Usual Saturday News

Another Saturday and and all the news that was not important enough to print….and it falls to me to bring these stories to light….

LA has told residents that they need to compost….         

Before you throw out that leftover plate of pasta, the city of Los Angeles wants you to be aware you are now required to compost it.

“It’s sort of like the same type of material that we’re currently handling,” said environmental engineer Bernadette Halverson. “It’s just a matter of moving the food waste from the black bin to the green bin. And by doing that we’re actually doing our part, helping the environment.”

L.A. Sanitation rolled out its new composting program as part of the new state mandate aimed at getting organic waste out of landfills. All of its 750,000 customers must now toss their food and food-soiled paper, such as a pizza box, into their green bin, along with their yard waste.

Can human waste be used as a fertilizer?

Some say yes it can.

Using fertilisers derived from human faeces and urine can be as productive as conventional organic ones, with no risk of transmitting disease, according to new research.

It may seem unappetising, but humans have been using human waste as a fertiliser for thousands of years because it contains the key nutrients that plants need to grow, including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Ploughing human excrement – conventionally flushed down our toilets and into the sewage system – back into the soil creates a more sustainable farming system without significant drops in yield, the researchers found.

The team studied a crop of white cabbages grown 12 miles (20km) south of Berlin between June and October 2019. They tested three waste-based products: two fertilisers derived from human urine and one from human faeces called “faecal compost”. The effects were compared with those of using a commercial organic fertiliser, vinasse, which is made from sugar-beet and is a byproduct of bioethanol production.

The lead co-author Franziska Häfner, a PhD student at University of Hohenheim in Germany, said: “The fertilisers from nitrified human urine gave similar yields as a conventional fertiliser product, and did not show any risk regarding transmission of pathogens or pharmaceuticals.”

We all know the ‘flat earthers’ are stone crazy and now their big deal is that Australia is a fake….

I’ve never been to Australia. I hear it’s lovely. I know some lovely people there, too. Still, I recognize that it’s sort of a crazy natural death trap that also represents the worst instincts of British colonialism made manifest. This is a continent full of flaming fields of spiderwebs where indigenous populations were wiped out to make room for prisons before someone realized they were sitting on an oil goldmine, thus inspiring even more brutal human rights violations in the name of wealth creation, which in turn contributed to climate change which made the crazy fire animals even crazier.

You don’t need to make shit up about Australia because Australia is absurd enough on its own. But apparently, even that was not enough for these Flat Earthers on Facebook:

Flat Earthers: “Australia is fake and all Australians are actors paid by NASA”

It always amazes me how far people will go to inflict harm on their neighbors….the newest way is in North Carolina…..

Authorities in North Carolina have issued a scary warning: Watch out for razor blades when you reach for the pump at a gas station. The Forest City Police Department says in a press release that razor blades were found attached to the undersides of the handles of pumps in that town as well as surrounding areas. It’s not clear how long the blades had been there or who is responsible. “We are actively investigating these instances now in cooperation with the state Department of Agriculture and will follow up with more information when available,” the department says.

The Department of Ag was conducting inspections when the first razor blades were found at three area businesses, WSOC-TV reports. Other stations were then searched as a result. WLOS has a picture of one of the rusty blades that was found. Authorities say they were glued or taped to the pump, and they believe the perpetrator or perpetrators wanted to hurt someone. A local points out that some parents let their children pump gas, making the situation particularly scary. “Why would someone want to do this sort of thing?” a police lieutenant asks. Adds a detective, “It’s a very evil thing to do, for lack of a better word. It’s just mean-spirited.”

There you are my Saturday news dump….I hope you enjoyed the diversion.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


The Usual Saturday News

Let’s admit it the news these days is just boring and at times beyond believable….honestly most of it is garbage.

So on Saturday’s I try to let my readers know some of the news that did not make the national news….

First of all for the last few years we have had the warmest Summers on history and 2023 will be no different….

The El Nino climate phenomenon helped make 2016 the hottest year on record—and its return later this year could bring even higher temperatures amid “unprecedented heatwaves,” scientists say. Forecasters say the pattern in the Pacific Ocean, which affects conditions around the world, is set to flip from El Nina to El Nino, the warmer part of the cycle, making extreme weather worse, the Guardian reports. El Nina and El Nino events tend to develop during the spring and reach peak intensity during the winter before dying down by summer, per IFLScience, meaning any temperature records set in 2023 are likely to be broken in 2024. The cycle has been in the El Nina phase since late 2020.

Scientists say El Nino is likely to bring world temperatures 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and into territory that climate agreements have sought to avoid. “We know that under climate change, the impacts of El Nino events are going to get stronger, and you have to add that to the effects of climate change itself, which is growing all the time,” says Adam Scaife, head of long-range prediction at the UK Met Office. “You put those two things together, and we are likely to see unprecedented heatwaves during the next El Nino.” In the US, El Nino tends to bring hotter and drier weather to northern states and wetter weather to southern states.

“We suggest that 2024 is likely to be off the chart as the warmest year on record,” American climate scientist James Hansen said last year, per the Guardian. “Without inside information, that would be a dangerous prediction, but we proffer it because it is unlikely that the current La Nina will continue a fourth year. Even a little futz of an El Nino—like the tropical warming in 2018-19, which barely qualified as an El Nino—should be sufficient for record global temperature.” Climate scientist Wenju Cai tells Australia’s 9News that with so much heat stored in the equatorial Pacific during three years of El Nina, “an El Nino is readily triggered by relaxation of the trade winds over the region.”

Something to either dread or look forward to…depends on your attitude.

How about an alien space probe?

Ask a hundred scientists what first contact with an alien civilization would look like, and you’ll get back a hundred different answers. Futurism put forth the scientific theory of how humanity would react to an alien probe, and how strangely, the second probe might be the most important. Due to the reality of traveling light-years through space, the first probe to arrive on Earth may not be the first one that was sent in our direction.

University of California astronomer Graeme Smith recently published a paper going over the mind-bending thought exercise. Smith explains that first contact may come about from an ancient artifact drifting through space. That assumption assumes that an alien civilization sends out a probe as soon as they are capable, without waiting for sufficient interstellar travel technology. This is of course, what humans did with the Voyager spacecraft, which were sent out without the intention of being a probe, but prepared with a golden disc of information just in case.

The sheer distance of objects in space, which is so vast even reaching Mars, the closest planet to Earth, is realistically beyond the average human lifespan, makes it likely that it won’t be the first, second, or even third, probe that will reach us, but the two-hundredth. If an alien species continues to develop and refine their space-faring technology, it is likely that a probe sent in 14,000 years would arrive at the same time here as Voyager 2, launched in 1977, would on their planet.

Scientists Worried About Alien Probes


That Saturday News

Let’s back away from the hum-drum politics of the day and read some real news…..

It seems every new year there is a new prediction of the collapse of civilization and this year is not different….

People who enjoy our modern lifestyle should perhaps not get used to it, according to Standford scientists. Futurism reports that civilization as we know it may end within a few decades if humanity doesn’t get on top of managing our natural resources. This was the assessment of Stanford biologists Tony Barnosky and Paul Ehrlich when they appeared on 60 Minutes to discuss the effects of mass extinction.

Tony Barnosky discussed this inevitability from the perspective of the fossil record, which shows that mass extinction rates are around 100 times higher now than in any other period in Earth’s history of supporting life. These extinctions not only reduce the amount of food in our ecosystem but also cause other breakdowns in the chain of life that could hasten the demise of civilization by bringing an end to processes we take for granted. Mass extinctions have taken place throughout the geological record, but not at the rate they are happening today.

Scientists Reveal Civilization Is Coming To An End, Here’s When It’s All Over

A new ‘treasure map’ has been found to Nazi treasure… know kinda like that Nazi treasure train….

Treasure hunters with shovels and metal detectors descended on a village in the eastern Netherlands following the release of a map showing where Nazi soldiers are believed to have buried a stash of treasure in the final weeks of World War II. The map, with a red X marking where the treasure was supposedly buried in the roots of a poplar tree near the village of Ommeren, was released as part of a research file from the late 1940s when the 75-year period of confidentiality expired, reports Reuters. According to the file, a German soldier identified as Helmut S. said soldiers had buried four ammunition boxes containing diamonds, rubies, gold, silver, and jewelry, worth the equivalent of almost $20 million in today’s money, the Observer reports. According to the file, the treasure was looted from a bank in Arnhem in late 1944.

Annet Waalkens of the Netherlands National Archives tells the Observer that authorities found out about the treasure because Helmut S. was “a bit loose-lipped back in Berlin.” He gave authorities the map and returned to the Netherlands for one of three unsuccesful searches in 1946 and 1947. Authorities suspect that the soldiers may have returned and moved it—or that it was taken by locals who witnessed the Germans burying it as they prepared to retreat. According to the research file, officials also suspected American soldiers. Waalkens says that during the third search, officials encountered two American officers and noted that the soil in the area had been disturbed. According to the file, of the four soldiers involved in burying the treasure, two didn’t survive the war and a third one vanished. It’s not clear whether the fourth, Helmut S., is still alive.

Treasure hunters turned up in the area last week despite the apparently slim chances of finding anything. “Like a lot of people, the news about the treasure made me go look for myself,” a 57-year-old man told Reuters. “The chance of the treasure still being here after 70 years is very small I think, but I want to give it a try.” Days after the map was released, local officials warned against digging for treasure in the area, citing the risk of encountering land mines or unexploded bombs from World War II, reports Treasure hunters were warned to stay off private land and officials said digging or using metal detectors could only be done with a permit, per Omroep Gelderland.

Space is opening up and a ‘gold rush’ is in the planning….the rape of extraterrestrial rape is about to begin…..

A cash flow cascading from the heavens is a provisionary but promising harvest from asteroid mining. It’s already a “claim jumping” enterprise with assertions that billions, trillions, even quadrillions of dollars are looming in deep space, ripe for the picking and up for grabs.

Several space mining groups, eager to dig into extraterrestrial excavation of asteroids, have already come and gone. Left behind are torn, tattered and beleaguered business plans.

The past, however, is prologue. But this time, step-by-step strategies are being fielded. By and large, the prospect of reaping gobs of moolah from off-Earth mining has become a tempered affair.

There is a call for the banning of gas stoves…..

On the heels of a damning report that gas stoves are responsible for 13% of child asthma cases in the US comes news that a federal agency is considering banning the appliances. “Products that can’t be made safe can be banned,” a commissioner for the Consumer Product Safety Commission tells Bloomberg. He says “any option is on the table” for the “hidden hazard” of gas stoves, found in more than a third of homes in the nation. As CNN reports, the CPSC has been considering making a move on the appliances for months; the same agency commissioner in October recommended the safety agency collect public comments on the matter.

Now, he tells Bloomberg, that public comment period is expected to be opened. If they are not banned, there are other steps that can be taken, including setting standards on the emissions from them. Without proper ventilation, gas stoves can cause levels of nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and fine particulate matter to a concentration declared unsafe by the Environmental Protection Agency, and the appliances have been linked to other respiratory ailments beyond asthma as well. The CPSC says a “lengthy process” will be involved before any regulatory action is taken. Some cities have been taking it upon themselves to ban natural gas hookups in new construction, while in some red states, such bans have been preemptively prohibited from ever taking effect.

I use gas so these twats can kiss my ass.

That is my offering for you, my readers, on this Saturday.

Be well….Be Safe

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Return Of The “That Usual Saturday News”

I know it is Sunday but yesterday’s news about the Speaker race was too important to ignore….

It has returned!

I try to get away from the normal news that has put us all into a political coma.

My good news for 2023 is that my diabetes is now under control and my doctor has taken me off the injections…..blood is good, liver and kidney functions are good, heart is great and my cholesterol is really good  and BP as well.

A good start so far.

The most moronic conspiracy from last year….birds aren’t real….

The group “birds aren’t real”, who claim that birds are no longer real, have conducted a rally in the US, in the hope of converting others to their views.

For those uninitiated, the birds aren’t real movement claims that birds were once real but have now been replaced with drones by – you guessed it – none other than Barack Obama, back in 2001. The new robot birds are used to monitor Americans, according to the conspiracy theory.

“Where it all began. October 26th, 2001,” account Birdsarentreal wrote on Instagram, underneath the compelling evidence above. “The day the deceitful and wicked Patriot Act was passed by congress. I can’t watch these horrific videos in public, I tremble uncontrollably with rage. I sob. I can’t keep quiet.

“After the government killed off the last real bird in 2001, they released the beta versions of the first prototype bird drones, as shown in these tapes. WHAT A COINCIDENCE that on October 27th, 2001, PEARL HARBOR happened. Yet no one seems to draw the correlation. Sheep.

“Call me misinformed, call me stupid, call me under-educated, I don’t care. Just because I didn’t go to ‘high school’ doesn’t mean that I’m any less intelligent. I just haven’t been brainwashed and institutionalized like you all. I know that I am #WOKE and one day you all will see.”

I have been critical of the M-IC for many years and now even our advances in AI has its reservations….

In my eclectic reading, I came across a couple of references to ChatGPT, an experiment in artificial intelligence (AI). You ask the AI bot a question, or give it a task, and it spits out an answer, and I must say a pretty good one judging from the task I gave it.

My task to the AI bot: “Write a critical essay on the military-industrial complex.” Here’s what it generated:

The military-industrial complex refers to the relationship between a country’s military and the defense industry that supplies it, seen together as a vested interest which influences public policy. This relationship has been a source of concern for many people, who argue that it can lead to an unnecessary expansion of military budgets and an over-reliance on military solutions to problems.

One of the main criticisms of the military-industrial complex is that it can result in the waste of taxpayer money. Military contracts are often given to a select group of companies, which can result in overcharging for goods and services. Additionally, the military often purchases weapons and equipment that are unnecessary or not well-suited for the tasks at hand. This can lead to a tremendous amount of waste and inefficiency, as resources are poured into projects that do not provide much value.

Even AI Is Suspicious of the Military-Industrial Complex

Education really sucks in this country….there is a wide canyon between history and revision…..and the American people have seen this as well….

A new, nationwide poll revealed 71% of Americans believe their children are not receiving an honest picture of their country’s history through education, while only 13% believe they are and nearly 16% aren’t sure. The discontent is shared by various political parties and ethnicities, but it was particularly high among Asians; more than 91% said their children are not receiving an honest look at history.

The poll by the Trafalgar Group, commissioned by the Jack Miller Center, also found that more than 92% of Americans want their children to receive an honest education about the country’s historical figures, even if their views don’t align with modern day values. That includes learning about the figure’s achievements that helped shape America, despite mistakes they may have made, in what has been described as a “warts and all approach.”

The poll was released as many in American society are questioning how to teach, or whether to teach, about important figures in U.S. history. An opinion article in the Washington Post once called on George Washington University to change its name. The San Francisco School Board voted to remove the names of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln from their namesake schools.

71% of Americans say schools are not giving children an honest view of history

Finally some possible good news for people with eye problems…..

Over a decade ago, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison developed a way to grow organized clusters of cells, called organoids, that resemble the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye.

They coaxed human skin cells reprogrammed to act as stem cells to develop into layers of several types of retinal cells that sense light and ultimately transmit what we see to the brain.

“We wanted to use the cells from those organoids as replacement parts for the same types of cells that have been lost in the course of retinal diseases,” says David Gamm, the UW-Madison ophthalmology professor and director of the McPherson Eye Research Institute whose lab developed the organoids.

“But after being grown in a laboratory dish for months as compact clusters, the question remained—will the cells behave appropriately after we tease them apart? Because that is key to introducing them into a patient’s eye.”

During 2022, Gamm and UW-Madison collaborators published studies showing that dish-grown retinal cells called photoreceptors respond like those in a healthy retina to different wavelengths and intensities of light, and that once they are separated from adjacent cells in their organoid, they can reach out toward new neighbors with characteristic biological cords called axons.

Lab-Grown Retinal Cells Open the Door to Treat Blindness and Degenerative Eye Diseases

I am sure that greed will make it’s way into this discovery and only certain people will have access to this procedure.

There you have the news that did not make the evening news programing…..

Have a great Sunday….Be well and be safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

2023–The Year Ahead

A new year and what do we Americans expect for the year ahead?

New year, new country? Not the way most Americans see it, according to Gallup. Given the partisan politics and economic struggles of 2022, a new poll finds Americans are “largely pessimistic” about the state of the US in the coming year. Some 80% expect economic difficulty, with tax increases and a growing federal deficit; 85% expect international discord; and 90% expect internal political conflict, per the Washington Times. In the web survey of 1,803 members of Gallup’s probability-based panel, 72% said the crime rate would climb, 72% said China’s power would increase, and 64% said the US would decline as a global power.

There was only one of 13 areas in which a majority of Americans expected what the Times calls “a positive outcome,” meaning a decline in Russia’s power, with 62% predicting that would occur in 2023. This is “likely a reflection of that country’s recent setbacks in its war against Ukraine,” Gallup said. Otherwise, “Americans are greeting 2023 with great skepticism and little expectation that the economic struggles that closed out 2022 will abate.” More than 60% of respondents said consumer prices would continue to rise at a “high rate” and the stock market would continue its fall. More than 50% said unemployment would increase and 56% predicted “many strikes by labor unions.”

Republicans were more pessimistic than Democrats, though, with “Democrats more likely than Republicans to offer positive predictions for all of the dimensions,” per Gallup. “This is a typical phenomenon whereby Americas who identify with the sitting president’s party are more positive in general in their outlook for the year ahead.” Some 69% of Democrats predicted full or increasing employment (compared to 23% of Republicans), 56% expected an increase in US power (compared to 11%), 53% expected the stock market to rise (compared to 15%), and 53% predicted a reasonable rise in prices (compared to 16%). The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Do you agree with these ‘predictions’?

If not….what are yours?

Plus the House cannot find a leader after 3 rounds of voting….

After a chaotic first day of the 118th Congress, the House has voted to adjourn for the day, with no speaker of the House elected. GOP frontrunner Kevin McCarthy lost all three rounds of voting Tuesday, with 19 conservative Republicans voting against him the first two rounds and 20 in the third. The swearing-in of new House members was delayed due to the stalemate and family members of lawmakers, including children, fell asleep or left the chamber as the voting dragged on, the Hill reports. This is only the eighth time in history that a House speaker hasn’t been chosen after three rounds of voting, and it’s the first time since 1923 that it has taken more than one ballot, CBS reports. In 1923, there were nine ballots over three days.

Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries got all 212 Democratic votes in the three ballots. “House Dems are united and ready to get to work,” he tweeted. “Complete chaos on the other side of the aisle.” The House will reconvene at noon on Wednesday. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the most recent speaker of the House, denied that Democrats would cut a deal with Republicans to give McCarthy a majority, the New York Times reports. “That may be a Republican rumor that has no currency among Democrats,” she said. McCarthy vowed to continue seeking the gavel, saying, “We stay in until we win,” the Washington Post reports.

The Republican who switched from McCarthy to Rep. Jim Jordan in the third round was Rep. Byron Donalds. His vote made it 20 for Jordan, who had urged Republicans to vote for McCarthy. “The reality is Rep. Kevin McCarthy doesn’t have the votes,” Donalds tweeted after voting in the third round. “I committed my support to him publicly and for two votes on the House Floor. 218 is the number, and currently, no one is there.” He added: “Our conference needs to recess and huddle and find someone or work out the next step but these continuous votes aren’t working for anyone.”

If not McCarthy then who?

After a historic day in the House of Representatives that ended with the legislative body adjourning without having elected a Speaker, it’s not clear what will happen next—other than the fact that representatives will reconvene at noon Wednesday, PBS reports. A fourth round of voting is expected at that point, USA Today reports, but as the Hill puts it, Kevin McCarthy’s failure to secure the necessary votes after three rounds “will lead to questions about whether Republicans need to move to a different candidate to unite their members.” The site looks at three lawmakers who could possibly take his place: Steve Scalise, the House Majority Leader; Jim Jordan, “widely considered the leading conservative in the House”; and Patrick McHenry, who was Scalise’s deputy whip when Paul Ryan was House Speaker.

While it’s technically possible for a non-House member to become Speaker, the Hill says most find that possibility “extremely unlikely.” The site also reports that McCarthy on Tuesday night floated the idea that he could win the position with less than the 218 votes he currently needs. If lawmakers are absent, or vote simply “present” rather than voting for a particular candidate, the threshold goes down: “Democrats have 212 votes. You get 213 votes, and the others don’t say another name, that’s how you can win,” he said. But it’s not clear how he’d convince at least 11 people who voted against him to vote for him, and then convince the other nine to decline to name a candidate in their votes.

Chaos looks like the agenda for this first year of the 118th Congress.

Pay Attention!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Usual Saturday News

It is that time again the news that you missed last week…..

The big science news last week was that fusion may have been achieved….

The Department of Energy promises to announce a “major scientific breakthrough” on Tuesday. The Financial Times reports in advance that it is indeed a huge deal: Scientists have for the first time produced a net energy gain from a nuclear fusion reaction. The Washington Post confirms the news out of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, calling it the long-sought “holy grail” in the hunt for clean, cheap energy. The FT lays out the importance: “Fusion reactions emit no carbon, produce no long-lived radioactive waste and a small cup of the hydrogen fuel could theoretically power a house for hundreds of years.” However, the stories make clear that we are years, perhaps decades, away from turning the milestone into a commonplace energy source.

“If this is confirmed, we are witnessing a moment of history,” physicist and author Arthur Turrell tells the FT. “Scientists have struggled to show that fusion can release more energy than is put in since the 1950s, and the researchers at Lawrence Livermore seem to have finally and absolutely smashed this decades-old goal.” New Scientist also weighs in on the formidable next steps, agreeing that it could take decades to figure out how to engineer large-scale fusion reactors and then actually build them. The Post notes that even old-school fission reactors take five years to build.

Because of those hurdles, the stories say the milestone would not provide a quick fix to current concerns about global warming. “While fusion may be able to play a role in powering the second half of the 21st century, it is unlikely to be a solution to the immediate climate crisis,” per New Scientist. Still, it’s seen as a monumental achievement to mimic on Earth the carbon-free reaction that powers our sun. Earlier this year, Rep. Don Beyer, chair of the bipartisan fusion energy caucus, put it this way: “Fusion has the potential to lift more citizens of the world out of poverty than anything since the invention of fire.”

Then the news broke….

They did it: Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have made history in the quest to harness fusion, reports the AP. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced Tuesday that researchers achieved a net energy gain in a fusion reaction for the first time in history. It’s a huge first step toward what could cheap, carbon-free power—and the end of fossil fuels—though it will likely be decades before the nation sees fusion-powered energy plants. Still, the breakthrough “will go down in the history books,” said Granholm.

How about food and health news…..

Do you drink 8 glasses of water a day?

The advice to drink eight glasses of water a day is so engrained that it might be difficult to dislodge it. But some researchers are trying to, the Washington Post reports. A new study published in the journal Science finds issues with that guidance, which might have been misunderstood all along. The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council in 1945 first suggested adults have about 64 ounces of water per day—translated as eight 8-ounce glasses, or 8 cups. But the goal of 64 ounces referred to total consumption, including what we get from food and other beverages. As the Mayo Clinic puts it, “you don’t need to rely only on water to meet your fluid needs.”

Experts and their research have questioned the scientific basis for the rule before. One study found no evidence that the 227 elderly adults among of 883 monitored were dehydrated despite regularly drinking less than six glasses of water a day. In the new research, data from 5,600 people in 26 countries ranging in age from 8 days to 96 years was analyzed. The study measured how much water the subjects lost and replaced each day, called water turnover. Researchers found water turnover was largely determined by a person’s size and level of body fat. People with a more “fat-free” mass need more water. And men overall need more water because they have larger bodies and less body fat. “Men use more water every day because we have a bigger system to keep hydrated,” said Herman Pontzer, a Duke University professor and study co-author.

A better guideline might be: Drink when you’re thirsty. Water, coffee, and tea work, but sugary drinks are less help. The Mayo Clinic says you’re probably getting enough water if you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is light yellow or colorless. There are complications, experts point out, including the fact that everyone will need to drink more as the climate warms. Researchers found no real harm in drinking 64 ounces of water a day, or more. “If you drink eight cups of water a day, you’ll be fine—you’re just going to be spending a lot more time in the bathroom,” Pontzer said.

Do you enjoy those prawns at your local seafood eatery?

They are not prawns!  They are large shrimp not prawns.

Those of us who eat shellfish might recognize these ten little legs from the intensive peeling process behind preparing these two aquatic critters. Healthline tells us that shrimp have only one pair of clawed legs while prawns sport claws on three pairs. Additionally, though both decapods have three-segmented bodies, the prawns’ segments overlap with one another, which gives it a more straight and inflexible form than shrimp.

The two crustaceans also have different reproduction habits, per Healthline. Shrimps carry their clutch of eggs on their underbelly while prawns simply lay their eggs into open water, leaving their offspring to develop independently — though the prawns often attempt to find rocks or plants on which they can securely deposit their eggs.

Read More:

If you use golf as an excuse for exercise then your days may be numbered.

The sport of golf today evokes images of lavish country clubs and pristine greens which often alter and dominate environments that can’t sustain them. But the game’s history predates land-moving bulldozers, industrialized irrigation, even sprinklers and lawn mowers. Golf can trace its origins back to the late Middle Ages, when it was a stick-and-ball game played in the rolling hills of Scotland. Birds and insects flew nearby and ate native plants, which grew freely on the greens.

“Golf, traditionally, is a very environmentally friendly game,” Jason Straka, principal at Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design, told The Daily Beast. Early courses were found environments, as golfers would discover clear, flat land and find ways to play around obstacles without moving or altering the earth. “The environmental impact was essentially negative,” he said.

Nowadays, golf is a favorite boogeyman of the environmental movement, seen as a symbol of water-wasting opulence enjoyed primarily by the wealthy. Golf courses in drought-parched areas in the American Southwest and southern Europe have been targeted with municipal water cuts—and, at times, accused of evading them. In August, Extinction Rebellion climate activists descended upon the Vieille-Toulouse golf club and the Garonne des Sept Deniers golf course in southern France, filling their holes with cement and tearing up greens to protest their water use as the region suffered a historic drought. While dozens of villages faced water shortages, golfers enjoyed a privilege “worthy of another world,” they said.

I think that is enough for this Saturday….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”



Yet Another Saturday News

Once again it is the weekend and yes it comes at the end of every week and so I want to impart some news that could very well change your life (no really but what the Hell)….

A couple of items about people wanting to win the ‘lawsuit lotto’…..

According to the packaging, it takes just 3.5 minutes to prepare Velveeta Shells & Cheese. According to Amanda Ramirez, that’s not true when one accounts for the time it takes to remove the lid, add water, and stir in the cheese sauce (not to mention waiting for that sauce to thicken). Per NPR, the Florida woman has filed a class-action lawsuit against Kraft Heinz to the tune of $5 million on behalf of consumers in 10 states. According to the suit, the multinational food giant relies on “false and misleading representations” to charge a “premium price … higher than it would be sold for absent the misleading representations and omissions.”

In a statement to USA Today, Kraft said it is “aware of this frivolous lawsuit and will strongly defend against the allegations in the complaint.” But according to NPR, Ramirez’s lawyers contend that it’s important to hold corporations to account. “Deceptive advertising is deceptive advertising,” said one lawyer, adding that his firm also “also represents clients in what most would say are more compelling cases … but we don’t feel corporations should get a pass for any deceptive advertising.” Per the Daily Mail, Ramirez’s suit claims that she would not have purchased the Velveeta product if she had known the truth about its prep time.

NPR also notes the presence of Spencer Sheehan on Ramirez’s legal team. Sheehan specializes in suits over misleading advertising and packaging, and he files approximately three per week, a rate that has “almost single-handedly caused a historic spike in the number of class action lawsuits against food and beverage companies—up more than 1000% since 2008.” Many of his lawsuits are settled before they reach court. Sheehan was involved in another recent lawsuit accusing Kellogg’s of misleading advertising in its strawberry Pop-Tarts, which also contain apples and pears. That suit was dismissed by a federal judge on April 1, per Reuters.

Next is the one on cheese sticks…..

A food product labeled “TGI Fridays Mozzarella Sticks Snacks” definitely contains sticks that can be snacked on, but the “TGI Fridays” and “Mozzarella” parts of the name were the focus of a court hearing this week. Federal judge Robert Dow ruled that a class action suit filed by a woman who called the name misleading because the sticks contain no mozzarella cheese could proceed, USA Today reports. But he also granted TGI Fridays’ request to be removed from the lawsuit, saying the restaurant chain had only licensed its trademark to snack maker Inventure Foods, which wasn’t enough to make it liable for alleged false or misleading advertising.

n the lawsuit filed early last year, Illinois resident Amy Joseph said she bought the bagged snack on Amazon, where the ingredients were not listed, and she was surprised to find out from the fine print that they contained cheddar, not mozzarella. She argued that it was “misbranding.” Dow said it was plausible for Joseph to allege that a reasonable consumer would believe “a product labelled ‘Mozzarella Stick Snacks’ with an image of mozzarella sticks would bear some resemblance to mozzarella sticks, which presumably contain some mozzarella cheese,” per Reuters. Inventure argued that no reasonable consumer would believe a “shelf-stable, crunchy snack product” would contain actual mozzarella.

Inventure’s lawyers also questioned Joseph’s motives for buying the product, calling her a “serial class action plaintiff” who has filed at least eight other suits over the last decade. Joseph’s lawyer, Thomas Zimmerman Jr., said they are “pleased with the ruling” and “intend to proceed against Inventure Foods on behalf of the nationwide class of purchasers of TGI Fridays mozzarella sticks.” The court directed attorneys to hold a “preliminary settlement discussion” on Dec. 5, per Reuters.

As we get older we seem to lose some of our mind power….and can it be slowed?

You may have more control than you think over your brain health as you age, specifically when it comes to how your memory functions, if results from a new study are any indication. Research published earlier this month in the journal Neurology has found that individuals who consume more flavonols—a type of plant-based flavonoid compound rich in antioxidants and found in fruits, vegetables, and other edibles—may stave off cognitive decline longer than those who don’t get as many of the phytochemicals in their diet, reports CNN. Scientists surveyed nearly 1,000 older participants between the ages of 60 and 100, with an average age of 81, each year for seven years on how often they chowed down on certain foods, per a release.

The yearly review also asked the study participants to complete cognitive and memory tasks such as recalling lists of words and placing numbers they’d been shown in the proper order. The subjects were divided into five groups based on the amount of flavonols in their diet, with the lowest group consuming about 5mg a day and the highest group taking in about 15mg daily, which is equivalent to about 1 cup of dark leafy greens. Researchers discovered that those who ingested the most flavonols saw their cognitive scores decline at a rate that was 0.4 units per decade slower than scores of people in the group that ingested the least amount of flavonols. The scientists also parsed results based on the ingestion of the four main types of flavonols: quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin, and isorhamnetin, found in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, sauces, tea, and wine.

The greatest difference was found with individuals who ate larger quantities of food with kaempferol, found in abundance in onions, kale, beans, spinach, broccoli, and tea. “It’s exciting that our study shows making specific diet choices may lead to a slower rate of cognitive decline,” study author Thomas Holland, of Rush University Medical Center, says in a statement. Holland notes that one theory behind the results points to the flavonols’ antioxidant properties and their ability to reduce inflammation. More research is needed to see if the effects are long-lasting, and whether the flavonols alone are to be credited for the memory retention. Still, Holland notes, in the interim, “something as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking more tea is an easy way for people to take an active role in maintaining their brain health.”

More health news… you like walking?

Walking doesn’t require any special equipment or gym memberships, and best of all, it’s completely free. For most of us, walking is something we do automatically. It doesn’t require conscious effort, so many of us fail to remember the benefits of walking for health. But what happens if we stop walking on auto-pilot and start challenging our brains and bodies by walking backwards? Not only does this change of direction demand more of our attention, but it may also bring additional health benefits.

Physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated. Whether you’re regularly active or not, even a brisk ten-minute daily walk can deliver a host of health benefits and can count towards the World Health Organization’s recommended minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week.

Yet walking is more complicated than many of us realise. Remaining upright requires coordination between our visual, vestibular (sensations linked to movements such as twisting, spinning or moving fast) and proprioceptive (awareness of where our bodies are in space) systems. When we walk backwards, it takes longer for our brains to process the extra demands of coordinating these systems. However, this increased level of challenge brings with it increased health benefits.

One of the most well-studied benefits of walking backwards is improving stability and balance. Walking backwards can improve forward gait (how a person walks) and balance for healthy adults and those with knee osteoarthritis. Walking backwards causes us to take shorter, more frequent steps, leading to improved muscular endurance for the muscles of the lower legs while reducing the burden on our joints.

That taps me out.

Enjoy your weekend….Be Well….Be Safe….

“lego ergo scribo”


My Usual Saturday News

It is the weekend and I present a Hodge-podge of stories that I cam across this past week and thought my reader may find either informative or entertaining…..

I will begin with some news from my state of Mississippi…..

The last thing Wiley Prewitt of Exford, Mississippi, expected to find on a walk was a fossil from an animal that roamed the region roughly 11,000 years ago.

Prewitt stumbled upon what resembled a jawbone with black teeth on October 26, near Rosedale, around 140 miles northwest of Jackson, as he poked around a sandbar that had exposed itself, due to the low water levels on the Mississippi River.

“I could tell from the teeth right away that it was a fragment of a carnivore’s jaw but I dared not hope it was from an American lion,” he told McClatchy News. “It certainly looked right but I wouldn’t let myself believe it.”

Was it the first of its kind? Surely it couldn’t be the American lion? Questions were aplenty, and there was only one way to rightly confirm.

Three days later, Prewitt visited a Mississippi Fossil and Artifact Symposium & Exhibition event and asked for an expert opinion.

Little did he know that his discovery made history.

Then there is a scary prediction thanx to climate change…..

Over 100,000 tonnes of microbes – yep, you read that correctly – could come flooding out of melting glaciers in the wake of the climate crisis, according to a new analysis. Given that this scenario will involve the release of over a quintillion different microorganisms, it’s safe to bet that some may have the potential to be disease-causing germs. 

Scientists at Aberystwyth University in Wales looked to work out how much microbial matter could be released due to the melting of eight glaciers across Europe and North America, as well as two sites in western Greenland. 

Even under moderate climate change, they estimated that around 2.9 × 1022 cells would be released into the surrounding environment. This is roughly the equivalent of an average of 0.65 million tonnes per year of cellular carbon, which includes microbes, being dumped into the world’s ecosystems across the Northern Hemisphere over the next 80 years.

“The number of microbes released depends closely on how quickly the glaciers melt, and therefore how much we continue to warm the planet. But the mass of microbes released is vast even with moderate warming. While these microbes fertilize downstream environments, some of them might be harmful as well”, Dr Arwyn Edwards, study author and biologist from Aberystwyth University, said in a statement

Are we on the cusp of ancient diseases waiting to infect?

This next report should fuel the ‘Ancient Alien’ myth (as if they needed anymore crap to spread)….

Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb is planning a $2.2 million expedition to determine if a meteor that crashed near Australia is really a UFO.

The supposed meteor crashed into the southwestern Pacific Ocean in 2014 about 100 miles off the coast of Papua New Guinea near Australia.

“The material of it is tougher than iron, based on the data, so the question is whether it’s just an unusual rock or perhaps a spacecraft from another civilization,” Loeb, chairman of Harvard’s Department of Astronomy from 2011 to 2020, told Sunrise.

“I was able to receive full funding for this expedition to Papua New Guinea and we will scoop the ocean floor and figure out the composition of the object.”

The meteor in the Pacific Ocean is just the third known interstellar object of its kind on Earth and predates any previously known material from solar systems other than ours.

One of the others, Loeb believes, is extraterrestrial alien technology that visited Earth in 2017.

Contrary to the above report…..we may actually be alone in the universe…..

Alien civilizations may have slowly wiped themselves out due to climate catastrophes on their home planets.

In a new paper published in the pre-print server ArXiv, a group of NASA scientists analyzed the ‘Great Filter’ theory, which posits that ancient alien civilizations may have wiped themselves out before they had any chance of making contact with humanity.

The new study serves as a warning for our civilization and paints a picture of a universe that has been home to many civilizations, precious few of which, if any, have lasted long enough to become interplanetary species.

Lastly an cool animal story…..Crows are smart but they continue to prove they are beyond smart…..

Crows are smart; super, super smart. Not only can they build tools from memory and use them to work on other tools, but they even grasp the concept of zero. Now, crows have proven their ability yet again, showing they can handle a concept once thought unique to humans: recursion.

Recursion is a concept that makes its way into various fields, from programming to human language. Recursion emerges when you define something (whatever that thing may be) using the very thing you are defining as part of the definition.

In language, recursion also does some funny things. Take for instance the sentence “The mouse the cat chased escaped.” It’s not exactly the nicest-sounding sentence but while it’s a bit confusing, it still makes perfect sense. A human reading that sentence and trying to make sense of it would figure out that “the cat chased” is enclosed within “the mouse escaped”.

Crows seem to have mastered yet another feat once thought unique to humans


The Baguette has its big day……

The announcement was celebrated in the most appropriate way, per Axios: with baguettes waved in the air. (See photo evidence here.) UNESCO on Wednesday voted to add the baguette to its “intangible cultural heritage” list, which now numbers 600 items. Reuters notes that some 16 million baguettes are said to be made daily in France, a country of 67 million people. President Emmanuel Macron hailed the decision, referring to the bread as “250 grams of magic and perfection in our daily lives,” per CBS News.

The baguette’s history is murky. Some say Napoleon called for the shape so that his soldiers could more easily carry it; others give credit to an Austrian baker. What isn’t questioned is the impact a 1920s French law had on skyrocketing the baguette’s importance: The law barred bakers from working before 4am. Per the AP, “the baguette’s long, thin shape meant it could be made more quickly than its stodgy cousins, so it was the only bread that bakers could make in time for breakfast.”

UNESCO defines intangible cultural heritage as “traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants,” and ones that should be preserved by humanity. Despite France’s affinity for baguettes, there are some concerns about the health of the industry behind it. France’s Culture Ministry has cited a “continuous decline” in the number of traditional bakeries, with some 400 closing annually since 1970.

A baguette, cheese and wine….a great day!

There you have all the useless info you missed last week.

Have a great weekend… well….be safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Usual Saturday News

The weekend begins and I search for news that you, my reader, may not have read or heard….enjoy.

USDA has approve meat for human consumption….lab grown meat.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the first time cleared a meat product grown from animal cells for human consumption, the agency announced on Wednesday.

UPSIDE Foods, a company that makes cell-cultured chicken by harvesting cells from live animals and using the cells to grow meat in stainless-steel tanks, will be able to bring its products to market once it has been inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), said a release from the FDA.

The FDA said in documents released on Wednesday that it had reviewed data from the company and had no further questions about the company’s conclusion that its product is safe for humans to eat.

Will you jump on this trend?  I am too old to change.

Ever watched ‘Ancient Aliens’?

Ever wondered why we have not found those aliens?

In a paper that feels more like a call to action than its science fiction-esque premise would suggest, two NASA scientists have forwarded a heartbreaking explanation for why we haven’t yet met any other intelligent lifeforms.

The general idea? The aliens destroyed themselves before they could get to us. Behind the yet-to-be-peer-reviewed paper are two NASA scientists at CalTech’s Jet Propulsion Lab, a student at a Catholic high school, and a Polish political science professor.

What resulted is a variation on the famous “Great Filter” theory: that other civilizations that may have existed in the duration of the universe’s history have likely “filtered” themselves out by blowing themselves up or otherwise destroying themselves. In an ominous twist, they point out that whatever terrible event has been weeding out aliens from the cosmos would logically strike before these civilizations made it off-world — meaning that if the argument applies to us, disaster would be poised to strike soon.

“We postulate that an existential disaster may lay in wait as our society advances exponentially towards space exploration,” the paper’s introduction reads, “acting as the Great Filter: a phenomenon that wipes out civilizations before they can encounter each other, which may explain the cosmic silence.”

Killed themselves?

If you look at this planet….I would say sounds like a good theory.

The research in the uses of those magic ‘shrooms…..micro doses could help depression and/or anxiety….and now news that it could help with spinal injuries….

In 2014, Jim Harris broke nine vertebrae and was paralyzed from the chest down following a snowkiting accident in Chile. After surgery and months of physical therapy, he recovered enough to hobble around with a walker, but he still couldn’t get his right hamstring to “wake up.” According to Rachel Mabe of Outside, that changed when a friend offered Harris a dose of “magic mushrooms” at a music festival. It was his first big outing since his injury, but his disability was bringing him down; he ate them just hoping to have a good time. Soon after—like many people who indulge in psilocybin, the active drug in ‘shrooms—he found himself enjoying a colorful sunset and cloud patterns more than usual. But he also noticed his right hamstring contracting for the first time since his injury.

It wasn’t a hallucination: The next day, the hamstring was still active, apparently the result of a “rewired” neuromuscular connection. Research in recent decades—including a landmark 2006 study by Roland Griffiths—suggests psilocybin is a powerful tool against depression and PTSD. But can it help repair a spine? Neurologists say it’s possible thanks to neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability adapt: psilocybin increases neurotransmitter activity, making healthy neurons more sensitive while promoting regeneration of neuronal pathways. Psilocybin advocates say more research is needed, and they have support from research institutions and venture capitalists alike. Several states have also decriminalized the psychedelic, including Harris’s home state of Colorado, where voters approved Proposition 122 last Tuesday.

As my regulars know I have a section known as ‘Can’t Fix Stupid’ file…well I found a good example of “Stupid”….

Last Thursday morning, a man in Houston decided to dance atop a moving 18-wheeler on the Eastex Freeway. Per ABC13, the man was knocked off the truck as it passed under the Tuam Street bridge. Paramedics responded quickly and rushed him to the Memorial Hermann Hospital, but he was later pronounced dead, according to a press release from the Houston PD. The man was 25 years old and may have been recording himself, but no other information about his identity or motive was provided, including how or where he managed to climb or jump onto the truck.

Per Houston Public Media, police spokeswoman Jodi Silva said the truck driver had no idea the man was up there. The driver was questioned by police and released without charges, but the investigation is ongoing. “We haven’t had a case like this in quite some time,” Silva said. Witness video posted to a Facebook page and later picked up by news outlets shows the man dancing atop the cargo trailer of a Rapid Transport truck as it approaches an underpass. The video was shot from a vehicle behind the truck, and traffic appears to be moving slowly. The dancing man can be seen with his back to the bridge, apparently unaware of the impending danger. According to KHOU, he was knocked into oncoming traffic. He died of blunt force injuries, according to the Harris County coroner.

Like I said…..’Can’t Fix Stupid’.

I hope everyone has a good Saturday…be well and be safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Usual Saturday News

Hopefully all that observe Veterans Day had a wonderful….but now it is time to get back to business….as usual I will give you all the worthless news of the past week….enjoy.

First a little cool photography…..

Canadian high school teacher Andrea Humphreys has done almost 700 dives, and she says she’s never experienced anything as “mind-blowing” as her encounter with a giant Pacific octopus. She says that when she started filming the creature during a dive off the east coast of Vancouver Island, it approached her and ended up embracing her. “Its tentacles were reaching through the camera to feel my face and then at some point, it had crawled on my body, on my hips, and was giving me a hug,” she says, per the Canadian Press. “And it had tentacles up and around my mouth and it was sucking on my lip, which is the only exposed part of my body.” Humphreys’ video of the encounter has gone viral.

“Every time I backed away from it, the octopus just kept coming towards me,” Humphreys says. “And it was just so amazing and inspiring.” She says it stayed close to her and her dive partners for 40 minutes and appeared to be fascinated by their equipment. “It kept changing the lights on my camera system and fiddling with it,” she says. Her video shows that the octopus remained deep red throughout the encounter, not “the greyish tone of a fearful or aggressive cephalopod,” the Guardian reports. She says her students were very excited by the video and she hopes sharing it will boost support for protecting the marine environment. “The curiosity. The ability to explore was just so amazing,” she says. “I’ve never eaten calamari—and I’ll definitely never touch it now.

Octopus is too smart to be an inveterate….

The big news is there is a new trend in crash test dummies…..

You’re probably most familiar with automotive crash test dummies thanks to a series of ubiquitous 1980s safety commercials featuring Vince and Larry, who cautioned driving responsibly while flying through windshields. The spots usually ended with the tag, “You can learn a lot from a dummy.”

The duo were representative of the oddly specific crash test model: almost exclusively male. Now that’s changing.


According to Popular Science, Swedish researchers are honing a model that better reflects a woman’s physiological characteristics, which can result in dramatically different outcomes in the event of an auto accident.

“The biggest difference is when it comes to … whiplash injury from low-severity crashes,” Astrid Linder, a professor of traffic safety at the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, told NPR. “We know since the late ’60s that females have a higher risk of these injuries than men. But we also know from higher-severity crashes that females have a higher risk of severe injuries as drivers in frontal impacts.”

There is a possible breakthrough in male contraception…..

A small study out of Australia could pave the path toward a new contraceptive that researchers say could be a “game changer.” The two dozen or so men taking part in the trial at a Melbourne medical center will have a hydrogel pumped into their vas deferens—the ducts through which sperm travels—to block sperm from leaving their testicles. Researchers anticipate the effects would last for about two years, at which point patients could then receive another injection. The treatment would effectively serve as a “temporary vasectomy” that may be a more appealing alternative to the more traditional permanent version, per the Sydney Morning Herald.

Study leader Nathan Lawrentschuk, a urologist at the Epworth Freemasons Hospital where the trial is being conducted, says his team was “overwhelmed” by the hundreds of men who wanted to take part in the trial, per ABC Australia. Lawrentschuk points out the various circumstances in which male partners would want to take the lead on contraception, such as when their partners aren’t able to take contraception due to medical reasons, or if they’ve “come out of a long relationship where they want a period of known inability to have a child.” So far four men have undergone the injections. Scientists will keep tabs on the subjects, most of whom are between 30 and 40, for three years.

“If it is successful, it could be a game changer, ensuring that contraception is a shared responsibility between couples,” says Lawrentschuk, per the Herald. Dr. Liza O’Donnell, a reproductive health scientist at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research who isn’t involved in the study, tells ABC that she thinks the research holds promise, as long as the effects truly prove to be reversible. Lawrentschuk—who says similar studies with animals have shown the treatment to be effective—adds that if this trial is successful, a larger one is planned involving subjects in Australia and the United States. This isn’t the only male contraceptive possibly on the horizon: The Guardian notes that researchers at Monash University, also in Melbourne, are working on a hormone-free pill for men.

Finally….ever hear of organic reduction?

“It would be such a wonderful thing for me—to be able to just walk through [my garden] and be like, ‘Oh, hi, Mom,'” Rachel Gerberding told her dying mother. She wasn’t talking about somehow burying her there. She was thinking of composting her mom—and her mom was on board. As Eleanor Cummins writes for the Verge, human composting exists, and it’s “the first truly new form of final disposition developed in decades.” It’s more technically known as natural organic reduction, or NOR. It’s been an option in Washington state since 2019 and has since become legal in California, Oregon, Colorado, and Vermont as well. Cummins describes the multi-step process, which starts with putting the body in a biodegradable gown and placing it in a vessel containing alfalfa, straw, and sawdust. Loved ones can add compostable tokens (think flowers or letters) at that point

The body spends 30 days in the vessel, until bones and a soil-like material remain; the bones and compost are then put into a machine that will transform everything into fragments, and over the final 30 days, the compost is occasionally rotated in a tumbler. The end result is about 400 pounds of soil, given to families in breathable burlap sacks. The method isn’t the only thing that’s wildly different from traditional burials: so is the timeline. While families typically make arrangements in a “few chaotic days,” Cummins cites one company, Return Home, whose NOR process takes at least two months, during which the family is able to visit the facility and sit in front of their loved one’s vessel at any time. As for the cost, Return Home’s NOR services, at $5,500, fall between the cost of the average cremation (about half that) and funeral (about double that).

Read the full story

This is it for this Saturday….hopefully it either informed or entertained…..

Have I great weekend.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”