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A Bird That Predates All Aves -Halszkaraptor Escuilliei

December 6, 2017

Oddball dinosaur was ‘mixture between a Velociraptor and a goose’

By Will Dunham
 
a bird standing in front of a body of water: Artist's reconstruction image of a dinosaur named Halszkaraptor escuilliei
© REUTERS Artist’s reconstruction image of a dinosaur named Halszkaraptor escuillieiA strange turkey-sized, bird-like dinosaur that boasted a swan’s neck, arms resembling flippers, long legs and a mouth full of needle-like teeth staked out a unique amphibious lifestyle in rivers and lakes about 75 million years ago in Mongolia.

Scientists on Wednesday described the dinosaur, named Halszkaraptor escuilliei, which walked on two legs on land in an upright ostrich-like posture but spent a lot of time floating atop the water, using its long neck to catch small fish, insects, mollusks and crustaceans.

“It combines different features from different groups of dinosaurs in an unexpected and bizarre mix,” said study lead author Andrea Cau, a paleontologist at the Capellini Geological Museum in Bologna. “It looks like a mixture between a Velociraptor and a goose.”

Its semi-aquatic lifestyle is almost unheard of among dinosaurs.

The researchers believe Halszkaraptor, a close cousin of the dinosaur lineage that led to birds, was covered in feathers. But feathers are rarely preserved in fossils and none were found.

Compared to birds, its forelimbs were relatively small, and structurally were “decidedly not wing-like,” said University of Alberta paleontologist Philip Currie, another of the researchers.

“In water, it probably was a slow-moving swimmer, perhaps similar to a swan, and used its forelimbs to maneuver while swimming,” Cau said.

The scientists used a sophisticated scanning device called a synchrotron to peer inside solid rock to make out anatomical details of the well-preserved, nearly complete fossil skeleton.

“Halszkaraptor was able to run like all dinosaurs, and probably hunted its prey using an ambush strategy that used the long neck to quickly catch small animals. It was also able to swim and hunt in water, using again an ambush strategy thanks to its long and flexible neck,” Cau said.

Its snout was low and slender, contributing to its bird-like appearance.

“I would guess that it had a lifestyle similar to a shorebird or heron,” Currie said.

It is noteworthy not just for its weirdness but for the circuitous route it took before being examined by scientists.

The fossil was poached from a fossil site in southern Mongolia and sold to private collectors before being spotted by French fossil dealer François Escuillié, who verified its authenticity, acquired it and provided it to researchers. The fossil will enter the collection of a Mongolian scientific institution.

Its name honors Escuillié and late Polish dinosaur expert Halszka Osmolska.

The research was published in the journal Nature.

(Reporting by Will DunhamEditing by Sandra Maler)

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Despised Never More

December 5, 2017

Despised Never More

Despised  regarded as dirt  left out left alone  ignored  crying day upon day  night after night to sleep tugging covers up around you like a safe secure private secret in silence making as little noise  muffled breaths keeping still remaining transfixed having no witness   kin make believe playmates companions all made up imagined gatherings of friends never being compared rebuked held back  kept out refraining from being a part longing for a place a promontory a room with a chair to sit a place that never judges never leaves  never hurts without conceit embraces you with deep regard you belong inside

 

Catholic Worker House How We Miss You

December 4, 2017

 

Catholic Worker House Movement and its strengths:
How We Miss Thee
​  intimate setting like a home as is Father Ed Judy House now  Marisol, of Catholic Charities
non restrictive to anyone seeking shelter
unbinding time limit as long as one follows covenant:
        no violence
        no drugs of any nature
        work on transforming one’s life to self-sufficiency through labor, education or program
Out in the AM at 9  
Community Meal at 5:  Rotating chore schedule you have to prepare one meal weekly and do a chore
GUEST HOUSE  –  shared living arrangements  living room  
equity among all members of the community​
AS in Ft. Lyon:  community involvement in setting standards and support AFTER CARE
Alumni Group  special activities, reinforce strategies for living in community and citizenship
One has one’s own room  shared in Ft. Lyon with another but peer mentoring is pivotal
Common Areas are treated with respect by all residents and help to maintain premises inside and in the community
SUPPORT FINANCIALLY Through community based funding  –  Communidades de Bases, as in a living community that raises money, supports the principles and outcomes shared by the residents
LOTS of social activities that are offered for people to participate like a community garden, a celebration, opportunities for social development and outreach.
Economically, Catholic Worker Houses sustain themselves without being 501(C)3,s or having local, state or federal funding.
It is like Ma Frontera in South Tucson, a community based mental and behavioral health program that is sustained by the community at large.  LOCAL MEANS LESS PROTOCOL and BARRIERS TO working with undocumented, or people with credit and person history issues.
Therefore there is no waiting list if there is a spot and it is open when you ask you are accepted and have only to place your name on the chore and meal chart lists.
Integrated in the orientation of Catholic Workers is compassion, simplicity and forgiveness.  The model that was created by Dorothy Day and which Anna Koop lived with for over thirty-five years is a covenant community that raises hopes and builds self-esteem through trauma care.
That is everything I remember about my life in the house and it changed my life as it has transformed many friends and families of the Catholic Worker Movement.

Fentanyl – Opioid Analgesic as Morphine yet 50 to 100’Xs more Potent

December 4, 2017

FENTANYL FACT SHEET

 

What is fentanyl, what is it used for and what other names does it go by?

  • Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent.
  • It is typically used to treat patients with severe pain or to manage pain after surgery and sometimes used to treat patients with chronic pain who are physically intolerant to other opioids.
  • Carfentanil, used as a tranquilizer in veterinary medicine, is an even more potent chemical analog of fentanyl.
  • Fentanyl is known by trade names as Actiq®, Duragesic® and Sublimaze®.
  • Street names for fentanyl, carfentanil, or for fentanyl-laced heroin include Apache, China Girl, China White, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfella, Jackpot, Murder 8, TNT, and Tango and Cash.
  • Non-pharmaceutical fentanyl is sold in the following forms: as a powder; spiked on blotter paper; mixed with or substituted for heroin; or as tablets that are similar in appearance to other, less potent opioids.

 

What are the effects of fentanyl?

Fentanyl’s effects resemble those of heroin and include euphoria, drowsiness, nausea, confusion, constipation, sedation, tolerance, addiction, respiratory depression and arrest, unconsciousness, coma, and death.

 

Why is fentanyl dangerous?

  • Even a small dose of the potent opioid fentanyl can cause breathing to stop completely, which can lead to death.
  • Persons may be exposed to fentanyl accidentally simply through contact with skin or by inhalation of fine powder.
  • The high potency of fentanyl greatly increases risk of overdose, especially if a person who uses drugs is unaware that a powder or pill contains fentanyl.
  • Fentanyl sold on the street can be mixed with heroin or cocaine, which markedly amplifies its potency and potential dangers.

LINK: National Institute on Drug Abuse

 

Naloxone

  • The medication naloxone reverses opioid overdose and restores normal respiration. Overdoses of fentanyl should be treated immediately with naloxone and may require higher doses to successfully reverse the overdose.
  • If administered quickly and at a sufficient dose, naloxone and other opioid antagonists are effective against all opioids regardless of their potency.

 

Protective measures

Use of proper personal protective equipment and standard safe work practices to prevent inhalation of powders and to minimize direct skin contact with residues should be instituted as soon as the potential presence of such materials is suspected.

As the principal hazard for exposure to synthetic opioids and their analogues is respiratory, some form of respiratory protection is recommended whenever there is moderate risk or higher. “Moderate” is defined as small volume; known or suspected product visible.  

LINK: The InterAgency Board for Equipment Standardization and Interoperability

 

Containment (provided by DDPHE and DFD)

If fentanyl is suspected or discovered in an area, take the following steps:

  1. Cordon off the area and do not handle the substance.
  2. Call 911 to initiate a hazmat response from DFD and DPD. When making this call, please provide a clear description of the hazard, including:
  • Is anyone exhibiting signs of sedation, lethargy, delirium or experiencing symptoms of an overdose?
  • Has anyone come into contact with the substance?
  • In what form is the substance (powder, pill, liquid in syringe or vial)?
  • How much of the substance is present?

This information will help first responders scale their response to the call.

 

Hummingbirds – Zumbadors Je T’aime TE Amo Mi Zumbador

December 4, 2017

It Took Almost 180 Years to Figure Out the Incredible Way Hummingbirds Drink

11 / 24

Ed Yong
a hummingbird flying in the sky© Mike Blake / ReutersWhen Margaret Rubega first read about how hummingbirds drink, she thought to herself: That can’t possibly be right.Hummingbirds drink nectar using tongues that are so long that, when retracted, they coil up inside the birds’ heads, around their skulls and eyes. At its tip, the tongue divides in two and its outer edges curve inward, creating two tubes running side by side.

The tubes don’t close up, so the birds can’t suck on them as if they were straws. Instead, scientists believed that the tubes are narrow enough to passively draw liquid into themselves. That process is called capillary action. It’s why water soaks into a paper towel, why tears emerge from your eyes, and ink runs into the nibs of fountain pens.

A hummingbird hovers over a feeder in a Pembroke, MA back yard on May 11, 2017. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)© Catalyst Images A hummingbird hovers over a feeder in a Pembroke, MA back yard on May 11, 2017. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)This explanation, first proposed in 1833, was treated as fact for more than a century. But it made no sense to Rubega when she heard about it as a graduate student in the 1980s. Capillary action is a slow process, she realized, but a drinking hummingbird can flick its tongue into a flower up to 18 times a second. Capillary action also is aided by gravity, so birds should find it easier to drink from downward-pointing flowers—and they don’t. And capillaryaction is even slower for thicker liquids, so hummingbirds should avoid super-sweet nectar that’s too syrupy—and they don’t.

I was in this very odd position,” says Rubega. “I was only a graduate student and all these really well-known people had done all this math. How could they be wrong?”

Even while she turned her attention to other birds, the hummingbird dilemma continued to gnaw at her. And decades later, as a professor at the University of Connecticut, she hired a student named Alejandro Rico-Guevara who would help her solve the mystery.

Born in Colombia, Rico-Guevara remembers spotting a hermit hummingbird on a fateful field trip in the Amazon. In the jungle, most animals are heard rather than seen, but the hermit flew right up and hovered in front of his face. “It was just there for a split-second but it was clear that it had a completely different personality than other birds in the forest.” He fell in love, and started studying the birds. And when he read the capillary action papers, he felt the same pang of disbelief that Rubega did. “We decided to go after it,” says Rubega. “Is it capillary action? And if not, what’s going on? We just wanted to know.”

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird male (Chrysolampis mosquitus). (Photo by: Juan Jose Arango/VW PICS/UIG via Getty Images)© Catalyst Images Ruby-topaz Hummingbird male (Chrysolampis mosquitus). (Photo by: Juan Jose Arango/VW PICS/UIG via Getty Images)Rico-Guevara hand-crafted artificial flowers with flat glass sides, so he could film the birds’ flickering tongues with high-speed cameras. It took months to build the fake blooms, to perfect the lighting, and to train the birds to visit these strange objects. But eventually, he got what he wanted: perfectly focused footage of a hummingbird tongue, dipping into nectar. At 1,200 frames per second, “you can’t see what’s happening until you check frame by frame,” he says. But at that moment, “I knew that on my movie card was the answer. It was this amazing feeling. I had something that could potentially change what we knew, between my fingers.”

Here’s what they saw when they checked the footage.

A hummingbird flies in La Tigra National Park, northwest of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on June 5, 2017. (Xinhua/Rafael Ochoa via Getty Images)© Catalyst Images A hummingbird flies in La Tigra National Park, northwest of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on June 5, 2017. (Xinhua/Rafael Ochoa via Getty Images)As the bird sticks its tongue out, it uses its beak to compress the two tubes at the tip, squeezing them flat. They momentarily stay compressed because the residual nectar inside them glues them in place. But when the tongue hits nectar, the liquid around it overwhelms whatever’s already inside. The tubes spring back to their original shape and nectar rushes into them.

The two tubes also separate from each other, giving the tongue a forked, snake-like appearance. And they unfurl, exposing a row of flaps along their long edges.  It’s as if the entire tongue blooms opens, like the very flowers from which it drinks.

When the bird retracts its tongue, all of these changes reverse. The tubes roll back up as their flaps curl inward, trapping nectar in the process. And because the flaps at the very tip are shorter than those further back, they curl into a shape that’s similar to an ice-cream cone; this seals the nectar in. The tongue is what Rubega calls a nectar trap. It opens up as it immerses, and closes on its way out, physically grabbing a mouthful in the process.

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird male (Chrysolampis mosquitus). (Photo by: Juan Jose Arango/VW PICS/UIG via Getty Images)© Catalyst Images Ruby-topaz Hummingbird male (Chrysolampis mosquitus). (Photo by: Juan Jose Arango/VW PICS/UIG via Getty Images)“This has been going on literally under our noses for the entire history of our association with hummingbirds and there it was,” says Rubega. “We were the first to see it.”

This same technique is also how the hummingbird swallows. Every time it extends its tongue, it presses down with its beak, squeezing the trapped nectar out. And since there’s limited space inside the beak, and the tongue is moving forward, there’s nowhere for that liberated nectar to go but backward. In this way, the tongue acts like a piston pump. As it pulls in, it brings nectar into the beak. As it shoots out, it pushes that same nectar toward the throat. The tongue even has flaps at its base, which fold out of the way as it moves forward but expand as it moves backwards, sweeping the nectar even further back.

A hummingbird visits a purple coneflower in Santa Fe, New Mexico. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)© Catalyst Images A hummingbird visits a purple coneflower in Santa Fe, New Mexico. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)The thing that really astonishes Rico-Guevara about all of this is that it is passive. The bird isn’t forcing its tongue open—that happens automatically when the tip enters liquid, because of the changing surface tension around it. Rico-Guevera proved that by sticking the tongue of a dead hummingbird into nectar—sure enough, it bloomed on its own. Likewise, the tongue closes automatically. It releases nectar automatically. It pushes that nectar backwardautomatically. The bird flicks its tongue in and out, and all else follows.

In hindsight, the surprising reality of the hummingbird tongue should have been entirely unsurprising. Almost everything about these animals is counterintuitive. Hummingbirds are the bane of easy answers. They’re where intuition goes to die.

Consider their origins. Today, hummingbirds are only found in the Americas, but fossils suggest that they originated in Eurasia, splitting off from their closest relatives—the scythe-winged swifts—around 42 million years ago. These ancestral hummingbirds likely flew over the land bridge that connected Russia and North America at the time. They fared well in the north, but they only thrived when they got to South America. In just 22 million years, those southern pioneers had diversified into hundreds of species, at least 338 of which are still alive today. And around 40 percent of those live in the Andes.

A male Black-chinned Hummingbird and a honey bee prepare to feed on a century plant blooming in Santa Fe, New Mexico. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)© Catalyst Images A male Black-chinned Hummingbird and a honey bee prepare to feed on a century plant blooming in Santa Fe, New Mexico. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)As evolutionary biologist Jim McGuire once told me, “the Andes are kind of the worst place to be a hummingbird.” Tall mountains mean thin air, which makes it harder to hover, and to get enough oxygen to fuel a gas-guzzling metabolism. And yet, the birds flourished. Their success shows no sign of stopping, either. By comparing the rates at which new species have emerged and old species go extinct, McGuire estimated that the number of hummingbird species will probably double in the next few million years.  

As they evolved, they developed one of the most unusual flying styles of any bird—one that’s closer to insects. The wings of medium-sized species beat around 80 times a second, but probably not in the way you think. When I ask people to mimic a hummingbird’s wingbeats, they typically stick their hands out to the side and flap them up and down as fast as they can. That’s not how it works. Try this, instead. Press your elbows into your sides. Keep your forearms parallel to the ground and swing them in and out. Now, rotate your wrists in figures-of-eight as you do it. Congratulations, you look ridiculous, but you’re also doing a decent impression of hummingbird flight.

A female Black-chinned Hummingbird sits on her nest along a nature trail in the Santa Fe Canyon Preserve in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The nature preserve and riparian ecosystem is owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy. Black-chinned Hummingbirds spend most of the winter in Mexico and migrate each spring to their breeding and nesting grounds in western U.S. states. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)© Catalyst Images A female Black-chinned Hummingbird sits on her nest along a nature trail in the Santa Fe Canyon Preserve in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The nature preserve and riparian ecosys…That unusual wingbeat allows them to hover, but it also allows for more acrobatic maneuvers. Hummingbirds use that aerial agility to supplement their nectar diet with insects, which they snatch from the air. While many birds can do that, they typically have short beaks and wide gapes. Hummingbirds, by contrast, have long flower-probing bills and narrow gapes. “It’s like flying around with a pair of chopsticks on your face, trying to catch a moving rice grain,” says Rubega.

But once again, she has shown that there’s more to these birds than meets the eye. Another of her students, Gregor Yanega, found that as the birds open their mouths, they can actively bend the lower half of their beaks, giving it a pronounced kink and getting it out of the way. Then, the hummingbirds essentially ram insects with their open mouths.

High-speed cameras again revealed their trick. “The moment Gregor first saw a bird fly into frame and open its beak, he stopped, and said: Hey can you look at this?” says Rubega. She walked in and he played the footage. She asked him to play it again, and he did. Just one more time, she said. He played it again.

“That is wild, and you should know that nobody has ever seen that before you,” she told him.

1929 Damage Done – Whoever Allows Tyranny Destroys Civilization – 2017

December 4, 2017

I’m a Depression historian. The GOP tax bill is straight out of 1929.

Republicans are again sprinting toward an economic cliff.

 November 30

Historian Robert S. McElvaine teaches at Millsaps College. He is the author of “The Great Depression: America, 1929-1941” and currently at work on a novel.

People gather on the subtreasury building steps across from the New York Stock Exchange in New York on “Black Thursday” on Oct. 24, 1929. The Great Depression followed thereafter. (AP)

“There are two ideas of government,” William Jennings Bryan declared in his 1896 “Cross of Gold” speech. “There are those who believe that if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests upon them.”

That was more than three decades before the collapse of the economy in 1929. The crash followed a decade of Republican control of the federal government during which trickle-down policies, including massive tax cuts for the rich, produced the greatest concentration of income in the accounts of the richest 0.01 percent at any time between World War I and 2007 (when trickle-down economics, tax cuts for the hyper-rich, and deregulation again resulted in another economic collapse).

Yet the plain fact that the trickle-down approach has never worked leaves Republicans unfazed. The GOP has been singing from the Market-is-God hymnal for well over a century, telling us that deregulation, tax cuts for the rich, and the concentration of ever more wealth in the bloated accounts of the richest people will result in prosperity for the rest of us. The party is now trying to pass a scam that throws a few crumbs to the middle class (temporarily — millions of middle-class Americans will soon see a tax hike if the bill is enacted) while heaping benefits on the super-rich, multiplying the national debt and endangering the American economy.

 

Lying to the FBI is bad, but Michael Flynn was accused of worse. Post editorial writer Quinta Jurecic on what she thinks is behind his Russia probe guilty plea. 

 

As a historian of the Great Depression, I can say: I’ve seen this show before.

In 1926, Calvin Coolidge’s treasury secretary, Andrew Mellon, one of the world’s richest men, pushed through a massive tax cut that would substantially contribute to the causes of the Great Depression. Republican Sen. George Norris of Nebraska said that Mellon himself would reap from the tax bill “a larger personal reduction [in taxes] than the aggregate of practically all the taxpayers in the state of Nebraska.” The same is true now of Donald Trump, the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson and other fabulously rich people.

During the 1920s, Republicans almost literally worshiped business. “The business of America,” Coolidge proclaimed, “is business.” Coolidge also remarked that, “The man who builds a factory builds a temple,” and “the man who works there worships there.” That faith in the Market as God has been the Republican religion ever since. A few months after he became president in 1981, Ronald Reagan praised Coolidge for cutting “taxes four times” and said “we had probably the greatest growth in prosperity that we’ve ever known.” Reagan said nothing about what happened to “Coolidge Prosperity” a few months after he left office.

In 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt called for “bold, persistent experimentation” and said: “It is common sense to take a method and try it; if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” The contrasting position of Republicans then and now is: Take the method and try it. If it fails, deny its failure and try it again. And again. And again.

When Bill Clinton proposed a modest increase in the top marginal tax rate in his 1993 budget, every Republican voted against it. Trickle-down economists proclaimed that it would lead to economic disaster. But the tax increase on the wealthy was followed by one of the greatest periods of prosperity in American history and resulted in a budget surplus. When the Republicans came back into power in 2001, the administration of George W. Bush pushed the opposite policies, which had invariably produced calamity in the past. Predictably, that happened again in 2008.

Just how disastrous would the proposed reincarnation of the failed Republican trickle-down policies of the past be for the American people and the future of the nation? A few ways:

  • Repealing the estate tax, or, as Republicans have dubbed it, the “death tax.” But the estate tax is not a tax on the dead; it is a tax on their heirs. Repeal would reverse an important aspect of the American Revolution and establish an American hereditary aristocracy. If your estate is not above $11 million, your benefits from this portion of the GOP’s tax cut will be a nice round number: zero.
  • Eliminating deductions for state and local taxes. The GOP has called these deductions favoritism for people who live in high-tax states. In fact, ending deductibility of state and local taxes would tax income that has already been taxed away from a taxpayer. It is, quite simply, double taxation.
  • Repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax, which assures that wealthy people who hire accountants to find all the obscure ways to avoid taxes cannot escape taxation altogether. Repealing it would save Trump millions.
  • Extending the “pass-through” provision to noncorporate businesses, including some 500 entities Trump owns. It would allow the owners of these businesses to pay taxes at 25 percent, instead of 39.9 percent. This provision would allow Wall Street fund managers, among other very wealthy people, to pay a lower tax rate than many middle-class Americans pay.
  • Ending the deductibility of large medical expenses.
  • Taxing waived tuition for college students, ending deductibility for student loan payments, and even disallowing teachers from deducting what they spend on school supplies for their students.
  • Ending the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which would cause 13 million Americans to lose health insurance and result in much higher premiums for those who do get insurance through the exchanges. The Congressional Budget Office has indicated that, if enacted, the Republican tax bill may force deep cuts in Medicare through a generally unknown budget rule that its deficits would trigger.
Fact Check: Would the GOP tax plan cost Trump money?
 

In short, no. The president would benefit mightily from either version of the GOP tax bill.

 

The analysis of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that people making less than $100,000 a year (approximately 80 percent of American households) will have their taxes increased while the millionaires and billionaires will make off like bandits.

In the 1920s, Republicans were in full control of the federal government and used that power to pursue their objective to “make the well-to-do prosperous.” It didn’t “leak through on those below.” In that decade, the mass-production American economy became dependent on mass consumption. For it to work, the masses need a sufficient share of the national income to be able to consume what is being produced.

Republican policies in the ’20s instead pushed to concentrate more of the income at the top. Nine decades later, Republicans are rushing to do it again — and they are sprinting toward an economic cliff. Another round of Government of the People, by the Republicans, for the super-rich will be catastrophic. The American people must call a halt before it’s too late.

 
 
 

Protected: Borrowed Measure of Salt/Sugar Blended in a Tea Cup

December 1, 2017

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