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steve2470's Journal
steve2470's Journal
February 10, 2015

I don't know but...

my definition of "paid troll" is someone who is "on the clock" while surfing DU and trolling because he/she has been told to. Example: An RNC staffer or intern has multiple duties, and the boss says, oh yeah, when you're finished with the really important stuff, go troll DU if you feel like it. The staffer or intern does all his/her stuff, and then has time left over. He/she comes here to wreak some trivial havoc. I'm sure the RNC is glad to see it done, X minutes per week. It costs them a few bucks a year and gives them laughs, I'm sure.

Can I prove all that ? Of course not. Only Skinner would be able to, and I doubt he gives a rat's ass. Does someone actually pay someone to sit on DU for 40 (or less) hours per week to troll we progressives ? I doubt it.

February 10, 2015

6 Ways to Take Control of Your Pain


We are a nation in pain. Sharp, burning, nagging, achy, throbbing, can't-sleep-at-night pain. Some of it is temporary — what docs call "acute" pain — from a hammered thumb, say. Chronic pain, though, not only lasts long after the initial trauma but also transforms our brains and nervous systems into hurt machines, pumping out pain, day after dismal day. The more we learn about pain, however, the more we learn of ways to put an end to it. Here are six ways to take back control.

Strategy No. 1: Don't let it start

As if you needed one more reason to get moving: Research shows that people who exercise as well as those who meditate are less likely to suffer from chronic pain, perhaps because those two activities alter the brain in some protective way.

In fact, researchers at Northwestern University recently found that "the structure of a person's brain may make one more susceptible to chronic pain," says study author A. Vania Apkarian. He envisions that one day, diagnostic brain scans for people in pain will become routine to identify those most at risk. "Early treatment does seem to keep the brain from reorganizing itself into the patterns associated with chronic pain," Apkarian explains. His team is now using brain scans to see which treatments work best for people with particular types of pain. "It's coming," he says. "That's where we're going."

Strategy No. 2: Figure out exactly what type of pain you have

Doctors used to identify pain by its cause — an injury, an illness or an infection — so people would talk about arthritis pain, cancer pain or back pain. Increasingly, though, docs identify pain by the way it affects the nervous system. This is good info to have if you're trying to stop such pain.

much more at link above
February 9, 2015

Thanks, all you nice anonymous heart-givers

I'm surprised and delighted to see them. I wish everyone in this group a happy 2015!


February 9, 2015

-65 F at Summit, Greenland (the ice cap)


That's the coldest I've seen all winter for the non-Siberian Northern Hemisphere.
February 9, 2015

my latest sleep-depriving conundrum...

When should I walk the two minutes from my front door, to the new Starbucks that was erected ?

I just can't decide when to spend my money on a tall venti caffe latte (or however they say that).

Decisions, decisions. Oy vey! *rubs head in hands*

(yes I'm joking, if you can't tell)

February 9, 2015

New people, please be aware of the 4 paragraph excerpting rule of copyrighted material....

Copyright violations - Excerpt exceeds 4 paragraphs, or does not have a link to the source.

from: http://journals.democraticunderground.com/Skinner/363

Also here:
Don't willfully and habitually infringe on others' copyrights.

To simplify compliance and enforcement of copyrights here on Democratic Underground, we ask that excerpts from other sources posted on Democratic Underground be limited to a maximum of four paragraphs, and we ask that the source of the content be clearly identified. Those who make a good-faith effort to respect the rights of copyright holders are unlikely to have any problems. But individuals who willfully and habitually infringe on others' copyrights risk being in violation of our Terms of Service.


If you have questions, please direct them to Skinner in the Ask the Administrators forum.

Trying to help!

February 8, 2015

Horrific Florida Bill Would Imprison Trans People for Using Public Bathrooms


Gay marriage has been legal in Florida for a month now, and at this point, even the state’s hardcore conservatives seem increasingly resigned to the fact that marriage equality is here to stay. Accordingly, Florida’s more bigoted legislators have decided to turn their ire toward another maligned, disfavored minority—trans people—by proposing one of the most viciously sadistic, hypocritical bills the legislature has ever considered.

The basic purpose of the bill is quite simple: to forbid trans people from using the public bathroom that matches their true gender. According to the bill’s text, any trans person who enters a “single-sex public facility” that doesn’t match their “biological sex” is guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor. A “single-sex public facility” includes bathrooms “maintained by an owner of public accommodations, a school, or a place of employment”—basically, any public bathroom in the entire state. Any trans person who violates the act could be sentenced to one year in prison.

It gets much, much worse. Any non-trans person who discovers a trans person using a bathroom that doesn’t align with their “biological sex” would be permitted to sue that trans person under the act. (If sued successfully, the trans person would have to pay their accuser’s attorney fees.) And, in a final turn of the screw, an “owner of public accommodations, a school, or a place of employment” who allows a trans person to use the bathroom of their true gender is liable for a civil suit. In other words, if a store owner does not actively prevent trans people from using her bathrooms, she can be sued by other customers. And of course, if the trans-friendly store owner is found to have allowed a trans person to use the bathroom, she’ll not only have to pay damages to disgruntled customers—she’ll also have to pay their attorney’s fees.

The obvious intent of this bill is to humiliate trans people by opening them up to criminal and civil liability merely for performing the most basic of bodily functions. Trans people already face harassment, discrimination, and sometimes violence while attempting to use the bathroom. This bill would effectively give anti-trans harassers the state’s blessing, while providing them a new avenue through which to shame trans Floridians—the court system. Many trans people are already anxious about using public bathrooms; some are afraid to leave their homes given the risk of verbal and physical abuse they face in public facilities. With this bill, the state would effectively legalize anti-trans harassment, sending a resounding message to trans people that they are not welcome in public life.
February 8, 2015

Mapping the Microbes of the New York City Subway


A few years ago Christopher Mason, a geneticist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, dropped his eight-month-old daughter off at daycare and watched as she put a plastic toy giraffe in her mouth. Then he watched that giraffe go into another kid’s mouth. And then another. “It got me thinking about what microbes were being transferred,” Mason says. Looking around New York, he realized: Critters live on every surface people touch, all the time. Especially, he realized, on the subway.

By 2013, Mason’s vision of a city teeming with shared germs had become a project. He recruited grad students and other researchers to same the entire New York City subway system. After 18 months of swabbing surfaces of metal handrails, turnstiles, ticket kiosks, and other places that people touch a lot, the team had what they call a PathoMap, the first description of New York’s subway-riding microbial denizens. In a city where 5.5 million people ride the underground (and occasionally elevated) rails among 466 stations every day, this is data that both allays and inspires dread.

The newly published map provides a snapshot of a city teeming with microbes—septillions of them (that’s a one followed by 24 zeroes). No need to grab your hand sanitizer or stock up on antibacterial soap, though. (In fact, don’t; that stuff is terrible.) While some of the microbes were pathogenic—including traces of anthrax and the Bubonic plague, which, believe or not, were harmless—straphangers have nothing to worry about. Many of the species are good for human health or simply associated with foods like cheese and yogurt. “This is what a healthy city looks like,” Mason says. It’s also a baseline that could give public health experts and city planners a new way to look at urban areas, tracking microbial ebb and flow in real time.

The researchers found traces of at least 637 known species of bacteria and a smattering of viruses, fungi, and microscopic animals. They also found…well, dunno. As the New York Times noted, about 48 percent of all the samples didn’t match any known species. It turns out that kind of uncertainty is pretty common in microbial censuses. In a 2013 analysis of all the DNA in a bunch of high-volume samples of the outdoor and indoor air in San Diego and New York, a research group lead by the famed geneticist Craig Venter failed to identify nearly half the samples. Still, when you think about it, that’s kind of weird. “I would’ve thought that we knew the majority—maybe 80 to 90 percent—of the microbes in a human environment,” Mason says. “It means there’s a lot left to be discovered.”
February 7, 2015


Dear Skinner, can we please move ALL discussion of vaccines to the Creative Speculation group ? I'd really like to see the TOS amended to ban these, but I'd settle to see the discussions moved to Creative Speculation.

Thanks for hearing me out.

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