I found that the PBS program Need to Know at 10:00 PM on Friday’s is quite good. It tackles 3-4 important news for you not covered by the Corporate Media and not often enough by the New York Times. I normally tape it.
Watching the program Saturday morning brought out details on many topics I did not know such as:
The CDC for the first time since Republicans either controlled the Presidency or Congress to allow necessary government oversight over problems with blood transfusions including many toxic organisms and viruses not covered now.
I did know that blood transfusions often have effects on the recipient not noticed immediately. For example the effect of the White Blood Cells which sees a foreign body could damage their organs. I usually refuse blood transfusions unless they remove the White Blood Cells which increases the expense of blood so it is not widely practiced.
The Democratic House run by Nancy Pelosi passed one year ago was precisely on a bill to make clearer the responsibility of the FDA for egg safety including how chickens are raised and fed, the latter passed on to the Department of Agriculture which is an arm of Big Business Agriculture for a long time. The Republicans on the Senate are still trying to stop its passage. Garner Harris of the New York Times talked about the problems. I have not read his article yet.
Climate Change has been widely reported in the New York Times, but its conceptual and measured reality is not penetrating the distracted brain of the average American. I see the problem of reporting scientific certainties is that the layperson reporters who report it do not understand it well enough to report it in clearly in layperson’s language. Yes, the floods in Pakistan and Fires in Russia are likely related. A single incident is not a prediction, but it sure correlates with the Climate Models.
Recently I read an article on Ocean oscillation, normally not for lay readers. It tries to address why the Central Pacific is now getting warm which now causes weaker El Ninos.
The East Pacific Ocean off the western coast of Ecuador and Peru gets warmer from El Nino’s which tends to make fishing poor and even causes droughts and kills sea life off the Galapagos Islands because the cold water nutrients such as plankton from Antarctica waters no longer get to the surface. The warm waters also prevent the natural mixing of cold and warm water bringing nutrients to the surface and oxygen to the cold water.
When Oregon gets warm current from the equatorial pacific, it creates a dead zone hundreds of square miles in area which kills off fish life and forces them to migrate.
The warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico produce the Gulf Current which goes north along our eastern coast and then normally sinks in the North Atlantic in a convection manner to send warm waters to Western Europe. The Gulf waters normally sink in the North Atlantic which is necessary for flow to occur.
Both the melting of the sea and land ice (no salt) in Greenland and Arctic have diluted the salty water and its increased warmth has caused the flow of this current to Europe by One-Third. About a year also it did not slow much up our eastern coast. Looking at temperature gradients obtained by satellites, we can see that waters near the coast is quite warm in spots.
The consequence may be that the right hurricane may be able to travel further in warmer waters and reach further north. The warmer waters also cause an updraft so the Northeast may experience the same problem to a lesser extent with drought observed in our Southeastern states not too long ago.
Since Americans think with our emotions too strongly, the message must be emotion packed even though it can be a flawed way of thinking for everything we learn. Emotion is necessary for learning because it forms a chemical which helps in our memory saving process.
About 30 years ago, only half of the college students were able to think abstractly well. It think it is a lot worse now. So abstract ideas must always be explained with concrete examples and stories. I am afraid this malady has even infected the best of schools. In recent years, half of the Ivy school seniors failed to place the time of the Civil War within a ten year time slot in a multiple choice test which could be passed with some thinking! I loved multiple choice tests because it allowed me not to read books for some of my courses and still do well.
To think, we must know facts, mucho facts. It has been proven that reading online means skimming everything instead of slow reading so we can remember things. The first place new information goes is the working memory which is small in capacity and stays there for about 4 seconds to about a minute depending on our genetics before transferring to the more permanent memory store, the hippocampus. The memory is strengthened in the hippocampus by repetition which results in extra synaptic connections the neurons. It may take years for it to go to permanent memory in the cortex.
To think, facts from the permanent memory must be retrieved into the working memory bank. Ideas worth considering do not normally come from a blank brain.
Having a quick brain and practising SAT exams helps enormously in making up for educational deficiencies. It normally does not help Private School students as much as less demanding public ones. One Chinese immigrant, at great sacrifice by her parents, took the SAT course and improved her score by 1,000 points!
Finally, Need to Know, has also reported on sexual assaults on Nannies and temporarily detained women immigrants. Attack of the strong on the weak reflects a lot about our degrading morality no matter our level of education. A Rat is a Rat no matter how much money they make as we have seen during the Wall Street forced Financial Crisis.
On Bloomberg television, a CEO said that the Financial Crisis has given us the excuse to fire employees who reduce our bottom-line. She means those who are older and due to get pensions and healthcare and have higher salaries need to be fired. Not reported very often is that the GDP, our economic indicator, shows that our economy has recovered as far as corporations are concerned and are now making record profits and GDP close to that before the crisis, while the exploited employed workers live only to work and sleep a little.
I think Americans are going crazy with some closer to this state than others because people thrive on social interactions with like minded people, something largely missing in our society shown in the popularity of FACE BOOK where people are hungry for connections.
See link for Need to Know Stories at my blog link below.
Jim Kawakami, August 28, 2010, http://jimboguy.blogspot.com
For decades, blood has been called “the gift of life.” And while its image was tarnished in the 1980s when HIV and hepatitis contaminated the blood supply, better screening tests have made donated blood the safest it’s ever been. Each year, close to five million Americans receive a blood transfusion. ...