First-Degree Pronoiac Progress

Hallelujah! The Nobel Prize Committee Blesses Feisty, Spiritual Women

Hallelujah to the Nobel Peace Committee! By honoring three brave, determined women – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakul Karman, they shine light on true heroines of our time. This prize of prizes points to two realities that politicians, academics, and media have long downplayed. Women and those they care for suffer disproportionately in war and conflict. But they are also at the forefront of work for peace. Women tend to be shoved to the sidelines when it comes to negotiations and treaties,barely visible in photos of the peace tables across the world. But where it really matters you find women at work. The Nobel trio honors hundreds of thousands of unsung heroines in far flung, often dark corners of the world.

Smart People Are Working Behind the Scenes to Save the Lives of People They Don’t Know

Researchers have devised a protein “switch” that instructs cancer cells to produce their own anti-cancer medication.

The researchers, led by Marc Ostermeier, a Johns Hopkins chemical and biomolecular engineering professor in the Whiting School of Engineering, showed that these switches, working from inside the cells, can activate a powerful cell-killing drug when the device detects a marker linked to cancer. The goal, the scientists said, is to deploy a new type of weapon that causes cancer cells to self-destruct while sparing healthy tissue.

Pronoiac Progress for Poor People

In Michigan, food stamps are worth double at farmers’ markets, which means more healthy food for low-income shoppers.

The program, called Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB), is a project of the nonprofit Fair Food Network. It’s a simple idea: SNAP shoppers use their benefits at a participating farmers’ market and receive tokens for an equal amount to purchase any Michigan-grown fruit or vegetable at the market. In effect, food dollars spent at farmers’ markets are doubled, up to $20 per market day. By spending $20 of SNAP benefits at the farmers’ market, the shopper comes home with $40 worth of healthy, fresh, regionally grown produce.

Pronoiac Progress for Sick People

Promising results raise hope for cancer breakthrough: T cells could be tweaked to kill a range of cancers.

In a potential breakthrough in cancer research, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have genetically engineered patients’ T cells — a type of white blood cell — to attack cancer cells in advanced cases of a common type of leukemia.

Two of the three patients who received doses of the designer T cells in a clinical trial have remained cancer-free for more than a year, the researchers said.

Despite All the Delusional Propaganda You Hear, the Fact Is the Human Race Is Becoming Less Violent

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker

Many people think we live in the most violent age ever. But this book shows the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millennia. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, pogroms, gruesome punishments, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, these have all dwindled and are widely condemned.

Life Gets a Bit More Beautiful for Peru’s Indigenous People

A new law recognizing the land ownership rights of Peru’s native inhabitants sets an important regional precedent.

In February, after a legal battle lasting nearly two decades, little-known indigenous communities in Ecuador’s Amazon region won a multi-billion dollar landmark ruling against the oil giant Chevron. The company was accused of polluting a large part of the Amazon basin by dumping billions of litres of chemical-laden materials, which campaigners said destroyed crops, killed livestock and increased cancer rates among the local population.

Your Minimum Daily Requirement of Beauty

I dare you to gaze at an aurora and tell me that life sucks.

Explanation: September’s equinox arrives today at 0905 UT. As the Sun crosses the celestial equator heading south, spring begins in the southern hemisphere and autumn in the north. And though the seasonal connection is still puzzling, both spring and autumn bring an increase in geomagnetic storms. So as northern nights grow longer, the equinox also heralds the arrival of a good season for viewing aurora. Recorded earlier this month, these curtains of September’s shimmering green light sprawl across a gorgeous night skyscape. In the foreground lies Hidden Lake Territorial Park near Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. Calm water reflects the aurora, with bright star trails peering through the mesmerizing sky glow. Of course, shining at altitudes of 100 kilometers or so, planet Earth’s auroras are visible from space.