It’s that time of year again, when people give stuff to other people and expect other stuff in return. Why they just don’t give themselves stuff and be done with it baffles me, but here we are. Then again, Christmas was banned in many countries for over a century because it was so violent. So maybe giving people stuff instead of starting riots is a step in the right direction. Add in the fact that many people will just get drunk, and watch some of the greatest, brain bending, holiday films ever made, and you have a recipe for depression. So, obviously, the best thing you can do is give them something that will make them happy. And nothing’s happier than a ball of fur or scales wrapped in love. [Read more…] about Bad Human!
Search Results for: poop
Back on February 20, 2012, I wrote, in depth, about something called the WOW! Signal. Discovered in 1977 it was a signal so strong that it cut through the flotsam and jetsam of noise our universe normally makes to catch the attention of a scientist named Robert Gray. Unfortunately, he was working from recorded data when he made his discovery and no one has since been able to replicate his results. Or verify his basic conclusion; this signal did not originate on Earth. The implications, if he was right, are staggering. It would be proof that we aren’t alone in the universe. That there are other beings, at least, as technologically advanced as we. But, alas and alack (to quote Rapmaster Billy S.), tantalizing isn’t the same as proven. I don’t care what you heard on FOX! News. Or, as my surfer scientist bud likes to say, “gnarley shit dude.” No, wait, well, yes, he does say that, but he also says “Sometimes where there’s smoke, there’s steam.” So you don’t need to call the fire department every time. And in this case, you don’t convene the U.N. to formulate a plan on how to deal with imminent contact.
You see, this week something fun happened.
Robin Seemangel, of the Observer, writes that a team of Russian scientists found something extraordinary, and replicable.
An international team of scientists from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is investigating mysterious signal spikes emitting from a 6.3-billion-year-old star in the constellation Hercules—95 light years away from Earth. The implications are extraordinary and point to the possibility of a civilization far more advanced than our own.
The unusual signal was originally detected on May 15, 2015, by the Russian Academy of Science-operated RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya, Russia, but was kept secret from the international community. Interstellar space reporter Paul Gilster broke the story after the researchers quietly circulated a paper announcing the detection of “a strong signal in the direction of HD164595.”
The mysterious star’s designation is HD164595, and it’s considered to be sun-like in nature with a nearly identical metallic composition to our own star. So far, a single Neptune-like (but warmer) planet has been discovered in its orbit—HD 164595 b. But as Gilster explained, “There could, of course, be other planets still undetected in this system.”
Decorated Italian SETI researcher and mathematician Claudio Maccone along with Russia’s Nikolai Bursov of the Special Astrophysical Observatory are the principal scientists working on the apparent discovery. They claim that “permanent monitoring of this target is needed.”
“The signal conceivably fits the profile for an intentional transmission from an extraterrestrial source,” said Alan Boyle, author of The Case for Pluto who reported the story for Geekwire. “In any case, the blip is interesting enough to merit discussion by those who specialize in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.”
The signal’s strength indicates that if it in fact came from a isotropic beacon, the power source would have to be built by a Kardashev Type II civilization. (The Kardashev scale is used to determine the progress of a civilization’s technological development by measuring how much energy was used to transmit an interstellar message.) An ‘Isotropic’ beacon means a communication source emitting a signal with equal power in all directions while promoting signal strength throughout travel.
In his acclaimed work “Transmission of Information by Extraterrestrial Civilizations,” Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev explained that a Type II civilization would be able to harness the energy of their entire host star. The most common hypothetical example of this would be a Dyson Sphere—which is a massive artificial structure that could completely encapsulate a star and transfer the energy to a nearby planet.
Basically, if the signal was beamed out into the galaxy without aim or direction, that would require an enormous amount of power to actually be detected. But what if the signal was beamed specifically at our solar system? Well, that would require less energy and could indicate the presence of a Kardashev Type I civilization—meaning that it could be a highly technological, contemporary society that harnesses the solar energy emitted by its local star, much like our planet does with solar panels. This particular civilization’s social structure is theorized to be completely globalized and interconnected.
“The signal is provocative enough that the RATAN-600 researchers are calling for permanent monitoring of this target,” said Gilster. And that’s exactly what is transpiring. As of last night, the SETI institute is diverting its Allen Telescope Array in northern California to investigate while their counterparts at METI International (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) will use Panama’s Boquete Optical Observatory.
The detection of the mysterious signal and the ensuing investigations will be discussed at the IAA SETI Permanent Committee during the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, on September 27—the same day and location where Elon Musk will reveal his plans to colonize Mars. The Observer will be following up on both these stories from the Congress.
Okay, let’s start with the Kardashev scale. It is a scale that measures the energy usage, and the amount of discernible waste and other signs which are attendant to such use. Level I is the lowest and Level IV borders on god-like powers, at least as we understand them. Us happy Earthers haven’t made it to Level I yet.
That’s right, by our own standards we’re primitives.
A Level II civilization would be one that harvests all available power in its solar system. We’re nowhere near that, although we have the theoretical ability to do so if we got around to setting that as a planetary goal.
Back on September 3, 2015, I wrote about NASA’s experiments with something called an Electromagnetic Drive. While it happily violates a bunch of the laws of physics (or so it appears), it seems to be doing so consistently. Slowly, but surely, we seem to be heading towards creating a Warp Drive.
Now, if us evolutionary heathens, can figure this stuff out, what makes you think a civilization that ranks far beyond us on the technological scale hasn’t done so as well.
Also, just FYI, HD164595 is a mere 95 light years from here. Even with slower than light travel, that’s a distance we could cover. So you know they could too.
UPDATE: Russian scientists are now saying that the signal may have emanated from a rouge, unregistered Russian satellite. However, it must be noted, that the satellite in question has not been identified or located.
Since, this year, Christmas Eve falls on a Friday that means, if I want to do our annual Christmas radio show I need to do it today. Which is fine. Christmas is a fun, and interesting, holiday. Steeped in traditions that have nothing to do with its alleged origins it has become a global holiday that brings out the strangest in people. I’ve done my fair share of articles on the day, covering everything from the joys of Christmas poop to how Colonel Sanders is the image used for Santa in Japan, and you can use the previous link if you want to read them all. Today I’m not going to talk about those. Instead I’d like to spend some time talking about the two guys who represent the day. From the religious side of things. Because, believe it or not, a long time ago, in a Galilee far away, this whole thing had to do with a dude who said some very nice things and another dude who did some. Let’s take a look at them in chronological order.
First, what is the name of the first dude? As Matt Slick of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry notes, that’s easier asked than answered.
A lot of people, including some Messianic Jews (Jews who believe Jesus is the Messiah), will call Jesus by a different name: Yeshua (Hebrew יֵשׁוּעַ). They say that Yeshua is the Jewish name that Jesus would have been called by those who knew Him. Some messianics and other groups say that Yeshua is Jesus’ real name and that the name “Jesus” is wrong. Others say that it is okay to use either one. But then again, there are those who say that the word, “Jesus,” is pagan in origin and should not be used at all. And if that weren’t enough, some say that “Jesus” is derived from “Zeus” and really means “hail Zeus.” With all these possibilities is there a real answer to what was the Messiah’s real name? Yes, there is. It is found in the New Testament.
Fortunately for us, the nice people at Got Questions (a faith based scholarship website), have the answer.
Some people claim that our Lord should not be referred to as “Jesus.” Instead, we should only use the name “Yeshua.” Some even go so far as to say that calling Him “Jesus” is blasphemous. Others go into great detail about how the name “Jesus” is unbiblical because the letter J is a modern invention and there was no letter J in Greek or Hebrew.
Yeshua is the Hebrew name, and its English spelling is “Joshua.” Iesous is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name, and its English spelling is “Jesus.” Thus, the names “Joshua” and “Jesus” are essentially the same; both are English pronunciations of the Hebrew and Greek names
Quick note here, no matter which name you use, there’s no requirement in the bible that you only use one language or another. As long as you’re referring to the prophet of the New Testament, you’re golden.
Okay, so now we’ve named him. Let’s take a quick peek at the events leading up to His birth. I wrote Another Birther Conspiracy back in 2012 and, since the facts happened over 2,000 years ago, not much has changed. The one thing that did has been corrected with a minor, parenthetical, edit.
Before we get to the story of the birth of Jesus we need to back track a bit. Specifically we need to go back to 63 BC. That was when Rome invaded, and conquered, Judea, the land of the Jews. The Jews, as you might imagine, did not like being invaded and conquered so there were several minor rebellions. Rome dealt with them in their usual subtle fashion, they killed anyone who opposed them.
Keep in mind that Judea had many great warriors but Rome had an army. There is a massive difference there. And the result of their clash was obvious. In less than a year Judea was a Roman enclave.
Rome wanted two things from Judea; (1) a Mediterranean port for trade and; (2) taxes. The former it got by holding the land, the latter it got by imposing the same method that Romans used on any lands they conquered. A centurion would guesstimate the population of a town or village, round it up and say “You owe Rome this much money every month.” It was then up to whoever the Centurion assigned to collect that money.
In Judea that task fell mainly to the pharisees.
They don’t come off very well in the New Testament, and you can see why. Their job was nearly impossible. They had to keep the Romans happy by taking as much money as possible from their fellow Jews while at the same time keeping the Romans from killing their fellow Jews for sport.
It was a task that made no one happy.
Flash forward to 5 BC. Chinese astronomers recorded that a comet appeared in the spring of that year and hung in the sky for an extended period. It probably got caught in a gravity well for a bit. But whatever the reason, there would have been a glowing object in the sky and, thanks to an optical illusion, it would have appeared to be hanging there as if it just magically appeared.
That seems about right for the Star of Bethlehem.
Now a couple of annoying facts. First off, Rome never counted the people it conquered in any census. They really didn’t consider them people. You were either a Roman citizen or you were chattel. And, to Rome, Jews were chattel unless they, like the family of Saul who became Paul, earned citizenship. Second, I have already noted how the Romans collected taxes. They did it that way to keep everyone in place. The last thing they would do is set the people they worked so hard to conquer loose on roads where they could congregate and foment rebellion.
This would have been especially true of the Jews. Most Roman soldiers were illiterate. (Many) Jews were not. They could read and write from a young age. That’s because, unlike any other contemporary religions, Judaism was memorialized in a book, the Torah. If you wanted to be a good Jew you needed to be able to read the Torah.
So a group of people who could spread a plan for rebellion just by passing slips of paper scared the hell out of the Romans. Better to keep them in their little towns and lord over them with garrison troops.
Which is exactly what they did.
Many scholars have said illiteracy would have been rampant in rural areas populated by Jews, and there is a ton of data to back that up. However, in more metropolitan areas this would not have been true. Nevertheless, since Jesus was born in Nazareth, a/k/a Bu-Fu Nowhere, it’s assumed he was illiterate too. I don’t think so. All you need do is read the Sermon on the Mount to see a man who had a deep grasp of the current social order, was well versed in Mosaic Law, understood the division necessary between Church and State (later exemplified with “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” [Matthew 22:21]), and had a wicked sense of humor. All signs of a very literate, and educated, man.
Sense of humor?
Oh yeah. Just ask any rabbi to read you Beatitudes in Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke. The rhythm of the speech will be immediately clear to you even if the words are not. It’s the same rhythm comedians still use for one liners to this day. It gets lost by many modern adherents that Jesus was a very funny dude.
All right, so now we’re clear who Jesus was, where he came from, and have a pretty good idea when he was born. Nowhere near December 25th is an acceptable answer if you don’t buy my theory about March in 5 B.C.
The whole late December dating ritual came about since no one had a clear idea when he was born and the Catholic Church needed to incorporate, i.e., override, many pagan holidays. The result was many pagan traditions such as the tree, the gift giving, the candles (e.g., Christmas lights), egg nog, wassailing (the most violent holiday tradition ever back in its day), all got rolled up in what was, a minor and simple celebration.
So how did all of that lead us to Santa Claus? You can thank Jolly Old St. Nick for that. Well, you can thank St. Nicholas, who really wasn’t all that jolly. The nice folks over at National Public Radio did a fun, if watered down, story about the man.
If you celebrate Christmas, you may have found some presents under the tree, and you may believe those mysterious presents came from a jolly old man in a red suit.
He has a lot of names, including Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, Sinterklaas, Noel Baba, Popo Gigio — and of course — St. Nicholas. But believe it or not, St. Nicholas was a real man. He was a bishop, living in the 3rd century, in what’s now modern-day Turkey.
Professor Adam English of Campbell University in North Carolina pieced together the life of St. Nicholas in his new book, The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus: The True Life and Trials of Nicholas of Myra.
St. Nicholas oversaw a massive transition in the Christian faith, including participating in the Council of Nicaea — the first ecumenical council. Legend has it that he slapped a famous heretic with his sandal. English says the story isn’t true, but his bones show that he had a broken nose.
“So perhaps he did have a violent past, or perhaps he did get into a scuffle or two in his lifetime,” English tells NPR’s Celeste Headlee. But there was one true story that somehow captured the imagination of Christians for centuries.
English says that as a young man, Nicholas had inherited a sum of money. Nicholas hears about a man in town with three daughters on the verge of destitution. So he bags up some gold, and in the middle of the night, anonymously tosses the bag through the window.
Nicholas repeats the act two more times so that the family could use the money as dowries for the daughters, English says. Later legend adds that the window was locked, so Nicholas drops the bag down the chimney, where it lands in a stocking waiting by the fire to dry.
By the twelfth century, English says, nuns in France were making little gifts, leaving them on the doorsteps of children, and signing them “from St. Nicholas.”
None of this, however, was actually connected to Christmas or Christ’s birth. St. Nicholas Day is celebrated on December 6th.
English says that Santa Claus was initially introduced into the American context in the early 19th century. It was a combination of the day’s proximity to Christmas, and an effort by prominent New Yorkers to reclaim their European heritage.
“They were looking for roots, they were looking for traditions,” English says. “They turn to their Dutch heritage, and to be Dutch is to celebrate Sinterklass — celebrate St. Nicholas.”
Today’s image of Santa Claus is very different than that of the original St. Nicholas of Myra. English says he loves the stories of the jolly old man, with rosy cheeks, and a hearty laugh. But he wants to challenge Americans to consider the true story behind St. Nicholas.
“To not only give gifts to our family, those that we love and those that we know,” says English, “but to reach out beyond our family walls to those who we don’t know, who we don’t love, and to include them as well.”
I mentioned that the story was watered down. You see, Turkish sailors have a long tradition of sharing oral histories. And no one is allowed to tell a story unless they get it 100% right. And they have lots of stories about St. Nicholas. Basically, they all come down to this, the 5′ tall, rawboned, Bishop of Myra was perfectly capable of laying your ass right out if you crossed him or he caught you doing bad things. The recent autopsy of his remains seems to confirm that as a part of his charm.
Some people think that learning about this stuff somehow destroys the magic. I’m not one of them. I like to think that knowing the facts around each only adds to the richness of the tapestries their stories weave. When you know that Jesus played the Roman army like a violin to spread His message, you have to be impressed with the tremendous battle of wits He had to wage every day just to stay alive. When you know that St. Nicholas was capable of saving children from slavery, and able to knock the snot out of any miscreant, it just goes to show you how dedicated he was to his cause.
These people did not live in a bubble. They walked and talked and breathed and ate among their contemporaries. Their lives were influenced by their pasts while they held their collective vision on the future. Knowing that doesn’t lessen them. In many ways it makes them greater.
Now, how we ended up here from there says more about us than either of them.
As many of you know we have a little fan club in India. More of a loose association of like minded people than anything formal, but it’s still fun. It does have its perks though. I have, over these last few weeks once it was proved I was a real person, been introduced to many wonderful things. I now have a layman’s understanding of cricket, for example. I have been sent a wide array of beautiful images showing what a wonderful country India is. I also got a complimentary subscription to the Times of India. Additionally, while they do love their Bollywood, few understand the American obsession with celebrities. They are much more interested in science. In fact, it was on a NASA blog where I met the people who were responsible for introducing my writing and podcasts to India. All of them were, and are, rocket scientists. When I’m not at a bar watching baseball those tend to be the kind of people I hang with. Anyway, while Caitlyn Jenner was breaking the Internet in ways her daughter Kim could only dream of, other stuff happened too. In fact a lot of sciencey stuff happened. So let’s catch up.
First off, a couple of things that got talked about on my weekly radio show that didn’t get written about.
The advent of continuous glucose monitoring systems has revealed just how often pregnant diabetic women’s blood glucose levels fluctuate dangerously. This is the case even with careful management using insulin pumps, which create a more even administration than injections. Plus the personal discomfort, sleep interruption and false alarms that can come from using continuous glucose monitors make it harder to ensure patients use them to manage the condition correctly.
The actual birth is even more of a challenge because of the greater chance for disaster. Withstanding and maintaining effective contractions in order to give birth requires large amounts of energy. That creates greater pressure for adequate blood glucose and insulin levels.
Artificial pancreas technology builds on and improves continuous glucose monitoring systems. University of Cambridge
Glucose levels are typically maintained during the birth through an intravenous glucose infusion and a manually adjustable dose of insulin. The insulin makes sure that the mother’s cells can absorb enough glucose, which in turn prevents the baby’s blood sugar levels from dropping to potentially fatal levels (neonatal hypoglycaemia).
After delivery, the insulin requirement drops sharply and clinical staff must be careful not to give the mother too much and reduce her blood sugar to a dangerous level (maternal hypoglycaemia). This risk develops soon after contractions have ended, especially if the mother quickly begins breastfeeding and if medication given to her for labour prevents her from recognising the symptoms of hypoglycaemia.
With all these complications, it is small wonder that diabetic women are often advised to opt for caesarean sections, although these carry their own post-operative risks as nutrition and mobility are again impaired.
The artificial pancreas eliminates all those problems and has been successfully used in one natural birth already. Click the link to meet the lucky lady.
Add this to my nightmare list: A creature that turns prey into a zombie, then eats it alive.
That’s pretty much the M.O. of Ampulex dementor, a wasp named after the mythical “Harry Potter” creatures that suck souls with abandon. Dementor wasps inject venom into cockroach prey, right in the belly, rendering it a “passive zombie,” according to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund. The report details 139 new species discovered in the Greater Mekong region during 2014.
“Cockroach wasp venom blocks receptors of the neurotransmitter octopamine, which is involved in the initiation of spontaneous movement,” according to the report. “With this blocked, the cockroach is still capable of movement, but is unable to direct its own body. Once the cockroach has lost control, the wasp drags its stupefied prey by the antennae to a safe shelter to devour it.”
Considering that there are billions of square miles that have never been studied I would imagine that these kind of discoveries will keep happening. Believe it or not, science doesn’t find this stuff just to creep you out.
In other stuff science created I need to make mention of the new super spiders.
Because regular spiders don’t bother enough people.
Spiders sprayed with a thin layer of graphene and carbon nanotubes have produced super-strong webs with record-beating properties.
Combining one of the strongest natural materials with one of the strongest artificial materials, researchers at the University of Trento in Italy created what they describe as “super silk”.
“The protein matrix and hard tissues of insects, worms, ants and spiders naturally incorporates metals, such as zinc, manganese and copper,” the study states. “This leads to mechanical hardening of teeth, jaws, mandibles, ovipositors and to an enhancement of silk toughness.
It has been touted as a “wonder material” by scientists for its remarkable properties and vast range of uses, which include everything from flexible smartphone screens to artificial retinas.
“Thus, the artificial incorporation of metals, or even insulating or semiconducting materials, into these protein structures could be exploited to obtain a reinforced matrix.”
The silk created by the graphene-coated spiders is 3.5 times tougher than that of the giant riverine orb spider – the strongest silk known to nature.
The process that leads to the graphene and carbon nanotubes being infused in the silk is still not clear to the researchers, though the principle theory is that spiders make use of materials found within their immediate environments when spinning silk.
Nicola Pugno, the lead researcher in the study, believes that the strength of the material produced is the highest reported to date, even when compared to high performance fibres like kevlar or the current toughest knotted fibres.
Graphene is a one-atom thick sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. UC Riverside physicists have found a way to induce magnetism in graphene while also preserving its electronic properties
If you made a web large enough with this stuff you could stop a jet from running off a runway with a net weighing under a pound. But if you’re still freaked out by spiders, here’s a happy little video that will help you get over it.
I aim to please.
Now here’s some completely new stuff.
Using proteins secreted by stem cells, researchers may have found a new, less risky way to regenerate bone tissue for people who have suffered major trauma to their limbs. According to findings published in Scientific Reports this week, the technique could one day provide a sustainable source of fresh tissue.
Right now, to stimulate the growth of new bone tissue, scientists have to grind up old bones to extract growth factors and various proteins known as “demineralized bone matrix” (DMB). This requires taking bones of varying quality from donated cadavers, and there’s no guarantee that enough of the necessary protein signals can be produced. “These limitations motivate the need for more consistent and reproducible source material for tissue regeneration,” Todd McDevitt of Gladstone Institutes says in a news release. “As a renewable resource that is both scalable and consistent in manufacturing, pluripotent stem cells are an ideal solution.” These have the potential to give rise to almost all cells and tissue types found in mammals.
All you need to do is think about people who’ve suffered bone or muscle loss from cancer or any other disease. This new treatment will help them heal quicker and more safely.
That’s a good thing.
Just in case you’ve got a little vampire in you, make sure to suck the blood of a younger person.
Hailed as the long sought-after elixir of youth ever since scientists demonstrated that it could reverse signs of aging in old mice, there has been a lot of interest in young blood as a potential rejuvenation factor. While scientists thought they may have pinpointed the responsible molecule, describing its impressive effects in several high-profile publications, its age-defying abilities have this week been called into question by a new study. But it seems scientists shouldn’t fall at the first hurdle as, interestingly, a new investigation has come out that showed that young blood can help old broken bones heal faster.
As described in Nature Communications, circulating the blood of young mice in older mice with fractures sped up the healing process, an effect that they could replicate by also giving the elderly mice a bone marrow transplant from youthful individuals. Furthermore, they were also able to pinpoint a signaling pathway that is at least partly responsible, although what causes it to go wrong in the elderly remains unknown.
Speaking of cancer related issues;
When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) headed to Havana on a historic trade mission in April, he returned with the promise of an important commodity: a Cuban-developed lung cancer vaccine.
The vaccine, called CimaVax, has been researched in Cuba for 25 years and became available for free to the Cuban public in 2011. The country’s Center for Molecular Immunology signed an agreement last month with Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York to import CimaVax and begin clinical trials in the United States.
“We’re still at the very early stages of assessing the promise of this vaccine, but the evidence so far from clinical trials in Cuba and Europe has been striking,” Dr. Kelvin Lee, Jacobs Family Chair in Immunology and co-leader of the Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy Program at Roswell Park, told The Huffington Post.
When President Obama loosened the United State’s 55-year long trade embargo against the island nation in December, he allowed for such joint research deals to be finalized. Similar programs might have been impossible just a few years ago.
Cuba has long been known for its high-quality cigars, and lung cancer is a major public health problem and the fourth-leading cause of death in the country. A 2007 study of patients with stages IIIB and IV lung cancer, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, confirmed the safety of the CimaVax and showed an increase in tumor-reducing antibody production in more than half of cases. It proved particularly effective for increased survival if the study participant was younger than 60.
I first heard about this a few years ago and would have bet good money that it was a hoax. I am very pleased that no one took that bet and that I was wrong.
As long as we’re talking about hoaxes do you remember that snarky phrase “Physician heal thyself”? Some scientists got to thinking along those lines and wondered if the human body could heal itself from cancer.
The answer is maybe trending towards yes.
Researchers meeting in Chicago are hailing what they believe may be a potent new weapon in the fight against cancer: the body’s own immune system.
An international study found that a combination of two drugs that helped allow the immune system to fight the cancer — ipilimumab and nivolumab — stopped the deadly skin cancer melanoma from advancing for nearly a year in 58% of the cases.
Melanoma, though a skin cancer, can spread to the lungs, liver, bone, lymph nodes and brain.
Other studies have shown promise in treating lung cancer. The research is being presented in Chicago at the annual conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Those involved in the fight against cancer are divided as to just how excited to get over the promise of immunotherapy in battling cancer.
“Immunotherapy drugs have already revolutionized melanoma treatment, and now we’re seeing how they might be even more powerful when they’re combined,” said Dr. Steven O’Day, an expert with the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
“But the results also warrant caution — the nivolumab and ipilimumab combination used in this study came with greater side effects, which might offset its benefits for some patients. Physicians and patients will need to weigh these considerations carefully,” O’Day said.
The beauty of treatment like this is that it’s completely noninvasive. As of right now it needs to be used in conjunction with surgery and radiation therapy but the goal is to make it a stand alone treatment. At least as much as is possible.
Of course it may be a combination of the above possible cures that will do the trick. Either way science has made huge strides in keeping your happy ass alive a little longer.
Speaking of asses, have you ever wanted to get a good look at one without earning a restraining order or jail time? Science has you covered there too.
Good news for everyone with blurry vision or a strong desire to become Superman. The Ocumetics Bionic Lens may give you 60/20 eyesight — three times better than 20/20. It’s a major leap in eye prosthetics, and apparently, it’s pretty painless too.
Garth Webb, a British Columbia optometrist, founder of Ocumetics and the creator of the Bionic Lens, told CBC his product would allow someone who can’t make out an object at 10 feet to see it clearly from 30 feet. He also claims his surgically implanted lenses can prevent cataracts from forming because they replace the rotted human lens.
“At age 45 I had to struggle with reading glasses, which like most people, I found was a great insult,” Webb told CBC. “To this day I curse my progressive glasses. I also wear contact lenses, which I also curse just about every day.”
Webb says the surgery is identical to cataract surgery. The original lens you’re born with is removed, and then instead of replacing it with the usual artificial lens, the surgeon folds up Ocumetics’ Bionic Lens in a syringe and injects it into place. According to Webb, it’s an eight-minute surgery that leaves the patient with unprecedented eyesight — and could once and for all do away with contact lenses and glasses.
Science has also been experimenting with solar-powered sight and Wi-Fi-connected eyeballs. While all of this research is aimed at helping people with limited or nonexistent sight, the obvious recreational usages will probably fund them all for eternity.
Speaking of funding, when was the last time you thought about the rapper Akon? Yeah, me too. But there’s a good reason for that. It turns out he’s been in Africa using science that was barely nascent a year ago to bring electricity to almost a billion people.
Although he’s been absent on the music scene recently, Akon has been working to bring electricity to 600 million Africans with his initiative Lighting Africa.
At the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Forum, Akon announced his plan to launch a new solar academy for the continent.
Reports say that the academy would help with developing the skills and training of future entrepreneurs, engineers and technicians in Bamako, the capital of Mali.
The website for Akon’s Lighting Africa program released a press release stating:
“This professional training center of excellence is a first on the continent and targets future African entrepreneurs, engineers and technicians. It aims to reinforce expertise in every aspect of installing and maintaining solar-powered electric systems and micro-grids in particular, which are really taking off in rural Africa.”
Lighting Africa has already installed street lights and small household solar systems in 14 countries. With 320 days of sunshine per year, Africa is ideal for developing solar power.
While large parts of Africa are industrialized there are also large swaths that are not. With this technology, and the newly trained experts to install and oversee it, pretty much everything else becomes available. Electric powered water pumps instead of local wells is one good example. The ability to connect to the world at large is another.
And it’s not just important to Africa. Here in America this technology could eliminate, or greatly reduce, the need for power companies. Rural America would no longer require risky power lines. I could go on but you get the picture.
This is all very interesting, I hear you mumbling, but what about all the scientific advances you promised using poop.
Don’t worry,science didn’t forget you. They just created the fastest poop powered bus in the world and you can ride on it.
The Bus and Coach Buyer, however, specifies that the record attempt was meant to reflect speeds for “a service bus.” The article also notes that the record was simply a “lighthearted event” meant to help spread the word about biomethane gas as fuel.
Even if it doesn’t hold a Guinness World Record, though, we think the Bus Hound and its snazzy cow print paint job are pretty cool.
Reading Buses operates a total 34 buses powered by the cow manure fuel, according to Bus and Coach Buyer. The cow droppings are converted into fuel through anaerobic digestion, which involves microorganisms breaking down the feces in an oxygen-free environment. This process creates biogas, which can then be processed to produce biomethane that can be used as fuel, the Alternative Fuels Data Center explains.
The Bus Hound, by the way, is not to be confused with another U.K. “poo bus” that debuted recently: the Bio-Bus, which serves the city of Bristol and runs on human waste.
Considering that poop is a naturally occurring, and completely renewable, resource this is good news. While not as efficient as fossil fuels now continued research should clear that hurdle sooner rather than later.
So eat some chili and save the world.
Or you could just play the ukulele and ride a bike.
I get it. Sometimes you’ve got some “me time” and you want to make it worth your while. So, a little soft music, a nice dinner for one, maybe a rose (For me? You shouldn’t have!), a couple of adult libations, some jiffy lube and off you go for an evening of one handed romance. You let your imagination run wild. Your brain, the most erotic organ you have in any case, starts firing. Finally, after however long it takes you, your synapses collapse into a heap of protoplasmic ecstasy. Later, after you’ve toweled yourself off, you bask in the glow of self love. That’s all well and good. In fact it’s pretty damn healthy actually. Science has proven that masturbation has many health benefits too. Masturbation helps you sleep, relieves cramps, helps prevent prostate cancer, alleviates urinary tract infections, can help relieve Restless Leg Syndrome symptoms, helps boost your immunity and it just, plain old, makes sex better. If that last one seems counterintuitive just think about it. You’ve made sure all your parts work. You’ve proved to yourself that you have an imagination. Those two things that make you happy also happen to be the exact same things that will make your partner happy. So have at it and enjoy.
Just not in public.
I was talking to a friend of mine and I mentioned that there seemed to be a growing trend of American’s rocking the one eyed wonder weasel, or feeding the bearded clam as the case may be, in places that aren’t usually on anyone’s go to list when it comes to personal pleasuring. He told me to quit exaggerating. Look, if I’ve told him once I’ve told him a billion time, I don’t exaggerate.
But, after being called out like that I feel it’s my duty to prove me right.
Let’s start in Florida because ….. well, Florida.
Meet Amie Carter. This lovely young lady was walking around the outskirts of Orlando, Florida (the greatest place on Earth!). So far so normal. Then she started walking in the middle of the street. Not smart but .. oh, wait. Yes, buck naked in the middle of the road she started commando diddling in front of police. When they tried to arrest her she resisted, did over a grand’s worth of damage to a Nissan (I’d kill to hear that call to an insurance agency) and kicked her legs in the air at the cops. While her path to stardom as a Rockette may be closed the nice police were kind enough to offer a new path to jail. Drugs may have been involved.
Meet Frederick Tennyson Davis. No, you really, really want to. Freddy boy showed up at a library in Toronto not once, but twice, with a cucumber in one hand and his love muscle in another. How he managed to elude police the first time has got to be the saddest tale one cop can tell another. Still, the terror of the tomes has been incarcerated so it’s safe to read again.
Meet Tyree Carter. The 20 year old Racine, Wisconsin resident has been banned for being a bibliophile of epic, and disturbing, proportions. He would go into an aisle, pick out a book he loved and then share his love of literature by flogging his frog in front of anyone who happened by. He’s been banned from any library in the world for life.
So what do you do if the cops bust for you a little self loving?
Meet Mike Eiskant. Mike was a cop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was videotaped sitting in his car, demanding that someone on his cell phone show him her tits while he was rubbing one off. And that was the least of his problems. Check this out.
… he entered a plea of no contest before Bernalillo County District Court Judge Reed Sheppard to two counts of attempt to commit a felony (false imprisonment), one count of stalking, two counts of harassment and other charges including larceny and possession of marijuana, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.
Seven of the charges occurred in 2011 and the counts of false imprisonment, stalking and harassment relate to traffic stops involving female drivers, according to the criminal complaint.
In return for pleading no contest, Eiskant agreed he “will never again become a law enforcement officer anywhere in the United States,” according to a statement from Attorney General Gary King’s office.
On the other hand, meet this guy. Again, we’re back in Florida. A woman had called the cops because she saw someone masturbating in the CVS parking lot (oh, you know you want to do it too). When the cops tracked him down inside the store he claimed it was because he had a rash and not because he liked himself. And, again this is Florida, to prove it he whipped out his balls and showed them to the cop. And they were horrid. No charges were filed.
In Omaha, Nebraska, Darryl Moore, not to be confused with Dennis Moore, tried a similar tactic. He told the cops he’d witnessed a murder. When they asked for details he dropped trough and started flogging his frog. Fortunately for the citizens of Omaha the police didn’t have to take him very far. The good news for Darryl, and the bad news for the janitor, is that he completed the process before they could stop him.
Speaking of people janitor’s hate, meet Anthony Bruce Berry. The Lantana Florida native, I’m seeing a theme developing here, was having trouble using a door knob, yes, you read that right, so he fucked it. He has also faced charges of indecent exposure two times before, and has had 32 other arrests for charges such as robbery, sexual assault and cocaine possession since 1979.
Really? A door knob?
Let’s try and wrap this up, as it were.
Scott Smith, from Penn Township, Pennsylvania, claimed his pants were too big and that’s why his penis kept popping out. No, the cops didn’t believe him either.
William Blakely, the vice-mayor (man is that post aptly named) of Mt. Carmel Tennessee, was arrested for masturbating out of the window of his car while he drove. I don’t even want to know how or why he developed that skill.
Meet Nick Gonzales (in a firehouse?), Gregory Matthew Bruni (pooped & masturbated in Tony Lands’ Florida Home), Steven Young (at a parade no less), Elijah Slocumb (incorrectly named according to witnesses), Jared Weston (the master of hair don’ts), and the man, the myth, the legend, Edwin Tobregta.
Here’s a little sumptin sumptin about Eddie.
Edwin Tobergta, 35, was arrested in Hamilton, Ohio on Wednesday for allegedly having sex with an inflatable pool raft by the side of the road, Fox 19 reports. This is the fourth time Tobergta has been arrested for this kind of offense.
In 2011, Tobergta was caught with his pants down in an alley with his neighbor’s pink, inflatable raft.
He went to jail, but was arrested again in 2013 for having sex with the EXACT SAME RAFT, which had inexplicably not been thrown out. The 2013 offense occurred at Tobergta’s own home, but he was charged with — and pleaded guilty to — public indecency because it happened within the view of children during the day.
It is unclear if Tobergta’s most recent alleged offense took place with the same pool raft.
In 2002, Tobergta was arrested for publicly pleasuring himself with an inflatable pumpkin. That object wasn’t a pool toy, though, because come on, a man needs a little variety.
In his newest mugshot, Tobergta is wearing a T-shirt that reads, “I’m out of my mind. Please leave a message.”
I limited my research to the last two years and to those that were actually charged. Well, except for rash-man. That was just too fun not to share.
Had I not done so you would have thought that War and Peace was a pocket book.
So what have we learned today boys and girls? You only share with CONSENTING partners. Got it?
Now have fun out there.