Turkish Tuesdays, smiles, and feet as mass transit!

Inspiring Critical Thinking and Community via Books, Lessons, and Story

(Originally posted in2020, but still pertinent, if not more, today:)

Back when I lived in Izmir, I walked everywhere. Izmir does have a good bus system, btw, with a convenient Kent Cart system, like London’s Oyster card and DC’s SmarTrip card. Yet, some days, I just preferred to walk.

Yet, good Public Transit is crucial for those who cannot walk (and remember that increasingly large parts of even the American population are aging out of the ability to drive safely.  Note that I did not say the ability to drive, but the ability to do so safely…)

Short story: glad I smiled at someone I did not know -who thanked me, and made me grateful to be alive, back in 2005. And also today.

Less short version of the story:
Ok, so after a useless day yesterday of only 1100 words written, and desperate fears of 8 more…

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China’s Russia Problem – The New York Times

China is trying to shape and lead the existing world order. “It benefits enormously from international stability,” Fareed Zakaria, the foreign-policy journalist, has pointed out. As The Times’s Thomas Friedman wrote, “Peace has been very good for China.”

Russia is both weaker and less satisfied with the recent developments. “Putin may dream of restoring Soviet-era greatness,” Paul Krugman wrote yesterday, “but China’s economy, which was roughly the same size as Russia’s 30 years ago, is now 10 times as large.” Today, Russia’s economy largely revolves around energy exports, giving it an incentive to foment political instability; oil prices often go up when the world is unstable.

“Putin is sort of an arsonist of the system,” Hass said. “China’s interests are not advanced by that.”

Pennsylvania man pleads guilty to threatening to murder Democratic senators | TheHill

A Pennsylvania man on Monday pleaded guilty to threatening to murder Democratic senators.

Kenelm Shirk was indicted by a grand jury in February 2021 on a charge of making terroristic threats.

He was driving to Washington, D.C., in January 2021 when Pennsylvania State Police stopped him. Authorities recovered several firearms and a large amount of ammunition in a search of his vehicle, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. He was taken into custody and charged with making terroristic threats.

In February 2021, a federal grand jury indicted him for “threatening to murder members of the United States Senate,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Authorities alleged that Shirk “made threats to murder Democratic members of the United States Senate.”

Shirk initially pleaded not guilty to the charge in February 2021, but changed his plea on Monday, according to Fox 43.

U.S. Attorney John Gurganus said Shirk’s effort was linked to retaliation against senators who voted to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election on Jan. 6, 2021,  ABC 27 News reported.

Source: Pennsylvania man pleads guilty to threatening to murder Democratic senators | TheHill

Internet Backbone Giant Lumen Cuts Service To Russia – Slashdot

Lumen Technologies, an American company that operates one of the largest Internet backbones and carries a significant percentage of the world’s Internet traffic, said today it will stop routing traffic for organizations based in Russia. KrebsOnSecurity reports:Lumen’s decision comes just days after a similar exit by backbone provider Cogent, and amid a news media crackdown in Russia that has already left millions of Russians in the dark about what is really going on with their president’s war in Ukraine. Monroe, La. based Lumen (formerly CenturyLink) initially said it would halt all new business with organizations based in Russia, leaving open the possibility of continuing to serve existing clients there. But on Tuesday the company said it could no longer justify that stance. Source: Internet Backbone Giant Lumen Cuts Service To Russia – Slashdot

Amazon Nears ‘Tipping Point’ Where Rainforest Could Transform Into Savanna – Slashdot

By examining satellite images taken between 1991 and 2016, the researchers determined how long the rainforest took to bounce back after such events, The Guardian reported. The researchers determined that, since the turn of the 21st century, the rainforest has been taking longer and longer to recover biomass, meaning the mass of living trees and other vegetation, after droughts and fires. “That lack of resilience shows that, indeed, there is only so much of a beating that this forest can take,” Paulo Brando, a tropical ecologist at the University of California, Irvine who was not involved in the study, told The New York Times. If the rainforests surpasses this tipping point, the ecosystem could swiftly change into a vast savanna, unleashing tens of billions of tons of carbon dioxide during the transformation, The Guardian reported.

At this point, can anything be done to prevent the Amazon rainforest from turning into the Amazon savanna? Experts say there is. “These systems are highly resilient, and the fact that we have reduced resilience doesn’t mean that it has lost all its resilience,” Brando told the Times. “If you leave them alone for a little bit, they come back super strongly.” But it requires key steps to be taken, experts said. “We have to get to zero deforestation, zero forest degradation,” Carlos Nobre, a senior scientist at the National Institute of Amazonian Research in Brazil, who was not involved in the study, told the Times. “We still have a chance to save the forest.” Source: Amazon Nears ‘Tipping Point’ Where Rainforest Could Transform Into Savanna – Slashdot

Serendipity, the Brain and Death


Sometimes you get interesting data by accident. You weren’t trying to do research; you were trying to do something else entirely. But the data fall into your lap, so to speak. Do you throw the data away, or share what you’ve found?

This particular incident has taken five years to surface. In 2016, an elderly Canadian was hospitalized with seizures. He was given medication and then the doctors conducted tests to determine the cause of the seizures.

An EEG turned out to be the final test.(2) As the team measured brain waves, the patient underwent a series of seizures, then cardiac arrest, and then death. (The patient had a Do Not Resuscitate order in force.) The EEG collected 15 minutes of data spanning these events.

What did the EEG detect?

  • The brain functions for 30 seconds after the heart stops.
  • There was a pause in brain activity just after the…

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