Here are the Presidents who rated most strongly on psychopathic trends, as per a survey of Presidential biographers and historians. Note the inclusion of some of the Presidents rated best by historians (as well as GW Bush):
- Teddy Roosevelt
- John F. Kennedy
- Franklin Roosevelt
- Ronald Reagan
- Rutherford B. Hayes
- Zachary Taylor
- Bill Clinton
- Martin Van Buren
- Andrew Jackson
- George W. Bush
Some of our less-effective leaders were among the least strongly psychopathic: Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush.
‘Okay, so, what the hell? Here’s neuroscientist James Fallon.Why do we prefer leaders who are, as Fallon puts it, “world-champ liars, pathological liars, even for the hell of it?” Well, it turns out that they lie for us. We’re totally cool with someone being a psychopath as long as they’re our psychopath…’
Source: Big Think
‘Systematic review of studies of over 68,000 elderly people also raises questions about the benefits of statin drug treatments’
Source: EurekAlert! Science News
‘Business and politics have always influenced international efforts to solve public health problems. Unfortunately that remains as true in the era of Ebola, Zika, and bioweapons as it did in the 19th century, when cholera—a disease that spreads more quickly and kills faster than any other pathogen—began its deadly global march….’
Source: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
‘ “DON’T go anywhere near a mosque,” I told my mother. “Do all your prayer at home. O.K.?”“We’re not going,” she replied.
I am the son of Muslim immigrants. As I sent that text, in the aftermath of the horrible attack in Orlando, Fla., I realized how awful it was to tell an American citizen to be careful about how she worshiped. Being Muslim American already carries a decent amount of baggage. In our culture, when people think “Muslim,” the picture in their heads is not usually of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or the kid who left the boy band One Direction. It’s of a scary terrorist character from “Homeland” or some monster from the news.
Today, with the presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and others like him spewing hate speech, prejudice is reaching new levels. It’s visceral, and scary, and it affects how people live, work and pray. It makes me afraid for my family. It also makes no sense…’
Source: The New York Times
‘Under the Scotland Act 1998, it appears that the Scottish Parliament has to consent to measures that eliminate EU law’s application in Scotland. At least that was the conclusion of a report on Brexit released by the House of Lords, the upper house of Britain’s parliament.
Jo Murkens, an associate professor of law at the London School of Economics I spoke with about this, told me that this isn’t actually an iron-clad veto. The Scotland Act was passed by the UK parliament, and parliament can amend it on its own to reduce the Scottish parliament’s powers.To exit the EU and avoid a binding Scottish veto, “Parliament would have to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 (by which it became a member) and would also have to amend the devolution legislation pertaining to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland,” Murkens said. “That strikes me as technically easy, but politically difficult.
“If the Conservative Party is insistent on Brexiting and is willing to overturn decades of law giving Northern Ireland and Scotland (both of which voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU) local control over their affairs, then it can totally do so. But, as Murkens also noted, such a dramatic action could risk a huge backlash. Scotland is already planning to hold another independence referendum, and seeing devolution curtailed would make its success much more likely. Northern Irish republicans would be emboldened to call for unification with the Republic of Ireland, which could occur, or they could just reignite the Troubles after decades of peace.
If the overriding objective of Conservatives, however, is to “preserve the integrity of the United Kingdom as a state,” Murkens said, “the objective of keeping NI and Scotland in the United Kingdom would turn them into veto players … Scotland and NI have voted to remain and the cost of not listening to them would be to split the UK.” …’
Source: How Brexit could wind up not actually happening – Vox
’Support for Brexit was driven by many of the same attitudes as support for Trump’s candidacy: opposition to immigration, hostility toward foreigners, and distrust of elites and international institutions. These attitudes helped to convince almost 52 percent of British voters to exit the European Union.
This suggests that, if anything, support for Trump-style politics may be bigger than support for Trump himself. Trump, after all, is a terrible general election candidate: He’s misogynistic, ignorant about public policy, and has proven completely incompetent at raising money and building a campaign organization. He’ll probably lose in November.
But a future candidate with Trump’s agenda but not his other baggage could be formidable in a general election…’
‘Charlie Stross is in excellent form this morning about the likely outcomes from last night’s Brexit vote, hitting all the highlights: collapse of the finance sector when Euro-denominated derivatives trades relocate to an EU state; collapse of the London property market (a big deal as 40% of the UK’s national wealth is property in the southeast); sucession
[I think he means ‘secession’ –FmH]
risks for Scotland and Northern Ireland; the increased legitimacy of the reactionary right and xenophobia and racism as the “shy UKIPpers” realise (or claim) that they were more numerous than they had believed.
The Tories will have a leadership change. As they didn’t bother to appoint a deputy PM when they took office, secession
[I think he means ‘succession’ –FmH]
is unclear. Labour — whose neoliberal wing have been stabbing Corbyn in the back since his first day as leader — is sharpening their knives again.’
Source: Boing Boing
Via NYTimes.com thanks to abby:
‘In 1966, a B-52 bomber on a Cold War nuclear patrol exploded over Spain, releasing four hydrogen bombs. Fifty years later, Air Force veterans involved with the cleanup are sick and want recognition.’
US Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to Connecticut ban on assault weapons brought by gun rights groups – SCOTUSblog
‘Midsummer or the Summer Solstice is the most powerful day of the year for the Sun God. Because this Sabbat glorifies the Sun God and the Sun, fire plays a very prominent role in this festival…
Most cultures of the Northern Hemisphere mark Midsummer in some ritualised manner and from time immemorial people have acknowledged the rising of the sun on this day. At Stonehenge, the heelstone marks the midsummer sunrise as seen from the centre of the stone circle.In ancient times, the Summer Solstice was a fire-festival of great importance when the burning of balefires ritually strengthened the sun. It was often marked with torchlight processions, by flaming tar barrels or by wheels bound with straw, which were set alight and rolled down steep hillsides. The Norse especially loved lengthy processions and would gather together their animals, families and lighted torches and parade through the countryside to the celebration site.
The use of fires, as well as providing magical aid to the sun, were also used to drive out evil and to bring fertility and prosperity to men, crops and herds. Blazing gorse or furze was carried around cattle to prevent disease and misfortune; while people would dance around the balefires or leap through the flames as a purifying or strengthening rite. The Celts would light balefires all over their lands from sunset the night before Midsummer until sunset the next day. Around these flames the festivities would take place. In Cornwall up to the mid 18th century the number and appearance of fires seen from any given point was used as a form of divination and used to read the future.
Astronomically, it is the longest day of the year, representing the God at full power. Although the hottest days of the summer still lie ahead, from this point onward we enter the waning year, and each day the Sun will recede from the skies a little earlier, until Yule, when the days begin to become longer again…’
Source: The Wheel Of The Year
‘Look up at the moon tonight, and you may be witnessing something that has not been seen in decades. Depending on your local time zone, the full moon will rise on the same day as the June solstice for the first time since 1948.’
Source: National Geographic
A thought-provoking list was published by Business Insider that summarizes some science-based commonalities between smart people. Certainly, this is the perfect place to mention that correlation doesn’t imply causation. So don’t necessarily run out there and get a cat to boost your IQ.
- you are a night owl
- you might also be an introvert
- you were breastfed
- liberals tend to be smarter than conservatives
- chances are, you are also not religious
- you learned to read early
- being funny
Source: Big Think
1.) Wait, what?
2.) I wonder, why/if?
3.) Couldn’t we at least?
4.) How can I help?
5.) What really matters?
Source: Open Culture
Based on four epidemiological studies, the World Health Organization suggested that hot drink temperature seemed to increase the risk of esophageal cancer:
Studies in places such as China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Turkey, and South America, where tea or maté is traditionally drunk very hot (at about 70 °C), found that the risk of oesophageal cancer increased with the temperature at which the beverage was drunk.
Animal studies also add limited evidence for the carcinogenicity of very hot water. IARC director Christopher Wild: ‘The proportion of oesophageal cancer cases that may be linked to drinking very hot beverages is not known…” Smoking and alcohol are more more potent epidemiological correlates of esophageal cancer, in any case.
‘How hot is “very hot”? The WHO’s temperature of 70 degrees Celsius is about 160 Fahrenheit, within the range that coffee shops typically serve. By the time your drink cools down, though, it’s probably below that. CNN reports that Americans and Europeans don’t usually drink beverages hot enough to be considered higher risk. If you want to be sure of your drink’s temperature, though, consider adding some milk, or ordering it at kids’ temperature.’
The end of death? You heard it here (and all over the net) first:
‘…[I]f one biotech firm has its way, soon doctors would be able to regrow the [brain of a brain-dead person], using a new procedure and a host of technologies, which could theoretically restore them to who they were before… The idea originates from nature, as certain fish and amphibians can actually heal whole sections of the brain, brain stem, and other portions of the central nervous system, even after significant injury. Scientists believe they can someday mimic this process in human patients.
This study surrounds Bioquark, Inc., a Philadelphia-based company, who has received ethical approval by a U.S. and Indian Institutional Review Board. Bioquark will collaborate with Revita Life Sciences, led by famed specialist Dr. Himanshu Bansaa. The team will run a pilot study of 20 clinically brain dead patients, each having suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Taking place at Anupam Hospital in India, Bioquark is currently recruiting patients for the study, expected to take place over six weeks.
Known as the “Reanima Project,” several different therapies will be employed in combination, including stem cells injected into the brain to try and regrow damaged portions, lasers, nerve stimulation techniques—which have been successful in waking patients out of a coma, and a combination of different peptides. The peptides will be introduced daily through a spinal cord pump, and the stem cells injected every other week. The patients will be evaluated and monitored for months with brain imaging technology and an EEG to see if the brain, particularly the upper spinal cord or lower brain stem region, is regenerated…
The CEO of Bioquark Inc. Dr. Ira Pastor, said in a statement that this was the first step toward the “eventual reversal of death in our lifetime.” He believes they will achieve results within the first couple of months or so. This is the seminal stage, a “proof of concept” study. If you are afraid of the zombie apocalypse, Dr. Pastor says a common sense protocol, adopted industry-wide, should avoid any nasty scenarios from taking place…’
Source: Big Think
A number of other great thought-provoking pieces in Big Think recently:
New Gene Editing Technology Can Eliminate Whole Species — Should We Use It?
DNA’s Hidden Layer Is Real, and Physicists Are Finding More Proof
Paleo-Economics Shaped Us Morally? For Team Survival…
Our Most Important Sense Might Not Be What You Think
A Map to Get Lost In
Why Is the Navy (We Think) Jamming The West Coast’s GPS This Month?
Desensitization Therapy Might Someday Cure Autoimmune Disorders
Scientists Now Know How Many Trees You Need to See to Relax
Two New Particles Have Sent Physicists Scrambling for Theories
It started out as an April Fool’s joke five years ago with the suggestion that CERN employees retire their mice and use their keyboards only, to prevent clicking on malicious links (like this one, a wolf in sheep’s clothig if I ever saw one):
Full, bizarre description here: Motherboard
‘Petition by Jo Comerford: To be delivered to The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama: Military-grade assault weapons should not be used by civilians and have no place in our cities and towns…’
Join more than 120,000 in signing: MoveOn Petitions
Via 24media thanks to Dennis:
‘Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.
The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.
More worryingly, Logsdon said, “As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.” …’
Via The Atlantic:
’Mark Singer in the late 1990s when he was working on a profile of Trump for The New Yorker. Singer wondered what went through his mind when he was not playing the public role of Donald Trump. What are you thinking about, Singer asked him, when you are shaving in front of the mirror in the morning? Trump, Singer writes, appeared baffled. Hoping to uncover the man behind the actor’s mask, Singer tried a different tack:
“O.K., I guess I’m asking, do you consider yourself ideal company?”
“You really want to know what I consider ideal company?,” Trump replied. “A total piece of ass.”
I might have phrased Singer’s question this way: Who are you, Mr. Trump, when you are alone? Singer never got an answer, leaving him to conclude that the real-estate mogul who would become a reality-TV star and, after that, a leading candidate for president of the United States had managed to achieve something remarkable: “an existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul.”’
Update: More on Trump soullessness here (Boing Boing).
‘A new study published in the journal Scientific Reports suggests the tropical archerfish (Toxotes chatareus) can recognize faces with surprising accuracy. It was previously thought that only humans and some primates had this cognitive ability, but recent studies are beginning to suggest other creatures share this trait, like birds and bees.
“Being able to distinguish between a large number of human faces is a surprisingly difficult task, mainly due to the fact that all human faces share the same basic features,” Dr. Cait Newport, Marie Curie Research Fellow in the Department of Zoology at Oxford University and first author of the study, explained in a statement. “All faces have two eyes above a nose and mouth, therefore to tell people apart we must be able to identify subtle differences in their features. If you consider the similarities in appearance between some family members, this task can be very difficult indeed.
”Even humans have trouble picking out other humans in a lineup, and we actually have a region in our brains that deals with facial recognition, known as the fusiform face area. The brain of the archerfish lacks this region, yet, it can recognize a familiar face 80 percent of the time…’
Source: Big Think
This is a fascinating finding from a cognitive neuroscience viewpoint. Yet does that explain why it is all the rage throughout the net??
If bees disappear, so will all of life’s modern luxuries. ‘Approximately every third bit of food we eat exists because of honey bee pollination…’
‘In August 2014, workers completed the largest dam removal project in U.S. history, as the final part of the 210-foot-high (64-meter-high) Glines Canyon Dam was dismantled on the Elwha River in northwestern Washington State.The multistage project began in 2011 with the blessing of the U.S. National Park Service, which administers the surrounding Olympic National Park. The goal was to remove unneeded, outdated dams and restore a natural river system, with presumed benefits for fish and other wildlife.
Indeed, salmon have already returned to the Elwha after nearly a century of absence, and other fish and marine creatures are thriving. But the restoration hasn’t just been about the river channel itself, says Anne Shaffer, a marine biologist with the nonprofit Coastal Watershed Institute in nearby Port Angeles, Washington. (Watch spectacular time-lapse video of another Northwest dam coming down.) Shaffer has been working on the Elwha system since the early 1990s, with a particular focus on what’s called the “nearshore environment.” This is an ecological zone of aquatic habitat along the shoreline that “offers refuge and feeding areas for fish and other organisms that helps them transition from freshwater to marine habitat,” says Shaffer. Nearshore environments include deltas and estuary systems near the mouths of rivers as well as seagrass beds in shallow water…’
Source: National Geographic