Month: August 2019

Bombshell, Victoria’s Secret’s Bestselling Fragrance, Also Happens to Repel Mosquitoes | Mental Floss

Bombshell, Victoria’s Secret’s Bestselling Fragrance, Also Happens to Repel Mosquitoes | Mental Floss

Today is National Relaxation Day, so you have a great excuse to take it easy. Here’s how science can help you have the most laid-back day of the year. 1. Get a house or office plant. Spending time in nature improves your overall wellbeing, but […]

Trump wants to bring back mental institutions to address mass shootings – CBS News

Trump wants to bring back mental institutions to address mass shootings – CBS News

President Trump says he wants to reopen mental institutions as a way to address mass shootings, an idea he pushed twice Thursday and has floated before.  The president’s insistence that mental illness is the cause of mass shootings has disconcerted mental health professionals who insist […]

Bali holiday nightmare: Australian model says police threatened her over mental health medication | 7NEWS.com.au

Bali holiday nightmare: Australian model says police threatened her over mental health medication | 7NEWS.com.au

An Australian model has told of a four-day hell locked up in a Bali police station for taking prescription medicine with her on holiday.

Instagram influencer Tori Ann Lyla Hunter claims she was threatened with five years’ jail but told she could avoid being locked up if she paid a $39,600 bribe – which she did.

In the video above: Australian man faces media in Bali after drunken rampage

The 25-year-old Adelaide mother has now set up a Go Fund Me page in a bid to recover the cash.

The incident occurred just a week after a middle-aged Australian man with multiple sclerosis was detained by Bali police because his son had sent him much-needed medication in the post.

The man had simply forgotten to take the medication with him on his trip.

Ordeal begins

Hunter claims her nightmare began when she arrived in Indonesia on August 6.

“I was detained after going through customs for bringing my own personal medication,” she wrote on the Go Fund Me page.

On Facebook, Hunter told her followers she had “declared my personal prescription medications along with a doctors note stating my disorders, what the medication is used for and my daily doses”.

But she says Balinese authorities told her medicines were on a “Class A” drugs list in Indonesia.

However, Hunter says she contacted the Australian Consulate-General’s office in Bali and was told there was no such list.

Hunter claims she was interrogated for 14 hours, then detained and held for three days.

Targeted for trouble

And she says she was targeted because of her social media profile.

“They searched me on the internet, found out that I am a model, assumed that I’m loaded and that’s why I was personally targeted and extorted for 40k,” Hunter said.

“I wouldn’t wish what I’ve been through this past week upon my worst enemy.

“I am hoping to raise awareness for those with mental illness travelling with prescription medications, as well as raising awareness for social media influencers travelling and how they can become targets!”

While the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and trade would not comment specifically because of privacy concerns, it did confirm it had recently provided assistance to an Australian woman in Bali.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provided consular assistance to an Australian woman detained in Indonesia (in accordance with the Consular Services Charter).

“Due to privacy obligations, we are unable to provide further information,” a DFAT spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au.

This content was originally published here.

Transgender youth: My daughter needs mental health care — not hormones

Transgender youth: My daughter needs mental health care — not hormones

My daughter thinks she’s transgender. Her public school undermined my efforts to help her. Jay Keck Opinion contributor Published 12:13 PM EDT Aug 12, 2019 In April 2016, my then 14-year-old daughter became convinced that she was my son. In my attempt to help her, […]

Mental illness isn’t main driver of mass shootings, experts say – CBS News

Mental illness isn’t main driver of mass shootings, experts say – CBS News

President Donald Trump’s focus on “mentally ill monsters” oversimplifies the role of mental illness in public mass shootings and downplays the ease with which Americans can get firearms, experts said. “Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” Mr. Trump said Monday as […]

Top Scientist Quits USDA, Says Trump Admin Tried to Bury Study Linking Climate and Nutrition

Top Scientist Quits USDA, Says Trump Admin Tried to Bury Study Linking Climate and Nutrition

By Jessica Corbett

The exodus of federal scientists in the era of President Donald Trump continued Friday as 62-year-old plant physiologist Lewis Ziska left the U.S. Department of Agriculture “over the Trump administration’s efforts to bury his groundbreaking study about how rice loses nutrients due to rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” POLITICO reported Monday.


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Ziska — who worked at USDA under five presidents, both Republicans and Democrats — charged in an interview with POLITICO that he left the department’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) because the USDA tried to block the public dissemination of his research on how the human-caused crisis’s impact on rice could threaten the nutrition of 600 million people. The study, POLITICO reported, was internally cleared at the department and peer reviewed prior to its publication in the journal Science Advances last year.

USDA, in a statement to the outlet, said that “this was a joint decision by ARS national program leaders — all career scientists — not to send out a press release on this paper” based on scientific disagreement, and the decisions involving the study weren’t politically motivated.

Ziska, however, said that “this isn’t about the science. It’s about something else, but it’s not about the science.”

“You get the sense that things have changed, that this is not a place for you to be exploring things that don’t agree with someone’s political views,” Ziska said about the current environment at the USDA. “That’s so sad. I can’t even begin to tell you how sad that is.”

Ziska’s resignation comes after the departures of Rod Schoonover, a State Department official who claimed the administration blocked the submission of his report on the climate crisis and national security to a U.S. House committee, and Maria Caffrey, a National Park Service employee who wrote forThe Guardian last month, “In February 2019, I lost my job because I was a climate scientist in a climate-denying administration.”

POLITICO previously reported on the Trump USDA refusing to publicize dozens of government-funded studies that warn about the climate emergency’s consequences or to release a “multiyear plan that outlines how the department should help agriculture understand, adapt to, and minimize the effects” of the crisis.

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Turns out the “swamp” that @realDonaldTrump wants to drain isn’t lobbyists it’s civil-servant scientists. #USDA relocation is as cynical as it gets. (Until tomorrow, brace yourself.) https://t.co/SPsjHwnkzV

— Timothy A. Wise (@TimothyAWise) August 5, 2019

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But it’s not just top-down censorship that’s impacting U.S. government research on the climate, Ziska told POLITICO.

The overriding fear among scientists within USDA, Ziska said, was that the administration would take an axe to the department’s science budget, and research priorities that perhaps didn’t align with the administration’s agenda would be the first to go. (The Trump administration has repeatedly proposed significant cuts to ARS’ budget, but Congress has so far largely kept funding flat.)
Anything related to climate change was seen as extremely vulnerable, he said.
“We were careful,” he explained. “And then it got to the point where language started to change. No one wanted to say climate change, you would say climate uncertainty or you would say extreme events. Or you would use whatever euphemism was available to not draw attention.”

“There was a sense that if the science agreed with the politics, then the policymakers would consider it to be ‘good science,’ and if it didn’t agree with the politics, then it was something that was flawed and needed to be done again,” Ziska added. “That was a sea change in how we viewed our role.”

Ziska told POLITICO that by politicizing climate science, the administration is jeopardizing the future of agriculture on a global scale, which could have devastating consequences for human health. As he put it:

To ignore it. To just dismiss it and say ‘oh that’s political’ … I don’t have the words to describe that. It’s surreal. It feels like something out of a bad sci-fi movie.

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), a of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, was among those who responded to news of Ziska’s resignation by calling out the Trump administration for “silencing our scientists.”

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Once again, the Trump admin is silencing our scientists. @USDA researchers study key topics like the devastating effects of climate change on agriculture—topics the Administration has repeatedly undermined at the expense of real data for farmers. This is a huge loss for USDA. https://t.co/BJSeU9xEng

— Chellie Pingree (@chelliepingree) August 5, 2019

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The POLITICO interview was not the only report that cast a spotlight Monday on the Trump administration’s impact on government-backed climate research.

In a blog post for Scientific American, Jacob Carter, a research scientist for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), wrote that “the Trump administration has suppressed, censored, and threatened to fire many of its experts for the work they do, or simply for discussing scientific information that is politically contentious. In some cases, the Trump administration’s actions are driving experts out.” He pointed to Schoonover and former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official Betsy Southerland as examples.

“Imagine the working culture for federal experts watching the Trump administration go on the offense against their own staff. What do you do to get your day-to-day work done? How do you continue to get your work funded? One option is to censor politically contentious words or phrases,” Carter continued. “Self-censorship may not make headlines, but there is a lot of evidence that it’s happening in the chilling environment the Trump administration has created for federal government experts.”

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.@UCSJacob, @UCSUSA in @sciam: “We cannot afford to retreat from the science-based policies that help our nation respond effectively to complex challenges to public health, the environment and national security.” #ScienceNotSilence https://t.co/HDr16syVMi

— Environmental Protection Network (@EnvProtectioNet) August 5, 2019

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Carter referenced his organization’s August 2018 survey of 63,000 scientific experts across 16 federal agencies which revealed, as Common Dreams reported at the time, that “as the Trump administration continues to brazenly attack national environmental regulations, it is also ‘sidelining science’ within agencies, with staffers reporting issues including ‘censorship and self-censorship, political interference in scientists’ work, low morale, decreased agency effectiveness, and dwindling resources.'”

Next week, UCS and other partners will host a panel discussion in Albany, New York about the importance of federal science and how it can be safeguarded from political manipulation:

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When federal scientists can do their work and share it free from political manipulation, we are better able to tackle our most pressing challenges. Join UCS, @RepPaulTonko @CapSciNY @CleanHealthyNY and others for a panel discussion on how we can do that: https://t.co/ClLxJKRrDh

— Union of Concerned Scientists (@UCSUSA) August 5, 2019

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EPA Exodus: Nearly 1,600 Workers Have Left Since Trump Took Office, Analysis Shows https://t.co/AmwYvpX5SY

— Enviro Voter Project (@Enviro_Voter) September 10, 2018

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

This content was originally published here.

WALSH: It’s Not Guns Or Mental Illness. The Problem Is Deeper Than That.  | Daily Wire

WALSH: It’s Not Guns Or Mental Illness. The Problem Is Deeper Than That. | Daily Wire

In reaction to the horrific mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, this weekend, many people on both sides have been engaged in the same game of slogan-shouting and cliche-spewing that always follows these kinds of things. One side says guns are the […]

Heavy metal music may have a bad reputation, but it has numerous mental health benefits for fans

Heavy metal music may have a bad reputation, but it has numerous mental health benefits for fans

Summary: Heavy metal music may have a bad reputation, but a new study reveals the music has positive mental health benefits for its fans. Source: The Conversation Due to its extreme sound and aggressive lyrics, heavy metal music is often associated with controversy. Among the […]

The Library of Congress Needs Help Transcribing 16,000 Pages of Suffragist Diaries, Letters, and Documents | Mental Floss

The Library of Congress Needs Help Transcribing 16,000 Pages of Suffragist Diaries, Letters, and Documents | Mental Floss

Don’t believe everything you read—or everything you hear. Unverified but plausible-sounding rumors have been the basis for violent death and destruction throughout history, whether or not the stories had anything to do with the truth.

In their book A Colorful History of Popular Delusions, Robert Bartholomew and Peter Hassall describe rumors as “stories of perceived importance that lack substantiating evidence.” They also note that the sociologist Tamotsu Shibutani describes rumors as “improvised news,” which tends to spread when the demand for information exceeds supply. Such an information deficit most often occurs during wars and other crises, which might explain why some rumors have had such dramatic results. Here’s a selection of some of the most interesting rumors with real-life results collected in Bartholomew and Hassall’s book.

1. King Louis XV Was Kidnapping Children.

In 1750, children began disappearing from the streets of Paris. No one seemed to know why, and worried parents began rioting in the streets. In the midst of the panic, a rumor broke out that King Louis XV had become a leper and was kidnapping children so that he could bathe in their blood (at the time, bathing in the blood of children was thought by some to be an effective leprosy cure).

The rumor did have a tiny kernel of truth: Authorities were taking children away, but not to the king’s palace. A recently enacted series of ordinances designed to clear the streets of “undesirables” had led some policemen—who were paid per arrest—to overstep their authority and take any children they found on the streets to houses of detention. Fortunately, most were eventually reunited with their parents, and rumors of the king’s gruesome bathing rituals were put to rest.

2. London Was Going To Be Destroyed By An Earthquake.

Two small earthquakes struck London at the beginning of 1761, leading to rumors that the city was due for “the big one” on April 5, 1761. Supposedly, a psychic had predicted the catastrophe. Much of the populace grew so panicked that they fled town for the day, with those who couldn’t afford fancier lodgings camping out in the fields. One soldier was so convinced of the impending doom that he ran through the streets shouting news of London’s imminent destruction; sadly, he ended up in an insane asylum a few months later.

3. Jews Were Poisoning Wells.

Reports that Jews ritually sacrificed Christian children were not uncommon during the Middle Ages, but things took a particularly terrible turn during the spread of the Black Plague. In the 14th century, thousands of Jews were killed in response to rumors that Satan was protecting them from the plague in exchange for poisoning the wells of Christians. In 1321 in Guienne, France alone, an estimated 5000 Jews were burned alive for supposedly poisoning wells. Other communities expelled the Jews, or burned entire settlements to the ground. Brandenburg, Germany, even passed a law denouncing Jews for poisoning wells—which of course they weren’t.

4. Brigands Were Terrorizing The French Countryside.

In July 1789, amid the widespread fear and instability on the eve of the French revolution, rumors spread that the anti-revolutionary nobility had planted brigands (robbers) to terrorize the peasants and steal their stores of food. Lights from furnaces, bonfires, and even the reflection of the setting sun were sometimes taken to be signs of brigands, with panic as the predictable result. Provincial towns and villages formed militias in response to the rumors, even though, as historian Georges Lefebvre put it, “the populace scared themselves.” In one typical incident, near Troyes on July 24, 1789, a group of brigands were supposedly spotted heading into some woods; an alarm was sounded and 3000 men gave chase. The “brigands” turned out to be a herd of cattle.

5. German-Americans Were Plotting Sneak Attacks on Canada.

Canada entered World War I in 1914, three years before the United States did. During the gap period, rumors circulated that German-Americans sympathetic to their country of origin were planning surprise attacks on Canada. One of the worst offenders of such rumor-mongering, according to authors Bartholomew and Hassall, was British consul-general Sir Courtenay Bennett, then stationed in New York. In the early months of 1915, Bennett made “several sensational claims about a plan in which as many as 80,000 well-armed, highly trained Germans who had been drilling in Niagara Falls and Buffalo, New York, were planning to invade Canada from northwestern New York state.” Bizarre as it may sound, there was so much anxiety and suspicion during the period that Canadian Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden requested a report on the story, which the Canadian police commissioner determined to be without any foundation whatsoever.

6. The Indonesian Government Was Hunting Heads For Construction Projects.

In certain parts of Indonesia, locals reportedly believe—or once did—that large-scale construction projects require human heads to keep the structures from crumbling. In 1937, one island was home to a spate of rumors saying that a tjoelik (government-sanctioned headhunter) was looking for a head to place near a local jetty construction project. Locals reported strange noises and sights, houses pelted with stones, and attacks from tjoelik wielding nooses or cowboy lassos. Similar rumors surfaced in 1979 in Indonesian Borneo, when government agents were supposedly seeking a head for a new bridge project, and in 1981 in Southern Borneo, when the government headhunters supposedly needed heads to stabilize malfunctioning equipment in nearby oil fields. Terrified townspeople began curtailing their activities so as not to be in public any longer than necessary, although the rumors eventually died down.

7. Powerful Aphrodisiac Gum Went On Sale In The Middle East.

In the mid-1990s, the Middle East was home to some alarming rumors about aphrodisiacal gum. In 1996 in Mansoura, Egypt, stories began spreading that students at the town’s university had purchased gum deliberately spiked with an aphrodisiac and were having orgies as a result. One local member of parliament said the gum had been distributed by the Israeli government as part of a plot to corrupt Egyptian youth. Mosque loudspeakers began warning people to avoid the gum, which was supposedly sold under the names “Aroma” or “Splay.” Authorities closed down some shops and made arrests, but never did find any tainted gum. Similar rumors cropped up the following year in the Gaza Strip, this time featuring a strawberry gum that turned women into prostitutes—supposedly, the better to convince them to become Shin Bet informants for the Israeli military.

8. Sorcerers Were Plaguing Indonesia.

In the fall of 1998, a sorcerer scare in East Java, Indonesia, resulted in the deaths of several villagers. The country was in crisis, and while protests raged in major cities, some in the rural area of Banyuwangi began agitating for restitution for past wrongs allegedly committed by sorcerers. The head of the local district ordered authorities to move the suspected sorcerers to a safe location, a process that included a check-in at the local police station. Unfortunately, villagers took the suspects’ visits to police stations as proof of their sorcery and began killing them. Anthropologists who studied the incident said the stories of supposed sorcery—making neighbors fall sick, etc.—were based entirely on rumor and gossip.

9. Obama Was Injured By A White House Explosion.

The @AP Twitter account has been suspended after it was hacked. The tweet about an attack on the White House was false.

— AP Stylebook (@APStylebook) April 23, 2013

These days, rumors have advanced technology to help them travel. On April 23, 2013, a fake tweet from a hacked Associated Press account claimed that explosions at the White House had injured Barack Obama. That lone tweet caused instability on world financial markets, and the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index lost $130 billion in a short period. Fortunately, it quickly recovered. (Eagle-eyed journalists were suspicious of the tweet from the beginning, since it didn’t follow AP style of referring to the president with his title and capitalizing the word breaking.)

A version of this story ran in 2015 and was republished in 2019.

This content was originally published here.

Stark County woman hospitalized, undergoes partial amputations after catching infection from dog saliva

Stark County woman hospitalized, undergoes partial amputations after catching infection from dog saliva

CANTON, Ohio — A local woman was hospitalized for more than 80 days and had multiple limbs partially amputated after catching a severe infection from dog saliva. The last thing Marie Trainer remembers is feeling sick and laying down on the couch.  The Stark county wife […]