Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Climate change now 'irreversible' - claim

One wonders what drives the guy to make these unfounded prophecies. The only evidence he offers is the old theory that rising CO2 levels will have catastrophic effects -- despite the fact that markedly rising CO2 levels have had NO effect for the last 18 years.  He does say that CO2 for some reason takes 40 years to have an effect but that is a strange claim -- well outside the usual Warmist models.  It is however a safe claim: He may well not live long enough to see his theory disconfirmed.

He also thinks chemtrails are “geoengineering” the planet and that 9/11 was a controlled demolition.  He also lives in a straw house in the middle of the woods surrounded by animals.  A paranoid schzophrenic would be my guess

The climate change message is just depressing, no matter what way you look at it.  Best case scenario, we all have to change our lives dramatically, just to keep us vaguely on the right track.  Worst case scenario - were all doomed.

Unsurprisingly, that's a hard message for scientists to get us all to listen to, which might be why Professor emeritus Guy McPherson is a teacher of natural resources, ecology and evolutionary biology, but is also a grief counsellor on the side.

Prof McPherson taught and conducted research at the University of Arizona for 20 years before leaving the university in 2009.

He will be speaking about climate change in guest lectures in New Zealand from October 22 to November 1.

You can catch Prof McPherson at an event co-organised by AUT's School of Social Sciences and Public Policy and the Pacific Media Centre in Auckland on October 22 at 5.30pm.

Tonight on the Paul Henry Show, he explains that due to the arrogance of humans, the damage done is too far along and now irreversible.

Now, the only way to help planet Earth is to "terminate industrial civilisation".


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Texas Teacher Accused of Sex with Male Student, 17

(Pasadena, Texas) A 24-year-old biology teacher and cheer coach, Ashley Zehnder, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 17-year-old male student.

Zehnder has been accused of improper relationship with a student.
The high school teacher who doubles as a cheerleading coach was busted for having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old on her cheerleading squad after students at the school were found circulating a nude selfie of her on their cell phones, prosecutors allege.

"She admitted to sending the nude photo to the student, knowing in fact that he was a student, and that they had sex," assistant district attorney Nick Socias told KHOU.
Zehnder was booked and released on $10,000 bond.

Wisconsin Educator Accused of Sex with Boy, 14

(Oshkosh, Wisconsin) A 26-year-old teacher's aide at an Oshkosh Middle School, Lindsey Quednow, has been accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy.

Quednow faces counts of repeated sexual assault, child enticement and child sexual exploitation.
Court documents show she brought a student back to her home after they both worked at a local restaurant.
Details on arrest not reported.

The great phthalate scare rumbles on

The study described below is an unpublished one so is difficult to evaluate fully.  There is enough detail below to question its conclusions, however.  It is established that phthalate exposure can be increased by eating certain foods, "junk" food in particular. But since the toxicity is in the dose nobody knows if the amounts concerned are cause for alarm

So the study below looks important.  We do appear there to have evidence of harm:  Higher levels of serum phthalates were found to go with decreased libido.

But as I have pointed out many times, correlation is not causation and the fact that it was not phthalates behind the loss of libido can very readily be inferred from the fact that working class people, particularly poor people, are much more likely to eat "junk" food than are middle class people.  And as has been shown just about whenever it is examined, working class people have poorer health.  And that loss of libido might be one aspect of poor health scarcely needs stating.

So phthalate levels were simply a proxy for social class and it was social class behind the lower levels of libido, not phthalates themselves.

All that is fairly obvious so poverty should have been the first thing controlled for in the study.  Was it?  I would be surprised.  I would be surprised if income was even asked of the patients.  We will have to wait for the study to be published before we know, however. Given the ubiquity of class effects, however, a class effect has to be the default interpretation of the results.  Evidence that phthalates are harmless is summarized here

Chemicals found in PVC flooring, plastic shower curtains, processed food and other trappings of modern life may be sapping women’s interest in sex.

A study has linked low libido with the additives used to soften plastics which are found in every home.

Women with the highest levels of phthalates in their bodies were more than twice as likely to say ‘not tonight dear’ as those with the lowest amounts.

Phthalates are man-made chemicals thought to interfere with the natural hormones that are crucial to overall health.

They are found in everything from PVC flooring and shower curtains to car dashboards – and may also be in our food. Tiny particles can enter our systems either through breathing or eating.

Previous studies have linked them to diabetes and asthma. They have also been blamed for feminising the brains of baby boys and last year the World Health Organisation warned they have ‘serious implications for health’.

The latest research, presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s annual conference in Honolulu, suggests they are doing psychological, as well as physical, damage.

In the first study of its kind, Dr Emily Barrett, of the University of Rochester School of Medicine in the US, measured levels of phthalates in the urine of 360 pregnant women in their 20s and 30s.

She also asked them how often they lost interest in sex in the months leading up to their pregnancy.

Those with the most phthalates in their bodies were two and a half times as likely to say they had frequently lacked interest in sex as those with the least.

Dr Barrett suspects that phthalates interfere with the production of sex hormones oestrogen and testosterone, both of which are involved in female libido.

She said that food is a significant source of phthalates, particularly processed and highly-packaged products. It is thought to get into into food from processing equipment and from packaging.

Dr Barrett, who tried to avoid fast food when pregnant over fears that the chemicals it contains would harm her unborn baby, said: ‘One of the recommendations... to potentially lower your exposure is to eat less processed food and to pick fresh things without packaging.’

A spokesman for the Chemical Industries Association, which represents manufacturers, said: ‘We are not aware of any globally accepted tests which can yet measure the effect chemical exposure may have on libido.’

He added that phthalates are among the most researched chemicals and the use of any that affect fertility is restricted.

Certain phthalates are banned from use in cosmetics, toiletries and toys in the EU and further restrictions are due next year.


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

Monday, October 20, 2014

Michelle Obama Approved School Lunch

(Chickasha, Oklahoma) A student in Chickasha Public Schools took a photo of her skimpy school lunch and showed it to her parents.
The new lunch complies with lunch regulations championed by First Lady Michelle Obama and implemented by the USDA.
Doesn't look very appetizing, I suggest.

Camel Kills American in Mexico

Richard Mileski

(Yucatan, Mexico) A 60-year-old American and owner of a wildlife sanctuary in Mexico, Richard Mileski, has been mauled to death by a camel weighing over 1,300 lb.
Investigators wonder whether the animal became enraged because it did not get its daily dose of Coca Cola.

Monday saw the camel as usual in his enclosure in the Tulum Monkey Sanctuary wildlife park, Yucatan, Southern Mexico, when it suddenly went for the owner, Richard Mileski, a 60-year-old US citizen.

"The camel kicked and bit him practically to death, and when he was almost dead, he sat on him," said Tulum civil defense official Alberto Canto. "Between the blows and the weight of the camel on top of him, he was asphyxiated."
Rest in peace.

Education and religion

The article below notes a correlation between more education and less religion.  The inference is that education squashes religion and that religious people are therefore ill-educated dummies.

But that misses an elephant in the room:  The overwhelming presence of Leftism in the current educational system.  And Christianity is abhorrent to most of the Left.  Leftism is itself a religion and they resent rival religions.  So the longer you spend in the educational system, the more you will be exposed to anti-religious messages -- and we must not be too surprised to find that those messages have some impact.  It is therefore entirely reasonable to explain the correlation between religion and education as an effect of educational bias, not as telling us something about religious people

Note also that there are two large and important nations with high levels of Christian belief where about 40% of the population are regular churchgoers: Russia and the USA. Lying geographically in between them, however, is another large group of important nations where religious observance is very low: England and Western Europe. Yet from the USA to Russia and in between IQ levels are virtually the same: About 100. That sounds like a zero correlation between belief and IQ to me. Education is not IQ but average IQ rises as you go further up the educational tree

And there is a comprehensive study which shows little relationship between religion and IQ.  It shows that just over 5% of the variance in religious attachment is explainable by intelligence. In other words, IQ DOES influence religious attachment but only to a trivial degree. And that triviality is probably a product of the fact that high IQ people tend to undertake more education.  So there are almost the same number of high IQ religious people as there are high IQ non-religious people. IQ is unimportant to an understanding of religion. So religious people are not dummies.  Personality and cultural factors are presumably the main drivers of religious adherence

JUST one extra year of schooling makes someone 10% less likely to attend a church, mosque or temple, pray alone or describe himself as religious, concludes a paper* published on October 6th that looks at the relationship between religiosity and the length of time spent in school. Its uses changes in the compulsory school-leaving age in 11 European countries between 1960 and 1985 to tease out the impact of time spent in school on belief and practice among respondents to the European Social Survey, a long-running research project.

By comparing people of similar backgrounds who were among the first to stay on longer, the authors could be reasonably certain that the extra schooling actually caused religiosity to fall, rather than merely being correlated with the decline. During those extra years mathematics and science classes typically become more rigorous, points out Naci Mocan, one of the authors-and increased exposure to analytical thinking may weaken the tendency to believe.

Another paper, published earlier this year, showed that after Turkey increased compulsory schooling from five years to eight in 1997, women's propensity to identify themselves as religious, cover their heads or vote for an Islamic party fell by 30-50%. (No effect was found, however, among Turkish men.) And a study published in 2011 that looked at the rise in the school-leaving age in Canadian provinces in the 1950s and 1960s found that each extra year of schooling led to a decline of four percentage points in the likelihood of identifying with a religious tradition. Longer schooling, it reckoned, explains most of the increase in non-affiliation to any religion in Canada between 1971 and 2001, from 4% of the population to 16%.

The most recent paper also showed that each extra year in the classroom led to a drop of 11 percentage points in superstitious practices, though these remain common. Two-fifths of respondents said they consulted horoscopes, and a quarter thought that lucky charms could protect them. Other research has shown that religious beliefs and practices seem to make people happier, and in some circumstances healthier and wealthier, too. But to argue that such benefits more than offset the gains from extra education would require a leap of faith.


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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ebola Information from CDC

Eleven days after Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan died, and 9 days after one of his infected caregivers flew to Cleveland, the CDC has published guidance for healthcare facilities gearing up for other potential U.S. Ebola victims.

The document titled "When Caring for Suspect or Confirmed Patients with Ebola" appears on the CDC website under "What's New." The article provides steps which SHOULD be taken and which SHOULD NOT be taken when a PUI "patient under investigation" for Ebola presents to the facility. A checklist which incorporates and expands the guidance can be found here.

The CDC website provides much other information for healthcare workers dealing with Ebola patients including guidance for cleaning areas potentially contaminated with the virus.

Here are a few notations from the website which readers may find interesting:

Regarding what disinfectants are appropriate for use in the room of an Ebola or suspected Ebola patient...
Check the disinfectant's label for specific instructions for inactivation of any of the non-enveloped viruses (e.g., norovirus, rotavirus, adenovirus, poliovirus). [Enveloped vs. non-enveloped refers to whether or not there is a membrane coating the virus. Non-enveloped viruses are resistant to heat, acids, and drying.]
Regarding how long Ebola can live on non-porous surfaces...
Limited laboratory studies under favorable conditions indicate that Ebolavirus can remain viable on solid surfaces, with concentrations falling slowly over several days.
Ebola patients should be put into an isolation room with a private bathroom. Regarding whether it's safe for patients to use the bathroom...
Yes. Sanitary sewers may be used for the safe disposal of patient waste. Additionally, sewage handling processes (e.g., anaerobic digestion, composting, and disinfection) in the United States are designed to inactivate infectious agents.
Those working in the healthcare field... thank you and take care.

Posted by Note Taker

Vermont Educator Accused of Sex with Male Student

(Bennington, Vermont) A 25-year-old teacher formerly at the Bennington School Inc., Alexandra Fusco, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 16-year-old male student.

Fusco pleaded not guilty this week in Vermont Superior Court to repeated aggravated sexual assault of a child, sexual assault of a child under 16 she had care of, and lewd and lascivious conduct.
The 16-year-old told police that Fusco had expressed interest in him and said she wished he was 18. He said that one night he was upset and Fusco said she wanted to have sex with him, which they then did in the woods nearby. He said that prior to this there was a time when Fusco showed him her breasts, and another time she made a sexual comment to him.

The boy told police that after he ran away from the school he was placed at 204 Depot Street, a residential facility in Bennington used to place juveniles. Fusco was working there, and she told him she had been fired for contacting him via Facebook while he was on runaway status. Fusco told him that if he ran away from 204 Depot Street, he could stay at her house near Mount Anthony Union High School.
Fusco was booked into custody without bail.

More Liberal Lies Exposed: CDC Increased Payroll by 38% Since 2007, Increased # of Employees by Nearly 2,000

If you’ve been following politics for any time at all you know that the Democrats’ solution to every problem is to blame Republicans and call for more money from American workers. Take for instance the mishandling of the Ebola outbreak in Texas. Two US nurses have contracted the disease and hundreds of other Americans are being monitored.

In the wake of this latest disaster Democrats decided to blame the Sequester for cutting funds to the CDC. This was despite the fact that the Republican Congress gave more money to the CDC than Obama requested.

Now there is even more proof that Democrats are blatantly lying about funding to the CDC. Open the Books discovered that the CDC increased its payroll by 37% since 2007. The CDC also added nearly two thousand new employees since 2007.


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

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pair Accused of Stealing Luggage at Seattle Airport

Silvia Brooks

(Seattle, Washington) A 42-year-old woman, Silvia Brooks, and an accomplice, Kervan Reed, 38, have been accused of stealing luggage worth $45,000 from the Sea-Tac International Airport baggage carousels.
The two would allegedly grab travelers' bags at baggage claim, walk to a waiting car and leave, investigators said.
Interesting, eh? I personally assess my luggage is worth more than $45K.
Are eco-friendly bulbs BAD for the environment? LEDs attract 50% more insects and could damage ecosystems

Blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have been receiving positive attention after its inventors were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics last week.

They use around 90 per cent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last for 100,000 hours compared with 1,000 hours for tungsten filament light bulbs.

But while they may be good for the environment, a new study claims that the discovery may a problem for insects, which are more strongly attracted to the LED spectrum of light.

The research, by New Zealand-based institute Scion, found traps placed near LEDs captured 48 per cent more insects than traps near sodium-vapour lights.

Sodium vapour bulbs, which emit yellow light, are commonly used in street lighting as they are more efficient than pre-LED lights.

Insects are attracted to both white and yellow light, but it seems they are even more attracted to blue light which is generated by LED bulbs.

Overall, the researchers caught and labelled more than 20,000 insects, with moths and flies were the most group of bugs.

They claim the attraction can be fatal, causing flies to be thrown off their usual path and into the jaws of predators, disrupting the food chain.


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

Friday, October 17, 2014

Louisiana Teacher Accused of Indecency with Juveniles

Tracy Marie Barras

(Acadia Parish, Louisiana) A 34-year-old math teacher at Crowley High School, Tracy Marie Barras, has been accused of multiple wagge-wagga with several 16-year-old male students.

Barras faces three counts of indecent behavior with juveniles.
According Acadia Parish Sheriff Wayne Melancon, investigators with his office were contacted by officials with the Acadia Parish School Board, who reported possible inappropriate behavior between a teacher and several 16-year-old male students.

Following an investigation into the incidents, investigators were able to obtain warrants of arrest for Tracy Marie Barras, 34, of Duson.
Barras was booked into custody.

Iowa Woman Sees 100-Year Sentence in Child Death

Rochelle Sapp

(Orange City, Iowa) A 34-year-old local day care provider, Rochelle Sapp, has been convicted of causing head injuries that killed a 3-year-old girl at her in-home day care.

Sapp was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment resulting in the death of 3-year-old Autumn Elgersma.
Sapp told the court that she dropped the toddler to the ground.

She also entered an Alford plea to child endangerment with multiple acts, meaning she did not admit guilt to that charge but conceded there was enough evidence to convict her of injuring the girl three other times over the prior eight months.
Sapp was slapped with an indeterminate sentence of up to 100 years in prison per the plea agreement. There is no mandatory minimum.

The Iowa Board of Parole will decide when to release Sapp.

Arkansas Educator Accused of Inappropriate Contact with Female Student

(Cabot, Arkansas) A 23-year-old paraprofessional educator at Cabot Junior High South School, Morgan Young, has been accused of engaging in inappropriate contact with a female student.

Young faces a charge of felony sexual assault.
The juvenile female victim was interviewed at the Cabot Police Department about the alleged incident.

Immediately after the interview, detectives contacted Young at the school and she was interviewed at the Detective's Office. She was placed under arrest and booked into the Cabot Police Department Jail.
Young awaits a court appearance.

Nebraska Woman Popped for Drugs with Child in Car

Brandi R. Jorgensen

(Omaha, Nebraska) A 19-year-old female, Brandi R. Jorgensen, has been arrested for illegal drug use while her child was in the car.

Jorgensen faces several counts including child abuse/neglect, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Police said they found Jorgensen, another woman and Jorgensen's 1-year-old son inside the vehicle.

The child was not injured and was released to care of a family member.
Jorgensen was booked into custody at the Sarpy County Jail.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Poop Bank

Shirt honors treatment of 1000 patients

(Boston, Massachusetts)
Are you under 50 years old, willing to make daily trips to Medford, and have regular bowel movements? You, my friend, could be earning $40 a day—just for pooping.

All you have to do is visit OpenBiome, launched in 2012 as the only independent nonprofit stool bank in the country. The brainchild of MIT postdoctoral associate Mark Smith, OpenBiome collects, tests, and provides fecal samples to 122 hospitals in 33 states for one of the most interesting medical treatment innovations today: fecal microbiota transplantation.

“Think of us as a blood bank, but for poop,” said Smith, who developed OpenBiome when he saw the gap in the medical structure to provide many patients with the life-saving fecal samples.
Appears to be a really, really crappy business. In any event, I wonder if we'll see a future for-profit stool bank. Also, I personally believe my effluent is worth at least $100.

ISIS Threatens to Invade Rome

On Wednesday, the so-called Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant threatened to launch a war against the Catholic Church and an invasion of Rome, after publishing a picture of its black flag fluttering above the Vatican.

ISIS issued in its electronic magazine a threat to the heart of Christianity (Rome) after publishing a picture of a black flag waving above the Vatican, threatening to “wage war against the Catholic Church.”

Projected sea level shrinks

Al Gore warned of a 20ft  rise in sea level so the latest bit of Warmism is interesting.  The MAXIMUM estimated sea level rise is now down to 6ft.  It's all based on Warmist assumptions and modelling but it's some progress, I suppose.  I reproduce the journal abstract below.  Note the words I have highlighted.  Unusual humility!

Upper limit for sea level projections by 2100

By S Jevrejeva et al.


We construct the probability density function of global sea level at 2100, estimating that sea level rises larger than 180 cm are less than 5% probable. An upper limit for global sea level rise of 190 cm is assembled by summing the highest estimates of individual sea level rise components simulated by process based models with the RCP8.5 scenario. The agreement between the methods may suggest more confidence than is warranted since large uncertainties remain due to the lack of scenario-dependent projections from ice sheet dynamical models, particularly for mass loss from marine-based fast flowing outlet glaciers in Antarctica. This leads to an intrinsically hard to quantify fat tail in the probability distribution for global mean sea level rise. Thus our low probability upper limit of sea level projections cannot be considered definitive. Nevertheless, our upper limit of 180 cm for sea level rise by 2100 is based on both expert opinion and process studies and hence indicates that other lines of evidence are needed to justify a larger sea level rise this century.


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


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