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Xabier Ostale
The Earth is oblate spheroid
The Earth is oblate spheroid

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A 45-min podcast. Profit through exploitation, abuse, and destruction.
Can Capitalism Work Forever?
"One of the strategies of capitalism is to make raw materials and labor as inexpensive as possible in order to maximize profits. UT-Austin professor Raj Patel joins us to talk about how crises throughout history have actually helped capitalism thrive by making things cheaper. His new book is called “A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature and the Future of the Planet” (University of California Press)."

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Just knowing this exists is comforting.
Via +Uche Eke

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Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars)
Scientists trace 2002 Sars virus to colony of cave-dwelling bats in China
Genetic source found for disease that killed 750 round the world

"Scientists have pinpointed a population of virus-infected bats, which they have linked to the mysterious outbreak of Sars disease 15 years ago. Hundreds died as the virus spread around the globe but its source was never traced."

"Now, after years of searching across China, where the disease first emerged, researchers reported a few days ago that they had found a remote cave in Yunnan province, which is home to horseshoe bats that carry a strain of a particular virus known as a coronavirus. This strain has all the genetic building blocks of the type that triggered the global outbreak of Sars in 2002."

“This will certainly not be the only cave that contains bats infected with these strains of virus, but it is really important that we have found the first one,” said Sars expert Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust. “Samples from these bats will make it much easier to develop a vaccine for the disease and help us be prepared for another outbreak.”

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Insect Parts and Mouse Poop: Gross Things in Your Food
"The FDA's handbook, which was released in 1995 and last updated in 2005, is a fun read. A person can find out acceptable levels of "foreign matter" allowed in food, which is FDA-speak for a group that includes "objectionable matter such as sticks, stones, burlap bagging, cigarette butts, etc." The listings also describe permissible limits for "insect filth," "rodent filth," "mammalian excreta," insect parts, flies, mold, rot, pits, sand and grit."

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Powassan Virus (POW)
- What is Powassan virus disease?
Powassan (POW) virus disease is a rare, but often serious disease that is caused by a virus spread by infected ticks. Approximately 100 cases of POW virus disease were reported in the United States over the past 10 years. POW virus is one of a group of arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis).

- How do people get infected with Powassan virus?
POW virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected tick. POW virus is not transmitted directly from person-to-person.

- Where and when have most cases of Powassan virus disease occurred?
Most cases have occurred in the northeastern and Great Lakes regions of the United States during the late spring, early summer, and mid-fall when ticks are most active.

- Who is at risk for infection with Powassan virus?
Anyone bitten by a tick in an area where the virus is commonly found can get infected with POW virus. The risk is highest for people who live, work or recreate in brushy or wooded areas, because of greater exposure to potentially infected ticks.

- How soon do people get sick after getting bitten by an infected tick?
The incubation period (time from tick bite to onset of illness) ranges from one week to one month.

- What are the symptoms of Powassan virus disease?
Many people who become infected with POW virus do not develop any symptoms. POW virus can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord). Symptoms can include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, loss of coordination, speech difficulties, and seizures.

- How is Powassan virus disease diagnosed?
Diagnosis is based on a combination of signs and symptoms and laboratory tests of blood or spinal fluid. These tests typically detect antibodies that the immune system makes against the viral infection.

- What is the treatment for Powassan virus disease?
There is no specific medicine to cure or treat POW virus disease. Treatment for severe illnesses may include hospitalization, respiratory support, and intravenous fluids.

- How can I reduce the chance of getting infected with Powassan virus?
The best way to prevent POW virus disease is by protecting yourself from tick bites. There is no vaccine against POW virus.

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We should have resisted Caesar when he was weak. That would have been easy. Now we face eleven legions, cavalry at his command, the city rabble, corrupt youth. A leader of such authority and daring - against this we must either fight or admit his candidature in the law. Better fight than be a slave, you say? For what? A death sentence if you're beaten and if you win, slavery all the same.
(Cicero 106 - 43 BC)

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A 25-min very informative documentary.
Avian Flu
The main Spanish virologist and influenza virus specialist (the influenza viruses), introduces us to H5N1. We explain why it is so easy to spread and how it is able to acquire the necessary features to jump from birds to humans.

We will also briefly review recent pandemic caused by a virus experienced flu.

And finally we will have the latest findings on H5N1. Research to suspect that this is a virus that will soon join the list of infectious agents. Virus that have appeared in recent decades causing new diseases, and have jeopardized health systems worldwide.

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Nighty night x

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Via +Anne Sewell
This year will see a bad flu season
"Experts say vaccines may not be effective, but people must still have shots."

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This for the USA, imagine Europe...
Via +John Hummel
2018 Will Be The Bad Year
"The eerie absence of volatility" in markets is what gives me the creeps.

"Republicans… look like they will be able to successfully pass a tax bill that funnels more money to corporations and their investors, who decidedly do not need it. But who will be happy to take it, even if they know that exploding the deficit to give already rich people more money, during a time of essentially full employment, is the opposite of long-term financial probity. They also know that our president is a dumb, incompetent loon. (Wall Street, though it may be evil, benefits by seeing political situations with a ruthless clarity.) It is this situation of clear short term opportunity combined with infinite geopolitical and economic dark clouds looming that has fueled our manic economic boom. Get it while the getting is good, for tomorrow you may be dead!"

"Our leaders are doing everything they can to make inequality worse, which is the social equivalent of throwing propane canisters into your fireplace because you felt a chill."

"Anyhow here’s my fucking prediction: In 2018, something will give.

"It is stupid to wager that another entire year of D*** T***, president of the United States, will not result in a catastrophe that rises to the level of tipping point… The stage is set for disaster. And when it happens, everyone will want to take their money and run at the same time. And then we’ll be in the dark time."
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