> Blindness has not been for me a total misfortune; it should not be seen in a pathetic way. It should be seen as a way of life: one of the styles of living. Being blind has its advantages. I owe to the darkness some gifts: the gift of Anglo-Saxon, my limited knowledge of Icelandic, the joy of so many lines of poetry, of so many poems, and of having written another book, entitled, with a certain falsehood, with a certain arrogance, In Praise of Darkness. ... I too, if I may mention myself, have always known that my destiny was, above all, a literary destinythat bad things and some good things would happen to me, but that, in the long run, all of it would be converted into words. Particularly the bad things, since happiness does not need to be transformed: happiness is its own end.
borges  blind  poetry  happiness 
7 hours ago
8,000 Years Ago, 17 Women Reproduced for Every One Man - Pacific Standard
> Once upon a time, 4,000 to 8,000 years after humanity invented agriculture, something very strange happened to human reproduction. Across the globe, for every 17 women who were reproducing, passing on genes that are still around today—only one man did the same.

"It wasn't like there was a mass death of males. They were there, so what were they doing?" asks Melissa Wilson Sayres, a computational biologist at Arizona State University, and a member of a group of scientists who uncovered this moment in prehistory by analyzing modern genes.

Another member of the research team, a biological anthropologist, hypothesizes that somehow, only a few men accumulated lots of wealth and power, leaving nothing for others. These men could then pass their wealth on to their sons, perpetuating this pattern of elitist reproductive success. Then, as more thousands of years passed, the numbers of men reproducing, compared to women, rose again. "Maybe more and more people started being successful," Wilson Sayres says. In more recent history, as a global average, about four or five women reproduced for every one man.
fertility  mating  gender  sex  history  genetics  agriculture 
12 hours ago
Hajnal line - Wikipedia
The Hajnal line is a border that links Saint Petersburg, Russia and Trieste, Italy. In 1965, John Hajnal discovered it divides Europe into two areas characterized by different levels of nuptiality. To the west of the line, marriage rates and thus fertility were comparatively low and a significant minority of women married late or remained single; to the east of the line and in the Mediterranean and select pockets of Northwestern Europe, early marriage was the norm and high fertility was countered by high mortality.[1][2]
history  europe  fertility 
Holodomor - Wikipedia
> The Holodomor (Ukrainian: Голодомо́р)[a] was a man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 that killed an officially estimated 7 million to 10 million people[11]. It was part of the wider Soviet famine of 1932–33, which affected the major grain-producing areas of the country. During the Holodomor millions of inhabitants of Ukraine, the majority of whom were ethnic Ukrainians, died of starvation in a peacetime catastrophe unprecedented in the history of Ukraine.[12] Since 2006, the Holodomor has been recognized by Ukraine[13] and 15 other countries as a genocide of the Ukrainian people carried out by the Soviet government.[14]
history  starvation  ukraine 
A randomized synbiotic trial to prevent sepsis among infants in rural India : Nature : Nature Research
> We enrolled 4,556 infants that were at least 2,000 g at birth, at least 35 weeks of gestation, and with no signs of sepsis or other morbidity, and monitored them for 60 days. We show a significant reduction in the primary outcome (combination of sepsis and death) in the treatment arm (risk ratio 0.60, 95% confidence interval 0.48–0.74), with few deaths (4 placebo, 6 synbiotic). Significant reductions were also observed for culture-positive and culture-negative sepsis and lower respiratory tract infections. These findings suggest that a large proportion of neonatal sepsis in developing countries could be effectively prevented using a synbiotic containing L. plantarum ATCC-202195.
probiotics  microbiome  sepsis  RCT 
4 days ago
Toxicology report shows Tiger Woods had Vicodin, Dilaudid, Xanax, Ambien and THC in system at time of DUI arrest
> He has had four surgeries on his back starting in the spring of 2014, the most recent being fusion surgery. Woods has not competed since February and won't return this year. His last win was in August 2013.
neurosurgery  back_pain  pain 
5 days ago
Sci-fi movie in reality: China’s first cryonics practice accomplished in May - CGTN
> It's been disclosed on Sunday that China’s first cryopreservation case – fully operated in China without thoracotomy – was accomplished in May. Zhan Wenlian, a 49-year-old lung cancer patient who was announced clinically dead on May 8, was transferred to Shandong-based Yinfeng Biological Group’s medical laboratory to receive the practice.
china  cryonics  2017 
6 days ago
Chimpanzee Intelligence Is Heritable: Current Biology
> Here, we utilized a modified Primate Cognitive Test Battery [ 13 ] in conjunction with quantitative genetic analyses to examine whether cognitive performance is heritable in chimpanzees. We found that some but not all cognitive traits were significantly heritable in chimpanzees. We further found significant genetic correlations between different dimensions of cognitive functioning, suggesting that the genes that explain the variability of one cognitive trait might also explain that of other cognitive traits.
IQ  genetics  animals  primate 
7 days ago
Neuropathic Itch
> All neurological disease categories have been implicated and neurological causes should be considered for patients with otherwise-unexplained itch. The same neurological illnesses that cause neuropathic pain can also or instead cause itch. These include shingles (particularly of the head or neck), small-fiber polyneuropathies, radiculopathies (e.g., notalgia paresthetica and brachioradial pruritis) and diverse lesions of the trigeminal nerve, root, and central tracts. Central nervous system lesions affecting sensory pathways, including strokes, multiple sclerosis, and cavernous hemangiomas can cause central itch. Neuropathic itch is a potent trigger of reflex and volitional scratching although this provides only fleeting relief. Rare patients whose lesion causes sensory loss as well as neuropathic itch can scratch deeply enough to cause painless self-injury. The most common location is on the face (trigeminal trophic syndrome). Treating neuropathic itch is difficult; antihistamines, corticosteroids, and most pain medications are largely ineffective. Current treatment recommendations include local or systemic administration of inhibitors of neuronal excitability (especially local anesthetics) and barriers to reduce scratching.
neurology  itch 
8 days ago
Announcement: Fungal Disease Awareness Week — August 14–18, 2017 | MMWR
> In the United States, coccidioidomycosis (often called “Valley fever”) is particularly concerning; although approximately 10,000 cases are reported each year, it is likely that many more cases go undiagnosed, with an estimated 150,000 infections annually (2). This issue of MMWR includes a report on a substantial increase in coccidioidomycosis cases in California in 2016
fungus  coccidiomycosis  infection 
9 days ago
Euthanasia and cryothanasia. - PubMed - NCBI
> In this article we discuss the moral and legal aspects of causing the death of a terminal patient in the hope of extending their life in the future. We call this theoretical procedure cryothanasia. We argue that administering cryothanasia is ethically different from administering euthanasia. Consequently, objections to euthanasia should not apply to cryothanasia, and cryothanasia could also be considered a legal option where euthanasia is illegal.
cryonics  ethics 
11 days ago
Americans - Wikipedia
> English-speakers, and even speakers of many other languages, typically use the term "American" to exclusively mean people of the United States; this developed from its original use to differentiate English people of the American colonies from English people of England
history  us  america 
15 days ago
27 Statistics That Prove Americans Believe In Ghosts (Hint: It’s Mostly Female Democrats) | Thought Catalog
Lowest % = midwest > 7. Of those individuals who stated they believe others had encountered ghosts women outnumbered men. 68% of women asked stated they believed others had experienced ghosts, 52% of men did.

8. The older the person asked, the more likely they were to believe that ghosts are possible. People older than 45 were 8-10% more likely to believe in the possibility of ghosts than those younger.

9. 20% more Democrats than Republicans believe people have encountered ghosts, 69% to 49%, respectively.
ghost  survey  us 
15 days ago
Why Do People Believe in Ghosts? - The Atlantic
> Recent surveys have shown that a significant portion of the population believes in ghosts, leading some scholars to conclude that we are witnessing a revival of paranormal beliefs in Western society. A Harris poll from last year found that 42 percent of Americans say they believe in ghosts. The percentage is similar in the U.K., where 52 percent of respondents indicated that they believed in ghosts in a recent poll. Though it’s tough to estimate how large the paranormal tourism industry is—tours of sites that are supposedly haunted (rather than staged haunted houses)—there are 10,000 haunted locations in the U.K. according to the country’s tourist board, and sites like HauntedRooms.co.uk list dozens of allegedly haunted hotels where curious visitors can stay. In the U.S., residents of places like Ellicott City in Howard County, Maryland, pride themselves on their haunted heritage.
ghost  paranormal  rationality  us  survey 
15 days ago
Healthy Aging Is Less Likely When Weight Is Gained in Early and Middle Adulthood - NEJM Journal Watch
> Several chronic diseases occurred more commonly in those who gained as little as 2.5 to 10.0 kg.
aging  weight  BMI 
19 days ago
Childhood intelligence in relation to major causes of death in 68 year follow-up: prospective population study | The BMJ
> The age and sex adjusted hazard ratios (and 95% confidence intervals) per 1 SD (about 15 points) advantage in intelligence test score were strongest for respiratory disease (0.72, 0.70 to 0.74), coronary heart disease (0.75, 0.73 to 0.77), and stroke (0.76, 0.73 to 0.79). Other notable associations (all P<0.001) were observed for deaths from injury (0.81, 0.75 to 0.86), smoking related cancers (0.82, 0.80 to 0.84), digestive disease (0.82, 0.79 to 0.86), and dementia (0.84, 0.78 to 0.90). Weak associations were apparent for suicide (0.87, 0.74 to 1.02) and deaths from cancer not related to smoking (0.96, 0.93 to 1.00), and their confidence intervals included unity.
intelligence  death  mortality  medicine 
19 days ago
How long does it take to research and develop a new vaccine? - Effective Altruism Forum
> Taking these numbers literally, this gives a mean of 31.8 years of development, with a median of 27 years and a standard deviation of 17.7 years. If you exclude the vaccines still under development (HIV, malaria, and ebola), the mean is 29.5 years (median 26, SD 17.4).
19 days ago
Whig history - Wikipedia
> an approach to historiography that presents the past as an inevitable progression towards ever greater liberty and enlightenment, culminating in modern forms of liberal democracy and constitutional monarchy. In general, Whig historians emphasize the rise of constitutional government, personal freedoms, and scientific progress. The term is often applied generally (and pejoratively) to histories that present the past as the inexorable march of progress towards enlightenment.
21 days ago
How did they deal with the logistics/supply chain management in ancient/medieval times? : AskHistorians
> Overall I get the sense that logistics were planned by looking at what regions near your goal could support an army your size and planning from there. Thus Alexander marches from population center to population center relying on trade and grain stores to get supplies for his army. If the ships were slow to come from Egypt then he could take from the stores from a conquered city and restore them from the ships. This was done because there was no effective way to transport supplies overland without slowing down his famously fast army (oxen move only about 10 miles a day whereas a horse could cover double that without wearing out) thus he handled it by trying to stay within the range of fertile regions where he could freely take what he needed. Other famous invaders did the same thing. This strategy also backfired easily. Caesar was almost starved into surrender on two occasions (before the Battle of Pharsalus and at Ilerda, Spain) because his army was unable to march to the next town.
logistics  history  war 
22 days ago
zzzzzzzz414 comments on US Senate healthcare repeal bill fails
> See, the Republicans have been trying to pass these godawful healthcare bills through a process called budget reconciliation, which, among other things, protects the bill from being filibustered in the Senate and only requires a simple majority of 50 votes (rather than 60, which the Republicans don't have).
The thing is, the Senate can only consider one budget reconciliation bill per topic per year. Of course, if the bill dies in committee and never comes to an official vote, it doesn't count- which is why they've been able to keep hammering away at the issue.
This bill, though, was allowed to come to the Senate floor, because the Republicans thought they'd secured the votes. Collins, Murkowski and the Democrats would vote no, everyone else would vote yes, and Pence would break the tie. And then McCain completely fucked them. And it was almost certainly a calculated move; he voted to allow the bill to come to the floor. Had McCain allowed it to die in committee, McConnell could have come back with yet another repeal bill; but he let it come to a vote, and now they can't consider another budget reconciliation bill for the rest of the fiscal year. The Senate needs 60 votes to pass any kind of healthcare reform now.
So now they're caught between a rock and a hard place. Either they concede defeat on the issue and try again later (causing a big, unpopular stink that could damage elections if they try it before the midterms, or risking losing the slim majority they already have if they wait) or they actually sit down with the democrats like adults and write a halfway decent healthcare bill.
politics  2017  healthcare 
22 days ago
SocialJusticeWizard_ comments on Don't Tell John McCain to fight his cancer.
> So, you're backpacking across Europe now. This is not going to be easy. In fact, most people agree it's probably going to be really difficult at times. You may wind up sleeping in a barn in rural France because it's been pouring rain, every part of your body hurts, and you're miserable. On the other hand, you may have amazing days walking through vineyards where you are grateful just for the opportunity to do this. Cancer is like that too. There'll be great days, and horrible ones. The thing is, it's not raining in France because you did something wrong, or you were too weak to keep it from raining. It's raining because it's fcking raining (I do usually drop an f-bomb at around this point, depending on the patient*). And the good days aren't good because you're big and strong, they are good because the journey is interesting and good things happen along it. You aren't a passenger in this, you make decisions and you have a major role in what happens... but in the end, no matter what, you're going to wind up in Madrid. Not because you messed up and did something wrong, not because you're incredibly strong, but because you have a ticket for a flight there. It's already been reserved, it's just a matter of how you make it to your flight.
cancer  metaphor 
22 days ago
Oxandrolone - Wikipedia
> Oxandrolone is well-established as a safe treatment for patients recovering from severe burns.[2][3] Medical research has also established oxandrolone's efficacy in aiding the development of girls with Turner syndrome. Although oxandrolone has long been used to accelerate growth in children with idiopathic short stature, it is unlikely to increase adult height, and in some cases may even decrease it. Oxandrolone has, therefore, largely been replaced by growth hormone for this use.[4] Some bodybuilders use oxandrolone for its muscle-building properties, usually purchasing it from black-market suppliers.[5] This is illegal in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and many other countries.
DHT  testosterone  steroids 
23 days ago
Elements of Eoarchean life trapped in mineral inclusions : Nature : Nature Research
Rocks in Greenland are billions of years old and contain what is AFAIK the oldest biological material. > These results are consistent with biogenic organic material isolated for billions of years and thermally matured at temperatures of around 500 °C. They therefore provide spatial characterization for potentially the oldest biogenic carbon relics in Earth’s geological record. The preservation of Eoarchean organic residues within sedimentary material corroborates earlier claims2, 6 for the biogenic origins of carbon in Isua metasediments.
biology  geology  evolution  history  universe  greenland 
27 days ago
Dr_Josh_Safer comments on Transgender Health AMA Series: I'm Joshua Safer, Medical Director at the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Boston University Medical Center, here to talk about the science behind transgender medicine, AMA!
> The attempts by the medical establishment to surgically change body parts of intersex children based on what seemed easiest surgically. The thinking was that gender identity was not biological. When the data are carefully collected, a majority of kids treated this way have the predicted gender identity that goes with their chromosomes .. not with their surgically created body parts or with their upbringing. That is, we cannot change the gender identity someone already has innately.
Twin studies show that identical twins are more likely to both be transgender than fraternal twins.
A minority of people have gender identity clearly influenced by intra-uterine exposure to androgens (male hormones)
transgender  science  hormones 
27 days ago
10 Day Awareness+Wisdom Meditation Retreat | Ben Casnocha
> -Finally, I would shy away from teachers who charge money. The reasons are two-fold. One, the money taints the teaching. The taint might be subtle but it is always there. Two, someone who is living the life as it were, really doesn’t need much money at all. Why are these teachers requiring you to pay them?
meditation  education  buddhism  money 
28 days ago
Circumcision for the prevention of urinary tract infection in boys: a systematic review of randomised trials and observational studies | Archives of Disease in Childhood
> Circumcision reduces the risk of UTI. Given a risk in normal boys of about 1%, the number-needed-to-treat to prevent one UTI is 111. In boys with recurrent UTI or high grade vesicoureteric reflux, the risk of UTI recurrence is 10% and 30% and the numbers-needed-to-treat are 11 and 4, respectively. Haemorrhage and infection are the commonest complications of circumcision, occurring at rate of about 2%. Assuming equal utility of benefits and harms, net clinical benefit is likely only in boys at high risk of UTI.
circumcision  UTI  trade_offs 
29 days ago
IJERPH | Free Full-Text | Lithium in Drinking Water and Incidence of Suicide: A Nationwide Individual-Level Cohort Study with 22 Years of Follow-Up | HTML
> We found no significant indication of an association between increasing five-year TWA lithium exposure level and decreasing suicide rate. The comprehensiveness of using individual-level data and spatial analyses with 22 years of follow-up makes a pronounced contribution to previous findings. Our findings demonstrate that there does not seem to be a protective effect of exposure to lithium on the incidence of suicide with levels below 31 μg/L in drinking water.
lithium  suicide  psychiatry 
4 weeks ago
Overweight & Obesity Statistics | NIDDK
> By 2010, the percentage of adults considered overweight, obese, or extremely obese had climbed to about 75. About 33 percent were considered overweight, about 36 percent were considered obese, and about 6 percent were considered extremely obese.
weight  US  trends 
4 weeks ago
Computerised cognitive behaviour therapy (cCBT) as treatment for depression in primary care (REEACT trial): large scale pragmatic randomised controlled trial | The BMJ
> Supported computerized CBT does not substantially improve depression outcomes compared with usual GP care alone. In this study, neither a commercially available nor free to use computerised CBT intervention was superior to usual GP care.
CBT  psychotherapy  depression 
4 weeks ago
'Miracle' man saved by Charlotte police (and luck) at Panera | Charlotte Observer
> Ogburn was transported to the intensive care unit, then put into a hypothermia protocol, which – as McLaughlin explains – brings the patient’s body temperature down to several degrees below normal, decreasing the metabolic demand of the body so that it can recover. Essentially, the patient is medically paralyzed to keep his body from shivering, sedated into a coma, and given pain medicine. (It’s believed this hypothermia protocol might help prevent or lessen brain damage caused by cardiac arrest.) Ogburn’s body was warmed back up after two days – on his 36th birthday, in fact – and brought slowly out of sedation on Day 3.
hypothermia  CPR  ALS 
4 weeks ago
Why some injection drug users lick their needles: a preliminary survey. - PubMed - NCBI
Harm reduction ... > Thirteen (32.5%, 95% CI, 18.6-49.1) of 40 subjects reported licking their needles prior to injecting. Reasons included ritualistic practices, cleaning the needle, enjoying the taste of the drug, checking the "quality" of the drug, and checking that the needle was in usable condition. CONCLUSIONS: In our study, approximately one-third of IDUs licked their needles prior to injecting. More data are needed to demonstrate whether the practice of needle licking significantly increases a person's risk for infection with oropharyngeal flora.
drugs  harm_reduction 
4 weeks ago
Mortality from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease Among Different Occupation Groups — United States, 1985–2011 | MMWR
> This study identified higher ALS and Parkinson’s disease mortality among workers in higher SES occupations, but was unable to identify occupational or nonoccupational factors that might explain these findings. Future studies of workers in higher SES occupations are needed to assess the consistency of these findings and identify factors that might explain elevated ALS and Parkinson’s disease mortality, using study designs that provide evidence for causality (e.g., cohort or case-control), individual exposure data for specific agents or experiences, and occupation categories formed on the basis of exposure to specific agents or experiences and linked to job exposure matrices for exposures of interest
SES  parkinsons  ALS  neurology 
5 weeks ago
Engineered cell therapy for cancer gets thumbs up from FDA advisers : Nature News & Comment
> “Although I have some concerns about late toxicity, you have to be a long-term survivor to be concerned about late toxicity” he said. “And I think that’s what this drug gets us.”
cancer  CART  immunotherapy 
5 weeks ago
Stirrup - Wikipedia
> The introduction of the stirrup not only made the mounted warrior supreme in medieval warfare, but may have initiated complex and far-reaching social and cultural changes in Europe. Some scholars credit the birth of feudalism and its subsequent spread into Northern Italy, Spain, Germany and into the Slavic territories to this use of the stirrup. It is argued that the rising feudal class structure of the European Middle Ages derived ultimately from the use of stirrups: "Few inventions have been so simple as the stirrup, but few have had so catalytic an influence on history. The requirements of the new mode of warfare which it made possible found expression in a new form of western European society dominated by an aristocracy of warriors endowed with land so that they might fight in a new and highly specialized way."[44] Other scholars dispute this assertion, suggesting that stirrups may provide little advantage in shock warfare, but are useful primarily in allowing a rider to lean farther to the left and right on the saddle while fighting, and simply reduce the risk of falling off. Therefore, it is argued, they are not the reason for the switch from infantry to cavalry in medieval armies, nor the reason for the emergence of Feudalism.[45]
technology  history  war 
6 weeks ago
Update: Influenza Activity in the United States During the 2016–17 Season and Composition of the 2017–18 Influenza Vaccine | MMWR
> Data collected through the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network during November 28, 2016–April 14, 2017, indicate that influenza vaccination this season reduced the overall risk for influenza-associated medical visits by 42% (95% CI = 35%–48%). Vaccine effectiveness against the predominant influenza A(H3N2) viruses was 34% (95% CI = 24%–42%) and vaccine effectiveness against influenza B viruses was 56% (95% CI = 47%–64%).
flu  vaccine 
6 weeks ago
Behavioural individuality in clonal fish arises despite near-identical rearing conditions | Nature Communications
> In sharp contrast to our predictions, we find that (i) substantial individual variation in behaviour emerges among genetically identical individuals isolated directly after birth into highly standardized environments and (ii) increasing levels of social experience during ontogeny do not affect levels of individual behavioural variation. In contrast to the current research paradigm, which focuses on genes and/or environmental drivers, our findings suggest that individuality might be an inevitable and potentially unpredictable outcome of development.
genetics  randomness  psychology  fish 
6 weeks ago
An Athlete's Ode to the Potato | Outside Online
> A Danish physician named Mikkel Hindhede proved you could survive on potatoes alone in the early 1900s, when he had three laborers eat nothing but spuds with a dollop of margarine for 309 days. Five doctors examined the men afterward and determined they were all in excellent health. One participant was described as “a strong, solid, athletic-looking figure, all of whose muscles are well-developed, and without excess fat.” Hindhede’s work gave scientific legitimacy to what other cultures had long known and some continue to practice, like the Incans thousands of years earlier, Irish farmers in the 1800s, and the modern-day Andean peoples—the Aymara—who experience ten times fewer incidences of prediabetes compared to Americans, according to a study in the journal Nutrition. ... Potatoes have long been associated with fullness, and scientific data backs up that observation. A study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the satiety index—a measure of how full a food makes you feel—of different foods and discovered that plain potatoes reign supreme. They registered 50 percent more filling than their nearest competitor, fish, and seven times more filling than croissants, which ranked dead last.
food  potato  satiety 
6 weeks ago
Proof that Americans are lying about their sexual desires - Vox
> I look at the data a whole bunch of ways and conclude about 5 percent of men are predominantly attracted to men.
orientation  pornography  2017  sex  trends 
6 weeks ago
Leisure Luxuries and the Labor Supply of Young Men
> we calculate that innovations to gaming/recreational computing since 2004 explain on the order of half the increase in leisure for younger men, and predict a decline in market hours of 1.5 to 3.0 percent, which is 38 and 79 percent of the differential decline relative to older men.
video_games  2017  economics  work 
6 weeks ago
Amyloid Protective and Alzheimer Disease Neurodegeneration Protective Factors | Dementia and Cognitive Impairment | JAMA Neurology | The JAMA Network
> The study participants included 423 (45%) women and the average age of participants was 79.7 (5.9) years. Apart from demographics and the APOE genotype, only midlife dyslipidemia was associated with amyloid deposition. Obesity, smoking, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiac and metabolic conditions, but not intellectual enrichment, were associated with greater AD-pattern neurodegeneration. In the 85 years or older cohort, the Cohen d results showed small to moderate effects (effect sizes > 0.2) of several variables except job score and midlife hypertension in predicting exceptional aging without ADP.
aging  alzheimers  lipids  amyloid  hypertension 
6 weeks ago
Human susceptibility and resistance to Norwalk virus infection - Nature Medicine
Seems to be a fairly well replicated that FUT2 polymorphism leads to decreased susceptibility to Norwalk/norovirus.
gastritis  infection  genetics 
7 weeks ago
After Killing Currency, Modi Takes a Leap With India’s Biggest-Ever Tax Overhaul - The New York Times
> Given the stark inequality in India, taxes on items used by the poor need to be lower than luxury items, Mr. Dalvi said. So carbonated drinks that only the middle and upper classes can afford are taxed at 28 percent under the new system, with an additional 12 percent levy. Tea and coffee, consumed by rich and poor alike, are taxed at 5 percent.

The new tax code applies to businesses with annual revenue above 2 million rupees, or about $31,000. And in a country legendary for tax avoidance, the system encourages compliance by reducing taxes for businesses if they can show taxes were paid earlier in the production or selling chain.
india  taxes  2017 
7 weeks ago
Benzonatate - Wikipedia
> Benzonatate, marketed under the trade names Tessalon and Tessalon Perles among others, is a non-narcotic oral cough suppressant, or antitussive, with effects that last from 6 to 8 hours. Since it is not an opioid, benzonatate is not as prone to abuse like some other cough medications such as codeine. Benzonatate was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1958.[1]
drugs  cough 
7 weeks ago
A new potential biomarker for dementia with Lewy bodies: Skin nerve α-synuclein deposits. - PubMed - NCBI
> (1) In autonomic skin nerves, p-syn is a sensitive biomarker for DLB diagnosis, helping to differentiate DLB from other forms of dementia, although this needs to be confirmed in a larger, more representative sample; and (2) skin autonomic neuropathy is part of the DLB pathology and may contribute to autonomic symptoms.
DLB  dementia  neuropathology  PNS 
7 weeks ago
APOE4 Subtly Alters Brain Network Activity With Age | ALZFORUM
> They discovered a cluster of voxels in the precuneus that deactivated poorly in older APOE4 carriers as they tried to respond to more challenging tasks (see image above). In this region, the non-carriers of all ages maintained steady levels of modulation.
precuneus  apoe  alzheimers  neuroimaging 
7 weeks ago
Glyphosate - Wikipedia
Scott mentioned this as an environmental pollutant in the water supply that might affect cognition.
environment  water  pollution 
7 weeks ago
Recording myself saying positive messages : schizophrenia
> The most resoundingly effective positive yet impersonal thing anyone said to me was just "Be good to yourself". Someone said it to me when I was complaining about my problems, and it made me feel better. Self-care is the foundation of everything. Someone reminding you to be good to yourself is profound if appreciated. That person said it over six years ago, and I remember to this day. If I can't think of anything to say to someone suffering, I offer that generic prescription, or express the general sentiment otherwise.
schizophrenia  positivity 
7 weeks ago
Tuned mass damper - Wikipedia
> Typically, the dampers are huge concrete blocks or steel bodies mounted in skyscrapers or other structures, and moved in opposition to the resonance frequency oscillations of the structure by means of springs, fluid or pendulums.
engineering  architecture 
7 weeks ago
Goodreads | Gwern’s review of Indiscrete Thoughts
> Rota identifies as a key turning point in Ulam's life when he nearly died of encephalitis and required brain surgery, noting that the formerly hardworking Ulam appeared to almost have ADHD afterwards & relied abjectly on his collaborators to develop his ideas while becoming cruelly incisive about others & their work. (This is not the first time I've come across an obscure instance of brain injury apparently being linked to bad personality & intellectual changes; indeed, the population registry studies of traumatic brain injury suggest that even the mildest concussions can have terrifyingly large long-term effects on employment and education. If American parents were to ever read the full literature on TBIs, high school football would be gone the next day.)
gwern  tbi  personality  surgery  adhd 
7 weeks ago
In 44 BC, a 19 year old Gaius Octavius gathers an army and leads them to Rome. This seems awfully young by modern standards. How did age function in Rome? : AskHistorians
> Classical Roman ideology held that although boys came of age around 15 or 16 they were not yet fully men until they had passed 30 or so. The adulescens was not, as in modern English, an adolescent, but he was still a man too young to be entrusted with independent action. In practice, at least for the nobiles, this generally meant that until the age of 30 or even older a young man was still considered not fully equal to his elders and certainly not fit for great responsibility. This is the time of life during which it was appropriate for a young aristocrat to enter into a military tribunate and learn the ropes of leadership and politics from his fully senatorial superiors. This has nothing to do with life expectancy. Average life expectancy in antiquity was reduced by premature death, either as an infant or due to disease or warfare at a young age. Provided one survived to adulthood the chances of reaching an advanced age were pretty good--Augustus himself lived to the age of 76.
aging  rome  history 
7 weeks ago
Joanna of Flanders - Wikipedia
> In the siege of Hennebont, she took up arms and, dressed in armour, conducted the defence of the town, encouraging the people to fight, and urging the women to "cut their skirts and take their safety in their own hands". When she looked from a tower and saw that the enemy camp was almost unguarded, she led three hundred men on a charge, burned down Charles' supplies and destroyed his tents. After this she became known as "Jeanne la Flamme". When the Blois faction realised what was happening, they cut off her retreat to the town, but she and her knights rode to Brest, drawing a portion of the Blois force with them. Having secured Brest, she gathered together extra supporters and secretly returned to Hennebont, evading the Blois forces and re-entering the town with her reinforcements.[2]
history  feminism  war 
7 weeks ago
Screwtape comments on Open thread, June 26 - July 2, 2017 - Less Wrong Discussion
> I live in a tiny rural town, and get the majority of my meat from farmer's markets. Having been raised on a similar farm to the ones I buy from, I'm willing to bet those cows are happy a greater percentage of their lives than I will be. I recognize this is mostly working because of where I live and the confidence I have in how those farms are run. In the same way that encouraging fewer animals to exist in terrible conditions (by being vegan) is good I feel that encouraging more animals to exist in excellent conditions (by eating meat) is good. I don't stop eating meat (though I do eat less) when I go on trips elsewhere even though I'm aware I'm probably eating something that had a decidedly suboptimal life because switching on and off veganism would be slow.
vegetarian  ethics 
7 weeks ago
Men Don’t Want to Be Nurses. Their Wives Agree. - The New York Times
> “A lot of families prefer females,” he said. “It’s sad because there’s a lot of patients who could stay at home longer if there were more males in the field. They need assistance like getting in and out of the bed, transferring to the shower — it’s a very physically demanding job.” He has also found that many patients, often older women because they live longer, enjoy having male home health aides to talk to.
nursing  gender  2017  career 
7 weeks ago
BBC - Future - The secret to a long and healthy life? Eat less
> But a predisposition to obesity can be used as a guide to life choices rather than an inevitability. “I personally have a genetic history of obesity running through my family, and I practice a flexible form of caloric restriction,” says Susan Roberts a dietary scientist at Tufts University in Boston. “I keep my BMI at 22, and [have calculated] that that requires eating 80% of what I would eat if my BMI was at 30 like every other member of my family.” Roberts stresses that it isn’t hard – she follows her own weight management programme using a tool called iDiet to help her eat less but avoid feeling hungry or deprived of enjoyment. If this wasn’t possible, she adds, she wouldn’t practise calorie restriction.
obesity  CR  diet  aging 
8 weeks ago
Why a Bad Memory Actually Has Health Benefits | Time.com
> having total recall is totally overrated. That's according to a new paper in the journal Neuron, which concludes that forgetting things is not just normal, it actually makes us smarter. In the new report, researchers Paul Frankland and Blake Richards of the University of Toronto propose that the goal of memory is not to transmit the most accurate information over time. Rather, they say, it’s to optimize intelligent decision-making by holding onto what’s important and letting go of what’s not.
memory  trade_offs 
8 weeks ago
Is normality testing 'essentially useless'? - Cross Validated
> As a rule of thumb (not a law of nature), inference about means is sensitive to skewness and inference about variances is sensitive to kurtosis.
8 weeks ago
Involuntary Commitment and the Prison Population | Rortybomb
chart of mental illness hospital rate vs prison rate in the US 1900s
psychiatry  prison  US 
8 weeks ago
New Alzheimer’s Drug Shows Safety, Hints of Efficacy in Phase 2 | ALZFORUM
> On the exploratory measures, the researchers saw a highly significant (p=0.002) effect on brainwave activity, as measured by EEG. In early AD, theta rhythms peak while alpha power wanes (see Moretti et al., 2009; Montez et al., 2009). In the PQ912 treatment arm, both measures became more normal, with theta power decreasing and alpha rising. The results fit with the hypothesis that pyroGlu Aβ oligomers poison synapses, and that their absence allows brain function to normalize, Lues noted. The researchers are still analyzing fMRI data to find out if functional connectivity changed in the participants.
alzheimers  EEG 
8 weeks ago
The secrets of a top salary in science : Nature News & Comment
> For a young scientist in Europe working 12 hours a day in the lab, the lack of an association between apparent effort and financial reward might seem, rightly, a bit depressing. That could be why the allure of the United States for the brightest and the best remains so strong. (Although many of the well-paid over-40s would no doubt claim that they, too, put in more hours in their early days.) For officials and policy­makers, it shows that cultural and social differences remain strong between the Anglo-Saxon nations and continental Europe. For everyone else, it offers a little peek at how the other 20% live. And what they don’t do for free.
anglo_saxon  culture  science  money  US 
8 weeks ago
Why Jefferson's vision of American Islam matters today
> Indeed, we find evidence for this in the Founding Father’s 1821 autobiography, where he happily recorded that a final attempt to add the words “Jesus Christ” to the preamble of his legislation failed. And this failure led Jefferson to affirm that he had intended the application of the Statute to be “universal.” By this he meant that religious liberty and political equality would not be exclusively Christian. For Jefferson asserted in his autobiography that his original legislative intent had been “to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan [Muslim], the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination.”
islam  thomas_jefferson  history  us 
8 weeks ago
How the Democrats Lost Their Way on Immigration - The Atlantic
> If the right has grown more nationalistic, the left has grown less so. A decade ago, liberals publicly questioned immigration in ways that would shock many progressives today. ... In 2005, a left-leaning blogger wrote, “Illegal immigration wreaks havoc economically, socially, and culturally; makes a mockery of the rule of law; and is disgraceful just on basic fairness grounds alone.” In 2006, a liberal columnist wrote that “immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants” and that “the fiscal burden of low-wage immigrants is also pretty clear.” His conclusion: “We’ll need to reduce the inflow of low-skill immigrants.” That same year, a Democratic senator wrote, “When I see Mexican flags waved at proimmigration demonstrations, I sometimes feel a flush of patriotic resentment. When I’m forced to use a translator to communicate with the guy fixing my car, I feel a certain frustration.” The blogger was Glenn Greenwald. The columnist was Paul Krugman. The senator was Barack Obama.
immigration  politics 
8 weeks ago
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