Category: Xenophilia

Birds Play a Drum for Love 

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Birds are not all a capella performers when it comes to musically wooing a mate. A male Australian bird has been observed to fashion a drumstick and play a rhythm on a tree while his potential mate watches and judges. 


Palm cockatoos from northern Australia modify sticks and pods and use them to drum regular rhythms, according to new research published in Science Advances on Wednesday. In most cases, males drop beats in the presence of females, suggesting they perform the skill to show off to mates. The birds even have their own signature cadences, not unlike human musicians.
This example is “the closest we have so far to musical instrument use and rhythm in humans,” said Robert Heinsohn, a professor of evolutionary and conservation biology at the Australian National University and an author of the paper.

A palm cockatoo drumming performance starts with instrument fashioning — an opportunity to show off beak strength and cleverness (the birds are incredibly intelligent). Often, as a female is watching, a male will ostentatiously break a hefty stick off a tree and trim it to about the length of a pencil.

Holding the stick, or occasionally a hard seedpod, with his left foot (parrots are typically left-footed), the male taps a beat on his tree perch. Occasionally he mixes in a whistle or other sounds from an impressive repertoire of around 20 syllables. As he grows more aroused, the crest feathers on his head become erect. Spreading his wings, he pirouettes and bobs his head deeply, like an expressive pianist. He uncovers his red cheek patches — the only swaths of color on his otherwise black body — and they fill with blood, brightening like a blush.
Over seven years, Dr. Heinsohn and his collaborators collected audio and video recordings of 18 male palm cockatoos exhibiting such behaviors in Australia’s Cape York Peninsula, where the birds are considered vulnerable because of aluminum ore mining. …

Nearly 70 percent of the time, males drummed with a female present. Palm cockatoos are mostly monogamous, but males have to keep proving themselves to choosy females — on average, palm cockatoo pairs successfully fledge a chick only once every decade, so the stakes are high.
The researchers don’t yet know whether females prefer certain rhythms over others. But if a male is delivering an effective performance, the female comes over and mirrors his movements. The birds sway together and gently preen each other’s feathers, an act of pair-bonding that helps them prepare for breeding.

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“The large smoky-grey parrots fashion thick sticks from branches, grip them with their feet and bang them on trunks and tree hollows, all the while displaying to females,” said Professor Rob Heinsohn, from the Australian National University.
“The icing on the cake is that the taps are almost perfectly spaced over very long sequences, just like a human drummer would do when holding a regular beat,” he added.

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Here is the abstract from the published article: Tool-assisted rhythmic drumming in palm cockatoos shares key elements of human instrumental music:

All human societies have music with a rhythmic “beat,” typically produced with percussive instruments such as drums. The set of capacities that allows humans to produce and perceive music appears to be deeply rooted in human biology, but an understanding of its evolutionary origins requires cross-taxa comparisons. We show that drumming by palm cockatoos (Probosciger aterrimus) shares the key rudiments of human instrumental music, including manufacture of a sound tool, performance in a consistent context, regular beat production, repeated components, and individual styles. Over 131 drumming sequences produced by 18 males, the beats occurred at nonrandom, regular intervals, yet individual males differed significantly in the shape parameters describing the distribution of their beat patterns, indicating individual drumming styles. Autocorrelation analyses of the longest drumming sequences further showed that they were highly regular and predictable like human music. These discoveries provide a rare comparative perspective on the evolution of rhythmicity and instrumental music in our own species, and show that a preference for a regular beat can have other origins before being co-opted into group-based music and dance.

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Here is another video of a drumming bird performance.

None of the recorded shows rival human drummers yet, but the way evolution goes, who knows… in time palm cockatoos may be used by bands in place of human drummers. 

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Another Outrageous Conspiracy Theory is True

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That the co-founder of a pharmacy would conspire to make more money by selling an unsafe product that kills people was an outrageous conspiracy theory. Now it is true.

Is it really a stretch to include drug companies who make vaccines among those needing independent oversight for safety?

People who think “anti-vaxxers are nutjobs who endanger us all” are ignoring relevant facts. Does this conspiracy conviction not prove that faith in the system is sometimes misplaced?

… Barry Cadden was acquitted of second-degree murder charges under federal racketeering law but convicted on conspiracy and fraud charges.

Cadden was charged in connection with a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak that was traced to contaminated injections of medical steroids made by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham.

Prosecutors say Cadden ran the center in a dangerous way by skirting industry regulations on sterility in an effort to push production and make more money.

Prosecutors will ask the judge to sentence him to 35 years in prison. Cadden’s lawyer says he should get 2½ to 3 years.

The outbreak of fungal meningitis and other infections in 20 states was traced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to contaminated injections of medical steroids, given mostly to people with back pain.

The CDC put the death toll at 64 as of October 2013. Federal prosecutors say 12 more people have died since then, raising the total to 76. More than 700 people were sickened. Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee were hit hardest. …

Federal prosecutor Amanda Strachan told the jury during the two-month trial that the deaths and illnesses happened because Cadden “decided to put profits before patients.”

NECC used expired ingredients and falsified logs to make it look as if the so-called clean rooms had been disinfected, prosecutors said.  …

NECC filed for bankruptcy after getting hit with hundreds of lawsuits. NECC and several related companies reached a $200 million settlement with victims and their families.

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Strachan said the center was “a massive reckless and fraudulent organization.”

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The co-owner of a pharmacy deemed responsible for the deaths of 76 people in a national meningitis outbreak tearfully apologized to the victims at his sentencing on Monday and was given a sentence of nine years in prison, far less than the victims had wanted. …

The scandal prompted increased scrutiny on compounding pharmacies, which differ from ordinary drugstores in that they custom-mix medications and supply them directly to hospitals and doctors. In 2013, in reaction to the outbreak, Congress increased federal oversight of such pharmacies.

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Headache, stiff neck, fever, nausea and vomiting, photophobia, and altered mental status are potential symptoms of fungal meningitis.

Fungal meningitis is treated with long courses of high dose antifungal medications, usually given through an IV line in the hospital. The length of treatment depends on the status of the immune system and the type of fungus that caused the infection. For people with immune systems that do not function well because of other conditions, like AIDS, diabetes, or cancer, treatment is often longer.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday as many as 14,000 people may have received the contaminated steroid injections. Health officials have been able to contact about 90% of those to warn them.
The idea that a medication created to fix health problems could potentially harm people is frightening, especially when that medication was contaminated in something called a compounding center.
Typically medications are mass-produced by drug manufacturing companies. So what’s a compounding center, and why are we getting our medications from it?
Compounding pharmacists customize medications to fit an individual’s needs. Doctors prescribe these custom medications when the manufactured drug won’t work — for example, when a dosage is too large, or a patient has an allergy to a dye or ingredient in the original product.
Pharmaceutical compounding is a common practice, said David Miller, executive vice president and CEO of the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists. In fact, compounding is the way all medications were made up until about the 1950s, when mass manufacturing of medications began.

The way our system works now, drug companies do their own safety studies and they are not required to publish studies that show a product is dangerous. If 1 of 10 studies shows some benefit while 9 show a danger, they can seek regulatory approval with the 1 cherry picked study. They also know they can continue to sell dangerous products up to the point that lawsuits make the company unprofitable. It can be years before the human guinea pigs taking a drug get their lawyers successfully suing a drug maker.

… most consumers don’t realize that the FDA does not independently review drugs, but rather relies, in large part, on safety and efficacy information supplied by drug manufacturers themselves.

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Clinical trial data on new drugs is systematically withheld from doctors and patients, bringing into question many of the premises of the pharmaceutical industry—and the medicine we use

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The movie Vaxxed is controversial because the coverup of the MMR vaccine connection to autism has far-reaching implications for the very deep corruption in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the thousands of children who have suffered from a devastating disease that could have been avoided. Discrediting this information and keeping it from the public’s attention is paramount for the pharmaceutical companies that profit from vaccines.

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Evidence based medicine only works if you have good research and working checks and balances to avoid undue influence from those selling medicines.

Days before this news broke, my doctor asked if I didn’t believe in vaccines when I refused my latest. I do believe that some vaccines work. It’s great in theory, but some vaccines statistically don’t help and I don’t trust the vetting process for the safety of everything in the shots. We have the foxes guarding the hen house.

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Secret Plan to Clone Salvador Dalí?

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They say it’s about a paternity case, but the genetic material to soon be collected might be secretly used to clone the long dead surrealist painter.

In a surreal turn, a judge in Madrid ordered that Salvador Dalí’s body — interred for nearly three decades — be exhumed after a 61-year-old Spanish woman claimed the renowned painter was her father.

María Pilar Abel Martínez, born in 1956 in Girona, said her mother, Antonia, had a secret affair with the mustachioed surrealist while working as a maid for a neighboring family on Spain’s northeast coast, reports the BBC.
Martínez said her mother told her several times that Dalí was her father.
On Monday the judge ruled said that because no biological remains or personal objects are around to determine paternity, DNA tests on Dalí’s bones are necessary to settle Martínez’s paternity suit.

The state-run Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation manages the estate and said it will appeal the ruling in the coming days, reports Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

NPR’s Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid, that Martínez is “working as a tarot card reader — and claims to resemble Dalí: ‘The only thing missing is the moustache,’ she says.”

El Mundo reports that Martínez already underwent DNA tests in 2007 and 2008, using retained specimens from Dalí’s body, but she said she was never given the results. This, Martínez said, showed that the results must have been positive.


If paternity is confirmed, Martínez could be entitled to up to 25 percent of Dalí’s work and property, according to The Associated Press.
At the time of Dalí’s supposed affair with Martínez’s mother, he was married to his muse Gala, born Helena Deluvina Diakonoff, according to The Gala Dalí Foundation.

The Salvador Dalí Museum says that by 1953 Gala and Dalí were distancing themselves from one another even though by 1958 they had officially wed.
They never had children.

Dalí is perhaps the best-known artist from the 20th Century’s surrealist movement. His most celebrated painting, “The Persistance of Memory,” depicts clocks melting on a beach.
Dalí died in Figueres in 1989 at the age of 85. He is buried in a crypt there at a theater and museum he designed himself.

Martínez’s lawyer tells El Mundo that no date has been set for the exhumation, but that it could happen as soon as next month.

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Is it possible to clone someone who has been dead for 30? 

Scientists have created clones of a mouse that had been dead and frozen for 16 years.
It is the first time they have been able to clone a frozen animal.
The Japanese researchers say their work will benefit mankind – and could be used to bring back extinct animals such as the woolly mammoth or sabre tooth tiger.

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This next blurb may not be a real story, as I could not find it anywhere other than this one website:

The British government has decided to legalise cloning dead people after lobbying from stem cell scientists. Although they only plan to create embryos for research, the new proposal ignores a key principle of contemporary clinical research, informed consent. Laboratories will be able to use stored human tissue without the explicit consent of the tissue donor. The idea behind this is that tissue from people with interesting genetic make-ups may have been stored so long ago that the owners have died or cannot be identified. Up until now, the idea of informed consent had prevented scientists from using the material. However, scientists claim that a ban on using DNA without consent could hold up vital research. An amendment to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill now passing through Parliament is expected to be passed. ~ London Times, June 1 

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There really was a US doctor, however, who claimed to create a cloned human embryo about 13 years ago.

2004: US fertility doctor Panos Zavos says he has created a cloned embryo using tissue from dead people.

Experts said such actions would exploit the vulnerability of grieving people who had been bereaved.
And the Royal Society also questioned “a lack of evidence” behind Dr Zavos’ claims. …

Professor Richard Gardner, chair of the UK’s Royal Society working group on stem cell research and cloning, said: “The work using human genetic material and cow eggs that Dr Zavos claims to have carried out would not be allowed under British law and is both scientifically questionable and ethically unacceptable.

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There are other claims…

2002: The world’s first cloned baby was born on 26 December, claims the Bahamas-based cloning company Clonaid. But there has been no independent confirmation of the claim.
The girl, named Eve by the cloning team, was said to have been born by Caesarean section at 1155 EST. The birth at an undisclosed location went “very well”, said Brigitte Boisselier, president of Clonaid. The company was formed in 1997 by the Raelian cult, which believes people are clones of aliens.
“The baby is very healthy. She is doing fine,” Roisselier told a press conference in Hollywood, Florida, on Friday. The seven-pound baby is a clone of a 31-year-old American woman, whose partner is infertile, she said.
Proving that the baby is a clone of another person would be possible by showing that their DNA is identical. Genetic tests on the baby and “mother” will now be carried out and the results will be available “in eight or nine days”, Boisselier said.

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There is still no solid evidence of fully successful human cloning, only claims and rumors of decades of secret experiments, but I assume it can be done.

Hit the “Like” button if you think Salvador Dali should be cloned.

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Mystery: Four Dead Liver-less Great White Sharks

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How and why are Orcas (theory) removing Great White Shark livers and other select organs with ‘surgical precision’ near South Africa?

Orca whales have claimed the life of another great white shark by eating its liver and leaving it for dead, making it the fourth such gristly death in less than two months.

During a four-day period in early May, researchers reported finding the bodies of three great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) that had washed ashore along South Africa’s Western Cape province. All of these sharks were mysteriously missing their livers, necropsies (animal autopsies) showed.

Now, a fourth dead, liverless shark has washed ashore, according to a post today (June 26) on the Marine Dynamics blog, a site hosted by a shark cage diving company. The newly discovered 13-foot-long (4 meters) male shark was missing its liver, testes and stomach, according to the blog post.

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Are killer whales slaughtering great white sharks for their LIVERS? Orcas remove the organs with ‘surgical precision’ in a new spate of attacks

Nature can be so cruel and the dexterity these enormous animals are capable of is mind blowing… almost surgical precision as they remove the squalene-rich liver of the white sharks and dump their carcass.’

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A massive shark autopsy effort followed. “It is no easy task to manoeuvre such a huge fish from a remote beach to an adequate site for autopsy,” Towner told Gizmodo. “This required a military vehicle and land rover along with lots of manpower and team work.” The autopsy on the largest shark took six hours and blunted twenty knives, she said. But then another smaller, liverless (and heartless) great white shark carcass washed up on May 4th. And another washed up just yesterday, with matching injuries.

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Serial killer (whales) are on the loose! Three dead liver-less sharks washed up on the shores of South Africa’s Western Cape province in a span of four days. One was also missing its heart.

According to a report from Live Science, the bizarre phenomenon prompted scientists to perform necropsies on the three bodies. The animal autopsies revealed that orcas were behind the attacks, although no one actually witnessed the events.

“These observations are unprecedented,” white shark biologist Alison Towner wrote on the Marine Dynamics blog. “We don’t really know how long the sharks will stay away from the area as a result of predation pressure.”

Great white sharks is not the usual prey of killer whales, but it’s not totally unheard of specifically in places like southern Australia and San Francisco.

But why the liver?  … Shark livers are particularly appealing because they are filled with fats, energy and nutrients.

“Bony fishes have a swim bladder that they can fill with gases, and those gases provide buoyancy for the fish,” Nosal said. “Sharks do not have a swim bladder. Instead, they have a very large liver.”

With their high metabolism and bloated nutrient needs, orcas could likely benefit from the fat provided by snacking on the livers.

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According to Newsweek, an orca has once been observed attacking a great white shark near San Francisco, flipping it upside down before consuming most of the body. One researcher told Newsweek that killer whales are known to learn and spread new hunting tricks, but the distance and time between attacks would make that unusual.

According to the New Zealand Herald, these attacks are not just mystifying, they’re also scaring away sharks from an area of the western coast of South Africa that is normally considered one of the best in the world for seeing sharks, so much so that Gansbaai calls itself the Great White capital of the world. Local shark diving tours, which normally benefit from millions of dollars in tourism, report no sightings of the animals in recent expeditions.
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A non-Orca motive might be to examine liver damage from radiation in the wild.

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$120 Million Fine for Robocall Scammer

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If you’ve ever been annoyed by automated phone calls, you may be interested to learn that one man was responsible for 97 million calls in just three months.

Federal regulators on Thursday said they’ve identified “the perpetrator of one of the largest … illegal robocalling campaigns” they’ve ever investigated.

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a $120 million fine for a Miami resident said to be single-handedly responsible for almost 97 million robocalls over just the last three months of 2016.
Officials say Adrian Abramovich auto-dialed hundreds of millions of phone calls to landlines and cellphones in the U.S. and Canada, and at one point even overwhelmed an emergency hospital paging service.
Making prerecorded telemarketing phone calls to someone without their prior consent is prohibited. So is making telemarketing calls to emergency phone lines and deliberately falsifying caller ID to disguise identity with the intent to harm or defraud consumers.
According to the FCC, the robocalls made by Abramovich through his ambiguously named companies (Marketing Strategy Leaders or Marketing Leaders) would show up “spoofed” as if they came from a phone number with the same area code and the same first three digits of the recipient’s number.
If the recipients answered, they’d get a recording offering an “exclusive” vacation deal from prominent travel companies such as Expedia, Marriott, Hilton or TripAdvisor — instructing them to “press 1” to learn more. But pressing 1 would instead land people on a line with a call center hawking “discounted” vacation packages and timeshares unaffiliated with any of those brands.
According to FCC documents, TripAdvisor investigated some of the robocalls that purported to offer that company’s deals and found call centers that it said were based in Mexico.
Abramovich now faces the largest penalty ever proposed by the FCC, according to FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. The fine is for Abramovich’s unlawful caller-ID spoofing, the FCC says. The agency’s Enforcement Bureau has also issued a citation to Abramovich, and the documents say his “mass robocalling campaigns violate the Communications Act, and his misrepresentations in the prerecorded messages constitute criminal wire fraud.”
Abramovich now has 30 days to respond to the FCC, which is expected to finalize the investigation and penalties in the following months.
Link

Adrian Abramovich, please add America to your “do not call” list.


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Strange Exits: French Fitness Blogger Killed by Whipped Cream Dispenser

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There are few stranger fates for a healthy fitness advocate than this. 

French fitness blogger Rebecca Burger died June 18 after a whipped cream dispenser exploded and struck her chest.

According to the BBC, Burger died of cardiac arrest following the freak accident, which her family has said was caused by a faulty dispenser.
The device was not the kind of canister in which pre-whipped cream is typically packaged and sold in the United States. Instead, the dispenser — sometimes also called a charger — is designed so that users can pour regular whipping cream into it, and then get freshly whipped cream out.
Burger’s family shared a photo of the device, along with a warning about it, on Instagram.

Dispensers like this typically require “charger” cartridges, or capsules, that are filled with a tasteless gas called nitrous oxide. Each cartridge is usually about the size of a thumb and weighs about 25 grams (8 grams of which is the pressurized nitrous oxide).
The charger attaches to the dispenser, which punctures it, releasing the pressurized gas into the tightly sealed container. By the laws of physics, gas particles want to spread out, so they naturally flow out of the opening in the cartridge and disperse throughout the container. The gas gets mixed into the cream in the form of tiny bubbles, and when the cream is dispensed from the container, those bubbles have even more room to expand. That gives the cream a whipped, airy consistency.
It’s why a whipped cream dispenser can whip cream so much faster than a person could by hand.

In Burger’s case, however, the dispenser seems to have malfunctioned and exploded, sending one of these cartridges into her thorax, or chest (according to the description posted by her family).
Pressurizing an air-tight container can turn it into a rocket, since the condensed gas inside will rapidly spill out of any available opening.

A prime example of this the soda bottle-rocket experiment. By filling up a soda bottle with a little water, sealing it, and pumping it full of air, the bottle turns into a high-flying rocket the moment that pressure is relieved. ..,

“It’s essentially a tiny high pressure water bottle rocket,” Allain told Business Insider.
An even more dangerous scenario might be one where the cartridge somehow detaches from the dispenser.
“A cartridge by itself would go even faster,” Allain said. “It’s basically a gas rocket bullet.”

Allain couldn’t say exactly how fast a cartridge might fly, but guessed it could be more than 30 mph. This type of hit would cause a severe injury, but it would only cause cardiac arrest in very rare cases.


John Greenwood, an assistant professor at the the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, told Business Insider that the forceful, direct impact of an object can cause the heart to stop if it hits a person’s chest at a specific time in their heartbeat cycle.
The heart’s electrical conduction system has distinct phases, the last of which is called ventricular depolarization. This is essentially the point at which the system resets and returns (very briefly) to its resting state in order to start the next heartbeat cycle. If the chest is hit at the exact time that the heart is in this depolarization phase — which typically only lasts for .1 to .2 milliseconds — Greenwood says that can stop the beat and cause cardiac arrest. …

Burger’s family has also urged people not to use whipped cream dispensers, claiming that “thousands of defective devices … are still in circulation.” According to the BBC, a French consumer group has issued warnings in the past about faulty connectors on the gas capsules in these devices. The AP also reported that the product has been off the market since 2013, and that its manufacturer, Ard’time, said efforts had been asked to alert consumers about the problem.

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Rebecca was a beloved Internet star, boasting more than 160,000 followers on Instagram. She loved sharing workout and fitness photos with her fans, and also posted a lot about travel, food and lifestyle. According to her Instagram profile, she had upcoming trips planned to Barcelona, Austria, Dubai and Zanzibar, and she worked for the fitness company Women’s Best.

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Rest in peace, Rebecca. Thank you for inspiring people to get healthy.

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Massive 6.8 California Quake Triggers Alert, 92 Years Later

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The strangest thing I heard about today was a QuakeBot writing a story in the Los Angeles Times for …

… an earthquake felt on Twitter – and nowhere else.

A report of a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in the Pacific Ocean near Santa Barbara, Calif. turned out to be a false alarm. An automatically generated report went live on Wednesday based on a quake that happened in the same area almost 100 years ago, according to The Associated Press.

“The quake did happen, but it happened in 1925,” Rafael Abreu, a geophysicist from the U.S. Geological Survey told AP.

It turns out that researchers from the California Institute of Technology were researching the 1925 Santa Barbara quake, and it somehow set off the automated alert that went out to email accounts, the USGS stated.
 Software then interpreted the research as a current event, and sent out the report.

The fake quake never appeared on the USGS website, though, and it sent out a statement via Twitter shortly after, saying the report was “errant” and they were “working to resolve the issue.”
Even though tweets from those who actually felt the tremor were mysteriously silent, the report generated a huge response on Twitter. The initial report sent off a chain of other automated alerts, and was picked up by media outlets like The Los Angeles Times who later had to redact a story.

“We have an algorithm (Quakebot) that automatically writes stories about earthquakes based on USGS alerts,” The Los Angeles Times tweeted. “The USGS alert was incorrect.

That didn’t stop concerned citizens from flocking to Twitter to find out if Californians were safe:

For reference, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake would be felt by millions and would likely cause “considerable damage” and “partial collapse” in average buildings, as well as the fall of chimneys, factory stacks, columns, monuments, and walls, according to the USGS.

The AP reported that false alarms through the service are fairly common, but they rarely report quakes so big or in such populated areas.

Link

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Goat born without eyes and with ‘human lips’

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It’s a sad comment on humanity that anything different is branded as “evil”.

A goat branded “evil” by villagers after it was born with no eyes and ‘human-like lips’ will be hand-reared by a kind hearted farmer.

The farmer, known as V Chandra, admitted he was shocked when he saw the newborn animal for the first time but his wife told him to “save” the goat.

He has remained determined to keep the bizarre looking animal, despite locals advising him to let it die.

The goat was born without eyes due to a rare genetic condition which stops them developing.

The couple in Balussery, Kerala in India are now hand-rearing the goat which cannot feed off its mother.

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Video:

Here’s another goat with anophthalmia:

Anopthl

Goats normally have pretty strange looking eyes compared to ours, but there is a good reason.

goateyes

Whether you’re the hunter or the hunted — is a great predictor of how your eyes will be shaped. …

“For species that are active both night and day, like domestic cats, slit pupils provide the dynamic range needed to help them see in dim light yet not get blinded by the midday sun,” lead author Martin Banks of UC Berkeley said in a statement. “However, this hypothesis does not explain why slits are either vertical or horizontal. Why don’t we see diagonal slits? This study is the first attempt to explain why orientation matters.”

Circular pupils, like our own (or like a big cat’s) tend to belong to predators. Side-slanted eyes like a goat’s belong to grazing prey. …

During his research, Banks confirmed that grazing animals rotate their eyes when they bow their heads down to graze, effectively keeping their eye slits nearly parallel to the ground at all times — no matter the position of their heads. They can rotate more than 50 degrees per eye, the researchers say, which is 10 times of the human eye. That way the grazers can maintain a preys’-eye-view of the world even when chowing down.

The researchers also examined why some predators — like snakes and small cats — have vertical slits in their eyes, while other predators have round pupils. They found that proximity to the ground was the big determining factor.

Using computer models, the researchers confirmed that sideways eyes produce a much wider field of vision than eyes like our own.

The shape of their pupils also allows them to take in more light. Meanwhile, they aren’t absorbing as much light from above their heads, which keeps the sun from bleaching out their view of the grass around them. This extensive peripheral vision lets them watch out for predators, and helps them see the entire terrain around them when they must plot an escape.

During his research, Banks confirmed that grazing animals rotate their eyes when they bow their heads down to graze, effectively keeping their eye slits nearly parallel to the ground at all times — no matter the position of their heads. They can rotate more than 50 degrees per eye, the researchers say, which is 10 times of the human eye. That way the grazers can maintain a preys’-eye-view of the world even when chowing down.

The researchers also examined why some predators — like snakes and small cats — have vertical slits in their eyes, while other predators have round pupils. They found that proximity to the ground was the big determining factor.

Vertical pupils make hunting by

night a breeze, as they can expand much more than a round pupil, giving the animal more light to work with. The researchers believe they’re also great for improving depth perception. Based on their calculations, the researchers think that the depth perception gained from vertical pupils diminishes as animals get farther and farther away from the ground. That could be why taller animals tend to have round pupils instead.

 

People are born without eyes as well.

Scientists at University College Dublin, Ireland, have identified a genetic alteration which causes a child to be born with no eyes – a condition called anophthalmia.

According to the findings published in the current issue (December 2011) of Human Mutation, a child’s eyes will not develop fully in the womb if the child has alterations in both copies of its STRA6 gene which is responsible for transporting vitamin A into the cells.

This new discovery means that scientists can now develop a genetic test for couples who may be carrying the altered gene and planning to have children.

If identified, the couples can receive advice and counselling about the implications of carrying the gene alteration for their present and future children.

There is no clinical treatment for anophthalmia (the absence of one or both eyes), and children born with the condition must have prosthetic eyes fitted to help their face and skull to develop naturally.

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BornEyeless

After a routine ultrasound scan showed mother Danielle Davis that her unborn baby Daisy had a cyst on her brain, doctors encouraged her to have an abortion. Thankfully she chose life and refused to take her baby’s life over a possible disability.

When Daisy was born, she was born with a condition known as Anopthalmia, meaning a lack of eyes. She will never be able to see and may eventually be fitted with cosmetic glass eyes.

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If any ‘evil’ is involved in Anopthalmia it may environmental pollution that causes genetic changes that lead to the condition.

Causes of these conditions may include genetic mutations and abnormal chromosomes. Researchers also believe that environmental factors, such as exposure to X-rays, chemicals, drugs, pesticides, toxins, radiation, or viruses, increase the risk of anophthalmia and microphthalmia, but research is not conclusive. Sometimes the cause in an individual patient cannot be determined.

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How close is this now famous eyeless baby goat in Balussery, Kerala in India to the harbour in Kochi, the economic capital of Kerala, which in 2005 was already a pollution disaster area?

The harbour in Kochi, the economic capital of Kerala and India’s second port, is so badly polluted by effluent that local people rarely swim or fish in it. Atmospheric pollution is so bad that Kochi is nicknamed Asthma City.

Madhusoodana Kurup, professor of fisheries at Cochin University of Science and Technology, said: ‘For centuries these canals have sustained Keralans, but today these people have no pure air to breathe. The disaster graph is peaking.’

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We can’t keep ignoring our insane pollution of the planet without consequences. What will it take before we act? The problem is, overall intelligence goes down with more pollution, so we may never act, because it takes intelligence to see cause and effect and to work out solutions.

What can you do to reduce the number of one eyed goats in India? Perhaps not much if you don’t live there, but you can help reduce pollution locally. Consider where most pollution comes from. You can always reuse, recycle, and reduce, but the biggest impact will come on a personal level from using smart clean transportation, eating less meat and dairy, and find the most efficient ways to heat and cool your home.

TrueStrange.com

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132-Year-Old Lobster Returned to Sea

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Instead of heading into the boiling pot, a 132-year-old Leviathan lobster returned to the sea Friday, thanks to a Hempstead restaurant.

Last year, Peter’s Clam Bar in Island Park started its annual tradition of pardoning a lobster, with help from town officials, as a way to celebrate National Lobster Week, said Butch Yamali, 54, who took over the 75-year-old restaurant four years ago.

On Friday, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino pardoned the 22-pound lobster, affectionately known as “Louie,” and then, with Yamali, turned the lobster over to Hempstead Bay Constables.

They took the large crustacean by boat to the Atlantic Beach Reef, where they returned it to its natural habitat.
“We take our sea life very seriously,” said Santino during the news conference. “Three out of every four Americans say they enjoy a lobster dinner.”
Yamali said the lobsters in his restaurant, especially those that have been there a long time, have swelled up to massive sizes, which make them hard to cook and hard to consume.
Through some online research, he was able to estimate that Louie the Lobster is at least 132 years old.

“It’s about the rings and it’s about the weight,” Yamali said. “So figuring out both things, we figured him to be about that old.”
Louie’s size and age helped make him one of the restaurant’s “biggest celebrities,” according to Yamali.
“Some guy came up to me and was like, ‘I’ll give you $1,000 for this lobster,’” said Yamali, who declined the offer. “He’s been here too long. It’s like selling your pet. Could you sell your pet? You just can’t.”
Yamali said letting Louie go was the humane thing to do. “This lobster is something that should be saved,” Yamali said. “It’s not all about money sometimes.”
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Rocky in Main was a bit heavier than Louie.

The biggest lobster ever caught in Maine, a 27-pounder (12.25 kg) nicknamed “Rocky” with claws tough enough to snap a man’s arm, was released back into the ocean on Thursday after being trapped in a shrimp net last week, marine officials said.

The 40-inch (one-meter) male crustacean, about the size of a 3-year-old child, was freed in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, said Elaine Jones, education director for the state’s Department of Marine Resources.

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Zheng Lee Pan recently pulled in a tropical rock lobster that weighed in at a stunning 56 lbs, and he knew that he had a haul that could net him a pretty penny. The lobster’s species is panulirus ornatus, and the “ornatus” part could refer to the creature’s remarkably vibrant coloring. Tropical rock lobsters can grow to massive size, and they’re remarkable for their multicolored exoskeletons.

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Alex Jones Posts Proof of News Woman’s Lies

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Millions of people follow Alex Jones’ news service because it is more accurate and truthful than other news sources. If you doubt this, listen to the lies a news woman tells Jones in a pre-interview. Hear it with your own ears. After that, read some of the news propaganda and realize how evil mainstream fake news has become. It’s mind boggling that they get away with this.

If you can accept your perception on this one issue, you should re-evaluate other things you’re reading in the establishment news because much of it is baloney. Why continue to get your news from liars?

Jones says he thinks people probably did die at Sandy Hook, but that he did run the scenario of it being a false flag operation based on past proven lies and propaganda operations. What she reports, however, is that he says no one died, that it was all a hoax. Listen to it. It’s totally disgusting, she does exactly what she tells him she will not do. 

Now read the spin. This is a hit piece:

If there’s one thing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones knows, it’s fake news — which may be why he denounced his own interview with NBC anchor Megyn Kelly.

Jones, the host of “InfoWars” and peddler of a debunked and reviled notion that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax, said Monday he wants NBC News to pull his pre-taped interview with Kelly — a “rigged” report full of “fake news,” he said.

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Jones posted evidence that the interview is edited to take him out of context and create a villain. That’s why he denounced it. 

I don’t agree with all of Jones’ views, but I repeatedly hear things on InfoWars shows that turn out to be true in mainstream sources years later. 

If you won’t consider facts that contradict what you currently believe, you are crazy.  Crazy is that state when your mental model of the world is significantly different from the actual world. In other words, your map is wrong, it does not match the real territory. 

This is sadly common, but thankfully, some craziness is correctable with education.

Alex Jones could be part of a bigger scheme. Perhaps InfoWars is a secretly state-provided alternative news source that is part of a brilliant system to control public behavior, to prevent any actual messy “revolutions” as happen in other counties.

I’ll still be following their stories and I’ll continue never watching NBC. An NBC reader writes:

“I find Alex Jones’s suggestion that Sandy Hook was ‘a hoax’ as personally revolting as every other rational person does. It left me, and many other Americans, asking the very question that prompted this interview: how does Jones, who traffics in these outrageous conspiracy theories, have the respect of the president of the United States and a growing audience of millions?

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The rational answer is simple: because some outrageous conspiracy theories are true (InfoWars). This is a verifiable and documented fact. If you don’t believe it, google any one of the 33 conspiracy theories on the InfoWars link above. There are laws against conspiracy in the USA and people are convicted and sent to jail for it. 

Some people hear this and their eyes glaze over, because the territory does not match their map. To them, “outrageous conspiracy theory” means “false information,” but that is not true.

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