Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for November 16th, 2011

Delay cord clamping for baby health, say experts

Posted by Anonymous on November 16, 2011

Newborn with cord clampedWaiting a few minutes after delivery to cut the umbilical cord is best for a newborn’s health, research suggests.

Delaying cord clamping reduces the risk that the baby will have iron deficiency anaemia without substantial side effects, the authors told the BMJ.

The World Health Organization dropped early clamping from its guidelines some years ago.

But there are no formal guidelines for NHS staff about when the cord should be cut.

An audit a few years ago found many UK hospitals advocate early clamping, as soon as the baby is delivered.

Blood boost

Mounting evidence suggests this may not be best practice and could be causing health problems.

Globally, about a quarter of preschool children have iron deficiency anaemia, the most severe form of iron deficiency. In Europe, the prevalence is 3-7%.

This is a significant health problem because it can harm a child’s brain development.

A simple solution, say researchers, is to ensure babies get the best start in life by maximising the blood and iron stores they get from the placenta.

Waiting three minutes before clamping the umbilical cord at birth can boost a newborn’s blood volume by a third. …

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has no specific recommendation on when the umbilical cord should be clamped, but its scientific opinion paper admits: “Immediate cord clamping became routine practice without rigorous evaluation.”…

via BBC News – Delay cord clamping for baby health, say experts.

Posted in Biology, Health | Leave a Comment »

Google, Facebook warn against new US piracy legislation

Posted by Anonymous on November 16, 2011

Eric Schmidt, Google chairmanGoogle chairman Eric Schmidt said SOPA amounted to “censorship”.

Web firms including Google and Facebook have written to the US government in opposition to a proposed bill to combat piracy.

Alongside AOL, Twitter and eBay they claim that the Stop Online Piracy Act poses huge risks to the internet.

SOPA, supported by the music and film industries, aims to give new powers to content providers to help them take offending sites offline.

The US House of Representatives is due to debate the bill on 16 November.

The law would allow content owners to seek court orders to force internet service providers, search engines, payment processors and ad networks to block or cease business with websites linked to online piracy.

Content industries around the world are looking for new ways to combat the growing problem of piracy.

In the US, critics warn that SOPA is unnecessarily draconian.

“Unfortunately, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding US internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities, private rights of action, and technology mandates that would require monitoring of websites,” Google, Facebook, Yahoo and eBay wrote in a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary committee.

“We are concerned that these measures pose a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of innovation and job creation, as well as to our nation’s cybersecurity,” the companies said. The letter was also signed by AOL, Twitter, LinkedIn, Mozilla and Zynga. …

via BBC News – Google, Facebook warn against new US piracy legislation.

Posted in Crime, Technology | 1 Comment »

Bullet ‘hit White House window’

Posted by Anonymous on November 16, 2011

The White House (file pic)Two bullets have been found at the White House, one of which struck a protective window when it was fired, the US Secret Service says.

The casings were found on the grounds during a probe launched after gunshots were fired nearby late last week.

The US Parks Police now says it is searching for a 21-year-old man, Oscar Ramiro Ortega, over the shooting.

The bullets have not yet been “conclusively connected” to the shooting, the Secret Service told AFP.

“An assessment of the exterior of the White House is ongoing,” the service told the news agency.

The discovery of the bullets, which were found on Tuesday, follows reports of gunfire between the White House and the Washington Monument at about 21:30 local time on Friday evening.

Witnesses heard shots and saw two speeding vehicles in the area. An AK-47 rifle was also recovered, the Associated Press reported.

In a blog post issued by the US Parks Police, Sgt David Schlosser said the investigation into the shooting near the White House had led to them to issue a warrant for the arrest of Mr Ortega.

“As the investigation unfolded, the US Park Police located a vehicle in the 2300 block of Constitution Avenue,” Sgt Schlosser said, some seven blocks away from the White House.

“Evidence in the vehicle led to us obtaining an arrest warrant for Oscar Ortega.”

Mr Ortega is described as a white Hispanic male of medium build, with several distinguishing tattoos – including three dots on his right hand, his name across his back and the word Israel tattooed on his neck.

via BBC News – Bullet ‘hit White House window’.

Posted in Crime, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Obama visit: Australia agrees US Marine deployment plan

Posted by Anonymous on November 16, 2011

Australia has agreed to host a full US Marine task force in the coming years, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced at a news conference with US President Barack Obama in Canberra.

She said about 250 US Marines would arrive next year, eventually being built up to 2,500 personnel.

The deployment is being seen as a move to counter China’s growing influence.

But Mr Obama said the US was “stepping up its commitment to the entire Asia-Pacific”, not excluding China.

“The main message that I’ve said, not only publicly but also privately to China, is that with their rise comes increased responsibility,” he said.

“It is important for them to play by the rules of the road.”

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin questioned whether the move was in keeping with the region’s peaceful development.

“It may not be quite appropriate to intensify and expand military alliances and may not be in the interest of countries within this region,” he was quoted as saying by AFP news agency. …

via BBC News – Obama visit: Australia agrees US Marine deployment plan.

Posted in War | Leave a Comment »

Lack of soap means illness, death for millions of children

Posted by Anonymous on November 16, 2011

Global Handwashing Day targets children and schools in developing countries.

It still makes Fatoma Dia’s eyes widen whenever the Hilton hotel cleaning worker sees a bar of barely used soap on a bathroom counter.

“This,” she says, picking it up with a gloved hand and dropping it in a brown bucket, “is valuable where I come from.”

The 35-year-old grew up in a mountainous region of southern Sudan where soap can cost more than a day’s wages. Because some in the region, could not wash, they got sick.

Across the globe, 2.4 billion people do not have access to clean sanitation, according to the World Health Organization. An estimated 1.5 million children die every year because their immune systems are not mature enough to battle diarrheal and respiratory diseases spread in contaminated environments.

Sicknesses related to contaminated water supplies and poor human hygiene tend to plague poorer regions in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South America, East Asia and the Caribbean. Water-borne illnesses such as cholera can hit countries suddenly, particularly in the wake of a natural disaster where there is little infrastructure previously in place to handle sustainable cleanup and recovery.

A recent example is Haiti. Hit by an earthquake in January 2010, many Haitians were forced to live in tent camps and use water that was contaminated. Incidents of cholera plagued the country, a problem that continues today. …

via Lack of soap means illness, death for millions of children – CNN.com.

I missed global handwashing day, but it is never too late to appreciate soap.

Posted in Health | Leave a Comment »

Google To Unveil Online Music Store

Posted by Anonymous on November 16, 2011

Google Music

Google Inc is expected to unveil on Wednesday an online music download store featuring songs from three major music companies, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Sony Corp’s Sony Music Entertainment, Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group and EMI Music are expected to have deals with Google in place in time for a Wednesday afternoon announcement in Los Angeles, the Journal reported.

The Google Music store will compete with Apple Inc’s dominant iTunes and other digital music services.

Google’s store will sell songs for around $1 apiece, the Journal reported. The store also is expected to allow users who buy songs to share one or two free listens with contacts on the Google+ social networking service, the newspaper reported. …

via Google To Unveil Online Music Store | Fox News.

Posted in Money, Music, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Facebook Identifies Porn Spammers

Posted by Anonymous on November 16, 2011

facebook Facebook said Wednesday that it has tracked down the scammers responsible for a spam attack that flooded the social network with pornographic and violent imagery this week.

“In addition to the engineering teams that build tools to block spam we also have a dedicated enforcement team that has already identified those responsible and is working with our legal team to ensure appropriate consequences follow,” a Facebook spokesman said today.

Yesterday, security firm Sophos said in a blog post that Facebook had been awash in objectionable material over the previous 24 hours. “The content, which includes explicit hardcore porn images, photoshopped photos of celebrities such as Justin Bieber in sexual situations, pictures of extreme violence and even a photograph of an abused dog, have been distributed via the site—seemingly without the knowledge of users,” said security consultant Graham Cluley.

Facebook later confirmed that it had been hit with “a coordinated spam attack that exploited a browser vulnerability.” The company said its efforts “drastically limited the damage caused by this attack.”

According to Facebook, users were “tricked into pasting and executing malicious javascript in their browser URL bar causing them to unknowingly share this offensive content.” Engineers have since built “enforcement mechanisms” to shut down the offending Pages, as well as accounts that exploit the vulnerability, Facebook said.

“We have also been putting those affected through educational checkpoints so they know how to protect themselves,” the company continued. “We’ve put in place backend measures to reduce the rate of these attacks and will continue to iterate on our defenses to find new ways to protect people.”

Facebook has had some success in going after spammers. In August, Facebook “spam king” Sanford Wallace turned himself in to the FBI after being indicted on charges of spamming Facebook users with millions of bogus messages. …

via Facebook Identifies Porn Spammers | News & Opinion | PCMag.com.


Sanford Wallace’s claim to fame as the Spam King dates back to the late ’90s, when his company, Cyber Promotions, became notorious for sending unsolicited junk emails to the masses.

Flash forward to 2011, and Wallace is now facing criminal charges for allegedly sending over 27 million spam messages through illegally phished Facebook accounts in 2008 and 2009.

If convicted, Wallace, 43, could face over 16 years in prison plus $2 million in fines.

No stranger to the courts, Wallace has faced lawsuits from AOL to MySpace to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to Facebook again, the latter of which recently won a $711 million civil judgment against the king, who’s also been banned from the site. Facebook doesn’t expect him to be able to pay the superfluous amount, as he filed for bankruptcy earlier that year.

“We applaud the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI to bring spammers to justice,” Facebook said in a statement to IT World. “Now Wallace also faces serious jail time for this illegal conduct. We will continue to pursue and support both civil and criminal consequences for spammers or others who attempt to harm Facebook or the people who use our service.” …

 Read more: techland.time.com

Posted in Crime, Popular Culture | Leave a Comment »

UFO allegedly spotted following US military airplane [video]

Posted by Anonymous on November 16, 2011

On Friday, November 11, 2011, a small disc-shaped UFO was seen closely following a low-flying airplane on the Pacific Coast. An observer was able to capture the sight on a video that lasts approximately one minute. It shows the airplane, reportedly a C-17 military plane, with the unidentified flying object sailing alongside for more than half the length of the entire video.

This video was shared online by a 40-year-old Paranormal UFO Researcher named Blake Cousins who is based in the United States. It is unclear whether Cousins recorded the video personally. You can watch it by clicking the video link at the left side of this page. Cousins posted the video to his YouTube video channel THIRDPHASEOFMOON the day after the footage was recorded. He included the following information with the video:

“Incredible Footage of what appears to be a UFO tracking a C-17 Military Airplane! Caught on 11/11/11 on the Pacific Coast!”

This video has received a lot of attention and thousands of views. Reaction to the footage has been mixed, which is fairly common when it comes to UFO videos. Some viewers have commented that the UFO seems abnormally small and pointed out that any “aliens” inside would have to be just a few inches tall. Of course, that begs the reminder that UFOs are simply unidentified flying objects, not necessarily alien spacecraft …

via UFO allegedly spotted following US military airplane – National unexplained phenomena | Examiner.com.

Video hoax. The UFO is a mirror image of a small part of the plane.

Posted in - Video, UFOs | Leave a Comment »

Oldest rock art in Egypt discovered

Posted by Anonymous on November 16, 2011





Using a new technology known as optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), a team of Belgian scientists and Professor John Coleman Darnell of Yale have determined that Egyptian petroglyphs found at the east bank of the Nile are about 15,000 years old, making them the oldest rock art in Egypt and possibly the earliest known graphic record in North Africa.

The dating results will be published in the December issue of Antiquity (Vol. 85 Issue 330, pp. 1184–1193).

The site of the rock art panels is near the modern village of Qurta, about 40km south of the Upper-Egyptian town of Edfu. First seen by Canadian archaeologists in the early 1960s, they were subsequently forgotten and relocated by the Belgian mission in 2005. The rediscovery was announced in the Project Gallery of Antiquity in 2007.

The rock art at Qurta is characterized by hammered and incised naturalistic-style images of aurochs and other wild animals. On the basis of their intrinsic characteristics (subject matter, technique, and style), their patina and degree of weathering, as well as the archaeological and geomorphological context, these petroglyphs have been attributed to the late Pleistocene era, specifically to the late Palaeolithic period (roughly 23,000 to 11,000 ago). This makes them more or less contemporary with European art from the last Ice Age — such as the wall-paintings of Lascaux and Altamira caves. …

via YaleNews | Oldest rock art in Egypt discovered.

Posted in Archaeology | Leave a Comment »

Strangers Spot People With Compassionate Genes in Seconds: Oxytocin Receptor & Empathy

Posted by Anonymous on November 16, 2011

… Strangers can “see” a persons trustworthy genes through their behaviors, suggests a new study finding that a single genetic change makes a person seem more compassionate and kind to others.

The gene in question is the “love hormone,” or oxytocin, receptor. A single change in the receptor can result in higher or lower empathy, or how much you can emotionally relate to others. These changes can be detected by strangers from just 20 seconds of soundless video; these strangers could literally see the person’s genes manifesting in their behavior.

Our genes are made of bases, called nucleotides, which come in four types: A, T, C, and G. Researchers have found that switching out a single A to a G on the “love hormone” receptor can have profound effects on behavior. A person with two copies of this A-to-G mutation (one from each parent) report having more empathy.

“Previous research has found that people that are GGs are more empathic, more compassionate,” study researcher Aleksandr Kogan at the University of Toronto told LiveScience. These studies were self-reported by the GGs, so Kogan’s study asked: “Do other people actually find people with a GG more trustworthy?”

… “The people on the video that had the copies of the G genes were treated as more compassionate, trustworthy and kind. There were specific behaviors that the G genes were doing that the A genes were doing less,” Kogan said. “These behaviors were signaling to the complete strangers that this is a trustworthy person. This is speaking to the power of very slight genetic variation and the amazing human ability to pick up on the differences.”The 23 video clips contained 10 GGs, 10 GAs and 3 AA variants. On average, only about 15 percent of Caucasians have two A oxytocin receptor gene variants. Of the 10 most trusted people, as indicated by the 119 study participants, six were GGs and four were GAs, none were AAs. Of the 10 least trusted, nine had at least one A variant and only one was GG ….

via Strangers Spot People With Compassionate Genes in Seconds | Genetic Mutation, Oxytocin Receptor & Empathy | LiveScience.

Posted in Love, Mind | Leave a Comment »


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