Archive for the ‘Pete Cuomo’ Category

By Drake Baer

Everybody knows that humpback whales make excellent professional wrestlers: With zero hesitation, these gentle giants will leap out of the sea, corkscrew their bodies, and then slam back into the water with 66,000 pounds of fury.

It turns out that these cetaceans aren’t just doing this to show off: According to a recent paper in Marine Mammal Science, the breaching serves as an acoustic telegram, communicating with far-off pods. It’s like how European or African peoples would send sonic signals from village to village via drum, or how wolves howl at the moon. Make a big enough splash, and the percussion speaks for itself.

As noted in the marine-life publication Hakai magazine, University of Queensland marine biologist Ailbhe S. Kavanagh and colleagues observed 76 humpback groups off the coast of Australia for 200 hours between 2010 and 2011. They found that breaching is way more common when pods are at least 2.5 miles apart, with fin- or fluke-slapping deployed when fellow whales are nearby.

The breaching probably carries better than whales’ signature songs: “They’re potentially using [these behaviors] when background noise levels are higher,” Kavanagh tells Hakai, “as the acoustic signal possibly travels better than a vocal signal would.” Given that whale songs have regional accents, you have to wonder if their aerial gymnastics have a certain patois, too.

http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/02/why-whales-jump-into-the-air.html

Thanks to Pete Cuomo for bringing this to the It’s Interesting community.

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A colossal tapeworm measuring more than 6 feet in length was removed from a man’s intestines through his mouth after it was spotted by doctors during a colonoscopy procedure.
Doctors in India discovered the fully intact pork tapeworm, scientifically known as Taenia solium, in the small intestine of a 48-year-old man who had reported abdominal discomfort and lethargy for two months.

Details of the startling discovery have been published in The New England Journal of Medicine by the doctors who treated the patient at the PVS Memorial Hospital in Kerala in 2014.

Liver specialist at the hospital, Dr. Cyriac Phillips, told LiveScience it was the longest worm he had ever seen, at 188 centimeters (6.1ft).

The medical team were performing a colonoscopy on the patient when they noticed a worm segment in his colon, confirming a tapeworm infestation.

They then carried out an endoscopy, a procedure which inserts a camera into the stomach and small intestine to view images of the digestive system, and got a glimpse of the lengthy worm sitting in the small intestine of the upper digestive tract.

The doctors examined the tip of the creature to confirm it was a tapeworm before extracting it through the patient’s mouth.

“Removal was more feasible through the mouth using an endoscope and blunt forceps, holding the head (or scolex) of the worm,” Dr Phillips told RT.com.

The whole procedure took over an hour according to the medical team who later administered anti-parasitic medications to the patient to kill any tapeworm remnants.

The patient was examined one month after the parasite removal and was clear of any additional symptoms.

Tapeworms can grow to longer than 11 feet (3.5 meters) and can live for years in the human intestine, according to the US National Library of Medicine.

Infections, which usually don’t present symptoms in patients, develop from eating raw or undercooked meat of infected animals. The larva can then grow into an adult tapeworm while inside the human intestine. Typically, segments of the parasite are found in the gut, but it is unusual for a whole wriggling worm to be found inside a body.

https://www.rt.com/viral/375411-tapeworm-intestines-removed-mouth/

Thanks to Pete Cuomo for bringing this to the It’s Interesting community.

By Jordan Michael Smith

THE VOTERS WHO put Barack Obama in office expected some big changes. From the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping to Guantanamo Bay to the Patriot Act, candidate Obama was a defender of civil liberties and privacy, promising a dramatically different approach from his predecessor.

But six years into his administration, the Obama version of national security looks almost indistinguishable from the one he inherited. Guantanamo Bay remains open. The NSA has, if anything, become more aggressive in monitoring Americans. Drone strikes have escalated. Most recently it was reported that the same president who won a Nobel Prize in part for promoting nuclear disarmament is spending up to $1 trillion modernizing and revitalizing America’s nuclear weapons.

Why did the face in the Oval Office change but the policies remain the same? Critics tend to focus on Obama himself, a leader who perhaps has shifted with politics to take a harder line. But Tufts University political scientist Michael J. Glennon has a more pessimistic answer: Obama couldn’t have changed policies much even if he tried.

Though it’s a bedrock American principle that citizens can steer their own government by electing new officials, Glennon suggests that in practice, much of our government no longer works that way. In a new book, “National Security and Double Government,” he catalogs the ways that the defense and national security apparatus is effectively self-governing, with virtually no accountability, transparency, or checks and balances of any kind. He uses the term “double government”: There’s the one we elect, and then there’s the one behind it, steering huge swaths of policy almost unchecked. Elected officials end up serving as mere cover for the real decisions made by the bureaucracy.

Glennon cites the example of Obama and his team being shocked and angry to discover upon taking office that the military gave them only two options for the war in Afghanistan: The United States could add more troops, or the United States could add a lot more troops. Hemmed in, Obama added 30,000 more troops.

Glennon’s critique sounds like an outsider’s take, even a radical one. In fact, he is the quintessential insider: He was legal counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a consultant to various congressional committees, as well as to the State Department. “National Security and Double Government” comes favorably blurbed by former members of the Defense Department, State Department, White House, and even the CIA. And he’s not a conspiracy theorist: Rather, he sees the problem as one of “smart, hard-working, public-spirited people acting in good faith who are responding to systemic incentives”—without any meaningful oversight to rein them in.

How exactly has double government taken hold? And what can be done about it? Glennon spoke with Ideas from his office at Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. This interview has been condensed and edited.

IDEAS: Where does the term “double government” come from?

GLENNON:It comes from Walter Bagehot’s famous theory, unveiled in the 1860s. Bagehot was the scholar who presided over the birth of the Economist magazine—they still have a column named after him. Bagehot tried to explain in his book “The English Constitution” how the British government worked. He suggested that there are two sets of institutions. There are the “dignified institutions,” the monarchy and the House of Lords, which people erroneously believed ran the government. But he suggested that there was in reality a second set of institutions, which he referred to as the “efficient institutions,” that actually set governmental policy. And those were the House of Commons, the prime minister, and the British cabinet.

IDEAS: What evidence exists for saying America has a double government?

GLENNON:I was curious why a president such as Barack Obama would embrace the very same national security and counterterrorism policies that he campaigned eloquently against. Why would that president continue those same policies in case after case after case? I initially wrote it based on my own experience and personal knowledge and conversations with dozens of individuals in the military, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies of our government, as well as, of course, officeholders on Capitol Hill and in the courts. And the documented evidence in the book is substantial—there are 800 footnotes in the book.

IDEAS: Why would policy makers hand over the national-security keys to unelected officials?

GLENNON: It hasn’t been a conscious decision….Members of Congress are generalists and need to defer to experts within the national security realm, as elsewhere. They are particularly concerned about being caught out on a limb having made a wrong judgment about national security and tend, therefore, to defer to experts, who tend to exaggerate threats. The courts similarly tend to defer to the expertise of the network that defines national security policy.

The presidency itself is not a top-down institution, as many people in the public believe, headed by a president who gives orders and causes the bureaucracy to click its heels and salute. National security policy actually bubbles up from within the bureaucracy. Many of the more controversial policies, from the mining of Nicaragua’s harbors to the NSA surveillance program, originated within the bureaucracy. John Kerry was not exaggerating when he said that some of those programs are “on autopilot.”

IDEAS: Isn’t this just another way of saying that big bureaucracies are difficult to change?

GLENNON: It’s much more serious than that. These particular bureaucracies don’t set truck widths or determine railroad freight rates. They make nerve-center security decisions that in a democracy can be irreversible, that can close down the marketplace of ideas, and can result in some very dire consequences.

IDEAS: Couldn’t Obama’s national-security decisions just result from the difference in vantage point between being a campaigner and being the commander-in-chief, responsible for 320 million lives?

GLENNON: There is an element of what you described. There is not only one explanation or one cause for the amazing continuity of American national security policy. But obviously there is something else going on when policy after policy after policy all continue virtually the same way that they were in the George W. Bush administration.

IDEAS: This isn’t how we’re taught to think of the American political system.

GLENNON: I think the American people are deluded, as Bagehot explained about the British population, that the institutions that provide the public face actually set American national security policy. They believe that when they vote for a president or member of Congress or succeed in bringing a case before the courts, that policy is going to change. Now, there are many counter-examples in which these branches do affect policy, as Bagehot predicted there would be. But the larger picture is still true—policy by and large in the national security realm is made by the concealed institutions.

IDEAS: Do we have any hope of fixing the problem?

GLENNON: The ultimate problem is the pervasive political ignorance on the part of the American people. And indifference to the threat that is emerging from these concealed institutions. That is where the energy for reform has to come from: the American people. Not from government. Government is very much the problem here. The people have to take the bull by the horns. And that’s a very difficult thing to do, because the ignorance is in many ways rational. There is very little profit to be had in learning about, and being active about, problems that you can’t affect, policies that you can’t change.

Jordan Michael Smith is a contributing writer at Salon and The Christian Science Monitor.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/10/18/vote-all-you-want-the-secret-government-won-change/jVSkXrENQlu8vNcBfMn9sL/story.html?s_campaign=bdcglobewell_B

Thanks to Pete Cuomo for bringing this to the It’s Interesting community.

The city is renting eight goats to graze on a city-owned golf course and another four at a wild landscape area. They will eat poison ivy, buckthorn, Japanese knotweed and other invasive plant species clogging the land, said Ryan Woods, a spokesman for the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.

“Goats eat everything. It’s one of the natural things that they do, and they’re able to digest these things that are harmful to humans,” Woods said. Plus they’re cheaper and quieter than lawnmowers, he added __ and they drop natural fertilizer along the way.

The goats will be split into herds of four, each of which can clear up to a third of an acre per week. One herd will graze on a wild landscape in the Hyde Park neighborhood for four weeks starting on July 6. Afterward, they’ll join two other herds working at the George Wright Golf Course for six weeks starting on July 20.
The goal is to make overgrown areas more inviting to visitors, Woods said.

The goats will live at those sites until they finish their work, surrounded by solar-powered electric fences that keep them in and predators out. They’ll also be fed hay and water to supplement their diet.

Boston Hires Goat Crew To Landscape Weed-Choked City Land

Thanks to Pete Cuomo for bringing this to the It’s Interesting community.

A 2015 report found that 60 percent of Americans report eating out at least once a week. Restaurant dining can be easy, enjoyable, even decadent — but are you prepared for the germs you may be exposed to along with your side of fries?

Here are eight things you should never touch at a restaurant.

The table

Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, found significant numbers of E. coli and coliform bacteria on restaurant tabletops — enough to present a danger to the public — particularly young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems. And the bacteria numbers were even higher after the tables were wiped down, suggesting a direct connection between dirty rags and bacteria. The solution? Ask your server not to wipe your table before you sit down.

The menu

It’s hard to avoid touching a menu — which is probably why they’re some of the germiest things in any restaurant. Think about how many hands touch them on a daily basis, and how infrequently the menus are cleaned (or replaced). Also, restaurant staff may wipe down laminated menus with a rag. (Remember how filthy those are?)

A 2013 study found that menus are an ideal vehicle for different types of bacteria. E. coli can survive on a laminated menu for as long as 24 hours, and salmonella for as long as 72 hours. Donna Duberg, an assistant professor of clinical laboratory science from Saint Louis University, suggests paying attention to how your menu feels. “If there is visible food on the outside or if it feels ‘sticky,’” she tells Yahoo Health, “it is most likely harboring germs, bacteria, and viruses from everyone who has sat there or worked there over the last few days.” Be safe and give your hands a good wash after ordering (and before eating).

The ice in your drink

Like a cold drink? Restaurant ice makers aren’t cleaned nearly as often as they should be (ideally once a month), and may harbor bacteria. The bottom line? Ask for your soda without ice — your stomach will thank you.

The lemon and lime wedges in your drink

Whether you request it or not, restaurant drinks often come with a slice of lemon or lime. But a 2007 study found that 69.7 percent of lemon wedges tested showed some type of microbial growth — either on the rind or the flesh. Why? By the time it reaches your drink, that piece of fruit may have been handled by multiple people — plus, there’s no way to ensure proper handwashing practices have been followed. Although it won’t be as tasty, it’s wise to take that beverage straight up.

The ketchup bottle and salt and pepper shakers

“These are most likely never wiped off — and if they are, it is with a cloth that has been used to wipe off the table, chairs, trays, and has been ‘rinsed’ in a tub of dirty water,” Duberg says. Beyond that, it’s impossible to know who touched these before you (and whether they washed their hands). You’ve got your antibacterial wipes, right? If you need that ketchup, give the bottle a once-over before squeezing.

The tray

Just like the condiment bottles and menus, trays are rarely wiped down (and when they are, it’s with that same rag — yuck). Duberg suggests you avoid touching your tray as much as possible. “When eating in a fast-food establishment with trays,” she says, “I use hand sanitizer before touching my food, and never touch the tray after I sit down until after I am done eating.”

The buffet

Yes, buffets are as dirty as you thought they were. “It is a rare day when I will eat at a buffet or a salad bar,” Duberg says. “There are very few assurances that the food has been kept at the proper temperature (hot or cold); the remaining food from the container being replaced is often scooped into the container of fresh food, and the serving utensils are usually reused over and over again.” These latter two actions can carry bacteria, which have been multiplying all day, from one batch of food to the next. All you can eat? It may not be worth it.

The bathroom

It seems obvious, but the bathroom is often a reflection of how clean the rest of a restaurant is. Duberg suggests checking to see whether there’s a cleaning schedule posted on the door. “And use the sniff test,” she says. “If it smells dirty, it most likely is — wash your hands with lots of soap and water, dry with a paper towel, use the paper towel to open the door, and use hand sanitizer at the table before eating your food. Reminder: People who are not feeling well often go into the bathroom to vomit or have diarrhea, and may not wash their hands as well as I do.”

Thanks to Pete Cuomo for bringing this to the It’s Interesting community.

low mag

mag 3

Ever wonder how they ID’d the Boston bombers in a few days? This may help you to understand what the government is looking at. This photo was taken in Vancouver, Canada and shows about 700,000 people.

Hard to disappear in a crowd. Pick on a small part of the crowd click a couple of times — wait – then, click a few more times and see how clear each individual face will become each time. Or use the wheel on your mouse.

This picture was taken with a 70,000 x 30,000 pixel camera (2100 Mega Pixels.) These cameras are not sold to the public and are being installed in strategic locations. The camera can identify a face among a multitude of People.

Place your computer’s cursor in the mass of people and double-click a couple times. It is not so easy to hide in a crowd anymore.

http://www.gigapixel.com/mobile/?id=79995

Thanks to Pete Cuomo for bringing this to the It’s Interesting community.

Texas lawmakers on Friday approved carrying handguns openly on the streets of the nation’s second most-populous state, sending the bill to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who immediately promised to sign it and reverse a ban dating to the post-Civil War era.

Gun owners would still have to get a license to carry a handgun in a visible holster.

The state, known for its Wild West cowboy history and some the nation’s most relaxed gun laws, has allowed concealed handguns for 20 years. Concealed handgun license holders are even allowed to skip the metal detectors at the state Capitol, as state troopers providing security assume they’re armed.

But Texas was one of only six states with an outright ban on so-called open-carry, and advocates have fought to be allowed to keep their guns in plain sight. Cast as an important expansion of the Second Amendment right to bear arms in the U.S. Constitution, it became a major issue for the state’s strong Republican majority.

“We think of Texas being gun-happy, but we didn’t afford our citizens the same rights most other states do,” said Rep. Larry Phillips, a Republican from Sherman, one of the bill’s authors.

The House gave final approval on a mostly party-line 102-43 vote, drawing gleeful whistles from some lawmakers. A short time later, the Senate passed it 20-11, also along party lines, with all Republicans supporting it and all Democrats opposing.

Within minutes of the bill passing, Abbott sent a Twitter message that he’ll sign it.

The bill passed after lawmakers made concessions to law enforcement groups, who had been upset by an original provision that barred police from questioning people carrying guns if they have no other reason to stop them.

The final bill scrapped that language, meaning police will be able to ask Texans with handguns in plain sight if they have proper licenses.

Before Friday’s vote, police groups had demanded that Abbott veto the bill if it wasn’t taken out.

Gun control advocates have argued that open-carry is less about personal protection than intimidation. Gun rights groups have staged several large public rallies in recent years, sometimes at notable historical landmarks such as the Alamo, where members carried rifles in plain sight, which is legal.

The open-carry debate also stirred drama at the Capitol early in the legislative session, when gun rights advocates confronted one state lawmaker in his office. The lawmaker, Democrat Poncho Nevarez, was assigned a state security detail and House members voted to make it easier to install panic buttons in their offices.

“This session has been an alarming show of politicking that caters to a gun lobby agenda,” Sandy Chasse with the Texas Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “As a gun-owning Texas mom, this is not the Texas I want for my family or community.”

Just like the current concealed handgun law, the bill requires anyone wanting to openly carry a handgun to get a license. Applicants must be 21, pass a background check and receive classroom and shooting range instruction — although lawmakers have weakened those requirements since 2011.

Texas has about 850,000 concealed handgun license holders, a number that has increased sharply in recent years.

It also recognizes the concealed handgun licenses issued in more than 40 states, and license holders from those states will be allowed to openly carry their weapons in Texas once it becomes law.

“I have great faith in our concealed license holders that they will do the right thing and carry their gun appropriately,” said Sen. Craig Estes, the Wichita Falls Republican who sponsored the measure in that chamber.

Democrats such as Sen. Rodney Ellis of Houston said they fear violence on the streets.

“I hope we don’t have a host of Texans running around with a Rambo mentality,” Ellis said.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/texas-poised-to-allow-open-carry-of-handguns/

Thanks to Pete Cuomo for bringing this to the It’s Interesting community..