vendredi 31 janvier 2014

In UAE, mothers now required to breastfeed. For 2 years.

Breastfeeding Is Now Required By Law In The United Arab Emirates


The Emirates' Federal National Council has passed a clause, part of their new Child Rights Law, requiring new moms to breastfeed their babies for two full years, The National reports. Now, men can sue their wives if they don't breastfeed.

According to the National, there was a "marathon debate" over the legislation, but it was ultimately decided that it is every child's right to be breastfed.

Research has found many benefits of breastfeeding for baby, from reducing the risk of obesity to better language and motor development.

Strange. I wonder how the suing your own wife thing works. This effectively means that mothers also can't have most jobs for two years after having a baby.

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Woman Eats 363 Chicken Wings in 30 Minutes, Doesn't Die.

Details Here.

Not really sure why I'm posting this.

Just seems like a useful piece of information to have when those cocktail party conversations start getting slow.

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Making a new album

The second one. The first was bashed together by me and three other non-musicians, bumbling our way through the process. It sold a massive seven (count them!) copies on itunes. Rolling Stone magazine did not review it! (outrageous I know!)

So, with a bundle of new songs, we're back in the studio to bumble our badly timed way through some clichéd (but original) pop songs, with guitar, bass and cajon.

If all goes well, I'll let you all know about the arguments, broken instruments and stroppy guitarists as we go along. If it doesn't, of course, I shall allow the thread to sink without trace. :)


ETA - I've been and gone and done it in the wrong place. Could some kindly mod type person move to community. :D

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NA Monarch Butterfly Migration: Flights Canceled Due To GMO


"The main culprit," he wrote in an email, is now genetically modified "herbicide-resistant corn and soybean crops and herbicides in the USA," which "leads to the wholesale killing of the monarch's principal food plant, common milkweed."


It's unclear what would happen to the Monarchs if they no longer made the annual trek to Mexico, the world's biggest migration of Monarch butterflies and the second-largest insect migration, after a species of dragonfly in Africa.

There are Monarchs in many parts of the world, so they would not go extinct. The butterflies can apparently survive year-round in warmer climates, but populations in the northern United States and Canada would have to find some place to spend the bitter winters. There is also another smaller migration route that takes butterflies from the west to the coast of California, but that has registered even steeper declines.

Oberhauser noted that some Monarchs now appear to be wintering along the U.S. Gulf coast, and there has been a movement in the United States among gardeners and home owners to plant milkweed to replace some of the lost habitat. But activists say large stands of milkweed are needed along the migratory route, comparable to what once grew there. They also want local authorities in the U.S. and Canada to alter mowing schedules in parks and public spaces, to avoid cutting down milkweed during breeding seasons.

The migration is an inherited trait. No butterfly lives to make the full round-trip, and it is unclear how they remember the route back to the same patch of forest each year, a journey of thousands of miles to a forest reserve that covers 193,000 acres (56,259-hectares) in central Mexico. Some scientists think the huge masses of migrating butterflies may release chemicals that mark the migratory path and that if their numbers fall low enough, not enough chemical traces would remain and the route-marking might no longer work.


To be clear I think the GM aspect is just an extension of human environmental interference, not some new evil. Logging and biofuels can also share some blame.

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Super Bowl coin toss stats.

An interesting stat I heard on the radio today. You can bet on the outcome of the coin toss and in 47 Super Bowls the coin toss stats are:

24 heads, 23 tails

I'll use that info the next time someone talks about being on a "hot streak".

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The Selected Member Will Likely Be A Republican

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Antioxidant Supplements and Cancer Risk

I try to keep current on any new developments in immunology, and this study came across my study group yesterday:



Antioxidants are widely used to protect cells from damage induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS). The concept that antioxidants can help fight cancer is deeply rooted in the general population, promoted by the food supplement industry, and supported by some scientific studies. However, clinical trials have reported inconsistent results. We show that supplementing the diet with the antioxidants N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and vitamin E markedly increases tumor progression and reduces survival in mouse models of B-RAF- and K-RAS-induced lung cancer. RNA sequencing revealed that NAC and vitamin E, which are structurally unrelated, produce highly coordinated changes in tumor transcriptome profiles, dominated by reduced expression of endogenous antioxidant genes. NAC and vitamin E increase tumor cell proliferation by reducing ROS, DNA damage, and p53 expression in mouse and human lung tumor cells. Inactivation of p53 increases tumor growth to a similar degree as antioxidants and abolishes the antioxidant effect. Thus, antioxidants accelerate tumor growth by disrupting the ROS-p53 axis. Because somatic mutations in p53 occur late in tumor progression, antioxidants may accelerate the growth of early tumors or precancerous lesions in high-risk populations such as smokers and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who receive NAC to relieve mucus production.

This is consistent with the body of literature to date. Both the biochemistry and in vitro research strongly imply that antioxidant supplementation carries a risk of increased cancer.

There are a few human studies that show the same effect, *but* those studies were not designed to look for that effect, and so I hesitate to say there are human studies that actually show this effect.

So, this is my question: does anybody on the list with the appropriate qualifications think I'm out to lunch by saying it's time to shift antioxidant supplementation from the 'what's the harm' category to the 'proven harmful' category?

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Parents making excuses for horrible children

This idiot of a father I had the displeasure to know watched his sone torment and assault his younger daughter. Had it been anyone else the girl would have been able to call the police and have the scumbag arrested. However the father was a cop himself and he told the daughter "he's a good ol boy".

I never visited the family again. I was an outsider and there was not a thing I could do for her.

This makes me sick.

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George Zimmerman Offers To Fight You

Trying helpfully to get everyone to just stop talking about him and let him lead a normal life of spousal abuse, Mr. Zimmerman now wants to stage a boxing match.


George Zimmerman has announced he’s putting up his dukes for a celebrity boxing match — one that still needs an opponent.

“It was my idea,” the heavyweight gunslinger told Radar Online of his upcoming plans orchestrated by former professional boxer Damon Feldman.

I'm worried for him. His fighting instructor testified that George was the weakest, most unfightingest wallflower ever to disgrace the dojo. And now George wants to run into the meatgrinder?

I see only two possible reasons for this: He is trying to commit suicide by fist or he and his friends lied their asses off after he killed that kid.

ETA: This is what it's come down to.

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Pastor robs gay men

OK, this one is just weird. A Colorado pastor has been arrested and charged with impersonating a police officer, kidnapping, and robbery of a gay man he picked up on Craig's list.

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Cereals and milk = Civilisation?

I was reading this article:

which I found interesting, but intuitively unlikely.

I don't have the knowledge either of science or of history to refute any of it's points, but it smells like woo and BS to me.

I was hoping someone here might have some knowledge on the subject and be willing to share.

I'll summarise the argument roughly.

The article states (I think):

1) Around 10,000 years ago various groups of people around the world started to abandon the hunter gatherer life style and to take up agriculture centred around cereal crops

2) While there are various theories proffered as to why this may be, none are generally accepted.

3) Agriculture and the diet and close living conditions it lead to resulted in a worse general diet and health than did the HG lifestyle.

4)In the 1970s drug-like (similar to opiates) 'Exorphins' were found in cereals and 'casomorphins' in dairy products.

5> There is a positive correlation between consumption of cereals and schizophrenia

6> Lots of stuff about dietary allergies and how we are unlikely to be adapted these 'drug-like' thingies as they are a relatively recent part of our diet. I lost the will to live and skimmed this as it seemed only semi-relevant.

7> Conclusion: Cereals and , to a lesser extent dairy, have effects similar to opiates, both in there effect on out behaviour and in there addictiveness. The addictive qualities caused humans to value and then farm them and ultimately to build what we now call civilisation around or upon that farming. Simultaneous with this the calming effects of these opioids made us able to tolerate the close proximity and and other unaccustomed hardships necessitated by civilisation.

There, it's only a thumb nail sketch but I think it get's the main points across and you can always read the original if you want more.

I think my intuitive problem with this is that it seems to me to stem from the old 'natural = good, anything else = bad' fallacy. Cerials and dairy are not 'natural' parts of our diet and thus must be bad. but maybe this is just guilt by association with similar woo.

any thoughts?

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Recommend a Javascript MVC?

I'm currently working on a project that uses Backbone. It's ...okay. I'm not really happy with the model layer. There is a lot of built-in magic when accessing your backend data, which means its pretty inflexible if you need to do anything a little outside it's wheelhouse. (Honestly, that is really my biggest/only complaint with the thing, but still.)

Can anyone recommend a good javascript mvc? I've looked a little at Angular and Ember, but have used neither.

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Vast boulders narrowly miss Italian farm

BBC linky

Terrifying stuff. Don't stop at the first few photos ....

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People born in 1960s and 1970s 'poorer' than previous generation

Here's the news story:

It seems that people of my age are less likely to own a house than the previous generation, we do have higher incomes but basically we've squandered it all on fripperies.

We are more likely to inherit wealth but this tends to happen to the already wealthy. It's another indication that inequality will continue to get worse which IMO is a bad thing for society.

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Lancet Discovers Russian heavy-drinking is Bad for Health

I am not a fan of the Ig Nobel Awards which to me is rather snide approach to science which may simply test whether or not common assumptions have a basis in reality, but it is tempting to think that the Lancet have discovered something as surprising as "the Sun is rather hot", with a study of Russians' remarkable ability to drink themselves to death:


The risk of dying before age 55 for those who said they drank three or more half-litre bottles of vodka a week was shocking 35%.

Overall, a quarter of Russian men die before reaching 55, compared with 7% of men in the UK and fewer than 1% in the United States. The life expectancy for men in Russia is 64 years, placing it among the lowest 50 countries in the world in that category.

It is not clear how many Russian men drink three bottles or more a week. Lead researcher Sir Richard Peto of Oxford University said the average Russian adult drank 20 litres of vodka per year while the average Briton drank about three litres of spirits.

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Monty Hall Problem... For Newbies

I'm curious about how many people pick the correct answer to the Monty Hall problem when they first hear about it, so only answer the poll if you hadn't heard about the Monty Hall problem until now (and no looking up the answer before you respond).

There are a couple of threads about this problem already (here, and here), but none of them have polls attached.

The Situation:

You're on a game-show trying to win a new car. The car is behind one of three doors. Behind the other two doors are goats.

You pick one of the three doors at random and the presenter (who knows which door the car is behind) opens a door that you didn't pick, revealing a goat. (This is standard procedure for the show.)

The presenter then offers you a chance to change your mind and pick the remaining door instead.

The Problem:

Are you more likely to win the car if you stick with your original choice?

Are you more likely to win the car if you change your mind?

Does it even make a difference?

Now you know the problem, let us know what you think the right answer is in the poll above.

Obligatory XKCD reference

"A few minutes later, the goat from behind door C drives away in the car."

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Protest in France: "Jews get out".

They came out for a "Day of Rage" on protest on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day in support of that twit who does anti-Semitic performance art and invented a hidden Nazi salute.

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They're saying "Jews get out. France is not for you"

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jeudi 30 janvier 2014

Cianobacteria, our little hero

The short argument :

Without cyanobacteria - no fixed nitrogen is available.

Without fixed nitrogen, no DNA, no amino-acids, no protein can be synthesised.

Without DNA, no amino-acids,protein, or cyanobacteria are possible.

Thats called a interdependent system. It cannot have evolved in small steps. All must exist at once.

The long argument :

Could the oxygen and nitrogen cicle be explained by naturalistic means ? The reason for the abundance of oxygen in the atmosphere is the presence of a very large number of organisms which produce oxygen as a byproduct of their metabolism. Cyanobacteria or blue-green algae became the first microbes to produce oxygen by photosynthesis. They are one of the oldest bacteria that live on earth, said to exist perhaps as long as 3.5 billion years. And their capabilities are nothing more than astounding. No cianobacteria, no oxygen, no higher life forms. These cianobacterias have incredibly sophisticated enzyme proteins and metabolic pathways, like the electron transport chains, ATP synthase motors, circadian clock, the photosynthetic light reactions, carbon concentration mechanism, and transcriptional regulation , they produce binded nitrogen through nitrogenase, a highly sophisticated mechanism to bind nitrogen, used as a nutrient for plant and animal growth. The Nitrogen cycle is a lot more complex than the carbon cycle. Nitrogen is a very important element. It makes up almost 80% of our atmosphere, and it is an important component of proteins and DNA, both of which are the building blocks of animals and plants. Therefore without nitrogen we would lose one of the most important elements on this planet, along with oxygen, hydrogen and carbon. There are a number of stages to the nitrogen cycle, which involve breaking down and building up nitrogen and it’s various compounds.There is no real starting point for the nitrogen cycle. It is an endless cycle. Potential gaps in the system cannot be reasonably bypassed by inorganic nature alone. It must have a degree of specificity that in all probability could not have been produced by chance. A given function or step in the system may be found in several different unrelated organisms. The removal of any one of the individual biological steps will resort in the loss of function of the system. The data suggest that the nitrogen cycle may be irreducibly interdependent based on the above criteria. No proposed neo-Darwinian mechanisms can explain the origin of such a system.The ultimate source of nitrogen for the biosynthesis of amino acids is atmospheric nitrogen (N2), a nearly inert gas. Its needed by all living things to build proteins and nucleic acids. This is one of the hardest chemical bonds of all to break. So, how can nitrogen be brought out of its tremendous reserves in the atmosphere and into a state where it can be used by living things? To be metabolically useful, atmospheric nitrogen must be reduced. It must be converted to a useful form. Without "fixed" nitrogen, plants, and therefore animals, could not exist as we know them. This process, known as nitrogen fixation, occurs through lightening, but most in certain types of bacteria, namely cianobacteria. Even though nitrogen is one of the most prominent chemical elements in living systems, N2 is almost unreactive (and very stable) because of its triple bond (N≡N). This bond is extremely difficult to break because the three chemical bonds need to be separated and bonded to different compounds. Nitrogenase is the only family of enzymes capable of breaking this bond (i.e., it carries out nitrogen fixation). Nitrogenase is a very complex enzyme system. Nitrogenase genes are distributed throughout the prokaryotic kingdom, including representatives of the Archaea as well as the Eubacteria and Cyanobacteria.With assistance from an energy source (ATP) and a powerful and specific complementary reducing agent (ferredoxin), nitrogen molecules are bound and cleaved with surgical precision. In this way, a ‘molecular sledgehammer’ is applied to the NN bond, and a single nitrogen molecule yields two molecules of ammonia. The ammonia then ascends the ‘food chain’, and is used as amino groups in protein synthesis for plants and animals. This is a very tiny mechanism, but multiplied on a large scale it is of critical importance in allowing plant growth and food production on our planet to continue. ‘Nature is really good at it (nitrogen-splitting), so good in fact that we've had difficulty in copying chemically the essence of what bacteria do so well.’ If one merely substitutes the name of God for the word 'nature', the real picture emerges.These proteins use a collection of metal ions as the electron carriers that are responsible for the reduction of N2 to NH3. All organisms can then use this reduced nitrogen (NH3) to make amino acids. In humans, reduced nitrogen enters the physiological system in dietary sources containing amino acids. One thing is certain—that matter obeying existing laws of chemistry could not have created, on its own, such a masterpiece of chemical engineering.Without cyanobacteria - no fixed nitrogen is available.Without fixed nitrogen, no DNA, no amino-acids, no protein can be synthesised. Without DNA, no amino-acids,protein, or cyanobacteria are possible. So thats a interdependent system.

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Conspiracy Theorists Convinced Recent Snow Storms use Fake Snow

This isn't your usual "its an extreme weather event - IT MUST BE HAARP/STEERED BY THE GOVERNMENT." These guys are actually claiming the snow itself is fake. I wish I were kidding. There are dozens of threads on GLP about this, but here are three

They are especially convinced the recent Georgia snow is fake, and lots of them have been heating the snow on their stoves and claiming because it doesn't instantly melt when heated is proof its a fake engineered substance. Again, you can't make this type of insanity up.

So apparently the Illuminati has been busy making fake radioactive snow and dumping it in recent "snow storms" - guess using HAARP to make up/steer storms was just too easy, eh?

I do note that, to GLP's credit, not all the replies are in favor of the "fake snow" looks to be about 70% believers 30% doubters from just glancing at the dozen or so threads currently on there. Compared to the 95% believers 5% doubters the site usually has, thats a very good rate. Perhaps reason is prevailing a BIT more for once?

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Ah, health care for veterans

Recalled a similar discussion but couldn't find the thread - anyway:

And people ask me why I'd rather pay vs the free care military hospitals could do and refuse to let them do anything more advanced than give me motrin (their beloved cure-all)....

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Extinction of Mastadons et al

Please pardon a layman point of view but I can't get my mind around the theory that Primitive man could have knocked out whole species such as the Mastadon. Around the time of the last Ice Age there could not have been more than a few hundred thousand humans throughout the world. That would translate to a very small group in any one spot. Clovis point or not these are very primitive weapons, ask anyone who has hunted with bow and arrow. Are my numbers too far off to be credible. Please add your numbers if different. Thank you.

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Imagine Crack Mayor Ford with Bieber-like Money at Age 19


"Well, you know what, he's a young guy," Ford said Friday. "At 19 years old, I wish I was as successful as he was. He's 19 years old, guys. Think back to when you were 19."

If you happen to be outraged, disgusted or merely perturbed at the excesses of Wunderbrat Justin Bieber, just consider for a moment the prospect of a 19-year old Rob Ford with untold millions at his disposal. I'm guessing it would look something like "HULK SMASH" all across the landscape.

So, Justin Bieber's not looking so bad right now, is he?

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My discussion with an anti-vaxxer.

I had this, what I thought, was a calm, rational discussion about vaccines with this person on facebook. But, because I thought there was no real danger in vaccine ingredients, I was accused of being rude. The person I was talking to said that her god son had seizures after being given the mmr vaccine. I asked what evidence was there that the vaccine cause the seizures, and, that correlation, does not equal causation. That, apparently was the rude comment. She did tell me that the doctor determined that the seizures were a vaccine related injury. I was going to ask how he/she determined that, but I guess my apparent rudeness caused her to block me from any further comments. My question is, it is possible for the mmr vaccine to cause seizures? Or was that doctor being irresponsible for making that diagnosis?

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The Superbowl False Flag

William Tapley, aka "The Third Eagle of the Apocalypse", aka "The Co-Prophet of the End Times", has determined that a false flag event event bigger than 9/11 will take place at this years Superbowl.

It's all revealed in an iPad commercial.

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Anybody had any DNA testing done?

Tried 23 and me. Results just came in. Not many surprises there. 2.7% Neanderthal. Almost all of my DNA can be traced to "non-specific" europe, northern europe and eastern europe.

One slightly surprising thing is that some y chromosome characteristics are more prevalent in Spain and France than anywhere else showed up.

A general lack of southern europe specific genes is a bigger surprise. But that non-specific category was almost 40% of me and only one grandparent was from that part of the world.

The FDA shutting having had them shut down some of the health related parts of the service does not seem unreasonable from what I have been reading.

Anybody else tried it?

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Change keyboard layout in Win 8?

Just bought a new laptop, selected the wrong keyboard during setup.

(Couldn't test the keyboards before selecting like in Ubuntu, Jesus, Microsoft!)

Now I can't type @ because some keys are all wrong.

Can I change that somewhere? I'm new to this OS, my first experiences with it are frustrating.

Does anybody here know how to change the layout?

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Democrat behind bars for domestic abuse


Henriquez is serving a six-month sentence there after a jury convicted him Jan. 15 for the July 2012 
assault and battery of a woman he was dating.

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Speaking in toungues

No wonder I think this 'ability' is complete nonsense and absolute sillyness! I don't have the gift to interpret it! Or so explains a possible republican candidate in Alaska (can't post a link yet - someone please do so for me):

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Probability question?


I came across a probability question I thought was interesting :

"You volunteer to undergo the following experiment : On Sunday you will be put to sleep. Once or twice, during the experiment, you will be wakened, interviewed, and put back to sleep with an amnesia-inducing drug that makes you forget that awakening. A fair coin will be tossed to determine which experimental procedure to undertake: if the coin comes up heads, you will be wakened and interviewed on Monday only. If the coin comes up tails, you will be wakened and interviewed on Monday and Tuesday.

During the experiment – you are wakened and have no idea if it is Monday or Tuesday. You are asked to estimate the probability (given you have found yourself awakened) that the coin landed heads. What is your answer?"

There are two schools of thought about this – one group of people say 50% - the initial probability of heads was clearly 50% and you have been given no new information to change that. The other school of thought says 33% - if you repeated the experiment many times you would find that only 33% of the time you are wakened it was heads.

Points to consider :

- If tails leads to 100 wakenings rather than just 2 – would that convince you that tails was much more likely than heads?

- The coin toss doesn’t have to be made until Tuesday morning – ie when you are wakened it might be Monday and the coin toss will be done tomorrow. Are you really going to say something other than 50% for probability of heads from a fair coin which might not even have been tossed yet?

Note - I didn't invent this - its been much discussed apparently - but I hadn't seen it here before and thought it was interesting so you lot might appreciate it :).

- Drelda

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Science fiction and space travel effects

Half a century ago when I was reading a lot of science fiction, there was a recurring theme that space travellers would age more slowly than the inhabitants of the planets they visited. Is this actually true according to real science?

i am not talking about travel through wormholes and such - these concepts did not exist at the time, only straight forward FTL "rockets".

I think that in the SF novels space travel was always faster than light, which might mean that time was going backwards, but I am also interested in knowing how the situation would be if the space travel was happening with speeds slower than c.

I also think that we should stick to special relativity and ignore gravity, or at least calculate the case with and without general relativity.

So this is the situation: A space traveller flies away from Earth at a speed a) slower than light, or b) faster than light, and returns to Earth. Will she have aged slower than her family on Earth?

As I see it, from the perspective of the space traveller, Earth is moving away at high speed, so from her point of view it would be her family that aged slower, and when she returns to Earth there should be a mismatch between the viewpoints of her and her family. My own solution is that when she returns, she is reversing the process, so that the two clocks will again be synchronous when she steps out of the "rocket". Am I right?

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Vomit cruise

Passengers stagger off cruise ship reeking of vomit at NJ dock

Lovely. But, hey, they get a discount on their next dream vacation aboard a cruise ship.

From another article:

"On Wednesday night, I was in the dining room and a woman was vomiting into her napkin," [a passenger] said. "There were people walking around in their pajamas with vomit and diarrhea on them. People were barfing all over the place."

I do not get the appeal. Best case, you're cooped up in a floating hotel, albeit with lots of amenities, in the middle of nowhere.

Worst case, the systems break down and you're in a floating hotel awash with sewage, or a floating incubator of disease from which there is no escape, or in the absolute worst case, a sinking hotel in which the only amenity that counts is a lifeboat.

Couldn't they replicate all of the good things about a cruise ship on dry land, for less money, with much greater safety and comfort? Have they not in fact done so, in the form of resorts where you can LEAVE if an epidemic of mass vomiting breaks out?

I do not get it. Who here vacations on cruise ships, and why?

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Lighters: Convential vs jet-style

I recently purchased one of these lighters.

It is refillable with the same lighter fluid that ordinary lighters are filled with and the ignition system is a simple electric spark (identical to those found in conventional lighters)

However, the properties of the emitted flame are vastly different. A convential lighter emits a yellow-orange flame that is easily disturbed by wind-currents, provides a fairly significant amount of light and a relatively low heat.

The jet-style lighter emits a blue flame that is not disturbed by wind currents at all and retains its shape. The amount of light emitted is significantly lower, while the heat produced is significantly higher.

I can only deduce that the differences between the flames must be down to the size/placement/shape/number of nozzles.

Can anyone please explain to me, how it is that a flame with such vastly different properties can be produced from the same materials, by simply changing the shape/placement/size/number of nozzles?

Further can anyone explain to me, specifically, why the blue flame retains its shape, how much lower light output and higher heat output?

pics of lighter in operation to follow (if I can get my phone to play along)


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Demonic Possession - Oh yeah!

Far too little skepticism in this piece:

Is the named Police Chief still in his job? If so, how? What about the so called medical practitioners?

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Food wrappers stronger than steel?

What`s WITH this?


I just went to tear open the wrapper around a can of sardines (3 am hunger pangs) and even though i have a super grip, i cant tear that wrapper open..


So i get a fork and i run it thru, and grab it by the hole area and STILL couldn`t tear it open.


So i forked it some more, making the hole bigger and tear some, and then i was EASILY able to tear it open?


We`ve all experienced this i`m sure. You cant tear open the thinnest of thinnest packaging. Yet, if you make a little cut in it first, you can then easily tear it at the cut.


What`s with that anyway? I presume its something having to do with molecules and how they are lined up. But what exactly? What makes it that you cant tear it open, without first cutting, no matter which direction you try to tear it?

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Noel Canning v. NLRB

As may have been discussed previously, President Obama claimed the power in 2012 to appoint several people to positions in the National Labor Relations Board using his recess appointment power. He did this despite the fact the Senate was still technically in session, holding pro forma sessions every three days.

The NLRB, with the recess-appointed members, proceeded to make rulings on questions before them. One such ruling adversely affected Noel Canning, a contract bottling and canning company, which subsequently filed suit in federal court, alleging the unfavorable ruling was illegitimately issued because the board lacked a quorum because the recess appointments were unconstitutional. The case has made its way to the US Supreme Court (more information here).

The lower court decided in favor of Noel Canning (and not even just because the Senate was holding its pro forma sessions), ruling that where the recess appointment clause refers to "the recess of the Senate" it means only that recess which occurs between the first and second sessions of a Congress. It went even further and also ruled the vacancy being filled must have been created during that same recess. Oral arguments for the case took place at the Supreme Court on 13 January.

Probably not surprising to most here, I am solidly rooting for the court to rule in favor of Noel Canning. My reasoning will come out in later posts. What are your thoughts?

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mercredi 29 janvier 2014

Freeman Dyson Atomic Awareness


Just watched a bit of the debate on youtube "Dangerous Ideas - Deepak Chopra & Richard Dawkins 2013-11-09".

I only watched a bit of it because I find debates with Deepak Chopra a waste of time, and often follow a similar path.

However, Deepak Chopra talked about Freeman Dyson and how he believes in Atomic Awareness. Poor old Richard Dawkins accused Deepak of missunderstanding him and that F Dysin should sue him.

I then found this quote from FD:


That is to say, I think our consciousness is not just a passive epiphenomenon carried along by the chemical events in our brains, but is an active agent forcing the molecular complexes to make choices between one quantum state and another. In other words, mind is already inherent in every electron, and the processes of human consciousness differ only in degree but not in kind from the processes of choice between quantum states which we call "chance" when they are made by electrons

I actually am finding that difficult to understand. Especially the bold part. Is he suggesting, as Deepak says that atoms have awareness, or am I not understanding this, or is this just a word salad full of Deepak style woo. Was Richard Dawkins wrong about Freeman Dyson?

Oh, and I did a quick search to see if there was already a thread on this, but didnt find one (and thats not to say that one doesnt exist).

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I was asked this question while psychotic and came up with the answer of a seed planted in the mind of god in the void of space. Either something wonderful would happen or everything blows up. However, I ended up spending all my god credits on going back home, not the uncertain path that would take.. Everything is starting to look the same as I remembered it only better. Plus I have now have a child that is lovely and that's good.

I ate at the 98 lb buffet when not psychotic and wow the food was not nearly as good. When I was there it was the portal to where the faithful hardworking Chinese as a reward for their hard life. They were serving manna from heaven and the more I ate, the longer I would live. The Chinese gods were amused by me and let me in. I am pretty sure I ate about 15 plates of food.

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Yet another UFO sighting?

Came across this gem tonite: I wonder if there is a way to confirm whether of not an anomalous object has actually been spotted on the moon?

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Dubya the final G.O.P. president?



But perhaps Obamacare, a stagnant economy, and distrust of Big Government will be the issues that turn the electorate toward the GOP presidential candidate in 2016. At least that is the optimistic thinking among Republican leaders.

In my original piece, I reach the unhappy conclusion that President Millard Fillmore who served from 1850–1853 as the last Whig Party President might some day share a historical footnote with George W. Bush as the last presidents elected from their respective parties. That is, if current trends continue.

Meanwhile, Reince Priebus, bless his heart, had better get to work reversing these trends and dwindle down his list of 32 potential candidates and maybe even add some others, because, for the sake of this nation, the answer to my title question must be a resounding “No.”

Finally, Mr. Chairman, just for fun on my survey I wrote in Donald Trump because he has just as much chance of winning the 2016 nomination as most of the names on your list.

When I say such a thing, people say I'm delusional. But this person is a respected GOP political operative and writer. And I think she has summed up the problem the GOP has created for itself quite well.

Millard Fillmore and Dubya; bound together as footnotes in American political history. :D

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The Fringed (submissions)

Hey Everyone,

Over the last month or so I've been concepting and designing the early stages of a new magazine entitled, The Fringed. The magazine is about ideas that live on the boundaries of reality and comes to life by blurring the lines between story telling and science. The project is still young and I'm reaching out to communities of curious writers, researchers and artists for contributions to the magazine. Submissions can range from photography, short stories, thesis papers, or even general ideas or clues about curious events or topics. This magazine can only be made possible by collaborating with all of you.

I look forward to any and all submissions!

Feel free to submit at the following email address:

Thanks, Josh

you can find us at

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There isn’t enough money to keep educating adults ...

Long but very interesting.

There isn’t enough money to keep educating adults the way we’re doing it ( Clay Shirky )



Interest in using the internet to slash the price of higher education is being driven in part by hope for new methods of teaching, but also by frustration with the existing system. The biggest threat those of us working in colleges and universities face isn’t video lectures or online tests. It’s the fact that we live in institutions perfectly adapted to an environment that no longer exists. ...

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Domain name expires and registrant has disappeared

My domain name was registered in 2009 for a period of 5 years.

Now is the time to renew.

But since 2009, my registrant ( as gone out of business, and the email contact address on the registrar site (Enom) is no longer valid (a yahoo email address I never used in 5 years).

I am stuck and unable to renew my domain name. And the domain will expire on feb12.

One possibility is to wait until feb 12, and renew on that day, but this is risky, as the name may be reserved for some buyer and delivered to them as soon as it becomes expired.

This domain is for personal use, and it can be inactive for a coupe of days without any harm.

Thanks for any information on how I should proceed.

Here is some information I received:

"Per Enom (the registrar of **********.net) only current registrant can request the WHOIS details change.

Please be informed that the registrant for domain **********.net is SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR(REGISTERPOL.COM):

Only domain registrant can manage domain.

If there is a dispute of domain ownership it can be taken up with ICANN directly using their dispute process, or with local US Courts that deal in legal matters between companies.

You may wish to retain legal council to investigate what action can be taken to recover their perceived property from this now defunct company.

For your reference Enom Registration Agreement is available at:

By policy, eNom does not get involved in disputes over domain ownership.

eNom will comply with any United States court orders or settlement, please have all relevant documents sent directly to their legal team at:

Enom legal team will only respond to official court documents and communication, not simple inquiries or information requests. cannot offer legal advice or information other than what is required by court order.

Thank you in advance for your understanding."

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Why are guns a constitutional right ?

I am serious why

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South Carolina GOP debate was.....weird

The South Carolina Tea Party challenger GOP debate was.......pretty interesting.

We get things like this from Bill Connolly

...that the separation of church and state has led “atheism to be our national religion”; and that Congress should disband federal appeals courts that enforce church-state separation because “if you’re being biblical, you’re doing your job as a judge.”

And what about Climate Change?

Another memorable moment was when the moderator asked all four candidates to react to Sen. Graham’s former support for legislation to combat climate change.

The first candidate, businesswoman Nancy Mace, claimed that a recent freeze disproved the fact that climate change exists. Bright contended that climate change was a “scam” concocted by people out to make money. Another candidate, Richard Cash - who owns a “fleet of neighborhood ice cream trucks” —was “open to the idea that there’s possibly global warming,” but claimed that there’s not “enough evidence” yet to create policy. Connor, for his part, called climate change “gobbledygook,” a point he illustrated by asking everybody in the audience to take a deep breath and breathe it out, then telling them, “you’re putting carbon deposits in the air and you’re causing global warming.”

And a roundup of the debate would not be complete without Cash’s opening statement, in which he edited Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech to be about banning abortion.

- See more at:

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Joe Nickell and Freemasonry

In the latest Skeptoid episode about the "moving coffins of Barbados", Dunning introduces the theory of CSI's Joe Nickell about the origin of the story:


Nickell found a different explanation for the story, from the world of Freemasonry, which he laid out in Fate magazine in 1982. Nickell claimed that the language used in the oldest accounts to describe the strange tale was laden with Masonic symbology. He argued that the entire case was not an account of literal events alleged to have actually taken place, but rather that it was an allegory constructed from Masonic symbols; such as the sound of a hammer used to certify the solidity of the vault's walls, the arched ceiling representing the Royal Arch degree, the whole idea of a secret vault as central to Freemasonry, and of course the men who sealed the door with cement referred to as masons.

Dunning even goes on to describe Nickell's theory as more likely than the common explanation I'd heard long ago, that the crypt was occasionally filling with water which caused the disarrangement of the coffins. Dunning seems to portray the latter theory as a "plausible backup" in case Nickell's theory isn't true.

Perhaps it's because Dunning did not spend much time or do a good enough job describing what Nickell said - I don't have access to the Fate Magazine issue it was initially submitted to - but if Nickell's observations are accurately described, they sound incredibly tenuous to me.

As a Freemason, I don't find much relevant in the story as a whole to masonry. The connections he draws to various specific masonic symbols and language seem fairly arbitrary and purely speculative to me, and are reminiscent of wild and untamed theorizing of conspiracy woos who see masonic symbols in the layouts of city streets - an "arched ceiling representing the Royal Arch" for example. If the actual crypt, which really exists, has an arched ceiling, why is it necessary to attribute the mention of an arched ceiling in accounts of the incidents to some kind of hidden "masonic allegory"? The stories describe the crypt as having an arched ceiling because it has an arched ceiling. Likewise with the sound of the "hammer" used to test the crypt walls for solidity; what else would have been used at that time? I wonder if, in the original Fate article, Nickell included anything more substantial - for instance, were any of the earliest sources for the story mentioned by Dunning in the Skeptoid episode found to be masons? Was the alleged dead man a mason? The rector of the church? Captain Alexander? If he did, Dunning didn't mention any such more-tangible connections.

Further, while it's true that Masonry does indeed use allegorical stories to make or illustrate points that have to do with the values Masonry promotes, these allegorical stories also have a consistent symbolic narrative and a masonic "moral" or "lesson" by the end; they are, for lack of a better term, "value tales". They aren't borrowed ghost stories edited so as to include as many allusions to random masonic symbols as is possible to throw in for its own sake. For instance, what would the symbol of the "hammer", a Blue Lodge symbol, be doing in the same story as the Royal Arch, which is York Rite symbolism? As a mason, this doesn't make sense to me. Further still, what is supposed to be the overall moral lesson of the case of a crypt which is repeatedly disturbed by unknown forces until the local governor decides to rebury the coffins elsewhere? Strictly speaking, "ghosts" don't exist in Masonic symbolism - when you die, you proceed to whatever afterlife awaits; the "heavenly lodge above". And finally, masonic allegorical stories are not intended for general public consumption and would not be disseminated as common "ghost stories" in the hopes that somewhere a mason might hear it and somehow "recognize" the ambiguously-masonic symbolism and...feel good about himself for recognizing it, I suppose. Rather, they are told in lodge during degree ceremonies, complete with an "and here's what the story symbolizes, n00b" epilogue that removes any ambiguity and makes sure one fully understands the allegory.

While these objections stand on their own, there's also the further issue of Nickell seeming now to have a "thing" with masonic symbolism. I don't remember if Dunning included it on his episode about the Oak Island "money pit"; but Nickell's theory about that legend is also that the original story - of two young boys finding a marked stone and a depression in the ground with some buried wooden platforms beneath it - is rife with "masonic symbolism". It really isn't, frankly. I've read his article about it and his claims for specific aspects of the legend of the adventurous boys being masonic allegory is even more tenuous and arbitrary than in the case of the Barbados crypt.

I'm wondering if anyone else has any thoughts about Nickell's theories. Are there any more famous legends of dubious provenance that he has decided were made up by Freemasons?

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NASA using Magnetic Signal Therapy

It appears NASA has an engineer or two who have been using the Bemer magnetic therapy. The magnetic signal is now a part of space suit technical research in NASA.


"It’s official: BEMER is providing NASA with scientific and technical support for the implementation of BEMER technology in spacesuits.

NASA will then have yet another means of maintaining and promoting astronauts’ health in the hostile environment of space. We are proud of the contribution we were able to make to this and look forward to groundbreaking cooperation at the highest levels, in every possible respect."

If you don't know what Bemer is then learn the simple relevant facts:

1) It is claimed to improve microcirculation.

2) And offers pretty much every other placebo friendly health benefits.

3) All done with a magnetic signal (patented).

Has this NASA connection appeared on any official NASA page?

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Toxic Online Feminism

A great article on the toxic fringe of online feminism. Anyone who has been involved in the A+ thread should be familiar with most of the article. A good examination about how the radicals are shutting down real discourse, and degrading the image of feminism, at for those active online.

Feminism’s Toxic Twitter Wars



The Internet also became a crucial place for feminist organizing. When the breast cancer organization Komen for the Cure decided to defund Planned Parenthood in 2012, the overwhelming online backlash led to a reversal of the policy and the departure of the executive who had pushed it. Last year, Women, Action & the Media and the Everyday Sexism Project spearheaded a successful online campaign to get Facebook to ban pro-rape content.

Yet even as online feminism has proved itself a real force for change, many of the most avid digital feminists will tell you that it’s become toxic. Indeed, there’s a nascent genre of essays by people who feel emotionally savaged by their involvement in it—not because of sexist trolls, but because of the slashing righteousness of other feminists. On January 3, for example, Katherine Cross, a Puerto Rican trans woman working on a PhD at the CUNY Graduate Center, wrote about how often she hesitates to publish articles or blog posts out of fear of inadvertently stepping on an ideological land mine and bringing down the wrath of the online enforcers. “I fear being cast suddenly as one of the ‘bad guys’ for being insufficiently radical, too nuanced or too forgiving, or for simply writing something whose offensive dimensions would be unknown to me at the time of publication,” she wrote.


After all, it’s not just privileged white women who find themselves on the wrong side of an online trashing. The prospect can be particularly devastating for marginalized people who depend on the Internet for community. As an academic, Cross studies the terrifying harassment many women face from sexist trolls, but she says that putative allies can be nearly as intimidating.

Being targeted by other activists, she says, “leaves you feeling threatened in the sense that you’re getting turned out of your own home…. The one place that you are able to look to for safety, where you were valued, where there is a lot less of the structural prejudice that makes you feel so outcast in the rest of the world—that’s now been closed to you. That you now have this terrible reputation… I know a lot of friends that live in fear of that.”

If your professional life is tied up with activism, the threat is redoubled. “To suddenly be tarred by the very people that I’m supposed to be able to work with, my allies, as being a sellout or being infatuated with power or being an apologist for this, that and the other privilege—if that kind of reputation gets around, its extremely damaging,” says Cross.

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The propecies of Ama (the father of Jesus)

I am sorry, as I said, this never about money.

I just find it ironic that a group that offers a million dollars for proof of the paranormal, and now faced with something I feel is worth investigating, and they shoved the prophecies of ama (the father of Jesus) hidden under the AAH rug.

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Veria Living- What do you know?

A new channel has appeared on one of my PBS stations called Veria Living. In my area it is coming over a station that normally carries World TV. It appears to be all about living a healthy life style. The show I saw was on human emotions. It seemed legit, but I noticed a phone number running across the top about "free" help from advisors.

I have looked it up on the computer. Veria is apparently an Indian company promoting a "healthy life style" and as far as I can tell is a non-profit. Their show was interesting and informative, and I detected no real "woo". Still; "natural" foods, yoga and other Eastern ideas about health seem to be their main themes. Nothing wrong with that if supported by the facts. I liked the show. Would continue watching if they're giving a straight story.

Just a bit suspicious about any hidden pitch underneath. Any one know anything about it?

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Religion actively promotes corruption in societies according to study


A Cross-National Investigation into the Effects of Religiosity on the Pervasiveness of Corruption published in the Journal of East-West Business.


Relying on data drawn from more than 70 countries, this study examines the effects of religiosity, religious denominations, and communist heritage on the pervasiveness of corrupt business behavior. It is found that even after controlling for the effects of socioeconomic development, communist heritage and religiosity tend to promote corruption. From the principal–agent and modernization perspectives, the theoretical and managerial implications are discussed, and some avenues for future research are pointed out.


Considering the variety of corruption measures, the reliability of data, and the large number of included countries, we have to conclude that religiosity not only does not impede corruption but tends to promote it.


We offered some possible explanations and particularly stressed that while religion provides abundant guidelines on morality, it supports a hierarchical socio-cultural order that endorses increasing discretionary power of elites, unaccountability, and ultimately corrupt business behavior. Moreover, we argued that the function of religion with regard to corruption is to provide sedation rather than a solution. We referred to the modernization theory (Bell 1973; Inglehart, 1997; Weber 1930) and argued that rationality and secularity rather than religiosity can be identified as the main causes of ethical decision making. In fact, the least religious countries of the world such as Finland, New Zealand, and Denmark are ranked among the least corrupt ones by TI (2010). Unlike religiosity, rationality promotes egalitarianism, accountability, effective institutions, and the rule of law, all of which hamper corruption. Religiosity offers too much guidance on morality but inherently may lead to corruption. By contrast, rationality, without too much emphasis on morality, wordlessly and effectively hinders corruption and supports ethical behavior.

In other words, people like Dawkins and Harris and Hitchens are doing humanity a positive favor by promoting atheism. Religion is both false and harmful.

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A Super Bowl primer...

A British animator explains American football to the non-natives:

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Well, that sure blew Obama's speech off the front page, didn't it?

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"Socialist Dictator"

Just before President Obama was due to deliver the State of the Union address, freshman Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) acheived the 'honor' of becoming the first GOP congressman to call the president a "socialistic dictator".

He tweeted the following;

On floor of house waitin on "Kommandant-In-Chef"... the Socialistic dictator who's been feeding US a line or is it "A-Lying?"

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[Split From] Homosexuality, Adoption and Gay Marriage (Split from LDS II)


Originally Posted by RoboTimbo (Post 9800334)

This seems to be a nonsensical non-answer. Can you explain what you mean by it?

Let me ask you this: If you're African American, why would you need to drink from the same water fountain as whites? What difference does it make?

Did I ask you?

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Criticize My Diet Plan

One of my goals for this year is to lose weight. I finally got around to writing up a clear and concise diet plan, and would appreciate any input that might help improve it.

If someone can think of a better name for it than the one I came up with, maybe it could become the next popular fad-diet! :)

Looking up other threads about diets on this forum, I see some mention of a 5:2 diet which I hadn't heard about before today. I suppose my diet is similar to that because it involves intermittent fasting, but unlike the 5:2 diet the fasting isn't done on fixed intervals and can (theoretically) be avoided altogether if you can get your weight down without fasting.


The Astable Diet

In Seven Easy Steps

Step 1, Choose your desired weight

Make it reasonable, pick the highest weight at which you think you can be both happy and healthy. An unreasonable weight-loss goal can be counter-productive. Remember, you can always set it lower at a later date.

Step 2, Plan for occasional “fasting”

If you want, you can plan a true fast, where you consume little more than water. But a more healthy approach would be a semi-fast, where you consume low-calorie snacks in place of meals, such as a piece of fruit or a small tub of low-fat yoghurt.

The exact details aren't important, as long as you're consuming far fewer calories throughout the day than you normally would. Pick a type of fast that you're comfortable following. Remember, you can always change the details of the fast later.

Step 3, Prepare a digital scale for daily use

A digital scale ensures that there's no ambiguity interpreting the results. Pick a convenient place where you can leave the scale without it getting in the way, so you won’t have to make an effort to get it out and put it away every day.

Step 4, Weigh yourself each morning

Weigh yourself when you first get up each morning, before you eat or drink anything.

Step 5, Set a weekly target

Take the first morning’s scale reading and round it up to the nearest pound or half-kilogram. This is your first week’s target. Keep the most recent weekly target written down somewhere it can be seen when you weigh yourself. (Writing it on a Post-It note works well.)

Step 6, "Fast" on any day you exceed your weekly target

This step ensures you lose weight. Hopefully it’ll also encourage you to develop the habit of watching what you eat, in order to avoid having to fast all the time. Adding an exercise routine to the diet will help keep your weight down.

Step 7, Reduce your target weight each week

Until you reach your desired weight, reduce your target by one pound or half a kilogram each week. If you’re struggling with the diet, hold off from reducing the target weight until you feel you’re ready to lose more.

The diet does not end when you achieve your desired weight! The only thing that changes when you achieve your desired weight is that you no longer lower your target weight.

Personally I intend to reduce my target weight by 1kg (2.2lb) each week to begin with, because I've managed to lose weight at that rate in the past (but I didn't stick with my old weight-loss plans so ended up putting it all back on when I fell back into old habits).

But I wrote down half a kilo each week in the plan because I'll probably switch to that later when I begin to approach a more healthy weight (and it's probably a more realistic goal for most people).

The idea for this plan comes from something I once came up to keep the weight off when I got down to my desired weight. (But I never did get down to my desired weight, and so never put the plan into action.)

(Part of what spurred me to write this up now is that I got myself a new scale last week. I got tired of the old one displaying ERR because I weighed slightly too much for it to measure. But now I'm slightly under the weight that causes it to produce that error... but nevermind. I like the new one better. I don't have to slap it hard with my foot to activate it, and the backlit display is a lot easier to read.)

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mardi 28 janvier 2014

Congressman threatens reporter after State of the Union speech?

This may be the biggest news to come out of the State of the Union address this night:

New York Rep. Michael Grimm threatens reporter after being asked about fundraising allegations


WASHINGTON — Embattled New York Republican Rep. Michael Grimm threatened to "break" a NY1 reporter and throw him off a balcony after President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

The confrontation occurred on Capitol Hill when reporter Michael Scotto followed up questions about the President's speech by pressing the congressman on a federal investigation into his fund-raising.

“Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances ... but as you saw he refused to talk about that,” Scotto said as Grimm began to walk away.

Hearing Scotto’s comment, Grimm turned and walked toward the NY1 reporter.

"Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I'll throw you off this ******* balcony,” Grimm said, according to the cable news channel.

He also allegedly threatened to "break [the reporter] in half".

Could this be true? If it is, sounds like a career-ender to me.

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Susan Blum (medical topic)

(link restriction due to # of posts, so they are obfuscated)

I was looking around and ended up being linked to an article from last year. It looked like an article with some potentially correct things. (ref: www dot businessinsider dot com/signs-of-vitamin-deficiency-2013-6 )

But then I found her book from a few months before that. (ref: www dot amazon dot com/The-Immune-System-Recovery-Plan-ebook/dp/B008J48LT6

An excerpt from the description:


Are you constantly exhausted?

• Do you frequently feel sick?

• Are you hot when others are cold, or cold when everyone else is warm?

• Do you have trouble thinking clearly, aka “brain fog”?

• Do you often feel irritable?

• Are you experiencing hair loss, dry skin, or unexplained weight fluctuation?

• Do your joints ache or swell but you don’t know why?

• Do you have an overall sense of not feeling your best, but it has been going on so long it’s actually normal to you?

So we have some questions that would fit a large number of people.



• Using food as medicine

• Understanding the stress connection

• Healing your gut and digestive system

• Optimizing liver function

Now the circle is complete.

Some reviews start with "3 days - already start working" and "GREAT RESULTS - A MUST HAVE for recovery" .

Has anyone else heard of this?

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Gabby Giffords at gun control hearing in Olympia today.

I attended a House Judiciary Committee hearing this afternoon in Olympia for I-594 (universal bkgd checks in WA), I-591 (gun rights) and HB1561 (change restrictions on short barreled rifles). About ten years ago there was a spat of anti-gun bills scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary, it was the first hearing I ever attended and there were so many in attendance that I had to watch the hearing on a monitor from another room. I signed up to speak but was too far down the list to actually do so. This hearing had over 200 people show and filled two overflow rooms so people could watch.

Open carry is not prohibited in WA, including some parts of the Capitol Campus. There were several people one carrying; I noticed two men with long guns on their chest, one a bolt rifle and the other an AR-15. Both looked like poorly dressed dorks. One old man chastised the bolt gun holder for carrying with a closed bolt; the owner opened it. When the man with the bolt gun was allowed into the hearing room, one of the security guards seemed to be cautioning him. I was on the other side of the glass from them but I could only imagine that the man was being told to behave himself. I think a few security guards followed him into the hearing room.

Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelley were the first to speak for I-594. Mark Kelly spoke in length about gun violence in general as well as his wife's shooting injury. He went on to talk about how much support bkgd checks had. Nothing about the registration scheme or potential ban on private sales. He spoke about how I-594 would protect 2nd amendment rights but did not explain how blocking some private sales to non-felons would do so. In other words I thought he was blowing a lot of smoke, for over eight minutes. You can watch the hearing at this link.

Gabby Giffords made a brief statement after her husband was finished. Her voice was a bit hesitant and her speech of little substance, an appeal to emotion like most of the I-594 supporters.

Brian Judy representing the NRA also spoke about how the shootings previously mentioned involved shooters who obtained their firearms after passing a bkgd check. Judy did mention the registration scheme inherent in I-594 and went on to question WAGR’s claim that 80% of criminals obtain firearms in private transfers.

While I was waiting in the hallway for my turn to speak during the I-594 hearing, Giffords and her group left the room. She was walking without assistance but favoring her right leg, much like I have difficultly with my ankle at times. I had to admire her recovery from the gunshot injury she received three years ago. It’s hard to imagine surviving such a traumatic injury much less recovering enough to walk and speak at a hearing. I hope she has capacity for more recovery. I caught Mark Kelly’s eye and gave him a nod and smile while others in the hallway cheered for them.

I finally got a chance to speak when HB 1561 was heard. Out of the hundreds of people that showed up for the initiatives, only about a dozen seemed to be there for the short barreled rifle bill. Rather sad in my opinion after two years of encouraging people to support the bill. Turns out I’m just as insignificant as HB 1561. :)


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I apologize for being lazy trying to find the answer.

I installed tapatalk in my IPhone. I couldn't figure why QOUTEs is not presented properly in tapatalk. The quotes are presented properly in a browser.

I just specify = QUOTE="screenname". Seems to work fine if I don't specify the screen name.

I do not want to experiment by creating posts only for this purpose.

What am i doing wrong. Thanks in advance.

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State of the Union: 2014

Watching now.

Good God, they need to fire Obama's graphic designer. (Might be the online stream only, but still.)

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State of the Union Response: Will Anyone Survive?

It started with Bobby Jindal. He was the hot, young, ethnic Republican whose career was streaking for the stars. He was going to be the kryptonite to counter superman, Obama. Here was the Republican stepping out to steal Obama's thunder...right up until Jindal opened his mouth and removed any chance he might have ever had of running for president. He was flattened.

He wasn't alone. No a single Republican has given a reply unscathed. Marco Rubio: gone. Mitch Daniels: gone. Bob McDonnell gave something more like a campaign speech than a response. Paul Ryan didn't do so well either. If Paul Ryan had done well then he would be the clear front runner for 2016; instead he has about as much chance of winning as Rand Paul.

So, Republicans have figured out that the Republican response is mostly The Charge of Light Brigade and that someone's blood is going to be soaking into the ground afterwards. So, the plan now is gang up on Obama, hitting him with four different responses and hope that someone gets close enough to draw some blood. How likely is this to work?

Well, the first reply we can dismiss is Rand Paul. Although he is first class whiner, he isn't much of a speaker. I'm still trying to figure out how could stand up with straight face and talk about succeeding based on your own ability rather than who your parents were. So, the son of a senator is claiming that he made it by his own ability while criticizing a man (Obama) who actually did? That's pretty tone deaf even for a Republican.

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen(R-Fla.), the most senior Hispanic Republican, will give the Spanish language response which means that most Americans won't see it. However, the Spanish speaking Americans who do see it will be all too aware that Republicans are not serious about immigration reform and that the only progress has come from Obama. So, how far can that get?

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) is delivering a speech sponsored by the Astro-turf Tea Party Express. I would guess that few will see his speech and the content will be rather shrill and disconnected.

So, that only leaves the official Republican response. The Republican drill is: if you are really scared then find a woman whose skirts you can hide behind. Those skirts would be worn by Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), who as the No. 4 GOP leader is the highest-ranking female Republican in Congress. Could she pull it off? Well, not if she tries to defend the GOP against the war on women charge. If she turns a blind eye to Republican opposition to Planned Parenthood, Equal Pay for Women, and the Violence Against Women Act, she'll come across as tone deaf as Rand Paul. It's going to be very difficult for her to maintain credibility while being critical. The smart play would be to not be critical but with no Republican offers on the table, that will come across as hollow rhetoric. So, maybe she can do it but I have no idea how. I think the bottom line is that Rodgers doesn't have much to lose since she probably wasn't planning on running for the presidency anyway.

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Texas man claims to have killed bigfoot

He says he killed one with a 30.06 and used wal mart ribs as bait. He is going to be in Houston and San Antonio next month.

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Godwinned In Search of a National Emblem.

Valid point or is it just me thinking he should take a break for a nice hot cuppa STFU?

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Can stock market handle babyboomer-pocalypse

I was listening to NPR this morning and they had economic reporters from WSJ, NYT, and (IIRC) FT. Very reasonable folks. However, towards the end of the hour a few callers had complained about money printing, inflation, and such. They didn't really address what I started thinking about, so here it goes:

So while everyone agrees that investment income is going to remain low for most of us regular folk, with Fed's boosting going away, and baby boomers starting to hit it now at full force in both withdrawals AND expected returns, is the stock market really going to be able to handle that?

With all the talk about baby boomers bankrupting Social Security, I'm not quite sure that even the 401(k)/IRA/Pension system is able to handle the retirees while guaranteeing the returns. I imagine they expect to get 4-5% return for their investments, but with the narrative to also keep inflation low, which will further slow the economy, I see the returns having a very strong downward pressure.

I don't know if my thinking is coming across here, but the short version is:

1) Boomers are cashing out

2) Other boomers are cashing in and disappointed about their returns

3) To protect whatever income they do get, they want low inflation

4) Lower inflation leads to lower economic growth

5) Lower economic growth reduces returns

6) Stop market growth halts leading people to lose faith in it as investment

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YouTube videos looking pixelated on Chrome but fine in IE??

I received a video camera about a month ago which I'm using to film myself bringing friends and family in other countries up to speed with how and what I'm doing. I opened a YouTube channel to upload the videos so they can watch it. I mainly use Chrome to browse as I like how fast it is. Almost never use Internet Explorer, and have no idea of other browsers though years ago I used Netscape Navigator.

As it is I upload my first video, showing the garden and what still needs to get done, via Chrome. Once it's uploaded I watch it and am shocked at how pixelated it is. I had expected it to be the same quality as is the file I uploaded. I delete the uploaded video, and convert the avi file into a "YouTube compatible format" which gives me an flv file. I upload this again via Chrome. Same lousy pixelation.

I call my eldest and he tells me to try uploading it via IE, says that YouTube uploads work better through IE than Chrome for some reason. I again delete the upload, close Chrome, open IE and upload the flv file again. It works. The picture's just as clear as in my original video, but only when I view it in IE. When I open Chrome and watch it, it's still as pixelated as ever.

What is the cause of this problem, please?

via JREF Forum

'Right To Discriminate' Bills

I'm not familiar with either the term or the article source.

Two More States Introduce 'Right to Discriminate' Bills


In Kansas, House Bill 2453 would allow both people and private businesses to deny a long list of services to LGBT couples, just as long as the person or business is "operating consistently with its sincerely held religious beliefs." (Funny, I wasn't aware that businesses had religious beliefs...)

The list includes "accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges... counseling, adoption, foster care and other social services... [and] employment or employment benefits, related to, or related to the celebration of, any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement."



his bill is even crazier than its Kansas counterpart -- note that nowhere in the text above does it refer specifically to same-sex marriages. It's written so broadly that, if the bill passes with the above language intact, individuals and businesses would be free to discriminate against any marriage they find objectionable (again, as long as they justify that discrimination on religious grounds).

So an innkeeper could refuse to rent a room to an interracial couple, as long as they cloaked their bigotry in the mantle of religion. And a baker could theoretically refuse to bake a cake for an interfaith wedding if, for example, they didn't believe Protestants should marry Catholics.

Has anyone heard of this kind of bill? Some of the article's sources seem reputable but I haven't done my homework yet.

On the surface, these doesn't seem like it would pass constitutional muster in court, but if they phrased it in such a way that the language doesn't specifically mention same-sex marriages, maybe it could. I dunno.

via JREF Forum