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    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2012
     (10575.1)
    The Junkie Old Folks' Home: Aging Addicts Find Refuge in Dutch Care Facility
    Everyone in the hostel also takes illegal drugs. "But they have to get the drugs themselves. We just tolerate their use," explains the night nurse. He says he has known some of the junkies since he was young. "We used to go to all the same discos and bars. There have been some surprising reunions here," he says. He points to the list of residents next to the reception desk: 36 names, complete with room numbers and birth dates. Most were born in the late 1950s. The youngest resident, the woman in the bathrobe, was born in 1967.

    For all of them, Woodstock is their last refuge, the only old-age home in the world where hard drugs are not a taboo, a place intended for people who, in their early 50s, look as worn out as if they were in their 70s. The residents are all hopeless cases, people who have been severely addicted to drugs for at least 10 years and have repeatedly failed to respond to therapy.
  1.  (10575.2)
    Herbal Medicine and Aristolochic Acid Nephropathy

    It has been a stunning triumph of marketing and propaganda that many people believe that treatments that are “natural” are somehow magically safe and effective (an error in logic known as the naturalistic fallacy). There is now widespread belief that herbal remedies are not drugs or chemicals because they are natural. The allies in Congress of those who sell such products have even passed laws that embody this fallacy – taking herbal remedies away from FDA oversight and regulating them more like food than drugs.

    Recent studies of the effects of aristolochic acid on the renal system are a good opportunity to do so. Aristolochia is an herb that has been used for thousands of years in many cultures for many indications, such as child birth, weight loss, and joint pain. It is both “natural” and ancient. It is also a powerful nephrotoxin – it causes kidney damage.
    • CommentAuthorEmperor
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2012
     (10575.3)
    Korean Scientists launch project to clone a mammoth


    Should be interesting to see what happens there. However, the real sales potential would in the pet market and I'd love a dwarf mammoths, although they aren't really that small - dwarf elephants are though, the Sicilian dwarf elephant was only 3ft tall and weighed 150kgs. The only problem would be getting viable DNA, but for the pet market people aren't going to care if you fill in the gaps with modern elephant DNA.
  2.  (10575.4)
    Here's tonight's lesson of internet history.

    Finding Goatse: The Mystery Man Behind the Most Disturbing Internet Meme in History

    Sometime in the late 20th century a naked man bent over, spread his ass and took a picture. Eventually that picture, known as Goatse, became one of the most venerable memes in internet history. Who is this man, and how did his ass take over the internet?
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2012
     (10575.5)
    Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting.

    Just as soon as they find him. Apparently he stopped contacting or responding to the two men hired to be his attorneys and, turns out, never even met with them. They implied that he had left the state.
  3.  (10575.6)
    @Vornaskotti - It's not just herbal remedies that have been marketed with a blatant disregard for toxicity. The leading cause of liver failure in the USA and UK has been marketed for decades like this
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2012 edited
     (10575.7)
    Maybe it belongs in Around the Web but this is a brilliant bit of design:



    It recycles the water from washing your hands directly into the cisten - and probably encourages more peopel to wash their hands. Oh and it will probably also save a lot of space in public toilets.
  4.  (10575.8)
    That looks like a prison toilet. Granted, a really nice prison toilet, though.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMorac
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2012
     (10575.9)
    Maybe an Airplane toilet?
    •  
      CommentAuthorD.J.
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2012
     (10575.10)
    Relatedly, what is with people who don't wash their hands?

    Or people who turn the tap on, get their hands slightly moist and then act like they've washed their hands.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2012
     (10575.11)
    The majority of people don't wash their hands properly: you need to spend at least 30 seconds washing your hands with soap and water and then dry them thoroughly to reduce the microbial count.

    Splashing water on your hands and then touching doorknobs etc with damp hands actually increases bacterial count and transfer of bacteria to anything you touch.
    •  
      CommentAuthorVornaskotti
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2012 edited
     (10575.12)
    @Kay:

    Krhm, there's a slight difference here. Like the first sentence of the link: "Paracetamol toxicity is caused by excessive use or overdose of the analgesic drug paracetamol (called acetaminophen in North America)" vs. the absolute depressingly real fallacy of "I use herbal remedies because they have less of those evil chemicals than pharmaceutic drugs", which that article is about.
  5.  (10575.13)
    @Vornaskotti - Paracetamol toxicity is caused by excessive use or overdose of the analgesic drug paracetamol

    Quite. I've been taking paracetamol my entire life and my liver is fine, because I take the time to read the instructions and not exceed the correct dosage. The same goes for ibuprofen - which can pretty much dissolve your stomach lining if used inappropriately - and codeine - which can be highly addictive.

    The naturalistic fallacy really pisses me off. Any time I hear someone carry on about how their plant based medicines can't possibly hurt them because they're 'natural' I want to hand them a bunch of atropa belladonna roots to chew on.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2012
     (10575.14)
    @ Purple Wyrm Oh no, not the roots, you'll want to give them the fruits. I hear they taste great, an if I remember correctly, a dozen of these little black berries is enough to kill an adult.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2012 edited
     (10575.15)
    I recently tried to point out to someone that all types of energy generation have environmental downsides. The Rare Earth elements used in wind turbines can be highly toxic. Silicon foundries used ot make soalr cells can be highly pollutign and one type of celsl that's growing in popularity uses Cadmium Telluride - and both Cadmium and Tellurium are also highly toxic.

    His response: "Well at least they don't stay deadly for hundreds of thousands of years."

    No, they stay deadly for billions of years.

    (Disclaimer: I am not saying solar power is as dangerous as nuclear . I'm saying ALL forms of power generation have downsides that need to be considered.
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2012
     (10575.16)
    @Kosmo - there's also the old chestnut that a coal-fired power station releases more radiation into the atmosphere over its lifetime than a nuclear power station does. I think that's based on the release of radioactive radon gas which was sequestered in the coal. Who knows, it may even be true.
  6.  (10575.17)
    Nuclear energy is surprisingly clean and efficient, and most meltdowns don't come close to reaching the magnitude of Japan's recent one. The biggest problems are how incredibly expensive it is, and what to do with all the waste. And I'm willing to bet that almost every one of you knew that already. Yay!
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2012
     (10575.18)
    Lampcommander, there's aslo the bits of the nuclear fuel cycle nobody wants to talk about: like the Nigerien miners digging Uranium ore out of the ground with their bare hand and the Russian enrichment plants dating back to the Soviet Era.
  7.  (10575.19)
    Oh, I totally agreed with your point--that there are downsides, big downsides, to all power sources. But nuclear tends to be excluded from the discussion nowadays, at least the discussions I hear and read about, and it shouldn't be.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDoc Ocassi
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2012 edited
     (10575.20)
    There is only a finite amount of any energy source out there, and uranium is no different, though it does need more hazardous processing than most. Like all the others, regardless of whether we use it up or not, we will eventually have to adapt to living without it.

    We also have the need for rare earth mineral, which are also finite, and require energy to mine, refine, and build into whatever we want.
    Pentagon ‘naive’ on rare earth outlook, several experts say

    So this is the current predicament we face, we have these wonderful finite resources, and what do we choose to do with them? We may be the smartest things on this rock, but aren't we dumb as shit!