May 10, 2017

Miscellany #68

'Angry' bear tries to break into home of Connecticut woman baking brownies

Neighbors called 911 after the panicked woman spotted the bear outside her home after it was enticed by the smell of the baked treats. The black bear slammed on the terrified Connecticut resident’s glass back door and spent 30 minutes trying to get into the property.

 Angry Bear

Couple Climbs Mount Everest For 3 Weeks To Get Married On Top

 Everest-Camp-Wedding Climb

 Everest-Camp-Wedding

Congratulations to Ashley Schmeider and James Sisson.

People Photographed As Young Adults And 100-Year-Olds

The "Faces Of Century" series by photographer Jan Langer is a side-by-side comparison of how people who have lived for a century look now compared to how they looked in early adulthood. The twelve people Jan chose as his subjects were all chosen from his homeland, a dozen people representing the over 1200 centenarians who currently call the Czech Republic home:

 Faces Century

Women over 100 years old share their best beauty advice, A short and charming video at link.

New Jersey Twin Sisters Give Birth to Baby Boys on the Same Day, Hours Apart

 Twin Sisters Gavebirth Same Day

Best hobbit house I've ever seen.  My uncles crazy hobbit house on Imgur.  The inside rooms are quite extraordinary.  Like the kitchen below:

 Hobbit Kitchen

Irish beach washed away 33 years ago reappears overnight after freak tide

Villagers express delight after entire beach that vanished in Achill Island storms in 1984 turns back sands of time

Narrative Optical Illusions Painted by Rob Gonsalves who never fails to enchant.

 Gonslaves-Sails-1

91-Year-Old man Spends 56 Years Building His Own Cathedral Alone

Former monk Justo Gallego Martinez has been constructing his own cathedral in Mejorada del Campo, Spain, since 1961. He had no prior knowledge of architecture and hadn’t laid a brick in his life, yet his project currently stands 131ft tall, and acts as a wonderful reminder that faith overcomes everything.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:19 AM | Permalink

The insecurity of the Internet of Things

‘How can I have a doctorate in physics from MIT and trust technology?

Dr. Herbert Lin, one of the nation’s pre-eminent thinkers on cybersecurity policy, shuns the internet-connected devices that fill some American homes.  He’ll have nothing to do with “smart” refrigerators, hands-free home speakers he can call by name, intelligent thermostats and the like.....Part of what he distrusts is the “internet of things,” and the ease with which hackers can penetrate “smart” devices with digital worms and shanghai them into massive robotic networks to launch crippling digital attacks or generate ever greater quantities of spam.
---
Internet-enabled devices are exploding in number. Gartner, a research giant in technology, says the devices will climb from 6.4 billion at the end of last year to 25 billion by 2020. Such growth sharply augments the power of hidden robotic networks, or botnets....Weaponized digital worms are entering the scene and infecting masses of devices that obediently await instructions from a remote master to spring to action, possibly a new botnet attack.
--
Many consumers don’t realize that internet-enabled devices are unregulated and insecure – simpleton digital recruits in potential malicious armies.

A botnet already made headlines once. Last Oct. 21, a botnet slowed internet activity to a crawl along the Atlantic Seaboard. A hacker using a malicious worm dubbed Mirai – Japanese for “the future” – took over thousands of internet-connected security cameras and other seemingly innocuous devices and ordered them to fire relentless digital “pings” at a New Hampshire company, Dyn, that oversees part of the backbone of the internet. Dyn was overwhelmed, and popular sites such as Twitter and The New York Times were temporarily inaccessible.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:48 AM | Permalink

Medical research and technology: Skin gun for burns, 'capsule robot', depression gene, tequila study and MRIs from newborns

Remarkable advance in treating burns with the 'magic' skin gun

Burns victims are making incredible recoveries thanks to a revolutionary ‘gun’ that sprays stem cells on to their wounds, enabling them to rapidly grow new skin. People who suffer extensive burns usually have to endure weeks or even months of treatment, with surgeons taking large sheets of skin from elsewhere on the body and grafting them. The process is painful, and patients are often left with permanent, unsightly scars.

Now, US doctors are using a new technique that allows patients to regrow a new layer of healthy skin in as little as four days. One man,  45, with horrific hot-water burns was sprayed with 17 million cells and within six days new skin had formed over whole wound and he was discharged;

 Skin Gun Before After-1

Patients who have benefited say their new skin is virtually indistinguishable from that on the rest of the body. Thomas Bold, chief executive of RenovaCare, the company behind SkinGun, said: ‘The procedure is gentler – and the skin that regrows looks, feels and functions like the original skin.’

Colonoscopy 'capsule robot' could make the diagnosis of bowel conditions more comfortable

Despite its potential to save lives, many people fear the discomfort of having a colonoscopy. But in the future, tiny robots could be deployed to search for pre-cancerous lesions and tumors in the bowel, resulting in less discomfort for patients. Researchers have shown an 18mm magnetized capsule colonoscope can perform intricate and sometimes autonomous movements inside the colon for the first time. The 'capsule robot' was guided by an external magnet attached to a robotic arm.

'Not only is the capsule robot able to actively maneuver  through the GI tract [digestive tract] to perform diagnostics, it is also able to perform therapeutic maneuvers, such as biopsies of tissue or polyp removal, due to the tether - something that other capsule devices are unable to do,' said Keith Obstein, the study's corresponding author and associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Scientists discover 'depression gene' that takes effect in childhood

Scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center found a gene linked to childhood depression that appears to be linked to variations that have long been linked to bipolar disorder. Studying children that had the gene, researchers found they were more prone to depression and had severe reactions to stressful situations.

Tequila study: Drinking tequila could be good for your bones and help fight osteoporosis:

At the Centre for Research and Advanced Studies in Mexico, researchers conducted experiments with mice and found that substances from the tequila plant may help boost levels of calcium and magnesium, minerals that help keep your bones strong.  Dr Mercedes López, leader of the project, said 'The consumption of fructans contained in the agave, in collaboration with adequate intestinal micriobiota, promotes the formation of new bone, even with the presence of osteoporosis.'  ...Osteoporosis occurs when the body fails to replace old bone with new. As a result, the skeleton becomes porous and weak.
The researchers hope to perform clinical studies on humans to prove that agave sugars can be used as a treatment.

Newborn MRI scans reveal the growth of TRILLIONS of neural connections

A ground-breaking project  has released its first images which researchers from around the world can download to study how the brain develops its wiring. The images could help scientists understand how conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy and attention deficit disorders arise.

The Developing Human Connectome Project is a collaboration between researchers from King's College London, Imperial College London and the University of Oxford. It aims to make major scientific progress by creating the first 4-dimensional brain map of early life.  The goal of the project is to create a dynamic map of human brain connectivity from 20 to 44 weeks post-conceptional age, which will link together imaging, clinical, behavioral, and genetic information.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:41 AM | Permalink

What to do if you're bit by an alligator

10-year-old girl reveals how she fought off a nine-foot gator biting her leg by sticking her fingers up its nostrils

Juliana Ossa, 10, learned tips to fend off an alligator from Gatorland, a theme park and wildlife preserve in Orlando, Florida. When an alligator bit her leg on Saturday she stuck her fingers in its nose, forcing it to open its mouth to breathe and enabling her to get away. She also yelled loudly for help which quickly came as people reacted swiftly and decisively to the unexpected danger.

Two lifeguards then bandaged Ossa's bleeding leg before she was taken for medical treatment. She is able to walk and recovering after receiving 10 stitches in her leg. The alligator was captured and euthanized following the attack. 

It's a good idea to make a lot of noise while poking an alligator in the eyes and ears if attacked.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:50 AM | Permalink

This and that -The world today fabricates more transistors each year than the number of grains—not bushels, but grains—of wheat grown globally."

The world's most amazing achievement ever? How about the 78% percent reduction in extreme world poverty from 1981 to 2015.
— Mark J. Perry (@Mark_J_Perry) April 30, 2017
More at Global Extreme Poverty

 Aei Poverty Decline Chart

In energy terms, operating today’s global digital infrastructure surpasses the fuel demand of global aviation

The world today fabricates more transistors each year than the number of grains—not bushels, but grains—of wheat grown globally. And those silicon devices, along with a myriad other complex components from lasers to optical systems manifest not only in billions of consumer devices, but in megatons and trillions of dollars of hardware in the ‘hidden’ infrastructure of communications networks and warehouse-scale datacenters. The data coursing through the world’s wired and wireless networks is now countable north of two zettabytes, an incomprehensible number.

Organized crime “Illegally trafficked cigarettes now have a higher profit margin than cocaine, heroin, marijuana or guns,” a Virginia State Police official was quoted as saying by the state’s Crime Commission.

Landline Users Now a Minority in the U.S.

Gaming gone bust, tribe turns to marijuana farming

San Diego County, California.  The Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel — which shuttered its 35,000-square-foot gaming hall in February 2014, buried under $50 million in debt — has transformed the vacant space into a high-tech medical marijuana operation, and is leasing part of the property to growers who cultivate and distribute the drug to legal dispensaries throughout the state.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:30 AM | Permalink