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More from the “Religion of Peace”…

Woman beheaded for killing ISIS member who attempted to rape her

According to a security source in Diyala province, the terrorist organization ISIS beheaded a 30 year old woman for killing one its members as he attempted to rape her in her home located northeast of Baquba.

The source said in an interview for IraqiNews.com: “On Wednesday, a member of the terrorist organization ISIS attempted to rape a 30 year old woman inside her house in a village located in the northern district of Muqdadiya (35 km northeast of Baquba), but she managed to grab his gun and kill him in order to maintain her honor. The woman was resting at home and recovering from a medical illness before the attack occurred.”

The source, who requested anonymity, added that “members of ISIS imposed a perimeter in the vicinity of the incident before arresting the sick woman and then killing her by cutting off her head with a sword as per the sentence issued by the Sharia Court of the organization.”

Teacher spends two days as a student and is shocked at what she learns

WaPo

I lost count of how many times we were told be quiet and pay attention. It’s normal to do so – teachers have a set amount of time and we need to use it wisely. But in shadowing, throughout the day, you start to feel sorry for the students who are told over and over again to pay attention because you understand part of what they are reacting to is sitting and listening all day. It’s really hard to do, and not something we ask adults to do day in and out. Think back to a multi-day conference or long PD day you had and remember that feeling by the end of the day – that need to just disconnect, break free, go for a run, chat with a friend, or surf the web and catch up on emails. That is how students often feel in our classes, not because we are boring per se but because they have been sitting and listening most of the day already. They have had enough.

In addition, there was a good deal of sarcasm and snark directed at students and I recognized, uncomfortably, how much I myself have engaged in this kind of communication. I would become near apoplectic last year whenever a very challenging class of mine would take a test, and without fail, several students in a row would ask the same question about the test. Each time I would stop the class and address it so everyone could hear it. Nevertheless, a few minutes later a student who had clearly been working his way through the test and not attentive to my announcement would ask the same question again. A few students would laugh along as I made a big show of rolling my eyes and drily stating, “OK, once again, let me explain…”

Of course it feels ridiculous to have to explain the same thing five times, but suddenly, when I was the one taking the tests, I was stressed. I was anxious. I had questions. And if the person teaching answered those questions by rolling their eyes at me, I would never want to ask another question again. I feel a great deal more empathy for students after shadowing, and I realize that sarcasm, impatience, and annoyance are a way of creating a barrier between me and them. They do not help learning.

Gay Marriage and the Myth of Progressive American Secularism

Commentary

Over the last few days a story has made the rounds about the state of Idaho coercing pastors into officiating same-sex weddings or risk a fine and jail time. The story has changed a bit, but its disturbing core remains. And there’s an aspect to this scandal that shows what’s been missing from our debate over the thought police’s consistent targeting of religious believers.

On Saturday, the faith group Alliance Defending Freedom posted a press release about the Knapps, a married couple both of whom are ordained ministers. The Knapps own and run the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The state recently passed an anti-discrimination law that applies to the state’s businesses. Hitching Post is a for-profit chapel. Thus, according to state officials, the law plainly applies without exception to the Knapps.

And this is a religious country. Obama won, after all, promising various forms of redemption to his supporters. But the Obama phenomenon was only possible because the demand for such a false prophet existed in the first place. In fact, anyone who has observed American politics and religious discourse in recent years will be aware that when it comes to evangelism, those professing to be godless or secular or progressive are the most thorough. (For a clever take on this, watch Portlandia’s hipster version of door-knocking missionaries. Example: approaching Seattle residents with the line, “We were wondering if you were interested in accepting Portland into your life.”)

Atheists have begun to bring that spirit to life. Last year, the Associated Press detailed the rise of “atheist mega-churches” around the world. (Complete with “Born Again Humanist” bumper stickers.) That movement inspired a column in (where else?) the Guardian railing against the idea of a church for nonbelievers. As the column’s author Sadhbh Walshe, a devout nonbeliever, wrote:

I would have thought the message of atheism (if there needs to be one) is that churches and ritualized worship (whatever the focus of that worship might be) are best left to the people who feel the need to have a God figure in their lives.

Ah, but Walshe is right! The trappings of religion are for “people who feel the need to have a God figure in their lives.” And that is, it appears, most people. Especially in Western countries with religious heritage but aggressive and modern nihilistic instincts. The “secular” left needs a God figure just as much as the religious right. The difference is that the religious right eschews Inquisitions, and the left is just learning how effective they can be. Just ask the Knapps.

Vitamin D levels predicted neurologic outcomes after sudden cardiac arrest

Healio

Vitamin D deficiency increased the risk for poor neurologic outcomes after sudden cardiac arrest, according to new data reported at Acute Cardiovascular Care 2014.

Jin Wi, MD, from Severance Cardiovascular Hospital in Seoul, Korea, presented results from a prospective analysis of 53 patients (77% men; mean age, 57 years) who were resuscitated after sudden cardiac arrest. Wi and colleagues assessed neurologic outcome by Cerebral Performance Category score at 6 months after discharge; a score of 1 or 2 was defined as a good outcome and a score of 3, 4 or 5 defined as a bad outcome. The researchers also stratified patients by vitamin D level, with 25-(OH)D <10 ng/mL classified as deficient.

Overall, the mean vitamin D level was 10.3 ng/mL, and 59% of patients had vitamin D deficiency, Wi reported.

According to the researchers, vitamin D level was lower in patients with a poor neurologic outcome compared with those with a good neurological outcome (7.9 ng/mL vs. 12.4 ng/mL; P=.002).

In addition, compared with patients without vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D-deficient patients were more likely to have a poor neurologic outcome (65% vs. 23%; P=.003) and die before 6 months (29% vs. 0%; P=.007).

Surgeons transplant heart that had stopped beating

BBCNews

Surgeons in Australia say they have performed the first heart transplant using a “dead heart”.

Donor hearts from adults usually come from people who are confirmed as brain dead but with a heart still beating.

A team at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney revived and then transplanted hearts that had stopped beating for up to 20 minutes.

The first patient who received a heart said she felt a decade younger and was now a “different person”.

Hearts are the only organ that is not used after the heart has stopped beating – known as donation after circulatory death.

Beating hearts are normally taken from brain-dead people, kept on ice for around four hours and then transplanted to patients.

The novel technique used in Sydney involved taking a heart that had stopped beating and reviving it in a machine known as a “heart-in-a-box”.

The heart is kept warm, the heartbeat is restored and a nourishing fluid helps reduce damage to the heart muscle.

The first person to have the surgery was Michelle Gribilas, 57, who was suffering from congenital heart failure. She had the surgery more than two months ago.

“Now I’m a different person altogether,” she said. “I feel like I’m 40 years old – I’m very lucky.”

 

Cancer-killing stem cells engineered in lab

BBC

Scientists from Harvard Medical School have discovered a way of turning stem cells into killing machines to fight brain cancer.

In experiments on mice, the stem cells were genetically engineered to produce and secrete toxins which kill brain tumours, without killing normal cells or themselves.

Researchers said the next stage was to test the procedure in humans.

A stem cell expert said this was “the future” of cancer treatment.

The study, published in the journal Stem Cells, was the work of scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

For many years, they had been researching a stem-cell-based therapy for cancer, which would kill only tumour cells and no others.

They used genetic engineering to make stem cells that spewed out cancer-killing toxins, but, crucially, were also able to resist the effects of the poison they were producing.

They also posed no risk to normal, healthy cells.

In animal tests, the stem cells were surrounded in gel and placed at the site of the brain tumour after it had been removed.

Their cancer cells then died as they had no defence against the toxins.

Herpes Simplex Virus Infection Could Double The Risk Of Alzheimer Disease

CapitalWired

The herpes simplex virus infection increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and being a carrier of certain antibodies against the virus doubles the risk, two recent epidemiological studies confirmed.

Herpes Simplex is the causing agent of common cold sores. The infection caused by this virus affects almost 90% of the population. The American Academy of Dermatology stated, “getting this virus for just one time makes the person its carrier for lifetime.”

Dr. Hugo Lovheim, study author and an associate professor in the community medicine and rehabilitation department at Umea University in Sweden said, “The study is a breakthrough. Whether the treatment of Herpes infection with antiviral drugs might slow the Alzheimer’s progression is not yet known, but is definitely worth investigating in clinical studies.”

There is no clear mechanism mentioned in the study, that’s why experts didn’t accept the correlation between herpes infection and Alzheimer’s disease.

“From time to time data, such as these appear in the literature, but they do not address causality or mechanism. The new data are similarly not definitive, and they do not say anything new about the association,” Dr. Sam Gandy, director of the Center for Cognitive Health at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City said.

Herpes virus eventually weakens the immune system of the body which enables the virus to spread to the brain where it leads the person towards dementia, study authors wrote.

Dems on FEC move to regulate Internet campaigns, blogs, Drudge

WashingtonExaminer

In a surprise move late Friday, a key Democrat on the Federal Election Commission called for burdensome new rules on Internet-based campaigning, prompting the Republican chairman to warn that Democrats want to regulate online political sites and even news media like the Drudge Report.

Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel announced plans to begin the process to win regulations on Internet-based campaigns and videos, currently free from most of the FEC’s rules. “A reexamination of the commission’s approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long over due,” she said.

The power play followed a deadlocked 3-3 vote on whether an Ohio anti-President Obama Internet campaign featuring two videos violated FEC rules when it did not report its finances or offer a disclosure on the ads. The ads were placed for free on YouTube and were not paid advertising.

Under a 2006 FEC rule, free political videos and advocacy sites have been free of regulation in a bid to boost voter participation in politics. Only Internet videos that are placed for a fee on websites, such as the Washington Examiner, are regulated just like normal TV ads.

Ravel’s statement suggests that she would regulate right-leaning groups like America Rising that posts anti-Democrat YouTube videos on its website.

FEC Chairman Lee E. Goodman, a Republican, said if regulation extends that far, then anybody who writes a political blog, runs a politically active news site or even chat room could be regulated. He added that funny internet campaigns like “Obama Girl,” and “Jib Jab” would also face regulations.

“I told you this was coming,” he told Secrets. Earlier this year he warned that Democrats on the panel were gunning for conservative Internet sites like the Drudge Report.

Somebody DOES read news sites…

Disgraced VA official landed, then lost new job at Energy Department

Breaking procurement laws and violating government ethics did not stop a top Department of Veterans Affairs official from being hired at another federal agency, the Washington Examiner has learned.

Susan M. Taylor, the subject of a scathing VA inspector general’s report released Friday, landed the new job as director of procurement planning at the Department of Energy and was slated to start Sunday, Oct. 5.

That offer was rescinded after the IG’s findings were reported by the Washington Examiner and other media.

Thomas Johnson, associate deputy assistant secretary for acquisition at DOE, said he and others involved in the selection of Taylor were unaware of the IG’s investigation when she was hired.

The internal DOE announcement was posted in an email sent by Johnson Sept. 12.

“Obviously a pretty strong IG report came out Friday with some pretty strong allegations and findings against Ms. Taylor,” Johnson told the Examiner on Thursday.

“The IG report came out several weeks after my email that was announcing the hiring of Ms. Taylor. Once we received the IG report, obviously the department went back and reviewed that report and reconsidered. At that point, that’s when the decision was made to not hire Ms. Taylor.

“At the time the selection was made, we didn’t know that the IG was investigating, nor did we know that there were any outstanding allegations or anything against Ms. Taylor,” Johnson said, adding the job offer has been rescinded. “She will not be hired by the Department of Energy.”

The IG report found Taylor misused her position and violated numerous government ethics rules by manipulating her subordinates into awarding a contract to FedBid Inc., a company based in Vienna, Va.

Doctors, hospitals rethinking electronic medical records mandated by 2009 law

WashingtonExaminer

A revolt is brewing among doctors and hospital administrators over electronic medical records systems mandated by one of President Obama’s early health care reforms.

The American Medical Association called for a “design overhaul” of the entire electronic health records system in September because, said AMA president-elect Steven Stack, electronic records “fail to support efficient and effective clinical work.”

That has “resulted in physicians feeling increasingly demoralized by technology that interferes with their ability to provide first-rate medical care to their patients,” Stack said.

Congress approved the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act in 2009, which mandated the health care industry to undertake a massive digitization of patient medical records.

More than 75 percent of all physicians now use some type of electronic records system, up from 18 percent in 2001, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In a report sent to Congress Thursday, the office also said hospital adoption of at least a basic electronic records system has increased from 12 percent in 2009 to 59 percent this year.

The concept of digitizing patient records where they can be accessed in real-time by multiple health care providers is popular, but a lengthening list of problems with its implementation is prompting increasingly vocal complaints.

The complaints focus on poorer quality care for patients and fewer medical reports while immense new financial burdens are imposed on medical providers. In addition, the new digitized system leaves millions of people vulnerable to hacker attacks.

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