While these are ‘close’ in astronomical terms, they’ll not even get within the orbit of the moon, but about 8 to 14 times farther away.
NASA’s automated asteroid tracking system is monitoring five space rocks that will fly past Earth this week. Four of the approaching asteroids will enter Earth’s vicinity on the same day. Continue reading “”
It’s time to play “spot the lousy gun research” again! There’s yet a new “study” out that purports to link high rates of firearm ownership to higher rates of mass shootings. It’s economically entitled Comparing the Impact of Household Gun Ownership and Concealed Carry Legislation on the Frequency of Mass Shootings and Firearms Homicide, by Emma E. Fridel.
I had to read this paper because the pseudo-news reports included a remarkable factoid.
In order to address these challenges, a unique dataset of all mass murders in the United States from 1991 to 2016 was created. …
To date, this represents the most comprehensive and accurate database available on mass shooting incidents in the United States, with a total sample size of 592 mass shootings during the study period.
Five hundred, ninety-two mass shootings? Gun Facts only found 94 from 1982 to 2019. The Violence Project lists 174 from 1966 to 2020. The Rockefeller Institute of Government identified 318 from 1966 to 2017.
Where did Fridel find hundreds more than any other researcher over a shorter time frame? The devil is in the definitions.
Rockefeller’s Capellan and Jiao defined “mass public shooting” as “the killing of four or more individuals in one or more closely related locations within a 24-hour period.” That’s representative of the definition usually used. It excludes targeted killings like gangbangers fighting over turf, or domestic disputes gone massively wrong.
It excludes serial shootings that don’t occur in a single incident. Fridel went with something a little different.
Defined as the killing of four or more individuals (excluding the offender) with a firearm within 24 hours… …
As WISQARS does not provide linkage information, firearms homicide was measured as a count of victims rather than incidents.
Four or more within 24 hours.
No gang or family exclusions. It doesn’t even necessarily specify that the four victims be shot for related reasons or even by the same shooter.
I’m sure she dinked around with that highly questionable definition until she got one that generated clusters in all the wrong states. Since she’s using WISQARS in part, I’m not even sure the “mass shooting” victims had to be in the same city or state, just the same 24 hour period.
Then I hit this.
Household gun ownership was measured using a common proxy, the proportion of suicides committed with a firearm.
“Gun ownership” is estimated from suicides by firearm. Never mind that a goodly percentage of suicides are committed with firearms not owned by the subject. Never mind that better proxies, such as firearm hunting licenses, concealed carry licenses or in states like Illinois and Massachusetts, firearm owner licenses, exist.
Fridel gets to generate bogus data and reinforce the gun-ownership-equals-suicide canard, a twofer.
I should have quit there, but I was gripped by morbid curiosity.
She controlled her data for various socioeconomic and demographic factors. She included firearm homicide rates. But she specifically excluded non-firearm homicides, and violent crimes and property crimes.
It turns out she had per capita hunting license data, but decided not to use it; she just threw it out.
What this really is, then, is a study in how to manipulate and misuse data to further an agenda. Fridel could probably teach Garen Wintemute a few new tricks. Her data is so bad she probably wears an isolation suit to massage it.
When they come out with armored spacesuits, I’ll really get interested.
The Marines are about to get their hands on an impressive bit of hardware: A wearable robotic exoskeleton that gives users super strength. The company delivering the unit, a defense-focused subsidiary of Sarcos Robotics developed the exoskeleton for industrial uses, including in energy and construction.
Still, in many ways, this is a return to roots for Sarcos. In 2000, the company was part of a storied class of DARPA grant recipients working on powered exoskeletons for defense purposes. In many ways, the XO, which conserves energy by remaining passive when not actuated, is the fulfillment of that research.
Another exoskeleton maker, Ekso Bionics, came out of the same DARPA grant.
According to Sarcos, the U.S. Marine Corps will test applications for its Guardian XO Alpha, which was first unveiled earlier this year at CES 2020, where it was named “Top Emerging Technology” by Digital Trends, “Best Robot” by PCMag.com, “The Best Ideas and Products of CES” by VentureBeat, and was recognized by WIRED Magazine as being one of the smartest technologies on the show floor. Although the suit may bring to mind nightmares of battlefield cyborgs, the more immediate applications will be in the realm of logistics, where heavy lifting is often necessary. Continue reading “”
I used to explain that there was no such thing as a ‘standard cow’ made in a lab when one steak wasn’t as tender or juicy as the next one. Now they’re telling me KFC has what could be called a ‘standard chicken’?
Is beef next? Eeyahhhhh!
KFC will test chicken nuggets made with 3D bioprinting technology in Moscow, Russia, this fall, the chain announced in a July 16 press release.
The chicken chain has partnered with 3D Bioprinting Solutions to create a chicken nugget made in a lab with chicken and plant cells using bioprinting. Bioprinting, which uses 3D-printing techniques to combine biological material, is used in medicine to create tissue and even organs.
The 3D-printed chicken nuggets will closely mimic the taste and appearance of KFC’s original chicken nuggets, according to the press release. KFC expects the production of 3D-printed nuggets to be more environmentally friendly than the production process of its traditional chicken nuggets. The fall release will mark the first debut of a lab-grown chicken nugget at a global fast-food chain like KFC.
“Crafted meat products are the next step in the development of our ‘restaurant of the future’ concept. Our experiment in testing 3D bioprinting technology to create chicken products can also help address several looming global problems. We are glad to contribute to its development and are working to make it available to thousands of people in Russia and, if possible, around the world,” Raisa Polyakova, the CEO of KFC Russia and Commonwealth Independent States said in the press release.
BLUF: Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Carriers Are Not Very Contagious.
Background: An ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread around the world. It is debatable whether asymptomatic COVID-19 virus carriers are contagious. We report here a case of the asymptomatic patient and present clinical characteristics of 455 contacts, which aims to study the infectivity of asymptomatic carriers.
Material and methods: 455 contacts who were exposed to the asymptomatic COVID-19 virus carrier became the subjects of our research. They were divided into three groups: 35 patients, 196 family members and 224 hospital staffs. We extracted their epidemiological information, clinical records, auxiliary examination results and therapeutic schedules.
Results: The median contact time for patients was four days and that for family members was five days. Cardiovascular disease accounted for 25% among original diseases of patients. Apart from hospital staffs, both patients and family members were isolated medically. During the quarantine, seven patients plus one family member appeared new respiratory symptoms, where fever was the most common one. The blood counts in most contacts were within a normal range. All CT images showed no sign of COVID-19 infection. No severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections was detected in 455 contacts by nucleic acid test.
Conclusion: In summary, all the 455 contacts were excluded from SARS-CoV-2 infection and we conclude that the infectivity of some asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers might be weak.
“At first glance, a comparison of American violence and European violence is a prima facie case for stringent gun control. However, a closer examination of American violence reveals that it has little relationship to guns or gun policy.”
Professor Yitzhak Ben Israel of Tel Aviv University, who also serves on the research and development advisory board for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, plotted the rates of new coronavirus infections of the U.S., U.K., Sweden, Italy, Israel, Switzerland, France, Germany, and Spain. The numbers told a shocking story: irrespective of whether the country quarantined like Israel, or went about business as usual like Sweden, coronavirus peaked and subsided in the exact same way. In the exact, same, way. His graphs show that all countries experienced seemingly identical coronavirus infection patterns, with the number of infected peaking in the sixth week and rapidly subsiding by the eighth week.
The Wuhan Virus follows its own pattern, he told Mako, an Israeli news agency. It is a fixed pattern that is not dependent on freedom or quarantine. “There is a decline in the number of infections even [in countries] without closures, and it is similar to the countries with closures,” he wrote in his paper.
“Is the coronavirus expansion exponential? The answer by the numbers is simple: no. Expansion begins exponentially but fades quickly after about eight weeks,” Professor Yitzhak Ben Israel concluded. The reason why coronavirus follows a fixed pattern is yet unknown. “I have no explanation,” he told Mako, “There are is kinds of speculation: maybe it’s climate-related, maybe the virus has its own life cycle.” ……..
Professor Yitzhak Ben Israel concludes in his analysis summary paper that the data from the past 50 days indicates that the closure policies of the quarantine countries can be replaced by more moderate social distancing policies. The numbers simply do not support quarantine or economic closure. ……….
While the American policies remain less restrictive than those of Israel, it is important to understand the origins of our own “mass hysteria” response. President Trump urged a strong coronavirus response after consulting with Dr. Fauci and his team, who relied on a British model predicting 2.2 million deaths in the United States and 500,000 deaths in the U.K. But that model was developed by Professor Neil Ferguson, who had a history of wildly overestimating death rates through his prediction models. ………
It’s been one month since our country declared a national coronavirus emergency and life as we knew it had ceased. Americans have been growing agitated, unwilling to continue in this way, knowing something is wrong. Trump has sensed that his constituency is displeased with the authoritarian power grab by our Governors and has repeatedly stated that he wishes to reopen the country, but that he needs more information to make the right decision. Professor Yitzhak Ben Israel’s data analysis provides Trump with the assurance that he needs to reopen America.
Come onnnnnnn Warp Drive.
A new, Earth-size exoplanet has been discovered in old data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope — and scientists say this world has the potential to support life.
The rocky exoplanet, known as Kepler-1649c, is only 1.06 times larger than Earth and is located about 300 light-years away, according to a new study released Wednesday in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Out of all the exoplanets found by the now-retired Kepler space telescope, Kepler-1649c is the closest to our planet in size and estimated temperature.
The exoplanet orbits a red dwarf star within the so-called “habitable zone,” the area of space around a star in which liquid water could exist on a rocky world.
Researchers initially missed the planet when their computer algorithm misidentified it as a “false positive” while looking for planets in past Kepler space telescope observations. After double-checking the algorithm, scientists realized Kepler-1649c was, in fact, another world.
“Out of all the mislabeled planets we’ve recovered, this one’s particularly exciting,” said Andrew Vanderburg, a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin and an author on the study.
So, gun-grabbers lie. Like it’s not in their DNA or something?
‘Give me all you got‘? Okay, the citizen gots 5 rounds for ya.
Too bad he’s a bad shot….or the criminal is an out of work contortionist.
An armed man carjacked a motorist, robbed two businesses, and was shot at by a concealed carry holder whom he tried to rob — all within 15 minutes Thursday evening in Rogers Park, according to CPD reports. No one is in custody.
It all started around 9 p.m. when the offender displayed a gun in his waistband as he tried to rob Little Caesars, 7001 North Clark, the reports show. The man left empty-handed and immediately robbed Taqueria Hernandez across the street at 6983 North Clark.
At 9:04 p.m., the offender flashed a gun and carjacked a driver on the 1700 block of North Lunt, the reports said. He got away with the man’s silver 2008 Saturn sedan, which bears a license plate that begins with BK911.
But the gunman made a tactical error around 9:15 p.m. when he walked up to a concealed carry holder on the 7000 block of North Paulina, pulled out a gun, and said, “give me all you got.”
The would-be victim pulled out his own gun and opened fire on the offender, squeezing off at least five rounds at the man, officers reported. No one sought medical attention for gunshot wounds from nearby hospitals, so it appears the robber was not struck.
Police said the offender is a white man between 18- and 30-years-old who stands 5’9” to 6’2” tall, and weighs 160 to 200 pounds. He wore a black hoodie and a mask over the lower half of his face.
The concealed carry holder said the robber may have been Hispanic, according to details released by detectives late Friday. And the robbery victim on Lunt told police that the robber was accompanied by a black male who wore a camouflage mask.
I’ll just post this without any extraneous comment concerning the author’s sense of humor….or the lack of it.
- NASA’s Voyager 2 probe flew through a blob of charged gas called a plasmoid decades ago, and scientists only just now realized it.
- The blob could reveal secrets about the planet’s atmosphere loss, which may be related to its bizarre rotation and distinct wobble.
- Future missions near Uranus, or even to the planet’s surface, could reveal even more about its history.
First the anti-viral Remdesivir with hydroxychloroquine? Now the anti-retroviral Keletra? Each alone, maybe not too good, but apparently very effective in combination. Most promising
……. In a secret trial that was held, they were all given HIV medication, Kaletra and Malaria treatment hydroxychloroquine. The tests were truly successful that these drugs will now be rolled out to COVID-19 patients in at least 50 hospitals nationwide.
The drugs were very much effective
Scientists and researchers started to operate a secret trial on the group of patients who have all now completely recovered.
According to DailyMail, the Consultant Infectious Diseases Physician at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s and Hospital Clinical Research Director, Professor David Paterson of the University of Queensland Centre, have said that “These medications have the potential to be a real cure for all, unlike the random anecdotal experiences of some people.”
Paterson also said that the 50 hospitals will definitely try to resolve the best way to use these drugs and that this would involve comparing the two drugs separately and versus the combination of both.
On the same statement, Paterson reassures everyone that they are ready to go and quickly begin signing up patients into their trial, though this would only happen by the end of the month. The trial will then enable Paterson and his team to test the first wave of Australian patients.
These two drugs can be given orally as tablets
The federal government has already set aside $13 million for researchers to speed up potential treatments. These can be tested up o 10 treatments and with success, it will go directly through the regulatory approval process.
In France, they have begun using malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine in a small trial. Results only show 25% of tested patients treated with the drug still showed signs of the virus compared to a whopping 90% who did not use the drug.
In China, the active drugs in Kaletra, Lopinavir, and ritonavir, have already been tested in at least 199 patients with positive cases and found disappointing results. A published study in the New England Journal of Medicine on March 18 stated that the Chinese researchers gave 99 patients these drugs and the remaining had started care for more than four weeks.
The study concluded that hospitalized adult patients with severe cases had no benefit whatsoever with the drugs. This took 16 days for clinical improvements to arise. Although, the study did find that Kaletra spent the least time in intensive care….
Former astronaut Alfred M. Worden, command module pilot on the Apollo 15 lunar landing, passed away March 18, 2020, in Texas.
“I’m deeply saddened to hear that Apollo astronaut Al Worden has passed away,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted about Worden. “Al was an American hero whose achievements in space and on Earth will never be forgotten. My prayers are with his family and friends.”
As command module pilot, Worden stayed in orbit while commander David Scott and lunar module pilot James B. Irwin explored the Moon’s Hadley Rille and Appennine Mountains. Apollo 15’s command module, dubbed Endeavour, was the first to have its own module of scientific instruments. During the flight back from the Moon, Worden made three spacewalks to retrieve film from cameras in the module. Altogether, Worden logged more than 295 hours in space.
“The thing that was most interesting to me was taking photographs of very faint objects with a special camera that I had on board,” Worden told Smithsonian Magazine in 2011. “These objects reflect sunlight, but it’s very, very weak and you can’t see it from [Earth]. There are several places between the Earth and the moon that are stable equilibrium points. And if that’s the case, there has to be a dust cloud there. I got pictures of that.”
Like other command module pilots, Worden stayed as busy as his colleagues on the surface. But he also took some time to enjoy the view.
“Every time I came around the moon I went to a window and watched the Earth rise and that was pretty unique.”
After retirement from active duty in 1975, Worden became President of Maris Worden Aerospace, Inc., and was Vice-President of BF Goodrich Aerospace Brecksville, Ohio, in addition to other positions within the aerospace and aviation industries. Worden wrote several books: a collection of poetry, “Hello Earth: Greetings from Endeavour” in 1974; a children’s book, “I Want to Know About a Flight to the Moon”, also in 1974; and a memoir, “Falling to Earth,” in 2011. His interest in educating children about space led to an appearance on “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”.
Worden was born Feb. 7, 1932, in Jackson, Michigan, on February 7, 1932. He was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1955. He earned master of science degrees in astronautical/aeronautical engineering and instrumentation engineering from the University of Michigan in 1963. In 1971, the University of Michigan awarded him an honorary doctorate of science in astronautical engineering.
Before becoming an astronaut, Worden was an instructor at the Aerospace Research Pilots School. He had also served as a pilot and armament officer from March 1957 to May 1961 with the 95th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.
Worden was one of 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He served as a member of the astronaut support crew for Apollo 9 and as backup command module pilot for Apollo 12.
After leaving the astronaut corps, Worden moved to NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. He was the Senior Aerospace Scientist there from 1972-73, and then chief of the Systems Study Division until 1975.
This isn’t a vaccine that makes the body make antibodies to attack the virus. This somehow keeps the virus from being able to infect a cell. And if the idea works for this virus, maybe it could work for others.
Pharma company Bayer will soon make a large donation to the U.S. government of a drug that has shown some promise in helping patients suffering from the novel coronavirus, according to a senior Health and Human Services official and another source with direct knowledge.
Why it matters: It doesn’t hurt to have a potential treatment on hand, but we’re still a very long way from having an approved, clinically tested treatment for the coronavirus.
The big picture: Early evidence suggests that chloroquine — an inexpensive anti-malarial drug — may work just as well, if not even better, than remdesivir, a drug owned by Gilead, which is undergoing clinical trials for treatment of the coronavirus.
- A study published in Nature found that “remdesivir and chloroquine are highly effective in the control of 2019-nCoV infection in vitro.”
- “Chloroquine shouldn’t be left out of the discussion of candidate COVID-19 therapies and may actually be leading the pack,” Raymond James wrote in a research note earlier this month.
Yes, but: This doesn’t change the need for massive coronavirus efforts, as there is no proven coronavirus treatment or vaccine.
The researchers also noted that more kids are killed each year in incidents involving pools and bicycles than in all the school shootings combined.
Of course, this study didn’t get a whole lot of attention in the mainstream media. That’s not surprising. After all, they seem to be personally invested in selling the idea that our kids aren’t likely to survive to graduate because of some maniac with an AR-15 is going to kill them all. Yet looking at the average over the last 25 years, it’s easy to see that more students are killed in car crashes than by mass shooters.
So why does everyone freak over these?
For one thing, it’s not about the total numbers. It’s about the number of people killed per incident. It’s not about how many have been killed in the last quarter of a century or what the annual average. If a dozen die in a single incident, that’s an even bigger tragedy but if you spread those deaths over an entire year, it’s a statistic.
That’s what’s fueling much of this nonsense.
Watts Up With That? does a good job covering the climate scam, the only flaw being that they post so much good data that one is apt to lose sight of the forest for the trees.
They have recently posted an excellent post on the reproducibility crisis. The short of it is that nineteen out twenty science papers seem to be making up their data.
I would say that this reflects incentives. If you actually make observations, you are bound to run into some land mine of an ever growing and ever holier orthodoxy enforced by peer review, while if you simply make stuff up, you will be fine. So any scientist who believes in actual observation eventually finds himself in some other career.
The influx of priestly types into science was bound to result in an exodus of scientist types, in the same way we are seeing an exodus of engineering types from open source, and it appears that this transformation is now complete. Science is now about one third global warming, one third the neglected role of women, and one third making stuff up in the style and subject matter of famous science papers from back in the day when scientists actually did science. Soon scientist will stop bothering with those postmodern pastiches on old fashioned science topics, and it will all be about the oppression of drag queens.
And, since I am covering WattsUpWithThat, here is the short on global warming science. So I am going to give you the view from twenty thousand feet, and suggest you spend a week reading Watts Up with That to get a glimpse of a small part of the trees.
For the full sordid tale, search their site for references to the Climategate files.
The climategate files, most of which I myself read, are the internal emails of the climate conspiracy. It is obvious from their internal emails that the official climate scientists do no know and do not care whether the world is warming or cooling, whether humans are causing it or not, and whether it would be bad or good.
Their objective is to indict humans in general, whites and western civilization in particular, and anglos specifically, for crimes against Gaia.
In the climategate files, one encounters a few low status scientists who are worried about actual facts. They did not doubt holy global warming, they just wanted the data proving the sins of mankind to be genuine data. They all swiftly ceased to have careers in science.
What is the motive for this conspiracy?
Lots of motives, but the motive we saw on display with South Australia’s Green Energy program was to shakedown the electricity grid for a few bucks in the course of destroying South Australia. Instead of turning wind and solar power into electric power, and electric power into money, they turned wind and solar into superior holiness, superior holiness into status, and status into money.
South Australia wound up with blackouts, brown outs, sky high electricity prices, and massive imports of electric power from coal mining states.
I think most of them are in it for the shakedown. Global Warming resembles the Aztec religion, in that human sacrifices are required to ensure that the sun rises tomorrow. And then the priesthood get something in return for their influence over who gets sacrificed.
Of course there are some, the Greta Thunberg Bernie Sanders crowd, who just like human sacrifice. If not global warming, they would find some other justification, as Trump told us at the Davos conference.
That means ‘more contagious’.
- New strain appears to be more readily transmitted from human to human than Sars, Texas researchers find
- Further studies needed to explore human host cells’ role in spread between people, the report says
The deadly new coronavirus is up to 20 times more likely to bind to human cell receptors and cause infection than severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), a new study by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin has found.
The novel coronavirus and Sars share the same functional host-cell receptor, called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2).
The report, published on the website bioRxiv on Saturday, said the new coronavirus had around 10 to 20-fold higher affinity – the degree to which a substance tends to combine with another – for human ACE2 compared with Sars.
But the researchers added that further studies were needed to explore the human host-cell receptor’s role in helping the new virus to spread from person to person.
“Compared with SARS-CoV, 2019-nCoV appears to be more readily transmitted from human to human,” the report of the study said. “The high affinity of 2019-nCoV S for human ACE2 may contribute to the apparent ease with which 2019-nCoV can spread from human to human.”
The disease caused by the new coronavirus, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) has named Covid-19, has killed more than 1,800 people and infected over 70,000 worldwide.
The number of Covid-19 deaths is more than double the global figure of 813 attributed by the WHO to the Sars epidemic of 2002-03.
The new study found that although the novel coronavirus’ receptor-binding domain (RBD) had a relatively similar structure to that of Sars, it did not have appreciable binding to three published Sars RBD-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), which are copies of one type of antibody used to neutralise pathogens.
The researchers said this suggested antibody cross-reactivity – the extent to which different antigens appear similar to the immune system – may be limited between the two virus RBDs, meaning Sars-directed mAbs will not necessarily work against the new virus.
Instead, they identified the spike protein of coronaviruses, which is essential to gain entry into host cells during the infection process, as the most important target for vaccines, therapeutic antibodies and diagnostics.
“Due to the indispensable function of the [spike] protein it represents a vulnerable target for antibody-mediated neutralisation,” the report said. “Knowing the atomic-level structure of the spike will support precision vaccine design and discovery of antivirals, facilitating medical countermeasure development.”
The WHO has declared the outbreak a global public health emergency, making it the sixth incident to date to warrant that designation.
There are currently no specific treatments for the novel coronavirus but the WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week that the first vaccine may be available in 18 months.