Thursday, September 18, 2014

Indiana Teacher's Aide Accused of Sex with Teen

(Randolph County, Indiana) A 36-year-old teacher's aide with the Randolph Central School Corporation, Rebecca Nicole Bosworth, has been accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a former student.

Bosworth faces a Class D felony charge.
Investigators say Bosworth admitted to having sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old male former student.

Bosworth told police the two had multiple encounters at her home, including once while she was employed by school corporation.
Bosworth was booked into custody and subsequently released on $5,000 bond.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Argentina Flatulence Project

Cow Flatulence Collecting

(Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Argentina’s National Institute for Agricultural Technology (INTA) has invented a way to convert cow flatulence into usable energy, and it involves putting a plastic backpack on a cow.
Reportedly, 300 liters of methane are extracted per day per cow.

Angry Passengers

Former Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik

(Islamabad, Pakistan)
Flight delays are nothing unusual at Pakistan’s ailing state carrier, Pakistan International Airlines, long hobbled by political interference, a bloated staff and epic financial losses.

But the delayed departure of one flight on Monday caused several enraged passengers to mount a virtual mutiny and eject one politician and block another from the plane before it could even take off.

The incident occurred at the Karachi airport when Rehman Malik, a former interior minister best known for his colorful ties and erratic pronouncements, turned up two hours late for a flight to Islamabad.[…]

Jeering passengers stood at the entrance to the airplane, blocking Malik’s way, witnesses said. The parliamentarian turned back and did not board the flight, and videos of the protesting passengers went viral on social media Monday evening.
I understand.

Captain America Auction

Captain America chopper

(New York City)
The customized Captain America chopper Peter Fonda rode in "Easy Rider" has come to symbolize the counterculture of the 1960s. Now it's for sale.

The auction house Profiles in History told The Associated Press that it estimates the Harley-Davidson will bring $1 million to $1.2 million at its Oct. 18 sale being held online and at its galleries in Calabasas, California.

The seller is Michael Eisenberg, a California businessman who once co-owned a Los Angeles motorcycle-themed restaurant with Fonda and "Easy Rider" co-star Dennis Hopper. Eisenberg bought it last year from Dan Haggerty, perhaps best known for his roles in the "Grizzly Adams" TV show and movies, who was in charge of keeping the custom-designed bike humming during the 1969 movie's filming.

The gleaming stars-and-stripes panhead chopper with chromed hardtail frame is accompanied by three letters of authenticity.
A million dollars plus is out of my price range.
Confirmed: You can tell someone’s politics by their body odor

This is less weird than it seems.  There is now heaps of evidence that ideology is strongly heritable genetically so conservatives and liberals are physically different, probably in the old brain.  In my view Leftists are people who have been born miserable.  But if the two groups are physically different in one way, they may well differ physically in other ways

    A new study in the American Journal of Political Science from Brown’s Rose McDermott, Harvard’s Dustin Tingley, and Penn State’s Peter K. Hatemi has found preliminary evidence that people are more attracted to the body odors of others with similar political beliefs. In the study, participants rated the attractiveness of vials of body odors obtained from “strong liberals” and “strong conservatives” on a five-point scale. The participants had no prior knowledge of which vial belonged to which partisan armpit.

    Some participants had particularly strong reactions to the vials, as the paper explains:

    "In one particularly illustrative case, a participant asked the experimenter if she could take one of the vials home with her because she thought it was ‘the best perfume I ever smelled’; the vial was from a male who shared an ideology similar to the evaluator. She was preceded by another respondent with an ideology opposite to the person who provided the exact same sample; this participant reported that the vial had ‘gone rancid’ and suggested it needed to be replaced.

WaPo describes the nuts and bolts of the study. Get a bunch of people to fill out a political questionnaire, then have them wear pads under their arms for 24 hours. Get another bunch of people, have them fill out the political questionnaire, then give each of them a snoutful of those musky pads. Result: A “small but significant” correlation between how pleasant the smeller finds the smell and how ideologically similar the source of the smell is to the smeller, i.e. liberals smell better to liberals and conservatives smell better to conservatives. Which makes sense, as there’s a fairly strong evolutionary reason to pair up with someone who shares your political beliefs: A household where mom and dad agree on the big stuff like religion and politics is more likely to be a tranquil household, and a tranquil household is better for the offspring who are responsible for passing along mom’s and dad’s genes."

Makes me wonder, though, when and why we evolved the ability to sniff out politics. It’s useful as a first-blush mate-screening mechanism, I guess, but it’s surely not foolproof. Talking politics with a love interest must be a better way to weed out the conservative wheat from the liberal chaff (or vice versa, for our liberal readers) than giving them a good snort. The response to that, presumably, is that most of human evolution happened in the age before language, when biological cues were the only way to communicate. Okay, but … why was political compatibility necessary in a time before language? What were cavemen moms and dads grunt-arguing about at the dinner table? Either this smell cue is a late-developing feature in humans, arising after civilization had already begun to gel and forms of political organization became relevant, or it’s related not so much to politics as to the deep psychological underpinnings of liberalism and conservatism. E.g., maybe some people belonged to ancient tribes which, due to their environments, required greater regimentation and respect for authority among their members to succeed. Over many ages, a scent cue formed in men and women who are naturally predisposed to have greater respect for authority, so that they could find each other. As civilization grew up later, that impulse of respect for authority became a trait associated with conservatism. If that’s how it happened, then it’s not so much “liberalism” and “conservatism” that we’re smelling in each other than the primitive impulses that inform each.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pennsylvania Teacher Pleads Guilty to Sex Assault - Update

(Cumberland County, Pennsylvania) Former Cumberland Valley High School teacher Emily L. Nesbit pleaded guilty today to institutional sexual assault.
Silver Spring Township Police said they began their investigation after associate principal Rob Martin was informed by an 18-year-old female student that she was looking through a male student's cellphone, with his permission, and found a conversation between the male student and Nesbit she thought was sexual in nature.

When police interviewed the male student, he told officers he would meet with Nesbit in her classroom at the end of the school day, and said they had held hands, kissed and had sexual contact, police said. The two had been communicating regularly for about two months, police said.

Police indicate the student and Nesbit had exchanged provocative photos of each other, and messages from Nesbit on the student's phone indicated her desire to have sex with him, and inferred past sexual activity, police said.
In accordance with a plea deal, Nesbit was preliminarily sentenced to probation. Formal sentencing will occur on December 16 after a review by the Pennsylvania sexual offender assessment board.

* * * * *

Pennsylvania Teacher Accused of Sex Assault
[Previous 3/14/14 post]
(Cumberland County, Pennsylvania) A 31-year-old English teacher at Cumberland Valley High School, Emily Nesbit, has been accused of engaging in sexual act with an 18-year-old male student in her classroom.

Nesbit has been charged with institutional sexual assault.
At a press conference this morning, Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed said Nesbit and an 18-year-old male student engaged in sex acts on school grounds, not outside of school.

The student involved broke no laws, just maybe school regulations, Freed said.
Nesbit remains free as of this report.

Pennsylvania Teacher Accused of Sex with Student

Bridgett Szychulski

(Doylestown, Pennsylvania) A 31-year-old band teacher formerly at Lenape Middle School, Bridgett Szychulski, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 14-year-old student in 2012.

Szychulski faces counts of deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault.
School officials tell Action News that the district received an anonymous tip last week and suspended Szychulski the following day.

The encounters happened in her office, a storage room at the school and in Szychulski's car, investigators say.
Szychulski was booked and released on $500,000 bail.

Video game journalists heavily politicized

Gaming journalism, populated by well-meaning liberals, has forgotten what it is for and become consumed with social justice activism, at the expense of writing intelligently about games.

To give just one example of the hatred between gamers and the journalists who are supposed to serve them, Chris Grant, editor-in-chief of gaming news site Polygon, is blocking his own readers on Twitter by the thousand, together with journalists and academics whose opinions he doesn't like. It's unprecedented in an industry that ought to stick up for readers instead of sucking up to lobbyists and the powers that be.

It's also a remarkable display of political intolerance, not to mention a serious strategic error. Grant, and others like him, have given up any pretence of wanting to engage in dialogue with alternative opinions and instead hunkered down with a small but noisy minority readership of single-issue campaigners, feminist blowhards and perpetually angry "social justice warriors" to the exclusion of the backbone of his readership.


The Leftists are, however, rapidly losing their audience

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Texas Teacher Faces Drug Charges

Haivan Bui

(Montgomery County, Texas) A 29-year-old chemistry teacher at both Oak Ridge High School and Lone Star College, Haivan Bui, has been accused of possession with intent to deliver/manufacture a controlled substance.

Bui's husband, Chris Hartwell, 33, faces similar charges.
Authorities say they found two ounces of methamphetamine. They also discovered several ounces of gamma-hydroxybutyrate, a compound found in date-rape drugs. Marijuana, numerous prescription medications and a loaded shotgun were also found, according to investigators.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office special investigation unit and Conroe ISD police arrested Bui at Oak Ridge High School on Friday. Officials say Bui had recipes for date-rape drugs in a backpack she was carrying.
Bui was booked into custody with bond set at $50,000.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hard to Find Competent Help

(Houston, Texas)
Someone forgot to use spell check at a city construction site and the misspelled word is not making store owners happy at all.

The construction along Shepherd Drive is taking a toll on business owners. They say they have been asking for weeks to get special signs put up letting drivers know the stores were open, but when the signs did arrive there was just one problem.
I suspect that readers will easily see the problem.

California Teacher Accused of Sex with 2 Minors

Amy Corinne Bramlett

(San Bernardino County, California) A 46-year-old teacher at Indian Springs High School, Amy Corinne Bramlett, has been arrested for engaging in sex with two male minors, one a former student.

Bramlett faces two counts of oral copulation with a person under 18 years old and one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor more than three years younger.
On Thursday detectives assigned to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Highland station contacted the detectives in the Specialized Investigation Division/Crimes Against Children Detail about an investigation into an inappropriate relationship between a 17-year-old male and Bramlett.

Sheriff’s Department detectives believe Bramlett had unlawful sex with the minor, a former student of hers, between January and June of this year, at her home on 7200 block of Sunrise Court.

On Friday, detectives found a second alleged victim during the course of their investigation, a student of hers who would have been 16 at the time of the alleged crime.
Bramlett was booked into the Central Detention Center with bail set at $1 million.

Venezuela Breast Implant Shortage

Silicone gel breast implant

(Caracas, Venezuela)
Venezuela’s chronic shortages have begun to encroach on a cultural cornerstone: the boob job.

Beauty-obsessed Venezuelans face a scarcity of brand-name breast implants, and women are so desperate that they and their doctors are turning to devices that are the wrong size or made in China, with less rigorous quality standards.

Venezuelans once had easy access to implants approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. But doctors say they are now all but impossible to find because restrictive currency controls have deprived local businesses of the cash to import foreign goods. It may not be the gravest shortfall facing the socialist South American country, but surgeons say the issue cuts to the psyche of the image-conscious Venezuelan woman.

The anti-salt craze is dying

I have been banging on for some years about the idiocy concerning table salt that pervades public health warnings.  Governments are always leaning on food processors to reduce the salt in their products.  That less salty foods are not as safe from bacterial contamination seems to be ignored.

The genesis of the warnings is partly theoretical and only weakly empirical.  The factual part is that high salt intake is correlated with both increased blood pressure and more frequent cardiovascular disease.  But correlation is not causation so the proof is weak.

The first big crack in the dam was a 2011 report in JAMA of a high quality study of the matter.  Its conclusion: "In this population-based cohort, systolic blood pressure, but not diastolic pressure, changes over time aligned with change in sodium excretion, but this association did not translate into a higher risk of hypertension or CVD complications. Lower sodium excretion was associated with higher CVD mortality."

So it was LOW salt levels that killed you!

That study was greeted with a fair amount of outrage and accusations that it was just an unrepeatable "one off" result.

The dominoes are now falling, however.  Just this year another good study exonerating salt has come out.  Abstract below:

Relationship Between Nutrition and Blood Pressure: A Cross-Sectional Analysis from the NutriNet-Santé Study, a French Web-based Cohort Study

Helene Lelong et al


BACKGROUND Hypertension is the most prevalent chronic disease worldwide. Lifestyle behaviors for its prevention and control are recommended within worldwide guidelines. Nevertheless, their combined relationship with blood pressure (BP) level, particularly in the general population, would need more investigations. Our aim in this study was to evaluate the relative impact of lifestyle and nutritional factors on BP level.

METHODS Cross-sectional analyses were performed using data from 8,670 volunteers from the NutriNet-Santé Study, an ongoing French web-based cohort study. Dietary intakes were assessed using three 24-hour records. Information on lifestyle factors was collected using questionnaires and 3 BP measurements following a standardized protocol. Age-adjusted associations and then multivariate associations between systolic BP (SBP) and lifestyle behaviors were estimated using multiple linear regressions.

RESULTS SBP was higher in participants with elevated body mass indices (BMIs). Salt intake was positively associated with SBP in men but not in women. The negative relationship between consumption of fruits and vegetables and SBP was significant in both sexes. Alcohol intake was positively associated with SBP in both sexes; physical activity was not. The 5 parameters representing the well-accepted modifiable factors for hypertension reduction plus age and education level, accounted for 19.7% of the SBP variance in women and 12.8% in men. Considering their squared partial correlation coefficient, age and BMI were the most important parameters relating to SBP level. Salt intake was not associated with SBP in either sex after multiple adjustments.

CONCLUSIONS BMI was the main contributory modifiable factor of BP level after multiple adjustments.

Am J Hypertens (2014)

So it was being overweight that killed you, not salt.

So how come people have been getting it wrong?  A theoretical article recently tidies up the loose ends.  There is no abstract associated with it so I reprint the first part of it -- showing that  it was a case of the causal arrow pointing the wrong way:

An Unsavory Truth: Sugar, More than Salt, Predisposes to Hypertension and Chronic Disease

James J. DiNicolantonio et al.

He et al state that the association between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and blood pressure may be mediated, at least in part, by salt intake. We take the issue with several points made by the authors and make a case for quite different conclusions. The authors state that "salt is a major drive to thirst": "an increase in salt intake will increase the amount of fluid consumed, and if part of this fluid is in the form of soft drinks, sugar will be increased proportionately." In other words, salt consumption drives fluid intake, and sugar may just, coincidentally, come along for the ride. We would argue something more akin to the opposite. Sugar consumption leads to insulin spikes, low blood sugar, and hunger. Sugar is a major drive to hunger: an increase in sugar will increase the amount of food consumed, and if part of this food is in the form of processed foods, sodium will be increased proportionately. In other words, sugar consumption drives food intake, and sodium may just. coincidentally, come along for the ride. Processed foods are the principal source of dietary sodium. They also happen to be predominant sources of added sugars.

American Journal of Cardiology, Vol. 114, Issue 7, p1126–1128

For other findings that alerted me to the salt nonsense, see the sidebar of my  FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC blog

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Egyptians Raise $5.5B in 6 Days for Suez Canal

Digging has already begun to expand the Suez Canal, and Egyptians appear to be in favor of the project having raised, in only 6 days, $5.5B of the $8.4B needed. The expansion will add parallel corridors along sections of the canal which currently are too narrow for two-way traffic.
The new waterway is expected to help revive Egypt's ailing economy by increasing ship traffic revenues, luring huge foreign investments and creating thousands of job opportunities. The project was designed to be finished within three years, but [Egypt's newly-elected President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi] ordered the New Suez Canal be done in one year sharp and be open for ship navigation in early August 2015.
The deeper New Suez Canal will allow huge container-carrying ships to pass through the original Canal in both directions limitlessly... It would also help speed up the transiting of vessels and reduce their waiting time for passing from 11 hours to only three hours.

Posted by Note Taker

Egyptian Stamp Mistake

Suez Canal Stamp w/ Panama Canal Pic

(Cairo, Egypt)
Egyptians on social media have derided a stamp that was supposed to depict the nation’s famous Suez Canal but instead showed the Panama Canal – situated over 11,500 km away.

The new series of stamps had been commissioned to mark a new $8.4bn Suez Canal project which will run alongside the existing 145-year-old historic waterway.
Oops! An Egyptian official said the mistake would be corrected.

Obama Administration Stops Prosecuting Illegal Aliens!

The Department of Justice has announced that it will end “Operation Streamline,” a successful program that prosecutes illegal aliens!

Operation Streamline is a Department of Justice program aimed at prosecuting illegal aliens caught for the first time. The program is hugely successful. Or at least, it was until the Obama administration got involved in selectively enforcing our immigration laws…

In 2005, Operation Streamline led to the apprehension and prosecution of 140,000 illegal aliens in Yuma County, Arizona. That is just in ONE YEAR and in ONE COUNTY!

Last year, however, only 6,000 illegal aliens were apprehended and prosecuted in that county under the program. This is from a combination of the program working to dissuade illegal border crossings and the Obama administration’s refusal to prosecute captured illegals.

But even that is too many prosecutions for Obama’s DOJ, which has announced that it is ending the program all together! The Department of Justice is ending this program because it is too successful. Not only that, but the DOJ is going to stop local law enforcement from prosecuting these illegals as well.

“I have been informed that the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona will no longer be prosecuting first time undocumented aliens (UDAs),” explains one local Sheriff…


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Gravedigger Suspended

Posing with exhumed corpse

(Guardamar del Segura, Spain)
A cemetery worker in a town in southern Spain has been suspended after a photo of him posing with an exhumed corpse went viral on social media.

The mummified body of a man who died 23 years ago had been moved from his grave to allow the burial of his wife alongside him in the family tomb in Guardamar del Segura.

The niece of the deceased had arranged for the grave to be extended. Clemente, the gravedigger, opened the tomb to begin his usual job of breaking up the corpse to allow another body to fit into the same space.
Breaking up the corpse?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Washington State Woman Faces Rape Charge

(Seattle, Washington) A 26-year-old woman, Chantae Gilman, has been accused of sexually assaulting a 31-year-old man after pinning him down.

Gilman has been charged with rape for assaulting a victim incapable of consenting to sex by reason of being physically restrained.
At 2 AM, the man told cops, he awoke to find the 5’ 7”, 240-pound Gilman on top of him. The victim said that his erect penis was inside Gilman, who had the man's “hands pinned down over his head,” as first reported by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

While Gilman ignored demands to get off him, the man said, he was “able to work his way out from underneath" her. Gilman, he added, had “told him to be quiet.” The man subsequently succeeded in pushing Gilman from his home. Later that day, he went to the Harborview Medical Center for a sexual assault examination.
When questioned by police, Gilman said she doesn't remember having sex with the man.
Worth thinking about

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Friday, September 12, 2014

Saving 'Sensitive and Intelligent' Lobsters

(Cambridge, Massachusetts) Outside a local restaurant, 15 lobster rights protesters gathered for a silent vigil last Saturday to protest the boiling of live lobsters.
Edmund Maile, of Animal Rights Cambridge and the United Shellfish Front, said: "One protester was arrested early on for blowing a whistle. She was released from custody around 4am the next morning with no charge.

"Lobsters are sensitive and intelligent creatures who are persecuted in ways which would be deemed unacceptable in other species, and this campaign, through appealing to the conscience of restauranteurs and members of the public, is designed to challenge this injustice."
I can't tell the difference between sensitive and intelligent lobsters vs. insensitive and dumb lobsters.

Texas Teacher Accused of Relations with Boy

Amy Joanne Mainville

(Copperas Cove, Texas) A 29-year-old teacher's aide at Copperas Cove High School, Amy Joanne Mainville, has been accused of engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a student.

Mainville has been charged with improper relationship between educator and a 15-year-old male student.
According the affidavit, the student's mother found out about the relationship from inappropriate messages on Facebook. When the teacher's aide was being asked about the allegations, she first stated that it was just conversations via Facebook.

After only several minutes later, she stated, "I'm tired of this," and admitted to having a sexual relationship with the student. The teacher's aide said the student would come to her house at night after her kids were asleep and they would have sex.
Mainville was booked into custody and released on $25,000 bond.

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