Wednesday, August 31, 2022

We are all guilty


People get prison time for auto accidents. Most people in our society use far more energy and resources than necessary, which is causing many more deaths from climate disruption than any auto accident.

 Eg., when you drive fast and weave in and out of lanes, use more paper towels and tissue than you need, buy clothes and only wear them a few times, sit around in you car with the engine running, keep you house or business cold in the summer and/or warm in the winter, you are guilty.  When you manipulate news to hide the danger of using fossil fuels, you are guilty.


 If I were a high school math teacher, I would give an assignment to come up with a model of how much farther people drive when they weave in and out of traffic.

Some documents retrieved from Mar-a-Lago were so sensitive that FBI agents needed a special clearance to look at them, DOJ says

Tom Porter,Sonam Sheth
Wed, August 31, 2022 at 6:29 AM

Some of the documents that FBI agents retrieved after searching Mar-a-Lago were so classified that investigators needed special permission to view them, according to Justice Department court documents filed Tuesday.


"In some instances, even the FBI counterintelligence personnel and DOJ attorneys conducting the review required additional clearances before they were permitted to review certain documents," the filing said.

The department also attached exhibits to its filing, one of which was a photo showing some documents marked "contains sensitive compartmented information up to HCS-P/SI/TK." "HCS" refers to intelligence from clandestine human sources and is highly classified to protect their safety.


More importantly, even if Trump had declassified the materials in his possession, it likely wouldn't matter.

Section E of the Espionage Act, one of the three laws Trump is suspected of having violated, makes it a crime to retain any government records pertaining to the US's national defense, regardless of classification level.

The other two federal statutes Trump is suspected of having broken — 18 USC Section 2071 and 18 USC Section 1519 — criminalize the concealment, removal, and destruction of government records, also regardless of classification level.


Wish to know


Not to know is bad; not to wish to know is worse.  Wolof (West African) proverb

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Physical activity may have a stronger role than genes in longevity


 News Release 24-Aug-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of California - San Diego


Previous research has shown that low physical activity and greater time spent sitting are associated with a higher risk of death. Does risk change if a person is genetically predisposed to live a long life?


 The prospective study found that higher levels of light physical activity and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity were associated with lower risk of death. Higher sedentary time was associated with higher risk of mortality. These associations were consistent among women who had different levels of genetic predisposition for longevity.

"Our study showed that, even if you aren't likely to live long based on your genes, you can still extend your lifespan by engaging in positive lifestyle behaviors such as regular exercise and sitting less," said senior author Aladdin H. Shadyab, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at UC San Diego. “Conversely, even if your genes predispose you to a long life, remaining physically active is still important to achieve longevity.”


Hospitalizations for unintentional cannabis poisonings among Canadian children surged after legalization


 News Release 24-Aug-2022
Hospitalizations for unintentional cannabis poisonings among Canadian children surged after legalization, particularly in jurisdictions where the sale of cannabis edibles was allowed
Unique Canadian study published in New England Journal of Medicine
Reports and Proceedings
The Ottawa Hospital

 Canada has seen a 6.3 fold increase in hospitalizations for unintentional cannabis poisoning among children under the age of 10 since the legalization of recreational cannabis, according to a research letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study found that hospitalizations for paediatric cannabis poisonings increased substantially across the country. Notably, provinces that permitted the sale of cannabis edibles such as gummies, chocolates and baked goods saw an increase in hospitalizations that was more than two times higher than the province that prohibited the sale of edibles (7.5 times vs. 3.0 times, respectively, from the pre-legalization rate).


 tags: drug use, drug abuse,


 News Release 24-Aug-2022
Health care spending may help explain link between MS and latitude
Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Academy of Neurology


  Researchers have known people who live farther from the equator are more likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) and have often attributed that to vitamin D exposure. But countries farther from the equator are also more likely to be wealthier than countries nearer to the equator. A new analysis shows that the amount a country spends on health care may help explain the link between MS and latitude. This new research is published in the August 24, 2022, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. 


According to Saylor, the finding that current health expenditure per capita was very strongly linked with national rates of MS further supports the hypothesis that greater investment in health care leads to more robust reporting of rates of MS.


Mandated headgear may lower concussion risk among high school lacrosse players

 News Release 24-Aug-2022
Rate lower in Florida with mandate meeting professional standard than in states without. Headgear may now be worth considering for high schools and other levels of play
Peer-Reviewed Publication

Mandated headgear meeting professional standards may lower the risk of concussion among high school girls playing lacrosse, suggests research published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The concussion rate was lower in the US state where protective headgear is mandatory for high school lacrosse players than in states without such a mandate.

It may now be worth considering protective headgear for high school players and possibly for other levels of play, such as youth or collegiate level teams, suggest the researchers.


Seven Healthy Habits Linked to Lower Risk of Dementia in Those with Genetic Risk


May 25, 2022


Seven healthy habits and lifestyle factors may play a role in lowering the risk of dementia in people with the highest genetic risk, according to research published in the May 25, 2022, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The seven cardiovascular and brain health factors, known as the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7, are: being active, eating better, losing weight, not smoking, maintaining a healthy blood pressure, controlling cholesterol, and reducing blood sugar.

“These healthy habits in the Life’s Simple 7 have been linked to a lower risk of dementia overall, but it is uncertain whether the same applies to people with a high genetic risk,” said study author Adrienne Tin, PhD, of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. “The good news is that even for people who are at the highest genetic risk, living by this same healthier lifestyle are likely to have a lower risk of dementia.”



Fighting climate change is wildly popular, but most Americans don’t know that other people feel the same way

Molly Seltzer, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment
Aug. 24, 2022, 3:10 p.m. 

Just after the U.S. Congress passed the nation’s most substantial legislation aimed at battling climate change, a new study shows that the average American dramatically underestimates how much their fellow citizens support substantive climate policy. While 66% to 80% of Americans support climate actions, the average American believes that number is 37% to 43%, the study found.

“It’s stunning how universal and shared that idea is, among every demographic,” said Gregg Sparkman, the paper’s first author, who did this work as a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton.

The research, co-authored by Elke Weber, the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment and professor of psychology and the School of Public and International Affairs, was published in Nature Communications this week.

The study found that conservatives underestimated national support for climate policies to the greatest degree, but liberals also believed that a minority of Americans support climate action. The misperception was the norm in every state, across policies, and among every demographic tested, including political affiliation, race, media consumption habits, and rural vs. suburban residents.

The measures the researchers asked about were major climate policies that could play a role in mitigating climate change in the U.S., including a carbon tax, siting renewable energy projects on public lands, sourcing electricity from 100% renewable resources by 2035, and the Green New Deal. Americans underestimated support for every policy.

Sparkman said this underestimation is problematic because people tend to conform to what they think others believe, which would weaken actual support for such policies.



republican members of Congress whose PPP loans were forgiven



Republicans who blocked cap on insulin


Monday, August 15, 2022

Mixed feelings


Aug. 15, 2022


I have mixed feelings about the horrible flooding in Kentucky. I feel horrible for the people affected, but also aggravated that people in Kentucky have voted for politicians that have blocked action on climate disruption, esp. Mitch McConnell.

Provide shade, make compost and leave the weeds: six ways to heatproof your garden


I suggest reading the whole article.  Lots of good info.


Alys Fowler
Mon 15 Aug 2022 05.00 EDT


The next heatwave might last for longer. It might arrive with stronger winds, or leave behind wilder, wetter days. The winter will present its own challenges – more flooding, perhaps, as baked-hard soils struggle to soak up the rain. We need to prepare; this weather isn’t going away. The question is: how?

Heatproofing your garden begins before you step foot in it. Our gardens, their inhabitants, our world, is under threat because of rampant fossil-fuel usage and yet some of the biggest polluters are unwittingly bankrolled by us, through our current accounts, mortgages and savings. Choosing a bank that is committed and transparent about tackling the climate crisis should be high on your to-do list. Tell your old bank why you are leaving; tell them that you are a gardener and it is your job to foster what is left. Then we can begin the good work of making sure our gardens are resilient enough to deal with whatever the weather throws at them.

It is easy to imagine that the simplest move migNoht be to replace the plants that failed with dry garden plants, those Mediterranean types that thrive in baked places with intense suns. But to grow these plants you need free-draining, low-nutrient soils that are made up of grit, gravel, rocks and sand – and the UK is not blessed with these.

[ Nor is Atlanta, GA]


Exposed soil is baked soil, devoid of life. Most vegetables like to grow in soils around the 20C to 25C mark (as do many microbes, for that matter). Left to bake in the sun, soil can easily reach a temperature in the high 40s. Mulches can make a huge difference, but leaf cover does an even better job, whether that is specific ground cover plants, such as clovers and trefoils for the vegetable garden, or something as simple as leaving weeds in place before a hot spell.

Soil that is protected by leaf cover doesn’t just help the plants, but the wildlife, too: it offers refuges for insects, frogs, small mammals and birds. During the July heatwave, my resident blackbird spent the whole time hopping about under the dense leaf cover of my garden.

Mulching in spring and autumn, to protect the soil from summer suns and winter rains, has always been good practice. But temporary or short-lived summer mulches are going to become much more important. Straw mulches, grass clippings, alfalfa meal and comfrey leaves can also be used around plants that have high water requirements and bare soil, such as tomatoes, strawberries, courgettes, pumpkins, aubergine, mangetout and runner beans. Water these plants well, deep into the soil, when it is cooler, then cover with a mulch. Comfrey leaves are particularly useful, as they have the added bonus of feeding the plants as they break down.


Don’t ever water your lawn; it is wasteful. Grass has evolved to die right back at the surface and reappear again in autumn when the weather is cooler and wetter. You will notice that lawns that are cut longer are much more resilient than those shorn to an inch of their life.


The single most significant thing you can do for your garden (after changing your bank) is to compost. It is an old idea – not quite as old as the soil in your garden; that took about 500 years to make – but it works. Organic matter acts like a sponge in the soil, soaking up water and releasing it slowly when it is needed.


Children infected with a mild case of COVID-19 can still develop long COVID symptoms


 News Release 10-Aug-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston


While research has revealed that children and adults hospitalized with COVID-19 are more susceptible to developing long COVID symptoms, a new study by researchers at UTHealth Houston found that children infected with COVID-19, but not hospitalized, still experienced long COVID symptoms up to three months past infection.




New insights on how some individuals with obesity can lose weight – and keep it off


 News Release 11-Aug-2022
The University of Ottawa-led team’s rigorous study has the potential to help reshape the science of weight-loss programs so they can be personalized for individual patients with difficult-to-treat obesity
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Ottawa


Now, compelling new research published in the journal eBioMedicine challenges the deeply ingrained idea that diet alone should be adequate for everyone seeking to shed pounds.

The important conclusions could significantly improve public health by guiding the advent of personalized treatment plans that will help individuals with difficult-to-treat obesity lose weight – and keep it off.


Understanding distinct obesity phenotypes is key to teasing out insights into individual variations in weight loss. And for “diet-resistant” obesity— patients in the bottom 20% for rate of weight loss following a low-calorie diet—exercise training should be prioritized, as it decreases fat mass and boosts skeletal muscle metabolism.

The research team mined clinical data from over 5,000 records. Ultimately, 228 files were reviewed and a subset of 20 women with obesity were identified to undergo a closely supervised exercise program made up of 18 progressive sessions using treadmills and weights done three times per week for six weeks.

Using bioinformatics and machine learning approaches to analyze skeletal muscle, the results indicate that exercise preferentially improves skeletal muscle metabolism and enhances weight loss capacity for individuals with obesity who are deemed diet resistant.

These are the type of patients with difficult-to-treat obesity who have often been accused of non-adherence when they have not lost weight with diet restriction.

“For those individuals who have obesity and who've had enormous difficulty losing weight, the message for them is: You are in a group of individuals for whom exercise is particularly important. And that’s really going to help you lose weight,” says Dr. Ruth McPherson, a leader in cardiovascular genetics who is a professor at the uOttawa Faculty of Medicine and director of the Ruddy Canadian Cardiovascular Genetics Centre, Atherogenomics Laboratory and the Lipid Clinic at the Ottawa Heart Institute.


Doctors’ reluctance to discuss anal sex is letting down young women, warn researchers


 News Release 11-Aug-2022
Open conversations and better public health education will help women make informed choices
Peer-Reviewed Publication


Clinicians’ reluctance to discuss possible harms of anal sex is letting down a generation of young women who are unaware of the risks, warn researchers in The BMJ today.


Up to 25% of women with experience of anal sex report they have been pressured into it at least once.

Anal intercourse is considered a risky sexual behaviour because of its association with alcohol, drug use and multiple sex partners. But it is also associated with specific health concerns, explain the authors.

For example, increased rates of faecal incontinence and anal sphincter injury have been reported in women who have anal intercourse. Women are also at a higher risk of incontinence than men, due to their different anatomy,

“The pain and bleeding women report after anal sex is indicative of trauma, and risks may be increased if anal sex is coerced,” they write.




Early-term births associated with higher rate of ADHD as reported by teachers


 News Release 12-Aug-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Rutgers University


Among children born at term (37–41 weeks), those born before 39 weeks are more likely to experience symptoms associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a study by Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.


ADHD, which affects more than 10 percent of U.S. school-age children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, manifests early in childhood with symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity or inattention, and has known links to preterm birth (less than 37 weeks gestation). The study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, is one of only a few to investigate the associations between gestational age at term (37–41 weeks) and a diagnosis or symptoms of ADHD. It is the first to include reports from teachers.


Specifically, the researchers found that each week of gestational age at term was associated with 6 percent lower hyperactivity scores and 5 percent lower ADHD and cognitive problems or inattention scores, and that birth at 37 to 38 weeks was associated with 23 percent higher hyperactivity scores and 17 percent higher ADHD scores when compared with birth at 39 to 41 weeks.


Exercise answer: Research shows it’s how often you do it, not how much


 News Release 14-Aug-2022
We all know exercise is important, but is it better to do a little every day, or a lot a few times a week? New Edith Cowan University research indicates one is far more beneficial than the other.
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Edith Cowan University


This latest research indicates a little bit of daily activity could well be the most beneficial approach, at least for muscle strength.

And happily, it also suggests you don’t have to put in a mountain of work every day.


 An eccentric contraction is when the muscle is lengthening; in this case, like lowering a heavy dumbbell in a bicep curl.

Two groups performed 30 contractions per week, with one group doing six contractions a day for five days a week (6x5 group), while the other crammed all 30 into a single day, once a week (30x1 group).

Another group only performed six contractions one day a week.

After four weeks, the group doing 30 contractions in a single day did not show any increase in muscle strength, although muscle thickness (an indicator of increase in muscle size) increased 5.8 per cent.

The group doing six contractions once a week did not show any changes in muscle strength and muscle thickness.

However, the 6x5 group saw significant increases in muscle strength - more than 10 per cent - with an increase in muscle thickness similar to the 30x1 group. 


Eye doctors who get even small payments from drug companies more likely to prescribe name-brand eyedrops


 News Release 15-Aug-2022
As little as $65 per year appears to influence practitioners
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Johns Hopkins Medicine


In a lookback study of prescribing patterns among thousands of American ophthalmologists and optometrists, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers concluded that eye doctors who receive even small financial incentives from pharmaceutical companies, such as free food, sponsored travel to attend meetings or consulting fees, are up to twice as likely to prescribe the companies’ brand name eyedrops for glaucoma instead of cheaper generic versions.



A reminder about how Trump got nomination in 2016


Something I never see mentioned is that Trump did not get a majority in the republican primaries in 2016.  He got the nomination because there were so many other running, and the republicans don't have a runoff for president. 

And Hillary Clinton got almost 3 million more popular votes in the general election.



Those who pretend to know what they don't, will be thought ignorant of even what they know. : Thiruvalluvar (c. 2nd century) Indian Tamil writer, "Kural"

IRS enforcement

 Robert Reich

 10:56 AM · Aug 14, 2022


The next time you hear Republicans in Congress complaining about increasing IRS enforcement, remember that the richest 1 percent of Americans evade as much as $163,000,000,000 in taxes each year.

That’s who they’re trying to protect.

3 things every EV driver should know about their tires


 9 August 2022



No matter which brand a driver chooses, they need to understand how the switch to electric changes the behavior of tires. These changes don’t require fundamentally different tires, but they do prompt new tradeoffs that a lot of drivers haven’t yet had to think about.

In theory, electric car-makers are already optimizing for these conditions with the tires they sell on new vehicles. But it’s always worth checking to make sure. And as used EVs proliferate (perhaps with the help of a new tax credit), more drivers will have to decide which tires to buy, without an automaker guiding them.

Here are three things Shepherd recommends keeping in mind when considering tires for EVs. 


[See the link above for specifics]

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Gen. Milley drafted scathing letter of resignation to Trump after Lafayette Square


It's a good thing that all the people who disagreed with Trump on things like this didn't all resign, or Trump might have been able to destroy our democracy on Jan. 6, 2022.


Dylan Stableford·Senior Writer
Mon, August 8, 2022 at 11:49 AM

After he was seen walking dressed in combat fatigues behind then-President Donald Trump across Lafayette Square after it had been forcibly cleared of Black Lives Matter protesters in June 1, 2020, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, drafted a resignation letter to inform Trump that he intended to step down.

The letter was published by the New Yorker on Monday in an excerpt of an upcoming book by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser, "The Divider: Trump in the White House."


Hours before their march across Lafayette Square, Trump had clashed with Milley, Attorney General William Barr and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who objected to his demands for a militarized show of force to quell the protesters.

“You are all losers! You are all f***ing losers!” Trump said, according to the book. “Can’t you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?” (Esper later recalled the discussion in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes.”)


After consulting with current and former national security officials, including former Secretary of Defense and CIA chief Robert Gates, he decided to stay on, later telling his staff that he would instead "just fight [Trump] from the inside.”


South Korean rain turns roads into rivers, leaves 9 dead


Mon, August 8, 2022 at 9:36 PM


Some of the heaviest rain in decades swamped South Korea’s capital region, turning Seoul’s streets into car-clogged rivers and sending floods cascading into subway stations. At least nine people were killed — some drowning in their homes — and six others were missing, with more rain forecast, officials said Tuesday.

More than 45 centimeters (18 inches) of rain was measured in Seoul’s hardest-hit Dongjak district from Monday to Tuesday evening. Precipitation in the area exceeded 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) per hour at one point Monday night, the highest hourly downpour measured in Seoul since 1942.



Thursday, August 04, 2022

Air pollution, including during wildfires, shows ill effects in children


 News Release 4-Aug-2022
UC Davis researchers see markers for inflammation, cardiac regulation
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of California - Davis


New research linking air pollution data from federal monitors in the Sacramento area of California, including during significant fires, is showing ill effects of pollution exposure among children, a new University of California, Davis, study suggests.

Blood samples show that children have elevated markers of inflammation, such as interleukin 6, if they were exposed to higher air pollution. Further, higher air pollution was linked to lower cardiac autonomic regulation in children, which impacts how fast the heart beats and how hard it pumps, according to the study.


 These findings are important because exposure to pollutants released during wildfires has been related to numerous negative health outcomes in children, who have smaller bodies and organ systems than adults, including asthma and decreased lung function, as well as neurodevelopmental outcomes like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, and deficits in school performance and memory, researchers said.


Estimated 98 million Americans skipped treatments, cut back on food, gas or utilities to pay for healthcare


 News Release 4-Aug-2022
New West Health-Gallup poll finds 38% of Americans making tradeoffs as inflation hits non-healthcare expenses
Reports and Proceedings
West Health Institute


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Aug. 4, 2022 — Higher healthcare prices drove 38% of American adults – representing an estimated 98 million people – to either delay or skip treatment, cut back on driving, utilities, and food, or borrow money to pay medical bills in the last six months, according to a new survey conducted by West Health and Gallup. The survey was conducted in June 2022, the same month inflation reached 9.1%, a new 40-year high.

The percentage of people making these kinds of tradeoffs was higher in lower-income households, but higher earners were not immune. While more than half of households earning less than $48,000 a year made spending cuts, nearly 20% of households earning more than $180,000 a year were forced to cut back too. Women under the age of 50 also cut back on medical care and medicine at higher rates than their male counterparts (36% to 27%, respectively) and much higher than men generally (22%).

“People have been making tradeoffs to pay for healthcare for years. Inflation has only made things worse



Connecting the dots


I am puzzled as to why I have seen few if any comments on the obvious fact, certainly obvious to me during most of 2020, that Trump was working to subvert our democracy long before he lost the 2020 election.
  Most states that have mail-in ballots do not count them until after the in-person ballots are counted.  Most states announce the results of an election as the counts come in from the many precincts.  They then announce the results of mail-in ballots.  In some cases, mail-in ballots are counted as they come in for a few days, if they were postmarked on time.

  Trump knew he lost the popular vote in 2016, and that his actions and rhetoric had angered, disgusted, and/or scared people, so that he was in danger of losing not only the popular, but also the electoral, vote in 2020, which did happen.  So he sowed doubt about mail-in ballots to his followers, and encouraged them to discount the danger of Covid, so that republicans would be more likely than Democrats to vote in person.

  The director he chose for the post office instituted practices that slowed down the mail for mail-in ballots, so that mail-in ballots were less likely to be received by the election offices by the deadline.

  The easily predictable result was that initial reports on the night of the election, from in-person votes, showed Trump getting a larger percentage than he did later, when mail-in ballots were counted.  As was easily predictable by anyone who has paid attention to the way Trump behaves, he claimed this as evidence that the election was stolen from him, encouraging anger in his followers.

People do remember his words to the Proud Boys gang, to "Stand back and stand by".

One key to earning a higher income: Rich friends in childhood


 By Aimee Picchi

August 1, 2022 / 1:51 PM

One key to earning a higher income: Rich friends in childhood

By Aimee Picchi

August 1, 2022 / 1:51 PM / MoneyWatch

Economic mobility has taken a hit in the U.S., with only half of 30-year-olds earning more than their parents had at their age, down from 90% in earlier generations. But one key to earning more in adulthood may be the company you keep in childhood, according to a new study.

The difference between kids who grow up with rich friends and those who lack such ties can be striking, according to the findings from researchers at Harvard, Stanford, New York University and the Santa Fe Institute in collaboration with Meta and Opportunity Insights. The research was published in the science magazine Nature on Monday.

For instance, a poor child who grows up in Minneapolis, where there's greater integration between low-income and wealthy kids, reaches an average income of $34,300 by age 35 — or almost $10,000 more annually than the typical income of a poor kid from Indianapolis, where there are fewer social connections between the two sides of the wealth spectrum, the study found. 

The research has implications for communities across the U.S., especially as schools are becoming more economically segregated as high-income families seek out homes in wealthier communities that have better-funded schools.