Monday, May 21, 2018

May 21st Links

  • If I wanted to enslave & subjugate a race, I would introduce agriculture. Weakens men: Less protein, less testosterone (grains, phytoestrogens, omega-6) Matures girls sooner: Phytoestrogens Result: Faster reproduction, shorter lifespans, less ability to resist (weaker/shorter). [Twitter]
  • Plants have physical and chemical mechanisms for defense from attack by animals. Phytochemical defenses that protect plants from attack by insects include antifeedants, insecticides, and insect growth regulators. Phytochemical options exist by which plants can modulate the fertility of the other major group of plant predators, vertebrate herbivores, and thereby reduce cumulative attacks by those herbivores. The success of such a defense depends upon phytochemical mimicry of vertebrate reproductive hormones. Phytoestrogens do mimic reproductive hormones and are proposed to be defensive substances produced by plants to modulate the fertility of herbivores. [NLM]
  • Do you think Trump's enjoying his job at all? No. I do not. I have never thought he is enjoying this job. I think he enjoys the title Mr. President. I think he enjoys Air Force One, Marine One, the big car, having a lot of Secret Service, his Diet Coke bell, all of that stuff. I don't think he particularly likes living in the White House. I certainly don't think he enjoys the job. [Slate]
  • After the academy, the two men roomed and raised a ruckus together at flights schools, Timberg wrote. At Corpus Christi, they reconfigured their set-up of adjoining rooms, he wrote. They moved their beds into one room and converted the other into a party room. [link]
  • During the summer of 1936, Indiana had 100 degree temperatures from June 15 to September 16, with a peak temperature of 114 degrees on July 14. If this happened now, climate scientists would be 100% certain it was due to man-made CO2 and demand immediate world communism. Over the past five years, Indiana has only recorded one (barely) 100 degree temperature. Afternoon temperatures have been plummeting in Indiana since the 19th century, and the frequency of hot days has also plummeted. [Goddard]
  • When we're in a bubble: (1) I tend to get emails asking about the price of stocks rather than any risks to the economy or fears of a permanently bleak future. (2)The emails I get tend to acknowledge that prices are high but then assert that there is no catalyst to cause them to come down. (3) People tend to talk about their expectation for permanently lower long-term rates of return rather than the risk of a near-term price drop. (4) People ask more about assets that are difficult to value. [Gannon]
  • The take home is that regular use of caffeine produces no benefit to alertness, energy, or function. Regular caffeine users are simply staving off caffeine withdrawal with every dose – using caffeine just to return them to their baseline. This makes caffeine a net negative for alertness, or neutral at best if use is regular enough to avoid any withdrawal. [link]
  • In our view, Illinois's best option is to impose a statewide residential property tax that expires when its unfunded pension liability is paid off. In our baseline scenario, we estimate that the tax rate required to pay off the pension debt over 30 years would be about 1%. This means that homeowners with homes worth $250,000 would pay an additional $2,500 per year in property taxes, those with homes worth $500,000 would pay an additional $5,000, and those with homes worth $1 million would pay an additional $10,000. [link]
  • The procedure continues to the VNY R152 to HIRVI, then direct to SMO, where a turn of more than 90 degrees is required to join the SMO R267 to Ventura (VTU). Total flying distance from the missed-approach point to the holding pattern is nearly 50 miles, so the fuel load must be planned accordingly. [Flying]
  • The Owens Valley is an 80-mile-long, stirringly dramatic gorge — one of the deepest in the country — hewn between the vertiginous wall of the Sierra Nevada to the west and the White and Inyo Mountains to the east. Many peaks on both sides rise above 14,000 feet. The valley floor averages 8 miles wide and is mostly flat at around 4,000 feet elevation, with one exception: Crater Mountain, a large dark-red cinder cone plopped in the middle of the valley 20 miles south of Bishop. [Flying]
  • The town was founded, in 1870, by immigrants from Holland looking for farmland, and until recently almost everyone who lived there was Dutch. Many of the stores on Central Avenue still bear Dutch names: Bomgaars farm-supply store, Van Maanen's Radio Shack, Van Rooyen Financial Group, DeJong Chiropractic and Acupuncture, Woudstra Meat Market. The town's police force consists of Jim Pottebaum, Duane Hulstein, Audley DeJong, Bruce Jacobsma, Chad Van Ravenswaay, Wes Van Voorst, and Bob Van Zee. When an Orange City teacher wants to divide her class in half, she will say, "A"s through "U"s to one side, "V"s through "Z"s to the other. Once, many years ago, an actual Dutch woman, from Rotterdam, moved to town with her American husband. She found the Dutchness of Orange City peculiar—the way that most people didn’t speak Dutch anymore but sprinkled their English with phrases that nobody had used in the Netherlands for a hundred years. [New Yorker]
  • Still, the present study identifies a significant difference between the ages of persons who die with tattoos compared with those without tattoos. The difference is 14 years and appears to be independent of sex, race, or manner of death. When manner of death is factored in, the survival difference is even more appreciable: 20 years for a tattoo with a nonnegative message and 32 years for a tattoo with a negative message. [link]
  • The arbitrageurs who founded hedge funds to bring appraisal actions are too smart to throw their money away on doomed litigation. For good or ill, I have a feeling the appraisal boom will be busted by the end of this year. [link]
  • The obvious approach of supplementing the primary antioxidant systems designed to suppress the initiation of oxidative stress has been tested in animal models and positive results were obtained. However, these findings have not been effectively translated to treating human patients, and clinical trials for antioxidant therapies using radical scavenging molecules such as α-tocopherol, ascorbate and coenzyme Q have met with limited success, highlighting several limitations to this approach. These could include: (1) radical scavenging antioxidants cannot reverse established damage to proteins and organelles; (2) radical scavenging antioxidants are oxidant specific, and can only be effective if the specific mechanism for neurodegeneration involves the reactive species to which they are targeted and (3) since reactive species play an important role in physiological signaling, suppression of endogenous oxidants maybe deleterious. Therefore, alternative approaches that can circumvent these limitations are needed. While not previously considered an antioxidant system we propose that the autophagy-lysosomal activities, may serve this essential function in neurodegenerative diseases by removing damaged or dysfunctional proteins and organelles. [NLM]

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