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Topics - MSG


interesting article although in many ways the argument isn't new; the limits of what can be achieved with enormous standing armies and overwhelming firepower have been evident as far back as the Vietnam War, and only reinforced in Afghanistan and the Gulf

The current rate of technological change may make many current U.S. military systems obsolete in the coming decades. Advances in artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, material science, and nanotechnology threaten to produce qualitative -- not just incremental -- change in the conduct of warfare in the near future. Although the U.S. has spent far more on standing military forces than other countries, for far longer, this accumulated advantage is also a vulnerability. It presents an opportunity for Washington's international adversaries and competitors to reap the advantage of their backwardness and leapfrog the U.S. with emerging technology. This is exacerbated by the Pentagon's commitment to significant investment in existing systems, the proverbial "last year's model."
 good job guys
But in war zones and deserts such as Iraq and Syria, the heat map becomes almost entirely dark - except for a few scattered pinpricks of activity.

Zooming in on those brings into focus the locations and outlines of known US military bases, as well as of other unknown and potentially sensitive sites - presumably because US soldiers and other personnel are using fitness trackers as they move around.

Air Force Colonel John Thomas, a spokesman for US Central Command, said on Sunday the US military was looking into the implications of the map.

A portion of the Strava Labs heat map from Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan, made by tracking activities.  Photo: Screenshot from
Science / Huntington's disease
Some people may remember a thread I started on the old TR ( about the awful effects afflicted on friends of ours by the genetic degenerative disease Huntington's disease. Now our dear friend who lost her 2 sons and husband to Huntington's is in tears at the news of a potential treatment that could prevent the disease's progress

An experimental drug, injected into spinal fluid, safely lowered levels of toxic proteins in the brain.

The research team, at University College London, say there is now hope the deadly disease can be stopped.

Experts say it could be the biggest breakthrough in neurodegenerative diseases for 50 years.

Huntington's is one of the most devastating diseases.

Some patients described it as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and motor neurone disease rolled into one.


Huntington's is caused by an error in a section of DNA called the huntingtin gene.

Normally this contains the instructions for making a protein, called huntingtin, which is vital for brain development.

But a genetic error corrupts the protein and turns it into a killer of brain cells.

The treatment is designed to silence the gene.
Science / Actual Drop Bears!
Paleontologists have discovered a new species of carnivorous marsupial lion that lived 26 to 18 million years ago (late Oligocene to early Miocene) in Australia's rainforests.

The newly-discovered marsupial lion, named Wakaleo schouteni, was the size of a dog and weighed around 23 kg.

The species was about a 1/5th of the weight of the largest and last surviving marsupial lion, Thylacoleo carnifex, that weighed in at 130 kg and which has been extinct for 30,000 years.

"The identification of this species has brought to light a level of marsupial lion diversity that was quite unexpected and suggest even deeper origins for the family Thylacoleonidae," said Dr. Anna Gillespie, a paleontologist at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

The fossilized remains of Wakaleo schouteni -- a near-complete skull, teeth, and humerus (upper arm bone) -- were found in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area of remote north-western Queensland.

Reconstruction of Wakaleo schouteni challenging the thylacinid Nimbacinus dicksoni over a kangaroo carcass in the late Oligocene forest at Riversleigh, Australia. Image credit: Peter Schouten.

first dog on the moon's take
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Police say multiple people were shot Wednesday morning in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia.
The shooting happened in the 400 block of E. Monroe Street. It's not clear how many people were injured, but police are calling the incident a "multiple shooting."
An apparent witness to the event, Benjamin Childers, wrote on Twitter that someone opened fire on a baseball field where congressional Republicans were practicing and he heard many shots.
"We had three members of Congress take shelter in our apartment," he said on a live stream, as sounds of emergency vehicles could be heard. "The three weren't shot." NBC was reaching out to him for comment.
Science / Long-beaked echidna in Western Australia?
Leaving aside my rather stridently expressed skepticism about mainland thylacines, this one is vastly more plausible and no less exciting

A team of internationally recognised researchers led by a Charles Sturt University (CSU) ecologist aim to solve a scientific riddle when they search for an ancient mammal in the rugged Kimberley region of Western Australia.

With the help of trained sniffer dogs, remote cameras, a small army of volunteers and old fashioned scientific detective work, CSU Professor of Ecology David Watson and his team are looking for the long-beaked echidna.

They hope to verify the stories of local Aboriginal communities.

Professor Watson said, "The Miriwoong Gadjerong and other local communities recognise two species of echidna: the common short-beaked echidna found across Australia, and 'the other one'.

"We believe this is the long-beaked echidna, the oldest known remaining mammal in the world and currently only known to be in steamy rainforests of New Guinea.

"A specimen recently turned up in a London museum of an animal collected near Mount Anderson in 1901, the first direct evidence that long-beaked echidnas persisted in Australia until very recently.
Science / Spain is Portugal
A large international research team, directed by the Portuguese archaeologist João Zilhão and including Binghamton University anthropologist Rolf Quam, has found the oldest fossil human cranium in Portugal, marking an important contribution to knowledge of human evolution during the middle Pleistocene in Europe and to the origin of the Neandertals.
The cranium represents the westernmost human fossil ever found in Europe during the middle Pleistocene epoch and one of the earliest on this continent to be associated with the Acheulean stone tool industry. In contrast to other fossils from this same time period, many of which are poorly dated or lack a clear archaeological context, the cranium discovered in the cave of Aroeira in Portugal is well-dated to 400,000 years ago and appeared in association with abundant faunal remains and stone tools, including numerous bifaces (handaxes).
"This is an interesting new fossil discovery from the Iberian Peninsula, a crucial region for understanding the origin and evolution of the Neandertals," said Quam, an associate professor of anthropology at Binghamton University, State University of New York. "The Aroeira cranium is the oldest human fossil ever found in Portugal and shares some features with other fossils from this same time period in Spain, France and Italy. The Aroeria cranium increases the anatomical diversity in the human fossil record from this time period, suggesting different populations showed somewhat different combinations of features."

MARCH 5, 2017 --In 2007, researchers from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing were finishing up an archaeological dig in Lingjing, China, when a team member spotted some quartz tools poking out of the mud. After extending the dig, the tools were extracted, revealing an even more significant discovery: a small, ancient skull fragment approximately 100,000 to 130,000 years old.

Over the next few years, the researchers returned to the site multiple times, finding more cranium pieces until they were able to reconstruct two partial skulls from more than 40 separate fragments.

But when the team analyzed the skull fragments, they realized that the skulls neither fit the bill for Homo sapiens nor Neanderthals but that they shared characteristics of both human species. Ultimately, the researchers were unable to positively determine exactly what kind of human the skulls belong to, opening the door to a wide range of intriguing possibilities.

In an article published Friday in the journal Science, the researchers note that the skull fragments date to the Late Pleistocene epoch, a time marked by the expansion of H. sapiens and the extinction of other species in the genus Homo. During the early part of that epoch, Neanderthals roamed Europe and western Asia while humans began to journey out of Africa. But fossil records of human species in Eastern Asia from that time period are thin, muddying the picture of that era for a substantial region of the planet.

The skulls found in China were found to bear very close resemblances to those of Neanderthals, including a very similar inner ear bone and a prominent brow ridge. But the brow ridge was much less pronounced than one would expect from Neanderthals, with a considerably less dense cranium, as one might expect in an early H. sapiens. Researchers also found that the skulls were large by both modern and Neanderthal standards, with a whopping 1800 cubic centimeters of brain capacity.
Technical Issues and Questions / Embedding Tweets?
Is there any chance of having a widget or whatever installed that can allow a Twitter url to be pasted in that will appear as afull tweet on the screen, the way we can with a YouTube? I've seen it done in newspaper online reports so wonder if the work's been done on Elkarte.
interested to hear fro bili, vox etc. on the significance of this

In 2012, a librarian from the University of Colorado presented research in a field so new he had to name it himself: predatory publishing.

Jeffrey Beall discovered thousands of online science journals that were either willing to publish fake research for cash, or just so inept that they couldn't tell the good from the bad and published it all.

Beall, who became an assistant professor, drew up a list of the known and suspected bad apples, known simply as Beall's List. Since 2012, this list has been world's main source of information on journals that publish conspiracy theories and incompetent research, making them appear real.

But on Sunday, his website went blank. Only the headline, Scholarly Open Access, remains.

Beall is a regular on Twitter, but he hasn't posted anything there in days. He isn't answering email (including a message from the Citizen) or telling anyone what happened. Beall's List had just been updated for 2017.

A Texas firm called Cabell's, which also works with academic publishers, hinted that Beall was threatened somehow.

Its Twitter account said on Tuesday: "@CabellsPublish stands behind close personal friend @Jeffrey_Beall who was forced to shut down blog due to threats & politics #academicmafia." Cabell's hinted on Twitter that it may take over a Beall-like service in the spring, but gave no details. Calls to its office went unanswered and the voicemail was full.

Not terror-related - the suspect "had a history of family violence, and had come to police attention for mental health and drug related issues". He had stabbed his brother overnight and had evaded a police pursuit earlier in the day.

3 dead including a young child. another infant child was critically injured. a total of 15 in hospital including 3 other children. police expect the death toll to rise.

this photo is of a pram that was hit by the car

Politics and Current Events / Ping Noah

If the dam ruptured, it would likely cause a catastrophe of Biblical proportions, loosing a wave as high as a hundred feet that would roll down the Tigris, swallowing everything in its path for more than a hundred miles. Large parts of Mosul would be submerged in less than three hours. Along the riverbanks, towns and cities containing the heart of Iraq's population would be flooded; in four days, a wave as high as sixteen feet would crash into Baghdad, a city of six million people. "If there is a breach in the dam, there will be no warning," Alwash said. "It's a nuclear bomb with an unpredictable fuse."

Mafia / New Game Announcements
First Dog On The Moon's Christmas Mafia: Game Day 1 has commenced on MindRomp
... now that Dave Hawkins seems determined to not only post, but start threads...