Kelly thinks he’s saving U.S. from disaster:
‘White House chief of staff John Kelly has eroded morale in the West Wing in recent months with comments to aides that include insulting the president’s intelligence and casting himself as the savior of the country, according to eight current and former White House officials.
The officials said Kelly portrays himself to Trump administration aides as the lone bulwark against catastrophe, curbing the erratic urges of a president who has a questionable grasp on policy issues and the functions of government. He has referred to Trump as “an idiot” multiple times to underscore his point, according to four officials who say they’ve witnessed the comments….’
He may be grandiose and conceited but his instincts, and his apparent growing abhorrence of the Orange Tyrant, are well-founded.
City Upbringing, Without Pets, Increases Risk of Mental Illness
‘People who were raised in cities and without a family pet show significantly higher levels of an immune system component following a stressful event, researchers report.
Children raised in a rural environment, surrounded by animals and bacteria-laden dust, grow up to have more stress-resilient immune systems and might be at lower risk of mental illness than pet-free city dwellers, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…’
Via Neuroscience News
The camera intermittently cuts to the Press Secretary during this White House Correspondents’ Dinner Roast and, boy, is she not amused. [And, boy, does she get what she deserves.]
‘President Trump is privately rejecting the growing consensus among Republican leaders that they may lose the House and possibly the Senate in November, leaving party officials and the president’s advisers nervous that he does not grasp the gravity of the threat they face in the midterm elections….’
Via The New York Times
Trump: If Dems win in 2018 midterms, they’ll impeach me
‘A Quinnipiac poll released on Thursday shows that if Democrats win control of the House, more than 70 percent of their supporters want them to begin impeachment proceedings….’
Via The Hill
Join the elite who rule the world covertly:
‘We all know Beyoncé, and Jay Z are most likely in the Illuminati. And George Bush is in Skull and Bones. Does that mean you have to be amazingly successful or come from blue blood to join a secret organization that rules the world through a New World Order?…’
Via Big Think
A new CDC reports says that 1 in 59 children in 11 studied states are identified as being on the autistic spectrum, up from 1 in 68 just two years previously. But does this mean that the prevalence of autism is increasing? Probably not. Increased screening for and recognition of affected children as well as a broadened definition of the syndrome are probably to blame. Via Neuroscience News
This is emblematic of a larger problem in behavioral science overall, as diagnosis is done by descriptive criteria in the absence of definitive empirical measures. This leads to expansion and contraction of various diagnostic groups (e.g. bipolar disorder or schizophrenia) both over time and from place to place.
The world’s oldest known spider has died:
‘This female trapdoor spider, named Number 16, was the world’s oldest known spider. A lifelong resident of the Australian outback, she has just died at age 43. From Curtin University:
…[T]he 43-year-old Giaus Villosus trapdoor matriarch, who recently died during a long-term population study, had outlived the previous world record holder, a 28-year old tarantula found in Me…’
Via Boing Boing
Fun to play with. Type in any name and see its origins, statistics and popularity rankings. See what’s trending and review various list of names by origin, region, decade and more.
…I was getting a lot of new subscribers all of a sudden. I had thought it was because I had pulled the trigger on my Facebook account, where I had previously been crossposting everything on FmH. In my goodbye message to the Facebook world, I suggested that some of the people who had been reading me there might continue to follow me by seeking out the source. But as it turns out none of the new subscribers appeared to be my erstwhile Facebook friends.
I decided to look in my referrer logs and realized that people were probably coming from kottke.org, who had written about a number of us old (and new) blogging dinosaurs in a post called Blogging is most certainly not dead. Thanks for including me, Jason. Many other sites worthy of worthy of our attention — I’m just beginning to explore this new cornucopia — are mentioned in his post. [Thanks to Bruce for bringing me to kottke’s attention.]
One theory of human evolution states that our ancestors began eating meat about 2 million years ago, whose caloric and fat density allowed the enlargement and development of their brains.
Hominids didn’t begin using stones and sticks for hunting until about 200,000 years ago. So between 2.3 million and 200,000 years ago, our original strategy was to run game animals to death in order to feast upon them. Sweating was the key factor in the ability to run long distances to wear out quarry without overheating. Game animals, who cannot sweat, become overheated over time and are at risk of damaging themselves or dying if they don’t stop to catch their breath, allowing early hunters to catch and dispatch them. Animals that do not walk upright cannot fully extend their diaphragms to take deep breaths until they stop running.
Some tribal peoples still take part in persistence hunting and there is evidence that the strategy was utilized all over the world in the distant past. This helps us to understand why several aspects of human development — walking upright, hairless skin, sweating, and the ability to run long distances — appear to have evolved simultaneously.
Via Big Think
When humans die out because of climate change, they may be the biggest and most widespread animal left, thereby inheriting the planet.
‘After humans started migrating out of Africa, the largest land mammals have died out in each territory that humans have spread to. It’s somewhat of a human hallmark, making other species extinct, although we’ve kept cows around for both food and leather. We’ve actually prioritized cows over other species, leading to a 1.5 billion total cow population across the globe. That’s more than cats and dogs combined: there are only 500 to 600 million dogs in the world and about as many cats.
If global warming keeps going at its current pace, Stephen Hawking estimated last year that humanity has about 100 years left to find a new planet to live on and only 1,000 years left on this planet before the heat completely kills all life. Pre human-kind meddling, larger animals simply adapted to climate change. But at this accelerated pace, species go extinct at an astronomical level. Between 24-100 species every day become extinct, and that’s a conservative estimate. Because there are so many cows on the planet, it’s fairly safe to say that even if all humans died out tomorrow all cows would have to do is graze and slowly move north as the planet got hotter. That’s conjecture, sure, but from a strictly numerical standpoint, there’s a good chance that cows will enjoy a very short time at the top of the food chain before the planet becomes completely uninhabitable except for cockroaches….’
Via Big Think
The dark history of ‘America first’:
‘When he promised to put America first in his inaugural speech, Donald Trump drew on a slogan with a long and sinister history – a sign of what was to follow in his presidency…’
Via The Guardian
Decca Muldowney writes:
‘When Stormy Daniels spoke to “60 Minutes” last month, the porn actress described a threat she received years ago after speaking to a journalist about her alleged affair with Donald Trump. A stranger approached her in a parking lot in Las Vegas. Daniels was there with her baby daughter. “Leave Trump alone,” Daniels recalled the man warning her. “That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.”
Daniels did not report the threat to the police. On Wednesday, Donald Trump tweeted that Daniels’ account of events was “a total con job” about a “non-existent man.”
As it happens, other people in disputes with Trump have also found themselves the targets of threats — and sometimes they’ve reported it to authorities. …’
Source: Pro Publica
Not only an imbecile but a cutrate mobster wannabe as well.
A look at the available evidence:
‘…[C]ould researchers find clear evidence that an ancient species built a relatively short-lived industrial civilization long before our own? Perhaps, for example, some early mammal rose briefly to civilization building during the Paleocene epoch about 60 million years ago. There are fossils, of course. But the fraction of life that gets fossilized is always minuscule and varies a lot depending on time and habitat. It would be easy, therefore, to miss an industrial civilization that only lasted 100,000 years—which would be 500 times longer than our industrial civilization has made it so far.
Given that all direct evidence would be long gone after many millions of years, what kinds of evidence might then still exist? The best way to answer this question is to figure out what evidence we’d leave behind if human civilization collapsed at its current stage of development….’
Via The Atlantic
Kelsey Snell writes:
‘Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., does not support a measure that would make it harder for President Trump to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, but that isn’t stopping some Republicans from forcing the debate. …’
Note: These are Republicans. #