My Usual Saturday News

That time again when I drop some news that few will care about….but hopefully a bit of FYI can be thrown in… grin and bear it……

 News from the UK (Pete will inform us)…..

British consumers have just one week left to spend the last £11 billion ($12.4 billion) of paper banknotes that remain in circulation before the cash ceases to become legal tender.

As of Sept. 30, almost £6 billion of old £50 notes and more than £5 billion of the £20 ones will no longer be accepted by UK businesses, the Bank of England said Friday. That’s a total of more than 360 million notes.

People can exchange the paper for new currency made of a plastic-like polymer by appearing in person at the BOE’s London headquarters in Threadneedle Street, sending them through the  post or at certain Post Offices. Many commercial banks will also allow them to be deposited into accounts.

Now for the rough stuff…..

How many times have you heard some mental deficient GOPer tell us that the US is a Christian country?

They may be mistaken or it could be just what they do most of the time….a LIE.

Christianity is currently the majority religion in the United States, but it’s not on track to stay that way. CBS News reports on a new study by Pew Research Center and the General Social Survey that examines various scenarios of religious “switching” over the next few decades, and in all cases, it’s not good news for the Christian faith: Depending on which switching scenario plays out, “people who identify as atheist, agnostic or ‘nothing in particular’ could become America’s largest (non)religious group within our lifetime,” driven by young people defecting from their faith, per Pew researcher Stephanie Kramer. The report notes that in 1990, 90% or so of Americans identified as Christian—a number that dropped to 64% by 2020. On the flip side, those who don’t consider themselves affiliated with any religion saw their percentage rise from 16% in 2007 to 30% in 2020.

The researchers looked at four scenarios of switching, with that switching either staying the same compared to current rates, speeding up, or stopping entirely. In all four scenarios, the number of those who don’t consider themselves part of any religion will approach or surpass those who identify as Christian by 2070, according to Pew researchers. The report stresses that these are just some of the possibilities, and none is a definite. It also doesn’t examine the reasons for a shift away from Christianity, but NPR looks at a couple of theories. “Some scholars say that it’s just an inevitable consequence of development for societies to secularize,” Kramer tells the outlet. “Once there are strong secular institutions, once people’s basic needs are met, there’s less need for religion.” Others point to a conflict between their church’s teachings and their own beliefs or identity.

“For me, especially, when I started to come out as queer, it became impossible for me to reconcile this church that was basically admitting that they wanted kids like me dead or suicidal,” says Eliza Campbell, who two years ago left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “I decided I had to choose myself and choose my well-being.” There’s also the possibility that Christianity could end up on the rise if major events take place—such as with the rise of authoritarianism, climate change, migration, or war—but current switching patterns don’t bear out such a scenario. As for how these changes will affect the country overall, Pew doesn’t get into specific speculation, but it notes “the decline of Christianity and the rise of the ‘nones’ may have complex causes and far-reaching consequences for politics, family life, and civil society.”

This does not surprise me….how about you?

It appears the STDs are at the highest rates in decades in the US……

Sharply rising cases of some sexually transmitted diseases—including a 26% rise in new syphilis infections reported last year—are prompting US health officials to call for new prevention and treatment efforts. “It is imperative that we … work to rebuild, innovate, and expand (STD) prevention in the US,” said Dr. Leandro Mena of the CDC in a speech Monday at a medical conference, per the AP. Infection rates for some STDs, including gonorrhea and syphilis, have been rising for years. Last year, the rate of syphilis cases reached its highest since 1991 and the total number of cases hit its highest since 1948. HIV cases are also on the rise, up 16% last year.

An international outbreak of monkeypox, which is being spread mainly between men who have sex with other men, has further highlighted the nation’s worsening problem with diseases spread mostly through sex. David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, called the situation “out of control.” Officials are working on new approaches to the problem, such as home-test kits for some STDs that will make it easier for people to learn they are infected and to take steps to prevent spreading it to others, Mena said. “I envision one day where getting tested (for STDs) can be as simple and as affordable as doing a home pregnancy test,” he said. Another expert said a core part of any effort must work to increase the use of condoms.

New syphilis infections plummeted in the US starting in the 1940s when antibiotics became widely available. They fell to their lowest ever by 1998, when fewer than 7,000 new cases were reported nationwide. But by 2002 cases began rising again, largely among gay and bisexual men. By 2020 cases had reached nearly 41,700 and they spiked even further last year, to more than 52,000. The rate of cases has been rising, too, hitting about 16 per 100,000 people last year, for the highest in three decades. While the rate for women is lower than it is for men, officials noted that it has been rising more dramatically among women—up about 50% last year.

There is always a new fad or trend that is all over social media….the newest involves NyQuil……

The Food and Drug Administration wants Americans to know that cooking chicken in cough syrup is as bad an idea as it sounds. In an FDA warning about social media challenges, the agency referred to a TikTok video that showed somebody cooking chicken in NyQuil cough and cold medication, which contains acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and doxylamine, NBC reports. “The challenge sounds silly and unappetizing—and it is. But it could also be very unsafe,” the FDA said. “Boiling a medication can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways.”

“Even if you don’t eat the chicken, inhaling the medication’s vapors while cooking could cause high levels of the drugs to enter your body,” the FDA said. “It could also hurt your lungs.” TikTok said it discourages dangerous challenges and has asked users to report them. “Content that promotes dangerous behavior has no place on TikTok,” a spokesperson told CNET. “This is not trending on our platform, but we will remove content if found and strongly discourage anyone from engaging in behavior that may be harmful to themselves or others.” The FDA urged parents to keep medication in a safe place and to remind their children that overdoses can occur with over-the-counter drugs as well as prescription drugs.

Again….”Can’t Fix Stupid”…..

That is about all the great news I have for this Saturday.

I hope everyone has a great weekend….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”