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Posts tagged ‘Life’


Firefighters & Cancer


Increasing cancer rates among firefighters has become a major issue facing all departments and municipalities. The NFPA and the IAFF are both conducting ongoing research and analysis into this serious problem. Incidents of throat, thyroid and even testicular cancer among firefighters are increasing at an alarming rate. For example in Miami Dade cancer is affecting one out of every 2 firefighters and this video from Boston’s FD shows what a serious issue this has become.

A major reason for the increase in cancer instances are the chemicals firefighters encounter during structure fires. Products used commonly today including modern furniture finishes, plastics and other chemicals are creating a deadly mixture. Once worn in a fire situation where toxins are present, the fire gear  worn becomes contaminated. When a firefighter sweats, toxins enter the system through open pores where the gear comes in contact with the skin. This is particularly common in the neck and head region.

Contaminated gear is then worn for all calls, 95% of which aren’t fires. Firefighters naturally sweat when they work increasing opportunities for toxins to enter the system.

There is much research currently being done to develop products and other solutions to this. Examples include the H41 Hood from Fire-Dex featuring a Nano filter to catch particles up to .2 microns and these CeBeR Equipment Wipes designed to remove contaminants from equipment after use. Filtered hoods and other cancer preventing equipment will most likely become NFPA requirements in the future.


Gene Drive Technology


160 global groups have called for a moratorium on new ‘genetic extinction’ technology at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Cancun, Mexico.

Here’s what they say:

Gene drive technology, poses serious and irreversible threats to biodiversity, national sovereignty, peace and food security.

Leaders from over 160 organizations are calling on governments at the 2016 COP13 of the Biodiversity Convention to establish a moratorium on the controversial genetic extinction technology called ‘gene drives’.Gene drives, developed through new gene-editing techniques, are designed to force a particular genetically engineered trait to spread through an entire wild population – potentially changing entire species or even causing deliberate extinctions.The statement urges governments to put in place an urgent, global moratorium on the development and release of the new technology which, they say, poses “serious and potentially irreversible threats to biodiversity, as well as national sovereignty, peace, and food security.”

What is a gene drive?
Gene drive is the practice of “stimulating biased inheritance of particular genes to alter entire populations.” Possible alterations include adding, disrupting, or modifying genes, including some that reduce reproductive capacity and may cause a population crash.


Google’s PhotoScan App


Google recently released an app called PhotoScan to make it easier for people that are tasked with digitizing photos. And you can download Google PhotoScan on iOS and Android.

The PhotoScan app opens up your smartphone camera and asks you to position a printed photo within the frame. After you line up the printed photo within the frame, you will need to tap on the shutter button. The shutter button triggers the flash and shows four white circles on the corners of the printed photo. Once you hover your phone camera above each white circle, PhotoScan will automatically crop, remove the light glare and enhance the photos. And after the photo is processed, you can manually adjust the corners and rotate as necessary.When you are finished digitizing your photos, you can save all of the scans to your camera roll with one tap. After the photos are added to the camera roll, you will see a confirmation and a button to open the Google Photos app where the scans can be viewed.


The Underground Medical Movement


Scott Goldsmith

That’s a tech implant in there.

Zack Watson sews a magnet into Jennifer Booton’s finger



Scott Goldsmith

Watson and his 6-month-old son, Thor, in Pittsburgh, who has several implants of his own, including silicone rectangles in his forearms that make his skin feel riblike, has been putting magnets and chips in people for three years at Ice 9 Studio, a tattoo and piercing parlor in Pittsburgh’s South Side Flats (though he recently left to open his own shop). His efforts are part of an underground movement in which people get implants as commonly as others get tattoos.

Interest has been spreading, with Watson quickly working through his latest supply of magnets. One woman recently traveled to Ice 9 Studio from Australia for a radio-frequency identification chip she uses to store personal information. Watson’s business frequently comes through his connection to Grindhouse Wetware, a Pittsburgh-area startup of “biohackers” who aim to augment the human body with technology. If successful, they’ll be at the vanguard of a movement called transhumanism that experiments with how technology can give them new, almost-superhuman, abilities.

The late 1990s, an Englishman named Kevin Warwick was among the first people to put an RFID chip under his skin, allowing him  to turn lights on and off and interact with appliances by scanning the chip with computer-controlled devices.

Whats Next

By 2020, a third of health/life sciences and consumer product companies will begin to develop the first wave of products that integrate the human body with technology, according to recent predictions published by IDC, which tracks the consumer tech industry. IDC is referring to this industry as “augmented humanity,” and predicts the concept will go mainstream by the middle of next decade.

Amal Graafstra’s implanted RFID chips, seen on a 2006 on a 2006 X-ray.


Stats On Herpes


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Guys Who Think Their Hot But Not


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According to Dr Carin Perilloux, who used speed-dating to explore the mating game.

The more women a man thinks are into him, the more women he’ll chase after. This increases his chances of passing on his genes.

Men and women often don’t get each other when it comes to dating. Men will hit on women who are giving no signs of interest in their advances.

“There are tons of studies showing that men think women are interested when they’re not,” says Dr Carin Perilloux from Williams College in the US.

She and her colleagues tried to find out why this happens by taking a systematic look at how things go wrong between men and women in dating. It’s evolution that explains why men and women often don’t get each other, their study concludes.


The study involved nearly two hundred men and women speed-dating. Before the dating began, the participants rated their own attractiveness. Each person was then paired with someone of the opposite sex for three minutes, after which they switched tables for another high-speed date.

They did this five times and after each speed-date the participants rated each other on three scales: how attractive the other person was, how hot he or she was to you, and how hot you were for him or her.


The men who believed they were hot were more likely to think women wanted them, even if this wasn’t the case. And the guys who made this mistake the most were the ones the women thought were less good-looking.

In other words, it seems like the uglier a guy is, the more likely he is to mistakenly believe he’s sexy and that women want him. The men the women thought were attractive tended not to make this mistake.

To make matters worse, the sexier a man thinks a woman is, the more likely he’ll think she wants to jump in bed with him too. When in fact she isn’t interested at all. And as if that weren’t bad enough, it looks like women have a tendency not even to notice when a man is making a pass at them.


If the results of the research are true, then it’s no wonder dating can be such a confusing mess. It could make it seem amazing that men and women are ever able to hook up and have sex. But Dr Perilloux thinks it could all make sense from the perspective of evolution.

“There are two ways you can make an error as a man,” she says. “Either you think, ‘Oh, wow, that woman’s really interested in me’—and it turns out she’s not. There’s some cost to that.” The costs could be a blow to the man’s ego or reputation.

But the other error is much worse: “She’s interested, and he totally misses out. He misses out on a mating opportunity. That’s a huge cost in terms of reproductive success.”


So this means it shouldn’t be surprising that there are so many men who think they are God’s gift to women when in fact they aren’t that good-looking.

A guy who thinks he’s sexy but isn’t still manages to have more sex than a guy who thinks he’s unattractive. As a result, the unrealistic guys pass on their genes more often than the realistic ones do.


Men and women can both learn an important lesson from her research, says Dr Perilloux. Women should try to communicate clearly so that men understand when they don’t have a chance. And men should keep in mind that the more attracted they are to a woman, the more they’ll feel she is into them, even if that’s completely wrong.

That may sound tough, but Dr Perilloux points out taking her advice could help women avoid uncomfortable situations and help men steer clear of heartache.



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