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Showing posts from 2018

"We don’t fall for false news because we’re dumb."

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How Your Brain Tricks You Into Believing Fake NewsTIME Magazine does a very nice piece of scientfic reporting on the "fake news" susceptibility we all share - somewhere deep in our brain boxes. 

[As ye faithful SrJr readers know, it's been a hot topic with me.
   There's: Folks Prefer Lies
Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories
Crazy as a Q
   ... and a bunch more. Cruise through me humble blog.]

So thanks, Time Magazine.  Here's your payoff:

Helluva deal.


Any "China concern" is $quashed

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Our Loveable Pharma CEOs are All In 
I've been a bit concerned as China slips into the passing lane on many American leadership positions. No such concern, apparently, by Big Pharma.

Endpoint News is a Pharma newsletter operation, and their vision is clear: "Looks like a chance for big bucks to me," pretty much sums it up.  No concern, no fear for loss of intellectual property, just more chances for giant profits.

SOooo, does Big Pharma see this Chinese incursion as a threat or an opportunity?




The Clear Me$$age...

Is that the Pharmaceutical industry sees its central drive as economic.  "Invent great medicines" is seen through the filter, "Big profits?"  A really great medicine would be a new antibiotic that would save us from the mercies of MRSA.  But, "Hey," they say, "Low profits that way."

So Endpoints is doing its part:

Endpoints:  "Over the past year we’ve seen the China biotech scene boom with billions of dollars in new invest…

Take Me Home, Microbiome

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"Over the Line""Well, it's kind of newsworthy.""You have a strange mind, Duff.""I hear the biome has a lot of control over your sex drive.""Gross.""Well, it's a big medical discovery, all that.""I'm going to talk to mine like you talk to a baby in your belly."(Some comments from early readers who could actually think of something to say.)

It's in the bookstores (Amazon, that is)!  It's published, available, for sale. At long, darn last.

 Science Fiction has no fear. It treads on subjects you might think it's odd to be trod. But I am just super impressed with the tidal wave of discoveries about MICROBIOMES. Everybody and pretty much every living thing has a microbiome. They are vital to healthy life... heck, to life itself!

A lot of people I talk to completely underestimate the human microbiome. There's a chance I overestimate it, but I think not.  In and on your body there is a vast army of …
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There's This - and So Much More The Chinese version of "winning"  (No sign they're 'Sick and Tired' of it.)

China successfully tests first hypersonic aircraft that can carry atomic warheads



But the "unstoppable missile" gives one pause. Say in a shouting match, threats-flying kind of an international incident, knowing your anti-missile system was bound to miss a bunch of these, I for one would be somewhat intimidated.
When WE have proven hypersonic missiles (any year now), we can get back to the comfort of MUTUALLY assured destruction, the way nature intended.
Olde Scooter's closet of scary Chinese news:
China'sPharma Invasion It's China More Than Russia China Becoming World Science Leader? More Threats from China - SUPERCOMPUTERS! Watch China Watch the Sky... Worrying About Chinese Competition Deep space communications
Electric Cars
Quantum communications
Jet passenger planes

Think Big Money Is Interested in Anti-Aging?

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Big Bucks for Big PromisesIn Big Bucks talk (financial jargon)...
What’s bigger than a unicorn? Samumed stuns yet again as anti-aging pipeline draws $438M at $12B valuation
Samumed is a "regenerative medicine" operation in San Diego, working on drugs to keep us young and active (and cute). Their most advanced (through the approval pipeline) drug is for osteoarthritis - mainly in the knees.  They have NO PRODUCTS ON THE MARKET yet.  Yet they just raised a half billion bucks. (The "cute" part is their second most advanced drug which cures baldness.)
Their focus is on us the aging (everybody), with human clinical trials of experimental drugs to treat cancer, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and several other diseases.
Their one and only venture capitalist backer is Singapore-based Vickers Venture Partners. Chinese! Surprise, surprise. ThoseChinese are on a pharma tear.
...and there are several "individually wealthy investors&quo…

How Crazy Can It Get?

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The Russians Gotta Love This 
The press is all over this, but maybe you haven't  gotten into it, because stuff like this makes you crazy.

If you haven't experienced crazy lately, you should read up on this. [Click on some of the better pieces: Vox,Washington Post,NPR,Media Matters]



Not since the Jonestown 900 has there been a more credulous, hypnotized crowd of human beans than the QAnon crowd.

See how stupid this conspiracy theory is, and stroke you chin and say "I would never fall for something so outrageously stoopid." 

DON'T BE SO SURE.

"People Prefer Lies" might not be true, but it aint' no lie.  If the lie is something you want to be true, especially.

And conspiracy theories tap into something evolution wrote into our gene code.

Now, THROW IN THE RUSSIANS !! BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, the artillery of Big Lie Repitition lands on your brain terrain, and the switch might get flipped, and you are ready to drink the KoolAid.


People who believe such obvious crappola …

Artsy Fartsy

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No Comment


See it more clearly and buy some art, HERE.

I'm Definitely Goofball

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I Just Love Tom Tomorrow

He's kind of a "buckshot political cartoonist"... mows stuff down

Here's his whole  un-subtle take on Democrat/Republican thinking.

[A sample]
His most telling panel in this strip is the final one, where "Galahad" responds generally to the irrefutable arguments put forth by Goofball:

... Sounds like a Russian troll/bot on Breitbart.












Whassup in Transylvania?

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Halooo,Romania!
For reasons totally mysterious to me, several page views are frequently recorded from Romania by some one(s) checking out Olde Scooters ramblings.
Romania  is a very beautiful country, where the history is deep and the mythologies dense.

It's also famous for housing many hundreds of brilliant hackers and other web geniuses.


This is  a not atypical count from the Blogger "Stats" report.


    SeniorJunior page views last few days.
United States 312 Romania 32 Germany 15 France 9

Holy Bird in Juniper

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I Always Hoped to Find a Religious Figure in the Logs

Bet I've cut about a thousand juniper logs in our 20 years in the New Mexico mountains. 
I ALWAYS look at the cross sections, since the central red wood makes a collection of shapes worthy of Dr. Rorschach. Surely I would find a holy relic, maybe a saint or the Virgin Mary.

After chainsawing a log, what to my wondering eyes should appear but this wonder. A compound trunk sliced right at the point where a branch emerged and LO...


 Saint Dowitcher, the Longbill!



Not only does St. Dowitcher the Longbilled have a halo, it has a penumbra.   Talk about your holy glow.

There are several varieties of Juniper hereabouts. I think this one is a "single seed," but I'm not positive.

Stoopid Political Tactic

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This Stuff Doesn't Work on This Olde Democrat
Email campaigning that starts with "fear shots" just doesn't do it for me. I think it is alarmist and mostly ridiculous to start donation appeals with stuff like this.

These are the subject lines of five recent emails I've received from various Democrats in the last few days:

Five from Downerville
California HEARTBREAK.  WILL, WE’RE OUT OF TIME:

D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R for Democrats’ chances to take back the House!!
If the election were held tomorrow, we'd lose.
James Carville  : Kiss all hope goodbye. Will, we've just received some dire news.

Ick!
HINT: I've got plenty of "dire news" in my in-box. I don't need more from my political party!

Who told the Dems this was a good communications tactic? It makes me want NOT to read the message.

Just saying....


Homer credit

What Are You Thinking, Machine?

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DARPA To the Rescue! Better hurry before the Chinese figure it out first.

IBM's Watson, Google's AlphaGo Zero, Hanson's Sophia, Robots Without Borders' Lunaeven your humble house spy Alexa are all A.I.s to one degree or another, and the computation and tech worlds are flooded with all the new machine learning and A.I. endeavors. 

Problem is, most of these astounding programs don't leave a clear record of just how they did what they do.

Now DARPA is working on how to find out. I'm reassured.



I SEE you.  I think.

AI pioneers are ready to move beyond today's 'basic' machine learning and closer to AI that actually thinks instead of merely churning out data.  The report.


*eye credit

I & My Bald Friend are Pissed

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Republican/Industry Attack on Endangered Species Act Sneaking it in a "must pass" bill

I'm sure you've read/heard about this anti-nature attack, but in case you haven't, and in case you don't think this is insane, read THIS

The "Great Die Back," of species* going on right now is about to be given a huge boost by the Trump administration. For years industry, ranchers and Libertarians have been trying to weaken the Endangered Species Act, and now they are really rolling.

Then write or call your Congressman, your Senators and all your friends who might not be OK with this. (Call your mom while you're at it.)

Please.


*Mass extinction underway

A Moment in Hummer Heaven - video

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Hummingbirds, a July Evening in the Manzanita Mountains New Mexico
I started out to shoot video of our feeders when the famously aggressive and territorial rufus hummers, typically guarding "their" feeder ferociously, were mixing with the more peaceful hummers.

I only caught a couple, but believe me, something about the Olde Scooter (and Dorothy) feeders tames the wild beasts, and they integrate into our continuous swarms very peacefully and respectfully. There is nothing so lovable as a reformed bully.

Some of the stars of the video:



   I'm Calliope                                     I'm Broadtail                                          I'm the golden boy, Rufus



Here is two minutes and fourteen seconds of video, narrated by the man who fills the feeders three or four times a day. (Ok, Dorothy does at least half.)

Calliope credit
Broadbill credit
Rufus credit

Who's Working On New Antibiotics? Nobody Big.

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"Superbugs" Are Lurking to Eat Our Tender Flesh..  All Antibiotics Are Becoming Impotent... We Desperately Need     New Antibiotics....


So what Big Pharma company has the next super antibiotic in the pipeline  to save us from the coming germopocalypse?
Basically NONE
The "Plutocrat's Paper" Forbes Magazine put it this way: Big Pharma has basically given up on antibiotics. It’s not that the risks are too high, it is that the rewards are too low. New antibioticsarebeing introduced. But their sales are a tiny fraction of sales in other drug classes.
A Headline Last Week
Novartis joins the Big Pharma exodus out of antibiotics, dumping researchBig Pharma started bailing on antibiotics research years ago, discouraged by the notable absence of profits. That left R&D to a small group of biotechs looking to come up with new approaches that could be used as drug-resistance become increasingly common.
Thing is, the really profitable new drugs are those you have to take and take …