Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Menso

Menso by Brian Kent is an often brilliant single-strip comic that you'd probably never seen. 

Behold the Internet!

About Menso:

I’ve been drawing this cartoon in one form or another over the last fifteen years. An earlier and even less funny version of the cartoon appeared my university paper in the mid nineties. Since then I’ve drawn it mainly to hear the forced laughter of friends and family.

I’ve named the web-comic Menso, which is Spanish for stupid and foolish. The newer cartoons are in the taller format, and the older cartoons are wider, and they may or may not be colored. I have years and years of cartoons already drawn, so there’s no excuse not to post at least a few every week.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at mensocomic@gmail.com

Brian

Monday, August 22, 2016

Redneck Americans!


Recently Donald Trump has been trying to appeal to black voters by asking, "What do you have to lose by voting for Donald Trump?" I can think of quite a number of things, and anyone with a functioning brain ought to be able to do the same.

A comic long-thought to be deceased, A Whitney Brown, has reanimated again and is asking a similar question to the rednecks in America. After all, what the hell have Republicans been doing for YOU, rednecks?!

It's an excellent question better left answered by the professionals. That's your cue A.

by AWhitneyBrown

And now, to my Redneck American Community, where are my Rednecks? There they are, there’s my Redneck American, okay… For generations, you have been giving your vote to the Republicans, and what has it gotten you? Nothing! Your lives are a catastrophe, believe me. You have no health care, your children are all dying of meth and heroin, you have no education, you are shooting yourselves with your own guns on accident every day. So sad. Just a disaster.
You have been losing, losing, losing. The big banks are buying all your farms, you have nothing to eat but junk food, you all have diabetes, and your water is totally poisoned from all the fracking going on. Absolutely horrendous. A complete waste. And what do you get for it? Nothing! Even the gays are better off than you. They’re taking all your marriages. Your homes are totally broken, I can tell you.
The Republicans have totally taken you for granted. They think you’re stupid! They are taking advantage of you and it’s got to end, believe me. The Democrats will straighten this out so fast it will make your head spin. We will give you Medicaid, if you will just vote in a Democrat governor, believe me. It will happen. I guarantee it. What the hell do you have to lose?
We will fix your environment, we will clean up your water, we will help you get educated, and we will take the guns away from your crazy neighbor. It’s going to be beautiful, believe me. We will give you Obamacare, we will give you an Obamaphone, and we will help your children go to college if they are smart enough. We will fix your roads and and bridges and we will stock lunker bass in all your fishing holes.
We are going to build bridges and roads, and send your kids to college. And who is going to pay for it? The billionaires, that’s right. They are going to pay their fair share once and for all. You are going to start winning again, and it is going to be beautiful. You are going to win so much you’re going to get tired of winning. You’ll say, Democrats, stop with the winning all the time, I can’t take it, and we will say, no, we are going to keep on winning for all the Redneck Americans. We will be your voice! What the hell do you have to lose, I ask you? And after 4 years, I guarantee you we will have 95 percent of the Redneck American vote. I guarantee it. Believe me. Just give us a chance.

Original, or, at least, where I found it.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

watermelon!

Watermelon is one of my favorite foods of all time, and deep into the summer, watermelon is everywhere!! Here are a few interesting things you may not have known about watermelon, courtesy of the AARP.

6 Things You Didn't Know About Watermelon
 


Here is the amazing thing about watermelons: They are 92 percent water, which is why we want to dive face first into a cold, juicy slice on hot summer days. But that’s not the only reason to gorge on this delicious fruit. Watermelons are also “nutrient-dense,” as dietitians put it, which is a shorthand way of saying they are chock full of stuff that’s good for you. Here are six surprising things you may not have known about summer’s favorite melon.


It’s a fruit! No, it’s a vegetable!


Most of us consider watermelon a fruit, because it’s sweet and juicy; it also has seeds — the botanical definition of a fruit. But watermelon is also a vegetable, from the same family that includes cucumbers and squash. So which is it? Oklahoma thinks it knows. In 2007, watermelon was officially declared the state vegetable — probably because the state fruit was already taken.

The redder the better

Fully ripe, deeply red watermelons are the ones you want. That deep color signifies the most lycopene, an antioxidant and the bright red pigment that gives red fruits and vegetables their rosy color. Seedless watermelons also tend to have more lycopene than the seeded variety, say scientists with the government’s Agricultural Research Service. Research suggests that lycopene may help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. A recent Finnish study found that men with the greatest level of lycopene in their blood had a 55 percent lower risk of stroke.


Beyoncé believes in it

“Lemonade” may have been the name of her latest mega-selling album, but BeyoncĂ© recently announced that she was investing in WTRMLN WTR, a company that turns surplus watermelons into cold-pressed watermelon juice. The entertainer, who has invested in other wellness-oriented companies, called watermelon juice “the future of clean, natural hydration.” Somehow she forgot to mention that it also helps reduce muscle soreness after exercise, according to a 2013 Spanish study. 

Good for prostate protection

Chow down on watermelon, guys — it can help with prostate health and erectile dysfunction, thanks to phytonutrients like lycopene and citrulline. Lycopene — also found in other red fruits and vegetables — plays a role in protecting against prostate cancer. And citrulline, according to a recent study published in the journal Urology, can help with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction by improving blood flow.


Eat it with a little fat

Watermelon is a rich source of vitamin A, in the form of beta-carotene, which is important for vision, healthy skin, teeth and gums. Vitamin A is fat-soluble, meaning it needs to be consumed with some fat to help the body absorb it. Try making a simple summery salad of watermelon, crumbled feta cheese, minced fresh mint and a lime dressing to get the most nutrients.


Kidney disease? Don’t go overboard

Watermelon is a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps maintain a normal blood pressure and helps muscles and nerve function properly. That’s great for most of us, but those diagnosed with hyperkalemia — too much potassium in the blood — or who have kidney disease and are at risk for the condition, probably should not eat more than a cup of watermelon a day, say kidney experts. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

solar is #1


It's past time for governments and corporations to take solar power seriously and quit putting roadblocks in front of it. Some of these fossil fuel multinational corporations talk alternate energies but they are not doing much about it. If they wait much longer, they are going to be irrelevant even quicker than by the inevitable, natural process of petroleum running dry.

From ThinkProgress


Solar Delivers Cheapest Electricity ‘Ever, Anywhere, By Any Technology’

Half the price of coal!

Chile exceeded 1000 Megawatts of solar this year. CREDIT: ACERA.
Chile has just contracted for the cheapest unsubsidized power plant in the world, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) reports.
In last week’s energy auction, Chile accepted a bid from Spanish developer Solarpack Corp. Tecnologica for 120 megawatts of solar at the stunning price of $29.10 per megawatt-hour (2.91 cents per kilowatt-hour or kwh). This beats the 2.99 cents/kwh bid Dubai received recently for 800 megawatts. For context, the average residential price for electricity in the United States is 12 cents per kilowatt-hour.
“Solar power delivers cheapest unsubsidised electricity ever, anywhere, by any technology,” BNEF Chair Michael Liebreich said on Twitter after this contract was announced.
Carlos Finat, head of the Chilean Renewable Energies Association (ACERA) told Bloomberg that the auction is “a strong warning sign that the energy business continues on the transition path to renewable power and that companies should adapt quickly to this transition process.” Indeed, in the same auction, the price of coal power was nearly twice as high!
Grid-connected solar power on Chile has quadrupled since 2013. Total installed capacity exceeded 1,000 megawatts this year — the most by far in South America. Another 2,000 megawatts is under construction, and there are over 11,000 megawatts that are “RCA Approved” (i.e. have environmental permits).
Chile is aided by the fact that its Atacama desert is “the region with the highest solar radiation on the planet,” according to the Inter-American Development Bank. So much solar is being built in the high-altitude desert that Northern Chile can’t use it all, and the government is rushing to build new transmission lines.
Chile is part of a global trend where solar energy has doubled seven times since 2000. In the U.S. alone, it has grown 100-fold in the past decade thanks to a sharp drop in prices that has brought the cost of solar (with subsidies) to under four cents a kilowatt hour in many places, as I detailed last month.
The future for solar could not be sunnier.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

voter suppression

Voter suppression is becoming about the only way Republicans can win elections in this country. The demographics of the United States are changing fast, with more minorities and fewer "whites" the norm. This scares the crap out of Republicans, who know their days are numbered, because heaven forbid they have to actually try to appeal to the dirty dark-skinned mongrels. They know they are hate-filled racist scumbags and realize the only way they can win is to have fewer minorities vote. So we see new law after new law in the red states that chip away at the number of voters.

The editorial below also demonstrates the importance of the judicial branch. If we get a right-wing retard in office, they tend to appoint other right-wing retards to the bench. Liberals and Democrats tend to appoint a much more open-minded judiciary, often bending over backwards to be "fair" and appoint a right-wing-nut now and then, but that almost never happens when right-wing retards are doing the appointing. 

And so the Republican response to a liberal President is to block as many judges as possible, until another right-wing retard can "take" office again.

If they had any shame, they'd be embarrassed. The often-touted reason for these racist laws is all of the "voter fraud" that has been taking place. However, study after study reveals that there is practically NO voter fraud going on, so they try to cloak their actions in even more cloudy terms, like "restoring the integrity of the ballot box". Gag me. Shall we talk about election fraud?

Honest Republicans (an oxymoron, I know) know that these measures are discriminatory, but they put them in place anyway. They also know that they will be challenged in court, but that challenge can often take a year or more to make it through the justice system, and in the meantime, an election or two can be held. So they are happy to squeeze out even one election that keeps minorities from the polls, because that may be enough time to get more right-wing retards into office. 


Another Defeat for G.O.P Voting Schemes

The scurrilous campaign by Republican lawmakers in a number of states to disenfranchise qualified voters suffered another setback this week, when a federal judge ordered North Dakota to halt voter identification restrictions he said were blocking thousands of Native Americans from exercising their right to vote.

In blocking the 2013 law, a United States District Court judge, Daniel Hovland, noted that voter fraud — Republican politicians’ widely disproven rationale for tougher ID requirements — was “virtually nonexistent” in the state. He ordered the state to return to “safety net” protections used effectively for years at the polls, including a voter’s signed affidavit of eligibility, and far less restrictive documentation than the narrow ID requirements of the law.

The ruling was the sixth time in recent months that federal courts rejected unfair voter restrictions enacted by Republican-controlled legislatures in thinly veiled attempts at voter suppression timed for the presidential election.

Last Friday, a federal appeals court struck down the heart of a new North Carolina voting law found to block African-American voters with what it called “almost surgical precision” just as the black vote has been growing in power in that important swing state. In Texas, a federal court struck down elaborate ID requirements as unconstitutional, freeing more than 600,000 Latinos and blacks to vote this November. Other rulings have ordered retreats from blatantly unfair restrictions in Wisconsin, Kansas and Ohio. More lawsuits are in the courts, brought by minorities and voting rights defenders complaining that the laws interfere with voters who are thought to favor Democrats.

As the courts remove these crude hurdles one after another, Donald Trump has begun complaining that his presidential campaign may be facing a “rigged” outcome. Studies have established that fraud is a minuscule factor in American elections. But Mr. Trump told The Washington Post this week, “If you don’t have voter ID, you can just keep voting and voting and voting.”

In truth, the recent court decisions help “un-rig” the election by rejecting shamefully partisan strictures. In the North Dakota ruling, the judge found that more than 3,800 Native Americans could have been denied the vote in November in part because the Legislature’s new restrictions required specific residential addresses on ID documents — an obvious rebuff to the Indian reservation culture of using postal boxes for mail. This is the level of malicious voter suppression to which Republican statehouses have been stooping.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

opiod replacement?


It is rather amazing that our medical technology and geniuses have not yet developed a pain-killer that is not addictive, and doesn't cause other problems like constipation and suppressed respiration. But that long wait may be (almost) over. 

I am very interested in the outcome of these trials below because I have been taking painkillers for almost 10 years now because of nerve pain in my feet. 

While I believe that I am not addicted to the pain pills (one to two pills per day is not a serious "problem"), I have certainly become "used" to taking them. At present, they are the only thing that provides real pain relief for my feet. Without them, I shudder to think what my life would be like.


New painkiller could replace morphine: study

by Marlowe Hood

Paris (AFP) - Scientists recently unveiled a synthetic drug that appears to neutralise pain as effectively as morphine but without the side-effects that make opioids so dangerous and addictive.
The big-data methods used by the researchers also open up a promising avenue in drug innovation, they reported in the journal Nature.
In experiments with mice, the new compound -- identified after screening "trillions" of candidates -- activated a known molecular pathway in the brain that triggers pain suppression.
But unlike morphine and prescription drugs such as oxycodone or oxycontin, it did not switch on a second pathway that can slow or block normal breathing.
Respiratory suppression caused by opioids results in some 30,000 deaths every year in the United States alone, where opioid use and abuse has taken on epidemic proportions.
Nor did the new drug -- dubbed PZM21 -- produce addiction in the lab mice, which get hooked on morphine and pharmaceutical painkillers as easily as humans. In experiments, the rodents showed no preference between a cubicle in which they had been administered PZM21 or one in which they received a neutral saline solution.
PZM21, the researchers summed up, offers "long-lasting analgesia coupled to apparent elimination of respiratory depression."
A third advantage of the new compound, they said, is that it does not cause constipation. In the United States, drugs designed to relieve blocked bowels due to opioids are advertised on television.
Opium and its derivatives have been used to dull pain (and generate euphoric feelings) for more than 4,000 years.
Even in the era of modern medicine, morphine -- derived from the opium poppy -- has remained the painkiller of choice, whether for post-op recovery or on the battlefield.
"But it is obviously dangerous too," said Brian Shoichet, a professor at the University of California's School of Pharmacy in San Francisco, and one of three senior authors of the study.
"People have been searching for a safer replacement for standard opioids for decades."
Most such efforts have tried to tweak the drug's chemical structure to get rid of the side-effects. Shoichet and colleagues from Stanford University, the University of North Carolina and Friedrich-Alexander University in Bavaria, Germany took a radically different approach.
They focused instead on the so-called opioid receptor in the brain which triggers a chemical reaction leading to pain suppression when activated.
Only a molecule that successfully "docks" with the receptor -- like a key turning a lock -- would work. But to avoid addiction and respiratory failure, that same molecule must not, as does morphine, dock with a second receptor that provokes those unwanted reactions.
Using computer simulations, the researchers tested three million commercially available compounds -- and a million possible configurations for each one -- to see which would fit best with the receptor.
In the lab, combing through trillions of options would have been prohibitively expensive and time-consuming. Some 2,500 molecules passed muster. After eliminating those resembling opioids too closely, only 23 remained.
And only one of these, further analysis showed, activated the "good" molecular pathway without triggering the "bad" one. Even then, more custom-engineering was required.
"There is little doubt that structure-based computational screening will accelerate the pace of drug discovery," Brigitte Kieffer, a professor at McGill University's department of psychiatry commented in Nature.
PZM21 still has many hurdles to overcome before showing up in pharmacies.
It must be proven safe for humans, and effective in clinical trials -- a process that typically takes up to a decade. Future research will also need to determine whether mice -- or people -- develop a tolerance to the drug, causing it to lose its painkilling potency over time.

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