Daily Archives: November 18, 2007

Limbaugh Sticks Foot In Mouth

The latest target for demonizing by right-wing talk radio is an 18-year-old Yup’ik Eskimo woman who traveled to Washington, D.C., this month to tell what global warming is doing to her remote home village of St. Michael, Alaska.Charlee Lockwood spoke of how moose have moved north, berry patches produce less fruit and the catch is declining at her family’s fish camp. “Our culture will die because everyone will have to move someplace and there will be no one to teach them,” she told a House panel.Over about 600 radio stations last week, however, talk-radio king Rush Limbaugh declared that Lockwood’s testimony made him “really want to puke. I just want to throw up.””It’s the Democrats exploiting a young child, ladies and gentlemen, for the advancement of a political issue that will grow the size of government and increase their control over everyone,” Limbaugh declared.Rush, you falsifying, pill-popping gasbag!


Global Warming, the Blog Epic ~ 03 ~ Carbon Dioxide

This is the third in a series of reposts from gregladen.com on global warming. i-e1372cd57ce206dff3631a4a9438e737-epic-GlobalWarming.jpgWhy It Matters What you Burn and When you Burn ItCarbon Dioxide is a deadly poison. It is about 50% heavier than air, so where it occurs in density, in mines or certain natural vents associated with volcanics, it can accumulate in low spots. There are places in the Western Rift Valley where puddles of Carbon Dioxide form overnight while the air is still. These gas puddles can occur over puddles of water. When animals (such as antelopes) put their head down to the water to drink, they take a few whiffs of the gas and die. A scavenger (a bird, a hyena, a lion) that comes along while the gas is still settled, to feed on the antelope carcass, can suffer the same fate. It will never be long before the gas blows off, so this sort of carcass accumulation is rare and modest but it does happen.There are lakes (also in Africa) that are saturated, at depth, with carbon dioxide gas dissolved in water. If the lake happens to turn over, the deep water heads to the surface where it is under the influence of less pressure, and thus is capable of holding less gas. So it fizzes, like bubbles in a bottle of soda that is shaken. This accentuates whatever movement originally stirred up the gas, and a huge volume of carbon dioxide is converted from dissolved gas into bubbles in a matter of minutes. The cold (cold because it was down deep) carbon dioxide out-gases at the surface, fills the lake basin, and spreads across nearby settlements potentially killing hundreds. This is what happened at Lake Nyos, Cameroon, in 1986, killing almost 2,000 people. Continue reading Global Warming, the Blog Epic ~ 03 ~ Carbon Dioxide

Current News: Earth, Physics, and Tech

6.0 magnitude earthquake strikes northern Chile from PhysOrg.com
A strong earthquake measuring 6.0 on the moment magnitude scale struck just offshore northern Chile Saturday, three days after a major 7.7 earthquake hit the same region, the US Geological Survey reported.[]

Discovery of a new way to manipulate light a million times more efficiently from PhysOrg.com
A discovery of a new way to manipulate light a million times more efficiently than before is announced in the journal Science this week.[]

Wormholes on Earth? from PhysOrg.com
According to a group of mathematicians, it may be possible to create devices with internal tunnels that are invisible to detection by electromagnetic waves–wormholes, in a sense. The group discusses the idea in a paper published in the October 29 online edition of Physical Review Letters.[]

Is the answer 2,397,207,667,966,701? French ‘mathlete’ sets record from PhysOrg.com
French “mathlete” Alexis Lemaire showed off his rare mental agility Thursday, claiming a new world record after working out in his head the 13th root of a random 200-digit number in just 72.4 seconds.[]

Algae could generate hydrogen for fuel cells from PhysOrg.com
For several decades, scientists have known that certain species of algae can produce hydrogen in anaerobic conditions. More recently, researchers have been trying to take advantage of this ability to produce hydrogen that could be used by fuel cells to generate electricity–without expensive processes like electrolysis required for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.[]

Whale, Croc, Lost in Brazil

An 18-foot minke whale ran aground on a sandbar in the Amazon jungle some 1,000 miles from the ocean, Brazilian media reported Friday. Globo television broadcast images of dozens of people gathered along the Tapajos River splashing water on the animal, whose back and dorsal fin were exposed to the hot Amazon sun. Sea creatures rarely venture so far into fresh water.[source]

WowOh, and this:

The whale is not the only animal to get lost in Brazil this week.On Thursday a young reptile – which was 1.5m long – turned up at a popular beach in Rio de Janeiro and had to be rescued by firemen.They had been searching for the alligator for some time and had closed Barra beach, but despite this some swimmers insisted on entering the water.The caiman, or yellow stomach alligator as it is known in Brazil, was taken to a local zoo for treatment for a broken leg.This endangered species is normally found in freshwater swamps and marshes, and the fire service in Rio said it was the first time they had rescued one from the sea.[Source]

The world is all topsy turvy!

Current News: Medicine and Health

Immune system can drive cancers into dormant state from PhysOrg.com
A multinational team of researchers has shown for the first time that the immune system can stop the growth of a cancerous tumor without actually killing it.[]

A novel way found to prevent protein plaques implicated in Alzheimer’s from PhysOrg.com
For unknown reasons a protein called amyloid beta aggregates into toxic plaques in the brain, killing neurons. These plaques are one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. Now two new animal studies show for the first time that the deadly transformation of amyloid beta into plaques can be prevented through an interaction between amyloid beta and another protein called cystatin C.[]

‘Micro’ livers could aid drug screening from PhysOrg.com
MIT researchers have devised a novel way to create tiny colonies of living human liver cells that model the full-sized organ. The work could allow better screening of new drugs that are potentially harmful to the liver and reduce the costs associated with their development.[]

Bird flu culling round over in Britain from PhysOrg.com
Officials have completed a cull aimed at stopping a bird flu outbreak in eastern England from spreading, Britain’s environment ministry said Sunday.[]

Forgetting long-time bonds, Alzheimer’s patients fall in love from PhysOrg.com
When her husband of 55 years began seeing another woman, former US Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor did not begin high-profile divorce proceedings or condemn his infidelity.[]

Study Finds That Sitting May Increase Risk of Disease from PhysOrg.com
Most people spend most of their day sitting with relatively idle muscles. Health professionals advise that at least 30 minutes of activity at least 5 days a week will counteract health concerns, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity that may result from inactivity. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia say a new model regarding physical activity recommendations is emerging. New research shows that what people do in the other 15 and a half hours of their waking day is just as important, or more so, than the time they spend actively exercising.[]

Menstruation proves more than a curse from PhysOrg.com
The cells which thicken the womb wall during a woman’s menstrual cycle contain a newly discovered type of stem cell, and could be used in the treatment of damaged and/or old tissue, according to research published today in the online open access publication, Journal of Translational Medicine.[]

Evolution on Speed

This is an example of a fun, edgy, sexy, cool video that promotes evolution, but unfortunately also promotes some misconceptions. Like using religious metaphor and terminology in otherwise useful kid-friendly contexts, we learn here that it is all about “survival of the fittest” and that apes are monkeys.

Modern Humans and Neanderthals: Did they “do it?”

Or, to be less crude, did modern humans, having already evolved in Africa, interbreed with the local Europeans who were Neanderthals, and if so, did they produce fertile offspring … and, did this happen in sufficient degree to have mattered at all to the genetics of later (but not necessarily living) people?

Continue reading Modern Humans and Neanderthals: Did they “do it?”