Category Archives: Science

Celebratory Gunfire – Where Do the Bullets Land?

From 1985 through 1992, 118 people were treated at King/Drew for such injuries on those holidays and 38 of them died, Dr. Gary J. Ordog and his colleagues reported recently in the Journal of Trauma. A full 75% of the survivors suffered severe long-term disabilities, the doctors reported, including paraplegia, quadriplegia, seizures and chronic pain.
[…]
The mortality rate from such random shootings, about 32%, is much higher than the 2% to 6% normally associated with gunshot wounds, Ordog said. That is probably because 77% of the victims were hit in the head, which is especially vulnerable to gunshot wounds, he added.*

“Data show the 77% of reported celebratory firing results in injury to the head, 12% to the shoulder, 5% to the upper back, 2% to the posterior chest and neck, respectively, and 1% to the upper arm, leg, and foot each.”*



Mario Jovanovski (top of head)
7/4/2016 – Columbus, OH
“Mario Jovanovski, 21, and his girlfriend Amanda McGarran met at John Bishop Park Sunday evening right before the fireworks started. ‘The first fireworks went off and he grabbed his head and said babe, I’ve just been shot,’ said McGarran. She said the impact knocked him to his knees.”*


Diego Duran (top of head)
1/1/2012 – Ruskin, FL
Entry:

Termination (no exit):

“The bullet went into his left front parietal part of the cranium, the direction was diagonal. On it’s way, diagonally, it did fracture, I believe, two of the facial bones, one that’s behind the nose and one behind the eyeball. And, it was trapped behind the [right front cheekbone].”*

“ ‘It’s like I have to be cautious of my head. I have a shunt, it’s a tube that goes all the way down to my stomach and it drains fluids,’ he said as he traced the path through his body.”*


Joe Jaskolka (top of head)
1/1/1999 – Philadelphia, PA
“But police still don’t know the caliber of bullet that struck Jaskolka on the top of his head because the projectile is still lodged near the base of the boy’s brain.”*


Shannon Smith (top of head)
6/16/1999 – Phoenix, AZ
“A single bullet had struck Shannon on the top of her head. Police believe it was fired straight up within a mile of Shannon’s home. Several residents reported hearing gunfire the night Shannon was killed, but no suspects ever emerged.”*


Brendon Mackey (top of head)
7/4/2016 – Midlothian, VA
“A seven-year-old boy died Friday after being shot in the head by a stray bullet Thursday night while watching Fourth of July fireworks, police say.” […] “It wasn’t until the boy was taken to the hospital that doctors discovered a bullet wound in the top of his head, Badgerow says, according to the station.”*


Aaliyah Boyer (top of head)
1/1/2013 – Elkton, MD
“Aaliyah Boyer was killed when Cecil County Sheriff’s officials said a bullet fell from the sky and struck her on the top of her head.”*


Marquel Peters (top of head)
1/1/2010 – Decatur, GA
“The stray bullet came through the roof of the sanctuary of the Church of God of Prophecy and struck Marquel in the top of his head.”* “The boy, playing with a video game, and his mother were waiting for a 12:30 a.m. concert to begin at Church of God of Prophecy near Decatur when Marquel was shot in the head by a stray bullet. Marquel was on the floor, crying and bleeding, when medics arrived, but he died later at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.”*


Grant Pinkstaff (near top of head)
7/4/2016 – Tulsa, OK
“The bullet entered near the top of his head and traveled under the skin around his skull. It is now resting permanently near the back of his head.”*


Javier Suarez Rivera (top of head)
1/1/2015 – Houston, TX
“Friends and family gather in support of 16-year-old Keyla Rivera, whose father died about 1 a.m. Thursday in southeast Houston after being hit in the top of his head by a bullet.”*


Brandon Yam (top of head)
7/4/2014
“Charlotte-Mecklenburg police reports indicate that around 9:25 p.m., Yam was struck ‘in the top of the head by a stray bullet.’ ”*


Amy Silberman (top of head)
12/31/1994 – New Orleans, LA
“[O]n New Year’s Eve 1994, Boston tourist Amy Silberman was killed by a falling bullet while watching fireworks on the Moonwalk along the Mississippi river. One moment she was listening to music and talking to friends in the massive holiday crowd, the next she was falling to the ground, a bullet lodged in the top of her head.”*


Richard Smeraldo (bill of cap)
7/4/2012 – Safety Harbor, FL
“The bullet traveled through the bill of Smeraldo’s cap, into the bridge of his nose, out his right nostril, through the upper portion of his bottom lip and exited though his lower chin.”*


Roof of House
7/4/2016 – Hencrico, VA
“Police say the victim reported gunfire around 9:45 p.m., with one round flying through the roof of her home. Officers determined it wasn’t intentional; it was celebratory gunfire, shooting illegally into the air.”*


Roof of House
1/4/2016 – Northland, OH
“A Glenhaven Drive resident also reported that apparent celebratory gunfire damaged his house. In a report filed at 9 a.m. Jan. 1, the man said a .45-caliber round crashed through the roof sometime after 2 a.m.”*


Roof of House
1/1/2016 – Sacramento, CA
“ ‘We just heard the bullet go right through the ceiling,’ she said. In a panic, Jimenez jumped up only to find the bullet inches away from the couch where she and her three young children were sitting.’ “*


Hood of Car
1/1/2016 – Stockton, CA


Windshield of Car
1/1/2016


Branon Vaughan
7/4/2016 – Tulsa, OK
“The force of the impact made Branon Vaughan stumble left, then to the right, finally dropping to a knee with his arms on a wall to brace himself. The 35-year-old wondered if he had walked into a street sign. Seeing none in the area, he reasoned it might have been a beer can thrown at him.”*

Entry:

Termination (no exit):


Saul Bermudez
7/4/2016 – Kansas City, MO

“Police obtained the bullet that was pulled from the teen’s shoulder. They said they may have a difficult time tracking down where it came from, as bullets can travel over a mile and a half.”*


Amber Bartles
1/1/2016 – St. Petersburg, FL
“I was standing but leaning on a car. If I was standing up straight it would’ve gone right through my head.”*


Officer Travis Weber
1/1/2016 – Stockton, CA
” ‘I heard a loud pop and then felt a sting to my right leg. The loud pop was it (bullet) hitting the vehicle and then ricocheting toward me,’ Weber said.”*


Window of House
1/1/2006 – Stockton, CA


Shower
1/1/2016 – Snellville, GA
“About an hour later Adrian said he walked into their bathroom and found a bullet laying in his shower. ‘I opened my shower and stepped in and immediately saw the fragments of tile there,’ said Adrian. ‘The bullet hole entered right at the base of my shower.” The Hayes family believes it was celebratory gunfire.’ “*


Kaitlyn Jacobs
1/1/2015 – Tampa, FL
“Was sitting in the Gwazi Pavilion area just before midnight when she suddenly felt pain in her lower left leg.” […] ” ‘The biggest thing is we don’t understand how there are two holes and a bullet in my leg,’ said Jacobs.”*


Blair Shanahan Lane
7/12/11 – Kansas City, MO
“Five years ago, Blair was dancing with her cousins during a party. A stray bullet struck Blair in the neck and killed her; the bullet was shot from a distance more than three football fields away.”*


Man Hit in Stomach
7/4/2016 – Corpus Christi, TX
“Corpus Christi Police responded to the home, located in the 4200 block of Easy Street just before 9:30 PM, and when Officers arrived they were told that a bullet came through the kitchen window and hit the homeowner who was sitting inside in the stomach. Luckily, he was not injured by the bullet. Officers believe the shot came from an open field near the home, where gunfire had been heard earlier in the evening.”*

Sleep and Temperature

Sleep_Temp2


Recommending a specific range is difficult, Downey and Heller say, because what is comfortable for one person isn’t for another (explaining how Roy’s wife slept blissfully in the chilly 60-degree room). While a typical recommendation is to keep the room between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, Heller advises setting the temperature at a comfortable level, whatever that means to the sleeper.

Doheny, K. (2010). Can’t Sleep? Adjust the Temperature. WebMD. Retrieved August 31, 2014, from http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/cant-sleep-adjust-the-temperature


Looking at the available research, most studies agree that a temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for sleeping, with temperatures above 75 degrees and below 54 degrees disruptive to sleep.[][] Body temperature has also been linked to the amount of deep sleep an individual gets during the night, with cooler body temperatures leading to more deep sleep.[][] Sleeping in a hot environment has also been shown to increases wakefulness and decreases slow wave sleep. The addition of high humidity can intensify the effect of heat.[]

Winter, C. (2013, October 10). Choosing the Best Temperature for Sleep. Huffington Post. Retrieved August 31, 2014 from, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-christopher-winter/best-temperature-for-sleep_b_3705049.html


“Temperature regulation is a significant factor in each of the two types of insomnia. The difference is when the insomnia occurs. People with sleep onset insomnia have difficulty initiating sleep at the beginning of the night, taking two to four hours each night in the worst cases….”

“Studies of sleep onset insomniacs show that they consistently have a warmer core body temperature immediately before initiating sleep, when compared with normal healthy adults. This results in a state of heightened arousal that prevents them from falling asleep when they go to bed, probably because they have to wait for their bodies to lose the heat that’s keeping them awake. We’re only talking about a half to one degree but that small temperature change can result in significant differences in arousal between insomniacs and people without sleeping problems,” Dr Van den Heuvel says.

Hinter, G. (2004). Getting to the core of insomnia. UniSANews. Retrieved August 31, 2014 from http://w3.unisa.edu.au/unisanews/2004/June/insomnia.asp


Studies have found that in general, the optimal temperature for sleep is quite cool, around 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. For some, temperatures that fall too far below or above this range can lead to restlessness.

O’Connor, A. (2009, August 3). The Claim: Cold Temperatures Improve Sleep. Retrieved August 31, 2014 from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/04/health/04real.html?_r=0


Extreme temperatures at either end of the range can affect sleep. A hot room (more than 24° C [75.2° F]) can cause restless body movements during sleep, more nighttime awakenings, and less dream type sleep. A cold room (less than 12° C [53.6° F]) can make it difficult to get to sleep and can cause more unpleasant and emotional dreams. We recommend room temperature to help promote sleep for most people is, therefore, around 18° C [64° F].

Morin, C.M. (2003, June 30). Insomnia: A Clinician’s Guide to Assessment and Treatment. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 51.


Research shows that the ideal temperature range for sleeping varies widely among individuals, so much so that there is no prescribed best room temperature to produce optimal sleep patterns. People simply sleep best at the temperature that feels most comfortable. That said, extreme temperatures in sleeping environments tend to disrupt sleep. REM sleep is commonly more sensitive to temperature-related disruption. For example, in very cold temperatures, we may be deprived entirely of REM sleep.

Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. (2007). External Factors that Influence Sleep. Retrieved August 31, 2014 from http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/science/how/external-factors


Image credit: Kiyo and Jean-Paul

Onen SH, Onen F, Bailly D, Parquet P. Prevention and treatment of sleep disorders through regulation of sleeping habits. Presse Med.1994; Mar 12; 23(10): 485-9.
National Sleep Foundation: The Sleep Environment
http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/how-sleep-works/the-sleep-environment
Murphy PJ, Campbell SS. Nighttime drop in body temperature: a physiological trigger for sleep onset? Sleep. 1997 Jul; 20(7): 505-11.
Jordan J, Montgomery I, Trinder J. The effect of afternoon body heating on body temperature and slow wave sleep. Psychophysiology. 1990 Sep; 27(5): 560-6.
Okamoto-Mizuno K, Mizuno K. Effects of thermal environment on sleep and circadian rhythm. J Physiol Anthropol. 2012 May 31; 31: 14.

Paul Broca on Adam and Apes

From, “Paul Broca and the French School of Anthropology” by Dr. Robert Fletcher:

The crowning public honor of Broca’s life remains to be told. In 1879, the Senate nominated him as permanent Senator representing Science. He was proposed of course by the left. The right, or monarchical, side made fierce opposition. He was an unyielding Republican, the founder of the Anthropological Institute which, meant free-thinking and atheism. They searched his writings for doctrines to convict him and, with great joy, published this quotation, “I would rather be an ape brought to perfection than a degenerate Adam.” But this proved to have been a saying of Claparède’s and not of Broca’s. A sentence was taken from his Programme of Anthropology, “There is no faith, however respectable, no interest, however legitimate, which must not accommodate itself to the progress of human knowledge and bend before truth, if the truth be demonstrated. Even this scarcely orthodox doctrine, it seemed, was qualified by the preceding sentence which said that “science must keep aloof from anything not within its province.”


From “Discours sur l’homme et les animaux”:

C’est alors que, transportant l’homme, non pas dans une autre planète, mais dans un autre règne, Isid. Geoffroy-St- Hilaire s’est laborieusement efforcé d’élever un rempart infranchissable entre l’homme et les animaux. Il.ne pouv ait consentir à être le cousin d’un singe, et beaucoup de savants ont partagé cette répugnance. Quant à moi, s’il pouvait me convenir de faire intervenir le sentiment dans une question scientifique, je serais loin d’être humilié d’une semblable généalogie. Je serais fier au contraire de penser que ma postérité pourrait me dépasser autant que je dépasse le singe, et je ne puis m’empêcher de rappeler à ce propos le mot de M. Claparède « qu’après tout, il vaut mieux être un singe perfectionné qu’un Adam dégénéré. » Mais, entre les deux catégories extrêmes de penseurs dont les uns rejettent absolument et les autres admettent plus ou moins cette parenté, il existe aujourd’hui une classe considérable de savants qui proclament leur ignorance sur ce point, et j’oserai même dire qu’en ce qui me concerne, la question me paraît insoluble.

Lecture delivered in the National Museum, Washington, D.C., April 15, 1882, appearing in The Saturday Lectures, Delivered in the Lecture-room of the U. S. National Museum
As it appears in Bulletins de la Société d’anthropologie de Paris, II° Série, tome 1, 1866. pp. 53-79.

The Slow Cooker

Clifton 
In case I haven’t openly encouraged you to get a slow cooker, I would like to do so now. I want to cook for myself generally, but also don’t always want to spend an entire day in the kitchen. The slow cooker allows me to do some short preparation and then go do other things (condom snorting) while the food, in effect, prepares itself. Then, I have several days of meals that need only be reheated to be enjoyed.

Case in point, this soup:

Incidentally, I noticed that this recipe included NO SPINACH, so I opened a can of spinach (no added salt) and put it into the food processor with some tomatoes (I generally don’t like hot hunks of tomato). Well, it turned out just fine. And, aside from tasting great, this soup not only cured my impotence but also made my eyebrows grow back.

Mark  If you want to get the most out of your food, stay away from canned unless it’s the apocalypse.
Clifton  Mark, I’m glad you commented on that part of my post. A few months back, I read an article regarding BPA that I probably took more seriously than I should have. Looking into it again, I now find that scientists are much more divided than I thought.

There are BPA-free cans out there and canned food producers may eventually move to some other material (Eden Brands says they’ve been using a “vegetable resin enamel” since 1999). So, is there any other reason to eat canned stuff? Well, as far as I can tell, many canned vegetables are comparable to fresh and frozen counterparts.

I already do not eat a lot of canned stuff. The spinach is a rarity as, bizarrely enough, I can only find the sodium-free variety at Walmart and I don’t do a lot of shopping at Walmart.

I suppose the wisest thing is probably to grow your own stuff and, if that’s not possible, to buy fresh stuff. Which I generally do. That said, I’m not sure that all canned food is to be avoided. I generally prefer canned over frozen because cans are recyclable where plastic bags aren’t.

Mark  Honestly, I’m going to have to become a cyborg to connect with you. I’ve watched, read, and listened to many people on the subject. Now, a blog you probably didn’t even read that caters to your point of view is right? That’s weird. We can find anything to back up anything.

The sad truth is nobody is going to hold legislation over every discussion or even take the time to read more than five lines. You follow what you believe and I believe the studies that say no.

I just took 45 seconds to read that blog filler. You have to be careful with those — they aren’t always true. Continue reading The Slow Cooker

Colbert and Sci-Fi v. Fantasy

So, I’m tempted to think that the reason I feel some apathy toward fantasy is how easy stories like Game of Thrones and LOTR make it for writers to use magic as a deus ex machina. Of course, the same could be said of Star Trek and “technobabble.” So, why is it easier for me to forgive Star Trek? Well, for one, I think it’s more fruitful to converse about technobabble. You can actually talk about real science when you’re talking about why Treknobabble is pseudoscientific.

So, why do I prefer Star Trek to Dr. Who? Well, for one, Dr. Who doesn’t give us a homo sapiens that has overcome its pettiness. Star Trek — to my delight — explores the possibility of what comes after Sagan’s, “If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.” It seems to me that the Doctor performs a similar capacity to the Vulcans: overseer of the humans. They’re both waiting with their fingers crossed to see if we continue surviving each new genocide, pandemic, or other crisis and continue evolving (intellectually if not biologically) to eventually become spacefaring. (Also, the critical attitude of the Vulcans toward humans seems much more realistic to me than the avuncular attitude of the Doctor toward us.)

That’s infinitely more interesting to me than the idea of constant, secret alien visitation on earth by hostile aliens that require earth to be saved by other kindly aliens. This is essentially the idea of Transformers as well and how cool would it be if the Transformers did what Picard and company do? (Not cool at all if all you want to see is hot robot-on-robot carnage! But, that was well-covered in the first Transformers movie!)

Another thing about fantasy: why are so many important characters in Game of Thrones and LOTR humanoid? This seems forgivable to me with respect to Star Trek because the original series probably lacked funding for advanced effects and make-up. Humanoid aliens were just more practical to make and act. Game of Thrones and LOTR were books, though. Books don’t have budget constraints, right?

And, why, why, why must fantasy take place in a magical corollary to the Dark Ages? Actually, an answer occurred to me as I was typing the question: it may have been in the Dark Ages that magical thinking most flourished.

Discussion Concerning the Anti-Gay-Marriage Argument from Tradition

Clifton 
The cosmos is about 13.8 billion years old.
The human is about 200,000 years old.
The first recorded marriage involving a human occurred about 2,674 years ago.

Marriage contracts were first recorded in the Late Period (661-332 BC), and continued until the first century AD. They were often drawn up by the husband to establish the rights of both parties to maintenance and possessions. The law did not require a marriage to be recorded.

[source]

Appeal to Tradition

Description:
The argument supports a position by appealing to long-standing or traditional opinion, as if the past itself were a kind of authority.

[source]

Marie  I suppose you don’t consider Adam and Eve to’ve been married?
Mark  Did you snope this already? j/k
Joseph  Whoa whoa whoa … I thought everything was only 6,000 years old. Check your facts, heathen.
Clifton  Marie, this hadn’t actually occurred to me. From what I can gather, the thinking behind such a position is that Eve was "wed" to Adam because she was taken from a part of his body and then added back to him to complete him. If that is what it takes, then I would imagine that no marriage since has been valid. No?

Mark, I didn’t. As always, I am open to contradiction. I claim no expertise. Incidentally, Snopes generally does an excellent job of avoiding the argument from authority, which seems to me to be one of the human’s most abused fallacies.

Joseph, I’m glad you responded. I always wonder why my irreligious friends get married. Perhaps you can explain it to me. From my perspective, if you want to be with somebody, you will do that. Fidelity shouldn’t be a problem because you both agree to certain terms prior to formally entering into your relationship. Continue reading Discussion Concerning the Anti-Gay-Marriage Argument from Tradition

My Carbon Footprint for 2012

Bus
1.80 metric tons at 10,000 miles
1.62 metric tons at 9,000 miles
1.44 metric tons at 8,000 miles
1.26 metric tons at 7,000 miles

Motorbike
1.56 metric tons at 10,000 miles
1.41 metric tons at 9,000 miles
1.25 metric tons at 8,000 miles
1.09 metric tons at 7,000 miles

Secondary Measurements
2.91 metric tons with daily red meat
2.61 metric tons with white/red meat
2.30 metric tons with mainly white meat
2.00 metric tons with mainly fish
1.70 metric tons with mainly vegetarian diet
1.39 metric tons with vegan diet

[source]

Learn Spanish with M. Pasteur

Pasteur — El Libro


Notes
Sometimes pronouns in the quizzes do not match those used in the book; this is intentional and was done for variation. Sometimes phrases are used in the quizzes rather than individual terms; this is to contextualize words/phrases that might be difficult alone.


Quizzes

  1. quiz
    Buscando aire puro
    ¡Tenía que ser cierto!

  2. quiz
  3. El gran debate
    La clave para entender las enfermedades

  4. quiz
  5. Enemigos
    El microscopio

  6. quiz
  7. Los trabajos de Spallanzani sobre los microbios
    ¿Existe la generación espontánea?

  8. quiz
  9. Los microbios se dividen
    La teoría de los gérmenes

  10. quiz
  11. El joven Pasteur
    A París

  12. quiz
  13. De nuevo en París
    Primeras investigaciones

  14. quiz
  15. Cristales y luz
    La primera aventura Continue reading Learn Spanish with M. Pasteur

Man with Broca’s Aphasia

ZD YouTube FLV Player

Most neuroscientists would agree that the foundations of modern neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience were laid by the French surgeon, anatomist and anthropologist, Paul Broca, in the 1860s.

Broca was consulted about a 51-year-old patient by the name of Leborgne with multiple neurological problems, who had been without any productive speech for many years. Every time Leborgne attempted to utter a phrase or respond to a question, he could only produce a single repetitive syllable, “tan”. He could vary the intonation of the sound but was not able to produce any recognizable words or phrases. Broca saw Leborgne’s lack of speech as a test case for the question of language localization in the frontal lobes, since the patient clearly had no productive language. Leborgne died of his ailments several days later and, at autopsy, a lesion was found on the surface of the left frontal lobe as Broca had suspected.

A few months later, Broca encountered a second patient, Lelong, who also exhibited reduced productive speech as the result of a stroke 1 year before. This 84-year-old patient could say only five words, “oui” (“yes”), “non” (“no”), “tois” (a mispronunciation of “trois” (“three”)) which he used to represent any number), “toujours” (“always”) and “Lelo” (a mispronunciation of his own name). At autopsy, Lelong was also found to have a lesion in approximately the same region of the lateral frontal lobe as the first case, and Broca reported it to the Anatomical Society as an important case, confirming the localization of speech to this area.

[source]