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Backseat Driver

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Hometown: Ohio
Member since: Sun May 5, 2019, 04:28 PM
Number of posts: 2,578

Journal Archives

El Salvador bought $21 million of bitcoin as it becomes first country to make it a legal currency

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/07/el-salvador-buys-400-bitcoin-ahead-of-law-making-it-legal-currency.html

KEY POINTS
El Salvador bought 400 bitcoin worth about $20.9 million, one day before it formally adopts the world’s most popular cryptocurrency as legal tender.

The announcement came as El Salvador’s bitcoin law, which was passed in June, took effect on Tuesday.

El Salvador has launched a wallet app called Chivo which citizens can sign up to with a national ID in order to transact using bitcoin.

Read more @ link.
Posted by Backseat Driver | Tue Sep 7, 2021, 11:26 AM (2 replies)

NIH study at Stanford says convalescent therapy doesn't work

for CoVid illnesses: https://www.labroots.com/trending/immunology/21171/convalescent-plasma-therapy-covid-19-doesn-t

AUG 31, 2021 7:00 AM PDT
Convalescent Plasma Therapy for COVID-19 Doesn't Work

After encountering an infectious agent, the immune system begins churning out antibodies—Y-shaped warriors that neutralize pathogens—into the blood circulation. In theory, donor blood from patients who have recovered from an infection could be used therapeutically, helping those experiencing severe symptoms recover.

In the case of COVID-19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency authorization for convalescent plasma therapy earlier on in the pandemic. This therapy was targeted towards patients in hospitals suffering from COVID-19, particularly those who were immunocompromised. Since its authorization, tens of thousands of patients in the U.S. have been administered convalescent plasma therapy, despite the lack of clinical trial data to support the efficacy of the treatment.

Now, a recent study by Stanford researchers has revealed the harsh reality of convalescent plasma therapy for COVID-19: it doesn’t work.After encountering an infectious agent, the immune system begins churning out antibodies—Y-shaped warriors that neutralize pathogens—into the blood circulation. In theory, donor blood from patients who have recovered from an infection could be used therapeutically, helping those experiencing severe symptoms recover.

In the case of COVID-19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency authorization for convalescent plasma therapy earlier on in the pandemic. This therapy was targeted towards patients in hospitals suffering from COVID-19, particularly those who were immunocompromised. Since its authorization, tens of thousands of patients in the U.S. have been administered convalescent plasma therapy, despite the lack of clinical trial data to support the efficacy of the treatment.

Now, a recent study by Stanford researchers has revealed the harsh reality of convalescent plasma therapy for COVID-19: it doesn’t work.

A clinical trial called C3P0 was initiated by researchers at the National Institutes of Health around a year ago. The study aimed to understand how high-risk patients (such as those with underlying medical conditions such as asthma and Type 2 diabetes) would benefit from convalescent plasma therapy at the early stages of COVID-19 infection. This subset of patients is especially prone to progressing on to more severe, life-threatening symptoms of the disease, and early on during the pandemic, there were very few clinical options to support their recovery.

In February—despite only enrolling around 500 of the targeted 900 study participants—the C3PO study was terminated after researchers found no benefit of convalescent plasma at resisting severe COVID-19 symptoms compared to the placebo.

Initially, researchers involved in the study estimated that plasma therapy might slash the risk of COVID-19 progression by around 10 percent. However, the clinical data collected from C3PO revealed that this number was under two percent.

“While this trial was negative, we need to continue this research to understand when passive immunotherapy such as convalescent plasma can be effective in treating emerging infectious diseases,” commented Kevin Schulman, one of the lead investigators involved in this work.

A clinical trial called C3P0 was initiated by researchers at the National Institutes of Health around a year ago. The study aimed to understand how high-risk patients (such as those with underlying medical conditions such as asthma and Type 2 diabetes) would benefit from convalescent plasma therapy at the early stages of COVID-19 infection. This subset of patients is especially prone to progressing on to more severe, life-threatening symptoms of the disease, and early on during the pandemic, there were very few clinical options to support their recovery.

In February—despite only enrolling around 500 of the targeted 900 study participants—the C3PO study was terminated after researchers found no benefit of convalescent plasma at resisting severe COVID-19 symptoms compared to the placebo.

Initially, researchers involved in the study estimated that plasma therapy might slash the risk of COVID-19 progression by around 10 percent. However, the clinical data collected from C3PO revealed that this number was under two percent.

“While this trial was negative, we need to continue this research to understand when passive immunotherapy such as convalescent plasma can be effective in treating emerging infectious diseases,” commented Kevin Schulman, one of the lead investigators involved in this work.
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This study last year - now they should have a lot more data. I was pleased to be that "guinea pig" as an early fully vaxxed w/the 2 Pfizer shots, masking, and distancing. Now bring on that 3rd booster! Sooner than later! Delta is running rampant and now there's a Mu variant also being identified - October is also my month for flu shot, and I'd like not to confuse or overstimulate the old 70+ year old immune system. I have pre-existing conditions; apparently still not sick enough for added protection against the SARS-CoV2?
Posted by Backseat Driver | Wed Sep 1, 2021, 05:46 PM (2 replies)

Public Service Health Alert:

The other pandemic:
Posted by Backseat Driver | Tue Aug 24, 2021, 09:53 AM (0 replies)

Storm incoming!

Posted by Backseat Driver | Wed Aug 11, 2021, 04:11 PM (1 replies)

This doesn't sound good - more of the same targeted cyber-chaos?

Anyone see this?

https://techxplore.com/news/2021-07-spyware-campaign-journalists-activists.html?utm_source=nwletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily-nwletter

JULY 15, 2021

Spyware campaign targeted journalists, activists: researchers



A spyware campaign using tools from a secretive Israeli firm was used to attack and impersonate dozens of human rights activists, journalists, dissidents, politicians and others, researchers said Thursday.

Statements from Microsoft security researchers and the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab said powerful "cyberweapons" were being used in precision attacks targeting more than 100 victims around the world.

Microsoft said it patched this week the vulnerability exploited by the group, known by the names Candiru and Sourgum.

Citizen Lab said in a blog post that "Candiru is a secretive Israel-based company that sells spyware exclusively to governments," which can then use it to "infect and monitor iPhones, Androids, Macs, PCs, and cloud accounts." (snip) to more surprises and intrigue.


Posted by Backseat Driver | Fri Jul 16, 2021, 12:16 AM (1 replies)

I have some very weird questions about graveside services

Do cemeteries have a continously open vault available for multi-use graveside services that are NOT at the actual final resting place (gravesite)? for convenience of perhaps parking availability? So, later, the deceased is re-elevated and then lowered into the actual resting place and a displayed cap is then moved from the multi-use vault to then cover the actual grave or are those caps also "faked" as with stick on lettering?

When severe weather disturbs a graveside service at which a canopy over the purported vault was provided, is the service re-scheduled, cancelled, delayed until the storm passes - are the fees charged only for transportation of the deceased to the grave site at the appropriate time for a scheduled grave site service if and when it is cancelled by a relative who has planned one at the time of the interrupting storms? Are the "helpers" from the arranging funeral home paid by the hour, i.e., driver of hearse, handlers of coffin and supplies of, say, flowers to be placed by those attending? Are country cemeteries so busy, have such a busy daily schedule, that a delay of the service isn't possible?

Are these ways commonly used to defray costs of said services? Seems very disrespectful of the deceased and mourners present...I've never had to plan for any services for an internment. Sorry if these questions seem odd...
Posted by Backseat Driver | Sun Jun 27, 2021, 12:02 PM (5 replies)

Shifting Sands/Soils and Landscape-evolution

https://phys.org/news/2021-06-shifting-sands-soils-landscape-evolution.html?

Shifting sands, creeping soils, and a new understanding of landscape evolution
by Erica K. Brockmeier, University of Pennsylvania

A new study published in Nature Communications finds that piles of sand grains, even when undisturbed, are in constant motion. Using highly-sensitive optical interference data, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Vanderbilt University present results that challenge existing theories in both geology and physics about how soils and other types of disordered materials behave.

Most people only become aware of soil movement on hillsides when soil suddenly loses its rigidity, a phenomenon known as yield. "Say that you have soil on a hillside. Then, if there's an earthquake or it rains, this material that's apparently solid becomes a liquid," says principal investigator Douglas Jerolmack of Penn. "The prevailing framework treats this failure as if it's a crack breaking. The reason that's problematic is because you're modeling the material by a solid mechanical criterion, but you're modeling it at the point at which it becomes a liquid, so there's an inherent contradiction."

Such a model implies that, below yield the soil is a solid and therefore should not flow, but soil slowly and persistently "flows" below its yield point in a process known as creep. The prevailing geological explanation for soil creep is that it is caused by physical or biological disturbances, such as freeze-thaw cycles, fallen trees, or burrowing animals, that act to move soil.

In this study, lead author and Penn Ph.D. candidate Nakul S. Deshpande was interested in observing individual sand particles at rest which, based on existing theories, should be entirely immobile. "Researchers have built models by presuming certain behaviors of the soil grains in creep, but no one had actually just directly observed what the grains do," says Deshpande. (snip)

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Posted by Backseat Driver | Fri Jun 25, 2021, 07:47 AM (5 replies)

Chlorine Shortage Could Impact Millions of Pools This Summer--Here's What You Should Know

https://www.bhg.com/syndication/a-chlorine-shortage-could-impact-millions-of-pools-this-summer-heres-what-you-should-know/?did=637653-20210526&cmp=bhgdecorating_052621&utm_campaign=bhg-decorating_newsletter&utm_source=bhg.com&utm_medium=email&utm_content=052621&cid=637653&mid=58453461777

Morgan Smith - May 4, 2021

Swimmers may have to wait a little while longer before diving into summer.

The United States is experiencing a nationwide chlorine shortage fueled by a pandemic-induced swimming pool boom and a fire at a major chemical plant in Louisiana, according to multiple outlets.

Demand for swimming pools has skyrocketed amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as people spend more time outdoors and in their backyards — and that demand has put a strain on chlorine supplies, CNBC reported. (snip)

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Not sure of a better forum in which to put this article. In addition, perhaps it was posted earlier this month? Has anyone experienced problems with swimming pool setup?

Posted by Backseat Driver | Wed May 26, 2021, 03:28 PM (27 replies)

Where Did the Monkeys Near Fort Lauderdale Airport Come From?

https://www.labroots.com/trending/plants-and-animals/20505/monkeys-near-fort-lauderdale-airport-from

A colony of wild African vervet monkeys calls a thick mangrove forest near Fort Lauderdale's airport home. New research has investigated this colony of monkeys, which apparently settled in the area near Dania Beach, over 70 years ago. This is an urban area, and locals are well aware of these monkeys, but little is known about their history. [snip]



Really did not know there were monkeys living in the wild in Florida. Weird.
Posted by Backseat Driver | Tue May 25, 2021, 03:17 PM (12 replies)
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