Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The Tea Party is not going away after November.
Politico: D.C. Elites Tepid to Tea Party
Off by a Few Hundred Billion Stars -- But Trust Us, We're Experts: This paper, based on analysis from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, contends the Milky Way contains less mass than previously thought, but also burns matter much more efficiently in stars than previously thought -- which would suggest the universe is not as immense as thought, yet will exist longer than assumed. Then again, the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics now estimates the Milky Way has much more mass than previously thought, the opposite of the Sloan conclusion.
European Southern Observatory There are stars 300 times the mass of the sun, although theory said that was impossible. Can't be the theory -- must be something wrong with the universe.
For several decades, cosmologists have been perfecting a theory of star formation which contends it is physically impossible for a star to have more than roughly 150 times the mass of our sun. Along comes this discovery of a class of stars with 300 times the mass of the sun.
Canonical cosmology says that stars should be rare on the boundary areas of spiral galaxies, because matter there is too diffuse to coalesce. Recently astronomers found significant star formation 146,000 light-years from the center of galaxy M83, much farther away from a galactic center than it was thought stars could form.
Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope recently showed that the galaxies designated NGC 4038 and NGC 4039 are about 45 million light-years away, not about 65 million light-years as previously assumed. These two galaxies are among the most-studied objects in deep space, because they are colliding. Yet even though this area of space is a favorite of astronomers, the distance estimate was off by 20 million light-years.
These are all examples of TMQ's contention that humanity so far knows about 1 percent of what can be known. Maybe it will turn out the universe is smaller than we think. Or maybe it will turn out the universe contains far more stars than we think. Or maybe it will turn out the universe is lighter yet more long-lived than we think. Or bigger. Or smaller. Or maybe not.
Reid lives at the Ritz
"You came from Searchlight to the Senate with very little," Sharron Angle said. "Now you're one of the richest men in the U.S. Senate. On behalf of Nevada taxpayers, I'd like to know, we'd like to know, why did you become so wealthy on a government payroll?"
Vitamin B12, a nutrient found in meat, fish and milk, may protect against brain volume loss in older people
Vitamin B12 May Reduce Risk of Alzheimer's Disease
ScienceDaily (Oct. 18, 2010) — A new study shows that vitamin B12 may protect against Alzheimer's disease
Vitamin B12 May Protect The Brain In Old Age
The study found that people who had higher vitamin B12 levels were six times less likely to experience brain shrinkage compared with those who had lower levels of the vitamin in their blood. None of the people in the study had vitamin B12 deficiency.
Oct. 19, 1943: A Wonderful Discovery, and a Helluva Row
1943: A biochemistry grad student discovers streptomycin, a synthetic antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.
Sole credit for the discovery initially went to Selman Waksman — who would receive the Nobel Prize in 1952 — who ran the laboratory at Rutgers University where the research was performed. But it was Albert Schatz, a 23-year-old graduate student under Waksman, who actually isolated the antibiotic after several months of feverish work.
Feeling slighted and discarded, Schatz grew increasingly bitter. Finally, in 1950, he sued his former mentor, as well as the university, and won an out-of-court settlement.
The key that unlocked streptomycin was Schatz’s success in isolating two active strains of actinomycetes. Both could effectively stop the growth of stubbornly virulent strains of bacteria that had proven resistant to penicillin, itself a new wonder drug.
Years later, Schatz described the moment he realized what he’d done:
On Oct. 19, 1943, at about 2 p.m., I realized I had a new antibiotic. I named it streptomycin. I sealed the test tube by heating the open end and twisting the soft, hot glass. I first gave it to my mother, but it is now at the Smithsonian Institution. I felt elated, and very tired, but I had no idea whether the new antibiotic would be effective in treating people.
It was. In fact, it proved the most effective way of attacking tuberculosis, a deadly infectious disease that was often fatal and still widespread at the time.
Waksman, who had once described Schatz as his most gifted student ever, took full credit — after getting the young man to sign over his royalty rights to Rutgers. Schatz said he agreed at the time because he believed that streptomycin should be made available, quickly and cheaply.
It was 1990 before Schatz finally received the official credit he spent all of his adult life pursuing. He died in 2005.
That stronghold being Maryland’s 5th Congressional District, where House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is pinned down under heavy fire from Republican challenger Charles Lollar:
You know the Democrats are in trouble when Steny Hoyer hits the airwaves in his campaign to retain his seat in Congress. Hoyer, whose seat was generously drawn for him by Maryland Senate President Mike Miller, usually uses his campaign largesse to benefit his Democratic Party colleagues with little thought of himself.
That changed due to an aggressive campaign by first-time candidate Charles Lollar, who is making inroads into previous Hoyer strongholds in Charles, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties.
Lollar, who served in the Marine Corps, is taking the same no-nonsense approach to going after the previously unassailable Hoyer that has earned the U.S. Marine Corps worldwide respect and, yes, a little bit of fear.
stock market behavior with an accuracy of 87.6%.
Aerospace giant Boeing is joining the list of companies that say the new health care law could have a potential downside for their workers.
In a letter mailed to employees late last week, the company cited the overhaul as part of the reason it is asking some 90,000 nonunion workers to pay significantly more for their health plan next year. A copy of the letter was obtained Monday by The Associated Press. …
Deductibles, the share of medical costs that employees pay annually before their plan kicks in, will go up to $300 for individuals, an increase of $100. For families, the new deductible will be $900, an increase of $300.
In addition, Boeing is instituting a copayment of 10 percent after the deductible has been met. The copayment will rise to 20 percent in 2012.
ScienceDaily (Oct. 18, 2010) — Can skin cancer be treated with light? Scientists at the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine), believe so. They're exploring new ways to image cancerous lesions using LEDs that might advance a technique for treating cancer called photodynamic therapy (PDT) -- work that they will describe at the Optical Society's (OSA) 94th annual meeting, Frontiers in Optics (FiO) 2010 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, N.Y., from Oct. 24-28.
In PDT, photosensitizing chemicals that absorb light are injected into a tumor, which is then exposed to light. The chemicals generate oxygen radicals from the light energy, destroying the cancer cells. PDT is currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of esophageal and lung cancer.
Maureen Dowd in the New York Times yesterday rips into all these Republican women as "Mean Girls."
It's a sad, sad thing. Everybody's trying to figure out: What happened to Maureen Dowd? She used to be funny, used to be appointment reading. What happened is that a guy she really had -- she was in love with -- dumped her and was mean to her. Didn't just dump her, but did it in a mean, mean way. And she had everything invested in this guy, and she hasn't been the same since this happened.
(And Dowd’s office just happens to be next door to her ex-boyfriend John Tierney’s. “It’s like, ‘Out of all the gin joints in all the world . . . ’ It is weird,” she says. “We share a bathroom, which I guess could have ended up happening if we’d gotten married.”)
New Post poll finds negativity toward federal workers. “More than half of Americans say they think that federal workers are overpaid for the work they do, and more than a third think they are less qualified than those working in the private sector, according to a Washington Post poll.”
Geert Wilders, Western Sages, and Totalitarian Islam. “Wilders’ assessment not only comports with scholarly observations made (primarily) before the advent of the postmodern Western scourge of cultural relativism, it is supported by contemporary hard polling data from 2006 -2007, and a more recent follow-up reported February 25, 2009. At present, overwhelming Muslim majorities — i.e., better than two-thirds (see the weighted average calculated here) of a well-conducted survey of the world’s most significant and populous Arab and non-Arab Muslim countries — want these immoderate outcomes: ’strict application’ of Shari’a, Islamic law, and a global caliphate.”
BIG GOVERNMENT’S government-union firewall. “The AFL-CIO may have once represented the interests of steelworkers, auto workers and teamsters, but now the largest union in the AFL-CIO is AFSCME. In fact, 2009 was a historic year for Big Labor: for the first time in American history the majority of union members now work for the government, not the private sector.”
Mexico Raises More InfantryOctober 19, 2010: The Mexican Army, after four years of heavy action fighting drug gangs in the north, is expanding their combat forces by 18 battalions. The army currently has 80 combat battalions. These include 18 battalions in six combat brigades, nine special operations battalions, three parachute battalions and a Presidential Guard brigade. There are also about 50 infantry battalions, mainly used as garrison troops for the military regions.
The additional 18 battalions will provide more trained manpower for the war against the drug gangs. This will involve recruiting an additional 12,300 troops starting next year. Current strength of the army is about 192,000 troops.
The Obama administration, for the second time in two months, interjected itself Monday into an angry local dispute over a proposed Islamic center, warning local officials that opposing the mosque could violate the civil rights of its members and become a federal crime.
If Starbucks (SBUX) executives have it figured out right, this could be the prototype for the next generation of stores for one of the world's most influential brands.
A very different kind of Starbucks is on tap. It will serve regional wine and beer. It offers an expansive plate of locally made cheeses — served on china. The barista bar is rebuilt to seat customers up close to the coffee.