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Are You at Risk?

A study in mice suggests that Zika virus could damage brain areas responsible for learning and memory.

Source: Zika can infect adult brain cells, not just fetal cells, study suggests – The Washington Post

Although the virus is primarily associated with infant brain abnormalities, the study shows that even adult brains are susceptible to damage from Zika virus, primarily in the region of the hippocampus.  It could lead to depression or Alzheimer’s like memory problems later in life.

What places in the US are at risk of mosquito-borne infections?

Map highlights U.S. cities with conditions that could put them at risk for Zika virus outbreaks. IMAGE BASED ON DATA MAPPED BY OLGA WILHELMI, NCAR GIS PROGRAM


China: Population by Age and Sex, 1950 – 2050; Proportion Elderly, Working Age, and Children

Source: China: Population by Age and Sex, 1950 – 2050; Proportion Elderly, Working Age, and Children

Population Growth and Decline in China


I hope your Spring Break starts off as great as mine has.  

This is the view from my hotel. I took the Metro from the airport, and the stop is right across the street. I’m going out exploring. Have a great day!

Your Shrimp is Probably Peeled by Slaves

Shrimp is the most-loved seafood in the U.S., with Americans downing 1.3 billion pounds every year, or about 4 pounds per person. Once a luxury reserved for special occasions, it became cheap enough for stir-fries and scampis when Asian farmers started growing it in ponds three decades ago. Thailand quickly dominated the market and now sends nearly half of its supply to the U.S.

Source: AP: Global supermarkets selling shrimp peeled by slaves

SAMUT SAKHON, Thailand (AP) — Every morning at 2 a.m., they heard a kick on the door and a threat: Get up or get beaten. For the next 16 hours, No. 31 and his wife stood in the factory that owned them with their aching hands in ice water. They ripped the guts, heads, tails and shells off shrimp bound for overseas markets, including grocery stores and all-you-can-eat buffets across the United States.

These slaves are usually illegal immigrants who are locked inside these factories.  They work every day for more than 16 hours just so you can eat cheap shrimp at Red Lobster.

AP journalists followed and filmed trucks loaded with freshly peeled shrimp from the Gig shed to major Thai exporting companies and then, using U.S. customs records and Thai industry reports, tracked it globally. They also traced similar connections from another factory raided six months earlier, and interviewed more than two dozen workers from both sites.

U.S. customs records show the shrimp made its way into the supply chains of major U.S. food stores and retailers such as Wal-Mart, Kroger, Whole Foods, Dollar General and Petco, along with restaurants such as Red Lobster and Olive Garden.

It also entered the supply chains of some of America’s best-known seafood brands and pet foods, including Chicken of the Sea and Fancy Feast, which are sold in grocery stores from Safeway and Schnucks to Piggly Wiggly and Albertsons. AP reporters went to supermarkets in all 50 states and found shrimp products from supply chains tainted with forced labor.

What can you do?  Ask your supermarket if they know where the shrimp came from, buy shrimp caught in the Gulf of Mexico, write Red Lobster and other restaurants.  Don’t support slavery.

[Retailers], including Red Lobster, Whole Foods and H-E-B Supermarkets, said they were confident — based on assurances from their Thai supplier — that their particular shrimp was not associated with abusive factories. That Thai supplier admits it hadn’t known where it was getting all its shrimp and sent a note outlining corrective measures to U.S. businesses [… ] last week.

I hope they mean it.

Handwriting Helps You Learn 

[i]f you are taking notes by hand, you won’t be able to write down every word the speaker says. Instead, you’ll have to look for representative quotes, summarize concepts, and ask questions about what you don’t understand.This requires more effort than just typing every word out — and the effort is what helps cement the material in your memory.

Source: Handwriting Helps You Learn – Business Insider

It’s very important to learn note-taking skills.  You can’t write down every word, so summarizing is important.  Psychologists say that you have to see the material up to 10 times to actually learn it.  Hearing it, thinking about it, and writing it down are 3 times you’ve covered the material.  You’re off to a good start.

Dirty Olympics

REMEMBER WHEN BRAZIL ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, without-a-doubt was going to clean up 80% of the trash and sewage in Guanabara Bay in time for the 2016 Summer Olympics? Remember how they boldly pledged a “full regeneration” of the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon?

Source: Here are the precautions US Olympic boaters must take in Rio

Bleaching boats and oars after practice and competitions to get rid of bacteria and viruses, laundering clothes at high temps, and more – all to get rid of the contamination caused by the raw sewage that flows into the bay.  YUCK

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