Woman who feeds bears feeds bears:
KALISPELL – An elderly woman who authorities said was feeding bears at her home west of Kalispell was attacked by one inside her residence Sunday.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks investigator Brian Sommers termed the attack by a black bear “severe” and said the woman, whose age was not provided, suffered serious injuries and remains hospitalized at Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
FWP officials said bears had been “extensively” fed with bird seed and other food at the residence.
It's unfortunate that she was severely injured, and it's also unfortunate that the bear will be tracked and killed because it's now habituated and therefore a menace. Fed = dead. Some people just can't seem to get that through their heads.
And black bears are just about everywhere, it seems. This time of year, they're trying to pack on all the pounds they can - a guy down the hill from us spotted one in his apple tree a week or so ago; a bit more unnerving than spotting, say, a partridge in the pear tree.
Strangeness of the human mind:
Daniel turned up saying that he was half blind. Although he had healthy eyes, a brain operation to cure headaches seemed to have destroyed a region that was crucial for vision. The result was that almost everything to the left of his nose was invisible to him. It was as if he were looking out of a window, with the curtains drawn across half of his world.
But as an ophthalmologist ran tests with him, he noticed that Daniel could reach out and grab the physician's hand, even though the hand was clearly located in Daniel's "blind" area. Somehow, without being consciously aware of the location of the hand, he was able to determine its location and grab it.
Further tests administered by a pair of psychologists confirmed that Daniel was able to locate objects within his "blind" field with surprising accuracy, despite his adamant contention that he could not see.
Clearly, despite his blindness, Daniel’s healthy eyes were still watching the world and passing the information to his unconscious, which was guiding his behavior.
“These cases open a window into parts of the brain that are normally not visible,” says Marco Tamietto, who is based at Tilburg University. “They offer a view to functions that are difficult to observe – that are normally silent.”
It seems that the patients are still perceiving, but are not aware of that perception. In one experiment, a man who was totally blind and used a cane to navigate was set up: the shrinks loaded a hallway with objects that he'd be almost certain to stumble into - if he was in fact well and truly blind. The result was rather astounding:
Importantly, the participant claimed that not only was he not aware of having seen anything; he was not even aware of having moved out of the way of the objects. He insisted he had just walked straight down the hallway. According to Beatrice de Gelder, who led the work, he was “at a loss to explain or even describe his actions”.
Of interest is that all blindsight subjects have suffered damage to a neural region at the back of the head, referred to as V1. It appears that this region of the brain processes the visual data-stream and pushes the results into our conscious level of awareness.
It further appears that a sub-processing system located in the center of the brain, known as the lateral geniculate nucleus, can bypass the V1 area to process data in subconscious areas normally devoted to orientation, motion, and emotion.
If the V1 area is essential to the projection of visual data into our consciousness, yet we can function remarkably well without it, what does this say about "free will"?
“It shows that awareness isn’t the whole story,” says Tamietto. “Very often we believe we have decided something, but our brain has made the decision for us before that – in many ways, and in many contexts.”
Juha Silvanto at the University of Westminster agrees: “Consciousness is just a summary of all the information coming in, but the fact the subconscious can guide behaviour suggests that elaborate processing is going on without us being aware of it.”
What, then, is the purpose of consciousness - and attention in general? Most likely, it boils down to one thing: more efficient coding in more or less real-time, which affords faster and more coordinated responses to events that may impact you.
When Nigel Farrow, a professional musician in Australia, discovered that Ella, his first-born child, had cystic fibrosis, he did something pretty amazing: he traded in his recording studio for a lab. That's right - even though he'd dropped out of school in the tenth grade, at 36 years of age he went to college (which was, he admits, more than a little daunting).
“My instincts were telling me that it was my role to fix this for Ella. So I did what I thought had to be done, and became a scientist,” Dr. Farrow said.
Yes, he got a PhD in medicine and now has a lab at the Cure4CF Foundation in Adelaide, where he pursues work in gene therapy.
Despite the tenuous nature of the foundation’s funding, Mr. Coluccio says the research team have shown “extraordinary commitment and dedication to the work.”
“They just looked me in the eye and said ‘no, we’re not going anywhere,’” he recalled of the time he informed them they might need to look for work elsewhere.
The Adelaide team hopes to use a viral vector to deliver a corrective gene into the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. By injecting the gene into the lungs, they believe the stem cells, which naturally replenish the airways, will adopt the corrected genes and repair damaged cells.
“One treatment in a lifetime,” Dr Farrow said.
He's convinced that "The science is there; it's just a matter of delivery." It's going to cost the Foundation between $7 and $10 million to conduct human trials over the next five years, but the approach appears promising.
In the nine years since Ella's diagnosis, her dad dumped his career in music, earned three degrees in medicine, and took to a lab to work on a delivery system that should deliver targeted gene therapy that will cure not only his daughter, but all people suffering from the disease. That, friends, is pure, driven dedication.
A couple of weeks ago it was announced that Saudi Arabia will head up a U.N. Human Rights panel. That selection has sparked a fair amount of consternation around the world, given that they decapitate an average of one person every two days and are poised to crucify and then decapitate the now 21 year-old son of a regime critic. He was arrested at age 17 for allegedly encouraging pro-democracy protests using his Blackberry device.
Apparently, some people have a problem with this - although the U.S. State Department isn't among them. Actually, they're pretty pleased that our ally in the Middle East has been selected to lead the U.N. panel.
Caption: President Barack Obama, right, meets with King Salman of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office of the White House, on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, in Washington.
Meanwhile, over in Germany, Angela Merkel's decision to essentially open the floodgates to Islamic "refugees" - most of whom (about 80%) are young men - was initially greeted with wide-ranging approval, but now as "issues" have arisen, concerns are also rising:
European Council president Donald Tusk has warned that millions more migrants are on their way and ‘the policy of open doors and windows’ must be scrapped.
Roving gangs of young Muslim males are reportedly targeting German women due to "cultural misunderstandings":
Police in the Bavarian town of Mering, where a 16-year-old girl was reportedly raped this month, have warned parents not to allow their children outside unaccompanied.
Girls and women have been told not to walk home alone from the railway station because it is near a migrant centre where the rapist may live.
At Pocking, another well-kept Bavarian town, the headmaster of the grammar school wrote to parents telling them not to let their daughters wear skimpy clothing. This was to avoid ‘misunderstandings’ with 200 migrants who were put up in the school’s gymnasium over the summer, before being moved on this month.
The letter to parents said the migrants were ‘mainly Muslim, and speak Arabic. They have their own culture. Because our school is directly next to where they are staying, modest clothing should be warn... revealing tops or blouses, short skirts or miniskirts could lead to misunderstandings.’
In other words, now that all these guys are here, you need to adapt in order to accommodate them, or face potentially nasty consequences at the hands of these devout members of the Religion of Peace™. And to think: as part of his goal to "fundamentally transform America" Barry plans to import a million or so of these fine, upstanding young men.
Those Delaware cops seem to have a pretty short fuse:
Delaware police shot and killed an armed man in a wheelchair who had apparently attempted suicide Wednesday, prompting bystanders to yell at officers for opening fire.
The News Journal reports that the man, Jeremy McDowell, had a self-inflicted gunshot wound when police arrived on scene. After McDowell refused to drop his weapon, Wilmington, Del., police shot him multiple times. The shooting is under investigation.
“They couldn’t [use a Taser on] him?” Alexis Anthony, who said she was McDowell’s cousin, told the News Journal. “Instead, they killed him instead. They could have knocked him out of his wheelchair.”
It does seem a bit over-reactive. After all, with a self-inflicted gunshot wound and limited mobility due to confinement in a wheelchair, Alexis seems to have a pretty valid point; as the late, great Portland cartoonist Callahan (who was himself a wheelchair-bound paraplegic) titled one of his books: "Don't worry, he won't get far on foot".
Over 700 (720, last I saw) are dead and at least 863 are injured following another stampede of Muslims in Mecca, bringing the number of dead there to about a thousand during the past couple of weeks. They seem to be kind of like impala - who, when spooked, will do things like run into walls; breaking their necks. It's behavior typical of prey species; not generally seen in higher primates. Do they have stampedes at the Vatican?
Anyway, over there at Fukushima, Japan, some 1600 people died following the meltdowns. But it wasn't radiation that got them - in fact, there were no deaths nor radiation-induced illnesses in the aftermath. What killed them was government panic: they ordered mass evacuations, and this induced so much stress into the evacuees that many simply died.
The average radiation exposure in the area was roughly equivalent to what you receive during a full-body CT scan; the degree of stress induced was far worse.
Growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) is a protein found in blood plasma that declines as we age. Studies have indicated that it increases the number of blood vessels, improves heart health - and increases the number of stem cells in the brain. In fact, injections of GDF11-rich plasma appears to yield beneficial effects on all organ systems.
Beginning next month, human trials involving transfusion of plasma from young human donors will be given to older folks with mild to moderate Alzheimer's. And that will be in order to assess any reversal of cognitive decline, but it's just the start:
“It would be great if we could identify several factors that we could boost in older people,” he says. “Then we might be able to make a drug that does the same thing. We also want to know what organ in the body produces these factors. If we knew that, maybe we could stimulate that tissue in older people.”
Obviously, they can't plan on just transfusing young blood into old people indefinitely; vampirism issues aside, there are just too many old fogeys, so a drug that boosts production of GDF11 and related factors is kind of the holy grail. It may not allow you to achieve immortality, but it would likely help you live a healthier and more productive life until you get hit by a bus or something.
Townsville, Australia: In the past month, a snake-catcher has removed not one, but two carpet pythons from toilets in the area. Elliot Budd says that the first was nearly ten feet long, while the second was pushing eight feet in length. As it's mating season and there's been a prolonged dry spell, he suspects that the non-venomous herps were seeking water and are getting in via open windows; they're using more energy than normal, and so they need more water. Why does it always have to be snakes?
It's not especially common, although it does happen more often than you might care to believe:
In July 2013, a 30 year-old Israeli was hospitalized after a snake bit his penis as he was sitting on the throne. That one, too, was non-venomous - though doubtless didn't feel exactly harmless.
Rats are actually more common, however, and there have been cases of people being bit by them while copping a squat. Rats in the toilet are so common in one Seattle sewer system, in fact, that their water/sewer bureau has published a helpful guide regarding the matter:
- Stay Calm!
- Keep the lid down so that it is unable to jump out.
- Squirt some liquid dish soap in the toilet to help break the surface tension of the water. The soap degreases the oils on the rat’s fur so it can not stay afloat in the water.
- Flush the toilet! The rat will usually go back down the drain the same way it came up. You may need to flush multiple times.
Sit well, my friend.
Over in nearby Sunnyvale, a couple is being sued by their former neighbors because their autistic son is a "public nuisance" who has created a "chilling effect on the otherwise hot local real estate market".
Isn’t that just the worst? You think you’re sitting on some hot real estate, but then the neighbors go and have a child with a developmental disability.
The gall of some people! The father's an engineer at a Silicon Valley firm, the mother is a research scientist at NASA; they've since moved from the home they occupied for seven years.
They hired caregivers, gave the boy special medication, and put him in therapeutic classes.
None of which - not even moving out - was sufficient to mollify their former neighbors, who have sued the family because their autistic son allegedly lowered property values.
Bay Area parents of children with autism, meanwhile, fear the lawsuit could lead to copy cat cases.
"What scared us in the Bay Area is that there are thousands of kids just like this one," said Jill Escher, president of the board of the Autism Society of the San Francisco Bay Area.
"Imagine if lawsuits like this were allowed to proliferate on such allegations. This could happen to all autism families at the drop of a hat. They would not know where to go."
Stephen Rosenbaum, a lecturer at the UC Berkeley Law School, who specializes in disability rights and is familiar with the lawsuit, said he is surprised the case has continued as long as it has.
"This is something that should never have gone to court, in my view," said Rosenbaum, who is also an associate professor at Golden Gate University School of Law.
Meanwhile, the family continues to try to help their son. They are renting out their former home, and have no intention of ever returning. Still, the lawsuit grinds on.