SF Gate: Book finds some good news about aging brain.
“The world has to wake up to the fact that middle age is not dead. We’re wasting the best brains of our lives. We should appreciate them.” Right ON.
Fast Company: Why Change Is So Hard: Self-Control Is Exhaustible.
“This brings us back to the point I promised I’d make: That what looks like laziness is often exhaustion. Change wears people out—even well-intentioned people will simply run out of fuel.” Yep.
NY Daily News: Reveal the Chemicals in the Gulf.
“Don’t let oil spill workers suffer the fate of ailing 9/11 responders, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is urging the Environmental Protection Agency. Some 20,000 civilians and thousands of National Guard members have been pressed into service for the Gulf of Mexico cleanup, where chemical oil dispersants are being used in never-before-seen quantities. Officials insist the chemical, Corexit, is safe, but Gillibrand sees parallels between the Gulf cleaners and the thousands of Sept. 11 responders who rushed into the unprecedented toxic mess at Ground Zero, and suffered for it.” Damn straight there are parallels. Good for you, Senator. Really, there should be independent daily chemical tests on all affected shorelines, random testing among cleanup operators, all posted publicly RIGHT NOW ... shouldn’t there?
Newswise: Green Tea Extract Appears to Keep Cancer in Check in Majority of CLL Patients.
CNet: SpaceX cargo rocket set for high-profile maiden flight.
Science Daily: Coffee consumption unrelated to alertness: Stimulating effects may be illusion.
“The stimulatory effects of caffeine may be nothing more than an illusion, according to new research that shows there is no real benefit to be gained from the habitual morning cup of coffee.” So we’re all wingnuts.
BBC News: Gene test hope for personalised cancer therapy.
“Cancer Research UK hope that the project will analyse the tumours of up to 6,000 patients a year for a range of genetic defects. The results will guide doctors in choosing the most effective therapy for that patient. The charity predicts such tests could become routine within five years.”
New Scientist: Mystery seafaring ancestor found in the Philippines.
“Getting to Luzon would have required crossing the open sea, long before any evidence that people had mastered boat-building or navigation. And the settlers of Luzon were not the only early humans who crossed the open ocean to live on the archipelago that sprawls between Asia and Australia. The oldest fossils of Homo floresiensis, the famed “hobbits” of Flores, date from 38,000 years ago, but stone tools found on that Indonesian island date back a million years.”
MedPageToday: What Kids Eat Is Tied to Asthma Risk.
”Fast food is rich in industrially hydrogenated vegetable fats such as margarine and meat from ruminant animals which are dietary sources of trans-fatty acids [snip] There is some evidence that dietary intake of trans-fatty acids is associated with asthma and atopy.” Hmmm. I believe asthma and allergy have been more strongly tied to industrialization and environment, than just transfats.
Eurekalert: Autism finding could lead to simple urine test for the condition.
“The distinctive urinary metabolic fingerprint for autism identified in today’s study could form the basis of a non-invasive test that might help diagnose autism earlier. This would enable autistic children to receive assistance, such as advanced behavioural therapy, earlier in their development than is currently possible.” Assuming, of course, the kids haven’t just gotten over food poisoning. I’ve said before, if I was to do school all over again, I think I’d go into studying gut bacteria.
NASA: Hubble Images Suggest Rogue Asteroid Smacked Jupiter.
Ghost in the Machine: The King is Not Amused.
”‘The government really needs to have its own independent ability to go down there and image the site, survey the site and do its own investigation,’ he said. ‘Because if you’re not monitoring it independently, you’re asking the perpetrator to give you the video of the crime scene,’ Cameron added.” Hear, hear.
Later: A little more, courtesy of NY Times Dot Earth.
NY Times: Nuclear Option on Gulf Oil Spill? No Way, U.S. Says.
“What’s worse than an oil spill? A radioactive oil spill.” I’ve been surprised to hear some environmentalists promote this concept.
BBC News: Low-lying Pacific islands ‘growing not sinking.’
“But although these islands might not be submerged under the waves in the short-term, it does not mean they will be inhabitable in the long-term, and the scientists believe further rises in sea levels pose a significant danger to the livelihoods of people living in Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia.”
MedPageToday: Chocolate Boosts Vascular Function.
NPR: High Resolution From The High Frontier.
“Noguchi’s regular feed of colorful landscapes and seascapes, shadowy moon shots and awesome auroras ends late Tuesday. That’s when the 45-year-old engineer from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and two crewmates are scheduled to board a Russian spaceship and head home. But the hundreds of memorable shots Noguchi captured during his 23 weeks in orbit could easily continue circulating around the world for years to come.” We’ll miss your artistry, Soichi.
ars technica: Acupuncture works by inducing body’s own painkiller.
Discover Magazine: With “Top Kill” a Failure, BP Goes Back to the Containment Dome Plan.
Why not just pinch off the pipe? We don’t need to get all fancy-ass here.
NPR: New Ebola Drug 100 Percent Effective In Monkeys.
“... Feldmann worries that the money and commercial interest won’t be there to invest in studies to bring the new Ebola drug to market. ‘I personally feel that there is not the will to do this,” Feldmann said. “And one reason for that, of course, is money.’” The ‘benefits’ of capitalist society. Let’s hope noone’s been foolish enough to try to weaponize Ebola.
pas au-delà: Junk Shot Video (BP).
Discover Magazine: Are We Hardwired to Kill?
“People get freaked out when you talk about a biological basis for aggression. But until you take ALL the factors into account, we’re going to keep making the same mistakes over and over again.” Stressing the importance of tolerance; you can see where the current political tactic of making intolerance fashionable is endangering our fellow citizens.
PubMed: Does the weather make us sad?
I don’t care how scholarly this was, I call ‘bullshit’ on this. Do this study in Portland or Seattle, for instance - not Amsterdam - then I’ll believe it.
NY Times Movie Review: Agora - Love Amid the Togas and the Intolerant.
”The parallels between then and now are hardly subtle. The warning bell that ‘Agora’ sounds may be loud and at times a little grating, but what’s wrong with that? The skeptical and the secular also need stories of martyrdom and rousing acts of cinematic preaching.” On my watch list. If you are not a fan of Greek and Roman history, here’s the backstory on Hypatia (will be a spoiler). Barbaric religious tyranny overthrows rationalism: ”Sapientiam sapientum perdam.”
Later: Very next news link I look at ... ”When science clashes with beliefs? Make science impotent.”
Wired: The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains.
“And so we ask the Internet to keep interrupting us in ever more varied ways. We willingly accept the loss of concentration and focus, the fragmentation of our attention, and the thinning of our thoughts in return for the wealth of compelling, or at least diverting, information we receive. We rarely stop to think that it might actually make more sense just to tune it all out.”