A woman who calls herself ‘The Fat Sex Therapist’ gave a speech to St. Olaf College in Minnesota during which she claimed that diet culture was a form of “assault” and that weight loss science was “white supremacy”.

“I truly believe that a child cannot consent to being on a diet the same way a child cannot consent to having sex,” Sonalee Rashatwar told the audience during a two hour speech on the topic of “radical fat liberation”.

“I experience diet culture as a form of assault because it impacts the way that I experience my body,” she added.

Rashatwar went on to assert that science was a tool of “white supremacy”.


“We should be critical of the use of science and the production of knowledge to continue promoting this idea that certain bodies are fit, able, and desirable…is it my fatness that causes my high blood pressure, or is it my experience of weight stigma?” Rashatwar asked, going on to claim that “fatphobia” was a form of Nazism.

Rashatwar went on to argue that people shouldn’t be burdened with personal responsibility for weight loss and that “social supports” should be in place to help fat people “subsidize” their food costs.

She also said that the Christchurch shooter being a fitness instructor was proof that “Nazis really love this idea of an idealized body”.

Maybe everything Rashatwar said is true – science doesn’t exist and is actually just veiled racism, obesity doesn’t cause high blood pressure, and that dieting and fitness are just tools of white supremacy and structural oppression.

Or maybe she’s just inventing pseudo-intellectual excuses for being fat and lazy.

You be the judge.


Follow on Twitter: Follow @PrisonPlanet


Source: InfoWars

Main candidates for Spanish general election hold their second televised debate in Madrid
Spanish Prime Minister and Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) candidate Pedro Sanchez is pictured before a televised debate ahead of general election in Sebastian de los Reyes, outside Madrid, Spain, April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Juan Medina

April 23, 2019

By Belén Carreño and John Stonestreet

MADRID (Reuters) – The main contenders in Spain’s parliamentary election traded verbal blows over jobs and national identity on Tuesday, as Socialist frontrunner Pedro Sanchez said he had no plans to include center-right Ciudadanos in any governing alliance.

A day after an inconclusive first televised debate, the leaders of the four main parties represented appeared to step up efforts to grab extra votes ahead of Sunday’s ballot – and tempers frayed.

The election is the country’s most divisive in decades and, with no single party close to winning a parliamentary majority, its outcome is uncertain. Polls have showed that up to four in 10 voters have yet to decide whom to cast their ballot for.

Outgoing Prime Minister Sanchez looks best placed to form a government if his Socialist Party wins the around 30 percent of the vote that surveys have suggested.

But he would need to team up with one or more other party to form a parliamentary majority, and on Tuesday he distanced himself from one option.

“Entering an alliance with a party that has put cordon sanitaire around the Socialist Party is not part of my plans,” he said in reference to Ciudadanos at the start of the debate.

Ciudadanos has previously said it will not join any coalition led by Sanchez, and its leader Albert Rivera – together with Conservative Partido Popular’s (PP) Pablo Casado – renewed the two-pronged attack they had directed at the prime minister on Monday.

The economy made a late appearance as an election topic in a wide-ranging and at times chaotic debate that also took in immigration, housing and gender equality.

But as on Monday, one of the most emotive issues remained Catalonia and the region’s botched 2017 independence bid, which came close to triggering a constitutional crisis.

Casado called Sanchez “the favorite candidate of the enemies of Spain” and Rivera told him: “Many Socialists are disappointed with you because you want to liquidate Spain.”

Sanchez, who became prime minister in June, has been more open to dialogue with Catalan separatists than his conservative predecessor Mariano Rajoy.

But he reiterated on Tuesday that he was ruling out any moves toward independence by the region, and that its pro- and anti-secessionist factions needed to negotiate with each other.


The rightist candidates also attacked Sanchez over unemployment. Casado compared Spain’s economy to thrice bailed-out Greece and Rivera called the country “the European joblessness champion”.

The Ciudadanos leader also repeatedly told Sanchez he looked “nervous.”

Spain’s jobless rate has nearly halved from its 2013 peak, and growth in the euro zone’s fourth-largest economy has consistently outpaced the bloc’s average since shortly after it exited recession in the same year.

The bulk of the recovery took place under Sanchez’s PP predecessor, Mariano Rajoy, though unemployment has continued to fall since Sanchez took office almost a year ago and hit a 10-year low in the last quarter of 2018.

But the jobless rate remains above 14 percent, and a stretched pension system and the labor market are overdue for structural reform.

“This country’s problem is short-term employment,” said Pablo Iglesias of far-left Podemos Unidas.

For Pablo Simon, professor of political science at Carlos III University in Madrid, Casado and Rivera and failed to land telling blows on Sanchez.

The Socialist leader “saw the bulls and stayed behind the barrier, as he did yesterday, letting the others slug it out though he did venture into the ring a little more,” he said.

Publication of official opinion polls ended six days before the election and in Monday’s final survey, by GAD3 in ABC newspaper, the Socialists scored 31.5 percent of the vote, giving Sanchez far more leeway than others to pitch for coalition partners.

However, he may well need to bring separatist lawmakers on board, which would complicate any broader alliance.

A putative coalition of PP, Ciudadanos and the far-right Vox of Santiago Abascal scored a combined 45 percent – putting them short of a parliamentary majority.

Vox was not invited to the debate as it is not currently represented in Spain’s parliament.

(Additional reporting by Andres Gonzalez; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A life-size model of NASA's Insight spacecraft at JPL
FILE PHOTO: A life-size model of the spaceship Insight, NASA’s first robotic lander dedicated to studying the deep interior of Mars, is shown at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, U.S. November 26, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

April 23, 2019

(Reuters) – NASA’s robotic probe InSight has detected and measured what scientists believe to be a “marsquake,” marking the first time a likely seismological tremor has been recorded on another planet, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California reported on Tuesday.

The breakthrough came five months after InSight, the first spacecraft designed specifically to study the deep interior of a distant world, touched down on the surface of Mars to begin its two-year seismological mission on the red planet.

The faint rumble characterized by JPL scientists as a likely marsquake was recorded on April 6, the lander’s 128th Martian day, or sol.

Scientists are still examining the data to conclusively determine the precise cause of the signal, but the trembling appeared to have originated from inside the planet, as opposed to being caused by forces above the surface, such as wind, JPL said in a news release.

“We’ve been collecting background noise up until now, but this first event officially kicks off a new field: Martian seismology,” InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt said in a statement.

The tremor was so faint that a quake of the same magnitude in Southern California would be virtually lost among the dozens of tiny seismological crackles that occur there every day, JPL said.

The April 6 rumble on Mars stood out because the surface of the red planet is extremely quiet in comparison with Earth.

The size and duration of the marsquake also fit the profile of some of the thousands of moonquakes detected on the lunar surface between 1969 and 1977 by seismometers installed there by NASA’s Apollo missions, said Lori Glaze, planetary science division director at NASA headquarters in Washington.

No estimated Earth-magnitude equivalent was immediately given for the apparent marsquake.

Three other apparent seismic signals were picked up by InSight on March 14, April 10 and April 11 but were even smaller and more ambiguous in origin, leaving scientists less certain they were actual marsquakes.

(Reporting by Joey Roulette in Orlando, Florida, and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Source: OANN

“I truly believe that a child cannot consent to being on a diet the same way a child cannot consent to having sex,” Sonalee Rashatwar, whose Instagram username is “The Fat Sex Therapist,” proclaimed Thursday from the main stage of St. Olaf College.

She continued, “I experience diet culture as a form of assault because it impacts the way that I experience my body.”

These comments and more were made in the context of her two-hour speech, sponsored by St. Olaf College’s Wellness Center, Women’s and Gender Studies Department, and Center for Equity and Inclusion, on the topic of “radical fat liberation.” The talk included assertions that fitness contributed to the recent Christchurch shooting, that people should “challenge” the rule of law, as well as the authority of and the police.

“Tonight we’re gonna start by talking about how to politicize our definition of body image,” Rashatwar began, “because oftentimes we actually get stuck thinking of it from a white supremacist lense.” She explained how “white supremacy happens every day in all these little little things.”

During the course of her talk, Rashatwar listed science as one of these supposedly white supremacist everyday things.

“We should be critical of the use of science and the production of knowledge to continue promoting this idea that certain bodies are fit, able, and desirable…is it my fatness that causes my high blood pressure, or is it my experience of weight stigma?” Rashatwar asked. She then connected the science suggesting that obesity is unhealthy to Nazism, saying that “fatphobic” science is “often actually eugenic science….eugenic science is Nazi science.”

However, she then pivoted to support scientific findings as she pondered “intentionally pursuing weight loss,” claiming that “what we’re discovering scientifically is that that’s not possible.”

After addressing the topic of science and making her claim that there is no connection between high blood pressure and obesity, Rashatwar turned to discuss political philosophy and policy.

“This conversation about pushing off our own wellbeing onto the individual is part of these 1980s Reagan era policies that again try to move that structural obligation of a system and this social safety net onto the individual,” Rashatwar said, “instead of thinking that there should be social supports that also help me to subsidize my food costs.”

Her solution to these problems of society requiring individual responsibility was calling students “to challenge all authorities, not just the authority that science has given but also legal authority…the same way I want us all to challenge laws, I want us all to challenge prisons and policing.”

Rashatwar specified how she personally enacts these ideas in her life as a sexual trauma therapist. She said that in her professional role, her code of ethics dictates an absolute prohibition on physical contact with clients. However, Rashatwar claimed that “I will never live by a professional code of ethics that tells me what I am allowed and not allowed to do with my body.”

Finally, Rashatwar took a crack at recent events, particularly the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand.

“I do not think it’s surprising that the man who shot up Christchurch, New Zealand was also a fitness instructor,” Rashatwar said. After making this claim, she added that the shooting is “a clear communication that there’s still an idealized body. Nazis really love this idea of an idealized body, and so it makes a lot of sense to me that a fitness instructor…might also think about an idealized body in this thin white supremacist way.”

After the lecture, Campus Reform spoke with Will Douty, a freshman St. Olaf student in attendance, who has lost over 100 pounds during his own personal health journey.

“The entire speech was very troubling to me,” Douty said. “I know from personal experience that health is absolutely connected with weight… when you decide to give up and claim that doctors are lying to you and you’re perfect the way you are, all you truly end up with is repressed emotions and an early funeral…I can guarantee that maintaining healthy eating habits will help me live a much longer and healthier life than I was originally on track to have. Your life can only improve if you take responsibility for yourself.”

Campus Reform also reached out to the St. Olaf media department about Rashatwar’s claims that the values of a fitness instructor parallel those of the Third Reich. No response was received in time for publication.

Source: InfoWars

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire Space Science Center find that “speed bumps” in space, which can slow down satellites orbiting closer to Earth, are more complex than originally thought.

“We knew these satellites were hitting “speed bumps,” or “upswellings,” which cause them to slow down and drop in altitude,” said Marc Lessard, a physicist at UNH. “But on this mission we were able to unlock some of the mystery around why this happens by discovering that the bumps are much more complicated and structured.”

In the study, published in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters, scientists outline their observations during the Rocket Experiment for Neutral Upwelling 2 (RENU2) mission finding that a type of high-altitude auroras, or northern lights, are responsible, at least in part, for moving pockets of air high into the atmosphere where they can cause drag on passing satellites, similar to driving a car into a strong headwind.

These auroras, viewed from the Kjell Henrickson Observatory in Norway, were not the typical bright ribbons of light seen in the night skies in Earth’s high latitudes. Known as Poleward Moving Auroral Forms (PMAF), these auroras were less energetic, dim and distant.

Special break down of the cutting-edge programs our leaders are secretly engaged in.

Scientists had long suspected that the aurora may be instigating the upwelling events affecting the lower altitude satellites because when they were flying through the aurora they would encounter “space speed bumps” caused by the heating up of the very high-altitude thermosphere. But since they occur at such high altitudes, these lower-energy auroras transfer more of their energy to the thin atmosphere at 250-400 kilometers (150-250 miles) above the ground, and produce more interesting effects than more familiar aurora, which sparkle at closer to 100 kilometers (60 miles) up.

“You can think of the satellites traveling through air pockets or bubbles similar to those in a lava lamp as opposed to a smooth wave,” said Lessard.

When early space programs first put satellites into orbit, they noticed the degradation of the satellites’ orbits when the sun was active. The problem is when the extra drag slows down the satellites they move closer to Earth. Without extra fuel to boost them back up, they will eventually fall back to Earth.

(Photo by NASA)

These specific satellites, that orbit in this area closer to Earth, are important because they do everything from take pictures of Earth to help provide up-to-date information for climate monitoring, crop yields, urban planning, disaster response and even military intelligence.

Funding for this research was provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Alex Jones describes how our ancestors’ tribal call to war is sounding out yet again, this time for the information war, and we must fight all tyrannical, oppressive ideas to truly defeat globalism worldwide.

Source: InfoWars

The research vessel, which belongs to the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, is fitted with advanced scanning equipment and is carrying an unmanned submarine capable of operating hundreds of meters below the ocean surface.

Rushing to recover the wreckage of a Japan Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF) F-35A stealth fighter which crashed earlier this month off the country’s northeastern coast, Japanese authorities have announced the deployment of a special vessel as part of the search effort.

“At this time, following a request from the defense ministry and the maritime self-defense forces, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology research vessel Kaimei has joined the search,” Japan’s Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya said, as quoted by Financial Times.

Owen Shroyer breaks down how the MSM pushes for more war and death.

According to the newspaper, the ship is equipped with echo-sounders and magnetometers, and is also carrying an unmanned submersible capable of reaching depths of up to 3,000 meters.

Earlier this month, Iwaya also said that “the F-35A is an airplane that contains a significant amount of secrets that need to be protected”, and that the country would ground all of its aircraft of this type in the wake of the incident.

(Photo by flickr, [email protected])

The JASDF’s F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, flown by 41-year-old Major Akinori Hosomi, reportedly disappeared from radars on 9 April during a training flight about 135 kilometers (84 miles) east of the Misawa Air Base in Aomori prefecture.

This incident became the first case of an F-35A crashing as the warplane has entered service in various countries after being introduced in 2016.

Alex Jones presents a video of Lou Dobbs during his Fox program where he warns his viewers that the French investigation into what exactly started the Notre Dame fire may be covering up the very realistic possibility of arson.

Source: InfoWars

On its final flyby of Saturn’s largest moon in 2017, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft gathered radar data revealing that the small liquid lakes in Titan’s northern hemisphere are surprisingly deep, perched atop hills and filled with methane.

The new findings, published April 15 in Nature Astronomy, are the first confirmation of just how deep some of Titan’s lakes are (more than 300 feet, or 100 meters) and of their composition. They provide new information about the way liquid methane rains on, evaporates from and seeps into Titan — the only planetary body in our solar system other than Earth known to have stable liquid on its surface.

Scientists have known that Titan’s hydrologic cycle works similarly to Earth’s — with one major difference. Instead of water evaporating from seas, forming clouds and rain, Titan does it all with methane and ethane. We tend to think of these hydrocarbons as a gas on Earth, unless they’re pressurized in a tank. But Titan is so cold that they behave as liquids, like gasoline at room temperature on our planet.

Scientists have known that the much larger northern seas are filled with methane, but finding the smaller northern lakes filled mostly with methane was a surprise. Previously, Cassini data measured Ontario Lacus, the only major lake in Titan’s southern hemisphere. There they found a roughly equal mix of methane and ethane. Ethane is slightly heavier than methane, with more carbon and hydrogen atoms in its makeup.

“Every time we make discoveries on Titan, Titan becomes more and more mysterious,” said lead author Marco Mastrogiuseppe, Cassini radar scientist at Caltech in Pasadena, California. “But these new measurements help give an answer to a few key questions. We can actually now better understand the hydrology of Titan.”

Adding to the oddities of Titan, with its Earth-like features carved by exotic materials, is the fact that the hydrology on one side of the northern hemisphere is completely different than the that of other side, said Cassini scientist and co-author Jonathan Lunine of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

“It is as if you looked down on the Earth’s North Pole and could see that North America had completely different geologic setting for bodies of liquid than Asia does,” Lunine said.

On the eastern side of Titan, there are big seas with low elevation, canyons and islands. On the western side: small lakes. And the new measurements show the lakes perched atop big hills and plateaus. The new radar measurements confirm earlier findings that the lakes are far above sea level, but they conjure a new image of landforms — like mesas or buttes — sticking hundreds of feet above the surrounding landscape, with deep liquid lakes on top.

The fact that these western lakes are small — just tens of miles across — but very deep also tells scientists something new about their geology: It’s the best evidence yet that they likely formed when the surrounding bedrock of ice and solid organics chemically dissolved and collapsed. On Earth, similar water lakes are known as karstic lakes. Occurring in in areas like Germany, Croatia and the United States, they form when water dissolves limestone bedrock.

Alongside the investigation of deep lakes, a second paper in Nature Astronomy helps unravel more of the mystery of Titan’s hydrologic cycle. Researchers used Cassini data to reveal what they call transient lakes. Different sets of observations — from radar and infrared data — seem to show liquid levels significantly changed.

The best explanation is that there was some seasonally driven change in the surface liquids, said lead author Shannon MacKenzie, planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. “One possibility is that these transient features could have been shallower bodies of liquid that over the course of the season evaporated and infiltrated into the subsurface,” she said.

These results and the findings from the Nature Astronomy paper on Titan’s deep lakes support the idea that hydrocarbon rain feeds the lakes, which then can evaporate back into the atmosphere or drain into the subsurface, leaving reservoirs of liquid stored below.

Cassini, which arrived in the Saturn system in 2004 and ended its mission in 2017 by deliberately plunging into Saturn’s atmosphere, mapped more than 620,000 square miles (1.6 million square kilometers) of liquid lakes and seas on Titan’s surface. It did the work with the radar instrument, which sent out radio waves and collected a return signal (or echo) that provided information about the terrain and the liquid bodies’ depth and composition, along with two imaging systems that could penetrate the moon’s thick atmospheric haze.

The crucial data for the new research were gathered on Cassini’s final close flyby of Titan, on April 22, 2017. It was the mission’s last look at the moon’s smaller lakes, and the team made the most of it. Collecting echoes from the surfaces of small lakes while Cassini zipped by Titan was a unique challenge.

“This was Cassini’s last hurrah at Titan, and it really was a feat,” Lunine said

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter. The radar instrument was built by JPL and the Italian Space Agency, working with team members from the U.S. and several European countries.

Alex Jones opens the phone lines to currently practicing and former members of the Muslim faith and challenges listeners to change his mind about Islam.

Source: InfoWars


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Democrats are trying to spin the Mueller Report as welcome news. Good luck with that. Legally, they’ve got no case left. Politically, they are making a serious mistake.

They do have some material to work with, especially the report’s second volume, which portrays a vulgar, deceitful president. The details are new, but the portrait itself is not. What’s new are some cases where the president came close to obstructing justice, according to the special counsel’s investigators. Even so, they did not say he crossed the line.

The most important news, of course, is the report’s basic findings. It clearly demonstrates Russia tried to influence the 2016 election and favored Trump, but it kills the assertion that Trump or his campaign cooperated with them. For two years, Democrats and the mainstream media said the opposite about Trump — repeatedly, loudly, insistently. To continue that attack now is ludicrous. That doesn’t mean they will retract, apologize, or return their Pulitzer Prizes. They prefer to change the subject.

Their new focus is obstruction, where the evidence is more ambiguous. The Mueller team presents 10 possible instances and made no final decision. But that, in itself, is a decision since prosecutors must ultimately choose to indict or drop the matter. There is no third choice, and they didn’t indict. Significantly, their refusal was based on the evidence, not on the Department of Justice’s long-standing legal opinion that sitting presidents cannot be indicted.

Escaping criminal charges is not exactly high praise for a president. Still, the Mueller team’s refusal to indict carries special weight because the prosecution team was stacked with Democratic donors and close allies of Hillary Clinton. That provenance shows throughout the report, which reads like opposition research, equipped with subpoena powers.

After the report was finished, the DoJ made a clear-cut decision on obstruction: no indictment. Democrats immediately slimed Attorney General Bill Barr as a political hack, doing Trump’s bidding. It is important to note, however, that Rod Rosenstein reached the same conclusion. Democrats have spent the last two years defending Rosenstein, the department’s second-ranking official and the man who appointed Mueller and supervised his team. Now, they are stuck with his decision.

The White House, naturally, claimed complete victory, despite all the damaging evidence. They make two key points about obstruction, including the troubling instance when President Trump told White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller. The president, famous for firing people, never followed through. He was furious with AG Jeff Sessions’ recusal and furious with the investigation, but he did not fire Mueller and allowed McGahn to speak at length with the special counsel’s team. “Where’s the obstruction there?” the White House asks. Second, the White House provided Mueller’s team with unprecedented information, excepting only in-person testimony by the president himself. Trump handed over more than a million documents, allowed all White House appointees to testify, and never claimed “executive privilege” to withhold documents, prevent testimony, or redact the final report. Any White House trying to obstruct would have fought the investigation at every turn, as Presidents Nixon and Clinton did. Instead, Trump cooperated.

Not good enough, say powerful Democrats and their faithful media allies. After all, the Great Orange Whale is still out there, swimming and spouting. His adversaries, still fighting the last election and ready for the next one, have their harpoons sharpened and ready.

Their single-minded pursuit carries real risks for Democrats in swing districts and their 2020 presidential nominee. The general electorate wants to move on and focus on health care, immigration, inequality, opioids, and education.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knows that. But she cannot control the party’s activist, left-wing base, its presidential hopefuls, or its powerful House chairmen, Jerry Nadler, Elijah Cummings, and Adam Schiff. Those zealots are steering the good ship Pequod into dangerous waters.

What they are doing now is pure showmanship: smearing Barr as a partisan lackey and demanding unredacted copies of the Mueller Report. Neither will succeed. Barr is a lawyer’s lawyer. His stature and integrity tower above his critics. Remember, too, that Rosenstein signed on to the obstruction decision.

As for the report itself, the public has seen a reasonably complete version. It will see more when several current investigations end. Some parts were redacted because they reveal “sources and methods,” but Barr has indicted he is willing to show them to a small group of congressional leaders and their aides. It is unclear if Democrats will accept Barr’s offer.

Democrats are also demanding to see grand jury testimony. Only a court can order that, and then only under very limited conditions. Democrats will litigate and lose.

The debate over the Mueller Report now becomes a purely political one, and the advantage shifts to the Republicans. Yes, the Democrats and media will use the disclosures to damage the president. They have plenty to work with. But they cannot overcome the bottom-line conclusions, and they will pay a price for their obsession. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice will move on to meatier investigations of its own, implicating the highest levels of the Obama DoJ, FBI, and national security team. Senior officials there have real legal problems.

Mueller himself will have to answer hard questions about why his report ignored those failures, glossed over FBI abuses, and included a gratuitous statement that he “could not exonerate” Trump of obstruction. That statement upends a thousand years of Anglo-Saxon and Roman civil law, where prosecutors are never asked to exonerate, only whether to prosecute or decline. They should never use evidence to harm someone who is not charged. James Comey made those grievous mistakes in his July 5, 2016, press conference, damaging Hillary Clinton and perhaps costing her the election. It is stunning to see Mueller repeat them.

The report hands Democrats another harpoon, but it is not a lethal one. The Great Orange Whale still swims free. It is the frenzied sailors — the ones who began this hunt and want to continue it — who now face real peril.

Charles Lipson is the Peter B. Ritzma Professor of Political Science Emeritus at the University of Chicago, where he is founding director of PIPES, the Program on International Politics, Economics, and Security. He can be reached at

Director General of the World Anti-Doping Agency Howman talks to reporters at the WADA symposium in Lausanne
FILE PHOTO: Director General of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) David Howman talks to reporters at the WADA symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland, March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

April 23, 2019

By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) – The director of a top Belgian laboratory has criticized former World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) head David Howman for suggesting drug testing was stuck in the 1970s and needed to be more innovative.

Howman, in an address to an anti-doping conference in London last week, had said urine analysis had not advanced much over the decades and that testing was not catching the real cheats.

“We’re still in a position where we’re getting the same number of positive cases each year, and many of them are in the category of what I call the ‘dopey dopers’ – the inadvertent dopers, or the ones who are just darned stupid,” he said.

Professor Peter van Eenoo, director of the WADA-accredited laboratory at the University of Ghent, said Howman had got it wrong.

“It’s incredible that somebody said this,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview. “What he says is the percentage of positive samples hasn’t changed much over the years. And therefore science has not made any progress.

“What he completely forgets is that for every step of progress we made, of course, the others adapt.”

Howman, who left the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 2016, is now chairman of the Athletics Integrity Unit board and has previously criticized his former employers for failing to support clean athletes and for allowing the reinstatement of Russia’s anti-doping agency.

Van Eenoo said the substances being used, the doses and how they were being used by drugs cheats had changed over the decades.

Data from re-testing, using urine samples from the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics, had also demonstrated the advances of science.

“There were about 10,000 samples, 25 positives. What they’ve done is stored all those samples and re-tested 1,000 of these negative samples,” he said.

“Out of those 1,000 samples, 100 at re-testing later turned out to be positive. That is only through scientific progress, because nothing has changed. It’s the same urine.

“And because they know we can now detect substances for a longer period, they (athletes) switch to other substances or take them in smaller doses. So they adapt everything and that is only pushed by scientific progress.”


Van Eenoo said urine testing, first introduced at an Olympics in 1968, had its limitations but would remain the ‘gold standard’ for some time to come.

He accepted that some substances, such as growth hormone, were hard to detect in urine and that blood was a better indicator of the effectiveness of drugs.

“That’s why we are now investing in looking into blood concentration — dried blood spots, those kind of things — to complement urine,” he said.

“If we are looking at a zero tolerance policy which is important for most of the substances and especially those which are most performance-enhancing — steroids, EPO — then urine is the gold standard and will remain for quite a long time to come.”

Van Eenoo said it was difficult to look for 400 or 500 substances in a drop of blood.

“So that’s why I’m saying urine as a first and then for some of these substances where you have issues… you can re-analyze that drop of blood only for one or two substances,” he added.

“This makes absolute sense and we need to progress in that direction. That’s additional scientific progress, it doesn’t mean that the scientific progress we’ve made so far doesn’t exist.”

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)

Source: OANN

Over 4000 exoplanets have been discovered since the first one in 1995, but the vast majority of them orbit their stars with relatively short periods of revolution.

Indeed, to confirm the presence of a planet, it is necessary to wait until it has made one or more revolutions around its star.

This can take from a few days for the closest to the star to decades for the furthest away: Jupiter for example takes 11 years to go around the sun.

Only a telescope dedicated to the search for exoplanets can carry out such measurements over such long periods of time, which is the case of the EULER telescope of the Geneva University (UNIGE), Switzerland, located at the Silla Observatory in Chile.

These planets with long periods of revolution are of particular interest to astronomers because they are part of a poorly known but unavoidable population to explain the formation and evolution of planets. An article published by the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

“It took 20 years and many more observers,” says Emily Rickman, first author of the study and a researcher in the Astronomy Department of the UNIGE Faculty of Science. “This result would have been impossible without the availability and reliability of the CORALIE spectrograph installed on the EULER telescope, a unique instrument in the world.”

Since 1995, when the first exoplanet was discovered, about 4000 planets have been found.

The vast majority of them are massive planets close to their stars which are the easiest to detect relying on the current technology. However, planets with long periods of revolution are of great interest to astronomers.

Being farther away from their stars, they can be observed using direct imaging techniques.

Indeed, to date, almost all planets have been discovered using the two main indirect methods: radial velocities, which measure the gravitational influence of a planet on its star, and transits, which detect the mini eclipse caused by a planet passing in front of its star.

Planets directly observed

The EULER telescope is mainly dedicated to the study of exoplanets.

Since its commissioning in 1998, it has been equipped with the CORALIE spectrograph, which allows astronomers to measure radial velocities with an accuracy of a few meters per second for the detection of planets with a mass as small as Neptune’s.

“As early as 1998, a planetary monitoring programme was set up and carried out scrupulously by the many UNIGE observers who took turn every two weeks in La Silla for 20 years,” says Emily Rickman.

The result is remarkable: Five new planets have been discovered, and the orbits of four others have been precisely defined.

All these planets have periods of revolution between 15.6 and 40.4 years, with masses ranging approximately from 3 to 27 times that of Jupiter.

This study contributes to increasing the list of 26 planets with a rotation period greater than 15 years, “but above all, it provides us with new targets for direct imaging,” concludes the Geneva researcher.

What can we learn from the ancient Greeks that we can apply today?

Source: InfoWars

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