Happiness can break your heart too

‘Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) is known as “broken heart syndrome” and is characterised by a sudden temporary weakening of the heart muscles that causes the left ventricle of the heart to balloon out at the bottom while the neck remains narrow, creating a shape resembling a Japanese octopus trap, from which it gets its name. Since this relatively rare condition was first described in 1990, evidence has suggested that it is typically triggered by episodes of severe emotional distress, such as grief, anger or fear, with patients developing chest pains and breathlessness. It can lead to heart attacks and death.

Now, for the first time, researchers have systematically analysed data from the largest group of patients diagnosed with TTS worldwide, and found that some patients have developed the condition after a happy or joyful event; they have named it “happy heart syndrome”. …’

Source: Neuroscience Stuff


Top Trump strategist quits, writes an open letter warning America about him

‘Stephanie Cegielski was in the Trump campaign from the beginning, first serving as communications director of the Make America Great Again Super PAC, then shutting down the PAC “in order to position him as the quintessential non-politician.”

Cegielski served as Trump’s communications director through the campaign, which, she says, no one intended to be a serious run at the White House — not even Trump. Rather, the goal was to take Trump to double-digit poll numbers and shake up the establishment, because Trump didn’t want to be president, he “just wants to be able to say that he could have run the White House.”

As Trump’s campaign success exceeded beyond everyone’s wildest speculation, Cegielski watched in horror as Trump talked himself into believing that he had what it took to run the nation. Even as this was happening, Cegielski was coming to appreciate that the campaign’s internal slogan, “Let Trump Be Trump,” was hiding the real truth: “Let Trump Help Trump.”

She discovered (later than she had any excuse to, really), that Trump was a self-serving monster who’d throw his own mother under the bus to secure even the smallest advantage for himself. Trump is a walking Dunning-Kruger effect, whose lack of self-awareness about his own limitations results in gaffe after gaffe. Combine this fatal, unknowing ignorance with his lack of compunction about harming others to help himself and you get a campaign where Trump’s most loyal followers are, one after another, sacrificed by Trump himself, who scapegoats them to make up for his shortcomings.

Cegielski’s realization that this would be the motif of a Trump presidency, with America itself standing in for the hapless interns that Trump has victimized on his race to the top, led her to “defect” and to warn Trump’s supporters that they’re creating a monster.

I fear that Cegielski’s revelations about Trump’s self-absorption and indifference to the welfare of others has been obvious to everyone who wasn’t a Trump supporter since day one, and that her note will do no good in convincing the faithful who’ve ignored so many other warnings to date.’

Source: Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing


If snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef is on your bucket list, better book your tickets soon

It’s “the worst bleaching ever seen on what was the healthiest part of the Great Barrier Reef,” Dr. Mark Eakin, the Coordinator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Watch, told me. “It’s quite sad.”Australia, he says, “may lose half of their healthiest corals.” He adds: “This won’t be the end of the GBR but it is a huge amount of damage. The problem is that it can take decades for reefs to recover from bleaching this bad and severe bleaching is becoming much more frequent and more severe.”

Source: Motherboard