Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 5/27 - Type 2 Diabetes Cured In Rodents, Wind Energy's Rustic Days Are Over

Friday, May 27, 2016, 10:04 AM

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header "Good News Friday." We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!

Economy

Even the World's Top Life Coaches Need a Life Coach. Meet Martha Beck (jdargis)

What’s surprising is that the coach trainees aren’t people who believe they’re doing so well in life that they want to tell you how to live yours. Instead, they seem to be people who didn’t know how to live and found a way to at least ascertain what they want out of life. This skill, this ascertainment, is what they want so badly to share. They’re among the humblest people I’ve ever met. Performing my own integrity check, I must say that Beck and her army initially had me thinking I’d debunk a subculture that’s trying to, at best, feel their way through life by the squishiest means, and, at worst, feel their way through people’s wallets. But once with Beck and her acolytes, I had the undeniable sense that, for all their peculiar ways of speaking, they were gaining an understanding of the human condition—and accepting it—to an extent that few do.

No, this isn’t the start of the antibiotic apocalypse, just bad reporting (jdargis)

But this may or may not be concerning. It’s important to note that we don’t know exactly how long mcr-1 has been hanging around in bacteria or where it first came from. It may have spread around the globe in months or been lying low and spreading quietly for years. Either way, it was inevitable and expected that mcr-1-carrying bacteria would pop up in the US. (Although, in weeks of testing other bacteria from the Pennsylvania clinic where the patient was identified, no other mcr-1-carrying bacteria have been found.)

School Shootings: What We Have Learned (thc0655)

The results of Martin’s data compilation are nothing short of stunning. I don’t have the space to go through all of the angles here, so I’ll stick with the magazine capacity angle as an example of the study. Since the perception of the uninformed is that magazine capacity allows an increased rate of fire, and therefore more killing in less time, Martin took a close look at that factor in dozens of shootings. Here are the actual rates of fire based on the number of minutes the murderer had compared to the number of shots fired.

Scientists find cure for type 2 diabetes in rodents, don’t know how it works (jdargis)

The authors, led by researchers at the University of Washington, gave FGF1 a crack in animal brain experiments after other studies had seen encouraging results with FGF1’s cousins. Those related growth factors can activate some of the same brain signals as FGF1 and lowered blood sugar levels after brain injections in animals. Yet FGF1 may be a more powerful player in the brain, the authors reasoned, because it can trigger an even greater number of brain cell signals. And earlier experiments found that large systemic doses of FGF1 can lower blood sugar levels in mice.

Five Crazy Energy Ideas (Josh O.)

Body Heat: The Mall of America is located in Minneapolis, MN – a state not generally known for being warm and toasty most of the year. Yet the second largest mall in America actually has no central heating system. Instead it is heated by the body heat from shoppers, the sun’s rays coming through skylights, and heat generated by in-mall lighting fixtures. That definitely saves the landlord a pretty penny on the energy bill at the end of each month!

Wind Energy’s Rustic Years Are Over (jdargis)

In the world at large, renewables seem to be painted as a zero-sum game. If you regulate emissions, or invest in carbon-free electricity, that’s bad news for other industries, especially those that rely on fossil fuel. On Wednesday, as people attended a session on how to advocate more effectively for wind energy (message: couch it as a local matter of business development, not as a solution to global warming), shareholders at ExxonMobil voted down a series of measures aimed at forcing the company to reckon with climate change and become a bigger player in the transition to a lower-emission future.

Relax! Eat Some Sesame Seeds to Fight Oxidative Stress (jdargis)

The new study finds that sesame-based ingredients can cause reductions in oxidative stress, which is sort of a complicated concept. Basically, when your body uses oxygen, it also creates destructive forces known as free radicals. These free radicals are important; they can break apart cells to create more oxygen. But if the body produces too many, it’ll cause an imbalance. The term for these opposing forces —which fight each other to create a balance of oxygen in the blood—are called oxidative stress on one hand and antioxidants on the other.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 5/26/16

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

14 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Chinese firms' financial outlook worsens at record rate

 

The Federal Reserve's $4.3 trillion ticking time bomb

Yahoo Finance-2 hours ago

Could raising rates actually put the Fed's balance sheet in a tough spot? For more on the Fed and the consequences of its interest rate policy we speak .

Japan CPI Falls 0.3%, Raising Pressure for More BOJ Stimulus

Bloomberg-15 hours ago
China said Thursday it has room to borrow more to finance spending needed to shore ... The yield on U.S. Treasuries due in a decade was little changed at 1.83 ...

Helicopter Money Is Putting the Yen's Value at 'Great Risk': Noguchi

Bloomberg-9 hours ago

... Bill Gross, who said the likely endgame was for the BOJ to forgive sovereign debt. ... Even with debt worth about 9.7 million yen ($88,000) per person in 2014, .

G7 summit: Why 'Helicopter money' could be next move for desperate central banks

CNBC - ‎May 26, 2016‎
"Helicopter money"—named after Milton Friedman's colorful metaphor for an increase in public spending or a tax cut that is financed by a permanent increase in the money stock—is a central bank's last resort to stoke inflation, devalue the currency ...

 

Chinese firms' financial outlook worsens at record rate

Financial Times-7 hours ago
The agency more than quadrupled the number of Chinese debt issuers it ... ratings on review for a downgrade and those with a negative outlook on their rating.

China Loses World No. 2 Creditor Rank to Germany Amid Yuan Woes

Bloomberg-22 hours ago
China's net foreign assets fell to $1.6 trillion at the end of last year, while ... China remains the biggest foreign owner of U.S. Treasury securities, with $1.25 trillion ...

London First-Time Homebuyers Need Record Deposit Savings: Chart

Bloomberg-7 hours ago
Companies have been rushing to pay down U.S. dollar debt and authorities have ... by more than half a trillion dollars in 2015, their first-ever annual decline.

Companies Go on Worldwide Bond Bender With $236 Billion of Sales

Bloomberg-17 hours ago

Global issuance of non-financial company debt will be in excess of $236 billion by month-end, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, led by computer maker .

Canada Posts C$2 Billion Deficit in 2015-16 on Higher Spending

Bloomberg-15 minutes ago

The figures released Friday show revenue grew 3.8 percent to C$290 billion. Program spending rose 6.6 percent to C$266 billion. Public debt charges were ..

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
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Article on potential treatments for Type 2 Diabetes

Hi Jeanine - Just wanted to say thanks for a really interesting article!

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cmartenson
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France running out of gas

I ran across the infographic showing the proportion of petrol stations in France reporting having no diesel and/or no gasoline for sale.

So those protests are starting to bite.

Mr Hollende says he's not going to back down.

Time to grab some popcorn.  

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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Popcorn
cmartenson wrote:

So those protests are starting to bite.

Mr Hollende says he's not going to back down.

Time to grab some popcorn.  

Everyone reading this should have several cases of popcorn by now.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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Time2help's picture
Time2help
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7 Misconceptions (detail)

The 7 Great Misconceptions (a good read IMO)

#1: The Rule of Law
#2: The Political Authority of Government
#3: The Scientific Method
#4: The Greater Good (Collectivism)
#5: We Are Alone
#6: Coincidence Theory
#7: Disbelieving the Scope of the Conspiracy

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
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Tahini, anyone?

Looks like the Canadian banks are starting to see the chickens coming home to roost. Bad loans at 19% seems to be the way of the near future. Luckily, financial service charges will keep the bank clients subsidizing the major institutions:

http://business.financialpost.com/investing/market-moves/rbc-profit-beats-expectations-but-bad-loans-rise-19-as-credit-to-oil-firms-turns-sour 

Maybe Karl Marx wasn't too far off in identifying the problem. I feel oxidative stress coming on. Where's that jar of Tahini?

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01FRM2076/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1

 

Michael_Rudmin's picture
Michael_Rudmin
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T2H, to answer some of those

In her discussion about the rule of law, the author noted that the government often is criminal. My brother goes a step farther, noting that it is the job of the government to be unquestionably the most powerful gang around, to give clarity to the citizens about which law is to rule, and to eliminate needless warring by lesser gangs: that out of the governments criminality does actually come order and good, both despite and because of its criminality.

Not saying it's true, but something to consider.

---

The scientific method, AFAICT, is a method for examining the universe and determining what is and what is not.

As such, it begins with observation and categorization, proceeds on to the repeatable experiment and then to the falsifiable prediction. It concludes with the defense of the theory by adversarial means.

It avoids claim of posessing tuth, in favo of pursuing truth; and rather than being derailed by falsehood, it actually is kept on track by the presence of falsehood, because it uses the falsehood to help eliminate lesser falsehoods in the best accepted theory of the day.

---

The greater good is a term by which a person can subordinate their own short term gains to longer term, greater gains for themselves and others.

---

Disbelieving the scope of the conspiracy: I think that is something no Christian would ever do. See, in the Christian conspiracy theory, it all began when one of the Creator' beings, being envious of the gnory of the creator, imagined quite insanely that it could be more glorious yet. And that created being, in its hatred of the creator (whose existance it required, and yet whose existance disproved his own false and insane theory) decided to destroy eveything it could, and nfected others with itscruel hatred, and began a massive conspiracy...

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
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A misconception of the 7 misconceptions
Time2help wrote:

The 7 Great Misconceptions (a good read IMO)

#1: The Rule of Law
#2: The Political Authority of Government
#3: The Scientific Method
#4: The Greater Good (Collectivism)
#5: We Are Alone
#6: Coincidence Theory
#7: Disbelieving the Scope of the Conspiracy

The article does not talk about the scientific method at all.  It ascribes all sorts of corporate shenanigans and other sorts of misbehavior to the scientific method without either describing the method in detail, or making any, even miniscule effort, to tie the shenanigans and misbehavior to the method.  

As near as I can tell, you are intended to assume that the method is responsible, solely because the author says so, or perhaps because the method is used in the same sentence as the misbehavior.

I'm sure I've run across less logical arguments than this.  I just don't recall one at the moment.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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Posts: 2765
Pop Quiz

What are the likely social repercussions if:

  • Sanders is marginalized, and HRC wins the Democratic nomination and then wins the general election?
  • HRC wins the nomination and loses the general election to Trump?
  • Sanders wins the Democratic nomination and then wins the general election?
  • Sanders wins the nomination and then loses the general election to Trump?
Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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Posts: 3936
Reply to t2h

I think that Trump is the Strong Man that was forecast sometime ago on this very site. 

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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Posts: 3936
The scientific method

Notwithstanding Popper, the essence of the scientific method is open minded skepticism of Empirical evidence.

Popper's demand that science has to be falsifiable is too restrictive and would exclude many valuable disciplines such as ahem, economics. 

That Sir Roger Bacon (interesting name) said that the Real world had to be interrogated to yield up its secrets. This was in reaction to the dogmatism of the Church which disobeyed Aristotle's injunction that his observations were tentative. 

The scientific method is in a state of Revolution now as we speak. Since the advent of Quantum physics a hundred years ago It has become obvious that Sir Bacon's beloved Reality is an illusion. Scientific revolution is a slow process. And this one is a Biggie, Oh Avatar. (What do you think inspired the movies Avatar and The Matrix?) One view is that everything is digital data. That seems to fit the facts nicely.

The ship turns slowly.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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PNW FEMA drill

Head's up for those in the Pacific Northwest.

Cascadia Rising 2016 (June 7th-10th, 2016)

Event Flyer (PDF)

 

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sand_puppy
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Using "science" to sell pharmaceuticals

LesPhelps, Michael_Rudman and Time2Help discussed the article “7 Great Misconceptions” a couple of days ago.

One of the elements concerned the use of science to discover “truth."

We get a daily taste of this issue in medicine—when a study is funded by the pharmaceutical company that owns the patent on a new and very expensive drug, you can be certain that the study will conclude that the new expensive drug is MUCH better than the older cheap generic medicines (an natural alternatives won’t even be mentioned).

Alex Vasquez, DC, ND, DO, included a piece on how head-to-head pharmaceutical studies can be designed to show that a new expensive drug (NED) is superior to an standard cheap generic drug (SD) traditionally used for the condition.  The group that funds the study controls its design and has the power to shape the outcome. 

A couple of tricks:

  1. Use too low a dose of the SD so that it is ineffective
  2. Use too high a dose of the SD so that produces intolerable side effects forcing participants to drop out early.
  3. If the SD is normally started at a low dose, then titrated up to the effective dose in several steps, prohibit participants from titrating up.  Make patients stay with the low initial dose to “control variability” in dosing and “make the study scientific.”  This has the effect of ensuring that the SD will not work well.
  4. If the NED is administered several times a day, then non-compliance (forgetting doses) will be an issue.  Have study assistants call patients at home twice daily to remind them to take their pills.
  5. But, if it is the SD is used several times a day, do not have study assistants make reminder calls.
  6. If a devastating side effect of a drug typically show up after about 1 year of usage, limit the study to 9 months so you can conclude that “there was no evidence of this side effect.”
  7. Retain editorial control of the study.  Rewrite the conclusions, spin the discussion to a more favorable light, remove unflattering charts, and ultimately, if the paper cannot be cleaned up, refuse to permit it to be submitted for publication.
  8. University medical centers earn money by conducting pharmaceutical studies.  Authors who criticize a NED understand that future funding will be cut. 
  9. Study authors often have "gag clauses" imposed by the funding pharmaceutical company prohibiting those knowledgeable with results from discussing unfavorable results publically.

A famous example of this was the Synthroid vs Levothyroxine controversy.  Brand name Synthroid was marketed as "producing more stable blood levels" than generic levothyroxine and hence, worth the many fold greater price.  It later turned out that a major study at UCSF had found absolutely no difference between the two but had been silenced by a gag orders and non-publication for many years while the Synthroid sales team continued to perpetuate the myth of the superiority of the brand name product.

Scientific studies, published in peer-reviewed journals, are often regarded as "true" and objective.  But this is not necessarily so.

 

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