-multivitamin-may-reduce-cancer-risk-clinical-trial-finds.html

    Michael J. Coffey Jul 22, 2013 3:20 AM +3
    Actually, if you follow the link to the original study that the New York Times is quoting, it seems they didn't quite report it as accurately as they might have.  Here's a quote from the actual paper (with some of the statistics stripped out for easier reading):

    There was no significant effect of a daily multivitamin on prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, or other site-specific cancers. There was no significant difference in the risk of cancer mortality. Daily multivitamin use was associated with a reduction in total cancer among 1312 men with a baseline history of cancer, but this did not differ significantly from that among 13 329 men initially without cancer.

    So essentially they found that multivitamins didn't have much impact--except for a tiny effect on 1% of the participants who already had a history of cancer when the study began.  

    I've got to say that I'm still not convinced that there's any benefit even at this level.


    Paul T Morrison Jul 22, 2013 4:17 AM
    Reading the original paper they can get the p<.05 (to .04) by removing all the prostate cancers.  They call this "modest but significant results". 

    Boy, I would underline the modest. And removing the prostate cancers one might call that fishing for a p-value of significance but I am sure they took that into account. In the conclusions they cite many papers that go one way or the other.  I am still not bummed I don't take any vitamins. I do take one baby aspirin a day. That showed a much more significant p-value (and used the same subjects just years earlier.)

    The Times article claiming 8% decrease in cancer is also very deceiving. It was a relative decrease comparing the two groups. That is amplified. The real decrease would be much smaller. And 8% decrease could likely show up if these doctors walked around the block once before bedtime. It is a very small amount with a study like this containing test animals with so many variables (humans eating, drinking, having sex, getting old; sure everything is normalized but these are humans filling out questionnaires.)

    Zephyr López Cervilla ul 22, 2013 8:37 AM
    +Paul T Morrison: "Reading the original paper they can get the p<.05 (to .04) by removing all the prostate cancers."

    — AFAIK, they didn't:

    Multivitamin Use and Cancer
    Overall in PHS II, the rates of total cancer, which included only first cancer events during follow-up, were 17.0 and 18.3 per 1000 person-years in the multivitamin and placebo groups, respectively. Men taking multivitamins had a modest reduction in total cancer incidence (HR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.86- 0.998; P = .04 ) (TABLE 2). ... 


    Table 2. Association Between Randomized Multivitamin Assignment and the Risk of Total Cancer, Site-Specific Cancer, and Mortality in the PHS II[a]

    ø | ø | Multivitamin | Multivitamin | Multivitamin | Multivitamin
    ø | ø | Active | Active | Placebo | Placebo
    Outcome | Total Men in Analysis[b] | No. of Men | No. of Events | No. of Men | No. of Events | Adjusted HR (95% CI)[c] | P Value

    Total cancer | 14641 | 7317 | 1290 | 7324 | 1379 | 0.92 (0.86-0.998) | .04
    Total epithelial cell cancer[d] | 14641 | 7317 | 1158 | 7324 | 1244 | 0.92 (0.85-0.997) | .04
    Total cancer minus prostate cancer[e] | 14641 | 7317 | 641 | 7324 | 715 | 0.88 (0.79-0.98) | .02
    Prostate cancer | 13980 | 6988 | 683 | 6992 | 690 | 0.98 (0.88-1.09) | .76
     . . . 

    — Gaziano JM et al. Multivitamins in the prevention of cancer in men: the Physicians' Health Study II randomized controlled trial. JAMA (2012) vol. 308 (18) pp. 1871-80
    jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1380451 
    PDF: jama.jamanetwork.com/data/Journals/JAMA/25482/joc120108_1871_1880.pdf 
    ____________________ 

    <<multivitamin (Centrum Silver or its placebo daily; Pfizer [formerly Wyeth, American Home Products, and Lederle]), vitamin E ( 400-IU synthetic
  • 4 plusses - 5 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-07-27 16:03:01
    The Omega 3 and B12 Myth† with Dr. Michael Greger
    Talk by Michael Geger, MD (nutritionfacts.og), produced by Jeff Teeters. 2003
    youtu.be/q7KeRwdIH04 (1 h 16 min 34 sec)

    Comment: Very informative and practical nutrition advice to vegans, vegetarians, and other people seeking healthy nutritional choices. THe reference to the 40 year old vegan who died of heart attack is just anecdotal.
    Dr Michael Geger's talk tackles cholesterol, saturated fat, omega-3/omega-6 ratio, DHA, trans fat, dietary fiber, homocysteine, vitamin B12, folate, vitamin D, vitamin C, iron, sodium, calcium, selenium, iodine, zinc, water.

    †: the myth being that vegans/vegetarians don't need to supplement their diets with omega-3 and vitamin B12.

    Video blurb:
    Dr. Michael Greger talks about why a 40 year old vegan dies of a heart attack and all about omega 3's and B12 nutrition and why these two nutrients are so important to all vegans and everyone else.

    Can vegans die from a heart attack?
    Yes, it has happened to this 40 year vegan, vegetarian since birth.

    Can vegans die of the same diseases that plague people on the Western standard diet of meat, dairy and eggs?
    Sure! Dr. Michael Greger tells us why and how to prevent this.

    We can prevent many illnesses and diseases as a vegan. As a vegan we are not full proof. In today's society because of washing our produce, chlorinating our water supply and soil being deficient we may need to supplement certain nutrients.

    Some amazing facts, documentation, stats and a whole lot of scientific information presented in this lecture. Informative. I never knew this until I saw the video. Amazing video! A must see for everyone, including vegans and vegetarians.
    Category

    Dr. Michael Greger
    Director, Public Health and Animal Agriculture
    The Humane Society of the United States

    drgreger.org
    nutritionfacts.org 
    _____________ 

    Related videos:

    Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death
    By Dr. Michael Geger, MD. (NutritionFacts.org). July 26, 2012
    youtu.be/30gEiweaAVQ (55 min 50 sec)

    More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing Our Most Common Diseases
    By Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. (NutritionFacts.org). July 15, 2013
    youtu.be/qyyHsb6WGgY (1 h 2 min 5 sec)
    _____________ 
    #vegan   #vegetarian   #veganrecipe   #veganism   #vegano   #vegetarianism   #vegetarianrecipe   #vegetarianos   #vegetariani  
    _____________ 
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-08-05 02:44:35
    RESHARE:
    cancerresearchuk.org - The causes of cancer you can control
    By Jess Harris. December 7, 2011

    http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2011/12/07/the-causes-of-cancer-you-can-control 
    Download a hi-res PDF of this graphic: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Attributable-risk-circles-poster.pdf 

    Excerpt from comments:

    Samuel Mackrill Dec 7, 2011
    Where is wheat and sugar on there (cancer feeds on glucose)?
    Where is lack of vitamin D (this hormone is essential for your body to fight cancer)?
    If sunlight causes skin cancer why are most found on non-exposed areas (like the soles of your feet)? 
    The links to salt,red meat and low fruit/veg seem highly dubious to me.

    This is a great book if you want to know more:
    Cancer: Nutrition and Survival (Steve Hickey, Ph.D. and Hilary Roberts, Ph.D.)
    _____________________ 

    Kathy Castorina Dec 7, 2011+1
    +Samuel Mackrill I think wheat & sugar would fall under the overweight category, but I do get your point.
    _____________________ 

    Alex Luton Dec 7, 2011
    Maybe because sugar and wheat don't cause cancer?
    _____________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Aug 5, 2012 4:31 AM (edited)
    +Daniel Cutler: "how can the point be made that increased glucose is a risk factor?"

    - In fact, higher glucose levels could be a risk factor for pancreatic cancer. I've heard that type 2 diabetes can lead to pancreatic cancer. As an anecdotal evidence, my uncle suffered type 2 diabetes to the point he needed insulin shots, and he eventually died of pancreatic cancer. 
    Also, insulin is a pro-proliferative hormone. Higher insulin levels caused by higher glucose levels can promote cell proliferation of precancerous cells. Thus, high glucose levels could be also indirectly a promoter of other kinds of cancer. 
    Besides, the insulin signaling pathway activates mTOR, what inhibits autophagy in cells. This is known to be a mechanism that protects cells from becoming cancerous: 

    There is evidence that proteins that are linked to tumorigenesis can regulate the rate of autophagy, with oncogenes in general blocking and tumour suppressors stimulating the process. The removal of damaged cellular components, especially damaged mitochondria, might decrease the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which in turn might reduce genomic instability or forestall cellular senescence. Such mechanisms might allow moderate increases in autophagy to reduce the incidence of cancer and prolong lifespan.

    - Finkel T et al. The common biology of cancer and ageing. Nature (2007) vol. 448 (7155) pp. 767-74
    nature.com/nature/journal/v448/n7155/full/nature05985.html 

    Also, 

    Stimulation of the class I PtdIns 3-kinase at the plasma membrane through the insulin receptor results in the generation of PtdIns(3,4)P2 and PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 (dark pink circles). These phosphoinositides allow binding and activation of Akt/PKB and its activator PDK-1. Along with amino acids, Akt/PKB activates mTor (additional components in this pathway are not depicted). Subsequent phosphorylation of a downstream effector, possibly analogous to Atg1 or other ATG gene products as demonstrated in yeast, inhibits autophagy.

    - Shintani T and Klionsky DJ. Autophagy in health and disease: a double-edged sword. Science (2004) vol. 306 (5698) pp. 990-5
    sciencemag.org/content/306/5698/990.full 
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

    +Samuel Mackrill: "If sunlight causes skin cancer why are most found on non-exposed areas (like the soles of your feet)?"
    - Obviously, because there are other agents that can cause skin cancer apart from sunlight. What is unlikely is that those skin cancers that appear in your foot soles can be melanomas.
    _____________________ 

    URL source comments G+ post: plus.google.com/103561559026876981170/posts/2vasADVecpk 
    _____________________ 

    Reshared text:
    As you may have seen, our landmark report on lifestyle and cancer is in the news this morning, showing just how many cancers could be prevented if the UK got healthier. A third of all cancers could be prevented by stopping smoking, eating a balanced diet, cutting down on alcohol and maintaining a healthy weight. Of course, cancer risk is also affected by our family history, our genes, and by getting older – but the good news is that we can take positive steps to stack the odds of avoiding cancer in our favour. Read our blog for more info about the work: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2011/12/07/the-causes-of-cancer-you-can-control/
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-12-13 17:04:41
    fairtax.org - What is the FairTax legislation?
    Uploaded by FairTaxOfficial. April 21, 2012

    fairtax.org - How Fair Tax Works
    fairtax.org/site/PageServer?pagename=HowFairTaxWorks 

    Comment on retail sales tax:
    A decade ago I believed that a universal and uniform sales tax was the fairest and most reasonable taxation model because consumption was directly linked to the use of the public services funded by the tax payers. 

    However, in the last years I changed my view. I can think of several dysfunctions that a sales tax as the only source of public funding could cause in the economy. 

    In my opinion a solely sales tax would be choosing winners and losers, the winners, those who would make a heavier use of public infrastructure/services to save on production and distribution costs. Such bias doesn't promote efficiency because part of the costs isn't reflected the final price. Those are but hidden subsidies that distort free competition.

    Instead of a sales tax I support fees and finalist taxes on the users of each service or infrastructure. That way, all those added costs of taxes would be reflected in the sales price in a more accurate way that simply with a uniform sales tax on every product.

    For instance, if you want to make use of the roads to transport a pig herd to the slaughterhouse, then you should pay a special tax to maintain and improve the roads in the extent you make use of it.

    If your pigs farm is far from any nucleus of population, making it most costly to protect by security services, you should pay a premium price in order to have the police patrolling your area.

    Likewise any other public infrastructure that may be less cost effective for some users than others, water and energy supply, public sewer, garbage and wastes disposal, food safety, infectious disease control, flood and fire prevention and intervention to extinguish fires or rescue victims, etc. 

    Also, any military intervention to protect the interests of certain corporations, e.g., escorting oil shipments from the Persian Gulf should be funded by the owner of the cargo and/or the tankers so that it could be later faithfully reflected on the oil and fuel prices.

    All to ensure that the consequences of every action has their impact on those who are responsible.
    _________ 

    Homepage: fairtax.org/site/PageServer?pagename=homepage2 

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairTax 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predicted_effects_of_the_FairTax 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distribution_of_the_FairTax_burden 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revenue_neutrality_of_the_FairTax 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americans_For_Fair_Taxation 

    mises.org/community/forums/p/11396/260986.aspx 
    guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/12/paul-ryan-enslaves-friedrich-hayek-road-serfdom 

    #fairtax   #fairtaxact   #salestax   #retailsales  
    URL related G+ post:
    plus.google.com/117434629109685018105/posts/ggrN31MrLJC 
    _______________ 
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-09-09 01:13:45
    spacepolitics.com - Disappointed advocates, advocating scientists
    September 8, 2012

    spacepolitics.com/2012/09/08/disappointed-advocates-advocating-scientists 

    Excerpt from comments in G+ post:

    Betsy McCall Sep 8, 2012 7:48 PM  -  Google Reader  -  Public
    What you can do to help save the planetary science program at NASA.

    Larry Maxwell Sep 8, 2012 7:49 PM
    remove "lobbyist"

    Betsy McCall Sep 8, 2012 7:52 PM
    That word does not even appear on the whole page.  I checked.  So I have no clue what you are talking about.

    Larry Maxwell Sep 8, 2012 7:53 PM
    it is a direct answer to 'your' actual post.

    Betsy McCall Sep 8, 2012 7:55 PM
    My post was not a question.  It was a statement about the article.
    ________________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 8, 2012 10:26 PM (edited) +1
    I'd suggest voluntary donations. I can't see any reason that can justify that those people who don't want to fund it should be forced to do it. In this case you can't even claim that this kind of research will render any material benefit to them.
    If you think that people don't have enough money for donations, just look how much money they are capable to donate to political campaigns. Wouldn't it be enough with a hundred million dollars a year to fund that program? Some months ago Bill Maher donated a million dollars to the Democratic Presidential Campaign that will be burnt in advertising. Wouldn't he be willing to donate another million to NASA's planetary science program? And Sheldon Alison donated 5 million to Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign, what a waste of money! Perhaps he would sponsor the science planetary program if he were allowed to use the NASA logo in his casinos. He could even build a casino with the shape of a rocket.
    ________________________ 

    Betsy McCall Sep 8, 2012 11:39 PM +2
    +Zephyr López Cervilla Why should space missions only be funded by voluntary donations and not by tax dollars from everyone?  It's not like NASA is a religion.  And my tax dollars routinely go to fund things I don't approve of like military spending (just to use the most egregious example).   It's not a question of whether people have enough money for donations; I question the funding model's very premise.
    ________________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 9, 2012 2:06 AM (edited) 
    +Betsy McCall: "my tax dollars routinely go to fund things I don't approve of like military spending (just to use the most egregious example).   It's not a question of whether people have enough money for donations; I question the funding model's very premise."

    - There's a significant difference between military spending and the funding of the planetary exploration. The first is contemplated in the US Constitution as one of the functions attributed to the Federal Government.

    "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

    "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;"
    en.wikisource.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_United_States_of_America 

    In contrast, how can you justify the public spending in the science planetary program based on the instances in which the Federal Government is legitimized by the Constitution to lay taxes? As a general welfare of the US? It's very dubious that that program will provide general welfare at all. 

    In my opinion that spending is way beyond the attributions of the Government. If you believe that the Constitution is outdated and should authorize the Federal Government to lay and collect taxes to fund planetary exploration, there are legal mechanisms to amend it.
    ________________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 9, 2012 6:12 AM (edited) AM
    BTW, in my mobile version of Google+ there's no link to the article, and the first lines of the text appear as if you were the person who has written it:

    Betse MacCall   Betsy McCall
    6 hours ago · Public 
    What you can do to help save the planetary science program at NASA.
    Don’t count the members of the space advocacy group the Space Frontier Foundation fans of either the Democratic or Republican parties’ positions on space. Last week they issued a press release critical of the Republican platform’s space language, suggesting it was as odds with broader party ideology. “NASA seems to be one Big Government program many Republicans love,” the Foundation’s statement reads, saying that while the platform in general is ... 
    ________________ 

    Here you are a post with a screenshot: 
    lh5.googleusercontent.com/-v9ZBAa_cbew/UEvslcSzzFI/AAAAAAAABh8/lRmVcLmznko/s960/IMG_0136.PNG 

    I haven't seen that this had happened before. It may be due to the fact that you had posted the link to this article from Google Reader.

    +Larry Maxwell: <<remove "lobbyist">>

    +Betsy McCall: "That word does not even appear on the whole page.  I checked.  So I have no clue what you are talking about."

    - I would just point out that "lobbyist" doesn't appear, but "lobbying" is written under the title.
    ________________________ 

    Betsy McCall Sep 9, 2012 5:59 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla There's nothing I can do about how Google shows up where you are.  But you misspelled my name, in two places.  Does Spain not have a y?

    A strict constructionist, eh?  The Constitution doesn't provide for a standing army, though it does provide for "defense".  In what way was the Iraq War a defensive one?  I would also challenge the notion that advancing scientific knowledge doesn't contribute to the general welfare.

    And Larry was "replying" to a question I never asked.
    ________________________ 

    via +Betsy McCall 
    URL source G+ post: plus.google.com/110240143550654748022/posts/R7AKB5RXgvD 
    ________________________ 
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2011-12-15 23:15:32
    The Physics of Falling LOLCats
    Permalink of this post: https://plus.google.com/u/0/114605547533973731226/posts/BiTpY2FtZCN
    Permalink of related post: https://plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/ayCMj2KK2dz

    Rajini Rao - Newton's First Law is best illustrated by cats.

    Zephyr López Cervilla - What amazes me most about cats movements is their ability to rotate their bodies while they're in free fall, so they can land on their paws, and they do it all with a zero angular momentum.

    Manish Goregaokar - That's cos cats are like little parachutes when falling.. So the torque due to air drag provides the angular momentum..

    Zephyr López Cervilla - +Manish Goregaokar, this is not the case. I think it was published an article about it in Scientific American some years ago, and I think it was also explained in "Quirks and Quarks", a program of CBC Radio. Cats can twist their backbone so each half of their body can point downwards at each side. They manage not to go back to the original position by means of a series of alternating stretches and bending of each pair of paws from their twisting axis. At the end, those cats don't have any angular momentum (they don't rotate), but their belly and paws are facing down.
    Edit: What cats straighten and bend are actually their backs.
    In this video it can be clearly appreciated: http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/player/animals/mammals-animals/cats/cats_domestic_ninelives.html
    I've found some references:

    1. Frohlich, Cliff. The Physics of Somersaulting and Twisting. Scientific American, March 1980, pp. 164-174. http://www.physics.utoronto.ca/~phy189h1/Physics%20of%20Somersaults%20and%20Twists.pdf
    An old article of Scientific American in PDF. I don`t think it was this one where I read it, but the process is explained with detail

    2. Nguyen, Huy D. How does a cat Always Land on Its Feet? Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Medical Engineering. http://helix.gatech.edu/Classes/ME3760/1998Q3/Projects/Nguyen/

    3. Gollin, George. The Physics of Dance (transparencies for a presentation I've given at Hope College on the Physics of Dance). Department of Physics, High Energy Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Chanpaign. November 1, 1996, and October 24, 1997.
    http://www.hep.uiuc.edu/home/g-gollin/dance/dance_physics.html
    Ever see a falling cat right itself? The cat has zero angular momentum at all times, but somehow manages to turn over. It works like this:
    Upside-down cat curves its back "the easy way."
    Cat straightens its back while bending around its middle to its right.
    Cat comes out of its bend-to-the-right while arching its back "the hard way."
    Cat straightens its back while bending around its middle to its left.
    Cat comes out of its bend-to-the-left while curving its back "the easy way."
    Here's a diagram: http://www.hep.uiuc.edu/home/g-gollin/dance/Image57.gif
    Dancers can also perform zero-angular-momentum turns. Some are catlike, some not...
    In some moves, the body parts which carry the initial angular momentum change during the course of the turn. An example: a tour jeté. The angular momentum associated with the raising of the left leg (1) is taken up by the trunk and arms (2), then the left leg (3), then both legs (4).
    http://www.hep.uiuc.edu/home/g-gollin/dance/Image58.gif
    The diagram is based on photos in Laws' and Harvey's book.

    4. Cat righting reflex. English Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_righting_reflex

    5. Falling cat problem. English Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falling_cat_problem
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/78/Cat_fall_150x300_6fps.gif

    6. High-rise syndrome. English Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-rise_syndrome

    7. Video: A Cat's Nine Lives. National Geographic
    http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/player/animals/mammals-animals/cats/cats_domestic_ninelives.html
    Do cats always land on their feet? High-speed photography shows us the answer.

    8. Video: Why Cats Land on Their Feet. National Geographic News. September 28, 2006. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/09/060928-cats-land-video.html
    It might sound like a form of urban anxiety, but high-rise syndrome is actually a serious problem for cats in the city. Adventurous felines don't always look before they leap, and many wind up in emergency care after they go careening through unscreened windows.
    But a mystery unfolded when doctors treating these "high-rise kitties" noticed a pattern: Cats that fell from great heights were less injured than those that took a modest dive.
    See slow-motion cameras reveal how a falling cat manages to land on its feet, and find out why—for these furry acrobats—the higher they are, the better they fall.

    9. Wells, Virginia. Why Cats Land on Their Feet. http://www.petplace.com/cats/why-cats-land-on-their-feet/page1.aspx

    10. Deveshvar, Manisha. Why do Cats Always Land on Their Feet? http://www.pitara.com/discover/5wh/online.asp?story=157

    11. The miracle of the falling cat. Brazillion Thoughts.
    http://scienceblogs.com.br/brazillion/2009/06/the_miracle_of_the_falling_cat/

    12. Do cats always land unharmed on their feet, no matter how far they fall? The Straight Dope. July 19, 1996. http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1143/do-cats-always-land-unharmed-on-their-feet-no-matter-how-far-they-fall

    13. Allen, Patricia E. The Physics of Cats. Appalachian State University. Tuesday, Jan 27, 2004. http://www.oapt.ca/aapt/2004_winter_meeting/The_Physics_of_Cats.pdf
    Brief with some references of experiments studying to cat falls.

    14. Galli, John Ronald. Angular momentum conservation and the cat twist. The Physics Teacher. September 1995. Volume 33, Issue 6, pp. 404 http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.2344252

    15. Diamond, Jared M. Why cats have nine lives. Nature 332, 586-587 (14 April 1988) | doi:10.1038/332586a0 http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v332/n6165/pdf/332586a0.pdf

    16. Kane, T.R., Scher, M.P. A dynamical explanation of the falling cat phenomenon. International Journal of Solids and Structures. Volume 5, Issue 7, July 1969, Pages 663-666 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0020768369900869

    17. Vnuk D. et al. Feline high-rise syndrome: 119 cases (1998-2001). Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery. Volume 6, Issue 5, October 2004, Pages 305-312 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1098612X03001219

    18. Whitney W.O., Mehlhaff C.J. High-rise syndrome in cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1987 Dec 1;191(11):1399-403. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3692980

    URL source post: https://plus.google.com/114601143134471609087/posts/iQUXBxbECeC
  • 2 plusses - 7 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-06-16 12:14:34
    freedomainradio.com - 'Brawn Porn' - The Truth About the Olympics
    By Stefan Molyneux. February 17, 2010
    youtu.be/cLxYNM1ziFI (7 min 50 sec)

    Video blurb: The true costs of watching rich kids play in the snow

    Related article:
    — Zimbalist A. Is it worth it? Finance & Development (2010) vol. 47 (1) pp. 8-11
    www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2010/03/pdf/zimbalist.pdf
    Spanish version:
    www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/spa/2010/03/pdf/zimbalist.pdf 

    Andrew Zimbalist is Robert A. Woods Professor of Economics at Smith College.
  • 1 plusses - 6 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-05-19 20:44:53
    RESHARE:
    memegenerator.net - You're under Arrest!

    You're under arrest!
    For resisting arrest!

    #Kokesh   #adamkokesh  

    Reshared text:
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-05-20 22:16:51
    RESHARE:
    The Crooked Forest (Szczecin Landscape Park, Poland)

    Description:
    Poland’s Crooked Forest (Krzywy Las) is located some 30km south of the city of Szczecin, close to the Oder river.
    Over the years, many rumors have swirled about the origin of the 90 degree bend in the 300 or so pine trees, planted around 1930 in territory then a part of Germany. The most commonly accepted theory is that the trees were bent on purpose for use in furniture or boat making.
    http://vistu.la

    Comment:
    I don't believe that these pine trees can have 80 years, they look as if they were about 20 to 30 years old, even less if they grow faster than in the Mediterranean what I guess it's the case since the forests around the Baltic and in Scandinavia are very productive. Could the deformity of their trunk have affected their growth rate? Could their limited availability of light and soil due to the high population density in which they live have stunted the growth of the trees beyond certain size? More likely the latter, but in 80 years there would have been enough time for some trees could fall down or they were knocked down thus allowing the others to grow thicker and taller.

    URL source page:
    1. ilovepoland.co.uk/seven_secret_wonders_of_poland.htm

    URL related pages:
    1. news.discovery.com/earth/polands-crooked-forest-mystery-110628.html
    2. laughterizer.weebly.com/1/post/2011/7/polands-mysterious-crooked-forest.html (17 pics)
    3. ripleys.com/weird/daily-dose-of-weird-wtf-blog/strange-places-and-customs/crooked-forest

    via +J. Caleb Wherry
    URL via post: plus.google.com/109346400917224234002/posts/bu4QJsZMvPG

    Reshared text:
    CREEPY CROOKED FOREST
    Located in north west Poland (not far from Szczecin) is a pine forest that looks like it came right out of a Hans Christian Andersen story. Around four hundred trees in the forest have been formed with a 90° horizontal bend in it’s trunk before rising vertically again. The trees are believed to be about eighty years old and although there is no explanation for this freak of nature one widely held belief is that the trees were shaped this way by human hands (possibly by carpenters wanting to use the wood for furniture making).
  • 7 plusses - 0 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-11-30 10:20:31
    wired.com - Elon Musk’s Mission to Mars
    By Chris Anderson. October 21, 2012 
    wired.com/wiredscience/2012/10/ff-elon-musk-qa/all 

    Comment:
    Some of the things that explains Elon Musk are rather funny. I can't but agree with him in some of his comments. Here there is the most interesting part of the interview.

    Excerpt:

    Chris Anderson: You’re not a rocket scientist by training. You’re not a space engineer.

    Elon Musk: That’s true. My background educationally is physics and economics, and I grew up in sort of an engineering environment—my father is an electromechanical engineer. And so there were lots of engineery things around me. When I asked for an explanation, I got the true explanation of how things work. I also did things like make model rockets, and in South Africa there were no premade rockets: I had to go to the chemist and get the ingredients for rocket fuel, mix it, put it in a pipe.

    Anderson: But then you became an Internet entrepreneur.

    Musk: I never had a job where I made anything physical. I cofounded two Internet software companies, Zip2 and PayPal. So it took me a few years to kind of learn rocket science, if you will.

    Anderson: How were you drawn to space as your next venture?

    Musk: In 2002, once it became clear that PayPal was going to get sold, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine, the entrepreneur Adeo Ressi, who was actually my college housemate. I’d been staying at his home for the weekend, and we were coming back on a rainy day, stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway. He was asking me what I would do after PayPal. And I said, well, I’d always been really interested in space, but I didn’t think there was anything I could do as an individual. But, I went on, it seemed clear that we would send people to Mars. Suddenly I began to wonder why it hadn’t happened already. Later I went to the NASA website so I could see the schedule of when we’re supposed to go. [Laughs.]

    Anderson: And of course there was nothing.

    Musk: At first I thought, jeez, maybe I’m just looking in the wrong place! Why was there no plan, no schedule? There was nothing. It seemed crazy.

    Anderson: NASA doesn’t have the budget for that anymore.

    Musk: Since 1989, when a study estimated that a manned mission would cost $500 billion, the subject has been toxic. Politicians didn’t want a high-priced federal program like that to be used as a political weapon against them.

    Anderson: Their opponents would call it a boondoggle.

    Musk: But the United States is a nation of explorers. America is the spirit of human exploration distilled.

    Anderson: We all leaped into the unknown to get here.

    Musk: So I started with a crazy idea to spur the national will. I called it the Mars Oasis missions. The idea was to send a small greenhouse to the surface of Mars, packed with dehydrated nutrient gel that could be hydrated on landing. You’d wind up with this great photograph of green plants and red background—the first life on Mars, as far as we know, and the farthest that life’s ever traveled. It would be a great money shot, plus you’d get a lot of engineering data about what it takes to maintain a little greenhouse and keep plants alive on Mars. If I could afford it, I figured it would be a worthy expenditure of money, with no expectation of financial return.

    Anderson: You were going to buy a ride to Mars, in a sense.

    Musk: Right. So I started to price it out. The spacecraft, the communications, the greenhouse experiment: I figured out how to do all that for relatively little. But then came the rocket—the actual propulsion from Earth to Mars. The cheapest US rocket that could do it would have cost $65 million, and I figured I would need at least two.

    Anderson: So, $130 million.

    Musk: Yeah, plus the cost of everything else, which would have meant I’d spend everything I made from PayPal—and if there were any cost growth I wouldn’t be able to cover it. So next I went to Russia three times, in late 2001 and 2002, to see if I could negotiate the purchase of two ICBMs. Without the nukes, obviously.

    Anderson: Obviously.

    Musk: They would have cost me $15 million to $20 million each. That was certainly a big improvement. But as I thought about it, I realized that the only reason the ICBMs were that cheap was because they’d already been made. They were just sitting around unused. You couldn’t make new ones for sale at that price. I suddenly understood that my whole premise behind the Mars Oasis idea was flawed. The real reason we weren’t going to Mars wasn’t a lack of national will; it was that we didn’t have cheap enough rocket technology to get there on a reasonable budget. It was the perception among the American people—correct, given current technology—that it didn’t make financial sense to go.

    Anderson: Instead of buying rockets for a philanthropic mission, you realized that you needed to start a business to make them more efficiently.

    Musk: We needed to set rocket technology on a path of rapid improvement. In the course of trying to put together Mars Oasis, I had talked to a number of people in the space industry and got a sense of who was technically astute and who wasn’t. So I put together a team, and over a series of Saturdays I had them do a feasibility study about building rockets more efficiently. It became clear that there wasn’t anything to prevent us from doing it. Rocket technology had not materially improved since the ’60s—arguably it had gone backward! We decided to reverse that trend.

    Anderson: And you have reversed it.

    Musk: Six years after we started the company, we launched our first rocket, Falcon 1, into orbit in 2008. And the price—not the cost, mind you, but the total price to customers per launch—was roughly $7 million.

    Anderson: How did you get the price so low?

    Musk: I tend to approach things from a physics framework. And physics teaches you to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. So I said, OK, let’s look at the first principles. What is a rocket made of? Aerospace-grade aluminum alloys, plus some titanium, copper, and carbon fiber. And then I asked, what is the value of those materials on the commodity market? It turned out that the materials cost of a rocket was around 2 percent of the typical price—which is a crazy ratio for a large mechanical product.

    Anderson: How does that compare to, say, cars?

    Musk: It depends on the car. For Tesla it’s probably 20 to 25 percent.

    Anderson: An order-of-magnitude difference.

    Musk: Right. So, I thought, we should be able to make a much cheaper rocket given those materials costs. There must be some pretty silly things going on in the market. And there are!

    Anderson: Like what?

    Musk: One is the incredible aversion to risk within big aerospace firms. Even if better technology is available, they’re still using legacy components, often ones that were developed in the 1960s.

    Anderson: I’ve heard that the attitude is essentially that you can’t fly a component that hasn’t already flown.

    Musk: Right, which is obviously a catch-22, right? There should be a Groucho Marx joke about that. So, yeah, there’s a tremendous bias against taking risks. Everyone is trying to optimize their ass-covering.

    Anderson: That’s a nice phrase.

    Musk: The results are pretty crazy. One of our competitors, Orbital Sciences, has a contract to resupply the International Space Station, and their rocket honestly sounds like the punch line to a joke. It uses Russian rocket engines that were made in the ’60s. I don’t mean their design is from the ’60s—I mean they start with engines that were literally made in the ’60s and, like, packed away in Siberia somewhere.

    Anderson: Where else are there inefficiencies?

    Musk: Second, there’s this tendency of big aerospace companies to outsource everything. That’s been trendy in lots of industries, but aerospace has done it to a ridiculous degree. They outsource to subcontractors, and then the subcontractors outsource to sub-subcontractors, and so on. You have to go four or five layers down to find somebody actually doing something useful—actually cutting metal, shaping atoms. Every level above that tacks on profit—it’s overhead to the fifth power.

    Anderson: Is that just a function of bureaucracy?

    Musk: In many cases the biggest customer has been the government, and the government contracts have been what they call cost-plus: The company gets a built-in profit level no matter how wasteful its execution. There’s actually an incentive for it to make everything as expensive as it can possibly justify.

    Anderson: That sort of bureaucracy must also play into the bidding process.

    Musk: It’s infuriating. The Pentagon’s preferred approach is to do long-term, “sole-source” contracts—which means to lock up the entire business for one company! We’ve been trying to bid on the primary Air Force launch contract, but it’s nearly impossible, because United Launch Alliance, co-owned by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, currently has an exclusive contract with the Air Force for satellite launch. It’s totally inappropriate.

    Anderson: Wow, really?

    Musk: Even though we would save the taxpayers at least a billion dollars a year—and that’s a conservative estimate.

    Anderson: It sounds like your value proposition is not to outperform your competition—instead, you compete on price.

    Musk: Look, speed for a rocket is always going to be roughly the same. The convenience and comfort is going to be about the same. Reliability has to be at least as good as what’s been done before—otherwise people won’t use your rockets to launch multihundred-million-dollar satellites—but there’s not going to be much improvement there. So you’re really left with one key parameter against which technology improvements must be judged, and that’s cost.

    Anderson: So—how do you do it? What’s your process?

    Musk: Now I have to tell you something, and I mean this in the best and most inoffensive way possible: I don’t believe in process. In fact, when I interview a potential employee and he or she says that “it’s all about the process,” I see that as a bad sign.

    Anderson: Oh no. I’m fired.

    Musk: The problem is that at a lot of big companies, process becomes a substitute for thinking. You’re encouraged to behave like a little gear in a complex machine. Frankly, it allows you to keep people who aren’t that smart, who aren’t that creative.

    Anderson: So what have all your creative people come up with, then? What’s different in your basic technology versus 50 years ago?

    Musk: I can’t tell you much. We have essentially no patents in SpaceX. Our primary long-term competition is in China—if we published patents, it would be farcical, because the Chinese would just use them as a recipe book. But I can give you one example.

    Anderson: What is it?

    Musk: It involves the design of the airframe. If you think about it, a rocket is really just a container for the liquid oxygen and fuel—it’s a combination propellant tank and primary airframe. Traditionally, a rocket airframe is made by taking an aluminum plate perhaps a couple of inches thick and machining deep pockets into it. Then you’ll roll or form what’s left into the shape you want—usually sections of a cylinder, since rockets tend to be primarily cylindrical in shape. That’s how Boeing and Lockheed’s rockets are made, and most other rockets too. But it’s a pretty expensive way to do it, because you’re left with a tiny fraction of the plate’s original mass. You’re starting with a huge slab of material and then milling off what isn’t needed, so you get a huge loss of material. Plus, machining away all that metal takes a lot of time, and it’s very expensive.

    Anderson: What’s the alternative?

    Musk: It’s similar to the way that most airplanes are made: The stiffness is provided by ribs and hoops that are added on.

    Anderson: It’s basically aluminum origami—you’re cutting very precise grooves into it so it folds together into a stiff shape.

    Musk: But there’s a catch, because you can’t rivet a rocket like you can an airplane. The pressure differential of an airplane—the difference between the internal and external pressure during flight—is perhaps 7 to 10 psi. But in the case of a rocket, it’s likely to be 80 psi. It’s a lot harder for rivets to withstand that pressure with no leaks.

    Anderson: Right.

    Musk: So the approach used for aircraft is not exactly feasible for rockets. But there’s another way to do it, which is to use an advanced welding technology called stir welding. Instead of riveting the ribs and hoops, you use a special machine that softens the metal on both sides of the joint without penetrating it or melting it. Unlike traditional welding, which melts and potentially compromises some metals, this process works well with high-strength aluminum alloys. You wind up with a stiffer, lighter structure than was possible before. And your material loss is maybe 10 percent, just for trimming the edges. Instead of a ratio of purchased to flown material—what they call the “buy to fly” ratio—of maybe 10 to 20, you have a ratio of 1.1, 1.2 tops.

    Anderson: Wow. Why can you tell us about that?

    Musk: The reason I can talk about it is that nobody else knows how to build a rocket this way. [Laughs.]

    Anderson: Let’s talk about where all this is headed. You’ve brought the cost of rocket launches down by a factor of 10. Suppose you can bring it down even more. How does that change the game? It seems like when you radically reduce the price, you can discover a whole new market. It’s a form of exploration in itself.

    Musk: Right.

    Anderson: What glimpses of that new market have you seen?

    Musk: A huge one is satellites. There are a lot of applications for satellites that suddenly begin to make sense if the transportation costs are low: more telecommunications, more broadcast, better weather mapping, more science experiments.

    Anderson: So traditional satellite markets—but more of them, and cheaper.

    Musk: There’s also likely to be a lot more private spaceflight.

    Anderson: By that you mean tourism.

    Musk: Yeah, but I think tourism is too pejorative a word. You could argue that much of our government spaceflight has been tourism. But the main thing—the goal I still believe in for the long term—is to make life multi-planetary.

    Anderson: And Dragon, the spacecraft you berthed with the ISS in May, has features that might eventually prepare it for a manned Mars mission.

    Musk: Eventually, yes. The thrusters on Dragon are sized so they’ll be able to do launch escape—which means being able to move away from the rocket at a force of approximately 6 g’s. That same thrust level happens to be kind of a good number for supersonic retro-propulsion for landing on Mars.

    Anderson: Could you have sent Dragon to Mars instead of the ISS?

    Musk: Well, it would have gone very slowly—and when it arrived, it couldn’t have landed. It would have made a crater.

    Anderson: The issue is stopping once you get there.

    Musk: Version two of Dragon, which should be ready in three years, should be able to do it. But really, if humanity is to become multi-planetary, the fundamental breakthrough that needs to occur in rocketry is a rapidly and completely reusable rocket. In the absence of that, space transportation will remain two orders of magnitude more expensive than it should be.

    Anderson: Really?

    Musk: Imagine if you had to have a new plane for every flight. Very few people would fly.

    Anderson: Isn’t the fuel a huge portion of the expense?

    Musk: The cost of the propellant on Falcon 9 is only about 0.3 percent of the total price. So if the vehicle costs $60 million, the propellant is maybe a couple hundred thousand dollars. That’s with rocket propellant-grade jet fuel, which is three times the cost of normal jet fuel. That’s using helium as a pressurant, which is a very expensive pressurant. A next-generation rocket could use cheaper fuel and also be fully reusable.

    Anderson: Are you making an announcement right now?

    Musk: I hope we might unveil an architecture for that next year. I’d like to emphasize this is an aspiration for SpaceX—I’m not saying that we will do it. But I believe it can be done. And I believe that achieving it would be on a par with what the Wright brothers did. It’s the fundamental thing that’s necessary for humanity to become a space-faring civilization. America would never have been colonized if ships weren’t reusable.

    Anderson: Wasn’t the space shuttle reusable?

    Musk: A lot of people think it was reusable—but the main tank was thrown away every time. Even the parts that did come back were so difficult to refurbish that the shuttle cost four times more than an expendable rocket of equivalent payload capability.

    Anderson: It’s like sending Columbus’ ships out and bringing the lifeboat back.

    Musk: We’ve begun testing reusability with something called the Grasshopper Project, which is a Falcon 9 first stage with landing gear that can take off and land vertically.

    Anderson: A huge rocket, landing on its feet? Holy shit.

    Musk: Yeah, holy shit. The stages go to orbit, then the first stage turns around, restarts the engines, boosts back to the launch site, reorients, deploys landing gear, and lands vertically.

    Anderson: It’s like something out of a movie or my old Tintin books. It’s the way space was supposed to be.

    Musk: Exactly.

    Chris Anderson (@chr1sa) is editor in chief of Wired and the author of Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. He wrote about 3-D printing in issue 20.10.
    _____________________ 

    Comment:
    What I find unethical is his willingness to spur the "national will". Nations don't have will, perhaps he meant the populace of the nation, or the willingness of the government thanks to popular acceptance. If he needs funds for his project of creating Martian colonies, the right thing to do would be to create a foundation funded with voluntary fees and donations, or look for equity partners interested in investing in the development of commercial interplanetary travels and settlements in Mars.

    For some reason I have the impression that Chris Anderson has the tendency to consider as a loony anyone who dares to dissent from the offcial stance of public agencies like NASA, the professional consensus, or even the companies that have been in business for decades (Boeing, Lockheed Martin). It isn't just the skeptic tone frequently used by him during the interview (which is always preferable over flattery), it's that he even says so in the introduction:

    "When a man tells you about the time he planned to put a vegetable garden on Mars, you worry about his mental state."

    "All entrepreneurs have an aptitude for risk, but more important than that is their capacity for self-delusion. Indeed, psychological investigations have found that entrepreneurs aren’t more risk-tolerant than non-entrepreneurs. They just have an extraordinary ability to believe in their own visions, so much so that they think what they’re embarking on isn’t really that risky. They’re wrong, of course"
    — Chris Anderson
    _____________________ 

    via +Rodolphe D'Inca 
    URL source G+ post:
    plus.google.com/110978315648533764743/posts/Ckw1SUshV8g 
    URL related G+ posts:
    plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/Km6N2i9jV84 
    plus.google.com/108268038346773463902/posts/X1DvfjR1jWe 
    _____________________ 
  • 3 plusses - 1 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-04-15 13:53:31
    Stefan, you should be ashamed to spread (again) disinformation: that the single worst predictor of being a criminal (a rapist, or whoever other wrongdoer) is being a child reared by a single mum, and that a 10% of the children aren't the biological offspring of the men who have recognised them as their legal fathers and believe they are their biological fathers. In this latter subject I proved you wrong in another video, so I won't post my evidence once again. Anyway, I challenge you to post your references or otherwise retract what you've stated.
    ________ 

    << Disinformation is intentionally false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately. It is an act of deception and false statements to convince someone of untruth. Disinformation should not be confused with misinformation, information that is unintentionally false.

    Unlike traditional propaganda techniques designed to engage emotional support, disinformation is designed to manipulate the audience at the rational level by either discrediting conflicting information or supporting false conclusions. A common disinformation tactic is to mix some truth and observation with false conclusions and lies, or to reveal part of the truth while presenting it as the whole (a limited hangout). >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disinformation 
  • 2 plusses - 9 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-09-26 00:49:03
    guardian.co.uk - Slavoj Žižek: 'Humanity is OK, but 99% of people are boring idiots'
    By Decca Aitkenhead. June 10, 2012
    Series: The G2 interview
    guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/series/g2-interview-decca-aitkenhead

    Comment: Even leftist newspapers publish good stuff now and then. Granted, you can still gather from this interview what you see fit.

    Excerpt:
    <<Waving the photographer off, he points in the distance across the Slovenian capital. "Over there, that's a kind of counter-culture establishment – they hate me, I hate them. This is the type of leftists that I hate. Radical leftists whose fathers are all very rich." Most of the other buildings, he adds, are government ministries. "I hate it.">>

    <<By the standards of cultural theory, Žižek sits at the more accessible end of the spectrum – but to give you an idea of where that still leaves him, here's a typical quote from a book called Žižek: A Guide for the Perplexed, intended to render him more comprehensible: "Žižek finds the place for Lacan in Hegel by seeing the Real as the correlate of the self-division and self-doubling within phenomena.">>

    <<In essence, he argues that nothing is ever what it appears, and contradiction is encoded in almost everything. Most of what we think of as radical or subversive – or even simply ethical – doesn't actually change anything.>>

    <<You wouldn't guess so from the energetic flurry of good manners with which he welcomes us, but he's quick to clarify that his attentiveness is just camouflage for misanthropy. "For me, the idea of hell is the American type of parties. Or, when they ask me to give a talk, and they say something like, 'After the talk there will just be a small reception' – I know this is hell. This means all the frustrated idiots, who are not able to ask you a question at the end of the talk, come to you and, usually, they start: 'Professor Žižek, I know you must be tired, but …' Well, fuck you. If you know that I am tired, why are you asking me?>>

    <<Most of all, he can't stand students. "Absolutely. I was shocked, for example, once, a student approached me in the US, when I was still teaching a class – which I will never do again – and he told me: 'You know, professor, it interested me what you were saying yesterday, and I thought, I don't know what my paper should be about. Could you please give me some more thoughts and then maybe some idea will pop up.' Fuck him! Who I am to do that?"

    Žižek has had to quit most of his teaching posts in Europe and America, to get away from these intolerable students. "I especially hate when they come to me with personal problems. My standard line is: 'Look at me, look at my tics, don't you see that I'm mad? How can you even think about asking a mad man like me to help you in personal problems, no?'" You can see what he means, for Žižek cuts a fairly startling physical figure – like a grizzly bear, pawing wildly at his face, sniffing and snuffling and gesticulating between every syllable. "But it doesn't work! They still trust me. And I hate this because – this is what I don't like about American society – I don't like this openness, like when you meet a guy for the first time, and he's starting to tell you about his sex life. I hate this, I hate this!">>

    <<"Yeah, because I'm extremely romantic here. You know what is my fear? This postmodern, permissive, pragmatic etiquette towards sex. It's horrible. They claim sex is healthy; it's good for the heart, for blood circulation, it relaxes you. They even go into how kissing is also good because it develops the muscles here – this is horrible, my God!" He's appalled by the promise of dating agencies to "outsource" the risk of romance. "It's no longer that absolute passion. I like this idea of sex as part of love, you know: 'I'm ready to sell my mother into slavery just to fuck you for ever.' There is something nice, transcendent, about it. I remain incurably romantic."

    I keep thinking I should try to intervene with a question, but he's off again. "I have strange limits. I am very – OK, another detail, fuck it. I was never able to do – even if a woman wanted it – annal sex." Annal sex? "Ah, anal sex. You know why not? Because I couldn't convince myself that she really likes it. I always had this suspicion, what if she only pretends, to make herself more attractive to me? It's the same thing for fellatio; I was never able to finish into the woman's mouth, because again, my idea is, this is not exactly the most tasteful fluid. What if she's only pretending?"

    He can count the number of women he has slept with on his hands, because he finds the whole business so nerve-racking. "I cannot have one-night stands. I envy people who can do it; it would be wonderful. I feel nice, let's go, bang-bang – yes! But for me, it's something so ridiculously intimate – like, my God, it's horrible to be naked in front of another person, you know? If the other one is evil with a remark – 'Ha ha, your stomach,' or whatever – everything can be ruined, you know?" Besides, he can't sleep with anyone unless he believes they might stay together for ever. "All my relationships – this is why they are very few – were damned from the perspective of eternity. What I mean with this clumsy term is, maybe they will last.">>

    <<By now I can see we're not going to get anywhere near Žižek's new book about Hegel, Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism. Instead, he tells me about the holidays he takes with his young son. The last one was to the Burj Al Arab hotel (jumeirah.com/Hotels-and-Resorts/Reiseziele/Dubai/Burj-Al-Arab), a grotesque temple to tacky ostentation in Dubai. "Why not? Why not? I like to do crazy things. But I did my Marxist duty. I got friendly with the Pakistani taxi driver who showed to me and my son reality.>>
    __________________________ 

    via +Bob Waycott 
    URL source G+ post: plus.google.com/100483191283941466086/posts/1teExFYJg9Q 
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-08-16 21:00:21
    RESHARE:
    pandyland.net - Instagram (Relaxing night in with a cocktail, my favorite book, and Mr Jingles. Bliss!!!)
    By Andy Pandy. C. July 22, 2012

    Source: pandyland.net/71

    Shake Shake Shake
    Nonnegut - A Man Without a Country
    Lady: "Sit here and don't move"
    Lady: "Make a funny face or something you little shit"
    Snap!
    Post: "Relaxing night in with a cocktail, my favorite book, and Mr Jingles. Bliss!!!"  Like - Comment - Share
    19:55
    0:27

    Comments on the cartoon: 
    gizmodo.com/5928058/how-all-those-a+little+too+cool-instagram-photos-really-happen
    gizmodo.co.uk/2012/07/how-all-those-a-little-too-cool-instagram-photos-really-happen


    URL source G+ post: plus.google.com/114096099683887759200/posts/55HRiUAZH8w 
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-13 20:31:36
    MinutePhysics & Veritasium - MAGNETS: How Do They Work?
    By Henry Reich (MinutePhysics) & Derek Muller (Veritasium).
    September 23, 2013 youtu.be/hFAOXdXZ5TM (6 min 26 sec)

    Derek Muller (1:52): "(W)hy do objects with mass and energy attract each other gravitationally? No one knows. We just know that's the way the universe works."

    Comment: I'm staggered that knowledgeable people remain still stuck to the Newtonian pre-relativistic description of gravitation. Objects with mass and energy don't attract each other gravitationally, their accelerated and/or non-linear motion isn't but the direct consequence of the curvature of space-time continuum.

    << In a field model, rather than two particles attracting each other, the particles distort spacetime via their mass, and this distortion is what is perceived and measured as a "force". In such a model one states that matter moves in certain ways in response to the curvature of spacetime,[1] and that there is either no gravitational force,[2] or that gravity is a fictitious force.[3] >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_field 

    <<  In modern physics, the phenomenon of gravitation is most accurately described by the general theory of relativity by Einstein, in which the phenomenon itself is a consequence of the curvature of spacetime governing the motion of inertial objects. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitation 


    Excerpt from comments of related G+ post:

    Mr Teufel Esquire Oct 11, 2013 +1
    It's important that science prove the obvious, because sometimes the 'obvious' isn't actually true. It's obvious that the sun circles the earth.
    _____ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 11, 2013
    Lousy example. Can you prove that it doesn't? Ever heard of non-inertial frames of reference?
    _____ 

    Mr Teufel Esquire Oct 11, 2013
    Heh. Changing the frame of reference is very literally "moving the goal posts"! :D
    _____ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 11, 2013
    You don't have to "change" your frame of reference, you choose it.
    _____ 

    Panu Viljamaa Oct 11, 2013
    Choosing non-inertial frames of reference means you have to believe in fiction, in fictitious forces, such as the "centrifugal force".  

    When in a carousel  you feel that force trying to drag you off. But it is not real, it is fictitious. You may think it is some demon or Devil's advocate trying to drag you off the board but it is not.

    Similarly you can "feel" the Sun is circling the earth but that is not real either, just fiction, non-science-fiction.
    _____ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 11, 2013
    +Panu Viljamaa: "Choosing non-inertial frames of reference means you have to believe in fiction, in fictitious forces, such as the "centrifugal force".

    — You are aware that the "force" of gravity isn't a force at all, right? but simply the consequence of the curvature of space-time. So which of those "real" forces that govern the motion of your carousel are left? 
    _____ 

    Panu Viljamaa Oct 12, 2013 1:31 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla No I wasn't aware that gravity isn't a real force. As I said I think this is a bit off-topic. But it is a good question. So I would encourage you to create a new post where you present arguments as to why it's no more correct to believe that Earth circles Sun than to believe that Sun circles Earth.  If I understood you correctly that is what you are saying. I would be happy to learn more about it.
    _____ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 12, 2013 3:32 AM
    +Panu Viljamaa: "why it's no more correct to believe that Earth circles Sun than to believe that Sun circles Earth."

    — I don't remember to have said anything like that. I explicitly said that you could choose whatever frame of reference that you see fit.

    +Panu Viljamaa: "No I wasn't aware that gravity isn't a real force."

    — Consider the case of gravitational lenses (or black holes, for the matter). Despite not having mass the trajectory of light is "bent" by a gravitatory field.
    On the other hand, the following phenomenon shows that "spinning objects" can produce a distinct effect on your intertial frame of reference:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frame-dragging 
    _____ 

    URL comments of related G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/110240143550654748022/posts/X2ryGR9n4dT 
    _________________________ 

    << Spacetime around a massive object (such as a galaxy cluster or a black hole) is curved, and as a result light rays from a background source (such as a galaxy) propagating through spacetime are bent. The lensing effect can magnify and distort the image of the background source.

    Unlike an optical lens, maximum 'bending' occurs closest to, and minimum 'bending' furthest from, the center of a gravitational lens. Consequently, a gravitational lens has no single focal point, but a focal line instead. If the (light) source, the massive lensing object, and the observer lie in a straight line, the original light source will appear as a ring around the massive lensing object. If there is any misalignment the observer will see an arc segment instead. >>
     . . . 
    << Gravitational lenses act equally on all kinds of electromagnetic radiation, not just visible light. Weak lensing effects are being studied for the cosmic microwave background as well as galaxy surveys. Strong lenses have been observed in radio and x-ray regimes as well. If a strong lens produces multiple images, there will be a relative time delay between two paths: that is, in one image the lensed object will be observed before the other image. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_lens#Description 

    << The first frame-dragging effect was derived in 1918, in the framework of general relativity, by the Austrian physicists Josef Lense and Hans Thirring, and is also known as the Lense–Thirring effect.[1][2][3] They predicted that the rotation of a massive object would distort the spacetime metric, making the orbit of a nearby test particle precess. This does not happen in Newtonian mechanics for which the gravitational field of a body depends only on its mass, not on its rotation. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frame-dragging 
    _________________________ 

    Panu Viljamaa Oct 12, 2013 3:41 AM
    OK very interesting. As we learn more, the curiouser it seems to get. Thanks for the links.
    _____ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 14, 2013 12:12 AM
    I had only included one link. I've found this reference of gravity as a fictitious force:

    << In a field model, rather than two particles attracting each other, the particles distort spacetime via their mass, and this distortion is what is perceived and measured as a "force". In such a model one states that matter moves in certain ways in response to the curvature of spacetime,[1] and that there is either no gravitational force,[2] or that gravity is a fictitious force.[3] >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_field 

    References:

    << We have already seen above that Einstein's equation can be interpreted as requiring that "matter cause curvature in space-time," and that it can also be interpreted as requiring that "matter move in certain ways in response to curvature in space-time." Gravitation thus arises as follows. Let there be, say, two massive bodies in the world. Then, according to Einstein's equation, each will cause a certain amount of curvature in space-time. Further, according to Einstein's equation, each body will be forced to move in a certain way in response to the curvature caused by the other. The net result, then, is that each body influences the other. It is just this influence that we call gravitation. The idea is that the curvature of the space-time geometry acts as a sort of intermediary between two bodies. It is essentially the gravitational field. >>

    1. Geroch, Robert (1981). General relativity from A to B. University of Chicago Press. p. 181. ISBN 0-226-28864-1., Chapter 7, page 181
    books.google.com/books?id=UkxPpqHs0RkC&pg=PA181 


    << Gravity is treated very differently in Newton's and Einstein's theories. According to the general theory of relativity there is no gravitational force. The principle of equivalence says that the physical effects of permanent gravitational fields and those due to the acceleration or rotation of the reference frame are equivalent. >>

    2. Grøn, Øyvind; Hervik, Sigbjørn (2007). Einstein's general theory of relativity; with modern applications in cosmology. Springer Japan. p. 256. ISBN 0-387-69199-5., Chapter 10, page 256
    books.google.com/books?id=COqUEa5M6O0C&pg=PA256 


    << Free particles (i.e., those moving under gravity alone, gravity no longer being a force) follow the straightest paths or geodesics in the curved space-time, just as the ants follow geodesics on the apple's skin. >>
     . . . 
    << Given that Einstein's general theory does not involve the idea of gravity as a force, how does the gravitational "force" that is a feature of the Newtonian theory arise? We remarked in the Introduction that in a local inertial frame (a freely falling nonrotating reference system occupying a small region of space-time) the laws of physics are those of special relativity, an in particular free particles (those moving under gravity alone) follow straight-line paths with constant speed, so for these frames there is no acceleration and consequently no "force." When discussing gravity in Newtonian terms, it is customary to insist that the frame used is nonrotating (so there are no centrifugal or Coriolis "forces"), but one does not normally use a frame that is freely falling, and it is this use of nonfreely falling frames that gives rise to gravitational forces. Just as the fictitious forces associated with rotation (the centrifugal and the Coriolis forces) can be transformed away (locally) by changing to a nonrotating frame, so can the fictitious force of gravity be transformed away by changing to a freely falling frame. >>

    3. J. Foster, J. D. Nightingale, J. Foster, J. D. Nightingale; J. Foster, J. D. Nightingale, J. Foster, J. D. Nightingale (2006). A short course in general relativity (3 ed.). Springer Science & Business. p. 55. ISBN 0-387-26078-1., Chapter 2, page 55
    books.google.com/books?id=wtoKZODmoVsC&pg=PA55 
    _____ 

    URL comments of related G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/110240143550654748022/posts/X2ryGR9n4dT 
    _________________________ 

    Related YouTube video:
    How Special Relativity Makes Magnets Work
    By Veritasium. September 23, 2013
    youtu.be/1TKSfAkWWN0 (4min 19 sec)
    _________________________ 

    via +Tom Eigelsbach 
    URL via G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/104408971224491390678/posts/HDrJNrymMMk 
    URL source G+ posts:
    plus.google.com/114328975933589556247/posts/LZvRX5b3F5P 
    plus.google.com/+veritasium/posts/i5nPfHJkRFs 
    _________________________ 
  • 7 plusses - 2 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-05-05 05:34:53
    RESHARE:
    plus.google.com - Loosing track of you followers: you can´t see if someone circled you!
    By Max Huijgen. May 3, 2012

    Comment:
    I've been experiencing a similar problem. I can only see in my notifications the last 9-10 people who have circled me, plus others who added me several weeks ago. However, I've been recently circled by hundreds of new people that I can't identify. I still have them included in the list of more than 1,300 people who have circled me but this list isn't arranged according to the time they added me to their circles so it's rather hard to try to determine who is recent and who is not.

    URL source post: plus.google.com/112352920206354603958/posts/ifFxu72ZtAw

    Reshared text:
    Loosing track of you followers: you can´t see if someone circled you!
    You used to see a small icon to the right of someone´s name, but it disappeared today. So now our last possibility to see who has circled you has gone.

    If you read the attached post you will see that if you have more than 8-10K followers there is just no way left to know if someone has circled you. The user interface just stops after a number of ´Show more´

    There has always been an alternative to the UI, the trick I describe in the attached post, to just enter https://plus.google.com/u/0/_/socialgraph/lookup/followers/?m=1000000 but like I said on April 6th it´s now limited to a text file with no more than 10K followers whatever the number you use for m in the string above.

    *Do you feel you are entitled to know who is following you or is it none of your business and is it up to Google to decide if you can see your followers?

    After writing the below post which got about 100 comments I have contacted people from Google in charge of G+, on the limitation on the number of followers and I was promised a reaction (*). It´s now more urgent than ever!

    (*)I don´t mention their names as it´s no use bombarding people publically
  • 4 plusses - 6 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-09-27 14:16:36
    RESHARE:
    rd.com - Most Honest Cities: The Reader’s Digest “Lost Wallet” Test
    From Reader's Digest International Editions. September 2013
    rd.com/slideshows/most-honest-cities-lost-wallet-test/?v=print 

    Excerpt from comments in G+ post 1:

    Max Huijgen Shared publicly  -  Sep 26, 2013 8:38 PM
    How Honest Are We? Country by Country Comparison
    ________ 

    Chris Holt* Sep 26, 2013 9:55 PM
    I would have liked to see Japan in this, they have been known for having an honest culture.
    ________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep26, 2013 10:13 PM
    The "honest" word is improperly used here. You can't be dishonest if you haven't previously accepted any commitment.
    ________ 

    Chris Holt Sep 26, 2013 10:33 PM +2
    +Zephyr López Cervilla this speaks to an implied societal contract that includes concepts of ownership and property.
    ________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 27, 2013 10:39 PM
    +Chris Holt, implied by whom? I don't know of anyone who implies they will recover something if they abandon it in a public place. And where go those concepts when they collect taxes?
    ________ 

    Chris Holt Sep 27, 2013 2:34 AM +2
    +Zephyr López Cervilla as I said, it is societal, not implied by a single person, but generally agreed upon.  Compare to a broken down vehicle. Both it and the wallet are identifiable property and it goes against both the law and a generally agreed perception of honesty to take either.  If you go off to find a tow and I get there first with my tow truck, should I have no pangs of conscience because you didn't personally ask me not to take it?
    The biggest difference here and the reason it highlights actual honesty (or morality if you prefer) is that there is very little chance of getting caught taking and keeping the wallet.
    Taxes are entirely different. They are simply a capital transaction of currency for services. That adage about "death and taxes" says how certain everyone is that they will eventually get caught if they cheat.

    It is difficult to measure true honesty when reprisal is certain. A real measure comes when the threat (of reprisal) is low and society's expectations are low. 
    ________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 27, 2013 9:31 AM
    +Chris Holt: " a generally agreed perception of honesty to take either."

    — You re making stuff up, right? The societal rule here is the following, you left it, you lost it. If someone ever returns you anything, they won't do it out of honesty, but out of generosity, empathy or compassion.

    +Chris Holt: "Taxes are entirely different. They are simply a capital transaction of currency for services."

    — That is not a transaction, you are coerced to hand your money or property. You have no other alternative. Calling this a capital transaction is like referring to slavery as an economic transaction: food and shelter (or a plot of land to live) and your physical integrity in  exchange for your work.
    ________ 

    URL source G+ post 1:
    plus.google.com/112352920206354603958/posts/bWcVRmz5FLu 
    ____________________________ 


    Excerpt from comments in G+ post 2:

    Able Lawrence Shared publicly  -  Sep 27, 2013 3:37 AM
    Honesty index around the world.
    ________ 

    Able Lawrence Sep 27, 2013 4:02 AM +1
    Not surprised about Spain, the pickpockets Capital of the world! 
    ________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 27, 2013 9:20 AM
    This is not about pickpocketing, they abandoned the wallets.
    As I said before, the "honest" word is improperly used here. You can't be dishonest if you haven't previously accepted any commitment. I don't know of anyone who implies they will recover something if they abandon it in a public place. You left it, you lost it. If someone ever returns you something, he or she won't do it out of honesty, but out of generosity, empathy or compassion.
    ________ 

    Harikumar KN Sep 27, 2013 9:30 AM +1
    I would think that not taking what evidently belongs to some one else, to be honesty. Giving out of your own would be generosity, empathy or compassion.
    ________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 27, 2013 9:33 AM
    If you abandoned it, it doesn't belong to you anymore.
    ________ 

    Anne Ricci Sep 27, 2013 9:45 AM +2
    +Able Lawrence This is good! The Spanish statistic is right. It happened to me once and I was shocked, because in other circumstances people are very honest. But when "nobody's looking" it seems they are not...
    ________ 

    Debashish Samaddar Sep 27, 2013 10:06 AM +1
    +Zephyr López Cervilla 's comments are in line with the Spanish wallet return rate. :))
    As if people go to a park to deliberately abandon their wallets. "Guard take Snow White my wallet to the woods and abandon her it there!"
    ________ 

    Debashish Samaddar Sep 27, 2013 10:12 AM +2
    +Azure Tackert I find Americans to be very honest. But average Americans though... the richer they get that honesty tapers off, but still in a subtle way. They might try to price gouge you in a roundabout way, like, "Oh here is a $649 phone (that was made in China for $150)." But they wouldn't run away with your wallet or consider it "abandoned". :))
    ________ 

    Able Lawrence Sep 27, 2013 10:35 AM +1
    Spaniards are very inventive with pickpocketing. Be careful about escalators and other constrained locations. 
    ________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 27, 2013 1:42 PM
    +Debashish Samaddar: "Zephyr López Cervilla 's comments are in line with the Spanish wallet return rate. :))"

    — Playing the xenophobic card? Let's play. Say that at least we don't beat up tourists while they are sleeping in their tents to seize their belongings, and then throw them off a cliff to avoid being denounced:

    "La familia de la mujer asesinada en la India junto a su hijo denuncia la desidia institucional por el caso"

    — Garrido, Lydia. Un año de dolor y silencio. El País. August 26, 2001 
    elpais.com/diario/2001/08/26/cvalenciana/998853483_850215.html

    "La Policía india afirma que ambos fueron apaleados hasta la muerte y después les robaron - Los cuerpos se hallan en un lugar de difícil acceso, por lo que aún no han sido recuperados"

    — News agencies. Una española y su hijo, asesinados por unos ladrones en el Himalaya. El Mundo. August 26, 2000
    elmundo.es/elmundo/2000/08/26/sociedad/967323467.html 


    <<· La víctima viajaba en un tren y fue secuestrada por una decena de hombres
    ·Es la segunda agresión sexual en grupo durante este fin de semana en el país
    · Nuevo caso de violación en grupo de una mujer de 29 años en India

    Medio desnuda, con signos de violencia y colgada de un árbol ha encontrado esta mañana la policía a una mujer de 32 años en el Estado de Bihar, en el norte de India. Se trata de la segunda víctima mortal de agresión sexual en grupo en el país asiático del fin de semana.

    Menos de un mes después de la violación en grupo en un autobús de la estudiante de 23 años que conmocionó al mundo, una decena de hombres ebrios secuestró anoche a la mujer, que viajaba en un tren con su hijo de 10 años, desde la capital, Delhi.>>

    — Reuters. Hallada muerta, violada y colgada de un árbol una mujer en el norte de India. El País. January 14, 2013 
    sociedad.elpais.com/sociedad/2013/01/14/actualidad/1358180850_579428.html 


    Let's see homicide rates:

    Country | Source | Data | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011
    India | Criminal Justice - National police | Rate | 4.4 | 4.4 | 4.4 | 4.5 | 4.2 | 4.2 | 4.0 | 3.9 | 3.5 | 3.6 | 3.5 | 3.5 | 3.4 | 3.4 | 3.4 | 3.4 | 3.5
    Spain | Criminal Justice - CTS/Eurostat | Rate | 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.2 | 1.3 | 1.2 | 1.4 | 1.4 | 1.4 | 1.4 | 1.2 | 1.2 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 0.9 | 0.9 | 0.8 | -

    Source:
    Intentional homicide, count and rate per 100,000 population (1995 - 2011). United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 2012
    unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/statistics/crime/Homicide_statistics2012.xls 

    If you are in India you have 4 times as much chances to be unlawfully killed than if you are in Spain.
    We don't rape any woman who dares to walk without a bodyguard either. Many males from India are the perfect example of the macho man, you just have a read what they post and they comment here on G+. That's the kind of morality that they show off. The (im)morality of your fellow citizens sucks.
    ________ 

    Able Lawrence Sep 27, 2013 1:56 PM
    Every one I know who has been to Spain has been pickpocketed despite warnings and caution. Once, a crowd suddenly appeared on a stairway and then person tripped and some "good samaritan" helped and the wallet was gone! Such organized gangs exist in India also but not on such scale. +Zephyr López Cervilla  In India the targets these days are not wallets but smart phones in public transport buses. Pickpockets specialize in smart phone theft. (I have lost my phone twice in the period 200-2001 (I travelled in a public transport only twice! and both times it happened). The second time I had travelled only 3 stops! May be they should try the experiment with smartphones with tracking software and see how things pan out. If you use a big bag, I am sure no one will touch them in India (bomb scare). If you can leave a few wires dangling, you can be assured of special police protection. 
    ________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 27, 2013 2:03 PM 
    In contrast, I've never been pickpocketed, neither in Spain nor in any other country. I was assaulted in Romania, though.
    ________ 

    Able Lawrence Sep 27, 2013 2:06 PM 
    +Zephyr López Cervilla Maybe Spain's pickpockets specialize in foreigners. Worst part is that generally people felt that the police is in collusion with the pickpockets in places like Barcelona. What I don't understand is why they think Indians are good targets. After all we are from a poor country
    ________ 

    Debashish Samaddar Sep 27, 2013 2:09 PM 
    +Zephyr López Cervilla India has 1.1 billion people about half of who are women. I don't know your math skills but the stray 2-3 (or 10) incidents you have read about in the media, (as horrible as they are) comes to what percentage? And notice how the entire country takes to the street to condemn it? Do you think any other nation will do that? Show me ONE other example.
    The dominant persona of women in India is mother. Despite what you read, women are safer in India than in the west, where the dominant persona of women is lover or mistress.

    And don't forget Columbus set out from Spain to look for India. Clearly your forbears thought of India more highly than you do.

    I don't want to fill +Able Lawrence 's thread with irrelevant stuff but if you want to talk about women in India vis-à-vis in Spain, we can do that in a separate thread.

    BTW, I am a citizen of the United States.
    ________ 

    Debashish Samaddar Sep 27, 2013 2:25 PM 
    +Zephyr López Cervilla I didn't realize you came back with statistics about how many people Spaniards kill unlawfully. Hey, I got some numbers too:
    People (native Americans in North and South America) killed by Spanish invaders: let's say 10 million (more like 50 million... in any case millions).
    People killed by Indian invaders (an oxymoron): 0

    India is still trailing.

    Here's a lesson for you: children of murderous savages shouldn't cite murder rates. Now please shut up.

    And you probably don't realize, the host of this thread, +Able Lawrence is Indian, so you are basically offending the host in his own house. Nice!
    ________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 27, 2013 3:01 PM
    +Debashish Samaddar: "People (native Americans in North and South America) killed by Spanish invaders: let's say 10 million (more like 50 million... in any case millions)."

    — You seem to be misled. Those killings weren't carried out by the Spanish people but by the rulers of the Spanish Empire, their Government and the soldiers of their armies, who often weren't even Spanish, neither the King/Emperor Charles I/V by the way, who was Flemish:

    <<Charles was born in the Flemish city of Ghent in 1500. The culture and courtly life of the Burgundian Low Countries were an important influence in his early life.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_V,_Holy_Roman_Emperor#Heritage_and_early_life 

    <<Castilian law prohibited foreigners and non-Catholics from settling in the New World. However, not all Conquistadors were Castilian or Christian. Many foreigners hispanicised their names and/or converted to Catholicism to serve the Castilian Crown. For example, Ioánnis Fokás (known as Juan de Fuca) was a Castilian of Greek origin who discovered the strait that bears his name between Vancouver Island and Washington State in 1592. German-born Nikolaus Federmann, hispanicised as Nicolás de Federmán, was a conquistador in Venezuela and Colombia. The Venetian Sebastiano Caboto was Sebastián Caboto, Georg von Speyer hispanized as Jorge de la Espira, Eusebius Franz Kühn hispanicised as Eusebio Francisco Kino, Wenceslaus Linck was Wenceslao Linck, Ferdinand Konščak, was Fernando Consag, Amerigo Vespucci was Américo Vespucio, and the Portuguese Aleixo Garcia was known as Alejo García in the Castilian army.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conquistador#Background 

    On the other hand, the population who lived in Spain and remained here didn't participate in those slaughters, and those who went to America often settled there, so most of their descendants are now part of the population of the Americas.

    Anyway, they all are long dead, so you can't rightfully blame the living for their acts (as they are different people). In contrast, most of the people who have committed crimes in India still live there (hence, the purpose for comparing the homicide rates in the last years), and they often have committed those crimes in collusion of the local population, as with the example that I cited above.

    +Debashish Samaddar: "And you probably don't realize, the host of this thread, +Able Lawrence is Indian, so you are basically offending the host in his own house. Nice!"

    — Right, any "honest" person (like you) would have lied to flatter their host.
    ________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 27, 2013 6:49 PM
    +Able Lawrence: "Spaniards are very inventive with pickpocketing. Be careful about escalators and other constrained locations."
    — Did they identify themselves as Spaniards?
    ________ 

    Liny Easow Sep 27, 2013 7:16 PM +1
    I was surprised to see the number of comments on a simple article in which somebody just tested 'honesty' level of citizens in various countries. So, I took a look.

    The results are surprising and no one can say that it was contrived to make a particular country look bad.
    Then, the topic detoured to 'playing the xenophobic card'!

    +Zephyr López Cervilla   The word 'abandoned' means to willfully leave something and that was only done by the experimenters. The ones who found the wallets had to logically conclude that the wallets are lost property of another person, since no one will abandon their wallets. So, what do we do with lost property? Return it. It is done only when conscience tells us that the property does not belong to us. It has nothing to do with sympathy or compassion.

    The macho Indian men that you mentioned are the few who spend time on the net to do idle things and talk nonsense. Otherwise, most Indian men are working [12 to 16 hours sometimes] to make their ends meet and live up to their status among others. We are not so economically well off here, you see, to waste time on idle talk. I being a homemaker can spare casual time on the net.
    I don't think that women are so unsafe all over India. It is only in the urban cities that incidents against women are increasing. The rate has increased only in the past 2 decades as the media influence and immoral material on net was available to citizens here. Or else our society is based on respect for women as the majority here are Hindus and they have goddesses.
    In all societies be it here or abroad, single and lonely women are targeted by immoral men, these days.  Not just in India.
    ________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 27, 2013 9:19 PM
    Example No. 2:
    There's a gold mine in which the mineral extracted from the ground is washed. The residual water that has been used for that purpose ends in a nearby river that remains unowned. Every time there's heavy rain the river comes particularly enriched with gold from the mineral extracted from the mine.
    Downstream you set a campsite to recover that gold that comes from the mine.
    Must you return all that gold to the owners of the mine, or otherwise it's of their exclusive concern to prevent any gold leakages?

    "The reasonable assumption is that the" mine owners have "lost" that gold "and would like to have it back if they could."

    Example No. 3:
    During summer some nights a person equipped with a metal detector walks along the most popular beaches in search of any valuable items hidden under the sand. Must this person return those items to their former owners in case he or she can identify them?

    "The reasonable assumption is that the" beach visitors have "lost" those valuable items "and would like to have it back if they could."
    ________ 

    Deeptak Verma Sep 27, 2013 9:47 PM +3 
    My answers to your questions:

    1. There is a difference between claiming stake on a natural resource and hard-earned money. So there is no way you can compare this study with your example 2.

    2. If the person with a metal detector finds something that can be traced back to its owners, then "yes", he/she should try to return it back. If they cannot trace back the owners, they could either keep it or donate it. And in this study, all lost wallets had specific info of their owners.

    There is a difference between living in a civilized society and a jungle. 
    If you are still not getting the point what "honesty" really is, then maybe you should see this that happened in the last 2 weeks: 

    http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/national_world&id=9253013

    http://news.yahoo.com/climber-finds-treasure-trove-off-mont-blanc-111739540.html
    ________ 

    Liny Easow Sep 27, 2013 10:04 PM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla
    You just woke up from the wrong side of the bed today, to seriously argue on this non-issue!
    ________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 28, 2013 1:02 PM
    +Deeptak Verma: "1. There is a difference between claiming stake on a natural resource and hard-earned money. So there is no way you can compare this study with your example 2."

    — I can see here several misconceptions and fallacies, and it reveals the weakness of your moral principles.
    The owners of the gold mmine could have invested their life savings in their business, and they may need to work very hard to make it profitable. They could have needed to buy the land at a very high price. Perhaps the value of the gold lost can make a difference between making a living and going bankrupt.

    Conversely, the money in a wallet doesn't have to have been hard-earned money. Swindlers, mafia gansters, politicians and hired murderers are also susceptible to lose their wallets. You seem to be jumping to conclusions without base, projecting your individual anecdotal experience to all cases.

    Your morality seems to be based on your feelings towards others (empathy, affection, compassion) rather than on principles. In this case, you don't seem to feel much affection toward gold mine owners whereas you are rather compassionate toward wallet users.

    As I shown above, this can be quite an ineffective way to determine the consequences of your actions. On the other hand, developing your morality on the consequences of your actions may be also a bad idea. Such criterion would prevent people from competing in the market place to avoid hurting potential competitors, what would hinder technological progress, productivity and efficiency.

    What can be then a suitable moral principle? For instance, the non-aggression principle, often referred as the non-initiation of force. It tells us that we must not initiate force against others. Any action that doesn't violate such principle would be morally acceptable.
    This aggression can either be physical or psychological, and may be extended to aggression to private property. However, lost items can be not included since by the act of losing them, those items have effectively turned into unowned (it's default condition).

    +Deeptak Verma: "2. If the person with a metal detector finds something that can be traced back to its owners, then "yes", he/she should try to return it back. If they cannot trace back the owners, they could either keep it or donate it."

    — Such criterion may well cause unintended consequences. Imagine that it is widely adopted by the general population, and that as a consequence most people engrave their valuable belongings with their email addresses so they can be easily reached by anyone who find those items.

    The people who search for lost items on the beach will have to return most of the items they find, what could cut down their generated income by such activity. As a result they may lose interest in such activity and give it up completely.

    That would mean that all those items wouldn't be recovered anymore so they wouldn't reach the market. To replace them it would be required ro extract more raw matter (e.g., mining), refining, and other processing, and extra expense of energy, all such activities contributing to pollute the environment.

    In contrast, the search and recycling of lost items would have been much more environmentally friendly. As it often occurs, well intended actions may lead to catastrophic results.
    ________ 

    URL source G+ post 2:
    plus.google.com/106443631293705273808/posts/GzWpXGaRcNA 
    ____________________________ 

    Keywords:  #pickpocket #honest   #Spain #pickpocketers   #pickpocketing #honesty #dishonest #dishonesty #India #homicide #rape  
    ____________________________ 

    Reshared text:
    So... how honest are we really when no one is looking?  

    In this experiment 192 wallets were dropped around the world, the goal was to see how many would be returned. Each wallet had the equivalent of $50, a family photo, coupons, business cards and a cell phone number.

    The results are interesting/surprising. (Though I caution, as an analyst, I would want to drop more wallets, put the results through stronger statistical computations, yada, yada, yada.)

    Bottom-line: 47% of the wallets were returned. Fewer than I would have expected. 

    The most honest city in the world? Helsinki and Mumbai. Go Finns! Go Indians!

    New York and Moscow do very well, warmed my heart. (What is up with London!)

    I have to admit I was shocked to see Zurich's ranking. I don't know why. I suppose I've always thought so incredibly highly of the Swiss.

    At the bottom of the list were Madrid (2 returned) and Lisbon (1 returned, and even that was by a tourist from Holland who was visiting Portugal!).

    One final interesting bit, age, gender, income did not predict if the person was going to be honest or dishonest. I suppose people are honest or not, regardless of how old they are, how rich they are, what sex they are.

    #foodforthought   Source: http://goo.gl/YSaNnP
  • 3 plusses - 5 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-09-14 23:40:13
    [Bloomberg:] "Libertarians Are the New Communists" - Rebutted!
    By Stefan Molyneux (freedomainradio.com). Sep 11, 2013
    youtu.be/G27Dgq-RF5U (48 min 17 sec)
    Comment: Proof that Bloomberg disseminates political propaganda rather than journalism.

    Video blurb:
    << Stefan Molyneux rebuts the deliciously sophistic "Libertarians Are the New Communists" article by Nick Hanauer and Eric Liu, which was recently published by Bloomberg. Stefan reads the article and hilarity ensues. >>

    Reference article:

    · Hanauer, Nick and Liu, Eric. Libertarians Are the New Communists. Bloomberg. September 5, 2013
    bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-05/libertarians-are-the-new-communists.html 

    Other rebuttals/reactions:

    · Gillespie, Nick. "Libertarians are the New Communists." And Anti-Libertarians Are Out of Ideas. Reason.com (blog). September 6, 2013
    reason.com/blog/2013/09/06/libertarians-are-the-new-communists-and 

    · Barnett, Gary D. ‘Libertarians Are the New Communists?’ Gary D. Barnett blog. September 6, 2013
    garydbarnett.com/GDBdaily/?p=2001 

    URL related G+ posts:

    bloomberg.com (100+ comments)
    plus.google.com/107033731246200681024/posts/T5tV9uv85cB 

    reason.com (6 comments)
    plus.google.com/102760186866297506637/posts/dMAPxRKhS8W 

    Liberty Crier (2 comments):
    plus.google.com/106837067542860225931/posts/6uPBseBxEjw 

    Sources:
    plus.google.com/105416475244874554281/posts/8QjnpRSQD9K 
    plus.google.com/105030410132022906152/posts/RxJvvzyxoGW 
    plus.google.com/105030410132022906152/posts/a1daKixyB4h 
    ______________ 
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-03-09 22:01:53
    RESHARE:
    plus.goggle.com - Trojans and Hildas
    By John Baez. March 9, 2013
    plus.google.com/117663015413546257905/posts/XecfeBK9QER 

    Source of animated GIF: 

    astronomy.cz - Asteroid (and Comet) Groups
    By Petr Scheirich. 2005
    http://sajri.astronomy.cz/asteroidgroups/groups.htm 

    Related G+ post: 

    plus.goggle.com - Kirkwood gaps
    By John Baez. March 9, 2013 
    plus.google.com/117663015413546257905/posts/fmYcP2D2Mnh 
    _____________ 

    Reshared text:
    Trojans and Hildas.  Here are some asteroids viewed in a rotating frame of reference where Jupiter almost stands still.    The Trojans, in green, are asteroids that stay near the Lagrange points 60° ahead or behind Jupiter.  They go around the Sun once each time Jupiter orbits the Sun.  But the Hildas, in purple, go around the Sun 3 times while Jupiter goes around twice.  We say they're in a 3:2 resonance with Jupiter. 

    The Hildas seem to be moving in a triangular pattern.  But actually each one takes an elliptical orbit around the Sun.  There are three kinds of ellipses. Two go farthest from the Sun near the Lagrange points, while one goes farthest from the Sun opposite Jupiter.   Although the whole triangle of Hildas is nearly equilateral, it's not quite.  The side between the two Lagrange points is a bit different from the two other sides.   You can also see the whole triangle pulsing as Jupiter moves in and out!

    This animated gif is one of many made by Petr Scheirich, and you can have hours of fun looking at his website:

    • Petr Scheirich, Asteroid (and comet) groups, http://sajri.astronomy.cz/asteroidgroups/groups.htm.

    There's a lot to say about Trojans and Lagrange points, but let me talk about Hildas.  Over 1,100 Hildas have been found, the being Hilda, named after the discoverer's daughter.  It's big - 175 kilometers in diameter - but not very bright, because it's made of ancient stuff containing lots of carbon, similar to the nucleus of a comet.

    The Hildas don't form a 'true' asteroid family, because they aren't fragments of a single parent object.  Instead, they're a 'dynamical' family: they're defined by having similar orbits.    Any Hilda's orbit has an eccentricity less than 0.3, an inclination less than 20°, and a semi-major axis between 3.7 AU and 4.2 AU.  Remember, the semi-major axis of an ellipse is half the distance between the farthest points.

    So, the Hildas are outside the main asteroid belt, which lies between the 4:1 resonance with Jupiter at 2.1 AU and the 2:1 resonance at 3.0 AU.

    The density of Hildas near the triangle's corners is more than twice the density on the sides. The reason is that the Hildas move more slowly when they're farther from the Sun!   So, they stay near the corners for an average of 5.0-5.5 years, but move along the sides of the triangle more quickly, for 2.5 to 3.0 years. The overall period of the Hildas is about 7.9 years, which is 2/3 the period of Jupiter.

    For more, see:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilda_family

    #astronomy  
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-01-26 22:59:22
    RESHARE:
    plus.google.com - Scarecrows and Wreaths: Genetic Secrets of Efficient Food Crops
    By Rajini Rao. January 26, 2013

    Excerpt from comments:
    Richard Smith Jan 26, 2012 5:22 PM 
    <<For those discussing the greater water use efficiency of C4 plants; the most productive C4 plants are on average about 50% more water efficient than the most efficient C3 and this derives from the fact that, because CO2 is concentrated around RuBisCO, less CO2 uptake is required so the stomata can remain closed more of the time. Thus there is less transpiration.

    Because C4 plants need much less RuBisCO than C3 plants, and RuBisCO is the most abundant protein in most plants, C4 plants are also ~50% more efficient in their use of nitrogen, so they need less fertiliser.>>

    Richard Smith Jan 26, 2012 5:47 PM
    <<C4 plants account for ~40% of terrestrial biomass>>

    Question:
    I come up with a few questions that someone may know and be in the mood to answer:

    1. Is there any tree species among the C4 plants?

    2. Since C4 plants seem to have appeared independently several times over evolution, which C4 group appeared most recently and in which period? Is it the most widespread of them?

    3. Were there some particular environmental conditions during that period that could have favored their emergence, evolution and dissemination (warmer global or regional temperatures, lower CO2 atmospheric concentration, less abundant rainfall, more common drought, etc.)? 

    4. Is there any candidate in the fossil record of an ancient group of C4 plants that went extinct?

    5. As for the gas exchange through stomata, could carbonated water (with disolved CO2 / H2CO3) in the soil reduce the volume of water required for the Calvin Cycle/Dark Phase of the photosynthesis? If there's usually some contribution to the CO fixation from the CO2 disolved in the soil, what is the approximate percentage of that contribution?

    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/114601143134471609087/posts/aPKK1DLrcbj 
    _______________ 

    Reshared text:
    Scarecrows and Wreaths: Genetic Secrets of Efficient Food Crops
     
    • Ancient plants, like rice, wheat and barley, originating in the Mesozoic and Paleozoic eras, still form 95% of the Earth’s plant biomass. They use an enzyme known as RuBisCo (the most abundant protein on the planet!) to fix atmospheric carbon dioxide on to a 5-carbon sugar (ribulose bis-phosphate) to make 2 molecules of a 3-carbon sugar that eventually becomes sucrose. This is the C3 pathway, but it's not too efficient: the enzyme RuBisCo also catalyzes a competing reaction called "photorespiration" that adds oxygen to the 5-carbon sugar making a byproduct that takes many tedious and expensive steps to convert back to the useful sugar. These plants can also lose 97% of the water absorbed by the roots through stomata or pores on the underside of the leaves. If they close their stomata, they limit the diffusion of CO2 into leaves, so they have limited growth in hot, dry areas.

    • Fortunately, in the last 6-7 million years, another group of plants (sugarcane, maize, grasses) began to flourish that bypassed this problem. They evolved from the C3 plants independently, more than 60 times- a spectacular example of convergent evolution.  In these plants, a different enzyme is used to fix CO2 to make a 4-carbon sugar in the leaf cells, that is then shuttled into special wreath-like layer around the veins, known as Kranz sheath (German for wreath).  Kranz cells release CO2 from this intermediate, insulating and concentrating it around the Rubisco enzyme so that the wasteful side reaction does not occur. This highly effective C4 pathway boosts productivity by 50%. Even though C4 plants make up only 3% of plant species, they account for 30% of all carbon fixation on land.

    • How does one coax C3 plants to follow C4 pathways and boost food production in hot, dry areas, while removing more CO2 from the atmosphere? C3 plants have all the enzymes needed, but lack the specialized anatomy of the wreaths and the tight spacing between veins. It was assumed that engineering Kranz anatomy would be exceptionally difficult. In a breakthrough study, scientists noted common features of the Kranz sheath with root and stem bundles, suggesting a common developmental pathway. Working on a hunch, they showed that a gene called Scarecrow, regulates the special anatomy in both roots and leaves.  “Recapitulating the evolution of C4 structure in C3 plants is likely to be a much more manageable goal if the underlying regulatory components are already in place in roots and stems”.

    Image: Kranz anatomy in French Millet, a C4 plant. Note the bundle sheath, packed with green chloroplasts, around the central vein, and the tight spacing of less than 4 cells between the bundles. http://goo.gl/J004P  
    Read More: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Jan13/Scarecrow.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C4_carbon_fixation

    Paper: Scarecrow plays a role in establishing Kranz anatomy in maize leaves. Slewinsky, T.L., et al. Plant Cell Physiol. 2012 Dec;53:2030-7. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcs147.

    #ScienceEveryday when it's not #ScienceSunday .
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-06-25 01:46:52
    xkcd.com - Gravity Wells

    URL large image: xkcd.com/681_large .
    ____________________ 

    Comment:
    I can't yet understand why the Earth's gravity well is 5,478 km deep in the main chart, whereas it's 6,379 km in its auxiliary chart (when compared with Moon's well), and on the other hand, Mars' gravity well is exactly 1,286 km deep in both the main chart as its auxiliary one. Since hte Moon orbits around the Earth, shouldn't the depth be higher from the top of the barrier that separates the Earth's gravity well from Venus' than from the barrier that separates the Earth's well from the Moon's? Otherwise, the Moon would escape from the Earth's gravity field to take its own independent orbit around the sun. 
    Also, what surface has been considered for the gaseous planets? The boundary in which the planet becomes opaque to the visible light from the exterior?
    ____________________ 

    Gravity wells scaled to Earth surface gravity

    This chart hows the "depth" of various solar system gravity wells.
    Each well is scaled such that rising out of a physical well of that depth —in constant  Earth surface gravity— would take the same energy as escaping from that planet's gravity in reality.
    Each planet is shown cut in half at the bottom of its well, with the depth of the well measured down to the planet's flat surface.
    The planet sizes are to the same scale as the wells.
    Interplanetary distances are not to scale.

    Depth = G · Planet_Mass / (g · Planet_Radius)

    G = Newton's Constant
    g = 9.81 m/s^2

    Neptune
    An even more glorious dawn awaits!

    Uranus

    Rings
    Saturn

    Titan
    Weeoooeeoooeeeooo
    Europa

    Jupiter
    Jupiter is not much larger than Saturn, but much more massive.
    At this size, adding more mass just makes it denser due to the extra squeezing of gravity.
    If you dropped a few dozen more Jupiters into it, the pressure would ignite fusion and make it a star.

    Io
    Ganymede

    Mars 1,286 km

    Deimos
    Phobos
    Mars 1,286 km

    Deimos to scale
    You could escape Deimos with a bike and a ramp.

    Phobos to scale
    A thrown baseball could escape Phobos.

    Moon 288 km
    Earth 5,478 km

    Moon 288 km
    Geosynchronous orbit
    GPS satellites
    ISS
    Shuttle
    Low Earth orbit
    Earth 6,379 km
    This is why it took a huge rocket to get to the Moon but only a small one to get back.

    It takes the same amount of energy to launch something on an escape trajectory away from the Earth as it would to launch it 6,000 km upward under constant 9.81 m/s^2 Earth gravity.
    Hence, Earth's well is 6,000 km deep.

    Venus
    Mercury
    To Sun, very very far down

    Local football team
    Very deep
    Your Mom
    ____________________ 
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-04-11 18:29:40
    Please, quit this new G+ layout, it doesn't work, and is crap. All the stream is place on hte left side of my screen and it can't be fixed.
    Edit:

    I tried expanding the text to see if this could recenter the stream (in the previous layout expanding it placed the stream on the left, and shrinking it put it back in the center) and now most links are out of their icons, the setting icon has disappeared, and now I can't go back to shrink since the icon has become irresponsive (with the browser Chrome). Right now I'm writing from Safari since from Chrome G+ has become almost inoperative.

    These are my complaints about the new Google+ layout:

    1. The stream is running on the left side is very uncomfortable to read. In the previous layout without expanding the text I could have the stream at the center. Now in the center of the screen I have nothing at all.
    2. It seems we've lost the option to select which circles are displayed in our stream. In the previous layout we could check which circles were displayed on the right side, watch only one circle or watch them all.
    3. Everything goes sluggishly, opening Google Feedback took ages.
    4. We've lost space for the stream on the upper side because the buttons that were placed on the upper left are now placed right on top of the stream.
    5. It looks like the FB layout. Instead of purple stream background we have grey. There's less contrast between the text of the comments and the background.
    6. This new layout seems also more memory consuming, I usually have no problems with multiple pages open at a time, but now everything is sluggish and my browser gets frozen every minute (in both Chrome and Safari).
    7. The new layout is also plain and inelegant. The boxes for posts and comments of different color from the background have removed the minimalist look of the previous layout.
  • 3 plusses - 7 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-01-21 05:48:07
    RESHARE:
    plus.google.com - Guns for Protection from Whom?
    Uploaded by Chris Dyer. January 20, 2013

    You need guns for protection from whom?
    It's not like the Government would ever ram a tank into the side of your house

    Reshared text:
    Via #FreeCitizensCoalition

    #Obama #Guns #2ndAmendment #RubyRidge #Waco #Statists #Tyrant #tyranny #WhiteHouse #Government  
  • 5 plusses - 2 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-10-14 04:45:13
    RESHARE:
    kurzweilai.net - Dyson sphere hunt using Kepler data
    By Amara D. Angelica. October 12, 2012

    Excerpt:
    <<Technological civilizations may communicate with their space probes located throughout the galaxy by using laser beams, either in visible light or infrared light. Laser light is detectable from other civilizations because the power is concentrated into a narrow beam and the light is all at one specific color or frequency. The lasers outshine the host star at the color of the laser.>>

    Excerpt comments:

    Thomas Mach October 13, 2012 8:41 AM +3
    The probability that a laser is pointing exactly in our direction is very low. It's a waste of money and observation time.
    _____________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla October 13, 2012 9:11 AM
    +Thomas Mach, laser beams diverge over long distances, such as interstellar distances, even at interplanetary distances.
    _____________ 

    John Baez October 13, 2012 6:06 PM +3
    There's a low chance that a laser is pointing roughly at us, or the brightness of a star is flickering for other artificial reasons, but as long as it's significantly more than 1/1000 per star observed, we may see one.  I predict we won't, but if a foundation wants to give someone $200,000 to look, it's not so bad.  (The Templeton Foundation has also supported efforts to give Christianity scientific legitimacy, and any money taken away from those is a good thing as far as I'm concerned.)
    _____________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla October 14, 2012 3:00 AM (edited) +1
    I don't think there's so little chance that a laser beam is aimed at us, assuming that other civilizations are using laser beams to transfer energy from the star to the different planets and moons that they may be inhabiting or they have colonized for their exploitation.

    Each planet is orbiting around the star so the laser beams would be sweeping the orbital plane (its ecliptic) over a planetary year. On the other hand, in a given planetary system every planet is orbiting in a slightly different ecliptic (that's why the transits of Venus are rare), what extends the number of planes that their laser beams are regularly sweeping. 

    If they are also using their beams to transmit information between planets and between planets and moons, the number of planes swept by their beams would be even greater.

    Also, in case of existence of a Dyson sphere, this also needs to be orbiting around the star, necessarily with a much quicker period than any of the planets, so probably several laser sources placed at different locations around the star would take turns to emit their laser beams toward a given planet (unless the laser emitters had been placed over the poles of the star). 

    So what is the chance that the Earth is in one of those orbital planes or regularly crossing them? I'd say that roughly the same as the chance to detect a planetary transit due to change in the star brightness that can reveal the existence of a planet orbiting the system. 

    How many planetary systems have been discovered that way or can be discovered in the future? How many are estimated that can't be discovered that way because the Earth doesn't cross the ecliptics of any of its planets? 

    The ratio of the former and the latter values is probably an acceptable proxy of the chance to detect a laser beam of a given civilization in case they are used by other civilizations of the galaxy. If their are more than one, the chance to detect at least one would the sum of all those probabilities.
    _____________ 

    Misha Kandel October 14, 2012 2:56 AM
    Even if there was a laser beam aimed directly at us, our brightest minds would come up with some nonsense explanation : they would come up with some bunk about how it was really a spinning neutron star with some absurd magnetization. Piff! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGM-1
    _____________ 

    Bruce Cohen October 14, 2012 8:38 AM
    A Dyson Sphere can't be a solid shell; no material substance has the tensile strength to withstand the forces the gravity of the star would create (note that Larry Niven's Ringworld was made of an unobtainium named scrith, which was 40% opaque to meutrinos!). So it would have to be made of separate pieces in non-intersecting orbits.
    _____________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla October 14, 2012 10:35 AM
    There are other forces acting in addition to gravity. Besides, the sphere doesn't have to be a rigid structure, it could be rather like a fishing net or a sail.
    _____________ 

    Related Wikipedia pages:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-space_optical_communication (*)
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_beam_profiler 

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser#The_light_emitted 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beam_diameter 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beam_divergence 

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaussian_beam 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tophat_beam 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessel_beam 

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rayleigh_scattering 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rayleigh_range 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mie_scattering 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_scattering_by_particles 
    _____________ 
    *: On deep-space laser ranging demonstration 

    - Editors. Space probe breaks laser record. BBC News. January 6, 2006
    news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4587580.stm

    - Smith DE et al. Two-way laser link over interplanetary distance. Science (2006) vol. 311 (5757) pp. 53
    sciencemag.org/content/311/5757/53 

    - Jørgensen SE et al. Optisk kommunikation i deep space – Et feasibilitystudie i forbindelse med Bering-missionen. Speciale i fysik ved Niels Bohr Institutet for Astronomi, Fysik og Geofysik, udarbejdet på Dansk Rumforskningsinstitut (2003)
    silicium.dk/speciale.php 

    pig.sagepub.com/content/225/2/213 
    _____________ 

    URL source G+ post: plus.google.com/117663015413546257905/posts/FNW8J23U4rV 
    _______________________ 

    Reshared text:
    A hypothetical Kadarshev Type II Civilization is one that would use the whole energy output of its home star, perhaps by building a Dyson sphere around it.   Geoff Marcy of U. C Berkeley, who has discovered more extrasolar planets than anyone else, has just gotten a grant from the Templeton Foundation to study 1,000 extrasolar systems in the hopes of finding artificial changes in brightness.

    He'll get $200,000 over the next two years, some to purchase time at the Hawaii-based Keck telescopes.  Besides Dyson spheres, which would emit waste heat in the infrared, it seems he'll be looking for glimmerings of light.  “Technological civilizations may communicate with their space probes located throughout the galaxy by using laser beams, either in visible light or infrared light,” Marcy said in a statement. ”Laser light is detectable from other civilizations because the power is concentrated into a narrow beam and the light is all at one specific color or frequency. The lasers outshine the host star at the color of the laser.”

    For no particularly good reason, just a hunch, I bet he won't find anything.  But it's good to look!

    http://www.kurzweilai.net/dyson-sphere-hunt-using-kepler-data

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-12-12 02:18:29
    RESHARE:
    MinutemanMedia.org (otherwords.org) - Safety Net
    By Khalil Bendib. 2008
    zcommunications.org/saftey-net-by-khalil-bendib

    Safety Net
    Fanny Mae (Gov't. Bail Outs) / Too Big To Fail
    Freddie Mac
    Bear Sterns
    Banks
    Tax Payers

    A spin-off: otherwords.org/files/1692/Safety-Net.jpg?width=800 
    ___________

    Reshared text:
  • 4 plusses - 1 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-12-02 07:52:13
    "Just google it!"   (Dec 2, 2013)

    1. Sparrow B et al. Google effects on memory: cognitive consequences of having information at our fingertips. Science (2011) vol. 333 (6043) pp. 776-8
    Open access 1: scholar.harvard.edu/dwegner/publications/google-effects-memory-cognitive-consequences-having-information-our-fingertips 
    PDF: scholar.harvard.edu/files/dwegner/files/sparrow_et_al._2011.pdf 
    Open access 2: wjh.harvard.edu/~wegner/pdfs/science.1207745.full.pdf 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21764755)

    2. Bohannon J. Psychology. Searching for the Google effect on people's memory. Science (2011) vol. 333 (6040) pp. 277
    Open access: news.pmiservizi.it/pdf/searching-for-the-google-effect-on-people-s-memory.pdf 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21764724)

    3. Wegner DM and Ward A. How Google Is Changing Your Brain. Scientific American (2013) vol. 309 (December 2013) pp. 58-61
    nature.com/scientificamerican/journal/v309/n6/full/scientificamerican1213-58.html 

    Other publications by Daniel M. Wegner (open access):
    scholar.harvard.edu/dwegner/publications 
    wegner.socialpsychology.org/publications 

    Reference of all other publications by Daniel M. Wegner:
    wjh.harvard.edu/~wegner/pubs.htm 

    Other publications by Adrian F. Ward:
    adrianfward.com/?/science/science-writing 

    Related papers:

    4. Small GW et al. Your brain on Google: patterns of cerebral activation during internet searching. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry (2009) vol. 17 (2) pp. 116-26
    Open access: psychologytoday.com/files/attachments/5230/136.pdf 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19155745)

    5. Ripple AS. Expert googling: best practices and advanced strategies for using google in health sciences libraries. Med Ref Serv Q (2006) vol. 25 (2) pp. 97-107
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16782670)
    Related files:
    files.hsls.pitt.edu/files/presentations/mla2005/expertgoogling.pdf 
    hsl2.ucdenver.edu/handouts/class-handouts/expert-googling.pdf 

    Related video/animation:

    · SFST, Heffernan, Rosie (talent) Kwiatt, Stephanie (script) Causse, Joanny (host). How Google is Changing your Brain. Academic Earth. 2013
    vimeo.com/69338604 

    Press release:

    6. Krieger LM. Google is changing your brain, study says, and don't you forget it. San Jose Mercury News (2011)
    mercurynews.com/science/ci_18478827 

    news.com.au/lifestyle/health/the-google-effect-harvard-scientists-explain-how-the-internet-is-rotting-your-memory/story-fniym874-1226764428960 

    dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2510053/How-Google-rotting-memories-Young-people-today-worse-memories-parents.html 
    ________________________ 

    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/116580873591343791817/posts/Jviko9VrB6S 
    ________________________ 
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-01-30 06:56:48
    itunes.apple.com - Bio 4125: Biology of Aging with Doc C
    By Dr. Gerald Cizadlo (College of St. Scholastica). January 15, 2009 to May 3, 2012
    itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/id302734065

    Comment:
    I've been listening to the first 6 lectures of this course (out of the 13 scheduled in 2009) and I'm confident to say that it is interesting enough to be worthy a listening. 

    There're some inaccuracies, such as the intrinsic factor to be required to absorbed vitamin K in the intestine rather than vitamin B12, although it was used as an example un a side comment during one of the lectures so Gerald Cizadlo probably chose it at that moment.

    Dr. Cizadlo also describes (in 2009) a possible mechanism to explain the lifespan extension under caloric restriction that has been observed in lab animals related to rate of the maturation of the immune system that doesn't match with the most widely theory nowadays accepted, if only because of the existence of organisms that don't have an adaptive immune system to mature and yet, they experience a very significant lifespan extension under caloric restriction.

    I can't agree with his view on the possible cause of an alleged programed aging in most organisms, according to Dr. Cizadlo, as a mechanism of adaptation of the population to an always changing environment.

    This may be true in some instances, but in others not so much. Some environments hardly have changed in millions of years. We would expect an extension of lifespan of at least some organisms in the most stable environments (e.g. rain forests) since in such conditions a quick population turnover wouldn't be so advantageous, but that's not the case. 

    Besides, supposed beneficial effect of aging as a means to facilitate the turnover of the population is watered down if we take into account that the individuals living in their natural habitat who reach advanced age are only a small fraction of the total population. Most of them will die of other causes like starvation, predation, parasitation, attacks from other individuals or accidents, so the few ancient individuals that remained alive wouldn't cause much of an effect.

    Finally, there are few organisms who doesn't show any sign of aging (e.g., some hydrozoans like Hydra or Turritopsis nutricula, some sponges, sea ​​anemones), some organisms with estimated genomic lifespans of thousands of years (e.g., Pando, 80,000—1,000,000 years of age, Posidonia oceanica, up to 100,000 years, Lomatia tasmanica, up to 43,500 years, Jurupa Oak, 13,000 years, Old Tjikko, 9,550 years, Old Rasmus, 9,500 years, Lagarostrobos franklinii, up to 10,500 years) that have adapted pretty well to the changes of the environment, whereas the existence of individuals with such old genomes hasn't apparently halted the rise of others with recombined genomes anew.

    References:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydra_(genus)
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turritopsis_nutricula 

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pando_(tree) 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populus_tremuloides 

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posidonia_oceanica 

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lomatia_tasmanica 

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurupa_Oak 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quercus_palmeri 

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Tjikko 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picea_abies 

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagarostrobos 

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_long-living_organisms 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oldest_trees 

    Further reading: (in the pipeline)
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_immortality 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_life_span 

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19439974 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15247078 
    ____________ 

    On Dr. Gerald Cizadlo:
    Biology Professor at The College of St. Scholastica
    faculty.css.edu/dwalton/bio/faculty_gcizadlo.htm 
    www2.css.edu/app/events/centennial/blog/index.cfm?cat=3&art=61 
    faculty.css.edu/gcizadlo 
    ____________ 

    itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bio-4125-biology-aging-doc/id302734065 
    ___________________ 
  • 3 plusses - 0 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-09-16 05:28:06
    RESHARE:
    bigthink.com - When Moms Drink Milk During Pregnancy, Their Children Grow Up Taller
    By Orion Jones (Big Think). September 14, 2013
    bigthink.com/ideafeed/when-moms-drink-milk-during-pregnancy-their-children-grow-up-taller 

    Excerpt from comments:

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 15,2013 6:05 AM
    Who says that being taller means necessarily being healthier? In fact, once all known confounding factors are corrected tall people live on average less. Likewise, larger dogs live significantly less than smaller ones (the former are at much greater risk of suffering from cancer):

    cbc.ca - Quirks and Quarks - Big Dogs Die Young
    By Dr. Daniel Promislow (guest) and Bob McDonald (host). April 6, 2013
    cbc.ca/quirks/episode/2013/04/06/april-6-2013/#1 
    Audio file: cbc.ca/quirks/media/2012-2013/qq-2013-04-06_01.mp3 (9' 37'')

    livescience.com - Why Small Pups Outlive Large Dog Breeds
    By Charles Choi. March 6, 2013
    livescience.com/27676-why-small-pups-outlive-large-dogs.html 

    Reference paper:

    - Kraus C et al. The size-life span trade-off decomposed: why large dogs die young. Am Nat (2013) vol. 181 (4) pp. 492-505
    jstor.org/stable/10.1086/669665 
    PDF (open access): promislowlab.org/reprints/KrausEtAl2013AmNat.pdf 
    ____________ 

    Betsy McCall Sep 15, 2013 4:55 PM 
    +Dean Lovett Well, at least then I would have been as tall as my mother, instead of being the shortest person in the family.  When you dislike being short, yeah, it matters.  When you can't reach the top shelf and need a chair, yeah, every little bit counts.

    +Zephyr López Cervilla +Laurent DUBET There are quite a number of other studies that suggest that drinking milk is healthier for people. Dairy helps people maintain healthier weight, among other things.  That said, while I certainly want milking cows to be treated humanely, the ship has sailed on not having milk in society at all.  Cows have been bred to produce so much milk in their utters that they cannot go without milking.  They must be milked daily or the animal will suffer pain and eventually their utters will burst.  They cannot be left to their own devices or they will suffer and die.  They cannot go back to living without humans at this point.
    ____________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 16, 2013 4:56 AM
    +Betsy McCall: "They cannot be left to their own devices or they will suffer and die.  They cannot go back to living without humans at this point."

    — I guess their idea is to stop their reproduction until those domestic breeds disappear. Likewise, chickens, turkeys, quails, partridge, ducks, geese, pigeons, domestic rabbits, sheep, domestic goats, pigs, water buffaloes, zebus, yaks, llamas, etc.

    +Betsy McCall: "There are quite a number of other studies that suggest that drinking milk is healthier for people. Dairy helps people maintain healthier weight, among other things."

    — What sort of dairy? Perhaps fermented, containing live bacteria like yoghurt?

    On the other hand, dairy consumption doesn't correlate with overweight and obesity when different populations are compared. For instance, in countries with much lower dairy consumption like Japan, South Korea, China (and other countries of East Asia) the incidence of overweight and obesity is much lower than in other countries with higher intakes:

    Selection of high milk consumer populations:

    Food supply quantity (kg/capita/yr) year 2009
    Milk - Excluding Butter + (Total)

    Albania | 282.00
    Australia | 207.70
    Austria | 233.00
    Belgium | 242.80
    Canada | 201.00
    Croatia | 210.50
    Denmark | 259.00
    Dominica | 207.30
    Estonia | 271.60
    Finland | 375.40
    France | 246.60
    Germany | 264.00
    Greece | 283.20
    Iceland | 252.60
    Ireland | 225.80
    Italy | 251.70
    Kazakhstan | 267.20
    Kyrgyzstan | 200.10
    Lithuania | 353.80
    Luxembourg | 320.60
    Montenegro | 232.40
    Netherlands | 357.30
    Norway | 262.60
    Portugal | 206.30
    Romania | 272.60
    Slovenia | 248.20
    Sweden | 357.40
    Switzerland | 312.20
    United Kingdom | 248.50
    United States of America | 255.60

    Selection of moderate and low milk consumer populations:

    Bangladesh | 20.20
    Bulgaria | 135.00
    Brazil | 136.90
    Chile | 95.60
    China | 29.80
    Cyprus | 125.00
    India | 72.20
    Indonesia | 11.40
    Israel | 182.90
    Japan | 73.90
    Malta | 171.60
    Mexico | 113.00
    Mongolia | 149.50
    Republic of Korea | 21.90
    Slovakia | 125.20
    Sri Lanka | 35.90
    Spain | 152.30
    Thailand | 21.80
    Uganda | 33.90
    Uruguay | 124.90
    Viet Nam | 11.50

    selected parameters
    element | Food supply quantity |
    item | Milk - Excluding Butter + (Total) |
    country | World > (List) |
    year | 2009 |

    — Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Food supply > Livestock and Fish Primary Equivalent. FAOSTAT
    faostat.fao.org/site/610/DesktopDefault.aspx?PageID=610 


    Overweight and obesity population aged 15 and above
    As a percentage of the population aged 15 and above, 2010 or latest available year

    Country | Overweight | Obese | Overweight and obese

    Australia | 36.7 | 24.6 | 61.2
    Brazil | 33.1 | 15.0 | 48.1
    China | 16.0 | 2.9 | 18.9
    Denmark | 33.3 | 13.4 | 46.7
    Estonia | 31.7 | 16.9 | 48.6
    Finland | 39.0 | 20.2 | 59.2
    Germany | 36.7 | 14.7 | 51.4
    Greece | 38.5 | 17.3 | 55.7
    India | 8.9 | 2.0 | 10.9
    Indonesia | 11.0 | 2.4 | 13.4
    Italy | 35.6 | 10.3 | 46.0
    Japan | 21.8 | 3.5 | 25.3
    Korea | 26.1 | 4.1 | 30.2
    Luxembourg | 36.7 | 22.5 | 59.1
    Mexico |  39.5 | 30.0 | 69.5
    Netherlands | 36.8 | 11.4 | 48.2
    Norway | 35.0 | 10.0 | 46.0
    Portugal | 36.2 | 15.4 | 51.6
    Slovak Republic | 34.6 | 16.9 | 51.5
    Slovenia | 38.7 | 16.4 | 55.1
    Spain | 37.6 | 16.0 | 53.6
    Sweden | 34.0 | 12.9 | 46.9
    Switzerland | 29.2 | 8.1 | 37.3
    United Kingdom | 36.7 | 26.1 | 62.8
    United States | 33.3 | 35.9 | 69.2

    — OECD (2013), Overweight and obesity, in OECD Factbook 2013: Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics, OECD Publishing.
    dx.doi.org/10.1787/factbook-2013-100-en 
    www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/oecd-factbook-2013/overweight-and-obesity_factbook-2013-100-en 


    Furthermore, there seems to be a reverse correlation between consumption of milk during adulthood and the incidence of osteoporosis later in life (lowest in countries like Uganda, where the consumption of dairy is almost null). There's a proposed explanation to this apparently paradoxical result.


    Further reading:

    · Frassetto L et al. Diet, evolution and aging--the pathophysiologic effects of the post-agricultural inversion of the potassium-to-sodium and base-to-chloride ratios in the human diet. Eur J Nutr (2001) vol. 40 (5) pp. 200-13
    Translated (into Finnish), summarized and adapted from the original article: ollisintegrallife.com/2010/05/06/the-pathophysiologic-effects-of-the-post-agricultural-inversion-of-the-potassium-to-sodium-and-base-to-chloride-ratios-in-the-human-diet 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11842945)

    · Eaton SB and Nelson DA. Calcium in evolutionary perspective. Am J Clin Nutr (1991) vol. 54 (1 Suppl) pp. 281S-287S
    Open access: ajcn.nutrition.org/content/54/1/281S.long 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2053574)

    · Eaton SB. The ancestral human diet: what was it and should it be a paradigm for contemporary nutrition? Proc Nutr Soc (2006) vol. 65 (1) pp. 1-6
    Open access: journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=814476 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16441938)

    · Eaton SB et al. Paleolithic nutrition revisited: a twelve-year retrospective on its nature and implications. Eur J Clin Nutr (1997) vol. 51 (4) pp. 207-16
    PDF: nature.com/ejcn/journal/v51/n4/pdf/1600389a.pdf 
    PDF: direct-ms.org/pdf/EvolutionPaleolithic/Eaton%20Paleo%20Nutri%20Review%20EJCN.pdf 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9104571)

    · Khan-ad-Din FMH. Old Age, Height and Nutrition: Common Misconceptions About Medieval England. Caidan Pentathlon (2003)
    PDF: sirguillaume.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Old_Age-Height-Nutrition.pdf 

    · Akisaka M et al. Energy and nutrient intakes of Okinawan centenarians. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (1996) vol. 42 (3) pp. 241-8
    PDF: okicent.org/docs/jnsv_suzuki_1996.pdf 
    PDF: www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jnsv1973/42/3/42_3_241/_pdf 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8866260)
    __________________________ 

    Source:

    · Bakalar, Nicholas. Drinking Milk in Pregnancy May Lead to Taller Children. The New York Times (blogs). September 13, 2013 
    well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/drinking-milk-in-pregnancy-may-lead-to-taller-children/?ref=health 

    Reference paper:

    · Hrolfsdottir L et al. Maternal milk consumption, birth size and adult height of offspring: a prospective cohort study with 20 years of follow-up. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Sep 4, 2013) doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2013.151. [Epub ahead of print]
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24002041)
    __________________________ 

    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/110240143550654748022/posts/AchzpB4ugg1 
    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/108257153502707936410/posts/VwcuAkosoD1 
    plus.google.com/108257153502707936410/posts/DYGhUw9Es45 
    __________________________ 

    Reshared text:
    That's what my mom did wrong!
  • 1 plusses - 7 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-10-20 15:38:19
    theatlantic.com - Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science
    By David H. Freedman. November, 2010
    theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/308269 

    Much of what medical researchers conclude in their studies is misleading, exaggerated, or flat-out wrong. So why are doctors—to a striking extent—still drawing upon misinformation in their everyday practice? Dr. John Ioannidis has spent his career challenging his peers by exposing their bad science.

    EXCERPT:
    [ Comment: believe it or not the full article is much longer, what would deter many potential readers so I've separated the wheat from the chaff. ]

    <<[John Ioannidis] is what’s known as a meta-researcher, and he’s become one of the world’s foremost experts on the credibility of medical research. He and his team have shown, again and again, and in many different ways, that much of what biomedical researchers conclude in published studies—conclusions that doctors keep in mind when they prescribe antibiotics or blood-pressure medication, or when they advise us to consume more fiber or less meat, or when they recommend surgery for heart disease or back pain—is misleading, exaggerated, and often flat-out wrong. He charges that as much as 90 percent of the published medical information that doctors rely on is flawed. His work has been widely accepted by the medical community; it has been published in the field’s top journals, where it is heavily cited; and he is a big draw at conferences. Given this exposure, and the fact that his work broadly targets everyone else’s work in medicine, as well as everything that physicians do and all the health advice we get, Ioannidis may be one of the most influential scientists alive. Yet for all his influence, he worries that the field of medical research is so pervasively flawed, and so riddled with conflicts of interest, that it might be chronically resistant to change—or even to publicly admitting that there’s a problem.>>

    John Ioannidis: “I take all the researchers who visit me here, and almost every single one of them asks the tree the same question, ‘Will my research grant be approved?’"

    <<he goes on to suggest that an obsession with winning funding has gone a long way toward weakening the reliability of medical research.>>

    <<Now he’d have a chance to combine math and medicine by applying rigorous statistical analysis to what seemed a surprisingly sloppy field.>>

    John Ioannidis: “I assumed that everything we physicians did was basically right, but now I was going to help verify it. All we’d have to do was systematically review the evidence, trust what it told us, and then everything would be perfect.”

    <<It didn’t turn out that way. In poring over medical journals, he was struck by how many findings of all types were refuted by later findings. Of course, medical-science “never minds” are hardly secret. And they sometimes make headlines, as when in recent years large studies or growing consensuses of researchers concluded that mammograms, colonoscopies, and PSA tests are far less useful cancer-detection tools than we had been told; or when widely prescribed antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil were revealed to be no more effective than a placebo for most cases of depression; or when we learned that staying out of the sun entirely can actually increase cancer risks; or when we were told that the advice to drink lots of water during intense exercise was potentially fatal; or when, last April, we were informed that taking fish oil, exercising, and doing puzzles doesn’t really help fend off Alzheimer’s disease, as long claimed. Peer-reviewed studies have come to opposite conclusions on whether using cell phones can cause brain cancer, whether sleeping more than eight hours a night is healthful or dangerous, whether taking aspirin every day is more likely to save your life or cut it short, and whether routine angioplasty works better than pills to unclog heart arteries.

    But beyond the headlines, Ioannidis was shocked at the range and reach of the reversals he was seeing in everyday medical research. “Randomized controlled trials,” which compare how one group responds to a treatment against how an identical group fares without the treatment, had long been considered nearly unshakable evidence, but they, too, ended up being wrong some of the time.>>

    John Ioannidis: “I realized even our gold-standard research had a lot of problems.”

    <<Baffled, he started looking for the specific ways in which studies were going wrong. And before long he discovered that the range of errors being committed was astonishing: from what questions researchers posed, to how they set up the studies, to which patients they recruited for the studies, to which measurements they took, to how they analyzed the data, to how they presented their results, to how particular studies came to be published in medical journals.

    This array suggested a bigger, underlying dysfunction, and Ioannidis thought he knew what it was.>>

    John Ioannidis: “The studies were biased. Sometimes they were overtly biased. Sometimes it was difficult to see the bias, but it was there.”

    <<Researchers headed into their studies wanting certain results—and, lo and behold, they were getting them. We think of the scientific process as being objective, rigorous, and even ruthless in separating out what is true from what we merely wish to be true, but in fact it’s easy to manipulate results, even unintentionally or unconsciously.>>

    John Ioannidis: “At every step in the process, there is room to distort results, a way to make a stronger claim or to select what is going to be concluded. There is an intellectual conflict of interest that pressures researchers to find whatever it is that is most likely to get them funded.”

    <<Perhaps only a minority of researchers were succumbing to this bias, but their distorted findings were having an outsize effect on published research. To get funding and tenured positions, and often merely to stay afloat, researchers have to get their work published in well-regarded journals, where rejection rates can climb above 90 percent. Not surprisingly, the studies that tend to make the grade are those with eye-catching findings. But while coming up with eye-catching theories is relatively easy, getting reality to bear them out is another matter. The great majority collapse under the weight of contradictory data when studied rigorously. Imagine, though, that five different research teams test an interesting theory that’s making the rounds, and four of the groups correctly prove the idea false, while the one less cautious group incorrectly “proves” it true through some combination of error, fluke, and clever selection of data. Guess whose findings your doctor ends up reading about in the journal, and you end up hearing about on the evening news? Researchers can sometimes win attention by refuting a prominent finding, which can help to at least raise doubts about results, but in general it is far more rewarding to add a new insight or exciting-sounding twist to existing research than to retest its basic premises—after all, simply re-proving someone else’s results is unlikely to get you published, and attempting to undermine the work of respected colleagues can have ugly professional repercussions.>>

    <<He chose to publish one paper, fittingly, in the online journal PLoS Medicine, which is committed to running any methodologically sound article without regard to how “interesting” the results may be. In the paper, Ioannidis laid out a detailed mathematical proof that, assuming modest levels of researcher bias, typically imperfect research techniques, and the well-known tendency to focus on exciting rather than highly plausible theories, researchers will come up with wrong findings most of the time. Simply put, if you’re attracted to ideas that have a good chance of being wrong, and if you’re motivated to prove them right, and if you have a little wiggle room in how you assemble the evidence, you’ll probably succeed in proving wrong theories right. His model predicted, in different fields of medical research, rates of wrongness roughly corresponding to the observed rates at which findings were later convincingly refuted: 80 percent of non-randomized studies (by far the most common type) turn out to be wrong, as do 25 percent of supposedly gold-standard randomized trials, and as much as 10 percent of the platinum-standard large randomized trials. The article spelled out his belief that researchers were frequently manipulating data analyses, chasing career-advancing findings rather than good science, and even using the peer-review process—in which journals ask researchers to help decide which studies to publish—to suppress opposing views.

    Still, Ioannidis anticipated that the community might shrug off his findings: sure, a lot of dubious research makes it into journals, but we researchers and physicians know to ignore it and focus on the good stuff, so what’s the big deal? The other paper headed off that claim. He zoomed in on 49 of the most highly regarded research findings in medicine over the previous 13 years, as judged by the science community’s two standard measures: the papers had appeared in the journals most widely cited in research articles, and the 49 articles themselves were the most widely cited articles in these journals. These were articles that helped lead to the widespread popularity of treatments such as the use of hormone-replacement therapy for menopausal women, vitamin E to reduce the risk of heart disease, coronary stents to ward off heart attacks, and daily low-dose aspirin to control blood pressure and prevent heart attacks and strokes. Ioannidis was putting his contentions to the test not against run-of-the-mill research, or even merely well-accepted research, but against the absolute tip of the research pyramid. Of the 49 articles, 45 claimed to have uncovered effective interventions. Thirty-four of these claims had been retested, and 14 of these, or 41 percent, had been convincingly shown to be wrong or significantly exaggerated. If between a third and a half of the most acclaimed research in medicine was proving untrustworthy, the scope and impact of the problem were undeniable. That article was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. >>

    <<Ioannidis points out that obviously questionable findings cram the pages of top medical journals, not to mention the morning headlines. Consider, he says, the endless stream of results from nutritional studies in which researchers follow thousands of people for some number of years, tracking what they eat and what supplements they take, and how their health changes over the course of the study.>>

    John Ioannidis: “Then the researchers start asking, ‘What did vitamin E do? What did vitamin C or D or A do? What changed with calorie intake, or protein or fat intake? What happened to cholesterol levels? Who got what type of cancer? They run everything through the mill, one at a time, and they start finding associations, and eventually conclude that vitamin X lowers the risk of cancer Y, or this food helps with the risk of that disease.”

    <<How should we choose among these dueling, high-profile nutritional findings? Ioannidis suggests a simple approach: ignore them all.

    For starters, he explains, the odds are that in any large database of many nutritional and health factors, there will be a few apparent connections that are in fact merely flukes, not real health effects—it’s a bit like combing through long, random strings of letters and claiming there’s an important message in any words that happen to turn up. But even if a study managed to highlight a genuine health connection to some nutrient, you’re unlikely to benefit much from taking more of it, because we consume thousands of nutrients that act together as a sort of network, and changing intake of just one of them is bound to cause ripples throughout the network that are far too complex for these studies to detect, and that may be as likely to harm you as help you. Even if changing that one factor does bring on the claimed improvement, there’s still a good chance that it won’t do you much good in the long run, because these studies rarely go on long enough to track the decades-long course of disease and ultimately death. Instead, they track easily measurable health “markers” such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood-sugar levels, and meta-experts have shown that changes in these markers often don’t correlate as well with long-term health as we have been led to believe.

    On the relatively rare occasions when a study does go on long enough to track mortality, the findings frequently upend those of the shorter studies. (For example, though the vast majority of studies of overweight individuals link excess weight to ill health, the longest of them haven’t convincingly shown that overweight people are likely to die sooner, and a few of them have seemingly demonstrated that moderately overweight people are likely to live longer.) And these problems are aside from ubiquitous measurement errors (for example, people habitually misreport their diets in studies), routine misanalysis (researchers rely on complex software capable of juggling results in ways they don’t always understand), and the less common, but serious, problem of outright fraud (which has been revealed, in confidential surveys, to be much more widespread than scientists like to acknowledge).

    If a study somehow avoids every one of these problems and finds a real connection to long-term changes in health, you’re still not guaranteed to benefit, because studies report average results that typically represent a vast range of individual outcomes. Should you be among the lucky minority that stands to benefit, don’t expect a noticeable improvement in your health, because studies usually detect only modest effects that merely tend to whittle your chances of succumbing to a particular disease from small to somewhat smaller.>>

    John Ioannidis: “The odds that anything useful will survive from any of these studies are poor”

    <<dismissing in a breath a good chunk of the research into which we sink about $100 billion a year in the United States alone.

    And so it goes for all medical studies, he says. Indeed, nutritional studies aren’t the worst. Drug studies have the added corruptive force of financial conflict of interest. The exciting links between genes and various diseases and traits that are relentlessly hyped in the press for heralding miraculous around-the-corner treatments for everything from colon cancer to schizophrenia have in the past proved so vulnerable to error and distortion, Ioannidis has found, that in some cases you’d have done about as well by throwing darts at a chart of the genome. (These studies seem to have improved somewhat in recent years, but whether they will hold up or be useful in treatment are still open questions.) Vioxx, Zelnorm, and Baycol were among the widely prescribed drugs found to be safe and effective in large randomized controlled trials before the drugs were yanked from the market as unsafe or not so effective, or both.>>

     *John Ioannidis:* “Often the claims made by studies are so extravagant that you can immediately cross them out without needing to know much about the specific problems with the studies. Even when the evidence shows that a particular research idea is wrong, if you have thousands of scientists who have invested their careers in it, they’ll continue to publish papers on it. It’s like an epidemic, in the sense that they’re infected with these wrong ideas, and they’re spreading it to other researchers through journals.”

    <<Though scientists and science journalists are constantly talking up the value of the peer-review process, researchers admit among themselves that biased, erroneous, and even blatantly fraudulent studies easily slip through it.>>

    Nature (in a 2006 editorial): “scientists understand that peer review per se provides only a minimal assurance of quality, and that the public conception of peer review as a stamp of authentication is far from the truth."

    <<What’s more, the peer-review process often pressures researchers to shy away from striking out in genuinely new directions, and instead to build on the findings of their colleagues (that is, their potential reviewers) in ways that only seem like breakthroughs—as with the exciting-sounding gene linkages (autism genes identified!) and nutritional findings (olive oil lowers blood pressure!) that are really just dubious and conflicting variations on a theme.

    Most journal editors don’t even claim to protect against the problems that plague these studies. University and government research overseers rarely step in to directly enforce research quality, and when they do, the science community goes ballistic over the outside interference. The ultimate protection against research error and bias is supposed to come from the way scientists constantly retest each other’s results—except they don’t. Only the most prominent findings are likely to be put to the test, because there’s likely to be publication payoff in firming up the proof, or contradicting it.

    But even for medicine’s most influential studies, the evidence sometimes remains surprisingly narrow. Of those 45 super-cited studies that Ioannidis focused on, 11 had never been retested. Perhaps worse, Ioannidis found that even when a research error is outed, it typically persists for years or even decades. He looked at three prominent health studies from the 1980s and 1990s that were each later soundly refuted, and discovered that researchers continued to cite the original results as correct more often than as flawed—in one case for at least 12 years after the results were discredited.

    Doctors may notice that their patients don’t seem to fare as well with certain treatments as the literature would lead them to expect, but the field is appropriately conditioned to subjugate such anecdotal evidence to study findings. Yet much, perhaps even most, of what doctors do has never been formally put to the test in credible studies, given that the need to do so became obvious to the field only in the 1990s, leaving it playing catch-up with a century or more of non-evidence-based medicine, and contributing to Ioannidis’s shockingly high estimate of the degree to which medical knowledge is flawed. That we’re not routinely made seriously ill by this shortfall, he argues, is due largely to the fact that most medical interventions and advice don’t address life-and-death situations, but rather aim to leave us marginally healthier or less unhealthy, so we usually neither gain nor risk all that much.

    Medical research is not especially plagued with wrongness. Other meta-research experts have confirmed that similar issues distort research in all fields of science, from physics to economics (where the highly regarded economists J. Bradford DeLong and Kevin Lang once showed how a remarkably consistent paucity of strong evidence in published economics studies made it unlikely that any of them were right). And needless to say, things only get worse when it comes to the pop expertise that endlessly spews at us from diet, relationship, investment, and parenting gurus and pundits. But we expect more of scientists, and especially of medical scientists, given that we believe we are staking our lives on their results. The public hardly recognizes how bad a bet this is. The medical community itself might still be largely oblivious to the scope of the problem, if Ioannidis hadn’t forced a confrontation when he published his studies in 2005.>>

    <<David Gorski, a surgeon and researcher at Detroit’s Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, noted in his prominent medical blog that when he presented Ioannidis’s paper on highly cited research at a professional meeting,>>

    David Gorski: “not a single one of my surgical colleagues was the least bit surprised or disturbed by its findings.”

    John Ioannidis: “I think that people didn’t feel I was only trying to provoke them, because I showed that it was a community problem, instead of pointing fingers at individual examples of bad research” 

    <<In a sense, he gave scientists an opportunity to cluck about the wrongness without having to acknowledge that they themselves succumb to it—it was something everyone else did.>>

    <<His PLoS Medicine paper is the most downloaded in the journal’s history, and it’s not even Ioannidis’s most-cited work—that would be a paper he published in Nature Genetics on the problems with gene-link studies. Other researchers are eager to work with him: he has published papers with 1,328 different co-authors at 538 institutions in 43 countries, he says. Last year he received, by his estimate, invitations to speak at 1,000 conferences and institutions around the world, and he was accepting an average of about five invitations a month until a case last year of excessive-travel-induced vertigo led him to cut back. Even so, in the weeks before I visited him he had addressed an AIDS conference in San Francisco, the European Society for Clinical Investigation, Harvard’s School of Public Health, and the medical schools at Stanford and Tufts.>>

    John Ioannidis: “If I did a study and the results showed that in fact there wasn’t really much bias in research, would I be willing to publish it? That would create a real psychological conflict for me.” 

    <<his bigger worry, he says, is that while his fellow researchers seem to be getting the message, he hasn’t necessarily forced anyone to do a better job. He fears he won’t in the end have done much to improve anyone’s health.>>

    John Ioannidis: “There may not be fierce objections to what I’m saying. But it’s difficult to change the way that everyday doctors, patients, and healthy people think and behave.”

    Athina Tatsioni “Usually what happens is that the doctor will ask for a suite of biochemical tests—liver fat, pancreas function, and so on. The tests could turn up something, but they’re probably irrelevant. Just having a good talk with the patient and getting a close history is much more likely to tell me what’s wrong.”

    <<Of course, the doctors have all been trained to order these tests, she notes, and doing so is a lot quicker than a long bedside chat. They’re also trained to ply the patient with whatever drugs might help whack any errant test numbers back into line. What they’re not trained to do is to go back and look at the research papers that helped make these drugs the standard of care.>>

    Athina Tatsioni “When you look the papers up, you often find the drugs didn’t even work better than a placebo. And no one tested how they worked in combination with the other drugs. Just taking the patient off everything can improve their health right away.”

    <<But not only is checking out the research another time-consuming task, patients often don’t even like it when they’re taken off their drugs, she explains; they find their prescriptions reassuring.>>

    <<It’s not that he [John Ioannidis] envisions doctors making all their decisions based solely on solid evidence—there’s simply too much complexity in patient treatment to pin down every situation with a great study.>>

    John Ioannidis: “Doctors need to rely on instinct and judgment to make choices. But these choices should be as informed as possible by the evidence. And if the evidence isn’t good, doctors should know that, too. And so should patients.”

    <<In fact, the question of whether the problems with medical research should be broadcast to the public is a sticky one in the meta-research community. Already feeling that they’re fighting to keep patients from turning to alternative medical treatments such as homeopathy, or misdiagnosing themselves on the Internet, or simply neglecting medical treatment altogether, many researchers and physicians aren’t eager to provide even more reason to be skeptical of what doctors do—not to mention how public disenchantment with medicine could affect research funding. Ioannidis dismisses these concerns.>>

    John Ioannidis: “If we don’t tell the public about these problems, then we’re no better than nonscientists who falsely claim they can heal. If the drugs don’t work and we’re not sure how to treat something, why should we claim differently? Some fear that there may be less funding because we stop claiming we can prove we have miraculous treatments. But if we can’t really provide those miracles, how long will we be able to fool the public anyway? The scientific enterprise is probably the most fantastic achievement in human history, but that doesn’t mean we have a right to overstate what we’re accomplishing.”

    <<We could solve much of the wrongness problem, Ioannidis says, if the world simply stopped expecting scientists to be right. That’s because being wrong in science is fine, and even necessary—as long as scientists recognize that they blew it, report their mistake openly instead of disguising it as a success, and then move on to the next thing, until they come up with the very occasional genuine breakthrough. But as long as careers remain contingent on producing a stream of research that’s dressed up to seem more right than it is, scientists will keep delivering exactly that.>>

    John Ioannidis: “Science is a noble endeavor, but it’s also a low-yield endeavor. “I’m not sure that more than a very small percentage of medical research is ever likely to lead to major improvements in clinical outcomes and quality of life. We should be very comfortable with that fact.”

    David H. Freedman is the author of Wrong: Why Experts Keep Failing Us—And How to Know When Not to Trust Them. He has been an Atlantic contributor since 1998.
    _______________ 

    References:

    - Ioannidis JP. Why most published research findings are false. PLoS Med (2005) vol. 2 (8) pp. e124
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16060722 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1182327 
    plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124 

    - Ioannidis JP. Contradicted and initially stronger effects in highly cited clinical research. JAMA (2005) vol. 294 (2) pp. 218-28
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16014596 
    jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?doi=10.1001/jama.294.2.218

    - Jennings CG. Quality and value: The true purpose of peer review. Nature (2006) Web focuses > Science and politics > Peer Review: Debate > nature05032. June 28, 2006 doi:10.1038/nature05032
    nature.com/nature/peerreview/debate/nature05032.html 
    blogs.nature.com/peer-to-peer/2006/06/quality_and_value_the_true_pur.html 

    - Ioannidis JP et al. Replication validity of genetic association studies. Nature Genetics (2001) vol. 29 (3) pp. 306-9
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11600885 
    nature.com/ng/journal/v29/n3/abs/ng749.html 

    - DeLong JB and Lang K (1992). Are All Economic Hypotheses False? Journal of Political Economy 100:6 (December), pp. 1257-72
    jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2138833?uid=3737952&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21101173114383 
    Draft (1989):
    plan.givewell.org/files/methods/De%20Long,%20Branford%20and%20Lang%201989.pdf 
    _______________ 

    Related web pages:

    - Tatsioni A et al. Persistence of contradicted claims in the literature. JAMA (2007) vol. 298 (21) pp. 2517-26
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18056905 
    jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=209653 

    Wikipedia article on John P. A. Ioannidis:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_P._A._Ioannidis 

    John P. A. Ioannidis' C.V.: dhe.med.uoi.gr/data/cv/CV102010D.pdf 

    PubMed search 2: 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Ioannidis+JP%5BAuthor%5D&cmd=DetailsSearch 
    PubMed search 1: 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Ioannidis%20JP%5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=16014596

    - Freedman, David H. Wrong: Why experts† keep failing us—and how to know when not to trust them (†Scientists, finance wizards, doctors, relationship gurus, celebrity CEOs, ... consultants, health officials and more). Little, Brown and Co. June 10, 2010. ISBN-10: 0316023787
    amazon.com/Wrong-us-Scientists-relationship-consultants/dp/B005DI6QAM 

    About the title: 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies,_damned_lies,_and_statistics 
    en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Leonard_H._Courtney 

    URL related G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/iW2cNjsmmnq 
    About
    reuters.com - In cancer science, many "discoveries" don't hold up 
    By Sharon Begley. March 27, 2012
    reuters.com/article/2012/03/28/us-science-cancer-idUSBRE82R12P20120328 
    _________________________ 

    via +Sebastian Pölsterl 
    URL source G+ post: plus.google.com/109729446928613352924/posts/KgmnNpqys2Z 
    _________________________ 
  • 7 plusses - 1 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-02-16 21:37:02
    bbc.co.uk - Masters of Money. Episode 2 of 3: Hayek (58 min 23 sec)
    By Stephanie Flanders (BBC economics editor) & The Open University.
    Aired on October 16, 2012 (BBC One) youtu.be/tdDGUl7SncQ 

    EXCERPT (from 56:29 to 57:24):
    Stephanie Flanders: "But no government has ever dared to implement Hayek's vision of a market free from the State's intervention, and when capitalism faced its biggest test since the 1930s politicians rushed to save the market from itself. But the biggest debate in Britain today is not about whether the Government is doing too much to prop up the economy but whether it's doing enough.

    Today Hayek's advice seems hardest to take than ever. You've got the global economy still struggling to put the financial crisis behind it, if it is behind it, and Hayek would say 'Government should just step back, take a cool look of the historical record, dismantle most of the machinery they've constructed for guiding the economy, take a deep breath, and let it go.'

    I don't see any government today ready to do that, and I don't think I ever will."
    _________ 

    bbc.co.uk - Masters of Money
    bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mzqw9 

    Stephanie's blog on Hayek:
    bbc.co.uk - Masters of Money: Friedrich Hayek
    By Stephanie Flanders (BBC economics editor). September 24, 2012
    bbc.co.uk/news/business-19706272 

    open.edu - OU on the BBC: Masters of Money
    August 2, 2012
    open.edu/openlearn/whats-on/tv/ou-on-the-bbc-masters-money 
    _________ 

    Blurb of the episode:

    Hayek Episode 2 of 3
    According to conventional wisdom, today's global financial crisis happened because markets were not regulated enough. But what if the opposite is true? That it was excessive government meddling in the markets that caused the crash?

    In Masters of Money produced in partnership with The Open University, BBC economics editor Stephanie Flanders examines the extraordinary influence of three intellectual titans - Keynes, Hayek and Marx and shows how they shaped the 20th century and continue to have a huge impact on our world today.

    Stephanie turns her attention to the radical free-market economist Friedrich Hayek. Travelling from London to Vienna and America, she unravels the extraordinary life and influence of the only free-market thinker whose reputation has grown post-crisis.

    With contributions from Central bankers, politicians and a Nobel laureate, she explores why despite his enormous influence, no government has ever dared to fully implement Hayek's solution to the problems of capitalism - set it virtually totally free from state control.
    bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01n2rpx 
    _________ 

    YouTube videos of the 3 episodes:
    Ep.1 Masters Of Money - Part 1 - John Keynes (59 min 06 sec)
    Ep.2 Masters Of Money - Part 2 - Friedrich Hayek (58 min 23 sec)
    Ep.3 Masters Of Money - Part 3 - Karl Marx (58 min 49 sec)
    _________ 

    #hayek   #austrianeconomics   #freemarket   #ronpaul   #paulkrugman   #keynes   #keynesianeconomics   #keynesianism   #keynesian   #centralbank   #centralbanking  
    ____________________ 
  • 2 plusses - 1 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-08-23 23:44:15
    the-libertarian.co.uk - What is Gibraltar so important?
    By Casper Zajac. August 22, 2013

    Question: Do you consider the above blog post presents an accurate description of the conflict (particularly on the economic situation)?

    Related article:
    bbc.co.uk - What are the competing claims over Gibraltar?
    By Vanessa Barford (BBC News Magazine). August 12, 2013
    bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23617910 
  • 3 plusses - 4 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-02-12 20:30:57
    RESHARE:
    bizarrocomic.blogspot.com - Introducing iPhone 5!
    By Dan Piraro w/ Levitin. September 5, 2010

    Introducing iPhone 5!*
    Plays 3D movies
    Washes your cat
    3D video camera
    Does your taxes & your hair
    Cleans teeth
    Cosmetic surgery
    Repairs appliances
    Cures flu
    Gives flu to your ex
    Masseuse
    Makes broccoli taste like chocolate
    Controls weather & stock market
    Predicts future, changes past
    Gets out of jail free
    Pie on demand
    Makes you invisible
    Enables time travel
    Spins straw into gold
    Exfoliation
    Attracts UFOs

    *Does not contain a phone.

    Reshared text:
    But still doesn't play Flash. :)
  • 2 plusses - 3 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-07-01 06:28:24
    RESHARE:
    Marilyn Monroe's Portrait (dirt on painted sheet-metal body)
    By Sister paper towel. c. 2011, c. Jilin (China)

    Comment 1:
    Why would she draw the mirror image of the original picture?
    thebeautybestro.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/marilyn-monroe011.jpg (the freckle is always located on the left side of Marilyn's face). Did she pick an inverted picture as a model (by mistake)? To avoid copyright infringement?

    Larger pics: 
    theinspiration.com/2012/01/art-by-tamara-navarro/

    Note: the artist is not Tamara Navarro: plus.google.com/photos/101054784820431082870/albums/profile Daniel Nicolajsen must have mis-tagged her.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jilin

    Related articles: 

    whatsonsanya.com - 'Sister paper towel' in Jilin becomes online celeb for cleaning car with style
    November 24, 2011
    whatsonsanya.com/news-19000-sister-paper-towel-in-jilin-becomes-online-celeb-for-cleaning-car-with-style.html

    teacher at Jilin Architectural Engineering College of Art and Design  
    Sister paper towel  

    wantchinatimes.com - Jilin's 'sister paper towel' cleans car with style
    By Staff Reporter. November 23, 2011
    http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?cid=1103&MainCatID=11&id=20111123000046

    Comment 2:
    It reminds me of Scott Wade's art (dirtycarart.com), but he used to paint with dirt on car windows. He hasn't posted anything in the last 3 years, perhaps he's already retired. She could preserve the "dirty car art" alive.
    - YouTube Videos: 
    1. Dirty Car Art 
    2. "Montañozo" Official Music Video - Grupo Fantasma 
    3. The Dirty Car Artist - Scott Wade (Official Video) 
    4. The Dirty Car Artist 
    - Gallery: dirtycarart.com/DCAGallery/index.html 

    Source pic:
    thebeautybestro.com/tag/marilyn-monroe 

    URL source G+ post: plus.google.com/106911578746797141737/posts/RfwYq3VVeD7
    __________________

    Reshared text:
  • 5 plusses - 3 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-09-15 21:35:12
    RESHARE:
    plus.google.com - Your Singularity Is Here (whatever)
    By Alexander Becker. September 14, 2012 

    Excerpt from comments:

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 15, 2012 2:25 PM
    The shape of the immense majority of this graph is simpy due to an artifact, we have more information about recent events than about ancient ones. This effect causes a strong bias at least until the invention and popularisation of the printing press. 

    For instance, biologic evolution doesn't fit that trend since it is ultimately driven by successful mutations, and the rate in which they occur hasn't sped up with time. The complexity of some pluricellular organisms has increased linearly, others not even so.
    _______________________________ 

    +Francois Demers Sep 15, 2012 7:37 PM (edited)   Oops!
    +Singularity Utopia I have to agree with +Dieter Mueller : you are a techno simpleton.

    DNA is merely organic machinery?!? Find one, just one, actual, practicing microbiologist who would agree with that statement. Have you ever heard of the role quantum events (chaotic, unpredictable) have played and are still playing in evolution?

    You need to understand what a metaphor is, its uses and limits. It means "it's kinda like".

    There are four popular metaphors for humanity: man as plant, man as animal, man as machine and man as man. Oops, sorry, the last is not a real metaphor (can you guess why?)

    You seem to be investing all your hopes for progress and solving human problems into strong AI. If a real artificial supermind ever appeared, why do you believe it would obey you? Explain to the rest of us how high intelligence promotes cheerfully embracing slavery.

    There are two very important gaps in the study of the human mind:

    1- the role and purpose of emotions (they are indispensable to intelligence but nobody knows why or what they contribute.) Only complete idiots have complete lack of affect. Your magical AI would require a poodle's compulsion to please. Otherwise, it could tear you apart the instant you turn it on (you will have to give it effectors).

    Please list the improvements of the human condition we owe to poodles.

    2- Roger Penrose demonstrated very effectively in his splendid book The Emperor's New Mind that strong AI, if possible at all, is in the very distant future. His arguments are mostly mathematical but I can translate them for you: there is a problem explaining how a blob of jelly can be self-aware and intelligent; no hope to answer the question until we have a complete theory of quantum physics. We don't and there is none is sight. Except for art, we can't make what we do not understand.

    And even if you were right, you have absolutely no clue at all of the complexity and energy costs involved in the actual engineering and large-scale deployment of your pixie dust nanobots and picoprinters.

    May I point out also that biological machine is an oxymoron?

    It may be useful as a metaphor but no real biologist ever stretches it past the order of complexity of a virus (viruses are teeny-weeny thingies that move and reproduce but are not alive because they do not eat).

    If you stretch that metaphor too far, everything is a machine at the molecular level.

    +Alexander Becker , more like this please. 
    _______________________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 15, 2012 9:50 PM (edited) +1
    +Francois Demers: "May I point out also that biological machine is an oxymoron?
    It may be useful as a metaphor but no real biologist ever stretches it past the order of complexity of a virus (viruses are teeny-weeny thingies that move and reproduce but are not alive because they do not eat).
    If you stretch that metaphor too far, everything is a machine at the molecular level."

    - After having searched the usual definition of "machine": 

    <<A machine is a powered tool consisting of one or more parts that is constructed to achieve a particular goal. Machines are usually powered by mechanical, chemical, thermal or electrical means, and are frequently motorized. Historically, a powered tool also required moving parts to classify as a machine; however, the advent of electronics technology has led to the development of powered tools without moving parts that are considered machines.
    The word "machine" is derived from the Latin word machina, which in turn derives from the Doric Greek μαχανά (machana), Ionic Greek μηχανή (mechane) "contrivance, machine, engine" and that from μῆχος (mechos), "means, expedient, remedy". The meaning of machine is traced by the Oxford English Dictionary to an independently functioning structure and by Merriam-Webster Dictionary to something that has been constructed. This includes human design into the meaning of machine.
    A simple machine is a device that simply transforms the direction or magnitude of a force, but a large number of more complex machines exist. Examples include vehicles, electronic systems, molecular machines, computers, television and radio.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine 

    I don't see any reason for denying the existence of biological machines, or even consider those cells (cell colonies or more complex cell communities) specially if they have been modified (or assembled) by humans "to achieve a particular goal" (e.g., bacterial systems to synthesize a particular product) as complex machine systems. So more than a machine, each modified cell could be considered as a whole factory.
    Since there's no metaphor on this, you can't be stretching that metaphor too far.
    On the other and, I've found a mention on biological machines in the article about molecular machines: 

    <<The most complex molecular machines are found within cells. These include motor proteins, such as myosin, which is responsible for muscle contraction, kinesin, which moves cargo inside cells away from the nucleus along microtubules, and dynein, which produces the axonemal beating of motile cilia and flagella. These proteins and their nanoscale dynamics are far more complex than any molecular machines that have yet been artificially constructed.
    The detailed mechanism of ciliary motility has been described by Satir in a 2008 review article. A high-level-abstraction summary is that, "[i]n effect, the [motile cilium] is a nanomachine composed of perhaps over 600 proteins in molecular complexes, many of which also function independently as nanomachines.">>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molecular_machine#Biological 

    Of course, Wikipedia isn't a scholarly reference, but it cites the following article that may well be considered as an academic reference: 

    - Satir P and Christensen ST. Structure and function of mammalian cilia. Histochem Cell Biol (2008) vol. 129 (6) pp. 687-93
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18365235 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2386530 
    springerlink.com/content/x5051hq648t3152q/fulltext.pdf 

    The term "nanomachine" appears twice, and "machinery" thrice: 

    <<In eVect, the 9 + 2 axoneme is a nanomachine composed of perhaps over 600 proteins in molecular complexes, many of which also function independently as nanomachines. >>

    <<Remarkably, this machinery is conserved almost universally wherever cilia are built, and orthologs of the motors and IFT proteins are found in sensory cilia and their derivatives, such as the mammalian photoreceptor (Baker et al.  2003) and in primary cilia, as well as in protistan motile cilia.>>

    <<Cole DG (2003) The intraXagellar transport machinery of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. TraYc 4:435–442>>

    <<Kiprilov EN, Awan A, Velho M, Clement CA, Byskov AG, Andersen CY, Satir P, Bouhassira EE, Christensen ST, Hirsch RE (2008) Human embryonic stem cells in culture possess primary cilia with hedgehog signaling machinery. J Cell Biol 180:897–904>>

    Some examples of the use of the expression machine or nanomachine in title of articles published in specialized journals in the last few months [15/441]: 

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22854913 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22837385  
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22772556 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22772555 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22770366 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22727666 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22703552 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22664199 

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22649583 

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22645361 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22634726 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22562135 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22552632 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22519960 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22504172 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22496630 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22480731 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22445226 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22432702 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22425326 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22411979 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22405842 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22395152 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22355141 
    _______________________________ 

    Francois Demers Sep 15, 2012 9:51 PM +1
    +Zephyr López Cervilla you understand what a ".gov" domain is?

    A prion is also a self-replicating molecular "machine" and considerably smaller than a virus. My point was that highly complex organised living critter, a flea for example, is not a machine.

    I am not seeing anything of a higher order of complexity than a virus in your list. (size, yes, complexity, no)
    _______________________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 15, 202 10:20 PM (edited)
    +Francois Demers: "My point was that highly complex organised living critter, a flea for example, is not a machine.
    I am not seeing anything of a higher order of complexity than a virus in your list. (size, yes, complexity, no)"

    - A highly complex organized group of machines are still a machine, so if you accept that biological machines are machines, any highly complex organized group of them plus structural elements is still a biological machine of higher order of complexity called cell. In my opinion, distinction that you do based on the order of complexity isarbitrary. 
    For instance, if the engine of an automobile is a machine, the whole automobile is another machine of a higher level of complexity (or a crane, a machine, in a large container ship, another machine of higher order of complexity).
    If you want, specific groups of machines working for a specific purpose or with a particular characteristic can be referred to as machinery, and the space and structural elements that contain and support the machinery or machineries, a factory (usually including the machinery).

    +Francois Demers: "you understand what a ".gov" domain is?"

    - Government, isn't it? the Internet domain used by US governmental agencies and organisms (e.g., the US National Institutes of Health, NIH). Are both things related?
    _______________________________ 

    Francois Demers Sep 15, 2012 10:22 PM +1
    +Zephyr López Cervilla brace yourself for a shock because two deep dark secrets of the universe shall now be revealed to you:

    1- All machines are molecular.
    2- The Dark Knight Rises really sucks.
    _______________________________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Sep 15, 2012 10:56 PM (edited)
    +Francois Demers: "1. All machines are molecular."

    - The term "molecular machine" isn't used to refer to the matter that forms a machine, but the size scale of the machine. 
     . . . 
    BTW, the major part of matter in metallic machines aren't molecules (not all the matter is in the form of molecules, nor even the solid matter): 

    <<A molecule ( /ˈmɒlɪkjuːl/) is an electrically neutral group of two or more atoms held together by covalent chemical bonds. [1][2][3][4][5][6] Molecules are distinguished from ions by their lack of electrical charge.>>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molecule 
    _______________________________ 

    Comment: What a dickhead!

    URL source G+ post: plus.google.com/100500197140377336562/posts/P5QxQevCP1J 
    _______________________________ 

    Reshared text:
    Your Singularity Is Here

    There is much talk about the Singularity [1] lately with projects such as 2045 [2] and an amazing emergence of the idea of a singularity from science fiction to a quasi-implicit belief system of a world and culture obeying science without questioning.

    If you believe what pop-scientists spin and what real scientists present or if you just witness our techno-culture evolve, you have to be convinced, even by common wisdom, that the intellectually far-fetched and apparently arbitrary revolution is near —

    “The technological singularity is the hypothetical future emergence of greater-than-human superintelligence through technological means. Since the capabilities of such intelligence would be difficult for an unaided human mind to comprehend, the occurrence of a technological singularity is seen as an intellectual event horizon, beyond which events cannot be predicted or understood.” [3]

    But I have news for you, it’s here already, and this is what it looks like —

    Exhibit 1: Hugo Awards live stream shut down by a bot which erroneously determined copyright infringement

    “Unfortunately, the streaming was interrupted mid-ceremony when an automated program on the streaming website cancelled the channel for an assumed copyright infringement.” [4]

    Exhibit 2: Copyright bot boots NASA rover vid off YouTube

    “NASA’s video coverage and pics are actually generally copyright-free, which made the overzealous bot takedown even more ironic as it pulled the video from the space agency’s channel for infringing on the rights of Scripps Local News.” [5] (Yes, again, copyright infringement. Wait for the first errors in automated face-recognition systems.)

    Exhibit 3: Apple has been accused of “insulting” women after it censored the title of one of the books on its iBookstore

    “[The] book, which looks at social and sexual meanings of the vagina, is featured on the front of the iBook store as V****a even though the full title is clearly legible on its jacket. The word is also blanked out throughout the description.” [6] (Note: I assume that the front of the iBook store has an automated censorship system and that this is not a personal attack against the author.)

    Exhibit 4: Darpa’s Cheetah-Bot Designed to Chase Human Prey

    “As the name implies, Cheetah is designed to be a four-legged robot with a flexible spine and articulated head (and potentially a tail) that runs faster than the fastest human. In addition to raw speed, Cheetah’s makers promise that it will have the agility to make tight turns so that it can ‘zigzag to chase and evade’ and be able to stop on a dime.” [7][8]

    This is your singularity, it isn’t yet working exactly as envisioned, but it will gradually evolve and you will need to think about how much you want it to work perfectly and without errors or leeway.

    [1] Raymond Kurzweil: The Singularity Is Near
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Singularity_Is_Near
    [2] Russian Mogul Soliciting Billionaires to Achieve Immortality
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/2012/08/03/russian-mogul-soliciting-billonaires-to-achieve-immortality/
    [3] Technological singularity
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity
    [4] Watch the video that got the Hugo Awards live stream shut down and interrupted Neil Gaiman
    http://www.comicmix.com/news/2012/09/04/heres-the-video-that-got-the-hugo-awards-live-stream-shut-down/
    [5] The Irony of Automated DMCA Takedowns
    https://plus.google.com/u/0/100500197140377336562/posts/BszfPQ5H97g
    [6] Apple censorship of Vagina book ’an insult’ to women
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  • 2 plusses - 7 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-12 17:40:46
    prweb.com - Ancient Confession Found: 'We Invented Jesus Christ'
    By PRWEB UK. October 8, 2013
    uk.prweb.com/releases/2013/10/prweb11201273.htm 

    Comment 1: Granted, statists (even those who call themselves atheists) would rather believe in the existence of Jesus than giving a chance to a theory of conspiracy conceived by the oligarchy that had the control of the Government. 

    Related work:
    · Atwill J. Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus. Ulysses Press (2005) pp. 1-256 ISBN: 978-1569754573
    archive.org/details/CaesarsMessiahTheRomanConspiracyToInventJesus 

    Joseph Atwill: "I released a second edition known as The Flavian Signature Edition of this same title. This new edition contains two discoveries not in the first. The first is the confession of the Flavians that they invented Christianity. The second shows that a sequence in the Gospel of Luke is a virtually line by line symbolic representation of a section of Josephus."
    amazon.com/dp/1569754578 

    Comment 2: Just in case someone is considering to complain about my contributing to spread dubious theories ("conspiracy theories" as they like to call them) and "pseudoscience" (as far history is regarded as a scientific discipline) I will say that if even Richard Dawkins has a pass, I won't be more papist than the Pope: 
    twitter.com/RichardDawkins/status/387754660972355584 

    Regardless of the accuracy of these theories (the earliest one dates back to the 19th century) and their plausibility, the visceral reactions that they trigger on people who consider themselves rational thinkers is a fascinating phenomenon worthy to witness.

    URL related G+ posts:
    1: plus.google.com/104419370725040344913/posts/9MY6a3Ed2CF 
    2: plus.google.com/104419370725040344913/posts/KU881Z4DTvZ 
    3: plus.google.com/105510708763837902389/posts/g5BJnrKqGUC 
    4: plus.google.com/108126313430965390777/posts/ZUX7cKkbThU 

    Excerpt from comments in related G+ post 3:

    solange simondsen Oct 11, 2013 8:23 PM +1
    It used to be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into heaven. I don't understand Christians, really I don't.
    _________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 11, 2013 8:24 PM
    Since when liberals cite the Bible?
    _________ 

    Jürgen Hubert Oct 11, 2013 8:25 PM +4
    Since forever?
    _________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 11, 2013 8:26 PM
    So that's the moral you support, the Christian moral?
    _________ 

    Kasimir Urbanski Oct 11, 2013 8:27 PM
    Zephyr: are you suggesting that there's no such thing as morality?
    _________ 

    Jürgen Hubert Oct 11, 2013 8:32 PM +2
    Not a Christian, but I find plenty of inspiration in the New Testament.
    _________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 11, 2013 8:51 PM
    You should look elsewhere. According to a guy named Joseph Atwill "the New Testament was written by first-century Roman aristocrats" to stop the spread of the zealot Jewish activity, so they invented a story of a 'peaceful' Messiah who "urged to turn-the-other-cheek pacifism and encouraged Jews to 'give onto Caesar' and pay their taxes to Rome."
    uk.prweb.com/releases/2013/10/prweb11201273.htm 
    _________ 

    Jürgen Hubert Oct 11, 2013 8:56 PM +2
    "According to a guy" is surely the best way to refer to trustworthy sources of information.

    And really, what's so bad about altruism? It's one of our most important evolutionary survival traits!
    _________ 

    Mikkel Liljegren Oct 11, 2013 9:00 PM
    Darn it, I'm sure I read a rebuttal of Atwill somewhere in my blog list earlier today but I just can't seem to find the right post... It isn't this one, but this one also gets the point across: http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4664
    _________ 

    Adam Pressler Oct 11, 2013 9:04 PM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla be careful with citing Atwill. Christians will dismiss you after citing him, and so will intelligent atheists:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/10/10/how-can-smart-atheists-be-bamboozled-by-joseph-atwill/
    _________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 11, 2013 9:09 PM
    +Mikkel Liljegren, perhaps you give more credit to the Christian explanation about their origin. 
    _________ 

    Jürgen Hubert Oct 11, 2013 9:13 PM
    I think whether or not you buy the "Son of God" explanation and believe in the miracles, it is still exceedingly likely that Jesus existed and that he preached something approximating that which is written in the New Testament. That's still a much more likely explanation than buying into some bizarre Roman conspiracy.
    _________ 

    Ingo Heinscher Oct 11, 2013 9:20 PM +1
    Sometimes a conspiracy is the more likely explanation. And looking at the Jesus tale, which contains tons of elements that are much older and were well-known to the ancient classical world... well, it is very hard not to believe that at least that story was, hm, "worked on" quite a lot.
    _________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 11, 2013 10:04 PM
    +Jürgen Hubert: "And really, what's so bad about altruism? It's one of our most important evolutionary survival traits!"

    — That's right, altruism has been favored by natural selection whenever this is reciprocal (mutual aid) or the result of kin selection.

    Cooperative behavior is universally praised when all parties who engage are better off. That's what most people do for a living, they've been trading things and favors for millennia.

    As for kin selection, if rearing your kids makes you feel happy and fulfilled, good for you, but how far would you be willing to implement kin selection on your life?
    Would you  feel fulfilled in sacrificing your wellbeing for the good of the human equivalent of a bee queen? and for the good of a bank of frozen human embryos?
    _________ 

    Jürgen Hubert Oct 11, 2013 10:21 PM +2
    Hey, I do pay my taxes!

    What goes around comes around. I was supported by the tax money of others when I was poor, and now that I am in the top 20% of income earners in Germany I pay taxes so that others will get the same chances I had. I mean, paying taxes is not something I see as pleasurable, but I see the need and the utility. It's part of the German social contract, and to dump it after I benefited from it so much would be wrong.
    _________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 12, 2013 4:48 AM
    +Mikkel Liljegren: "Darn it, I'm sure I read a rebuttal of Atwill somewhere in my blog list earlier today but I just can't seem to find the right post... It isn't this one, but this one also gets the point across: http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4664 "

    — Have you even read that? it's plagued with ad hominem attacks and a whole repertoire of other fallacies that Carrier uses to discredit Atwill's theory (in addition of behaving like an ill-mannered brat):

    Richard Carrier: "Joseph Atwill is one of those crank mythers"

    Richard Carrier: "They make mythicism look ridiculous."

    Richard Carrier: "and unlike them I actually know what I am talking about, and have an actual Ph.D. in a relevant subject from a real university."

    Richard Carrier: "Atwill is the one dude I get asked about most often."

    Richard Carrier: "Notice his theory entails a massive and weirdly erudite conspiracy of truly bizarre scope and pedigree, to achieve a truly Quixotic aim that hardly makes sense coming from any half-intelligent elite of the era"

    Richard Carrier: "Then I’ll reveal the reasons why I think Atwill is a total crank, and his work should be ignored, indeed everywhere warned against as among the worst of mythicism,"

    Richard Carrier: "So I am stating right now: I am done with arguing this crap. So if you don’t like what I have to say and refuse to listen to me, I will stop posting your comments. Period."

    Richard Carrier: "his repeated resort to ad hoc attempts to deny or assert facts to save his theory, which only dig him deeper into a hill of bullshit, very much just like pretty much any Christian apologist"

    Richard Carrier: "it’s one of the best demonstrations of what it’s like to argue like a crank."

    Richard Carrier: "But in actual fact, the parallels here are far too imprecise to warrant any credible belief in a link. This kind of fabricated parallel is typical of Atwill’s dubious methodology. It is the rankest of retrofitting. The same fallacy bible code freaks use to make biblical prophecy fit contemporary events."

    Richard Carrier: "Atwill never has any defensible examples, rarely knows what he is talking about, gets a lot wrong, makes stuff up, never admits an error, and is generally in my experience a frustrating delusional fanatic. He also has no relevant academic degrees that I am aware of."

    Richard Carrier: "It also shows my descent from giving him the benefit of a doubt and a serious chance, to getting sick of his bullshit (bullshit that became progressively worse as he got pushed into a corner by increasingly uncomfortable facts and logic), and finally giving up on him."

    Richard Carrier: "He doesn’t know what he is talking about, he has no valid method, he ignores alternative explanations of the evidence, and he invents anything he needs to force the evidence to fit his theory. And then when he is refuted, he claims he has been victorious. Alas, that pegs him. He is a crank."

    Source: freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4664 


    << Judgmental language is a subset of red herring fallacies. It employs insultive, compromising or pejorative language to influence the recipient's judgment. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judgmental_language 

    << An appeal to spite (also called argumentum ad odium)[1] is a fallacy in which someone attempts to win favor for an argument by exploiting existing feelings of bitterness, spite, or schadenfreude in the opposing party. It is an attempt to sway the audience emotionally by associating a hate-figure with opposition to the speaker's argument. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_spite 

    << Poisoning the well (or attempting to poison the well) is a rhetorical device where adverse information about a target is pre-emptively presented to an audience, with the intention of discrediting or ridiculing everything that the target person is about to say. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning_the_well 

    << Abusive fallacy – a subtype of "ad hominem" when it turns into name-calling rather than arguing about the originally proposed argument. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies#Red_herring_fallacies 

    << Appeal to ridicule (also called appeal to mockery or the horse laugh[1]), is an informal fallacy which presents an opponent's argument as absurd, ridiculous, or in any way humorous, to the specific end of a foregone conclusion that the argument lacks any substance which would merit consideration. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_ridicule 

    << Fallacious examples of using the appeal include:
    any appeal to authority used in the context of deductive reasoning. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_authority 

    << The Latin noun verecundia means "modesty" or "shame". Its link to arguments from authority is that they are used to make those who lack authority feel shame about discussing issues they lack credentials of expertise in, and modestly back out of an argument. The reason it is a fallacy is that the stature of the person to whom the remark is directed is precisely the open question under debate. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_authority#Etymology 

    << Credentialism is the over-emphasis on credentials when hiring staff or assigning social status. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credentialism 

    << Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an incorrect or deviant decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink 


    Richard Carrier: "If the Roman elite’s aim was to “pacify” Palestinian Jews by inventing new scriptures, they were certainly smart and informed enough to know that that wouldn’t succeed by using the language the Judean elite despised as foreign (Greek)."

    Richard Carrier: "Rome expected to solve every problem militarily instead–and up until the 3rd century Rome did so quite well. The Jewish War was effectively over in just four years (any siege war was expected to take at least three, and Vespasian was actually busy conquering Rome in the fourth year of that War). So why would they think they needed any other solution?"

    << The historian's fallacy is an informal fallacy that occurs when one assumes that decision makers of the past viewed events from the same perspective and having the same information as those subsequently analyzing the decision. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historian%27s_fallacy 


    Richard Carrier: "to achieve a truly Quixotic aim that hardly makes sense coming from any half-intelligent elite of the era"

    Richard Carrier: "The Roman aristocracy was nowhere near as clever as Atwill’s theory requires. They certainly were not so masterfully educated in the Jewish scriptures and theology that they could compose hundreds of pages of elegant passages based on it. And it is very unlikely they would ever conceive of a scheme like this, much less think they could succeed at it (even less, actually do so)."

    << A fallacy of division occurs when one reasons logically that something true of a thing must also be true of all or some of its parts. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_division 
    _________________________ 

    URL related G+ post 3: 
    plus.google.com/105510708763837902389/posts/g5BJnrKqGUC 
    _________________________ 

    Excerpt from comments in related G+ post 2:

    Viki Ann Oct 10, 2013 +2
    This really needs to stop making the rounds. http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/10/10/how-can-smart-atheists-be-bamboozled-by-joseph-atwill/
    _________ 

    Viki Ann Oct 10, 2013 +3
    I'm not saying it can't be true, I'm just saying based on this guy's history and the way he's presenting his case (a paid lecture instead of a paper submitted for peer review and falsification and whatnot), it doesn't merit any credibility.
    _________ 

    Viki Ann Oct 10, 2013 +1
    Maybe read what a real historian has to say about him: http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4664
    _________ 

    Viki Ann Oct 10, 2013
    He's a quack. I'm not even saying the bible is historically accurate. Why don't you scroll up to the link I posted and read what a real historian thinks about what this guy believes?
    _________ 

    Tanya Myoko Oct 10, 2013
    There is no historical evidence jesus existed
    _________ 

    Viki Ann Oct 10, 2013 +1
    Yes, you're right - well respected historian Richard Carrier makes that case. Richard Carrier also debunked this particular nonsense in the post I linked above.

    That is not what this guy is claiming, he's claiming a huge conspiracy theory.
    _________ 

    Viki Ann Oct 10, 2013 +1
    Here's that post again. http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4664
    _________ 

    Paul Boldra Oct 10, 2013 +1
    +Tanya Myoko I think it's worth a look. Here's a choice quote:

    his theory entails a massive and weirdly erudite conspiracy of truly bizarre scope and pedigree, to achieve a truly Quixotic aim that hardly makes sense

    Atwill apparently believes the entire new testament was the work of a single author. I've never read of any other historian who believes this. Here's a summary of the criticisms:
    1. The conspiracy is too large and complex for the Romans.
    2. It doesn't match what is known about the Gospels
    3. The Gospels and the Epistles contradict each other
    4. The Gospels and the Epistles are in a different style
    5. The Christian philosophy has precedents in late Judaism
    6. Christianity started in Palestine but had no success there
    7. It makes no sense to use Greek
    8. The Romans weren't competent at social engineering

    See +Viki Ann s link for the details. If you do have any other sources supporting Atwill's strange theory, I'd love to see them so I can make an informed judgement too!
    _________ 

    Tanya Myoko Oct 10, 2013 +1
    No, I'm not reading Viki's link cause she's too aggressive. I don't care that he got that wrong detail wrong, the fact that history has no evidence of jesus existing means he was a work of fiction, and given what few motivations there are to create religions, it would count as a conspiracy. Either to make money or control people. And that's really the entire point of religion.
    _________ 

    Viki Ann Oct 10, 2013
    I'm not sure why you think I'm aggressive, or why that should matter. My last sarcastic comment is the closest to aggressive I think I've come.

    I think you're mistaken about what this guy's "theory" is, and you're conflating actual historians like Carrier with conspiracy theorists. It's a cringe-worthy mistake, and if you want to hold onto it, that's fine by me, but I think you should re-examine it.
    _________ 

    Tanya Myoko Oct 10, 2013 +2
    "I think you're mistaken about what this guy's "theory" is"

    Jesus is a fictional character, that's the main point of this post.
    The secondary theory for the motivation of why he was created doesn't
    affect the first.

    "I'm not sure why you think I'm aggressive"

    Telling me twice to read your link, combined with all of your other posts
    here. You used aggressive language, I have no desire to let you feel I've
    done you a favor or obeyed you.

    "and you're conflating actual historians like Carrier with conspiracy
    theorists"

    No, I'm saying the fact that jesus was a fictional character means there
    was a conspiracy of some sort behind his creation. Either to make money or
    to control people.
    _________ 

    Quentin Jenkins Oct 10, 2013 +2
    What I don't understand is ...u are taking one "historian" over another ...and saying he is a fraud....why? ..because some other guy told u? Or do u have evidence showing he is wrong....this Richard guy could be wrong too...just cause he is respected more doesn't make him right...just because he said that atwill is wrong doesn't make him wrong....obviously...

    And I don't understand the hostility for one person to say that atwill may be right. Religion is a fictional theory that is been proven to be edited by counsels from the roman and British empire...its not by a single author...but why couldn't the roman empire have created a system to control its people....religion was used to control slaves...was used to control Americans....so I don't understand how it this could be so farfetched... We (as in modern society) are no smarter than ancient society....so if america can use fasleflags to get us in war or to pass laws....what makes u think a religion couldn't be started by a government as psychological warfare....
    _________ 

    Joe Nunya Oct 11, 2013 6:03 PM +2
    +Viki Ann Nobody is being bamboozled, this has been a hypothesis since at least the 1970's and one that makes quite a bit of sense.
    The Pizo family is quite likely where at least the never seen but known about gospel of Q and also Mark were written by.
    Makes perfect sense at the time and answers a few otherwise unanswerable questions.

    Such as why the complete 180 from the Old Testament.
    Why the "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" mantra which today would be akin to Tpublicans saying "Render unto we the people what is we the people's affordable healthcare"  in other words never in a million years would slaves & regular citizens especially non Roman citizens of the Empire ever EVER say that.
      We as Atheist know that Christianity is a totally fabricated BY MAN religious pile of dogma.  So why is it hard to believe that the Roman Piso family created it?  Because it is they whom would have benefited by far the most from it, they were all highly educated, had the ways and the means and the motive.

    I have yet to see a single shred of contemporary evidence for the existence of any jesus of nazareth.  Not ONE tiny shred.
    This in a time of which was one of the most recorded in all of human history.
    That tells me that no such real person ever lived, he is 100% myth.
    At the exact time this clear myth was created was also the exact time that the Roman empire "needed" it.
    _________ 

    Joe Nunya Oct 11, 2013 6:11 PM +2
    +Viki Ann and what does that "real historian" say is the "real story" behind what is clearly a mythical character?
    I mean we all know that no such actual person as a "jesus of nazareth" actually existed in anything but the gospels right?

    So if not created by the Piso family then created by whom? Because we know it IS a created myth.
    and I am not even saying that the Piso theory is remotely provable, but it does fit what is known pretty darn well.
    Somebody wrote the NT, if not the Piso's or someone like them then whom?

    Gawd?   LOL
    _________ 

    Viki Ann Oct 11, 2013 6:14 PM +1
    I agree with you on the fact that there isn't reliable historical evidence for the person of Jesus. I also think he's a myth. The claim that the whole myth, gospels and epistles and all, were written by one Roman family, is an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence, which would typically be presented as an article to be reviewed by other historians, not in a lecture you have to pay to attend. On top of that, Atwill's previous work has been thoroughly debunked by other historians (historians who would have liked to believe Atwill, and who also make the case that Jesus is a mythological figure) that I find no reason at this point to take him seriously.
    _________ 

    Joe Nunya Oct 11, 2013 6:44 PM +1
    +Viki Ann Umm no, I am married to the absolute fact that jesus is a myth. THAT is fact.
    I am merely not vehemently discrediting Atwill  and numerous others making the same claim for presenting a "possible" explanation, that makes about as much sense as most and more sense than others.
    _________ 

    Viki Ann Oct 11, 2013 6:47 PM +1
    Dude, seriously, just google the guy. Be selective about who you take seriously. That's all I'm saying.
    _________ 

    Joe Nunya Oct 11, 2013 7:03 PM
     +Viki Ann I am not even all that concerned with Atwill.
    maybe you should google John Duran and the 'Origin of Christianity" of which most of his information came directly from "Harvard's 1st century History".

    http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/esp_sociopol_piso02a.htm

    There actually IS a decent amount of peer reviewed work on this subject.
    _________ 

    Viki Ann Oct 11, 2013 7:39 PM
    Erm, the page you linked says that you've got it backwards - the page is "Harvard's 1st Century History," and it got its info from Duran's "Origin of Christianity." I don't see peer review, I see a politician who wrote a book and then somebody compiled that book into a more concise webpage. For the book itself, I don't even see an actual published copy anywhere... Just a web version. Where is this peer reviewed work you're talking about?
    _________ 

    Viki Ann Oct 11, 2013 7:41 PM
    I also did google John Duran and haven't found anything that indicates he's reputable, either.
    _________ 

    Viki Ann Oct 11, 2013 9:14 PM
     
    Carrier is a historian with a PhD. Price is another one with two PhDs in relevant fields. What is Atwill's education? Some vague "has read many books" and "wrote one bestseller" is about all I've found. I haven't found anything about this Duran fellow you mention that would suggest he's remotely qualified. Call me crazy, but when I am trying to figure out whether a thing is credible or not, I look for the experts.
    _________ 

    Joe Nunya Oct 11, 2013 9:52 PM +1
    Yet neither one has anymore proof for their inferences than Atwill.
    Again the PHDs mean zilch to me.
    which is not saying that Carrier is wrong or Atwill correct. I simply don't care that Carrier and Price have PHDs.
    Also and again, I am not all that concerned with Atwill's conclusions as he makes some ridiculous claims with virtually no evidence that I have seen.

    I am more compelled by the "Idea" the Inference that the Piso family were involved.
    not so much Atwill's conclusions in fact in spite of Atwill's conclusion's.
    I have researched this subject, religion in general and especially the origins of Christianity since about 1977 and I have read some about the Piso connection back then which had zero to do with Atwill.
    I am more intrigued with the possibility of that Piso connection than I am with anything Atwill has to say. Just going by my own research I came across certain things that lead me to question if the Piso or some Roman aristocrat had something to do with writing the gospels.
    It just makes sense that they had something to do with it.

    Whom does Carrier believe wrote the gospels and or why?

    I mean one thing we KNOW is the writers were certainly pseudonymous, we know none of them were written any earlier than about 70CE and we know it is a total 180 from the OT.
    We also know without doubt, at least anyone sane and honest that the NT is what would be called an Astrological Drama, a pagan Passion Play written more to be acted out on a stage rather than read.
    As most back then were illiterate plays were big.
    The story of the NT is without any question an allegorical story about the cycle of the sun.

    Now I am sure all of these things we can mostly agree on correct? 

    The Piso connection is merely a possibility no more, many people have made the same connection based on what we know as documented fact and then inferring who may have possibly been the authors.
    The Piso's stand out pretty tall to me.
    _________ 

    Joe Nunya Oct 11, 2013 10:33 PM
    +Viki Ann The fact you discount completely the Piso connection obviously.
    _________ 

    Viki Ann Oct 11, 2013 10:37 PM
    Ok, well, so far I haven't come across any reason to believe it. I've seen a reputable historian pretty much dismiss it as conspiracy theorist nonsense, and a few google searches to try and find a reason not to believe said historian's perspective turned up nothing. I could take your word on it, but you haven't actually given me any evidence for your perspective, only one link that I find questionable and the assertion that there's "peer reviewed work" out there on it, which you haven't backed up.
    _________ 

    Joe Nunya Oct 11, 2013 11:34 PM +1
    +Viki Ann well that is a totally fair position to take and it is good that you research, many do not. My position comes mainly from about 37 or so years of research I have done myself. I kind of like the Piso connection simply because it sounds so very likely and answers quite a few unanswered questions.  Since nobody really has any better of an idea whom wrote the gospels then I am swayed by the Piso possibility just simply because it makes sense.  Some of what Atwill claims does NOT make sense but that doesn't mean he couldn't be on the right track, but just strayed a bit.
    That is kind of like throwing the baby out with the bath water because the water is dirty type thing.
    _________ 

    Viki Ann Oct 12, 2013 1:04 AM
    Fair enough. It just sounds to me like a lot of people are just glomming onto this latest thing because they like the idea, which isn't a good reason to accept something. If Carrier's perspective is accurate, this could even end up giving atheists and skeptics even more of a bad rap for taking it seriously.
    _________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 12, 2013 2:26 AM
    +Viki Ann: "Carrier is a historian with a PhD. Price is another one with two PhDs in relevant fields."

    — Hwang Woo-suk is also a PhD:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hwang_Woo-suk 

    +Viki Ann: "Richard Carrier, Robert Price = actual historians, widely respected"

    — I wouldn't respect anyone who resorted to ad hominem attacks and a whole repertoire of other fallacies to discredit others' theories (in addition of being an ill-mannered brat):
     . . . (see above)
    _________ 

    Viki Ann Oct 12, 2013 5:26 AM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_fallacy
    _________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 12, 2013 5:45 AM
    +Viki Ann: "Argument_from_fallacy"
    — I don't remember having concluded from the above list of fallacies that Atwill was right, or that all criticism against Atwill's theory is necessarily ungrounded. On the other hand, Carrier's arguments don't contain a fallacy, they contain many (it hurts my eyes to just read it). Granted, if you try hard, you can wade through fallacies and still reach all the right conclusions, but you won't have proved them in such way.
    _________________________ 

    URL source G+ post 2:
    plus.google.com/104419370725040344913/posts/KU881Z4DTvZ 
    _________________________ 

    Excerpt from comments in related G+ post 1:
     
    Alan Bell Oct 10, 2013 3:55 PM +4
    or rejected with thoughtful consideration
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/10/10/how-can-smart-atheists-be-bamboozled-by-joseph-atwill/ 
    _________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 10, 2013 4:44 PM
    Granted, statists (even those who call themselves atheists) would rather believe in the existence of Jesus than giving a chance to a theory of conspiracy conceived by the oligarchy that had the control of the Government.
    _________ 

    Alan Bell Oct 10, 2013 +1
    +Andrew Weil I am open minded about the thing still, however it doesn't seem very plausible to me. Not as an intentional thing done for a purpose. As a story telling thing that got out of hand, maybe. Various hero stories evolved in a similar way, with more and more stories attributed to the same characters. So yes, a lot or possibly all of it, is fiction, but I don't think it was done as described. - it just doesn't stack up when you factor in the council of Nicea.
    I am open minded - but that doesn't mean I don't have an opinion on the probability of whether this is or isn't interesting new information. They are going to have to present some very convincing evidence.
    _________ 

    Heidi Cool Oct 10, 2013 +1
    Prof. Richard Carrier has a good response to this at http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4664. It also links to others who have critiqued Atwill's lack of scholarship. (Carrier is a historian who does not believe in an historical Jesus, but has been very methodical about his research in this area.)
    _________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 12, 2013 8:18 PM [Sandbox, Oct 10, 2013]
    +Alan Bell: "or rejected with thoughtful consideration http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/10/10/how-can-smart-atheists-be-bamboozled-by-joseph-atwill/ "

    — Do you call that thoughtful? The blog post of your link resorts to anything but thought.

    For starters, its header: "How can smart atheists be bamboozled by Joseph Atwill?"

    Before having even presented the theory and how its proponent have tried to support it, PZ Myers (the blogger) is already trying to skew the opinion of the reader in a non-rational way, through their emotions.

    Myers is trying to make you feel ashamed of giving credit to this alleged bamboozlement (in case you were inclined to do so).
    He refers to atheists as smart guys (manipulative flattery) to make you feel obliged to act as such, that is, despising a theory that he represents as quackery even before you know anything about it.

    First lines:
    PZ Myers: "Christianity was a cunning product of a Roman imperial conspiracy, intentionally designed to placate those troublesome Jews"
     . . . 
    PZ Myers: "The whole idea is ridiculous." 

    A bald statement ("the WHOLE idea is ridiculous") to which he doesn't offer any rationale. Why is it ridiculous? because he called it an "imperial conspiracy", a teasing term?

    PZ Myers: "The Roman idea of social engineering was to plant a legionary fortress, or retire a bunch of legionaries, into an area that they wanted to pacify. Incorporating regional gods into their pantheon by synonymizing them, sure; far-fetched long-term plans that would require centuries to mature into a tangible result, no."

    Here he reveals his ignorance of of the Roman civilization. What he depicts is but a cartoony image that has more to do with Hollywood movies than with the evidence-based interpretation of Roman history presented by scholars.

    PZ Myers: "Has there ever been a religion that was created by a government that actually caught on?"

    — Oh yes, the cult to the State and their leaders, Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Mao, Guevara. A religion without a visible god (although the cult to their leaders often verged the status of worship to a god), but with their same kind of symbolism, flags, eagles, cerimonies, oaths, initiation rites, a required subjugation of the individual to a greater end, promise land/utopic world, etc.

    PZ Myers: "Most religions die young; they have a very low success rate. It’s not a smart investment — it’s like buying a lottery ticket."

    — Most religions hadn't been sponsored by the oligarchy that controls the power of the State (as far as  we know).

    PZ Myers: "If Romans had been in this game of inventing religions to win over the natives to Romanism, we’d see more examples of failures than long term success."

    — Unfounded reasoning.
    If the US government had been in the game of developing atomic bombs/nuclear weapons or sending people to the Moon, we'd see more examples of failures.

    PZ Myers: "What would you think of a conspiracy theorist [redflag] who announced that Joseph Smith had been a secret government agent with the mission of persuading a large number of people to settle that barren Utah territory?"

    — This comparison is barren. A complete different scenario and with no common motive. The US Government wouldn't have taken any clear advantage from persuading a number of people to settle in Utah. Those same people might have been more profitable for the government, had they settled elsewhere (e.g., consuming more and paying more taxes).

    PZ Myers: "real scholars don’t spring the evidence on their audiences by press release or by public lecture — it is first reviewed by independent scholars for authenticity."

    — This guy seems to be unaware of how Charles Darwin presented his Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. Darwin put forward publicly his theory of evolution for the first time by publishing his "On the Origin of Species", a book that would become rapidly a best-seller.
    There may be reasons that encourage to circumvent the peer-review process. One of them is the blockade by scholars in particular fields of knowledge and the censorship derived from the groupthink phenomenon:


    << Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an incorrect or deviant decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.

    Loyalty to the group requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking. The dysfunctional group dynamics of the "ingroup" produces an "illusion of invulnerability" (an inflated certainty that the right decision has been made). Thus the "ingroup" significantly overrates their own abilities in decision-making, and significantly underrates the abilities of their opponents (the "outgroup").

    Antecedent factors such as group cohesiveness, faulty group structure, and situational context (e.g., community panic) play into the likelihood of whether or not groupthink will impact the decision-making process.

    Groupthink is a construct of social psychology, but has an extensive reach and influences literature in the fields of communication studies, political science, management, and organizational theory,[1] as well as important aspects of deviant religious cult behaviour.[2] >>

    << Symptoms
     . . . 
    Type II: Closed-mindedness
    Rationalizing warnings that might challenge the group's assumptions.
    Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, biased, spiteful, impotent, or stupid.

    Type III: Pressures toward uniformity
    Self-censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus.
    Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement.
    Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of "disloyalty"
    Mind guards— self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information. >>

    << Causes
     . . . 
    insulation of the group
    lack of impartial leadership
     . . . 
    homogeneity of members' social backgrounds and ideology >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink 


    PZ Myers: "If you’re one of the many atheists who gleefully forwarded this to me or credulously mentioned it on twitter…hello, there. I see you’ve already met the good friend of so many half-baked wackos in the world, Confirmation Bias."

    — More insults ("half-baked wackos") and appeal to spite, ridicule, you name it.
    _________ 

    Alan Bell Oct 12, 2013 8:49 PM
    yeah, I actually linked to the wrong article, I meant to link to this one http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4664 which is a bit bigger and more considered. Of course nobody should dismiss the theory based on PZ Myers or me or anyone else asserting it to be rubbish - I want people to give it a little bit of their own thoughtful consideration and then reject it, like I did. (you could give it thoughtful consideration and not reject it)
    _________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 12, 2013 9:17 PM
    +Alan Bell: "yeah, I actually linked to the wrong article, I meant to link to this one http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4664 which is a bit bigger and more considered."

    — Sure, PZ Myers seems to have found inspiration from Richard Carrier's article. I reviewed that other as well. It's plagued with ad hominem attacks and a whole repertoire of other fallacies that Carrier uses to discredit Atwill's theory (in addition he's very ill-mannered):
     . . . (see above)

    — Granted, we can't conclude that the mere existence of fallacies in his arguments means that all his conclusions are wrong (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_fallacy), but it makes me suspect that he's being willingly dishonest with his readers. Surely, that text would have never outlived any kind of peer-review process.
    _________ 

    Alan Bell Oct 12, 2013 10:00 PM
    Well you can go fallacy hunting all day if you like. Doesn't make the concept of an intentional Roman propaganda religion any less implausible.
    _________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 13, 2013 12:26 AM
    +Alan Bell: "Well you can go fallacy hunting all day if you like. Doesn't make the concept of an intentional Roman propaganda religion any less implausible."

    — Implausible according to your preconceived ideas, that is.
    If you try to justify how implaudsible this concept using the reasons put forward in Carrier's article, then you'll have to find alternative explanations to circumvent the fallacies he uses to label it as implausible. 

    For instance, Carrier claims that the Roman elite were too dumb to concoct a plan like this. Assuming that they were actually intellectually handicapped (what I'd like to see how he proves it), his explanation is still fallacious: you wouldn't need a smart Roman elite, a few smart ones would be enough, not even so, those dumb Roman patricians could have hired some smart guys to devise their plan and implement it.

    Likewise with the writing of the gospels, they wouldn't have any need to write those texts by themselves, they could have hired some expert writers to do that job.

    In fact, a plan like this seems more likely to have been organized by high-rank servants (or whoever other counselors who assisted the leaders) than by the same artistocrats in power.

    High-rank servants remain close to political power and their devotion to public service will be often continued by their descendants giving rise to whole sagas of them, whereas political leaders come and go.

    The Gospels and the Epistles are in a different style and contradict each other because they were written by different people hired by the leaders. Whether the contradicitons are intentional or not, that can be harder to discern.

    Assuming they were good forgerers and tried to pass their texts as if they have come from different sources, they would have been careful to leave willingly some mismatches. Also, this strategy could encourage future followers to focus on the core of the doctrine (what is prevalent in the different works) leaving the other details aside, a cunning way to put them unnoticeably on the right track.

    Christianity started in Palestine but had no success there. That's not hard to explain, their plan could have initially failed, and then could have been reused for other purposes later.

    Or alternatively, their target audiece was never the Jews but the other peoples living around the East of the Mediterranean basin who had adopted Greek language as their lingua franca. That would explain why they had used Greek rather than Hebrew.

    Or perhaps the intrroduction of Greek in this new religious community had been devised to ease the assimilation of the Jews within the Roman Empire through the adoption of a foreign language (language that later would become the official language of the East Roman Empire).

    The Romans weren't competent at social engineering, that's just bullshit. The Roman Empire wouldn't have survived over the centuries hadn't they been able to assimilate other peoples. What other empire has been more successful in such endeavor?

    They were so successful that their language (actually two languages, Latin and Greek) and their culture persisted after their political collapse for centuries in most of the provinces that had remained under their rule.

    The same adoption of Greek as official language was a wise decision in order to assimilate those peoples that had been under the cultural influence of the hellenic Greeks. 

    Also, after the rebellion led by Spartacus, the Romans improved the living conditions of their slaves granting them certain rights, what helped prevent further rebellions.

    The adoption or Christianism as official religion of the empire was also a wise move that allowed greater cohesion between the different peoples.

     The most compelling of Carrier's criticisms is perhaps that the Christian philosophy has precedents in late Judaism, so they couldn't have been invented by the Romans.

    What the Romans could have done is to choose those philosophic traditions that best suited them to their plan. They may have found inspiration in some already existing philosophies, also with the hope that in that way they had more chances to catch on (news ideas are harder to be adopted than the old ones that have been recovered from oblivion).
    _________________________ 

    URL related G+ post 1:
    plus.google.com/104419370725040344913/posts/9MY6a3Ed2CF 
    _________________________ 

    Excerpt from comments in related G+ post 4:

    Eric Brockmann Oct 12, 2013 +2
    Already debunked a few days ago in this same group... :p
    _______ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 13, 2013 2:48 AM
    Debunked by whom? by you?
    _______ 

    Eric Brockmann Oct 12, 2013 1:14 PM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla
    1/ Don't remember who. Search it, It's not that far. A few days.
    2/. Nope..
    For me, it's just enough to know that tis thesis was included in a famous paranoiac conspirationnist movie. Tinfoil hats handling antique history?  Wow.. we are doomed !:D Discuting about the existence of Jesus is one logical thing. Story telling it was a conspiration by the Roman empire  is plain stupid , imho.. Good day sir
    _______ 

    Zephyr López CervillaYesterday 3:11 PM
    So you have nothing actually, just intellectual laziness, another brain dead of the pseudo-skeptic cult.
    _______ 

    Eric Brockmann Oct 13, 2013 9:16 PM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla +Harvey Paul 
    Links to same post exactly :
    October 10: plus.google.com/104419370725040344913/posts/KU881Z4DTvZ
    October 9 : plus.google.com/108126313430965390777/posts/gZAi4hTVDNT
    October 9 (again) : plus.google.com/103793015655271814839/posts/5qyr5YCivSp

    Are you going to post this link again and again every day ?
    Because, frankly, it really looks like spam.

    Harvey, you are inverting the burden of proof (as most of the religious and conspirationist do :P ) . I don't have to proove that you are wrong... YOU, or the one that created the theory, have to provide  solid evidence that the Romans created the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

    I would advise you to find another source if you want people to believe in this fantasy because i read the article and frankly, it doesn't look very credible for anyone with even a slight knowledge of the Roman Empire at that time..
    And if you really think Advill is right : Please think of this kind of argument :  '...sequence of events and locations of Jesus ministry are more or less the same as the sequence of events and locations of the military campaign of [Titus Flavius]"   "More or Less" ?  what ?  Not very serious
    Don't forget that this guy sells books above all. Not a good sign (No peer reviewed  publication)
    And sorry for my english, guys. :)

    Zephyr.. don't insult .. this makes you look like an insecure kid.
    _______ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 14, 2013 2:23 AM
    +Eric Brockmann: "don't insult .. this makes you look like an insecure kid."

    You mean like this?:

    +Eric Brockmann: "Story telling it was a conspiration by the Roman empire  is plain stupid , imho.. Good day sir"

    I would rather say it makes you look like a rude and arrogant brat, imho.

    +Eric Brockmann: <<Are we speaking of the Roman Empire ?  at this time ruling the entire Medditerranean Sea ?  At its apogee.  The rebellion of a few Jewish zealots in the desert ?  Do you know how they squashed the Massada rebels ? Patiently, with no mercy.. until the end.
    They would rather have burnt the entire province instead.
    They didn't had to rely on some stupid scheme to invent a prophet.  Their "psychological warfare" was long lines of crucifixion crosses along their famous roads.. that was enough.>>

    — It's amazing how many people talk about the Roman Empire as if they had just come from a visit. Let's see (again) what the historian's fallacy means:

    << The historian's fallacy is an informal fallacy that occurs when one assumes that decision makers of the past viewed events from the same perspective and having the same information as those subsequently analyzing the decision. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historian's_fallacy 

    Now I will indulge in the same kind of fallacy your fellows incur over and over. I'll project the past into the present by using a nowadays analogy:

    Are we speaking of the United States of America ? at this time ruling the entire Western World ? (with more nuclear weapons than anybody else, military bases all over the world, and an annual military spending 5 times greater than the second superpower). At its apogee (after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and being the largest economy in the world). The attacks of a few Islamic terrorists from the Middle East ?  Do you know how they squashed the Iraqi army (or the Taliban in Afghanistan, Gaddafi in Libya, etc.) ?

    Why would they have to persuade a doctor to carry out a fake vaccination campaign to get DNA samples of a wanted terrorist or their family to verify his identity? Why would they have to sneak an assault command across the border to capture him or kill him? Why would they have to hide his body and make it disappear?

    They would rather have burnt the entire province instead.
    They didn't have to rely on some stupid scheme to capture/kill a terrorist.  Their "psychological warfare" was Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and their frequent drone attacks (or air strikes) to kill enemies and civilians alike... that was enough.

    Likewise with Weapons of Mass Destruction allegedly hidden in Iraq. Why would the US government conspire against their allies and their own citizens, cheating them about their real intentions?
    The largest superpower didn't need to fabricate a pretext to occupy any given country with valuable resources that wasn't willing to cooperate. They would rather have burnt the entire region instead, with no need of excuses.
    _______________________ 

    URL related G+ post 4:
    plus.google.com/108126313430965390777/posts/ZUX7cKkbThU 
    _______________________ 
  • 4 plusses - 2 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-10-04 01:04:01
    researchnews.osu.edu - Omega-3 Supplements May Slow a Biological Effect of Aging
    By Emily Caldwell. October 1, 2012

    Questions:
    1. Why do you think that they didn't exclude those volunteers who were taking an aspirin a day? I only can think of a possible explanation.
    2. Did they compare change in telomerase activity vs. change in telomere length? If so, why didn't they show those results?
    Comment:
    I have the suspicion that the reason why the telomeres of the peripheral T-cells are more prone to lengthened with omega-3 supplementation is because with the modulation of the pro-inflammatory signal induced by omega-3, the T-cell precursors proliferate less, and as it's mentioned in the same paper that presents the results of this study,
    "Inflammation triggers T-cell proliferation, one known cause of telomere shortening."
    _________________ 

    Excerpt from Ohio State University press release:
    <<The study showed that most overweight but healthy middle-aged and older adults who took omega-3 supplements for four months altered a ratio of their fatty acid consumption in a way that helped preserve tiny segments of DNA in their white blood cells.>>

    <<Omega-3 supplementation also reduced oxidative stress, caused by excessive free radicals in the blood, by about 15 percent compared to effects seen in the placebo group.>>

    <<In another recent publication from this study, Kiecolt-Glaser and colleagues reported that omega-3 fatty acid supplements lowered inflammation in this same group of adults.>>

    <<Study participants took either 2.5 grams or 1.25 grams of active omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids>>

    <<Participants on the placebo took pills containing a mix of oils representing a typical American’s daily intake.>>

    <<Participants received either the placebo or one of the two different doses of omega-3 fatty acids. The supplements were calibrated to contain a ratio of the two cold-water fish oil fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), of seven to one. Previous research has suggested that EPA has more anti-inflammatory properties than DHA.>>

    <<Both groups of participants who took omega-3 supplements showed, on average, lengthening of telomeres compared to overall telomere effects in the placebo group, but the relationship could have been attributed to chance. However, when the researchers analyzed the participants’ omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in relationship to telomere lengthening, a lower ratio was clearly associated with lengthened telomeres.>>

    <<The researchers also measured levels of compounds called F2-isoprostanes to determine levels of oxidative stress, which is linked to a number of conditions that include heart disease and neurodegenerative disorders. Both omega-3 groups together showed an average overall 15 percent reduction in oxidative stress compared to effects seen in the placebo group.

    When the scientists revisited their earlier inflammation findings, they also found that decreases in an inflammatory marker in the blood called interleukin-6 (IL-6) were associated with telomere lengthening. In their earlier paper on omega-3s and inflammation, they reported that omega-3 supplements lowered IL-6 by 10 to 12 percent, depending on the dose. By comparison, those taking a placebo saw an overall 36 percent increase in IL-6 by the end of the study.

    “This finding strongly suggests that inflammation is what’s driving the changes in the telomeres,” Kiecolt-Glaser said.>>

    <<study co-author Ron Glaser, professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics and director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research (IBMR) at Ohio State.>>

    <<this population was disease-free and reported very little stress. The study included 106 adults, average age 51 years, who were either overweight or obese and lived sedentary lives. The researchers excluded people taking medications to control mood, cholesterol and blood pressure as well as vegetarians, patients with diabetes, smokers, those routinely taking fish oil, people who got more than two hours of vigorous exercise each week and those whose body mass index was either below 22.5 or above 40.>>

    <<Co-authors of the study include Elissa Epel, Jue Lin and Elizabeth Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco; Rebecca Andridge and Beom Seuk Hwang of Ohio State’s College of Public Health; and William Malarkey of the IBMR.

    This work was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

    OmegaBrite, a company based in Waltham, Mass., supplied the supplements as an unrestricted gift but did not participate in the study design, results or publication. Study co-authors Blackburn, Epel and Lin are co-founders of Telome Health Inc., a telomere measurement company>>

    Source:
    - Caldwell, Emily. Omega-3 Supplements May Slow A Biological Effect of Aging. The Ohio State University - Research and Innovation Communications. October 1, 2012
    researchnews.osu.edu/archive/omega3aging.htm 
    _______________________ 

    Reference paper:

    - Kiecolt-Glaser et al. Omega-3 fatty acids, oxidative stress, and leukocyte telomere length: A randomized controlled trial. Brain Behav Immun (2012) [uncorrected proof, article in press] 
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23010452 
    linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0889-1591(12)00431-X 
    sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S088915911200431X 

    Excerpts of interest: 

    1.1. Telomeres, telomerase, inflammation, and oxidative stress

    Telomeres, the caps found at the ends of chromosomes, are essential for chromosomal stability and replication; the enzyme telomerase is important for telomere formation, maintenance, and restoration (Blackburn, 2005; Epel et al., 2004). A growing literature has linked shorter telomeres with health behaviors, age-related diseases, and earlier mortality (Brouilette et al., 2003; Epel et al., 2009; Kimura et al., 2008; Valdes et al., 2005).

    Telomeres can be maintained or lengthened by telomerase, an intra-cellular enzyme that adds telomeric DNA to shortened telomeres (Chan and Blackburn, 2003). Telomere length is also linked to, and likely regulated by, exposure to proinflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress (Aviv, 2006; Carrero et al., 2008; Damjanovic et al., 2007). Inflammation triggers T-cell proliferation, one known cause of telomere shortening (Aviv, 2004; Carrero et al., 2008; Gardner et al., 2005). Oxidative stress promotes telomere erosion during cellular replication in vitro and also stimulates the synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines (Aviv, 2006; Lipcsey et al., 2008).

    1.2. Telomeres, telomerase, and omega-3 PUFAs

    Although telomeres typically shorten with aging, shortening is not inevitable, and telomeres can also lengthen (Aviv et al., 2009; Ehrlenbach et al., 2009; Epel et al., 2009; Farzaneh-Far et al., 2010a; Nordfjall et al., 2009). It is important to identify malleable factors that might promote telomere stability over time. Based on theoretical and empirical reasons, it is possible that blood levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may be one of the factors that can prevent telomere shortening over time. The omega-3 (n-3) PUFAs can reduce inflammation and decrease oxidative stress (Calder, 2005; Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 2011; Mori et al., 1999; Nalsen et al., 2006), described below, and thus could buffer telomeres from their damaging effects.
    In the Heart and Soul Study, which followed 608 people with stable coronary heart disease over 5 years, average telomere length increased in 23% of the individuals, shortened in 45%, and remained unchanged in 32% (Farzaneh-Far et al., 2010a). Slower telomere attrition was predicted by higher baseline levels of the two key n-3 PUFAs, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA), which were the only significant predictors out of 16 clinical and behavioral factors examined (Farzaneh-Far et al., 2010b). Each standard deviation increase in the DHA + EPA total was associated with a 32% reduction in the odds of telomere attrition. In a different pilot study, an intensive three-month lifestyle change program that included n-3 PUFA supplementation significantly increased telomerase activity (Ornish et al., 2008).

    1.3. The present study

    In our recent four-month randomized controlled trial (RCT), serum interleukin 6 (IL-6) decreased by 10% and 12% in our low (1.25 g/day) and high (2.5 g/day) dose n-3 PUFA groups, respectively, compared to a 36% increase in the placebo group (Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 2012). Similarly, low and high dose n-3 PUFA groups showed modest 0.2% and -2.3% changes in serum TNF-α, in contrast to the 12% increase in the control group. Depressive symptoms, the other primary trial outcome, were low at baseline and did not change. This study assessed the impact of n-3 PUFA supplementation, and consequent changes in the n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio, on secondary outcomes in our RCT: leukocyte telomere length, telomerase, and oxidative stress.

    2.2. Design and study components 164

    Data collection for this double-blind placebo-controlled four 165 month RCT began in September, 2006 and ended in February, 2011. At baseline and at 4 months we assessed telomere length, telomerase, and oxidative stress. Blood samples were collected between 7:00 and 9:00 AM to control for diurnal variation.

    2.2.1. Supplement and Placebo

    [ . . . ]
    Both the placebo and the* n-3 PUFA pills included 1 IU of vitamin E. In order to ensure integrity of the oil supplements, dietary oils were analyzed every 6–8 months* by gas chromatography of methylated fatty acids prepared in the Belury lab.

    2.6. Telomere length

    Peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) were purified from whole blood by density-gradient centrifugation in Lymphocyte Separation Medium (Mediatech, Inc.).
    [ . . . ]
    The telomere length measurement assay is adapted from the published original method by Cawthon (Cawthon, 2002; Lin et al., 2010a). The telomere thermal cycling profile consists of: Cycling for T(telomic) PCR: denature at 96 °C for 1 s, anneal/extend at 54 °C for 60 s, with fluorescence data collection, 30 cycles. Cycling for S (single copy gene) PCR: denature at 95 °C for 15 s, anneal at 58 °C for 1 s, extend at 72 °C for 20 s, 8 cycles; followed by denature at 96°C for 1s, anneal at 58°C for 1s, extend at 72 °C for 20 s, hold at 83 °C for 5 s with data collection, 35 cycles. The primers for the telomere PCR are tel1b [5'-CGGTTT(GTTTGG)5GTT-3'], used at a final concentration of 100 nM, and _tel2b_ [5'-GGCTTG(CCTTAC)5CCT-3'], used at a final concentration 282 of 900 nM. The primers for the single-copy gene (human beta-globin) PCR are hbg1 [5'- GCTTCTGACACAACTGTGTTCACTAGC-3'], used at a final concentration of 300 nM, and hbg2 [5'-CACCAACTTCATCCACGTTCACC-3'], used at a final concentration of 700 nM. The final reaction mix contains 20 mM Tris–HCl, pH 8.4; 50 mM KCl; 200 lM each dNTP; 1% DMSO; 0.4x Syber Green I; 22 ng Escherichia coli DNA per reaction; 0.4 U of Platinum Taq DNA polymer- ase (Invitrogen Inc.) per 11 ll reaction; 0.5–10 ng of genomic DNA. Tubes containing 26, 8.75, 2.9, 0.97, 0.324 and 0.108 ng of a reference DNA (from Hela cancer cells) are included in each PCR run so that the quantity of targeted templates in each sample can be determined relative to the reference DNA sample by the standard curve method. Each concentration of the reference DNA is run as quadruplets and samples are run as triplicates. To control for inter-assay variability, 8 control DNA samples from cancer cell lines (including 293T, H1299, UMUC3, and UMUC3 cells infected with a lentiviral construct containing the telomerase RNA gene to extent telomeres, harvested at various population doublings after infection) are included in each run. In each batch, the T/S ratio of each control DNA is divided by the average T/S for the same DNA from 10 runs to get a normalizing factor. This is done for all eight samples and the average normalizing factor for all eight samples is used to correct the participant DNA samples to get the final T/S ratio. The T/S ratio for each sample is measured twice, each time in triplicate wells. When the duplicate T/S value and the initial value vary by more than 7%, the sample is run the third time and the two closest values will be reported. The formula to convert the T/S ratio to base pairs is base pairs = 3274 + 2413 * (T/S). The inter-assay coefficient of variation for telomere length measurement was 4.3% for this study.

    2.7. Telomerase activity

    PBLs were purified from whole blood as above. Cells were lysed with 1x CHAPS buffer (10 mM Tris–HCl, pH 7.5, 1 mM MgCl2, 315 1 mM EGTA, 0.1 mM benzamidine, 5 mM  β-mercaptoethanol, 0.5% CHAPS, 10% glycerol) on ice for 30 min and spun at 4 °C at 14 k rpm for 20 min to generate an extract corresponding to 10,000 cells/ll. Extracts were stored at -80° for batch analysis of telomerase activity. Telomerase activity was measured by the TRAPeze Telomerase detection kit (Millipore, Cat# S7700) using a modified protocol developed by the Blackburn lab (Lin et al., 2010a). Three concentrations (2000, 5000 and 10,000 cells) were used for TRAP reactions to ensure that the assay was in the linear range. Details of the method are published elsewhere (Lin et al., 2010a). The inter-assay coefficient of variation (CV) was 6.8%.


    2.8. Oxidative stress

    F2-isoprostanes provide the most reliable index of in vivo oxidative stress when compared to other well-known biomarkers (Milne et al., 2007). Plasma samples were analyzed by Vanderbilt’s Eicosanoid Core Laboratory, following their published protocol (Milne 331 et al., 2007).

    2.9. Statistical methods

    [ . . . ]
    Analysis of covariance was used to separately model change in telomerase (N = 94), telomere length (N = 106), and F2-isoprostanes (N = 97) from baseline to 4 months, adjusting for baseline levels, using all subjects with available four-month follow-up data. In order to control Type I error, the Tukey–Kramer method was used for between-group comparisons. Although supplementation group was the main predictor of interest, secondary analyses used change in continuous n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio in place of group because individuals differ in absorption and metabolism of n-3 PUFA supplements, as well as in adherence. Despite the relative balance between the groups due to the randomization, analyses were repeated controlling for age, gender, and sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD). Alpha was set to 0.05, and two-sided tests were conducted. All analyses were carried out in SAS version 9.3 (SAS Institute, Cary, NC).

    3.1. Study population, baseline data

    Table 1 shows baseline characteristics of the analysis sample (N = 106), with 31 subjects in the placebo arm, 40 in the low dose fish oil arm, and 35 in the high dose fish oil arm. Randomization produced groups that did not differ on age, baseline FFQ dietary variables, sleep quality, depressive symptoms, and history of major depressive disorder, p > 0.19 for all tests. There were no baseline group differences on SAD or BMI (p > 0.60 for both). Using BMI cut points of 25 and 30 kg/m2, 100 participants (94%) were overweight, and 54 (51%) were obese. Groups were similar on telomere length, telomerase, and F2-isoprostanes at baseline (p > 0.26 for all tests).

    3.3. Changes in F2-isoprostanes

    Table 4 shows the significant group differences in changes in log-F2-isoprostanes after supplementation. The estimated mean *change in log-F2-isoprostanes was 0.073 for the placebo group, corresponding to an 8% increase in geometric mean.* In contrast, the estimated mean change in log-F2-isoprostanes was -0.094 for the low dose group and -0.086 for the high dose group, corresponding to decreases in the geometric mean of 9% and 8%, respectively. For both doses these changes were significantly different than the placebo group (Tukey–Kramer adjusted p = 0.02; p = 0.04, respectively), resulting in the intervention groups having a 15% lower geometric mean F2-isoprostanes at 4 months compared to control. There was not a significant difference between the two supplemented groups (p = 0.99). These results remained the same in analyses additionally controlling for age, gender and SAD.

    3.4. Changes in telomere length and telomerase

    The adjusted mean change in telomere length, expressed in base pairs (bp), was an increase of 21 bp for the low dose group 406 and an increase of 50 bp in the high dose group compared to a decrease of 43 bp for placebo (Table 4); however; differences between the groups were not significant. Telomere lengthening (defined as a positive change) was observed in 54% (n = 19) of the 2.5 g/d n-3 PUFA group and 53% (n = 21) of the 1.25 g/d n-3 PUFA group, but only 39% (n = 12) of the placebo group, though these differences were not significant (p = 0.39). There were no differences among the groups in change in telomerase activity at four months (Table 4). Models additionally controlling for age, gender, and SAD produced similar results.

    3.5. Changes in telomere length based on n-6:n-3 PUFA plasma ratios

    Secondary analyses explored the effect of changes in plasma n-6:n-3 PUFA ratios on changes in telomere length, since individuals differ in absorption and metabolism of n-3 PUFA supplements. Table 5 shows the resulting linear regression analysis, controlling for baseline telomere length and baseline n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio. A one unit decrease in n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio was associated with an estimated 20 bp increase in telomere length (p = 0.02).
    The analysis was repeated using the change in AA:(EPA + DHA) ratio in place of n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio; the AA:(EPA + DHA) ratio is favored by some researchers because of a more direct tie to eicosanoid metabolism. Since the change in AA:(EPA + DHA) ratio was highly correlated with the change in n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio (r = 0.90, p < 0.001), results were similar, with a one unit decrease in AA:(EPA + DHA) ratio associated with a 35 bp increase in telomere length (p = 0.08). Similarly, when the change in the sum of EPA, DHA, and DPA was used in place of either ratio, results were again comparable, with a one unit increase in EPA + DHA + DPA associated with a 22 bp increase in telomere length (p = 0.07). All results were similar after adjusting for age, gender, and SAD.

    3.6. Changes in telomere length related to IL-6

    Since supplementation reduced serum IL-6 in both low and high dose groups in the parent study (Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 2012), as a secondary analysis we investigated the association between *change in telomere length and change in IL-6* for the 101 subjects in the present study who had IL-6 data available at baseline and four months. There was a significant negative correlation between change in telomere length and change in IL-6 (Spearman r = -0.20, p = 0.05). Of the 51 subjects who experienced telomere lengthening, 61% (n = 31) had lowered IL-6, compared to 34% (n = 17) of the 50 who did not experience telomere lengthening (p = 0.007).

    4.1. Intervention-related changes

    [ . . . ]
    Telomerase activity level did not change in our sample, in contrast to the changes observed following an intensive three-month lifestyle change program in a different study group – men with early prostate cancer – that included 3 g/day of fish oil (Ornish et al., 2008). That intervention also included dietary change (low-fat and high plant-based), aerobic exercise, and stress management. Further, as that previous study had no non-intervention control group, those data must be interpreted cautiously as regards involvement of n-3 PUFAs.
    Depressive symptoms were quite low at baseline in this sample, and did not change (Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 2012). However, prior studies that have linked lower n-3 PUFA plasma levels and depression suggest a potential benefit for more distressed groups (Appleton et al., 2010; Hibbeln, 1998). Depression and chronic stress have been associated with shorter telomeres (Damjanovic et al., 2007; Epel et al., 2004; Wolkowitz et al., 2010). Depression and chronic stress boost inflammation (Glaser and Kiecolt-Glaser, 2005; Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 2003) as well as oxidative stress (Epel et al., 2004; Wolkowitz et al., 2010), and could speed telomere erosion through these pathways. Accordingly, n-3 PUFA supplementation might also slow telomere attrition by enhancing mood in more depressed samples.
    Although age-related reductions in telomeres are the average situation, recent studies showed that telomeres can both shorten and elongate in vivo, and leukocyte telomere length can change 491 within a period of months (Shlush et al., 2011; Svenson et al., 2011). Alterations in oxidative stress were highlighted as a potential mechanism in two recent reports (Shlush et al., 2011; Svenson 494 et al., 2011). Our data suggest that a dietary intervention that reduces the joint burden of oxidative stress and inflammation may in turn have positive consequences for telomere length. During aging there is a shift from naïve to memory T-cells, and the latter have shorter telomeres (Svenson et al., 2011). We do not know if the reductions in inflammation and oxidative stress in our n-3 PUFA supplemented participants reflected shifts in leukocyte subpopulations that contributed to the telomere changes observed, one limitation of the present study.
    [ . . . ]
    It would have been desirable to examine n-6 and n-3 PUFAs in red blood cells (RBCs) in addition to plasma levels. Circulating PUFA levels reflect the interplay among dietary intake, absorption, and metabolism and are not always strongly correlated with dietary intake of fatty acids (Fusconi et al., 2003; Seierstad et al., 2005). RBC PUFA levels reflect longer-term PUFA consumption as the turn-over is slow and more reliable (Harris, 2008, 2009). For example, DHA levels in RBCs are thought to indicate dietary fat intake for the past four months, while levels in plasma may only mirror intake from the last few days (Arab, 2003; Sun et al., 2007). However, our intervention spanned four months and serum and plasma proinflammatory cytokines can change in hours (Glaser and Kiecolt-Glaser, 2005); for example, infusion of a fish oil-based lipid emulsion substantially reduced monocyte production of IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1, and IL-8 in response to endotoxin (Mayer et al., 2003). For these reasons, plasma PUFA data were essential to assess recent dietary influences on inflammatory markers in this study. As described earlier, the n-6 and n-3 PUFAs compete for key enzymatic pathways, and thus the relative balance is of interest (Simopoulos, 2008). ATTICA, a large health and nutrition survey of healthy Greek adults, showed that higher n-6:n-3 PUFA plasma ratios were associated with higher TNF-α and IL-6 (Kalogeropoulos et al., 2010).

    4.2. Health implications

    We found that telomere length increased with decreasing n-6:n-3 PUFA ratios. These data suggest that rather than just considering the absolute amount of n-3 PUFA, the background levels of both the n-6 and the n-6:n-3 PUFAs should also be taken into account for clinical studies or for evaluation of nutritional interventions. For example, the n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio can be altered by increasing n-3 PUFA supplementation, but also by decreasing n-6 intake.
    Several large studies have linked higher n-3 PUFA levels with lower all-cause mortality (Lee et al., 2009; Pottala et al., 2010) including a large 3.5 year trial (Marchioli et al., 2002). The n-3 PUFA’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties provide one obvious pathway for these reductions in mortality, consistent with the finding that decreases in IL-6 were associated with telomere lengthening in this study. Our data suggest that the n-3 PUFAs can impact cell aging in addition to inflammation and oxidative stress. This translational research broadens our understanding of the n-3 PUFA’s potential therapeutic effects.
    Short telomeres predict early disease, and slowing immune cell aging could have broad effects by slowing the onset of age-related diseases. Recent work has demonstrated the causal effect of telomerase deficiency and telomere shortening on cellular health and premature aging and mortality in rodents (Bernardes de Jesus et al., 2012; Jaskelioff et al., 2011; Sahin et al., 2011). In summary, the current study provides compelling initial evidence that lower n-6:n-3 PUFA ratios may be beneficial for slowing biological aging.

    Conflict of interest statement

    Drs. Blackburn, Epel, and Lin are co-founders in Telome Health, Inc., a telomere measurement company.
    _______________________ 

    Previous paper with other results from the same study:

    - Kiecolt-Glaser JK et al. Omega-3 supplementation lowers inflammation in healthy middle-aged and older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Brain Behav Immun (2012) vol. 26 (6) pp. 988-95
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22640930 
    linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0889-1591(12)00118-3 
    sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159112001183 

    Excerpts of interest:

    A number of epidemiological and observational studies have demonstrated that lower n-3 PUFA levels are associated with higher serum IL-6, TNF-a, and CRP (Farzaneh-Far et al., 2009; Ferrucci et al., 2006; Kalogeropoulos et al., 2010; Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 2007). In contrast, comparisons of supplemented and placebo groups in n-3 PUFA randomized controlled trials (RCTs), the gold standard for demonstrating causality, have not produced reliable serum cytokine differences (Calder et al., 2009; Fritsche, 2006; Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 2011; Sijben and Calder, 2007). Problematic methodological issues that muddy interpretation have included severely underpowered small treatment groups (e.g., 8–10 per group), low n–3 PUFA supplementation doses, insensitive cytokine assays, use of young and healthy subjects and/or highly-trained athletes, and very low levels of baseline inflammation. For example, serum cytokines did not differ significantly among 58 monks who received 0, 1.06, 2.13 or 3.19 g/d of n-3 PUFAs for a year (Blok et al., 1997); however, basal cytokine data did not differ between vegetarians and non-vegetarians even before supplementation, suggesting that the monks’ extremely healthy lifestyle limited the ability to see meaningful downward change.
    The strongest RCT support for the n-3 PUFA’s anti-inflammatory properties has come from studies with older, hypertriglyceridemic or diabetic individuals with elevated inflammatory markers (Fritsche, 2006; Sijben and Calder, 2007; Wu, 2004; Yusof et al., 2008). Consequently, it has been suggested that cytokine produc- tion in healthy people is relatively insensitive to long-chain n-3 PUFAs (Sijben and Calder, 2007; Wu, 2004).

    2.1. Participants

    The 138 participants, 45 men and 93 women, ranged in age from 40 to 85 (Table 1). Campus and community print and web-based announcements were used for recruitment. The institutional review board approved this study, and each participant provided informed consent.
    The online screening form assessed health history, medications, and health behaviors. Exclusions included psychoactive drugs or mood altering medications, lipid-altering drugs, beta blockers, steroids, regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs other than an aspirin a day, ACE-inhibitors, prostaglandin inhibitors, heparin, warfarin, and alcohol/drug abuse (Buckley et al., 2004; Ferrucci et al., 2006). We also excluded pregnant or nursing women, vegetarians, diabetics, people who routinely took fish oil or flaxseed supplements or ate more than two portions of oily fish per week, smokers, and individuals with recurrent digestive problems, convulsive disorders, and autoimmune and/or inflammatory diseases. Individuals who typically engaged in 2 or more hours of vigorous physical activity per week, as well as individuals with a body mass index (BMI) less than 22.5 or greater than 40 were excluded (Fernandez-Real et al., 2003).
    In addition, we used participants’ ability to follow the regimen as a criterion for study entry. Participants received a 7-day supply of placebo capsules (single blind) at the subsequent in-person screening session, and those who had taken less than 80% of the capsules a week later were dropped before randomization. We also verified height and weight at the screening visit.

    2.2.1. Supplement and placebo

    This three-arm parallel group RCT compared responses to (A) 2.496 g/d n-3, (B) 1.25 g/d n-3, and placebo, or (C) placebo. All participants took 6 pills (3 g oil) per day. For the two omega-3 groups, each 500 mg gel capsule contained 347.5 mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 58 mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Thus, for the high dose group the full daily supplement would equal 2085 mg/d of EPA and 348 mg/d of DHA. We chose the 7:1 EPA/DHA balance because of evidence that EPA has relatively stronger anti-inflammatory and antidepressant effects than DHA (Lin et al., 2010; Sijben and Calder, 2007). The placebo was a mixture of palm, olive, soy, canola, and coco butter oils that approximated the saturated:monounsaturated:polyunsaturated (SMP) ratio consumed by US adults, 37:42: 21 (USDA Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals, 1994–1996). OmegaBrite (Waltham, MA) supplied both the n-3 and the matching placebo; all pills were coated with a fuchsia coloring. OmegaBrite added a mild fish flavor to the placebo to help disguise any differences between the n-3 PUFA pills and the placebo, and we told participants about the fish flavoring to promote blindness (Stoll et al., 2001).

    2.3. Health-related behaviors

    Participants’ height and weight were assessed at the screening visit, and participants were weighed during each subsequent visit. At each study visit, participants were evaluated for changes in fatty acid composition of plasma and PBMCs, mood, and proinflammatory cytokines.
    Adipose tissue in the abdomen may secrete up to three times as much IL-6 as other subcutaneous fat tissues (Browning, 2003). Sagittal abdominal diameter measurements provided data on abdominal fat.

    2.7. Sample size

    Sample size was based on detection of conservative effect sizes for the lower dose versus placebo comparisons for the primary outcome of cytokine levels. The literature suggested that the higher dose would have a greater effect, thus we expected the higher dose versus placebo contrast to have more power than low versus pla- cebo. All power analyses were based on contrasts within mixed effect linear models with two-sided alpha = 0.05 and assumed a 10% attrition rate. Our conservative estimated effect size was a decrease in IL-6 of 0.45 pg/mL in the low dose group, extrapolated from results from Ferrucci et al. (2006). Pilot data from our lab provided an estimate of standard deviation of 0.88 pg/mL, thus to achieve 85% power a sample size of 46 in each group was required.

    3.1. Study population, diet, and health behaviors

    Randomized groups were equivalent on key dimensions (Table 1). Randomization produced groups that did not differ on age, baseline FFQ dietary variables, depression, and sleep quality, p > 0.2 for all tests. Using BMI cut points of 25 and 30 kg/m2, 125 (91%) were overweight, and 65 (47%) were obese, respectively. There were small differences between groups on weight at baseline (p=0.002), with the placebo group having the lowest average weight, however there were not significant differences in either sagittal abdominal diameter or BMI (p > 0.05 for both).
    Analyses of FFQ data at the last visit revealed no differences among the groups in reported changes in intake of calories, fiber, total fat, protein, saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, omega-3 fatty acids, or linoleic acid during the study period, P > .11 for all tests. Similarly, sleep and exercise did not show differential group changes, P > .26 for both. Both the lower and higher n-3 groups had modest but statistically significant increases in weight across the trial (average pounds gained: 2.1 lbs and 2.5 lbs in the two groups, respectively), compared to no change in the placebo group (average pounds gained: 0.39 lbs). However, the increased weight would have theoretically fueled inflammation in this overweight sample which was not observed.
    Few participants reported taking any medication during the study, and the numbers did not differ among groups. The most common medications were multivitamins (n = 42), NSAIDs (n = 29; 15 aspirin, 8 ibuprofen, 5 naproxen, 1 meloxicam), antihistamines (n = 13), estrogen with or without progesterone (n = 10), and levothyroxine (n = 10).

    3.4. Changes in fatty acids

    Baseline levels of plasma fatty acids as well as changes over time for the three groups are summarized in Table 3. As expected, randomization produced groups that did not differ on EPA (p = 0.73), DHA (p = 0.38), or total n-3 (p = 0.41) at baseline. By the end of the study period plasma levels of EPA were approximately 3.5-fold higher in the 1.25 g/d n-3 group and 6-fold higher in the 2.5 g/d n-3 group (P < 0.0001 for both), and plasma DHA levels were approximately 1.4-fold higher in the 1.25 g/d n-3 group and 1.5-fold higher in the 2.5 g/d n-3 group (P < 0.0001 for both). The n-6:n-3 ratio was significantly decreased after supplementa- tion for both low and high dose groups (P < 0.0001 for both).

    3.5. Primary Outcomes

    Results for inflammatory outcomes and depression symptoms are summarized in Table 5. After adjusting for gender and sagittal abdominal diameter, there were significant supplementation effects on cytokines as evidenced by significant group by visit inter- actions for both TNF-α (p = 0.0002) and IL-6 (p = 0.0003). The estimated mean change in log-TNF-α from visit 1 to visit 5 was 0.11 units for the placebo group, corresponding to a 12% increase in the geometric mean of TNF-α. In comparison, the estimated mean change in log-TNF-α was *0.0002 units for the 1.25 g/d and -0.024 for the 2.5 g/d group, corresponding to changes of 0.2% and -2.3%, respectively. After Bonferroni-adjustment, these group differences were significant for the comparison of placebo to 1.25 g/d (p = 0.03) and placebo to 2.5 g/d (p = 0.004); no significant difference was noted between the two supplementation doses (p = 1.0).
    A similar pattern was observed for IL-6. The estimated mean change in log-IL-6 from visit 1 to visit 5 was 0.31 units for the placebo group (36% increase), -0.106 for the 1.25 g/d group (10% decrease), and -0.123 for the 2.5g/d group (12% decrease). Significant differences were observed between placebo and 1.25 g/d (p = 0.0003) and placebo and 2.5 g/d (p = 0.0002), but not between the two doses of fish oil (p = 1.0). To ensure that results were not driven by a small number of highly influential data points, residual plots were examined and one subject in the placebo group who appeared to be an outlier was removed and analyses were rerun. Resulting conclusions were the same and are not shown.
    There did not appear to be group effects on depression (p = 0.86), adjusting for gender. There was a trend toward larger decreases in depression from visit 1 to visit 5 for the two fish oil groups than the placebo, but no differences were statistically significant.

    4.1. Intervention-related reductions in inflammation

    Omega-3 supplementation significantly altered production of serum cytokines. IL-6 decreased by 10% and 12% in our low and high dose n-3 groups, respectively, compared to a 36% increase in the placebo group. Similarly, low and high dose n-3 groups showed modest 0.2% and -2.3% changes in TNF-α, compared to a 12% increase in the control group. This is the first well-powered trial to show significant changes in serum cytokines in healthy middle-aged and older adults.

    4.2. Randomized PUFA trials

    The largely negative serum cytokine data from prior n-3 PUFA trials have led to the suggestion that cytokine production is relatively insensitive to the n-3 PUFAs among healthy individuals, i.e., people who do not have chronic inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or diabetes (Sijben and Calder, 2007; Wu, 2004). However, there are several notable differences between our study and prior RCTs. We carefully assessed variables known to influence inflammation including smoking, medication use, physical activity, and abdominal adiposity. We had minimal attrition; only 5 of our 138 subjects failed to complete the full trial. Our rigorous exclusion criteria produced a group of overweight sedentary adults who were more likely to have an inflammatory profile and who were otherwise healthy aside from their weight.
    [ . . . ]
    In prior work from our laboratory, 68 medical students received either 2.5 g/d n-3 or a placebo for 12 weeks (Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 2011). Compared to controls, those students who received n-3 showed a 14% decrease in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated IL- 6 production. Planned secondary analyses that used the plasma n-6:n-3 ratio in place of treatment group showed that decreasing n-6:n-3 ratios led to reductions in stimulated IL-6 and TNF-α production, as well as marginal differences in serum TNF-α. The absence of significant serum inflammatory changes was likely related to the very low baseline levels of serum cytokines in the healthy, young, and relatively thin population.

    4.3. Dosage and risks

    Neither our IL-6 nor our TNF-α data showed significant differences between our 1.25 and 2.5 g/d n-3 dose, although both clearly differed from the placebo. One review concluded that while the effects were inconsistent, it appeared that significant changes in cytokine production by lymphocytes only occurred with P2.0 g/d of EPA + DHA (Sijben and Calder, 2007). In addition, variables such as typical dietary intake influence responses (Yee et al., 2010), and our sample had a higher than expected average n-6:n-3 ratio at baseline, as described earlier. The FDA has concluded that intakes of up to 3 g/d of marine n-3 PUFAs are ‘‘Generally Recognized As Safe’’ (Kris-Etherton et al., 2002); our higher dose, 2.5 g/d, fell within that range and would appear to be a good choice for future studies.
    Side effects were infrequent and did not differ between groups. These data are in accord with the low incidence reported in large n-3 PUFA studies (Leaf et al., 1994; Valagussa et al., 1999).

    4.4. Health implications

    Several large studies have linked higher n-3 PUFA levels with lower all-cause mortality (Lee et al., 2009; Pottala et al., 2010), including a large 3.5 year trial (Marchioli et al., 2002). The n-3 PUFA’s anti-inflammatory properties provide one obvious pathway for these reductions in mortality. Inflammation is a robust and reli- able predictor of all-cause mortality in older adults (Pedersen and Febbraio, 2008). Chronic inflammation has been linked to a spec- trum of health problems including depression, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, cancer, and arthritis (Pedersen and Febbraio, 2008). In fact, more globally, chronic inflammation has been suggested as one key biological mechanism that may fuel declines in physical function leading to frailty, disability, and, ultimately, death.
    _______________________ 

    Related paper of a previous study by the same group:

    - Kiecolt-Glaser JK et al. Omega-3 supplementation lowers inflammation and anxiety in medical students: a randomized controlled trial. Brain Behav Immun (2011) vol. 25 (8) pp. 1725-34
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21784145 
    linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0889-1591(11)00468-5 
    sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159111004685 
    _______________________ 

    Related information available at MedLine Plus:

    nlm.nih.gov - Fish Oil
    Retrieved on October 3, 2012
    nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/993.html 

    Excerpt of interest:

    How effective is it?
    Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

    The effectiveness ratings for FISH OIL are as follows:

    Effective for...

    - High triglycerides. High triglycerides are associated with heart disease and untreated diabetes. To reduce the risk of heart disease, doctors believe it is important to keep triglycerides below a certain level. Doctors usually recommend increasing physical activity and restricting dietary fat to lower triglycerides. Sometimes they also prescribe drugs such as gemfibrozil (Lopid) for use in addition to these lifestyle changes. Now researchers believe that fish oil, though not as effective as gemfibrozil, can reduce triglyceride levels by 20% to 50%. One particular fish oil supplement called Lovaza has been approved by the FDA to lower triglycerides. Lovaza contains 465 milligrams of EP and 375 milligrams of DHA in 1-gram capsules.

    Likely effective for...

    - Heart disease. Research suggests that consuming fish oil by eating fish can be effective for keeping people with healthy hearts free of heart disease. People who already have heart disease might also be able to lower their risk of dying from heart disease by eating fish or taking a fish oil supplement. However, for people who already take heart medications such as a “statin,” adding on fish oil might not offer any additional benefit.

    Possibly effective for...

    - High blood pressure. Fish oil seems to produce modest reductions in blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil seem to be able to expand blood vessels, and this brings blood pressure down.
    - Rheumatoid arthritis. Fish oil alone, or in combination with the drug naproxen (Naprosyn), seems to help people with rheumatoid arthritis get over morning stiffness faster. People who take fish oil can sometimes reduce their use of pain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
    - Menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea). Taking fish oil alone or in combination with vitamin B12 seems to improve painful periods and reduce the need for pain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
    - Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. Taking fish oil seems to improve thinking skills and behavior in 8 to 12 year-old children with ADHD.
    - Raynaud’s syndrome. There’s some evidence that taking fish oil can improve cold tolerance in some people with the usual form of Raynaud’s syndrome. But people with Raynaud’s syndrome caused by a condition called progressive systemic sclerosis don’t seem to benefit from fish oil supplements.
    - Stroke. Moderate fish consumption (once or twice a week) seems to lower the risk of having a stroke by as much as 27%. However, eating fish doesn’t lower stroke risk in people who are already taking aspirin for prevention. On the other hand, very high fish consumption (more than 46 grams of fish per day) seems to increase stroke risk, perhaps even double it.
    - Weak bones (osteoporosis). Taking fish oil alone or in combination with calcium and evening primrose oil seems to slow bone loss rate and increase bone density at the thigh bone (femur) and spine in elderly people with osteoporosis.
    - Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Fish oil seems to slow or slightly reverse the progress of atherosclerosis in the arteries serving the heart (coronary arteries), but not in the arteries that bring blood up the neck to the head (carotid arteries).
    - Kidney problems. Long-term use (two years) of fish oil 4-8 grams daily can slow the loss of kidney function in high-risk patients with a kidney disease called IgA nephropathy. Fish oil also seems to reduce the amount of protein in the urine of people who have kidney disease as a result of diabetes.
    - Bipolar disorder. Taking fish oil with the usual treatments for bipolar disorder seems to improve symptoms of depression and increase the length of time between episodes of depression. But fish oil doesn’t seem to improve manic symptoms in people with bipolar disorder.
    - Psychosis. Taking a fish oil supplement might help prevent full psychotic illness from developing in people with mild symptoms. This has only been tested in teenagers and adults up to age 25.
    - Weight loss. Some evidence shows that eating fish improves weight loss and decreases blood sugar in overweight people and people with high blood pressure. Preliminary research also shows that taking a specific fish oil supplement 6 grams daily (Hi-DHA, NuMega), providing 260 mg DHA/gram and 60 mg EPA/gram, significantly decreases body fat when combined with exercise.
    - Endometrial cancer. There is some evidence that women who regularly eat about two servings of fatty fish per week have a reduced risk of developing endometrial cancer.
    - Age-related eye disease (age-related macular degeneration, AMD). There is some evidence that people who eat fish more than once per week have a lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
    - Reducing the risk of blood vessel re-blockage after heart bypass surgery or “balloon” catheterization (balloon angioplasty). Fish oil appears to decrease the rate of re-blockage up to 26% when given for one month before the procedure and continued for one month thereafter. Apparently, taking fish oil before surgery is important. When taken for less than one month before angioplasty, fish oil doesn’t help protect the blood vessel against closing down.
    - Recurrent miscarriage in pregnant women with antiphospholipid syndrome. Taking fish oil seems to prevent miscarriage and increase live birth rate in pregnant women with a condition called antiphospholipid syndrome.
    - High blood pressure and kidney problems after heart transplant. Taking fish oil seems to preserve kidney function and reduce the long-term continuous rise in blood pressure after heart transplantation.
    - Damage to the kidneys and high blood pressure caused by taking a drug called cyclosporine. Cyclosporine is a medication that reduces the chance of organ rejection after an organ transplant. Fish oil might help reduce some of the unwanted side effects of treatment with this drug.
    - Movement disorder in children (dyspraxia). Taking fish oil orally, in combination with evening primrose oil, thyme oil, and vitamin E (Efalex, Efamol Ltd), seems to improve movement disorders in children with dyspraxia.
    - Developmental coordination disorder. A combination of fish oil (80%) and evening primrose oil (20%) seems to improve reading, spelling, and behavior when given to children age 5-12 years with developmental coordination disorder. However, it doesn’t seem to improve motor skills.
    - Preventing blockage of grafts used in kidney dialysis. Taking fish oil orally seems to help prevent clot formation in hemodialysis grafts.
    - Psoriasis. There is some evidence that administering fish oil intravenously (by IV) can decrease severe psoriasis symptoms. But taking fish oil by mouth doesn’t seem to have any effect on psoriasis.
    - High cholesterol. There is interest in using fish oil in combination with “statin” drugs for some people with high cholesterol. Doctors were worried at first that taking fish oil might interfere with statin treatment, but early studies show this is not a problem, at least with the statin called simvastatin. Scientists think fish oil may lower cholesterol by keeping it from being absorbed in the intestine. There is some evidence that using vitamin B12 along with fish oil might boost their ability to lower cholesterol.
    - Coronary artery bypass surgery. Taking fish oil seems to prevent coronary artery bypass grafts from re-closing following coronary artery bypass surgery.
    - Cancer-related weight loss. Taking a high dose (7.5 grams per day) of fish oil seems to slow weight loss in some cancer patients. Some researchers believe these patients eat more because the fish oil is fighting depression and improving their mood.
    - Asthma. Some research suggests fish oil may lower the occurrence of asthma in infants and children when taken by women late in pregnancy. Furthermore, fish oil seems to improve airflow, reduce cough, and lower the need for medications in some children with asthma. However, fish oil treatment doesn’t seem to provide the same benefit for adults.

    Possibly ineffective for...

    - Chest pain (angina).
    - Gum infection (gingivitis).
    - Liver disease.
    - Leg pain due to blood flow problems (claudication).
    - Preventing migraine headaches.
    - Preventing muscle soreness caused by physical exercise.
    - Breast pain.
    - Skin rashes caused by allergic reactions.
    - Stomach ulcers.

    Likely ineffective for...

    - Type 2 diabetes. Taking fish oil doesn’t seem to lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. However, fish oil can provide some other benefits for people with diabetes, such as lowering blood fats called triglycerides.
    [ . . . ]

    nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/993.html#Effectiveness 
    _______________________ 

    Links to other science news outlets:
    sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001140957.htm 
    medicalxpress.com/news/2012-10-omega-supplements-biological-effect-aging.html 
    esciencenews.com/articles/2012/10/01/omega.3.supplements.may.slow.a.biological.effect.aging 
    scienceblog.com/56909/omega-3-supplements-may-slow-a-biological-effect-of-aging 
    _______________________ 

    URL related G+ posts: plus.google.com/102370347732140106252/posts/C9p4AJG2xtY 
    plus.google.com/105903603302602842440/posts/fuEu9ixJx7S 
    plus.google.com/117029437254252483108/posts/7BvUQpWDxx9 
    _______________________ 
  • 4 plusses - 2 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-09-05 16:47:57
    carrotmuseum.co.uk - World Carrot Museum
    1996-2012

    Comment:
    Compulsive carrot-eaters like me or people interested in learning about why we eat what we eat and what alternative foods are available will probably find this website appealing and useful.

    Recommended sections:

    - History of the carrot:
    carrotmuseum.co.uk/history.html 
    carrotmuseum.co.uk/history1.html 
    carrotmuseum.co.uk/history2.html 
    carrotmuseum.co.uk/history3.html 
    carrotmuseum.co.uk/history6.html 
    carrotmuseum.co.uk/history4.html 
    carrotmuseum.co.uk/history5.html 

    - Ancient illustrations: 
    carrotmuseum.co.uk/manuscripts.html 

    - The carrot today: 
    carrotmuseum.co.uk/today.html 

    - Pigments: 
    carrotmuseum.co.uk/carrotcolours.html 

    - Wild carrot: 
    "WARNING - Please do not attempt to use these recipes and methods if you cannot positively identify and distinguish Queen Anne's Lace from poison Hemlock, as Hemlock is extremely poisonous and looks very similar."
    carrotmuseum.co.uk/queen.html 

    - Cultivation: 
    carrotmuseum.co.uk/cultivation.html 
    ______________________ 
  • 4 plusses - 2 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-08-09 01:04:47
    Dinosaur-Killing Comet Didn't Wipe Out Freshwater Species
    By Charles Q. Choi and LiveScience. Scientific American. July 26, 2013
    scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=dinosaur-killing-comet 

    New research shows freshwater organisms fared better than others after the most recent extinction event

    Comment:
    The following claim has been questioned by several earth scientists [see below]:

    << The disaster, which killed off at least 75 percent of all species on Earth, including all dinosaurs except for birds, was apparently triggered by a cosmic impact that occurred in what is now Mexico about 65 million years ago. >>

    — And also this other [see press conference below]:

    << However, the giant extraterrestrial collision set fire to Earth's surface, darkening the sky with dust and ash that cooled the planet. The resulting "impact winter" and its lack of sunlight would have crippled both freshwater and marine food chains by killing off microscopic photosynthetic organisms known as phytoplankton that are at the base of the marine and freshwater food chains. >>

    — They oppose the Alvarez hypothesis, that is, that the impact of an asteroid had been the main cause of the K-Pg boundary mass extinction event.
    They have formulated an alternative hypothesis for the triggering causes of that mass extinction [see below].
    The following statement is also a rather questionable (except perhaps of being present in the Bible):

    << "for a species to survive, you need only a small number of surviving individuals, an absolute minimum of two individuals at the extreme limit," >>

    — I found the comments section also revealing. It seems that there might be some political agenda around the K–Pg extinction event as one would hint by the strong criticism to which the first comment was subject:

    1. Scienceisnotagenda 06:03 PM 7/26/13
    As a palaeontologist I completely disagree that 75% of all species on Earth were wiped out. No data for such an outlandish claim. I doubt if 1% of invertebrates were wiped out. ( they make upmacro life) or a fraction of single cellular life ( they make up 99.9% of all life ).

    At best a fraction of 1% of species were wiped out. No means of claiming any more. Fossil records are merger and barely represent more than a fraction of macro fauna.

    scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=dinosaur-killing-comet&page=1 
    _______________ 

    References:

    Press releases/conferences:

    Princeton Weekly Bulletin (Vol. 93, No. 3) - Dinosaur dust-up
    Princeton paleontologist produces evidence for new theory on extinction
    By Steven Schultz. September 22, 2003
    princeton.edu/pr/pwb/03/0922 

    News at Princeton - Princeton geoscientist offers new evidence that meteorite did not wipe out dinosaurs
    Data is conclusive, says Keller, who hopes to move on from decades-old controversy
    By Kitta MacPherson. May 4, 2009
    princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S24/11/90M29 

    — Keller G, Courtillot V, Adatte T. EGU2010: Mass extinctions, volcanism, impacts and global environmental change (Press Conference). 2010 General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union. (Credit: EGU/CNTV.at)
    youtu.be/H8rc8vkDijs (52 min 18 sec)
    ________ 

    Papers and book chapters:

    — Keller G et al. New evidence concerning the age and biotic effects of the Chicxulub impact in NE Mexico. Journal of the Geological Society (2009) vol. 166 (3) pp. 393-411
    Open access: princeton.edu/geosciences/people/keller/pdf/K_14.pdf 
    Pay-wall: jgs.geoscienceworld.org/content/166/3/393.full 

    — Keller G and Abramovich S. Lilliput effect in late Maastrichtian planktic foraminifera: response to environmental stress. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (2009) vol. 284 pp. 47–62
    Pay-wall: sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031018209003460 

    — Keller G et al. Deccan volcanism, the KT mass extinction and dinosaurs. J. Biosci. (2009) vol. 34 pp. 709–728
    Open access: repository.ias.ac.in/43671 
    Pay-wall: link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12038-009-0059-6 

    — Keller G. The Cretacious–Tertiary Mass Extinction: Theories and Controversies (Chapter from: The End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction and the Chicxulub Impact in Texas). SEPM Special Publication (2011) (100) pp. 7-22
    Open access: princeton.edu/geosciences/people/keller/publications/pdf/2011_Keller_SEPM_100_KT_controv.pdf 

    — Keller G. Defining the Cretaceous–Tertiary Boundary: A Practical Guide and Return to First Principles (Chapter from: The End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction and the Chicxulub Impact in Texas). SEPM Special Publication (2011) (100) pp. 23–42
    Open access: princeton.edu/geosciences/people/keller/publications/pdf/2011_Keller_SEPM_100_KTB_def.pdf 

    — Keller G. The Cretaceous–Tertiary Mass Extinction, Chicxulub Impact, and Deccan Volcanism. Earth and Life (2012) pp. 759-793
    princeton.edu/geosciences/people/keller/publications/pdf/KellerEarthLife2012.pdf 
    ________ 

    Articles in other news outlets/blogs:

    National Geographic News - Yucatan Asteroid Didn't Kill Dinosaurs, Study Says
    By Angela Botzer. March 9, 2004
    news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/03/0309_040309_chicxulubdinos.html 

    National Geographic News - Did Huge Volcanic Blasts Snuff Out Dinos?
    By Brian Handwerk. August 23, 2005
    news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/08/0823_050823_dinolava.html 

    LiveScience - Scientists Debate Dinosaur Demise
    By Ker Than. March 29, 2006
    livescience.com/693-scientists-debate-dinosaur-demise.html 

    National Geographic News - "Dinosaur Killer" Asteroid Only One Part of New Quadruple-Whammy Theory
    By Richard A. Lovett. October 30, 2006
    news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/10/061030-dinosaur-killer.html 

    Greg Laden's Blog - Gerta Keller goes after impact theory again
    By Greg Laden. May 5, 2009
    scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2009/05/05/gerta-keller-goes-after-impact 

    e! Science News - New blow for dinosaur-killing asteroid theory
    April 26, 2009 
    esciencenews.com/articles/2009/04/27/new.blow.dinosaur.killing.asteroid.theory 

    e! Science News - Princeton geoscientist offers new evidence that meteorite did not wipe out dinosaurs
    May 4, 2009
    esciencenews.com/articles/2009/05/04/princeton.geoscientist.offers.new.evidence.meteorite.did.not.wipe.out.dinosaurs 

    e! Science News - Princeton release: Massive volcanoes, meteorite impacts delivered one-two death punch to dinosaurs
    November 17, 2011
    esciencenews.com/articles/2011/11/17/princeton.release.massive.volcanoes.meteorite.impacts.delivered.one.two.death.punch.dinosaurs 
    __________________ 


    Excerpt from the Scientific American comment section:

    1. Scienceisnotagenda 06:03 PM 7/26/13
    As a palaeontologist I completely disagree that 75% of all species on Earth were wiped out. No data for such an outlandish claim. I doubt if 1% of invertebrates were wiped out. ( they make upmacro life) or a fraction of single cellular life ( they make up 99.9% of all life ).

    At best a fraction of 1% of species were wiped out. No means of claiming any more. Fossil records are merger and barely represent more than a fraction of macro fauna.
    __________________ 

    2. dphaynes in reply to Scienceisnotagenda
    09:01 PM 7/26/13
    What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

    Welcome to Hitchen's razor. 

    Why do the anti-science conspiracy theorists flock to sciam to make inane comments? Anyone who has a serious interest in science will look at posts like that one, shrug and say "That's not science, that's not even logical or rational".

    Of course, the true goal of the anti-science wackos is to introduce doubt, anywhere and everywhere they can. It earns them political patronage jobs in the Republican party and swell gifts like a gasoline powered turtleneck sweater and waterproof eyebrow polish.

    Folks, when you read the other articles, every once in a while take 60 seconds to ridicule the anti-science movement wackos who are trying to dumb down the entire planet. If they aren't treated as ridiculous on a daily basis, the press will continue to treat them seriously. They already treat them as if they had actual evidence that is clearly contrary to the consensus.

    Don't get me wrong - there are no sacred cows. There really are people with genuine testable, independently verifiable evidence that is contrary to the scientific consensus - but those people are called scientists and they publish in scientific journals, not in babbling spittle on sciam and youtube comment sections.
    __________________ 

    3. way2ec 01:11 AM 7/27/13
    Kudos dphaynes. Drivel at best, or intentional plan to, as you state so well, dumb down the planet, we do need to confront it sometimes. How not to feed the trolls is a challenge but I have seen some wicked come backs here on SciAm which makes it all worthwhile. I also feel we owe it to the authors to let them know that there are critical thinkers mixed into the audience. That said, my first reaction to this article was gratitude. I hadn't realized nor thought about how fresh water might temper the effects of the blast nor had I ever thought about how organisms adapted to winter freezes were already better prepared for a nuclear winter. What if the impact occurred during winter, especially winter in the northern hemisphere? That begs the question as to how the plants and animals in the tropics were affected in comparison. Will we ever have a picture of the survivors from which all current animals and plants have evolved? My favorites being those that survived unchanged. Are turtles a good example? Would one simply pick a species, say redwoods, trace its origins back and if it predates the K-T boundary, is present in the fossil record for millions of years before, assume that what we have today probably is similar to what survived?
    __________________ 

    5. jtdwyer in reply to dphaynes 07:38 AM 7/27/13
    I interpreted Scienceisnotagenda's comment quite differently than you apparently did. Perhaps I'm wrong, but if we his or her's claim to be a paleontologist at face value, he or she is hopefully not a member of "the anti-science conspiracy theorists" (certainly anti-science 'wackos' exist, but I doubt they belong to a highly organized conspiratorial organization).

    I understand the issue he or she raises is that statistics regarding the percentage of species that were extincted by the end-Cretaceous extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs and other species on land and sea are meaningless since the fossil record is always incomplete.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossil_record#Limitations "Organisms are only rarely preserved as fossils in the best of circumstances, and only a fraction of such fossils have been discovered. This is illustrated by the fact that the number of species known through the fossil record is less than 5% of the number of known living species, suggesting that the number of species known through fossils must be far less than 1% of all the species that have ever lived.[18] Because of the specialized and rare circumstances required for a biological structure to fossilize, only a small percentage of life-forms can be expected to be represented in discoveries, and each discovery represents only a snapshot of the process of evolution. The transition itself can only be illustrated and corroborated by transitional fossils, which will never demonstrate an exact half-way point.[19]

    "The fossil record is heavily slanted toward organisms with hard parts, leaving most groups of soft-bodied organisms with little to no role.[18] It is replete with the vertebrates, the echinoderms, the brachiopods and some groups of arthropods.[20]"

    See the Wikipedia entry for reference links.

    Even among species that have hard body parts, fossilization is a selective process that perhaps most often occurs when a dead body is quickly covered with sediment by fast moving water. The exception is some species that live in aquatic environments - see
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossil_record#Estimating_dates

    So the statements about arcane special statistics may be valid. However, I think that if one were to be more precise and say something to the effect that 75% of all species found in the fossil record were killed off, it would be reasonable conjecture, considering such evidence of a mass extinction of species, to conclude that some significant percentage of species that are not found in the fossil record were also extincted.
    __________________ 

    6. RSchmidt 11:01 AM 7/27/13
    As usual we have a couple of idiots telling us that their ignorance of the subject should be considered more reliable than the scientists actually doing science. I don't know why jtdwyer doesn't have his own science magazine in which he writes all the articles because he certainly thinks he knows more about every subject published here than any of the scientists. Scienceisnotagenda is quite simply an idiot who trolls sciam to post his anti-science B.S. every chance he gets. He questions the stats in the article insisting that his own stats, which are based on absolutely nothing, are the correct numbers. I thought the point of a science news magazine was to educate its readers. Obviously to halfwits like JT and the cadre of deniers, the point of sciam is to give them a soapbox to share their ignorance with the world.
    __________________ 

    8. jtdwyer in reply to geojellyroll 04:06 PM 7/27/13
    Good points, and a reasonable guess re. the statement "... which killed off at least 75 percent of all species on Earth..." So I looked for a source...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cretaceous%E2%80%93Paleogene_extinction_event#Extinction_patterns "The K–Pg extinction event was severe, global, rapid, and selective. In terms of severity, the event eliminated a vast number of species. Based on marine fossils, it is estimated that 75% or more of all species were wiped out by the K–Pg extinction.[18] This is a rough estimate. It is difficult to estimate diversity for modern ecosystems, let alone for fossil ones, and the data are derived primarily from marine invertebrates. Terrestrial organisms, especially insects, represent much of the diversity, but have a poorer record. Despite this, the high levels of extinction seen in terrestrial and marine fossils indicate that the K–Pg extinction is the most severe extinction in the past 250 million years."

    Interestingly, the ref. [18] is attributed to:
    Jablonski, D. (1994). "Extinctions in the fossil record (and discussion)." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B. 344(1307): 11-17.

    It seems unlikely that the peer reviewers of a philosophical journal would have evaluated the correctness of extinction statistics...

    The Wikipedia entry does quote quite a few statistics about the percentages of specific genera that were extincted. Certainly the veracity of such assessments can vary significantly - some may be quite accurate.

    However, it is not at all reasonable to extrapolate the percentage of marine species that were extincted to all species. Quoting meaningless and inarguably inaccurate statistics only detracts from any argument.

    Since there were certainly more individual microbes killed than brontosaurs, it might be more meaningful to evaluate an extinction event in terms of biomass lost, but of course there's also no reliable way to determine that information from the fossil record, either. People do like to here that some big percentage of something was wiped out, though.

    Just to be perfectly clear to everyone: as I understand, 66 million years ago (recently revised), a giant meteor impact produced the Chicxulub crater and precipitated the demise of much of the then dominant terrestrial life forms on Earth (dinosaurs) as well as many other species. I just don't think that there are reliable statistics that meaningfully quantify the magnitude of that event's overall impact on living creatures.
    __________________ 

    9. timurlane in reply to dphaynes 09:29 AM 7/29/13
    Your cursory dismissal of the comment is disturbing.
    Without evidence, you accuse someone of fostering an anti-science conspiracy (seems you're as fond of Hitchens' razor as you are of ad hominem).
    Before launching into an anti-heresy campaign, why not inquire as to the specifics of the person's claim? They may indeed be a crackpot, but if so, it will become apparent in their subsequent posts. Be careful when accusing others of "babbling spittle" that you don't get spattered by your own.
    __________________ 

    10. sault in reply to jtdwyer 04:40 PM 7/29/13
    "It seems unlikely that the peer reviewers of a philosophical journal would have evaluated the correctness of extinction statistics..."

    Ohmahgawd...teh stoopid is strong with this one! Why don't you read up on what The Royal Society actually is before spouting off more of your anti-science drivel:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Society 
    __________________ 
    scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=dinosaur-killing-comet&page=1 
    __________________ 

    11. jtdwyer in reply to sault 08:06 PM 7/29/13
    Brilliant!
    Concerning the specific journal in question, see
    http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/site/misc/about.xhtml "Philosophical Transactions B is divided into four cluster areas..."

    - Environment and Evolution
    - Health and Disease
    - Molecular, Cellular and Developmental
    - Neuroscience and Cognition

    The journal does not specialize in paleontology.

    The objective of the article in question was to identify methods for evaluating current environmental and biodiversity by conditions comparing current extinctions data to prior major extinction events and extinctions not associated with extinction events.

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.1994.0045
    The abstract states:
    "Direct comparison of ancient extinctions to the present-day situation is difficult, because quantitative palaeontological data come primarily from marine invertebrates, fossilized species are usually drawn from the more abundant and widespread taxa, and time resolution is rarely better than 10^3-10^4 years..."

    Regardless, the main point is that extrapolating marine invertebrate data to derive a global species extinction percentage obviously can only provide a rough approximation - to repeat, as stated by the "Extinction Patterns" Wikipedia section referenced previously:

    "... This is a rough estimate. It is difficult to estimate diversity for modern ecosystems, let alone for fossil ones, and the data are derived primarily from marine invertebrates. Terrestrial organisms, especially insects, represent much of the diversity, but have a poorer record. Despite this, the high levels of extinction seen in terrestrial and marine fossils indicate that the K–Pg extinction is the most severe extinction in the past 250 million years."

    The last sentence reasonably states the proper conclusion at greatest possible precision.

    You and some others seem to conclude that anyone who dares argue with the scientific establishment must be anti-science. In fact, scientists often argue among themselves! I suggest you simply don't understand the issues being discussed, and can't evaluate any argument.
    __________________ 
    scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=dinosaur-killing-comet&page=2 
    ________________________ 

    via +David Wood 
    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/114313126745651807494/posts/eRA8D51SRMt 

    URL source G+ post references: 
    plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/du7EAugWdMN 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/bpdDM7hSsbW 
    plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/PBXzTJGLuRK 
    plus.google.com/+FraserCain/posts/5HsKbe1kLb4 
    plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/hbEzaLrMKxf 
    ________________________ 
  • 3 plusses - 1 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-09-18 23:31:19
    examiner.com - New polls show unusual staying power for Gary Johnson
    By Matthew Reece. September 15, 2012

    Van Rooyen Sep 17, 2012
    "We are not withholding our votes from the GOP. Our votes do not belong to the Republican Party. They are ours to do with as we please. But, you do bring up some interesting questions about our votes.

    Why do people vote?
    Do they think one single vote counts?
    Do they really believe they personally are going to sway the election?

    No, of course not.

    Voting is an act of expression, a way to tell the world the type of person you are and what ideals you hold dear. Probably we will not win in 2012 but we can show the two party establishment how many are disenchanted by this duopoly. We can show them that no matter how they oppress us, either the RNC or the DNC, we will not be swayed to participate in their two party systems.

    If we cannot go through them we WILL go around.
    It has and will take time, but we will arrive in the place we have envisioned non-the-less."

    Matthew Reece ·  Top Commenter · UNC Wilmington Sep 18, 2012
    "Gary Johnson could do better than Ross Perot. About 18% of the electorate are supporting Mitt Romney only because they want to vote for the person who can beat Obama. If it becomes clear that Romney has no chance of winning, then those people are up for grabs. This could be the difference between Johnson getting 6% and Johnson getting 24%."
    _________________________________ 

    examiner.com - Interview with Barbara Howe, Part 2
    By Matthew Reece. August 24, 2012

    Matthew Reece: Last question. What do you say to voters who are leaning toward Pat McCrory or Walter Dalton, but have not made up their minds?

    Barbara Howe: One of the arguments we get as Libertarians is “Well, if I vote for you, I'm going to waste my vote because one of those other guys is going to win. So I've got to keep Walter Dalton from winning so I've got to vote for Pat McCrory, or I've got to keep Pat McCrory from winning so I've got to vote for Walter Dalton.” You've only got one vote. One vote. And no gubernatorial election has ever been decided by one vote. You have to cast your vote for the person you really want to win. If you're voting for Dalton or McCrory because you don't want the other guy to win, they're not going to know that's why you cast [your] vote. They're going to think its an endorsement of what they believe. So cast your vote for the person you really want to win. I hope its me. If its not me, I'll accept that. But don't cast your vote because you're afraid of a wasted vote.
    examiner.com/article/interview-with-barbara-howe-part-2 

    Related articles:

    examiner.com - Interview with Gov. Gary Johnson, Part 1
    By Matthew Reece. July 22, 2012
    examiner.com/article/interview-with-gov-gary-johnson-part-1 

    examiner.com - Interview with Gov. Gary Johnson, Part 2
    By Matthew Reece. July 25, 2012
    examiner.com/article/interview-with-gov-gary-johnson-part-2 

    examiner.com - Interview with Barbara Howe, Part 1
    By Matthew Reece. August 23, 2012
    examiner.com/article/interview-with-barbara-howe-part-1 

    examiner.com - Interview with Barbara Howe, Part 2
    By Matthew Reece. August 24, 2012
    examiner.com/article/interview-with-barbara-howe-part-2 
    _________________________________ 

    via +Sam Vekemans 
    URL via G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/117921658240148036148/posts/9SaLDT189jq 
    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/113147028533760993635/posts/aaRR9ecQq9W _________________________________ 
  • 2 plusses - 0 comments - 3 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-08-15 10:01:14
    RESHARE:
    plus.google.com - Libertarian Candidate for President Gary Johnson on the Issues One by One
    Uploaded by Cole Cummings. August 14, 2012

    Disclaimer:
    I don't agree 100% on all the issues. I don't care late abortions. I would legalize any drug no matter how harmful it may be, with the only exception of fraudulent sale, incorrect description of the product (e.g., in the concentration of active compounds) and adulteration with unidentified substances. I do agree with the flat consumption tax (plus other opt-in fees for public services) but not with the flat income tax (unless it's 0%). I prefer Ron Paul's more cautious stance on Climate Change. In any case, any potential intervention should be taken voluntarily at the individual/nongovernmental level. I also like Ron Paul's proposal to allow the introduction of other kind of currency (e.g., gold, silver) in the market to compete with fiat money. 
    I would have liked he had proposed the repeal of laws protecting intellectual property rights but I guess this would have been a too big leap forward for any politician who would be afraid to frighten many of his or her potential voters.
    Overall, Gary Johnson's position on these issues is much more libertarian than any other presidential candidate in the US and probably anywhere else.

    Reshared text:
    Libertarian Candidate for President Gary Johnson on the issues one by one:

    ABORTION
    Governor Johnson states that he supports the right of a woman to choose up to viability of the fetus. He opposes late term or partial birth abortion and signed legislation as governor outlawing the procedure in New Mexico. He has stated multiple times that he supports parental notification laws and counseling. He has also stated that he opposes government funding for abortions. These beliefs were stated in the South Carolina debate and in a CSPAN interview during the presidential campaign.

    CHINA
    Governor Johnson does not view China's policies on trade or currency as a threat to the United States. He opposes US government interference in the market to offset Chinese government involvement in trade and subsidies. Ultimately, he beilieves that Chinese government intervention will only affect China negatively in the future.

    CIVIL LIBERTY
    Governor Johnson and the Libertarian party are strong proponents of civil liberties. However, Governor Johnson and the party define the term "civil liberty" on very broad terms. It is true that Governor Johnson opposes easdropping, opposes torture, opposes detainment without arrest of foreign nationals and US citizens, supports the repeal or sunsetting of the PATRIOT Act, and supports repealing the detention measures of the NDAA.

    DEFICITS & DEBT
    In a Fox News / Google debate, Governor Johnson promised that if elected he would submit a balanced budget to congress in the year 2013, and to veto legislation where expenditures exceed revenue. As proof of this promise, he noted that he vetoed more bills than any governor in the history of the United States while in that office. He continued by stating that he would advocate for throwing out the entire federal tax system and replacing it with a consumption tax, the fair tax.

    EDUCATION
    Governor Johnson is a strong supporter of school choice and returning control of education to the state, local agencies, and parents. Governor Johnson asserts that the diversity of choice created by allowing parents to decide where their children will attend school will allow the free market to foster better education tools and results.

    ENERGY
    Governor Johnson advocates for a free market approach to energy and and a complete removal of government from the energy sector of the economy. This includes ending subsidies to ethanol and other alternative energy markets as well as special incentives to oil, gas and other established forms of energy.

    With respect to global warming, Governor Johnson has stated at a campaign event in 2010 that even if man made global-warming was a given, the effects are grossly exaggerated and the amount of money being spent is misguided.

    FOREIGN POLICY
    Governor Johnson advocates for a foreign policy based upon bringing the troops home from Iraq, Afghanistan, and numerous other bases and leading by example. Part of this belief is based upon the view that the US should simply not be involved in nation building and part is based upon economic realities within the US.

    During the 2012 Presidential campaign, Governor Johnson put out a commercial entitled "Peace is Cheaper." The two minute video stated that Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin, Thelma and Loise driving the country off the cliff. The video states that peace is simply cheaper than war and asks the people to elect peace.

    GAY MARRIAGE
    Governor Johnson has a libertarian viewpoint on marriage. He does not believe that government should be involved in marriage, and that all couples should on level ground with respect to the government. Recently, Governor Johnson has acknowledged that government simply will not remove itself from marriage and that he therefore supported marriage equality.

    HEALTHCARE
    Governor Johnson supports a free market approach to health care. He is opposed to government control of the health care market and would seek to severly limit the intrusion of government into the health care market.

    ILLEGAL DRUGS
    Governor Johnson supports the full legalization of marijuana to bring the industry into the light and to add a source of revenue to the government instead of fighting a losing war on drugs that utilizes resources in an effort to lock up people whose only fault is that they are addicted to drugs. In describing this move, Governor Johnson states that we should enact sentencing reform, supply treatment on demand, and enact honest drug education for our children. He supports heroin maintenance and other harm reduction measures and states that this is a move from a criminal to a medical model of dealing with drug usage.

    IMMIGRATION
    Governor Johnson believes in open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens. He has stated that the border should be dealt with on a free market basis to make it as easy as possible to come to the US and start working. This is based on the libertarian viewpoint that each person has the right to seek out employment and that markets will function best to establish workforces and people will react to those markets.

    INTERNET FREEDOM
    In January of 2012, Governor Johnson's campaign website was blacked out along with a number of other popular websites including wikipedia in protest of SOPA and PIPA type legislation. This story was reported by reason.com, which shows the text that was given on the campaign site and the image that was shown.

    SOCIAL SECURITY
    Governor Johnson has stated that reforming social security is a necessity. One of the items that Governor proposes is to change the method of calculating the "escalator," or the cost of living increase from being based on wage growth to being based on inflation. He states that this will more properly reflect the realities of a dollar with a declining purchasing power.

    TARP
    Governor Johnson has stated that he would have opposed the TARP program. He notes that the involvement of Henry Paulson in the bailouts of certain companies amounts to an inside job.

    TAXES
    Governor Johnson has stated that the U.S. tax system imposes an enormous toll on productivity through high marginal rates, absurd complexity, loopholes for the well connected, and incentives for wasteful decisions.

    Governor Johnson also supports the Fair Tax as a mechanism to solve a number of issues. One of these issues is immigration whereas illegal aliens cannot avoid paying a consumption tax. Another area is corporate loopholes where corporations cannot find loopholes for a law that does not have any. However, Governor Johnson has also stated that he is not hanging his hat on the fair tax in that the tax system can be altered without moving to a consumption tax.

    Eliminate punitive taxation of savings and investment
    Simplify the tax code; stop using it to reward special interests and control behavior
    Adopt a flat tax on income or consumption
    End the corporate tax rate

    THE CONSTITUTION
    We believe that the Constitution should be interpreted according to its original meaning. After great deliberation, the Founders clearly based the blueprint for our government on the fundamental idea that there must be strict constraints on Federal power — an idea from which we have strayed much too far. We believe that the proper balance needs to be restored between the different branches of government. This includes the rights of states.

    THE ECONOMY
    Governor Johnson is a strong supporter of removing the governemnt as much as possible from the economy and allowing the free markets to act. He opposes a keynesian economic model where government provides tax breaks and subsisdies to certain industries.

    THE PAUL RYAN PLAN
    Gary Johnson: "As president I would sign the plan into law, because it does move forward on the issue. But I think it doesn’t go far enough.

    I hate to use the word cut, because somehow that implies hardship. But I believe there would be best practices that emerge that would allow us to do that and still live within our means.

    I'm in the camp that believes we’re on the verge of a financial collapse, because there’s just no repaying 14 trillion dollars in debt with a $1.65 trillion dollar deficit going forward.

    So if the Paul Ryan Medicare plan is the best that comes out of Congress, yes, I would sign that. But could Congress do better? Yes, and that’s what I would advocate."

    THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN
    Governor Johnson has stated that he supported the initial invasion of Afghanitan, but that the objectives there were accomplished six months after the invasion. He supports the immediate removal of troops from Afghanistan. 
  • 1 plusses - 8 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-06-21 12:48:58
    RESHARE:
    pinterest.com - Geographical Distribution of Mainstream Religions in the World
    Uploaded by Holy Heretic. June 20, 2013
    Original source: pinterest.com/pin/540924605214303077 
    Source: pinterest.com/holyheretics/comparative-idolatry 

    Excerpt from comments of source G+ post:

    Zephyr López Cervilla Jun 21, 2013 8:02 AM (edited)
    People can still compare this geographical determination (actually cultural) with language acquisition. You will probably speak one language or another depending on where you live, but almost everybody will learn to speak.
    Edit: It could be done a similar comparison between religion and nationalism or with tribalism, usually geographically or culturally determined.
    __________ 

    James Lewis Jun 21, 2013 7:44 AM +1
    +Zephyr López Cervilla Right, let's consider that comparison with language. What that implies is that religion is a required part of our social makeup, a position I disagree with but let's go ahead with that. Languages are all different, but only one is required and they are all equivalent.
    Once you apply that to religion you have to conclude that the important thing is /that/ you believe, not what you believe... And then it all comes apart because it becomes obvious that the belief is fulfilling some internal need for comfort rather than any external reality, since what you believe about that external reality is not important.
    __________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Jun 21, 2013 8:42 AM (edited) 
    +James Lewis: "it becomes obvious that the belief is fulfilling some internal need for comfort rather than any external reality, since what you believe about that external reality is not important."

    — The existence of a majoritary religion within a population could provide some social advantage, as in the case of tribalism (or its state-nation favored form, nationalism).

    Alternatively, every local culture could have coevolved with a certain religion (as with  long-lasting host-parasite relationships), so that the removal of religion would lead to ill effects in their hosts.

    It's worth to note that there isn't any population in which irreligion has become majoritary (as far as we know). On the other hand, it seems that at least under certain circumstances religiosity is easily "curable".

    It could well be that wherever irreligion becomes common it doesn't provide any clear advantage to that population, or that that population becomes more vulnerable to invasion or colonization by other more religious peoples.

    In such case, religion would work analogously to violence. Social interactions tend to be more efficient and advantageous without violence, but peaceful, non-violent societies are more vulnerable to external attacks.
    __________ 

    James Lewis Jun 21, 2013 8:56 AM 
    +Zephyr López Cervilla For the most part I agree with your last post, although I would have to correct you by pointing out that that several countries in Europe are Athist by a large majority... as well as Japan, Hong-kong etc... all over 75% non-believers.  These countries also have among the highest social well-being in the world... it would seem that were a population has largely escaped the clutches of religion, there are social benefits which can be plainly seen.
    __________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Jun 21, 2013 9:47 AM (edited) 
    +James Lewis: "I would have to correct you by pointing out that that several countries in Europe are Athist [sic] by a large majority... as well as Japan, Hong-kong etc... all over 75% non-believers. "

    — I don't know where you got your data to reach that conclusion. Last month it was published a "global survey of religiosity" conducted by WIN-Gallup International and published by the Washington Post. Those results were commented by Hemant Mehta in his blog:

    — Hemant Mehta. Where Are the World’s Atheists? Friendly Atheist. May 25, 2013
    patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/05/25/where-are-the-worlds-atheists 

    Back then I made the following remarks about those results in the comment section of a G+ post linked to the above blog entry. I think they are pertinent to remark again here:

    +Zephyr López Cervilla: "Most Chinese aren't atheists, they venerate their ancestors and believe in their afterlife (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancestor_veneration_in_China). I suspect that many answered that they weren't religious either because it was politically inconvenient or because they have a different concept of what being religious means (such as adherent to a particular organized religion).

    Likewise in Japan: "

    << One reason why the Japanese don't have a particular association with any one religion is that during the Meiji Period religion was tolerated as long as it did not disrupt political reforms and the definition of religion was shaped by the Western definition of “religion,” which did not necessarily have a place for indigenous Japanese faiths. During the postwar period the divinity of the emperor and state Shintoism were renounced (See Shintoism). >>

    << Some have said the statistics mentioned above don’t necessarily mean the Japanese are irreligious its just means they do not follow specific faiths as followers of monotheistic religions do. The 2005 Yomiuri Shimbun survey also revealed that 56 percent of Japanese believed in the supernatural, many seek help divine help when in trouble and 94 percent respected their deceased ancestors. In 2008, police said 98.2 million people visited a shrine or temple in the first three days of the year, the highest number since 1974. >>

    — Jeffrey Hays. Religion in Japan and the Irreligious Japanese. 2009
    factsanddetails.com/japan.php?itemid=592&catid=16&subcatid=182 

    +Zephyr López Cervilla: "On the other hand, the results of the above poll strongly contrast with the data from the Eurobarometer of 2005:"

    Q2 Which of these statements comes closest to your beliefs?
    A. I believe there is a God
    B. I believe there is some sort of spirit or life force
    C. I don’t believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force
    D. DK

    Special Eurobarometer 225. Social values, Science and Technology. European Commission. Fieldwork : January - February 2005. Publication : June 2005
    ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_225_report_en.pdf (page 9)

    +Zephyr López Cervilla: "The third option (C) was chosen by 18% in the 25 countries of the European Union, in France 33%, Czeck Republic 30%, The Netherlands 27%, Belgium 27%, Estonia 26%, Germany 25%, Sweden 23%, Luxemburg 22%, UK 20%, Hungary 19%, Denmark 19%, Spain 18%, much higher values than in the survey conducted by WIN-Gallup International, in which most of [the above] countries show single-digit percentages."

    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/110240143550654748022/posts/hGxyJNnH2W 
    __________ 

    James Lewis Jun 21, 2013 9:56 AM
     In a Eurobarometer Poll in 2010, just 18% of Swedish citizens responded that "they believe there is a god".... and in 2009 Gallup asked the same population the question "Is religion an important part of your daily life?" and  only 17% said that it was...  I conclude from this that with a ~5% margin of error it is likely that anyone who states that religion is not a part of their daily life is an Atheist... although many may not identify as such for social reasons.
    Given that conclusion, the gallup poll makes interesting reading.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Importance_of_religion_by_country
    http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_341_en.pdf
    __________ 

    James Lewis Jun 21, 2013 10:08 AM
     +Zephyr López Cervilla Looking at your statistics next to mine, we must come to one of two possible conclusions.  Either:-

    1) We are referring to the same Eurobarometer report from 2005 vs 2010, and as an example, Sweden has gone from 23% non-believers to 82% non-believers.... leading to the conclusion that non-belief is rapidly becoming the norm... probably well beyond Sweden.

    or

    2) There is no rapid change, but 82% claim not to believe in a god, and only 23% identify as Atheist... which is more indicative of the confusion created around the word by the religious.
    __________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Jun 21, 2013 11:02 AM (edited)
    +James Lewis: "In a Eurobarometer Poll in 2010, just 18% of Swedish citizens responded that "they believe there is a god"

    — And what exactly did the other Swedish citizens respond?
    Can you provide the reference page and the link to the publication of those results?

    BTW, Sweden is far from being considered representative of the European population, if only because of its relatively small population (the 1.3% of Europeans).

    +James Lewis: "2009 Gallup asked the same population the question "Is religion an important part of your daily life?"nd  only 17% said that it was"

    — This is a too subjective question and indirect to evaluate the influence of religion in society. Besides, the question specifies "daily life", so perhaps the same people may consider religion very important in sporadic occasions, but nevertheless still transcendental to them (such as when they lose a relative, their significant other, or they get seriously ill). 

    Also, you do realize that Sweden isn't representative of the European population, right?

    +James Lewis: "I conclude from this that with a ~5% margin of error it is likely that anyone who states that religion is not a part of their daily life is an Atheist"
    "many may not identify as such for social reasons."

    — I think you are jumping to conclusions. It may well be the other way around, that is, that people were undervaluing in that survey the importance of religion in their lives because of social pressure.
    __________ 

    James Lewis Jun 21, 2013 10:45 AM
     +Zephyr López Cervilla The link is provided at the bottom of my original post.

    Your assertion that the result for importance of religion in daily life could be for other reasons appears to be unfounded... I am making that assumption based on the fact that the number of people who said that they don't believe in a god is essentially the same as the number of people who say that religion is not important to them... not conclusive, but strong circumstantial evidence at the least.  What other statistic would you base the alternate conclusion on?
    __________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Jun 21, 2013 1:08 PM (edited)
    +James Lewis: "The link is provided at the bottom of my original post."

    — I see, 45% of the Swedish who participated in 2010 in that survey claimed to "believe there is some sort of spirit or life force", in addition another 18% claimed to "believe there is a God", whereas 34% claimed to neither believe in a God nor in any sort of spirit or life force [ref. 1, section 5.3, question QB32, page 204).

    That is, 63% of the Swedish participants think of themselves as not true atheists (unless you consider those who believe in the reincarnation of the souls, the supernatural, or the influence of the dead in the world potentially as atheists):

    << Range
    Some of the ambiguity and controversy involved in defining atheism arises from difficulty in reaching a consensus for the definitions of words like deity and god. The plurality of wildly different conceptions of god and deities leads to differing ideas regarding atheism's applicability. The ancient Romans accused Christians of being atheists for not worshiping the pagan deities. Gradually, this view fell into disfavor as theism came to be understood as encompassing belief in any divinity.[39]
    With respect to the range of phenomena being rejected, atheism may counter anything from the existence of a deity, to the existence of any spiritual, supernatural, or transcendental concepts, such as those of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Taoism.[40] >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism#Range 

    Reference:
    1. TNS Opinion & Social. Special Eurobarometer 341 / Wave 73.1. Biotechnology Report. European Commission (2010) Fieldwork: January 2010 – February 2010
    ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_341_en.pdf 
    __________ 

    James Lewis Jun 21, 2013 12:21 PM (edited)
     If 18% claimed to believe there is a god, then 82% do not believe there is a god... this is sufficient to be described as an Atheist, since the term refers only to a specific position on claims of the existence of a Deity.  There are plenty of Atheists who also hold other positions, some rational some not so much...
    __________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Jun 21, 2013 2:28 PM (edited)
    +James Lewis: "this is sufficient to be described as an Atheist, since the term refers only to a specific position on claims of the existence of a Deity."

    — This is your personal take of what atheism means. As I posted above:

    << With respect to the range of phenomena being rejected, atheism may counter anything from the existence of a deity, to the existence of any spiritual, supernatural, or transcendental concepts, such as those of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Taoism.[40] >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism#Range 

    So according to your view, what's the fundamental difference between a spirit or life force and a deity, the difference that lets you tell apart those who believe in the existence of spirits from those who believe in deities, to the point to consider the former ones as atheists?

    DEITY
    << In traditional belief, a deity is a supernatural being, and who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred. Believers believe that the deities created for their religions are true, and often that they can communicate with the deities, who can respond supernaturally to their entreaties.[2][3] Some religions have one supreme deity, others have multiple deities of various ranks. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deity 

    SPIRIT
    << The English word spirit (from Latin spiritus "breath") has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body. The word spirit is often used metaphysically to refer to the consciousness or personality. The notions of a person's spirit and soul often also overlap, as both contrast with body and both are understood as surviving the bodily death in religion and occultism,[1] and "spirit" can also have the sense of "ghost", i.e. a manifestation of the spirit of a deceased person.

    The term may also refer to any incorporeal or immaterial being, such as demons or deities, in Christianity specifically the Holy Spirit (though with a capital "S") experienced by the disciples at Pentecost. >>
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit 
    __________ 

    James Lewis Jun 21, 2013 3:16 PM
     Since wikipedia is user created it is hardly a reliable source for specific definitions especially when a significant number of people have an interest in altering the definition to their own ends.

    Therefore:-

    Oxford English Dictionary
    Atheist: noun
    a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods

    Collins English Dictionary
    Atheist: noun
    a person who does not believe in God or gods

    Neither dictionary offers any alternative definitions.

    "Spirit", or "Soul" outside of religion is a concept which is viewed differently by different people, and I may well be happy to accept some of those definitions.

    I would hope that someone who does not believe in a god... does not believe because of a lack of evidence.. and there is an equal lack of evidence for all supernatural entities... including many definitions of Spirit or Soul....

    Many Atheists (myself included) go further... I would say that I believe that there are no gods (which is a stronger position than simply not believing the claims of others).... and I also believe that Religion is more or less harmful, a position which I base on the atrocities committed in it's name around the world, as well as certain friends of mine who have had members of their own family attempt to murder them after leaving their religion.
    __________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Jun 21, 2013 4:32 PM (edited)
    +James Lewis: "Since wikipedia is user created it is hardly a reliable source for specific definitions especially when a significant number of people have an interest in altering the definition to their own ends."

    — Have you bothered to check the reference used in the quote from Wikipedia? 

    40. "Atheism as rejection of religious beliefs". Encyclopædia Britannica 1 (15th ed.). 2011. p. 666. 0852294735. Archived from the original on 2011-05-12. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
    Link: global.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/40634/atheism 

    << atheism, in general, the critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or spiritual beings. As such, it is usually distinguished from theism, which affirms the reality of the divine and often seeks to demonstrate its existence. Atheism is also distinguished from agnosticism, which leaves open the question whether there is a god or not, professing to find the questions unanswered or unanswerable.

    The dialectic of the argument between forms of belief and unbelief raises questions concerning the most perspicuous delineation, or characterization, of atheism, agnosticism, and theism. It is necessary not only to probe the warrant for atheism but ... >>

    Source: Encyclopædia Britannica (online)
    global.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/40634/atheism 

    Full article:

    — Kai E. Nielsen. Atheism. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2004. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 18 Jan. 2004
    search.eb.com/eb/article?eu=117394 

    Excerpt:

    << Atheism as rejection of religious beliefs

    A central, common core of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is the affirmation of the reality of one, and only one, God. Adherents of these faiths believe that there is a God who created the universe out of nothing and who has absolute sovereignty over all his creation; this includes, of course, human beings—who are not only utterly dependent on this creative power but also sinful and who, or so the faithful must believe, can only make adequate sense of their lives by accepting, without question, God's ordinances for them. The varieties of atheism are numerous, but all atheists reject such a set of beliefs.

    Atheism, however, casts a wider net and rejects all belief in “spiritual beings,” and to the extent that belief in spiritual beings is definitive of what it means for a system to be religious, atheism rejects religion. So atheism is not only a rejection of the central conceptions of Judeo-Christianity and Islam, it is, as well, a rejection of the religious beliefs of such African religions as that of the Dinka and the Nuer, of the anthropomorphic gods of classical Greece and Rome, and of the transcendental conceptions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Generally atheism is a denial of God or of the gods, and if religion is defined in terms of belief in spiritual beings, then atheism is the rejection of all religious belief.

    It is necessary, however, if a tolerably adequate understanding of atheism is to be achieved, to give a reading to “rejection of religious belief” and to come to realize how the characterization of atheism as the denial of God or the gods is inadequate. >>

    — Kai E. Nielsen. Atheism. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2004. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 18 Jan. 2004
    search.eb.com/eb/article?eu=117394 
    __________ 

    James Lewis June 13, 2013 5:31 PM
     +Zephyr López Cervilla Well, these are articles in an encyclopedoia written by a philosopher, not entries in a dictionary written by linguists. The position that no gods exist is held by many atheists (myself included), but the current atheist movement does appear to more or less unanimously agree that that is something more.
    __________ 

    URL related webpage:
    On the Definition of the Words Atheism and Atheist
    (Page 4 - Encyclopedia Excerpts)
    evilbible.com/Definition_of_Atheism_4.htm 
    ____________________

    URL source G+ post:
    plus.google.com/103051464714619496718/posts/HkdszjkkuB3 
    URL related G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/YGjkHETWg2X
    ____________________

    Reshared text:
    It is simply geography. 
  • 3 plusses - 3 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-10-07 02:37:51
    RESHARE:
    news.discovery.com - Ancient Fortress Found in Spain
    By Rossella Lorenzi. October 2, 2012

    Dating: ≈ 2,200 B.C.
    Archeological site: La Bastida de Totana (Totana, Murcia)
    es.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Bastida_de_Totana 

    Excerpt:
    <<structure with 4,200-year-old outer walls and six pyramid-shaped towers>>
    <<built with large stones and lime mortar and consisted of 10-foot-thick walls that were once 22 feet high and imposing pyramid-based towers.>>

    <<unearthed ‬six towers along a length of‭ ‬230 feet,‭ although‬ the full perimeter of the fortification measured about 1,000 feet.>>
    <<The entrance to the enclosure consisted of a passageway built with strong walls and large doors at the end,‭ ‬held shut with thick wooden beams.‭>>

    <<One of the most relevant elements of the discovery was the secondary door, located near the main entrance.‭ ‬
    The door's arch is in very good conditions and is the first one to be found in prehistoric Europe.>>

    <<Protecting a city located on top of a hill and extending over ‭‬10 acres, the fortress was designed‭ ‬by people experienced in fighting methods>>
    <<The model is typical of ancient Mediterranean civilizations, including the second city of Troy in Turkey, and the urban world of the Middle East‭ (‬Palestine,‭ ‬Israel and Jordan‭)‬.>>

    <<the fortress contained unique military features. For example, the lime mortar offered exceptional solidity to the construction,‭ ‬strongly holding the stones and making the wall impermeable,‭ ‬as well as eliminating any elements attackers could hold on to.‭
    The postern gate,‭ ‬as a hidden and covered entrance,‭ ‬demanded great planning of the defensive structure as a whole and of the correct engineering technique to fit it perfectly into the wall.‭>>‭

    <<Previous excavations had already revealed the existence of a pool capable of storing over 100,000 gallons, and large houses and public buildings which were alternated with smaller constructions,‭ ‬all separated by entries,‭ ‬passageways and squares.‭>>
    <<La Bastida will be fully excavated with the aim of transforming it into an open archaeological park that will include a monographic museum and a research and documentation center.>>

    Photos: -- Frontal view of the fortification, with several of the walls and the towers visible. Credit: ASOME-UAB.
    -- Detail of the eastern part of the wall with square towers (right), monumental entrance (centre) and postern (bottom left, signalled with an arrow).Credit: ASOME-UAB.
    _______________________ 

    URL source G+ post: plus.google.com/106599561297571136878/posts/XiDwgyqpUQH 
    _______________________ 

    Reshared text:
    4,200 year old fortress being unearthed in Spain- La BasTida de Totana

    Like most fortresses in Europe, this one reflects the level of concern the builders must have had towards invaders... it is clear to me that they did not want to take any chances.

    "-consisted of 10-foot-thick walls that were once 22 feet high"
    "- six towers along a length of‭ ‬230 feet,"
    "-full perimeter of the fortification measured about 1,000 feet."

    "It was not until some‭ ‬400‭ ‬to‭ ‬800‭ ‬years later that civilizations like the Hittites and Mycenaeans,‭ ‬or city-states such as Ugarit,‭ ‬incorporated the innovative methods seen at La Basida"
  • 3 plusses - 3 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-10-09 01:47:25
    RESHARE:
    "Science is interesting and if you don't agree you can fuck off." —Alun Anderson.
    By Alun Anderson (former editor-in-chief of New Scientist magazine)
    Excerpt from comments of source G+ post:

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 8, 2013 6:39 PM
    If you are interested in science, why are you posting this meme here? This quote in itself has little to do with science, it's just the expression of the feelings of a particular person. It would be of little value even for psychology.
    _______________ 

    Scott Adams Oct 8, 2013 6:55 PM +1
    +Zephyr López Cervilla To answer both your questions. 
    1)Yes of course I'm interested in science. 
    2) Why shouldn't the meme/image be posted here? Is the title of the this section (science bytes/memes/images/csrtoons) or is it not? The title in and of itself makes it an appropriate place to post. Add to both those facts that Dawkins (who's the man in the meme) is not only a scientist himself (an evolutionary biologist) but he is also the man the coined the very term "meme". 

    So in summary, not only is this appropriate. It couldn't be any more appropriate. 
    _______________ 

    Sonia Ball Oct 8, 2013 7:03 PM +1
    I find it fitting... humans expressing themselves. Why the negativity about this picture, anyway? Unless there are children actively involved in this science community/forum... Otherwise, why behave as if science were an entity unto itself that we should scoff at an individual's humor? Lighten up, please. :-)
    _______________ 

    Scott Adams Oct 8, 2013 7:10 PM
    +Sonia Ball after reading the comment criticizing the picture, I took the liberty of looking @ +Zephyr López Cervilla profile and theres a post from him where he takes issue with Dawkins. This sort of thing is quite predictable. Its simple passive aggression. After years online I've developed somewhat of a thick skin & I'm sure professor Dawkins has too lol. 
    _______________ 

    Chadie Rahimian Oct 8, 2013 7:29 PM +2
    I don't find this meme neither interesting nor logical.u can simply replace the word "science" by anything and think that u'r such a cool person defending ur opinion!and what you replied to Sonia Ball about Zephzr Lopez Cervilla is obviously an example of Ad hominem rather than trying to discuss calmly and logically and defending ur point of view.
    _______________ 

    Scott Adams Oct 8, 2013 7:54 PM
    +Chadie Rahimian my response as to why I felt it an appropriate section for the picture was both calm and logical. It was also very generous when you consider the fact that there's no law saying I have to answer trolls who insist I defend my ability to put photos in the right section. So far 37 people, as well as myself, find it appropriate. I see no need in defending myself any further. 
    _______________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 8, 2013 8:01 PM
      +Scott Adams: <<Why shouldn't the meme/image be posted here? Is the title of the this section (science bytes/memes/images/csrtoons) or is it not? The title in and of itself makes it an appropriate place to post. Add to both those facts that Dawkins (who's the man in the meme) is not only a scientist himself (an evolutionary biologist) but he is also the man the coined the very term "meme".>>

    — You are right in that this section is devoted for memes and cartoons (I must admit I hadn't noticed). Nevertheless, the topic of the meme is unrelated to science, even if Dawkins is a scientist. Not everything a scientist does is science. Can you find anything related to evolutionary biology in here? If so, I'm eager to learn.

    +Scott Adams: <<theres a post from him where he takes issue with Dawkins. This sort of thing is quite predictable. Its simple passive aggression.>>

    — It's funny you made that assertion (some sort of accusation), considering that just some months ago I shared a long video of Dawkins in which he interviewed Weinberg for one of his series:
    plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/85BtBPyk8TR 

    Here, another post about one of his programs:
    plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/ZUceAN74ibB 
    And still another:
    plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/YGjkHETWg2X 

    Now if you mean that I don't agree with Dawkins in -every- (edit: I meant "some positions", I bet we both agree in some others) ideological position that he stands for, you are right, I base my political view on reason rather than on whatever a particular prominent personality is supporting. Sorry but I'm not the kind of person who idolizes celebrities and professes eternal devotion to iconic figures. And I strongly doubt that's what's science about.


    In my opinion this kind of posts just serves to deter those people who are genuinely interested in science but don't share the same ideological views as Dawkins and more importantly, the political views of his fans (or simply those who avoid sites that use rude language). These posts mainly help grow certain kind of ideological sectarianism that has little to do with science:

    << About this community
    Science on Google+ is a community moderated by scientists, for all people interested in science, both professionals and the general public. >>
    plus.google.com/communities/101996609942925099701 
    _______________ 

    Sam Prince Oct 8, 2013 10:56 PM +1
    +Zephyr López Cervilla "It would be of little value even for psychology." - ha! stylish putdown for the psychologists ;)
    _______________ 

    Scott Adams Oct 8, 2013 10:58 PM
    +Zephyr López Cervilla -"Nevertheless, the topic of the meme is unrelated to science, even if Dawkins is a scientist. Not everything a scientist does is science. Can you find anything related to evolutionary biology in here? If so, I'm eager to learn."

    So let me get all this straight. By your account, a meme with the picture of a scientist making a statement that includes the word science, is unrelated to science? I'm not even going to bother replying to that...

    Also by your account, it would seem that you don't think that evolutionary biology can be classified as science? I have neither the time or inclination to search the community thread for evolutionary science memes or videos or articles for that matter. I don't know if they are there or not. I will be sure and post some regardless. Even if there weren't (and I find that hard to believe) It would still say absolutely nothing with regards to its being a science (which it is).

    +Zephyr López Cervilla - "Now if you mean that I don't agree with Dawkins in every ideological position that he stands for, you are right"

    That is exactly what I meant and I don't fault you at all for that. It seems like a reasonable position to take on almost anything. The exact nature of what I meant, is that your disagreement with Dawkins lies in the fact that you seem to think he is perhaps too strident & also that science can't possibly have anything to do with secular humanism or morality at all for that matter. Both of which I disagree with but that's neither here or there. I was simply pointing out that your disagreements with him were the primary reason that the meme struck you as inappropriate & you felt the need to comment on it. That, if nothing else, is patently obvious.

    It's a shame to me, that something I posted that was simply meant to be humorous with met with such criticism. The ironic part of it all, was that my only words were "no caption necessary" but it appears some people need a dissertation attached in the hopes it would allow them to find their sense of humor....

    Last but not least, I even posted the video of where that meme came from and  explained that Dawkins was rebuked by Neil Tyson and Richard then points out that he isn't the worst. The quote isn't actually his. It came from a previous editor of New Scientist magazine... Its quite funny....

    Richard Dawkins "Science is interesting and if you don't agree you can fuck off"
    (youtu.be/ysxG5jFeTME 1 min 6 sec)
    _______________ 

    John Pendlebury Oct 8, 2013 11:11 PM +1
    Very funny! I remember seeing the vido whrre he was quoting a former editor of Nature I think.
    _______________ 

    Scott Adams Oct 8, 2013 11:12 PM
    +John Pendlebury Yep that's the one. It's classic. He even had Neil Tyson rolling lol
    _______________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 9, 2013 1:14 AM
    +Chadie Rahimian, thanks. You've been much more eloquent and using fewer words.
    _______________ 

    Zephyr López Cervilla Oct 9, 2013 2:10 AM
    +Scott Adams: "Also by your account, it would seem that you don't think that evolutionary biology can be classified as science?"

    — I don't know where you got that impression. I precisely mentioned evolutionary biology as Dawkins' scientific field of expertise.

    Granted, I would also concede Dawkins some expertise in some other fields of science, and a more general knowledge on other topics as a result of his long academic career and interdisciplinary work and collaborations with scientists from other disciplines.

    Nevertheless, in the above meme there was nothing of that sort. Now if you had picked this quote to be included in a post about non-peer-reviewed scientific publishing, it would have made more sense.

    +Scott Adams: "That is exactly what I meant and I don't fault you at all for that."

    I don't disagree with him in everything. The meaning of my comment may have been lost in translation (or the other way around).

    +Scott Adams: "The exact nature of what I meant, is that your disagreement with Dawkins lies in the fact that you seem to think he is perhaps too strident & also that science can't possibly have anything to do with secular humanism or morality at all for that matter."

    — Scientists are free to embrace whatever morality they see fit. Morality can even be object of study for science (again for psychology, but perhaps also sociology and social anthropology). The resulting findings may even help develop and improve our morality.

    However, science has no morality since science is just a methodology, a way to acquire knowledge about the world around us (and the universe), and that same knowledge itself. Science is just a tool and therefore, by itself amoral.

    +Scott Adams: "I was simply pointing out that your disagreements with him were the primary reason that the meme struck you as inappropriate & you felt the need to comment on it. That, if nothing else, is patently obvious."

    — It may look obvious to you, but you are wrong there. If the quote from Dawkins would have been about science I wouldn't have questioned its appropriateness. I would have complained even if that quote had turned out to be from Isaac Newton.

    As I said before, this quote as it appears in the meme is about feelings, rather than about scientific knowledge or how science is done (or could be done). That's what was wrong with this meme (although some people may find it rude, particularly without its context).

    +Scott Adams: "Last but not least, I even posted the video of where that meme came from" . . . "Richard then points out that he isn't the worst. The quote isn't actually his. It came from a previous editor of New Scientist magazine"

    — And I thank you for having eventually posted the source of the quote.
    ________________________ 

    Reference quote: 
    www.cs.toronto.edu/~frank/Fun/quotes.html 
    URL related G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/114605547533973731226/posts/ERZJS78cAwp 
    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/105616572590286342813/posts/haqwVxjrYdG 
    ________________________ 

    Reshared text:
    No caption necessary... 
  • 6 plusses - 1 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-07-13 01:02:45
    George Carlin - Rights and Privileges (9 min 30 sec)
    youtu.be/gaa9iw85tW8

    Comment:
    I praise in George Carlin's routines that unlike most other stand-up comedians, he never refrained from tackling fundamental questions on the most controversial fields (politics, religion, sexuality) without shying away from the issue or resorting on truisms, while others would be content making jokes from some anecdotic experiences and witty comments about everyday situations.
    Incidentally, George Carlin use to be also often rather witty.

    "I don't get all choked up about yellow ribbons and American flags. I consider them to be symbols and I leave symbols to the symbol-minded."
    — George Carlin.

    From
    George Carlin - We Like War (9 min 47 sec)
    dotsub.com/view/26a76d07-da13-4c49-96c1-f67d1b507707

    One thing seems clear, he didn't believe in political action either: youtu.be/6_zwB6GLpo4#t=1253s (0:20:53 to 0:22:05)

    From
    The Best of George Carlin: Exposing our government and fall of humanity one joke at a time (1 h 2 min 3 sec)
    youtu.be/6_zwB6GLpo4 

    Disclosure:
    I've chosen these two cuts inspired by the recent mass surveillance scandal.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_mass_surveillance_scandal
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_(surveillance_program)

    URL source G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/109568536534436660732/posts/EbQucF5WcwY ______________________ 
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2013-08-24 03:52:36
    vegsource.com - Salt, Sugar and Fat: What's the problem? (excerpt on olive oil)
    By Michael Klaper, MD. Healthy Lifestyle Expo 2012
    youtu.be/OGGQxJLuVjg (11 min 3 sec)

    Comment:
    I subscribe all what Dr Michael Klaper says about restaurants. You better go to a resturant after having eaten at home, most of what they serve is simply unhealthy.
    On the other hand if you believe that restaurants arose for the sake of their customer enjoyment and their hedonist satisfaction, you're wrong. Their cuisine was based on an outdated view on what was considered healthy in the 18th century. That is, people were eager to eat their dishes because they believed they would do good to their health.

    Why Dr Klaper says olive oil isn't healthy:
    1. increases caloric intake (contributing to obesity);
    2. increases fat intake (contributing to cardiovascular disease);
    3. contributes to increase saturated fat above its recommended ratio (contributing to CV disease and certain kinds of cancer);
    4. contributes to increase omega-6/omega-3 polyunsaturated fat ratio above its recommended ratio (contributing to CV disease and other medical conditions induced by a state of chronic inflammation).

    "People love to hear good news about their bad habits"
    — John McDougall
    drmcdougall.com/alcohol.html 
    drmcdougall.com/response_to_ny_times.htm 
    drmcdougall.com/misc/2013other/news/oil.htm 

    Video blurb:
    If you read the studies, the Mediterranean Diet is healthy IN SPITE OF olive oil, not because of it. For more info and to get the full talk on DVD: secure2.vegsource.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=73&products_id=501 
    This is a short excerpt from the talk of Michael Klaper MD at the Healthy Lifestyle Expo 2012, and comes from the Bronze DVD set.
    If you have read about a recent study on the Mediterranean Diet (2/2013) which seemed to promote olive oil and nuts, read this link to get the facts on this study:
    drmcdougall.com/misc/2013other/news/oil.htm 

    Other:
    indiadivine.org/audarya/vegetarian-forum/1114700-vegan-diet-damages-baby-s-brain-sensationalism!-(people-love-hear-good-news-about-their-bad-habits!).html 
    _______________ 

    References cited in this video::

    • Vogel RA et al. The postprandial effect of components of the Mediterranean diet on endothelial function. J Am Coll Cardiol (2000) vol. 36 (5) pp. 1455-60
    Open access: sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735109700008962 
    Open access: content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx?articleid=1126754 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11079642)

    • Keys A. Mediterranean diet and public health: personal reflections. Am J Clin Nutr (1995) vol. 61 (6 Suppl) pp. 1321S-1323S
    Open access: ajcn.nutrition.org/content/61/6/1321S 
    PDF: ajcn.nutrition.org/content/61/6/1321S.full.pdf 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7754982)

    Further reading:

    drmcdougall.com/misc/2013other/news/oil.htm 

    brimmings.com/2013/03/01/on-the-new-mediterranean-diet-study-proceed-with-caution 

    Interview (with accompanying video):
    • Henry R. Black, MD, Robert A. Vogel, MD Et Tu, Olive Oil? Fats and Endothelial Function. MedScape. May 10, 2013
    medscape.com/viewarticle/803568 

    • Larsen LF et al. Effects of dietary fat quality and quantity on postprandial activation of blood coagulation factor VII. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol (1997) vol. 17 (11) pp. 2904-9
    Open access: atvb.ahajournals.org/content/17/11/2904.long 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9409274)

    • Rudel LL et al. Compared with dietary monounsaturated and saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat protects African green monkeys from coronary artery atherosclerosis. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol (1995) vol. 15 (12) pp. 2101-10
    Open access: atvb.ahajournals.org/content/15/12/2101.long 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7489230)

    • Tholstrup T et al. Effect of individual dietary fatty acids on postprandial activation of blood coagulation factor VII and fibrinolysis in healthy young men. Am J Clin Nutr (2003) vol. 77 (5) pp. 1125-32
    Open access: ajcn.nutrition.org/content/77/5/1125.full 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12716662)

    • Rudel LL et al. Dietary monounsaturated fatty acids promote aortic atherosclerosis in LDL receptor-null, human ApoB100-overexpressing transgenic mice. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol (1998) vol. 18 (11) pp. 1818-27
    Open access: atvb.ahajournals.org/content/18/11/1818.full 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9812923)

    • Berry SEE et al. Impaired postprandial endothelial function depends on the type of fat consumed by healthy men. J Nutr (2008) vol. 138 (10) pp. 1910-4
    Open access: jn.nutrition.org/content/138/10/1910.full 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18806100)

    • Lithander FE et al. Postprandial effect of dietary fat quantity and quality on arterial stiffness and wave reflection: a randomised controlled trial. Nutr J (2013) vol. 12 (1) pp. 93
    Open access: nutritionj.com/content/12/1/93 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23841960)

    • Hall WL et al. A high-fat meal enriched with eicosapentaenoic acid reduces postprandial arterial stiffness measured by digital volume pulse analysis in healthy men. J Nutr (2008) vol. 138 (2) pp. 287-91
    Open access: jn.nutrition.org/content/138/2/287.full 
    (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18203893)

    URL related G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/+WardPlunet/posts/aKd2ubCY6yb 
    _______________ 
  • 2 plusses - 2 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
  • Zephyr López Cervilla2012-09-12 02:56:28
    RESHARE:
    rt.com - Man sentenced to jail for collecting rainwater in Oregon
    July 31, 2012

    Excerpt:
    <<Harrington, of Eagle Point, Oregon, has been fighting for his right to do what he wishes with water since 2002. Now more than a decade after he first defended himself over allegations that the man-made ponds on his 170 acres of land violated local law, Harrington has been sentenced to 30 days behind bars and fined over $1,500.

    Authorities say that Harrington broke the law by collecting natural rain water and snow runoff that landed on his property. Officials with the Medford Water Commission contested that the water on Harrington’s property, whether or not it came from the sky, was considered a tributary of nearby Crowfoot Creek and thus subject to a 1925 law that gives the MWC full ownership and rights.>>

    <<"Thirty days in jail for catching rainwater?" Harrington tells the Mail Tribune. "We live in an extreme wildfire area and here the government is going to open the valves and really waste all the water right now, at the start of peak fire season.”>>

    <<Taking his outrage to CNS News, Harrington says that others should be fearful of how they could come after attack next. In his own case, he was issued permits in 2003 by the state that allowed him to do what he wished with the water on his own property. And although the state Water Resources Department saw no fault at first, they shortly after revoked that license and left Harrington to fight for another nine years.

    “The government is bullying. They’ve just gotten to be big bullies and if you just lay over and die and give up, that just makes them bigger bullies. So, we as Americans, we need to stand on our constitutional rights, on our rights as citizens and hang tough,” he tells CNS.>>

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medford,_Oregon 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_County,_Oregon 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Butte_Creek 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_River_(Oregon) 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_Valley 
    satelliteviews.net/cgi-bin/g.cgi?fid=1119586&state=OR&ftype=stream 
    ________________________ 

    Excerpt from an unrelated article:

    datacenterknowledge.com - Facebook Has Spent $210 Million on Oregon Data Center
    By Rich Miller. January 30, 20112
    datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/01/30/facebook-has-spent-210-million-on-oregon-data-center 

    <<There are reports that Apple and at least one other large data center user have scouted locations in Prineville, as Facebook’s facility has attracted interest from other companies seeking to leverage the town’s ideal environment for using fresh air to cool servers.>>

    <<One area where local officials praised Facebook was its approach to water use. Carr said Facebook has used only 28 gallons of water per minute thus far, while other existing industrial users in Crook County use between 60 and 173 gallons per minute.>> 

    <<For Prineville, Facebook is a big business operation – a fact reflected in the power required to operate the first phase of the data center. The 28 megawatts of utility power for the 300,000 square foot first phase isn’t extraordinary for a data center of that size. But it stands out in Crook County, where all the homes and business other than Facebook use 30 megawatts of power. 

    Three Data Centers Possible
    Facebook began building its Prineville facility in early 2010, and began operations in April 2011. The company recently began building a second data center identical to the first, and its long-term plans for the campus include an option for a third 300,000 square foot facility. Based on the power requirements of the first building, that could translate into about 78 megawatts of electricity to support the campus. 

    Crook County Economic Development Manager Jason Carr, who discussed Facebook’s operations at a community forum last week, said the region will have no problem supporting that much demand from a single customer. Carr said the region has 720 megawatts of power available, with another 76 megawatts set to come online next year, and another 281 MW in mid-2014.>>

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prineville,_Oregon 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crooked_River_(Oregon) 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prineville_Reservoir 
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crook_County,_Oregon 

    URL source G+ post: plus.google.com/108207796400897790234/posts/2ZBK6Mn76V8 
    ___________________________ 

    Reshared text:
    Gary is lucky: the Medford Air Commission did not discover (yet) that he's collecting air within his house!
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-01-16 16:45:29
    RESHARE:
    Celsius Vs. Fahrenheit (and other units and numeral systems)
    Uploaded by Matt Mastracci. January 15, 2014
    Comment:
    We should also get rid of minutes, hours, 7-day weeks and months, but you won't find many people complaining about these other units on the Internet.
    Furthermore, we should get rid of the decimal positional numeral system altogether and use instead a hexadecimal system. Never wondered why a kilobyte is 1024 bytes instead of 1000? Simply because 1000 isn't a power of two (unlike 1024, or 16).
    The only reason most people take issue with the use of Fahrenheit and imperial units is because of their political views. Degree Celsius/centrigrade isn't even a SI base unit, and the division of the temperature scale in 100 discourages the use of scientific notation to write temperatures.
    ________________________ 

    URL related G+ posts: 
    plus.google.com/110685273879923679231/posts/ZCSKYvjBh7y 
    plus.google.com/+sciencesunday/posts/Vn9gdfqi1tB 
    plus.google.com/106532754144616474581/posts/STTQkrVcS24 
    plus.google.com/+TreyRatcliff/posts/g3aU4CmsK1z 
    plus.google.com/110685273879923679231/posts/R46Gc4GUyP3 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/g8ZiMUNPoDZ 
    Reposts:
    plus.google.com/100160648652252546872/posts/8MGae6uBKN8 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/gQzkUHaMFvN 
    plus.google.com/+ZephyrLópezCervilla/posts/92e6Hi3XN6u 
    Nonsense:
    plus.google.com/115288001414266277268/posts/Ddhi4PbyJgn 

    URL source G+ post:
    plus.google.com/+MattMastracci/posts/MJZp1C2dFp3 
    ________________________ 

    Reshared text:
    Seriously guys, get with the program.
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  • Zephyr López Cervilla2014-02-16 17:22:42
    Comment: Is it just my imagination or the footage of the ignition was heavily edited?

    britishpathe.com - Hindenburg Disaster Real Footage
    By Pathé News cameraman William (Bill) Deeke. 1937
    youtu.be/CgWHbpMVQ1U (5 min)

    Excerpt from comments of related G+ post:

    +Johan Strandberg: "the explosion from a leaking hydrogen tank where the H2 gets to mix with air before igniting will be a lot more like the second of type of explosion shown until local O2 is used up. I.e., a big shock wave smashing stuff, and then an intense and hot hydrogen flame from any leaking tanks until the heat breaches the integrity of the tank. At that point you get a big or enormous explosion depending on the pressure and amount of the H2 in the tank.

    Hydrogen Explosions (slow motion) - Periodic Table of Videos"
    youtu.be/qOTgeeTB_kA (5 min 33 s)

    — No, it won't. First, inside the hydrogen tank there's no oxygen, whereas in  the second balloon, both oxygen and hydrogen have been already mixed inside. 

    Second, a pressurised tank isn't comparable to a rubber balloon (nor to a zeppelin). The pressure gradient inside the tank with respect to the outside prevents oxygen from entering, whereas the rubber walls of both balloons are completely removed and quickly after being pierced with a red-hot metal tip. 

     This red-hot metal tip is what ignites the combustion of the hydrogen of both balloons. 

    In the case of the first balloon, once the rubber wall is out of the way, the oxygen from the air that was surrounding the balloon mixes with the hydrogen that was inside because now both gases are at the same pressure and there's no barrier between them any longer.

    In contrast, in a pressurised tank this couldn't take place since only the gas that leaks from the tank will mix with the oxygen of the air and eventually ignite, assuming that there's some heat source nearby the leak.

    BTW, the Hindenburg never exploded but simply ignited and burned. Notice how the covering wasn't ejected to a long distance from the airship: 
    YouTube (5 min): Hindenburg Disaster Real Footage (1937) [HD] 
    ___________ 

    URL comments related G+ post: 
    plus.google.com/+RobertLlewellyn/posts/5Hf44g9mY1S 
    ________________________ 
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