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Study: Some ER doctors overprescribe opoids

By R. Neal, Sun, 2017/02/19 - 12:26pm

Kaiser Health News: How Long You Stay On Opioids May Depend On The Doctor You See In the E.R.

Within the same hospital, some doctors are three times more likely to prescribe an opioid than other doctors, and patients treated by high-prescribing doctors are more likely to become long-term opioid users, according to a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Part of the problem, Barnett believes, is that there isn’t enough guidance for doctors on when it’s appropriate to prescribe an opioid. Much of the evidence for when they are appropriate comes from small studies sponsored by drug companies.

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The Great Backyard Bird Count is underway

By R. Neal, Sun, 2017/02/19 - 11:08am

The 2017 Great Backyard Bird Count is underway. Go here to submit your observations. So far there are 66,486 observations submitted with 4793 species observed and 9,531,161 birds counted.

Our running list for the past few weeks:

Red-tailed Hawk
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Blue Jay
Tufted Titmouse
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
American Robin
Dark-eyed Junco
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch

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Wireless charging for your Kindle Paperwhite

By R. Neal, Sun, 2017/02/19 - 9:47am

You can setup wireless charging on your Kindle Paperwhite for about $20, or less if you already have a QI wireless charging pad.

First you'll need a QI charging receiver. I got one of these, because I've been using one on my tablet for a while and it works great. There are dozens of others in varying price ranges, just make sure to get one with "narrow side up" USB adapter and that it's more or less centered. You put it on the back of the Kindle and pop it back in its cover.

Then you will need a QI charging pad (if you don't already have one). We have been using these for years. They cost a little more but they are reliable, don't take up much space, and have the AC power adapter built in. There are plenty of others starting around $10.

With this setup, my Kindle Paperwhite fully charges in about two hours. But, I plan to put it on the charger at night so it will stay charged all the time.

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Swedes confused/angered by Trump remark

By bizgrrl, Sun, 2017/02/19 - 9:14am

At Trump's 2020 campaign rally yesterday in Melbourne, FL, he attacked refugee policies in Europe.

“You look at what’s happening,” he told his supporters. “We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?”
“Sweden,” he said. “They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.

Swedes cannot figure out what he was talking about. More fake news?

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More KNS fake news in letters to the editor

By R. Neal, Sun, 2017/02/19 - 7:11am

A letter to the editor in today's Knoxville News Sentinel asserts that Harvard does not have a football or basketball team in the NCAA.

While we sympathize with the letter writer's situation and tend to agree with his views on academics v. athletics, we're pretty sure Harvard is an NCAA Division I school.

Their basketball team competed in the 2015 NCAA tournament. Their football team has the second highest NCAA winning percentage since 2001.

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Town hall meeting: “ACA: Repeal, Replace or Repair?”

By bizgrrl, Sun, 2017/02/19 - 6:14am

What: Town hall meeting: “ACA: Repeal, Replace or Repair?”
When: Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 6:00pm
Where: Whittle Springs Middle School, 2700 White Oak Lane, 37917

Mayor Madeline Rogero is holding a town hall meeting to discuss the future of healthcare, health insurance, and the Affordable Care Act.

Local health care experts will discuss the realities and challenges of providing broader access to health care. Facilitated by the League of Women Voters and co-sponsored by the Tennessee Health Care Campaign, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Tennessee Disability Coalition, and the Tennessee Justice Center, the meeting is free and open to all.

This is not a partisan issue or a partisan meeting, nor is it a rally or protest. It is a chance for community members to express their thoughts, concerns and experiences with the Affordable Care Act and health care access in general.

The location of the town hall, Whittle Springs Middle School, 2700 White Oak Lane, is off of Broadway, just before you get to the I-640 intersection. Approx. 4 miles from the Henley Street/Summit Hill intersection in downtown Knoxville.

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McCain Defends a Free Press: ‘That’s How Dictators Get Started’

By jbr, Sat, 2017/02/18 - 10:30pm

from NBC ...

"When you look at history," McCain said, "the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press. And I'm not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I'm just saying we need to learn the lessons of history."

McCain Defends a Free Press: ‘That’s How Dictators Get Started’

'That's How Dictators Get Started': McCain Defends the Free Press

‘That’s how dictators get started’: McCain criticizes Trump for calling media ‘the enemy’

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U.S. House sanctions hunting hibernating bears, wolf pups in their dens

By jbr, Fri, 2017/02/17 - 4:32pm

from Humane Society...

The vote in favor of H.J. Resolution 69, authored by Alaska’s Rep. Don Young, was 225 to 193. Those 225 members voted to overturn a federal rule – years in the works, and crafted by professional wildlife managers at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – to stop some of the most appalling practices ever imagined in the contemporary era of wildlife management. Denning of wolf pups, killing hibernating bears, spotting grizzly bears from aircraft and then shooting them after landing, and trapping grizzly bears and black bears with steel-jawed leghold traps and snares. The stuff of wildlife snuff films.

And not just on any land. On our country’s national wildlife refuges. More specifically, on 16 national wildlife refuges covering 76 million acres, all in the state of Alaska.

U.S. House sanctions killing hibernating bears, wolf pups in their dens on federal refuges in Alaska

People Want To Shoot Hibernating Bear Families — And The Government Just Voted To Let Them


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Democratic TV for Friday February 17 @ 7:30PM

By Doug Veum, Fri, 2017/02/17 - 3:32pm

The Affordable Care Act
. . . . the Real Deal
· How does the ACA really work?
· Who has benefitted from the ACA?
· What’s at stake in the Republican campaign to “Repeal & Replace?”
· What are the Republicans really proposing? Who does it help and hurt?
· What changes are needed in the ACA?

Get answers to these critical questions on Democratic TV.

Tonight, Friday, 7:30, on these channels--
Provider Channel
Comcast 12
WOW! (Knology) 6
Charter 193
AT&T U-verse 99
or watch it live on your computer (here)

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LWV local news media forum

By R. Neal, Fri, 2017/02/17 - 10:13am

What: LWV local news media forum
When: Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 1:30pm
Where: Lawson McGhee Library community room, 500 W. Church Ave

KNOXVILLE, TN - Have you ever wondered how newsmakers choose what stories to tell? The League of Women Voters of Knoxville/Knox County (LWVKKC) wants to help demystify this process for the public by allowing you to hear from some of our local media. Members of the League and the general public are invited to join us on Saturday, February 18th from 1:30 - 3:30 in the community room at Lawson McGhee Library (500 W. Church Ave Knoxville, TN 37902). We will be joined by the following panelists:

Brandon Hollingsworth, host of WUOT's All Things Considered

Jack McElroy, Editor of the Knoxville News Sentinel

Jay Quaintance, Assistant News Director at WATE

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

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Books Sandwiched In welcomes Tatia Harris

By eellis, Thu, 2017/02/16 - 6:57pm

What: Books Sandwiched In welcomes Tatia Harris
When: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 12:00pm
Where: East Tennessee History Center, 601 South Gay Street

shortandtragiclife.jpgKnox County Public Library, in honor of Black History Month and in partnership with The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tennessee, invites the public to join Tatia Harris for a discussion of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs, Wednesday, February 22, noon to 1:00 in the East Tennessee History Center auditorium. A light lunch will be available for the first 30 attendees.

This program is the second in a Books Sandwiched In 2017 focus on diversity. Books Sandwiched In is a series sponsored by the Friends of Knox County Public Library.

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Rails-to-Trails co-founder passes away

By jbr, Thu, 2017/02/16 - 6:51pm

A good program ...

David Burwell, the co-founder and first president of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a Washington-based organization that has led nationwide efforts to convert thousands of miles of unused railroad corridors to trails and parklands, died Feb. 1 at his home in Bethesda, Md. He was 69.

David Burwell, who saw bike paths where trains once ran, dies at 69


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Democratic TV for February 17th to discuss Affordable Care Act Replacement Proposals

By Doug Veum, Thu, 2017/02/16 - 6:11pm

John Stewart will be discussing the various proposals and manifestations of the 'repeal and replace' of the Affordable Car Act with Rich Henighan and Rae Jones on DTV at @7:30PM on Friday, February 17th.

Tune in to be more fully informed about the ramifications of the various Affordable Care Act "repeal and replace" proposals that are being discussed in the Congress at this time.

DTV streams live on Community Television (here) or you are able to watch the show live on these cable channels:

Comcast Channel 12
Charter Channel 193
WOW (Knology) Channel 6
ATT Uverse Channel 99

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What's Going On? An update about road and greenway projects across Blount County

By Janus, Thu, 2017/02/16 - 10:22am

What: What's Going On? An update about road and greenway projects across Blount County
When: Monday, February 27, 2017 - 7:00pm
Where: Blount County Public Library

Are you curious about road projects planned for Maryville, Alcoa and Alcoa Highway? Do you wonder where the next greenway connections will be? Mark your calendar for Monday, February 27 at 7pm at the Blount County Public Library.

What’s Going On? is a community education program with presentations by Daniel Oliver (Director of Project Development, TDOT - Region One), Andy Sonner (Assistant Director & Chief Engineer, City of Alcoa), and Tom Taylor (Mayor, City of Maryville).

This program will review current and anticipated road and greenway projects for the next 3-5+ years in Blount County. The program begins at 7pm (refreshments at 6:30pm). Staff from the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization will also participate.

This program is a free community education event open to the public. The program is hosted by CAPPE, Inc. as part of our 2017 Annual Meeting. CAPPE’s 2017 Annual Meeting will convene after the public program concludes.

Citizens Against the Pellissippi Parkway Extension, Inc.

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Ocean oxygen levels drop 2% in 50 years, Nature study finds

By jbr, Thu, 2017/02/16 - 8:50am

A new study published in the science journal Nature Wednesday found that the ocean's worldwide oxygen content declined by more than 2% between 1960 and 2010.

Ocean oxygen levels drop 2% in 50 years, Nature study finds

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1983 60 Minutes interview with Grace Hopper

By bizgrrl, Wed, 2017/02/15 - 7:19am

Grace Hopper

What is a nanosecond? 11.8 inches, the maximum distance electricity could travel in a billionth of a second.
What is a microsecond? 984 feet.

Every programmer should know what they are throwing away when they throw away a microsecond.

A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ship's are built for.

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NYT - Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence

By Mike Knapp, Wed, 2017/02/15 - 4:10am

Michael Schmidt, Mark Mazzetti, Matt Apuzzo in the NYT
Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence

WASHINGTON — Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.

Epic quote contender

Mr. Manafort, who has not been charged with any crimes, dismissed the officials’ accounts in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “This is absurd,” he said. “I have no idea what this is referring to. I have never knowingly spoken to Russian intelligence officers, and I have never been involved with anything to do with the Russian government or the Putin administration or any other issues under investigation today.”

He added, “It’s not like these people wear badges that say, ‘I’m a Russian intelligence officer.'"

Further Reading
Samuel Osborne - The Independent
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says Donald Trump encouraged him to improve relations with Vladimir Putin

Andrew Kramer, Mike McIntire, Barry Meier in the NYT
Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief

Kenneth Vogel in Politico
Manafort’s man in Kiev

Natasha Bertrand in Business Insider
The timeline of Trump's ties with Russia lines up with allegations of conspiracy and misconduct

Greg Palast in Rolling Stone
The GOP's Stealth War Against Voters

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No ACA exchange options in Knox area after this year?

By R. Neal, Tue, 2017/02/14 - 8:14pm

Even if there is no Obamacare repeal this year, it appears that Knoxville area residents and perhaps the entre state will be without any ACA exchange subsidized insurance in 2018.

Humana, the last remaining provider in the area, announced they will leave the ACA exchange marketplace in 2018 and will no longer offer individual policies of any kind.

(By way of #Alt-Arner)

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Lake Oroville dam (CA) auxiliary spillway crumbling

By bizgrrl, Tue, 2017/02/14 - 6:37am

it worked fine until it had to be used, in which case it didn’t work so well,” said U.S. Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove.


Engineers have known for decades that if water ever spilled onto Lake Oroville’s unpaved auxiliary spillway, it would cause serious erosion
California water districts that helped pay for Oroville resisted calls to armor the backup spillway, which would have required construction outlays in the tens of millions of dollars. Environmentalists, meanwhile, opposed an earlier proposal to install gates atop the structure to raise the dam’s elevation and prevent water from topping it during a flood.

Nearly 200,000 people have been evacuated.

working on plans to return residents, but could not predict how long it would take before they decided it was safe.

Can they be trusted to ensure it is safe to return?

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NYT: The 'Caddyshack' President

By bizgrrl, Tue, 2017/02/14 - 6:24am

It just gets better.

Mr. Trump held a meeting with Mr. Abe and their entourages out in the open in the club dining terrace, examining documents and talking on a commercial cellphone as guests drifted by and took photos, servers reached over the papers to deposit the entree, and Mike Flynn, his national security adviser, held up his phone, on flashlight setting, so everybody could get a good look.
“HOLY MOLY!!!” Richard DeAgazio, a club member, wrote on his Facebook page, where he posted three photos he took of the meeting. “Center of the action!”
every time Mr. Trump strikes a pose, the rest of the world holds its breath.

Unlike GW Bush who thought presidenting was hard work, Trump thinks it's one big party.

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