Friday, October 26, 2018

Each raid released the energy of at least 300 lightning strikes, Scott said, and historical accounts from the ground attest to the far-reaching power of bombs like the 22,000-lb. (10,000 kilogram) British "Grand Slam."
When the researchers looked at the ionosphere-response records around the time of 152 large Allied air raids in Europe, they found that the electron concentration significantly decreased due to the shock waves from the bombs. The findings were published today (Sept. 25) in the journal Annales Geophysicae.
"I was able to see an effect in the U.K. ionospheric records from bombing over 1,000 km [620 miles] away," Scott said. "I was surprised by that."
Ingo Mueller-Wodarg, a planetary scientist at Imperial College London who was not involved in the study, said the research is "a neat demonstration of how the ionosphere is affected by activity on the ground, despite being many tens to hundreds of kilometers above the ground."
Oct. 23, 2018
Americans over 50 are worse than younger people at telling facts from opinions, according to a new study by Pew Research Center.
An earlier study by the American Press Institute also found that older Americans were more confident than younger ones in their ability to discern fact from opinion.
But the real correlation with poor performance is exposure to television news, which has fallen off among young people but remains very high among older people.
In 1987, the Reagan administration repealed the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine. That paved the way for the rise of right-wing talk radio, brilliantly chronicled by David Foster Wallace for this magazine. Describing a talk-radio host, John Ziegler, Wallace noted that it was not his job “to be responsible, or nuanced, or to think about whether his on-air comments are productive or dangerous, or cogent, or even defensible.” He has only to be “stimulating.”

[This is the kind of thing for which I originally started my blog, to point out possibilities for studies such as this that people didn't think about. My thought about this is that in more equal societies, men might feel a greater need to differentiate themselves from women.]
Oct. 19, 2018
In their study involving 76 countries and 80,000 people, they found greater national wealth and gender equality are tied to bigger differences in preferences between men and women rather than to stronger similarities [see “Rich and Equal Mean Men and Women Make Different Career Choices”].

Trump is a genius. People in Guatemala and Honduras are fleeing to our country because of bad conditions. So Trump wants to help make conditions there even worse, causing more to flee, which he will use to rouse his base to vote.
Oct. 25, 2018
Three more devices were found in Delaware and New York, the F.B.I. said Thursday morning. Two were addressed to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a Delaware resident, and a third to the actor Robert De Niro, who lives and works in Lower Manhattan.
Oct. 25, 2018
Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor said Thursday that the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in their consulate in Istanbul was premeditated, reversing course yet again on Saudi's account of what happened.
Oct. 25, 2018
Of the countries included in the study, 30 have passed laws fully banning physical punishment of children, both in schools and in homes. The rates of fighting among adolescents were substantially lower than the 20 countries with no bans in place: by 69 percent for adolescent males and 42 less for females.
The other 38 countries in the study — which include the United States, Canada, and the U.K. — have partial bans, in schools only. In those countries, adolescent females showed a 56 percent lower rate of physical fighting, with no change among males.

[I was keeping an open mind about this because any group has its loonies, but the odds were on the side of it being a Trump supporter. Given this man's history, I wonder how much his anger stemmed from blaming Democrats for his economic problems in the past, although the fact is that it was the republicans who worked to hold down the economy while Obama was president, for their own political gain, which the media chose not to pay much if any attention to.]
Oct. 26, 218
Mr. Sayoc, a registered Republican, has a lengthy criminal history in Florida dating back to 1991 that includes felony theft, drug and fraud charges, as well as being accused of threatening to use a bomb, public records show.
Oct. 26, 2018
After Cesar Sayoc, a Donald Trump supporter, was arrested at an auto parts shop in Florida, federal agents at the location removed a van covered in political stickers celebrating Republicans and denouncing the president’s opponents. As the van was being transported by the FBI, wind blew the tarpaulin off
Oct. 25, 2018
Did low vaccination rates help make the last flu season so deadly?
“Flu vaccination coverage among adults was 37.1 percent, a decrease of 6.2 percentage points from the previous flu season,” the CDC said in its latest report.
The result: More than 79,000 people died, close to 1 million ended up in the hospital and 48 million people got sick. Adult flu deaths are estimated but the CDC counts every child who dies of flu. Last season, 183 children died of influenza, the final numbers show.
studies also show that even if flu vaccines do not completely protect against infection, they do lower the severity if someone does get sick, and significantly reduce the risk of death.
"We don't give the vaccine sufficient credit," Schaffner said. "It does have the capacity to make the illness that you are having less severe. You are less likely to get the complications of pneumonia and having to go to the hospital, and you are less likely to die."
Oct. 26, 2018
Facebook has uncovered and deleted dozens of accounts and pages originating in Iran that were intended to provoke division in the US and the UK.
The accounts, which posed as US and UK residents, posted frequently about politically divisive subjects, including race relations, opposition to Donald Trump, and immigration. More than a million Facebook users had engaged with the 82 pages, groups, and accounts that were identified, most of them in the US, and Gleicher said they were created to deliberately “sow discord”.
Twice over the summer, Facebook uncovered fake accounts being used by foreign actors to affect American opinions. In July, the social network removed 32 pages and accounts from Facebook and Instagram, with ties to a Russian agency. A month later, Facebook removed 652 fake accounts and pages, created as part of four separate campaigns, that were found to have ties to both Russia and Iran.
Oct. 26, 2018
In eight cities across the US, almost 8,000 Marriott hotel employees are walking picket lines demanding better wages, workplace safety, and a seat at the table for technology changes in the latest strike organized among America’s low-wage workers.

[A lot of them voted against regulating global warming, now they are dependent on government help.]
Oct. 26, 2018
Many who have returned since the storm are living in campers, tents or bunking with neighbors, and relying on portable toilets and boxed ready-to-eat meals provided by Fema, the Red Cross or other volunteers. The schedule for the return of utilities such as electricity, gas and internet service are being measured in months, not days or weeks. Many roads are still blocked across the area, commercial services minimal to none.
One utility linesman, Rick, descends from his cherry-picker, pulls the pop-top off a can of beans and sucks it down cold before cracking into a container of applesauce. “16-hour days” he says, unprompted. “At least 16 hours.”
He’s in from Oklahoma, like most of the crews working in this particular part of town, and says he has no idea how long before he’s able to go home. “‘Till it’s done I guess,” he said with a casual shrug.
Oct. 25, 2018
Spain is to shut down most of its coalmines by the end of the year after government and unions struck a deal that will mean €250m (£221m) will be invested in mining regions over the next decade.
Unions hailed the mining deal – which covers Spain’s privately owned pits – as a model agreement. It mixes early retirement schemes for miners over 48, with environmental restoration work in pit communities and re-skilling schemes for cutting-edge green industries.

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