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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 6,733

About Me

Navy brat-->University fac brat. All over-->Wisconsin-->TN-->VA. RN (ret), married, grandmother of 11. Progressive since birth. My mouth may be foul but my heart is wide open.

Journal Archives

Update: Police: 47 calls in 5 years to site of ATF raid

Records show that Henrico Police received almost 47 calls to service to 7200 Durwood Crescent over the past five years. The home has been the epicenter of a neighborhood evacuation since Wednesday afternoon.

According to police records, 47 calls to service were made to the Durwood residence from Jan. 1, 2017, through March 18, 2022. Calls made to the residence mean people reported activity that involved the address and police responded.

Out of those 47 calls, 20 police reports were made.

Police records break down the 47 calls into 14 categories including rape/sexual offense, missing person, domestic and loud party/noise.

The category making up over 1/4 of the calls is missing person. Records show that police received 14 calls relating to a missing person/people who had ties to the address. Henrico Police have yet confirmed how many individuals were involved in the calls.


Cancer has a smell. Someday your phone may detect it.

In our homes and in our pockets, there are electronics that can hear, see, and sense our touch. Your smartphone probably does all three. What’s missing: technology that can smell. But this may be changing, as detailed on the latest episode of Unexplainable, Vox’s weekly podcast exploring unanswered questions in science.

The technology to make smartphones that smell is nearing reality, says Andreas Mershin, a research scientist and inventor at MIT. “I think we’re maybe five years away, maybe a little bit less,” he says, “to get it from where it is now to fully inside of a phone. And I’m talking [about deploying it] into a hundred million phones.”

The idea isn’t necessarily to have Siri tell you when you need a shower (though, that could be helpful for some people). There’s a bigger public-health mission: Replicate the incredible disease detection capabilities of dogs in a more portable, accessible form to help flag insidious illnesses early on.

Dogs can smell cancer, Parkinson’s, malaria, and other conditions that cause changes in human body odor. There’s even published research on dogs’ ability to smell Covid-19.

Scientists could train more and more dogs to aid in disease detection, and deploy them around the world. But this kind of training is expensive, difficult, and time-consuming. Plus, not everyone likes dogs, and not everyone would appreciate being sniffed by a dog before a basketball game or during a doctor’s appointment.

I would describe it as kind of a "dead mouse" smell, but most humans don't detect it until too late. Dogs and even cats can before we do.

Pixar's Turning Red is an unlikely culture war battleground

What makes a controversy? In the case of Turning Red, Pixar’s delightful new film about a Toronto teenager who discovers she can turn into a (huge) red panda, it seems no one can make up their minds. But the quest to pick an objection, any objection, to this quirky little movie might have conscripted Turning Red into larger ongoing conversations about parents, kids, and — deep sigh — the culture war.

The vast majority of the film’s audience seems to adore its main character, a 13-year-old Chinese Canadian girl named Mei, with her proud fannish hobbies and her loyal geek squad friends. And they’ve been loudly celebrating Turning Red’s unique elements: Its early-2000s Toronto setting, its celebration of teenage girlhood, and especially its thoughtful depiction of a child grappling with complicated issues of family, community, and repressed history.

But the buzz around the movie in the days since its March 11 release has been tinged with drama, and might well give you the impression that Turning Red is Pixar’s most controversial film since — maybe ever. While that’s probably not true, the dust-ups around Turning Red keep gaining attention and going viral — maybe less because lots of people are mad than because the things a few people are mad about are just ... kind of weird.

The controversies, such as they are, range from claims that this film isn’t relatable to insistent discomfort with the depiction of a young woman in puberty, a child having autonomy, and the very reality of — yes, sometimes cringeworthy — 13-year-old girls.

In many ways, Turning Red will be a deeply familiar story to many members of its audience. Its Toronto setting is full of local color and details to delight the natives. Mei is a boy-crazy fangirl who’s confident, passionate, and loves school. Those descriptors could easily fit millions of teen girls and adult women, but it’s rare, outside of Bob’s Burgers’ Tina Belcher, to see this kind of femininity lovingly, playfully depicted on screen. Mei’s favorite band, 4*Town, is a hilarious amalgamation of every early 2000s boy band, sporting all the nasally vocals, heavy synth, and drum pads you could want from a nostalgic trip down the backstreet. The film also sports cheeky period references, from Tamagotchi to Sailor Moon. Even more familiar to many more viewers might well be the film’s loving but strict parents, as well as the rich Chinese cultural signifiers on display, which have drawn praise from viewers:


Tick linked to dangerous virus in people now found in at least 6 states

Ticks carrying a mysterious and rare virus that can sicken or even kill older adults or people with underlying conditions have been found in at least six states, a new study reported Wednesday.

Test samples revealed that lone star ticks in Georgia had picked up the Heartland virus, Emory University researchers reported in Emerging Infectious Diseases, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publication.

“We want to bring awareness rather than panic,” said Gonzalo M. Vazquez-Prokopec, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of environmental sciences at Emory. “People tend to go out more in the spring and they might get exposed to ticks, which are increasing rapidly, particularly in the South, this time of year.”

Not much is yet known about the Heartland virus, which when transmitted to a person by a tick bite can cause fever, fatigue, decreased appetite, headache, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle or joint pain. It's unclear if other ticks can also spread the virus or if people can be infected in other ways, the CDC said.

As of January 2021, just 50 cases of the disease caused by the virus have been reported, according to the CDC. In severe cases, patients have ended up in the hospital and while most have fully recovered with supportive care, a few older individuals with medical conditions have died, the CDC reported.


'He's clearly angry': Experts who study Putin are alarmed by his emotional, ranting speech

Anyone looking for signs that embattled and isolated Russia might soften its position would not have found much hope in the increasingly belligerent words of President Vladimir Putin.

With his invasion of Ukraine floundering and his economy teetering, Putin doubled down Wednesday — turning his baleful glare on Russians who are against the invasion or who sympathize with the West.

"The Russian people will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors, and will simply spit them out like an insect in their mouth onto the pavement," he said, shoulders hunched and staring down the barrel of the camera.

It was the latest speech that has surprised and alarmed many who study Putin. He has adopted what they say is an emotional, ranting tone since he invaded Ukraine three weeks ago, a departure from the calculating persona of this former KGB officer.

"He's clearly angry, emotional and feels the need to speak in this very aggressive tone," said John Lough, an associate fellow at London’s Chatham House think tank.

Lough thinks the speech was clearly aimed at Russia's elites, some of whom he believes are privately dismayed about the failure of the war and the economic backlash it has inflicted at home.

He sounds like someone else we know

Dentist found guilty of damaging patients' teeth to boost profits

A Wisconsin dentist was found guilty of healthcare fraud and other charges after he intentionally damaged his patients’ teeth to boost profits, raking in millions from his scheme.

Scott Charmoli, 61, was convicted of five counts of healthcare fraud and two counts of making false claims about his clients’ treatment last Thursday, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

With his sentencing scheduled for June, Charmoli faces up to 10 years for each healthcare fraud charge and a maximum of five years for each of the two other charges.

Prosecutors say that Charmoli had routinely drilled or broken his clients’ teeth on purpose, charging them for additional treatment services to fix the damage he had just done. As a result, Charmoli’s profits ballooned, with the dentist going from making $1.4m and installing 434 crowns in 2014 to $2.5m in 2015, installing over 1,000 crowns.


Doulas Push Back Against California's Proposal to Pay Them Shockingly Low Rates

This was supposed to be the year that low-income Californians could hire a doula to guide them through pregnancy and advocate for them in the hospital.

But the new benefit for people enrolled in Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid health insurance program, has been delayed twice as the state and doulas — nonmedical workers who help parents before, during, and after birth — haggle over how much they should get paid.

The state initially proposed a flat rate of $450 per birth, covering all prenatal and postnatal visits, on-call time during the pregnancy, and labor and delivery — which often lasts 12 or more hours.

Doulas say that amount is too low, and far less than their clients would pay out-of-pocket. It’s also below what doulas receive from Medicaid programs in most other states that offer the benefit.

The only state that pays less is Oregon, where doulas receive up to $350 per birth. The reimbursement rates of other states that offer doula services through Medicaid are usually between $770 and $900. When Rhode Island implements its benefit in July, it will be the highest-paying state, offering doulas up to $1,500.

In most states that offer a doula benefit, the rate Medicaid programs pay is a maximum, which doulas receive if the patient attends every prenatal and postnatal visit. Unlike obstetricians, who see many patients in a day, most doulas accept only a few clients a month.

Once again, devaluing women and women's work

US Olympic figure skater, father targeted in Chinese spy case

U.S. Olympic figure skater Alysa Liu and her father Arthur Liu – a former political refugee – were among those targeted in a spying operation that the Justice Department alleges was ordered by the Chinese government, the elder Liu said late Wednesday.

Arthur Liu told The Associated Press he had been contacted by the FBI last October, and warned about the scheme just as his 16-year-old daughter was preparing for the Winter Olympics that took place in Beijing in February. The father said he did not tell his daughter about the issue so as not to scare her or distract her from the competition.

“We believed Alysa had a very good chance of making the Olympic Team and truly were very scared,” Arthur Liu said.

The Justice Department earlier Wednesday announced charges against five men accused of acting on behalf of the Chinese government for a series of brazen and wide-ranging schemes to stalk and harass Chinese dissidents in the United States.

Arthur Liu said he and his daughter were included in the criminal complaint as “Dissident 3” and “family member,” respectively.

Nathan Chen? Vincent Zhou? Eileen Gu? Makes me wonder about them and their families too.

Growing up Maasai and the art of healing the Earth

For some Indigenous Maasai tribes in Kenya, birdwatching is not so much a leisure activity as it is a survival tactic. The sight of an oxpecker, a gray and white bird with vivid yellow eyes, often indicates that dangerous water buffalos roam nearby. Meanwhile, the brown flash of a honeyguide bird might be the ticket to a calorie-dense meal — these birds can literally guide humans to honey.

The honeyguides and oxpeckers of the world illustrate a key tenet of Indigenous knowledge, according to Kimaren ole Riamit, a member of the Maasai community in Kenya. “Nature takes care of us when we take care of it,” said ole Riamit, who has on several occasions followed honeyguides to beehives.

Lessons like this are essential as the world faces a crisis of wildlife extinction and climate change. Yet Indigenous knowledge and those who wield it are often an afterthought in major efforts to protect nature, from the Paris Agreement to a big UN treaty on biodiversity loss.

Ole Riamit, the executive director of a nonprofit called Indigenous Livelihoods Enhancement Partners, is among the Indigenous leaders pushing to elevate voices like his in these initiatives. He sees himself as a bridge between the Maasai world — an Indigenous world, rooted in nature — and the Western approach to conservation, which has a history of subjugating tribes in Kenya, the US, and elsewhere.

He told Vox about growing up in a Maasai community and how the lessons he learned can make wildlife conservation stronger and more equitable. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Wonderful, thoughtful interview. Please read the whole thing before commenting!

War in Ukraine: Fourth Russian general killed - Zelensky

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky says another Russian general has been killed during fighting.

He didn't name the officer, but an adviser to Ukraine's interior ministry said Maj Gen Oleg Mityaev had been killed by the far-right Azov regiment.

Gen Mityaev was killed near Mariupol, Ukrainian media said.

He is the fourth general reportedly killed, leading some to ask why such senior members of the Russian military are so close to the front line.

Analysts believe that around 20 generals are leading Russian operations in Ukraine, meaning that if all the reported deaths are confirmed, one fifth of Russia's generals have been killed in action.

With such high losses, some experts believe that the generals have not simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time, but that Ukraine is likely to be targeting top-level Russian officers.

"I don't think this is an accident. One is an accident, but this many is targeted", Rita Konaev of Georgetown University told the BBC.

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