2015 Darwin Awards Nominees Gets First Fireworks Fatality

Update: Maine man dies after launching firework off his head

His brother Cody Staples, 25, told the Daily News he was standing five feet away from Devon in a backyard in Calais, Maine. He said his brother was holding a lighter and it accidentally caused the firework to go off.

Man Dies When Large Firework He’s Holding Next To His Head Explodes

“Walled Lake Police Chief Paul Shakinas told the Detroit Free Press. Alcohol was a factor, the chief added to the newspaper, and the man may not have realized the firework had been lit.”

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Former quadriplegic runs, walks to show others they can

The worst day of Aaron Baker’s life wasn’t when the then-20-year-old professional motocross racer crashed his bike one spring day in 1999, flew over the handlebars and hit the ground head-first, paralyzing him from the neck down.

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The chances of walking again, he was told, were one in a million. He eventually used that as a mantra — when people say odds are a million to one, ignore the million and focus on the one — and has learned to walk again. It began with learning to do just one thing, beginning with getting just a few muscles in an arm to work and then moving on to another task.

Former quadriplegic runs, walks to show others they can

Technology at Wash U maps human genome in 3 days

The two 3-inch-by-1-inch glass chips held the unfathomable amount of genetic information contained in 16 human genomes. On Thursday, a technician placed the chips — called flow cells — in a new genetic sequencing machine at the Genome Institute at Washington University and closed the door.
In just three days, the task will be complete.
It’s mind-boggling given that it took scientists working all over the world more than 10 years and about $1 billion to first sequence the human genome, a feat declared officially complete in 2003.
This ultra-fast sequencing machine, which hit the market last year, is only sold in groups of 10 — a system capable of sequencing 18,000 human genomes a year at just $1,000 to $1,500 per genome.

Excellent.

via New technology at Wash U maps human genome in days; large-scale studies now possible : Lifestyles.

You can earn $13,000 a year selling your poop

ou can donate blood, plasma, eggs, and sperm. Why not poop? Yes, your feces are perhaps your greatest untapped monetary resource. Thanks to a nonprofit organization called OpenBiome, you can cash in to the tune of $13,000 a year — and save lives while you’re at it.
Since 2013, OpenBiome has been processing and shipping loads of it all over the country. The frozen stool is administered to patients who are very sick with infections of a bacteria called C. difficile. The bacteria can cause extreme gastrointestinal distress, leaving some sufferers housebound. Antibiotics often help, but sometimes the bacteria rears back as soon as treatment stops. That leads to a miserable, continuous course of antibiotics.

Somebody has to do it.

You can earn $13,000 a year selling your poop – The Washington Post.

The Misguided War on Sexting

Such programs have demonstrated very little success, but at least they don’t directly harm teens. Other responses are more dangerous. Teen girls can be prosecuted under child pornography laws for taking nude photos of themselves. As one judge said, incredulously, “It seems like the child here [is]…the victim, the perpetrator, and the accomplice. I mean, does that make any sense?”
If sexting is framed as dangerous in itself, girls who sext become perpetrators. And that means the state can target them for punishment. Among other consequences, this means sexting laws become a way parents can use law enforcement to squash relationships they don’t like. (Hasinoff points to instances in which parents used sexts to prosecute their children’s same-sex boyfriends or girlfriends.)

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Parents, understandably, may not be eager to hear that their children are sexting, just as they may not be eager to have their kids date. But sexting isn’t innately harmful or pathological or evil, and the worst-case consequences are less dire than for many other forms of teen sexual expression. Criminalizing it doesn’t make sense.

I am uncertain of what, if any, legal solution there is for a morals issue.  You cannot legislate morality (drugs, prostitution, gambling) and criminalizing teens, branding as a “Sex Criminal” for ill-thought actions will not ‘help’ them.

 

via The Misguided War on Sexting – Reason.com.

Not from The Onion: Chinese Crack Down on Strippers At Funerals

BEIJING (AP) – Chinese officials are launching a campaign to crack down on stripteases and other lewd shows that have become popular at funerals in some rural areas, the Ministry of Culture said Thursday.
The ministry said in a statement that it will tighten control over rural culture, where vulgar performances have been thriving because of a general lack of cultural events.
Such erotic performances at funerals are a relatively new phenomenon. Many rural people believe that a large attendance at funerals is a sign of honor for the deceased, and the shows are used to attract more people and display the family’s prosperity.
The funerals also are a rare occasion for crowds to gather as villagers working as migrant workers in industrial centers return home to bury the deceased.

via Chinese Officials to Crack Down on Strippers At Rural Funerals – US News.

Almost a “Darwin Award 2015” Nominee

Even more stupid than thought: Florida man bitten while kissing venomous snake 

Investigators say Austin Hatfield, 18, had captured the snake several days earlier, put it in a pillowcase and kept the pillowcase on his bed.
At some point on Saturday night, the snake escaped and the teen grabbed it close to his chest. The snake then bit him in the face, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Spokesperson Gary Morse.

You will have to try harder than that, Austin.

darwin nominee

Yes, you ARE a dumbass.

via Hillsborough teen bitten on face by water moccasin he kept on be – WFLA News Channel 8.

Protein converts pancreatic cancer cells back into healthy cells

Scientists working in the area of pancreatic cancer research have uncovered a technique that sees cancerous cells transform back into normal healthy cells. The method relies in the introduction of a protein called E47, which bonds with particular DNA sequences and reverts the cells back to their original state.
The study was a collaboration between researchers at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, University of California San Diego and Purdue University. The scientists are hopeful that it could help combat the deadly disease in humans.
“For the first time, we have shown that over-expression of a single gene can reduce the tumor-promoting potential of pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells and reprogram them toward their original cell type,” says Pamela Itkin-Ansari, adjunct professor at Sanford-Burnham and lead author of the study. “Thus, pancreatic cancer cells retain a genetic memory which we hope to exploit.”

Good.

via Protein converts pancreatic cancer cells back into healthy cells.

FBI Forensic Hair Matches pre 2000

Emily-Litella-Never-mindThe Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.

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Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country’s largest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.

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The admissions mark a watershed in one of the country’s largest forensic scandals, highlighting the failure of the nation’s courts for decades to keep bogus scientific information from juries, legal analysts said. The question now, they said, is how state authorities and the courts will respond to findings that confirm long-suspected problems with subjective, pattern-based forensic techniques — like hair and bite-mark comparisons — that have contributed to wrongful convictions in more than one-quarter of 329 DNA-exoneration cases since 1989.

via WaPost: FBI overstated forensic hair matches in nearly all trials before 2000

The Garden City, Kansas School District, CPS, and Police Department are More Stupid Than a Box of Hair

I guess all violent and property crimes have been solved In Garden City.  Taxpayers there can rejoice.

This boy was defending his mother’s use of a drug that helps her deal with an awful condition. Because he stuck up for his mother, the state arrested her and ripped him away from her. Even if he is eventually returned to his mother (as he ought to be), the school, the town, and the state of Kansas have already done a lot more damage to this kid than Banda’s use of pot to treat her Crohn’s disease ever could.

Banda’s supporters have now set up a legal defense fund page for her at Go Fund Me.

If the extract was pure CBD oil, then this is no crime and not against the law.

via State seizes 11-year-old, arrests his mother after he defends medical marijuana during a school presentation – The Washington Post.

TSA Reminder: This is all to prevent terrorism…. or something

A CBS4 investigation has learned that two Transportation Security Administration screeners at Denver International Airport have been fired after they were discovered manipulating passenger screening systems to allow a male TSA employee to fondle the genital areas of attractive male passengers.
It happened roughly a dozen times, according to information gathered by CBS4.
According to law enforcement reports obtained during the CBS4 investigation, a male TSA screener told a female colleague in 2014 that he “gropes” male passengers who come through the screening area at DIA.
“He related that when a male he finds attractive comes to be screened by the scanning machine he will alert another TSA screener to indicate to the scanning computer that the party being screened is a female. When the screener does this, the scanning machine will indicate an anomaly in the genital area and this allows (the male TSA screener) to conduct a pat-down search of that area.”
Although the TSA learned of the accusation on Nov. 18, 2014 via an anonymous tip from one of the agency’s own employees, reports show that it would be nearly three months before anything was done.

Ummm… am I a homophobe for pointing this out?

via CBS4 Investigation: TSA Screeners At DIA Manipulated System To Grope Men’s Genitals « CBS Denver.

Cancer Is Not Contagious But Stupidity Is, at Alaska Airlines

“I’m being removed as if I’m a criminal or contagious because I have cancer,” she can be heard saying. “No note to fly. Does anybody wonder how I got to Hawaii? My family is being forcibly removed from the airplane because I have cancer.”

In the video, Sedway repeatedly apologizes to her fellow passengers for delaying their flight.

“God bless you,” one passenger can be heard saying.

“I am scheduled for chemo, at home, on Tuesday and Wednesday,” Sedway wrote on Facebook after the incident. “Because of this, I will miss my chemotherapy, my children will miss school, and my husband will miss important meetings.”

via Alaska Airlines apologizes after kicking woman off flight for having cancer – The Washington Post.

Skull Measurement Deniers

But unknown to many shoppers urged to buy foods that are “low sodium” and “low salt,” this longstanding warning has come under assault by scientists who say that typical American salt consumption is without risk.

Moreover, according to studies published in recent years by pillars of the medical community, the low levels of salt recommended by the government might actually be dangerous.

“There is no longer any valid basis for the current salt guidelines,” said Andrew Mente, a professor at McMaster University in Ontario and one of the researchers involved in a major study published last year by the New England Journal of Medicine. “So why are we still scaring people about salt?”

What else is The Consensus wrong about?  The next thing you know They will tell us that measurements of the skull _don’t_ tell us about human personality and character.

via More scientists doubt salt is as bad for you as the government says – The Washington Post.

Have a “Slut Walk” in Paris: Arrested for Prostitution

Women in skimpy outfits and high heels could be arrested under new French laws that make it illegal to simply ‘look like a prostitute’ in public.

France is set to bring in a tough new anti-vice law that makes ‘passive soliciting’ by appearing to be offering sex for sale illegal.

I thought the French (and EU) were so much more sophisticated about sex issues.  Unlike the backward religious hicks of the United States.

via France to make ‘looking like a prostitute’ illegal – forcing hookers to wear jeans and trainers – Irish Mirror Online.

The “Food Babe” Blogger Is Full of Shit

Hari’s superhero origin story is that she came down with appendicitis and didn’t accept the explanation that appendicitis just happens sometimes. So she quit her job as a consultant, attended Google University and transformed herself into an uncredentialed expert in everything she admittedly can’t pronounce. Slap the catchy moniker “Food Babe” on top, throw in a couple of trend stories and some appearances on the Dr. Oz show, and we have the new organic media darling.

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Hari uses this tricky technique again and again. If I told you that a chemical that’s used as a disinfectant, used in industrial laboratory for hydrolysis reactions, and can create a nasty chemical burn is also a common ingredient in salad dressing, would you panic? Be suspicious that the industries were poisoning your children? Think it might cause cancer? Sign a petition to have it removed?

What if I told you I was talking about vinegar, otherwise known as acetic acid?

via The “Food Babe” Blogger Is Full of Shit.

Don’t worry SOCOM, Demi Moore already proved it can be done

Surveys find that men in U.S. special operations forces do not believe women can meet the physical and mental demands of their commando jobs, and they fear the Pentagon will lower standards to integrate women into their elite units, according to interviews and documents.
Studies that surveyed personnel found “major misconceptions” within special operations about whether women should be brought into the male-only jobs. They also revealed concerns that department leaders would “capitulate to political pressure, allowing erosion of training standards,” according to one document.

via Special operations troops doubt women can do the job – U.S. – Stripes.

Brain compass implant gives blind rats ‘internal GPS ‘

I’m dreaming that humans can expand their senses through artificial sensors for geomagnetism, ultraviolet, radio waves, ultrasonic waves and so on,” says Yuji Ikegaya of the University of Tokyo in Japan, head of the team that installed and tested the 2.5-gram implant. “Ultrasonic and radio-wave sensors may enable the next generation of human-to-human communicationMovie Camera,” he says.
Psychic GPS
The neuroprosthesis consists of a geomagnetic compass – a version of the microchip found in smartphones – and two electrodes that fit into the animals’ visual cortices, the areas of the brain that process visual information.
Whenever the rat positioned its head within 20 degrees either side of north, the electrodes sent pulses of electricity into its right visual cortex. When the rat aligned its head in a southerly direction, the left visual cortex was stimulated. The stimulation allowed blind rats to build up a mental map of their surroundings without any visual cues.

Yes, please.

via Brain compass implant gives blind rats psychic GPS – life – 02 April 2015 – New Scientist.