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Analysis: Trump's bending of justice will have consequences

CNN - 9 hours 58 min ago
President Donald Trump's determination to bend the justice system threatens what makes America great in ways far beyond the fate of his allies such as Roger Stone.

Analysis: No, Bernie Sanders, most voters aren't comfortable with socialism

CNN - 10 hours 1 min ago
This is the moment for the ultimate question of the Bernie Sanders movement: is the United States ready for a socialist President?

Scientists can foster trust by being ‘human’

Futurity.org - 10 hours 5 min ago

Science communication can gain audience trust when scientists show their human side, according to new research.

The researchers say it can be as simple as using “I” and first-person narratives to help establish a personal connection with the audience.

Traditionally, scientists might not always consider the audience evaluating them when sharing the facts of their research, says corresponding author SiSi Hu, a graduate instructor and research assistant in the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

“…the scientist must trust the audience as much as the audience trusts the scientist with his or her message.”

“Most of the time the public understands what the scientist is presenting to them, but each person understands in their own way,” Hu says.

“Therefore, there needs to be a sense of mutual understanding—the scientist must trust the audience as much as the audience trusts the scientist with his or her message.”

After completing a literature review of perceived authenticity, the team did not find any appropriate measures relating to science communication. Therefore, based on existing literature, they created a theory of perceived authenticity in science communication: a scientist is someone with their own belief system beyond institutional affiliations, and their messaging reflects those values.

Study participants tested the theory by completing a 19-question survey on authenticity. Survey questions were based on a description of published plant science research and a group of randomly assigned narrative messages attempting to explain that research.

The group of messages included a story drawn from the real-life experiences of J. Chris Pires, a professor in the biological sciences division and an investigator in the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center, of how he became interested in plant science.

Researchers found that if a scientist shares the story of the development of the origin of his or her interest in the subject through a first-person narrative—without use of institutional affiliations—people are more inclined to perceive him or her as authentic. Additionally, if a scientist only uses a first-person narrative, people are more inclined to perceive a scientist as authentic based on a feeling of connection.

The team also found the narrative qualities of perceived authenticity align closely with existing literature on benevolence and integrity, two personality traits that can help an audience build trust with the person delivering the message.

“We hope our findings will provide some wisdom, guidance and tools that scientists can use to enhance their communication of their research—that is also accessible and will be trusted by the public,” says lead author Lise Saffran, director of the Master of Public Health program at the School of Health Professions.

“People want to know the person talking to them is a human being with their own values and point of view, and that the message they share reflects those values.”

The study appears in PLOS ONE. Additional authors are from the University of Missouri and the University of Colorado.

Funding came from the University of Missouri Research Council. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.

Source: University of Missouri

The post Scientists can foster trust by being ‘human’ appeared first on Futurity.

The Technology 202: Bernie Sanders draws criticism at Nevada debate for behavior of online supporters

Washington Post - 10 hours 6 min ago
The senator disavowed damaging online behavior in his name.

Another Gift to Sanders

NY Times - 10 hours 7 min ago
Again, he isn’t the target in a debate.

How Common Mental Shortcuts Can Cause Major Physician Errors

NY Times - 10 hours 14 min ago
Tendencies like left-digit bias can have life-altering consequences for patients.

Paraglider dangles for hours after getting stuck in power lines

CNN - 10 hours 14 min ago
Emergency crews rescued a paraglider after he got tangled in electric lines while attempting to land in Olivehurst, California. The paraglider dangled for hours while fire officials coordinated with Pacific Gas and Electric to make sure all the energy was drained from the wires. CNN affiliate KTXL reports.

What We, the Taliban, Want

NY Times - 10 hours 17 min ago
I am convinced that the killing and the maiming must stop, the deputy leader of the Taliban writes.

Democratic Party, Germany, Victoria’s Secret: Your Thursday Briefing

NY Times - 10 hours 26 min ago
Here's what you need to know.

Avlon: Trump remained unscathed after debate

CNN - 10 hours 31 min ago
CNN's John Avlon looks into the facts following the 9th Democratic debate.

Contigo recalls nearly 6 million of its kids water bottles due to a choking hazard. Again.

CNN - 10 hours 36 min ago
Do you have this water bottle? Take it away from your kids immediately, the company that produces them says.

Just a little mindfulness can ease pain and negativity

Futurity.org - 10 hours 41 min ago

Just a brief introduction to mindfulness helps people deal with physical pain and negative emotions, according to a new study.

The effect of mindfulness was so pronounced, they found, that even when participants experienced high heat on their forearm, their brain responded as if it were a normal temperature.

“It’s as if the brain was responding to warm temperature, not very high heat,” says corresponding author Hedy Kober, associate professor of psychiatry and psychology and corresponding author of the sutdy in Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience.

Study participants reported less pain and negative emotions when employing mindfulness techniques.

Mindfulness—the awareness and acceptance of a situation without judgment—has been shown to have benefits in treating many conditions such as anxiety and depression. But Kober and colleagues wanted to know whether people with no formal training in meditation and mindfulness might benefit from a brief 20-minute introduction into mindfulness concepts.

Researchers tested participants in two contexts while undergoing brain imaging scans—one for assessing response to physical pain from high heat on the forearm and another for gauging their response when presented with negative images.

In both contexts, researchers found significant differences in brain signaling pathways when they asked participants to employ mindfulness techniques compared to when they asked participants to respond as they normally would.

Specifically, participants reported less pain and negative emotions when employing mindfulness techniques, and at the same time their brains showed significant reductions in activity associated with pain and negative emotions.

These neurological changes did not occur in the prefrontal cortex, which regulates conscious or rational decision-making, and so were not the result of conscious willpower, the authors note.

“The ability to stay in the moment when experiencing pain or negative emotions suggests there may be clinical benefits to mindfulness practice in chronic conditions as well—even without long meditation practice,” Kober says.

Source: Yale University

The post Just a little mindfulness can ease pain and negativity appeared first on Futurity.

The Finance 202: Mike Bloomberg’s rivals agree: A Wall Street billionaire shouldn’t be the nominee

Washington Post - 10 hours 41 min ago
They attacked him with more gusto than they went after Trump.

Al Pacino hunts Nazis in 'Hunters.' The premise tops its execution

CNN - 10 hours 44 min ago
"Hunters" is such an enticing premise as to overcome its execution problems, at least for a while. But the tone of this Amazon series -- which counts Al Pacino among its ensemble cast -- varies wildly, leaving behind a show that isn't bad, but which really should be a whole lot better.

Your home’s water quality can vary from room to room

Futurity.org - 10 hours 45 min ago

The water quality of a home can differ in each room and change between seasons, according to a new study.

The findings challenge the assumption that the water in a public water system is the same as the water that passes through a building’s plumbing at any time of the year.

“This study reveals that drinking water in the service line water is clearly not the same quality at your faucet,” says Andrew Whelton, an associate professor of civil engineering and environmental and ecological engineering at Purdue University.

Water quality in your house

The study is so far the largest and most intensive investigation of water quality over time and throughout a single house. The researchers collected data 58 times at the house over the course of a year, logging more than 222,000 hours and 2.4 billion records.

While more studies at this scale are needed before generalizing findings to other American homes, the results are concerning: 10% of the time, researchers did not find disinfectant in the water entering the house studied, meaning that the water was not properly protected from bacteria growth once it entered the home.

There were also increases in water pH inside the house and large fluctuations in organic carbon. Either can indicate drastic changes in drinking water chemistry.

The study took place at a three-bedroom house in West Lafayette, Indiana, that also functions as a living laboratory for developing technologies that would make homes more sustainable. Whirlpool Corp. funds the home, called the Retrofitted Net-zero Energy, Water, and Waste (ReNEWW) House. It’s the first lived-in retrofitted net-zero energy, water, and waste home. Whirlpool engineers also were actively involved in the study.

Federal and state law does require water utilities to report their drinking water’s chemical quality where it enters a buried water distribution network and at select locations throughout that network. But that water may not be representative of the water quality in a building.

And even when utility companies check for lead and copper at a building faucet, they are not required to check faucets throughout the entire house or between seasons.

“We found that the water chemical quality varied significantly through water fixtures due to water temperature, plumbing fixture, and different water uses,” says Maryam Salehi, an assistant professor of civil engineering at the University of Memphis who was previously a postdoctoral research associate at Purdue.

Spatially, there was no disinfectant exiting the house’s water heater more than 85% of the time. While the team found other chemicals to be higher than others between seasons or throughout the house, most of these levels aren’t harmful according to national guidelines.

The level of lead in the ReNEWW house did, however, exceed the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended exposure limit for children. No children were living in the home.

Researchers also found some of the house’s lead-free plumbing components leached lead in a bench-scale test.

What needs to change and what you can do

These findings call for a closer look at both how often utility companies should monitor lead concentration in a home. They also raise the question of whether governments should more broadly provide financial support to homeowners for testing their own water quality.

Climate change may also exacerbate seasonal variability in water quality.

“It’s known that warmer temperatures allow microorganisms to persist in source water for longer periods of time. Heavier precipitation can also result in combined sewer overflows in some locations, while droughts affect water quantity and available source water,” says Jade Mitchell, an associate professor of biosystems and agricultural engineering at Michigan State University.

Some of the study’s findings could already have implications for other houses in the US, given that the ReNEWW house has a similar square footage and plumbing design compared to the average American home.

“After water enters a home it continues to age. Older water is more likely to have contaminants that are problematic. Because the quality of water delivered to a single home can vary significantly, and building plumbing can change the water too, predicting drinking water safety at every building faucet is currently not possible,” Whelton says.

The researchers note that different plumbing materials, a varying number of house occupants, and other factors could affect the water quality of a home. These factors warrant future study.

More studies like this one could inform the development of new technology for preventing people from encountering unsafe water in their home.

In the meantime, there are several precautions consumers could take to improve their home’s water quality.

“Choose plumbing designs that minimize the amount of water and time that water sits still. This should help limit microbial growth and lessen the chance that chemicals leaching from the plumbing exceed unacceptable levels. If you have an existing home, flush the faucet before taking a drink to get rid of the old water. Flushing can help bring in new, fresher water from the building entry point,” Whelton says.

More plumbing safety tips and resources are available on Whelton’s site.

The research appears in the journal Building and Environment. Additional researchers from Purdue, the University of Memphis, and Michigan State University contributed to the study. The EPA funded the study.

Source: Purdue University

The post Your home’s water quality can vary from room to room appeared first on Futurity.

Opinion: Trump's budget will wreak havoc on the American economy

CNN - 10 hours 46 min ago
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump released his 2021 budget proposal. It is likely going nowhere in Congress, since Democrats control the House of Representatives. But for the economy's sake, we should be glad that the president's budget has no shot at passage. It is full of outdated ideas that would instantly weaken the economy and undermine our ability to grow and prosper over time. If enacted, it would be an economic calamity.

6 takeaways from the Democratic debate

CNN - 10 hours 49 min ago
Michael Bloomberg's billions got him onto the debate stage -- but did nothing to spare him from the barrage he faced Wednesday night here in Las Vegas.

When is a man really a man? Photo exhibit explores the male mystique

CNN - 10 hours 49 min ago
It can seem like there have never been so many ways to be a man -- or at least look like one.

Gucci Declares the Death of the Fashion Show Greatly Exaggerated

NY Times - 10 hours 55 min ago
It’s a “ritual” said Alessandro Michele. And he’s not giving it up any time soon. Plus communion at Jil Sander and ’80s revivalism at Alberta Ferretti.
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