China’s ‘artificial sun’ reaches fusion temperature

980xTemperatures over 100 million degrees:

’In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth. STEPHEN JOHNSON 15 November, 2018 The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius…

At the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor in Hefei, China, researchers managed to heat hydrogen within the ‘artificial sun’ to a temperature of more than 100 million degrees Celsius, or 212 million degrees Fahrenheit, at which point it becomes plasma. The temperatures inside EAST are actually about seven times hotter than the center of the sun, where the added pressure from gravity allows for fusion to occur.…’

Via Big Think

101 ‘tortured’ whales jammed into offshore pens

980xSecret whale jail discovered by Russian reporters:

’Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales. Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens. Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.…

This giant group of whales — 11 orcas and 90 belugas — are reportedly believed to have been captured by LLC Oceanarium DV, LLC Afalina, LLC Bely Kit and LLC Sochi Dolphinarium. According to VL, these four firms dominate an illegal export market for marine animals. The four companies appear to be largely unregulated.

These whales are believed to be for sale to one of China’s 60 marine parks and aquariums, with a dozen more venues reportedly under construction. With an individual orca said to be going for about $6 million on the black market, there’s money to be made in supplying all of these attractions, in China and elsewhere. There are thought to be at least 71 orcas currently in captivity — 166 orcas have been captured since 1961, and 129 of them have died since. SeaWorld still has 21 orcas; 48 have previously died at their parks…’

Via Big Think

The Pittsburgh Synagogue Attack Makes Me Fear a New American Civil War

1540829759035 GettyImages 1054587820Time to be afraid for the future:

’…[We] are a nation profoundly divided about what it means to be American. The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer suggested, in Anna Holmes’ documentary The Loving Generation, that the US has long been pledging allegiance to two very different visions of what it means to be an American. On one side, being an “American” involves signing up for a civic faith dedicated to the Constitution, to the rule of law, to the privacy of the voting booth and liberty and justice for all. This is the Americanness of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, of the pulsing urban coastal centers, a vision that’s open to your tired, your poor, your refugees from around the world yearning to be free and ready to work hard. On the other hand are those who believe that “American” means people whose parents were born here, who are white and Christian, who want to bar the doors against the swarthy hordes. And yes, at least some of the latter—like this weekend’s gunman—believe in the more sinister slogan that arbeit macht frei.

The US government has been teetering back and forth between these two visions for generations. And no matter which side occupies the White House, the other wants their country back. One side was happy with George W. Bush’s red meat, red state presidency, invading freedom-hating nations, torturing suspected enemies to show strength, and keeping the country secure with a sprawling (and enduring) “security” apparatus. The other side—the globalists, the diversity-lovers, the cosmopolitans, the blue-coastal urbanites—thought that by electing Barack Obama, they had won back their country. Now, if they didn’t before, these people know that boiling underneath Obama’s presidency was a furious resistance: the Tea Party, the racists, the white nationalists who then elected their Birther-in-Chief.…’

Via Vice

California’s Wildfires Are Exposing the Rotten Core of Capitalism


It’s going to get weirder from here.

Unknown’“No matter what the kind of natural disaster, whether it’s flooding or wind damage or fire, the biggest burden of the longest duration falls on the already-poor,” David Lodge, director of Cornell University’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, told me.

In addition to the immediate threats to life and limb that come with any severe natural disaster, there may be a temporary period of homelessness or unemployment that can send someone on the brink of poverty over the edge. Without adequate insurance, savings to rebuild, or a reliable social safety net in place, what Lodge has called “the human face of policy-induced suffering” is revealed.

And with the current trajectory of increasing weather disasters, that suffering is likely to grow.…’


A debate over plant consciousness is forcing us to confront the limitations of the human mind

Consciousnessplants 2’The inner life of plants arouses the passions of even the mildest-mannered naturalists. A debate over plant consciousness and intelligence has raged in scientific circles for well over a century—at least since Charles Darwin observed in 1880 that stressed-out flora can’t rest.

There’s no doubt that plants are extremely complex. Biologists believe that plants communicate with one another, fungi, and animals by releasing chemicals via their roots, branches, and leaves. Plants also send seeds that supply information, working as data packets. They even sustain weak members of their own species by providing nutrients to their peers, which indicates a sense of kinship.

Plants have preferences—their roots move toward water, sensing its acoustic vibes—and defense mechanisms. They also have memories, and can learn from experience. One 2014 experiment, for example, involved dropping potted plants called Mimosa pudicas a short distance. At first, when the plants were dropped, they curled up their leaves defensively. But soon the plants learned that no harm would come to them, and they stopped protecting themselves.

But does any of this qualify as consciousness? The answer to that question seems to depend largely on linguistics, rather than science—how humans choose to define our conceptions of the self and intelligence.…’

Via Quartz

Stop It!

I’ve been sending this Mad TV Bob Newhart Skit with Mo Collins around to all my friends in the psychiatric field for years. (If it is not what we actually do in dealing with some patients, perhaps it is what we ought to do??) You might find it amusing. It runs around 6 min. Via YouTube

Violence against nurses: bill would protect millions of health care workers

GettyImages 543076252 0’A group of House Democrats will introduce a bill on Friday to help protect millions of nurses and other health care workers from the high rates of violence they experience on the job.

The new bill, called the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, would require hospitals, nursing homes, rehab centers, and jails to develop a workplace safety plan to protect their workers from violence they experience at the hands of patients — a surprisingly common phenomenon. The bill would also require employers to record and investigate all complaints of violence, and prohibits retaliation against employees who call 911. A draft of the bill was shared with Vox.…’

Via Vox