3 Prisoners Releases Early Committed CrimesWashington Mountain Passes Chain Requirements Raise IssuesAvalanche

first_imgInformation about inmates prematurely released from Washington prisons continues to be unearthed.The Washington Corrections Department confirmed at least three prisoners who were let out early committed crimes during the time they were supposed to be incarcerated.At a news conference, Governor Jay Inslee noted a lot of research will be required to find out what happened after all the inmates were released.He said “That will require an analysis of the criminal justice history of about 3,200 people”.Because of a computer glitch in an early release program, 3,200 prisoners have been freed too early over the last 13 years.  The average number of days is 49, although at least one inmate was let out 600 days too early.Inslee notes DOC is early in the process of determining what’s taken place with the release prisoners.  He says “The department has started that process, and we will get those answers as soon as they’re available.”last_img read more

Dodger Needs A HomeDriver Sentenced in Fatal Wreck Near OrondoWenatchee Sophomore Wins

first_imgDodger is the Wenatchee Humane Society Pet of The Week.Dodger is a very sweet and sensitive guy who takes everything to heart!  He is looking for a calm and quiet home with owners who will allow him his space and be extra gentle with his heart during the first couple of weeks while he adjusts to his new home.  Dodger likes going for walks and will follow you anywhere once he has bonded with you. He knows the commands come and sit too. Dodger deserves to have the home of his dreams!  He is available to go home todayLearn more about Dodger in his biolast_img

The Doctor Will See You Now And Other Fibs

first_imgby, Bruce Brittain, ChangingAging ContributorTweetShareShareEmail0 Shareswaiting room He looks young, but won’t be when the doctor finally gets there.Then, just as you are fully engrossed in learning about the prospects for the Mets in the coming 2002 season, a nurse flings open an unmarked door, bellows your name and briskly leads you to a very public hallway scale where you are weighed, despite the fact that you are fully clothed, are carrying a coat and toting either a purse or a laptop; nurse clucking and scowling ensue. Then, you are taken to a small, chilly room, your blood pressure taken (more clucking and scowling) asked to disrobe, don a paper gown, not to be confused with anything Halston would design, and told, “The doctor will be right in”. This is the medical equivalent of the phrase, “Of course I will respect you in the morning.”You spend enough time alone in this chilly room, in your non-insulated paper gown to discover and read more not-too-recently issued magazines–usually vintage 2003 to 2006 — and to have various parts of your body react to the chill; depending on your gender, either perkiness or shrinkage.Then, just as you are absorbed in an investigative Newsweek report about Dick Cheney accidentally shooting a fellow quail hunter in the face, the doctor comes in, looking confident but somewhat harried. There is brief small talk, a question or two, a quick look down your throat and into your ears and tah-dah, you’re done. “What, what, wait; I forgot to ask about that burning sensation when I pee.” Too late. You peek out the door, one way then the other, clutching the paper gown so as to keep your dignity, but the doctor is gone and, in that gown, there never was any dignity.The nurse returns and tells you that the burning sensation is “very common in people your age” and to try “cutting out spicy food.” The total time at the doctor’s office, two hours and twenty minutes; portion of that time with the doctor, twelve minutes.One critical way to change aging for the better is to radically alter the way in which doctors are compensated so that your visit is a real doctor-patient interaction, not an assembly-line model of efficiency. And besides, I already know how the Mets did in 2002.Related PostsAARP Is No Friend To Big PharmaWhen it comes to the chronic over-medicating of older adults, AARP has been a consistent critic of Big Pharma and the doctors who overprescribe dangerous cocktails of drugs without fully understanding their impact on older adults. And considering the size of this epidemic, it’s a darn good thing AARP is…Impediments to doctor/patient partnershipsDespite all the attention paid to patient satisfaction, empowerment, and doctor/patient communication in the last number of years, true collaboration between physicians and those in their care is rare. The ideal of “shared decision making” is broadly embraced but equal … Continue reading →Dr. Krauthammer’s Excellent Doctor’s Visit TipsMy friend John Brandt sent me the excellent list below. It is the advice of retired cardiologist, Martin Krauthammer, that will help us get more out of office visits with our doctors. Some items seem obvious, but we don’t always…TweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: doctors humorlast_img read more

Highly inflamed vascular plaques associated with progressive liver disease

first_imgAug 2 2018The world’s rising obesity epidemic is associated with a broad spectrum of ailments including atherosclerosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) disease. Each condition can progress from small fatty deposits to localized tissue inflammation that is potentially dangerous. For example, in arterial vessel walls inflamed atherosclerotic plaques are prone to rupture (thrombosis) to form blood clots that may cause life-threatening strokes or heart attacks.Now a new study sheds light on the long-term effects of highly inflamed plaques on the progression of liver fibrosis.Related StoriesNew findings offer pathway for fight against non-alcoholic fatty liver diseaseGenetic study on liver iron content may pave way for better treatmentMetabolic enzyme tied to obesity and fatty liver disease”In the past, research focused on particular conditions of the vasculature or liver, but the contribution of chronic systemic effects and inter-organ communication to the pathogenesis of both diseases, and notably liver disease, remained understudied,” explained corresponding author James Hamilton, PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University.The researchers found that advanced inflamed vascular plaques were associated with progressive liver disease. According to Hamilton these observations support the emerging broad view that chronic unresolved inflammation may impart systemic effects leading to secondary conditions, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.”The good news of our study showing this inflammatory relationship between vascular and liver disease is that the systemic nature of these diseases also presents a valuable therapeutic approach, including the treatment with natural molecules that lower inflammation without unwanted side effects.”Hamilton and his colleagues are currently testing oral delivery of molecules produced naturally in the body from omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA found in fish oils, which have been shown to be effective in treating both periodontal inflammation and atherosclerotic plaque inflammation. Source:http://www.bumc.bu.edu/busm/2018/08/02/aortic-atherosclerotic-plaque-inflammation-may-contribute-to-the-progression-of-fatty-liver-disease-to-liver-fibrosis/last_img read more

Fertility preservation bill allows cancer patients to have their own biological children

first_img Source:https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2018/august/oncofertility-bill-signing/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 29 2018Illinois cancer patients no longer have to choose between costly life-saving treatments and preserving their ability to one day have their own biological children, thanks to a fertility preservation bill signed Aug. 27 by Gov. Bruce Rauner at Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women’s Hospital.HB 02617, based in part on research and advocacy at Northwestern University, amends the Illinois insurance code to require oncofertility coverage.”This is not just a signature on a bill; this is a signature event,” said Teresa K. Woodruff, director of the Oncofertility Consortium at Northwestern University.The interdisciplinary team of biomedical and social scientist experts from across the country was one of many healthcare providers that supported the legislation.”This is a legacy moment when research, medicine and legislative decisions meet the needs of patients, families, citizens and Illinoisans,” Woodruff said.The bill makes Illinois the fifth state to enact a law requiring insurance coverage for fertility preservation.Among her patients was Megan Connolly, who spoke about her experience with oncofertility at the bill signing.”Being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness like cancer at such a young age is absolutely devastating. But to also have to accept that your life-saving treatment may also leave you infertile and unable to have the option to have a biological child is overwhelmingly heartbreaking,” Connolly said. “At a time when patients should be focusing on getting better, one thing they should not have to worry about is coming up with the financial means to pay for fertility preservation.”After consulting with Smith, Connolly made the decision to pursue egg harvesting prior to beginning cancer treatments. Smith helped Connolly secure funds to cover the medical costs associated with fertility preservation, which she could not have afforded otherwise.Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessary”This bill will give young patients excitement for their future, knowing that because insurance was able to cover the cost of fertility preservation, their dreams of one day having a family of their own will not be taken away by cancer,” Connolly said. “I am thrilled that patients now will not have to worry about the financial burden of fertility preservation and can look forward to hopes and dreams just like mine.””As you know, cancer has no economic boundaries, no socioeconomic boundaries – racial, ethnic, everything. It crosses all walks of life,” said State Rep. Laura Murphy, who sponsored the bill. “This bill is going to help more people seek the care that they need.”Woodruff, who also is dean of the Graduate School at Northwestern and Watkins Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Feinberg School of Medicine, coined the term “oncofertility” in 2006 to describe the merging of two fields: oncology and fertility. Northwestern Medicine physician scientists pioneered many of the techniques for fertility preservation and are internationally recognized specialists.”Today, the State of Illinois recognized that preserving fertility in the cancer setting is a medical need and that insurance should be provided to ensure young adults don’t have to choose between life preserving treatments and fertility interventions,” Woodruff said.”This is a win for science and more importantly, this is a win for families. This legislation will help young people and families make crucial decisions and afford the treatments,” she wrote in remarks before the bill signing.last_img read more

New microfluidic device quickly corrals strong and speedy sperm viable for fertilization

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 10 2018For couples hoping for a baby via in vitro fertilization, chances have improved. A process that once took hours now takes minutes: Cornell University scientists have created a microfluidic device that quickly corrals strong and speedy sperm viable for fertilization.Conventional methods to separate vigorous, motile sperm is tedious and may take up to several hours to perform. “Trying to find the highly motile sperm has been difficult to do, but this improves the chances of insemination,” said chemist Alireza Abbaspourrad, Cornell’s Yongkeun Joh Assistant Professor of Food Chemistry and Ingredient Technology.Related StoriesHealthy mice pups can be produced from sperm without short RNA chainsMaternal age has no effect on IVF success, conclude researchersHuman sperm retains its complete viability within different gravitational conditionsTaking advantage of sperm’s ability to go against the flow – a process called rheotaxis – Abbaspourrad, Soon Hon Cheong, Ph.D., assistant professor at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and Meisam Zaferani, a doctoral student in the field of chemistry, have devised a microfluidic channel through which the sperm swim. They added a microscopic corral – shaped like a “C” – that features a retaining wall that attracts the strongest swimmers.”The older method is tedious, time-consuming and not efficient. It’s the time that laboratory technicians and physicians expend that makes the process expensive,” said Abbaspourrad. “With this method, it’s five minutes instead of several hours.”The microfluidic device is simple to use: Rheotaxis is the key. “Here, we took advantage of sperm’s natural tendency to redirect against fluid flow, once the sperm reach a certain velocity,” said Cheong. “Once the sperm detect interference, they can use it to swim upstream. That’s when we can trap them. We could separate the good sperm from the not-so-strong in a reasonably elegant way. We are able to fine-tune our selection process.”Zaferani said that these findings represent a broad range of applications beyond humans, such as using the device to separate motile bovine sperm for the dairy and beef industries. “The unprecedented efficiency of our device in comparison to previous studies and its benign, passive nature make it favorable for sperm separation,” he said. Source:http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2018/09/device-corral-viable-sperm-may-speed-ivf-processlast_img read more

Video Birds observed arguing over parental duties for first time

first_imgEven bird spouses argue. A new study finds that zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) squawk it out if one partner is not fulfilling its parental duties. The species forms life-long pairs, where both males and females share childcare responsibilities every step of the way, from nest building to watching over eggs and chicks. When it comes to incubating their eggs, they are very strict on their shifts. Both males and females spend equal amount of time sitting on their eggs, and while one is sitting on their eggs the other goes foraging. To find out whether these birds actually engaged in vocal exchanges to “discuss” their parental duties, researchers monitored the behavior of 12 male-female pairs breeding in a large aviary. For each pair, they trapped the male while he was foraging, delaying his arrival back at the nest by 1 hour, instead of the usual 30 minutes. The video above shows what happens when the male returns on time; the partners engage in a normal vocal exchange. But when the male returns late, the pair has an accelerated vocal exchange, with both male and female alternating their calls more rapidly than usual, the team reports this month in Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. The researchers also found that the time the female spent away from the nest did not depend so much on how late her mate was in the previous shift, but rather on how much time he spent vocalizing when he came back. If the late-arriving male called only a few times (< 40 calls) then the female went off for anything between 20 to 60 minutes, depending on how late the male was. But if the delayed male called extensively (> 40 calls) the female was back from her foraging break in under 30 minutes. This shows that the birds don’t just use a tit-for-tat strategy, but instead they talk about it, the authors say, and when the male has a good excuse for its tardiness the female responds by getting back from her foraging shift on time.last_img read more

This butterfly has extreme color vision

first_imgButterflies may not have a human’s sharp vision, but their eyes beat us in other ways. Their visual fields are larger, they’re better at perceiving fast-moving objects, and they can distinguish ultraviolet and polarized light. Now, it turns out that one species of swallowtail butterfly from Australasia, the common bluebottle (Graphium sarpedon, pictured), known for its conspicuous blue-green markings, is even better equipped for such visual tasks. Each of their eyes, scientists report in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, contains at least 15 different types of photoreceptors, the light-detecting cells required for color vision. These are comparable to the rods and cones found in our eyes. To understand how the spectrally complex retinas of butterflies evolved, the researchers used physiological, anatomical, and molecular experiments to examine the eyes of 200 male bluebottles collected in Japan. (Only males were used because the scientists failed to catch a sufficient number of females.) They found that different colors stimulate each class of receptor. For instance, UV light stimulates one, while slightly different blue lights set off three others; and green lights trigger four more. Most insect species have only three classes of photoreceptors. Even humans have only three cones, yet we still see millions of colors. Butterflies need only four receptor classes for color vision, including spectra in the UV region. So why did this species evolve 11 more? The scientists suspect that some of the receptors must be tuned to perceive specific things of great ecological importance to these iridescent butterflies—such as sex. For instance, with eyes alert to the slightest variation in the blue-green spectrum, male bluebottles can spot and chase their rivals, even when they’re flying against a blue sky.last_img read more

Europe stalls weed killer renewal again

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Emailcenter_img European regulators have again eschewed a decision on the renewal of the approval of the widely used weed killer glyphosate, giving fodder to critics who say the chemical causes cancer and should be banned.Glyphosate’s current license expires on 30 June and its renewal has divided the European Union’s member states after contradictory scientific assessments. The Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF), which is made up of representatives of the 28 states, was to decide on the renewal yesterday, but the European Commission canceled the vote—which was bound to be indecisive yet again.The commission had initially proposed to renew the chemical’s license for 15 years, a plan that needed the member states’ green light through a so-called qualified majority in the PAFF committee. In March, the committee failed to reach an agreement. At this week’s meeting, member states were still split on a revised, 9-year renewal proposal, prompting the commission to scrap the vote again. France opposes the renewal whereas other countries—including Germany, the Netherlands, and Portugal—were intending to abstain, says a source close to the negotiation. “Since it was obvious that no qualified majority would have been reached, a vote was not held,” a commission spokesperson says in a statement forwarded to ScienceInsider and quoted by other news outlets. (The commission did not respond directly to ScienceInsider’s requests for comment.)Technically, after inconclusive votes by member states, the commission could go ahead with the renewal. (It has already used this possibility after comparable deadlocks, for example to authorize a genetically modified maize for cultivation in the European Union in 2014, and to ban pesticides that are believed to be toxic to bees in 2013.) But in glyphosate’s case, the commission has made it clear that it would not proceed without a “solid qualified majority of Member States,” the spokesperson says.This decision shows that, faced with scientific controversy and public alarm, the commission “wants to share the blame with member states” if glyphosate stays on the market, Franziska Achterberg, food policy director at Greenpeace EU in Brussels, tells ScienceInsider. (Among several campaigns against the weed killer, a petition launched by the nonprofit organization foodwatch had gathered more than 146,000 signatures at the time of writing.) “As long as there is conflicting scientific advice, glyphosate should not be approved for use in the EU,” Achterberg said in a statement after the March vote was suspended.Indeed several recent, authoritative scientific assessments have reached conflicting conclusions. In March 2015, the United Nations’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” saying there is “limited evidence” that the weed killer causes cancer in humans but “sufficient evidence” from animal studies. Yet in November 2015, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer in humans.EFSA’s evaluation “considered a large body of evidence, including a number of studies not assessed by the IARC which is one of the reasons for reaching different conclusions,” the E.U. agency stated at the time.Last month, the European Parliament also weighed in. In a nonbinding resolution, parliamentarians suggested a restricted renewal for 7 years. They also urged the commission and EFSA to disclose all the scientific evidence behind its positive opinion, and called for a more comprehensive, independent review of the chemical’s health effects.Monsanto, which manufactures glyphosate under the commercial name Roundup, has slammed the delays as “not scientifically warranted.” In a statement, the firm’s vice president of global regulatory and governmental affairs, Philip Miller, says EFSA’s risk assessment was “one of the most thorough evaluations of an agricultural product ever conducted.”The commission’s reticence to embrace EFSA’s reassuring conclusion without member states’ backing may cast a cloud of mistrust on the assessment of the European Union’s own agency—which has been accused of being under undue industry influence. Yesterday, the commission said that if no decision is taken before the end of next month, “glyphosate will be no longer authorized in the EU and Member States will have to withdraw authorizations for all glyphosate-based products.”What will happen next is unclear. The commission yesterday said it would “reflect on the outcome of the discussions.” The source close to the talks says the commission may try to sway influential member states, such as Germany, to weigh in favor of the renewal while it schedules another vote.last_img read more

Spring tides trigger tremors deep on Californias San Andreas fault

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img However, the tidal forces are incredibly weak in comparison with the forces that arise from the tectonic plate motions, and there are only a few confirmed examples of a connection between quakes and tides, mostly from deep faults underneath the edges of the oceans. That’s because in these regions, ocean sloshing forces add to the flexing of the earth, and water can lubricate and weaken faults. In 2002, scientists showed that tides triggered tremors on underwater volcanoes. And in 2004, scientists found that tidally triggered earthquakes could occur on some faults where ocean plates dive under continental plates. But for the most part, scientists have been unable to find a strong connection between tides and quakes on faults like the San Andreas—at least big quakes in the upper crust, says Eliza Richardson, a seismologist at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, who was not involved in the study. “In general there’s not a big, strong signal,” she says. “It’s considered elusive.”But as seismometers got more sensitive and were laid down in more places, scientists started to identify tremors in the lower crust. In these deeper regions, faults are weaker, and that means that tides can play a more important role. In 2012, scientists spotted deep tremors on the San Andreas fault below Parkfield that were tidally triggered, at the twice-a-day tidal peaks associated with the lunar day. In the new study, Van der Elst and his team found that bursts of tremors were also triggered during waxing of the twice-monthly spring tides, when the moon is aligned with the sun. Using a catalog of 4 million tremors that occurred between 2008 and 2015, they pinpointed the location and timing of the tremors in relation to the tides, they report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Van der Elst says that the daily tidal peaks seem to trigger the littlest, deepest tremors, whereas the larger spring tide sets off larger patches of slip higher up.Richardson says that the study team has identified a transition zone between the upper crust, where big earthquakes go off on the rare occasions when there is slip, and the deep, soft crust, where the fault grinds along more quietly, through the slippage of nearly continuous little tremors. “There’s kind of a gradation,” she says. “These guys have figured out that there’s a class of these [tremors] that are shallower, and they behave differently than the ones that are a little deeper.”The tremors can’t predict the next “big one,” but in the long term, they could help scientists understand how big ones are set off. Some major earthquakes, such as the 2011 magnitude-9 Tohoku quake in Japan, are preceded by large “slow-slip events,” in which part of the fault moves quietly, without seismic notice, loading the fault to the point of rupture. Some scientists think that a burst of small tremors could signal a slow-slip event and imply that a big rupture is imminent. “We’re all waiting to see if the tremor pattern changes before or after a big earthquake,” Van der Elst says. Things have been pretty quiet lately along the earthquake-prone San Andreas fault, where the grinding of tectonic plates is slowly shearing part of California off of North America. But 20 to 30 kilometers down, there’s a whole lot of shaking going on. Below the town of Parkfield, California, hundreds of thousands of slow microearthquakes called tremors go off routinely where Earth’s brittle crust gets weaker and softer. Now, scientists have shown that these tremors are triggered by the rhythmic pulsing of the tides: not just the twice-daily tides that occur as the moon revolves around Earth, but also the twice-monthly spring tides that occur when the sun and moon align and pull strongly on the planet. The finding gives scientists a new window into a deeper part of the San Andreas fault, and new insight into how stress builds up on small patches of the fault until they snap.“We’re finding out something about the loading rate on the faults and how fast this stress is accumulating on these patches,” says Nicholas van der Elst, a seismologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Pasadena, California, and the lead author of the study.Stress builds up along the San Andreas fault as the Pacific plate tries to slip past the North American plate at a rate of several centimeters per year. But along most of the fault, the plates get jammed up and remain stuck until they reach a snapping point or are triggered to release the accumulated strain. Scientists have long wondered whether the tides could provide the proverbial straw. The tides not only slosh the oceans back and forth, but they also induce the shell of the solid earth to flex ever so slightly—sometimes in directions that happen to be aligned with faults.last_img read more

Surviving genocide Storytelling and ritual help communities heal

first_img IOANNINA, GREECE—Hazim Shingali and his family had no time to gather their belongings on 3 August 2014, when they heard that hundreds of armed Islamic State (IS) group fighters were storming toward their town of Sinjar in Iraqi Kurdistan. The 22-year-old college student, his parents, and his five younger sisters fled on foot to an arid mountain near the Syrian border, along with about 50,000 other Yezidis, members of a religious minority. A Yezidi woman receiving psychological treatment in Germany ritually represents her life story, using stones to mark traumatic events and flowers to show happy events, as part of Narrative Exposure Therapy.  Surviving genocide: Storytelling and ritual help communities heal Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe At Faneromeni, a man named Falah who was once a barber in Iraq invites a guest into the room that he shares with his family. Everyone drinks tea and smokes cigarettes, and Falah brings out a stringed instrument called the tembûr. He plays a song about the sadness of leaving Iraq while his two toddler boys bob up and down, kicking their feet to the music. Next, Falah plays a second song about his hope for relocation to “anywhere that’s good for life,” he says.Yezidis often prefer to talk about ferman—their history of genocide and forced migration—than about their own traumatic experiences, Kizilhan says. For Western psychologists trained to focus on the individual, “it can be frustrating when someone begins their own story by talking about their great-great-grandparents,” he says. But those collective, historical stories can be helpful. “Talking can bring more clarity about what happened before, during, and after a trauma, which then opens the door to begin talking about a brighter future,” he says.Through a technique called narrative exposure therapy (NET), Schauer uses storytelling to help the Yezidi women in Germany heal. Together, therapist and survivor create a narrative of the survivor’s life from birth to the present, putting the most disturbing events, discussed in detail, in a broader context. In more than a dozen controlled trials across cultures, the approach has reduced symptoms of PTSD, says Schauer, who helped pioneer the method. Unlike therapies that focus on a single event, NET accounts for the importance of cumulative trauma. The approach reflects robust, growing scientific evidence that the number of traumatic events a person has experienced is the most important predictor of PTSD and depression, Schauer says.NET also incorporates ritual. Survivors use flowers and stones to lay out good and bad life experiences. In working with Cambodian refugees, psychiatrist Devon Hinton of Harvard Medical School in Boston encouraged patients to make customary offerings to the dead. Doing so can help assuage recurrent nightmares involving visits from deceased relatives. For Muslims, practices such as ritually washing the face, arms, and feet—signifying spiritual purification—can help refugees recover a positive self-image.  Special package: Human migrations Yezidi rituals may trace back to nature-worshiping traditions of ancient Mesopotamia, although their monotheistic religion contains elements of Islam and other faiths. In addition to one God, Yezidis worship seven divine beings, including a peacock angel called Tawûsî Melek. Yezidis believe that souls are reborn until they achieve perfection, says Khanna Omarkhali, a scholar of Yezidi religion at the University of Göttingen in Germany. One can only be born a Yezidi; no conversions are allowed. Directed by a spiritual leader named Baba Sheikh, Yezidism is mostly an oral tradition, with few, if any, texts.That lack of texts has left Yezidism vulnerable to misinterpretation, including the accusations of devil worship that the IS group used to justify slaughter and rape and that have fueled persecution of Yezidis for centuries. Yezidis consider the 2014 attacks the 74th genocide in a series dating back to the Ottoman Empire.Today, about 420,000 Yezidis remain in Iraqi Kurdistan, with 350,000 displaced in formal and informal camps. About 300,000 are scattered throughout about a dozen countries worldwide, with the largest population in Germany, says Murad Ismael, executive director of the Yezidi advocacy group YAZDA in Houston, Texas (see graphic). He fears that the genocide may sever Yezidis from their sacred sites in the Middle East forever. © JOHN MOORE/GETTY IMAGES The Yezidi diaspora Many Yezidis remain in their ancient Iraqi homeland, but about a third have fled to other countries. Science averaged statistics from the advocacy group YAZDA, scholars, and government records to estimate their distribution outside Iraq today. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country There’s no such thing as a ‘pure’ European—or anyone else Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Four years after the attack, Shingali and his family have escaped grave bodily harm. But like thousands of other exiled Yezidis, they are still dealing with the psychological aftermath of a forced migration that tore families apart. When political or religious violence drives people from their homes, “there’s confusion, loss, a rupturing of all sorts of bonds,” says cultural psychiatrist Laurence Kirmayer of McGill University in Montreal, Canada.According to Kirmayer, Yezidis serve as an extreme case study of the psychological challenges that refugees face at every stage of forced migration, from the initial trauma of violent upheaval to the stress of uncertain asylum status and eventual resettlement. In a 2016 study of Iraqi Yezidi adults in a Turkish refugee camp, nearly 30% showed symptoms of both posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression. Yet psychologists and psychiatrists working with Yezidis today also note their remarkable resilience. This stems in part from their tight-knit communities and the rituals and storytelling traditions that have helped them weather centuries of persecution, says Jan Kizilhan, a German psychologist of Yezidi descent at Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany. “Yezidis know what it means to survive genocide,” he says. “It’s in our music, our narratives, our behavior.” By studying how Yezidi refugees are coping, he and others hope to learn how to better support the mental health of the more than 60 million people worldwide who have been forced to leave their homes.Because they are targeted for their religion, Yezidis suffer not just as individuals, but as a group, says Andres Barkil-Oteo, a psychiatrist with Yale School of Medicine and Doctors Without Borders who has worked with Yezidis in Greece. So the traditional Western model of one-on-one, individualized psychological treatment is not always adequate, he says. “The problem is collective—how do you treat a community?” Yet throughout their ordeal, Yezidis have maintained a common core of belief and culture. At a refugee camp called Faneromeni in northern Greece last December, Shingali, his sisters, and 20 other Yezidi families were preparing for a holy day in a crumbling two-story building surrounded by industrial lots and dormant potato fields. Women chopped parsley and tomatoes for the holiday meal while men shared cigarettes outside and stoked fires. Everyone wore bracelets of twisted red and white thread, which Shingali said symbolize peace and love.Few in the camp felt festive, however. One of Shingali’s sisters, now 17, sat on the floor in the room the siblings shared, fiddling with the bracelet on her wrist. When she tried to speak, her words stopped in her throat in a series of violent hiccups. A psychologist who visited weekly attributed the worsening speech impediment to stress, Shingali said. The strain of becoming a refugee can exacerbate existing problems and eventually develop into mental illness. According to a 2016 survey of 38 Yezidi children in a refugee camp in Turkey, all had symptoms of at least one psychiatric illness, with sleep disturbance and depression the most common. In a second 2016 survey of 238 Iraqi Yezidi adults who had recently fled to a camp in Turkey, 40% had symptoms that fit a diagnosis of depression or PTSD.Diagnosing mental illness in refugees is difficult, Barkil-Oteo says. People’s normal reactions to poor living conditions and uncertain status are hard to disentangle from symptoms of an anxiety disorder or depression. At the same time, signs of distress are easy to miss because people vary in how they express suffering. The terms that many Yezidis use to describe their psychological burden—“heavy heart” or “burning liver”—don’t appear in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Yet researchers studying refugee mental health have made great strides over the past 20 years, says physician Richard Mollica, director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In the 1980s, “we had no idea how to provide treatment” for people fleeing violence, he says. Now, tools such as a checklist of traumatic experiences and symptoms that can be adapted to most cultures have helped identify mental health needs shared by many refugees, he says. Maggie Schauer, a psychologist at the University of Konstanz in Germany, is helping treat more than 1000 Yezidi women who escaped from the IS group. Kizilhan helped bring the women to a small town in Germany’s Black Forest for psychological treatment. Although classic PTSD focuses on the aftermath of previous events, Schauer says these women still experience fresh trauma when they hear of assaults on relatives and friends still captive in Iraq. For example, one woman recently learned that her two young sisters are missing. She feels guilty for not being there to protect them, Schauer reports. “She says, ‘I can’t sleep, because I know what [the IS group] will do to them at night.’” When such news arrives via WhatsApp and Facebook, the women often experience depression, nightmares, flashbacks, and hypervigilance—an ongoing sense of threat.The woman’s experience shows how Yezidis experience trauma collectively. When someone is attacked simply for being Yezidi, their compatriots suffer even if they don’t know the person, Kizilhan says. For example, in February, the community saw a video that showed two Yezidi boys apparently forced to convert to Islam and then carry out a suicide bombing. “Every Yezidi felt that,” he says.The IS group’s attacks are so traumatic in part because they violate the strictest laws of Yezidi society—taboos against conversion and sexual relations outside the community—and so isolate victims from their own people. “Traditionally, in Yezidism if a person has accepted another religion even once, they are not able to come back,” Omarkhali says. Women raped by outsiders have faced similar ostracism. “When we take Yezidi girls from Iraq to Germany, they can be very confused,” Kizilhan says. “Are they Yezidis, are they Muslims?” © AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES Two weeks after the Islamic State group attacked her hometown of Sinjar in 2014, a Yezidi woman takes shelter with her baby outside Dohuk, Iraq, unsure of her family’s future.  Email Driven from their homes because of their religion, Yezidi refugees in Syria celebrate the liberation of Sinjar in Iraq.  “We did not have enough water and food. We all ate the leaves of trees,” Shingali says. Members of the IS group massacred 3100 Yezidis who stayed behind, according to a study published this month. The group also abducted some 6800 women and children, many of whom they tortured, raped, and forced to convert to Islam. Shingali’s family hid on the mountain for 10 days before escaping in a 3-day march to Syria and later to a refugee camp in Turkey. “Many women and children died of thirst or hunger,” he says.Half of his family sought asylum in Germany, but they didn’t have enough money for everyone to go. Shingali and his sisters, then 10 and 14 years old, stayed in Turkey for a year and then made it to Greece. But by March 2016, Germany had tightened its borders, stranding the siblings and more than 3000 other Yezidis in Greece. By Emily UnderwoodMay. 16, 2017 , 10:15 AM G. GRULLÓN/SCIENCE Vast set of public CVs reveals the world’s most migratory scientists How can we blunt prejudice against immigrants? © INKA REITER The ability to reconstitute community of some kind is one of the most potent protective factors for refugee mental health, Kirmayer says. For Yezidis, Kizilhan and others pushed for a collective response to the rapes and forced conversions: a change in religious laws to allow women and forced converts to again become official Yezidis.Baba Sheikh and other religious leaders agreed. They developed a new, collective ritual in which a sheikh declares that Yezidis who were raped or forced to convert are once again true Yezidis. The ritual “blesses these women as Yezidis,” Omarkhali says. If boys and men manage to escape captivity, “they are accepted back into the community,” she says. The ritual works, Schauer says: “The women strongly believe that this blessing makes them part of the group again.”Yezidis stand out for the communities they forge in refugee camps, which they often set up on their own, separate from Muslims and other groups. That the Faneromeni camp contained only Yezidi refugees “was no accident,” Barkil-Oteo says. It formed when dozens of Yezidis, saying that people from other groups had insulted them, together walked out of a larger camp and demanded their own location.With an established leader and defined roles for community members, Yezidis at Faneromeni seemed to have an easier time than other groups solving challenges in camp, Barkil-Oteo says. When one of his patients had to be hospitalized, for example, the group designated two people to always stay with the patient—an impressive display of social support, he says. In Germany, the women Kizilhan works with “are like sisters; they take care of each other,” he says.Despite their penchant for sticking together, the current exodus is testing Yezidi unity, Kizilhan says, as Yezidis from different regions and perhaps different religious practices resettle in new host countries. Without a safe haven in their ancestral homeland, “I’m not sure what will happen” to the community in coming decades, he says.In the long term, the traumas Yezidis experienced in Iraq are unlikely to be the only important factors in their mental health. What happens to them in their new homes also is crucial, Kirmayer says.Discrimination and social isolation in a new country can boost rates of mental illness, says Morton Beiser, a psychiatrist and epidemiologist at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. In a June 2016 study in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Beiser found that refugee children had higher rates of depression, anxiety, and other ills than other migrant children from the same countries. Some people might assume that past traumas explain the elevated rates. But Beiser’s team found that the differences among children were best explained by what happened after arriving in Canada. Refugee children experienced more discrimination: Peers more often called them names, hit them, or swore at them, and some teachers treated them unfairly.Today, some countries are working to reduce such discrimination, although some strategies, such as splitting refugees into smaller groups, may test Yezidis’ bonds with each other. In recent years, Germany has provided a tolerant environment, says Sebastian Maisel, a professor of Middle Eastern studies at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. In the 1990s the country opened its borders to all Turkish Yezidis after reports of human rights abuses. Roughly 20,000 Yezidis came, leading to a generation of well-integrated German Yezidi professionals, including Kizilhan, who immigrated to Germany as a boy. “It was a model of success,” Maisel says.Shingali says he hopes his family will repeat that history. Throughout the winter, the girls still were not sleeping, and their psychological state deteriorated. Then, in March, he and his sisters were approved to go to southern Germany, where the family will be reunited. On the cusp of yet another journey, Shingali voices the wish of refugees everywhere: “I hope the future will be better.”This reporting was made possible by a Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism.last_img read more

Deal reveals what scientists in Germany are paying for open access

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Deal reveals what scientists in Germany are paying for open accesscenter_img By Kai KupferschmidtFeb. 21, 2019 , 5:30 PM Project Deal, a consortium of libraries, universities, and research institutes in Germany, has unveiled an unprecedented deal with a major journal publisher—Wiley—that is drawing close scrutiny from advocates of open access to scientific papers.The pact, signed last month but made public this week, has been hailed as the first such country-wide agreement within a leading research nation. (Only institutions in the United States, China, and the United Kingdom publish more papers.) It gives researchers working at more than 700 Project Deal institutions access to the more than 1500 journals published by Wiley, based in Hoboken, New Jersey, as well as the publisher’s archive. It also allows researchers to make papers they publish with Wiley free to the public at no extra cost.This business arrangement, known as a “publish and read” deal, has been touted as one way to promote open-access publishing. But until this week, a key part of the Wiley agreement—how much it will cost—had been secret. Now, the numbers are out. Germany will pay Wiley €2750 for each paper published in one of the publisher’s so-called hybrid journals, which contain both paywalled and free papers. The contract anticipates researchers will publish about 9500 such papers per year, at a cost of €26 million. In addition, researchers will get a 20% discount on the price of publishing in Wiley journals that are already open access.The deal is an important step toward more open access in scientific publishing, but the per paper fee of €2750 seems high, says Leo Waaijers, an open-access advocate and retired librarian at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Dutch researchers are paying Wiley just €1600 per paper under a similar deal in the Netherlands, he notes. “It’s the same process, the same product, so why the price difference?” he says.The explanation is that Germany’s deal with Wiley was designed to be “more or less budget-neutral,” says Gerard Meijer, a physicist at the Fritz Haber Institute, part of the Max Planck Society in Berlin, and one of the negotiators for Project Deal. The goal was to keep Germany’s 2019 payments to Wiley about the same as they were in 2018, he says. And as a larger country with more institutions, Germany paid more in subscription fees to Wiley than the Netherlands. That translated to a higher article publishing fee. But the difference is that papers from Project Deal researchers will now be freely available around the world. In addition, some institutions have gained access to journals that they did not have access to before.One advantage of the deal is that German researchers will no longer be paying twice for Wiley’s hybrid journals—once for a subscription, and again if they want to make a paper free—says Lidia Borrell-Damian of the European University Association in Brussels. “Germany seems protected from double-dipping … and that’s important,” she says.Eventually, Waaijers hopes German institutions will be able to negotiate lower open-access publishing fees. But he sees the current contract, which runs for 3 years, as a good first step. “I think it is not possible for Germany to say to Wiley at the moment: ‘We want a contract for 1600 [euros] per article,’” he says. “That would mean an enormous step back financially for Wiley, and they are absolutely not prepared to make that step.”The fact that the details of the German contract have become public is also important, Borrell-Damian says. “Contracts should be public because this is about public money spent,” she says. And if other countries sign similar deals, and the details become public, then “the whole game of price comparison may start,” Waaijers says. And that, open-access advocates say, could produce pressure for even lower publishing fees.last_img read more

EXCLUSIVE The first interview with Trumps new science adviser

first_img Now, you’ll be hearing a bit more about the science side. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Jeffrey MervisFeb. 14, 2019 , 2:45 PM Kelvin Droegemeier, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy The new science adviser to President Donald Trump has studied the causes and effects of extreme weather for nearly 4 decades. But meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier says he’s not a climate scientist and doesn’t want people to think he’s an expert on the topic.That humble demeanor comes naturally to the 60-year-old academic, colleagues say. It may serve him well as the new director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), which helps coordinate and create science policy across the U.S. government. In filling a post that was vacant for 2 years, Droegemeier faces the stiff challenge of making a difference in an administration that many researchers say has repeatedly shown disdain for scientific evidence.In his first public interview since coming on board last month, Droegemeier pushed back on that criticism. “I think this president strongly supports science,” he told ScienceInsider from his office a few strides across a driveway from the West Wing. “And there’s a huge amount of evidence for the tremendous scientific advances that have happened on his watch.” (OSTP is currently updating a March 2018 document listing accomplishments in Trump’s first year.) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Kelvin Droegemeier, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Email Some researchers would like the federal government to add sexual harassment to its definition of scientific misconduct, which covers fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism. The American Geophysical Union has done so for its members, but Droegemeier warned of “unintended consequences” of changing the federal definition.“The thing is, research misconduct right now really addresses the research itself, not the research environment,” he explains. “And the environment in which research is conducted, how people are treated, is very different than if someone is fabricating a result on a research project. At the same time, I think we need to have a conversation because the right research environment is very important.”Combating espionageDroegemeier would take a similar approach in safeguarding the fruits of government-funded research and preventing the theft of intellectual property. The issue has become a political hot potato, fueled by China’s explicit push to achieve parity with other industrial powers in a range of advanced technologies that have both civilian and military uses.Federal agencies have reacted in different ways to pressure from Congress and the Trump administration. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), for example, has stressed the importance of disclosure of any foreign ties in hopes of rooting out what it calls “a conflict of commitment.” The Department of Energy (DOE) has gone much further, unveiling plans to prohibit DOE-funded scientists from participating in so-called foreign-talent recruitment programs run by “sensitive” countries, as well as barring grantees who are funded by those countries for work in certain fields from competing for future DOE grants.Droegemeier endorsed DOE’s policy, calling it an “appropriate” response to the threat facing the nation. But he added that what DOE is doing “may not be right for other agencies, because each agency is different. … The thing that we all agree on is that we want to protect American assets.”Sitting in an office bare of wall decorations except for official portraits of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, Droegemeier invoked his boss’s controversial stance on immigration as a prescription for how to thwart scientific espionage“I love what President Trump said in his State of the Union address,” he says. “The gist of it was, we welcome immigration, but we want people coming in legally. And when you think about science and you think about the scientific enterprise that means, let’s recruit these folks, and let’s keep international science strong. But let’s do it in a legal way.” Kelvin Droegemeier, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Droegemeier was less emphatic when discussing climate change, which for many researchers is the most egregious example of the Trump administration’s attitude toward science. He repeatedly avoided saying whether he believes that rising carbon dioxide emissions are an existential threat to the planet that demands a strong response from the U.S. government, a mainstream scientific view that is anathema to his boss. Instead, he suggested more research on the topic is needed.“The climate system is a very, very complicated thing,” he said in response to a question about assessing the relative impacts of climate change on the environment, the economy, and on public health. “If you think tornadoes and severe storms, which I study, are complicated, multiply that by factors to 10 to get the complexity of the climate system.” Droegemeier suggested “using all of our resources as effectively as possible to understand that complexity … and do projections that are most appropriate and reliable scientifically,” but did not call for a greater federal investment in climate research. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) We’ve got a $22-trillion debt in this country. We all have to work together to figure out how to leverage those federal dollars in the maximum way possible. Portraits of the president and vice president hang on otherwise bare walls in Kelvin Droegemeier’s office. Kelvin Droegemeier outside his office adjacent to the White House. We welcome immigration, but we want people coming in legally. And when you think about science … let’s keep international science strong. But let’s do it in a legal way. A push for less paperworkThe furthest that Droegemeier strayed from official White House policy during the interview was in a discussion about easing the administrative burden on academic researchers and their universities. It’s a perennial issue that rarely generates headlines. But in 2016, higher education lobbyists thought they had won a victory when Congress created an advisory body, called the Research Policy Board, to report to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which oversees federal regulatory efforts.The board, comprised of both federal employees and outside experts, was supposed to be created by December 2017, and issue its first report a year later. But it has yet to be set up. Last summer, OMB said it could not create the board and gave two reasons why: One, Congress had not given NIH money to staff the board, as the president had requested; and, two, legislators had prohibited OMB from reworking the rules to reduce how much NIH spends on indirect cost recovery, an arcane formula by which institutions are repaid for money they spend on infrastructure and overhead related to federally funded research.However, the governing legislation, the 21st Century Cures Act, lays out no such prerequisites for creating the board. And Droegemeier, who told Congress in 2017 that the federal government is actually shortchanging universities on indirect costs, told ScienceInsider that easing the regulatory burden on universities is a priority for him and that he thinks the administration can establish the new board without revising the NIH rules on indirect costs. Stephen Voss Stephen Voss A smaller federal presence?The research community hailed Droegemeier’s nomination last summer, citing his strong academic credentials and his advocacy for increased federal investments in research as an administrator at the University of Oklahoma in Norman and as vice chair of the oversight body for the National Science Foundation (NSF). But the fact that Droegemeier now works in an administration that has twice requested double-digit budget cuts to basic research at several federal agencies—proposals a Republican-led Congress rejected—may have altered his perspective.In 2013, for example, Droegemeier told a Senate panel that “the federal government has an essential role in supporting basic research” and that companies “rely on the new knowledge created by basic research to develop new products and services.” But Droegemeier now sees that relationship differently. The ever-growing federal debt and a strong economy, he says, means the federal government no longer needs to play such a dominant role in funding academic research at the nation’s universities.“Yes, the federal government still has an important role, but the context is very different than it was 30 or 40 years ago,” he explained. “Trillion-dollar companies are investing huge amounts of research dollars in autonomous vehicles and other new technologies. Foundations are investing millions in areas of great importance. And then the major research universities are putting a lot of skin in the game as well.”The need to curb federal spending has also altered the picture, he added. “OK, we’ve got a $22-trillion debt in this country. We all have to work together to figure out how to leverage those federal dollars in the maximum way possible.”Droegemeier even hailed the findings of an NSF survey showing that the federal government now supports less than half of all basic research conducted in the United States. While most research advocates have decried that shrinking federal role, down from 70% in the 1960s and 1970s, Droegemeier applauded the trend.“Yes, I think it is a healthy sign. I don’t see it as terrible at all,” he told ScienceInsider. “The fact that the government and the private sector are joining forces, just as Vannevar Bush described in Science, the Endless Frontier, is a wonderful thing.”Drogemeier said he plans to expand on that theme on Friday in a keynote address at the annual meeting of AAAS (which publishes Science) in Washington, D.C. “I think we need much greater connective tissue” among all of the players—government, industry, academia and philanthropy—that comprise the U.S. research establishment. “We need more efficiency, more interaction, more collaboration. No other country comes close to having what we have.” EXCLUSIVE: The first interview with Trump’s new science adviser A “conversation” on harassmentDroegemeier says “it’s a great privilege” to lead an agency charged with facilitating communication among the various executive branch agencies that fund research. He does not hold the additional title of assistant to the president—something given his predecessor under then-President Barack Obama, John Holdren, but not the last Republican science adviser, Jack Marburger, who served former President George W. Bush—but says that’s immaterial to his ability to perform his duties.“The statute that created OSTP [in 1976] talks about the director providing science advice to the president and the executive branch,” Droegemeier notes. “And I report to the president.”His 60-person staff keeps busy convening cross-agency committees and writing reports, some mandated by Congress, on what the federal government is doing on topics ranging from science and math education to quantum computing. But coordination isn’t the same thing as forging government-wide consensus on any particular issue. Indeed, Droegemeier says he doesn’t see the need for a uniform policy on dealing with two contentious issues now roiling the research community—sexual harassment and academic espionage.“The circumstances vary greatly from one agency to the next,” Droegemeier said in response to a question about sexual harassment. “Some agencies fund a lot of work out in the field, some agencies support work in extreme environments, some agencies fund research in an ecological lab or a space station where people live together for months at a time. So, they have to think about applying different rules.”“I’m very strong on having uniform principles,” he continued. “And then, you take those principles and you actualize them in a particular context at a particular agency.” The goal, he said, should be to “make sure that the environment is free from harassment. But figuring out the best way to implement those principles gets into the weeds.” “I think there are a lot of changes in administrative burdens that are completely unrelated to indirect costs that would make sense, if you think about this as being a way to bring more money back to the table,” he says. “It’s not even budget neutral; it’s budget positive, because you’re taking money that is now being wasted and you’re putting it back into productive research.“I’m going to be laser-focused on what we can do to reduce the administrative burden [on researchers],” he promises. “And one of the things I really love about this administration is not only that it is very keen on removing regulatory barriers and burdens, but it is also laser-focused on getting tangible results, not writing a lot of reports and not having lots of endless conversations, but on making policy decisions today that are going to have demonstrable outcomes and positive benefits to this country.”“More about the science”Droegemeier was confirmed by the Senate on 2 January, started work in January during the partial government shutdown, and was ceremonially sworn in this week by Pence. Marburger held the previous record for late arrivals, starting about 10 months after Bush took office. In contrast, Holdren was on the job the day after Obama was inaugurated.Michael Kratsios has been the de facto head of OSTP, concurrent with his official role as deputy chief technology officer and deputy assistant to the president. The 32-year-old has an undergraduate degree in political science and was chief of staff to billionaire investor Peter Thiel before joining  OSTP in March 2017. He’s been most visible on issues relating to expanding broadband communication, enabling drone technology, and fostering innovation.Droegemeier called Kratsios “an extraordinary leader.” But he acknowledged that the “science” part of the office may have been getting short shrift during his tenure.“He has been more on the technology side. So, you maybe heard a bit more about technology,” Droegemeier says. “Now, you’ll be hearing a bit more about the science side.”last_img read more

Mom Son Wearing Blackface Is Not About Race

first_imgAnother day, another racist video involving white kids wearing blackface. And, in typical form, white folks were coming up with the most imaginative ways to excuse the clearly racist behavior.Hundreds of students at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Chicago staged a walkout on Tuesday after a video surfaced on social media showing white students wearing blackface and directing the N-word toward a Black woman employee at a McDonald’s drive-thru.The Daily Mail reported that the Black woman in the video is said to be “hurt, frustrated and embarrassed” by the encounter.Following the release of the video, the school organized a meeting with the students involved and their parents. The mother of one of the students featured in the video defended the kids and blamed their actions on their ignorance, not racism. “They should be expelled,” senior Claudia Bowen told the Chicago Sun Times on Tuesday. “That’s unacceptable when they go to a school with a majority of black students.”One former student said he hoped the protest would show the community that racism won’t be tolerated.“This will show that both the students and the community of this area will not put up with this and will not tolerate it,” said Jason Hampton.The school expressed support in their students’ right to protest and once the students headed back to class, the school also claimed they would have a school-wide conversation about race.SEE ALSO:Here’s Why Blackface Will Never Be ‘OK’Mom & Children In Blackface Sparks Outrage Blackface , Chicago Morehouse Students Take To Social Media And Claim Sexual Harassment Complaints Were Ignored Photos Of People In Blackface For Governor Northam And His Supporters Blackface Policemen center_img “This is a very serious thing,” she told Patch on Monday. “As crazy as it sounds, it is not about race. We are not racist. The students didn’t even know what ‘blackface’ meant until they Googled it later. It was a complete dumb and childish act.”One Homewood-Flossmoor student wasn’t buying that the boys didn’t know about the notorious history of the racist tradition.“We learned about this stuff when we were in middle school. We learned about it when we were even younger than that,” Acque Warner, a senior, told WGN9 on Monday.The school released a statement condemning the students involved and saying in part that the actions of those students “is contrary to our expectations, is being addressed quickly and appropriately and will not be tolerated.”Some students and parents said they felt like the school needed to do more. During the walkout, protesters chanted “we want justice!” and “no place for blackface” as they walked down the street. Many participants expressed wanting change and more accountability as rumors swirled that the students involved would not be disciplined. More By Megan Sims Jamaican Republican Who Is Running Against AOC Supported Her A Year Ago White Tears! Former Meteorologist Files Lawsuit Claiming He Was Fired Because Of Diversitylast_img read more

Stone Age Kitchen Found at the Bottom of a Lake complete with

first_imgUniversity of Helsinki researchers studying a group of lakes in Finland say they’ve found a Stone Age settlement in Lake Kuolimojarvi that gives clues to how humans lived in the area in the Mesolithic and Early Neolithic Stone Age, ranging from 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. Examining objects found at the bottom of the lake, the researchers zeroed in on implements used to shape stone tools in an underwater hearth.“The hearth included remnants of charcoal, as well as burnt sand and stone, which leads us to believe that early humans were active in this area many years ago,” said University of Helsinki postdoctoral archaeology researcher Satu Koivisto, who led the expedition, in an interview with YLE Uutiset.Lake Kuolimo Jarvi. Photo by J Hokkanen CC BY-SA 4.0“Koivisto said a stove structure found about a meter below the water’s surface cannot be from any other time than 9,000 to 8,000 years ago–before the water level rose,” the article continued. Koivistio also said, “A lot of our inland lakes such as Vanajevesi, Pielinen, and Lake Oulu have experienced similar surface variation. That is why there are great expanses of largely untapped underwater archaeological resources in Finnish lakes where very old organic material may have survived for thousands of years.”When the water levels rose, areas that existed on dry land were buried at the bottom of lakes.Underwater archaeologists took soil samples of the burned layer around the hearth and are now studying it.These findings may change the timeline of when early humans lived in Finland.The researchers say they believe there could have been human habitation in this area for thousands of years before the time of the lake settlement, as is shown by traces dated to more than 10,000 years old discovered at Kuurmanpohja in Joutseno, farther to the south.Strange Ancient Places Around the worldThe hearth and other materials at Lake Kuolimojarvi indicate a submerged Stone Age settlement site, the first of its kind in Finland. The nearest similar sites have been found in northwestern Russia and southern Scandinavia.Finland is a place of fascinating discoveries, with hundreds of unexplored caves believed to hold many secrets. One that was explored to great excitement is called Varggrottan, which means the Wolf Cave in English.Imaginative depiction of the Stone Age, by Viktor Vasnetsov.When archaeologists bore down on it, they found artifacts that suggest this was home to Neanderthals who lived tens of thousands of years ago.Located in Pyhävuori mountain in Kristinestad, near the Karijoki municipality in Finland, the Varggrottan, described as a crack in the mountain, was thought to be inhabited sometime between 75,000 and 130,000 years ago, before the existence of modern man in Europe. As many as 200 artifacts, and about 600 pieces of strike waste, scrapers and bolt stone, and heated stones from an open fire, have been found there.Wolf Cave in Karijoki, Finland.The objects were made of various materials, including siltstone, quartz, quartzite, volcanic rock, jasper and sandstone; as siltstone and quartzite don’t occur naturally in the area, it means some must have come from elsewhere. Mammal bones and material believed to be their prey were also found during the excavations from 1997 to 2006.However, some researchers dispute that the occupants of the cave were Neanderthal.Lake Kuolimojarvi, large stone eroded. Photo by J Hokkanen CC BY-SA 4.0The discovery in Lake Kuolimojarvi extends significantly the assumed history of humans in Finland. Up to now the first signs of human life were believed to date to the 8th century BC. The remains of a fishing net had been dated to 7300 BC.On the question of the origin of the Finn people, in the 1960s, researchers said that one-quarter of the Finns’ genetic stock was Siberian and three-quarters European. The latest research on DNA strengthens the view that the Finns are genetically mostly an Indoeuropean population.Read another story from us: 2000-year-old preserved loaf of bread found in the ruins of PompeiiThe Finns are believed to be related to the Balts, Germanic people, and the Baltic Finns. The language seems to come from the east and belongs to the Uralic family, although it contains some words from Indoeuropean languages such as Baltic, Germanic, and Russian.Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.com.last_img read more

Rock used as a Doorstop for 30 Years Turns out to be

first_imgThousands of meteorites fall through Earth’s atmosphere every day. Most of them are about the size of a grain of sand and never make it to the surface. Some, however, survive to leave lasting marks upon the Earth. Often people who find small meteorites keep them as a conversation piece.One such meteorite was kept as a doorstop for thirty years by a Michigan farmer before he decided to bring it to an expert.The 22-pound doorstop meteorite was brought to Mona Sirbescu, a professor of geology at Central Michigan University, by a man who wished to remain anonymous.Central Michigan UniversityThe man claims to have found the meteorite holding open a door at his property when he bought it in 1988. The farmer who owned the property before him claimed that the rock was a meteorite and that it had struck the earth close to the farm back in the 1930s.“It made a heck of a noise when it hit,” the farmer reportedly said. When he sold the farm, he passed the space rock to its new owner, saying that it was part of the property. Eventually, the anonymous man moved away from the farm and took the meteorite with him.He later heard stories about other Michigan residents finding and selling meteorites. Inspired, he decided to take his own sample to an expert for analysis. Time Magazine reports that the man took the rock to the Geology Department at Central Michigan University, where it was examined and appraised at $100,000.Central Michigan UniversitySirbescu says that she has examined countless “space rocks” over the years, but they rarely turn out to be actual meteorites. “For 18 years, the answer has been categorically “no” — meteor wrongs, not meteorites. I could tell right away that this was something special,” Sirbescu stated in an interview with CNN.The doorstop-meteorite was found to be made mostly of iron with small amounts of nickel. It was sent to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. for verification and the famous museum also considered buying the specimen.Central Michigan University Professor Mona Sirbescu shows off a meteorite. Mackenzie Brockman/Central Michigan UniversityThe anonymous man who brought the meteorite in for examination agreed to give 10 percent of the sale price to Central Michigan University in return for their services in identifying the find. The meteorite has been dubbed the “Edmore Meteorite” after the town of Edmore, Michigan where it was originally found.The Edmore doorstop is but one of thousands of meteorites that fall through the earth’s atmosphere every day. There are a host of other famous space rocks that have come crashing down to the Earth’s surface at one time or another. Among the most famous of these is the Willamette meteorite found in Oregon in 1902.According to the American Museum of Natural History, the meteorite, named for the Willamette Valley where it was found, weighs about 15.5 tons. It’s made chiefly of iron and is the sixth largest meteorite sample in the world.A meteorite made primarily of iron is rare. The iron comes originally from the forming and ending of stars, so these specimens have much to say about the development of solar systems and planets.Scientists theorize that this meteorite is probably the remains of an iron-nickel core from a planet that was shattered billions of years ago. The fragment would have orbited our sun as the planets formed, eventually crashing into the Earth’s surface at around 64,000 kilometers per hour (40,000 mph).Read another story from us: Ann Hodges, the only person struck by a meteorite who survived itThe meteorite has a unique shape, filled with cavities carved by rainwater forming sulfuric acid from the meteorite’s iron sulfide composition.The Willamette meteorite was held sacred by the indigenous peoples of the valley until it was secretly appropriated by a settler named Ellis Hughes in 1902. It is currently on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.last_img read more

4500yrold Stone Pillar Depicts Historys First Known Border Dispute

first_imgA “border pillar” shoved into the ground some 4,500 years ago in what is now southern Iraq underscores the fact that disputes over territory are as old as civilization itself. For 150 years, the British Museum’s collection has included the Lagash Border Pillar, a stone white pillar that King Enmetena of Lagash had erected to mark his territory in 2400 BC “and its glistening surface would have shone out brightly and assertively under the sun beating down on the plain.”Votive relief of Ur-Nanshe, king of Lagash, Early Dynastic III (2550–2500 BC).Recently the inscription on the pillar was translated, and its aggressive language showed the struggle to create a “no man’s land” between the kingdoms of Umma and Lagash in MesopotamiaAccording to the Smithsonian, “The fight between Umma and Lagash is one of the oldest known wars in human history and led to what may be the world’s first peace treaty and one of the oldest legal documents, the Treaty of Mesilim, signed around 2550 B.C. The treaty set up a border that was demarcated with a stele along an irrigation canal, similar to the one on view in the museum.”It is the focus of a new exhibit at the British Museum called “No Man’s Land.” Wrote The Financial Times: “No Man’s Land is the latest in a series of tightly focused displays staged in the single-room space that lies immediately to your right as you pass through the museum’s portico.”Plan of a real estate of the city of Umma, with indications of the surfaces of the parts. Third Dynasty of Ur, Le Louvre. Photo by Rama CC BY-SA 2.0 frThe translation on the pillar includes dire warnings (in cuneiform) for anyone who dares step over the boundary. The translation seems to warn that if the gods don’t stomp on you, poisonous snakes will finish you off.Over 4500 years ago, Lagash, and Umma, neighboring states, fought bitterly over a fertile tract of land called Gu’edina, “Edge of the Plain.”“The ancient objects showcased here document the perspectives of the opposing sides, with both territories invoking divine sanction and precedent to justify their claim over the land,” the museum says.Sumerian king Lugal-Zage-Si of Umma’s domains (red), c. 2350 BC Photo by Zunkir CC BY-SA 3.0Alongside the stone pillar in the British Museum stands the Umma Mace-Head that was made for King Gishakidu of Umma, who was Enmetena’s enemy and his contemporary. “Long regarded as a vase, it is now understood that this is a symbolic mace-head which has always been displayed upside down — until now,” the museum says.On top of the mace-head is a black painted representation of the battle net that was used by the gods to immobilize enemies for execution. The Ur Plaque also on display in this show illustrates a tradition followed by Lagash and Umma in which offerings were made at the border shrine under the protective eye of the Moon God.The cuneiform text states that Enannatum I reminds the gods of his prolific temple achievements in Lagash. Circa 2400 BC. From Girsu, Iraq. The British Museum, London Photo by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg) -CC BY-SA 4.0The Smithsonian says, “This wasn’t just a roadside sign marking Lagash’s territory. It is a heavily inscribed object, telling the complete story of the war between the two cities over the land. It also includes what may be the earliest-known example of written word play.”“Whoever chiseled the pillar didn’t just take pains to emphasize the name of the Lagash god Ningirsu, substituting some of the cuneiform marks in the name with the symbol for god, they also threw some shade on the rival god of Umma, writing the god’s name in a messy, almost illegible script.”Irving Finkel, a curator in the Middle East department who deciphered the Sumerian cuneiform writing, told The Financial Times, “You have in one breath the use of writing in a magical way to enhance the power of one deity and then nullify the power of the other. This is unique in cuneiform. It’s the most exciting thing you can imagine.”Read another story from us: 4,000-yr-old Tablet is the World’s Oldest Customer Service ComplaintThe museum display, No Man’s Land,  “brings to light the fragility of borders throughout history. The ancient and contemporary works exhibited address the issues around the human desire to dominate land, and allude to the brutality and turmoil borders have invoked on those that inhabit them as well as the landscape itself,” says the British Museum.last_img read more

Hundreds of thousands march in Hong Kong to protest China extradition bill

first_img Advertising LiveKarnataka floor test: Will Kumaraswamy’s 14-month-old govt survive? Hong Kong tourism, hotel occupancy falls as protests drag on Debates will start in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council on Wednesday on the amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. The bill could be passed into law by the end of June.Lam has tweaked the amendments but refused to pull the bill, saying it is vital to plug a long-standing “loophole”.Hong Kong, Hong Kong protest, Hong Kong extradition law, extradition law Hong Kong, Hong Kong news, Indian Express, latest news People attend a protest against proposed extradition bill of Chinese-ruled Hong Kong with China, in Berlin, Germany, June 9, 2019. (Reuters)She has also said speedy action is needed to ensure a Hong Kong man suspected of murdering his girlfriend can be sent to Taiwan for trial.Opposition to the bill has united a broad range of the community, from usually pro-establishment business people and lawyers to students, pro-democracy figures and religious groups.Insurance agents, executives and small entrepreneurs joined bus drivers and mechanics in the streets on Sunday. Dozens of people told Reuters it was their first protest march, with some remarking on the strong sense of unity among the diverse crowds.“I come here to fight,” said a wheelchair-bound, 78-year-old man surnamed Lai, who was among the first to arrive.Schoolteacher Garry Chiu joined the protest with his wife and 1-year-old daughter, saying, “It is no longer about me”.“I need to save my daughter. If the law is implemented anyone can disappear from Hong Kong. No one will get justice in China. We know there is no human rights,” Chiu added.“The extradition bill will directly threaten the core values of Hong Kong and rule of law,” said 21-year-old Kelvin Tam, a student in London. “It will remove the firewall of Hong Kong judicial independence.”Protests against the bill were also planned on Sunday in 26 cities globally, including London, Sydney, New York and Chicago.CRITICISM OF BILLThe amendments would simplify case-by-case arrangements to allow extradition of wanted suspects to jurisdictions, including mainland China, Macau and Taiwan, beyond the 20 that Hong Kong already has extradition treaties with.Opponents of the bill question the fairness and transparency of the Chinese court system and worry about Chinese security forces contriving charges.Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, said on Thursday the bill would “strike a terrible blow…against the rule of law, against Hong Kong’s stability and security, against Hong Kong’s position as a great international trading hub”.Foreign governments have also expressed concern, warning of the impact on Hong Kong’s reputation as an international financial hub, and noting that foreigners wanted in China risk getting ensnared in Hong Kong.Concerns were highlighted on Saturday with news that a local high court judge had been reprimanded by the chief justice after his signature appeared on a public petition against the bill.Reuters reported earlier that several senior Hong Kong judges were worried about the changes, noting a lack of trust in mainland courts as well as the limited nature of extradition hearings.Human rights groups have repeatedly cited the alleged use of torture, arbitrary detentions, forced confessions and problems accessing lawyers in China.Hong Kong officials have defended the plans, even as they raised the threshold of extraditable offences to crimes carrying penalties of seven years or more.They say the laws carry adequate safeguards, including the protection of independent local judges who will hear cases before any approval by the Hong Kong chief executive. No one would be extradited if they face political or religious persecution or torture, or the death penalty, they say. “We continue to listen to a wide cross-section of views and opinions and remain to open to suggestions on ways to improve the new regime,” a government official said on Sunday. Advertising Best Of Express Hong Kong, Hong Kong protest, Hong Kong extradition law, extradition law Hong Kong, Hong Kong news, Indian Express, latest news People attend a protest against proposed extradition bill of Chinese-ruled Hong Kong with China, in Berlin, Germany, June 9, 2019. (Reuters)Several hundred thousand people jammed Hong Kong’s streets on Sunday in the biggest rally for years to thwart a proposed extradition law that would allow suspects to be sent to mainland China to face trial. The former British colony was handed back to Chinese rule in 1997 amid guarantees of autonomy and various freedoms including a separate legal system, which many diplomats and business leaders believe is the city’s strongest remaining asset.The unusually broad opposition to the rendition bill displayed on Sunday came amid a series of government moves to deepen links between southern mainland China and Hong Kong.Hong Kong, Hong Kong protest, Hong Kong extradition law, extradition law Hong Kong, Hong Kong news, Indian Express, latest news Demonstrators attend a protest to demand authorities scrap a proposed extradition bill with China, in Hong Kong, China June 9, 2019. (Reuters)Police had yet to issue their own estimate of the protest size. But as tens of thousands reached the Legislative Council in the Admiralty business district, the starting point in Victoria Park was crowded with thousands more still waiting to join the march.Explained | Why Hong Kong’s extradition law changes are fuelling fears Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Advertising Post Comment(s) More Explained Clashes break out as Hong Kong protesters escalate fight in suburbs Streets were packed along the route; Reuters witnesses at various key points estimated the crowd at several hundred thousand strong.Chants of “no China extradition, no evil law” echoed through the highrise city streets, while other marchers called for Hong Lam and other senior officials to step down.BROAD-BASED, GOOD-NATURED PROTESTOne protester held a sign reading “Carry off Carrie”, while another declared “Extradite yourself, Carrie.” Another sign said “let’s make Hong Kong great again”, with a photo depicting U.S. President Donald Trump firing Lam.Hong Kong, Hong Kong protest, Hong Kong extradition law, extradition law Hong Kong, Hong Kong news, Indian Express, latest news Protesters break through a police line as protesters march against the proposed amendments to an extradition law in Hong Kong Sunday, June 9, 2019. (AP)The genial crowd included young families pushing babies in prams as well as the elderly braving 32 degree C (90°F) heat, some spraying each other with water misters. P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Taking stock of monsoon rain By Reuters |Hong Kong | Updated: June 9, 2019 5:02:52 pm Organisers said their initial estimates put the turnout at well over half a million people, saying it outstripped a demonstration in 2003 when 500,000 hit the streets to challenge government plans for tighter national security laws.Those laws were later shelved and a key government official forced to resign. Sunday’s outpouring was widely expected to raise the pressure on the administration of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her official backers in Beijing.Hong Kong, Hong Kong protest, Hong Kong extradition law, extradition law Hong Kong, Hong Kong news, Indian Express, latest news Demonstrators attend a protest to demand authorities scrap a proposed extradition bill with China, in Hong Kong, China June 9, 2019. (Reuters)Lam had yet to comment on the rally, which followed weeks of domestic discontent growing official concern from the U.S., European Union and foreign business lobbies that the changes would dent Hong Kong’s vaunted rule of law and freedoms. Hong Kong protesters, police clash as demonstrations target Chinese traders Related News last_img read more