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Daily Digest 6/16 - IQ Scores Are Falling, Antarctic Ice Melt Has Tripled in Five Years

Saturday, June 16, 2018, 11:33 AM

Economy

A new AI can focus on one voice in a crowd (Sparky1)

This AI, to be presented in August at the 2018 SIGGRAPH meeting in Vancouver, could be used to caption videos more accurately than current transcription systems. And a future, faster version of the program that can filter background noise from live video feeds could help people hear each other more clearly during teleconferences, says Shmuel Peleg, a computer scientist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Missouri chaos continues: Mizzou lays off 30 in wake of $49 million shortfall (Thomas R.)

The near-200 position cuts this year, The Missourian reports, “come on the heels of numerous other strategies aimed at reducing MU’s operating budget.” Among those strategies: “Last summer, MU eliminated around 300 positions and raised tuition. The cuts announced Wednesday included the non-renewal of about 10 non-tenure track faculty positions, the elimination or consolidation of 12 ‘underperforming’ graduate programs and a 1 percent increase for in-state undergraduate tuition rates.”

Currencies – Truth and Confidence (GE Christenson)

Devaluation of currencies is necessary in our debt based fiat currency financial system. When leaders are caught lying the populace is more inclined to see corporate and banking control over government policies. This leads to loss of confidence in the nation and its institutions, and accelerates the decline of the currency.

US farmers 'nervous,' as China threat of 25 percent tariffs on soybeans could cause pain (Uncletommy)

The lion's share of the U.S. agribusiness trade to China involves soybeans, which are grown in many farm states where Trump received strong support during the 2016 presidential election. Top soybean growing states include Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and the Dakotas.

"Deep Freeze!" --Early Earth Froze Over in a Geological 'Blink of an Eye' (Thomas R.)

Now, reports today's Science, analysis of a newly discovered rock sequence in Ethiopia supports a Snowball Earth event some 717 million years ago and suggests it took place in mere thousands of years—the geologic equivalent of a cold snap. The new work, grounded in Earth’s rock record, means the Snowball Earth hypothesis is “hanging in there, big time,” says Carol Dehler, a geologist at Utah State University in Logan, who was not involved in the research.

Miami and Fort Lauderdale have highest rate of new HIV diagnoses in country (Thomas R.)

Broward Health Community Health Services will be co-hosting its second annual “Get H.I.P., Get Tested Concert” to screen and educate minority communities about HIV/AIDS. African American, Caribbean and Latino men and their families will have access to confidential HIV testing and counseling.

IQ scores are falling and have been for decades, new study finds (Thomas R.)

The earlier rise in IQ scores follows the “Flynn effect,” a term for the long-term increase in intelligence levels that occurred during the 21st century, arguably the result of better access to education, according to Stuart Ritchie, a postdoctoral fellow in cognitive ageing at the University of Edinburgh whose research explores IQ scores and intelligence and who was not involved in the new study.

Berkeley Scholar Admits "Climate Change Has Run Its Course" (Thomas R.)

This outcome was predictable. Political scientist Anthony Downs described the downward trajectory of many political movements in an article for the Public Interest, “Up and Down With Ecology: The ‘Issue-Attention Cycle,’ ” published in 1972, long before the climate-change campaign began. Observing the movements that had arisen to address issues like crime, poverty and even the U.S.-Soviet space race, Mr. Downs discerned a five-stage cycle through which political issues pass regularly.

Michigan now has nation's toughest rules for lead in drinking water (Thomas R.)

The rules also will prohibit the partial replacement of lead service pipes except for emergency repairs; require preliminary and final inventories of the lines and other components of a water supply by 2020 and 2025; and ensure samples are taken at the highest-risk sites and with methods designed to more accurately detect lead.

As many as 42 percent of Baltimore police officers on patrol last month were working overtime (thc0655)

The department regularly turns to overtime to fully staff patrol shifts, sometimes compelling officers to work overtime through a process known as “drafting.” The department relied on forced overtime every day in May. On three days, commanders drafted 60 or more officers for overtime work.

The Next Plague Is Coming. Is America Ready? (Sparky1)

Emery Mikolo, a 55-year-old Congolese man with a wide, angular face, walks with me. Mikolo survived his own encounter with Ebola in 1995. As he looks at the resting place of those who didn’t, his solemn demeanor cracks a bit. In the Congo, when people die, their bodies are meant to be cleaned by their families. They should be dressed, caressed, kissed, and embraced. These intense rituals of love and community were corrupted by Ebola, which harnessed them to spread through entire families. Eventually, of necessity, they were eliminated entirely. Until Ebola, “no one had ever taken bodies and thrown them together like sacks of manioc,” Mikolo tells me.

Idaho Child Diagnosed With the Plague, Officials Confirm (Thomas R.)

Human symptoms of plague usually appear within two to six days of contact and include fever, chills, headaches and often a swelling of lymph nodes under the armpit, the Central District Health Department said.

We aren't ready for a solar storm smackdown (Thomas R.)

That's partly why both NASA and the European Space Agency have launched a handful of spacecraft to observe the sun's solar storms: expulsions of electrically charged particles called coronal mass ejections. Imagine an arc of material somewhat like a splash of water thrown from a bucket — only a CME can weigh a billion tons, easily dwarfs the Earth in size, and hurtles at speeds that can exceed a million miles an hour.

“We Didn’t Have This Green Thing” (thc0655)

“Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things. Most memorable besides household garbage bags was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags. But, too bad we didn’t do the “green thing” back then.

Iran Warns North Korea About The United States (Michael S.)

Iran’s comments over the summit between Trump and Kim come as the commencement of renewed U.S. sanctions against the Islamic Republic nears, which could remove as much as 500,000 barrels of Iranian oil per day, perhaps more, from world markets. Moreover, there is a ticking clock involved that Tehran has to worry about.

The Gravity From Small Objects, Not Planet Nine, Explains Weird Orbits (Thomas R.)

In 2016, astronomers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown announced that a distant undiscovered planet could have created the unusual signatures of some TNO orbits in the Kuiper Belt and sent Sedna and other detached objects out to even more distant realms. Batygin and Brown calculated that this world, dubbed Planet Nine, may be 10 times more massive than Earth and orbit the sun about 20 times farther away than Neptune does.

Antarctic Ice Melt Has Tripled in Five Years (Thomas R.)

"This study is more evidence that the warming effects of climate change are impacting our planet in ways that are often more dangerous than we perhaps had thought," Dow said. "There are many more vulnerable ice shelves in the Antarctic that, if they break up, will accelerate the processes of sea level rise."

Gold & Silver

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