Georgia Governor Signs Bill Protecting Unborn Children After Heartbeat Detected

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill on May 7 outlawing abortions once a doctor can detect a heartbeat in the unborn child.
Kemp, a Republican, became the fifth governor in the country to sign such a bill in the past year, joining the governors of Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, and Iowa. Republicans in 10 other states have introduced similar bills.

The Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act allows for later abortions in cases of medical emergencies. In cases of rape or incest, the woman would be required to file an official police report.

“Georgia is a state that values life. We protect the innocent. We champion the vulnerable. We stand up and speak for those unable to speak for themselves,” Kemp said before signing the bill.

THAT, CONTENDS AGAINST THIS DEMONCRAP-FOR-BRAINS:

CNN Contributor: ‘When a Woman Is Pregnant, That Is Not a Human Being inside of Her’

In a segment yesterday evening on Chris Cuomo’s primetime show, a CNN contributor and former New York City Democratic politician made a particularly unscientific assertion in defense of abortion rights. During a discussion about state-level “heartbeat bills,” which prohibit abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, Christine Quinn claimed, “When a woman is pregnant, that is not a human being inside of her.”

Quinn, who served as the speaker of the New York City Council until 2013, is also a board member for the National Institute for Reproductive Health, a pro-abortion action fund. Her comment last night was, of course, factually and scientifically inaccurate by entirely objective standards.

Basic biology tells us that every pregnant woman is pregnant not with a horse or an acorn or a tumor but with another human being.
Inside each pregnant woman is a human being that meets all the scientific criteria to be considered alive.
Each embryo or fetus has human DNA, entirely distinct from that of both its mother and its father and, indeed, from every other human being that has ever existed or will ever exist for all of human history.
Each of those developing human beings is inside its mother, yes, but not part of its mother.
From the moment of conception, that unborn human being has all of the cells that will develop into fully functioning organs, into its own unique fingerprints, into its own heartbeat and neural tissue.

Birth does not magically confer humanity on that being. It was a human being from the start.

Brain zaps boost memory in people over 60.

Maybe a cure for CRS?

NEW YORK (AP) — Zapping the brains of people over 60 with a mild electrical current improved a form of memory enough that they performed like people in their 20s, a new study found.

Someday, people might visit clinics to boost that ability, which declines both in normal aging and in dementias like Alzheimer’s disease, said researcher Robert Reinhart of Boston University.

The treatment is aimed at “working memory,” the ability to hold information in mind for a matter of seconds as you perform a task, such as doing math in your head. Sometimes called the workbench or scratchpad of the mind, it’s crucial for things like taking medications, paying bills, buying groceries or planning, Reinhart said.

“It’s where your consciousness lives … where you’re working on information,” he said.

The new study is not the first to show that stimulating the brain can boost working memory. But Reinhart, who reported the work Monday in the journal Nature Neuroscience, said it’s notable for showing success in older people and because the memory boost persisted for nearly an hour minimum after the brain stimulation ended.

One scientist who has previously reported boosting working memory with electrical stimulation noted that the decline in this ability with normal aging is not huge. But “they removed the effects of age from these people,” said Dr. Barry Gordon, a professor of neurology and cognitive science at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

“It’s a superb first step” toward demonstrating a way to improve mental performance, said Gordon, who was not involved in the new study.

Reinhart agreed that more research is needed before it can be formally tested as a treatment.

 

GPS “rollover” event on April 6 could have some side-effects
GPS’ UTC clock, used for more than navigation, is about to reset. There might be some surprises.

On April 6, the Global Positioning System will reach the end of an era—or more correctly, an epoch. That’s when the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) clock used by the satellite navigation system will reach the limit for its 10-bit “week number” (WN) counter and flip back to 0000000000.

GPS time is linked to the official UTC clock time provided by the US Naval Observatory. But the GPS version of the clock tracks the date by counting the number of weeks since the beginning of the current GPS “epoch”—August 21, 1999. So as the clock reaches midnight tonight on the prime meridian, the GPS calendar will suddenly become 20 years out of date.

This should not come as a surprise for most newer GPS navigation systems. There has been plenty of warning—GPS went through a similar flip once before. And the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center issued a warning in April 2018 that this rollover was coming, as it will every 1,024 weeks—until the modernization of the GPS constellation is complete, and then the WN counter will be increased in size to 13 bits.

Most newer GPS receivers will shrug off the rollover because they’ve been programmed to accommodate the epoch change. But older systems won’t—and this may prove to have some interesting side-effects, as timing data suddenly jumps by 19.7 years. The clock change won’t directly affect location calculations. But if GPS receivers don’t properly account for the rollover, the time tags in the location data could corrupt navigation data in other ways.

But navigation isn’t the only concern. There are many systems that use the time for other purposes—cellular networks, electrical utilities, and other industrial systems use GPS receivers for timing and control functions. Since many of these systems have extremely long lifecycles, they’re the ones most likely to have not been updated.

The rollover issue isn’t limited to one day. Because of the way some manufacturers accounted for the rollover date in the past—by hard-coding a date correction into receivers’ firmware—their systems might fail at some arbitrary future date. Some have already succumbed: in July of 2017, an older NovAtel GPS system failed, and while the company issued a notice months earlier warning users to upgrade firmware, many remained ignorant of the notice until it happened. Motorola OncoreUT+ systems and some receivers using Trimble’s GPS engines also have failed over the past three years for similar reasons.

If you have a GPS receiver embedded in anything you own that has been around for a few years, do yourself a favor today and check for a firmware update.

California should have had a major earthquake by now, geologists warn.

As long as it takes San Francisco & LA off the face of the planet when it goes, I can wait a while longer

California’s three most historically active faults haven’t slipped in a century, a hiatus unprecedented over the last 1,000 years, according to a new study.

When researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey studied the paleoseismic records from the San Andreas, San Jacinto and Hayward faults, they failed to find a gap as long as California’s current earthquake hiatus.

Oops: Hypothesis for Latest Gun Control Study ‘Has Not Been Validated’

Researchers behind a recent gun control study admit that the hypothesis for the study “has not been validated.”

The study, which appeared in the British Medical Journal, claims that states with less restrictive gun laws witness higher levels of mass shootings. The researchers behind the study included Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s Paul Reeping.

The study looked at FBI crime data from 1998–2014 and concluded:

Permissiveness or restrictiveness of state gun laws is associated with the rate of mass shootings in the US. States with more permissive gun laws and greater gun ownership have higher rates of mass shootings, and a growing divergence is noted in recent years as rates of mass shootings in restrictive states have decreased and those in permissive states have increased.

The left immediately saw the intimation that more guns equal more crime and ran with the study. VoxNewsweekYahoo NewsThe Hill, and others printed summaries of the study, dutifully noting that more guns equal more crime or, at the least, more mass shootings.

But outlets and individuals who did more than simply read the summary and conclusion of the study found a shocking admission by the researchers — namely, that “the state restrictiveness-permissiveness score we used has not been validated.” In other words, the very hypothesis that less restrictive gun laws lead to more mass shootings has yet to be verified.

Marijuana legalization has boosted snack food sales, study reveals.

Really? A paper on the munchies?
I wonder what the size of the research grant was for this.

Recreational Marijuana Laws and Junk Food Consumption: Evidence Using Border Analysis and Retail Sales Data

A widespread urban myth is that marijuana consumption is associated with the so called ‘munchies’ namely an irresistible urge to consume large amounts of snack or junk food, such as ice cream, cookies, candies, and the like. While there is some neuroscience-based hypothesis that may help support this idea there is no formal causal evidence that may help support any actual behavioral change.

We use retail scanner data on purchases of high calorie food to study the link between recreational marijuana laws (RMLs) and consumption of high calorie food. To do this we exploit differences in the timing of introduction of marijuana laws among states and find that they are complements.

It’s now confirmed!: 

Specifically, in counties located in RML states monthly sales of high calorie food increased by 3.1 percent for ice cream, 4.1 for cookies, and 5.3 percent for chips.

Has gun control made Baltimore safer? Data analyst says ‘No’

My name is Brian Bissett.  I reside in Howard County, Maryland, and I am the author of two peer-reviewed books on Data Analysis. I am writing today OPPOSING the following bills which are currently being considered by the Maryland State Legislature.

HB92HB95HB96HB523HB612HB1343SB8SB113SB346SB737,  AND SB1000.

All of these proposed laws will enjoin honest citizens from freely exercising their right to utilize firearms for lawful purposes in various ways by actions such as requiring an expensive license to purchase a long gun, prohibiting possession of certain common firearms, and eliminating any civilian oversight of State Police decisions pertaining to handgun permits.

My opposition to additional gun control legislation is not an emotional reaction but is rather based on a careful analysis of Baltimore City crime compared to its sister cities in terms of population, wealth and proximity. I have also analyzed firearms crime in Baltimore City both before and after the implementation of the Firearms Safety Act of 2013.

ALL DATA IS FROM THE FBI UNIFORM CRIME REPORT, THE BALTIMORE CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT (OPEN BALTIMORE CRIME DATA), AND THE GIFFORDS LAW CENTER (A GUN CONTROL GROUP.)

The charts depicting crimes in Baltimore City contained herein only show Crimes COMMITTED WITH FIREARMS. Robberies are only robberies by means of a firearm, not a knife or other implement. Assaults and Murders are only those assaults or murders committed with a firearm (nearly always a Handgun.)

The strength of Gun Laws is subjective, so I used the Gifford’s Gun Report (an Anti-Firearms Organization) to denote the relative strength of gun laws for the States and Cities compared with Baltimore.

When examining the graphs, it is important to have an understanding of the Giffords’ Grades which range from “A” to “F”.

A state which does background checks on all new gun sales and issues carry permits to people who undergo training and have no criminal record will get an “F”.

A grade of a “B” or “A” is not possible without doing most of the following:

Banning civilian possession of many firearms in common use.

Banning standard capacity magazines.

Forbidding citizens from obtaining a permit to carry a firearm for self-protection without proving a need to do so.

Having a red flag law which authorizes confiscation of personal firearms with delayed due process.

The “C” grade is a pivotal point on the scale, as it marks a transition from checking and training to prohibitions. Most of the states in the country have a “D” or “F” grade.

The trend that emerges is that once firearms laws go beyond requiring a background check for purchase and safety training, robberies, assaults, shootings, and murders with firearms rise. This trend was not just present in Baltimore, but the “like” cities it was compared with.

Harvard Scientists Want To Spray Particles into Atmosphere 4,000 Times a Year… To “Fight Global Warming”

Despite the exposing of the global warming and climate change hoax, complete with the revelation that “studies” were falsified and manipulated, there are still people pushing the hoax.  Now, there are scientists at Harvard University who want to fight the mythical “global warming” by flying at least 4,000 missions per year and dumping particles into the stratosphere.  Anyone wanna guess what this is going to cost us besides health issues?

The following is an article written by Barry Brownstein, professor emeritus of economics and leadership at the University of Baltimore and author of The Inner-Work of Leadership, at Foundation For Economic Education, which explains this ridiculous notion that man thinks he is in control of the Creation rather than the Creator.

Harvard’s Gernot Wagner wants to save the world from global warming. His method? Develop a new type of plane that will fly more than 4,000 missions a year dumping particulates into the stratosphere.

Wagner and his colleague Wake Smith call the proposed plane “SAI Lofter (SAIL).” Anonymous individuals at “Airbus, Atlas Air, Boeing, Bombardier, GE Engines, Gulfstream, Lockheed Martin, NASA, Near Space Corporation, Northrup Grumman, Rolls Royce Engines, Scaled Composites, The Spaceship Company, and Virgin Orbit” provided input.

Estimates for SAIL’s design and operation seem sophisticated but are fabricated. Wagner and Smith admit, “No existing aircraft design—even with extensive modifications—can reasonably fulfill [their] mission.”

Wagner and others believe that scientists can calculate how many particulates will be needed to cool the Earth to a desired temperature.

Wagner and Smith are not alone in their geoengineering dreams. As early as 2006, Paul J. Crutzen, Nobel laureate in chemistry, called for “stratospheric geoengineering research.” Harvard professors David Keith and Frank Keutsch hope to experiment via balloons spraying “a fine mist of materials such as sulfur dioxide, alumina, or calcium carbonate into the stratosphere.” Wagner, Keith, and Keutsch are all part of the Solar Geoengineering Research Program at Harvard.

Geoengineering is gaining global traction. Last fall, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report saying geoengineering could be used as an emergency “temporary remedial measure.”

Spraying aerosols in the stratosphere would mimic what large volcanoes do.”

The Green New Deal’s Impossible Electric Grid

Science, Technology and Reality often have a way of exposing the crap-for-brains idiocy of econutz.

The Democrats’ Green New Deal calls for a fully renewable electric power grid. Regardless of the economic or political challenges of bringing this about, it is likely technologically impossible.

An electric power grid involves second-by-second balancing between generated supply and consumer demand. In the case of a sudden imbalance—such as from the loss of a generator’s output—all the remaining generators on the grid instantaneously pool together. Each one pitches in a small part of the required power to make up for the lost generator fast enough to keep supply and demand balanced.

This doesn’t work for wind and solar because you can’t spontaneously increase wind or sunshine. Hydro power is limited and unevenly distributed around the country. And for safety reasons, nuclear power—even if the Green New Dealers accepted it—can’t be cranked up to neutralize imbalances. Nor can consumer demand be suddenly reduced enough.

Fossil-fuel turbines, by contrast, very naturally compensate for sudden supply outages. The inertia of the spinning mass of rotors provides the extra energy needed to compensate for the loss for the first few seconds. (Wind-rotor inertia is too short-lived.) Meanwhile the generators’ on-line reserve capacity kicks in, giving a rapid boost in power output to prevent the turbines from slowing down. That substitute power, called “governor response,” lasts as long as 15 minutes. During that time a single replacement generator ramps up to compensate entirely for the loss. All the turbines on the grid are thereby restored to their original speed, and the governor response is rearmed for the next disturbance.

An all-renewables grid would require prohibitively expensive battery storage to compensate for sudden power losses. Even with batteries, the lost power would have to be fed through “inverters”—a technology that converts variable-wind-speed alternating current, solar-power direct current, and battery-power direct-current into alternating current—to allow for synthetic inertia and governor response in the case of a disruption.

But according to a 2017 report from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, if a large enough share of the power grid flows through inverters, the grid itself may collapse. Existing inverter technologies have faced serious software problems and prompted outages where they have been deployed. The IEEE is trying to create a global standard for inverter design—though heavy input by Chinese suppliers bent on commandeering the technology may pose a national-security risk if the U.S. were to incorporate the standard.

How could the market price in the cost of providing rapid replacement energy that renewable sources can’t provide reliably? The entity that caused the outage should need to pay. Yet the power industry—to say nothing of the Green New Dealers—hasn’t given this much thought. An all-renewables power grid is destined to collapse.

Can You be a ‘Scientist’ But Reject the Scientific Method?

As reported in Politico on January 27, climate activists at the American Meteorological Society’s annual meeting in January in Phoenix, Arizona admitted they are failing to persuade the American people of the threat of global warming.

Activists pushing climate change socialism are frustrated by their inability to persuade rational people of their irrational arguments. At heart: can you be a scientist while rejecting the scientific method?

There is absolutely zero evidence of man-made global warming — none whatsoever. Moshe Pritsker, a former post-doctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School and CEO of JoVE, told Live Science. “The reproducibility of published experiments is the foundation of science. No reproducibility — no science.” Just because one can buy a lab coat for $46.39, that doesn’t make them a scientist.

Today “science” has degenerated into “thought experiments.” That is, “imagineering” has replaced empirical experimentation.

New DOJ Report on Where Criminals Get Their Guns

From the Department of Justice

Among prisoners serving time for a crime during which they possessed a gun:
43% got their weapons on the black market
6% by theft
10% from a retail source which included 0.8% at a gun show
(some loophole what?)
11% someone else bought the gun for them
15% got guns from family and friends
12% the guns were either brought to the crime by someone else or found at the scene.

It’s obvious to anyone other than a demoncrap-for-brains gun-grabber politician that it would be next to impossible to regulate these transactions. The black market is by definition unregulated. Criminals, also by definition,   are not going to follow gun laws. Theft is already illegal. And licensed dealers already conduct background checks.

A NEW STUDY COULD SPELL TROUBLE FOR THE FUTURE OF WIND ENERGY

Wind energy resources have been in sharp decline in regions all across the world, according to a study conducted by Chinese researchers.

After analyzing data from more than 1,000 weather stations around the world, a team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences found that 67 percent had witnessed an extensive decrease in wind power potential over the course of nearly 40 years. The team — which also induced a researcher from Purdue University — reached their findings after examining the changes of wind surface speeds from 1979 to 2016.

“The results show that surface wind speeds were decreasing in the past four decades over most regions in the Northern Hemisphere,” the study’s authors wrote, according to a Greentech Media report on Wednesday.

Around 30 percent of locations in North America have witnessed a 30 percent drop or more in available hub-height wind power. Sites in Europe were worse, where about 40 percent experienced a similar decline. However, the effect was the most significant in Asia, where around 80 percent of sites on the continent saw a 30 percent drop in wind.

It’s not immediately clear what is behind the decline of wind across the Northern Hemisphere. Dr. Gang Huang, a corresponding author of the research, revealed to Greentech Media that they are currently performing a follow-up study to help determine possible causes.

Huang surmised that surface cover changes — such as the fast expansion of cities in developing countries — could possibly be affecting wind speeds, but maintained that it’s just an assumption. Increases in carbon dioxide emissions have also been predicted to decrease wind power.

Another cause could be the expansion of wind energy technology itself. A study published in November found that wind farms upwind from other turbines reduced their electricity generation. This “wake effect,” the study found, reduces wind speed and affects turbines downwind from their direction. The research team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences did find that the most dramatic decreases in wind power in China tended to occur “where a number of gigantic commercial wind farms were built.”

MIT Figured out a Way to Shrink Objects to Nanoscale.

Fantastic Voyage, here we come?

Birth Of An Idea
A new nanotech breakthrough comes courtesy of a material you’d likely find in any nursery.

A team from MIT has figured out a way to quickly and inexpensively shrink objects to the nanoscale. It calls the process implosion fabrication, and it all starts with polyacrylate — the super-absorbent polymer typically found in baby diapers.

Size Matters
According to the MIT team’s paper, published Thursday in Science, the first step in the implosion fabrication process is adding a liquid solution to a piece of polyacrylate, causing it to swell.

Next, the team used lasers to bind fluorescein molecules to the polyacrylate in a pattern of their choosing. Those molecules acted as anchor points for whatever material the researchers wanted to shrink to the nanoscale.

You attach the anchors where you want with light, and later you can attach whatever you want to the anchors, researcher Edward Boyden said in an MIT news releaseIt could be a quantum dot, it could be a piece of DNA, it could be a gold nanoparticle.

The researchers then dehydrated the polyacrylate scaffold using an acid. That caused the material attached to the polyacrylate to shrink in an even way to a thousandth of its original size.

Shrink Away
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of implosion fabrication is its accessibility — according to the MIT press release, many biology and materials science labs already have the necessary equipment to beginning shrinking objects to the nanoscale on their own.

Emergence of Lab-Grown Meat Poses New Questions for Religious Leaders
As Cell-Cultured Meat Gets Closer to Reality, Rabbis Ponder the Possibility of Kosher Pork

Lab-grown meat is becoming closer to a reality.

Several start-ups are already developing cell-cultured meat — meat based on animal cells grown in a Petri dish. Although no product is yet commercially available, companies have produced prototypes for chicken nuggets, burgers, and most-recently steak, that resemble conventional meat on the cellular level

But this new technology poses new questions for people who typically avoid meat for religious or ethical reasons. Lab-grown meat has sparked a debate among rabbis in Israel about whether cell-cultured is the same as conventional meat and should fall under the same guidelines for keeping kosher.

“There is a disagreement about it and there is a conversation. Also, definitely, there are new questions about lab-meat,” says Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, an expert on kosher tradition and bioethics.

Hear more from Rabbi Cherlow in the video above, and watch the episode from Moving Upstream below for an in-depth look at efforts to develop cell-cultured meat, and its potential impact.

Climatologist Shreds Sea-Level Rise BS Pushed by Climate Fearmongers

Good News! We’re not going to drown. At least not from the sea level rising. That’s what the scare tactics of those pushing the climate change hypothesis keep telling us. Writing on her website, Dr. Judith Curry hit the BS button on the sea level rise claims pushed by the scaremongers.

The available evidence shows the following:

  • Sea level was apparently higher than present at the time of the Holocene Climate Optimum (~ 5000 years ago), at least in some regions.
  • Tide gauges show that sea levels began to rise during the 19th century, after several centuries associated with cooling and sea level decline. Tide gauges also show that rates of global mean sea level rise between 1920 and 1950 were comparable to recent rates.
  • Recent research has concluded that there is no consistent or compelling evidence that recent rates of sea level rise are abnormal in the context of the historical records back to the 19th century that are available across Europe.

She adds that any sea level rises we’ve seen have had nothing to do with mankind,

  • The slow emergence of fossil fuel emissions prior to 1950 did not contribute significantly to sea level rise observed in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • The recent acceleration in mean global sea level rise (since 1995) is caused by mass loss from Greenland that appears to have been larger during the 1930’s, with both periods associated with the warm phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

Our New Atomic Clock Is So Precise That We Need a Better Understanding of Gravity To Use It.

The older cesium clocks were so accurate that scientists could calculate the altitudes of each one by the different rate of time each one indicated.  The knowledge that altitude affects gravity, which affects time is also why the satellite GPS system works.

With due consideration, one can think of all sorts of possibilities, including theological, concerning just what is the ‘correct’ age of the universe.

The scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Measurement have one big job: to measure things as accurately as possible. To do that, they build a lot of big and complicated machines, including precise tape measures and absolutely gigantic scales.

For the past few years, NIST has been building the world’s most accurate clock, and new research shows it’s actually too precise. How so? It turns out our understanding of the Earth’s gravity is not good enough to take full advantage of the clock.

NIST’s clock doesn’t use gears or springs or even quartz crystals like what’s inside a modern wristwatch. Their atomic clock, which occupies an entire table, works by hitting atoms with microwave radiation, which causes electrons inside those atoms to oscillate at a specific frequency.

That frequency is so precise, scientists can use it to tell time. In fact, that oscillation frequency is so precise that in 1967, scientists actually used it to define the second. That’s why it’s so important for NIST to build the most sensitive atomic clock in the world: the accuracy of this one clock will end up affecting every other clock.

There’s just one problem with this plan, and it’s Albert Einstein’s fault. In 1915, Einstein published his famous theory of general relativity, which says objects that have mass actually distort space, making it curve. General relativity also says that space and time are linked, which means that distorting space also distorts time. Specifically, the stronger the force of gravity in a place, the more time slows down.

Normally, this isn’t a problem for life on Earth. Gravity doesn’t change much as you move around the planet, and even going high into the atmosphere on a plane won’t speed up time by any noticeable amount. But for the most accurate atomic clock ever made, small changes in gravity matter a great deal.

In order for NIST’s scientists to accurately know what time it is, they have to know how strong the force of gravity is at the location of their clock. Because the Earth isn’t a perfect sphere, gravity can change by small amounts from inch to inch and foot to foot. Instruments on satellites have measured the force of gravity all over the Earth to an accuracy of a few feet, which has been enough for atomic clocks in the past. But NIST’s new clock is so accurate it needs to know the force of gravity every single centimeter, which is currently beyond the ability of science.

The good news is that by making more of these highly accurate atomic clocks, scientists can use them to provide that kind of resolution across the entire globe. It will take a while, but this kind of improvement can help scientists keep track of time even better than before, which will benefit countless experiments in the future.

CNN Lets ‘Food Babe’ Spout Pseudoscience on Lettuce Outbreak.

The Food and Drug Administration’s urgent warning about a romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak left many Americans wondering how the problem spread so quickly and what they could do to protect themselves.

Unfortunately, viewers who tuned into a Sunday CNN segment on the crisis—which featured a blogger who bills herself as Food Babe, instead of a scientist or doctor—got the wrong answers.

Anchor Ana Cabrera kicked things off by describing self-appointed food investigator Vani Hari as someone who has “studied where our food comes from quite a bit” before asking how the outbreak happened. .

“[W]hat’s the worst part of this situation is that we do not have a supply chain check-and-balance in place,” Hari said. “Once your romaine is grown and harvested, it has so many different touch points of contamination possible. You know, that romaine is taken to one factory to get washed. Then another factory to get bagged, put into different bags of lettuce and then combined with other kinds of lettuce. And every single time it gets cut or washed it touches different machinery so there’s so many different points of contamination that can happen. And if we don’t know where our food is coming from, we can’t really trust it.”

Hari’s advice? Buy whole heads of lettuce instead of the bagged or boxed types, to avoid these “touch points of contamination.”

“[W]hen I go out and I buy romaine lettuce or any type of lettuce, I avoid the bag and box lettuces and I really go for, like, the whole head of lettuce,” she said.

Cabrera asked for a clarification: “So you go for the head versus bagged, and that’s because it’s less processed?”

“Absolutely,” Hari responded, “and the touch points are definitely less. You know, one of the things that we have a problem with in this country is we have things grown in one place and processed in another … [T]hat’s why it takes so long for the CDC and other government officials to figure out where these contaminations are coming from and how to contain it without sickening more people.”

But that’s not really how the spread of foodborne illness works—and a head of lettuce isn’t any safer than a boxed or bagged version, an FDA spokesperson told The Daily Beast this week.

“It’s true that there are more points of contamination,” the spokesperson said. “But just because a whole head of lettuce is going through less steps between consumers and where it’s grown does not make it necessarily safer than a bag of chopped up lettuce.”

Study does not find population-level changes in firearm homicide or suicide rates in California 10 years after comprehensive background check and violent misdemeanor policies enacted

UC Davis professor Garen J. Wintemute -noted for being adamantly anti-gun- was the main man on this. The results must burn in his guts.

A study of firearm homicide and suicide rates in the 10 years after California simultaneously mandated comprehensive background checks for nearly all firearm sales and a prohibition on gun purchase and possession for persons convicted of most violent misdemeanor crimes found no change in the rates of either cause of death from firearms through 2000……

“In the 10 years after policy implementation, firearm suicide rates were, on average, 10.9 percent lower in California than expected, but we observed a similar decrease in non-firearm suicide,” said Garen Wintemute, professor of emergency medicine and director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis, senior author on the study.

“This suggests that the policies’ estimated impact on firearm suicide may be part of broader changes in suicide risk around the time that the California policies were implemented,” he said.

The study found no net difference between firearm-related homicide rates before and during the 10 years after policy implementation.

Climate Contrarian Uncovers Scientific Error, Upends Major Ocean Warming Study

Researchers with UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Princeton University recently walked back scientific findings published last month that showed oceans have been heating up dramatically faster than previously thought as a result of climate change.

In a paper published Oct. 31 in the journal Nature, researchers found that ocean temperatures had warmed 60 percent more than outlined by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

However, the conclusion came under scrutiny after mathematician Nic Lewis, a critic of the scientific consensus around human-induced warming, posted a critique of the paper on the blog of Judith Curry, another well-known critic.

Anti-gun Researcher Refutes His Own Anti-gun Conclusion

Of course proper research and the truth refute the standard operational gun-grabbing morons. What’s new about that? And and all scientifically proven and verified fact simply must be ignored if it contradicts the narrative that ‘gunz iz bad’ for the proggie.

Doctor Garen Wintemute’s latest contribution to “the prevention of firearm violence” comes in the form of a Perspective column published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Wintemute, you may recall, is the Director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program and the UC Firearm Violence Research Center. He proposes a two-prong solution to stop mass shootings.

The solution, according to Doctor Wintemute? So-called “comprehensive background checks” and emergency protective orders, which “allow courts to have firearms removed temporarily from people who pose an imminent hazard to others or themselves but are not members of a prohibited class.”

Wintemute begins with a list of six mass shootings, the perpetrators of which all passed background checks. There were missed or ignored signs in some of these cases and evidence of systemic institutional failure in others – including opportunities to have the perpetrators involuntarily committed before their actions. Wintemute acknowledges his own research found “no evidence of an association between the repeal of comprehensive background check policies and firearm homicide and suicide rates in Indiana and Tennessee.” To be blunt, the comprehensive background check laws didn’t affect relevant homicides.

His own research doesn’t stop Wintemute from pressing forward with his agenda. “But the findings do not support a conclusion that background-check requirements are fundamentally ineffective.” Try to reconcile that with the previously described findings. Wintemute seems to be really suggesting that we need better background checks – with more information shared to background check systems and clearer definitions of prohibited persons. This is different than “comprehensive background checks,” which generally require checks to be run even for transfers between friends or other private sales.

Wintemute is using these two ideas interchangeably, it seems. His own study referenced in this article is focused on “comprehensive background checks” that require checks on private sales. He cites the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs as evidence of the “consequences… of specific and widespread defects in design and implementation [of background check laws].” The issue in this case had nothing to do with private sales. The Sutherland Springs shooter was able to purchase a firearm because prohibiting information was not shared by the U.S. Air Force. Properly prohibiting factors should absolutely be shared with background check systems.

Later in his article, Wintemute moves the goalpost from “comprehensive background checks” to “permits to purchase,” which would require law-abiding citizens to get permission from the government before they were allowed to purchase a firearm. Wintemute claims “many studies have found permit-to-purchase laws to be effective” but the Rand Corporation determined that licensing and permitting requirements have uncertain effects on total homicides, firearms homicides, and mass shootings because the evidence is inconclusive.

Interestingly, the Rand Corporation also found that private-seller background checks have an uncertain effect on firearm homicides and that dealer background checks – which are already federal law – may decrease violent crime, total homicides, and firearm homicides.

Why Australia’s famed gun control laws probably wouldn’t reduce shooting deaths in America

But the proggies still want to be gun-grabbers.

On a spring day in the Tasmanian town of Port Arthur, a lone gunman shot an elderly couple at the inn they owned, 22 diners lunching at a nearby tourist spot, two tour bus drivers and several of their passengers, four occupants of a BMW, and two customers at a gas station.

By the time the bullets stopped flying on April 28, 1996, 35 people were dead and another 23 were wounded. It was the worst mass shooting Australia had ever seen.

In a matter of months, Australia rolled out the National Firearms Agreement, which banned the possession of automatic and semiautomatic firearms in all but “exceptional circumstances.” About 640,000 guns were surrendered through a gun buyback program and another 60,000 were turned in to authorities for free in 1996 and 1997.

Australia has not seen a shooting like the Port Arthur massacre since, and the National Firearms Agreement is widely credited for this success. Gun control advocates in the United States — including former President Obama — have spoken admiringly of the law and suggest it should be a model for reducing gun deaths here.

That wouldn’t do any good, according to the authors of a new study.

Mass shootings get the most attention, but they account for a tiny fraction of total gun deaths in the U.S., data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show. Among the nation’s 36,252 firearms-related fatalities in 2015, 61% were suicides and most of the rest were ordinary homicides.

Neither of those kinds of deaths actually fell in Australia as a result of the National Firearms Agreement, researchers reported Tuesday in the American Journal of Public Health.

“Many claims have been made about the NFA’s far-reaching effects and its potential benefits if implemented in the United States,” wrote Stuart Gilmour, a statistician at St. Luke’s International University in Tokyo, and his coauthors from the University of Tokyo. “However, more detailed analysis of the law shows that it likely had a negligible effect on firearm suicides and homicides in Australia and may not have as large an effect in the United States as some gun control advocates expect.”

Previous studies have said otherwise. A 2010 report in the American Law and Economics Review concluded that “the buyback led to a drop in the firearm suicide rates of almost 80%” and had a similar effect on gun-related homicides. But that study ignored the fact that gun deaths were already falling when the program went into effect.

A 2016 study in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. acknowledged that a decline in gun-related suicides and homicides was indeed underway but said these mortality rates dropped more sharply in the aftermath of the NFA. However, the JAMA study failed to consider deaths that had nothing to do with guns. That means they might have given the gun control law credit for something that would have happened anyway.

Gilmour and his coauthors attempted to solve these problems by using a statistical method known as “difference-in-difference.” This approach turns real-life events into scientific experiments in which one group is subjected to an intervention and another group serves as a control.

In this case, the intervention was the National Firearms Agreement. It could have affected Australians who were inclined to use a gun to commit a suicide or homicide. But Gilmour’s team assumed it would have no effect on suicides and homicides that did not involve a gun. This was their control group.

Their difference-in-difference analysis revealed that although the rate of gun-related suicides fell steadily after the NFA went into effect in 1997, that decline was part of a larger trend that began in the late 1980s — and wasn’t altered by the new law.

Likewise, homicides in Australia were already dropping when the National Firearms Agreement went into effect. The rate of gun-related homicides fell in the wake of the NFA, but the law had no effect “over and above a broad decline” in homicides involving all kinds of weapons, the study authors wrote.

Academic Activists Send a Published Paper Down the Memory Hole

Intriguing article on how modern ‘science’ – and academia – as one commenter put it, is reminiscent of Stalin’s Soviet Union when people were removed from photographs. A peer reviewed paper, approved and published, was removed from online archives. Read the whole thing. Most illuminating.

In the highly controversial area of human intelligence, the ‘Greater Male Variability Hypothesis’ (GMVH) asserts that there are more idiots and more geniuses among men than among women. Darwin’s research on evolution in the nineteenth century found that, although there are many exceptions for specific traits and species, there is generally more variability in males than in females of the same species throughout the animal kingdom……

On October 13, a lifeline appeared. Igor Rivin, an editor at the widely respected online research journal, the New York Journal of Mathematics, got in touch with me. He had learned about the article from my erstwhile co-author, read the archived version, and asked me if I’d like to submit a newly revised draft for publication. Rivin said that Mark Steinberger, the NYJM’s editor-in-chief, was also very positive and that they were confident the paper could be refereed fairly quickly. I duly submitted a new draft (this time as the sole author) and, after a very positive referee’s report and a handful of supervised revisions, Steinberger wrote to confirm publication on November 6, 2017. Relieved that the ordeal was finally over, I forwarded the link to interested colleagues.

Three days later, however, the paper had vanished. And a few days after that, a completely different paper by different authors appeared at exactly the same page of the same volume (NYJM Volume 23, p 1641+) where mine had once been. As it turned out, Amie Wilkinson is married to Benson Farb, a member of the NYJM editorial board. Upon discovering that the journal had published my paper, Professor Farb had written a furious email to Steinberger demanding that it be deleted at once. “Rivin,” he complained, “is well-known as a person with extremist views who likes to pick fights with people via inflammatory statements.” Farb’s “father-in law…a famous statistician,” he went on, had “already poked many holes in the ridiculous paper.” My paper was “politically charged” and “pseudoscience” and “a piece of crap” and, by encouraging the NYJM to accept it, Rivin had “violat[ed] a scientific duty for purely political ends.”

Unaware of any of this, I wrote to Steinberger on November 14, to find out what had happened. I pointed out that if the deletion were permanent, it would leave me in an impossible position. I would not be able to republish anywhere else because I would be unable to sign a copyright form declaring that it had not already been published elsewhere. Steinberger replied later that day. Half his board, he explained unhappily, had told him that unless he pulled the article, they would all resign and “harass the journal” he had founded 25 years earlier “until it died.” Faced with the loss of his own scientific legacy, he had capitulated. “A publication in a dead journal,” he offered, “wouldn’t help you.”

Colleagues I spoke to were appalled. None of them had ever heard of a paper in any field being disappeared after formal publication. Rejected prior to publication? Of course. Retracted? Yes, but only after an investigation, the results of which would then be made public by way of explanation. But simply disappeared? Never. If a formally refereed and published paper can later be erased from the scientific record and replaced by a completely different article, without any discussion with the author or any announcement in the journal, what will this mean for the future of electronic journals?

Pacific Forum: Climate Change the “Single Greatest Threat”, USA Should Pay Up

Australia and New Zealand and the Pacific Island Nations have just tried to bully the USA on climate policy by signing the Boe Declaration, a joint declaration of the 49th Pacific Islands Forum which names climate change as the single greatest threat to the region, and specifically demands that the USA rejoin the Paris Agreement.

Australia joins Pacific to declare climate ‘single greatest’ security threat

Published on 05/09/2018, 2:45pm

Region of island states calls for the Paris Agreement to be upheld, with Australia joining despite recent political turmoil over climate policy

By Helga Timaroczky

Australia joined other Pacific island governments in a joint statement on Wednesday that named climate change as the major security issue facing the region.

At a meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum on Nauru on Wednesday, leaders signed the Boe Declaration, which recognised climate change as “the single greatest threat to the livelihoods security and wellbeing of peoples of the Pacific”.

The declaration also committed signatories to follow through on the promises made in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

ahhhh, no!

British Science Association: Artificial Intelligence is a Greater Threat than Climate Change

As I predicted in 2017, the malevolent AI threat is rapidly moving up the ranks of candidate replacements for the failed climate change scare.

Artificial Intelligence is greater concern than climate change or terrorism, says new head of British Science Association

By Sarah Knapton, science editor
6 SEPTEMBER 2018 • 12:01AM

Artificial Intelligence is a greater concern than antibiotic resistance, climate change or terrorism for the future of Britain, the incoming president of the British Science Association has warned.

Jim Al-Khalili, Professor of physics and public engagement at the University of Surrey, said the unprecedented technological progress in AI was ‘happening too fast’ without proper scrutiny or regulation.

Prof Al-Khalili warned that the full threat to jobs and security had not been properly assessed and urged the government to urgently regulate.

Speaking at a briefing in London ahead of the British Science Festival in Hull next week, he said: “Until maybe a couple of years ago had I been asked what is the most pressing and important conversation we should be having about our future, I might have said climate change or one of the other big challenges facing humanity, such as terrorism, antimicrobial resistance, the threat of pandemics or world poverty.

“But today I am certain the most important conversation we should be having is about the future of AI. It will dominate what happens with all of these other issues for better or for worse.