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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 29 declined, 11 accepted (40 total, 27.50% accepted)

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Submission + - 10 y/o girl askss police for help - with her math homework. (cbsnews.com)

tomhath writes: Ten year old Lena Draper sent a message to the Marion, Ohio, Police Department’s Facebook page last week, explaining that she was having trouble with her fifth-grade math assignment.

Instead of turning her away, Draper says Marion Police Dept. Lt. B.J. Gruber, the officer who runs the page, simply responded, “Ok with what?”

Lena asked for help with two problems: (8+29)x15 and (90+27) + (29+15) x 2

Lt. Gruber got the first one right, but gave the wrong answer for the second. “Take the answer from the first parenthesis plus the answer from the second parenthesis and multiply that answer times two,” Gruber explained. “Work left to right doing the work inside the parenthesis first.”

Gruber later admitted his error, explaining that he was a history major in college.

Submission + - Superbugs being treated with Brazilian Traditional Medicine (nature.com)

tomhath writes: A recently published study identifies the active compounds in fruits of the Brazilian Peppertree that help heal wounds while also blocking the ability of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa to necrotize flesh. From the report:

One of the earliest written records concerning the use of S. terebinthifolia date back to 1648 when it was described by Dutch naturalist, Willem Piso, in his book Historia Naturalis Brasiliae... It is included in the Brazilian Pharmacopoeia and has served as a staple in Brazilian traditional medicine for its anti-septic and anti-inflammatory qualities in the treatment of wounds and ulcers as well as for urinary and respiratory infections. Bark extracts have demonstrated antibacterial activity against several pathogens, including S. aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Aspergillus species. Bark extracts were also found to be active against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and were effective against peritonitis when injected into the abdominal cavity of rats...

Very little is known, however, regarding the chemistry and bioactivity of the fruits, which were used traditionally as topical poultices for infected wounds and ulcers. Furthermore, while many studies have focused on growth inhibitory, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing properties of this plant, none have examined its potential as a source of anti-virulence drugs.


Submission + - Anonymous Cowards and Trolls (slashdot.org) 2

tomhath writes: Trolls have always been an annoyance here at slashdot. Recently the amount of racist, sexual, and political noise has gotten really annoying.

Here are a couple of simple changes I suggest slashdot can make:

1) Only allow posts and replies from logged in users
2) Continue to allow AC posts, but only after logging in
3) Posts start out with a rating based on the user's karma
4) Moderation is always applied to a user's karma, whether the post was made AC or not

Anyone else have a suggestion on how to improve the signal to noise ratio here?

Submission + - Chan Zuckerberg Initiative acquires and will free up science search engine Meta (techcrunch.com)

tomhath writes: Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s $45 billion philanthropy organization is making its first acquisition in order to make it easier for scientists to search, read and tie together more than 26 million science research papers. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is acquiring Meta, an AI-powered research search engine startup, and will make its tool free to all in a few months after enhancing the product.

Meta's AI recognizes authors and citations between papers so it can surface the most important research instead of just what has the best SEO. It also provides free full-text access to 18,000 journals and literature sources.

Submission + - RIP Dr. Henry Heimlich, inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver

tomhath writes: Dr Heimlich died at the age of 96. He invented the lifesaving technique, which uses abdominal thrusts to clear a person's airway, in 1974.

In May he used the technique himself to save a woman at his retirement home.

He dislodged a piece of meat with a bone in it from the airway of an 87-year-old woman, telling the BBC: "I didn't know I really could do it until the other day."

Submission + - Podesta email was hacked when an aide clicked on a phishing link (thehill.com)

tomhath writes: Last March, Podesta received an email purportedly from Google saying hackers had tried to infiltrate his Gmail account. When an aide emailed the campaign’s IT staff to ask if the notice was real, Clinton campaign aide Charles Delavan replied that it was “a legitimate email" and that Podesta should “change his password immediately.”

Instead of telling the aide that the email was a threat and that a good response would be to change his password directly through Google’s website, he had inadvertently told the aide to click on the fraudulent email and give the attackers access to the account.

Delavan told the Times he had intended to type "illegitimate,” a typo he still has not forgiven himself for making.

Submission + - Al Gore has "an extremely interesting conversation" with Trump (bbc.com)

tomhath writes: Mr Gore told reporters he met Ivanka before his meeting with her father.

"The bulk of the time was with the president-elect, Donald Trump. I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued," Mr Gore said.

Mr Trump has been stocking his administration with conservative ideologues, and many of the possible names for his environmental posts are sceptical of current policy. If Ms Trump pushes the issue and Mr Gore continues his "extremely interesting conversation" with the president, however, this could become a test of how willing President Trump is to cross party orthodoxy.

A free-agent president — beholden to neither party and willing to strike deals according to his own fancy — may be exactly what his voters wanted and what Washington insiders fear.

Submission + - California Bar Association considers punishing lawyers who screw their clients (foxnews.com)

tomhath writes: The nation's largest state bar association is overhauling ethics rules for attorneys for the first time in 30 years, and some lawyers are unhappy about a proposal that would open them up to discipline for having sex with clients.

The proposal is part of a long-awaited shake-up of the state bar association's ethics rules for attorneys, which were last fully revised in 1987. Lawyers who violate the regulations are subject to discipline ranging from private censure to loss of their legal license.

Submission + - Obama 11th hour executive actions carry big risk (politico.com)

tomhath writes: A final flurry of executive actions being pushed through between now and January 20th could result in those and any similar regulations being permanently banned.

"As I've mentioned to you before, we're running — not walking — through the finish line of President Obama's presidency,” Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy wrote agency employees the day after the Nov. 8 election....

One powerful weapon at Republicans’ disposal is the Congressional Review Act, a 1996 law that essentially allows lawmakers and the president to impose a death penalty on regulations they oppose. Come January, Congress can use the law to repeal any rule that an agency finished after this past May 30, using simple-majority votes — and afterward, agencies will be forbidden to enact any regulation that is “substantially the same.”

Of course, it's possible that reports of last minute executive actions by the President might be fake news.

Submission + - Dogs remember more than expected (gizmodo.com)

tomhath writes: This story won't surprise most dog owners: They're watching you, and they remember what you've done.

A new study published in Current Biology shows that dogs, like humans, can recall prior events, even when those events weren’t particularly important or meaningful at the time. This suggests that dogs have “episodic memory,” which is the ability to mentally travel back in time and recall experiences and specific events, such as times, places, and associated emotions. Importantly, episodic memory is also a possible sign of self-awareness in dogs...

Importantly, the dogs had to remember events they had witnessed, but not performed before. This means they had to dig into the “recent history” file of their brains and pull out the required information—in other words, they had to rely on their episodic memory.


Submission + - 26th First Annual Ig Nobel Awards Awarded (improbable.com)

tomhath writes: The Journal of Improbable Research has held it's 26th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony and announced these winners:

REPRODUCTION PRIZE [EGYPT] — The late Ahmed Shafik, for studying the effects of wearing polyester, cotton, or wool trousers on the sex life of rats, and for conducting similar tests with human males.

ECONOMICS PRIZE [NEW ZEALAND, UK] — Mark Avis, Sarah Forbes, and Shelagh Ferguson, for assessing the perceived personalities of rocks, from a sales and marketing perspective.

PHYSICS PRIZE [HUNGARY, SPAIN, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND] — Gábor Horváth, Miklós Blahó, György Kriska, Ramón Hegedüs, Balázs Gerics, Róbert Farkas, Susanne Åkesson, Péter Malik, and Hansruedi Wildermuth, for discovering why white-haired horses are the most horsefly-proof horses, and for discovering why dragonflies are fatally attracted to black tombstones.

CHEMISTRY PRIZE [GERMANY] — Volkswagen, for solving the problem of excessive automobile pollution emissions by automatically, electromechanically producing fewer emissions whenever the cars are being tested.

MEDICINE PRIZE [GERMANY] — Christoph Helmchen, Carina Palzer, Thomas Münte, Silke Anders, and Andreas Sprenger, for discovering that if you have an itch on the left side of your body, you can relieve it by looking into a mirror and scratching the right side of your body (and vice versa).

PSYCHOLOGY PRIZE [BELGIUM, THE NETHERLANDS, GERMANY, CANADA, USA] — Evelyne Debey, Maarten De Schryver, Gordon Logan, Kristina Suchotzki, and Bruno Verschuere, for asking a thousand liars how often they lie, and for deciding whether to believe those answers.

PEACE PRIZE [CANADA, USA] — Gordon Pennycook, James Allan Cheyne, Nathaniel Barr, Derek Koehler, and Jonathan Fugelsang for their scholarly study called "On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit".

BIOLOGY PRIZE [UK] — Awarded jointly to: Charles Foster, for living in the wild as, at different times, a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, and a bird; and to Thomas Thwaites, for creating prosthetic extensions of his limbs that allowed him to move in the manner of, and spend time roaming hills in the company of, goats.

LITERATURE PRIZE [SWEDEN] — Fredrik Sjöberg, for his three-volume autobiographical work about the pleasures of collecting flies that are dead, and flies that are not yet dead.

PERCEPTION PRIZE [JAPAN] — Atsuki Higashiyama and Kohei Adachi, for investigating whether things look different when you bend over and view them between your legs.

Submission + - New species "Baracktrema obamai" named by President Obama's distant cousin (latimes.com)

tomhath writes: B. obamai is a flatworm that infects black marsh turtles and southeast Asian box turtles in Malaysia. Scientists study turtle parasites because they are believed to be the ancestors of the flatworms that cause schistosomiasis, a disease that kills between 20,000 and 200,000 people each year, according to the World Health Organization.

Submission + - Tasmanian devils rapidly evolving resistance to contagious cancer 1

tomhath writes: Scientists from the US, UK and Australian have observed Tasnamian Devils evolving as the species fights to survive a transmittable cancer.

The cancer is spread when the aggressive animals bite each other on the snout. A database of gnome sequences collected over the past twenty years has revealed that in as few as six generations there are significant changes in their DNA in regions the scientists believe are related to resisting cancer.

Submission + - Luxury liner SS United States cannot be put back in service

tomhath writes: Once the fastest ocean liner ever built, the SS united States has been mothballed for almost 50 years.

An ambitious project to refurbish the SS United States as a luxury liner has been abandoned due to insurmountable technical and commercial obstacles.

Plan B, to turn it into a floating hotel/convention center, might go forward

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