Even if us peons won’t be able to afford it:

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists have for the first time succeeded in taking skin cells from patients with heart failure and transforming them into healthy, beating heart tissue that could one day be used to treat the condition.

The researchers, based in Haifa,Israel, said there were still many years of testing and refining ahead. But the results meant they might eventually be able to reprogram patients’ cells to repair their own damaged hearts.

“We have shown that it’s possible to take skin cells from an elderly patient with advanced heart failure and end up with his own beating cells in a laboratory dish that are healthy and young – the equivalent to the stage of his heart cells when he was just born,” said Lior Gepstein from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, who led the work.

The researchers, whose study was published in the European Heart Journal on Wednesday, said clinical trials of the technique could begin within 10 years.

Damn hippies

Throwing themselves in front of a police van, then forcing the driver to take off! Thank God we have a strong media to tell us the truth, right?

Witnesses at the scene, myself included, saw the van conspicuously speed up while nearing the east side of the bridge.

It had been moving slowly, then gained speed as some in the crowd began to let it pass. A handful of protesters, three of whom told the Occupied Chicago Tribune they were fearful for their friends and fellow demonstrators behind them, tried to slow the van down by pushing back on its hood. It was then that the driver accelerated in full, reaching a completely unacceptable speed while still in the midst of the crowd. One protester, James “Jack” Amico was struck, thrown to ground, and treated for a concussion at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

NBC 5 Chicago sparked the asinine rabble, which continues to claim that the hit protester was faking, by posting this video, which shows an uninjured protester skidding along the hood of the van. The cameraman was far east of the bridge, where the actual incident had occurred. The protester featured in NBC 5′s coverage is not Amico. At the time of that video, Amico was lying on the street, surrounded by his girlfriend Lauren DiGioia and a team of street medics assessing his condition.

A better, though still murky, video of a protester getting hit and going down can be seenhere (between the 18-21 second marks).

In short time, the 1% Chicago Tribune, along with other mainstream media, filed in lock-step behind CPD Superintendent Garry McCarthy’s story: that the protester faked his injury, that someone had punched the driver in the head, giving him a concussion, that protesters attacked the van, and that the videos, though unclear, seem to confirm this official narrative.

The story, like many of McCarthy’s this weekend (along the lines of “That wasn’t blood gushing out of a blunt-force head wound, it was red paint!”), smelled like the sweaty taint of a riot cop after Sunday’s 90-degree march. For one, I didn’t see a single police van driving around with its windows rolled down. Something of the spectacle of force is lost when a sergeant lets the breeze run through his hair. And certainly, if a cop driving through a sea of demonstrators doesn’t think to roll up his window, what appeared to be a concussion to McCarthy may be a simpler condition: That cop really is just that dumb.

But what’s missing from all the news reports is Amico’s story. Before leaving Chicago Monday night, he spoke with the OCT. His Northwestern Memorial Hospital bracelet was still on his wrist.

Amico approached the van when, he says, he saw his friend standing, unaware, with his back to it. Amico was hit in the chest and fell hard, slamming his head onto the pavement.

“It stomped on the gas the second I stepped in front. It was intentional,” he told OCT. “Mind you, they sped off after this. It was a hit and run.”


But you will come to a place where the only thing you feel
Are loaded guns in your face
And you have to deal with pressure!

Rough day. I’ve been applying and interviewing all over the place — and while people may be hiring, they are making applicants jump through a LOT of hoops, which is no fun. And then I find out that the place where my son’s worked for 10 years is closing. So not only is he getting booted out of his apartment, he won’t have anywhere near enough money to get another one – and he was already sharing with two other people.

And I feel really, really bad that I’m not in a position to help him. I suppose he’ll figure something out eventually, but still, I’m feeling pretty bad about this. In addition, I’m running out of money myself and I wonder if I’m ever going to get another job. Sigh…

Ruby Tuesday

From American Songwriter:

“Ruby Tuesday” defies expectations in a couple of ways. First of all, it’s a tender ballad courtesy of The Rolling Stones, so you might expect it to be a Mick Jagger creation. You’d be wrong though: As Mick told Jann Wenner in 1995: “It’s just a nice melody, really. And a lovely lyric. Neither of which I wrote, but I always enjoy singing it.”

Keith Richards actually did most of the work on the song, writing the lyrics after coming up with the music with the help of Brian Jones. That music is the second reason that “Ruby Tuesday” is such a surprise. Melodic ingenuity was supposed to be the domain of the Stones’ chief rival, The Beatles. Yet this song, which was a #1 hit here in the U.S. in 1967, has a downright gorgeous tune, aided by Jones lovely work on the recorder, proving that those things that we all had to play in grade school music could indeed have a purpose.

Richards claimed at different times that the lyrics were based on a groupie and on his mid-60’s girlfriend Linda Keith. Given his reputation, you can understand how Keith’s recollections might be fuzzy, but it’s impossible to deny he came up with a first-rate song. And he wisely left it in Jagger’s hands to deliver a moving vocal.

Obama headquarters

Charlie Pierce pays a visit to campaign central:

The headquarters is on the third floor. To visit, guests have to surrender their driver’s licenses in exchange for a visitor’s tag at the front desk. The days of the storefront walk-in headquarters are as dead as the Whigs, and Steve was not even allowed to tell me how many local headquarters the campaign has around the country. Within the broad rooms is a very strange combination of a high-end frat house and a local Best Buy outlet. Over the field-organizing tables hang the state flags of the various regions of the country that the people beneath them are working. (The middle of the area has a very strong Big 10 feel.) Beneath the flags, young people — over 90 percent of whom are salaried to one extent or another — worked every possible mode of communication technology brought down from the mount by Messrs. Gates, Jobs, and Zuckerberg. LCD screens were hung every place somebody hadn’t hung a handmade sign cheering on the president, his wife, the country, or people who’d been aces at their jobs in one way or another the previous week. The room buzzed with a cacophony of beeps, bells, and amplified punditspeak. Actual human speech even was buried in there somewhere. It was like watching the Keebler elves working in a nuclear missile silo.

This is the way campaigns are these days. This is the way politics are these days. The Obama campaign pioneered many of the new techniques in 2008, when they were able to bring a one-term senator to the presidency all the way to the White House at least in part by using the new technologies to create new kinds of communities — real and virtual — that they could activate when they most needed them. There is something insulated about it, but it is not the kind of insulation whereby something is sealed away from the world. Instead, it is more like the insulation that you find on electric wires, the kind of thing that makes sure the current stays strong and properly directed, but which also makes sure that the electricity does not erupt in ways that cannot be controlled.
That’s the most conspicuous element of the president’s re-election headquarters: the overwhelming impression of a place that serves two primary functions — to marshal power and to control it tightly. This is not a place that either engenders improvisation or anger or emotion, or seeks in anyway to turn them loose.
That’s for the streets outside. If that energy can be channelled in ways the campaign can employ to what it perceives to be its policy goals — in other words, if it’s time for Joe Biden to go give another speech somewhere — so much the better.

Everything is garrisoned today. Everything is insulated the way that electric wires are insulated so that the power doesn’t go anywhere it’s not supposed to go. The country’s political process is encased in technology so as to make it as safe and regular as it can be, so that the people within it can feel comfortable in what they’re doing. It is not a contrivance. If it were, practically anyone would do it, and the Republican presidential primary field — to say nothing of the candidate it produced — is proof enough that that’s not the case. It is, for lack of a better world, a kind of manufactured evolution, politics learning the techniques of distancing itself from the people politics purports to serve in the same way that those people have learned to distance themselves from each other, primarily through the insulating effect of new technology. We have grown accustomed to guns on the street, First Amendment zones, elections as televised design contests or exercises in competing virtual realities. The Obama headquarters is neither a symptom of this, nor is it the cause. It is simply a creature of the country it seeks once again to lead. We live garrisoned lives, so why should our politics be any different? Any energy that cannot be filtered through the buzz of the headquarters is left downstairs, on the outside, behind the toddler gate that stretches across the hallway or, better yet, out on the sidewalk, where walk the men with guns.

Cory hearts Wall Street

It’s no secret in my part of the world that Cory Booker is a very ambitious man, whose horizons stretch far beyond New Jersey. (Until the election of Barack Obama, many observers thought he would be the first black president.)

This might explain his fondness for Bain Capital – their employees were among his earliest financial backers:

A ThinkProgress examination of New Jersey campaign finance records for Booker’s first run for Mayor — back in 2002 — suggests a possible reason for his unease with attacks on Bain Capital and venture capital. They were among his earliest and most generous backers.

Contributions to his 2002 campaign from venture capitalists, investors, and big Wall Street bankers brought him more than $115,000 for his 2002 campaign. Among those contributing to his campaign were John Connaughton ($2,000), Steve Pagliuca ($2,200), Jonathan Lavine ($1,000) — all of Bain Capital. While the forms are not totally clear, it appears the campaign raised less than $800,000 total, making this a significant percentage.

He and his slate also jointly raised funds for the “Booker Team for Newark” joint committee. They received more than $450,000 for the 2002 campaign from the sector — including a pair of $15,400 contributions from Bain Capital Managing Directors Joshua Bekenstein and Mark Nunnelly. It appears that for the initial campaign and runoff, the slate raised less than $4 million — again making this a sizable chunk.

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