Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy Arrested by FBI in Portland

February 11th, 2016

Via: Oregonian:

Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who touched off one armed showdown with federal authorities and applauded another started in Oregon by his sons, was arrested late Wednesday at Portland International Airport and faces federal charges related to the 2014 standoff at his ranch.

Bundy, 74, was booked into the downtown Multnomah County jail at 10:54 p.m.

FBI Moves In On Four Malheur Holdouts

February 10th, 2016

It’s going down now.

Livestream: LIVE call from Refuge — FBI Seige Happening

Via: Oregonian:

FBI agents in armored vehicles on Wednesday evening moved in on the last four occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, hemming them into their rough camp and insisting they put down their guns and surrender.

Gold: Channel Test

February 10th, 2016

Warning: This is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any financial instrument.

Gold is testing the long established bearish upper channel line.


Plastic Free French Coffee Press

February 10th, 2016

Update: Found It

Secura Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker


My wife just broke my Bodum French press, so I thought I’d upgrade to one of the nice double-wall stainless steel presses I’ve seen on Amazon. One problem: they almost all contain some plastic, usually somewhere on the plunger.

I can only find one double-wall stainless steel French press that contains no plastic: Frieling Brushed 18/10 Stainless Steel French Press.

Price: About a hundred bucks!?

Someone out in Cryptogon land must know of a plastic free double-wall French press for less. If you do, please let me know.

Top U.S. Intelligence Official Calls Gene Editing a WMD Threat

February 10th, 2016

…scientists have previously speculated about whether CRISPR could be used to make “killer mosquitoes.”

Your what hurts?

Via: MIT Technology Review:

Genome editing is a weapon of mass destruction.

That’s according to James Clapper, U.S. director of national intelligence, who on Tuesday, in the annual worldwide threat assessment report of the U.S. intelligence community, added gene editing to a list of threats posed by “weapons of mass destruction and proliferation.”

It is gene editing’s relative ease of use that worries the U.S. intelligence community, according to the assessment. “Given the broad distribution, low cost, and accelerated pace of development of this dual-use technology, its deliberate or unintentional misuse might lead to far-reaching economic and national security implications,” the report said.

Clapper didn’t lay out any particular bioweapons scenarios, but scientists have previously speculated about whether CRISPR could be used to make “killer mosquitoes,” plagues that wipe out staple crops, or even a virus that snips at people’s DNA.

While the Children in Flint Were Given Poisoned Water to Drink, General Motors Was Given a Special Hookup to the Clean Water

February 10th, 2016

Via: Huffington Post:

A few months after Gov. Snyder removed Flint from the clean fresh water we had been drinking for decades, the brass from General Motors went to him and complained that the Flint River water was causing their car parts to corrode when being washed on the assembly line. The governor was appalled to hear that GM property was being damaged, so he jumped through a number of hoops and quietly spent $440,000 to hook GM back up to the Lake Huron water, while keeping the rest of Flint on the Flint River water.

Which means that while the children in Flint were drinking lead-filled water, there was one — and only one — address in Flint that got clean water: the GM factory.

More: Corroded Engine Blocks Lead GM To Escape Flint’s Tainted Water

Mandatory Depression Screening for All Americans?

February 10th, 2016

Via: Town Hall:

The United States Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended mandatory depression screening for all Americans. The task force wants to force health insurance companies to pay for the screening. Basic economics, as well as the Obamacare disaster, should have shown this task force that government health insurance mandates harm Americans.

Government health insurance mandates raise the price of health insurance. Consumers will respond to this increase by either choosing to not carry health insurance or by reducing their consumption of other goods and services. Imposing new health insurance mandates will thus make consumers, many of whom are already suffering from Obamacare’s costly mandates, worse off by forcing them to deviate from their preferred consumption patterns.

U.S. Tells Google Computers Can Qualify as Drivers

February 9th, 2016

Via: Reuters:

U.S. vehicle safety regulators have said the artificial intelligence system piloting a self-driving Google car could be considered the driver under federal law, a major step toward ultimately winning approval for autonomous vehicles on the roads.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), of its decision in a previously unreported Feb. 4 letter to the company posted on the agency’s website this week.

Google’s self-driving car unit on Nov. 12 submitted a proposed design for a self-driving car that has “no need for a human driver,” the letter to Google from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Chief Counsel Paul Hemmersbaugh said.

“NHTSA will interpret ‘driver’ in the context of Google’s described motor vehicle design as referring to the (self-driving system), and not to any of the vehicle occupants,” NHTSA’s letter said.

“We agree with Google its (self-driving car) will not have a ‘driver’ in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years.”

Zika: Gene Drive

February 8th, 2016

Via: MIT Technology Review:

A controversial genetic technology able to wipe out the mosquito carrying the Zika virus will be available within months, scientists say.

The technology, called a “gene drive,” was demonstrated only last year in yeast cells, fruit flies, and a species of mosquito that transmits malaria. It uses the gene-snipping technology CRISPR to force a genetic change to spread through a population as it reproduces.

Three U.S. labs that handle mosquitoes, two in California and one in Virginia, say they are already working toward a gene drive for Aedes aegypti, the type of mosquito blamed for spreading Zika. If deployed, the technology could theoretically drive the species to extinction.

“We could have it easily within a year,” says Anthony James, a molecular biologist at the University of California, Irvine.

Any release of a gene drive in the wild would be hotly debated by ecologists. So far, no public health agency has thrown its weight behind the idea. But with Zika sowing fear across Latin America and beyond, the technology is likely to get a closer look. “Four weeks ago we were trying to justify why we are doing this. Now they’re saying ‘Get the lead out,’” says James. “It’s absolutely going to chan­­­­­­­­­ge the conversation.”

Financial Despair, Addiction and the Rise of Suicide in White America

February 8th, 2016


Via: Guardian:

Growing economic inequality and increasing financial struggles are intertwined with other issues such as health and addiction. Some people living on low incomes hesitate to go to the doctor even if they have medical insurance because of the cost of out-of-pocket expenses. Chronic conditions can go untreated and become debilitating.

Pain is a driver of alcohol abuse and addiction to opioid painkillers, which in turn is feeding a growing heroin epidemic in the US. Stress and mental health issues are sometimes driven by constant worries about money and fear for the future as growing numbers of Americans look into a financial abyss at retirement.

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