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The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 12:55:43 PM EST
Not always safety in numbers when it comes to extinction risk

ScienceDaily (May 8, 2012) -- A basic tenet underpinning scientists' understanding of extinction is that more abundant species persist longer than their less abundant counterparts, but a new University of Georgia study reveals a much more complex relationship.

A team of scientists analyzed more than 46,000 fossils from 52 sites and found that greater numbers did indeed help clam-like brachiopods survive the Ordovician extinction, which killed off approximately half of Earth's life forms some 444 million years ago. Surprisingly, abundance did not help brachiopod species persist for extended periods outside of the extinction event.

Study co-author Steven Holland, a professor of geology in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, said the seemingly paradoxical finding suggests that predicting which species are at risk of extinction is an extremely dicey endeavor.

"This study shows that extinction is much more complicated than generally realized," said Holland, whose findings appear in the current issue of the journal Paleobiology. "It turns out that a lot of extinction events are idiosyncratic; there are a specific set of circumstances that come together and dictate whether something goes or doesn't."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 01:50:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - 'One in six cancers worldwide are caused by infection'

One in six cancers - two million a year globally - are caused by largely treatable or preventable infections, new estimates suggest.

The Lancet Oncology review, which looked at incidence rates for 27 cancers in 184 countries, found four main infections are responsible.

These four - human papillomaviruses, Helicobacter pylori and hepatitis B and C viruses - account for 1.9m cases of cervical, gut and liver cancers.

Most cases are in the developing world.

The team from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France says more efforts are needed to tackle these avoidable cases and recognise cancer as a communicable disease.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 01:50:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russian jet on demo flight goes missing in Indonesia | News | DW.DE | 09.05.2012

An airplane from Russian manufacturer Sukhoi has gone missing on a demonstration flight in Indonesia with 46 people on board.

A Russian jet carrying 46 people has gone missing during a demonstration flight in Indonesia, according to the country's civil aviation chief.

Herry Bakti said the Sukhoi Superjet 100, pictured above, was carrying local airline representatives from the Transport Ministry.

"We're still looking for it," he said. "We don't know what happened."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 01:50:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plutonomy and the Precariat: On the History of the US Economy in Decline

The Occupy movement has been an extremely exciting development. Unprecedented, in fact. There's never been anything like it that I can think of.  If the bonds and associations it has established can be sustained through a long, dark period ahead -- because victory won't come quickly -- it could prove a significant moment in American history.

The fact that the Occupy movement is unprecedented is quite appropriate. After all, it's an unprecedented era and has been so since the 1970s, which marked a major turning point in American history. For centuries, since the country began, it had been a developing society, and not always in very pretty ways. That's another story, but the general progress was toward wealth, industrialization, development, and hope. There was a pretty constant expectation that it was going to go on like this. That was true even in very dark times.

I'm just old enough to remember the Great Depression. After the first few years, by the mid-1930s -- although the situation was objectively much harsher than it is today -- nevertheless, the spirit was quite different. There was a sense that "we're gonna get out of it," even among unemployed people, including a lot of my relatives, a sense that "it will get better."

There was militant labor union organizing going on, especially from the CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations). It was getting to the point of sit-down strikes, which are frightening to the business world -- you could see it in the business press at the time -- because a sit-down strike is just a step before taking over the factory and running it yourself. The idea of worker takeovers is something which is, incidentally, very much on the agenda today, and we should keep it in mind. Also New Deal legislation was beginning to come in as a result of popular pressure. Despite the hard times, there was a sense that, somehow, "we're gonna get out of it."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 01:57:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Monster sunspot' could bring solar flares | Cutting Edge - CNET News

A group of sunspots 11 times wider than the Earth turned to face our planet, raising the possibility of solar flares and auroras tonight.

More than 60,000 miles wide, Sunspot Region 1476 became visible over the weekend and two coronal mass ejections (CMEs), where a portion of the sun's atmosphere breaks off, erupted on Tuesday.

The CMEs blasts could arrive on Earth later today and cause moderate geomagnetic storms later and auroras in the higher altitudes, according to NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center.

The CMEs are traveling at 1.5 million miles per hour but, since they are only partially directed at Earth, they aren't expected to affect communications satellites or other equipment susceptible to space weather. (Special filters are needed for viewing the sun directly to protect the eye, notes Space.com.)



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed May 9th, 2012 at 02:06:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent interview in The Guardian: Economics professor in London: 'They aren't here to learn, they're here to pass'.

Too wide-ranging to quote a couple of paragraphs.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 07:08:53 AM EST
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Uh, most of the "quants" I've known would do a lot better passing ethics exams than the executives with alleged "socal skills".
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 07:11:03 AM EST
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Yes, there's that, too.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 08:35:01 AM EST
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The definition of "empathy" is fucked up.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 08:35:25 AM EST
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Not necessarily. Basically it means giving a shit about the people your actions impinge on.

If we now have a generation of Thatcher Clones who very much don't give a shit about the consequences of their actions because they're only in it for the money, we have a generation of monsters - and there's nothing wrong with the definition.

As the article hints at, NCE isn't just politics by other means - it's a pseudo-theological cult, which set out to brainwash entire generations into self-serving but ultimately suicidal amorality.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 09:04:20 AM EST
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His book will be excellent I'm sure. Luyendijk also commented on his experiences and gave some numbers during interviews on Dutch television last Christmas. All fascinating.
by Nomad on Thu May 10th, 2012 at 08:06:17 AM EST
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