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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 7,598

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

Family trees fill in the gaps for Black people seeking their ancestral roots

Growing up in Philadelphia, Amber Jackson said she knew so little of her history that she felt disconnected from who she was.

“They didn’t teach you the history of Black people in school,” she said. “They kind of gave you the illusion that Black people just showed up after everything was put together.”

Attempts to learn about her family history from older relatives were futile, she said. “I could see the hurt in their faces. They didn’t want to talk about it,” Jackson said. “So, I let it go.”

Then she saw the 2002 movie “Antwone Fisher,” about a young sailor who had been in foster care and sought to learn more about his birth family. “And that’s when I was inspired to start my search to find mine, just like he did,” Jackson said.

She said she went through the Whitepages, as actor Derrick Luke had in the movie, and located her father’s sister almost instantly and called her, which led to more relatives. The findings inspired her to learn more, and Jackson pressed on, spending hours that turned into years building out her family tree through searching archives in libraries and research centers, scanning microfilm and, as technology advanced, using online services.

This is why I love genealogy. It's like a detective story.

Two Connecticut detectives placed on leave over handling of Black women's deaths

Two Bridgeport, Connecticut, police detectives have been placed on administrative leave following public outcry over the handling of death investigations of two Black women, Lauren Smith-Fields and Brenda Lee Rawls, the city's mayor announced.

Mayor Joseph Ganim extended condolences to the families of Smith-Fields and Rawls in a news release Sunday, saying he was "extremely disappointed with the leadership of the Bridgeport Police Department and find actions taken up to this point unacceptable."

Smith-Fields, 23, was found unresponsive on Dec. 12 in her Bridgeport apartment by a man she had met on Bumble, who called police to report that he had awakened to find her unresponsive with a nosebleed.

The family has accused the police department of being "racially insensitive," saying they were not contacted by officers about her death but by the building's landlord. The family's attorney previously told NBC News the Bumble date is not a person of interest in the case. No charges have been filed.

Last week, the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled Smith-Fields' death was an accident resulting from acute intoxication due to combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine and alcohol. Following that announcement, the Bridgeport Police Department announced a criminal investigation into her death, assisted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Something is rotten in the state of Connecticut

Survivors Say Russians Slaughtered 70 in Gold Mine Massacre

Prince Ngoma was just about to depart a mining site in Central African Republic’s (CAR) eastern village of Aïgbado when heavily armed Russian mercenaries in a pickup truck drove in, opened fire, and burned down the houses in the area.

“They didn’t speak a word to anyone, only their guns did the talking,” said Ngoma, who was only there to meet a friend. “I saw people screaming and falling on the ground. It was only by luck that I survived.”

For about 20 minutes at around noon on Jan. 16, Ngoma said, the Russians opened fire repeatedly before fighters from the Union for Peace (UPC) rebel group, which the mercenaries have constantly targeted, showed up and began to fire back, wounding about four fighters and causing the Russians to retreat.

“We counted eight bodies after the Russians had left,” he told The Daily Beast. “These were civilians killed at the spot during the shooting.”

But the Russians weren’t satisfied. As hundreds of frightened villagers ran to the nearby Yanga community (located 40 miles from Aïgbado), the Russian mercenaries, this time accompanied by CAR government forces commonly referred to as FACA, chased them there and slaughtered as many people as they could.

I somehow think the US is over there doing stuff too....probably Blackwater

Yesterday was a hard day

It was the birthday of my late son, who took his life in 2015, four days after Christmas. A two time Iraq vet, he'd been increasingly troubled since his second tour in 2010-2011, suffering from PTSD and, I think, also from the lingering effects of undiagnosed TBI due to concussion bombs. Then too many other things happened to him after he came home. Adam was born in 1976. It snowed that day. I was pretty mad at the doctor by the time my son got there, for reasons I won't go into. The first thing the kid did, after letting out a healthy howl, was to pee all over the doc, and I laughed and thought, I think I'll keep him.

I was on the edge of tears all day yesterday. We tuned into 1883 between football games (I'm loving that show!) and there was an amazing scene where Elsa, the daughter, was sitting alone grieving over her lover who had been shot by bandits during a raid (she'd managed to kill a couple of them). Captain, the Sam Elliot character, who has lost his wife and daughter to smallpox, came and sat beside her, and what he said to her was exactly what I needed to hear. "When someone you love dies, they take a piece of you, but they leave a piece of you with them." He spoke about going to the ocean, because that was where his wife had wanted to go, and he would see it for her. I was in tears when the scene was over, but they were good tears. Whoever wrote that scene, thank you. And thank you to Sam Elliot for the way he spoke those words.

First Exoplanet With Earth-Like Layered Atmosphere Discovered - But You Wouldn't Want To Live There

Astronomers have analyzed one of the most extreme known exoplanets, WASP-189 b, and found it has a layered atmosphere just like Earth. But the similarities end there. WASP-189 b is a world twice the mass of Jupiter with temperatures in the thousands of degrees, so we're not upping sticks and moving there.

The reason why it’s so hot is its proximity to its star. It orbits the star in just 2.7 days, being 20 times closer to it than the Earth is to the Sun. But thanks to this alignment, researchers can study its atmosphere in detail. As reported in Nature Astronomy, the international team has established the presence of iron, chromium, vanadium, magnesium, and manganese, as well as titanium oxide in its atmosphere.

“We measured the light coming from the planet’s host star and passing through the planet’s atmosphere. The gases in its atmosphere absorb some of the starlight, similar to Ozone absorbing some of the sunlight in Earth’s atmosphere, and thereby leave their characteristic ‘fingerprint’," lead author Bibiana Prinoth from Lund University said in a statement. "With the help of HARPS [ESO's planet-hunter], we were able to identify the corresponding substances.”

The titanium oxide is a particularly exciting find as it has already been linked to an ozone-like layer and stratosphere-like layers on other exoplanets. But these observations went further, finding evidence of additional layers.


Trump Is Now Openly Describing How He'll Steal the Next Election

Former President Donald Trump spent his weekend eliminating any remaining doubt that he wanted to steal the 2020 election.

In a Sunday statement, Trump criticized Democrats and “RINO Republicans” like “Wacky Susan Collins” who are supportive of reforming the more than century-old Electoral Count Act. Collins and other centrists in the Senate are in the early stages of reform that could increase the threshold for objections to various states’ electoral votes, among other reforms, according to the Hill.

“Actually, what they are saying, is that [former Vice President Mike Pence did have the right to change the outcome, and they now want to take that right away,” Trump said. “Unfortunately, he didn’t exercise that power, he could have overturned the Election!”

Despite more than a year of pushing conspiracy theories of widespread electoral and voter fraud, there is no legitimacy to Trump’s claims, and all evidence has shown that President Joe Biden was the rightful winner of the election.

During a Saturday rally in Conroe, Texas, Trump promised pardons for supporters who rioted at the Capitol on Jan. 6, the same morning he gave a speech calling on supporters to “fight like hell” to keep him in the White House and march to the Capitol to protest the certification of the election.


What causes long Covid? Scientists are zeroing in on the answer.

Even as the number of new Covid-19 cases in the US is dropping, hundreds of thousands of Americans are still testing positive every day. More than 28 million new cases have been reported since Omicron emerged in the US just two months ago, and the variant now drives 99.9 percent of cases, as of January 22, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thanks to vaccines, boosters, and increasingly available treatments, most people who get infected today won’t end up in the hospital or die. A big question, however, looms over the survivors: What about long Covid?

Long Covid is a condition that arises after acute infection and often includes shortness of breath, fatigue, and “brain fog” but can also involve a wide range of debilitating problems in the heart, brain, lungs, gut, and other organs. According to the World Health Organization’s working definition, long Covid usually occurs three months after symptomatic Covid-19 begins and lasts for at least two months. Sometimes, the symptoms just never go away after the initial infection. Occasionally, they appear months after recovery or after an asymptomatic case. This means that if you’ve recovered from Covid-19, you’re not necessarily in the clear.

No one knows exactly how many people have or had long Covid. Estimates so far are “wildly disparate” in part because researchers define the condition differently and because the people seeking care may only be a small portion of those affected, said Nahid Bhadelia, an associate professor at Boston University School of Medicine. Studies on the conservative end have found that 10 to 20 percent of Covid-19 survivors get long Covid, while others report 50 percent.

The teenage daughter of one of my other-daughters had "long Covid" including POTS that lasted almost a year. She seems to have finally come out of it though.

The science behind the omicron wave's sharp peak and rapid decline

The omicron variant of Covid-19 was discovered less than three months ago, but it rocketed case numbers to record highs. Yet almost as rapidly as they rose, new infections plummeted in countries like the United Kingdom, South Africa, and now the United States.

Omicron caused some of the pandemic’s tallest, sharpest spikes in Covid-19 infections as it overtook previous variants like delta, but several waves triggered by earlier variants followed a remarkably similar pattern. Almost as steeply as cases rose, they fell.

Why did this happen? Why didn’t omicron cases rise and fall slowly — or level out at a high or moderate level?

“I think you may get different answers from different experts,” said Eleanor Murray, an epidemiologist at Boston University, in an email. This isn’t just a curiosity: Researchers are trying to tease out the reasons in the hope of flattening peaks in the future.

Understanding why cases are rising and falling is crucial for figuring out what kinds of public health strategies are working. It’s also important for anticipating what comes next and how to deploy resources like medical workers, hospital beds, vaccines, and treatments.

Doesn't mean it's over, means things are changing. Again.

Police discover 100 bags of fentanyl at home of deceased Connecticut 13-year-old

About 100 bags of fentanyl were found at the home of a 13-year-old Hartford boy who overdosed on the drug at school, police said.

The fentanyl found at the teenager’s home was packaged in the same manner as the bags of fentanyl found at his school after he overdosed and had the same identifying stamp, Hartford police said in a news release Tuesday following a search of the home.

“We can confidently say that the fentanyl that caused the overdose was the same fentanyl that was located in the juvenile’s bedroom,” police said. “At this time, we have found no evidence that anyone other than the deceased juvenile brought the fentanyl to school.”

Someone was using this kid. He did not do this by himself. And now he is dead.

My cats have traded personalities

I've been "down in my back" for a couple of months and pretty much unable to do a lot of my usual chores, one of which is feeding the outdoor kitties morning and night. My husband has been doing it for me, and I suppose his methods are a little different from mine. I resumed yesterday and noticed something odd. The ladies, as I refer to them, have switched personalities, or so it seems. Winnie, my little bundle of tortitetude, who has always been my buddy, has turned skittish and when I come out to feed them, cusses me and my ancestors back several generations. All she wants is the food. Vicky, on the other hand, who up until now has been the skittish one, is now the affectionate purr-baby and wants to be petted and spoken to. I don't get it. Vicky also has very acute hearing and if I talk to her from the kitchen window (which is tightly closed against the cold!) she will meow back from as far as 10 feet away.
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