• Quote of the Day
    "The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."
    Elizabeth Kubler Ross, posted by David Baxter

Daniel

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Senescence or biological aging is the gradual deterioration of functional characteristics in living organisms. The word senescence can refer to either cellular senescence or to senescence of the whole organism...

More than 300 different theories have been posited to explain the nature and causes of aging. A good theory would both explain past observations and predict the results of future experiments.

The theories fall into two broad categories:
  • Aging is programmed
  • Aging is a result of accumulation of damage
Programmed theories of aging posit that aging is adaptive, normally invoking selection for evolvability or group selection. The reproductive-cell cycle theory suggests that aging is regulated by changes in hormonal signaling over the lifespan...

One of the most prominent theories of aging was first proposed by Harman in 1956. It posits that free radicals produced by dissolved oxygen, radiation, cellular respiration and other sources cause damage to the molecular machines in the cell and gradually wear them down. This is also known as oxidative stress. There is substantial evidence to back up this theory. Old animals have larger amounts of oxidized proteins, DNA and lipids than their younger counterparts.
 
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Nationwide, studies have found that diaper need is a greater contributor to postpartum depression than food insecurity and housing instability.

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The National Diaper Bank Network is a United States-based non-profit organization that is dedicated to ensuring that every child in the U.S. has an adequate supply of diapers to remain clean, dry and healthy. NDBN is a nationwide network of independently operating diaper banks and pantries that collect and distribute over 30 million diapers for children experiencing diaper need.
 
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American transportation departments, law-enforcement agencies, and news outlets frequently maintain that most crashes—indeed, 94 percent of them, according to the most widely circulated statistic—are solely due to human error. Blaming the bad decisions of road users implies that nobody else could have prevented them. That enables car companies to deflect attention from their decisions to add heft and height to the SUVs and trucks that make up an ever-larger portion of vehicle sales, and it allows traffic engineers to escape scrutiny for dangerous street designs...

And if the buck stops with the driver, automakers feel less pressure to make lifesaving safety features standard across their models—which many of them do not. Last year, Consumer Reports found that the average vehicle buyer would have to pay $2,500 for a blind-spot-detection system. Pedestrian-detection technology was standard on 13 of the 15 most popular vehicle models—but unavailable on one and part of a $16,000 optional package on another.
 

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President Kennedy had been told in early 1961 that a nuclear war would likely kill a third of humanity, with most or all of those deaths concentrated in the US, the USSR, Europe and China; Khrushchev may well have received similar reports from his military...

Fifty years after the crisis, Graham T. Allison wrote:

Fifty years ago, the Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. During the standoff, US President John F. Kennedy thought the chance of escalation to war was "between 1 in 3 and even", and what we have learned in later decades has done nothing to lengthen those odds. We now know, for example, that in addition to nuclear-armed ballistic missiles, the Soviet Union had deployed 100 tactical nuclear weapons to Cuba, and the local Soviet commander there could have launched these weapons without additional codes or commands from Moscow. The US air strike and invasion that were scheduled for the third week of the confrontation would likely have triggered a nuclear response against American ships and troops, and perhaps even Miami. The resulting war might have led to the deaths of over 100 million Americans and over 100 million Russians.
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Vasily Aleksandrovich Arkhipov (Russian: Василий Александрович Архипов, IPA: [vɐˈsʲilʲɪj ɐlʲɪkˈsandrəvʲɪtɕ arˈxʲipəf], 30 January 1926 – 19 August 1998) was a Soviet Navy officer credited with preventing a Soviet nuclear strike (and, potentially, all-out nuclear war) during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Such an attack likely would have caused a major global thermonuclear response.
 
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Daniel

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Daniel

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Daniel

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One of the reasons fungal infections are so common in so many creatures is that fungi themselves are ubiquitous. "This is dating myself, but you know the Sting song 'Every Breath You Take'? Well, every breath you take you inhale somewhere between 100 and 700,000 spores," says Andrej Spec, a medical mycologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. "They've made it to the space station. They are absolutely everywhere."
 

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Ninety percent of indigenous peoples living in the southwestern United States depend on crafts as their principal or secondary source of income.
 

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The tequila sunrise is a cocktail made of tequila, orange juice, and grenadine syrup. It's served unmixed in a tall glass. The modern drink originates from Sausalito, California, in the early 1970s after an earlier one created in the 1930s in Phoenix, Arizona. The cocktail is named for its appearance when served—with gradations of color resembling a sunrise.

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  • 1 ½ cup Simply Orange Juice or your choice of orange juice Pulp free
  • 1 cup Simply Peach or your choice of peach juice
  • 6 tbsp lemon soda
  • 6 tbsp grenadine
  • ice
 
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Daniel

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A 2009 study from Cornell University's Center for Hospitality Research confirmed that groups offered menus with dollar signs next to the prices spent far less than those given menus with only numerals. The dollar sign is a rather powerful visual trigger that reminds us we're about to lose something we value, prompting our instinct to spend with restraint.

In a 2002 six-week field study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, researchers found that adding an enticing description to a menu item increased sales by a whopping 27%. These appetizing descriptions changed customers' feelings of satisfaction toward the food and the restaurant, even influencing their thoughts about returning in the future.

In a 2003 study from the University of Leicester published in the journal Environment and Behavior, a restaurant played classical music, pop music, and no music over the course of 18 nights. The classical music inspired guests to spend more money on their meals when compared with the nights when pop music or no music played.
 

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Since May 2021, people living in counties that voted heavily for Donald Trump during the last presidential election have been nearly three times as likely to die from COVID-19 as those who live in areas that went for now-President Biden.

Recent polling shows that partisanship is now this single strongest identifying predictor of whether someone is vaccinated..."If I wanted to guess if somebody was vaccinated or not and I could only know one thing about them, I would probably ask what their party affiliation is."

The rate of Republican vaccination against COVID-19 has flatlined at just 59%...By comparison, 91% of Democrats are vaccinated.

More than 90% of Republicans surveyed believe or are unsure about at least one false statement about COVID-19.
 
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Most surprising to me was the Boston Public Library since I have never heard it mentioned before.


Screen Shot 2021-12-11 at 7.14.11 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2021-12-11 at 7.11.53 PM.jpg

Screen Shot 2021-12-11 at 7.13.47 PM.jpg
 
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Daniel

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Bi-directional printing​

Most daisy-wheel printers could print a line and then, using built-in memory, print the following line backwards, from right to left. This saved the time that otherwise would have been needed to return the print head to its starting point. This was sometimes known as 'logic seeking,' and was a feature on some dot-matrix printers as well.

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Daniel

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Daniel

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One study of older Japanese adults found that those who drank the most green tea — five or more cups a day — were 26 percent less likely to die during the seven-year study period than those who drank one cup a day. What is it about green tea? Nutrient-rich foods that are high in antioxidants — like green tea — have been linked with longer telomeres. Like the plastic tips of a shoelace, telomeres can be found at the end of chromosomes and protect DNA. They naturally shorten as we age, but the process can be accelerated by things like smoking, stress and poor diet.
 
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Potential effect of psychological stress​

Meta-analyses found that increased perceived psychological stress was associated with a small decrease in telomere length—but that these associations attenuate to no significant association when accounting for publication bias. The literature concerning telomeres as integrative biomarkers of exposure to stress and adversity is dominated by cross-sectional and correlational studies, which makes causal interpretation problematic. A 2020 review argued that the relationship between psychosocial stress and telomere length appears strongest for stress experienced in utero or early life.
 

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Given fundamental East-West differences in self-construal (i.e., the independent vs. interdependent self), we predicted that members of Eastern cultural groups would affirm other people, rather than defend and affirm the self, after encountering conditions of mortality salience...Mortality salience promoted culturally divergent responses, leading European Americans to defend the self and Asian Americans to defend other people.
 

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Today, the average Japanese person eats 118 pounds (53.5 kilograms) of rice a year. That sounds like a lot—Americans eat about a fifth of that—but it’s less than half of the per capita consumption in 1962. Diversifying diets and trendy low-carb regimens are part of the reason. Japanese policymakers now fret about “kome-banare”—a collective distancing from the grain.
 

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