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Gaythia Weis
Works at Analytical Chemist.
Lived in Bellingham WA
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Gaythia Weis

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Perseverance in the Face of Discrimination Leads to Advances in Science:  Dr Helen Taussig and Vivien Thomas

The importance of working towards equal opportunities, which can lead to gains for all of our society.
Rajini Rao originally shared to Making Sense of Science:
 
Affairs of the Heart: Dr. Helen Taussig 

❤  On a late November day in 1944, bright sunlight streamed upon the blue-tinged body of 18 month old Eileen Saxon, who was hovering near death. Born with a congenital heart defect that prevented her blood from being oxygenated by her lungs, she now weighed little more than 9 pounds. Across the ocean, World War II raged on, but at the +Johns Hopkins University hospital in Baltimore, another type of history was being made. Under the gaze of 706 doctors gathered around, Dr. Alfred Blalock meticulously rerouted an artery heading to the child's arm, back to the lungs giving the oxygen-starved blood a second chance of rejuvenation. The anesthesiologist cried out in astonishment as Eileen's lips turned from blue to a healthy red. That was the start of a successful procedure that would cure thousands of "blue babies" in the brand new era of heart surgery that followed. Today, we remember Dr. Helen Taussig, whose brilliant idea it was that set the stage.

❤ Born on this day, May 24, in 1898, Helen took medical classes at both Harvard and Boston Universities although neither would award her a degree because of her gender. Worse, she was forbidden to speak to her male colleagues in histology class because of fears that she would "contaminate" them. She completed her MD degree at Johns Hopkins and there, as a pediatric cardiologist did extensive work with anoxemia, or blue baby syndrome. She noticed that blue babies with an additional heart defect (called PDA) fared better, and that a shunt that mimicked PDA could be the solution. She pitched the idea of getting more blood to the lungs much "as a plumber changes pipes around" to surgeon Alfred Blalock and his technician Vivien Thomas. Thomas, a black man whose education did not go beyond high school, practiced the surgery in the animal lab and after modifying instruments for use in humans, coached Dr. Blalock through the first hundred surgeries in infants. In 1976, Hopkins awarded him an honorary doctorate. Sadly, little Eileen became cyanotic again in a few months and did not survive past 2 years even though other babies would go on to live healthy lives. Today, a modified version of the shunt is performed using a synthetic Gore-Tex graft (lower right image). 

¸¸.•*¨*•♫ Happy Birthday, Dr. Taussig!  

Image Note: Helen Taussig became deaf in later years, and actually used her fingers rather than a stethoscope to feel the rhythm of heartbeats.

More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_B._Taussig_
#ScienceSunday   #STEMWomen  
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Gaythia Weis

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Risks of the Race for Arctic Development

"Shell Oil is only part of the great race for this prize. Russia is militarizing its part of the Arctic for this reason. Canada intends to secure its claims, too, also to benefit from sea lanes that will become possible, thanks to an Arctic Ocean freed from ice by global warming."

http://www.seattletimes.com/business/economy/enticing-arctic-oil-patch-is-slippery-game-of-risk/
Shell Oil is only part of the great race for this prize. Russia is militarizing its part of the Arctic for this reason. Canada intends to secure its claims, too, also to benefit from sea lanes that will become possible, thanks to an Arctic Ocean freed from ice by global warming.
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The billionaire CEO of Continental Resources told a dean at the University of Oklahoma that he wanted earthquake researchers dismissed
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This isn't about having industry people represented. It's about an industry big-shot telling a public university what the science should say to the public. Or I'll hold back my donations. Why did he donate? Because the U's did the science that helped him and his cohorts succeed. And get rich. In the new America, those who have gained now feel they can snuff out any reality they don't want to hear. 
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Santa Barbara's Refugio Oil Spill
"Plains All American took Santa Barbara County to court more than 20 years ago to restrict the county’s regulatory oversight. It won. The consequences of that victory appear to be bearing bitter fruit. "
http://www.independent.com/news/2015/may/21/whos-watching-man-whos-watching-pipeline/
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+Dave Bennett:​ an interesting follow up. This sort of thing, where private industry is eroding the government's ability to oversee safety and pollution prevention, is becoming more common. See also: attempts to dismantle the EPA. The Coast Guard's regulatory authority is also being eroded, but it's not as obvious - I will have to go look that one up and post it for you. 
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"Arctic drilling is a threat to the environment, and Seattle needs to stand up for the future."

"As the [Seattle, Washington] mayor said, “It’s time to turn the page. Things like oil trains and coal trains and oil-drilling rigs are the past. It’s time to focus on the economy of the future.”"

http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/shell-and-high-water-the-climate-battle-of-seattle/
Arctic drilling is a threat to the environment, and Seattle needs to stand up for the future.
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Certainly control, and wise use of the earth's natural resources is an important geo-political issue, and potential flash point.  But pumping the oil out as fast as possible and burning it is no solution. 

Crassly, Russia, arguably has something to gain in the short term with global warming, with so much near arctic territory in Siberia and westward.  Whereas Florida, and much of the Mississippi Valley would be flooded by sea level rise.

But overall, humanity has a lot to lose.
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"Don't forget: the FBI has admitted that Section 215 surveillance has never produced intelligence that led to them cracking a terrorism-related case or preventing a single terrorist attack."
 
Ron Wyden and Rand Paul kill the Patriot Act (ish).
After an all-night session, Rand Paul [R-KY] and Ron Wyden [D-OR] tag-teamed majority leader Mitch McConnell [R-KY] and beat him to the mat -- he has abandoned the current legislative effort to ext...
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And this from Rand Paul. This is why I say that there is some good in everything and everybody.
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Defunding Science:  If we don't study climate change, maybe it will just go away.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R, TX) claims that the bill would still fund what he calls the "hard science areas of geosciece" including deep ocean drilling and finding new energy sources.  Subsidizing the fossil fuel industry is obviously just fine and somehow constitutes "basic research". 

The bill would limit funding for earth science research, work related to disaster resilience, drought, solar storms, ocean health, agriculture, and climate change   It would also force NSF to cut more than $250 million from the agency’s Directorate for Geosciences and the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences.

Via +American Geophysical Union (AGU) 

https://eos.org/articles/bill-that-limits-earth-science-funding-wins-ok-in-house
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+Ted Houk I don' think surviving to be in the remaining .34% ile would be a very pleasant experience, nor would it result in a human race with a very exemplary culture amenable to further rational thought.  Somehow, we need to figure how to do this together, with a melding of various philosophies towards common human goals.
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Washington State constitution prohibits long-term mooring outside of harbors.

""The state shall never give, sell or lease to any private person, corporation or association any rights whatever in the waters beyond such harbor lines," Article XV reads."

This obviously will hing on what is meant by "long term".  Shell's plans apparently include keeping the platforms moored in Seattle except when drilling in the brief (for now at least) arctic summer.

Interestingly, this issue arose when those opposed to the mooring of a barge by protesters took actions against that, thus waking up state officials to take a closer look at legal provisions.

Sadly, this all give Shell a further financial incentive, despite what they may fund in climate change denial, to accellerate climate change and thus the warming and deicing of the Arctic.

http://kuow.org/post/dnr-shell-long-term-moorage-arctic-drill-rig-unconstitutional
State officials said Friday that it's unconstitutional for Shell Oil to store its Arctic drilling rig at the Port of Seattle's Terminal 5. The Washington
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If we are going to have oil spills every few years, shouldn't we start asking for a deposit for cleanup costs associated with each new rig that we return when those rigs are successfully closed down?
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Beyond Climate Denial

Scenario planners at Shell.

Knowing the "hard truth" that climate change was dangerously real.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/18/magazine/shell-oils-cold-calculations-for-a-warming-world.html
What the company’s Arctic drilling plans say about how it and the Obama administration see the future of energy.
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A Great Deal of Science is Politically Driven
Consider the Manhattan Project, or the Space Program, or the efforts to create a vaccine to stop polio.
 
Is science political?
Naomi Oreskes explained it last week to House Committee on Natural Resources: "All of us who care about political freedom—and I believe that is all Americans--should do everything we can to support our climate scientists, and to act to prevent the threats they have so clearly documented. To do otherwise can only increase the chances that authoritarian forms of governance will come out ahead in the end." http://ow.ly/MCqWv
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Analytical Chemist
Introduction
I'm a chemist with a background in groundwater geochemistry, semiconductor industry quality assurance, Auger Electron Microscopy, and environmental monitoring.

My current passions are science policy, risk analysis and water resources.



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  • Analytical Chemist.
    Manager, present
  • InfoPteryx LLC