Cockroaches and Trump


According to a poll taken in 2013, Congress was less popular than Donald Trump and cockroaches.

Given the contempt we feel for the establishment in Washington, and the fact that Hillary Clinton represents it, we shouldn’t be asking why she’s having so much trouble. We should be shocked she’s gotten this far.

Thank goodness cockroaches can’t run for president – yet…

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Bacteria vs. Human : Nature News

Scientists Bust Myth that Our Bodies Have More Bacteria than Human Cells

screen shot 2015-03-30 at 5.26.49 pm

A ‘reference man’ (one who is 70 kilograms, 20–30 years old and 1.7 metres tall) contains on average about 30 trillion human cells and 39 trillion bacteria, say Ron Milo and Ron Sender at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and Shai Fuchs at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada.

Those numbers are approximate — another person might have half as many or twice as many bacteria, for example — but far from the 10:1 ratio commonly assumed.

“The numbers are similar enough that each defecation event may flip the ratio to favour human cells over bacteria,” they delicately conclude in a manuscript posted to the preprint server bioRxiv1.

The 10:1 myth persisted from a 1972 estimate by microbiologist Thomas Luckey, which was “elegantly performed, yet was probably never meant to be widely quoted decades later”, say the paper’s authors. In 2014, molecular biologist Judah Rosner at the US National Institutes of Health at Bethesda, expressed his doubts about the 10:1 claim, noting that there were very few good estimates for the numbers of human and microbial cells in the body.

Posted in Politics/Foreign correspondents, you learn something new every day | Leave a comment

Artificial intelligence in the cloud promises to be the next great disrupter –

For example, voice-responsive AI systems now handle fairly simple customer requests, like dealing with minor banking queries or ordering a pizza. The next probable step is to develop voice AI services so they can integrate information from different sources, such as digital diaries, online maps and corporate websites, and co-ordinate meeting friends and car rides with visits to restaurants and cinemas for users.
Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google, speaking as his company reported its latest earnings in April, expressed great hopes for AI. Machine learning, whereby computers teach themselves, and artificial intelligence are technologies his business has invested in for years. Mr Pichai said they have now reached a point where they will start to have a far greater effect on the company and its cloud customers.
“I think we will evolve in computing from a mobile-first to an AI-first world.”
If you accept this view, moving data storage and computing to the cloud will be only the first step in a far bigger transition. Once liberated from the confines of internal IT structures, companies will find other benefits, such as tapping into more varied feeds of data and accessing intelligent services.
With such capabilities, the thinking goes, companies will be able to infuse their own services with this intelligence thanks to the “AI in the cloud”.

via Artificial intelligence in the cloud promises to be the next great disrupter –

Posted in Politics/Foreign correspondents | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia Owns a Relatively Small Portion of US debt

China's US debt is considerably more at $1.3 trillion, while Japan holds $1.1 trillion. David Ottoway, a Middle East Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre, said it was surprising how little Saudi Arabia owned.

“The politics has always been secretive, so have their finances,” said David Ottaway, a Middle East Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, a research institute in Washington. “It does answer the question of how much they own, which is surprisingly not that much.”

The figure puts the world's largest oil-exporting nation among the top 14 holders of US debt in the world. 

via Saudi Arabia owns $117bn of US debt, Treasury papers reveal | Business News | News | The Independent

Posted in Politics/Foreign correspondents | Leave a comment

In related news: Assad also wages war against the people who oppose him

assad…which is most of the world’s population (not including Vogue)

Syria’s regime has used sarin nerve gas for the first time since 2013, dropping bombs laden with the chemical agent on Isil fighters outside Damascus, according to a senior Israeli official.

This use of sarin would show that Bashar al-Assad has retained the ability to gas his enemies despite an agreement that supposedly disarmed Syria of its chemical arsenal.

That deal was reached after the regime used sarin and VX gas to kill as many as 1,400 people in rebel-held areas of Damascus on August 21, 2013. President Barack Obama had declared the use of chemical weapons to be a “red line” that would trigger US air strikes. Once Assad agreed to disarm, however, Mr Obama abandoned his plan for military action.

Since then, Assad’s forces are believed to have used relatively unsophisticated chlorine gas on several dozen occasions. But the regime refrained from employing sarin – a far more lethal substance – until the latest incident…

Posted in Politics/Foreign correspondents | Leave a comment

The Saudi war against the world continues


Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, (once the powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence) said to head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, “The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally ‘God help the Shia’. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them.”

As we’ve seen since 9/11, the Saudis aren’t just at war with the Shia, they’re at war with everyone who doesn’t share Wahhabi values.

The Saudi war against the world continues:

At least 69 people have been killed in four bombing attacks on Shia areas of Baghdad as a wave of almost daily massacres by Isis continues.

An explosion in a market in the Iraqi capital’s al-Shaab district left 34 people dead and 75 injured, while a car bomb in the al-Rasheed area killed eight and wounded another 22 victims, according to police and medical sources.

In al-Shaab, a roadside bomb exploded outside concrete blast walls surrounding the open air market, before a female suicide bomber blew herself up in a crowd of people who gathered to help the initial victims.

Posted in Politics/Foreign correspondents | Leave a comment

‘The jihadi training camp right in the heart of London’ | London | News | London Evening Standard

All around I witnessed people being radicalised. Instantly you could see the change. They would start to wear their trousers rolled below the knee, something Prophet Muhammad did, they would grow facial hair, they would call each other “Akhi” and they became hyper-aggressive towards anybody not into radical Islam.

Three quarters of those being radicalised had been involved in gangs  and were in for violent crime or drugs. They understood that the biggest gang inside Belmarsh was the Brothers and that they needed them for their protection. But it also gave them a sense of identity.

People would boast that as soon as they got out, they were going out to Syria. They were young and impressionable. There were so many would-be jihadists in there I felt like an intruder at a jihadi training camp. There were also plenty of moderate Muslim inmates like myself who suffered because we couldn’t speak out. I couldn’t believe how the flaws in the system effectively support the extremists.

via Belmarsh prison: 'The jihadi training camp right in the heart of London' | London | News | London Evening Standard

Posted in Politics/Foreign correspondents | Leave a comment