January 31, 2016

A Few Practical Tips

To stay motivated on a diet, Take a photo of yourself every week: Full body snaps motivate slimmers because they can actually SEE the results

12 Pro Tips for Hassle-Free Airline Travel

2. Transfer in the South
... Most major airlines use a “hub and spoke” model, where they direct traffic to a central “hub” and then send flights out to the “spokes.” For many travelers, this means you will have at least one layover. Even non-traditional airlines such as JetBlue and Southwest will have you make at least one stop. So why pick a layover in the South? Because it is winter time and you don't want to be delayed by the snow.

12. Download Your Airline's App
Many airlines now have their own apps for smart phones, which provide multiple benefits. Not only can you see the status of your flight, but you can also see alternatives flights. You may be able to check in through your phone, use the phone as your boarding pass, and in some cases airlines will let you access certain Internet content during the flight through their app.

From 28 Surprising Things That Really Work

10. Orajel will stop mosquito bites from itching immediately.
16. Unshrink a sweater with baby shampoo.
26. Use toothpaste to take the scratches out of DVDs and CDs.

If you are forever misplacing your keys, your wallet or your luggage, invest in some Tiles.

The Good-Luck Charm That Solved a Public-Health Problem Warding off anemia with small iron fish.  Using a cast iron skillet also works.

Keep or toss? 77 Expiration Dates That You Should Know. A handy keep-or-toss guide from Real Simple.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:26 PM | Permalink

January 29, 2016

Miscellany 31

Airglow from Lake to Sky, Astronomy Picture of the Day, photographer Dave Lane on January 28, 2016

 Airglowfan Lane 2400

Why would the sky look like a giant fan? Airglow. The featured intermittent green glow appeared to rise from a lake through the arch of our Milky Way Galaxy, as captured last summer next to Bryce Canyon in Utah, USA. The unusual pattern was created by atmospheric gravity waves, ripples of alternating air pressure that can grow with height as the air thins, in this case about 90 kilometers up. Unlike auroras powered by collisions with energetic charged particles and seen at high latitudes, airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light in a chemical reaction. More typically seen near the horizon, airglow keeps the night sky from ever being completely dark.

Beauty Is Physics’ Secret Weapon by Steve Paulson

Frank Wilczek, a professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ... won the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics ...is not just a leading theoretical physicist but a student of philosophy and admirer of poet William Blake and Renaissance Italian architect Filippo Brunelleschi. ....

"It matters to me a lot whether the world is beautiful. It’s also a practical question for physicists, engineers, and designers. At the frontiers of physics, we’re dealing with realms of the very small and the very large and the very strange. Everyday experience is not a good guide and experiments can be difficult and expensive. So the source of intuition is not so much from everyday experience or from a massive accumulation of facts, but from feelings about what would give the laws of nature more inner coherence and harmony. My work has been guided by trying to make the laws more beautiful....Take the fact that the laws are eternal. That doesn’t sound like symmetry, but it is because the laws don’t change as the universe ages. So we have a change without change."

College student builds 'stained glass' igloo with blocks of colored ice and smallish front door.  Mitch Fitch, 18, got the idea from his mother and built the igloo in front of his dorm at St. John's University in Minnesota.

 Stained Glass-Igloo

The Tree Farm in a land where there are no trees.

Now the great spaces of Sutherland and Caithness have become famous for their silence, their seclusion, their isolation. One’s eye may roam for miles all around, unfettered, over empty lands where once there were trees, and then there were people, and now there is nothing.

Alexander Litvinenko: the man who solved his own murder

Babel Tower: A Kinetic Mirrored Ziggurat Reflects the Surrounding Iranian Landscape See it move at the link.

 Babel Tower Mirror-1

Photographer Captures Wedding Using Only An iPhone And The Result Is Beautiful

 Indian-Wedding-Iphone--Sephi-Bergerson-1

Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:19 PM | Permalink

January 23, 2016

Five Remedies Against Sadness from St Thomas Aquinas

5 Remedies Against Sadness "Saint Thomas Aquinas suggests five remedies against sadness that have proven surprisingly effective."

1. The first remedy is granting ourselves something we like. It’s as though the famous theologian had already intuited seven centuries ago that “chocolate is an antidepressant.” This might seem a bit materialistic, but no one would deny that a tough day can end well with a good beer....

2. The second remedy is weeping....Weeping is the soul’s way to release a sorrow that can become paralyzing....

3. The third remedy is sharing our sorrow with a friend.....

4. The fourth remedy against sadness is contemplating the truth. Contemplating ...the splendor of truth in nature or a work of art or music, can be an effective balm against sadness. .....

5. The fifth remedy is bathing and sleeping.  ...... The theologian says that a wonderful remedy against sadness is bathing and sleeping. It’s a deeply Christian viewpoint that in order to alleviate a spiritual malady one will sometimes have to resort to a bodily remedy. Ever since God became Man, and therefore took on a body, the separation between matter and spirit has been overcome in this world of ours.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:44 PM | Permalink

January 22, 2016

You've experience the emotion, now learn the word that precisely describes it.

Tiffany Watt Smith has been an emotions expert in London for years.  She has written a book - The Book of Human Emotion - to highlight unique ones and the words that describe them.  Some come from other languages, others she probably made up.  But, if you love words, these are lovely.  I just wish I could remember them all.

The bizarre words that sum up your most indescribable and commonly felt emotions.

Rage against the machines: TECHNOSTRESS:

The Greek philosopher Aristotle observed that we’re more likely to fly into a violent rage when slighted by someone we perceive to be inferior to us. ...It may be precisely why computers and other electronic devices rouse such murderous reactions. They are supposed to be making our lives easier, these willful electronic slaves of ours. But mostly it feels as if they’re in charge, forcing us to negotiate with them, cooperate, read their manuals …

Time is running out: TORSCHLUSSPANIK

Torschlusspanik describes the agitated, fretful feeling we get when we notice time is running out.
The heart pounds, the nape of the neck prickles, as the deadline approaches. Yet, we’re stuck, bewildered by choices and terrified we’re about to make the wrong one.  Life, and all its abundant opportunities, is passing us by.....Literally translated from the German as ‘gate-closing-panic’, Torschlusspanik was coined in the Middle Ages. Seeing a rampaging army approach, and knowing that the castle gates were about to close, travellers and shepherds flung their belongings aside and stampeded across the drawbridge to safety.

Antsy anticipation: IKTSUARPOK:

When visitors are due to arrive, a fidgety feeling sprouts up. We might keep glancing out of the window. Or pause mid-sentence, thinking we’ve heard the sound of a car.  Among the Inuit this antsy anticipation, causing them to scan the frozen Arctic plains for approaching sleds, is called iktsuarpok (pronounced eet-so-ahr-pohk).

Feeling cozy with friends:  GEZELLIGHEID:

It’s no surprise that so many of northern Europe’s languages have a particular word for feeling cosy (from the Gaelic còsag, a small hole you can creep into). It’s when the rain is mizzling and the damp rises from the canals that we yearn for the feeling the Dutch call gezelligheid...Derived from the word for ‘friend’, gezelligheid describes both physical circumstances – being snug in a warm and homely place surrounded by good friends (it’s impossible to be gezelligheid alone) – and an emotional state of feeling ‘held’ and comforted.

The excitement of sailing with the wind: HWYL

Literally the word for a boat sail, hywl is a wonderfully onomatopoeic Welsh word (pronounced who-eel) that means exuberance or excitement, as if clipping along on a gust of wind.  Used to describe flashes of inspiration, a singer’s gusto or raised spirits at parties, hwyl is also the word for goodbye:
Hywl fawr – Go with the wind in your sails.

The empty, slightly diminished feeling after visitors leave:  AWUMBUK

There is an emptiness after visitors depart. The walls echo. The space which felt so cramped while they were here now seems weirdly large.  And though there is often relief, we can also be left with a muffled feeling – as if a fog has descended and everything seems rather pointless

Hyperchondriacs on the web develop:  CYBERCHONDRIA: Anxiety about ‘symptoms’ of an ‘illness’ fueled by internet ‘research

Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:56 PM | Permalink

Miscellany 30

That time President George H. W. Bush Escaped Cannibals

With eight of his comrades left to the fate of a nightmare island, the future president escaped a similar end because he bailed out of his plane further from the island’s shores than the other crews, and despite a bleeding head injury, managed to climb on to an inflated raft. His co-pilot’s parachute did not open. Japanese boats set out to capture Bush but several American fighter planes circled protectively overhead, driving them back with heavy fire. Bleeding, vomiting and weeping with fear, George H. W. Bush’s ordeal went on for many hours until the giant black hull of the USS Finback submarine suddenly surfaced right in front of his raft. Having escaped just the clutches of death, he said to his rescuers, “Happy to be aboard”.

New Portraits of Fashionably Dressed Wildlife and Floral Bouquets by Miguel Vallinas

 Artist-Miguel-Vallinas

Why 'invisible effects' are Hollywood's best kept secret

Car manufacturers got in on it a long time ago. Virtual vehicles are easier to light and keep clean, and don’t reflect camera crews, which is why most car ads haven’t featured real cars for years.

Anatomy of a Song: The Story Behind ‘Runaround Sue’ which you can hear Dion sing on YouTube

Dion DiMucci recalls how a basement party in the Bronx in 1960 inspired ‘Runaround Sue’ .

I then came up with background vocal harmony parts and had everyone sing them over and over. It went like this [Dion sings]: “Hape-hape, bum-da hey-di hey-di hape-hape.” With this going on, I made up a melody and lyrics about Ellen. People were dancing, drinking beer and having fun.  When I left the party that night, I couldn’t let go of that riff and melody.

Pleasure is good: How French children acquire a taste for life

In France, pleasure, or “plaisir,” is not a dirty word. It’s not considered hedonistic to pursue pleasure. Perhaps a better translation of the word is “enjoyment” or even “delight.” Pleasure, in fact, takes the weight of a moral value, because according to the French, pleasure serves as a compass guiding people in their actions. And parents begin teaching their children from very early childhood in a process called the education of taste, or “l’éducation du gout.”
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One of the most surprising things that French mothers shared with me in my research was their belief that stimulating children’s appetites for a wide variety of life’s pleasures can actually deter them from becoming addicted to drugs!

The Mysterious Link Between Autism and Extraordinary Abilities

This Is What 17 Different Foods Look like Growing in Their Natural Habitats

 Foodplants1

Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:37 PM | Permalink

January 21, 2016

On the health horizon

In five or so years. The gastric bypass in a PILL:

Capsule filled with natural oils suppresses appetite and stops 'even the hungriest person from eating'. Fish oil-type capsule is thought to trick the stomach into thinking it's full. Scientists: 'It should have the same effect as gastric bypass surgery' but will not be expensive or carry the risks of major invasive surgery.  Developers hope the product could be on the market within five years.

Or there's this new operation that's  less invasive and cheaper than gastric bypass surgery - and 'reduces weight by 54%'

Gastric bypass surgery is invasive, costly and carries risks. Only two per cent of people who need the surgeries actually get them.  Doctors from Mayo Clinic have developed an alternative procedure called endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty.  By inserting a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it, doctors can reduce the size of a stomach by creating a ‘sleeve’ with sutures, a new study revealed.  The procedure falls under the umbrella of endoscopy – the nonsurgical procedure that gastroenterologists use to examine a person’s digestive tract.

The Mayo Clinic conducted a study on 25 obesity patients who underwent the procedure. They found it reduced excess body weight within one year.  Additionally, the procedure delayed solid food emptying from the stomach – creating an earlier feeling of fullness during a meal.  That feeling of fullness resulted in a more significant and long-lasting weight loss.

It required less than two hours of procedure time – and patients returned to their normal lifestyles within one to three days.  The doctors utilized standard ‘off-the-shelf’ endoscopic tools instead of specific weight loss devices or platforms. The procedure ended up costing just one-third the price of typical bariatric surgeries.  But, the study authors said randomized control studies with longer follow-up must be conducted to confirm the findings in a larger patient population.

'Invisibility cloak' makes chemotherapy drug '50 TIMES more powerful - and shields patients from grueling side effects'

The new technique involves packaging the drug paclitaxel in containers derived from a patient's own immune system.  By doing so, scientists believe they can protect the drug from being destroyed by the body's own defenses, and as a result direct the full-force of the medication at the tumor.
Dr Elena Batrakova, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina's School of Pharmacy, said: 'That means we can use 50 times less of the drug and still get the same results.

Researchers focused on exosomes, tiny spheres harvested from the white blood cells that protect the body against infection. The exosomes are made of the same material as cell membranes, meaning the patient's body does not recognize them as a foreign body.  Researchers said this has been one of the toughest hurdles to overcome in the last decade, using plastic-based nanoparticles to deliver drugs into the body. Paclitaxel is a potent drug used in the United States as a first- and second-line treatment for breast, lung and pancreatic cancers

Dr Batrakova said: 'Exosomes are engineered by nature to be the perfect delivery vehicles.
'By using exosomes from white blood cells, we wrap the medicine in an invisibility cloak that hides it from the immune system. 'We don't know exactly how they do it, but the exosomes swarm the cancer cells, completely bypassing any drug resistance they may have and delivering their payload.'

Dissolvable Brain Sensors Disintegrate Once Their Job Is Done

They can measure pressure, temperature, and much more before being safely absorbed into the body.

A Microrobotics Army to Defend Your Health

Remember the movie Fantastic Voyage from way back in 1966? In that film, a submarine with its crew was somehow shrunk to microscopic size and injected into the bloodstream of an injured scientist to repair damage to his brain. In addition to featuring Raquel Welsh in a clingy body suit, the film had great special effects showing the sub passing through various parts of the body.

Miniaturized tools that move through the bloodstream to repair damage was science fiction then, but they may now be on the verge of becoming reality. Instead of a mini sub with a crew, a swarm of microrobots (also called nanobots or nanorobots) could be injected into the body to deliver a highly targeted dose of a drug or radioactive seeds to treat cancer, or to clear a blood clot, or perform a tissue biopsy, or to build a scaffold around an area where new cells need to be grown.

Tomorrow’s Heart Drugs Might Target Gut Microbes

Scientists can stop gut bacteria in mice from making a chemical that causes arterial disease.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:13 PM | Permalink

Denial and Ignorance

NYPD ordered to purge info on Islamic terror

A U.S. District Court has ordered the NYPD to purge extensive documentation that outlines the rise of Islamic terror in the West and threats to the United States.  The report, "Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat," focused on providing law enforcement and policy-makers with vital intelligence on domestic terror operations.  A key component of the document outlined how jihadists get into the country and carry out terror attacks.  Many experts have described the report as “critical” to our national security.  The court order is a huge victory for the ACLU (who spearheaded the effort two and a half years ago) and Islamic supremacists.  The Free Beacon reports on key areas reached in the settlement, including the following mandates:

· The NYPD must purge the report on the department’s understanding of “radical Islam” along with how best to police the threat.

· The NYPD must “remove the publication from its database and vow not to rely on it in the future” and that they will not open or extend investigations based on it.

· The NYPD must implement measures to “mitigate the impact of future terror investigations on certain religious and political groups,” such as those in the Muslim-American community.  Needless to say, many legal experts have pointed out that this action “could hamper future terrorism investigations.”  The court ties law enforcement’s hands behind their back, blindfolds them, and performs a lobotomy. 

Benjamin Weingarten, writer and national security analyst, covered the court case and said that now more than ever, local police departments need the NYPD report.  “To pursue a see-no-Islam counter-jihadist strategy is not only absurd and contradictory on its face, but its [sic] a severe dereliction of duty – ignorance is not an excuse, and it represents a failure to do everything necessary to defend against an ideology that seeks to undermine the Constitution and subvert and destroy Western civilization again, according to Islamic supremacists themselves,” he said.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:34 PM | Permalink

January 19, 2016

Security: Don't get stuck on stupid

It is unbelievable that people are still using passwords on the list below.  Don't get stuck on stupid.  Create a strong password or better a pass phrase.  A pass phrase is  4 unrelated words that mean something to you.  Like "exercise+horse+Paris+****star".  Or "Get + over + Tom + shine."    The MIT Technology Review says

making a password longer or adding symbols is a better way to strengthen it than by adding uppercase characters or numbers.

Use a password manager.  Enable 2-factor authentication where ever you can.  Avoid phishing by never responding to any email requests to update your password. 

These are the worst passwords of 2015

Every year, SplashData releases a list of the most popular passwords discovered in data breaches released online over the past 12 months. And this year, "123456" and "password" topped this list.  Just like last year. And the year before that.
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For now, at least, consumers are probably best off trying trying to remember strong, unique passwords for important services and turning on two-factor authentication, a system where they have to go through another step to confirm their identity when they log in -- usually entering a code that's texted to their phone.

Here's their list:

1) 123456
2) password
3) 12345678
4) qwerty
5) 12345
6) 123456789
7) football
8) 1234
9) 1234567
10) baseball
11) welcome
12) 1234567890
13) abc123
14) 111111
15) 1qaz2wsx
16) dragon
17) master
18) monkey
19) letmein
20) login
21) princess
22) qwertyuiop
23) solo
24) passw0rd (using zero)
25) starwars

How Your Digital Life can be Compromised in 47 Seconds

Somehow, many of us think that we are immune to cyber security threats and continue to use the same weak passwords for multiple accounts. But we are all vulnerable to hacking, and it can happen in under a minute.
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Many password managers today make it easy to create strong, secure passwords and keep them in a safe, encrypted place, accessed only by one master password.

This is one way to keep your identity secure online, but there is more that you can do, including limiting ad tracking, masking your email address and credit cards, and more. Simply changing your password every few months will not necessarily help, as this might cause you to create weaker passwords that are easier to remember. Password managers are essential in protecting your online privacy. If you want to learn more, check out this Top 5 list for free cybersecurity education websites.

Hackers and thieves become more advanced each day and find new ways to steal your identity, including using your Internet-connected devices such as your SmartTV or programmable coffee maker which contain your personal information. By being proactive, you can attempt to stay one step ahead of hackers and protect your privacy.

Password service LastPass was forced to increase its security

Password manager LastPass was forced to up its security measures following the release of research showing just how easy it is to convince its customers to hand over their password.....

But security researcher Sean Cassidy published a blog post that showed how it could take criminals "less than a day" to build a spoof version of LastPass that could convince people to hand over their email address and passwords.

In response to Cassidy's post, LastPass upped the security requirements for people trying to log into the service. Anybody logging into the service now has to visit their email inbox and manually approve every sign-in attempt. That makes it harder for criminals to steal any passwords.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:21 PM | Permalink

Health Roundup: MS, Alzheimer's, elixir of youth, cocaine and your brain, nitrates and Vitamin D

'Miraculous' results from new MS treatment

Wheelchair-bound multiple sclerosis patients able to walk again after stem-cell therapy
A pioneering new stem cell treatment is reversing and then halting the potentially crippling effects of multiple sclerosis.  Patients embarking on a ground-breaking trial of the new treatment have found they can walk again and that the disease even appears to be stopped in its tracks.  The treatment is being carried out at Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield and Kings College Hospital, London and involves use a high dose of chemotherapy to knock out the immune system before rebuilding it with stem cells taken from the patient’s own blood.

Miss Drewry had the treatment in Sheffield. She said: “I started seeing changes within days of the stem cells being put in. “I walked out of the hospital. I walked into my house and hugged Isla. I cried and cried. It was a bit overwhelming. It was a miracle.”

Her treatment has now been reviewed and her condition found to have been dramatically halted. She will need to be monitored for years but the hope is that her transplant will be a permanent fix.

Alzheimer's Blocking inflammation in the brain ‘stops Alzheimer's disease progressing

Inhibiting a receptor in the brain, responsible for regulating immune cells, protects against the memory and behavior changes indicative of the disease, a study found.  It was previously thought that Alzheimer's disturbs the brain's immune response.  But, the new finding suggests that inflammation in the brain drives the progression of the disease. The team of University of Southampton scientists concluded that by reducing that inflammation, the disease's development can be stopped. The team hope the discovery will lead to an effective new treatment for the disease, for which there is currently no cure.

Could This Urine Test Predict Alzheimer's Disease?  Scientists might be able to predict Alzheimer's earlier than originally thought.

Researchers for the study, which was published by Scientific Reports, observed mice who were given chemical treatment meant to mimic the abnormal brain activity of people with Alzheimer's.  These mice had a urine odor distinct from the urine of mice who were not given the chemical.The difference in odor was detectable even before researchers could identify plaque build-up in the mice's brains, an indicator meant to simulate Alzheimer's symptoms.  This suggests that the odor is due to a genetic change rather than a developmental one, signaling that the disease may be detectable earlier than previously thought.

Elixir of Youth? Hormone 'extends lifespan by 40%, protecting the immune system against the ravages of age'

A team at Yale School of Medicine have identified a hormone, FGF21, produced by the thymus glad, extends lifespan by 40 per cent.  Their findings reveal increased levels of the hormone, known as FGF21, protects the immune system against the ravages of age.  Researchers said the study could have implications in the future for improving immune function in the elderly, for obesity, and for diseases such as cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Cocaine 'turns brain cells into CANNIBALS': Drug causes neurons to 'literally eat themselves'

High doses of cocaine cause brain cells to self-cannibalize, scientists at Johns Hopkins found. The process known as autophagy is part of the body's normal cellular clean up. Debris accumulates in bags called vacuoles within the cells  And these are then digested by acids created by enzyme-rich lysosomes.  Cocaine causes process to accelerate and spin out of control, neurons start to literally eat themselves in a process known as overactive autophagy.

Forget carrots! Eat LEAFY GREENS to boost your sight: Diet rich in nitrate 'cuts risk of a leading cause of blindness by 30%'

A diet rich in nitrate – found in spinach, kale and lettuce – reduces the risk of glaucoma by up to 30 per cent, scientists revealed....The nitrate in leafy greens help with blood circulation....  Nearly three million people in the US currently suffer from glaucoma – a disease of the eye’s optic nerve and the leading cause of blindness for people over the age of 60.

When it is functioning normally, the thymus produces new T cells for the immune system.  But with age, the gland becomes fatty and loses its ability to produce the vital cells.  This loss of new T cells in the body is one cause of increased risk of infections and certain cancers in the elderly. 

These can't be the same nitrates found in bacon and other processed meats.

Vitamin DIf you always feel tired, vitamin D can give you more energy and lower blood pressure
After reading about intriguing research which found boosting vitamin D intake can raise energy levels and lower blood pressure, Catherine Ostler conducted her own experiment

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:12 PM | Permalink

Poop in the News

Ed Driscoll writing on Instapundit :

THE 21st CENTURY ISN’T TURNING OUT THE WAY I HAD EXPECTED: Scientists Think Eating Poop May Help You Lose Weight.
Or as Iowahawk recently tweeted:  Eat Shit and Diet

Gut bacteria from the stool samples of thin people could help treat obesity

In March 2016, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston will launch a clinical trial (“Fecal Microbiota Transplant for Obesity and Metabolism”) to study the impact of gut bacteria on weight....using freeze-dried poop pills.

How Gut Bacteria Help Make Us Fat and Thin

....researchers found that the gut community in lean people was like a rain forest brimming with many species but that the community in obese people was less diverse—more like a nutrient-overloaded pond where relatively few species dominate. Lean individuals, for example, tended to have a wider variety of Bacteroidetes, a large tribe of microbes that specialize in breaking down bulky plant starches and fibers into shorter molecules that the body can use as a source of energy.

In the New Yorker, Emily Eakin writes about Bacteria on the Brain  A brilliant surgeon offered an untested treatment to dying patients. Was it innovation or overreach?

....before he replaced the “bone flap”—the section of skull that is removed to allow access to the brain—he soaked it for an hour in a solution teeming with Enterobacter aerogenes, a common fecal bacterium. Then he reattached it to Egan’s skull, using tiny metal plates and screws. Muizelaar hoped that inside Egan’s brain an infection was brewing.....
The procedure was heretical in principle: deliberately exposing a patient to bacteria in the operating room violated a basic tenet of modern surgery, the concept known as “maintaining a sterile field,” which, along with prophylactic antibiotics, is credited with sharply reducing complications and mortality rates.
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“I know several neurosurgeons who would say, ‘If I ever have a glioblastoma, I would have it infected.’ ”
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The prognosis for glioblastoma is grim. Even with the standard treatment—surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy—the median survival time from diagnosis is little more than fourteen months. But for decades talk has circulated in the field about glioblastoma patients who, despite hospitals’ efforts to keep the O.R. free of germs, acquired a “wound infection” during surgery to remove their tumors. These patients, it was said, often lived far longer than expected. A 1999 article in Neurosurgery described four such cases: brain-tumor patients who developed postoperative infections and survived for years, cancer-free.

Three of the patients were infected with Enterobacter, the fecal bacterium, and although the cases were anecdotal, and the alleged connection between the bacterium and survival was unproven, the notion became operating-room lore. One neurosurgeon, currently in private practice, told me that his former boss would joke during operations, “If I ever get a GBM, put your finger in your keister and put it in the wound.”

The Rise of the Do-It-Yourself Fecal Transplant  something I do not recommend.

Because the stool is about 50% bacteria, the theory behind the transplant is that it can replace bacteria that have gone missing from the gut. It can have dramatic results, even after a single treatment.The process of doing it at home is surprisingly simple.
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Fecal transplants, in which stool is obtained from a healthy friend or relative and injected into the colon during a colonoscopy procedure, have been shown to cure C. diff about 90% to 95% of the time. It’s a cure rate that Silverman and other experts call “utterly remarkable.”

Fecal transplants have become standard care for people who have repeated bouts of C. diff. It’s much easier to get them in a medical setting than it was even 2 years ago. And the stool doesn’t even have to be delivered via colonoscopy anymore. Doctors can order new capsules of carefully screened, freeze-dried donor stool made by a biotech startup company called OpenBiome that patients swallow to get nearly the same benefits.

Quiz: The Scoop on Poop

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:26 PM | Permalink

Counting our blessings

Sometimes you just have to count your blessings.  And a good way to start is this reddit thread on [Serious] Immigrants to America: What was the most pleasant surprise? A few examples

Abundance of  food

The seemingly endless rows of food in the grocery stores. And all the apples
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Thinking back to when I came with my family from the USSR:
Grocery stores  Seriously. Where we came from, shelves were bare or at best stocked with drab, low-quality food. When I was a little kid, I loved going to the store just to see all the different crazy things they had that would never be available in the old country -- produce, cereals, candy, you name it.
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I was born in Ethiopia which is a small east African country that is extremely poor and moved to California when I was 12. The first time I went to Costco would have to be a crazy experience there was so much food and stuff in one place I felt like i was in the matrix.

Hot water and showers

Hot water doesn't go out for a few weeks in the summer. In fact, there's as much hot water as I want!
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Showers and running hot water. I was born in the Philippines. Showers and hot water aren't really common in older homes over there. Not having to fill buckets with water and boiling some over a stove top was such a big surprise for me. Experiencing that as a twelve year old was an unforgettable experience. Yet, most people who live here (me included) take it for granted sometimes.
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I grew up in a rural area of a war-ravaged country. When I moved to the US as a child, I remember being blown away by the hot water that came out of the faucet. I even wrote a letter to my relatives back home about this amazing thing.
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That the water that comes out of the tap is perfectly drinkable; a simple thing that's easy to take for granted, but it's amazing to me.

Friendly and polite people

I was very young when we moved here, but the one thing my parents always mentioned was that whenever we needed help, whether it was navigating the interstate or where to shop, people would go out of their way to help us find what we needed or show us how to do things.
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-Everyone is so polite and good manners are everywhere, any religion or race you are everyone seems to say thank you and your welcome, or ask me how i am or how is my day!
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People seem very courteous and open/friendly compared to northern Europe. I've grown to like strangers smiling at me for no reason or complimenting my outfit, my hair or my son or whatever it happens to be. It's sweet and it brightens my day very often. And it's contagious! Now I do it to others. And when I go home, people there seem needlessly serious, closed up, rigid and often rude. My friends and family pretty much think that I am the happiest I have ever been, because according to them I smile a lot more and generally look more cheerful.
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Small talks. I really didn't expect people to just strike up a conversation with someone they've never met before. I've heard some interesting experiences from strangers while waiting at airport
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How welcoming everyone was. Strangers would strike up conversations in lines. In my first year I was invited to peoples homes for the holidays.
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Most people pick up after their dog's feces. It's amazing to me not having to constantly scan the ground for dog poop.

Hard workers too

I'm the son of Korean immigrants. My dad said that Americans are probably the hardest workers in the world. This goes against the stereotype that Americans are all fat and lazy. He's worked in various international companies, and he admits that Americans are the easiest to get along with because of their versatility and open-mindedness. He flat out said he prefers Americans leading projects over anyone else.

Ease in getting things done

Not having to haggle prices when buying things, not having to know who to talk to (or bribe) to get any little bit of paperwork filed in a reasonable amount of time, not having to worry about being cheated on every little transaction you have. Just having standard reliable procedures for daily tasks was wonderful. You guys might hate going to the DMV, but let me tell you, it could be much worse.
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ATMs where you can deposit cash. Mind was blown.
=--
Because the machine doesn't just take your money and shrug and say "What cash? I didn't see any cash," or because the technology seemed fancy?
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Turning right on red
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Lack of pointless bureaucracy and lack of corruption (At least at the lower levels)- If you guys think that having to wait at the DMV is the worst thing ever, you should try having to fill out a form at a government office in India - It's impossible to do so in many places without having to pay a bribe

Disabilities

I would say the most important pleasant thing was wheelchair access everywhere as well as special needs provided to people with learning disabilities in schools. I don't fall into any category, but it's really nice to see disabled signs everywhere.
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Ramps. Growing up in a wheelchair in a small town in Colombia was difficult as fuck.
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I'm really proud of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It's seriously one of the best countries in the world to be disabled in. It's so inclusive of the mind boggling diversity of challenges different people have and covers so many bases. It's not perfect but man it's great. I also think Americans don't have the weird shame factor for intellectual disabilities some other countries do where they shut people inside for their whole lives because they don't want to be seen as associated with that kind of person.

Retail stores

Free public restrooms and how every establishment has air conditioning.
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Very seriously, free refills.
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Another pleasant surprise was Best Buy. The technology in that place was out of this world and they even had sofas for people to hang out and play video games for free! Americans were such good people in general, they were so curious to know where my accent was from, and they were extremely patient when I tried speaking english with them even though it took a long time to formulate a sentence.
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Everything was so much cheaper than in England. I almost bought a car because it had a full 20-gallon tank of gas. All cars on the lot did. America! Nearly forty years later, I still wake up saying dayyum, I live here.

Highways and infrastructure

The Freeways - It still marvels me how extensive and complete the road system is. I cannot begin to fathom the engineering efforts that would have gone into it.
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-buildings and bridges are so...amazing, like the infrastructure is good, it makes you thing "wow, mankind DID THIS"
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The road directions to go from a city to another 2000 miles away is extremely simple. E.g.get on i80 exit to i90 then exit 40.
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There was an indescribable, special feeling when I would use I90 for a short trip out of Seattle in my day-to-day life and look down the road ahead and envision the 3000 miles over mountains, plains and cities. It was nice to have the daily reminder that it was there and all I had to do was start driving -- the opposite of feeling trapped.
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How clean and nice everything looked. I moved to the USA when I was 8 from Mexico. My old school had no AC, heater, cafeteria and everything was open air when you got out your classroom(it was U shaped.) It was also old as fuck as my grandparents went to it. When I went to school in the US I was blown away how clean and nice their schools were, cafeterias and school lunches were foreign to me but super cool when i first experienced them as little kid.

Police

Cops are friendly, for the most part, and you don't get into situations where you have to carefully check if they're expecting to be bribed.
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You don't have to bribe the cops.
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OMG! The cops thing! It was smart to have a healthy, yet irrational fear of police where I grew up. You had no idea what you were in for when you were stopped (especially if you were well off/in a relatively nice car).

I remember that when I was getting my driver’s license in Trinidad, everyone (friends my age and adults alike) told me to go with a few hundred dollars in my pocket, at the ready. They said that it’s very common that even if you pass the driving test, you’ll be asked to pay a bribe in order for them to sign off on it. I didn’t need to pay, but I had several people in my life who admitted to paying when they were asked.

Public libraries

Honestly? Public libraries. I had no idea such things existed until the public librarian in my neighborhood went to our school and invited us to get a library card. It literally changed my life.
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Your libraries. holy shit you have amazing libraries. you don't have to travel to a huge city to find what you're looking for (most of the time). with that much wealth of knowledge at your disposal your potential is virtually limitless.
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The Public Library System - I never knew such a thing existed! I'm surprised why so few Americans actually make use of it!

State and National Parks

How National and State Parks are even more beautiful than I imagined.
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The National Parks - I have amazing respect to the people of America for making the National Parks system possible. America in my mind was made up of cities and skyscrapers. I never knew this country was so beautiful!
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"What could be more democratic than owning together the most magnificent places on your continent? Think about Europe. In Europe, the most magnificent places; the palaces, the parks, are owned by aristocrats, by monarchs, by the wealthy. In America, magnificence is a common treasure. That's the essence of our democracy." - Carl Pope of the Sierra Club

Postal service

Ex African here. I'm pleasantly surprised by The U.S. Postal Service. You can stick a cheap stamp on a letter, throw it in a blue mailbox in NY and it will get to LA 99% of the time. It doesn't get "lost" or stolen, it just gets there. And every day a nice person in light blue overalls driving a weird little blue and white truck pulls up and fills MY mailbox (at home) with junk deals from the local market and even my paycheck sometimes. HOORAY! And don't even get me started on trash collection!!

Space and individual houses

I remember how the doors opened on their own when we walked out of the airport....; I was also amazed by individual houses, all I had ever known up to that time were large apartment blocks.
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I am a Dutch guy who moved to the US 3 years ago.  Pleasant surprise was space. You don't understand unless you've lived your entire life in a crowded country. It has space, but here in the US there is space. Everything feels wider, bigger, room to stretch and breathe. Having separate houses with a huge backyard is a luxury that's only for the rich in the Netherlands. We got flats and nice houses, but they are always attached to other houses in some way.

Open discussion

One other thing I was pleasantly surprised about was how openly Americans discuss everything. Growing up, I was taught the Vietnamese version of the Vietnam War in school. In my mind, I thought in America people would not talk about it since it's a shameful thing and the government would suppress all discussions of it like in Vietnam. When I came here, I saw that people can openly speak about these things even when there are many disagreements.
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Nothing feels like a fight for survival! Here, the opposing political part doesn't want to kill you, the opposing race doesn't want to slaughter you and the opposing religion doesn't want to sacrifice you.
That, and public schooling is free.

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Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:58 AM | Permalink

January 14, 2016

Miscellany 29

The Most Amazing Lie in History  How a chicken farmer, a pair of princesses, and 27 imaginary spies helped the Allies win World War II.

In the weeks leading up to D-day, Allied commanders had their best game faces on. “This operation is not being planned with any alternatives,” barked General Dwight D. Eisenhower....The sheer size of the invasion—it would be the largest in history—was staggering. But so were the stakes. With the first day’s casualty rate expected to reach 90 percent and the outcome of World War II hanging in the balance, the truth was that Eisenhower was riddled with doubt.
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They were worried for good reason. With so many troops and so much artillery swelling in England, it was impossible to keep the attack a secret. Hitler knew it was coming, and he’d been preparing a defense for months. Only one detail eluded him, and he was confident in a Nazi victory if he could figure it out—he needed to know where, exactly, the attack would happen. To make D-day a success, the Allies needed to keep him in the dark: They’d have to trick the Germans into thinking the real invasion was just a bluff, while making it seem like a major attack was imminent elsewhere. The task seemed impossible, but luckily, the British had a secret weapon: a short, young balding Spaniard. He was the king of con men, an amateur spy gone pro, the world’s sneakiest liar. He was also, of all things, a chicken farmer.

Robert Kulwich on The Fantastically Strange Origin of Most Coal on Earth

This is a story about trees—very, very strange looking trees—and some microbes that failed to show up on time. Their non-appearance happened more than 300 million years ago, and what they didn’t do, or rather what happened because they weren’t there, shapes your life and mine.

28 Authors on the Books That Changed Their Lives

Day in the life of an African watering hole: Breathtaking composite photograph captures flow of elephants, zebras, hyenas and hippos over 26 hours in the Serengeti

 24Hrs Waterhole Serengti

10 Incredible Real Life MacGyver Moments That Saved Lives

10. creating a makeshift radiator...
8. Using an MP3 Player to Navigate and a Snowboard to Survive...
6. Reviving a Sick Passenger with a Hair Tie and Booze
5. Chopping Down Power Poles as an Emergency Beacon....
2. Using a Paddle and Ladder to Stay Fed and Hydrated After a Shipwreck ...
1. Jerry-Rigging a Pediatric Nebulizer at 30,000 Feet

Cowboys Rescue City From Stampede, Then Give The Most Hilarious TV Interview Ever

The Instagram Symmetry Monsters, started by an artist by the name of Traperture, celebrates symmetry in its most solid form: architecture. Rooftops, radio towers, bridges, reflections on glass walls – everything is fair game for a dedicated symmetry hunter.

 Syscraper Perfection-Symmetry

Knitters With Hopelessly Knotted Yarn Call ‘Detanglers’ for Help  Snarled yarn messes bring detanglers to rescue; ‘Send it to me!’

Many say their work untangling yarn is strangely relaxing, an escape from their worries and a way to create order out of chaos. Some also enjoy unwinding iPod headphones cords and straightening Christmas-tree lights...
Knot a Problem was started in 2008 by Stephanie Rothschild, 44, of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., who discovered her love of detangling when she worked at a yarn store. It pained her to see the owner tossing tangled skeins in the garbage.
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Group members like to post before-and-after photos of what they call “tangle porn.” Heaps of yarn resembling bowls of spaghetti become neat balls and cakes. “I think it’s fulfilling for people when they see what it was, sort of like house remodeling,” says Ms. Rothschild. “You see how crappy it was and how beautiful it turned out to be.”
Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:40 PM | Permalink

January 13, 2016

Sexual terrorism

Don Surber was wrong when he wrote Gang rape is the new terrorism tool.  It's only new to us.  As is the word Taharrush, the "rape game".

The Arabic gang-rape 'Taharrush' phenomenon which sees women surrounded by groups of men in crowds and sexually assaulted...

The Arabic term 'taharrush' roughly translates to 'collective harassment' and refers to sexual assaults carried out by groups of men in public places.  Surrounded by dozens of attackers, lone women are groped or raped
The phenomenon was first seen in 2011 when Lara Logan reporting on the protests in Egypt was attacked and endured a sexual assault by many men and feared for her  life. 

German police: It's an Arab rape game called Taharrush, and now it has come to Europe

The attacks range from sexual molestation to rape, says head of BKA, Holger Münch....The "rape game" Taharrush is about a large group of Arab men surrounding their victim, usually a Western woman or a woman wearing Western-style clothing, and then the women are subjected to sexual abuse.  ...They surround the victim in circles. The men in the inner circle are the ones who physically abuse the woman, the next circle are the spectators, while the mission of the third circle is to distract and divert attention to what's going on.  If there is enough men, the woman is dragged along by the mob, while the men take turns ripping her clothes off, grope her, and inserting fingers in her various body orifices.

What happened to Lara Logan was not an anomaly writes Neo-neocon

I’d never heard the term till now, but I was aware of the phenomenon of “taharrush”. Anyone who read the story of what happened to Lara Logan in Egypt back in 2011 should have been well aware of the same phenomenon.
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The attack on Logan was reported as though it was an isolated incident, perhaps an anomaly. It was not ‘Between 2011 and 2013, sexual harassment became common at protests in Tahrir Square, exemplified by a number of highly publicized violent attacks that demonstrate how women’s bodies became objectified and dehumanized during the uprising.’

Police notes from the reports of the more than 500 victims of the Cologne sex attacks reveal the full, horrific detail of how women were groped, sexually assaulted, robbed and raped at the hands of a vicious sex mob

The notes reveal how women complained they were surrounded by sexually frustrated men who tried to put their hands inside their tights and knickers and tried to put their fingers in their vaginas. One woman told police she was surrounded by 20 men of North African appearance before they attacked her intimate parts. A victim said she was pinched in the crotch, while another said hands were 'all over her breasts and buttocks'.

When Worlds Collide: Unassimilable Muslim Migrants Crash Europe’s Fantasy Islam  Andrew McCarthy

.....when Muslims are seeking conquest, Islamic scripture endorses sexual assault as a weapon to establish their dominance. “O Prophet,” Allah is said to have announced (in the Koran’s sura 33:50), “We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou has paid their dowers, and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the captives of war whom Allah has assigned to thee.”
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In the Western ministries of fantasy Islam, the pols and their note-takers will thumb their chins and wonder what could possibly have motivated the German attacks — just as they wonder what could possibly explain the European sexual-assault crisis that has, by some mysterious coincidence, coincided with mass Muslim migration.  The rest of us will know that there is a strategy: conquest. Just as in the Middle East, women and girls in the West are the spoils of jihad, the vehicle for intimidating non-Muslims into surrendering sovereignty over the streets. If they want to be safe, Sheikh Qaradawi warns, they must submit to Islam’s sartorial suffocation. If not, well, they have it coming.

In reporting on sexual terrorism, Andrew Bostom talks about the epiphany of a Cologne bouncer. 

Ivan Jurcevic, till his New Year’s eve 12/31/15 eyewitness epiphany, deemed Muslim rampages in Europe the stuff of “right wing PEGIDA [a grass roots European anti-Islamization advocacy group] propaganda videos.”

But that evening Jurcevic, a Cologne, Germany hotel club bouncer, witnessed barbaric scenes of sexual assault against women, a hemorrhagic stab wounding, attacks on police, and other acts of violence, committed directly in front of Cologne’s iconic cathedral, the Kölner Dom. All the mayhem Jurcevic observed was perpetrated by roving throngs of Muslim males, whom he noted caustically, were from among those ostensible “refugees” that “…we welcomed just 3-months ago with teddy bears and water bottles..

Robert Spencer on "Uncovered Meat"

Identifying the attackers as Muslim leads directly to understanding the attacks themselves, because the attackers were acting in accord with Islamic teachings.  Sexual assault plagues all cultures -- but only in Islam is it given divine sanction.

When the Muslim War on Women Comes to Germany, Dan Greenfield writes, The only way for European women to have a future is to fight Muslim migration.

Mohammed had told his men that the majority of those condemned to hell are women (Bukhari 2:24:541), that they could rape non-Muslim women (Koran 4:24) and that women who weren’t wearing Hijabs or Burkas were fair game (Koran 33:59). This isn’t an aberration. This is Islam.

Due to Germany’s asylum laws, it’s unlikely that any of the foreign attackers will be deported for their crimes. Sexual assault isn’t “serious enough” for that. And as refugees, they probably couldn’t be deported anyway because they would face “persecution” in their homeland. The hundreds of Muslim men who assaulted women know that they have nothing to fear because nothing will happen to them.

Merkel made this mess. And the only way to undo it is to undo Germany’s asylum policies and likely its membership in the European Union. The migrant wave has fundamentally altered Germany’s demographics in a way that makes the country hostile to women. The only way for women in Europe to have a future is to fight the migration mob. Otherwise what happened outside the Cologne cathedral, what happens to the 99% of women in Egypt and what happens in the Islamic State will be their future.

Lara Logan, UK Rape Gangs, and Europe’s Muslim Mob Sex Assaults

In enabling the mass molestation of its female citizens by Muslim migrants, and yet insisting on increasing Muslim immigration, Europe and England have condemned their women, their culture, and ultimately their future to a long, horrific gang rape.
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An official EU Economic Forecast predicts 3 million Middle East immigrants to penetrate Europe (pun intended) by the end of 2016, and Merkel’s own allies estimate 10 million more Muslim migrants to flood Europe by 2020. At this rate, this chess match may be in its end game sooner than any of us suspect.
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Just like the Muslim migrants who drowned their Christian fellow-migrants by throwing them off the boat as they crossed the Mediterranean Sea, we now have another indelible image of what the future holds for us.
Lara Logan’s description of her multicultural experience may serve as the epitaph for Western Civilization:
"All I could feel, was their hands raping me over and over and over again…."

The culmination comes with the institutionalization of rape and slavery as the Islamic State does. Austin Bay reports on ISIL’s Ministry of Rape and Enslavement    

Take note alienated young Muslim men who can’t get chicks: for victorious warriors, slaves are Caliph-approved rewards.  A special ISIL government ministry handles slaves and other “war spoils.” Campus feminists, grievance industry magnates and jaded media elites take note: the enslavement and mass rape of Yazidi women after ISIL tool the Iraqi Yazidi city of Sinjar was no one-off war crime, it is ISIL policy, rooted in what its evil leaders regard as glorious history.

Andrew Malcolm ISIS sets rules for raping captive women

Now one document from a stash seized during a bold Special Ops raid into Syria seven months ago has provided a shocking window into the medieval minds of these radical Islamic extremists who would impose harsh Sharia law wherever their caliphate spreads. Hard to believe we're reading such material in what to most of the world is the 21st century. The weirdly explicit document is a varsity-level fatwa. It was translated by U.S. government officials and obtained by Reuters, which was unable to independently verify it. A fatwa is a religious edict by Muslim clerics. This one sets 'rules' for the systematic rape of thousands of women captured by ISIS forces, mostly Yazidis and Christians.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:25 PM | Permalink

When the official story becomes catastrophic pathological denial

Sexual assaults by migrants swept across Europe - in Cologne, and in every major German city as well as in Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, and France - in a single night.  Cologne Muslim sex assaults were planned, Muslims traveled from France and Belgium to join them said the German justice minister.

The response of governments and the media to these horrific attacks was to try to cover them up in a conspiracy of silence.  It was the upstart Breitbart London that brought the Truth about Cologne to the global public writes Melanie Philips in the Times of London.

The West is refusing to accept the unpalatable truth behind the assaults on women in Germany

The nature and scale of what happened in German cities on New Year’s Eve has been an eye-opener. Hundreds of sexual assaults on women, including harassment, molestation and rapes, were reported to police in Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Munich and Düsseldorf. The women said the perpetrators were mostly Arab and north African migrants.

Even more remarkable has been the response. First, the German authorities misleadingly reported merely a small handful of attacks by German-speaking men with no evidence of immigrant involvement. Then social media, and the Breitbart news website, started to report the victims’ graphic testimony and a very different picture emerged. In Cologne women were sexually assaulted and both men and women robbed by a throng of migrants a thousand strong. The victims identified virtually all these attackers as of north African, Arab or “dark” appearance.

Ace comments

In the future, every city will be Rotherham for 15 minutes. Or, actually, 15 years.  Or 40.  Who knows.
The important thing is that the government must do its utmost to deny information to the citizenry to keep them from having the Wrong Thoughts.
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in Germany, they're prosecuting a bunch of people in the wake of the sex-mob attacks.  Not for the sex-mob attacks, but for speaking too crudely about the sex mob attacks. 

Perhaps even more disturbing than the crackdown on the protests, it’s being reported that German has “reached a deal” with Facebook, Twitter and Google wherein the social media outlets will cooperate in identifying “hate speech” for investigation.

In case you've forgotten,  Rotherham, England, is where 1,400 children were abused by organized Muslim gangs as police  conspired to deny the horror for a decade and a half for fear of "appearing racist" .    John O'Sullivan on Rotherham’s — and England’s — Shame

Britain has felt real shock and horror over the report that 1,400 young women in the South Yorkshire town of Rotherham had been groomed, raped, prostituted, trafficked, and brutally abused in almost every possible way by a criminal gang for the last 16 years. In addition, the authorities — which in this case are the local government authority, the police, and the child-protection services — had been repeatedly informed of these crimes but had dismissed the reports as false or exaggerated and taken no action to investigate, halt, and punish them.

What happened is explained by two additional facts: The 1,400 girls were all white and of Christian background and English ethnicity while all but one of their exploiters were Muslims of Pakistani heritage. As in other recent cases, the men targeted the girls in large part because they were white Christians, culturally speaking, and thus “worthless.” They actually told the girls that this was so. Still worse, the police also treated the girls as worthless when they bravely ignored the physical threats against them (one man poured petrol over a girl and threatened to light it) and sought police help.
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The motives of the exploiters, though vile, are not hard to understand. They plainly include both racism and sexism alongside the lust and cruelty enabled by their misogynistic culture. But what explains the silence, the acquiescence, even the cooperation of the authorities? Their motives seem to derive from the rich stew of progressive absurdities that constitute official attitudes in modern Britain. The first is the fear of being suspected of racism.
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A final factor is that Rotherham and South Yorkshire have been Labour “pocket boroughs” for 80 years or more. Until the last local elections — when UKIP broke through to win ten seats — there has been no effective opposition to hold Labour to account. The threat from UKIP in recent years has made Labour still more determined to hold the Muslim vote and even more reliant on those Muslim Labour councilors who were its missionaries to Muslim voters. So Labour kept the lid on the scandal as long as it could and discouraged interest in it. (You may hear certain American echoes there.)

German Cop Breaks Ranks: We Are BANNED From Detaining Migrants

A growing body of evidence suggests German police are hobbled at every possibly opportunity by the Federal government from dealing with the criminal migrant problem, with one officer complaining they have even been banned from preventing suspects escaping custody.  ...22 year old ‘Bernd’ reveals the extraordinary nature of police work in modern Europe. Deployed to Passau, a small city in south-east Germany on the Austrian border where thousands of migrants come by train and road every month Bernd revealed “95 percent of refugees are single men”.
 
The officer told the paper the public do not get an accurate idea of what is really happening in the migrant crime wave, because events are mis-reported by police to prevent outrage. He said: “should an asylum seeker cut another’s throat. In the report we would state it was grievous bodily harm rather than attempted murder. It looks better in the statistics”.
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The officer said Germany needed to clamp down and introduce tighter controls on migrants, as well as deploy more police officers. He said at present at the moment police officers lack the support of politicians, a sore point for the national police union which has been warning for years that significant cuts in manpower was leaving the force unable to protect the nation.

Police in Norway proclaim 'Oslo is lost'

Gronland is a district in Oslo, Norway, very close to Parliament.  Per a Poqari News report, the area looks like “Karachi, Basra, and Mogadishu all rolled into one.”  The situation has devolved to such a point that the police in Gronland have declared: “Oslo is lost."

Poqari News reports that Norway (and all of Europe) is no longer recognizable as such, that women are routinely raped, men are robbed on a regular basis, the police have given up, and there are sharia patrols.  In 2015, there were 50 rape reports filed in Gronland, where, like all of Oslo, 100% of rapes of native Norwegian women by strangers are committed by Muslims.  Across Norway, as with all of Europe, women dare not go out at night alone, the risk of rape is so incredibly high.

At Legal Insurrection

The German media, much like our own, is suspected by many Germans to be actively suppressing the truth about criminal acts by Muslim refugees.

All established media have been confronted with the same phenomenon. In Germany, there is a stable minority that is convinced that the country’s broadcasters, newspapers and magazines are controlled by dark powers and have agreed to suppress bad news about foreigners so as not to endanger the political project of welcoming refugees.

It sounds like the role of the media in Germany is rather similar to our own in that it props up failed “progressive” policy and ignores anything that calls their worldview into question.  If they don’t print it, it never happened.  Or something.

The Daily Beast

Amid accusations that it deliberately covered the incident up in order not to spark panic, the public broadcaster ZDF was forced to issue an apology for failing to include the assaults in its main evening news broadcast. It appears that, as the authorities and the media were choosing between stirring up racial tension and these women’s rights, we were faced with a conspiracy of silence.

Eventually, this was bound to happen. Recent mass migration patterns across Europe have meant that misogyny has finally come head to head with anti-racism, multiculturalism is facing off against feminism, and progressive values are wrestling with cultural tolerance.

Rod Dreher on The Inconvenience of Rapey Refugees

So the authorities lied because the truth was “politically awkward.” ... Noticing what happened and drawing the “wrong” conclusions about it is “at least as awful” as actual rape and sexual assault.

This is how it happens, though, in Europe, in America, everywhere: mainstream parties, institutions, and figures cannot bring themselves to deal with difficult truths, so they ignore them and dismiss people who pay attention to these things as racist, or otherwise bigoted. But the contradiction between observable reality and the Official Story may finally cause things to snap.

Richard Fernandez  Stand by for collision

Before the story of the Cologne attacks broke, Katin Bennhold of the New York Times wrote a piece on the abuse of refugee women on the migrant trail.  The story should have set alarm bells ringing in the West about what was coming up the trail towards them but it didn't.
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Events are being covered up because it runs counter to the Narrative peddled by the Western left.  The Narrative is the source of their moral authority, the justification for their special graft.
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What makes the pathological denial so catastrophic is that a vast, almost unstoppable torrent of refugees is already on the way to Germany, the fragments of collapsing Islamic countries.  Cologne is but a skirmish with the vanguard.  The main host is still on its way.
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There remains the belief that Western leaders can still fix this problem with a little tweaking.  But the time for easy action has passed.  The Golden Hour in which to prevent irreversible damage has lapsed, neglected by a Washington too sure of its own fantasies to act decisively.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:58 AM | Permalink

January 12, 2016

Best news of the day

I inveighed against the ban on incandescent lights on countless occasions.  The new lights were expensive, the light it gave off made everything look worse and they were extremely dangerous when broken.  So this is very good news from the guys down the block.

Return of incandescent light bulbs as MIT makes them more efficient than LEDs

Researchers at MIT have shown that by surrounding the filament with a special crystal structure in the glass they can bounce back the energy which is usually lost in heat, while still allowing the light through.

They refer to the technique as ‘recycling light’ because the energy which would usually escape into the air is redirected back to the filament where it can create new light.  "It recycles the energy that would otherwise be wasted," said Professor Marin Soljacic.
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Usually traditional light bulbs are only about five per cent efficient, with 95 per cent of the energy being lost to the atmosphere. In comparison LED or florescent bulbs manage around 14 per cent efficiency. But the scientists believe that the new bulb could reach efficiency levels of 40 per cent.

And it shows colors far more naturally than modern energy-efficient bulbs. Traditional incandescent bulbs have a ‘color rendering index’ rating of 100, because they match the hue of objects seen in natural daylight. However even ‘warm’ finish LED or florescent bulbs can only manage an index rating of 80 and most are far less....

"An important feature is that our demonstrated device achieves near-ideal rendering of colors.
“That is precisely the reason why incandescent lights remained dominant for so long: their warm light has remained preferable to drab fluorescent lighting for decades.”
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Previously researchers have warned that the blue light emitted by modern bulbs could be stopping people from getting to sleep at night and campaigners have expressed concerns about the dangerous chemicals they contain.
Prof Gang Chen, Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT added: "The lighting potential of this technology is exciting.”  The research was published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:43 AM | Permalink

January 9, 2016

Miscellany 28

The scientific breakthroughs discovered by ACCIDENT: The treadmill, anesthesia, artificial sweeteners, X-Rays, penicillin, warfarin, pacemaker, smoke detector, breathable shoes, Viagra and smart dust.

National Geographic marks 100 years of national parks

 Ng Yosemite-1

Thousands of reindeer cross Scandinavia for annual two-month migration from Norway to Finland herded by Sami, the indigenous people of Scandanavia who live in the Arctic parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, in an area recognized as Sapmi.

Photographer Jan Helmer Olsen used a drone to film the migration in temperatures reaching minus 15 degrees, "My footage felt very special as nobody ever manages to see how the herd moves as one body from the air. It's watching a huge flock of birds in flight."

 Sami Herd Reindeer Migration-1

In the Art and Design section of The New York Times, is a wonderful piece Dear Architects: Sounds Matter that you should read with headphones to get the effect of three-dimensional audio.  Otherwise, just hover for sound.

We talk about how cities and buildings look. We call places landmarks or eyesores. But we rarely talk about how architecture sounds, aside from when a building or room is noisy.The spaces we design and inhabit all have distinctive sounds. The reading rooms at the New York Public Library have an overlay of rich sound. Your office may be a big room in a glass building with rows of cubicles where people stare into computer screens.

Much more fun than a scratch-off lottery ticket - just keep moving your mouse over the dots.

A VW Beetle Spotted in the Insect Collection at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History

 Vwbeetle Insect

The Golden Ratio: When Life Imitates Art.

 Creation Of Mancheter

I have to say I couldn't really understand all that was going on until I saw it full size, 1600 pixels wide at the link.
The man still holding his beer in his outstretched hand, Mike Deveney, when asked about the picture being seen by millions of people across the world, he said: 'I'm not really bothered about the photo, I just felt a bit daft. I heard about it about two days later.'  The woman in the red dress Hannah Kirby said that Mike had been knocked over during a scuffle involving police and another reveller......After the photograph's composition was compared to a Renaissance painting, social media users soon turned it into a series of hilarious memes, with one internet wag inspired to photoshop the blue-shirted man into Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:50 AM | Permalink

January 7, 2016

Health Roundup: Another reason to...

Another reason to floss.:    GUM DISEASE increases your risk of breast cancer:

In a study that monitored 73,737 postmenopausal women without breast cancer, those with gum disease had a 14% higher chance of breast cancer.  Researchers from the University of Buffalo suggest that bacteria ‘enters the blood stream triggering the disease’.  Periodontal disease – or gum disease – is a common condition that is known to be associated with heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Previous studies also found links between gum disease in oral, esophageal, head and neck, pancreatic and lung cancers.

Another reason to get enough sleep:.  A lack of sleep can increase YOUR risk of dementia.

During sleep the brain clears out toxins that trigger Alzheimer's..  Too little sleep and the toxins build up and damage the brain.  Dr Jeffrey Illif, a brain scientist at Oregon Health and Science University, told NPR that ‘changes in sleep habits may actually be setting the stage’ for dementia.  With previous research showing deep sleep to ‘power cleanse’ beta-amyloid from the brain, the researchers believe lack of sleep to be a key part of a vicious circle in which memory gets worse and worse. University of California, Berkley researcher Matthew Walker said: ‘The more beta-amyloid you have in certain parts of your brain, the less deep sleep you get and, consequently, the worse your memory.

Another reason to take vitamin C:  Migraine breakthrough  the process that triggers EVERY symptom

Jonathan Borkum, a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Maine, studied 2,000 papers on migraines to look at a range of triggers, such as dehydration or air pollution, and compared how each of them affected the brain. He concluded that a surplus of free radicals, the corrosive molecules produced by our bodies as we process oxygen, were at the root of all headaches.  The surplus creates an imbalance in the body called ‘oxidative stress’ when there are not enough antioxidant defenses to fend off the free radicals.  The discovery means that headaches could be prevented or alleviated using supplements such as beta carotene and vitamin C which bind and shut down free radicals. However they may have health risks and one study found that antioxidant supplements were associated with higher risk of death than those who did not take them.

Another reason to exercise:  Regular exercise may be the best medicine for prostate cancer:

Exercise could be the best medicine for many men with prostate cancer if the disease is caught early, doctors believe.
Walking, cycling, swimming and other regular physical activity may have the power to keep the disease in check, they suggest. This would mean that fewer men would need radiotherapy, chemotherapy and other powerful treatments that can have distressing and long-lasting side effects.  A world-first trial underway at  Sheffield Hallam University in the U.K.

Another reason to take vitamin D:  82% of IBS sufferers 'are deficient in vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin'

Scientists found a link between irritable bowel syndrome and vitamin D when their findings revealed that  82% of IBS patients are vitamin D deficient.  Doctors suggest people with IBS,  a chronic disorder of the gastrointestinal tract, take vitamin D supplements.

Another reason to maintain a healthy weight:  Being overweight raises the risk of 10 different types of cancer

Being overweight, which is defined as having a Body Mass Index of more than 25, increases the risk of developing 10 different cancers including esophagus, bowel, breast, liver and pancreatic cancer. It also raises the risk of kidney, womb, ovary, gallbladder and advanced prostate cancer.  The World Cancer Research Fund says a third of the most common cancers could be prevented through choosing a healthy diet, being physically active and maintaining a healthy body weight.

'It doesn't have to be anything too difficult – cutting down on high calorie foods and sugary drinks, drinking less alcohol, or even 10 to 15 extra minutes each day of physical activities such as brisk walking could all decrease a person's cancer risk.'

Another reason to maintain and nourish your relationships: Loneliness is 'AS deadly as a lack of exercise and diabetes': Poor social network 'drastically increases risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer'

Previous studies found that aging adults live longer if they have more social connections.  Scientists from the University of North Carolina  builds on that research with a new study that demonstrates how social relationships reduce the risk of poor health at each stage of life.  They determined that weak relationships in younger years can increase your risk of inflammation – at the same rate as lack of exercise.  Furthermore, hypertension in old age is more likely to occur as a result of loneliness than clinical risk factors, including diabetes.  Yet, people who have the support of loved ones are less likely to develop health conditions – and more likely to have a longer life expectancy.
Dr Kathleen Mullan Harris, of UNC and the Carolina Population Center, said: ‘Based on these findings, it should be as important to encourage adolescents and young adults to build broad social relationships and skills for interacting with others as it is to eat healthy and be physically active.’
Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:31 AM | Permalink

January 6, 2016

"Certifying the nonexistence of elves, for instance. (“This will take at least six months—it can be very tricky.”)

The quote "When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything,"attributed to G.K. Chesterton* never seemed more apt than after I read The God Profusion in the WSJ.  In a book review of Rodney Stark's The Triumph of Faith, Naomi Riley writes:

Not in Europe, however, where the churches, once so important, are now empty. For the champions of the secularization thesis, such a development is nothing to complain about: Empty churches are a sign of reason’s progress. Mr. Stark offers some amusing evidence to the contrary. Drawing on the Gallup poll, he notes that Europeans hold all sorts of supernatural beliefs. In Austria, 28% of respondents say they believe in fortune tellers; 32% believe in astrology; and 33% believe in lucky charms. More than 20 percent of Swedes believe in reincarnation,” Mr. Stark writes; “half believe in mental telepathy.” More than half of Icelanders believe in huldufolk, hidden people like elves and trolls. It seems as if the former colonial outposts for European missionaries are now becoming more religious, while Europe itself is becoming interested in primitive folk beliefs.

Michael Lewis explored the peculiar nature of Icelanders and the spectacular bankruptcy of the country in  Wall Street on the Tundra

A nation of extremely well-to-do (No. 1 in the United Nations’ 2008 Human Development Index), well-educated, historically rational human beings who had organized themselves to commit one of the single greatest acts of madness in financial history. “You have to understand,” he told me, “Iceland is no longer a country. It is a hedge fund.”

An entire nation without immediate experience or even distant memory of high finance had gazed upon the example of Wall Street and said, “We can do that.” For a brief moment it appeared that they could. In 2003, Iceland’s three biggest banks had assets of only a few billion dollars, about 100 percent of its gross domestic product. Over the next three and a half years they grew to over $140 billion and were so much greater than Iceland’s G.D.P. that it made no sense to calculate the percentage of it they accounted for. It was, as one economist put it to me, “the most rapid expansion of a banking system in the history of mankind.”

Before Icelanders landed on investment banking, fishing was the only industry until they so began to exploit its other natural resource: energy.

The waterfalls and boiling lava generate vast amounts of cheap power, but, unlike oil, it cannot be profitably exported. Iceland’s power is trapped in Iceland, and if there is something poetic about the idea of trapped power, there is also something prosaic in how the Icelanders have come to terms with the problem. They asked themselves: What can we do that other people will pay money for that requires huge amounts of power? The answer was: smelt aluminum.

Notice that no one asked, What might Icelanders want to do? Or even: What might Icelanders be especially suited to do? No one thought that Icelanders might have some natural gift for smelting aluminum, and, if anything, the opposite proved true.  Alcoa, the biggest aluminum company in the country, encountered two problems peculiar to Iceland when, in 2004, it set about erecting its giant smelting plant. The first was the so-called “hidden people”—or, to put it more plainly, elves—in whom some large number of Icelanders, steeped long and thoroughly in their rich folkloric culture, sincerely believe. Before Alcoa could build its smelter it had to defer to a government expert to scour the enclosed plant site and certify that no elves were on or under it. It was a delicate corporate situation, an Alcoa spokesman told me, because they had to pay hard cash to declare the site elf-free but, as he put it, “we couldn’t as a company be in a position of acknowledging the existence of hidden people.”
....There are, of course, a few jobs in Iceland that any refined, educated person might like to do. Certifying the nonexistence of elves, for instance. (“This will take at least six months—it can be very tricky.”)

* Wikipedia on the misattributed quote:

This quotation actually comes from page 211 of Émile Cammaerts' book The Laughing Prophet : The Seven Virtues and G. K. Chesterton (1937) in which he quotes Chesterton as having Father Brown say, in "The Oracle of the Dog" (1923): "It's the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense." Cammaerts then interposes his own analysis between further quotes from Father Brown: "'It's drowning all your old rationalism and scepticism, it's coming in like a sea; and the name of it is superstition.' The first effect of not believing in God is to believe in anything: 'And a dog is an omen and a cat is a mystery.'" Note that the remark about believing in anything is outside the quotation marks — it is Cammaerts.  Nigel Rees is credited with identifying this as the source of the misattribution, in a 1997 issue of First Things.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:14 PM | Permalink

Rules of Life for the rest of us

In the Guardian, Emer O'Toole tells us How to be a moderately successful person
"Practice these and you too can muddle along just fine."

Get up at a normal time
Only highly successful masochists get up before 7am by choice. I will accept 6.30am as an absolute limit for what constitutes a normal alarm setting. Similarly, try not to still be in bed at noon on Tuesdays.

Start every to-do list with “make a to-do list”
That way you can tick one thing off straightaway, which feels successful. I also find it helpful to lose the to-do list shortly after you make it, thus permitting yourself the illusion that you are getting things done, even if you are not. You can make a new list tomorrow.

Let yourself go a bit
I’m not talking caked vomit in your hair and jelly sandals. Just a healthy dollop of chill in the grooming department.

Eat normal things
Many of the moderately successful adhere to the following innovative diet plan: breakfast foods for breakfast, lunch foods for lunch, and dinner foods for dinner.

Practice obliviousness
Like mindfulness, except instead of acknowledging and accepting all your thoughts and emotions, you just ignore them and go about your day until something actually goes wrong.

Go places using your legs
After you get up at a normal time and eat your normal breakfast, perhaps you might consider going somewhere using your legs. It takes me 40 minutes to walk to work, and 25 minutes to get there on public transport. That’s an hour and 20 minutes of walking, but only 30 minutes out of my day. How’s that for time management, highly successful gym rats?

Be confused about what quality time means
If you cannot imagine a life in which you have to write your partner into your planner in case you forget to hang out with them, then you are well on the road to being moderately successful.

Accept your clutter
Some folks are messy. There’s worse things you could be. A serial killer for example, or one of those people who make their visitors use coasters.

The rule
This is the most important principle of any moderately successful person. Sometimes, when vicious deadlines are thundering towards you, your inbox is screaming, your phone is beeping like a rabid R2-D2, and it feels like the sky is about to come crashing down, you have to say: “Ah, fuck it.” Then, go for a bottle of wine with another moderately successful person, who is also saying “Ah, fuck it”, and talk about fun stuff like books and feminism and films and sex. Apply the “Ah, fuck it” rule and you can’t go too far wrong.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:11 PM | Permalink

January 4, 2016

"There’s nothing more discouraging than the lack of hope" The theological virtue of Hope.

In The Public Discourse Europe, Multiculturalism, and Nihilism by Luca Volonte

The EU’s current assimilation model led to the segregation of most people coming from Islamic countries. There are “Banlieue” districts in every European city, in which the rules regarding social and community life are completely different from the ones adopted in the rest of the city. Official secularism has led to a rise of sharia.
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The idea of a superficial multiculturalism, in which everything is conformed to State nihilism and secularism without reference to any religious reality—especially the Christian one—has miserably failed.....European totalitarian secularism is strong, and a discriminatory, violent attitude against religion is spreading.
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By contrast, every successful model of cultural integration has been built upon a real respect for other faiths and other cultures—a respect that starts from the proud affirmation of one’s own cultural memory and personal identity. ...As Europe and the entire West world have abjured not only God, but their own historic, cultural, and religious roots, it has become increasingly difficult for modern Europeans to understand and find solutions to current problems.

The fact that Europe bans Christmas traditions in public schools, as well as Christmas songs, nativity scenes, Christmas decorations, and public processions in memory of patron saints (see, for example, the abolition of St. Martin's Day in Germany) is not due to the complaints of Muslim citizens or children. I have never heard of protests organized by Muslim communities or parents on this matter. In the vast majority of such cases, Christian traditions are abolished because of political decisions taken by governments and school authorities. Such authorities use the trivial excuse that they “don’t want to offend anyone” of a different faith and that they wish to “maintain a peaceful atmosphere” that does not encourage terrorist attacks. The terrible risk of religious violence and the tragedies that have occurred are actually used by the supporters of totalitarian secularism to repress cultural memory and restrict religious freedom.
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The new secularism is not only interested in controlling today’s society; it also seeks to deprive future generations of the keys to unlock and interpret of our personal and international memory. The abolition of books like Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, St. Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Sun,” the Rule of Saint Benedict, and the novels of G.K. Chesterton, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, T.S. Eliot, Graham Greene, and Cormac McCarthy will not help society to develop integration and mutual respect. On the contrary, such repression will lead everyone to new unbearable forms of slavery.

There’s nothing more discouraging than the lack of hope. In Europe, we see—on a grand scale—the same phenomenon that is taking place in our private lives. Europe and the Western world can only emerge from this downward spiral by putting religious faith and respect for history and tradition at the center of our communal and personal lives. When one has taken a wrong turn, sometimes the only way to reach the goal is to come back and take the well-trodden path, abandoning dangerous shortcuts and doing the hard work necessary to ascend the summit.

Hope is the Christian messageIt is not a classical virtue but a theological oneThe Effrontery of Hope

It seems to me that we take “hope” for granted...The culture in which we live has been steeped, for two thousand years of Christianity, in the language of hope.
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That near-certainty of disappointment and sorrow most definitely occupied the thought of pagan antiquity....A serious study of the literature and thought of pagan antiquity instead reveals a profound pessimism regarding human life and destiny. The Greeks and Romans had no idea of “progress,” “human development.” or “fulfillment” in the modern senses of those words. On the contrary, they saw human history and the lot of mankind as one of relentless decline and devolution.......

So, when the Christian message infiltrated the pagan culture, it struck Greco-Roman antiquity as something radically different. It was really and truly “news.” Whether it was deemed “good” news or not depended on the outlook and openness of the hearer, but it was certainly something they weren’t accustomed to hearing from their own dominant culture. The newness and radicalism of the Christian message at least partially accounts for the hostility and derision that the Faith frequently encountered. It was an effrontery to the mindset and received worldview of its time.
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We see around us today the signs that our society is sinking into the fundamental despair that plagued the ancients. Perhaps we too can proclaim, in this Christmas, the effrontery of a God who chose to save us by doing something different, which seemed to the world either an absurdity or an offense.

Gagdad Bob on Hope: Natural and Supernatural

Pieper writes that merely natural hope "blossoms with the strength of youth and withers when youth withers."..This is obviously a sobering reality, but again, I think it explains why older people who should know better cling to the callow political enthusiasms of their youth.
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Now, the loss of natural hope brings with it the growth of what we might call "natural despair." ..Likewise, hopelessness and cynicism would be quite appropriate in a wholly materialistic worldview, for what is there to hope for aside from the grim maximization of an ever-dwindling pleasure while pretending death isn't right outside the door?
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This very different type of transnatural hope is by no means tied to natural youth. However, consistent with Jesus' statements regarding the importance of holy childlikeness, this hope "bestows on mankind a 'not yet' that is entirely superior to and distinct from the failing strength of man's natural hope."
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Pieper writes of "the enchanting youthfulness of our great saints," for "nothing more eminently preserves and founds 'eternal youth' than the theological virtue of hope. It alone can bestow on man the certain possession of that aspiration that is at once relaxed and disciplined, that adaptability and readiness, that strong-hearted freshness, that resilient joy, that steady perseverance in trust that so distinguish the young and make them so lovable."
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Too old, older than Abraham, too young, young as a babe's I AM. The circle unbroken by and by, a Divine child, a godsend, a touch of infanity, a bloomin' yes.

For in the end, hope is nothing more or less than a trusting and childlike Yes! to the Creator, and the faithful certainty that his creation is indeed good.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:11 PM | Permalink

January 3, 2016

Miscellany 27

This is what the entire universe looks like in one image

 Entire-Observable-Universe-Logarithmic-Illustration

Musician Pablo Carlos Budassi combined logarithmic maps of the universe from Princeton and images from NASA. He created the image below that shows the observable universe in one disc.

Our sun and solar system are at the very center of the image, followed by the outer ring of our Milky Way galaxy, the Perseus arm of the Milky Way, a ring of other nearby galaxies like Andromeda, the rest of the cosmic web, cosmic microwave background radiation leftover from the big bang, and finally a ring of plasma also generated by the big bang:

More than $900 billion has been spent saving Matt Damon

Boffins claim to have discovered an '800-year-old mobile phone'

 800-Year-Old-Mobile-Phone


Inside Antarctica’s Catholic Ice Chapel, the World’s Southernmost Church

 Icechapel



How to Hula Hoop Like a Man

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:46 AM | Permalink