Misc. news stories

Medical studies are almost always bogus
12th May 2017 nypost.com | Misc.

How many times have you encountered a study — on, say, weight loss — that trumpeted one fad, only to see another study discrediting it a week later?

That’s because many medical studies are junk. It’s an open secret in the research community, and it even has a name: “the reproducibility crisis.”

For any study to have legitimacy, it must be replicated, yet only half of medical studies celebrated in newspapers hold water under serious follow-up scrutiny

This level of failure slows scientific progress, wastes time and resources and costs taxpayers excesses of $28 billion a year, writes NPR science correspondent Richard Harris in his book “Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions

Mexico Eliminates Infectious Disease Which Is Leading Cause of Blindness
29th April 2017 | nbcnews.com | Misc.

In a significant public health victory, Mexico has succeeded in eliminating a disease which is the leading cause of blindness worldwide.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Monday that Mexico is the first country in the Americas to eliminate trachoma as a public health issue.

New Orleans takes down Confederate monuments under cover of darkness
28th April 2017 | theguardian.com | Ancient, Misc.

In New Orleans in the small hours of the morning on Monday, workers wearing bulletproof vests and scarves that obscured their faces removed the first of four prominent Confederate monuments.

Talk of a ‘localised nuclear conflict’ is ignorant and dangerous
28th April 2017 | newscientist.com | Earth, Misc.

An unwelcome development is the return of cold war chatter about “local” nuclear wars – the idea that a few warheads tossed around east Asia might be locally unpleasant but manageable on a planetary scale. This idea needs to be quashed. Quite apart from the difficulty in preventing a local conflict from growing into a large-scale multinational war, those who study nuclear war scenarios say millions of tonnes of smoke would gush into the stratosphere, resulting in a nuclear winter that would lower global temperatures for years. The ensuing global crisis in agriculture – dubbed a “nuclear famine” – would be devastating.

Somali pirates ‘motivated by drought:’ US commander
28th April 2017 | rawstory.com | Earth, Misc.

Pirates in Somalia are being driven to the seas by a devastating drought, says the top U.S. military commander in Africa.

A spate of pirate attacks have occurred off the coast of Somalia in recent months after a five-year hiatus in the region

UN honors Egyptologist Zahi Hawass as Culture, Antiquities Ambassador
26th April 2017 | egyptindependent.com | Ancient, Misc.

The UN honored Egyptologist and former Egyptian Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass on Thursday for his role in protecting antiquities, on the occasion of his appointment as United Nations Ambassador for Culture and Antiquities.

A group of engineers just submitted this incredible proposal for Trump’s border ‘wall’ that’s actually a $15 billion hyperloop
18th April 2017 | businessinsider.com | Misc., Tech

The Trump administration is reviewing design bids for its proposed wall along the US-Mexico border. But not all plans are interpreting the word “wall” literally.

Alt: Trump Asks For “Border Wall” Designs. Engineers Create Hilarious (And Useful) Alternative

Narragansett Tribe seeks injunction to stop work on Providence Viaduct
10th April 2017 | providencejournal.com | Misc.

More than 100 acres in three areas in Washington County were to be transferred to the Narragansetts under a 2013 mitigation deal for the viaduct project. But more than four years after the deal was signed, the land transfer has yet to happen.

The U.N. Is Currently Meeting To Negotiate A Complete, Global Ban on Nuclear Weapons
8th April 2017 futurism.com | Misc.

Scientists have joined together to urge the UN to stigmatize nuclear weapons in the same manner as biological and chemical weapons. They believe a false alarm could soon trigger an all-out war, and that the UN is correct in considering a total ban.

Related: U.S., Britain, France, others skip nuclear weapons ban treaty talks
Related: Possessing nuclear weapons ‘fundamentally incompatible’ with world’s aspiration for peace – UN official
Related: 3,000 of the World’s Smartest Minds Have Come Together to Ban Nuclear Weapons

‘Doomsday’ Library Joins Seed Vault in Arctic Norway
8th April 2017 | livescience.com | Misc., Tech

The so-called doomsday seed vault located underground on a remote island in the Arctic Ocean has gained a neighbor, and the new vault, opened March 27, will act as a digital archive for the world’s data.

Policies believed to stabilize the financial system may actually do the opposite, study finds
8th April 2017 phys.org | Misc.

Researchers have found that some of the current financial policies aimed at increasing the stability of financial networks may actually be driving them toward instability. The problem arises because these policies typically focus on the stability of individual banks—but due to the complex nature of networks, what’s good for individual banks may not be good for the banking system as a whole.

Evidence Indicates That Universal Basic Income Improves Human Health
8th April 2017 futurism.com | Humans, Misc.

The immediate need for basic income in recognition of the effects of chronic stress and the importance of improving environments. Eliminating huge stressors like worrying about being able to afford food and shelter can do wonders for the potential of humanity.

Coronet acquires two books from Graham Hancock
29th March 2017 | thebookseller.com | Ancient, Misc.

Hodder & Stoughton imprint Coronet is publishing two further books from Graham Hancock, both focusing on the Americas: America Before and the fourth in the War God series.

Miscellaneous news stories.