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ellenrr's Journal
ellenrr's Journal
June 26, 2015

Terror attacks: separate attacks in Tunisia, France and Kuwait leave more than 60 dead

Source: Guardian

More than 60 people have been killed across three continents, during three separate attacks in Tunisia, France and Kuwait. These attacks are not believed to be coordinated

At least 37 people have been killed in a terrorist attack on a beachside hotel in Sousse, Tunisia. The British Foreign Minister confirmed 5 Britons were among the dead, as was one Irish woman
Witnesses described terrifying scenes of people fleeing the beach with their children and screaming, before barricading themselves in hotel rooms. Reports on social media indicate that some of the hotels’ 565 guests are still inside the hotel

In Kuwait, at least 25 people were killed by an explosion at a Shia mosque in Kuwait city during Friday prayers. More than 200 people were injured.

In France, police have arrested four people – including the main suspect Yassin Salhi – after a decapitated body was found following an attack on a factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, south of Lyon. The suspect had reportedly tried to blow up the factory belonging to a US gas company
The three attacks come just days after after an Islamic State (Isis) spokesman urged jihadists to make the holy month of Ramadan “a time of calamity for the infidels … Shias and apostate Muslims”.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/jun/26/tunisia-beach-resort-attack-multiple-deaths-live-updates

June 26, 2015

Chinese protest new chemical plant

Shanghai – Anti Pollution protests against the construction of a new PX plant continue to grow in the Shanghai suburb of Jinshui. The protest that began on Monday doubled in size Thursday night when approximately 5000 people filled the streets to re-affirm their opposition.

Along with the massive night time march, large groups of people have maintained a protest outside of the Jinshui District Government building since Monday.



June 7, 2015

Earthworms acting strangely after Texas floods.

This is so sad...
It could represent what humans are doing to the earth.
Even the worms are scared and sad.

"Worms have been known to arrange themselves in clumps such as this, and are often called 'earthworm herds.'

The creatures often do this when they are in distress or faced with danger.
Scientists believe the clumps allow them to use touch to communicate and influence each other's behaviour."


June 6, 2015

Sex equality can explain the unique social structure of hunter-gatherer bands

This article from The Guardian suggests a counter to the common concept that in the old days human societies were rigidly defined by gender roles.

Study shows that modern hunter-gatherer tribes operate on egalitarian basis, suggesting inequality was an aberration that came with the advent of agriculture

Our prehistoric forebears are often portrayed as spear-wielding savages, but the earliest human societies are likely to have been founded on enlightened egalitarian principles, according to scientists.

A study has shown that in contemporary hunter-gatherer tribes, men and women tend to have equal influence on where their group lives and who they live with. The findings challenge the idea that sexual equality is a recent invention, suggesting that it has been the norm for humans for most of our evolutionary history.

Mark Dyble, an anthropologist who led the study at University College London, said: “There is still this wider perception that hunter-gatherers are more macho or male-dominated. We’d argue it was only with the emergence of agriculture, when people could start to accumulate resources, that inequality emerged.”

June 5, 2015

Some new therapies in the works for aging/injured knees

This article, besides talking about new techniques, also explains why cartilage tends not to repair itself, like other parts of the body do.

For reasons that are not entirely clear, damage to the key stabilizing structures of the knee joint often triggers a degenerative process that leads to the worn-out cartilage and chronic pain of osteoarthritis. The goal of next-generation treatment is to return the knee to its full function in as natural a way as possible, which may also slow or stop the runaway cycle that leads to arthritis. “It's repair and regeneration, rather than removal and replacement,” says orthopedic surgeon Martha M. Murray, who heads the Sports Medicine Research Laboratory at Boston Children's Hospital.

Much of the new thinking about joint repair is rooted in research into the perplexing question of why connective tissues in the joints—tendons, ligaments and cartilage—do not necessarily heal the way other tissues do. A big part of the problem in many of these structures is a relatively poor blood supply; blood contains cells and proteins that are essential to healing.

Tendons, the flexible ropes of fibrous tissue that connect muscles to bone, and ligaments, the slightly stretchy bands that link bone to bone, are less well nourished by blood vessels than are most other tissues. As for cartilage—such as the supersmooth white material on the end of bones (think chicken legs) that helps joints glide—most of it has no blood supply. “So cartilage has virtually no capacity to heal,” says Scott Rodeo, an orthopedic surgeon and researcher at the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and a team physician for the New York Giants.

In addition to a paltry blood supply, the ACL's central location in the joint capsule, which is filled with a lubricant called synovial fluid, is another reason the band will not heal on its own. Wound repair normally begins with bleeding and the formation of a blood clot. Cells in the clot called platelets release certain proteins that promote healing, whereas the sticky clot itself serves as a temporary scaffold for reconstruction with new cells. In joints, however, synovial fluid dissolves clots, “so there's never that early bridge that gives healing a place to happen,” says Murray of Boston Children's Hospital. This is why a tear in the ACL does not heal, but a rip in the nearby medial collateral ligament, which runs along the side of the knee beyond the synovial fluid, slowly knits itself together.


Yesterday I had an ozone shot in my knee, which is relatively new. It is not approved by FDA, but Medicare does cover it.

It hurt like hell... but so far, my knee feels better.

But I will probably need 2 more. (wince)
June 5, 2015

Pakistanís Radical Feminists Are Fighting Violence with Activism and Art

For nearly a decade, Pakistani human rights activist Sabeen Mahmud was the centerpiece of a flourishing counterculture in Karachi, Pakistan. In opening the doors of DIY community space T2F (formerly known as the Second Floor) in 2007, she provided a place for women and men to unfold their creative selves regardless of income, class, or age. But on the night of Friday, April 24, Sabeen was brutally silenced. After hosting a seminar with Baluch political activist Mama Qadeer, she was shot dead on the street outside T2F by two unidentified gunmen. Mahenaz Mahmud—Sabeen's mother, who was with her that night—survived the attack with minimal injuries.

I had originally traveled to Karachi to visit friends and document the underground music scene there. But when I first walked into the T2F conference room in mid April and saw Sabeen surrounded by female associates who all seemed to hang on her every word, in that moment I realized what my story was actually about—the women who make alternative art publicly accessible and freedom of speech possible in Pakistan. In fact, it seemed that much of the underground culture was made possible by the efforts of Sabeen Mahmud.


June 5, 2015

The Indian heat wave: effects of climate change felt differently by the poor and by the rich.

Christian Parenti:
The social impacts of climate change are continually shaped and reshaped by class politics. The Indian heat wave is in many ways a socially produced crisis.

Although it is difficult to ascribe to climate change any single weather event – a heat wave, a flood, a hurricane – all of the major climate models have for 30 years predicted an increase in extreme weather events.

The heat wave in India fits the pattern that has been predicted for the region. Responsible for more than 2,000 deaths, this terrestrial inferno is just the latest, headline-grabbing example of the dangerously destabilizing impacts of climate change.

The social impacts of climate change are continually shaped and reshaped by class politics. The Indian rich escape to second homes in cooler climes. The middle class, retreats into air-conditioned homes and malls.

But the poor live, labor, and die amidst the intolerable heat. Keep in mind that, according to the United Nations’ multidimensional poverty index, more poor people live in eight Indian states than in all of sub-Saharan Africa. In other words the great masses of people have very few resources to help them cope with the searing heat.

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/India-Heat-Wave-The-Weather-of-Tomorrow-Today-20150602-0039.html. If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/english

June 2, 2015

French minister: 2015 climate deal must avoid US Congress

The global climate agreement being negotiated this year must be worded in such a way that it doesn't require approval by the U.S. Congress, the French foreign minister said Monday.

Laurent Fabius told African delegates at U.N. climate talks in Bonn that "we know the politics in the U.S. Whether we like it or not, if it comes to the Congress, they will refuse."

If negotiators follow his plan, that would exclude an international treaty that has legally-binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions - something some countries still insist on but which would have no chance of being ratified by the Republican-controlled Congress.

"We must find a formula which is valuable for everybody and valuable for the U.S. without going to the Congress," said Fabius, who will host the U.N. climate summit in Paris in December where the new agreement is supposed to be adopted.


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