Hierarchy of the Road Safety Risks: Mobile Phone, Cannabis, Drunk-driving

It found that a driver’s reaction times slowed by 46% when he or she was making a call on a hand-held mobile, by 37% when texting while driving and by 27% during hands-free calls.  For those on the drink-drive limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, reaction times were reduced by 13%. For those who had used cannabis it was 21%
~ Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), UK

Pot Legalized in Colorado : Success, Disaster, … Timebomb?

 Economic benefits from legalizing marijuana will draw interest
… With state taxes at 35 percent and the ability for cities to add their own sales tax, the legalization and taxation of recreational marijuana in Colorado will bring in about $70 million in revenue this year, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue-division of taxation. The first $40 million in income will be spent on education and schools, while the remaining will be spent on marijuana regulation… Jeffrey Miron from Harvard University decided to figure out the law enforcement savings from the legalization of marijuana and concluded that the savings would be about $8.7 billion nationwide, an MSN.com article published in 2012 reported. Miron also believes the nearly 750,000 marijuana-related arrests could be significantly reduced to nearly zero.
~ By Travis Eubanks, Daily Nebraskan.

Thousands Not Arrested for Marijuana, Millions of Dollars Saved.
Nationally we average over 750,000 marijuana arrests each year…  Police make far more arrests for marijuana possession each year than for all violent crimes combined. Colorado has removed itself from this immense waste of resources….  The voters of Colorado did the right thing last year. They helped lead the nation to a new way to control marijuana, focus scarce law enforcement resources and increase fairness in the criminal justice system … We mark this one-year anniversary of hard-won freedoms and declare that Colorado has already won.
~ By Art Way. Colorado Manager, Drug Policy Alliance. Huffingtonpost.com

Some of the Other Opinions:
According to a recent study, fatal car crashes involving pot use have tripled in the U.S. … marijuana was the main drug involved in the increase. It contributed to 12 percent of fatal crashes, compared to only 4 percent in 1999.
~ Study: Fatal Car Crashes Involving Marijuana Have Tripled

… those on the drink-drive limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, reaction times were reduced by 13%. For those who had used cannabis it was 21%.
~ Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), UK

– About nine percent of [cannabis] users will become dependent, compared with 32 percent for nicotine and 15 percent for alcohol. Withdrawal may trigger insomnia and depression.
– Chronic bronchitis can develop, as cannabis smoke contains many of the same carcinogens as tobacco smoke. Heavy users are at higher risk of problems with verbal learning, memory, and attention. Use is also linked to poor educational attainment, but the experts say that the cause and effect of this relationship is unclear. It may be caused by pre-existing risk factors as well as cannabis use.
– Because cannabis can slow reaction time and coordination, it brings an increased risk of road accidents. Its use in pregnancy could reduce birthweight, but does not seem to cause birth defects. Cannabis users are also more likely to go on to use other illicit drugs, including heroin and cocaine.
– The potential link to schizophrenia causes widespread concern. Studies suggest the risk is more than doubled for people who have tried cannabis by age 18. An analysis published in the Lancet in 2007 found a 40 percent increase in risk of “psychotic symptoms or disorders” in people who had used cannabis, with the highest risk among regular users, particularly those with a vulnerability to psychosis. For depression and suicide attempts, the evidence is less clear.
– The University of Queensland experts conclude that, “The most probable adverse effects [of cannabis] include a dependence syndrome, increased risk of motor vehicle crashes, impaired respiratory function, cardiovascular disease, and adverse effects of regular use on adolescent psychosocial development and mental health.”
~ Published in the ‘Lancet‘, the report focuses on nonmedical use…

Google Search Tips &Tricks For Non-Techies

See also: Gmail Shortcuts, Tips, and Tricks: Latest Secrets for Hacking Your Email

U. S. Labor Force Structured by Occupation, Race, Gender and Education


File Jan 31, 11 18 43 AM

         U.S. 2012 Employed Population by Occupation and Race

Data source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012 Population Survey (CPS).

Data source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012 Population Survey (CPS).

Data source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012 Population Survey (CPS).

Data source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012 Population Survey (CPS).

Data sources: Census Bureau; San Jose Mercury News.


See also: 

  • List of 200 highest-paid CEOs contains only 10 women
  • How the Asians became white
  • It Will Be A Disaster For The West

    In a matter of a mere few weeks U.S. succeeded in smashing all the heretofore insurmountable obstacles in the way of the political and economic integration of Russia and China.

    Take the agreement to supply Russian gas to China. For over ten years the two countries had been unable to resolve the differences that kept flaring up between them. After a mere month or two of hard work on the part of State Department and Secretary Kerry in person — as the leading performer of the regularly aired ultimata (John Kerry: Russia has until Monday to reverse course …) — bingo! All contradictions gone. The agreement has been announced: “Russia, China Sign $400 Billion Gas Deal After Decade of Talks” (Bloomberg News. May 21, 2014).

    A day earlier, Chinese and Russian leaders formulated just as clearly their common foreign-policy stand in response to the mounting Western pressure: “A Russia-China Alliance Is Emerging, And It Will Be A Disaster For The West” (Forbes, 5/20/2014)

    It seems to be just the beginning of by now accelerating development of a long-germinating trend. Especially since Secretary Kerry is still burgeoning with fresh ideas and creative energy that cannot be tamed.

    See also: Dangerous Miscalculation or “Politics as Usual” …

    The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Electric Grid Cybersecurity Initiative:

    Evidence collected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security suggests that cyber attacks on key energy infrastructure—and on the electricity system — are increasing, both in frequency and sophistication…
    Read more: http://bipartisanpolicy.org/events/2014/02/cybersecurity-and-north-american-electric-grid-new-policy-approaches-address-evolving

    Commander: U.S. Military Not Ready for Cyber Warfare

      Unfortunately, there were not only cyber “attacks on key energy infrastructure”:

    Sniper Attack [in California] Knocked Out Substation, Raises Concern for Country’s Power Grid. The incident happened one day after the Boston bombings which is why there’s been little reporting on the incident. Now authorities say the damage is the work of a sniper and they are treating the shootings an act of terror. “It appears to be very well organized and very well planned,” said Steve Harrison of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. In just two hours in the middle of an April night last year, a militarystyle sniper attack took out 17 transformers powering the Silicon Valley… Security expert Norman Beasley says power stations can easy pickings for bad guys because they are out in the open… The FBI continues to investigate the attack, but no arrests have been made.
    ~California power station attack last April was “act of terror”.

      See also:

    Blackout a reminder of power grid vulnerabilities. Associated Press. SAN DIEGO — A blackout that swept across parts of the Southwest and Mexico apparently began with a single utility worker and a minor repair job. How it then rippled from that worker in the Arizona desert, to southern California and across the border, plunging millions of people into darkness, has authorities and experts puzzled, especially since the power grid is built to withstand such mishaps. However it … was a reminder that the nation’s transmission lines remain all too vulnerable to cascading power failures. “There are a lot of critical pieces of equipment on the system and we have less defense than we think,” said Rich Sedano at the Regulatory Assistance Project, a utility industry think tank based in Montpelier, Vt. … There have been several similar failures in recent years.

    U.S. Risks National Blackout From Small-Scale Attack. Federal Analysis Says Sabotage of Nine Key Substations Is Sufficient for Broad Outage. The U.S. could suffer a coast-to-coast blackout if saboteurs knocked out just nine of the country’s 55,000 electric-transmission substations on a scorching summer day, according to a previously unreported federal analysis… “This would be an event of unprecedented proportions,” said Ross Baldick, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin… Sabotage could wreak worse havoc, experts said. “The power grid, built over many decades in a benign environment, now faces a range of threats it was never designed to survive,” said Paul Stockton, a former assistant secretary of defense and president of risk-assessment firm Cloud Peak Analytics.

    National Research Council worried that a well-coordinated attack on the grid “could deny large regions of the country access to bulk system power for weeks or even months.

    Electric Grid Vulnerable to EMP, Could kill 9 in 10 Americans

    An Incubator for An American Ruling Elite


    Source: “Investigating The World’s Rich And Powerful” by Jonathan Wai. Duke University

    Gregory Douthat’s memoir of his four years in college, Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class, clarifies the above data in some more details: “I thought at the time, and still think now, that Harvard is … an incubator for an American ruling class that is smug, stratified, self-congratulatory, and intellectually adrift.”

    See also:

  • The Harvard Billionaire Machine … billionaires attended an elite school because their parents were billionaires who “gave the school large gifts” or top level politicians (“political connections“)
  • Universities Ranked By Billionaire Alumni
  • Universities Ranked By Billionaire Alumni

    Billionaire Rank University Billionaire Alumni Population Total Wealth of Billionaire Alumni ( $US billion)
    1 Harvard University 52 205
    2 University of Pennsylvania 28 112
    3 Stanford University 27 76
    4 New York University 17 68
    5 Columbia University 15 96
    6 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 15 114
    7 Cornell University 14 35
    8 University of Southern California 14 32
    9 Yale University 13 77
    10 University of Cambridge 11 48
    Source: Wealth-X

    Dangerous Miscalculation or “Politics as Usual” …

    A top Chinese general Thursday strongly defended Beijing’s territorial claims over disputed islands in the South and East China Seas and charged that the U.S. rebalance of forces to the Pacific was encouraging unrest in the region. Gen. Fang Fenghui, chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, said “the rebalancing strategy of the U.S. has stirred up some of the problems which make the South China Sea and the East China Sea not so calm as before” … Dempsey dismissed Fang’s objections to the so-called “Pacific pivot” and said the U.S. was committed to the policy. “We’ll go because we can and should, and we’ll go because we have to,” Dempsey said of the rebalance. Dempsey also told Fang “We will respond to threats.” However, Dempsey mostly stuck to his long-held position that the U.S. must build better military-to-military relations with China to avoid miscalculations that could lead to conflict in the region.
    Read more: http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/05/15/dempsey-clashes-with-chinese-general-on-pacific.html

    The United States is halting all military engagement with Russia due to the crisis in Ukraine — including military exercises, meetings and port visits, the Pentagon said Monday. “Although the Department of Defense finds value in the military-to-military relationship with the Russian Federation we have developed over the past few years to increase transparency, build understanding, and reduce the risk of military miscalculation we have, in light of recent events in Ukraine, put on hold all military-to-military engagements between the United States and Russia. This includes exercises, bilateral meetings, port visits and planning conferences,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.
    Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/#/storyline/ukraine-crisis/u-s-suspends-military-relations-russia-n43631

      In both cases above, the main goal of the military-to-military relationship between the nuclear superpower countries is defined as to “reduce the risk of military miscalculation “. In other words, putting “on hold all military-to-military engagements between the United States and Russia”, rather than falling under “sanctions”, appears to be more like a blindly taken step towards a nuclear Armageddon:

    Data Source: Federation of American Scientistshttp://www.fas.org

    Source: Federation of American Scientistshttp://www.fas.org

    Source: Federation of American Scientistshttp://www.fas.org

    Data Source: Federation of American Scientistshttp://www.fas.org

    Source: Federation of American Scientistshttp://www.fas.org

    Obama warns Russia in tense call with Putin … President Barack Obama told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a tense phone call on Monday that Moscow would face further costs for its actions in Ukraine and should use its influence to get separatists in the country to stand down. Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/15/us-ukraine-crisis-obama-idUSBREA3D1DH20140415

    “Putin will not talk to Obama under pressure,” said Igor Yurgens, Chairman of the Institute for Contemporary Development, a prominent Moscow think tank, and a close associate of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. “It does not mean forever” …  Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is also getting the cold shoulder from his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu. Pentagon officials have reached out to Russia on Mr. Hagel’s behalf within the past 24 hours but have not gotten any response, according to Pentagon Spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren…
    Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/25/exclusive-putin-halts-all-talks-with-white-house.html

    See also:

  • As The War Drums Are Getting Louder The Risk of Nuclear Conflict is Growing.  …  Stephen Cohen told a CNN-TV audience March 9, “I think were two steps from a Cuban Missile Crisis and three steps from war with Russia for the first time.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis During the Cuban Missile Crisis, leaders of the U.S. and the Soviet Union engaged in a tense, 13-day political and military standoff in October 1962 over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles on Cuba, just 90 miles from U.S. shores… Soviets had long felt uneasy about the number of nuclear weapons that were targeted at them from sites in Western Europe and Turkey, and they saw the deployment of missiles in Cuba as a way to level the playing field. Despite the enormous tension, Soviet and American leaders found a way out of the impasse. During the crisis, the Americans and Soviets had exchanged letters and other communications, and on October 26, Khrushchev sent a message to Kennedy in which he offered to remove the Cuban missiles in exchange for a promise by U.S. leaders not to invade Cuba. The following day, the Soviet leader sent a letter proposing that the USSR would dismantle its missiles in Cuba if the Americans removed their missile installations in Turkey. Officially, the Kennedy administration decided to accept the terms of the first message and ignore the second Khrushchev letter entirely. Privately, however, American officials also agreed to withdraw their nation’s missiles from Turkey. U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy (1925-68) personally delivered the message to the Soviet ambassador in Washington, and on October 28, the crisis drew to a close. Both the Americans and Soviets were sobered by the Cuban Missile Crisis. The following year, a direct “hot line” communication link was installed between Washington and Moscow to help defuse similar situations, and the superpowers signed two treaties related to nuclear weapons.
  • Kennedy – Khrushchev Exchanges During the “13 Days”
  • Newest Threat to U.S. Military: Recruits are Too Fat to Fight

    It’s a national security issue and it needs to be prioritized that way,” said retired Maj. Gen. D. Allen Youngman. He’s one of hundreds of former military officers who have gotten involved in Mission: Readiness, a nonprofit organization whose “Too Fat to Fight” reports attack junk food in schools… Current military officials agree that the nation’s obesity epidemic has created a serious problem, currently and for the next generation of soldiers.
    Read more: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101656954

    The Harvard Billionaire Machine

    Jonathan Wai, a research scientist at Duke University and part of the school’s Talent Identification Program, looked at the world’s billionaires and global elite… The global elitedefined by media lists and culled from the attendees of the annual World Economic Forum gathering at Davos, Switzerlandare also highly educated. More than half of Davos attendees went to elite colleges… Harvard, the study suggested, is the top billionaire-making machine. Among U.S. billionaires, more than 1 in 10 went to the school, and globally about 1 in 20 billionaires went there.  As Wai told … : “I was surprised by the extent to which elite schools within each country tend to serve as influential filters for who ends up as a member of these groups of the global elite, specifically the overrepresentation of people who had attended Harvard University” … But wealthy children can also get into top universities in part because their parents attended or gave the school large gifts. Wai acknowledged that “some students attend an elite school with lower-than-typical test scores due to athletics, legacy status or political connections.
    ~ Billionaires are smarter, study says by Robert Frank.

    PS. Unfortunately, the above quoted article did not reveal what part of the billionaires attended an elite school because their parents were billionaires who “gave the school large gifts” or top level politicians (“political connections“). The below Jonathan Wai’s  data provide a clue about it:




    Moon as a Next “Wild West”

    The West fears Russia is poised to invade Ukraine, but it seems the Kremlin has a bigger conquest in its sights – the Moon. Moscow today set out plans to conquer and colonise space, including a permanent manned moon base. Deputy premier Dmitry Rogozin said: ‘We are coming to the moon forever.
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2602291/We-coming-Moon-FOREVER-Russia-sets-plans-conquer-colonise-space-including-permanent-manned-moon-base.html

    A Japanese beverage company has an out-of-this-world advertising idea. Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. said it’s going to shoot a can filled with its beloved beverage Pocari Sweat and embossed with its logo to the moon. It will be the first commercial product ever sent there as a marketing stunt. Set to launch in October 2015, the can will be filled with a powdered version of the popular drink along with the dreams and wishes of 38,000 children from Asia etched inside… It will travel to the moon on the Elon Musk-created Falcon 9 rocket on its first mission to the moon…
    Reed more: http://theweek.com/speedreads/index/261677/speedreads-japanese-beverage-company-%20%20unveils-plan-to-put-first-ad-on-the-moon

    It’s alive! … Sort of. Reports of the death of China’s first moon rover, Yutu, have been greatly exaggerated, according to the country’s state-run media. The Yutu moon rover, which suffered a potentially serious mechanical malfunction last month, is now awake and has apparently survived its second lunar night, China’s Xinhua news agency reported …
    Read more: http://www.space.com/24688-china-moon-rover-survives.html

    See also:

  • USA: Apollo program
  • Russia: Lunokhod programm
  • China: Lunar Exploration Program
  • Timeline of robotic and human spacecraft missions
  • The Times (UK) Front Page: “Scientists in cover-up of ‘damaging’ climate view”

    Research which heaped doubt on the rate of global warming was deliberately suppressed by scientists because it was “less than helpful” to their cause, it was claimed last night. In an echo of the infamous “Climategate” scandal at the University of East Anglia, one of the world’s top academic journals rejected the work of five experts after a reviewer privately denounced it as “harmful”.
    Read more: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/science/article4091344.ece

    See also: Science Is Not a Popularity Contest

    Science Is Not a Popularity Contest

    The interesting thing about science is that it is not about public opinion or even popular consensus. Scientific discoveries, even those that are unpopular, have a history of being borne out over time… The argument that I find most specious and intellectually suspect is that the 97 percent of climate scientists who support the idea that climate change is linked to the contaminants we’ve been putting into the air in massive quantities since the Industrial Revolution have been compromised by money, while the tiny minority (often those paid by the polluters) remain intellectually pure.
    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-friedman/science-is-not-a-popularity-contest_b_5315241.html?utm_hp_ref=science

    Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities,1and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. The following is a partial list of these organizations, along with links to their published statements and a selection of related resources…
    ~ Consensus: 97% of climate scientists agree, NASA

    Scientists from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies – the very organization now presaging gloom and doom at the hands of global warming – predicted a new ice age back in 1971.
    ~ NASA Scientists Predicted a New Ice Age in 1971 By Noel Sheppard

    Swedish climate scientist says he was subjected to a witch-hunt reminiscent of the McCarthy era… Professor Lennart Bengtsson, a research fellow at the University of Reading, said he was worried about his own “health and safety” as a member of the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s academic advisory council… The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) was established because of concerns that government policies to combat climate change may be too radical. It describes itself as ‘open-minded on the contested science of global warming’. The founder of the think-tank, former chancellor of the exchequer Lord Lawson, called Bengtsson’s treatment “appalling”… The director of the GWPF Benny Peiser said: “This is a huge embarrassment to the climate science community. Why should people believe them if their critics are treated in that way? It will be self destructive if they do not stand up for free speech and discussion” … Professor Bengtsson joined the advisory council last month. He is a former director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg …
    Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/10834456/Climate-scientist-forced-from-position-after-McCarthy-style-pressure.html

    Faith in Global Warming is collapsing in formerly staunch Europe following increasingly severe winters which have now started continuing into spring. Christopher Booker explained in The Sunday Telegraph on April 27, 2013 “Here in Britain, where we had our fifth freezing winter in a row, the Central England Temperature record … Last week it was reported that 3,318 places in the USA had recorded their lowest temperatures for this time of year since records began. Similar record cold was experienced by places in every province of Canada. So cold has the Russian winter been that Moscow had its deepest snowfall in 134 years of observations” … But there is a fundamental problem with the temperature records from this contentious period, when climate science crashed into political science. The land based records, which have been under the control of global warming alarmists at the British Met Office and the Hadley Centre Climate Research Unit, and at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the U.S., show much more warming during this period than the incorruptible satellite atmosphere temperature records. Those satellite records have been further confirmed by atmospheric weather balloons. But the land based records can be subject to tampering and falsification.
    ~ To The Horror Of Global Warming Alarmists, Global Cooling Is Here. By Peter Ferrara. Forbes.

    911: Elevators were disaster within disaster

    The elevators were a tragic exception to an otherwise successful evacuation that resulted in the survival of 99% of the people who worked below the floors where the jets crashed… Newly installed safety devices condemned many people to death. To comply with building codes, the World Trade Center since 1996 had been adding locks that made it impossible for passengers to force open the doors of stalled elevators. These locks, called “door restrictors,” had been added to about half of the 198 elevators in the twin towers. Nobody is known to have escaped from an elevator locked by a door restrictor.
    Read more: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/sept11/2002-09-04-elevator-usat_x.htm

    ~ 9/11 Memorial Museum works through nation’s pain to honor victims … is set to be dedicated and on May 21 [2014] will open to the public.

    Lies, Damn Lies, and Research Studies

    We live in an era of unprecedented BS. It’s coming at you live from every corner of life. Not just from your Twitter feed, the government, the media, and those crazy cats in Hollywood. It’s coming at you from scientists in the form of misinterpreted studies, flawed research, and opinion dressed up as science. I just finished reading a blockbuster Wall Street Journal article about how saturated fat does not cause heart disease. That’s right, folks. All those fat-free, heart-healthy diets backed by the American Heart Association and everyone else are bogus.

    Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/business-leaders/2014/05/12/lies-damn-lies-and-research-studies/

    Why avoiding sunshine could kill you

    Researchers followed 30,000 women for 20 years and found that those who avoided the sunshine were twice as likely to die. Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden claim guidelines which advise people to stay out of the sun unless wearing sunscreen may be harming the population, particularly in countries like Britain. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight is often cited as a cause of skin melanoma. The NHS currently recommends avoiding overexposure to the sun to prevent all types of skin cancer. But the new research, which followed nearly 30,000 women over 20 years, suggests that women who stay out of the sun are at increased risk of skin melanomas and are twice as likely to die from any cause, including cancer. “The results of this study clearly showed that mortality was about double in women who avoided sun exposure compared to the highest exposure group,” said lead author Dr Pelle Lindqvist… The research was published in The Journal of Internal Medicine.

    Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/10811734/Why-avoiding-sunshine-could-kill-you.html

    PS. The key words – in the above quoted study – are “Sweden” and “Britain“. People who live, for instance, in California, Aizona … should be very cautious with these kind of researches.

    See also: Lies, Damn Lies, and Research Studies

    Chemicals in soap can cause male infertility, claim scientists

    Chemicals in common household products such as toothpaste, soap and plastic toys have a direct impact on human sperm which could help explain rising levels of male infertility, scientists have found. One in three “non-toxic” chemicals used in the manufacture of everyday items significantly affected the potency of sperm cells, which may account for the high incidence of unexplained infertility in the human population, … the latest research, published in EMBO reports and carried out with Timo Strünker of the Centre of Advanced European Studies and Research in Bonn, Germany, found that 30 out of 96 common household chemicals had a direct effect on the “catsper” protein which controls the sperm cell’s motility, or swimming agility, and its ability to enter the egg cell to trigger fertilisation.

    Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/chemicals-in-soap-can-cause-male-infertility-claim-scientists-9353159.html

    Keep a Healthy Distance from Your Pets

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was cultured from the nose of a healthy dog whose owner was colonized with MRSA while she worked in a Dutch nursing home…
    ~Human-to-Dog Transmission of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    They’re our best friends and our companions, there to offer a friendly paw or a lick on the face whenever we feel down in the dumps. We love our pets so much so that we share our homes — and often our beds — with them. But the next time you get ready to curl up with your furriest friends, think about this: Your pets can carry a variety of creepy crawly critters that could make you sick. As they roam your yard or neighborhood, cats and dogs can pick up bacteria, fungi and a variety of bugs (ticks, mites and worms) that they can then pass on to you. These bugs can lead to a host of zoonotic diseases, or conditions that are passed from animals to humans.
    ~ 5 Skin Problems You Can Get From Your Pets by Stephanie Watson.

    Grow Taller or Stay Short: “that is a question”

    Short height and long life have a direct connection in Japanese men, according to new research. Shorter men are more likely to have a protective form of the longevity gene, FOXO3, leading to smaller body size during early development and a longer lifespan. Shorter men are also more likely to have lower blood insulin levels and less cancer.
    ~ Shorter men live longer, study show, University of Hawaii at Manoa, May 9, 2014

    There’s a growing body of research that finds taller people make more money. The latest study, in Australia, found that being 6-foot tall brings raises annual income nearly $1,000 compared to men two inches shorter
    ~ Taller People Earn More Money, Economic Record.

    Intensive mobile phone users at higher risk of brain cancers, says study

    People who used their phones more than 15 hours each month found to be at two to three times higher risk of developing glioma and meningioma tumours… The study, appearing in the latest issue of British journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, is the latest in a long-running exploration of mobile-phone safety… In 2011 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said radiofrequency fields used by mobile phones were possibly carcinogenic.
    Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/may/13/intensive-mobile-phone-users-higher-risk-brain-cancer-study

    Pentagon has plan to stop the zombie apocalypse: report

    Deep down in a secret computer network is an unclassified document named “CONOP8888,” reports Foreign Policy magazine. It’s a detailed synopsis for battling many kinds of zombies, including “chicken zombies,” who rise up after being euthanized by farmers, to “evil magic zombies” that are life forms created via some form of occult experimentation.” The 2011 report calls for U.S. Strategic Command to develop a strategy for protecting “non-zombie humans from threats posed by a zombie horde.” Military planners in Omaha, Neb., wanted a detailed scenario for dealing with a widespread national emergency. So they devised a zombie attack protocol that covered training civilians how to survive in a post-apocalyptic world (including collecting rain for water consumption), as well as deploying and withdrawing military personnel.
    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/u-s-military-detailed-plan-dealing-zombie-apocalypse-article-1.1791957#ixzz31jwo4X9S

    See also:

  • As The War Drums Are Getting Louder The Risk of Nuclear Conflict is Growing
  • Electric Grid Vulnerable to EMP, Could kill 9 in 10 Americans
  • Staying Mobile in a Collapse Situation
  • Cold War zombie apocalypse
  • The Crisis in Behalf of …

    Here are a couple of most recent examples:

    National Crisis: Nevada Ranch Stand-Off
    Chinese energy giant ENN Energy Group wants to use federal land as part of its effort to build a $5 billion solar farm and panel-building plant in the southern Nevada desert. Rory Reid, the son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, is representing ENN in their efforts to locate in Nevada. Part of the land ENN wants to use was purchased from Clark County at well below appraised value. Rory Reid is the former Clark County Commission chairman, and he persuaded the commission to sell 9,000 acres of county land to ENN on the promise it would provide jobs for the area, Reuters reported in 2012.
    Read more: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/bundy-ranch-rory-reid-harry-reid/2014/04/13/id/565328

    International: East-Europe Crisis
    Hunter Biden, the youngest son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, has been appointed  as head of legal affairs at Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, Burisma.  The appointment comes just weeks after Vice President Biden visited Ukraine’s capital to show support for the country … He also warned of the dangers of government corruption. “Russia already regards the U.S. as meddling in Ukrainian affairs, so this news won’t change that perception,” said Steven Pifer, a former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine and a director of the Brookings Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative.
    Read more: http://www.ibtimes.com/vice-president-joe-bidens-son-appointed-head-legal-affairs-ukrainian-energy-firm-1583858
    PS. As it was concluded by Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff, November 19, 2008: “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an  opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

    Syrian Opposition Calls for Partnership with Israel

    A leading member of the Syrian rebels … Kamal Labwani, who spent 11 years in Syrian prisons… arguing that Israel …  should no longer be “blamed for everything. Israel is not our enemy anymore. We see how Israel opened its doors to our injured. We see how Syrian children are treated in Assad’s prisons and how they are treated in Israeli hospitals. Israel gave food while Assad starved his own people. Syria has only one enemy now: the Assad regime backed by Iran and Hezbollah. I meet with Syrian dissidents and military leaders daily and have seen how, after decades of brainwashing, their mentality has begun to change… I recently proposed a controversial idea: asking Israel to help our opposition get rid of the most brutal dictator alive today. I said that this is our joint challenge and one that is much more important than the Golan Heights. Golan in the future can remain a garden of peace for all. I believe that Israel is able to be a partner, not an enemy. After meeting with dozens of rebels in the majority of Syrian provinces, I believe that many would support such a plan“.

    ~ Syrian Opposition Calls for Partnership with Israel by Washington Free Beacon Staff.

    As The War Drums Are Getting Louder The Risk of Nuclear Conflict is Growing

    The U.S. Strategic Command, which is in charge of waging nuclear war, will hold large-scale bomber exercises this week—days after Russia held what Moscow called “massive” war games simulating a U.S. and NATO nuclear attack.,, Ten U.S. B-52 bombers and up to six B-2 strategic bombers will take part in the war games called “Global Lightning 14” from Monday through May 16, the command said in a statement late Sunday… Moscow and Washington also have been battling over Russia’s plan to upgrade aircraft used in conducting permitted spy flights over the United States that intelligence officials say could undermine U.S. security. The flights are carried out under the Open Skies Treaty. Russia temporarily blocked a U.S. overflight of Russia and a spokesman mentioned the dispute over the new Russian aircraft in criticizing U.S. officials… ~ U.S. to Conduct Strategic Bomber Exercise by Bill Gertz

    Defective signaling … when Russian foreign minister Lavrov spoke this week (in English) about the possible need to come to the aid of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, Washington had to guess whether he was stating the public rationale for an invasion, sending a warning signal to Kiev about its internal counter-terror campaign, or trying to accomplish some other purpose. Misinterpretation of such signals can become a reciprocal process that sends both sides up the “ladder of escalation” quickly, to a point where nuclear use seems like the logical next step… Command breakdown. …  with nonstrategic nuclear weapons, which at some point in the course of an escalatory process need to be released to the control of local commanders if they are to have military utility. U.S. policy even envisions letting allies deliver tactical warheads against enemy targets… Russian doctrine endorses nuclear-weapons use in response to conventional aggression threatening the homeland, and obstacles to local initiative often break down once hostilities commence… And because Ukraine is so close to the Russian heartland (about 250 miles from Moscow) there’s no telling what might happen once the nuclear “firebreak” is crossed… ~ Four Ways The Ukraine Crisis Could Escalate To Use Of Nuclear Weapons by Loren Thompson.

    Russian studies Professor [of Princeton university] Stephen Cohen told a CNN-TV audience March 9, “I think were two steps from a Cuban Missile Crisis and three steps from war with Russia for the first time.” Prof. Cohen was talking to host Fareed Zakaria, and insisted, “We need to get a negotiation going on…. Over the last 20 years we’ve moved NATO right to Russia’s borders. Ten years ago Putin announced very clearly, I don’t like NATO on my borders, but looking ahead, I have two red lines, one is Georgia, the former Soviet republic. We crossed that red line, he thinks. And we had a war. Now he thinks we’ve crossed the red line elsewhere in Ukraine.” ~ Russia Expert Stephen Cohen: ‘Two Steps From Cuban Missiles Crisis’.

    See also:

  • Cold War zombie apocalypse
  • John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Cold War zombie apocalypse

    These zombies, raising their crumbling limbs from the dank soil of think tanks, university departments and military alliances, are the Cold War hawks. Shaking off the loam of a quarter-century’s irrelevance, they … stagger en masse onto TV news shows and op-ed pages and, we fear, into ministers’ offices, where they foul the air with their very bad ideas. We need to “show strength” and deliver a “robust response,” lest the West appear to be “in retreat” and insufficiently “assertive,” making us “vulnerable” to attacks from those who see our weakness. We should send ground troops marching to the banks of the Dnieper, and aircraft carriers into the Black Sea, because “this is the only language Putin understands.” What these soldiers are meant to do, we’re never really told. It’s time to get the pitchforks. The Cold Warriors have a consistent record of being wrong. They’re wrong about military power… They’re wrong about Russia … They were wrong the last time around …

    By Doug Saunders, The Globe and Mail

    10 cars most likely to go 200,000 miles

    A new study approaches the concept of longevity from an interesting angle, focusing on models that have achieved 200,000 miles. Put together by the data aggregator iSeeCars.com, the study was based on listings for 30 million vehicles advertised for sale during the last year. Looking at the model years 1981 to 2010, the company ranked those vehicles based on the percentage that achieved the impressive 200,000-mile mark. Not surprising, most were vehicles that also have had good reliability rankings in our annual owner surveys. Here’s the iSeeCars list, in order of most to least ads featuring cars with more than 200,000 miles.

        Honda Accord
        Subaru Legacy
        Toyota Avalon
        Honda Odyssey
        Nissan Maxima
        Toyota Camry
        Ford Taurus
        Honda Civic
        Acura TL
        Subaru Outback

    ~ ConsumerReports By Jim Travers

    The largest crisis of Obama’s presidency — Iran’s nuclear program — may be affected by the situation in Ukraine

    Moscow’s support was essential in securing the most recent agreement between the P5 + 1 and Iran, and reaching a final agreement with Iran is contingent even more on Russian support. President Putin could pull support from these talks in response to the United States’ position on Ukraine. Near to the end of his term, Obama could then face the prospects of once again trying to prevent a potential scenario where Israel pursues a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear program. In the cases of both Syria and Iran, President Obama runs the risk of the situation in Ukraine impacting negatively on his Middle East policy.

    ~James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy

    The Ukrainian crisis and Japan’s dilemma

    The timing of the Ukrainian crisis could not have been worse for Japan,… So far, Japan’s reaction has been lukewarm compared to the response of the United States and the European Union. But should the crisis deteriorate further, the G7 members may choose to resort to harsher sanctions. Doing so may upset the cautious diplomatic game Abe has been playing with Russia. In his second term as prime minister, Abe has made Russia a focus of his personal diplomacy. He has met with President Vladimir Putin five times, more than with any other foreign leader… All of Abe’s diplomatic manoeuvres have been directed at a very tangible goal — that of renewing talks on the territorial dispute between Japan and Russia over the so-called Northern Territories (referred to in Russia as the Kuril Islands).

    Read more: http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2014/03/26/the-ukrainian-crisis-and-japans-dilemma/

    California’s business tax climate

    ranks 48th in U.S. … the third worst among the states, according to a report from the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit advocate for low taxes… The states ranking best by the Tax Foundation’s measure are: 1)Wyoming, 2)South Dakota, 3)Nevada, 4)Alaska, 5)Florida, 6)Washington, 7)New Hampshire, 8)Montana, 9)Texas, 10)Utah. Except for Utah, all of those states lack one of the three biggest taxes: sales tax, individual income tax or corporate income tax, the report said.
    ~ California’s business tax climate ranks 48th in U.S. by Jan Norman

    When Toyota announced that it was moving its U.S. headquarters from California to Texas, some were surprised, but everyone understood why. Because of its high taxes and regulations, worst states in the nation in which to do business, and a move from California would have an immediate positive impact on Toyota USA’s bottom line. And Toyota is only the latest.
    ~ As Capital Flees, England Is Texas, and the U.S. Is California By Tom Giovanetti

    Oil and Natural Gas – Four Times The Jobs

    The number of direct jobs in oil and natural gas extraction has grown 7.2 percent since April last year, more than four times the growth rate in all U.S. jobs, according to BLS [U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics]… Now, keep in mind that the BLS data line for “oil and gas extraction” covers only part of industry’s upstream (pre-refining) segment. Scroll down a few lines in this BLS table to find direct jobs supporting oil and natural gas operations – such as building and dismantling field rigs, core drilling services, hydraulic fracturing services and much more (enter the number 213112 in the search engine for the full list) – and you see dynamic growth there as well, 6.3 percent …

    ~ Four Times The Jobs by Mark Green

    Oppression of Christians gets political

    The European Parliament has condemned violence against Christians, as has Amnesty International… Yet critics such as Nina Shea of the Washington-based Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom argue that the reaction has been muted — noting, … One likely reason is that mainly liberal Western journalists aren’t used to seeing Christians … as legitimate victims of oppression. U.S. conservatives rightly complain about the neglect, but their approach is often counterproductive.

    Read more: http://www.newsday.com/opinion/columnists/cathy-young/oppression-of-christians-gets-political-cathy-young-1.6253962

    Christians have become the new Jews

    For the first time in millennia, Judaism has lost its title as the world’s most persecuted religion; today, that dubious honor goes to Christianity… Even politicians have begun grasping this fact: German Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly deemed Christianity “the most persecuted religion in the world” in November. In short, as one commentator put it last week, Christians have become the new Jews… There are two reasons why Christianity has displaced Judaism as the world’s most persecuted religion. One, obviously, is increased persecution of Christians, which stems largely from the rise of radical Islam… The other is that today, Jews face less persecution than ever before in history. And that is entirely due to the existence of the State of Israel.

    ~ Religious Persecution and Safe Havens by Evelyn Gordon. Commentary Magazine.

    … one of the largest persecutions of a religious group in history.

    We are living through one of the largest persecutions of a religious group in history. Few people realize that we are today living through the largest persecution of Christians in history, worse even than the famous attacks under ancient Roman emperors like Diocletian and Nero. Estimates of the numbers of Christians under assault range from 100-200 million. Read more: http://www.hoover.org/publications/defining-ideas/article/152651

    Christians must understand that for Jews the cross is a symbol of oppression

    Jesus wasn’t a Christian – that word exists for his followers and came later. He was Jewish. His mother was Jewish. He was circumcised as a Jew. He pretty much followed the Jewish law, departing from it only in the name of what he saw as its deeper meaning. “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished,” he insisted at the end of the Sermon on the Mount. Sure, he debated furiously with the Pharisees and Sadducees, especially about the significance of the temple. And, in time, this argument came to be restyled by Jesus’ gentile followers as an attack upon Jews per se. But originally it was an internal debate within Judaism, not an attack upon Jews from the outside. In was an internal debate in the same way that the prophets of the Hebrew scriptures, such as Jeremiah, often attacked the priests of the temple for missing the point.
    ~ “… for Jews the cross is a symbol of oppression” by Giles Fraser. The Gardian.

    3D Printer For Makeup

    3D printing is all the rage these days, but for now, it’s mostly centered around little plastic doo-dads. The Mink ,,, is a bit different. The little printer lets users choose any color on the web, or in the real world, and using simple already-existing software, print that color into a blush, eye shadow, lip gloss or any other type of makeup… Moreover, drug stores offer an incredibly limited selection of colors and options. Because makeup isn’t the main driver of sales in a Walgreens, they get more universally loved colors like pinks and reds, and exclude consumers who want to be bold. More niche retailers like Sephora have a wide selection of colors, but at a much higher price. With Mink, users can satisfy the desire for instant gratification while still having access to any color in the world at an affordable price… The Mink costs less than $200, with plans to launch later in the year… Read more: http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/05/mink-is-a-3d-printer-for-makeup/

    See also: Mink CEO Grace Choi, Who’s Taking On The $55 Billion Beauty Industry With A 3D Makeup Printer

    Google Gets Defensive About Google Glass ‘Myths’

    Google’s got its PR panties in a bunch again about its fancy $1,500 face computer. …  Here’s a look at the myths Google officially doesn’t want circulating about its often mocked and hated on baby, plus what we think about them.  

      Myth 1 – Glass is the ultimate distraction from the real world  …
      Myth 2 — Glass is always on and recording everything  …
      Myth 10 – Glass marks the end of privacy

    Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/232463#

    News media challenge ban on journalism drones

    AP Photo/Minnesota Public Radio, Dan Gunderson, File

    The organizations, including The Associated Press, filed a brief with the National Transportation Safety Board in support of aerial photographer Raphael Pirker. Pirker was fined $10,000 by the FAA for flying a small drone near the University of Virginia to make a commercial video in October 2011… Media organizations are intensely interested in using drones for photography and videos because they are far less expensive to buy and operate than a manned airplane or helicopter, and because their size and versatility provide visual perspectives often not possible with manned aircraft.

    Read more: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/news-media-challenge-ban-journalism-drones

    U.S. Housing Market

    The average price of homes sold in March 2014 increased 8.8 percent across the country, a strong showing despite the decline in home sales. The West region had the best results with the average price of homes sold increasing 12.8 percent followed by the South region at 7.9 percent, the Northeast region at 7.8 percent and the Midwest saw average prices rise 2.9 percent.

    Read more: http://realtrends.com/blog/real-trends-april-2014-real-estate-housing-market-report-text-version

    Would Economic Sanction Improve U.S. Security?

    Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev summoned Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanayee for a meeting in Moscow to learn strategies for avoiding the brunt of U.S. sanctions. Iran has for years developed elaborate and illegal methods for skirting sanctions on its contested nuclear program, its military, and oil trade. Moiseev is reported to have told Sanayee Russia is “willing to make use of Iran’s experience in dealing with Western sanctions”… Iran also has set up an elaborate network of front companies and networks that have allowed it to procure everything from nuclear-related goods to weapons, and even cash… Moiseev called for closer financial ties with Iran and discussed boosting trade between the two countries. Both Sanayee and Moiseev “called for further coordination between Iran and Russia for the 11th meeting of their Joint Economic Commission” which is scheduled to be held in Tehran later this year. Other top Russian officials also have sought to boost ties with Iran in recent months.

    ~ Russia Asks Iran: Help Us Skirt U.S. Sanctions By Adam Kredo.

    Electric Grid Vulnerable to EMP, Could kill 9 in 10 Americans

    … an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack aimed at the nation’s electrical grid could leave the majority of Americans dead… An overload of radio waves to electric systems, an EMP could result from a natural disaster, such as a solar storm, or a terrorist attack. Franks said “every single facet of modern human life” would be “crippled” by such an event. “It strikes at my very core when I think of the men, women, and children in cities and rural towns across America with a possibility of no access to food, water, or transportation,” he said. “In a matter of weeks or months at most, a worst-case scenario could bring devastation beyond imagination” … Franks has introduced H.R. 3410, the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, … to implement practical steps to protect the electric grid.

    ~ Hearing: Electric Grid Vulnerable to EMP By Elizabeth Harrington.

    Bitcoin OK for politics

    The Federal Election Commission on Thursday approved the use of the alternative currency Bitcoin for political contributions with limits of $100 per donor per election cycle… Proponents say it’s a sign of increased acceptance of the upstart currency, as more businesses and individuals are starting to embrace Bitcoin payments as an alternative to credit cards.

    Read more: http://money.cnn.com/2014/05/08/technology/bitcoin-politics/index.html

    Over 2/3 of Americans Would Go After Mobile Device Thieves

    Sixty-eight percent of people responding to a survey say that they’d put themselves at risk of physical harm if it meant retrieving a stolen smartphone … Only 10 percent of people have had a phone stolen, but, as the San Francisco Examiner noted, 50 percent of robberies in the city focused on phones as the target. And with the loss of a phone comes the loss of pictures, contacts and banking information.

    Read more: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/tech/Study-Over-23-Of-Americans-Would-Go-After-Mobile-Device-Thieves-258336661.html

    What ‘4-D Printing’ Is

    4-D printing takes “smart” materials from a 3-D printer that can assemble themselves. So instead of just printing out a chunk of shaped plastic, you can actually create shapes that a fixed 3-D printing nozzle couldn’t accomplish. The potential uses for this range from extreme condition architecture to adaptive infrastructure, like pipes that expand and contract depending on water volume. There’s also potential in medicine: various implants could be inserted in a packed form, then take their true shape once they reach their destination.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-4-d-printing-2014-5