Friday, May 24, 2013

Morning Twitter Messages -- May 24

I don't know if this is a regular feature of Business Insider but it should be. Very timely information here. BI is a rising star in the world of journalism. 
Good holiday weekend reading and discussion list. Pay attention to #18 for next time you read or discuss the history of modern Israel. 
World War II is tricky, from a moral standpoint. We like to believe that in 1940s, Americans were these armed crusaders fighting for the rights of all, but the Depression also led to a rise of anti-Semitism in the U.S., just like in Europe. Disney cartoons from the era are fraught with anti-Semitic caricatures, and right-wing leaders accused FDR of allowing his administration to be run by Jews. Henry Ford even printed the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a notorious anti-Semitic screed detailing a Jewish plan for world domination, in his corporate newsletter. Polls in 1938 showed that around 60% of Americans at the time deemed Jews “greedy and dishonest,” and by 1945 (aka the end of the war), Americans believed Jews had “too much power” in the United States.
This will absolutely blow your mind. 
"Our basic conclusion is that the bees can clearly detect this target, and we are very satisfied," said Kezic, who leads a part of a larger multimillion-euro program, called "Tiramisu," sponsored by the EU to detect land mines on the continent. 
Several feeding points were set up on the ground around the tent, but only a few have TNT particles in them. The method of training the bees by authenticating the scent of explosives with the food they eat appears to work: bees gather mainly at the pots containing a sugar solution mixed with TNT, and not the ones that have a different smell. 
Kezic said the feeding points containing the TNT traces offer "a sugar solution as a reward, so they can find the food in the middle." 
"It is not a problem for a bee to learn the smell of an explosive, which it can then search," Kezic said. "You can train a bee, but training their colony of thousands becomes a problem."
Lindsay Beyerstein  just posted this link to another article describing how roach populations "learn."
Some populations of German cockroaches (the ones that apartment dwellers see scurrying around in the kitchen at night) avoid poison bait that is laced with glucose, which is supposed to attract them. 
This behavior, discovered by Dr. Silverman, “first appeared in the early ’90s,” said Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist at the National Pest Management Association, shortly after exterminators — who now prefer to be called pest management professionals — started using poison baits instead of spraying as the main method of battling roaches. To get around the problem, the industry developed new baits, but the change in roach behavior was a puzzle.
RT by Vali Nasr. If he sez it's worth hearing that means it's worth hearing. 
Cautious optimism here.  I posted part of the backstory yesterday.
►This next link is also important...

Stuff you might not find out otherwise. This is RT by Radley Balko (whom I follow via Twitter) citing an article by Lindsay Beyerstein, one of my FB friends. This is good information but somehow I missed it, even in my FB timeline. I'm beginning to understand why ignorance outweighs insight in the avalanche of information in which we now live.
Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier than regular yogurt because more whey is strained or spun off in production. Unfortunately, unlike the sweet weigh that is a byproduct of cheese making, acid whey can't easily be dried to make bodybuilding supplements. Some scientists are working on methods to filter the lactose out of acid whey, to be used as a food additive, but these solutions aren't ready for prime time yet. In the meantime, the New York dairy industry alone is stuck with 150 million gallons a year of corrosive yogurt byproduct that nobody really knows what to do with.


Get ready for this morning's oh-shit moment...

Too many snips would be a spoiler. You gotta go to the link for this one.

Photos included. As you read this imagine how devout Muslims regard this lifestyle. Any wonder that the Muslim Brotherhood has a base of popular support?

The American equivalent is a conservative coalition horrified and threatened by developments that shock their sensibilities. They respond with movements fighting homosexuality, public schools, immigrants, science, macro-economics, welfare safety nets, firearms controls, and anything deemed "politically correct."

Read this one pretending you are a traditionally devout, conservative religious Egyptian deciding how best to react to the Arab Spring.


"Shocker"?  I don't think so. 

This one is a shocker, however... 

In opposition-controlled Aleppo, once the economic heart of Syria, few businesses have survived the war, which has reduced entire neighborhoods to rubble amid fighting, scud missile attacks, airstrikes, and artillery bombardment.

Most of the factories here that survived are unable to resume operations because they lack enough electricity to run the machines, the supplies to make their goods are no longer available or too expensive, or the owners don’t want to risk reinvesting when everything could be destroyed again without warning.

And yet in the middle of all this destruction, at least one factory survives. On the lower level of a multi-story building, young men and some children work diligently at embroidering baby blankets with images of Mickey Mouse and Hello Kitty. The survival of an off-brand embroidery factory manufacturing knockoff images of famous cartoon characters is both a testament to the randomness of war and a small ray of hope that Aleppo’s economy, now as ruined as the city itself, might be able to rebuild.


Above all else, the factory has been kept afloat because the majority of its clients are Iraqi. They have continued to buy, and the route between the two countries has stayed open.

“It would be hard if I had only Syrian clients. I do have some in Homs and Damascus, but it’s hard to communicate and they buy about 50 percent less than they did before the revolution started,” says Abdu.

A handful of other factories and workshops have managed to reopen throughout Aleppo, but businesses like Abdu’s remain a rare exception. Stories like Abu Aysa’s are much more common.

[More at the link.]

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