RaaD Movies, News and Technology

Dany's RaaD Roundup

This Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for February 6, 2010

Texas seems to be a mass of mixed emotion in regards to religion in government. I can think of at least one devout Texan who would be interested in this story.
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It took the Obama administration the weekend to decide how to handle the situation in Egypt. Before the weekend, it looked loose support for the government structure, but after the weekend, once numerous reports came out about violence against the protesters, the rhetoric shifted.
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I am not sure sure, but I think that Jon Stewart was channeling Glenn Beck by mock insinuating that Sarah Palin may be a Russian spy sleeper agent, but whatever he was doing, it was a funny game of connect the dots. I think what is more important about that clip is that most Republicans try and claim that it was President Reagan who beat the Soviet Union, but this is the first I have heard them claim that they just spent themselves into bankruptcy. That is usually the argument made by Democrats.
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Bill Gates comes on to promote the eradication of polio from India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the four countries that humanitarian aid has never been able to erradicate polio from.
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Michael Steele is a great sport, after numerous episodes with Stewart and Wyatt Cenac making fun with a mini-puppet, he came on this week to talk about the current situation the Republican party is in.
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Who knew there was rape and then there was rape-rape? Thanks Kristen Schaal for clearing that one up! Republicans are trying to draw a line in the sand between what types of rape the federal government would help fund abortions for.
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The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, explains just how close a relationship the US government and military has had with Egypt over the past 30 years.
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Paul Offit, MD talks with Stephen Colbert about his new book, Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All, where he talks about how important vaccinations are and about the half million Americans who medically can’t get vaccines that depend on everyone else to get vaccinated to protect them.
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These government approved wingless wynz seem very scary, even if they are just white meat wyngz.
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Here is another segment in Bill O’Reilly‘s sayings that don’t make any scientific sense.
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Enjoy

Dany

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February 6, 2011 7:55 pm Posted by | Alaska, astronomy, books, clips, DC, Egypt, food, health, Islam, Law, medicine, Middle East, politics, Religion, science, Texas, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

This Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for the Week of January 30th, 2010

Megyn Kelly‘s view of Fox News’ coverage does not seem very well backed up by print or video evidence. I will just assume she missed all those different Nazi references on her own network… sadly this does not excuse Rep. Steve Cohen for using that type of rhetoric himself earlier this month though. Nice report Wyatt Cenac. The next day Jon Stewart calls Bill O’Reilly out on how HE took offense to Jon calling Megyn Kelly out on her previous statement out. Just as a by-the-by, I had no idea that Ms Kelly was a practicing lawyer.
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This may be the saddest piece on the Daily Show, that the historic town of Turkey Creek could only gather enough political power to appeal to the government once they got the bird lovering Audubon society on their side. Oh and shame on you Al Sharpton for not helping more with the issue or at least even seeming sympathetic about this issue.
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I disliked most of the Spider-Man movies, but I have liked James Franco in Pineapple Express, I have not gotten to see 127 Hours yet though. Here he talks about how he heard about his Oscar nomination.
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Jonathan Alter has a new book, The Promise, that looks at the first year of the Obama administration. Alter talks a lot about jus how badly President Obama and staff were at communicating to the public during that first year in office.
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T. Boone Pickens talks in this extended interview about his plan to get the US off of OPEC oil with his 10 year plan, even though he thought 2 years ago it was the same 10 year plan. He wants to get the US off OPEC oil with natural gas, two years ago he talked a lot more about wind power though. I just don’t know how he can say that he’s never seen any sort of damage coming from fraking though, he never gives a solid answer to the documentaries with flamable water in local faucets after fracking. Pickens does not seem to make sense, he says everyone is in and that it’s a non-partisan issue, but no one in the US government seems to be talking about it. It takes til the end of the 20+ minutes to get to the meat of the issue, one big reason nothing has moved forward with his energy plan is that energy companies are not yet convinced to give up their golden goose just yet.
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Stephen Colbert absorbs Keith Olbermann‘s audience and power after finding out that Keith’s show is over… only to experience some deleterious effects.
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Hey, you can move to Utah now and kill any suspicious animal wandering around you, by clubbing it to death, decapitating it or shooting it, as long as you have a reasonable belief that it is feral… sounds like a great way to spend Saturday night and possibly build a personal history of conduct disorder leading to a future payoff of antisocial personality disorder! THANKS State Rep. Curtis Oda.
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Daryl Bem‘s recent study shows that when people are being shown erotic images, they can predict which window that image will reveal said erotic image, at a rate of just over 53% compared to just under a 50% prediction for a neutral image.
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If you didn’t have a reason to avoid fast food. Here’s Taco Bell defending their beef taco filling even if it contains less than 35% meat, instead of the government mandated minimum of 40%… I guess in the future you might see Taco Bell selling their new beefoid burrito. Who wouldn’t want the non-harmful but also non-advantageous silicon dioxide (sand) in their food? Just don’t inhale it, it’s bad for the lungs, but so would other foods.
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I hope Brian Greene‘s new book, The Hidden Reality, explains how I could be “a bag of particles governed by the laws of physics.” The idea that math describes the possibility of alternate universes is intriguing. We still need some sort of experimental evidence, but I have no idea how we would go about obtaining that evidence. I wonder how this compares to predictive porn research, don’t you?
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Enjoy

Dany

January 31, 2011 4:06 am Posted by | astronomy, books, brain, clips, DC, economy, health, Law, movies, politics, science, sex, tv, Utah, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

US State of the Union and the Republican Response 2011

Last night President Obama took to the airways and gave his State of the Union speech in front of Congress to the US. If you missed it, I have posted it below.

After the State of the Union, Rep Paul Ryan gave the Republican Response to the President’s speech, you can see that video below if you did not get a chance to see that as well.

After watching both speeches, it is clear that the two men have different views of what makes America strong, but I have to hope that with all the areas that they agree, in the end, good laws and reforms will come from it. I do not believe that in the end, the entire 2010 health care reform bill will be repealed, but the most egregious sections of it will get changed. Reducing our deficit will not be easy, but cuts to research will only handicap our future and any reform to seriously cut spending will have to deal with both military spending and entitlement spending like Medicare, Medicaid Social Security and other healthcare related programs, since those programs alone already account for over 80% of our federal spending(image below) which come from this federal spending breakdown (image below).

Enjoy

Dany

January 26, 2011 2:19 pm Posted by | Arizona, China, clips, college, DC, economy, education, health, Law, medicine, military, politics, science, technology, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

This Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for January 23rd, 2010

It’s the end of Michael Steele‘s time heading the RNC, his tenure brought poor election results during the presidential election in 2008, but good election results in 2010, but at the same time massive debt for the RNC. I am not sure if overall that is so good for the RNC, it looks like it’s up to Reince Priebus to bring in massive fundraising to pay off that debt and he needs to bring back integrity to the organization, which isn’t hard to do as long as he doesn’t spend any money at gentlemen’s clubs like Michael Steele did previously.
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Peter Bergen has a new book, The Longest War, about the war in Afghanistan. He has an interesting view of al Qaeda and the Afghanistan War. I don’t know if I agree with his logic, but he is interesting nonetheless.
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I hate defending Sarah Palin, especially when she’s complaining about and insulting people LIKE ME, even going so far as calling people like me, people with almost no standards. I will say this, there is no evidence that Sarah Palin, her crosshair imagery and colorful language about being “up in arms” or anything else she has done in any way lead to or contributed to the Tucson shooting, but that doesn’t mean I have to like her. Every time I have to defend her though, it makes me mad, because she would just as well consider me a left leaning loon and dismiss my opinions and morals at the drop of a hat. Watch the video below of her if you don’t believe me.
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If you like science, exploration and the bleeding edge of new research, you will probably enjoy Neil deGrasse Tyson‘s new PBS series Nova Science Now, on exploring the pressing questions of current scientific research.
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It looks like ailing states and cities are going broke, with cuts to public services like the police department, fire department, public schools and the addition of legalized gambling and bringing us that much closer to THUNDERDOME… sounds like a good time to ask the federal government for a bail out since only state and local governments have to balance their budgets each year, while the federal government does not have this responsibility yearly. I doubt it would go very far any time soon with a Republican controlled House of Representatives and the head of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke squelching rumors of a Fed bailout of states and local governments, but it might open the door to some interesting solutions proposed. Also the 2nd video is Stephen talking with Christine Todd Whitman about the state budget crisis around the US.
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How long will it take for politicians speaking out for bringing people from different parties together based on how similar we all are to make a complete U-turn? I guess if you are Rep. Steve Cohen… about 1 week before pulling out the Nazi card.
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Kambiz Hosseini & Saman Arbabi from the underground Iranian satirical show Parazit. Watch it here if you are interested in Iranian politics.
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It sounds like Dan Burton wants Congressmen lavished with pope-mobile stylish dome protection… this is so sad.
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I spent a lot of my limited patience defending Sarah Palin above, but THIS is how you deal with Palin fatigue Mika Brzezinski!
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Disintegration of schools is a very odd issue, but I don’t know how good or bad an idea it is just from polling of parental satisfaction of the system. I would want to see some test score data to see how well these school children are performing, but the idea of disintegrating the schools, just based on the idea that social engineering of public schools is a bad idea is just more social engineering to solve what may not even be a problem.
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Forever Lazy looks like the next step down the road to America completely losing all touch with style, effort and a lean body shape.
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Ron Reagan, the son of former President Ronald Reagan talked about his father as president and how they engaged in political discussions, the book is Ron Reagan My Father at 100.
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Chris Matthews talks about how JFK impacted him growing up and how he is in the process of writing a book about former President Kennedy.
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Enjoy

Dany

January 24, 2011 3:00 am Posted by | astronomy, books, censorship, clips, DC, economy, health, Law, Middle East, nature, politics, science, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

This Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for January 9th, 2011

Hmm, we now have birds falling from the sky and dead fish washing ashore in Arkansas. Here are a few links to recent articles about this thanks to No Agenda episodes 266-268
(story1, story2, story3, story4, subscribe to No Agenda here)
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I love the metaphor of Barack Obama as Luke Skywalker, it’s geektastic!
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I am guessing that San Francisco is going to get sued over forcing McDonald’s to change the food they serve to healthier Happy Meals in order to serve it with a toy, it seems like government overreach into the private sector to me and councilman Eric Mar does not seem to do a good job explaining how they have the authority for this law to be legal. I wish McDonald’s would offer healthier options for their Happy Meals when they give out toys, diabetes has already become a major problem and it is only getting worse for more and more children and adults in the US and worldwide, but this type of government law does not seem to be the way to go about fixing this problem.
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Here are some choice segments from the debate over who will run the Republican National Committee and I was also surprised that anyone on Fox News would point out that everyone hates Michael Steele. Stephen Colbert also gets some ribbing in at Reince Priebus‘ expense.
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Here is Jon’s interview with NY senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, after listening to her, I am glad she’s one of my senators from NY, I don’t usually get to hear from her, she generally does her work behind the scenes.
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Goldman Sachs is investing $450 million into Facebook and it will allow it to seem like a single investor as they then sell these shares to their own clients, thus delaying when Facebook has to file with the SEC, as there is an SEC rule for revealing a company’s financial information once they have 500 shareholders or more. Ahh, I love breaking the spirit of the law by only following it to the letter… Facebook will instead release their financial information to the public at latest in April, 2012.
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The idea of gold and silver as legal tender has been making a comeback and now with new committee subchair Ron Paul, we may see some interesting ways where he tries to weaken or at least make more transparent, the Federal Reserve. Stephen even interviews Congressman Ron Paul and David Leonhardt about this in the second clip.
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Dr. Atul Gawande’s book, The Checklist Manifesto, is now out in paperback. He is a very interesting doctor who also periodically writes for The New Yorker, you can read his articles here.
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It’s sad when Bill O’Reilly’s argument for God’s existence can be debunked by an elementary science lesson, thanks Neil deGrasse Tyson!
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As of right now, when we try and manipulate telomerase to reverse aging, we end up causing cancers to form. New research in mice may help us better understand when to manipulate telomerase to increase vitality, hopefully without increasing the risk of cancer. Stephen interviews Dr. Ronald DePinho about this after some of his new research on this issue has garnered the media spotlight.
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Enjoy

Dany

January 10, 2011 3:17 am Posted by | Arkansas, books, California, clips, DC, health, Law, medicine, movies, nature, newspaper, podcasts, politics, Religion, science, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

Temple Grandin Movie Review

I rarely review movies that aren’t currently in theaters, but after I heard about the HBO film Temple Grandin from my psychiatry professor and watched the film, I had to change that. For anyone who wants to understand what autism means to someone who actually found her way through the disorder and with a lot of work made a big difference in the fields of science, animal husbandry and general medical understanding. Autism used to be considered a disorder that was the fault of the mother, this stigma easily could have ruined a family, but this movie tells the story of one person, with her struggles and her ability to persevere. This is an excellent film. Buy a copy, rent it, just watch it. Claire Danes gives a stellar performance, easily the best movie I have ever seen her in (even though I loved Stardust) with this true story, Julia Ormond gives a heart wrenching performance, David Strathairn and Catherine O’Hara wonderfully support this world of discovery.

The movie is based on the book written by Dr. Grandin: My Life in Pictures. Thanks to Vulture NYmag for the above image.

Enjoy

Dany

November 23, 2010 11:43 pm Posted by | books, brain, dvd, health, medicine, movie reviews, movies, nature, science, tv | Leave a comment

This Week’s Daily Show and Colbert Roundup for October 8th, 2010

The consensus is in, Rahm Emanuel might just be a dick and that’s OK he seems to get things done in the molasses environment that is politics. let us see how he does in running for mayor of Chicago.
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Apparently, in the 1940’s American scientists intentionally gave Guatemalans syphilis to test penicillin in treating this and the NIH funded this! This Guatemala experiment is some of the most despicable research ever conducted on humans and it is very hard to find experiments that are worse than the Tuskegee syphilis studies. You don’t have to watch the 2nd half of that clip, the Jason Jones‘ segment about the military wasn’t very good.
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All I can say is that this is Bruce Willis going on David Letterman this week with a meat hairpiece after the Lady Gaga’s meat dress. I’ve never been a big fan of Dave, but he did partake in a bit of a gnash, which was was cool.
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I do not like the idea of strategic defaults, but it is not a new concept and if any party that signs a financial contract is willing to take that hit to their credit score and walk away from their morgage, let them. When busineses walk away from corporate offices, there’s no reason why homeowners should be shamed into paying into a morgage that no longer makes financial sense either.
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Disney has an interesting policy toward hiring Muslims. Is the silver lining that she did not get fired?
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Leon Botstein seems like an interesting President of Bard College, making it mandatory for incoming freshman to take 3 weeks of intense science. It’s probably a very good idea, understanding scientific discipline is crucial in understanding how to weigh different arguments that may be presented in the future.
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Personal freedom vs health and protection is tough. As a medical student, I know how bad it can be for people to drink raw, unpasteurized milk, so I would prefer that people only drink pasteurized milk. At the same time however, I do believe that Americans have the inherent freedom to do things that may not be in their best interests. I would say that the government just treat foods like raw milk in the same way they treat other dangerous lifestyle choices like smoking. Mandate warning labels be placed on the bottles of milk that inform those that buy the milk of the possible negative side effects of drinking that milk and then let fully informed consumers decide for themselves what they want to put in their own body.
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Fearstock seems to be a great way to keep the scary stock photos flowing for all kinds of political ads across the country.
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Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana is back in the media. I don’t think marijuana is all that good for you, medically it has its uses, but as for recreational use, I say legalize it, tax it and regulate it as we already do for alcohol, tobacco and firearms. If people want to do it in their home and not hurt anyone else, fine by me, just don’t endanger anyone else by, for example, do not drive while high. Treat it the same way we do alcohol and tobacco.
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Lastly, here is the Colbert on Letterman talking about his trip down to testify in front of Congress.
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Enjoy

Dany

October 8, 2010 9:51 pm Posted by | clips, college, comedians, crazy celebs, DC, economy, food, guns, health, Islam, Law, medicine, politics, Religion, science, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

Vaccination as a Tool for Cancer Prevention

I was sifting through the Medscape articles I subscribe to and came across this article on cancer causing infections and the vaccines that have the potential to cut these cancers almost in half called Vaccination as a Tool for Cancer Prevention (read it here) written by Eric H. Raabe, MD, PhD; Julia M. Kim, MD, MPH and Miriam Alexander, MD, MPH. The full article is a very concise summary of the most common cancers that are caused by infections. I am posting the abstract to this article at the bottom of this post so you can get a preview.

Thanks to the Politico for the above image

Enjoy

Dany

Abstract: Infectious agents, such as viruses and bacteria, are the causes of several common cancers. Infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori predisposes to gastric cancer. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are associated with liver cancer, and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with lymphoma and nasopharyngeal cancer. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a major cause of cervical, anal, penile, and oropharyngeal cancer. Together, infection-associated tumors make up nearly 20% of all cases of cancer worldwide, causing more than 2 million malignancies per year. Most of these cases occur in developing countries. Under normal circumstances, immune surveillance helps to keep many of these virus-associated cancers in check, but in immunocompromised persons, such as those with late-stage HIV infection, the incidence and aggressiveness of these cancers increase. HBV and HPV vaccines are effective and in use, and vaccines against other cancer-causing agents are in development. Because many virus-associated cancers occur in the developing world (such as EBV-associated Burkitt’s lymphoma in Africa and HBV-associated hepatocellular carcinoma [HCC] in Asia), the development and deployment of vaccines to prevent infection with HPV, HBV, HCV, and EBV can serve as effective preventative tools to reduce the burden of cancer morbidity and mortality worldwide.

August 31, 2010 8:58 pm Posted by | health, medicine, science, technology | Leave a comment

The Daily Show Roundup for the week of April 16th, 2010

I enjoy The Daily Show, but I don’t always agree with it. This week started off with a story that makes fun of a group of people who openly carry around firearms legally around their town on a daily basis. The main representative may have sounded silly in how he compared the way he feels he’s treated because he openly carries a gun, but I don’t find any problem with anyone legally carrying a pistol, just as everyone has within limits to legal free speech in the 1st amendment, so should people have similar rights afforded by the 2nd amendment.
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It is interesting to hear the justifications of Glenn Beck on cable news as to who should pay federal taxes.
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Jon Stewart tries to show the Tea Party movement why they should distance themselves from some of the crazier aspects of the Republican party.
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Rachel Maddow comes on to promote her new special 2 hour documentary of the 30+ hours of Timothy McVeigh interviews, confessions and reasons for perpetuating the largest act of domestic terrorism on US soil, called The McVeigh Tapes: Confessions of an American Terrorist. At the same time she talks about what she feels should be the limits of public rhetoric in political speech: 1. Don’t lie or expect to be called out when you lie and 2. Don’t threaten to shoot people.
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With the Catholic church and the current Pope coming under more intense public scrutiny over priest abuse of children of the clergy, John Hodgman has a few solutions in his You’re Welcome segment.
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I’m happy to find out that the Obama administration aren’t scary secret muslims, just nerds… it’s too bad so much time on Fox News was devoted to talking about flags and symbols instead of the actual goings on from the 47 country Nuclear Security Summit that President Obama held.
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Former diplomat and negotiator of the original nuclear arms START treaty Richard Burt talks about the current iteration of the New START treaty and his organization Global Zero.
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From the Richard Burt interview above, I am glad to find out that President Obama and Russian President Medvedev have seemed to forge a good close relationship, but I am not a huge fan of President Medvedev coming to our country with veiled insults for our former leaders, we don’t go over to Russia and make fun of former President Putin or Gorbechov when interviewed, just like we don’t go over to foreign soil and make fun of America either.
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On the lighter side, Tracy Morgan lights it up with another hilarious guest spot, it’s insane and gut busting as usual.
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Enjoy

Dany

April 16, 2010 5:46 pm Posted by | clips, comedians, crazy celebs, DC, economy, guns, Law, movies, politics, Religion, science, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

The Immortal Jellyfish – Turritopsis nutricula

I have heard TED talks about the science of humans potentially living for 1000 years (video below) from Aubrey de Grey (subscribe to TED talks here), but this is the first story I have seen where we have actually found a species on Earth that we think has managed to do what our science has been striving for, everlasting life. The Turritopsis nutricula seems to start as a sexually immature polyp form then transdifferentiates into a sexually mature form. For most creatures, that is just about the end of their major transformations until death, but the Turritopsis nutricula transdifferentiates again, this time back into its immature form again, it will then just repeat this cycle ad infinitum.

Sadly, as of now, us humans are not very good at this quite yet, transdifferentiation is a specific type of metaplasia and as all you medical folks know, when human cells go into metaplasia, that’s not always a good sign. Just think about Barrett’s esophagus metaplasia, which has a high risk of becoming cancerous.

Here is the original research article the story came from.

Thanks to Katrina for sharing this link and thanks to 14bikeco’s Blog for the images!

Enjoy

Dany

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Turritopsis nutricula

April 15, 2010 3:23 pm Posted by | clips, lectures, medicine, nature, photography, podcasts, science | 1 Comment