Elizabeth Parrish, CEO of Bioviva USA Inc. has become the first human being to be successfully rejuvenated by gene therapy, after her own company’s experimental therapies reversed 20 years of normal telomere shortening.
Times EditorialEditorial: Florida’s climate challengeTuesday, February 23, 2016 5:50pm303303Print11Associated Press (2014)A cyclist and vehicles negotiate flooded streets during a rainstorm in Miami Beach. As the primary author of a scientific study said: “It’s not the tide. It’s not the wind. It’s us.” Rising sea levels pose a threat far beyond the coast.The facts could not be clearer: Tidal flooding along the nation’s coast is worsening, largely due to mankind’s burning of fossil fuels, which is causing the oceans to rise at the fastest rate since the founding of ancient Rome. New scientific studies released this week underscore what residents of Miami Beach, the Florida Keys and the eastern seaboard already know. Greenhouse gases are threatening our coasts, homes, businesses and way of life. And as tens of millions deal with rising temperatures, the stakes only rise for political leaders and the public to address the changes in a meaningful way.The studies released this week echo a chorus of recent findings that paint the consequences of climate change in alarming and immediate terms. Scientists found that sea levels are likely rising faster than at any point in 28 centuries, and pointed to man-made warming as the likely cause of a sharp acceleration in sea levels in the past century. As the primary author of one of the two studies said: “It’s not the tide. It’s not the wind. It’s us."It’s also upon us. One study released this week calculated that three-fourths of the tidal flood days along the East Coast would not be occurring were it not for rising seas caused by man-made emissions. The co-author of the lead study released this week, published by the National Academy of Sciences, made the point that because warming is expected to continue, the jump in sea levels is only expected to accelerate — think feet, not inches, by century’s end. This dire situation is getting worse. And those closest to it see no end in sight.The research is coalescing around the grimmest of news. Last year was the hottest year since modern record-keeping began in 1880, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed last month. Fifteen of the 16 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001.As global temperatures have risen about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since the 19th century, scientists are discovering how sensitive the ocean is to even tiny fluctuations in temperature. As sea levels rise for any combination of reasons, the warming from man-induced emissions takes an especially heavy toll, as seen in increasingly worse flooding in the coastal states.A report accompanying the sea level findings this week sought to tie the knot between emissions, warming, sea level rise and U.S. coastal flooding. It found, for example, that natural flooding in Mayport, near Jacksonville, in the 1950s and ‘60s gave gradual way to human-induced flooding, with researchers blaming 44 of the 45 flood days since 2005 on human causes.The message is clear: Humans caused this mess and now need to fix it. Rising sea levels pose a risk far beyond the coast, as salty seawater threatens the drinking water supplies for millions, just as rising temperatures from a warming climate threaten public health, the food chain and global stability.That’s why the simplest solution — a tax on carbon — needs to be on the table. It’s why state lawmakers need to quit toying with fracking and look for ways instead to reduce Florida’s need for fossil fuels. It’s why Florida’s congressional delegation needs to be an environmental leader; no place is threatened by rising seas more than this low-lying state, and the third-largest state should carry some clout. And it’s why the world community needs to commit to meet the climate change targets agreed to in December in Paris. If a rich nation like the United States can’t keep stormwater from bubbling up on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, what hope is there?Editorial: Florida’s climate challenge 02/23/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 5:53pm] Photo reprints | Article reprints
The Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park, Hiroshima, Japan.
The headline of this column is lifted from a 1981 essay by the late Paul Fussell,
the cultural critic and war memoirist. In 1945 Fussell was a
21-year-old second lieutenant in the U.S. Army who had fought his way
through Europe only to learn that he would soon be shipped to the
Pacific to take part in Operation Downfall, the invasion of the Japanese
home islands scheduled to begin in November 1945.
Then the atom bomb intervened. Japan would not surrender after Hiroshima, but it did after Nagasaki.
brought Fussell’s essay with me on my flight to Hiroshima and was
stopped by this: “When we learned to our astonishment that we would not
be obliged in a few months to rush up the beaches near Tokyo
assault-firing while being machine-gunned, mortared, and shelled, for
all the practiced phlegm of our tough facades we broke down and cried
with relief and joy. We were going to live.”
In all the cant that
will pour forth this week to mark the 70th anniversary of the dropping
of the bombs—that the U.S. owes the victims of the bombings an apology;
that nuclear weapons ought to be abolished; that Hiroshima is a monument
to man’s inhumanity to man; that Japan could have been defeated in a
slightly nicer way—I doubt much will be made of Fussell’s fundamental
point: Hiroshima and Nagasaki weren’t just terrible war-ending events.
They were also lifesaving. The bomb turned the empire of the sun into a
nation of peace activists.
I spent the better part of Monday afternoon with one such activist, Keiko Ogura,
who runs a group called Hiroshima Interpreters for Peace. Mrs. Ogura
had just turned eight when the bomb fell on Hiroshima, the epicenter
less than 2 miles from her family home. She remembers wind “like a
tornado”; thousands of pieces of shattered glass blasted by wind into
the walls and beams of her house, looking oddly “shining and beautiful”;
an oily black rain.
And then came the refugees from the city
center, appallingly burned and mutilated, “like a line of ghosts,”
begging for water and then dying the moment they drank it. Everyone in
Mrs. Ogura’s immediate family survived the bombing, but it would be
years before any of them could talk about it.
and Nagasaki were real events, because they happened, there can be no
gainsaying their horror. Operation Downfall did not happen, so there’s a
lot of gainsaying. Would the Japanese have been awed into capitulation
by an offshore A-bomb test? Did the Soviet Union’s invasion of
Manchuria, starting the day of the Nagasaki bombing, have the more
decisive effect in pushing Japan to give up? Would casualties from an
invasion really have exceeded the overall toll—by some estimates
approaching 250,000—of the two bombs?
We’ll never know. We only
know that the U.S. lost 14,000 men merely to take Okinawa in 82 days of
fighting. We only know that, because Japan surrendered, the order to
execute thousands of POWs in the event of an invasion of the home
islands was never implemented. We only know that, in the last weeks of a
war Japan had supposedly already lost, the Allies were sustaining
casualties at a rate of 7,000 a week.
We also know that the
Japanese army fought nearly to the last man to defend Okinawa, and
hundreds of civilians chose suicide over capture. Do we know for a
certainty that the Japanese would have fought less ferociously to defend
the main islands? We can never know for a certainty.
the past,” Fussell wrote, “requires pretending that you don’t know the
present. It requires feeling its own pressure on your pulses without any
ex post facto illumination.” Historical judgments must be made in light
not only of outcomes but also of options. Would we judge Harry Truman
better today if he had eschewed his nuclear option in favor of 7,000
casualties a week; that is, if he had been more considerate of the lives
of the enemy than of the lives of his men?
And so the bombs were
dropped, and Japan was defeated. Totally defeated. Modern Japan is a
testament to the benefits of total defeat, to stripping a culture prone
to violence of its martial pretenses. Modern Hiroshima is a testament to
human resilience in the face of catastrophe. It is a testament, too, to
an America that understood moral certainty and even a thirst for
revenge were not obstacles to magnanimity. In some ways they are the
precondition for it.
For too long Hiroshima has been associated
with a certain brand of leftist politics, a kind of insipid pacifism
salted with an implied anti-Americanism. That’s a shame. There are
lessons in this city’s history that could serve us today, when the U.S.
military forbids the word victory, the U.S. president doesn’t believe in
the exercise of American power, and the U.S. public is consumed with
guilt for sins they did not commit.
Watch the lights come on at night in Hiroshima. Note the gentleness of its culture. And thank God for the atom bomb.
When you think about great inventors, you likely think of men such as
Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and even Bill Gates. Though these
men and others innovated new products that changed our modern lives for
the better, they often overshadow brilliant women inventors whose
incredible contributions should also be acknowledged and praised.
In honor of Women’s History Month, we decided to showcase some
amazing things you might not know were invented by women and we use in
our daily lives.
1. Liquid Paper – Bette Nesmith Graham
In the 1950s, Bette NesmithGraham
was an executive secretary at Texas Bank and Trust. Electric
typewriters had just hit the scene, but their carbon ribbon used to
correct typing errors didn’t work very well. Because of this,
secretaries had to retype documents even if just a small mistake was
made. But Bette was very bright and used white tempera paint to disguise
the errors in her typing. She perfected the formula in her own kitchen
and patented her secretarial secret as Liquid Paper in 1958.
may have been an ordinary cotton mill worker in the 1860s, but by 1868
she invented a machine that took brown paper bags to the next level. The
machine created bags with square bottoms so they could stand upright.
We still use these bags today — and the machines based on her idea are
still used as well. Not only did she fight to patent this invention and
win in 1871, but this innovative woman received over 20 patents and
thought up nearly 100 inventions throughout her lifetime.
In 1886, Josephine Cochran
invented something that would leave dishes squeaky clean without ever
having to wash and rinse by hand again: the first practical dishwashing
machine. We love it to this day, but it wasn’t well received back in
1893 when Josephine presented her invention at the World’s Fair. It
wasn’t until the 1950s that people took notice. Once they did, Josephine
founded a manufacturer to build the dishwashers which we now know as
4. COBOL Programming Language – Admiral Grace Murray Hopper
In 1943, Admiral Hopper
joined the U.S. military where she was stationed at Harvard University.
While there, she worked on the first large-scale computer in the U.S. –
IBM’s Harvard Mark I. And in the 1950s, the compiler was invented by
Admiral Hopper — a significant advancement for computer programmers that
translates English commands into computer code. Not only that, Admiral
Hopper would eventually oversee the development of one of the very first
computer programming languages: the Common Business-Oriented Language,
or COBOL. She is considered by many as the “mother of the computer.”
During Mary Anderson’s
first trip to New York City at the start of the 20th century, she
noticed that the driver of her tram had to stop quite frequently in
order to wipe snow from the front window. This was commonplace at the
time. But when Mary returned home, she thought of a way to help her tram
driver — and every other driver around the world. Mary invented the
very first windshield wiper, an invention made up of a squeegee on a
spindle that attached to the inside of a vehicle. All the driver had to
do was pull the handle on her contraption and the front window would be
cleared. The windshield wiper was patented by Mary in 1903 and a decade
later, thousands of cars were sold equipped with her incredibly helpful
In 1946, Stephanie Kwolek
took a position at DuPont to save money for medical school expenses,
but in 1964, she still saw herself there — and for good reason.
Stephanie was caught up in her research on turning polymers into extra
strong synthetic fibers. After trying, trying and trying again,
Stephanie came up with a fiber that was as strong as steel which we now
know as Kevlar, the material used to make bulletproof vests and other
seemingly unbreakable products.
1n 1952, Patsy Sherman
was hired by 3M Company to work as a research chemist. One of the few
women in the field, her specialty was fluorochemicals. While in the lab
one day, synthetic latex was spilled by an assistant and it landed on
the assistant’s canvas shoes. Patsy and her lab partner were thrilled
with what they found out from the spill: the substance wouldn’t wash
away and repelled water and oil. Patsy worked on further developments
with this discovery over the years and In 1956, Scotchgard was born from
what could’ve been overlooked as just a mishap.
8. The Refrigerator – Florence Parpart
Though we know little about the Hoboken, New Jersey housewife named Florence Parpart,
we do know that she won a patent in 1914 for an important invention
that we use every day in our modern lives — the refrigerator. Her
invention went on to replace numerous iceboxes in homes that were
equipped with electricity.
In 1908, Melitta Bentz
was just a German homemaker who was tired of bitter coffee. She sought
to fix this problem and create a cleaner-tasting cup of coffee by using a
piece of blotting paper from her son’s school notebook and puncturing a
brass pot with holes. Not only did this new type of coffee filter and
brewing method produce a great-tasting cup o’ joe, but also a more
efficient disposal of the coffee grounds. Melitta patented her
incredible invention in 1908. The Melitta company is still around today
and ran by her grandchildren in Germany.
10. Chocolate Chip Cookies – Ruth Wakefield
Though the chocolate chip cookie was an accidental invention, it’s
also one of the most delicious inventions ever created. In 1930, Ruth Wakefield stumbled
upon this sweet invention while whipping up a batch of Butter Drop Do
cookies for guests inside the kitchen of her inn and restaurant — which
was once a toll house. Melted chocolate was needed in the cookie recipe,
but Ruth was out of baker’s chocolate. She instead crumbled up a Nestle
chocolate bar to add to the batter. The chocolate pieces were meant to
melt like baker’s chocolate, but this wasn’t so. Instead those crumbled
pieces kept their shape and the Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie
Have you discovered that you’re related to any female inventors while
researching your family history? Are you related to any of the
inventors we mentioned? Let us know in the comments, and tell their
stories on your Crestleaf Family Tree!
One of the USA’s greatest historical achievements was sending Captain America to punch Adolf Hitler square in the jaw. But what you may not know is that, prior to the U.S. tossing its military might in against the Axis powers, Hitler had a well-known obsession with all things American, from Coca-Cola to Mickey Mouse.
And although we tend to think of Nazi Germany as the very antithesis of truth, justice, and the American way, it turns out that some of the shittiest ideas lurking within the darkest corners of Hitler’s shitty evil brain were directly inspired by things he learned from relentlessly studying American culture. Basically, if Hitler is the Joker, America is the Batman who dropped him in a vat of ooze.
We’re not saying America was just as bad as the Nazis, or that Americans secretly caused the Holocaust. What we are saying is …
#5. The Nazi Propaganda Machine Was Borrowed From Various American Sources
Orlando/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
During the very earliest days of his rise to power, one of Hitler’s closest pals was Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl. And we don’t mean “close” like “Hitler used to borrow Putzi’s lawnmower” close. We mean “close” like “Putzi once made fun of Hitler’s mustache” close, or “Putzi helped him edit Mein Kampf” close. Hell, they were “Putzi didn’t complain when Hitler wanted to bang his wife” close. That’s a better relationship than most of us have with anyone.
Putzi was a Harvard grad who spent his college years pounding out fight songs on an upright piano at football pep rallies. Indeed, it was this ability to rile up a crowd via music that first ingratiated him with the future Fuehrer in 1923, when Putzi banged out some of his old football marches and sent Hitler prancing about his rundown Munich apartment in an awkward goosestep-dance . Once he calmed down, Hitler demanded that Putzi duplicate the style in penning the Third Reich’s official march tunes.
Compare the intros of these two songs. The first is the Harvard fight song; the second is a Nazi youth march written by Putzi:
Suddenly, the Harvard-Yale rivalry doesn’t seem so significant.
Not only that, but a document declassified by the CIA in 2001 revealed that the Indy-chilling “Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!” chant was a direct bastardization of cheerleaders chanting “Harvard! Harvard! Harvard! Rah! Rah! Rah!” Unfortunately for Putzi, however, Hitler’s need to convince the masses that genocide was the wave of the future soon outgrew peppy cheers and marching songs. Hitler needed an upgrade, and he found it in the form of Paul Joseph Goebbels, the Nazis’ Don Draper.
Goebbels is best known as the guy who gets shot entirely too many times at the end of Inglourious Basterds, but he was also the Nazis’ master of propaganda, which was legendarily effective. Where did he get the ideas that put the swastika on the map, and encouraged millions of people to be complicit and/or actively participate in mass murder? American advertising..
Coca-Cola Slap some jackboots on Santa and swap out the Coca-Cola logo for a swastika, and you get the idea.
Goebbels learned everything he knew from Edward Bernays, an American public relations consultant known as “the father of public relations” (ironically, Bernays was also Jewish). Goebbelsdirectly cited Bernays’ bookCrystallizing Public Opinion as his textbook for convincing the German people that the Jews were the source of all their misery and misfortune. Surely, American advertisers were so ashamed by what they’d wrought that they abandoned their Madison Avenue suites and burned their fancy neckties in disgrace, right?
#4. Hitler’s Anti-Semitic Views Were Inspired By Henry Ford
Hulton Archive/Archive Photos/Getty Images
We’ve previously discussed how Henry Ford thought Nazis were the bee’s knees in the cat’s pajamas, but what we didn’t point out was just how much Ford’s own fucked-up worldview may have influenced the tenets of Nazism in the first place.
See, Henry Ford owned the Dearborn Independent, an anti-Semitic and conspiracy theory-laden newspaper distributed throughout his vast network (by which we mean he forced his car dealershipsto hand out his frothingly racist “newspaper” to anyone they could). Nowhere is Ford’s outlook on Jews clearer than in the essay “The Jewish Question – Fact or Fancy?,” which posited that, “The Jew has been too long accustomed to think of himself as exclusively the claimant on the humanitarianism of society.” Ford also once famously claimed that “The Jews are the scavengers of the world. Wherever there’s anything wrong with a country, you’ll find the Jews on the job there.”
via Detroit Jewish News “… and don’t even get me started on the havoc they’ve wreaked on my fantasy baseball league.”
In the early 1920s, Ford collected four entire volumes of his batshittiest rantings and published them under the vague title The International Jew. Presumably mistaking this for a spy thriller, Hitler picked up a German translation of the book well before he ever began his own masterwork, Mein Kampf. As expected, Hitler fucking loved The International Jew, so much so that he straight-up plagiarized it. James Pool, author of Who Financed Hitler: The Secret Funding of Hitler’s Rise to Power, 1919-1933, pointed out that, “There is a great similarity between The International Jew and Hitler’s Mein Kampf, and some passages are so identical that it has been said Hitler copies directly from Ford’s publication.”
Of particular interest to Hitler were Ford’s ideas that the Jews were morally and mentally “defective,” along with his observation that Germany was the number two nation (the USA being number one) at risk of succumbing to Jewish domination. Hitler even kept a life-sized portrait of Henry Ford next to his desk like a fucking John Elway FatHead decal a full two years before his rise to chancellor. When a Detroit News reporter asked him why it was there, Hitler explained, “I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration.”
#3. Nazi Concentration Camps Were Modeled After The U.S. Indian Reservation System
MPI/Archive Photos/Getty Images
So let’s say you’re the leader of a great new nation, but to your dismay you find your hard-built country teeming with pesky undesirables whose singular goal is to uproot your carefully constructed society by mooching off welfare and stealing all the jobs you created for your own loyal citizenry. What do you do about it? Well, if you’re old timey America, you forcibly uproot thousands of Native Americans from their own homes and send them to “reservations,” which is a euphemism for “population control camps,” or, more specifically, “concentration camps.” Conditions at these camps were somewhat less than ideal, and that’s just for those Native Americans who didn’t die during the several-hundred mile trek to get to their new homes. Many more perished on the reservations due to a delightful combination of unsanitary living conditions and starvation. In some cases they weren’t allowed to leave (like prisoners) and were forced to work for hours (like labor camps) for no pay (like slaves).
via Wiki Commons “‘This land is your land, this land is my land’. Hahaha, but seriously, this land is my land.”
Adolf “I know an evil idea when I see one” Hitler not only knew about these forced relocations and reservations, but actively studied the plans of Indian reservations such as Bosque Redondo, anddesigned his concentration camps based on what he’d learned. As John Toland wrote in his bookAdolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography, “Hitler’s concept of concentration camps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history.” In fact, Hitler so admired America’s approach to killing all the Indians that he “often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America’s extermination – by starvation and uneven combat – of the red savages who could not be tamed by captivity.”
This was ostensibly to prevent an outbreak of typhus, even though only two cases of typhus had been reported, in a single El Paso slum. So it was more of a “typhus prevention, and also we hate Mexicans” kind of deal.
What does any of this have to do with Hitler? Well, for one thing, he was absolutely smitten with the United States’ immigration policies. In 1924, he wrote that, “The American union itself … has established scientific criteria for immigration … making an immigrant’s ability to set foot on American soil dependent on specific racial requirements on the one hand as well as a certain level of physical health of the individual himself.”
More disturbing, however, is that the Nazis took special notice of one particular chemical America used in this supposed war against lice. Yeah, that’s right – brace yourself, because this is going to be bad.
Alex Morley Hint: These cans did not contain beanie weenies.
In 1938, Nazi chemist Dr. Gerhard Peters published a scientific article praising one Texas “disinfection” plant, in which he popped a throbbing murder-boner over their use of a little substance called Zyklon B. The Americans only used it to delouse freight or clothes, because spraying it on a human resulted in near-instant death (a fact that they hopefully did not discover through trial and error, although let’s be honest, they probably did).
Gerhard Peters the Nazi doctor, on the other hand, scooped it up and slapped a German patent on it. By the end of World War II, the Nazis had used Zyklon B (which was created by America to delouse the clothing of dirty immigrants) to murder millions of human beings in their concentration camp gas chambers. Goddammit, America.
#1. Hitler’s Entire “Master Race” Philosophy Was Inspired By The American Eugenics Movement
FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Around the turn of the 20th century, Charles Darwin’s cousin Sir Francis Galton had a grand idea: create a superior race of human by arbitrarily deciding who is allowed to breed and who isn’t. He called this disturbing brainchild “eugenics,” and it caught on like wildfire in America, where a bunch of educated white dudes collectively decided they had a moral obligation to embrace the practiceout of responsibility to future generations. This “obligation” left them with no choice but to start sterilizing people left and right, provided said people were criminals, feebleminded, disabled, deformed, in a mental hospital, blind, deaf, or poor. Or, as eugenicists called them, “bacteria,” “vermin,” “mongrels,” and “subhuman.”
NASA Ugh, to think this could have been prevented.
In 1927, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes determined that, “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind … Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” And damn good thing, too, because by that time most states had already passed laws permitting compulsory sterilization anyway. What followed was the government-mandated sterilization of more than 60,000 Americans, some of whom are still living today.
Meanwhile, an impressionable young Adolf Hitler read about all this and gave it two enthusiastic thumbs up, even going so far as to write a gushing fan letter to Madison Grant, the face of American eugenics, in which he described Grant’s book on race-based eugenics as his bible, “[studying] with great interest the laws of several American states concerning prevention of reproduction by people whose progeny would, in all probability, be of no value or be injurious to the racial stock.” Hitler went on to deliberately model German eugenics legislation on American policy, while boldly stepping up his game by adding homosexuals, the idle, the weak, and (big surprise here) Jews to the already staggering list of candidates to be treated as if they were stray motherfucking cats.
Hitler ultimately sterilized more than 400,000 people against their will and euthanized 300,000 more in the name of eugenics, a move that is widely viewed as his warm-up for the Holocaust. Again, we’re not saying America created Hitler. But it’s easy to look back and portray WWII as Uncle Sam versus the man who is the polar opposite of everything America stands for. That’s taking a revisionist approach, though; in many cases Hitler was just taking some American ideas to their awful, logical conclusion.
It’s, uh, kind if important that we not forget that.
This Wednesday, Cracked editors will discuss post-apocalyptic movie worlds with scientists and special guests during a LIVE PODCAST. The best part? You’re all invited! The show is at UCB on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m., and tickets are on sale now!