Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How Finns Make Sports Part Of Everyday Life : Shots - Health News : NPR

How Finns Make Sports Part Of Everyday Life : Shots - Health News : NPR: "In Helsinki, sports facilities pop up all over the place, sometimes in some pretty odd nooks and crannies. One bomb shelter hosts an archery club, another an underground swimming pool and an ice hockey rink.

Though they hardly need it, there's a national plan in Finland to get people to sit less. It reminds them, in fact, that, "Under the Constitution ... physical activity is a basic cultural right."

"It's been kind of a social right to provide citizens with sporting possibilities," says Hanna Vehmas, a sports scientist at the University of Jyväskylä. She says it's a Nordic thing to consider sports a social right. That thinking started in the 1970s, when governments started subsidizing sports gyms in even the smallest towns.

Now, she says, "there's an estimate of some close to 30,000 sports facilities in this country, which is said to be more per capita than in any other country in the world."

Those facilities are one reason why Finland and its Nordic neighbors always make the top-five list of most physically active European countries, according to surveys by the European Commission. These days, municipalities spend about $700 million a year subsidizing sports facilities and clubs. A portion of lottery funds also goes toward funding sports facilities and research."

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Monday, July 27, 2015

118 Cancer Specialists Decry Rising Cancer Drug Prices

118 Cancer Specialists Decry Rising Cancer Drug Prices: "In an article directed against big pharmaceutical companies which are basically dictating market prices, the cancer specialists are urging them to lower prices for some drugs which have gone up by a whopping $8,500 per year since 2000.

The doctors are protesting prohibitive prices due to the fact that they disrupt treatment and overall care of cancer patients who cannot afford them, leading many to seek costly loans which add to their financial burdens and stress factors. According to data presented in the article, the average $52,000 per year household income in the U.S. wouldn’t be enough to cover even half the costs of particularly pricy treatments, which have drugs costing $120,000 per year in addition to other treatment-related expenses."

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Scientists Discover Why Lake Tahoe Is So Blue - I4U News

Scientists Discover Why Lake Tahoe Is So Blue - I4U News: "A postdoctoral researcher from University of California, Davis, Shohei Watanabe came up with those findings when a Blueness Index had been created by using NASA-JPL research buoy and Lake Tahoe’s color had been quantified for the first time. The results were exactly opposite to what was commonly perceived. Surprisingly no connection was found between clarity and blueness. 

The research showed the blueness of the water does not remain consistent throughout the year. There were times when the lake was clearer, it was less blue and when lake was less clear, it was deep blue. The process is due to the combination of sediments, nutrients and algal production which changes with the season.

Clarity is linked with sediment while blueness is controlled by algal concentration. The less nutrient means less production of algal. Thus, more blue color of water.

“This does not mean that clarity should be dismissed,” said Watanabe. “Rather, it shows that algae concentrations and nutrient input should be managed more closely to truly keep Tahoe blue and clear.”"

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sea level study: James Hansen issues dire climate warning.

Sea level study: James Hansen issues dire climate warning.: "In what may prove to be a turning point for political action on climate change, a breathtaking new study casts extreme doubt about the near-term stability of global sea levels.

The study—written by James Hansen, NASA’s former lead climate scientist, and 16 co-authors, many of whom are considered among the top in their fields—concludes that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica will melt 10 times faster than previous consensus estimates, resulting in sea level rise of at least 10 feet in as little as 50 years. The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, brings new importance to a feedback loop in the ocean near Antarctica that results in cooler freshwater from melting glaciers forcing warmer, saltier water underneath the ice sheets, speeding up the melting rate. Hansen, who is known for being alarmist and also right, acknowledges that his study implies change far beyond previous consensus estimates. In a conference call with reporters, he said he hoped the new findings would be “substantially more persuasive than anything previously published.” I certainly find them to be."

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