China's vast censorship machine does its utmost to wipe the slightest reference to the Tiananmen crackdown from books, television and the Internet, scrubbing the issue from public discussion and even from the minds of its younger generation. In an example…
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From muscle loss to radiation exposure and the psychological effects of confinement, spaceflight takes a toll on those lucky enough to experience it.
European Space Agency flight surgeon Adrianos Golemis, who is responsible for the health of astronaut Thomas Pesquet during the SpaceX Crew-2 mission, shared some insights on the field of space medicine.
Q: What are the major health challenges of space?
A: If we talk about low Earth orbit where the ISS lies, you have almost zero gravity so that takes its toll on your bones and your muscles.
Radiation is a major issue, because here on the ground we are protected by the magnetosphere (magnetic field) and by the atmosphere, but if we go beyond, this protection goes away.
And of course we should not forget we have things that we are just beginning to understand: for example eye pathology (disease), or venous thrombosis (blood clots) that some healthy astronauts develop.
Q: What have scientists learned so far about how much radiation our bodies can take?
A: You could fly two or three missions of six months to the ISS probably without a very significant effect on your health.
What we are aiming for is that your risk of developing cancer should not be higher than three percent as compared to a person exactly like you that has never gone to spaceflight.
Q: What are the other impacts of weightlessness?
A: We are adapted for life in one G.
If you take that away, the veins in your feet will still keep pushing blood to your head as if you were in one G, so you end up with more blood in the upper part of your body.
You can see sometimes they really have this puffy face in the beginning of the mission.
Eventually the circulatory system adapts, and the body becomes used to a lower volume of blood. Before they leave the ISS, we tell astronauts to drink a lot and eat a lot of salt.
Q: The astronauts are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, do they still need to be tested?
A: They are in a quarantine, but we did have two final PCR tests. And this is to be 100 percent sure that they are not even carriers.
The immune system underperforms when we are without gravity. People can develop infections that they would normally not develop, even to the microbes that we naturally carry in our body
Q: The crew spend two hours a day on exercise equipment to keep them in shape -- are you also routinely in touch?
A: We have a standard video call once a week for 15 minutes.
In the beginning of the mission we would mainly check for space motion sickness, after you go from one G to zero G.
Your mind has a little bit of trouble, there is some sensory conflict between your inner ear, and what your eyes see. And this can create some vomiting.
Later in the mission, we will look for other effects: notably, psychology, or cognitive performance.
When you stay in an environment like the ISS, you're really in a very small place, so you don't have new stimuli and that has an effect on you psychologically.
Mentally, it's not so easy to focus or retain information.
Q: Apart from being well stocked in medicine, what kind of medical equipment is up there?
A: We can for example analyze the hematocrit (a red blood cell test). We can understand from that if they are hydrated enough, and what the changes are going on in their circulatory system.
A couple of years ago, we came across some observations of thrombosis. No one expected that in healthy individuals, and this also gives us some new understanding of how the body works on our planet.
We now have ultrasound capability, and if someone develops symptoms like pain or dilation, another member of the group can perform an ultrasound to assess if this is a clinical case of thrombosis.
If you have a case where the astronaut's life or well-being is really threatened, we would go for evacuation.
Luckily in the 21 years that ISS has flown, that hasn't happened.
Q: What does it take to become a space physician?
A: For me it was a medical degree to start with. Then I did a master's degree in space studies at the International Space University, (in Strasbourg, France).
I spent a year in Antarctica as a doctor so I got a good understanding of a situation which was akin to spaceflight medicine. Eventually I went to Toulouse to Medes, the French Institute of Space Medicine and Physiology.
Right now the European Space Agency is recruiting new astronauts and you can apply until the end of May. If you have a dream, you should always try.
© 2021 AFP
Federal prosecutors revealed in a new court filing that they expect over 100 more people will be criminally charged for the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump seeking to overturn the 2020 election results.
The filing was made in the case of Michael Joseph Rusyn, who was arrested after live-streaming the Capitol attack. In the filing, the Department of Justice requested an additional sixty day delay under the Speedy Trial Act.
To justify the delay, the DOJ explained the complexity of the case.
"The investigation and prosecution of the Capitol Attack will likely be one of the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence. Over 400 individuals have been charged in connection with the Capitol Attack. The investigation continues and the government expects that at least one hundred additional individuals will be charged," prosecutors explained.
Prosecutors also revealed they are continuing to investigate the planning of the insurrection.
"While most of the cases have been brought against individual defendants, the government is also investigating conspiratorial activity that occurred prior to and on January 6, 2021," prosecutors wrote. "The spectrum of crimes charged and under investigation in connection with the Capitol Attack includes (but is not limited to) trespass, engaging in disruptive or violent conduct in the Capitol or on Capitol grounds, destruction of government property, theft of government property, assaults on federal and local police officers, firearms offenses, civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, possession and use of destructive devices, and conspiracy."
Prosecutors also explained the scope of law enforcement activity.
"Defendants charged and under investigation come from throughout the United States, and a combined total of over 900 search warrants have been executed in almost all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Multiple law enforcement agencies were involved in the response to the Capitol Attack, which included officers and agents from U.S. Capitol Police, the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Secret Service, the United States Park Police, the Virginia State Police, the Arlington County Police Department, the Prince William County Police Department, the Maryland State Police, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Prince George's County Police Department, and the New Jersey State Police," prosecutors revealed.
"Documents and evidence accumulated in the Capitol Attack investigation thus far include: (a) more than 15,000 hours of surveillance and body-worn camera footage from multiple law enforcement agencies; (b) approximately 1,600 electronic devices; (c) the results of hundreds of searches of electronic communication providers; (d) over 210,000 tips, of which a substantial portion include video, photo and social media; and (e) over 80,000 reports and 93,000 attachments related to law enforcement interviews of suspects and witnesses and other investigative steps. As the Capitol Attack investigation is still on-going, the number of defendants charged and the volume of potentially discoverable materials will only continue to grow," prosecutors wrote. "In short, even in cases involving a single defendant, the volume of discoverable materials is likely to be significant."
Fox News host Tucker Carlson is really determined to sell his audience on what is — and this cannot be stressed enough — a literal neo-Nazi conspiracy theory. Neo-Nazis and other white nationalist groups have long pushed the idea that a shadowy cabal of Jews is secretly conspiring to "remake" America and "steal" it from its rightful owners, white Christians. They are supposedly doing this by "importing" non-white people — who neo-Nazis believe to be mentally inferior and therefore easily controlled by the shadowy Jewish conspiracy — into the U.S.
Carlson's only spin is replacing the word "Jews" with "Democrats," but other than that, he's lifting "replacement theory" wholesale from the neo-Nazi dregs of the internet and now is repackaging this ridiculous conspiracy theory as if it were an inarguable fact, much to the delight of white nationalists. And because Carlson's main modus operandi is trolling, he's relishing the negative attention he gets by hyping a racist conspiracy theory and he's using his audience's love of liberal-triggering to encourage them to mindlessly burrow deeper into the worldview of unapologetic fascists.
Carlson is a moral monster. It's likely he has been this way since his high school "Dan White Society" days. Sadly, he is a monster that must be dealt with, despite the unfortunate risk of troll-feeding. It's not just because Carlson has an audience that regularly tops 3 million viewers, though that alone is terrifying. It's that he is a smart man whose strategy for selling this conspiracy theory is sinister and clever. To fight back, it's crucial that progressives don't fall into the trap he is setting.
Basically, Carlson is pulling off two bait-and-switch routines. First, he falsely conflates any cultural change with his ridiculous "replacement" conspiracy theory. Second, he tries to paint the debate over whether change is real — something that literally no one contests — so as to avoid talking about the real issue, which is how it's nuclear-level racist to react to cultural change like it's some kind of existential threat. In reality, it's just what happens if you're lucky to live long enough to experience it.
Both tactics were on full display on Wednesday night, when Carlson took a break from trying to martyrize Derek Chauvin to once again promote "replacement theory" by bashing Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., who was born in Taiwan but grew up in Ohio. Lieu was angry at Rep. Scott Perry, R-Penn., for parroting the "replacement theory," and retorted on Twitter. "And with every passing year, there will be more people who look like me in the US. You can't stop it. So take your racist replacement theory and shove it."
Carlson treated this tweet like it was some inadvertent confession that "replacement" conspiracy theory is real.
"In other words, you're being replaced, and there's nothing you can do about it, so shut up," he shouted with what can only be described as a maniacal laugh.
Tucker Carlson seems to be losing his marbles https://t.co/k8b5Tm3yTn— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1619052839.0
Here's the thing, though: Lieu didn't give any game away. Liberals have never denied that immigration changes society. Of course it does, along with generational shifts, changing fashions, and evolving social norms. When I was young, people wore low-rise jeans and MTV still played music videos. Now it's skinny jeans (though apparently not for long) and TikTok. Change is inevitable, and generally good, as anyone who has a memory of hair-destroying styling products in the bad old days can attest.
What makes "replacement" a conspiracy theory, however, is that it invents this elaborate fantasy ascribing change not to the normal churn of human society, but to a sinister and hidden conspiracy of Jews and Democrats who are secretly inflicting change to pull off some grand scheme.
That is, of course dumb. It's like "neo-Nazi message board" levels of dumb. Carlson deflects attention from that by pretending that we're debating the factual assertion "change is real," and lashing out at straw-liberals who, though only in his imagination, are pretending it's not.
More importantly, Carlson is propping up this fake debate so that he can smuggle in his real argument, which is that change is bad.
Carlson's whole gambit depends on the presumption that change is a terrible thing. But that belief is both delusional and, on the subject of immigration, racist. As Adam Serwer of The Atlantic recently wrote, the same kinds of arguments were made "at the turn of the 20th century" to argue that "Polish, Russian, Greek, Italian, and Jewish" immigrants "posed a danger." Carlson's hysterics make about as much sense as some man in the 1920s arguing that the bagel is the downfall of American civilization.
Lieu's actual point was, of course, that people like him are a valuable addition to the American community, and we should welcome the changes immigration brings. Carlson knows that he can't win that argument, especially when reminded of how idiotic such arguments from the past look to modern eyes. As Sewer notes, the Tucker Carlsons of the 1930s were so racist and paranoid that even Nazis rejected some of their ideas as "a bit too strict." So instead, Carlson raves about secret conspiracies and pretends that liberals are hiding something. It's pure projection, of course. The only people hiding anything are Carlson and his allies, who are hiding their true motivation: naked racism.
The "replacement" and "change" language feeds on the very human fear of mortality that is especially powerful with the largely elderly Fox News audience. As Heather "Digby" Parton wrote last week for Salon, "The fact is that we are all going to be 'replaced' by the generations that come up behind us." Change is often terrifying because it's a reminder that time is passing by and that the grave awaits us all. For many people, it's easier to let this sour-faced, middle-aged prep school brat lash out at immigrants than grapple with their fears of change and death. Carlson is a cynical demagogue, no doubt, and that's why he's a dangerous one.
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