February 20, 2019

*If You’ve Been Harassed Online, You’re Not Alone. More than Half of Americans Say They’ve Experienced Toxic Hate:

Harassment. Physical threats. Bigotry. Hate has become an almost unavoidable fact of life on the internet.

More than half of Americans – 53 percent – say they were subjected to hateful speech and harassment in 2018. And 37 percent reported severe attacks, including sexual harassment and stalking, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit which tracks and fights anti-Semitism. For a third of Americans, online abuse was in response to their sexual orientation, religion, race, ethnicity, gender identity or disability, the survey found.

“This is an epidemic and it has been far too silent,” said Adam NeufeldADL‘s vice president of innovation and strategy. “We wanted to understand the extent of it and the impact of it.”

 *Toasters May Expose You to More Pollution than a Busy Intersection:

What has the greatest influence on air pollution since sliced bread? Toast. A new study from the University of Texas at Austin warns that toasters, candles, and other household smoke makers expose people to more air pollution than standing in a busy intersection does, the Times of Londonreported.

The most dangerous of these is toasters, which immediately send toxic particles into the air once they’re turned on, researcher Marina Vance told the Times. Burnt toast is particularly harmful. If you can’t quit the buttered bread, researchers suggest only heating it to light crisp. Other culprits include house cleaners, air purifiers and sprays.

Cooking activities like roasting and frying can also pollute the air in your home.

 *At the Peak of the Holocaust, Nazis Murdered more than 14,000 Jews
a Day, Scholar Says:

In the ledger of evils perpetrated by humans, Operation Reinhard holds a special place. Over the course of 21 months starting in March 1942, Nazi forces and their collaborators rounded up 1.7 million Jews from 393 Polish towns and ghettos and dispatched them in tightly packed rail cars to three camps in German-occupied Poland — SobiborTreblinkaand Belzec. At these three killing centers, members of Poland’s once-thriving Jewish community were murdered with such efficiency and ruthlessness that, of roughly 1.5 million Jews who passed through their gates, a mere 102 would survive to bear witness. By November 1943, when Operation Reinhard ended, essentially no Polish Jews were left for the Germans to kill.

In a bid to capture the scope and intensity of genocidal killing sprees, a Tel Aviv University researcher has dissected Operation Reinhard and found its dark heart. Biomathematician Lewi Stone drew upon a painstaking accounting of Nazi train schedules to analyze the “kill rate” of Jews between February 1942 and December 1944. Within Operation Reinhard’s 21-month campaign of extermination, he discovered a 92-day period that stands out for its ferocity.

In August, September and October of 1942, he calculated, German forces and their allies in Poland killed at least 1.32 million Jews. That averages out to 14,348 per day, every day. Virtually all of the victims were from Poland and its immediate neighbors.

 *BALLOONING – Americans Are Getting Fatter and Fatter, Say Feds:

Americans are getting fatter and fatter—and not just because it’s the holidays. A new federal report released Thursday says American men and women of all ages have gotten heavier and thicker during the 21st century so far. Women’s average waists grew over 2 inches—from 36.3 in 1999-2000 to 38.6 inches in 2015-16—while men’s have stretched just over an inch, from 39.0 to 40.2 inches during the same 17-year period. The report was based on data gathered through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which looked at weight, height, waist circumference, and body-mass index in about 45,000 Americans over 20 years old.

“It’s what your grandma would have told you, and hearing it from a professor now is no less important,” said Shailendra Patel from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. “You need a varied diet, a balanced diet, with smaller portions. Your plate should look colorful, and you need to be exercising at least three times a week.”

 *GROSS – Manhattan ATMs are Absolutely Riddled with Bacteria:

Talk about dirty money. According to a recent report, the typical ManhattanATM is more bacteria-ridden than a wide range of other heavily used objects, including a subway pole, an NYC Wi-Fi hub and the handle of a public toilet at Penn Station.

Mike Brown of financial product marketplace LendEDU left the comfort of his Hoboken office on Jan. 4 armed with a Hygiena System SURE Plus — a handheld testing device that measures bacteria on a given surface — to test 20 different ATMs (split between Times Square and the West Village). The keypad, touch screen and card-reader of each cash machine was tested. He also tested nine other objects and surfaces in the city to see how they compared with ATMs.

Predictably, the more heavily trafficked Midtown machines were also the dirtiest, with one Times Square ATM measuring an overall 513 RLU (relative light units), compared to a reading of 68 RLU for a subway pole, 163 RLU for the Penn Station public toilet handle and 370 RLU at a Father Demo Squarepark bench, with the highest numbers indicating the most bacteria. The pass limit for food-service establishments and operating rooms is 10 RLU. The dirtiest part of an ATM is almost always the card-reader. Card-readers at high-traffic ATMs averaged a 427 RLU reading, about twice the levels recorded for keypads and touch screens.

*Charlotte Democrats Want Cops to ‘Cut Back’ on DUI Enforcement in Illegal Immigrant Neighborhoods:

Democrats on the Charlotte, North Carolina City Councilhave asked the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department(CMPD) to “cut back” on enforcement of drunk-driving laws in neighborhoods with large illegal immigrant populations, because illegal immigrants apparently are “nervous to see the cops.” “We start tonight with pressure on Charlotte police to cut illegal immigrants a break when it comes to speeding and drunk driving,” reported Mike Garrison of WBT Radio on Feb. 12.

“Democrats on city council are asking the cops to cut back on traffic checkpoints and drunk-driving enforcement in neighborhoods where illegals live,” said Garrison. “The reason? It makes illegal immigrants nervous to see the cops.”


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Domino‘s delivers the most pizzas in the world, at over a million pizzas per day.


A horse’s brain weighs about 22 oz., which is about half the weight of a human.


A few sample faces — all completely fake — created by ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com. The ability of AI to generate fake visuals is not yet mainstream knowledge, but a new website — ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com — offers a quick and persuasive education.  The site is the creation of Philip Wang, a software engineer at Uber, and uses research released last year by chip designer Nvidia to create an endless stream of fake portraits. The algorithm behind it is trained on a huge dataset of real images, then uses a type of neural network known as a generative adversarial network (or GAN) to fabricate new examples.


It has been one of the most pressing unanswered questions in public health: Do e-cigarettes actually help smokers quit? Now, the first, large rigorous assessment offers an unequivocal answer: yes.The study, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that e-cigarettes were nearly twice as effective as conventional nicotine replacement products, like patches and gum, for quitting smoking.

The success rate was still low — 18 percent among the e-cigarette group, compared to 9.9 percent among those using traditional nicotine replacement therapy — but many researchers who study tobacco and nicotine said it gave them the clear evidence they had been looking for.


Shields and Brooks on Trump‘s national emergency, Democratic platform shift —  https://youtu.be/zK3Sq8JjqSM


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*EXAMINER–COMMENTARY by Senator Marco Rubio:
The pro-Israel Combating B.D.S. Act enjoyed strong bipartisan support last year. Senate co-sponsors included the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and the minority leader,Chuck Schumer; the current Foreign Relations Committee chairman, James RischRepublican of Idaho; the committee’s ranking member, Bob MenendezDemocrat of New Jersey; the current Finance Committee chairman, Charles Grassley, Republican of Iowa; and Ron Wyden, Democrat of OregonThe Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs under Mike Crapo, Republican of Idaho, discharged the bill and tried to fast-track it for passage last December.

Despite the growing influence of anti-Israel voices on the left, which accounts for a growing share of the Democratic political base, the Senate is poised to pass the Combating B.D.S. Act in a bipartisan supermajority vote. I urge Speaker Nancy Pelosito quickly pass the measure in the House of Representatives. Let’s stand with our ally in its fight against the B.D.S. movement’s discriminatory economic warfare.

*EXAMINER–COMMENTARY by Michael Bloomberg:
There’s a saying I’ve always believed in: If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. If companies don’t measure the financial risks they face from climate change, they can’t reduce their exposure to those risks, at least not effectively.

If investors don’t know the potential liabilities a company is facing, they may overvalue it and lose their shirts. And by overvaluing companies that face serious climate risks, they undervalue companies and industries, such as renewable energy, that are designed to minimize warming.

We are flying blind when it comes to the serious economic costs we face from climate change. This lack of transparency is a market failure that’s holding back actions that would reduce emissions, mitigate risks and lead to more investment in clean energy.