Author Archives: Kestrel

Proving that science can sometimes be disgusting.

Some sticky research out of York University shows a surprisingly effective way to fight against a certain species of toxic grass fungus: moose saliva (yes… moose saliva).

Published in this month’s Biology Letters, “Ungulate saliva inhibits a grass-endophyte mutualism” shows that moose and reindeer saliva, when applied to red fescue grass (which hosts a fungus called epichloë festucae that produces the toxin ergovaline) results in slower fungus growth and less toxicity.

I’m not sure that metabolism is the problem.

A protein that controls when genes are switched on or off plays a key role in specific areas of the brain to regulate metabolism, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

The research potentially could lead to new therapies to treat obesity and diabetes, since the transcription factor involved — spliced X-box binding protein 1 (Xbp1s) — appears to influence the body’s sensitivity to insulin and leptin signaling. Insulin and leptin are hormones central to the body’s regulation of food intake and sugar disposal, and obesity and diabetes are conditions under which the body develops resistance to their actions.

On this day in history.

A day that is probably more important than December 7th.

On this day in 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt seizes all Japanese assets in the United States in retaliation for the Japanese occupation of French Indo-China.

On July 24, Tokyo decided to strengthen its position in terms of its invasion of China by moving through Southeast Asia. Given that France had long occupied parts of the region, and Germany, a Japanese ally, now controlled most of France through Petain’s puppet government, France “agreed” to the occupation of its Indo-China colonies. Japan followed up by occupying Cam Ranh naval base, 800 miles from the Philippines, where Americans had troops, and the British base at Singapore.

What a crock …

They’re right. Instead of moving them to Central America we should have moved then to Washington D.C.

Violence, poverty, unemployment and President Obama’s immigration policy have all been blamed for the massive arrival of unaccompanied children from Central America at the U.S. southern border.

Some immigration experts and advocates suggest another factor: U.S. policies of the 1990s and 2000s that deported thousands of gang members back to Central America.

At the time, authorities were attempting to root out Latino gang violence in American cities. But instead of dispersing, the gangs took new root in Central America, abetted by the push of drug-trafficking routes into Central America from Mexico. The gangs grew more ruthless and expanded into international drug trade and other crimes, leading to escalating violence in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Day by Day


Well she is still driving unlike Hillary who has not been behind the wheel since the late 80′s.

Conservative leader and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin may have a lead foot, but she was all smiles when she was pulled over for a speeding ticket in Wasill last week driving herself in a Toyota Tundra pick-up truck. When asked by TMZ about the incident, she gave a classic nod to her NASCAR fans:

I wasn’t speeding, I was qualifying.

And she also made reference to the Sammy Hagar song “I Can’t Drive 55″ while making fun of herself driving 63 mph in a 45 mph zone.

Well played, Sarah! This is a good reminder that if you get a $154 ticket, you might as well laugh about it.

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I’ve spent some time studying ring tails …

… but always hoped to have the chance to study these guys in the field:

Barely human?

This is somehow very disappointing.

DNA mostly ‘junk?’ Only 8.2 percent of human DNA is ‘functional’, study finds

Although I didn’t have the voice …

… I certainly had the face for radio.

Unique vocal cord vibration patterns might be the secret behind a good radio voice, new research reveals. The world-first study filmed the vocal folds of 16 male radio performers, including announcers, broadcasters, newsreaders and voice-over artists and found their vocal folds move and close faster than non-broadcasters.

Who’s working and paying the bills?

In 2007, 83 percent of the prime working-age population was in the labor force and accounted for over two-thirds of our total labor force. Today, after six years of recession and weak recovery, labor force participation by this group has plummeted. Nearly five million out of the 125 million of them dropped out of the labor force. But why? How much of this is due to retirement? What else contributed to this decline?

They’re not ‘evil’. They are just trying to stay in business …

… and participate in providing choice.

Lashing out at what he called “corporate deserters,” President Obama on Thursday increased the pressure on Congress to approve legislation targeting companies that change their address to slash their U.S. tax bill.

Obama, speaking at a technical college in Los Angeles, said corporations were taking advantage of a loophole not available to average workers — and in the process, forcing the middle-class to take up more of the tab for infrastructure and job-training programs.


“I don’t care if it’s legal. It’s wrong,” Obama told the California crowd. “You don’t get to choose the tax rate you pay. These companies shouldn’t either.”

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Some days are better than others.

Christian Mom Sentenced to Death in Sudan Arrives in Italy, Meets Pope Francis

The protective edge.

Podcast from the JPost.

Political Reporter Gil Hoffman discusses role of politics in decision making; security expert Emily Landau, human rights advocate Sarit Michaeli discuss international law in war.

No missiles involved.

Jewish and Arab People Take to Social Media, Refusing To Be Enemies

Ooops . I fell for it.

But on Monday, a marine biologist by the name of Zack Jud made an explosive claim: All these stories were based on a “lie,” because Arrington was taking credit for research he’d published three years earlier.

“My name has been intentionally left out of the stories, replaced by the name of the 12-year-old daughter of my former supervisor’s best friend,” Jud wrote on Facebook. “The little girl did a science fair project based on my PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED DISCOVERY of lionfish living in low-salinity estuarine habitats. … [M]y years of groundbreaking work on estuarine lionfish are being completely and intentionally ignored.”

He added: “At this stage in my career, this type of national exposure would be invaluable … if only my name was included in the stories.”

This should be SOP for all guard units.

Most of the 1,000 National Guard troops headed to the Texas-Mexico border will take up observational positions and detain people only if they interfere with their mission, a top general over the deployment said Tuesday.

Texas Adjutant General John Nichols said the troops will help deter illicit traffic while U.S. Border Patrol agents deal with a record spike of unaccompanied minors entering the country. The Texas National Guard troops are headed to border on the orders of Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who has been a chief critic of the White House response to the crisis and is considering another run for president in 2016.

Nichols said troops will be armed for their safety, but when asked if their weapons would be loaded would say only that ammunition would be in magazines.


Another problem that was created through his own incompetence.

President Barack Obama has sent a team to Texas to assess whether a U.S. National Guard deployment would help to handle an immigration crisis at the Mexican border, White House officials told Reuters on Wednesday, having so far resisted Republican calls for such a move.

The team, made up of officials from the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, departed on Tuesday and will be on the ground through Thursday.


… of course it did …

Private parties helping with student loan debt.

There at a point where they have to. Government, which created the problem, clearly has no idea what to do.

This year, the Economic Policy Institute reported that approximately 8.5 percent of college graduates between the ages of 21 and 24 are unemployed – a fact that presents the dilemma of graduates lacking any opportunity to repay this staggering debt. Fortunately, President Obama has led a recent push to provide relief for student debt by expanding the Pay As You Go model with a goal to introduce effective changes (hopefully) by December 2015.

Gaza protests: ‘France imported the Mideast conflict a long time ago’

It’s not like that had much of a choice.

Egypt stops terror thrust.

The Egyptian military stated last night that their security forces thwarted a double terrorist attack near the Kerem Shalom Crossing. According to the report, the terrorists attempted to launch grad rockets at Israel, while a suicide bomber sought to enter into Israel via Egypt.

Egypt stated that they stopped a vehicle that planned to launch grad rockets. In addition, they captured a suicide bomber strapped with explosives apparently attempting to infiltrate into Israel via Rafah. According to the report, searches continue in the region in order to locate other terrorists that intend to carry out attacks against Israel.

Again? … Geez.

The Algerian airline plane that went off radar Thursday morning was purposefully diverted from its flight path due to a thunderstorm and to avoid contact with another plane flying the same skies, authorities said.

The Swiftair MD-83 craft carrying 116 passengers and crew — including 50 French citizens — vanished from radar just 50 minutes after takeoff, en route to Algiers from Ouagadougou, the capital of the west African nation of Burkina Faso. The plane’s path normally takes it right over Mali, the site of al Qaeda unrest and violence.

In addition to the 50 French citizens, Spanish nationals were aboard the plane, the Daily Mail reported.

A good reason to just include advertising.

That way these guys are just helping distribution.

… Fast forward nearly two years, and things just got a lot worse for several of the alleged operators of those sites.

According to the FBI, Messrs Taylor, Walton, Sharp, Blocker, Buckley and Lee have recently been charged with criminal offences relating to Android app piracy.

We’re not talking about a couple of dodgy apps on your phone here.

The allegations claim that the accused served up more than 5,000,000 copies of other people’s Android apps, without bothering to ask permission first, and without bothering to pay up the fees that the apps’ authors would have collected by selling their apps on legitimate markets.

StubHub hit.

US police have indicted six people across four countries on charges of defrauding eBay’s StubHub for over $1 million.

The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance said in a press release on Wednesday that the suspects were allegedly cogs in an international crime ring that broke into more than 1,600 accounts.

The six were indicted on charges of using the StubHub accounts’ credit card details to buy tickets without the owners’ permission.

The charges include money laundering, possession of stolen property and identity theft.

Those arrested include a Russian national who was detained while vacationing in Spain, along with three others arrested in London, two in the United States and one in Canada.

Two of the suspects, Vadim Polyakov, 30, and Nikolay Matveychuk, 21, allegedly bled information from StubHub accounts and stolen credit card numbers to buy more than 3,500 e-tickets that were then funneled to accomplices in New York and New Jersey to be resold within hours of an event.

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