Tag Archives: people


Posted: September 29, 2016 at 11:49 am

Jonathan Robinson has made a career of uncovering hacks that increase happiness & bliss in peoples lives. We introduced him to the concept of neurohacking and gave him some Qualia to try. He liked it so much, hes added it to his morning protocol. Below are a… Supplement Police is a rank and review nutritional supplement website. They base their reviews off 6 elements they believe will tell you whether the product youre searching for will be a worthwhile investment. Theyve taken the time to review Qualia, and were… Thaddeus and Chris at ERISFIT are consummate biohackers. They focus on how they can modify their nutrition, exercise, sleep, movement, and mindset to maximize performance and achieve greater levels of wellbeing. Their goal is to bring these tools and practices into… In a previous post, we discussed the value of nootropics as a tool in the neurohackers toolbox. They can help get us dialed in with laser focus and get things done. They can aid with concentration, learning, and memory. But productivity isnt the only context for the… Lets face it as anyone who is paying attention knows, we humans are in a bit of an emergence through emergency scenario. Every day the people and institutions that we used to be able to rely on are falling apart; failing to do even a little part of their… Neurohacking is all about using the right tool for the job. While racetams and transcranial stimulators more directly interface with our brain and neurochemistry, there are other less obvious ways to impact our psychological well-being and subjective experience…. Nootropics. You might have heard of them. The limitless pill that keeps Billionaires richer than you. The smart drugs that students are taking to help jack up their hyperfocus (Vice). The cognitive enhancers that give corporate executives an unfair advantage…. The term hacker has its origins in computer programming subcultures from the 60s, and was used to describe people who wanted to take on hard problems in a spirit of playful exploration and a resistance to unearned authority. Although the methods, means and…

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Articles about Victimless Crime – philly-archives

Posted: September 22, 2016 at 8:01 pm


August 20, 2010 | By STEPHANIE FARR, farrs@phillynews.com 215-854-4225

A few unhappy endings occurred around Philadelphia International Airport Wednesday, and it had nothing to do with missed connections. Police arrested nine people in a prostitution sting using Craigslist and City Paper advertisements to target hookers who frequent airport hotels. Capt. Dan MacDonald III, commanding officer of the 12th District, which covers Southwest Philadelphia and the airport, said that there’s been an uptick in crime at airport hotels over the last six to eight months that can be linked to prostitution.


October 18, 2008 | By Emilie Lounsberry INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Jocelyn S. Kirsch – half of Philadelphia’s infamous pair of identity-theft scammers known as “Bonnie and Clyde” – was sentenced yesterday to five years in prison by a judge who said her crimes were born of “greed and a desire to fuel a lavish lifestyle. ” Kirsch, 23, had benefited from “the best that America can offer – good schools, an opportunity to grow up in a safe environment,” said U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno. And yet she “visited harm on at least 50 victims,” many of them friends and colleagues.


June 13, 2008 | By Suzette Parmley INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

In what police said was a sign of what is to come, officers raided a purported house of prostitution in Chinatown yesterday and arrested four women. “We’ve gotten several complaints at this location before,” Chief Inspector William Colarulo said last night. “The mayor and the commissioner have vowed to crack down on quality-of-life issues in the city. “We will have zero tolerance for this type of activity,” he said, “and in light of Welcome America approaching, you will see frequent raids of these houses of prostitution that are thinly disguised as massage parlors.


October 19, 2004 | By Murray Dubin INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

“So much pain is in this room,” said a solemn pastor yesterday, as sobs and shrieks pierced the funeral services for Marcella Coleman, 54, and her grandson, Tahj Porchea, 12. Those two victims, and four others, died Oct. 9 in a house fire at 3256 N. Sixth St. Police are investigating the deaths as homicides. About 800 friends and family members, seeking solace after an enormous loss, filled the Holy Ghost Headquarters Revival Center at Broad and Poplar Streets. White and yellow carnations covered two cream-colored closed caskets with gold trim.


April 28, 2004

IWOULD like to thank Carla Anderson, the Urban Warrior, for hopefully cutting down on the number of prostitution arrests in Philadelphia. Prostitution is not a victimless crime. The victims are the people living in the neighborhoods where the crimes are taking place, who are neither buying nor soliciting this crime. If you cut down the demand, you will cut down the supply. By publishing pictures of the “johns,” she is not ruining lives. The people committing the crimes are ruining their loved ones’ lives, as well as their own. Keep at it, Carla – it is good to know that people care about the neighborhoods of Philly!


February 17, 2004

HAVING sex in public only gets you the relatively minor charge of public lewdness in Philadelphia. As Homer Simpson would say: WooHoo! But before you start making your weekend plans, you might want to stay away from the Port Richmond area. Residents there are understandably fed-up with vans that are a-rockin’. As Daily News columnist Carla Anderson reported last week, working girls and their johns have suddenly discovered the curb appeal of the quiet residential streets in the middle-class neighborhood.


September 22, 1999 | By Claude Lewis

When Tonight Show host Jay Leno is not having a particularly good response to his monologue, with a wink he sometimes makes a casual reference to the “world’s oldest profession. ” Comedians learn early in the game they can depend on getting a laugh at the mere mention of prostitution. But prostitution is anything but a laughing matter. Nor is it a victimless crime, as many argue. Nearly everybody involved in the trade suffers in one way or another. Mostly, it’s the women who walk the streets who experience the greatest degradation, who expose themselves to all sorts of risks ranging from abuse, sexually transmitted diseases (including AIDS)


October 25, 1997

What would have been just another autumn Saturday in Philadelphia has the makings of a historic moment, thanks to the Million Woman March. Two compelling principles – self-determination and commitment to community – have drawn thousands of African-American women here for a day of reflection, celebration and renewal. It’s fitting that they’ve come to Philadelphia, where the ideals of democracy and individual freedom were the foundation for a new nation more than two centuries ago. Welcome to the marchers – expected to number at least several hundred thousand – and to the throngs of other guests expected this weekend.


August 13, 1997

Why no arrests over phony car-stop reports? “Why no arrest for roadside lies?” (editorial Aug. 9): Why? Because believing African-Americans committed a crime is so readily accepted. The authorities are allowing these white people to get away with what they think is a victimless crime. You can tell this by what they said about “extenuating circumstances. ” What circumstances they never say. I do not think the crime is victimless. It only makes me wonder about the statistics in your other editorial that day, “The new prison boom.


February 3, 1995 | By Richard Berkowitz, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT

Those who patronize prostitutes in the borough may be getting some free and unwanted publicity. The Borough Council has moved a step closer to adopting a so-called John and Jane ordinance. Similar to an ordinance adopted in Philadelphia last year, it would provide for publishing the names and addresses of those convicted of patronizing or attempting to patronize prostitutes in the borough. The names would appear in a local newspaper. Council members at Wednesday night’s meeting unanimously approved publicly advertising the ordinance, a first step toward adoption.

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Articles about Victimless Crime – philly-archives

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Mars Colonization: Elon Musks Plans And SpaceX …

Posted: at 7:46 pm

First Posted: Sep 22, 2016 06:04 AM EDT

In less than a week, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is reportedly going to explain his colonization plans for Mars, a goal close to his heart and one that he has championed for many years. According to speculations, Musk will talk about the technologies and vehicles needed to transport people to the Martian surface, and create a settlement there.

The Tesla cofounder is going to talk about his plans on September 27. Incidentally, the announcement coincides with an awkward time for SpaceX, after the company faced a major debacle when one of its Falcon 9 rockets exploded in the Cape Canaveral launch pad. However, going by Musk’s talk schedule, it doesn’t seem like the plan to discuss his Mars vision next week has changed.

“I think there is a strong humanitarian argument for making life multi-planetary in order to safeguard the existence of humanity in the event that something catastrophic were to happen,”Elon Musk had stated previously in 2014. However, the CEO of SpaceX has never absolutely cleared what his plans for Mars entail. Based on periodic information released by Musk and SpaceX, regarding various technologies, here is what can be gathered about the Mars colonization plan as of now, until the real picture is presented by the man himself.

The plan to reach the red planet, as forwarded by Musk, is based on two main elements that comprise of a rocket booster and a giant spaceship that will transport people and cargo. After being launched by the booster, the spaceship will continue on its long journey to Mars. The two vehicles have been referred to as the Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT); however last week the name was changed to Interplanetary Transport System, because Musk believes the vehicles can also make a journey beyond Mars. Over the past few years, Musk has indicated that rocket used to propel the spaceship will be reusable, and he hopes to launch the first manned spaceship in 2024. However, a test to launch a person into space has still not been conducted by SpaceX.

A key part of the rocket and spaceship will be the Raptor, a huge engine that the company has been working on since 2009. According to Musk, the Raptor will be capable of 500,000 pounds of thrust at liftoff, which implies it will be as strong as the main engines of the space shuttle. The component will reportedly be fueled with liquid methane, unlike the kerosene dependent Merlin engines used for powering the Falcon 9 rockets. Furthermore, a whole group of such raptors will power the Interplanetary Transport System, though their precise numbers are still unclear at the moment. Incidentally, the first full-scale Raptor was transported to the SpaceX testing facility in Texas earlier this year.

Musk had also revealed SpaceX’s plan to launch a series of Red Dragon missions, starting in 2018 whose sole purpose will be to see if the vehicle can drop off supplies to the Martian surface to set up the framework of hardware and equipment in preparation for the people journeying from Earth. In addition, Musk has also revealed that his spaceship will be brought back to Earth and won’t be on a one way journey like the Mars One project. “These spaceships are expensive, okay, they’re hard to build. You can’t just leave them there. So whether or not people want to come back or not is kind of – like they can jump on if they want, but we need the spaceship back,” Elon Musk has stated.

At the moment, it is not clear how the spaceship is going to make a return journey or where exactly will the people, who travel to Mars, live. The details will only be revealed once Musk talks about his plans next week.

TagsMars, Elon Musk, spacex

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The Libertarian Ticket: Johnson and Weld – CBS News

Posted: September 20, 2016 at 7:18 pm

The following is a script from The Libertarian Ticket which aired on Sept. 18, 2016. Steve Kroft is the correspondent. L. Franklin Devine and Maria Gavrilovic, producers.

When you look at your presidential ballot in November, somewhere below the Democratic and Republican lines you will find the Libertarian Party and the Green Party, but for many voters this year they might as well read none of the above.

In a race that features the most unpopular Democratic and Republican party choices in memory, they are the two alternatives to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and for the first time in 16 years third parties could well determine the outcome of the election. Right now, of the two alternatives, the Libertarian Party has the most support and is the only one on the ballot in all 50 states. The ticket of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld is currently favored by about eight or nine percent of the electorate even though 70 percent of the voters dont know who Johnson and Weld are. We thought it was time to give you a primer.

Libertarian presidential candidateGary Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld

CBS News

If you dont recognize them, the tall guy on the left is vice presidential candidate Bill Weld. The shorter one is former New Mexico governor and presidential nominee Gary Johnson. Right now they can stroll through a park unmolested by the press and the public. Their rallies usually attract only a few hundred people but they can still make some noise and are not without enthusiastic support.

[Rally: Gary Gary Gary. Bill Weld: The next president of the United States, Gary Johnson. Gary Johnson: You rock. You rock.]

Steve Kroft: Why are you doing this?

Gary Johnson: I think that we would do a really good job.

Play Video

Mitt Romney wished for it, so Steve Kroft asked-why isn’t Bill Weld at the top of the Libertarian ticket?

Bill Weld: I feel its something of a patriotic duty given how the election season is unfolding. We feel a responsibility to offer the country sort of a sober, sensible alternative.

[Gary Johnson: Has life in this country ever been better?]

They are no political neophytes. Each one won two terms as Republican governors in heavily Democratic states.

Play Video

On 60 Minutes in 2000, Gary Johnson explained his unconventional thoughts on drug policy –and why he thought using marijuana was “cool”

Steve Kroft: Do you really think you have a chance to win?

Gary Johnson: Neither of us would be doing this if we didnt think that that was a possibility.

Steve Kroft: Let me be a little skeptical here. I mean, right now the people–

Bill Weld: We expected no less.

Steve Kroft: Right. Right. Yeah. The people that do this for a living, to try and do polling, and public opinion surveys and make odds– some of the most prominent experts put your chances at about less than one percent, less than one percent.

Play Video

The Libertarian candidates have a plan that embraces immigration-so what do they think of Donald Trump’s plan?

Gary Johnson: I think that Donald Trump started out that way. And I wouldve given him that– I wouldve given him that percentage at the very start. But as crazy as this election season is, I think it could be the ultimate crazy and that is is that the two of us actually do get elected.

Steve Kroft: Right. And how does that happen?

Gary Johnson: Well presidential debates– a third alternative, 70 percent of America doesnt even know who we are. And yet we exist. I think theres a lot of opportunity here. And theres still a lot of time left.

[Bill Weld: –we are in a way breaking a glass ceiling–]

Theyre hoping to get a place in at least one of the presidential debates but right now they dont meet the threshold of 15 percent in the national polls.

Steve Kroft: Are you running against a two-party system?

Gary Johnson: Absolutely.

Bill Weld: Absolutely.

Gary Johnson: And Iand I do believe this is going to be the demise of the Republican Party.

Steve Kroft: So you see yourself as a protest vote?

Gary Johnson: No way. I think, a conciliatory vote. Look this is how we wanna come together.

Bill Weld: It happens, Steve, if people do think for themselves and focus on the choices available because the polling shows that nationally people do tend to agree with our approach. As Gary sometimes says, youre a libertarian. You just dont know it yet.

[Libertarian Party Convention: Lets bring back liberty.]

Play Video

Gary Johnson tells Steve Kroft why he believes marijuana use shouldn’t be a crime-and why changing policy is a matter of when, not if

The Libertarians were founded 45 years ago as an off-shoot of the Republicans. They tend to be fiscally conservative and social liberals who want the federal government out of their pockets, out of their schools, out of their computers, and out of their bedrooms.

[Supporter: So the hats are 25.]

They support the right to bear arms, even assault weapons. But they also believe women have the right to an abortion, gays have the right to marry, and adults the right to smoke pot.

[Supporter: Anybody looking for a bumper sticker?]

They oppose almost every federal program not mentioned specifically in the Constitution, including Social Security and Medicare and the regulatory agencies.

Play Video

The Libertarian candidate tells Steve Kroft how he plans to combat the terrorist organization, though he thinks there’s a bigger threat

Steve Kroft: Youre making yourself seem like mainstream candidates. But in fact, you know, your positions and the positions of the party arent mainstream, you know. Phasing out Medicare, youre for doing away with private health insurance– as a way to bring down medical costs. Youre talking about abolishing the IRS and imposing a 29 percent or 28 percent sales tax, essentially a sales tax. You call it a consumption tax. Talk about eliminating the Department of Homeland Security. I mean, these arent exactly mainstream opinion.

Gary Johnson: Well what you can count on the two of us to provide is consistency. Were going to always be consistent in looking for lower taxes. And much of what you cite is the Libertarian platform which, you know, we are the Libertarian nominees for president and vice president. But were not looking to eliminate Medicare. We do believe in a safety net. But there has to be reforms for Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security. And if were going to put our heads in the sand, if we say were going to do nothing in any of these areas, its a fiscal cliff.

Bill Weld: And nobody can tell me that no changes are necessary in Washington. Those bozos think that unless the appropriation of every single account goes up five percent, they call that a cut. Well, thats not how we approached our state budgets. And thats not what we would do in Washington either.

Steve Kroft: Do you think most people want to do away with the Department of Homeland Security?

Gary Johnson: Yeah, I do. I do. I think theres a real skepticism. I mean, really, we have the FBI. Wha– why another agency? I mean– and all these Homeland Security cars driving around these days, what are they doing?

Bill Weld: There are functions that youd have to retain and make sure they were attended to. But therere some who remind me of the, you know, muddled bureaucracy in Washington that nobody can quite tell you why theyre essential. And thats where I would go hunting.

They also want to abolish the Departments of Education, Commerce and Housing and Urban Development. They want to cut the Defense Budget by around 20 percent and get American troops out of Korea.

As theyve said, they dont agree with their party on everything — sometimes they dont even agree with each other.

Gary Johnson earned a fortune in construction before making his political name as the first governor ever to advocate the legalization of marijuana, and until earlier this year was CEO of a marijuana branding company.

Steve Kroft: Until recently, you were a consumer

Gary Johnson: Thats correct

Steve Kroft: –of marijuana.

Gary Johnson: One of 100 million Americans who have consumed marijuana. I am guilty. The unforgivable in life, hypocrisy, saying one thing and doing anothertelling the truth– I hope more than anything, Im credited here with telling the truth.

Steve Kroft: But youre not using marijuana now?

Gary Johnson: Im not.

[Bill Weld: running on the Libertarian ticket. Live free or die, baby, you know what they say.]

Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld is a card-carrying member of the Eastern Establishment, whose libertarian bonafides are still questioned by the true believers. Until his nomination in May he was a member of the nearly-extinct political species known as moderate Republicans.

Steve Kroft: You werent a Libertarian until a couple of months ago.

Bill Weld: Well, I considered myself a small L Libertarian since the 1970s. And people called me the Libertarian Republican.

They run a frugal low-key campaign in jeans and sneakers and keep a very loose schedule that can change by the hourly. When we were with them, their version of a presidential limousine was a rented red Toyota.

Steve Kroft: Do you have a motorcade?

Bill Weld: No. We dont have a motorcade.

Steve Kroft: You stop for red lights?

Gary Johnson: We do stop for red lights.

Steve Kroft: Do you have a campaign plane?

Bill Weld: We dont have a campaign plane.

Gary Johnson: No. No. We dont.

Bill Weld: We do fly commercial.

Steve Kroft: Do you have a campaign headquarters?

Bill Weld: Yes.

Gary Johnson: Yes. We do. But its– but if you went to the campaign headquarters, you wouldnt find anybody there because this is– you know, this is social media.

[Gary Johnson: Come on, get selfie, get selfie ready!]

They have a big presence on the Internet and claim to have 50 million followers — most of them young people. Johnson and Weld are good friends and say they plan to run a co-presidency sharing the same staff. On the campaign they often stay at each others homes.

Theyve tried everything to get more attention in hopes their campaign would go viral. And 10 days ago it did.

MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip /Willie Geist: Governor good to have you with us.

But it was the wrong kind when Johnson was unable to identify Aleppo as the center of the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip /Mike Barnicle: Aleppo.

MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip/Governor Gary Johnson: And what is Aleppo?

MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip /Mike Barnicle: Youre kidding.

MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip/Governor Gary Johnson: No.

Steve Kroft: Youve been on the front page a lot this month. You made a big splash. And it was a belly flop. Were talking about Aleppo here. Tell me about Aleppo. I mean, how did that happen?

Gary Johnson: Well, the– I– I blame no one but myself. I understand the underlying policy.

Steve Kroft: People have said,This guysnot qualified to be president. I mean, did– how do react to that?

Gary Johnson: Well– that– that I am human. I have a filter. And it starts with honesty. It starts with the truth. It starts with transparency– and would serve as president– in that capacity. When I was asked the question, the first thing that came into my mind was this is an acronym– ALEPPO– American– l–

Steve Kroft: Did it sound familiar to you?

Gary Johnson: Well, it didnt or I think I..but, but look I do not, in any way, want to make an excuse for myself. You know, so many people have said, Look, 90 percent of America doesnt know ALEPPO. Well, 90 percent of America is not running for president of the United States, no excuse. No excuse.

Bill Weld: But at the– at the end of the day, this is just my view, is Aleppo is a very important place name. But its a place name. Does that mean theyre disqualified from running for president? I mean, youd have very few people at the debates if that sort of thing was a disqualify– disqualification to run.

Gary Johnson: Thanks, Bill. But nonetheless, look, we are running for president and vice president.

Steve Kroft: Youre acknowledging that your candidacy has some flaws.

Gary Johnson: As do all candidacies. But I think–

Steve Kroft: But nobody– I– I– Im trying to remember a presidential candidate admitting that.

Gary Johnson: Well, that is the difference here. Thats what youre going to buy into is is that it will be transparent. And theres no quicker way to fix mistakes than actually acknowledging them in the first place.

Steve Kroft: Do you have foreign policy advisers?

Gary Johnson: Well, certainly.

Steve Kroft: Do you have military strategists?

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TMS Meeting and Events

Posted: at 7:14 pm

Meetings & Events MEETINGS & EVENTS TMS ANNUAL MEETING Visit the TMS Annual Meeting website

REQUEST MEETING INFO Request information on one or more upcoming TMS meetings.

INTL. TRAVEL VISA Instructions on how to generate official visa travel letters

SUBMIT A MEETING Submit a meeting for inclusion in the global calendar

TMS 2016 Industrial Aluminum Electrolysis Course September 1923, 2016 * Longkou City, Shandong Province, China

The Industrial Aluminum Course is the definitive course on theory and practice of primary aluminum production, taught by five leading experts in the industry. Attendees will gain practical information based on real-world application and experience. [WEBSITE]

Materials Science and Engineering Congress (MSE) is one of the largest English-speaking scientific congresses with an exhibition in Europe. Organized by the German Materials Society (DGM) and co-sponsored by TMS, this biennial congress brings together international experts in materials science and engineering. [WEBSITE]

The Arctic Technology Conference (ATC) is built upon the successful multidisciplinary approach of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), the worlds foremost event for the development of offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection. TMS is one of 14 sponsoring technical societies and organizations working together to deliver the worlds most comprehensive Arctic event. [WEBSITE]

Materials Science & Technology 2016 (MS&T16) is organized by the American Ceramic Society, the Association for Iron & Steel Technology, ASM International, and TMS, with NACE as a co-sponsor. The MS&T partnership brings together scientists, engineers, students, suppliers, and more to discuss current research and technical applications, and to shape the future of materials science and technology. [WEBSITE]

TMS2017 welcomes two co-located international conferences: the 3rd Pan American Materials Congress organized by nine professional societies spanning the Americas, and Energy Materials 2017, co-organized by TMS and the Chinese Society for Metals. Both are included with your TMS2017 registration. TMS2017 will also introduce a more comprehensive approach to your annual meeting experience by extending special events and technical programming to four full days. Check the TMS2017 website regularly for updates on new features and activities under development. [WEBSITE]

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) is where energy professionals meet to exchange ideas and opinions to advance scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters. TMS is one of 13 sponsoring organizations working cooperatively to develop the technical program of the conference. [WEBSITE]

The key goals of this congress are to convene stakeholders from across all areas of modeling and simulation, experimental specialization, and design, as well as from across academia, government, and industry, to address integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) tools and techniques and their integration, as well as to examine their application in engineering. [WEBSITE]

The purpose of the Environmental Degradation of Materials Conference series is to foster an exchange of ideas about such problems and their remedies in water-cooled nuclear power plants of today and the future. [WEBSITE]

The Liquid Metal Processing & Casting Conference (LMPC 2017) is a 2.5-day event that brings together people from both academia and industry every two years to discuss the latest advances in primary and secondary melt processing including VIM, VAR, ESR, and EBCHR. This event showcases the latest technological and scientific advances related to those industrial processes used to cast large ingots of highly alloyed metals. [WEBSITE]

Hosted by the Federation of European Materials Societies (FEMS), EUROMAT 2017 is the European Congress and Exhibition on Advanced Materials and Processes. For 2017, the congress will include symposia organized by TMS. [WEBSITE]

The TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition brings together more than 4,000 business leaders, engineers, scientists and other professionals in the materials field for an outstanding exchange of technical knowledge leading to solutions in the workplace and in society. [WEBSITE]

The TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition brings together more than 4,000 business leaders, engineers, scientists and other professionals in the materials field for an outstanding exchange of technical knowledge leading to solutions in the workplace and in society. [WEBSITE]

The TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition brings together more than 4,000 business leaders, engineers, scientists and other professionals in the materials field for an outstanding exchange of technical knowledge leading to solutions in the workplace and in society. [WEBSITE]

TMS Meetings Department The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 184 Thorn Hill Road Warrendale, PA 15086 USA Telephone (724) 776-9000 Fax (724) 776-3770 E-mail: mtgserv@tms.org

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Psoriasis | DermNet New Zealand

Posted: September 18, 2016 at 8:09 am

Home Topics AZ Psoriasis

Author:Hon A/Prof Amanda Oakley, Hamilton, New Zealand. Revised and updated, August 2014.

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterised by clearly defined, red and scaly plaques (thickened skin). It is classified into several subtypes.

Psoriasis affects 24% of males and females. It can start at any age including childhood, with peaks of onset at 1525 years and 5060 years. It tends to persist lifelong, fluctuating in extent and severity. It is particularly common in Caucasians, but may affect people of any race. About one third of patients with psoriasis have family members with psoriasis.

Psoriasis is multifactorial. It is classified as an immune-mediated inflammatory disease (IMID).

Genetic factors are important. An individual’s genetic profile influences their type of psoriasis and its response to treatment.

Genome-wide association studies report that HLA-Cw6 is associated with early onset psoriasis and guttate psoriasis. This major histocompatibility complex is not associated with arthritis, nail dystrophy or late onset psoriasis.

Theories about the causes of psoriasis need to explain why the skin is red, inflamed and thickened. It is clear that immune factors and inflammatory cytokines (messenger proteins) such is IL1 and TNF are responsible for the clinical features of psoriasis. Current theories are exploring the TH17 pathway and release of the cytokine IL17A.

Psoriasis usually presents with symmetrically distributed, red, scaly plaques with well-defined edges. The scale is typically silvery white, except in skin folds where the plaques often appear shiny and they may have a moist peeling surface. The most common sites are scalp, elbows and knees, but any part of the skin can be involved. The plaques are usually very persistent without treatment.

Itch is mostly mild but may be severe in some patients, leading to scratching and lichenification (thickened leathery skin with increased skin markings). Painful skin cracks or fissures may occur.

When psoriatic plaques clear up, they may leave brown or pale marks that can be expected to fade over several months.

Certain features of psoriasis can be categorised to help determine appropriate investigations and treatment pathways. Overlap may occur.

Generalised pustulosis and localised palmoplantar pustulosis are no longer classified within the psoriasis spectrum.

Patients with psoriasis are more likely than other people to have other health conditions listed here.

Psoriasis is diagnosed by its clinical features. If necessary, diagnosis is supported by typical skin biopsy findings.

Medical assessment entails a careful history, examination, questioning about effect of psoriasis on daily life, and evaluation of comorbid factors.

Validated tools used to evaluate psoriasis include:

The severity of psoriasis is classified as mild in 60% of patients, moderate in 30% and severe in 10%.

Evaluation of comorbidities may include:

Patients with psoriasis should ensure they are well informed about their skin condition and its treatment. There are benefits from not smoking, avoiding excessive alcohol and maintaining optimal weight.

Mild psoriasis is generally treated with topical agents alone. Which treatment is selected may depend on body site, extent and severity of the psoriasis.

Most psoriasis centres offer phototherapy with ultraviolet (UV) radiation, often in combination with topical or systemic agents. Types of phototherapy include

Moderate to severe psoriasis warrants treatment with a systemic agent and/or phototherapy. The most common treatments are:

Other medicines occasionally used for psoriasis include:

Systemic corticosteroids are best avoided due to risk of severe withdrawal flare of psoriasis and adverse effects.

Biologics or targeted therapies are reserved for conventional treatment-resistant severe psoriasis, mainly because of expense, as side effects compare favourably with other systemic agents. These include:

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The bizarre world of bitcoin mining finds a new home in …

Posted: September 14, 2016 at 1:09 am

Inside a metal shed in the Tibetan highlands of western China, thousands of microprocessors flank narrow corridors, generating a constant hum and stifling waves of heat.

Outside, the sky is clear and blue, with a mountain peak looming at the top of a narrow wooded valley. A flock of goats ambles idly past a pile of discarded foam packaging. Inside, though, tranquility is transformed into clamor. Red, blue and green lights constantly flash; cooling water trickles down the walls, and large ventilation fans thrum as they struggle to shift the hot air produced by all this concentrated computing power.

This is a bitcoin mine, the engine room of the worlds leading digital currency. The microprocessors here approve and record all the transactions that keep the bitcoin system running. They also compete to solve complex mathematical problems and are rewarded with bitcoins: Thats a way of putting fresh digital currency into circulation and incentivizing more people to set up mining operations.

Bitcoin began as a utopian, libertarian dream, a decentralized currency outside the control of governments, a system that gives its users the anonymity of cash and the instant, global power of email. This was a system built not just for convenience, but also for those who cant bring themselves to trust the global financial system, created by a programmer whose identity remains a mystery.

Across Tibet, China is busy pulling mineral resources out of the ground; there is even a gold mine close by. But here in Kongyu, most of the mining is virtual. It is here because of extremely cheap hydropower, cheap wages and perhaps because Chinese entrepreneurs have a knack for the business.

[Chinas scary lesson to the world: Censoring the Internet works]

For a while, bitcoin was effectively kidnapped by drug dealers, becoming the anonymous payment backbone of the Silk Road, a black market in illegal drugs that flourished on the dark Net until the FBI closed that market down in 2013.

Today it is an industry that is starting to come of age, but whose center of gravity has shifted to China, and away from utopian dreamers toward venture capitalists.

When bitcoin was invented, the people dedicated to it were mostly crypto-punks and libertarians, said Eric Mu, the chief marketing officer with HaoBTC, which operates the bitcoin mine in this township in Chinas western Sichuan province. Now they are more like bankers and lawyers who see opportunities in the industry. And as they join, the industry is changing.

In this case, changing also means moving to China.

Today, mines run by Chinese companies account for about 70percent of the worlds bitcoin processing power, its factories produce the cheapest microprocessors to run these mines, and its exchanges account for about 70percent of the worlds bitcoin trade.

It is increasingly big business. Altogether there around more than 15 million bitcoin in existence: Each is worth $615 at current prices, with a market capitalization of $9.2 billion.

For some, Chinese domination of an industry once controlled by libertarian crypto-punks is a rich irony. For others, it is a more practical threat: Chinese miners, some argued, have been standing in the way of reforms needed to speed up transaction speeds on bitcoins fast-expanding network of users.

But those concerns might be overblown.

Some people in the Western world were painting Chinese miners with too broad a brush, said Emin Gn Sirer, a computer science professor at Cornell University. Its not the case that all Chinese miners are part of the same enterprise or are colluding.

But Sirer identifies one risk with the concentration of mining power here: If the Chinese government wanted, it could in theory crack down on miners and force them to block certain bitcoin accounts.

They would not be able to usurp funds, but they could stop the motion of funds, he said, describing exactly the sort of government control bitcoin was supposed to guard against.

These are concerns that have parallels with the way China is using its digital market power to reshape the Internet and influence the global debate about censorship and surveillance.

But here, in the mountains of Sichuan, it is hard to see much evidence of a Chinese plot to bring bitcoin to heel.

The Chinese government has employed a fairly light touch. Although it banned banks from taking part in bitcoin trading in 2013, it left ordinary people free to buy and trade the crypto-currency, and miners free to operate.

[Internet activists are finding ways around Chinas Great Firewall]

The industry is run by a disparate mix of investors and dreamers and is manned by electricians and IT experts. There are people like Ryan Xu, an infectiously enthusiastic Chinese-born Australian who first became interested in libertarian economics while working as a reactor operator in a nuclear power plant. He now describes himself as both a utopian and a venture capitalist.

We need to foresee the next five or 10 years, he said in a wide-ranging conversation over dinner in the western city of Kangding. All the governments are printing money and diluting peoples wealth. Is that justice or robbery? The financial system also keeps crashing every five or 10 years. I think thats an illness in the monetary system and it needs a cure.

He says he is not sure bitcoin is the answer, but it is at least an experiment that might work.

So why China?

Running microprocessors sucks electricity. Competition is intense, and profit margins are narrow: Xu has moved his mines around the world in search of the cheapest power, from Iceland to Georgia, and then to Washington state, from the coal fields of Chinas northern Inner Mongolia province and now to the mountains of Sichuan.

His latest mine is still under construction, between a hydroelectric power plant and the concrete shell of a disused power transmission station, between Kongyu and the city of Kangding.

As Chinas economy boomed, private companies set up hydroelectric plants in western Sichuan; then, as the economy slowed, they found themselves unable to sell to the national grid, elbowed out of the market by more politically powerful state-owned firms.

It took a lot of money to build the plants, but it doesnt cost that much to maintain them, said HaoBTCs Mu. So it makes sense for them to sell the power to anyone willing to buy, even at a low rate.

Maintenance staffers are cheaper here than in the West. Mu says his company employs 10 people at three mines in the mountains, paying them around 6,000 yuan ($900) a month, a decent salary for this part of the world. HaoBTC runs one other mine in Sichuan and one farther west in Xinjiang, with more than 11,000 machines, earning more than 80 bitcoin a day a daily income stream worth more than $745,000.

[These viral selfie apps with 1 billion downloads are shaping Chinas start-up culture]

But it is not only Chinese entrepreneurs who have taken to bitcoin. Deprived of good investment opportunities at home, and burned by a volatile stock market, a growing number of Chinese people have begun speculating and investing in bitcoin.

Bobby Lee, a former Silicon Valley engineer who founded Chinas first bitcoin exchange, BTCC, attributes it partly to a natural instinct to buy and sell.

If you look at Las Vegas or Macau or casinos worldwide, how come most of the clientele are of Asian descent, or Chinese specifically? he asked. It has to do with some cultural instinct. Chinese people like to gamble.

Yet as bitcoin matures, it is also experiencing some significant growing pains.

Bitcoin is virtual money that cuts out banks and credit card companies, and has gotten more popular recently. Here’s what you need to know about the original cryptocurrency. (Davin Coburn/The Washington Post)

On Aug. 2, the Bitfinex exchange in Hong Kong was forced to admit that hackers had stolen nearly 120,000 bitcoin worth $72million from customers accounts. That news caused the bitcoin price to fall by more than 20 percent and underlined the safety concerns that many ordinary people feel about owning digital money.

At the same time, the system is showing signs of overloading. Bitcoins current technology can process only around three digital transactions a second minuscule compared with the roughly 24,000 transactions per second that Visa can manage.

Delays in processing transactions have grown, as have transaction fees, and the industry has become deeply divided about how to reform the system to solve the problem.

Jeff Garzik, a leading bitcoin developer based in Atlanta, argues that a technological fix is in the pipeline that soon will allow bitcoin to process tens of thousands of transactions a second.

I think that with new technologies coming down the pipeline, it can scale up to everyone buying their coffee with bitcoin in the entire world, he said. It really can be the first really good substitute for physical in-your-hand cash.

Like Sirer, he isnt too worried about the current concentration of mining power in China, partly because the market is so dynamic and the dominant players change every year.

Its much easier to challenge the dominant players in this space because market entry is so easy, he said. If the Chinese miners suddenly power off their rigs, within 24 hours well see the emergence of another competitor.

Here in the mountains, miners while away their free time playing mah-jongg or poker, smoking cigarettes or surfing on their smartphones. Site manager Guo Hua used to run a small camera-repair shop and still likes fiddling around with machines. Marketing manager Mu, who spends only a few weeks of the year here, likes to translate books in his free time or run to the nearest town to buy cigarettes for his colleagues. Sometimes he hikes into the mountains, toward a remote Tibetan village or a looming peak, a welcome change of change of pace from Beijing and its polluted air.

And all the time, the microprocessors keep on running.

Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright has come forward as the mysterious creator behind the virtual currency Bitcoin. Here’s a look at what we know about the creator’s pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s history and Wright’s claims. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

Xu Yangjingjing contributed to this report.

Read more:

America wants to believe China cant innovate. Tech tells a different story.

The Internet was supposed to foster democracy. China has different ideas.

Todays coverage from Post correspondents around the world

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JPL Robotics: Home Page

Posted: September 8, 2016 at 6:40 am

Richard Volpe, Manager Gabriel Udomkesmalee, Deputy Manager Welcome to the JPL Robotics website! Here you’ll find detailed descriptions of the activities of the Mobility and Robotic Systems Section, as well as related robotics efforts around the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. We are approximately 100 engineers working on all aspects of robotics for space exploration and related terrestrial applications. We write autonomy software that drives rovers on Mars, and operations software to monitor and control them from Earth. We do the same for their instrument-placement and sampling arms, and are developing new systems with many limbs for walking and climbing. To achieve mobility off the surface, we are creating prototypes of airships which would fly through the atmospheres of Titan and Venus, and drills and probes which could go underground on Mars and Europa.

To enable all of these robots to interact with their surroundings, we make them see with cameras and measure their environments with other sensors. Based on these measurements, the robots control themselves with algorithms also developed by our research teams. We capture the control-and-sensor-processing software in unifying frameworks, which enable reuse and transfer among our projects. In the course of developing this technology, we build real end-to-end systems as well as high-fidelity simulations of how the robots would work on worlds we are planning to visit.

Please use the menu at left to navigate to the view of our work that is most important to you. Our application domains are described in general terms, and then specifically in the context of flight projects and research tasks. Personnel are described in terms of the groups that constitute the section, as well as the people who constitute the groups. Most of our major robot systems are described, as are the laboratory facilities in which they are developed and exercised. For more detailed information, our publications may be accessed through a search engine, or more recent news may be browsed. Finally, to provide context to our current work, our charter is documented, the history of JPL robotics is described, and links to other related work are provided.

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What are Nootropics? | The Nootropics Guide

Posted: September 3, 2016 at 11:41 pm

In this day and age, success in the academic and business spheres (and in fact in lifegenerally) depends on being whip smart at all times. Dullards have a tendency to fallbehind, while the more sharp-witted among us tend to take full advantage. For thisreason, it pays to look at ways to pep up ones brain function, and nootropics are onesuch aid to memory and brain enhancement. But, what exactly are nootropics?

Nootropics are loosely defined as smart drugs, which are claimed to enhancebrain function and thus make the individuals that use nootropic drugs more sharp-witted than they would otherwise be.

It was back in 1972 that an obscure Romanian chemist and psychologist by the nameof Corneliu E. Giurgea coined the word nootropic to describe drugs possessingthe ability to enhance brain function in a number of ways. Giurgea had alreadysynthesized piracetam in 1964, and the latter drug is thought to be the first of a raft ofsmart drugs of this kind.

Dr. Giurgea stated that nootropic drugs had to fulfill certain criteria in order toqualify for the classification. These criteria are as follows:

Nootropics are said to have noticeable positive effects on a number of differentaspects of brain function; for example, they are claimed to enhance cognitive abilityand memory, as well as overall intelligence. They are also said to up the capacity ofindividuals to concentrate, maintain attention span, and keep their motivation levelssky high.

While any drug with the ability to act as a magical bullet (as far as ramping upbrain function is concerned) would be immensely welcome, one must always guardagainst the risk of long term damage to the mind and body. Naturally, individualscontemplating using nootropics need to satisfy themselves that these smart drugs areone hundred percent safe before they start popping pills in a bid to become instantlysmarter.

Now, the good news for those who wish to make themselves smart using nootropicdrugs is that piracetam has been given a more or less clean bill of health, and it isclaimed to be free of hazards or significant side effects. The same goes for a raft ofrelated nootropics such as racetam, noopept, aniracetam, oxiracetam, and pramiracetam.

One thing you must understand is that a nootropic supplement will not deliver apermanent boost to your IQ in a month of Sundays. The positive effects of nootropicssuch as piracetam, choline, and pyritinol are temporary, so to keep seeing the benefitof nootropics you must continue taking the supplement on an ongoing basis. Theminute you cease ingesting the nootropic, your brain function and intelligence willfall back to their original levels.

As regards the positive effects of nootropic smart drugs, these relate to the rampedup production of neurotransmitters, which is directly stimulated by the consumptionof nootropic supplements. It is an unquestionable fact that increased neurotransmitteractivity has a beneficial effect on attention span, mood, memory, and concentration.

Furthermore, nootropics also boost the flow of vital blood to the brain. That meansyour brain will get a better supply of glucose, nutrients, and oxygen, all of which areimportant for effective brainwork, especially when theres a need to concentrate forlong periods of time.

Students are perhaps the people who will benefit most from the careful use ofnootropic supplements like piracetam. When revising for exams, or writing uplengthy assignments, students need their brains to be performing at optimum levelsand then some!

On the other hand, nootropics will be of help to anyone with a heavy workload andwho feels that their brain is not up to dealing efficiently with the pace and intensity ofthe work they have to do. Additionally, when deadlines approach, there may be a needto work all hours to clear ones desk of a pile of work, and this is where nootropicsmart drugs are perfectly placed to make things a hell of a lot easier.

Since the recent interest in nootropics(mainly Alpha Brain from the Joe Rogan Experience), there have been a ton of online shops opening up. It is best to stick with well known and reliable provides. Here are some of the bestsuppliers of nootropic drugs on the web; Onnit, Peak Nootropics, and Clever Meds. Thereputation for top quality merchandise and service enjoyed by this firm is absolutelysecond to none.

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Piracetam Capsules & Powder | Quality Tested – Pure Nootropics

Posted: at 11:41 pm


Studies over the past three decades have shown piracetam benefits in three major areas. First, piracetam enhances performance in learning and memory tests in the short term. Experiments have also shown piracetam to protect against neurological degradation over time, which is why it is effective for both the young and elderly. Those suffering from alcohol-related neuronal loss can see protective benefits from piracetam products as well.

Major diseases, such as dementia, schizophrenia, Alzheimers and Parkinsons, have all been treated using piracetam. Even dyslexia can be improved with piracetam usage.


Every individual reacts differently to piracetam, but the chemical composition allows the drug to enter the bloodstream rapidly and unchanged. Peak plasma concentration among fasting subjects is achieved in around 30 minutes. The half-life for the central nervous system is around 7.7 hours and 5 hours for plasma. Within 30 hours, the piracetam will have completely left the bloodstream.

Beginner piracetam use should involve around 1.5 6.5 grams per day ingested between 1 3 doses. According to some studies, the most effective dose for cognitive enhancement is 4.8 grams per day.

Mode of Action

Despite years of study, the exact cause of piracetam cognitive enhancement is still unknown. There are a series of four theories:

1. Membrane fluidity piracetam provides higher membrane fluidity, which allows signaling molecules to cross more rapidly. This enhanced cell signaling may lead to the improved cognitive abilities.

2. Improved glutamate neurotransmission studies have shown that piracetam (over 500mg / kg) can bind glutamate receptors for better synaptic transmission

3. Enhanced protein and phospholipid synthesis

4. Acetylcholine neurotransmission studies indicate an increase in receptor density with piracetam use


Piracetam has a relatively high toxicity level according to all available research. Doses of 4.5g per pound provided no serious toxic effects in animal trials. In humans, doses of 8g per day resulted in few health problems while reproductive studies prove no adverse effect for pregnant women.


If you buy piracetam online from Pure Nootropics, expect arrival within the continental U.S. between 5 7 days.

For more information about piracetam, please visit our blog to educate yourself.

Piracetam is the firstnootropic developed in the 1960s and continues to be one of the most popular cognitive enhancing drugs.

Piracetam Benefits

Developed in the 1960s, piracetam is the oldest drug within the racetam family and the one that coined the term nootropics in the first place. Piracetam is a synthetic compound that is a derivative of GABA. Since the 1960s and 70s when it was first discovered, there have been numerous studies in favor of the drug for a variety of different reasons.

First, piracetam is primarily useful for memory formation and learning ability. Studies suggest piracetam isuseful for elderly individuals who are suffering from age related memory decline (such as Alzheimers disease or senile dementia). Studies on humans and animals show that piracetam can improve the long and short-term memory of most participants.

One of the ways piracetam is so effective is through increased acetylcholine uptake. Essentially, the part of the brain that is used to create memories (called the hippocampus) sucks up more of this brain chemical called acetylcholine, which leads to more memories. This is often why people take a choline supplement in addition to the racetam.

Piracetam isnt a flashy or super potent nootropic, but that means it is relatively safe and has good feedback. Research indicates that piracetam is a well-tolerated drug and the toxicity levels in humans is very high. People are taking doses of 5+ grams in some cases, though we do not recommend you start here.

Piracetam Studies

Anyone who is interested in buying piracetam should look at all the evidence beforehand in order to have a clearer picture of what they are buying. There are dozens of piracetam studies that are helping people to find out more about the improvements that they can see with the risks alongside it.

Beyond the piracetam studies showing efficacy and safety, there are those that have novel applications. For example, one piracetam study showed that choline and piracetam combined was more effective than either of them alone. This suggests there is a synergy between the two compounds.

Piracetam Side Effects

Some people who take piracetam have side effects though this is a rare occurrence. It is a well-tolerated nootropic drug and few people have ever mentioned complaints about toxicity or the like. However, there are some issues that can arise as with any nootropic or supplement. Some people who take piracetam mention feeling gastrointestinal distress.

Other people who take piracetam find that they get headaches or jaw pain as a result of too little choline in their diet. This is a downstream effect of better memory and cognition, but it still can be avoided nonetheless!

Buy Piracetam

Of course we are biased, but Pure Nootropics is the best place to buy piracetam and for good reason. Unlike many other vendors online, we have third party certificates of analysis and the PDF for you to read for yourself. This ensures that you get a safe product that is free from manufacturer errors.

Given that piracetam is relatively safe, it is more likely that you would get a bad batch from a vendor than you would have side effects of piracetam from the drug itself. This is why the purchasing decision can be so important.

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