Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Cystic fibrosis patients can benefit from vitamin supplements, Oregon State research shows

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/966291

 

 News Release 28-Sep-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Oregon State University

 

 Cystic fibrosis patients who supplement their diet with vitamin C can also derive greater benefit from another antioxidant, vitamin E, resulting in a reduction in damaging inflammation, a study led by Oregon State University suggests.

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The benefits of the findings, published in the journal Nutrients, are not unique to cystic fibrosis patients, she noted. Smokers, for example, typically have problems associated with oxidative stress and can benefit from extra vitamin C and possibly extra vitamin E. Metabolic syndrome patients have issues with vitamin C and E as well.

“This study used vitamin C far in excess of what someone can easily obtain from the diet,” she said. “One thousand milligrams is the equivalent of 15 oranges or four or five medium bell peppers. But the research does suggest a high dosage may be beneficial in inflammatory conditions.”

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Neighborhood Noise May Increase Dementia Risk

 

Years ago, I read of studies that found that loud factory noise damages the brain.

https://www.bu.edu/sph/news/articles/2020/neighborhood-noise-may-increase-dementia-risk/

 

Michelle Samuels

November 6, 2020


Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia affect millions of older adults in the US—but not equally. Past research has identified risk factors including genes, education, racism, and air pollution, and a growing number of studies now point to noise as another influence on risk of dementia.

Now, a new study co-led by a School of Public Health researcher finds that 10 decibels more daytime neighborhood noise is associated with 36 percent higher odds of mild cognitive impairment and 30 percent higher odds of Alzheimer’s disease.

Published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, the study is the first of its kind in the US.

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https://www.alzdiscovery.org/cognitive-vitality/blog/do-loud-noises-harm-the-brain

 

 Do loud noises harm the brain?

    November 20, 2020 Betsy Mills, PhD


 Urban areas are centers of bustling activity, which can provide ample opportunities for cognitively stimulating activities, but also increase exposure to excessive noise, commonly referred to as noise pollution. Exposure to noise can lead to short term impairments in cognitive function, particularly with respect to the ability to focus and remember, while some studies suggest that, similar to air pollution, chronic exposure to noise pollution may increase the risk for dementia.

A report by the European Environmental Agency found that 12,000 premature deaths and 48,000 cases of ischemic heart disease were attributable to environmental noise pollution each year in Europe The majority of the noise pollution is related to traffic.

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Noise acts as a stressor by inducing a state of arousal in the body, which increases levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol. The brain is wasting resources on trying to tune out the noise, so the brain has less capacity to perform other complex tasks, leading to a temporary decline in cognitive performance [3]. Attention and memory tend to be the cognitive domains most impacted by noise. The stress response leads to vascular changes that can pave the way for cardiovascular disease and vascular dementia. Meta-analyses indicate that each 10 dB(A) increase in environmental noise increases the risk for adverse cardiovascular outcomes, including hypertension and heart attacks, by 7 to 17% [8]. Due to the strong connection between heart health and brain health, these negative effects on the cardiovascular system may account for some of the increased dementia risk from noise pollution. Exposure to noise during the night can impair sleep quality, which has additional negative health consequences. Chronic activation of the arousal-stress response can also cause oxidative stress, which is another driver of dementia.

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High blood pressure speeds up mental decline, but does not fully explain dementia disparities

 

 I live in a neighborhood where most of the people are immigrants from Mexico.  They tend to play their music very loud.  Research indicates this increases the risk of dementia.  My next post will be on that.

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/966288

 

 News Release 28-Sep-2022
Long-term “study of studies” in Latino and non-Latino older adults shows clear hypertension link, but mystery still remains about why dementia risk is higher in those of Hispanic origin
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

 

People with high blood pressure levels face a faster erosion of their ability to think, make decisions and remember information than those with normal blood pressure levels, a new study finds.

The researchers traced high blood pressure’s association with declining brain function over years, in data from six large studies that they pooled and analyzed. They show that blood pressure-related cognitive decline happens at the same pace in people of Hispanic heritage as in non-Hispanic white people.

The team had set out to see if differences in long-term blood pressure control explained why Hispanic people face a 50% higher overall risk of dementia by the end of their life than non-Hispanic white people in the United States.

But the new findings suggest that other factors may play a bigger role in that disparity.

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 “Our findings suggest that high blood pressure causes faster cognitive decline, and that taking hypertension medication slows the pace of that decline,” says Levine, a professor of internal medicine at the U-M’s academic medical center, Michigan Medicine.

“Since other studies have shown that people of Hispanic heritage in the United States tend to have higher rates of uncontrolled hypertension than non-Hispanic white people, due in part to worse access to care, it’s vital that they get extra support to control their blood pressure even if blood pressure is only part of the picture when it comes to their higher dementia risk,” she adds. “A risk factor like uncontrolled high blood pressure that is more prevalent in one group can still contribute to substantial health disparities.”

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The surprising link between circadian disruption and cancer may have to do with temperature

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/966140

 

 News Release 28-Sep-2022
Scripps Research scientists pinpoint an unusual culprit in cancer: a family of genes that respond to temperature changes in the body
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Scripps Research Institute

 

Disruptions in circadian rhythm—the ways that our bodies change in response to the 24-hour light and dark cycle—have been linked to many different diseases, including cancer. The connection between the two has been poorly understood, even though shift workers and others with irregular schedules experience these disruptions regularly. But a new discovery from Scripps Research is helping answer what may be behind this correlation.

Published in Science Advances on September 28, 2022, the findings highlight that chronic circadian disruption significantly increased lung cancer growth in animal models. By identifying the genes implicated, the researchers are illuminating the mysterious link between our sleeping patterns and disease, which could help inform everything from developing more targeted cancer treatments to better monitoring high-risk groups.

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 The findings aligned with what the researchers initially thought: mice that were exposed to the irregular, shifting light patterns had an increased tumor burden of 68%.

But when they used RNA sequencing to determine the different genes involved in the cancer growth, they were surprised that a collection in the heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) family of proteins was the main culprit.  

“This is not the mechanism we were expecting to find here. HSF1 has been shown to increase rates of tumor formation in several different models of cancer, but it has never been linked to circadian disruption before,” Lamia says.

HSF1 genes are responsible for making sure proteins are still made correctly even when a cell is under extreme stress—in this case, when it experiences changes in temperature. The team suspects that HSF1 activity is increased in response to circadian disruption because changes in our sleep cycles disturb the daily rhythms of our bodies’ temperature.

“Normally, our body temperature changes by one or two degrees while we’re sleeping. If shift workers don’t experience that normal drop, it could interfere with how the HSF1 pathway normally operates—and ultimately lead to more dysregulation in the body,” Lamia adds. She believes cancer cells may exploit the HSF1 pathway to their own benefit and create mutant, misfolded proteins, but says more research is needed in this area.

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Brain development of the preterm baby is improved by supporting emotional connection with the parent

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/965785

 

 News Release 28-Sep-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Helsinki

 

A joint study by the University of Helsinki and Columbia University showed that supporting emotional connection between mother and her premature baby following birth in the hospital intensive care unit improves the baby’s brain development.

Columbia University Professors Martha G. Welch and Michael M. Myers had previously discovered that supporting the emotional connection between mother and infant during neonatal intensive care significantly improved later neurobehavioral development.

In the current study, the brain network functions of premature infants were measured at term age, following approximately 6 weeks of Family Nurture Intervention (FNI) in the neonatal intensive care unit. All babies received normal high-standard premature care, but some families were given additional FNI to strengthen mother-infant emotional connection.

The study shows that such parental support during the intensive care treatment removed the developmental abnormalities in brain function that are typically seen in the prematurely born infants. The brain network function of the premature infants in the treatment group were not different from their control peers that were born at the normal term age.

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MRI findings in opioid-exposed fetuses show smaller brain size

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/965876

 

 News Release 28-Sep-2022
Third-trimester fetuses with in utero opioid exposure exhibited multiple smaller 2D biometric measurements of the brain, as well as altered fetal physiology, on investigational MRI
Peer-Reviewed Publication
American Roentgen Ray Society

 

According to an open-access Editor’s Choice article in ARRS’ American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR), third-trimester fetuses with in utero opioid exposure exhibited multiple smaller 2D biometric measurements of the brain, as well as altered fetal physiology, on investigational MRI.

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 tags: drug use, drug abuse,

Mind-body practices lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/966331

 

 News Release 28-Sep-2022
New research from the Keck School of Medicine of USC reveals mind-body practices are highly effective at reducing blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Keck School of Medicine of USC

 

Mind-body practices such as yoga and meditation are increasingly popular tools for promoting health and combating diseases, including type 2 diabetes. Approximately 66% of Americans with type 2 diabetes use mind-body practices and many do so because they believe it helps control their blood sugar. Until now, however, whether mind-practices can reduce blood glucose levels has never been rigorously quantified.

According to new research conducted by a team from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, published recently in the Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine, some mind-body practices can be nearly as effective as commonly prescribed drugs at reducing blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

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This study, the first to analyze a range of mind-body practices including meditation, qigong, yoga and mindfulness-based stress reduction and their effect on blood glucose levels, revealed that all mind-body practices led to significant reductions in blood sugar levels.

Taken as a whole, the mind-body practices averaged a .84% reduction in hemoglobin A1c, a measure of the average blood glucose level for the past 3 months. Yoga, the most-studied modality, provided the largest benefit, about a 1% reduction in hemoglobin A1c. The authors noted that a 1% reduction is particularly notable because metformin, the most prescribed diabetes drug, reduces hemoglobin A1c in people with type 2 diabetes by 1.1% on average. 

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Exposure to air pollution worsens COVID-19 outcomes, even among the fully vaccinated

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/966350

 

 News Release 28-Sep-2022
Researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC and Kaiser Permanente Southern California conducted the first individual-level study of air pollution exposure and COVID-19 vaccination.
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Keck School of Medicine of USC

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 By comparing publicly available air quality monitoring data with deidentified patient medical records, they first established that regardless of air pollution exposure, vaccines go a long way in reducing COVID-19 hospitalizations.

“Fully vaccinated people had almost 90% reduced risk of COVID hospitalization, and even partially vaccinated people had about 50% less risk,” said Zhanghua Chen, PhD, assistant professor of population and public health sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and co-first author of the study.

But air pollutants—in particular fine particles (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2)—are still harmful. Even among people who were vaccinated, exposure to those two pollutants over the short or long term increased the risk of hospitalization up to 30%.

“Among vaccinated people, the detrimental effect of air pollution exposure is a little smaller, compared to people who were not vaccinated,” Chen said. “But that difference is not statistically significant.”

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Loneliness associated with double the risk of developing diabetes

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/965948

 

 News Release 28-Sep-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Diabetologia

 

A new study published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]) finds that feelings of loneliness are linked to a significantly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D).

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Study finds no differences in performance between male and female surgeons

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/966067

 

 News Release 28-Sep-2022
Results show same rates of death and complications, despite female surgeons being more likely to be assigned high risk patients. Researchers call for more opportunities for female surgeons, to help reduce gender based inequity
Peer-Reviewed Publication
BMJ

 

A new study published by The BMJ today finds no differences in rates of death or complications between male and female surgeons in Japan, despite the fact that female surgeons are more likely than male surgeons to be assigned high risk patients.

The researchers point out that, globally, women remain a minority in the surgical field, and they call for more opportunities for female surgeons, to help reduce gender based inequity.

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Congressional Hearings Show Oil Companies Are Slow-Rolling and Overselling Climate Initiatives, Democrats Say

 

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/16092022/new-documents-unveiled-in-congressional-hearings-show-oil-companies-are-slow-rolling-and-overselling-climate-initiatives-democrats-say

 

By Nicholas Kusnetz
September 16, 2022

 

Congressional Democrats presented fresh evidence Thursday which they say proves that oil companies are continuing to mislead the public on climate change and undercut global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

At a hearing held by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, lawmakers read from newly released documents obtained from ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP as part of an ongoing investigation into the fossil fuel industry and its role driving climate change.

Among the documents was an internal memo sent to ExxonMobil’s chief executive, Darren Woods, that apparently sought to weaken the climate commitments of an international oil industry group, as well as internal emails from Exxon and other companies showing employees appearing to question the speed or seriousness of their efforts to pivot their businesses to focus on cleaner products.

Democrats say the documents also show that the companies’ climate pledges depend on “unproven technologies whose future success and commercialization are not assured.” 

 

Who to vote for?

 

Sept. 28, 2022

 

Our elected officials greatly affect the welfare of our country and world, in the short and long term. Voting for one because they are a famous sports person is unpatriotic.

musicaleditor.com is a scam

 

Sept. 28, 2022,

I and others have tried to buy music score products from https://www.musicaleditor.com , but have not received the product months after paying.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Lead safety guidance lacking for urban farmers in many major US cities

 

 https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/966138

 

 News Release 27-Sep-2022
Guidelines for safe lead levels and support for testing varied widely across 42 large U.S. cities, in part due to lack of federal guidance on lead levels in soils in which food is grown
Peer-Reviewed Publication
American Geophysical Union

AGU Release No. 22-57

 

Urban gardens and farms are on the rise in the U.S., but urban soils are sometimes contaminated from legacy pollution and industrial use. Despite this risk, there is little guidance for people growing food in urban soils on what levels of lead are safe, and existing policies vary widely between cities and states, as a new study highlights.

Lead, and other potentially toxic elements, are of concern in soils that are used to grow food because plants can incorporate those harmful elements into their roots, stems, leaves and fruits, which are then eaten. Exposure to even low levels of lead, primarily through ingestion, can cause health problems such as heart disease and neurological dysfunction, and lead is especially harmful to children, who are still developing.


How Donald Trump Paid Less In Taxes Than A Household Earning Only $20,000 Per Year

 

I remember when Trump was running for president, he promised to release his tax returns.  No surprise, he never did.

 

https://news.yahoo.com/donald-trump-paid-less-taxes-134111237.html

 

 Kevin Vandenboss
Tue, September 27, 2022 at 9:41 AM


Donald Trump has taken a lot of heat over the years about his income taxes or, more specifically, his ability to get out of paying what most would consider his fair share.

Trump has kept a tight grip on his tax returns, becoming the first president in 40 years not to release them to the public. According to data reported by The New York Times, Trump only paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 — less than the average of $819 paid by households making over $20,000 per year in 2017.

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Young women who reduce binge drinking could decrease risk of COVID-19 infection, study shows

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/966136

 

 News Release 27-Sep-2022
Young women who reduce binge drinking could decrease risk of COVID-19 infection, study shows
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Rutgers University

 

Women in their mid 20s who reported frequent binge drinking during the COVID-19 pandemic were more likely to become infected with COVID-19, according to Rutgers researchers who said physicians need to develop pandemic-related prevention methods to tackle substance use issues.

The study, published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, found that young Black and white women ranging from ages 25 to 28 who reported binge drinking – four or more drinks in one sitting – had the highest self-reported prevalence of COVID-19 infection among the subgroups studied.

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 tags: drug use, drug abuse,


Research finds repeatedly regaining weight should be viewed as practice, not failure

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/966179

 

 News Release 27-Sep-2022
York U weight-loss study shows if at first you don't succeed, try, try again
Peer-Reviewed Publication
York University

 

 Gaining back pounds as soon as a diet is over is all too common for people attempting to lose weight (often characterized as a failure of the individual, indicative of a lack of willpower and discipline), but a new study from scholars in York University’s Faculty of Health, find such regressions are learning experiences – maybe even necessary steps toward sustained weight loss and improved overall health.“Our results suggest repeated bouts of weight loss and regain should not be viewed as failures, but as practice,” says Jennifer Kuk, a professor in York University’s School of Kinesiology and Health Science and the study’s lead author.

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How Solar Kept the Lights On After Fiona Left Puerto Rico in the Dark

 

 https://insideclimatenews.org/todaysclimate/were-fine-how-solar-kept-the-lights-on-after-fiona-left-puerto-rico-in-the-dark/

 

September 20, 2022

 

Most of Puerto Rico remained in the dark Tuesday morning as crews rushed to assess and repair the damage caused by Hurricane Fiona, which continues to gather strength on its northwest path toward the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The U.S. territory suffered “catastrophic damage” over the weekend and through Monday, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said, after the Category 1 storm unleashed violent winds and torrential rain, killing at least three people, forcing hundreds more to evacuate and knocking out power for more than a million homes and businesses.

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As of Tuesday morning, less than 150,000 of Puerto Rico’s 1.4 million public utility customers had working electricity, despite tens of billions of dollars in federal aid and a massive five-year effort to overhaul and modernize the island’s poorly maintained and unsound powergrid. But a growing number of Puerto Ricans, who have privately installed solar systems on the roofs of their homes and businesses, say the island-wide blackout caused by Fiona could have been entirely avoided, pointing to themselves as proof of a better way.

“We’re fine,” Arturo Massol-Deyá, who uses solar panels and battery storage to power his house, his office and several other buildings in Adjuntas, a mountainside town in central Puerto Rico, told me in an interview Monday afternoon. “Basically, we’re waiting for the sun to shine again—we don’t have damage, all the infrastructure is in place and it’s running. It was running during the hurricane.”

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Since 2017, more than 40,000 Puerto Rican households have installed, or are in the process of installing, rooftop solar panels, according to a report released last week by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a progressive think tank that promotes renewable energy. The vast majority of those systems have been installed with battery storage, the report said, and currently provide 3.7 percent of the territory’s total electricity consumption, outpacing the island’s utility-scale projects.

But the report also criticizes the Puerto Rican government, which it says “continues its misguided push for natural gas” while building “no new renewable energy.”

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‘Forever chemicals’ detected in all umbilical cord blood in 40 studies

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/23/forever-chemicals-found-umbilical-cord-blood-samples-studies

 

Tom Perkins
Fri 23 Sep 2022 07.00 EDT


Toxic PFAS chemicals were detected in every umbilical cord blood sample across 40 studies conducted over the last five years, a new review of scientific literature from around the world has found.

The studies collectively examined nearly 30,000 samples, and many linked fetal PFAS exposure to health complications in unborn babies, young children and later in life. The studies’ findings are “disturbing”, said Uloma Uche, an environmental health science fellow with the Environmental Working Group, which analyzed the peer-reviewed studies’ data.

“Even before you’ve come into the world, you’re already exposed to PFAS,” she said.

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of about 12,000 chemicals commonly used to make products resist water, stains and heat. They are called “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down, and accumulate in human bodies and the environment.

The federal government estimates that they are found in 98% of Americans’ blood. The chemicals are linked to birth defects, cancer, kidney disease, liver problems and other health issues, and the EPA recently found effectively no level of exposure to some kinds of PFAS in water is safe.

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PFAS can remain in the body for years or even decades, and some studies link fetal exposure to effects throughout childhood and adulthood, including on cognitive function, reproductive function, changes in weight, eczema and altered glucose balance.

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Being intelligent

 

 

Intelligence is "the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills."

To do that requires the ability and willingness to acknowledge that we don't already know everything, and that some of what we already know is not accurate.  I would say that morality also requires this.


What to do With Fallen Leaves

 

I suggest reading the whole article:

 

https://blog.nwf.org/2014/11/what-to-do-with-fallen-leaves/

 National Wildlife Federation blog

 David Mizejewski   |   Last Updated: September 1, 2021 

 



Updated September 2021

You shouldn’t feel obligated to get rid of every last fallen leaf in your yard this fall. Leave the leaves — they offer a lot of benefits for wildlife and your garden. Read on to find out why and for tips on how to minimize the time you spend raking this autumn and maximize the benefit to wildlife and the greater environment that fallen leaves offer.
Leave the Leaves for Wildlife

A leaf layer several inches deep is a natural thing in any area where trees and shrubs naturally grow, whether that’s the local woodlands or your own yard or garden. The leaf layer is its own ecosystem! Many wildlife species use the leaf layer as their primary habitat including salamanders, chipmunks, wood frogs, box turtles, toads, shrews, earthworms, millipedes, and thousands of insects species.

Many butterfly and moth species overwinter in the leaf layer, including luna moths, great spangled fritillaries, woolly bear caterpillars (which become Isabella tiger moths), and red-banded hairstreaks. Some species overwinter as eggs, some as pupae, and some as adults. In the case of moths, 94 percent of species rely on the leaf layer to complete their lifecycle. If you rake up and throw away all of your leaves this fall, you’ll be getting rid of important habitat for these beautiful and beneficial insects, many of which are pollinators.

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Leaves are Free Mulch and Fertilizer

From a gardening perspective, fallen leaves offer a double benefit. Leaves form a natural mulch that helps suppress weeds and at the same time fertilize the soil as they break down. Why spend money on mulch and fertilizer when you have a free source in the form of fallen leaves? Simply let leaves lie where they fall or move them into your garden beds to protect your plants’ roots, suppress weeds, preserve soil moisture and eventually break down and return nutrients to the soil.

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 Remember, the less time you have to spend doing the back-breaking work of blowing, mowing, or raking your leaves, the more time you have to enjoy the gorgeous fall weather outside and the wildlife visiting your garden!

 

 

 

Inflation

 

 Sept. 27, 2022


The media keeps talking about inflation in the U.S., doesn't mention it is much higher in other developed nations. I saw a billboard blaming Biden for inflation, so they should thank him for keeping inflation lower than elsewhere.

The whole story?

 

Sept. 27, 2022

 

The covert support of republicans by the media is shown by what they don't say. Eg., they will say that there was not enough election fraud to change the election, never mention that much of it was for republicans.

Should we exist?

 

Sept. 27, 2022

 

If we weren't the only creatures on earth capable of averting the next extinction level asteroid, I would say the earth would be better off if we became extinct.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Lasting lung damage seen in children and teens after COVID

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/965321


 News Release 20-Sep-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Radiological Society of North America


Children and adolescents who have either recovered from COVID-19 or have long COVID show persistent lung damage on MRI, according to a study published in Radiology, a journal of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

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Risk of blood clots remains for almost a year after COVID-19 infection, study suggests

 

 https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/965245

 

 News Release 20-Sep-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Health Data Research UK

 

COVID-19 infection increases the risk of potentially life-threatening blood clots for at least 49 weeks, according to a new study of health records of 48 million unvaccinated adults from the first wave of the pandemic.

 

The findings suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic may have led to an additional 10,500 cases of heart attacks, strokes and other blood clot complications such as deep vein thrombosis in England and Wales in 2020 alone, although the excess risk to individuals remains small and reduces over time.

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Pushing the reset button on autoimmune disease

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/965261

 

 News Release 20-Sep-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-NürnbergAt Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), patients with severe forms of autoimmune diseases are being treated with cells from the body that have been genetically modified, which are known as CAR T cells. This study is the first of its kind in the world. Physicians were astounded to find that the therapy is like pushing a reset button: immediately after receiving treatment the autoimmune disease was resolved completely and did not return.

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Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), also known as red wolf disease, is a severe form of autoimmune disease that most frequently occurs in young women and forms antibodies that attack the body’s DNA. This leads to the inflammation of internal organs such as the kidneys, lungs and heart. Oftentimes, SLE patients need high dosages of corticosteroids and immunosupressive drugs to keep the disease in check.

“We have been able to help six young patients who were suffering from a life-threatening form of SLE and cure them of the disease completely by treating them with CAR T cells,” says Prof. Dr. Georg Schett, director of the Department of Medicine 3 – Rheumatology and Immunology. They are the first patients in the world who have received treatment with CAR T cells.

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Malaria spike linked to amphibian die-off

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/965055


 News Release 20-Sep-2022
Study highlights the importance of biodiversity to human health
Peer-Reviewed Publication

University of California - Davis

 

Dozens of species of frogs, salamanders and other amphibians quietly disappeared from parts of Latin America in the 1980s and 2000s, with little notice from humans, outside of a small group of ecologists. Yet the amphibian decline had direct health consequences for people, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.

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Shortly after the mass die-off of amphibians in Costa Rica and Panama, both countries experienced a spike in malaria cases.

Some frogs, salamanders and other amphibians eat hundreds of mosquito eggs each day. Mosquitoes are a vector for malaria. Scientists wondered, could the crash in amphibians have influenced the rise in malaria cases?

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The results show a clear connection between the time and location of the spread of the fungal pathogen and the time and location of increases in malaria cases. The scientists note that while they cannot fully rule out another confounding factor, they found no evidence of other variables that could both drive malaria and follow the same pattern of die-offs.

Tree cover loss was also associated with an increase in malaria cases, but not nearly to the same extent as the loss of amphibians. Typical levels of tree canopy loss increase annual malaria cases by up to 0.12 cases per 1,000 people, compared to 1 in 1,000 for the amphibian die-off.  

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Protein restriction can be effective in combating obesity and diabetes, study suggests

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/965365

 

 News Release 20-Sep-2022

Twenty-one patients with metabolic syndrome were given a calorie or protein restriction diet in a randomized clinical trial by Brazilian and Danish researchers. Weight loss, controlled blood pressure and improved blood sugar and lipid levels were observed
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo

 

Cutting protein intake can help control metabolic syndrome and some of its main symptoms, such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension), according to a study conducted by researchers in Brazil and Denmark to compare the effects of protein and calorie restriction diets in humans. An article reporting the study is published in the journal Nutrients.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that heighten the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes, including hypertension, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels.

“The study showed that cutting protein intake to 0.8 g per kg of body weight was sufficient to achieve almost the same clinical results as restricting calories, but without the need to reduce calorie intake. The results suggest that protein restriction may be one of the key factors leading to the known benefits of dietary restriction. Protein restriction dieting may therefore be a more attractive nutritional strategy and easier to follow for people with metabolic syndrome,” said Rafael Ferraz-Bannitz, first author of the article and currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Harvard Medical School in the United States.

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Exposure to air pollution may worsen autism-related hospital admissions in children

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/965007

 

 News Release 20-Sep-2022
Boys more at risk than girls; cutting air pollutant levels could lower risks, say researchers
Peer-Reviewed Publication
BMJ

 

Autistic children seem to be at heightened risk of being admitted to hospital if they are exposed to air pollution for relatively brief periods, with boys more at risk than girls, suggests research published in the open access journal BMJ Open.

 Admissions for issues such as hyperactivity, aggression, or self-injury might be prevented by minimising these children’s exposure to air pollution, suggest the Korean researchers.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with a range of symptoms and severity. It is often accompanied by neuroinflammation and systemic inflammation meaning drugs, supplements, and diet can improve the core symptoms.

It is believed that short-term exposure to air pollution (days to weeks) can induce systemic inflammation and neuroinflammation, potentially increasing the risk of hospital admission in autistic people. 

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Share the pain

 

Sept. 20, 2022

Pay of members of the federal reserve board and Congress should be tied to the median wage. Maybe a multiple of the bottom 20%.   The only way the fed has to bring down inflation is to slow the economy, causing job losses for some.  Since they think this is a price worth paying, they should be willing to be good patriots and share in the pain.  And Congress would be motivated to take other measures to cool inflation.

 

https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/powell20220826a.htm

 

August 26, 2022
Monetary Policy and Price Stability

Chair Jerome H. Powell 

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While higher interest rates, slower growth, and softer labor market conditions will bring down inflation, they will also bring some pain to households and businesses. These are the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation. But a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain.

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Should Trump just be himself?

 

"For some people 'just be yourself' is the worst advice you can give." Mark Twain

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Trump pardoned him; now Ga. man sues state, insurer for half-million

 

https://www.ajc.com/news/trump-pardoned-him-now-ga-man-sues-state-insurer-for-half-million/SBBVTBDCHBF4NOLNCW6SZVBAFE/

By Dylan Jackson, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Sept 9, 2022

 

 In his final days in the White House, then-President Donald Trump pardoned dozens of people, including former Augusta pharmacist John Duncan Fordham who was convicted of defrauding the state of Georgia and ordered to pay $1 million in restitution.

Fordham spent four years in prison after his 2005 health care fraud conviction, and his assets were seized and liquidated to help make whole the state and a private insurance company he had defrauded. At the time of his January 2021 pardon, Fordham had made good on $531,000 in restitution payments.

And while the pardon erased the nearly half million he and his company still owed, that wasn’t good enough for Fordham. On Thursday, he took the unusual step of suing the state and the insurance company to pay him the hundreds of thousands he had already paid in restitution, claiming that Trump’s pardon had entitled him to recover the funds — plus interest.

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Fordham is not the only person connected to Georgia who received pardons from Trump during his presidency. In 2020, he pardoned Atlanta-based reality TV star and congressional candidate Angela Stanton-King, a vocal and ardent supporter of the former president. Stanton-King had been convicted on federal conspiracy charges for her role in a car theft ring in 2004.

Trump said in recent comments that if he runs for reelection and wins he will “very, very seriously” consider full pardons for the hundreds of people who have been charged for their involvement in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.


 

 

How Abbott Kept Sick Babies From Becoming a Scandal

 

I suggest reading the whole article:

 

 https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/06/business/abbott-baby-formula-lawsuits-jones-day.html?utm_source=pocket-newtab

 

By David Enrich

David Enrich, the business investigations editor for The New York Times, is the author of the forthcoming book, “Servants of the Damned: Giant Law Firms, Donald Trump, and the Corruption of Justice,” from which this article is adapted.

    Published Sept. 6, 2022Updated Sept. 8, 2022


Early on a Saturday morning in 2013, Mark Bennett, a federal judge, walked into his chambers in the courthouse in Sioux City, Iowa. He’d been out of town for a speaking engagement and was hoping to catch up on work. A surprise awaited him as he entered his office: Cardboard boxes were stacked everywhere.

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 The boxes cluttering Judge Bennett’s chambers were filled in large part with evidence that Abbott’s lawyers wanted to be able to introduce at the upcoming trial.

After more than two decades on the federal bench, Judge Bennett had a pretty good guess as to what was going on. The accusations in the lawsuit posed a threat to Abbott, which had staked its reputation on being family-friendly and devoted to health and safety. Judge Bennett figured that to protect an important client, the company’s outside lawyers, from the international law firm Jones Day, were trying to snow their opponents with tens of thousands of pages of paperwork. Even if the materials were only tangentially related to this particular case, the plaintiffs’ lawyers would need to spend countless hours poring over the documents to see what they contained.

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Judge Bennett, who retired in 2019 and now teaches at Drake University’s law school, may not have liked it, but the lawyers were effective. Over the ensuing months, Abbott prevailed in court, the poisoning of a newborn baby went largely unnoticed and the company continued making and selling its powdered formula just as it had done before.

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Nobody was prepared for what would happen nearly a decade later. In early 2022, after several infants fell ill and regulators found unsanitary conditions at an Abbott factory in Sturgis, Mich., the company voluntarily recalled its powdered formula and shut the plant.

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Over the years, newborns on rare occasions have fallen sick or died after being fed powdered formula. Until recently, however, the pattern largely lurked below the public and political radar. One big reason is that Abbott and its lawyers, at times deploying scorched earth legal tactics, have repeatedly beaten back attempts to hold the company liable.

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The Failure of Term Limits

 

https://news.yahoo.com/let-tom-steyer-worst-idea-122745087.html

Jonathan Bernstein
,Bloomberg•January 13, 2020

•••••

As the scholar of Congress Josh Huder notes, “65% of the Senate and 70% of the House have served 10 years or less.” Today’s Congress is historically weak, and one reason is the relatively short tenure of many members. As it is, short-timers allow themselves to be bossed around by experienced leaders or by the White House. That’s bad enough, but if experienced leaders were eliminated, Congress would find itself bossed by the White House and by large organized interest groups. That’s not just the logic of the situation; it’s also what political scientists who have studied term limits in state legislatures have found.

•••••

It gets worse. Steyer is also for instituting regular national policy referendums. As anyone who has been following U.K. politics or California politics surely knows, asking people to vote directly on policy just seems like a way to empower them. In fact, it’s just like Congressional term limits: It’s a way to transfer influence away from regular voters and toward organized interests.

http://upf.com/book.asp?id=DEPAL001

Synopsis of book by Kathryn A. DePalo
Foreword by David Colburn and Susan MacManus

•••••

In 1992, Florida voters approved an amendment to the state's Constitution creating eight-year term limits for legislators--making Florida the second-largest state to implement such a law. Eight years later, sixty-eight term-limited senators and representatives were forced to retire, and the state saw the highest number of freshman legislators since the first legislative session in 1845.

Proponents view term limits as part of a battle against the rising political class and argue that limits will foster a more honest and creative body with ideal "citizen" legislators. However, in this comprehensive twenty-year study, the first of its kind to examine the effects of term limits in Florida, Kathryn DePalo shows nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, these limits created a more powerful governor, legislative staffers, and lobbyists. Because incumbency is now certain, leadership races--especially for Speaker--are sometimes completed before members have even cast a single vote. Furthermore, legislators rarely leave public office; they simply return to local offices where they continue to exert influence.

•••••

http://florida.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.5744/florida/9780813060484.001.0001/upso-9780813060484

•••••

(abstract of the book by Kathryn A. DePalo)

Forced turnover has facilitated more competition but only when a seat initially opens. Term limits have not dramatically increased the number of women and minorities elected to office as proponents envisioned. Politicians elected under term limits are shown to have significant elective experience coming into the Legislature and continue to vie for elected positions when they exit, certainly not the “citizen” legislators proponents preferred. Legislative process knowledge is not the important criteria for leadership selection under term limits; the ability to fundraise and campaign for fellow party members is now the key criterion. The Senate has become the repository of institutional memory and gained an advantage over the less experienced House. The legislative branch is severely weakened under term limits with the governor, staff, and lobbyists filling the void. While term limits remain a popular idea in Florida, the effect on the legislative institution has not been a positive one.

•••••

http://www.gainesville.com/news/20160212/dave-denslow-term-limits-have-failed-florida

Dave Denslow: Term limits have failed Florida
Feb 12, 2016

•••••

how have we fared under term limits? Kathryn DePalo of Florida International University answers that question in her new book "The Failure of Term Limits in Florida." Term limits have given us fewer tested leaders in the House for heading committees and serving as speaker. The Senate fares better, since many members trained in the House. Term limits have also polarized the House, with candidates motivated more by ideology than by public service careers.

•••••

http://askew.fsu.edu/current/masters/actionreport/fa2006/Joe%20Waczewski%20-%20Analysis%20of%20the%20Impact%20of%20Term%20Limits.pdf

The Florida State University
“An Analysis of the Impact of Term Limits on the Florida Legislature”

An Action Report Submitted to the Faculty of the College of Social Science in Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Public Administration
The Florida State University
“An Analysis of the Impact of Term Limits on the Florida Legislature”
By Joe Waczewski
Tallahassee, December, 2006

•••••

While in Florida legislative term limits seem to be a popular and practical concept, they have not been an ideal solution to the problems they were intended to fix: political careerism, ineffectiveness and increased corruption in the legislative process; issues which require profound changes in both campaign finance and electoral systems, not simply “feel good” quick fixes like term limits. Term limits hinder the legislative and political processes in Florida in numerous ways: They do not necessarily curb the political aspirations of politicians; increase the possibility of corruption in the legislative process by interest groups attempting to influence a growing number of new and inexperienced legislators, and accelerate tension in the relationship between the legislative branches, as recent legislative sessions have shown.

•••••

[Details of the results of term limits begin on page 23 of the pdf]

These trends suggest term limits hinder the legislative process in some ways:

1) Term limits do not necessarily curb the political aspirations of politicians ...
2) Term Limits do not necessarily weaken the interest groups-legislators linkage. ...
3) Term limits force legislators to focus more on the power structure of the legislature and less on the needs of their particular district ...

•••••

http://www.governing.com/topics/politics/Truth-Term-Limits.html

by Alan Greenblatt | January 2006

•••••

Steven Rowe is a big proponent of early childhood interventions. He believes they can help reduce rates of mental illness, learning disability and, ultimately, criminal behavior. While serving as speaker of the Maine House six years ago, Rowe translated his ideals into a specific program, sponsoring legislation that expanded child care subsidies, provided tax breaks to businesses offering child care help to their workers and created a statewide home visitation network. ... his package passed by an overwhelming margin. It may have been Rowe's most important accomplishment as a legislator. It was also one of his last. After eight years in the House, including two as speaker, he was forced out of office by the state's term limits law. Rowe is now Maine's attorney general--a good job, but one that doesn't give him much leverage over the program he created. His cosponsors on the child care law aren't in the legislature anymore, either. They have been term-limited out as well.

In the absence of Rowe and his child care allies, funding for the package has already been slashed by a third, with more cuts likely to come. Plenty of programs have lost funding in recent years as Maine, like so many states, has suffered from fiscal shortfalls. But Maine, along with other term limit states, is experiencing an added phenomenon: the orphaned program, vulnerable to reduction or elimination because of the forced retirement of its champions. "We're probably seeing more neglect because legislators aren't there to babysit their own legislation," says Renee Bukovchik Van Vechten, a political scientist at the University of Redlands, in California. "We're seeing laws that need updating, and that's the least sexy part of the job."

•••••

It shouldn't come as a surprise that short-term legislators aren't prone to engage in long-term thinking. It's happening in all 15 of the states where term limits have gone into effect. In Arkansas several years ago, members of the legislature negotiated a solid waste fee to underwrite future environmental cleanups. After they all left office, a new group, not appreciating what the money had been set aside for-- or probably not even knowing--dipped into it, disbursing the funds into a newly favored program of their own.

•••••

almost everyone involved in the legislative process sees governors as big winners under term limits. In addition to their constitutional authority to sign and veto bills, governors in term- limited states control many top-level state jobs that legislators facing short stints will soon want. Whether it is a question of job ambitions, a shortage of information or sheer inexperience, the reality seems to be that legislators do a far less effective job of competing with governors for power once term limits take effect.

•••••

Saturday, September 03, 2022

Why are Pakistan’s floods so extreme this year?

 

If you do not make a continuing effort to reduce your use of energy and material (whose creating and transportation use energy), and/or you vote for politicians who are blocking action on dealing with climate disruption, you are helping to create horrible situations like this.

 

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-02813-6

 

 One-third of the country is under water, following an intense heatwave and a long monsoon that has dumped a record amount of rain.

Smriti Mallapaty

02 September 2022

 

With rivers breaking their banks, flash flooding and glacial lakes bursting, Pakistan is experiencing its worst floods this century. At least one-third of the country is under water. Scientists say several factors have contributed to the extreme event, which has displaced some 33 million people and killed more than 1,200.

Researchers say the catastrophe probably started with phenomenal heatwaves. In April and May, temperatures reached above 40 °C [104F] for prolonged periods in many places. On one sweltering day in May, the city of Jacobabad topped 51 °C [124F]. “These were not normal heatwaves — they were the worst in the world. We had the hottest place on Earth in Pakistan,” says Malik Amin Aslam, the country’s former minister for climate change, who is based in Islamabad.

Warmer air can hold more moisture. So meteorologists warned earlier this year that the extreme temperatures would probably result in “above normal” levels of rain during the country’s monsoon season, from July to September, says Zia Hashmi, a water-resources engineer at the Global Change Impact Studies Centre in Islamabad, speaking in his personal capacity.


Glacial melt

The intense heat also melted glaciers in the northern mountainous regions, increasing the amount of water flowing into tributaries that eventually make their way into the Indus river, says Athar Hussain, a climate scientist at COMSATS University Islamabad. The Indus is Pakistan’s largest river, and runs the length of the country from north to south, feeding towns, cities and large swathes of agricultural land along the way. It isn’t clear exactly how much excess glacial melt has flowed into rivers this year, but Hashmi visited some high-altitude glaciated regions in July and noticed high flows and muddy water in the Hunza River, which feeds into the Indus. He says the mud suggests that there has been rapid melting, because fast water picks up sediment as it moves downstream. Several glacial lakes have burst through the dams of ice that normally restrain them, releasing a dangerous rush of water.

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 Human-induced global warming could also be intensifying downpours. Climate models suggest that a warmer world will contribute to more frequent and more intense rainfall, says Hussain. Between 1952 and 2009, temperatures in Pakistan rose by 0.3 °C per decade — higher than the global average.

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Ubiquitous ‘Forever Chemicals’ Increase Risk of Liver Cancer, Researchers Report

 

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/30082022/pfas-forever-chemicals-health-liver-cancer

 

By Victoria St. Martin
August 30, 2022


The ubiquity of the toxic class of substances commonly known as “forever chemicals” is well established. Now, medical researchers have zeroed in on their effects on a crucial component of the human body’s internal filtration system: the liver.

In a peer-reviewed study published this month in JHEP Reports, a sister publication of the Journal of Hepatology, researchers at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California found that people who had the highest levels of exposure to the chemical perfluorooctane sulfonic acid were 4.5 times more likely to develop liver cancer than those with the lowest exposure.

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PFAS are known as forever chemicals because of the slow rate at which they break down in the environment and their persistence in accumulating in the human body and other organisms. Commonly used in such household items as nonstick pans, cleaning products and stain-resistant coatings on fabrics and carpet, they have been shown to increase the risk of certain cancers, suppress immune system response, decrease fertility and lead to developmental delays in children.

Although earlier research had linked occurrences of liver cancer in animals to PFAS, the study is one of the first that connects the most common form of liver cancer in humans, hepatocellular carcinoma, to the chemicals.

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“A really important part of the studies is actually being able to say that before these people got cancer, they had higher levels” of the chemicals, Goodrich said. “And that helps us to determine that it’s more likely in this situation that it’s actually PFAS that are associated with the cancer as opposed to just some sort of random chance.”

 Goodrich said that one of the more critical implications of the findings was the high mortality rate associated with liver cancer, which in 2020 was the world’s third-deadliest form of cancer. The five-year survival rate for those diagnosed with liver cancer is about 20%.

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The findings on PFAS and liver cancer were made public roughly a week after the release of a report by the National Academies calling for increased testing among people with a history of elevated exposure to the chemicals.

That includes those with “occupational exposure, those who have lived in communities with documented contamination and those who have lived where contamination may have occurred,” the academies’ study said, like people living near airports, military bases, wastewater treatment plants, farms, landfills and incinerators.

For those with 2 nanograms per milliliter of PFAS in their blood, the academies recommend routine screening for high cholesterol and breast cancer. For those with higher levels, annual thyroid testing is recommended, as is regular screening for kidney and testicular cancer.

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Bosses Are 4 Times More Likely To Be Psychopaths

From what I've read, more than 1% of the population tests as psychopathic.
http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2011/09/06/bosses-are-four-times-more-likely-to-be-psychopaths/

By David Schepp
Posted Sep 6th 2011

If you think your boss is a nutcase, you may be onto something, a new study suggests.

Business leaders are four times more likely to be psychopaths than the general population, according to a survey led by New York psychologist Paul Babiak, London's Daily Mail reports.

According to the findings, nearly 4 percent of bosses fit the profile of a psychopath, compared with 1 percent in the general population.

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In the film, Babiak tells the show's producers: "Psychopaths really aren't the kind of person you think they are. In fact, you could be living with or married to one for 20 years or more and not know that person is a psychopath," the Daily Mail reports.

The psychologist goes on to say that individuals identified in his research could be termed "successful psychopaths," who are capable of mimicking the personality traits that people find most pleasing in their leaders.

"Their natural tendency is to be charming," Babiak says in the film. "Take that charm and couch it in the right business language and it sounds like charismatic leadership."

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The Jobs With The Most Psychopaths

http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2013/01/02/the-jobs-with-the-most-psychopaths/

By Dan Fastenberg
Posted Jan 2nd 2013

Have you ever experienced the feeling at work that everyone around you is unstable? That you're the only level-headed worker in a workplace populated by colleagues whose fits and outbursts are unpredictable, or even psychopathic?

The experience might be common to many workers, but according to a recent book, The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success, certain fields are more likely to attract actual psychopaths than others. The book by Oxford psychologist Kevin Dutton argues that "a number of psychopathic attributes [are] actually more common in business leaders than in so-called disturbed criminals -- attributes such as superficial charm, egocentricity, persuasiveness, lack of empathy, independence, and focus."

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In a post about the book, author and Huffington Post blogger Eric Barker says that professions with high rates of psychopaths "offer power and many require an ability to make objective, clinical decisions divorced from feelings." Conversely, those fields with relatively few psychopaths "require human connection, dealing with feelings and most of them don't offer much power."

So what were the kinds of jobs most likely to attract psychopaths, and those least likely?

Highest Rates of Psychopathy:

1. CEO
2. Lawyer
3. Media (Television/Radio)
4. Salesperson
5. Surgeon
6. Journalist
7. Police Officer
8. Clergy person
9. Chef
10. Civil Servant

Lowest Rates of Psychopathy:

1. Care Aide
2. Nurse
3. Therapist
4. Craftsperson
5. Beautician/Stylist
6. Charity Worker
7. Teacher
8. Creative Artist
9. Doctor
10. Accountant

Why a special master?

 

Sept. 9, 2022

 

Trump's request for a special master to go thru the documents he stole is a waste of time, which is the exact point. He will try anything to delay action, hoping republicans will win the mid-terms and allow him to get away with treason.

Don't be a fool

 

Those who realize their folly are not true fools. : Chuang-tzu (c. 369-286 B.C.E.), Chinese Taoist philosopher

Coincidence?

 

https://twitter.com/TristanSnell/status/1565758245393801219

 

Tristan Snell
@TristanSnell

 1:47 PM · Sep 2, 2022

 

EVEN MORE DISTURBING given today’s news:

In Oct 2021, CIA Counterintel warned that an unusually high number of US spies were being killed, captured, or compromised.

In Jan 2021, Trump stole documents on these kind of informants — and 43 classified folders are now empty.