NO SOLUTION IN SIGHT TO END SEQUESTER, EFFECTS DOWNPLAYED: After weeks and months of warnings, the sequester finally arrived on Friday (March 1st), with $85 billion in sweeping spending cuts beginning to go into effect. Three days later, there is no solution in sight, and both Republican congressional leadership and the White House are now trying to downplay its effects. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday called them a, quote,
"modest reduction," while House Speaker John Boehner said, "I don't know whether it's going
to hurt the economy or not." And the White House's top economic adviser, Gene Sperling, said the pain isn't that bad right now, explaining, "On Day One, it will not be as harmful as it will be over time." Both parties continued to blame each other, and while saying they'd retroactively reverse the cuts, gave no sign of how a deal to end the sequester would be reached.
reported cure of someone infected with HIV, scientists announced on Sunday (March 3rd) that a baby born with the AIDS virus appeared to have been cured. The child, who was started on treatment within 30 hours of its birth, is now two-and-a-half years old, and has been off medication for about a year with no signs of infection. Although there's no guarantee the child will remain healthy, testing has uncovered just traces of the virus' genetic material still
present that don't appear able to replicate. The baby was given faster and stronger treatment than usual, starting on drug treatment before tests confirmed that the infant was infected and not just at risk from its mother, whose HIV wasn't diagnosed until she was in labor. In the
TOP BRITISH CARDINAL ADMITS TO INAPPROPRIATE SEXUAL CONDUCT: Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who was until last week
DRAGON CAPSULE ARRIVES AT SPACE STATION DESPITE GLITCH: The privately-owned Dragon capsule from the company SpaceX arrived at the International Space Station on Sunday (March 3rd) with its cargo of supplies, despite experiencing earlier mechanical
problems. The Dragon's space station arrival took place a day late, due to problems that began on Friday when, moments after its arrival in orbit, a clogged pressure line or stuck valve prevented the release of the solar panels on time and the firing of small maneuvering rockets. It took controllers several hours before gaining control of the capsule and getting the mission back on track. The Dragon will remain at the space station for most of March before returning to Earth with science samples. This was the second of 12 supply runs SpaceX's
$1.6 billion contract with NASA calls for.
LECH WALESA DRAWS OUTRAGE FOR ANTI-GAY REMARKS: Polish democracy icon Lech Walesa has drawn outrage in Poland for his recent anti-gay comments, in which he said gay people have no right to a prominent role in politics and that as a minority they need to,
quote, "adjust to smaller things." The comments came during a TV interview on Friday (March 1st), in which Walesa said he believes gays have no right to sit on the front benches in Parliament and, if represented at all, should sit in the back, quote, "and even behind a wall." He continued, "They have to know that they are a minority and must adjust to
smaller things. And not rise to the greatest heights, the greatest hours, the
greatest provocations, spoiling things for the others and taking [what they
want] from the majority. . . . A minority should not impose itself on the majority."
Walesa, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who rose to fame as the leader of the
Solidarity labor movement in the 1980s and became Poland's first democratic-era
president, is a strongly conservative Catholic who now spends much of his time
giving lectures on his role in fighting communism and on issues of peace and
democracy. A Polish national committee devoted to fighting hate speech filed a
complaint yesterday with prosecutors accusing Walesa him of promoting, quote,
"propaganda of hate against a sexual minority.
FACEBOOK TO UNVEIL NEW 'NEWSFEED'
is the first major update to the newsfeed since September 2011, although there
have been other changes to it, including the incorporation of ads directly into
STUDY: PREGNANCY PERMANENTLY MAKES WOMEN'S FEET BIGGER: Ladies, did you notice that your shoe size went up after you had a baby? If so, a new study shows that you didn't imagine it and you're far from being the only one. Researchers who tracked the
foot size of 49 women during their pregnancies and five months after they'd given birth found that, on average, the women's arch height decreased, and in turn, their foot length increased between 0.1 to 0.4 inches. Overall, about 60 to 70 percent of the women had longer feet and shorter arches after childbirth, and 11 of the women reported changes large enough that they had a bigger shoe size. The change may be due to the extra weight of pregnancy, which puts
greater stress on the feet and may flatten the arch, the researchers said. Additionally, pregnant women produce hormones that increase the looseness of the joints and ligaments, possibly making the foot structure more malleable. Researchers also found that this effect is mostly seen only with women's first pregnancies, and not subsequent ones.
WOMAN'S HISTORIC NFL TRYOUT ENDS AFTER TWO KICKS: Lauren Silberman's history-making turn as the first woman to try out at an NFL regional combine ended after only two kicks on Sunday (March 3rd), which went only 19 yards and 13 yards, before she left the field with an injured quadriceps. The 28-year-old said to the media who's gathered at
the New York Jets' practice facility to the watch her that she'd hurt her quadriceps
earlier in the week. She explained, "I tried staying off it and waited for today. I didn't even take kicks in warm-ups, and, it's pretty hard to know that you'll be in pain, and I wanted to work through it and I certainly tried to, but I just couldn't do it today." The former club soccer player at
CHECK IT OUT:
SCOTT WEILAND CALLS HIS FIRING A ‘PUBLICITY STUNT’: Former Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland continues to live in some sort of denial of the fact that he was fired by the group last week. Caught at an airport and asked by TMZ about his dismissal from the band, Weiland replied, "STP is not broken up. It's a whole thing to try to boost ticket sales." The vocalist added, "I haven't talked to them for a while, but they were trying to get shows put together but we (Weiland and his solo band the Wildabouts) already had our tour . . . They've done a lot of stuff like that in the past before, it's just kind of the way they roll."
CHECK IT OUT: Watch TMZ's interview with Weiland at http://tinyurl.com/by9kj8n
PEARL JAM, GUNS N’ ROSES MEMBERS COLLABORATE ON NEW PROJECT: Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, ex-Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan and former Screaming Trees
drummer Barrett Martin have created a brand new rock band together. According to Billboard the yet-to-be-named project will recruit a number of different singers for an album that McCready hopes to release on his own new label, Hockeytalkter Records. The only vocalist that McCready named so far as a possible participant is Killing Joke's Jaz Coleman.
real high-energy, just real fun rock/metal." Recording is slated for the summer, with a North American tour in the works for September. (Loudwire)
CHECK IT OUT: Watch Mike Mushok and Jason Newsted jam:
See the trailer for the upcoming album from Device:
DETAILS ON SEASON THREE OF 'AMERICAN HORROR STORY': Dylan
McDermott revealed more details about the third season of American
Horror Story during a PaleyFest event honoring show creator Ryan Murphy. He made reference to Kathy Bates being perfect for the show
and then confirmed the long-suspected rumor that the season will focus on the
FORMER MODEL SUING '
cable television series."
AFFECTIONATE GESTURES AREN'T ALWAYS SINCERE, STUDY FINDS: A new study finds that couples often fake out their partners by using affection as a cover for harder feelings. For the study researchers asked 57-participants to keep a record of any time they lied to
their partners, what they lied about, and how they used affection to deceive
their significant other. Researchers found that people tricked their partners
with kisses and cuddles about three times a week. Participants said they used
this tactic to avoid or ease conflict because it's easier and less exhausting
to pucker up rather than fight it out. (Men's Health)
TRUSTING YOUR PARTNER WILL MAKE YOU FORGETFUL: A new study finds that being in love can mess with your memory. For the study researchers gave a group of students in romantic realtionships a questionnaire to determine how much they trusted their partners. They also asked participants to list anything that made their partner did over the course
of two weeks that made them distressed, unhappy or irritated. They also were told to keep track of anything they did that would upset their partner. At the end of the week researchers asked participants to recall how many times their partner upset them, and how they'd felt at the time. Researchers found that those who had the most trust in their partners remembered fewer of their partner's transgressions than those who felt less trust. They also remembered
those transgressions as less severe. However, trusting their partner did not affect partitipants' memory of their own trasngressions. Study author and psychologist Laura Luchies says this might be a good thing, as remembering your past in a rosier way prioritizes protecting the relationship over the self. (Buzzfeed)
SHADY ORIGINS OF FIVE POPULAR BOARD GAMES (Yahoo):
1) Monopoly and The Quakers. You may have heard Charles Darrow invented the game, but that's not entirely true. A Quaker named Lizzie Magie, in fact, first created
the game in 1904 to showcase the evils of property ownership (the original
title was "The Landlord's Game".) Magie was a supporter of the Quaker
tax reformer Henry George, and the game focused on players extorting one
another. Once the game took off, Parker Bros. learned its true origins and had
to do some damage control. It bought the rights for $500 from Magie, who
believed her original game would finally be distributed to the masses. And it
was, though only for a couple hundred copies, at least, before it was
discontinued. Turns out people had more fun with Darrow's tweaks to the game.
2) The Hard Life. The original Game of Life was a lot darker than the
one we know today. Created by Milton Bradley himself, the game was originally
sold under the name of "The Checkered Game of Life" during the Civil
War. Less a whimsical journey and more a moralistic lesson, it was meant to
teach virtue and principles to children. Before there was payday, there were
squares that included poverty, disgrace, and gambling to ruin. The game even
came with a "Suicide" square -- which, if landed on, marked your last
3) The darker side of Clue. Anthony E. Pratt was a fire warden during
World War II. While walking his beat one day, he thought back to a favorite
pre-war game he and his friends used to play called "Murder!"
"Between the wars," he once said, "all the bright young things
would congregate in each other's homes for parties at weekends. We'd play a
stupid game called Murder, where guests crept up on each other in corridors and
the victim would shriek and fall on the floor." He transformed that
somewhat morbid real-world distraction into a board game. The original version,
though, was a bit harsher than what we play today. In addition to the gun, rope
and other murder weapons, it included an axe, syringe, shillelagh, poison, and
even a bomb.
4) Scrabble's Poe past. If it weren't from his love of master of the
macabre Edgar Allen Poe, Alfred Butts might never have developed Scrabble. The
game, which has been a valuable resource in teaching spelling and vocabulary to
kids, was born when creator Butts was reading Poe's "The Gold Bug," a
story that involves figuring out a code based on how frequently letters are
used. Butts decided to tweak that a bit and sat down to count out how
frequently letters appeared in an issue The New York Times, which was quite the
undertaking. He called the game Lexico and spent more than 16 years waiting for
it to take off.
5) Chutes and Ladders (and murder and lust.) If it seems like this
immensely popular children's game has been around forever, there's a reason: it
has. The concept has been traced back to a Hindu game called Leela -- a game of
self-knowledge -- as well as an Indian game called Daspada. Leela was created
by Hindu scholars with the intention of teaching moral values. Daspada came
about in the second century with a similar purpose, but using ladders to
represent virtues and snakes to represent vices (hence the title 'Snakes and
Ladders' in the U.K.). Those vices were serious business, too. Included among
them in Daspada were Vulgarity, Drunkenness, Murder and Lust. Yikes.
APP CLAIMS TO TREAT DEPRESSION: A new app called MoodTune, developed by a Harvard psychologist, claims to help treat depression when played regularly. Harvard's Diego Pizzagalli says through his previous research on depression he learned that you can monitor how depression treatments are working by looking inside the brain and seeing which areas light up or don't light up. Pizzagalli says his app aims to light up the proper areas
of the brain by stimulating them with games. Pizzagalli and his colleagues hope
to launch MoodTune by the end of spring, but will first go through medical
trials to test its effectiveness. (PopSci)
VIDEO GAMES CAN HELP WITH DYSLEXIA? Italian scientists say playing action video games can help dyslexic children read better. Their findings were published in the journal
Current Biology, and researchers claim that 12-hours of video game play did more for reading skills than is normally achieved in a year of traditional reading treatments. Previous studies have linked dyslexia with early visual attention problems, and researchers say that action video games enhance many aspects of visual attention, improving the extraction of information from the environment. Researchers point out that no approved treatment for dyslexia includes video games as of now. (UPI)