Poison Pero is RIGHT!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

PRAGER UNIVERSITY: I Learned More at McDonald's Than at College

"We teach what isn't taught." - Dennis Prager

This semester of Prager University is presented by:  Olivia Legaspi

"At McDonald's there was no 'trigger warning' for when a customer was about to start yelling.  No 'safe spaces' to go...[T]here was no university administrator for me to run to for soothing and reassurance.  And from these experiences - the good, the bad and the flat out ugly, I grew...I matured." – O.L.

"Putting oneself first is the essence of privilege.  But putting oneself first does not develop character, or lead to personal growth.   Putting others first does.  McDonald's is a far better teacher of that lesson than college." – O.L.



Sunday, January 29, 2017

WASTEBOOK: Drooling Monkeys and the Evolution of Saliva

New York
National Institutes of Health

Drool from monkeys, gorillas, orangutans, macaques, and humans was compared in an attempt to gain “insights into evolution of saliva.”

The study was funded, in part, from two National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants totaling $817,000 to the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB).

DNA samples of saliva from the primates were purchased and then analyzed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR).  PCR is a technique that copies and amplifies small segments of DNA to conduct molecular and genetic analyses.

The research specifically focused on the salivary mucin-7 (MUC7) gene, that “tells the body how to create a salivary protein of the same name.”  This protein, “which is long and thin, forms the backbone of a bottlebrush shaped molecule that helps to give spit its slimy, sticky consistency.”

The analysis found the instructions within the MUC7 gene “for building important components of the bottlebrush were repeated multiple times” in each of the five primate species studied.   Gorillas had the fewest copies of this information (4-5), while African green monkeys had the most (11-12). Humans fell somewhere in between, with 5-6.”

The researchers then simulated evolutionary changes in the composition of the saliva gene over 11 million years from a common ancestor.  They assumed “every 1 million year [sic], there is a random gain or loss of 0.5/1.0/1.5/2.0 copies for Orangutan and the common ancestor of Human, Chimpanzee and Gorilla separately. At 8 million years ago, the common ancestor of Human and Chimpanzee separated from Gorilla and they started the copy number gain and loss simulation separately. The same simulation continues to 5 million years ago that Human and Chimpanzee separated from each other, and start their copy number gain/loss process independently until present. We simulated this process 1,000 times for 4 different copy-number-change rates (0.5/1.0/1.5/2.0 copies per million year), and for each simulation, calculated the variation of final state of simulated copy numbers for Human, Chimpanzee, Gorilla and Orangutan. The observed copy number state in present is Human 5 or 6 copies, Chimpanzee 5 copies, Gorilla 4 or 5 copies, and Orangutan 6 or 7 copies.”

So what does that all mean?

“This diversity in humans and other primates is ‘fodder for rapid evolution,’” the scientists write in a study published in Scientific Reports.  It is “unusual for members of a single species to have varying numbers of tandem repeats,” which are “short strings of DNA found multiple times inside the gene.”

The researchers speculate that by “having numerous copies of the repeated instructions likely conferred an evolutionary advantage to primates— possibly by enhancing important traits of saliva such as its lubricity.”

The authors of the study do caution that “gene predictions, especially for genes that have repeat content as in MUC7, may be error prone.”

As sticky as the subject may be, saliva does serve important functions. Other studies— including some conducted at UB— have examined the importance of saliva for human health. While the findings of those efforts may lead to exciting scientific breakthroughs, this particular study is nothing to drool over.


Thursday, January 26, 2017


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

PRAGER UNIVERSITY: Socialism Makes People Selfish

"Give us five-minutes and we’ll give you a semester." - Dennis Prager

This semester of Prager University is presented by:  Dennis Prager

"Whatever its intentions, socialism produces far more selfish individuals, and a far more selfish society than a free-market economy does...[S]ocialism enables, and therefore produces, people whose preoccupations become more and more self-centered." – D.P.

"Capitalism teaches people to work more.  Socialism teaches people to demand more.  Which attitude do you think will make a better society?" – D.P.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

WASTEBOOK: Government Cheese

$21.8 million
U.S. Department of Agriculture

There is more surplus cheese stored in refrigerated warehouses in the U.S. than at any time since the records were first taken 100 years ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Cheese sales in some parts of the country are “lagging behind production rates, causing stocks to accumulate,” the USDA notes.  As a result, some cheese makers are even “cutting back” on manufacturing to “manage large inventories.”

Despite this growing mountain of cheese, the federal government is subsidizing more companies to get into cheese making and buying the leftover cheese.

At one point, the surplus of cheese and other dairy products held by the government had a market value of $3 billion and was so large it took 500 warehouses and five giant storage caves carved out of limestone to store it all.

This year, approximately 11 million pounds of the surplus cheese valued at $20 million was acquired.  USDA says the move is in response to “requests from Congress” and advocacy groups for the industry.  The Department says the purchase is “assisting the stalled marketplace for dairy producers whose revenues have dropped 35 percent over the past two years.”

Despite these unfavorable conditions, USDA spent $1.8 billion to subsidize 16 new cheese making ventures this year through the Value Added Producer Grant program.

Burnett Dairy Cooperative of Grantsburg, Wisconsin, received the largest slice.  The co-op is spending the $250,000 grant “to help expand the sales of meat infused string cheese.”  Zesty Teriyaki, Hot Pepper Beef and Pepperoni Pizza are among the mozzarella string cheese snacks blended with meats currently offered by Burnett Dairy. The new product, which is string cheese with a beef stick in the center, is being developed with meat snack maker Jack Link’s.  “They came together and decided this was something there was a market for,” says Jeff Hudson, the Business Programs Director for the USDA Rural Development Agency in Stevens Point.  Hudson cautions “the purpose of the grant is not to give out ‘free money.”  That statement has more holes in it than a slice of Swiss cheese.

USDA also paid out more than $11 million in financial assistance to dairy producers enrolled in the Margin Protection Program (MPP) for Dairy.  This was the largest pay out since the program established in 2014 to provides financial assistance “when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs falls below the coverage level” for dairy producers.

Even some dairy farmers are criticizing the federal government’s cheesy policies. “Farmers are not encouraged to produce less and they feel the only way they can help make ends meet and get all of their bills taken care of at the end of the month is to produce more milk, which in turn ends up hurting them in the end,” laments Darin Von Ruden, a dairy farmer and president of the Wisconsin Farmers Union.

Government cheese really grates on taxpayers.

The Official Wastebook


Thursday, January 19, 2017


Monday, January 16, 2017

He's Going, Going, Gone! (1/20/17)

"So this is how it ends - in a whimper wrapped in self-pity and recriminations. With President Obama on the defensive at his final press conference and Hillary Clinton’s last campaign event resembling a wake, the Democratic Party is limping off the stage and into the political winter.  It was supposed to sit atop the national power pyramid for decades, a new paradigm of liberals, progressives, the young, the old, the unions and blacks, Latinos, Muslims and Asians.  The torch would be passed from Obama to Clinton, a liberal Supreme Court would vastly expand executive power and the regulatory state would enforce climate-change orthodoxy on all industry and elitist dictates on every American. Globalism would be the new patriotism.  But a funny thing happened on the way to one-party dominance: The people who work for a living said no, hell no. Their revolt brings Donald Trump to the White House amid hopes of a revival of the economy and of the American spirit.  Thoroughly beaten, the Dems are at their lowest point in nearly a century. From the White House to Congress to statehouses, they are on the outside looking in." – Michael Goodwin

“Obama isn't just leaving political life, he is also leaving the Democratic Party a smoldering ruin. He took office on a wave that turned America blue....The last four elections point toward a massive miscalculation by Obama. He confused his own electoral strength as a candidate with popular support for his ideas. In the end, his transformative policies proved so unpopular that far too many other Democrats could not survive them...his fellow Democrats have been cut down in huge swaths whenever their leader was not on the ballot. Obama led House Democrats like sheep to the slaughter in 2010 and 2014. In the Senate, Democrats who voted for Obamacare were wiped out as well.  The stunning 2016 result puts an exclamation point on all this. - The Washington Examiner

"For all the gooey talk about President Barack Obama's legacy, it can probably best be described in four blunt words:  Disappointment.  And Donald Trump...Trump.  Donald Trump is Obama's true legacy." - John Kass

“And while it remains to be seen whether or not a President Trump will preside over a resurgent United States of America, both economically and militarily, there is one thing for certain.  Few, except the uneducated and ill-informed among Barack Obama’s die hard supporters, will get misty-eyed watching him walk out of the White House for the last time.  I suspect most Americans will more likely be thinking, ‘don’t let the door hit you on the way out.’” – D.W. Wilber


    NOTE: The editorial content of this blog is the property of the Blog Owner......Feel free to quote from the editorial content, but please give proper credit and linking.