Cool Links

Once a year I go to San Francisco. I used to go a lot more, every place I've lived I've had season tickets to baseball games, I still have my hat and pin and ticket/lanyard from the 2002 World Series, but once I moved inland it was hard to go to games because of traffic so now it is just annual. And in the last decade the city really declined due to a resurgence of vagrants and addicts that hadn't been a problem since the early 1990s.
On Slate, Rich Juzwiak recounts a situation where a man with a persistent depressive disorder who had sex with a transgender guy said the transgender man worried about sexual transference of gut microbes and transmittal of depression thereof.

Well, it's on YouTube and that has authority to a lot of people, and it involves gut microbes and claims of studies in mice, both of which are so abused by (a) unethical researchers and (b) hucksters selling fancy supplements it's hard for the public to know what to trust.
For years, California has been able to act in defiance of federal standards because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given them a waiver to do so. Today, EPA revoked that waiver, signaling that California will no longer be able to unilaterally intimidate companies into creating special standards that are not warranted by evidence.
"Numerous studies have indisputably demonstrated that particulate inhalation results in health problems far beyond the lungs," write the authors of an article in Nature Communications saying they can detect small micron particulate matter in a few placentae and therefore, what, that birth defects are probably happening?
In France, 30 percent of organic food was recently found to be nothing of the kind.

Consumers did not know, it was surprise spot inspections that busted the farmers, which tells you two things: (1) There is no difference in the food quality, it is an intellectual placebo for wealthier people and; (2) the problem is probably much worse in the U.S., since we don't have surprise inspections at all, instead we turn over organic "certification" to 80 private organizations that rely on selling organic stickers for their livelihood. 
The weather has always been political, writes Jeva Lange in The Week. The ability to anticipate and react to weather-related events separate leaders from has-beens.

But only very recently has the uncertainty of weather prediction also started to be exploited for political gain. And both sides do it. Warmer than 1980? Blame climate change. Fewer hurricanes? Blame climate change. And opponents of climate science engage in the same cherry-picking.
My teenage son believes I am reasonably astute for an old guy. My kids can recall that when Minecraft was released I downloaded it because I wanted to show them how elegant code works.(1) I paid for Fortnite before it was available for free, and then when they introduced a Battle Royale mode I wondered if PlayerUnknown's Battleground was going to be harmed by this new competition or, as often happens, they create bigger markets.(2)

So maybe it was only a matter of time before the grand-daddy of turn based civilization games, Sid Meier's Civilization, jumped into Battle Royale with the free Red Death update.
On December 21st of 2018, President Trump signed the First Step Act of 2018, which made significant changes to drug sentencing laws.

Now Michigan is going to replace drug dealers in prisons with minors who have flavored vaping products. Under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's recent executive order, anyone found with four or more flavored vaping products is “presumed to possess said items with the intent to sell”, punishable by imprisonment of six months and a fine per item. 
Just five short years ago, there was no real market leader in e-cigarettes, it was a grassroots solution for smokers who wanted harm reduction and smoking cessation and didn't like Big Pharma. Patches and gums certainly did not work very well and the wisdom of crowds invented something better. It was a tiny fraction of the tobacco market, but growing to where FDA wanted to regulate it.
In 2010, physicists reported an exceptionally precise measurement of the size of the proton, the positively charged building block of atomic nuclei, using special hydrogen atoms in which the electron that normally orbits the proton was replaced by a muon, a particle that’s identical to the electron but 207 times heavier.

They found the muon-orbited protons to be 0.84 femtometers in radius — 4% smaller than those in regular hydrogen, according to the average of more than two dozen earlier measurements. Which would mean protons really shrink in the presence of muons due to unknown physical interactions between protons and muons.

Hundreds of papers speculated about the possibilities.
Skeletons found in a Modena necropolis that dates back to between the 4th and 6th centuries A.D. were assumed to be male and female but they are both male, an analysis reveals.

The "Lovers of Modena,” as they came to be called, got their sex reveal thanks to tooth enamel - a protein that is present only in the tooth enamel of males.
On this date in 1939 Marvel Comics #1 was on newsstands, featuring Human Torch and Namor the Sub-Mariner (he was Aquaman before Aquaman.) 

So why does the cover say October? Comic books did what magazines did (and do), and instead of a publication date they put a pull-date on the cover, which would be the date the issue was to be removed and returned to make way for the new issue on newsstands. There was no direct sales then, like dedicated comic book stores are now, you went to the rack in a store or on the street and purchased them. So on that Tuesday in 1939 while Germany was about to wrap up its takeover of Poland, and the USSR was about to take its cut, this comic appeared.
Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman PC, which collaborates with organic company trade groups like U.S. Right To Know and hand-puppets they control, such as the so-called "Industry Docs" industry fifth columnists embedded inside U.C. San Francisco, exists to make money. They are lawyers, after all.
I recently watched the History Channel show "Alone" and for all but one season(1) it is just what it sounds like. They take 10 people and throw them into a difficult situation where they have to survive alone.
While a vegan diet is fine for adults, in children it is a human rights violation - and it can send parents to jail.

John P. and Katrina Miller of of Crestline, Ohio, have been indicted on one count of kidnapping, a first degree felony; one count of felonious assault, a second-degree felony; two felony counts of child endangerment, one second-degree, one third-degree; and a first-degree misdemeanor count of child endangerment. They face up tp 22 yeards prison.
Fat shaming, slut shaming, you name it and someone is complaining that other people are being judge-y about we choose to live our lives. On Twitter the only things it is okay to shame in 2019 are Republicans, scientists, and vapers.
Call it Atlantis if you want. but geologists have reconstructed the quarter-of-a-billion-year-long history of a long-submerged landmass. It just isn't beneath an ocean, it is below southern Europe.

The tectonic history of the landmass known as Greater Adria has been under study for a while but the new study is the first systematic time-lapse reconstruction.
Four years ago, I can't recall having heard of JUUL despite ending smoking, which means supporting smoking cessation and harm reduction tools like vaping, being a cornerstone of my science and health mandate.

Then suddenly they were everywhere. A vaping culture that had no market leader, and certainly did not appeal to young people - as if Blu using Jenny McCarthy was appealing to anyone except old former smokers - had a clear favorite almost overnight.
How cool were astronauts? If you were born in the 1960s or earlier, just about as cool as you could get.

They were fighter pilots, they were smart, they had The Right Stuff, and if you were an automobile company that wanted to market a car named after a warship, it made sense to get astronauts in your cars.
Earthjustice, originally created by Sierra Club so they would have yet another group to sue companies and government for stuff Sierra Club wanted to sue over, is at it again, this time claiming 40 percent of bees are dying (a lie) and that the neonicotinoid sulfoxaflor is causing it.

There is no evidence for that, which is why EPA approved it, yet the trial lawyers insist a $200 billion pollinator market is at risk unless EPA settles with them quickly so environmental groups can then sue the company (Corteva) that makes the product.