Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Monday, 18 November 2013

U.S. Census Bureau ‘faked’ 2012 election jobs report -

U.S. Census Bureau ‘faked’ 2012 election jobs report - 

In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.
The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.
And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.
Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy.
And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee — that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.
“He’s not the only one,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous for now but is willing to talk with the Labor Department and Congress if asked.
The Census employee caught faking the results is Julius Buckmon, according to confidential Census documents obtained by The Post. Buckmon told me in an interview this past weekend that he was told to make up information by higher-ups at Census.

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U.S. Treasury Forced to Issue $1Trillion in New Debt in First 6 Weeks of FY14 -

U.S. Treasury Forced to Issue $1Trillion in New Debt in First 6 Weeks of FY14 - 

Between Oct. 1, 2013, the first day of fiscal 2014, and Nov. 14—which was less than a month after Congress agreed to temporarily suspend the legal limit on the federal debt—the Treasury was forced to issue more than $1 trillion in new debt.

During that time, according to the Daily Treasury Statement, the Treasury issued $1,014,215,000,000 in new bills, notes, bonds and other securities.

The government needed this $1,014,215,000,000 to cover government obligations and expenses that exceeded the $255,080,000,000 it raked in through tax revenues during the same six-week period.

Where did that combined $1,014,215,000,000 in newly borrowed money and $255,080,000,000 in new tax revenues go?

The lion’s share went to payoff maturing securities the Treasury had sold before and had now come due.

In total, according to the Daily Treasury Statement, the Treasury needed to redeem $879,734,000,000 in maturing debt during the first six weeks of the fiscal 2014.

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New Law Enforcement Ankle Bracelets Have Built in Phone to Transmit Audio -

New Law Enforcement Ankle Bracelets Have Built in Phone to Transmit Audio - 

When defense lawyer Fermín L. Arraiza-Navas sat down with a prospective client in San Juan, Puerto Rico last April, he casually asked the man about the Global Positioning System (GPS) ankle bracelet that he was wearing as a condition for his bail.

The reply was just as casual.

“They speak to me through that thing,” the man said.

It wasn’t the first time the lawyer encountered GPS bracelets with apparently extraordinary powers. He told the Puerto Rico Center for Investigative Reporting (CPIPR) that a previous defendant’s GPS ankle bracelet started to vibrate during a meeting with him.

But Arraiza-Navas decided this was more than a coincidence. He cancelled the meeting and filed a motion at the Puerto Rico State Superior Court in San Juan to have the device removed.

During the court hearing on the motion, his worst suspicions were confirmed.

A Corrections Department agent, who works at the Puerto Rico Pretrial Services Office’s monitoring center for defendants free on bail, placed a GPS ankle bracelet on the court podium and made a call from the device to a technician of the SecureAlert company, which provides them at a facility in Sandy, Utah.

The technician, who was addressed through the GPS ankle bracelet—which has a phone feature—testified that, although the device is supposed to vibrate when activated from Utah, the feature could be turned on without warning.


America’s Failing Infrastructure -

America's Failing Infrastructure

Spicy snack foods like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are sending children to the emergency room -

Spicy snack foods like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are sending children to the emergency room - 

The manufacturers of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos may jokingly tout their product as being “dangerously cheesy,” but some doctors argue that the slogan may not be an exaggeration.

Pediatricians are warning parents of the dangers of extremely spicy snacks – such as Cheetos and other chips – claiming these foods are sending numerous children to the emergency room each year, Medical Daily reported.  According to experts, eating too many spicy products can cause significant inflammation of the stomach lining, which can ultimately lead to severe abdominal pain.

“We have a population who loves to eat the hot, spicy, not-real foods, and they come in [to the emergency room] with these real complaints,” Dr. Martha Rivera of White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles told KABC-TV. “[The kids are being] set up for ulcerations, erosions and… peptic ulcer disease.”

Andrew Medina, 12, told KABC-TV that he eats up to 20 or 30 bags of spicy snacks each month.  After he started experiencing stomach pain, he visited a doctor, who told him that the snacks were causing gastritis – a condition associated with bloating, burning and vomiting.

Several school districts have started banning these kinds of snacks due to their lack of nutritional value.  According to Medical Daily, 21 pieces of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos contain 160 calories, 250 milligrams of sodium and 11 grams of fat.

Rivera and other experts say the addictive nature of these spicy snack products makes them popular among children.  However, she said parents should consider replacing these snacks with healthier items, like string cheese, in order to protect their children from serious health issues.

“It burns when it goes down, it burns when it comes out,” 


Do you have EMAIL APNOEA? 80% of people stop breathing properly when typing -

Do you have EMAIL APNOEA? 80% of people stop breathing properly when typing - 

Do you find yourself getting lightheaded when writing an email?
That might be because you’re so engrossed in your words that you’ve stopped breathing.
It might sound strange, but apparently 80 per cent of us have picked up this habit – and it could be seriously damaging our health.
Woman with Red Fingernails Typing
It is thought that around 80 per cent of us have email apnoea which occurs when your body goes into 'fight or flight mode' while typing
Apnoea is more commonly associated with sleeping. It is characterised by sudden pause in breathing and is most common in adults who are overweight.

During an episode, lack of oxygen causes a sufferer to come out of deep sleep and into a lighter state of sleep, or a brief period of wakefulness, to restore normal breathing. 

Symptoms of the condition include tiredness, waking up with a sore or dry throat, poor memory and concentration, headaches, irritability, anxiety, depression, low libido and impotence.
However a variant of sleep apnoea could be caused by the simple process of writing an email.
Writing in Gizmodo, blogger Adam Clark Estes, noticed he became lightheaded when he was concentrating on a particularly challenging paragraph. 
‘I must've slipped a little too deeply into the zone,’ he said. ‘A head shake and a couple breaths later, and I was back at it.
‘Within minutes, the same light-headed feeling was back. I'd stopped breathing, again.’
After some research, Mr Clark Estes diagnosed himself as having something called ‘email apnoea’.
The term, first introduced by former Apple executive, Linda Stone, describes what happens when you go into ‘fight or flight’ mode.
Breath-holding, shallow breathing and hyperventilating can all trigger something called the sympathetic nervous system (SNS).


India to put monkeys on birth control to curb rising population... -

India to put monkeys on birth control to curb rising population... - 

India is planning to put its rising population of primates on the pill to tackle the growing "monkey menace" in its towns and cities, government wildlife officials have confirmed.
Vasectomies and sterilisation programmes are also being developed as part of a broader plan to curb the chaos being caused by troupes of marauding monkeys as urban India expands into their traditional forests.
Thousands of red-bottomed Rhesus Macaques or Bhandar monkeys are the scourge of New Delhi, where they roam through government buildings, chew Internet cables, bite the unwary carrying food and steal from people's homes.
Delhi's deputy mayor was killed when he was knocked from his balcony by clambering monkeys in 2007.
Until earlier this year, the Indian capital's employed "monkey catchers" deployed larger, black-faced Langur monkeys to scare away the macaques.

But since the use of and trade in Langur monkeys was banned earlier this year, the Indian government has been looking for a new solution.
Earlier this year officials from the Central Zoo Authority collaborated with the National Primate Centre in California to develop a new strategy with the Wildlife Institute of India. The researchers in California recommended a programme of oral contraceptives, female sterilisation and vasectomies, officials said.
Now Indian officials are exploring ways to administer the contraceptives and the likely impact of the drugs on primate behaviour before pressing ahead. One official said a mixed approach is likely to be adopted in Uttarakhand, in the Himalayan foothills where thousands of monkeys patrol the main roads and terrorise people in the hill towns.
Monkeys that can be caught will be sterilised while oral contraceptives will be put in food left for those primates that remain at large.
Professor P.C. Tyagi of the Wildlife Institute of India said he and his colleagues would move forward with the plans only when they are sure it will not have any harmful effect on the animals or their behaviour.
The need however is urgent, he said: "The population is increasing in the cities, they are causing a disturbance. People can't come out of their houses, they're taking clothes, biting people.
"One of the main advantages [of oral contraception] is that it is non-surgical. We'll look at how it works in other countries, carry out a trial, then we'll go ahead. If there are problems with the dosage, we'd need to work that out," he said.


Baby found alive in morgue 10 hours after being declared dead... - parents named her Miracles -

Baby found alive in morgue 10 hours after being declared dead... - parents named her Miracles - 

A premature Colombian baby was found alive by a morgue attendant 10 hours after doctors had declared her dead, officials said. Her parents named her Miracles.

The baby was born last week at a hospital in the Pacific state of Choco and after being declared dead she was sent to the hospital's morgue, Colombia Reports said Friday.

The baby spent several hours in a box in the morgue before her father came to collect the body. At that time, a morgue attendant noticed signs of life -- small movements and soft cries.

Medics rushed the baby to a hospital in Bogota to receive treatment for her underdeveloped lungs, Colombia Reports said.

"In some cases the heart movements are not perceptible even though the newborn is alive, they can declare it dead," said Dr. Javier Zagarra, a specialist whose relationship to the case wasn't reported. "When they wrap the baby in a sheet, upon receiving warmth the baby can then revitalize."


Doctors Issue Stern Warning: Children Under 2 Should Avoid All Screen Time... -

Doctors Issue Stern Warning: Children Under 2 Should Avoid All Screen Time... - 

Tablets and toddlers: A warning for parents of tech-savvy children. The American Academy of Pediatrics says children under two should avoid all screen time.

Jessica Kartalija reports doctors and therapists fear too much time on touchscreens could cause long-term damage.

Playtime for babies is far different in the 21st century. But parents could be making a big mistake putting touchscreens in the hands of toddlers and young children.

Parents think they’re educating and stimulating their kids, but doctors and therapists are raising a red flag — too much screen time can hurt their developing bodies.

“If they are always on the iPad and not actually doing those paper pencil activities that they should still be doing, those muscles are going to remain weaker,” said occupational therapist Lindsay Marzoli, Learning and Therapy Corner.

Like most 6-year-olds, Nolan Ulrich loves playing on his family’s iPad in their Rosedale home. His mom limits his screen time, but still worries about how much is too much, especially knowing it can lead to muscle weakness.

“Is it OK for them to be constantly looking at something for 20 or 30 minutes straight?” said Tammie Ulrich. “I did not know this would be a part of our parenting and our teaching.”

Kartalija: “What does this work on?”

Nolan: “My finger and hand movements.”

This game looks like fun, but it’s actually part of Nolan’s occupational therapy. He’s working on hand-eye coordination and finger movements like grasping and pinching, as well as balance and posture — all problems kids can develop if they spend too much time with touchscreens, instead of running, jumping, building and drawing.

Kartalija: “This isn’t just about the fine motor, it’s about their body as well.”

Marzoli: “What we’re seeing is a lot of children coming in with some motor delays, some decreased muscle strength in areas.”

Therapists are seeing more kids like Nolan. A just-released survey on tablets and toddlers shows the number of kids using touchscreens has doubled in the past two years — almost 40 percent of babies under two and nearly 75 percent of kids under eight are using them.

“They tap and something happens. So they tap and wow! Something happens there. And that’s very enticing,” said Dr. Timothy Doran, a pediatrician at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

What does this mean for generations to come? The technology is so new, researchers can’t predict what damage may be done. That has doctors very concerned.

“Unlimited use, three-four hours of iPad use on their own — where the parents aren’t involved — seems to me that you are flirting with developmental danger,” Doran said.

It’s a warning Nolan’s family takes to heart.

“Sometimes we set a timer now,” he said.

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