October 20, 2014
Paralyzed Man Can Now Walk Thanks to the Cells in His Nose

From the article:

A knife attack put Darek Fidyka on his back for two years, but an amazing medical procedure appears to have partially mended his spinal cord.

The BBC reports that researchers and doctors in the UK and Poland figured out how to transplant cells from Fidyka’s nose to his spine, along with a bit of nervous tissue from his ankle. The olfactory ensheathing cells taken from the nose are key, because they’re the only cells in the nervous system that regenerate as we age through adulthood.

According to the Beeb, Fidyka has a long way to go, but he can now walk with some assistance outside the hospital.

Here’s how it works:

In the first of two operations, surgeons removed one of the patient’s olfactory bulbs and grew the cells in culture.

Two weeks later they transplanted the OECs into the spinal cord, which had been cut through in the knife attack apart from a thin strip of scar tissue on the right.

They had just a drop of material to work with - about 500,000 cells.

About 100 micro-injections of OECs were made above and below the injury.

Four thin strips of nerve tissue were taken from the patient’s ankle and placed across an 8mm (0.3in) gap on the left side of the cord.

The scientists believe the OECs provided a pathway to enable fibres above and below the injury to reconnect, using the nerve grafts to bridge the gap in the cord.

The scientists involved, whose work was funded by foundations, say they have no desire to profit from the breakthrough.

Read the full story at the BBC.

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Filed under: science medicine 
October 19, 2014
Most Jewish Israelis oppose Palestinian state, new poll shows | +972 Magazine

More bad news for the two state solution:

A large majority of Jewish Israeli citizens (74 percent) oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 borders, according to a new poll conducted by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a right-wing think tank. The organization also found that 76 percent oppose a Palestinian state if it means dividing Jerusalem.

The poll surveyed 505 Jewish Israelis, dividing them along their personal political orientation. Three hundred and four identified themselves as right wing, 125 as centrists and 68 as left wing. It is interesting to note that of those who consider themselves “centrists,” 63 percent oppose a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 border, compared with only 19 percent who identify as left.

When it comes to Jerusalem, a not surprising majority of both rightists and centrists oppose conceding East Jerusalem to a future Palestinian state. However, while 51.5 percent of leftists support it, nearly 40 percent of them oppose it. This means that even those who consider themselves left wing in Israel are on the fence about giving up East Jerusalem. From this we can conclude that most Jewish Israelis oppose a two-state solution, and even those on the left are not quite sure about it. It also illustrates that the notion of what is considered “left wing” in Israel has shifted to the right along with the rest of the public.

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Filed under: politics israel palestine 
October 17, 2014
The City Has Paid Almost Half a Billion Dollars in NYPD-Related Settlements Over the Past 5 Years

LTMC: 10,000 cases.  That’s 2,000 cases a year, or more than 5 cases a day, averaged out.

(Source: generalinjusticeblog)

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Filed under: politics police nypd nyc 
October 16, 2014
"When you say, ‘I have nothing to hide,’ you’re saying, ‘I don’t care about this right.’ You’re saying, ‘I don’t have this right, because I’ve got to the point where I have to justify it.’ The way rights work is, the government has to justify its intrusion into your rights."

Edward Snowden

October 16, 2014
"I wrote ‘Bootylicious’ because, at the time, I’d gained some weight and the pressure that people put you under, the pressure to be thin, is unbelievable. I was just 18 and you shouldn’t be thinking about that. You should be thinking about building up your character and having fun, and the song was just telling everyone to forget what people are saying, you’re bootylicious. That’s all."

Beyoncé

A lot of pop R&B songs tend to be popular for a little while, then they fade away and everyone forgets about them.  After over a decade, Bootylicious still sounds fresh.  The staggered disco beat laid over Stevie Nick’s guitar sample from the Edge of Seventeen is outrageously funky and unbelievably catchy.  I don’t want to take anything away from Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, but even back then, you could tell that there was something special about Beyoncé as an artist, and it’s no surprise that her career took off the way it did.  I mean, she co-wrote this song with Rob Fusari over thirteen years ago, and if it was released today, it would still be hot fire.

October 16, 2014
"

I arrived in New York City from Chelyabinsk, a city right in the middle of Russia, when I was 19 years old, with $300 in my pocket. I turned 24 in March and have managed to save $200,000, by fucking for money. I’ve traveled to Morocco, Paris, Beijing, and Monaco. Men have brought me tea from London, chocolates from Switzerland, lingerie from France and shoes from Italy. I’ve bought my parents a little village house. (I told them I had a rich American boyfriend who was taking care of me.)

I don’t hate men. I am not a victim of child trafficking. I have never been raped, or drugged, or done porn. I’m not an addict. I never had a pimp. I don’t suffer from what my American girlfriends call “daddy issues” and what my shrink refers to as “malformed identity centering on early childhood abandonment.” My dad had lovers. I don’t blame my parents for my job, or my life. Other kids have other problems. My parents had problems when they were kids. My therapist has helped me see that.

I’m a businesswoman. I did what politicians in this country are always encouraging immigrants to do. Work hard, seize opportunity, maximize your talents, and adjust and adapt to the new world economy.

"

Svetlana Z

h/t/ Kateopolis

October 15, 2014
Haaretz: Who are the True Jewish Allies of Hamas? | Peter Beinart

This article contains an excellent example of restrictions on speech that the Israeli government imposes on Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories, and how those restrictions drive Palestinians into the open arms of Hamas:

[one] way [Jewish and Israeli leaders] help Hamas is by supporting – either actively or passively – the imprisonment of people like Abdallah Abu Rahma. Rahma is a leader of the Bilin Popular Committee, which, since 2005, has led unarmed protests against the separation barrier that cuts the West Bank village off from 50 percent of its land.

“In Bilin,” Rahma wrote in a 2010 letter, “we have chosen another way. We have chosen to protest nonviolently together with Israeli and international supporters. We have chosen to carry a message of hope and real partnership between Palestinians and Israelis in the face of oppression and injustice.”

Rahma’s wife smuggled the letter out of the jail where he was serving a year-long sentence for “incitement” and organizing “illegal demonstrations.” Under Military Order 101, which Israel issued when it took over the West Bank in 1967, an “illegal demonstration” is any gathering of 10 or more Palestinians that involves “a political matter or one liable to be interpreted as political.”

“Incitement” is defined as “attempting, whether verbally or otherwise, to influence public opinion in the area in a way that may disturb the public peace or public order.” In cases like Rahma’s, according to Human Rights Watch, “The Israeli authorities are effectively banning peaceful expression of political speech.”

Rahma’s case is not unusual. In 2011, Bassem Tamimi was convicted under Military Order 101 for leading illegal protests in the village of Nabi Saleh, which has seen much of its land handed over to the neighboring settlement of Halamish. (He was also convicted of urging children to throw stones on the basis of what Human Rights Watch called “a child’s coercively obtained statement [that] raises serious concerns about the fairness of his trial.”) It was Bassem’s 11th arrest. He had previously been held for three years without trial. Yet at his trial, Bassem called the Israelis who protested with him his “brothers and sisters,” and pledged that “we will still raise our children to love; love the land and the people without discrimination of race, religion or ethnicity.”

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard American-Jewish leaders cite the Hamas charter. But I’ve never heard a single one express concern about the prosecutions of Rahma or Tamimi. Indeed, I’ve never heard major American-Jewish leaders criticize Israeli restrictions on peaceful protest in the West Bank at all.

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October 14, 2014

(Not so) Late Night Music: Hasan Salaam ft. Immortal Technique & Hezekiah - Jericho

Lyrics (note: I transcribed these myself, and was unable to figure out a small piece of one of the verses.  If you figure it out, let me know!)

They say that racism in America’s over
You tell that to the pigs when they pulling me over
No wire contact, just the gun out the holster
Plantation overseers, prisons filling they quota
They call us niggers, they call us thugs,
Say we all good for nothing, and we all sell drugs
They call for blood, they calling the squadron
But I am Oscar Grant, I am Trayvon Martin
**********************, they fill up in there
Invisible mad faces at the bottom of the well
We been through hell
Still seen ‘em turn to life in Henrietta Lacks’ cells
These Uncle Tom’s be corrupting the biz
And it’s word to the wire under Al Sharpton’s wig
Pigs still shoot us in the back though
Regardless of them nigger tweets from Gwyneth Paltrow
How low do we go to fit in
Killing ourselves, even bleaching our skin
Racism biz, they are right on track
And ain’t none of it changed just because the President’s Black
Fuck that

The gotta condition your brain when you get in there
To make you believe that the walls always been there
Preservere in the game without getting your flesh torn
Gotta get to a square that’s not on the chess board
Invisible walls, classism and privilege
Even taller than apartheid walls you live with
Government’s a business clouded in smoke
And when you broke, only real choice is Pepsi and Coke
Motherfuckers build a wall for every reason alive
But then change the reason when they get you inside
They built a wall to try to keep terrorists out
And it becomes symbolic of what terrorism’s about
Built a great wall for barbarian neighbors
And it’s trampled by terrorists a thousand years later
Now they built a wall to keep immigrants out
But wanna pick and choose the immigrants they talking about
Jericho’s wall came tumbling downward
They hear the car, turns rock and metal to powder
Rebellious minds, I need you to think louder
Before they police every thought they encounter
Jericho’s walls came tumbling downward
When empires fall, you see who laid the groundwork
The spark of revolution’s an outburst
I guess before Jericho, we’ll come to your house first

Refrain

Fuck how you feel about me

Say what you will about me
But let’s see how you feel
When the walls come tumbling down

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Filed under: late night music 
October 9, 2014
Cure for Type 1 diabetes imminent after Harvard stem-cell breakthrough - Telegraph

Harvard scientists may have just cured Type I diabetes:

A cure for diabetes could be imminent after scientists discovered how to make huge quantities of insulin-producing cells, in a breakthrough hailed as significant as antibiotics.

Harvard University has, for the first time, managed to manufacture the millions of beta cells required for transplantation.

It could mean the end of daily insulin injections for the 400,000 people in Britain living with Type 1 diabetes.

And it marks the culmination of 23-years of research for Harvard professor Doug Melton who has been trying to find a cure for the disease since his son Sam was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a baby.

“We are now just one pre-clinical step away from the finish line,” said Prof Melton.

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Filed under: medicine diabetes 
October 9, 2014
Fracking company teams up with Susan G. Komen, introduces pink drill bits “for the cure”

So this happened:

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the foundation known for painting everything pink and, in one extremely controversial decision, pulling its grants from Planned Parenthood, has found a partner in Baker Hughes, a major drilling services company. The result: Baker Hughes is rolling out one thousand pink drill bits this October. Seriously.

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