Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Would an experiment testing rat-pup massages ever survive this political climate? Would it be admonished as waste by deficit hawks in Congress?

"Researchers massaging rats sounds strange, but oddball science saves lives," said Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), who is participating in the awards ceremony. "In this instance, premature babies got a healthier start. If Congress abandons research funding, we could miss the next unexpected breakthrough."

The American Academy for Arts & Science released a report this week showing that the United States "has slipped to tenth place" among economically advanced nations in overall research and development investment as a percentage of GDP. For science advocates, it was another sobering cause for alarm. Young researchers, they argue, are leaving the field or country. Projects that could yield tremendous biomedical breakthroughs aren't getting off the ground.

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The Minnesota Vikings placed Adrian Peterson on the Exempt/Commissioner's Permission list, requiring the running back to abstain from team activities during his child-abuse case, the team announced Wednesday morning. The NFL Players Association also issued a statement Wednesday morning that read: "Adrian Peterson made a decision to take a voluntary leave with pay to take care of his personal and legal issues. The NFLPA and NFL worked with Adrian and the Minnesota Vikings to resolve this unique situation. We support this decision and hope the best for him and his family." read more

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Imagine a job where about half of all the work is being done by people who are in training. That's, in fact, what happens in the world of biological and medical research. In the United States, more than 40,000 temporary employees known as postdoctoral research fellows are doing science at a bargain price. And most postdocs are being trained for jobs that don't actually exist. American science couldn't survive without this shadow labor force of some 40,000 postdocs. But only about 15 percent will get tenure-track jobs. The situation hasn't gotten better. It's worse. Support for biomedical research has declined by more than 20 percent in real dollars over the past decade. And even in good times, postdocs had a raw deal. read more

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NFL running back Adrian Peterson, already facing felony charges in Texas for child abuse, was accused in a previous incident involving another son who was four years old, KHOU-TV in Houston has reported. They are allegations the Minnesota Vikings running back's lawyer says were unfounded and more than a year old. KHOU cited text messages that reportedly include a photo of the son with an apparent head wound covered by bandages. read more

Monday, September 15, 2014

Just two or three experiences with psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, was enough to get 80% of long-term smokers to kick the habit, according to a new study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. The most effective antismoking drug on the market right now, varenicline, has a success rate of 35% at 6 months, Bloomberg reports. Don't rush off to swap your cigarettes for psychedelics quite yet -- the psilocybin treatment was paired with a cognitive behavioral therapy program, and researchers are still figuring out exactly why so many participants were finally able to quit.


Before space and time thought produced a spec of light

It was infinitely hot, so extremely bright

Within the centre of this great shining

there was massive energy and it was expanding in great timing

Within this fireball was all of space

Of every special place for information it encased

Literally a beginning this cosmic clock was ticking

And allowed space to flow while it was spinning

Everything we see around us

The sun, the moon, the stars, the millions of worlds that astound us

The universe inside is hard to fathom

It was composed in a region small as a single atom

Less than one short width the size of a point of a pen

Microscopic but on a macro level within

Unfurling this swirling cloud of light

A star city, a galaxy with all its might

Within the blinking of an eye, expanding beyond comprehension

Within the fraction of a second, a new dimension

At a marble size, very unstable

In time it will come with a periodic table

Space, was expanding faster than light speed

It moving at the rate only thought cannot see

A picosecond after the big bang

Music of the spheres

Before the ears

The universe is now sang

Small enough to fit in your hand a nanosecond later

It was the size of Mars and becoming greater

A fraction of a second later, 80 times the size of Earth

Fastest growing infant since the time of birth

Still expanding but it didn't contain matter

Just pure energy that was mixing within the batter

But mass and energy interchangeable

Convert those particles, rearrangeable

Matter and anti-matter (the arch rival)

Met, obliterated each other for survival

A warzone, a battle to the death

But as long as there is life and breath there is one remaining left

- GZA, the Genius

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