UPDATE NEWS 8.13.13 , 8.16.13



Update News from 8.13.13


Planet Heating Up News





|| Trader Joe’s shoppers want chain to stop selling antibiotic-fed meat


Repro Rights for Women


Religious people are less intelligent than atheists, study finds





Planet Heating Up News

High global temperatures have been preventing Arctic ice from forming quickly at the end of the summer. And until the ice refreezes, polar bear moms and cubs in Alaska are stuck on land—unable to hunt for the seals they need to survive.

Yet, even as polar bears suffer from warming temperatures in the Arctic, shameless fossil fuel tycoons, like David and Charles Koch, are spending millions to try and prevent elected officials from taking meaningful action on climate change.



More on the climate disaster from Congress – Barbara Boxer


Recently, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its annual State of the Climate, a peer-reviewed report by more than 380 leading scientists.  The report confirms once again that climate change is happening now and the evidence is all around us.  To download the full report, please click here.

NOAA’s 2012 State of the Climate report finds that the U.S. had its warmest year on record, carbon pollution continues to increase, sea levels have reached record highs, and Arctic sea ice is rapidly disappearing.  These findings underscore how correct the President is when he calls for enforcement of the Clean Air Act to address carbon pollution.  We can’t ignore these warnings and must address climate change so that we can protect our people, local communities, and the nation’s economy.




July 2, 2013




The habitual use of antibiotics at industrial farming operations to promote growth can lead to the development of bacteria resistant to the drugs. Photo via Wikimedia Commons/USDA

The problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria—especially MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)—has ballooned in recent years. Bacteria in the Staphylococcusgenus have always infected humans, causing skin abscesses, a weakened immune system that leaves the body more susceptible to other infections, and—if left untreated—death.


Historically, staph with resistance to drugs have mostly spread within hospitals. Last year, though,a study found that from 2003 to 2008, the number of people checking into U.S. hospitals with MRSA doubled; moreover, in each of the last three years, this number has exceeded the amount of hospital patients with HIV or influenza combined. Even worse, multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MDRSA) has become an issue, as doctors have encountered increasing numbers of patients who arrive with infections resistant to several different drugs that are normally used to treat afflictions.

It’s clear that these bacteria are acquiring resistance and spreading outside of hospital settings. But where exactly is it happening?

Many scientists believe that the problem can be traced to a setting where antibiotics are used liberally: industrial-scale livestock operations. Farm operators habitually include antibiotics in the feed and water of pigs, chickens and other animals to promote their growth rather than to treat particular infections. As a result, they expose bacteria to these chemicals on a consistent basis. Random mutations enable a small fraction of bacteria to survive, and constant exposure to antibiotics preferentially allows these hardier, mutated strains to reproduce.

From there, the bacteria can spread from the livestock to people who work in close contact with the animals, and then to other community members nearby. Previously, scientists have found MRSAliving in both the pork produced by industrial-scale pig farms in Iowa and in the noses of many of the workers at the same farms.

Now, a new study makes the link between livestock raised on antibiotics and MDRSA even clearer.As published today in PLOS ONE, workers employed at factory farms that used antibiotics had MDRSA in their airways at rates double those of workers at antibiotic-free farms.


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Estimates range from 420 million in North Dakota to 32 billion in California.  For 2006 the total annual costs were estimated at 223.5 billion.

Binge drinking is defined as 5 drinks on occasion for men, 4 for women. This sort of drinking is reported to involve 18 percent of U.S. adults.  Costs are due to

through reduced work productivity, increased criminal justice expenses, and higher healthcare costs.


“State Costs of Excessive Alcohol Consumption, 2006,” will be available today athttp://www.ajpmonline.org/ and in the October 2013 digital issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.  For more information about the prevention of excessive alcohol use, visithttp://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/.  Contact: CDC Media Relations
(404) 639-3286



Trader Joe’s shoppers want chain to stop selling antibiotic-fed meat





Repro Rights for Women

Every day this August, reproductive rights, health, and justice groups across the nation are uniting to call on lawmakers to stop the attacks on equal access to safe, legal, affordable reproductive health care for all women. Together, we know we can make our voices loud enough to be heard. 






Religious people are less intelligent than atheists, study finds

Rob Waugh August 12, 2013Yahoo! News

Religious people are less intelligent than non-believers, according to a new review of 63 scientific studies stretching back over decades.

A team led by Miron Zuckerman of the University of Rochester found “a reliable negative relation between intelligence and religiosity” in 53 out of 63 studies. Even in extreme old age, intelligent people are less likely to believe, the researchers found – and the reasons why people with high IQs shun religion may not be as simple as previously thought.

[Backlash after Dawkins’ Muslim jibe]

Previous studies have tended to assume that intelligent people simply “know better”, the researchers write – but the reasons may be more complex. 


Famous atheist Richard Dawkins (ZUMA / Rex Features)

For instance, intelligent people are more likely to be married, and more likely to be successful in life – and this may mean they “need” religion less.

The studies used in Zuckerman’s paper included a life-long analysis of the beliefs of a group of 1,500 gifted children – those with IQs over 135 – in a study which began in 1921 and continues today.

Even at 75 to 91 years of age, the children from Lewis Terman’s study scored lower for religiosity than the general population – contrary to the widely held belief that people turn to God as they age. The researchers noted that data was lacking about religious attitudes in old age and say, “Additional research is needed to resolve this issue.”

As early as 1958, Michael Argyle concluded, “Although intelligent children grasp religious concepts earlier, they are also the first to doubt the truth of religion, and intelligent students are much less likely to accept orthodox beliefs, and rather less likely to have pro-religious attitudes.”

A 1916 study quoted in Zuckerman’s paper (Leuba) found that, “58% of randomly selected scientists in the United States expressed disbelief in, or doubt regarding the existence of God; this proportion rose to nearly 70% for the most eminent scientists.”

[Did Archaeologists Find a Piece of Jesus’ Cross?]

The paper, published in the academic journal Personality and Social Psychology Review, said “Most extant explanations (of a negative relation) share one central theme—the premise that religious beliefs are irrational, not anchored in science, not testable and, therefore, unappealing to intelligent people who “know better.” 

The answer may, however, be more complex. Intelligent people may simply be able to provide themselves with the psychological benefits offered by religion – such as “self-regulation and self-enhancement,” because they are more likely to be successful, and have stable lives. 

[Long backlog for godless wedding services in Ireland]


“Intelligent people typically spend more time in school—a form of self-regulation that may yield long-term benefits,” the researchers write. “More intelligent people get higher level jobs (and better employment (and higher salary) may lead to higher self-esteem, and encourage personal control beliefs.”

“Last, more intelligent people are more likely to get and stay married (greater attachment), though for intelligent people, that too comes later in life. We therefore suggest that as intelligent people move from young adulthood to adulthood and then to middle age, the benefits of intelligence may continue to accrue.”

The researchers suggest that further research on the “function” of religion may reveal more.

“People possessing the functions that religion provides are likely to adopt atheism, people lacking these very functions (e.g., the poor, the helpless) are likely to adopt theism,” the researchers wrote.




Fact Filled Anti-Nuclear Argument



NUCLEAR POWER August 16, 2013, 11:02 am 138 Comments

A Nuclear Submariner Challenges a Pro-Nuclear Film


John Dudley Miller, a former nuclear engineering officer in the Navy with a doctorate in social psychology and a long career in journalism, sent this “Your Dot” critique of “Pandora’s Promise,” the new documentary defending nuclear power, and the more recent videotaped discussion of nuclear energyby the climate scientist and campaigner James E. Hansen [Updated, 12:27 p.m. | Hansen has responded below.]:




A Musing to Self.

By W.O.  7.15.12

Apologies to Omar Khayyam but …this is how I remember the quote:

“Dead yesterday, unborn tomorrow,

Who cares, if today be sweet.”


Khayyám at work: x Wikipedia:

I have been thinking about these lines ever since I read it.  Sure, today is where the senses detect the world around each of us.  And sure, we all make whatever we will of that sensory information.  And if today be sweet who needs the past and who has time to muse about the future.  Today is where the action is.


While I live all who I can remember live again and again as I recall them.  Sure, what I make of these memories can change and even be improved as time passes and that is interesting.  That makes even a bad experience useful, some times.  And sure, the past is gone, so all the more reason to live today for that is all we have, ultimately.


Without a past, no learning is possible.  Yes, one can learn something new each day, maybe a new mix of colors, or to find a new great paint brush, even meet a new friend, which can change your life.   They can all be  important.  But the past is always present, whether you recall it or not.  Its part of who you are.  Its part of who I am anyway.  Who can forget the beauties of living?  Why forget them if they can live again and again.  It’s easy to forget bad things sometimes, sort of as a deliberate act of neglect.  It’s probably a good thing too.  Why carry mental garbage around, why not recycle it into something useful?


To live without a future means  you are dead already.  Plant a tree and die if you have to.  Seeds in the ground can sprout without you.  Seeds into trees leave a memory for friends.  Who planted that tree?  Someone may ask.  I will say, I did and I didn’t care who gets the fruit.  An old teacher told me: “There is no limit to the good a person can accomplish if he/she does not care who gets the credit.”  It was directed at me, I thought erroneously, but that memory popped up while I was musing about the BIG THREE today.

The Big Three, The Past, The Future and Today are intertwined; we separate them with our words, which divide up inner perceptions for focus.  It’s OK to focus as long as you remember that all three make up a life.  And as for credit, well we can see by our fiscal disaster all can be wiped out in a flash, just like your life.


Like Woody Allen also says: “Whatever Works” to give some modest pleasure, grab it, cultivate it, see it for what it is, and be happy.  For this is all there is.  All life is in your hands, heart and mind.  Sing about it, paint it, mold it, store it, laugh with it all, love it all, for when you are gone, there’s nothing.  Emptiness will descend, and cover all your dreams and thoughts.  This everlasting vast moonscape will not know you or your thoughts and dreams.

“So tear your pleasures with rough strife through the iron gates of life;  and though you cannot make it stand still,  we will make it run.  (Another apology to Andrew Marvell (1621–1678), from To His Coy Mistress).