Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Oct. 30, 2018
NASA's Kepler spacecraft, which discovered more than 2,680 exoplanets orbiting distant stars and allowed scientists to statistically show billions more must exist across the Milky Way, has finally run out of fuel, bringing one of NASA's most scientifically productive projects to an end after an extended nine-and-a-half year mission, mission managers said Tuesday.
"Before we launched Kepler, we didn't know if planets were common or rare in our galaxy," he said. "But now we know ... that planets are more common than stars in our galaxy. Now we know there are billions of planets that are rocky like the Earth and are orbiting their stars in the habitable zone, or the Goldilocks zone, where their temperatures might be conducive to water on the surface."
Oct. 29, 2018
An armed man stopped a potential mass shooting at a Birmingham, Ala. McDonalds Saturday afternoon.
The unidentified man was leaving the restaurant with his two sons as a masked gunman entered and began firing. The father drew his pistol and returned fire, killing the gunman, but not before he and one of his teenage sons were shot.
The father and son sustained non-life threatening injuries in the shoot out, according to police.
Children who were vaccinated in recent years significantly lowered their chances of dying from the flu, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Using data from four flu seasons between 2010 and 2014, researchers found that flu vaccinations reduced the risk of flu-associated death by half among children with underlying high-risk medical conditions and by nearly two-thirds among healthy children.
Fewer than four out of 10 adults in the United States got flu shots last winter, the lowest rate in seven seasons and one likely reason why the 2017-’18 season was the deadliest in decades.
Oct. 29, 2018
Poisonous air is having a devastating impact on billions of children around the world, damaging their intelligence and leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths, according to a report from the World Health Organization.
The study found that more than 90% of the world’s young people – 1.8 billion children – are breathing toxic air, storing up a public health time bomb for the next generation.
The WHO said medical experts in almost every field of children’s health are uncovering new evidence of the scale of the crisis in both rich and poor countries – from low birth weight to poor neurodevelopment, asthma to heart disease.
The WHO study found that children are particularly vulnerable to air pollution because pollutants are often more concentrated nearer to ground level. It added that their developing organs and nervous system are also more susceptible to long-term damage than those of adults.
“Air pollution is stunting our children’s brains, affecting their health in more ways than we suspected,” said Dr Maria Neira, WHO director of public health and the environment.
Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable, with dirty air linked to premature and underweight children. Air pollution also increases the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease later in life.
Oct. 30, 2018
Abstaining from cannabis for a month can boost the memory performance of regular users, according to a study of young people who used the drug at least once a week.
Researchers found that four weeks without cannabis led to a “modest but reliable” improvement in users’ memory test scores, which could be sufficient to raise students’ grades at school.
tags: drug use, drug abuse

The economy was improving under President Obama, although it would have done so faster if the republicans hadn't DELIBERATELY blocked most of Obama's attempts to stimulate the economy. They did it to try to turn people against Obama in hopes of winning the presidency. And a lot of people were taken in by this con game.
Oct. 5, 2018
How Trump got rich by support from his father, and tax evasion.
Through those tens of thousands of business records, tax returns, property deeds and other documents compiled by the New York Times, we learn that over the years, Donald was funneled a fortune of at least $400 million in inflation-adjusted dollars by his father. We learn that whenever Donald faltered and stumbled, even into middle age, his father was there to pull him to his feet and quietly clean up the mess.
The continuing flow of millions of dollars from Fred to Donald is well-documented by Trump family records obtained by the Times, including some 200 tax returns filed by Fred Trump or companies he owned.  Those records also document how, through a variety of shams and scams, the Trump family succeeded in evading hundreds of millions of estate and gift taxes that by law should have been paid.
Oct. 29, 2018
North Carolina would cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025 under an ambitious statewide goal set by Gov. Roy Cooper on Monday.
With Cooper’s signing of the executive order, North Carolina joins states like Colorado, California and others that have set statewide targets for reducing emissions of gases that are associated with global warming and climate change. In 2006, California set a 40 percent reduction goal by 2030 from 1990 levels, while Colorado has set a goal of cutting emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025 from 2005 levels. Cooper prefaced his announcement by saying that powerful hurricanes and other consequences of climate change are forcing government to respond. He noted that Hurricane Florence, which soaked the state last month, was the third 500-year flooding event in the state in the past 19 years and the second in the past 23 months.
Oct. 30, 2018
Scientists in Canada have warned that massive glaciers in the Yukon territory are shrinking even faster than would be expected from a warming climate – and bringing dramatic changes to the region.
The accelerating melt of the glacier has resulted in major shifts to water sources at lower elevations.
In 2016, the meltwaters of the glacier shifted dramatically away from the Slims river, cutting off critical water supplies to Kluane Lake – a Unesco world heritage site. Since the diversion, water levels at the lake have dropped more than 6.6ft – stranding thousands of fish from their natural spawning rivers.
Dust storms have begun to flare up along sections of the well-travelled Alaska Highway – at times halting traffic, the result of a dry river bed covered in glacial silt. The events at Kluane Lake are a precursor of what can be expected elsewhere, said Hik.
The dramatic changes to the landscape come amid predictions that the Arctic region is slated to experience far quicker – and potentially devastating –warming in the coming years.
Oct. 30, 2018
Prominent market technician Ralph Acampora says the stock market is in bad shape and it’s worse than many on Wall Street investors appreciate.
A pioneer in the field of chart-based trading, Acampora said the technical damage that has resulted in the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.77% and the S&P 500 index SPX, +1.57% erasing all of their gains for 2018, and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +1.58% falling into correction territory—usually characterized as a decline of at least 10% from a recent peak—will take months to repair.
July 30, 2018
U.S. household debt, which declined between 2008 and 2013, has rebounded sharply. By the first quarter of 2018, it was at an all-time high of $13.2 trillion. The composition of our debt has changed, and we've been better able to manage our obligations, thanks in substantial part to an extended period of low interest rates. But the crisis did not teach us a lesson about the perils of borrowing too much.
Nor did it lead us to place more value on savings. Between 1960 and 1984, the U.S. personal savings rate — which is savings as a percentage of disposable personal income — never fell below 8%. That level of national thrift is far out of reach today. In December 2017, the personal savings rate dropped to 2.4%, its lowest level since the debt-fueled boom of the mid-2000s.

From NASA:
Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals1 show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree*: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. The following is a partial list of these organizations, along with links to their published statements and a selection of related resources. …

An analogy to help understand the ramifications of climate disruption:
Oct. 16, 2018
The height of a balloon above the ground is not proportional to the amount of hot air you put into the envelope.1 In fact, when you first start filling a balloon all that happens is that the hot air causes the envelope to lift off of the ground, applying tension to the basket and its occupants, but there is no upward motion of the balloon at that point. You pump in more and more hot air, and if select US Senators were standing by they would likely proclaim that there is absolutely no effect of hot air on the balloon.
The problem, of course, is that a huge amount of hot air must be injected into the balloon just to overcome the weight of the envelope, the basket, and its occupants. As long as the upward force is less than the downward, restraining force, nothing happens. But once the upward force overcomes the downward force, up you go, and any small addition of hot air2 at this point causes you to accelerate faster and faster skyward.
Oct. 24, 2018
Working-class people are underrepresented in politics. The problem isn’t voters.
Our government is run by rich people — and it benefits them the most.

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