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I have been doing SR every day since 1991, except for very infrequent breaks when it was impossible to get on line. That’s 23 years. In all that time except for a few much appreciated contributions, I have borne all the costs. Now SR needs some support to go forward. So I am asking each of you -- some of you have been subscribers for two decades -- to make a contribution. I would suggest $25 or more if you can do it, less if $25 is too much for your budget. It will help me keep SR going and I thank you in advance.

I want to thank those of you who have already made a contribution. I very much appreciate it and it will help to keep SR up and running. I see this sort of tangible support as a vote telling me SR is valued and that I should continue

-- Stephan

Meditation for Modern Minds
By Stephan A. Schwartz

Amongst many other benefits, meditation teaches you focus. And the success of opening to the transcendental part of yourself is strongly affected by your ability to focus. Regular practice of meditation has also been scientifically proven to change your brain chemistry, lower blood pressure, make you sleep better, feel less stressed and much more. The difficulty for most people living in today’s modern world is that traditional meditation methods were developed in an age very different to today’s fast-paced rhythm. Meditation for Modern Minds was specifically designed with scientifically proven meditation techniques to help a person effectively and efficiently deal with issues of a modern life.

Available Now!! Click here for details and ordering information.

 


Breaking Barriers (Stephan A. Schwartz) From Wake Up - A Documentary

 

 Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Antibiotic Resistance Could be 'next Pandemic,' CDC Says

This is a measured assessment of what is coming with the collapse of antibiotic medicine, and the rise of super-bacteria; a self created crisis.

HOAI-TRAN BUI - USA TODAY

Antibiotic resistance that turns ordinary disease-causing bacteria into illnesses that can't be controlled could bring about the "next pandemic," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden warned at a National Press Club event Tuesday.

Frieden also addressed a series of laboratory safety lapses that brought CDC lab precautions to the public spotlight. But he devoted much of his attention Tuesday to other threats still facing public health.

Frieden brought attention to the growing trend of antibiotic-resistant bacteria - which can cause patients to "enter the hospital with one disease and leave with another," Frieden said. Antibiotics and similar drugs - referred to under the umbrella of anti-microbrial agents - have been commonly used to treat infections and diseases for the past 70 years. However, their common use has caused some bacteria to mutate and become resistant to these drugs, according to the CDC.

Frieden cited ...

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Fukushima's Children are Dying

Fukushima is no longer a story of interest to corporate media, but that doesn't mean the story and devastation that is the hallmark of this story has ended.

HARVEY WASSERMAN - Op-Ed News

Some 39 months after the multiple explosions at Fukushima, thyroid cancer rates among nearby children have skyrocketed to more than forty times (40x) normal.

More than 48 percent of some 375,000 young people-nearly 200,000 kids-tested by the Fukushima Medical University near the smoldering reactors now suffer from pre-cancerous thyroid abnormalities, primarily nodules and cysts. The rate is accelerating.

More than 120 childhood cancers have been indicated where just three would be expected, says Joseph Mangano, executive director of the Radiation and Public Health Project.

The nuclear industry and its apologists continue to deny this public health tragedy. Some have actually asserted that "not one person" has been affected by Fukushima's massive radiation releases, which for some isotopes exceed Hiroshima by a factor of nearly 30.

But the deadly epidemic at Fukushima is consistent with impacts suffered among children near the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island ...

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Eating Probiotics Daily May Help Reduce High Blood Pressure

Further good news about the positive health effects of probiotics.

Zee News (India)

NEW DELHI -- A new study suggests that consuming probiotics found in yoghurt and other dairy products not just help in aiding digestion but may also help in controlling blood pressure.

Probiotics are a form of 'good bacteria' which are generally found in fermented food. They basically help keep the intestines healthy and assist in digesting food.

During the study, researchers analysed results of nine high-quality studies examining blood pressure and probiotic consumption in 543 adults with normal and elevated blood pressure.

They found that regular probiotic consumption lowered systolic blood pressure (the top number) by an average 3.56 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) by an average 2.38 mm Hg.

The positive effects from probiotics on diastolic blood pressure were greatest in people whose blood pressure was equal to or greater than 130/85, which is considered elevated.

Probiotics ...

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Survey Shows Americans Lead the World in Climate Denial

This is what several billion dollars of carbon energy and corporatist propaganda masquerading as news has produced.

Click through to see the graph

BRANDON BAKER - EcoWatch

Just a week after a nonprofit revealed that the U.S. is lagging behind other developed countries in energy efficiency, a research firm’s data shows that the nation is the leader in denying climate change.

With more and more denial earning time on TV and in Washington, it’s not all that surprising. Still, it’s sobering to see visual data of Americans’ attitudes toward climate change compared to other countries.

The data comes from United Kingdom-based Ipsos MORI, as part of the company’s Global Trends study, which polled 16,000 people in 20 countries. The respondents were asked 200 questions about eight topics, including the environment.

The above graph shows that the U.S. had the fewest amount of respondents agree that climate change is largely a result of human activity. Meanwhile, more than 80 percent of respondents from Argentina, France, Italy, Spain and Turkey believe that humans are ...

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We'll Find a New Earth Within 20 Years

This is the creationist who debated Bill Nye on climate change. Who was given a national platform in one of the greatest false equivalency debates ever taped. He articulates the parallel world of the Theocratic Right. And he has a large following. This is the spear tip of the Willful Ignorance trend.

KEN HAM - Around the World with Ken Ham

Update: Since secularists and some media outlets have been falsely accusing me of saying space aliens are going to hell as a result of this post, please read my response here.

I’m shocked at the countless hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent over the years in the desperate and fruitless search for extraterrestrial life. Even Bill Nye 'the Science Guy,” in our recent debate, happily gloated about tax dollars being spent toward this effort. And now, secular scientists are at it again.

Of course, secularists are desperate to find life in outer space, as they believe that would provide evidence that life can evolve in different locations and given the supposed right conditions! The search for extraterrestrial life is really driven by man’s rebellion against God in a desperate attempt to supposedly prove evolution!

A UK news site recently reported, 'Aliens are out ...

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 Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Fiscal Fizzle

In this excellent essay Paul Krugman lays bare the great misconception at the heart of conservative economics. Once again data shows us what ideology and theology can never reveal -- an accurate assessment of social outcomes.

Paul Krugman, Nobel Laureate - Op-Ed Columnist - The New York Times

For much of the past five years readers of the political and economic news were left in little doubt that budget deficits and rising debt were the most important issue facing America. Serious people constantly issued dire warnings that the United States risked turning into another Greece any day now. President Obama appointed a special, bipartisan commission to propose solutions to the alleged fiscal crisis, and spent much of his first term trying to negotiate a Grand Bargain on the budget with Republicans.

That bargain never happened, because Republicans refused to consider any deal that raised taxes. Nonetheless, debt and deficits have faded from the news. And there’s a good reason for that disappearing act: The whole thing turns out to have been a false alarm.

I’m not sure whether most readers realize just how thoroughly the great fiscal panic has fizzled - and the deficit scolds are, ...

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Chilling Map Shows Boston With A 7.5-Foot Coastal Flood

Here is the latest in the Water is Destiny trend. We are going to be seeing more and more such stories. Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Boston are just the beginning.

Click through to see the map. It will appall you.

JEFF SPROSS - Think Progress

Flooding from sea level rise is threatening to wash away many of Boston’s historical buildings and archaeological sites, according to WGBH News.

In 2012, the city was spared when Hurricane Sandy turned west and slammed into New York instead. But the close call sparked a May conference of experts and stakeholders to consider what would have happened if Sandy had hit Boston. What they discovered was that historic sites like Faneuil Hall and the Blackstone Block of colonial streets - which sit within the city’s 100-year tidal flood zone - would already have been flooded three times since Sandy if storms had hit during high tide instead of low. A May report by the Union of Concerned Scientists noted both sites as some of the most at-risk in the entire country thanks to increased flooding from climate change and sea level rise.

The group also reported that since ...

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Science Is Not About Certainty

This is a really excellent essay on the nature of science. Rovelli's observation: "Science is not about certainty. Science is about finding the most reliable way of thinking at the present level of knowledge" is one of the most insightful things I have read about science in a decade.

There are also very insightful comments about the competing worldviews in physics, and science's relationship to religion.

This piece has been excerpted from The Universe: Leading Scientists Explore the Origin, Mysteries, and Future of the Cosmos.

CARLO ROVELLI, professor at Université de la Méditerranée, Marsei - New Republic

e teach our students: We say that we have some theories about science. Science is about hypothetico-deductive methods; we have observations, we have data, data require organizing into theories. So then we have theories. These theories are suggested or produced from the data somehow, then checked in terms of the data. Then time passes, we have more data, theories evolve, we throw away a theory, and we find another theory that’s better, a better understanding of the data, and so on and so forth.

This is the standard idea of how science works, which implies that science is about empirical content; the true, interesting, relevant content of science is its empirical content. Since theories change, the empirical content is the solid part of what science is.

Now, there’s something disturbing, for me, as a theoretical scientist, in all this. I feel that something is missing. Something of the ...

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This Floating Platform Could Filter the Plastic from our Polluted Oceans

Here is an example of what environmental remediation might look like. Instead of pouring tens of billions into useless fighters like the F-35, this is what we should be building. The ubiquitous presence of plastic particles in the ocean has become a tremendous problem with dire long term effects. To quote the report, "Today there are six mega-vortexes of floating plastic: five between the continents and a sixth close to the Arctic, which is similar in size to Brazil (8.5 million square kilometers) and is 10 meters thick. It is in this environment that Halobates – a wild insect that feeds on zooplankton – thrives. The insect has experienced such exponential growth, in fact, that it’s endangering the zooplankton, essentially eliminating the base of the oceanic food chain."

Click through to see the illustrations which will make this story much more comprehensible.

VANESSA QUIRK - Arch Daily

Plastic is an extremely durable material, taking 500 years to biodegrade, yet it’s designed to be used for an average of 5 minutes, and so it’s thrown away. Few know where this mass of junk will end up … in the oceans, killing and silently destroying everything, even us.”

Cristian Ehrmantraut has developed a prototype for a floating platform that filters the ocean and absorbs plastic. Located 4 km from the coast of Easter Island, close to the center of the mega-vortex of plastic located in the South Pacific, the tetrahedral platform performs a kind of dialysis, allowing the natural environment to be recovered as well as energy and food to be produced.

From the Architect. The idea for the project comes from a reality that, although few realize it, affects us all: the disposable culture and its principal actor - plastic

Since the 1960s, plastic has ...

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 Monday, 21 July 2014

HIV Infection Rate in the US Falls by a Third in a Decade

Here is some very good news about AIDS and HIV. I have lost six friends to this disease and, I know, many of my readers have similar stories. Good news on this subject is always welcome.

BBC News (U.K.)

The rate of HIV infections diagnosed in the United States has fallen by a third over the past decade, researchers say.

After examining cases from all 50 states, the study found that the diagnosis rate fell to 16.1 per 100,000 people in 2011 from 24.1 in 2002.

Experts celebrated the findings as a hopeful sign that the Aids epidemic may be slowing in the country.

However, there was a rise in new cases of HIV among gay and bisexual men aged under 24 and over 45.

HIV is the virus that causes Aids, a disease which destroys the immune system.

The World Health Organization estimates 35 million people globally have the virus. More than 1 million people in the US are thought to be infected, with 18% unaware of their infections.

From 2002 to 2011, 493,372 people were diagnosed with HIV in the US, ...

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Report: Bureau Of Alcohol, Tobacco, And Firearms Used Mentally Disabled People As Props In Undercover Stings

The DEA and the ATF are out of control government agencies whose very existence depends on the continuation of the War on Drugs. The measure of their corruption can be seen in this report. Clearly they will do anything to keep the money for their budgets flowing.

ANNIE-ROSE STRASSER - Think Progress

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) has coerced mentally disabled people into unwitting participation in undercover stings, and later arrested them for the actions performed during those stings, according to a new investigation released Monday by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In several cities across the United States, the Sentinel found that ATF repeatedly used questionable tactics to try to further their investigations. A few of these involved paying or training mentally disabled people to involve themselves in crimes. For example, a man agents described as 'slow-headed,” with an IQ in the 50s, was hired to work in a fake storefront set up by ATF. Undercover agents then encouraged by him to try to go out and find guns to buy. When he found them some, they arrested him, on over 100 counts of being a felon in possession of a gun.

ATF agents also once taught ...

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How Creationists in Texas Are Pressuring Schoolbook Publishers to Bring God into Biology

Here is yet more on the Willful Ignorance trend. About a third of the American population are comfortable retreating into fantasy and ignorance, and are actively working to make that happen. I'm surprised that in some of the Red value states we aren't already having witchcraft trials by ordeal.

DAN AREL - AlterNet (U.S.)

t seems creationists in Texas have resorted to bullying and lying in an attempt to force evolution out of the classroom.

In November 2013 the Texas State Board of Education adopted new science standards [3] for its textbooks that will bring evolution into the Texas public school classroom.

All eyes were on Texas as the SBOE voted on the new proposed changes to the science curriculum that would change textbooks around the US.

Texas is the largest purchaser of public school textbooks. Because publishers do not want to publish different textbooks around the US, they look toward Texas for what they will be including in the new books each year. As goes Texas, goes the nation.

This can be bad news if special interest groups such as the misleadingly named group, Educational Research Analysts (ERA), get their way. ERA is a creationist lobbying group that stood ...

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Emerging Nations Plan Their Own World Bank, IMF

This development amongst the BRICS nations holds portentous implications for the United States. I think the days of the U.S. currency being the reference currency for the world are numbered. America is now seen by a growing number of national governments as a dangerous unreliable partner. A far cry from the Marshall Plan days.

PAUL WISEMAN, AP Economics Writer - ABC/The Associated Press

Fed up with U.S. dominance of the global financial system, five emerging market powers this week will launch their own versions of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -the so-called BRICS countries - are seeking "alternatives to the existing world order," said Harold Trinkunas, director of the Latin America Initiative at the Brookings Institution.

At a summit Tuesday through Thursday in Brazil, the five countries will unveil a $100 billion fund to fight financial crises, their version of the IMF. They will also launch a World Bank alternative, a new bank that will make loans for infrastructure projects across the developing world.

The five countries will invest equally in the lender, tentatively called the New Development Bank. Other countries may join later.

The BRICS powers are still jousting over the location of the bank's headquarters - Shanghai, ...

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