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48 minutes ago

Feb 1 - This Biotech Startup Promises Lab-Grown Pork Within Five Years

3 people viewing this

| By Iceberg - 48 minutes ago



The future of lab-grown meat is coming. Or at least it feels that way, based on burgeoning interest in the biotech community. One by one, companies are staking out different animal tissues to grow in vitro for human consumption. First there was beef. Then there was chicken. Now there’s pork.

San Fransisco-based startup Memphis Meats made its public debut today, with a Wall Street Journal exclusive that details the team’s ambitious plan to grow beef and pork in laboratory bioreactors—and to be the first company to bring lab-grown meat to market. Memphis Meats says it’ll be selling its animal-free products to high-end customers in three to four years. Oh, and to dissuade any lingering doubts, they’ve also just unveiled the world’s first lab-grown meatball.

Mark Post, whose stem cell burger created an international sensation in 2013, recently announced that his company, Mosa Meat, would be selling lab-grown beef in four to five years.

Lab-grown meat is one of those futuristic technologies that polarizes people, with some saying it’s going to replace animal agriculture and others insisting it’ll never be more than a novelty. Most arguments for or against lab-grown meat hinge on whether you buy the claim that we can produce animal tissue in laboratories at a far lower per capita cost than we can growing it the old fashioned way.

The resource requirements—water, energy, food, space, time—for growing a cow are fairly well-established. But the technology to grow meat in vitro is still in its infancy. And while the first stem cell burger carried a whopping $330,000 price tag, production costs are falling by the year.

Still, significant technical barriers remain. Like Mosa Meat, Memphis Meats is growing animal muscle tissue in bioreactors seeded with stem cells and nutrients. One of the key challenges here is making sure the tissue, which lacks a capillary system to transport blood, remains well-oxygenated. So far, that’s meant growing cells in extremely thin layers.

Another issue concerns the growth medium itself. At this point, all lab-grown meat relies on fetal bovine serum, a nutrient-rich cocktail extracted from the blood of unborn calves. Not only is fetal bovine serum expensive, its use undermines one of the main arguments for lab grown meat: removing animals from the equation. When I spoke with Mark Post about his stem cell burger over the summer, he told me his lab was working to develop a plant-based substitute. Memphis Meats tells the Wall Street Journal that it, too, plans to have a plant-based alternative in the near future.

Are lab-grown meatballs, chicken wings, and pork chops going to become an ordinary sight at your local grocery store? We’ll have to wait and see. But the race to bring these future foods to our plates is clearly on.

http://gizmodo.com/this-b... fiv-1756365159

 
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49 minutes ago

Video inside Feb 1 - Voter fraud in Polk county?

7 people viewing this

| By Killermonk - 49 minutes ago

If anyone is wondering what's going on in Polk county this is it

http://www.c-span.org/vid... ty-iowa-caucus


 
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52 minutes ago

Feb 1 - Outbreak of female, vampire-like attackers in New Zealand

5 people viewing this

| By Iceberg - 52 minutes ago



A number of people have been injured during a series of vampire-like biting attacks on New Zealand’s North Island.

Over the past two days, a woman was accused of biting a man’s neck so hard, her teeth cut through an artery, while another woman was arrested after allegedly chomping on a woman’s ear.

Stuff.co.nz reports the two incidents on Saturday and early Sunday were unrelated.

“It was a fight between three females and during the fight one of the females has bitten another one’s ear and drawn blood. She hasn’t bitten it off, but quite badly so she needed some medical attention,” a Hawke’s Bay District Command Centre spokesman said of the first incident.

A few hours later, police were called to a separate biting attack at a pub in Napier, New Zealand.

Officers said a woman became involved in a brawl at The Thirsty Whale and bit a man on the neck.

The man lost so much blood, he was taken to a hospital in serious condition, the Hawke’s Bay District Command Centre spokesman said.

“She obviously got the right spot.”

Thirsty Whale bar owner Chris Sullivan said the fight took place in the early hours of Sunday.

“We’ve never seen these people before, they’re certainly not locals,” he said.

“It’s a very nice area. We’re a restaurant, we do have a dance floor on a Saturday night, but we have nice people … people having a great time. But a couple that night clearly didn’t.”

Earlier in the week, another person was bitten during a family violence incident.

“It is a little bit weird,” the police spokesman said.

http://nypost.com/2016/02... n-new-zealand/

 
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1 hour ago

Feb 1 - Federal debt hits $19 trillion; new record set

3 people viewing this

| By mr_underground - 1 hour ago

The federal government is now officially $19 trillion in debt, according to the latest figures released by the Treasury Department Monday that show the Obama administration crossed that ignominious line late last week.

President Obama took office with the debt at $10.6 trillion, and has added more than $8 trillion during his seven years in the White House — a record pace that the Congressional Budget Office says is likely to continue.

As of Friday, the total federal government debt stood at $19.013 trillion. Of that, $13.7 trillion is debt held by the public, and the rest is internal government borrowing, including the IOUs the government has left in the Social Security trust fund over the last three decades.

Republicans in Congress say the ballooning debt is evidence of Mr. Obama’s profligate spending, while the White House says the debt is just a symptom of money Congress has already appropriated.

http://www.washingtontime... ew-record-set/

 
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1 hour ago

Image inside Feb 1 - CHICAGOLAND: Homicides highest rate in 15 years

4 people viewing this

| By Iceberg - 1 hour ago

Chicago records 51 homicides in January, highest toll since 2000


Swish!

CHICAGO — The nation's third largest city recorded 51 homicides in January, the highest toll for the month since at least 2000.

Gang conflicts and retaliatory violence drove the "unacceptable" increase in homicides, the police department said in a statement. But the rise in violence also notably comes as the Chicago Police Department faces increased scrutiny following the court-ordered release of a police video showing a white police officer fatally shooting a black teenager 16 times, and as the department implements changes in how it monitors street stops by officers.

Chicago routinely records more homicides annually than any other American city, but the grim January violence toll marks a shocking spike in violence in a city that recorded 29 murders for the month of January last year and 20 murders for the month in 2014. In addition to the jump in killings, police department said that it recorded 241 shooting incidents for the month, more than double the 119 incidents recorded last January.

The rise in violence comes after the Chicago Police Department reported 468 murders in 2015, a 12.5% increase from the year before. There were also 2,900 shootings, 13% more than the year prior, according to police department records.



In recent weeks, the police department pushed back against the notion that the rise in homicides could be due to cops becoming less aggressive due to the negative attention the department has received in the aftermath of the release of the police video showing the shooting of Laquan McDonald. The city saw several weeks of largely peaceful protests after the release of the video. The U.S. Justice Department has launched a civil rights investigation of the city.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who faced fierce backlash in the city's African-American community over his handling of the McDonald case, fired his police superintendent, Garry McCarthy, after the video's release.

Interim Superintendent John Escalante expressed frustration earlier this month as the homicide toll climbed, but said it was due mainly to gang activity. He also said he was concerned about social media fueling gang disputes, with fatal incidents starting as a war of words on the Internet.

"It's the new way of taunting, challenging other gangs," Escalante told reporters. "It's the modern way of gang graffiti."

St. Louis saw a dramatic increase in the number homicides following the August 2014 police shooting death of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson, which spurred months of angry protests. And Baltimore saw a spike in homicides following the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore in April, an incident that sparked unrest in the Charm City. In both Baltimore and St. Louis, the rise in violent crime began to increase prior to the high-profile incidents and accelerated afterward.

The department says it has seen a decrease in investigative stops by cops on the streets after new rules went into effect Jan. 1 requiring the police department to bolster the monitoring of stops and protective pat downs known as "stop-and-frisk."

The police department entered an agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union to record contact cards for all street stops after the organization criticized the the city's police for disproportionately targeting minorities for questioning and searches. In the past, police officers were required only to fill out cards for stops that didn't result in an arrest. The new contact cards also require police officers to offer greater detail about the stops than they have in the past.

The police department says it recently moved 350 police officers and 31 sergeants from foot patrols into vehicles to help increase visibility in communities hardest hit by the rise of shootings and to improve their ability to quickly respond to incidents.

The department says it has also conducted a series of raids in areas of the city it knows are problematic. One raid last week netted 64 arrests, including 40 suspects who are documented gang members, and the seizure of over $200,000 worth of drugs. Police say they also seized 19 weapons in the raid.

Waves

http://www.usatoday.com/s... 2000/79632136/

 
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1 hour ago

Image inside Feb 1 - Police: Officer fatally shoots man in northeast Washington

3 people viewing this

| By phantomnation - 1 hour ago



WASHINGTON (AP) -- District of Columbia police say an officer fatally shot a man who had a weapon that turned out to be a BB gun.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier said at a news conference that the officer tried to stop the man, who was acting suspiciously, early Monday, but the man fell as he tried to flee and the gun fell from his clothing. Lanier says the man tried to gain control of the weapon and didn't comply with the officer's commands.

Lanier says the man has not been identified yet. She says he was black and the officer is white. Race has not been raised as a factor in the shooting, but it comes amid a national debate about the deaths of black men at the hands of police.


Source: AP

 
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1 hour ago

Image inside Feb 1 - 'Monster' new species of Daddy Longlegs discovered in Oregon

5 people viewing this

| By mr_underground - 1 hour ago




Scientists have apparently discovered a new species of Daddy Longlegs that belong to an arachnid group known for being comparatively huge.
The new species, named the Cryptomaster behemoth, was located in the mountainous and forested regions of southwest Oregon, according to Live Science.

An article published in the journal ZooKeys, titled "A new monster from the southwest Oregon Forests," explains how scientists came across the previously unknown creature.



Scientists first discovered the Cryptomaster leviathan, a cousin of the new arachnid species, in 1969 in Gold Beach.

The body of the creatures are only 4 millimeters wide, but as the species is much larger than those of the same suborder group it was named Leviathan after a biblical monster. The arachnids are known to be tough to find and typically hide under logs and forest debris, hence the name Cryptomaster as well.

Decades later, scientists found more of the Cryptomaster leviathan in the Cascade Mountains and elsewhere in Oregon. This prompted further research on if there was a new species within the Cryptomaster group that had not been recognized.

The expedition, led by scientists from the University of California Riverside and San Diego State University, resulted in the discovery of the Cryptomaster behemoth, another member of the large suborder. Similar to its arachnid cousin, the behemoth was named after a large monster present in the Book of Job, a news release stated.

The behemoth species differs because it lacks two tiny spines present on the penis of the Cryptomaster leviathan, according to the report. DNA samples extracted from animal legs also showed that new species has more genetic diversity, but a smaller habitat range, than the Cryptomaster leviathan.
However, both of the species have a larger version and smaller one, scientists found, though it's unknown why. Scientists have documented where the leviathan and behemoth species have been counted across southwestern Oregon.

Many more species of arachnids belonging to the same diverse suborder are probably still yet to be discovered, scientists said.
"This research highlights the importance of short-range endemic arachnids for understanding biodiversity, and further reveals mountainous southern Oregon as a hotspot for endemic animal species," scientists wrote in the article.

http://www.oregonlive.com... addy_long.html

 
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1 hour ago

Feb 1 - Puerto Rico has a new plan to get out of its massive debt crisis: Use a big eraser

4 people viewing this

| By mr_underground - 1 hour ago

The island's taxpayers are currently on the hook to pay back about $50 billion. On Monday, Puerto proposed cutting that nearly in half to $26.5 billion.
So far, Puerto Rico's creditors are not impressed.

"It's frustrating, and it doesn't feel like a credible offer," a person close to major creditors told CNNMoney.

The crisis is likely to end up in a lengthy court battle unless Washington politicians step in. Congress is holding another hearing on Puerto Rico this week. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan promised to do something to aid the island by the end of March.

Puerto Rico's governor has repeatedly said the island can't pay back all of the money it owes to creditors. Governor Alejandro García Padilla says the island is in a "death spiral" that is turning into a humanitarian crisis.

The island is now struggling to pay teachers and is delaying payments to companies such as the vendor that supplies food to its prisons.

Puerto Rico is so short of funds that it already defaulted twice, once in August and once in early January.

"I don't think this plan is going to get very far," says David Tawil, president of Maglan Capital. His firm used to own Puerto Rican debt, but sold its last holdings in 2014. "I don't see anywhere in the capital structure to make money now."

Many Puerto Ricans are worried about the island's sagging economy. They are migrating to the mainland United States in large waves not seen since the 1950s "West Side Story" era.

On the creditor side, while some of the debt is owned by hedge funds, a lot is held by regular people who either bought the bonds or invested in funds such as the Franklin Double Tax-Free Income Fund (FPRIX) that own a lot of the Puerto Rican debt.

"We encourage the commonwealth to try again and to remember that a majority of the debt is held by individual investors, many of whom are seniors and retirees," says Matthew Kandrach, a representative of Main Street Bondholders, a coalition of Puerto Rican bondholders.

Puerto Rico's government argues the only way to keep paying school teachers and police and get the economy growing again is the trim the debt. At the moment, about 36% of the government's revenues go to debt payments. The island says it can't afford to pay more than 15%.
To put that into context, about 7% of the national U.S. budget currently goes to debt payments.

The proposal is for creditors to voluntarily exchange their current bonds for new bonds.

"A crisis of this magnitude must be addressed in concert, otherwise we risk our ability and the opportunity to escape the spiral of a stagnating economy, endless deficits and increasing debt," said Victor Suarez, Puerto Rico's secretary of state.

Puerto Rico currently owes creditors $49.2 billion in debt backed by taxpayers. Under the island's plan, creditors would receive $26.4 billion of new bonds guaranteeing payment. Then they would get $22.7 billion of "growth bonds" that would only be paid if Puerto Rico has sufficient revenues to do so.

Overall, the island has about $70 billion in debt, but some of that belongs to the troubled utility company or other government entities.

http://money.cnn.com/2016... rto-rico-debt/

 
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1 hour ago

Video inside Feb 1 - Koch Brothers Ready to Oppose Trump

4 people viewing this

| By super vILLain - 1 hour ago

Quote:

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – Donald Trump is so fiercely opposed by the Koch brothers network that some donors believe the powerful group will intervene to stop the billionaire if it looks like he could win the Republican presidential nomination.

"They are always very hesitant to get involved in a primary but I think if they were going to do it this would be the time because they just hate the guy,” said a donor who attended the Koch network’s winter retreat, held over the weekend at a luxury resort near the foothills of Palm Springs’s Coachella Valley.

Both officials and donors within the powerful group hope the real estate tycoon's White House bid dies a natural death so the group can avoid spending a penny of its $889 million 2016 cycle budget against him. But the Koch network's conversations over the weekend concerning what to do about Trump were more detailed than previously revealed.
On the eve of the Iowa causes, Koch network officials revealed in a private meeting with donors that they had commissioned focus group research to identify Trump’s vulnerabilities.

And some influential figures in the group — which held its largest gathering ever, with 500 donors attending the weekend gathering — believe that a decision on how to deal with Trump would need to be taken if he emerges dominant out of the New Hampshire, where he holds a commanding lead in polls.

During a private planning session on Sunday morning, a senior Koch official ran through every presidential candidate, analyzing their strengths and weaknesses, said a source who attended the session.

When he got to Trump, the tone shifted. Trump, the official said, has been on the opposite side of nearly every issue the Koch group cares about, such as taxes, trade, and corporate welfare.
http://thehill.com/homene... o-oppose-trump

Trump has the Kochs and George Soros scared


 
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1 hour ago

Feb 1 - Child kicked out of school because of his DNA

4 people viewing this

| By Iceberg - 1 hour ago



A FEW WEEKS into sixth grade, Colman Chadam had to leave school because of his DNA.

The situation, odd as it may sound, played out like this. Colman has genetic markers for cystic fibrosis, and kids with the inherited lung disease can’t be near each other because they’re vulnerable to contagious infections. Two siblings with cystic fibrosis also attended Colman’s middle school in Palo Alto, California in 2012. So Colman was out, even though he didn’t actually have the disease, according to a lawsuit that his parents filed against the school district. The allegation? Genetic discrimination.

Yes, genetic discrimination. Get used to those two words together, because they’re likely to become a lot more common. With DNA tests now cheap and readily available, the number of people getting tests has gone way up—along with the potential for discrimination based on the results. When Colman’s school tried to transfer him based on his genetic status, the lawsuit alleges, the district violated the Americans With Disabilities Act and Colman’s First Amendment right to privacy. “This is the test case,” says the Chadam’s lawyer, Stephen Jaffe.

When Colman was born in 2000, DNA analysis of newborns was still rare. But he had a congenital heart problem that led to extra tests. That, in turn, led doctors to discover that he carried some genetic markers associated with cystic fibrosis. His markers are no guarantee of a disease though, and Colman never developed any cystic fibrosis. Still, his parents disclosed the information when filling out a medical form to enroll Colman in school.

That information made its way to teachers, who allegedly told the parents of the two other students with cystic fibrosis during a parent-teacher conference. Those parents allegedly demanded the Chadams remove their son from school. Eventually the the school district allowed Colman to return after missing a couple weeks.

The Chadams have since moved away from Palo Alto—but the wheels of the legal system are still turning. When the family first sued the school district in 2013, a district court dismissed the case. The Chadams appeal the dismissal to the federal Ninth Circuit court in January. The Departments of Justice and Education have also written a brief in support of the Chadam’s case, which suggests the federal government has taken an interest in the case and its outcome.

A Railroad Company and Carpal Tunnel
To experts in genetics law, four letters are conspicuously missing from the legal wrangling: GINA, or the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. GINA bars genetic discrimination in just two cases: employment or health insurance. That obviously doesn’t include getting education and housing and plenty of other situation where discrimination might happen. “This case is an useful reminder about the limitations of the federal statute,” says Jennifer Wagner, a lawyer and contributing editor to Genomics Law Report. That’s why the Chadam’s case does not rest on GINA but the ADA, where its application to genetic discrimination is untested.

There is, however, a one example of how the ADA and genetic information intersect. Back in 2001—before GINA passed—the railroad company Burlington Northern Santa Fe was looking for genetic markers for carpal tunnel syndrome in its workers who filed for worker’s comp. (The workers claimed their carpal tunnel syndrome came from operating BNSF machinery; the company was clearly looking for another excuse.)

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit on behalf of the workers, and they eventually reached a settlement in 2002. The workers got $2.2 million—but because the suit ended in a settlement rather than a court decision, it did not establish a legal precedent for the ADA covering discrimination based on genes. The outcome in Chadam’s case could, if a trial goes forward, spell out exactly who gets to access genetic information and what decisions can be made based on it.

In the fifteen years since Colman got a DNA test as a baby, tests have only gotten cheaper and more popular. You have 23andMe’s $199 spit test, of course, but also the National Institutes of Health pumping $25 million into baby sequencing studies. “As we do more screening earlier and earlier in life, there’s potential for misuse of information in ways that are harmful, that could potentially discourage parents from seeking genetic testing even if it’s medically indicated,” says Michelle Lewis, a pediatrician, attorney, and research scholar at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. The genetic discrimination future is here.



http://www.wired.com/2016... boy-based-dna/

 
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1 hour ago

Feb 1 - Planet takes 1 million years to orbit its sun

5 people viewing this

| By messy marv stan - 1 hour ago

http://www.smh.com.au/tec... 25-gmddg8.html








An artist's impression of the gas planet known as 2MASS J2126-8140


Twinkling stars may be the stuff of nursery rhymes so it's fitting that the latest astronomical discovery reunites a lonely planet with its parent star a trillion kilometres away.

Dr Simon Murphy from the Australian National University Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics and a team of international scientists were studying a gas giant planet known as 2MASS J2126−8140 when they discovered it was in orbit with a small red dwarf star, albeit at quite a distance.

The planet's orbit takes nearly one million Earth years and is more than 140 times wider than Pluto's making it easily the largest solar system ever found.





A photograph captures the planet 2MASS J2126-8140, in orbit around its host star TYC 9486-927-1


"It was quite surprising to us we were able to find something so young and so far away," Dr Murphy said.

"There's been a handful of wide planet-like systems discovered in the last five or six years, but this is by far the widest."

The study was part of a survey of several thousand young stars and brown dwarfs.

Dr Murphy believes more pairs may soon be discovered now scientists know what to look for.

"We stumbled on this one, both of these objects have been known for a while we were just the first to tie them together," he said.

"No study had looked wide enough around to find the other star.

"This is the first really exciting one we've found."

Dr Murphy said the planet was somewhere between 11 to 15 times the mass of Jupiter placing it "on the fuzzy boundary" between planet and brown dwarf status – an object too large to be a planet and too small to be a star.

Previously scientists had thought the planet was a member of a young group of stars near to the sun, but have now realised it couldn't have formed in the same way as planets in our solar system because of the vast distance from its host star known as TYC 9486-927-1.

The distance between the pair is 6900 Astronomical Units (AU) – 1,000,000,000,000 kilometres or 0.1 light years – nearly three times the previous widest pair, which is 2500AU (370,000,000,000 km).

Light would take about a month to reach the planet.

"When we look at young stars … they're usually surrounded by a disk of gas and dust from which the planets form, but it's rare to find a disk even a tenth as big as the separation between this star and planet," he said.

Dr Murphy said the team were now trying to establish if the objects were formed together, from a filament of gas or a molecular cloud with the vast distance in between, or separately finding each other while they were drifting away.

"Or the planet could have been a lot closer and some interaction with another star or a gas cloud disrupted the system and we're watching the aftermath of the hit and run as the planet slowly drifts away from its star," he said.

Dr Murphy said tying the giant planet to the star would make it easier for scientists to calculate its age and mass.

"Because it's very nearby it should be a good system for understanding how giant planets form and evolve," he said.

 
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1 hour ago

Image inside Jan 30 - Rival biker gang brawl leads to 1 dead, multiple injuries in Denver

4 people viewing this

| By Ham Rove - 1 hour ago






Quote:

A Denver motorcycle expo turned deadly Saturday when a melee broke out between two rival biker gangs, police told NBC News.

One person was killed and multiple others were injured during a shooting and stabbing at the Colorado Motorcycle Expo, police said. The incident happened just before 1 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET).

No one is in custody yet, Denver police spokeswoman Raquel Lopez said at a news conference.

Denver police would not say which gangs were involved, but law enforcement sources told NBC News the fight happened between the Mongols and Iron Order biker gangs.

The law enforcement source told NBC News that two people from each gang were in grave condition. Police would not confirm how many people were injured or describe the extent of their injuries.

Denver Health, which runs a large medical center in the city, tweeted that paramedics had transported nine people to area hospitals. Police officers were stationed at the hospitals where the injured had been sent.

The motorcycle expo continued after the incident, with heavy security, Lopez said.

Quote:

The Colorado Motorcycle Expo bills itself on its website as "one of the largest motorcycle events in the country." It is taking place this weekend at the National Western Stock Show complex.

Initially, Denver police tweeted that the incident was at the Denver Coliseum, which is near the National Western Stock Show.
http://www.nbcnews.com/ne... 1d212ed14c7540

 
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1 hour ago

Image inside Feb 1 - Groundhog Day - How accurate is Punxsutawney Phil?

2 people viewing this

| By phantomnation - 1 hour ago

With cloudy skies forecast for western Pennsylvania on Tuesday morning, it's unlikely famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow when he pops out of his burrow, meaning he won't promptly rush back inside.

That's assuming he isn't freaked out by the blinding lights and overall hullabaloo.

According to legend, if Phil sees his shadow on Feb. 2, the scared groundhog returns to his burrow and the USA is in store for six more weeks of winter. But, if he doesn’t see his shadow, the country can expect warmer temperatures and an early spring.

Unfortunately, based on past weather data, "there is no predictive skill for the groundhog during the most recent years of the analysis," according to a report released Friday by the National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, N.C.

Flipping a coin might be as accurate as Phil. Since 1988, the groundhog was "right" 13 times and "wrong" 15 times. In other words, only 13 times did the national average temperature for the remainder of February match what would be expected based on what the groundhog predicted.

Last year, the fuzzy rodent saw his shadow, so winter should have dragged on another six weeks. Phil received a mixed grade for 2015 — while the nation had a slightly below-average February, it had a warmer-than-average March.




Since 1887, the groundhog has seen his shadow 102 times to forecast a longer winter and not seen it 17 times to predict an early spring. (There is no record of the prediction for 10 times in the late 19th century.)

Although Phil is the most famous hog, other furry forecasters include West Virginia's French Creek Freddie, Georgia's Gen. Beauregard Lee, Ohio's Buckeye Chuck, North Carolina's Sir Wally Wally, Louisiana's Cajun Groundhog, Alabama's Smith Lake Jake and New York's Staten Island Chuck (full name: Charles G. Hogg).

Groundhog Day's origins lie in an ancient European celebration of Candlemas, which is a point midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.

Superstition has it that fair weather predicted a stormy and cold second half to winter, as noted in this Old English saying:

"If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again."




Source: USA Today

 
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1 hour ago

Video inside Feb 1 - Possible Fireball Seen in Sky Above MD, VA, DC

3 people viewing this

| By S0uthernScience - 1 hour ago

A very bright meteor, more commonly known as a fireball, may have briefly lit up the sky Saturday night around 6 p.m.

A YouTube video from Alexander Salvador, shared with Storm Team4 meteorologists, shows a streak streaming through the sky above Falls Church, Virginia.










According to NASA, a fireball is an unusually bright meteor that reaches a specific brightness. They said objects causing fireballs are not usually large enough to survive passage through the Earth’s atmosphere, although fragments, or meteorites, are sometimes recovered on the ground.



There were hundreds of fireball sightings reported to the American Meteor Society across the northeast, from as far south as Newport News, Virginia, and as far north as Oyster Bay, New York. It appears most of the sightings occurred in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

So far, there have been no reports of any fragments hitting the ground and no official word on what the object was.



http://www.nbcwashington.... 367136971.html

 
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1 hour ago

Jan 30 - US Declares 22 Clinton Emails 'Top Secret'

3 people viewing this

| By RAZAH CUTS - 1 hour ago

Quote:



The Obama administration confirmed for the first time Friday that Hillary Clinton's home server contained closely guarded government secrets, censoring 22 emails that contained material requiring one of the highest levels of classification. The revelation comes three days before Clinton competes in the Iowa presidential caucuses.

State Department officials also said the agency's Diplomatic Security and Intelligence and Research bureaus are investigating if any of the information was classified at the time of transmission, going to the heart of Clinton's defense of her email practices.

The department published its latest batch of emails from her time as secretary of state Friday evening.

But The Associated Press learned ahead of the release that seven email chains would be withheld in full for containing "top secret" information. The 37 pages include messages a key intelligence official recently said concerned "special access programs" —highly restricted, classified material that could point to confidential sources or clandestine programs like drone strikes.

"The documents are being upgraded at the request of the intelligence community because they contain a category of top secret information," State Department spokesman John Kirby told the AP, calling the withholding of documents in full "not unusual." That means they won't be published online with others being released, even with blacked-out boxes.

Department officials wouldn't describe the substance of the emails, or say if Clinton sent any herself.

Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, insists she never sent or received information on her personal email account that was classified at the time. No emails released so far were marked classified, but reviewers previously designated more than 1,000 messages at lower classification levels. Friday's will be the first at top secret level.

Even if Clinton didn't write or forward the messages, she still would have been required to report any classification slippages she recognized in emails she received. But without classification markings, that may have been difficult, especially if the information was publicly available.

"We firmly oppose the complete blocking of the release of these emails," Clinton campaign spokesman Brain Fallon said. "Since first providing her emails to the State Department more than one year ago, Hillary Clinton has urged that they be made available to the public. We feel no differently today."

Fallon accused the "loudest and leakiest participants" in a process of bureaucratic infighting for withholding the exchanges. The documents, he said, originated in the State Department's unclassified system before they ever reached Clinton, and "in at least one case, the emails appear to involve information from a published news article."

"This appears to be overclassification run amok," Fallon said.

Kirby said the State Department was focused, as part of a Freedom of Information Act review of Clinton's emails, on "whether they need to be classified today." Past classification questions, he said, "are being, and will be, handled separately by the State Department." It is the first indication of such a probe.

Department responses for classification infractions could include counseling, warnings or other action, officials said. They wouldn't say if Clinton or senior aides who've since left government could face penalties. The officials weren't authorized to speak on the matter and demanded anonymity.

Separately, Kirby said the department withheld eight email chains, totaling 18 messages, between President Barack Obama and Clinton. These are remaining confidential "to protect the president's ability to receive unvarnished advice and counsel," and will be released eventually like other presidential records.

The emails have been a Clinton campaign issue since 10 months ago, when the AP discovered her exclusive use while in office of a homebrew email server in the basement of her family's New York home. Doing so wasn't expressly forbidden. Clinton first called the decision a matter of convenience, then a mistake.

Last March, Clinton and the State Department said no business conducted in the emails included top-secret matters. Both said her account was never hacked or compromised, which security experts assess as unlikely.

Clinton and the State Department also claimed the vast majority of her emails were preserved properly for archiving because she corresponded mainly with government accounts. They've backtracked from that claim in recent months.

The special access programs emails surfaced last week, when Charles I. McCullough, lead auditor for U.S. intelligence agencies, told Congress he found some in Clinton's account.

Kirby confirmed the "denied-in-full emails" are among those McCullough recently cited. He said one was among those McCullough identified last summer as possibly containing top secret information.

The AP reported last August that one focused on a forwarded news article about the CIA's classified U.S. drone program. Such operations are widely discussed publicly, including by top U.S. officials, and State Department officials debated McCullough's claim. The other concerned North Korean nuclear weapons programs, according to officials.

At the time, several officials from different agencies suggested the disagreement over the drone emails reflected a tendency to overclassify material, and a lack of consistent classification policies across government.

The FBI also is looking into Clinton's email setup, but has said nothing about the nature of its probe. Independent experts say it's unlikely Clinton will be charged with wrongdoing, based on details that have surfaced so far and the lack of indications she intended to break laws.

"What I would hope comes out of all of this is a bit of humility" and Clinton's acknowledgement that "I made some serious mistakes," said Bradley Moss, a Washington lawyer specializing in security clearance matters.

Legal questions aside, it's the potential political costs that probably more concern Clinton. She has struggled in surveys measuring perceived trustworthiness and any investigation, buoyed by evidence of top secret material coursing through her account, could negate a main selling point for her becoming commander in chief: her national security resume.

http://abcnews.go.com/Pol... mails-36603441

 
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1 hour ago

Video inside Feb 1 - Metta World Peace Speaks On His Concept Of "Brown History Month" (Que?)

3 people viewing this

| By Iceberg - 1 hour ago


 
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3 hours ago

Feb 1 - Researchers get green light to genetically modify human embryos

4 people viewing this

| By Iceberg - 3 hours ago



Scientists have been given permission to genetically modify human embryos in the UK. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has, for the first time, approved a licence to use gene editing in research.

The scientists, who are searching for clues to what happens in the first seven days after fertilisation and want to investigate miscarriage, will not be able to implant the embryos into women.

A statement from the HFEA said: “Our licence committee has approved an application from Dr Kathy Niakan of the Francis Crick Institute to renew her laboratory’s research licence to include gene editing of embryos. The committee has added a condition to the licence that no research using gene editing may take place until the research has received research ethics approval. As with all embryos used in research, it is illegal to transfer them to a woman for treatment.”

Donated by couples with a surplus after IVF treatment, the embryos would be used for basic research only. They cannot legally be studied for more than two weeks or implanted into women to achieve a pregnancy.

https://www.theguardian.c... light-research

 
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3 hours ago

Feb 1 - Live 2016 Iowa Caucus Results Thread

4 people viewing this

| By xSLIMx - 3 hours ago

Iowa Caucus Schedule
Caucus Start: 7pm CT (caucus details)
Caucus Locations: Republican, Democrat


Results expected around 10pm ET.


Democratic Candidates
Hillary Clinton
Bernie Sanders
Martin O'Malley

Republican Candidates
Donald Trump
Ted Cruz
Marco Rubio
Ben Carson
Jeb Bush
Rand Paul
John Kasich
Mike Huckabee
Chris Christie
Carly Fiorina
Rick Santorum

 
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6 hours ago

Hillary Clinton lying for 13 minutes straight

4 people viewing this

| By Iceberg - 6 hours ago


 
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7 hours ago

Feb 1 - Bill Gates remembered everyone's license plate at Microsoft

4 people viewing this

| By messy marv stan - 7 hours ago






Bill Gates remembered everyone's license plate at Microsoft so he could check when they came and went


http://www.businessinside... 16-2?r=UK&IR=T





Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates with Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett.


Bill Gates, the cofounder of Microsoft, told BBC Radio 4's "Desert Island Discs" programme that he used to memorise the license plates of early employees' cars to track their comings and goings.

"I had to be a little careful not to try and apply my standards to how hard they worked," he said, according to The Telegraph. "You know, I knew everyone's license plates so I could look out in the parking lot and see when did people come in, when were they leaving. Eventually I had to loosen up, as the company got to a reasonable size."

"Desert Island Discs" is a weekly British radio programme that gets celebrities, politicians, and other famous people to choose the songs they would take onto a desert island.

Gates chose an eclectic mix of tracks — including ones by David Bowie, Ed Sheeran, U2, and The Beatles — and talked about Steve Jobs, his philanthropic work, and Microsoft in the early days. The host, Kirsty Young, introduced Gates as the richest man in the world.

According to Gates, he was "a little more intense than most people" when he set up Microsoft but "no more intense than Steve Jobs," who cofounded Apple in 1976. He then praised Jobs as an "incredible genius."

Microsoft, under Gates, bailed out Apple in the late 1990s when Apple was low on cash and needed a buffer to create the iPod. At a (now infamous) Apple keynote, Gates appeared on the big screen behind Jobs.

Gates has now focused his work on philanthropic causes, such as ending poverty, but he spends about a third of his time at Microsoft as an adviser to CEO Satya Nadella.


Listen to the full episode of "Desert Island Discs."

 
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