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

How to Spot the Next Mass Shooter

Fcrzpb9c1drhjiufrlvd’The FBI released a report earlier this year on “pre-attack behaviors” of mass shooters, Quartz reports. … The FBI writes in the report’s conclusion:

What emerges is a complex and troubling picture of individuals who fail to successfully navigate multiple stressors in their lives while concurrently displaying four to five observable, concerning behaviors, engaging in planning and preparation, and frequently communicating threats or leaking indications of an intent to attack.

It takes a community to spot all the red flags, they say. But they include forms of abuse, harassment, bullying, and violence, to name just a few. Among the red flags:

  • Threats or confrontations (35 percent of shooters)
  • Physical aggression (33 percent) 
  • Anger that concerns people around them (33 percent) 
  • Intimate partner violence (16 percent of shooters) and stalking (11 percent)
  • Suicidal ideation (48 percent) 
  • “Concerning” interpersonal behavior (57 percent) 
  • Inappropriate firearms use (21 percent)

Via Lifehacker


Obvious caveat: while mass shooters may display this cluster of behaviors, far from everyone displaying this cluster of behaviors becomes a mass shooter. 

What was the worst year in human history?

UnknownWhy 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’

’Ask medieval historian Michael McCormick what year was the worst to be alive, and he’s got an answer: “536.” Not 1349, when the Black Death wiped out half of Europe. Not 1918, when the flu killed 50 million to 100 million people, mostly young adults. But 536. In Europe, “It was the beginning of one of the worst periods to be alive, if not the worst year,” says McCormick, a historian and archaeologist who chairs the Harvard University Initiative for the Science of the Human Past.

A mysterious fog plunged Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia into darkness, day and night—for 18 months. “For the sun gave forth its light without brightness, like the moon, during the whole year,” wrote Byzantine historian Procopius. Temperatures in the summer of 536 fell 1.5°C to 2.5°C, initiating the coldest decade in the past 2300 years. Snow fell that summer in China; crops failed; people starved. The Irish chronicles record “a failure of bread from the years 536–539.” Then, in 541, bubonic plague struck the Roman port of Pelusium, in Egypt. What came to be called the Plague of Justinian spread rapidly, wiping out one-third to one-half of the population of the eastern Roman Empire and hastening its collapse, McCormick says.

Historians have long known that the middle of the sixth century was a dark hour in what used to be called the Dark Ages, but the source of the mysterious clouds has long been a puzzle. Now, an ultraprecise analysis of ice from a Swiss glacier by a team led by McCormick and glaciologist Paul Mayewski at the Climate Change Institute of The University of Maine (UM) in Orono has fingered a culprit. At a workshop at Harvard this week, the team reported that a cataclysmic volcanic eruption in Iceland spewed ash across the Northern Hemisphere early in 536. Two other massive eruptions followed, in 540 and 547. The repeated blows, followed by plague, plunged Europe into economic stagnation that lasted until 640, when another signal in the ice—a spike in airborne lead—marks a resurgence of silver mining, as the team reports in Antiquity this week.…’

Via Science | AAAS

By comparison, read about the cataclysmic effects of the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, on the island of Sumbawa, in present-day Indonesia.. Everyone knows about Krakatoa in 1883, but this was an order of magnitude greater.

But the worst may be yet to come. Consider Ragnarok:Fenrir and Odin by Frølich

Described in several Norse sources (primarily Snorri Sturluson’s 13th century Prose Edda), Ragnarök begins with a brutal winter lasting three times longer than usual, driving mankind to lawless desperation. The stars disappear, and the giant wolf, Fenrir, breaks free of his chains and devours everything in his path. A gigantic sea-dwelling serpent named Jormungand rises, and the trickster god Loki leads an army of giants into battle against Odin and the other gods at Asgard. The gods perish, and whatever remains of the world sinks into the sea.

California’s Wildfires Have Spawned a Truly Weird New Conspiracy Theory

Tzffl4dwlrhpjeimtoud’The claim, being taken up by an increasing number of people in QAnon circles, is that the fires are caused by “directed energy weapons”—that is, government-directed lasers bent on destroying homes, property, and lives. And if recent history is any judge, there’s a chance the country’s biggest conspiracy-peddlers, up to and including the one who lives in the White House, will take up the cause.

Directed energy weapons, or DEWs, have an interesting place in conspiratorial circles. DEWs are, to begin with, a real technology, but one still in its infancy: a report produced for Congress describes that term as an umbrella to refer to technologies “that produce concentrated electromagnetic energy and atomic or subatomic particles.” The consensus is that there are a number of logistical issues to work out before that the U.S. government will be able to build a laser system that would actually be workable on a battlefield, but that the Department of Defense and private contractors are eager to leverage laser power towards killing people and/or destroying enemy missiles, aircrafts, or satellites.

If you ask people in the deep end of the conspiracy theory pool, though, DEWs are here already. There’s a small body of people who believe themselves to be “targeted individuals”—stalked, harassed, and attacked by the government or other shadowy groups—and at least some of them believe those attacks are being carried out by DEWs. Now, through a strange confluence of forces, the paranoia over DEWs is making its way into the discussion about natural disasters. What we’re seeing is a convergence of longstanding American fears about government mind control and manipulation of the weather merging with climate change skepticism, as climate science becomes ever-more-politicized.…’

Via Earther

Learn How to Pass (or Beat) a Polygraph “Test”

Polygraph quackery 09Did you know:

Educate yourself. Before playing Russian roulette with yourreputation, learn how to protect yourself against this invalid test. Download’s free book (4 mb PDF):

TlbtldThe Lie Behind the Lie Detector

(Also available in EPUB and MOBI/Kindle formats)…’


President Trump Admits Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker Was Installed Over Robert Mueller’s Russia Probe

Jack Holmes writes:

‘The president just admitted, unprompted, that he fired the head of the Justice Department and installed a loyalist over a Justice Department investigation into him and his associates. This is obstruction. This is corrupt. This is an untenable assault on the rule of law in a democratic republic. And the Republican majorities in Congress—to say nothing of his base—will happily let him get away with it. …’

Source: Esquire