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  • I think that PM uses almost any topic with the intent to shock other people and that he holds pretty much no beliefs of his own. I am pretty sure that PM is the walking embodiment of schadenfreude and lacks anything resembling the conceptualization of a soul. He is not worth even trying to shock, because he is incapable of so human an emotion. But thats just my opinion.

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Topics - teeming brown mass

New big paper:

Preceramic human skeletal remains preserved in submerged caves near Tulum in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, reveal conflicting results regarding 14C dating. Here we use U-series techniques for dating a stalagmite overgrowing the pelvis of a human skeleton discovered in the submerged Chan Hol cave. The oldest closed system U/Th age comes from around 21 mm above the pelvis defining the terminus ante quem for the pelvis to 11311±370 y BP. However, the skeleton might be considerable older, probably as old as 13 ky BP as indicated by the speleothem stable isotope data. The Chan Hol individual confirms a late Pleistocene settling of Mesoamerica and represents one of the oldest human osteological remains in America.

Cool pictures too.
For really real:

But in Mexico, the world's biggest producer, what used to be a dietary staple is now too expensive for many ordinary consumers. And, now the country where the avocado is believe to have originated is considering the unthinkable: importing avocados from abroad.

This is what happens when "avocado toast lololol" becomes a trend, I guess.
Science / early tetrapods got weird
some dummies wrote a paper:

Phylogenetic analysis of early tetrapod evolution has resulted in a consensus across diverse data sets1, 2, 3 in which the tetrapod stem group is a relatively homogenous collection of medium- to large-sized animals showing a progressive loss of 'fish' characters as they become increasingly terrestrial4, 5, whereas the crown group demonstrates marked morphological diversity and disparity6. The oldest fossil attributed to the tetrapod crown group is the highly specialized aïstopod Lethiscus stocki7, 8, which shows a small size, extreme axial elongation, loss of limbs, spool-shaped vertebral centra, and a skull with reduced centres of ossification, in common with an otherwise disparate group of small animals known as lepospondyls. Here we use micro-computed tomography of the only known specimen of Lethiscus to provide new information that strongly challenges this consensus. Digital dissection reveals extremely primitive cranial morphology, including a spiracular notch, a large remnant of the notochord within the braincase, an open ventral cranial fissure, an anteriorly restricted parasphenoid element, and Meckelian ossifications. The braincase is elongate and lies atop a dorsally projecting septum of the parasphenoid bone, similar to stem tetrapods such as embolomeres. This morphology is consistent in a second aïstopod, Coloraderpeton, although the details differ. Phylogenetic analysis, including critical new braincase data, places aïstopods deep on the tetrapod stem, whereas another major lepospondyl lineage is displaced into the amniotes. These results show that stem group tetrapods were much more diverse in their body plans than previously thought. Our study requires a change in commonly used calibration dates for molecular analyses, and emphasizes the importance of character sampling for early tetrapod evolutionary relationships.
Big ransomware thing hit globally today. Really fucked the British health care system:

I can't see how there's a legitimate reason for this:

Seems like the goal is to make travel increasingly unpleasant.

The balance between detrimental, pro-aging, often stochastic processes and counteracting homeostatic mechanisms largely determines the progression of aging. There is substantial evidence suggesting that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is part of the latter system because it modulates the physiological processes underlying aging1, 2. The activity of the ECS declines during aging, as CB1 receptor expression and coupling to G proteins are reduced in the brain tissues of older animals3, 4, 5 and the levels of the major endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are lower6. However, a direct link between endocannabinoid tone and aging symptoms has not been demonstrated. Here we show that a low dose of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reversed the age-related decline in cognitive performance of mice aged 12 and 18 months. This behavioral effect was accompanied by enhanced expression of synaptic marker proteins and increased hippocampal spine density. THC treatment restored hippocampal gene transcription patterns such that the expression profiles of THC-treated mice aged 12 months closely resembled those of THC-free animals aged 2 months. The transcriptional effects of THC were critically dependent on glutamatergic CB1 receptors and histone acetylation, as their inhibition blocked the beneficial effects of THC. Thus, restoration of CB1 signaling in old individuals could be an effective strategy to treat age-related cognitive impairments.
Politics and Current Events / thanks obama
Turns out the US has not been in compliance with mutual visa-less entry for five EU countries, so guess what, now we need visas to travel to Europe.

This is the sort of situation which could be handled with careful diplomacy, but we're living under a Trump presidency, so guess that's not gonna happen.

Fuck just fuck.
Seems that Trump will be welcoming one of his Mexican business partners to the US.
Politics and Current Events / JCC bomb threats
I tried to think of something catchy to say but I'm all irony-ed out. This is week two or three of this. Some of these JCCs are places that friends and family of mine use. Not sure if this is just some asshole prankster or if this is meant to make people ignore bomb threats so that no one will notice a bomb until it's too late.
Politics and Current Events / warning signs in Canada
Trudeau is under investigation for ethics breaches:

This could get worrisome if it leads to a power vacuum.

This is because of the so-called "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which since 1995 has granted Cubans who touch American soil a privilege not afforded other immigrants who come without a visa: the right to stay and get on a fast-track to citizenship.

This special treatment ended this week when, in the final days of his administration, President Barack Obama announced an abrupt end to the policy, a capstone to his two-year-old effort to reestablish relations with Cuba. Effective immediately, Cubans arriving on U.S. soil without a visa will be treated just like any other immigrant. They will be turned away.

This does not mean Cubans will stop coming.

"What it means," said Florida International University political scientist Eduardo Gamarra, "is that for the first time, we're going to have undocumented Cubans. And how the Cuban community responds to that is going to be very interesting."
Arts and Entertainment / Handmaid's Tale
I know the book is a modern classic and all, but is this better or worse than the other Nazis-take-over -america TV show, wassitcalled...the news?
Politics and Current Events / Electorgate
Ok someone explain this newest lawsuit claiming over 50 Trump electors were illegally seated
Russian military transport headed towards Syria just went down over the Black Sea. No reports yet of terrorism, but let's be real.

It's illegal for U.S. immigration authorities to hold Americans in detention.

However, an NPR analysis of data obtained through a Freedom of Information Act Request shows that hundreds of American citizens each year find themselves in a situation similar to Palma's. Those data show that from 2007 through July of last year, 693 U.S. citizens 1 were held in local jails on federal detainers -- in other words, at the request of immigration officials. And 818 more Americans 2 were held in immigration detention centers during that same time frame, according to data obtained through a separate FOIA request by Northwestern University professor Jacqueline Stevens and analyzed by NPR.

To be sure, the numbers represent a tiny percentage of all the cases reviewed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but advocates say holding even a single U.S. citizen should not be tolerated.

Science / that protostome-deuterostome thing
New cool developmental evidence suggesting it's more complex than you'd think:

The mouth opening of bilaterian animals develops either separate from (deuterostomy) or connected to (protostomy) the embryonic blastopore, the site of endomesoderm internalization. Although this distinction preluded the classification of bilaterian animals in Deuterostomia and Protostomia, and has influenced major scenarios of bilaterian evolution, the developmental basis for the appearance of these different embryonic patterns remains unclear. To identify the underlying mechanisms, we compared the development of two brachiopod species that show deuterostomy (Novocrania anomala) and protostomy (Terebratalia transversa), respectively. We show that the differential activity of Wnt signalling, together with the timing and location of mesoderm formation, correlate with the differential behaviour and fate of the blastopore. We further assess these principles in the spiral-cleaving group Annelida, and propose that the developmental relationships of mouth and blastoporal openings are secondary by-products of variations in axial and mesoderm development. This challenges the previous evolutionary emphasis on extant blastoporal behaviours to explain the origin and diversification of bilaterian animals.

Neat stuff.
Well, chimp's but...

For social species such as primates, the recognition of conspecifics is crucial for their survival. As demonstrated by the 'face inversion effect', humans are experts in recognizing faces and unlike objects, recognize their identity by processing it configurally. The human face, with its distinct features such as eye-whites, eyebrows, red lips and cheeks signals emotions, intentions, health and sexual attraction and, as we will show here, shares important features with the primate behind. Chimpanzee females show a swelling and reddening of the anogenital region around the time of ovulation. This provides an important socio-sexual signal for group members, who can identify individuals by their behinds. We hypothesized that chimpanzees process behinds configurally in a way humans process faces. In four different delayed matching-to-sample tasks with upright and inverted body parts, we show that humans demonstrate a face, but not a behind inversion effect and that chimpanzees show a behind, but no clear face inversion effect. The findings suggest an evolutionary shift in socio-sexual signalling function from behinds to faces, two hairless, symmetrical and attractive body parts, which might have attuned the human brain to process faces, and the human face to become more behind-like.
Arts and Entertainment / Westworld
because TWD has jumped the shark
This is the coolest thing since sliced bread

The fin-to-limb transition represents one of the major vertebrate morphological innovations associated with the transition from aquatic to terrestrial life and is an attractive model for gaining insights into the mechanisms of morphological diversity between species1. One of the characteristic features of limbs is the presence of digits at their extremities. Although most tetrapods have limbs with five digits (pentadactyl limbs), palaeontological data indicate that digits emerged in lobed fins of early tetrapods, which were polydactylous2. How the transition to pentadactyl limbs occurred remains unclear. Here we show that the mutually exclusive expression of the mouse genes Hoxa11 and Hoxa13, which were previously proposed to be involved in the origin of the tetrapod limb1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, is required for the pentadactyl state. We further demonstrate that the exclusion of Hoxa11 from the Hoxa13 domain relies on an enhancer that drives antisense transcription at the Hoxa11 locus after activation by HOXA13 and HOXD13. Finally, we show that the enhancer that drives antisense transcription of the mouse Hoxa11 gene is absent in zebrafish, which, together with the largely overlapping expression of hoxa11 and hoxa13 genes reported in fish3, 4, 5, 6, 7, suggests that this enhancer emerged in the course of the fin-to-limb transition. On the basis of the polydactyly that we observed after expression of Hoxa11 in distal limbs, we propose that the evolution of Hoxa11 regulation contributed to the transition from polydactyl limbs in stem-group tetrapods to pentadactyl limbs in extant tetrapods.

Like no, this is literally the coolest thing ever.
Politics and Current Events / Colombexit
Colombia votes no on peace deal with FARC:

Apparently the big sticking points were the lack of liability for FARC leaders, direct payments from the government to FARC, and giving FARC seats in the legislature.
they're both a bunch of methheads:

Some drugs, however, had their uses, particularly in a society hell bent on keeping up with the energetic Hitler ("Germany awake!" the Nazis ordered, and the nation had no choice but to snap to attention). A substance that could "integrate shirkers, malingerers, defeatists and whiners" into the labour market might even be sanctioned. At a company called Temmler in Berlin, Dr Fritz Hauschild, its head chemist, inspired by the successful use of the American amphetamine Benzedrine at the 1936 Olympic Games, began trying to develop his own wonder drug - and a year later, he patented the first German methyl-amphetamine. Pervitin, as it was known, quickly became a sensation, used as a confidence booster and performance enhancer by everyone from secretaries to actors to train drivers (initially, it could be bought without prescription). It even made its way into confectionery. "Hildebrand chocolates are always a delight," went the slogan. Women were recommended to eat two or three, after which they would be able to get through their housework in no time at all - with the added bonus that they would also lose weight, given the deleterious effect Pervitin had on the appetite. Ohler describes it as National Socialism in pill form.

wow just wow
For all the current terrorism/islamophobia violence.


A village mayor in Corsica has banned full-body swimsuits known as "burkinis" after a beach brawl between families of North African descent and local youths.

The ban was imposed at a special council session on Sunday in Sisco amid tensions over the brawl, in which five people were hurt.

Authorities in Cannes and Villeneuve-Loubet, on the French Riviera, also banned Islamic burkinis this month.

Witnesses say hatchets and harpoons were used in the Sisco beach brawl.

The five injured on Saturday were later discharged from hospital, but tensions are simmering in the area.

Tension has grown this summer between local communities and Muslims of North African origin in the south of France, especially following the massacre of 85 people by a lorry driver on the seafront at Nice on 14 July.