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Sat, 15 Aug 2020
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"Experts" say: Fluorescent Lights' Mercury Poses Dim Threat. Go Back To Sleep.

They're breakable, contain toxic material, and are becoming increasingly commonplace. But fears of mercury poisoning from new energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs are overplayed, experts say.

Long billed as a "green" product for environmentally conscious consumers, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are quickly becoming the norm in household lighting - and may soon replace traditional incandescent bulbs altogether.

But CFLs' cool-burning illumination is made possible by a pinch of poison - about five milligrams of mercury sealed inside every glass tube - and the need for the element is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Mercury is a potent neurotoxin and long-lived environmental contaminant, and even the small amount present in CFLs poses a problem. When the bulbs break, either in the house or at a waste disposal site, their mercury content is released.

Bomb

Peace processes are failing women in a men dominated world

As societies emerge from conflict, men's dominance at all levels of decision-making ensures women never feel truly secure according to new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

In a unique study of women's security and participation in three post conflict societies - Northern Ireland, South Africa and Lebanon - researchers found that women see security differently from men. And because men dominate the institutions of peace-making and peace-building, they often fail to consider the specific security needs of women.

The investigation, which was part of the ESRC's New Security Challenges Programme, was carried out through a research partnership between the University of Ulster, Queen's University Belfast and Democratic Dialogue and with research associates in South Africa (Centre for Study of Violence and Reconciliation) and Lebanon (Lebanese American University in Beirut).

In all three case studies, women saw security as much more than physical safety. It was about feeling represented in societal institutions, having a job, an education for their children, a good health service and a feeling that society recognised the specific interests of women.

"For me, the word security in Arabic is not to be afraid. First, not to be afraid to be hungry, to move, to think, and to be misjudged," explained a Lebanese woman to the researchers.

Magic Wand

FDA Set to OK Period Suppression Pill

TRENTON, N.J. - Women looking for a simple way to avoid their menstrual period could soon have access the first birth control pill designed to let women suppress monthly bleeding indefinitely.

Comment: Everything natural is a disease that pharmaceutical companies must cure.


Vader

Lower Brain Serotonin Responsiveness In Childhood Predicts Antisocial Personality Disorder

Lower serotonin responsiveness in the brain during childhood predicts the development of antisocial personality disorder in early adulthood, according to a new study.

Low levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, have been associated with several disorders, including increased aggression and depression.

It is known that impulsive aggression in adulthood is associated with disturbances in serotonergic function, but until now research examining this association in childhood has produced inconsistent results.

This prospective study, published in the May issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, examined the relationship between serotonergic function measured in childhood and the later emergence of personality disorder.

Magic Wand

Revealing the origins of morality -- good and evil, liberal and conservative

How much money would it take to get you to stick a pin into your palm? How much to stick a pin into the palm of a child you don't know? How much to slap a friend in the face (with his or her permission) as part of a comedy skit? Well, what about slapping you father (with his permission) as part of a skit? How you answer questions such as these may reveal something about your morality, and even your politics - conservatives, for example, tend to care more about issues of hierarchy and respect, while liberals concentrate on caring and fairness. (You can take a short test of your moral intuitions by visiting www.yourmorals.org).

Comment: Its' not a matter of Political leaning. It's a matter of people with conscience and people without conscience.

In a review to be published in the May 18 issue of the journal Science, Jonathan Haidt, associate professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, discusses a new consensus scientists are reaching on the origins and mechanisms of morality. Haidt shows how evolutionary, neurological and social-psychological insights are being synthesized in support of three principles: 1) Intuitive primacy, which says that human emotions and gut feelings generally drive our moral judgments; 2) Moral thinking if for social doing, which says that we engage in moral reasoning not to figure out the truth, but to persuade other people of our virtue or to influence them to support us; and 3) Morality binds and builds, which says that morality and gossip were crucial for the evolution of human ultrasociality, which allows humans - but no other primates - to live in large and highly cooperative groups.

Comment: Networking and sharing knowledge is a key element for healthy society.

Bulb

Good decision-makers may be made, not born, says Carnegie Mellon study

People who do well on a series of decision-making tasks involving hypothetical situations tend to have more positive decision outcomes in their lives, according to a study by decision scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and the RAND Corp. The results suggest that it may be possible to improve the quality of people's lives by teaching them better decision-making skills. The study is being published in the May issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and will be presented May 25 at the Association for Psychological Science's annual convention in Washington, D.C.

The paper marks an important step forward for decision science, because it shows that tasks developed to study decision-making errors in psychological labs can be used to gauge decision-making ability in real life. The study also shows that, although decision-making competence is correlated with verbal and nonverbal intelligence, it is still a separate skill.

"Intelligence doesn't explain everything. Our results suggest that people with good decision-making skills obtain better real-life outcomes, even after controlling for cognitive ability, socio-economic status and other factors," said Wändi Bruine de Bruin, a researcher in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon and the lead author of the study. "That is good news, because decision-making skills may be taught."

The study recruited 360 people with diverse backgrounds. Each completed seven tasks measuring "Adult Decision-Making Competence," or their ability to avoid common decision-making errors. For example, a good decision-maker should be able to make choices independent of how information is presented, or framed. Imagine that you are learning about a type of medication that is 99 percent effective, for instance. You should be equally likely to use it if it is described as 1 percent ineffective.

Health

Black Wednesday at the FDA

May 9, 2007, should be cited in the annals of cancer immunotherapy as Black Wednesday. Within an eight-hour period that day, the FDA succeeded in killing not one but two safe, promising therapies designed and developed to act by stimulating a patient's immune system against cancer. The FDA's hubris will affect the lives and possibly the life spans of cancer patients from nearly every demographic, from elderly men with prostate cancer to young children with the rarest of bone cancers.

Wine

Marks & Spenscer bans artificial additives from their food

Marks & Spenscer has become the latest store chain to announce it will remove artificial colours and flavours from 99 per cent of its food products by the end of the year.

Asda revealed it was doing the same with 9,000 own-brand items earlier this week.

Health

ID will be required to buy many cough medicines

Starting next week, if you are headed to Stop & Shop to get some relief from a cough, you had better have more than a few bucks in your pocket. You may also need ID.

Spurred by concerns about the abuse of a drug in many cough suppressants and cold medicines, the grocery chain yesterday announced it will require young people to produce identification before buying the products.

Light Saber

The Poisoned Pet Food Caper

The poisoning of pet food, as a stand-alone event, could reasonably be assumed. Such a mistake could happen and by terrible accident. But the problem is that pets, and their extraordinary numbers in American hearts and households, bother a lot of "non-profits," community "partnerships," emergency responders, and other such governmental agencies (making note that most everything is now a governmental agency). Couple this with the fact that "experimentation" upon the American people, soldiers, inmates, and people in many, many other nations of the "over-populated world" is common place, on-going, and a corporation government status quo.

Comment: Population reduction has long been a desire of the TPTB that surfaces and is rationalized in topics such as 'Peak Oil' and 'Sustainable population so that we humans don't destroy the planet'.

Perhaps this 'contamination' is a trial run of sorts and the next one will be focused on people.