Monday, 23 October 2017
Prozac in ocean water a possible threat to sea life
October 20, 2017
Source: Portland State University
Oregon shore crabs exhibit risky behavior when they're exposed to the antidepressant Prozac, making it easier for predators to catch them, according to a new study.
Oregon shore crabs exhibit risky behavior when they're exposed to the antidepressant Prozac, making it easier for predators to catch them, according to a new study from Portland State University (PSU).
The study, published in the journal Ecology and Evolution, illustrates how concentrations of pharmaceuticals found in the environment could pose a risk to animal survival.
For years, tests of seawater near areas of human habitation have shown trace levels of everything from caffeine to prescription medicines. The chemicals are flushed from homes or medical facilities, go into the sewage system, and eventually make their way to the ocean.
In a laboratory, the PSU team exposed Oregon shore crabs to traces of fluoxetine, the active ingredient in Prozac. They found that the crabs increased their foraging behavior, showing less concern for predators than they normally would. They even did so during the day, when they would normally be in hiding.
They also fought more with members of their own species, often either killing their foe or getting killed in the process.
"The changes we observed in their behaviors may mean that crabs living in harbors and estuaries contaminated with fluoxetine are at greater risk of predation and mortality," said researcher Elise Granek, a professor in PSU's department of Environmental Sciences and Management.
The team received funding from Oregon Sea Grant.
New Fire Danger Threatens to Worsen Most Disastrous Wildfire Season in California History
firefighter holds a water hose while fighting a wildfire Saturday,
2017, in Santa Rosa, Calif. Image credit: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez.
weather outlooks for Saturday, October 21, issued by the
NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center at midday Friday(left), and into next week
(Days 3-8) issued late Thursday (right). The Day 3-8 outlooks do not indicate risk
level, but forecasters noted: "A prolonged period of at least moderate offshore
winds and critical fire weather conditions will be likely across much of southern
CA from Day 3/Saturday through Day 6/Tuesday." Image credit: NOAA/NWS/SPC.
A four-day period of critical fire danger
have been six billion-dollar wildfires in modern world history up
until 2016 (measured in 2017 dollars.) Four of these were in California, one in
Canada, and one in Australia. The October 2017 California wildfire event is likely
to top $3 billion in damage, making it the most expensive wildfire event in world
history. Image credit: Aon Benfield.
The October 2017 wildfires: deadliest in California history and most expensive in world history
number of acres burned in California has been increasing since
1970, due to a warmer and drier climate, in combination with fire suppression
policies that have left more fuel to burn. As we wrote in our October 13 post,
human-driven climate change and development patterns are making destructive
firestorms more likely. The average length of the wildfire season in the western U.S. is more than 3 months longer than in 1970, largely due to climate change, according to Climate
Dozens killed in Portugal/Spain wildfires fed by Hurricane Ophelia’s winds
at midday Sunday (18Z), October 15, 2017, were
10-16°C (18-29°F) above average over most of Portugal and northwest Spain.
Sunday’s high temperature of 34°C (93.2°F) in Lisbon was close to the all-time
monthly record of 34.6°C (94.3°F) and far above the average daily high of 22.5°C
(72.5°F). Image credit: tropicaltidbits.com.
Nearly 400,000 Gallons of Oil Spew Into Gulf of Mexico, Could Be Largest Spill Since Deepwater Horizon
17 October, 2017
Last week, a pipe owned by offshore oil and gas operator LLOG Exploration Company, LLC spilled up to 393,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, reminding many observers of the Deepwater Horizon explosion seven years ago that spewed approximately 210 million gallons of crude into familiar territory.
Now, a report from Bloomberg suggests that the LLOG spill could be the largest in the U.S. since the 2010 BP blowout, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).
While at a much smaller scale than the nation's worst accidental oil spill, the Delta House floating production facility, located about 40 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana, released between 7,950 to 9,350 barrels starting from Wednesday to Thursday due to a fractured pipeline.
The flow has been contained and cleanup is underway, according to LLOG officials. No shoreline impacts have been reported and there are no reports of personnel injuries, BSEE noted.
On Monday, BSEE Gulf of Mexico Region Director Lars Herbst initiated a five-member panel of inspectors, engineers and accident investigators into the oil release.
"BSEE places great emphasis on making certain all oil and gas operations on America's Outer Continental Shelf are safe," Herbst said. "This panel investigation is a critical step in ensuring BSEE determines the cause, or causes, of the incident and develops recommendations to prevent similar events from occurring in the future."
A tragedy and a national disgrace. The crowning achievement of a neo-liberal government. New Zealand has the highest youth suicide rate in the OECD
Canterbury police are being called to 10 attempted suicides a day
Psychiatrist warns 'nothing' is working in bid to address suicide rates
23 October, 2017
Canterbury police are being called to 10 attempted suicides a day as a leading psychiatrist warns "nothing anybody is doing" has proved effective at cutting suicide rates.
According to police figures, suicide attempts in the region have increased 60 per cent in the past five years, compared to a 52 per cent increase nationwide.
Canterbury police have been called to 2752 suicide attempts this year, a 10 per cent increase on the same period last year.
An additional 923 call-outs were related to mental health.
"We don't think it's going to be lower this year.
"It is really worrying that nothing anyone is doing is managing to bring it down."
Canterbury district commander Superintendent John Price said police were "very concerned" by the number of attempted and suspected suicides in the region.
Mental health made up 22 per cent of the police's workload in the district.
There were weeks where police were called to a suicide a day in Canterbury, he said.
Price said it was "really hard" on the officers involved. "These are terrible events and ... they take a toll on our staff as well."
Police met almost daily with agencies, including the district health board, to discuss ways to combat the issue.
In the 2016-17 year, 79 people within the region appear to have taken their own lives, according to provisional statistics. Nationally, 606 Kiwis died by suspected suicide in that year.
One of those was a 32-year-old, suspected of taking his own life in June just two days after leaving Hillmorton Hospital. He leaves behind a young daughter.
Jonny (not his real name) was one of the 178 mental health patients nationwide who died by suspected suicide in that year, including 26 Canterbury patients.
His family believe the system failed him and are sharing his story in a bid to "wake up the powers that be".
His mother said she was lodging a complaint with the Health and Disability Commissioner about Jonny's care.
Renison said about 300 people were seen by Christchurch's crisis resolution teams each week, most of them experiencing suicidal ideation.
"That's over 10,000 people a year. You can't put them all in hospital and you can't put a [suicidal] young person in hospital indefinitely."
While concerns had been raised about the number of hospital beds available, Renison said the decision to admit someone was "never about whether there are beds" and people stayed "as long as they need to".
"The question is how long do you keep them in hospital."
A compulsory treatment order, obtained through court, allowed enforced treatment for 30 days after an assessment.
Some families sought to have their loved ones kept in hospital for longer but Renison said clinicians had to balance patient safety with human rights.
Keeping people in hospital "was not helpful", making it harder for them to cope in the community.
A family's desire to be involved in a loved one's care had to be balanced with a patient's right to privacy. This would only be breached if someone was considered to be at immediate risk, Renison said.
"It's an incredibly difficult position to be in because we need people to have confidence that when they tell us stuff and they don't want it shared, that that's going to be the case.
"Otherwise they are going to stop telling us stuff."
Renison said the CDHB had a target of zero suicides. "We don't accept that it's OK for people to kill themselves and that it's unavoidable."
But she said there was no proven method for reducing suicide rates. "Everything everyone does is aspirational and experimental."
Depravity, Frivolity, And Dissent: Are We Watching The End Of An Empire?
22 October, , 2017
In the age of decadence many people choose to behave in ways that are unsustainable, apparently unaware of the consequences. They indulge in excessive, often conspicuous, consumption. An absurdly wealthy elite emerges, but instead of repelling the masses it is admired and celebrated. Those outside the elite aspire to similar levels of consumption, and are encouraged by the availability of cheap credit. People become convinced that increased consumption is the key to happiness, but in its pursuit they become measurably less happy. As David Morgan says, “you can never get enough of what you don’t need.”
Drag Queen Story Hour aims to give young children “glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models,” according to the programme’s website…
…The Drag Queen Story Hour site explains that the event “captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood”.
“In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real.
The programme “happens regularly in LA, New York, and San Francisco, and events are popping up all over the world!”
Normalization of pedophilia
Our website is intended to reduce the stigma attached to pedophilia by letting people know that a substantial number of pedophiles DO NOT molest children, and to provide peer support and information about available resources to help virtuous pedophiles remain law-abiding, and lead happy, productive lives. These are our stories. There are brief bios of the two founders of the site and collections of other personal stories. (source)