Archive for the ‘Jody Troupe’ Category

No matter how safe Walter White may have made the cooking of meth look on Breaking Bad, the real life process is dangerous and potentially deadly, even to those not directly involved.

“Chemicals such as acetone, phosphine, hydrochloric acid, lye, sulfuric acid and ammonia are all released into the home during the cooking process,” said Jeremy Shelton, a Certified Microbial Consultant who routinely tests homes across America’s Southeast for exposure. “The chemicals used are extremely dangerous and can cause serious respiratory problems, cancer, and in some cases death.”

Unfortunately, state regulations vary when it comes to the requirements of disclosing the history of former meth houses, as well as the clean up of such homes, so those buying or renting in a residence formerly used as a meth lab might never know about its past.

“I’ve dealt with everything from the unsuspecting homeowner who has unexplained respiratory issues and migraines, to apartment complexes who have had a meth lab in a single unit where we test that unit and the surrounding units,” Shelton said.

But now there is a way for potential renters and buyers to glean some insight into the pasts of their current, or potential residences.

The founders of DiedinHouse.com, which provides reports to homeowners and renters who want to know if someone has died in their home, has now added a new report that allows renters and homeowners to find out if their home was formerly reported as a site for cooking meth.

“It’s important for buyers or renters to know what they are moving into,” said Roy Condrey, founder of DiedinHouse.com.

Consumers can visit the site, input their address and pay $11.99 to get a report that includes details of a death or meth activity having occurred in the home.

It’s still early and Condrey says he has less than 50,000 reports of former meth homes across the US, however, he expects the numbers to continue to grow due to the meth epidemic sweeping the country. From the data reported thus far, Condrey said the top number of reported meth homes are in the following states.

Missouri
Oklahoma
Indiana
Tennessee
Arkansas

The company is also providing a new service for renters and buyers who might want to get a bargain on a formerly “stigmatized” home.

“We can now provide a list of stigmatized addresses to buyers an renters who are looking for a bargain and claim to not care if the property is stigmatized,” Condrey said.

http://hotpads.com/blog/2015/04/living-meth-house/?utm_source=hotwire&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=hotwire

Thanks to Jody Troupe for bringing this to the It’s Interesting community.

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A labyrinth of secret underground tunnels believed to have been used by the Nazis to develop a nuclear bomb has been uncovered.

The facility, which covers an area of up to 75 acres, was discovered near the town of St Georgen an der Gusen, Austria last week, it has been reported.

Excavations began on the site after researchers detected heightened levels of radiation in the area – supporting claims that the Nazis were developing nuclear weapons.

Documentary maker Andreas Sulzer, who is leading the excavations, told the Sunday Times that the site is ‘most likely the biggest secret weapons production facility of the Third Reich’.

It is believed to be connected to the B8 Bergkristall underground factory, where the Messerschmitt Me 262 – the first operational jet fighter – was built.

There are also suggestions that the complex is connected to the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp.

Slave labour from the camp was used to build both complexes – with as many as 320,000 inmates in the harsh underground conditions.

But while the Bergkristall site was explored by Allied and Russia after the war, the Nazis appeared to have gone through greater lengths to conceal the newly-discovered tunnels.

Its entrance was only uncovered after the excavation team, which includes historians and scientists, pieced together information in declassified intelligence documents and testimonies from witnesses.

The team is now in the process of removing layers of soil and concrete packed into the tunnels and heavy granite plates that were used to cover the entrance.

Helmets belonging to SS troops and other Nazi relics are among the items that have been uncovered so far.

The excavation was halted last week by police, who demanded the group produce a permit for conducting research on historic sites. But Mr Sulzer is confident that work will resume next month.

He told the Sunday Times: ‘Prisoners from concentration camps across Europe were handpicked for their special skills – physicists, chemists or other experts – to work on this monstrous project and we owe it to the victims to finally open the site and reveal the truth.’

The probe was triggered by a research documentary by Mr Sulzer on Hitler’s quest to build an atomic bomb.

In it, he referenced diary entries from a physicist called up to work for the Nazis. There is other evidence of scientists working for a secret project managed by SS General Hans Kammler.

Kammler, who signed off the plans for the gas chambers and crematorium at Auschwitz, was in charge of Hitler’s missile programmes.

Mr Sulzer searched archives in Germany, Moscow and America for evidence of the nuclear weapons-building project led by the SS.

He discovered that on January 2, 1944, some 272 inmates of Mauthausen were taken from the camp to St Georgen to begin the construction of secret galleries.

By November that year, 20,000 out of 40,000 slave labourers drafted in to build the tunnels had been worked to death.

After the war, Austria spent some £10million in pouring concrete into most of the tunnels.

But Sulzer and his backers believe they missed a secret section where the atomic research was conducted.

The Soviets were stationed in St Georgen until 1955 and they took all of the files on the site back with them to Moscow.

Experts are trying to discover if there is a link between St Georgen and sites in Germany proper where scientists were assembled during the Third Reich in a bid to match American efforts to build the ultimate weapon.

In June 2011, atomic waste from Hitler’s secret nuclear programme was believed to have been found in an old mine near Hanover.

More than 126,000 barrels of nuclear material lie rotting over 2,000 feet below ground in an old salt mine.

Rumour has it that the remains of nuclear scientists who worked on the Nazi programme are also there, their irradiated bodies burned in secret by S.S. men sworn to secrecy.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2888975/Vast-underground-complex-Nazis-developed-WMD-discovered-Austria.html#ixzz3Nt33ax4F
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Thanks to Jody Troupe for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

BY Erika Engelhaupt

A new nonprofit called OpenBiome is hoping to do for fecal transplants what blood banks have done for transfusions. It’s a kind of Brown Cross.

And it’s an idea whose time has come. Recent trials testing transplants of fecal microbes from the healthy to the sick have been so promising that people are attempting dangerous do-it-yourself fecal transplants by enema, for lack of access to authorized medical procedures.

Graduate students Carolyn Edelstein and Mark B. Smith got the idea for OpenBiome after a friend had trouble getting a fecal transplant to treat an infection with Clostridium difficile. The bacterium causes dangerous, even fatal, diarrhea and in an increasing number of cases is resistant to antibiotics.

People tend to get C. difficile infections after antibiotics or chemotherapy has knocked out helpful bacteria, allowing what is normally a background player to take over. Transplants of fecal bacteria from healthy donors can help reset the microbiome, the mix of bacteria in the body, and crowd out C. difficile. A 2011 review of 317 patients treated for C. difficile found that fecal transplants cleared up infections in 92 percent of patients. And more recent research showed that taking a round of pills containing bacteria isolated from fecal matter (without the feces itself) resolved C. difficile infections in all of 32 patients treated.

There’s also interest in transplanting healthy fecal microbiomes into people with inflammatory bowel disease or even obesity. In one recent test, mice implanted with fecal microbes from thin humans stayed thin, while mice given bacteria from obese people gained weight.

But the transplants are hard to get. As Edelstein and Smith’s friend learned, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires lots of paperwork for the experimental therapy, and donor feces has to be screened for a host of potential pathogens.

That’s where OpenBiome steps in. The nonprofit offers hospitals fecal samples for $250 that have been prescreened to ensure they are free of pathogens and parasites. Since October, they’ve sent more than 100 samples to a dozen hospitals and clinics, according to an interview with Smith in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Edelstein, who’s studying public affairs at Princeton, and Smith, who’s studying microbiology at MIT, recruited friends and donors and negotiated permissions with the FDA to set up the organization, which houses its samples at MIT. OpenBiome is also offering to collaborate with researchers for long-term follow-up on patients’ microbiomes.

Because FDA considers feces to be a drug in the context of transplants, OpenBiome is providing stool only for treatment of C. difficile. People hoping to shift their microbiomes for other purposes are still out of luck. Until more testing and approval comes through, that leaves open the risk that some people may resort to home transplants.

Let me be very clear about this: Whipping up an enema of your friend’s stool is a terrible idea.There are excellent reasons why people normally avoid poop: It can carry pathogens and parasites that cause serious disease. Even a donor who appears perfectly healthy might be carrying around bacteria or viruses that his or her immune system or particular microbiome mix is able to deal with. Your mileage may vary.

Your genetics, your immune system, your diet and environment — all these things create the ecology of your insides, making it hard to predict what your outcome might be. What’s more, you may need to make other medically supervised changes along with the transplant. Research on microbiome links to obesity, for instance, suggests that a new “skinny” microbiome has to be accompanied by a switch to a diet lower in fat and calories, or else the new microbes will just be outcompeted.

These dangers and complicating factors are why a supply of prescreened stool is so important. The procedures need to be done under medical supervision, and when done right the results look really promising. The recently tested pill approach avoids some of the yuck factor of fecal transplants, but most transplants are done via an enema, colonoscopy or nose tube to the gut.

If you get transplant material from OpenBiome, you’ll have to submit to one of the usual transplant methods rather than a pill, but you can rest assured you’re getting high-quality stuff. Not only are the samples screened, the donors are among the best and brightest: a few young researchers and scientists from Harvard and MIT.

https://www.sciencenews.org/blog/gory-details/introducing-first-bank-feces?mc_cid=325756381e&mc_eid=9da0429978

Thanks to Jody Troupe for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

Armed with nothing but a camera and an abundance of bravery, Russian photographer Kirill Oreshkin takes photographs of himself dangling from the top of high-rise buildings.

“I started doing it because I like the views,” Oreshkin said. “I like photographing the city and the people I get to spend time with.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/21/kirill-oreshkin-photographer-russia_n_5003465.html

Thanks to Jody Troupe for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

Switzerland may start paying every adult (whether they work or not) a salary of over $2000 per month, based on the idea that their citizens will have more time to devote to things they are intrinsically interested in, instead of spending the majority of their time worrying about how they are going to survive, as many individuals with entry level positions find it hard to meet their needs. The income initiative promises every Swiss citizen a living wage , so they can always survive without basic financial worry.

The 2,500 francs would work out to be an income of 30,000 Swiss francs per year. Statistics released by the European Union in 2002 showed that Switzerland was the third most expensive country in Europe, after Norway and Iceland, to live in. Switzerland currently has a population of 8.02 million people, equivalent to that of large cities such as the San Francisco Bay Area which has a population of 7.15 million. They pay particularly high prices for meat, cooking oil, fish and vegetables. Basic utilities (electricity, heating, water, garbage) are around 200 francs per month, and the average rent of a one bedroom apartment in the city center runs about 1,400 francs.

“Imagine you are being born and society tells you ‘Welcome, you will be cared for, and asks you what you want to do with your life, what is your calling? Imagine that feeling, that’s a whole different atmosphere “ – Daniel Straub, Co-founder, Basic Income Initiative

Parliament was presented with a petition signed by over 100,000 people, proposing to afford every citizen, regardless if they are working or not, a monthly paycheck of 2,500 Swiss francs. To mark the day, a truck full of 8 million five-cent coins was deposited on the square and spread out in front of the Swiss Parliament in Bern, supporters gathered around and spread the coins out using shovels. A typical fast-food worker in the US earns roughly $1,500 per month. Anything less than that specified amount of 2,500 francs, would be deemed illegal, even for people working in one of the lowest paid jobs.

A date for the vote itself is yet to be confirmed, however, it could take place before the end of this year, depending on the decision of the Swiss government. The money to fund the measure would likely be supplied by the Swiss social insurance system, so in other words it would be taken from taxpayers. We know that the government has no money itself, everything that it gives to others it must first take from others or print it out of thin air. But, are individuals who receive these funds going to be participating tax payers as well? If not, is it safe to assume that the more individuals who rely on this system, and the fewer who are contributing and fueling it, the more unlikely it is to run out of funds? Is this only possible due to Switzerland’s low population and impressive bank profits?

This new system will force business owners to pay their workers a certain wage, regardless if their labor is considered worth less than the stipulated amount. This idea aims to set the minimum standard of living higher, and that is admirable. But this might prompt business owners to take their company elsewhere, to where they have more freedom over the decision of what wages they are going to pay. Of course this would also mean they get no cut whatsoever of the Swiss market. And on the other hand, the new income may also allure new business owners to the country in looks of attracting those new consumers. One prominent CEO in Switzerland has stated that if the measure passes, he would seriously contemplate moving his company out of the country:

“I can’t believe that Switzerland would cause such great harm to its economy,” Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg told the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation.

The unemployment rate currently remains at 3 percent in Switzerland. Switzerland is arguably one of the most stable economies in the world. The nation has built the reputation of having some of the most friendly laws toward foreign investors. Will this measure make more money flow, by putting liquidity in the hands of those more prone to putting it back in the economy, or will it drive investors away and cause the Swiss economy to stumble?

http://themindunleashed.org/2014/03/swiss-pay-basic-income-2500-francs-per-month-every-adult.html

Thanks to Jody Troupe for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

Swiss scientists broke a four-decade-long informal ban on LSD research yesterday when they announced the results of a study in which cancer patients received the drug to curb their anxiety about death.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, looked at the safety and efficacy of LSD when used in combination with talk therapy. The researchers used the semisynthetic psychedelic drug to facilitate discussions about the cancer patients’ fears of dying. The patients who took LSD, most of whom were terminally ill, experienced 10-hour-long supervised “trips.” One patient described the trips to The New York Times as a “mystical experience,” where “the major part was pure distress at all the memories I had successfully forgotten for decades.”

These periods of distress are regarded as therapeutically valuable because they allow patients to address their memories and the emotions they evoke. The patients underwent 30 such trips over the course of two months.

A year after the sessions ceased, the patients who had received a full dose of LSD — 200 micrograms — experienced a 20 percent improvement in their anxiety levels. That was not the case for the group who received a lower dose, however, as their anxiety symptoms actually increased. They were later allowed to try the full dose after the trial had ended.

Because of the small number of study participants, the researchers are reluctant to make any conclusive statements about the LSD treatment’s effectiveness. Indeed, the results were not statistically significant. But the fact that the study took place at all bodes well for psychedelic drug research, as the drug caused no serious side effects. Rick Doblin, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a foundation that has funded many of these studies, thinks that revisiting LSD-based treatments is worthwhile. “We want to break these substances out of the mold of the counterculture,” Doblin told The New York Times, “and bring them back to the lab as part of a psychedelic renaissance.”

http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/5/5473828/lsd-drug-therapy-first-time-in-40-years

Thanks to Jody Troupe for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

google-contact-lens-620xa

If successful, Google’s newest venture could help to eliminate one of the most painful and intrusive daily routines of diabetics.

People with diabetes have difficulty controlling the level of sugar in their blood stream, so they need to monitor their glucose levels — typically by stabbing themselves with small pin pricks, swabbing their blood onto test strips and feeding them into an electronic reader.

Google’s smart contacts could potentially make blood sugar monitoring far less invasive.

The prototype contacts are outfitted with tiny wireless chips and glucose sensors, sandwiched between two lenses. They are able to measure blood sugar levels once per second, and Google is working on putting LED lights inside the lenses that would flash when those levels are too low or high.

The electronics in the lens are so small that they appear to be specks of glitter, Google said. The wireless antenna is thinner than a human hair.

They’re still in the testing phase and not yet ready for prime time. Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) has run clinical research studies, and the company is in discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Diabetes is a chronic problem, affecting about one in 19 people across the globe and one in 12 in the United States.

The smart contacts are being developed in Google’s famous Google X labs, a breeding ground for projects that could solve some of the world’s biggest problems. Google X labs is also working on driverless cars and balloons that transmit Wi-Fi signals to remote areas.

Google’s contact lens project isn’t the first attempt at building the technology. For many years, scientists have been investigating whether other body fluids, including tears, could be used to help people measure their glucose levels. In 2011, Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) partnered with the University of Washington to build contact lenses with small radios and glucose sensors.

http://money.cnn.com/2014/01/17/technology/innovation/google-contacts/

Thanks to Jody Troupe for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.