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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 36 declined, 19 accepted (55 total, 34.55% accepted)

+ - Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages to UVA, Michael Mann->

Submitted by ideonexus
ideonexus (1257332) writes "In January of 2014, the American Traditions Institute (ATI) sought Climate Scientist Micheal Mann's emails from his time at the University of Virginia (UVA), a request that was denied in the courts. Now the Virginia Supreme court has upheld a lower court ruling that ATI must pay damages for filing a frivolous lawsuit."
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+ - NRA Launches Pro-Lead Website

Submitted by ideonexus
ideonexus (1257332) writes "The National Rifle Association has launched a website defending the use of lead ammunition against scientists and environmental organizations who argue that lead bullets are poisoning the environment and tainting game meat with a known neurotoxin. The rise and fall of lead levels from gasoline and lead-based paint are strongly correlated to the rise and fall of crime rates in communities around the world."

+ - HPV Vaccine Reduces Cancer Virus in Girls by 56% Since 2006->

Submitted by ideonexus
ideonexus (1257332) writes "Despite only one-third of girls receiving the treatment, the HPV Vaccine has reduced incidence of human papillomavirus in teenage girls by 56% since vaccinations were begun in 2006--possibly due to the herd immunity effect; however, without reaching 80% vaccination rates, which even Rwanda has done, doctors warn we are condemning 50,000 girls alive today to contract cervical cancer from the virus. Implementation of the HPV Vaccine has been a thorny issue in American politics, especially with social conservatives, most recently with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley vetoing a bill that would provide free HPV Vaccines to 7th graders."
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Science

+ - 2012 Warmest Year on Record, 2nd Most Extreme->

Submitted by
ideonexus
ideonexus writes "Apparently 2012 is the warmest year on record according to the NOAA, and 12 of the 13 warmest years on record have all occurred since the year 2000, and decades of temperature measurements go from warmest to coldest by 2000s, 90s, 80s, 70s, 60s, 50s, 40s, 30s, 20s, 10s, 1900s, etc, etc. It's almost as if there's some sort of pattern here. If only there were some theory backed up by nearly 14,000 peer-reviewed research papers, 18 consensus statements by scientific organizations, and two centuries of reproducible laboratory results that could explain this strange "warming" phenomenon."
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Censorship

+ - The Implications of Google Blocking Access to Anti-Islam Film-> 1

Submitted by
ideonexus
ideonexus writes "While the decision has been a footnote in most news stories, the Washington Post is raising the question of what it means that Google can shutdown access to the anti-Islam film in countries where that film has sparked riots, something the American government cannot do thanks to our First Amendment. A popular meme in the Information Age is that the Internet spreads democracy by enabling citizens to organize and speak out, but we forget that much of that speech is now hosted by third-parties who are under no obligation to protect it."
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Politics

+ - Pussy Riot Faces Sentencing Friday->

Submitted by
ideonexus
ideonexus writes "Three members of the punk-rock band Pussy Riot will be sentenced Friday. The trio have spent five months in pretrial detention and face three to seven years in prison for 30 seconds of singing a "Punk Rock Prayer" in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour protesting Vladimir Putin's reelection. They chose to use their closing statements not to defend their actions, but to further register their protests against the state, its President, and the Russian Orthodox Church, which has called for divine retribution against the women. The trial has gained international attention and sparked a Free Pussy Riot movement."
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Politics

+ - The Art of Elections Forecasting->

Submitted by
ideonexus
ideonexus writes "Years ago Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com, a blog seeking to educate the public about elections forecasting, established his model as one of the most accurate in existence, rising from a fairly unknown statistician working in baseball to one of the most respected names in election forecasting. In this article he describes all the factors that go into his predictions. A fascinating overview of the process of modeling a chaotic system."
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Science

+ - NC Republicans Consider Outlawing Sealevel Rise Predictions-> 2

Submitted by
ideonexus
ideonexus writes "Republicans in North Carolina are floating a bill that would force planners to only consider past historical data in predicting the sea-level rise (SLR) for the state as opposed to considering projections that take Global Warming into account. NC-20, the pro-development lobbying group representing twenty counties along the NC coast, is behind the effort and asserts that the one-meter prediction would prohibit development on too much land as opposed to SLR predictions of 3.9 to 15.6 inches."
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Science

+ - Astronomer Who Inspired Carl Sagan's "Contact" Retiring->

Submitted by
ideonexus
ideonexus writes "Jill Tarter, the woman who inspired the fictional character Ellie Arroway in Carl Sagan's "Contact," is retiring as a SETI Astronomer after 35 years in order to focus entirely on raising funds to keep the SETI project operational, which employs 150 people and costs $2 million a year to operate, but had to shut down for several months in 2011 due to budget problems."
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Programming

+ - The Rise of "Brogrammers"->

Submitted by
ideonexus
ideonexus writes "Several news stories in recent weeks are covering a culture-shift in computer programming from being a nerd-culture thing to becoming more of a frat-house thing with the rise of "Brogrammers." Businessweek describes it as a "new, more testosterone-fueled breed of coder", while Mother Jones editor Tasneem Raja laments that the culture-shift is alienating women. Users on Quora posted satirical answers to the question "How does a programmer become a brogrammer?" with answers about sunglasses, energy drinks, protein, and time at the gym."
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Medicine

+ - Growing Evidence of Football Causing Brain Damage->

Submitted by
ideonexus
ideonexus writes "NFL Linebacker Junior Seau's suicide this week bares a striking similarity to NFL Safety Dave Duerson's suicide last year, who shot himself in the chest so that doctors could study his brain, where they found the same chronic traumatic encephalopathy that has been found in the brains of 20 other dead football players. Malcom Gladwell stirred up controversy in 2009 by comparing professional football to dog fighting for the trauma the game inflicts on players' brains, but with mounting evidence that the repeated concussions football players recieve during their careers causing a lifetime of brain problems, it raises serious concerns about America's most popular sport and ethical questions for its fanbase."
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Science

+ - The Addictive Potential of Brain Hacking with tDCS-> 4

Submitted by
ideonexus
ideonexus writes "New Scientist author Sally Adee has a fascinating blogpost up about her personal experiences with using Transcranial Direct-Current Stimulation (tDCS), the act of conducting an electric current through the brain, to learn marksmanship with an assault rifle for an article she wrote, and talks about how much she longed to put the electrodes back on a few days later after the effects had worn off. With tDCS devices now available for sale with a prescription and DIYers posting instructions for building your own (see also here), are geeks on the precipice of a revolutionary and potentially addictive new brain hack?"
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Science

+ - 101 Reasons Why Evolution is True->

Submitted by
ideonexus
ideonexus writes "Today is Darwin Day. With states continuing to introduce bills to teach creationism alongside the established science, like Indiana did at the beginning of this month, it's important to remember the overwhelming evidence supporting the Theory of Macroevolution through Natural Selection. Here are 101 Facts supporting Darwin's theory, in a creative commons licensed post with 101 accompanying photos."
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Games

+ - The Zynga Skinner Box->

Submitted by
ideonexus
ideonexus writes "Benjamin Jackson has published a summary in the Atlantic of an article to soon be published in the Kickstarter-funded journal Distance concerning the psychological strategy employed by social game makers like Zynga. Games like Angry Birds and Farmville use Pavlovian conditioning to turn human beings into rats in a Skinner box, pushing the button over and over again to get that little dopamine fix from our brains as we earn fake rewards. We have a finite amount of time in this life. If we want to spend it on games, then those games should be creative, challenging, and force us to grow, like Portal, Civilization, Magic the Gathering, Robo Rally, or Memrise."
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