Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday Whimsy

Dancing Minion

Dog 'Saves' Boy He Thinks is Drowning | Pleated Jeans  Video

15 Killer Pancake Recipes That Will Make You Drool | BuzzFeed  Picture

It's basically food porn.

This man's 15-year remodel project shows the profound bond he has with his cats | 22 Words  Favorites Picture Video

25 Reasons Why Animal Lovers Are The Strangest People On Earth | Distractify  Picture

26. You don't understand why any of it is considered strange.

36 Famous Characters Carved Into Crayons | Twisted Sifter  Picture

CDC Launches HIV Treatment Works, a new Act Against AIDS Campaign

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e-HAP FYI: What's New in CDC HIV - Information from CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention

Physically fit man exercising
 September 17, 2014

Dear Colleague,

We are pleased to announce HIV Treatment Works, a new campaign under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Act Against AIDS initiative encouraging people living with HIV to Get in care, Stay in care, and Live well. This campaign focuses on helping people living with HIV get into care, start taking HIV medications, remain in care, and adhere to treatment.

As with all of the Act Against AIDS campaigns, engaging people in communities across the country is vital to the success in the development and implementation of each one. HIV Treatment Works features people from across the United States who are living with HIV talking about how adhering to treatment helps them stay healthy, protect others, do what they love, and live a longer, healthier life. Testimonials from people living with HIV demonstrate through personal stories how they overcame barriers to care and treatment and how treatment improved their lives.

The campaign website provides access to information and resources that you can use to help us reach the goal to increase the proportion of people living with HIV who enter and remain in care. The comprehensive campaign website includes information and resources to help people living with HIV adhere to treatment and maintain good health by finding:

  • an HIV care provider,
  • a local HIV support group, and
  • a mental health provider.

Ensuring that all those living with HIV are successfully treated is critical to improve their overall health and reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to their partners. This campaign supports the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the White House's Continuum of Care Initiative which seek to identify people who are living with HIV, link them to care, and ultimately to increase the proportion of people with a suppressed viral load.

The campaign will initially roll-out in select cities most affected by HIV via on-the-ground campaign activities, including partnership development and community engagement. National promotion will include advertisements in targeted print, broadcast and online outlets.

To support the campaign and help us encourage people living with HIV to Get in care, Stay in care, and Live well, we invite you to:

  • Forward this letter to your networks. Share the news about the new campaign and website throughout your network via an e-mail or posting on your organization's website.
  • Visit the campaign website. View the campaign public service announcement (PSA) and digital stories of how people overcame barriers to care and treatment. The site contains information and resources about the benefits of getting in care and staying on treatment for people living with HIV. Additional digital stories will be added to the site in the coming months, so check back often for new content.
  • Use campaign materials. Download digital banner ads, posters, palm cards, and videos from our campaign website to add to your organization's website and social media channels. Request printed posters and palm cards from CDC to distribute at community events and to provide to local venues in your city by sending an e-mail request to
  • Like the Act Against AIDS Facebook Page. Share or respond to our campaign posts, and direct your followers to check out our page and our website.
  • Chat with us on Twitter. Spread the word about the campaign through Twitter by using the campaign hashtag #HIVTreatmentWorks and by following our account @TalkHIV
  • Incorporate HIV Treatment Works into community events and educational presentations, underscoring the importance of care and treatment for people living with HIV.

Thank you for your efforts to combat HIV and for your continued support of CDC and Act Against AIDS. For inquiries about HIV Treatment Works, email


Jonathan H. Mermin, M.D., MPH
Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Twitter: @DrMerminCDC

Eugene McCray, MD
Director, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, NCHHSTP, CDC

Visit the e-HAP Web site

Additional Resources:
CDC HIV Facebook
Act Against AIDS Facebook
Act Against AIDS Twitter @talkHIV
CDC-INFO Get information about personal risk, prevention, and testing.
Please contact us with questions, comments or other feedback about e-HAP

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tuesday FTSidebar

US law would safeguard free-speech rights to criticize business online | Ars Technica

A member of the House of Representatives is offering legislation that would make it illegal for businesses to take action against consumers who write "honest" negative reviews online about products and services.

Bag of moneyPush To Impose Extra Fees On Solar Customers Draws Outrage In Wisconsin | ThinkProgress

A recent move by Wisconsin utility We Energies to not only raise electricity rates on all consumers but also to add an additional charge on those who produce their own energy and sell it back to the grid has sparked outrage within the state and beyond.

Open bookRemarks by the President on the Ebola Outbreak | The White House

Between the specialists they [the CDC] have on the ground in West Africa and here at headquarters, they've got hundreds of professionals who are working tirelessly on this issue. This is the largest international response in the history of the CDC. After this, I'll be meeting with some of these men and women, including some who recently returned from the front lines of the outbreak. And they represent public service at its very best. And so I just want them to know how much the American people appreciate them. Many of them are serving far away from home, away from their families. They are doing heroic work and serving in some unbelievably challenging conditions -- working through exhaustion, day and night, and many have volunteered to go back. So we are very, very proud of them.

Indeed we are.

Children's rights groups urge Defense program to stop giving school cops military hardware | The Center for Public Integrity

More than 20 national education and civil rights advocates sent a letter Monday to Department of Defense officials, urging them to stop giving U.S. school police departments anti-mine vehicles, military-grade firearms like M16s, and even grenade launchers.

Eric Holder: US Justice Department to launch study of racial bias among police | The Guardian

The Justice Department has enlisted a team of criminal justice researchers to study racial bias in law enforcement in five American cities and recommend strategies to address the problem nationally, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday, broadening its push to improve police relations with minorities.

Report Finds NHTSA Failed To Detect GM Ignition Switch Issue For Seven Years Despite Ample Information | Consumerist

By definition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is tasked with preventing crashes and achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety. Yet, according to a new House committee report, the agency failed for years to identify a safety issue in General Motors vehicles that eventually lead to 19 deaths, if not more.

Home Free? | James Surowiecki | The New Yorker

In 2005, Utah set out to fix a problem that's often thought of as unfixable: chronic homelessness.

Old Debts, Fresh Pain: Weak Laws Offer Debtors Little Protection | ProPublica

Like any American family living paycheck to paycheck, Conrad Goetzinger and Cassandra Rose hope that if they make the right choices, their $13-an-hour jobs will keep the lights on, put food in the fridge and gas in the car.

But every two weeks, the Omaha, Neb. couple is reminded of a choice they didn't make and can't change.

36 bits of good news to cure your ocean blues | Grist  Favorites Video

We know: Beginning a series on current ocean news seems like a bleak proposition. Between the expanding garbage patches and relentless rise of warming seas, positive stories aren't exactly growing on trees. So we've gone to the trouble to net you 36 whole reasons to be excited about the future of the high seas -- including magic-seeming plastic removal tech, more facts confirming the radness of sharks, and (of course) a cute baby seal video.

Scientists Test Yacht As Miniature Research Vessel | PopSci

The ocean is vast and full of data. Getting that data, however, is tricky. A new paper published in the journal PLOS Biology argues that there's a cheap and easy way to get more information about more of the ocean: citizen scientists.

California Set to Approve Controversial Solar Plant | ReWire | KCET

The California Energy Commission gave tentative approval Friday evening to a reconfigured solar power plant in Riverside County that opponents say potentially poses a serious risk to migrating birds.

TreeHugger has Wind turbines kill around 300,000 birds annually, house cats around 3,000,000,000. They're not suggesting we don't care about bird deaths and I get that buildings and cats (not mine) are much bigger menaces. Wind turbines are theoretically avoidable. There is something unholy about concentrating solar farms. They exist because they're more profitable than rooftop solar (the company gets to sell the power instead of the other way around). They destroy habitat; their hazards are manifest, not only to birds; and they mete out indiscriminate and grisly death to birds that have the misfortune to fly over them or mistake them for a body of water. Environmentalists should hotly oppose them.

Technology Tuesday (Sep 16)

Public charging station powers mobile devices with footsteps and solar panels | TreeHugger

The ENGO charging station uses kinetic tiles and solar panels to charge up to 14 smartphones at a time, and provides free WiFi access and an emergency phone.

Google: US government demands for user data have risen 250% since 2009 | The Guardian

Government demands for information on Google's users have risen 150% since the tech giant first started publishing their numbers, the company said on Monday. In the US the number of requests leapt 250%.

Nanoribbon film keeps glass ice-free | ScienceDaily

Scientists who created a deicing film for radar domes have now refined the technology to work as a transparent coating for glass. The new work could keep glass surfaces from windshields to skyscrapers free of ice and fog while retaining their transparency to radio frequencies (RF).

Track Your Sleep and Activity on the Cheap With Misfit's 'Flash' | Wired

Your average wrist-worn fitness tracker, a molded piece of rubber with a handful of accelerometers and gyroscopes inside, costs around $100 at the low-end. For someone who's not sure if they need or want such a device, that's pretty steep.

A Smart Necklace That's Like a Locket for the 21st Century | Wired

One thing quietly unsaid amid all the hubbub over the Apple Watch is that it's not particularly clear what the device is for. Is it a notification screen? A fancy credit card? A health tracker? It's all of those things--and that's a problem, says Jennifer Darmour.

Motorized Pants to Help Soldiers and Stroke Victims | MIT Technology Review

A soft exoskeleton being developed by researchers at Harvard could let soldiers carry heavy backpacks over long distances or help stroke victims walk more steadily.

NASA Flies Over Lake Erie To Scan For Dangerous Algae Blooms | PopSci

What started as a small research project at NASA has become an important tool in a campaign to combat the toxic algae blooms that recently left 500,000 people in the Toledo area without drinking water.

The Bike That Never Needs Repairs | PopSci

Every mechanic knows that moving parts break down over time, and David Weiner, founder of Priority Bicycles, knows it better than most. Weiner spent six years as a bike mechanic in his hometown of Walnut Creek, California, and much of his job was spent fixing the same handful of problems: tuning derailleurs, adjusting brakes, greasing chains, and replacing flat tires.

A New 'Radar Gun' May Spot Drivers Who Text Behind The Wheel | PopSci

ComSonics, a company specializing in cable leakage detection, is working on a device that would sense when drivers are texting, the Virginian-Pilot reports.

Women's Health: Register Now for Sept. 22 LactMed Webinar from AAP and ACOG; Weighing surgical options for breast cancer

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Physicians and health care providers: Learn more about the National Library of Medicine's Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) with a free informational webinar on September 22 at 6 p.m. ET.

I Never Heard of LactMed! Enhancing Obstetric and Pediatric Usage, a webinar from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), will demonstrate obstetric and pediatric use of LactMed, an online database containing information on drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed.

The hour-long session will:
  • Educate participants about LactMed.
  • Share tips on taking a brief but thorough history of the mother's health and medications to support her choice to exclusively breastfeed and minimize supplementation.
  • Describe information that is relevant to the obstetrician and pediatrician.
  • Illustrate common problems and offer potential solutions and tips for anticipatory guidance.

Click here to register, and pass along this opportunity to others as appropriate.

For additional webinar details, please visit For more information about LactMed, visit

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A group of women, standing together, holding handsWeighing Surgical Options for Breast Cancer | NIH Director's Blog

An increasing number of women with cancer in one breast are choosing to have both breasts surgically removed in hopes of reducing the chance of developing cancer in the unaffected breast. But does this approach--called bilateral, or double, mastectomy--really improve the odds of survival? A new NIH-funded study indicates that, for the vast majority of women, it does not.

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CDC EHS Spotlight: Food Safety Month, SepticSmart Week, Pool Safety

CDCSaving Lives. Protecting People. TM

New EHS Spotlight Features:
Food Safety Education Month,
SepticSmart Week Is September 22-26,
Training Kit: Raw Chicken Handling,
Complete Model Pool Code Now Available

Links to EHS and CDC resources for environmental health practitioners related to foodborne illness and food safety.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) SepticSmart initiative is a nationwide public education effort to tell homeowners about the importance of properly maintaining their septic systems. Visit the EPA SepticSmart webpage for tools to help promote homeowner education and awareness.

Guest author Emmy S. Myszka describes a training kit detailing how to handle raw chicken in restaurants to prevent cross-contamination. This article is published in the September 2014 issue of the Journal of Environmental Health.

The Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) 1st Edition is the nation's first voluntary guidelines based on science and best practices for improving health and safety at swimming pools and other aquatic venues. States and localities can use the MAHC to create or update existing pool codes to reduce risk for outbreaks, drowning, and pool-chemical injuries.

Check out the MAHC code and annex with scientific explanations and health promotion materials including the MAHC fact sheet, infographic, and web button.

Sign up to receive EHS updates by e-mail:

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HHS: U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps to help treat Ebola patients in Liberia; ACA report and key dates for open enrollment

Dept. of Health & Human Services

U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps to help treat Ebola patients in Liberia

A team of specialized officers from the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is being prepared to deploy to manage and staff a previously announced U.S. Department of Defense hospital in Liberia to care for health care workers who become ill from Ebola.

Also (different story):

U.S. military will lead $750 million fight against Ebola in West Africa | Washington Post

President Obama will announce Tuesday that the U.S. military will take the lead in overseeing what has been a chaotic and widely criticized response to the worst Ebola outbreak in history, dispatching up to 3,000 military personnel to West Africa in an effort that could cost up to $750 million over the next six months, according to senior administration officials.

Serve in peace. God bless our troops.

New Affordable Care Act tools and payment models deliver $372 million in savings, improve care

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today issued quality and financial performance results showing that Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) have improved patient care and produced hundreds of millions of dollars in savings for the program.

In addition to providing more Americans with access to quality, affordable health care, the Affordable Care Act encourages doctors, hospitals and other health care providers to work together to better coordinate care and keep people healthy rather than treat them when they are sick, which also helps to reduce health care costs. ACOs are one example of the innovative ways to improve care and reduce costs.  In an ACO, providers who join these groups become eligible to share savings with Medicare when they deliver that care more efficiently.

Key dates for the Health Insurance Marketplace  Share on Facebook

Open Enrollment is the time when you can apply for a 2015 Marketplace plan, keep your current plan, or pick a new one.
Are you ready for the next Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment Period?

Here are 4 key dates you should know:
  • November 15, 2014. Open Enrollment begins. Apply for, keep, or change your coverage.
  • December 15, 2014. Enroll by the 15th if you want new coverage that begins on January 1, 2015. If your plan is changing or you want to change plans, enroll by the 15th to avoid a lapse in coverage.
  • December 31, 2014. Coverage ends for 2014 plans. Coverage for 2015 plans can start as soon as January 1st.
  • February 15, 2015. This is the last day you can apply for 2015 coverage before the end of Open Enrollment.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday FTSidebar, Part Two

Inside the White House: The Medal of Honor  Video

Report Shows Farmers' Indiscriminate Use Of Antibiotics In Chicken Feed | Consumerist

While the medical community and public health advocates continue to call on the FDA to better regulate the widespread use of antibiotics in animal feed, farmers and pharmaceutical companies try to claim that these drugs are primarily being used for disease prevention and that their use doesn't cross over into humans. But a new investigative report from Reuters calls into question a number of statements made by the nation's largest poultry farmers.

Louisiana: auditor finds state not effectively regulating oil and gas wells | Switchboard | NRDC

I recently blogged about an investigation by the Pennsylvania Auditor General which found that the state's Department of Environmental Protection is "unprepared to effectively administer laws and regulations to protect drinking water and unable to efficiently respond to citizen complaints."

Black lung disease surges to highs not seen since the '70s, research shows | The Center for Public Integrity

Black lung, the dreaded coal miners' disease that had been on the decline, has roared back. The worst form of the illness now afflicts a higher proportion of miners than at any time since the 1970s, new research from U.S. government scientists shows.

Monday FTSidebar, Part One

Remarks by the President at Presentation of the Medal of Honor to Command Sergeant Major Bennie G. Adkins and Specialist Four Donald Sloat | The White House

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, and welcome to the White House. More than four decades ago, in early 1970, an American squad in Vietnam set out on patrol. They marched down a trail, past a rice paddy. Shots rang out and splintered the bamboo above their heads. The lead soldier tripped a wire -- a booby trap. A grenade rolled toward the feet of a 20-year-old machine gunner. The pin was pulled, and that grenade would explode at any moment.

Lawyer: Black Man Shot Dead By Police In Utah Was Running Away | TPM

A lawyer representing the family of a 22-year-old black man who was killed by police on Wednesday in Saratoga Springs, Utah told the Los Angeles Times that the man was running away from police when he was shot "numerous" times.

I don't like only the victim's race being mentioned in the title. Of course we believe it was a factor but long ago we made newscasters stop saying such things. More respectful to use his name.

You don't get to have an opinion:

Indicted NFL Star: I Am Not A Child Abuser | TPM

Resigned GOPer: 'Operation Wetback' Wasn't 'Derogatory' | TPM

"I also want to apologize to my fans, to the kids, to everyone who was affected by this situation that me and my wife were in" | Yahoo Sports

Yes you are; yes it was; punching your wife is not a "situation."

Turning Tables, Democrats Use Cultural Issues as a Cudgel | NYT

RESTON, Va. -- After a generation of campaigns in which Republicans exploited wedge issues to win close elections, Democrats are now on the offensive in the culture wars.

Democrats see social issues as potent for the same reasons Republicans once did, using them as a tool to both stoke concerns among moderate voters, especially women, and motivate their base.

Open bookCongress and White House One Step Behind on Syria Rebels | TalkLeft

The White House is pushing Congress to vote on on arming the "moderate" Syrian rebels. Republicans are getting on board, and a vote may happen Tuesday.

Court blasts US Navy for scanning civilians' computers for child porn | Ars Technica

A federal appeals court said the US Navy's scanning of the public's computers for images of child pornography constituted "a profound lack of regard for the important limitations on the role of the military in our civilian society."

FailTreasury extends controversial bank-card deal with Comerica | The Center for Public Integrity

The Treasury Department has extended a deal with Comerica Bank to distribute benefits to the elderly and disabled on payment cards despite vowing last year to seek a new vendor for the program, which exposed poor and elderly Americans to fraud.

Open bookThose Who've Seen Bloodshed Warn Of Endless, Brutal War In Iraq | The Intercept

Whether the administration's new campaign will actually succeed in destroying the Islamic State remains to be seen. If the past is any indication, the results are likely to be messy.

NIH Research Matters: Ebola outbreak, genomics, and a molecule that plays a role in heart failure

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Colorized scanning electron micrograph of Ebola virus particles (green) attached to and budding from a cell (blue).Genetics of the 2014 Ebola Outbreak
Scientists used genomic sequencing technologies to identify the origin and track transmission of the Ebola virus in the current outbreak in Africa.

Illustration of fruit flies, people, and roundworms.Expanding Our Understanding of Genomics
By analyzing the genomes of humans, flies, and worms, scientists are gaining insights into complex biological processes that are vital to human biology and disease.

Cells in mouse hearts.Molecule Protects Against Heart Failure in Mice
Researchers identified a molecule that plays a role in heart failure in mice. The findings may lead to a new therapeutic agent to treat this common condition.

Popular Stories from past issues:

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