This Parisian artist is fascinating. Indila is extremely popular in France, mostly because of ballads like this one with multi-generational appeal. Many of her works contain lyrics in more than one language which increases the breadth of her allure. This particular song is indie/dream pop, but she also works in rap and fusion raï — the latter a form of Algerian folk music.
It’s no surprise that some of Indila’s work fuses raï with other genres. She’s of Algerian descent, though she’s said she’s also Indian, Cambodian, Egyptian and Moroccan. Indian influences her work with band TLF in Criminel, African cultures shape her collaboration with Youssoupha in Dreamin’ (the video is set in Arizona, oddly enough), and Middle East in Poussière d’empire with artist Nessbeal.
Do surf YouTube for more of her solo work when you’re in the mood for something sweet and angst-y.
Troubles continue abroad
These are among some of the stupidest, rudest, dickiest things in my timeline today. Perps deserve a whack along side the head. Don’t like my language? Tough rocks.
If you have the stomach for it, listen to this Bloomberg podcast in which Laurence Ball, Department of Economics Chair at Johns Hopkins, says the U.S. could have avoided the 2008 crash by rescuing Lehman Brothers. Hindsight is 20/20 — in this case, it’s nauseating, too. Fecking Bush administration…
I miss prosthesis and mended souls
Trample over beauty while singing their thoughts
I match them with my euphoria
When they said “Je suis plus folle que toi”
— excerpt, Tilted by Christine And The Queens
We’ve spent (and will spend) a lot of time looking at Americans this month, given the two major parties’ political conventions back to back. Yeah, we’ll look at Russia with a gimlet eye directed by media. But we could use a look away.
The artist in this video is actually Héloïse Letissier; Christine and the Queens is the stage name she and a group of transgender supporting artists use, though many of her works are solo performances. Letissier’s work isn’t confined to music alone as she also works in graphic arts. Her work frequently combines French and English lyrics with strong synthpop beat, making for wide appeal outside of France. If you like Tilted, try the mournful but earworm-y Paradis Perdus and the more hip-hoppy No Harm Is Done.
Eat more cyber
“For the same car, in the U.S., you get a compensation, while in Europe you get an apology,” said Maroš Šefčovič, a Commission vice president overseeing energy and climate policy. “I don’t think it is fair.”
Yeah, it’s not fair, and VW’s head engineer Ulrich Eichhorn is wrong when he says EU customers aren’t damaged. Baloney–the entire EU is damaged by higher NOX and other pollutants generated by these fraudulent cars. People are sick and dying because EU’s biggest automaker is poisoning the air.
Longread for your next commute
Belt magazine offers a four-part series, Walking to Cleveland by Drew Philps. It’s a travelogue of sorts, documenting Philp’s journey on foot from Dearborn to Cleveland in time for the Republican National Convention. Visit the Midwest with read.
Catch you later!
By ‘bodies’ I mean sharing here pictures of cells you see in the embedded photos from a peer-reviewed study published this May.
In these images you’ll see the damage done to human tissue in lab conditions.
No pyriproxyfen was present.
How Researchers Studied Zika
This is the methodology researchers used:
1) The researchers used human stem cells to create neurospheres — the kind of cells which turns into nerve and brain tissue in an actual embryo.
2) They set aside control samples of neurospheres which were not infected.
3) They infected test samples neurospheres with Brazilian Zika virus.
4) They observed the changes in the infected neurospheres.
5) They compared them to the uninfected control samples.
6) They wrote and published a report on their findings.
The image above is the best example from their report of the difference between Zika-infected cells and the uninfected test samples.
What Researchers Found in this Study
In short, Zika inhibits, damages, and kills infected neurospheres.
This is what we can expect to happen to a fetus’ brain or nerve tissues when infected by Zika under the right conditions during early pregnancy.What Else Researchers Found in this Study
They used the same six steps above using a mock-infected model, a Zika-infected model, and a dengue virus-infected model. (Dengue fever is caused by a flavivirus — the same family of viruses to which Zika and yellow fever belong.) Researchers found Zika virus caused similar destructive damage on these larger models while limiting their growth; they did not find the same damage or destruction in the dengue-infected models and none in the mock-infected control models. Zika alone damaged neurological tissue models.
Researchers also studied neural stem cells (NSCs) — the simplest neuro tissue model — and found similar results in which the Zika virus killed off NSCs. Studying NSCs, neurospheres, and organoids, the researchers observed Zika’s actions on different stages of neuro tissue maturity. In each of these models, from the simplest (NSCs) to the most complex (organoids), Zika was destructive.Other Research on Zika Using Mouse Tissue
The study from Brazil at the University of São Paulo also included research using human stem cells, comparing a Brazilian strain of Zika against an African strain:
Beltrão-Braga, Muotri, and their colleagues also grew brain organoids from human stem cells and infected these in vitro models with the Brazilian and African strains of the virus. In the human mini brains, both strains of the virus caused cell death, but the Brazilian strain appeared to also interfere with the formation of cortical layers. The virus didn’t replicate in the brain organoids grown from chimpanzee stem cells, suggesting it may have adapted to human tissue, the researchers noted in their paper.
Emphasis mine. Research published earlier showed Zika has already mutated rapidly after arriving in Brazil, with at least nine variants found inside the last two years.
What’s Next in Zika Research
What researchers don’t yet know, for starters: How Zika works — how does it damage or kill cells? When exactly does the virus do the most damage? What mechanisms interfere with Zika’s operations and can they be used in vaccines or drug therapy? What makes Zika different from dengue or other flavivirus? What does Zika do to adult neuro tissue to cause Guillain-Barre Syndrome? Which adults are most at risk? Will the different mutations in Brazil respond differently to vaccines? How long can humans carry live Zika virus? Has the virus mutated and become transmissible by bodily fluids or aerosol? These are just a few of the questions we still have about Zika.
There are some good guesses about Zika’s mechanisms — like this hypothesis focusing on vitamin A storage in the liver, which also suggests Zika may negatively affect liver cells (yet another avenue of research needed). But will a vaccine targeting this activity work for other flavivirus, too? What if this guess is wrong; are there other approaches we’ve yet to hear about?
We won’t have any of these answers in a reasonable period of time if we don’t have adequate funding.
It’s not just birth defects we are talking about here, either. Look at the damage in those images again; this virus not only damages fetal nerve and brain tissue, it kills fetuses. Infants born with Zika-related defects may be blind and may lead short, painful lives. And it may kill and maim adults, too, if they develop a serious case of Zika-related Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Let’s not bring out any more Zika dead.
(Note: Forgive me for the simplistic terms used in this post if you have a background in science. I had to make this as brief and succinct as possible for those who don’t have that background.)
Zika virus impairs growth in human neurospheres and brain organoids
BY PATRICIA P. GARCEZ, ERICK CORREIA LOIOLA, RODRIGO MADEIRO DA COSTA, LUIZA M. HIGA, PABLO TRINDADE, RODRIGO DELVECCHIO, JULIANA MINARDI NASCIMENTO, RODRIGO BRINDEIRO, AMILCAR TANURI, STEVENS K. REHEN
SCIENCE13 MAY 2016 : 816-818
Zika virus infection in cell culture models damages human neural stem cells to limit growth and cause cell death.
Zika Studies Using Mice:
F. Cugola et al., “The Brazilian Zika virus strain causes birth defects in experimental models,” Nature, doi:10.1038/nature18296, 2016.
C. Li et al., “Zika virus disrupts neural progenitor development and leads to microcephaly in mice,” Cell Stem Cell, doi:10.1016/j.stem.2016.04.017, 2016.
J. Miner et al., “Zika virus infection during pregnancy in mice causes placental damage and fetal demise,” Cell, doi:10.1016/j.cell.2016.05.008, 2016.
I wake up in the morning and I wonder
Why ev’rything is the same as it was
I can’t understand, no, I can’t understand
How life goes on the way it does
— excerpt, The End of the World, written by Arthur Kent and Sylvia Dee
Jazz version of this song first released by Skeeter Davis in 1962 performed here by Postmodern Jukebox’s Scott Bradlee and band with Niia’s vocals.
A few people in my timeline have asked over the last several months, “Is this the end of the world, or does it just feel like like it?”
It’s the end of something, that’s for sure.
Z is for Zika
I can’t make this clear enough to Congress: you’re playing with lives here, and it’s going to be ugly. It will affect your families if anyone is of childbearing age. I haven’t seen anything in the material I’ve read to date that says definitively studies are underway to verify transmission from Brazil’s Culex quinquefasciatus to humans. There’s a study on the most common U.S.’ Culex pipiens species which showed weak transmission capabilities, but once it’s proven quinquefasciatus can transmit, it’s just a matter of time before more effective pipiens pick up and transmit the virus, and they may already have done so based on the two cases in Florida. GET OFF YOUR BUTTS AND FUND ADEQUATE RESEARCH PRONTO — or risk paying for it in increased health care and other post-birth aid for decades.
Still Brexin’ it
Check out this piece in WIRED: David Chang’s Unified Theory of Deliciousness. I’m hungry after reading just a portion of it.
Hasta luego, mi amigas. Catch you Monday if the creek don’t rise.
Have a little indie synthpop if your day isn’t hot enough. The artist Dua Lipa lives in London; she originally moved to the United Kingdom in the 1990s with her parents who are Kosovar-Albanian. Imagine a UK to which artists like Lipa cannot easily immigrate.
Money, money, money
Daily dose of cyber
Tonight’s dinner and a movie: Jujubes and Ghostbusters. Yum. Stay cool, look after elderly neighbors and pets who need a reprieve from the heat.
Crazy stuff happens when there’s a full moon like last night’s. Crazier stuff happens under heat and pressure. Brace yourselves as the heat dome slides from the southwest to Midwest and east this week.
Stay cool — I’m considering popcorn for dinner at the local cineplex this evening until the sun sets and the temperature drops outside. Dinner tomorrow and Friday might be Jujubes and Good-and-Plenty.
Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you, who do you think you are,
Ha ha ha bless your soul
You really think you’re in control
Well, I think you’re crazy
I think you’re crazy
I think you’re crazy
Just like me
— excerpt, Crazy by Gnarls Barkley
Why’d I pick this song today? Oh, no reason. Just kind of popped into my head while I was reading through my aggregators.
Ahem. Anyhow…not much time again today, lot of hurry-up-and-wait stuff demanding my time.
Turkey curry buffet
Quick lap around the track
That’s all I have time for now. See you tomorrow!
You want some magic this Monday to start your week? Check this short film Vorticity by Mike Olbinski. If you can launch it in full screen or cast it to a television, even better, and I hope you have decent speakers for the sound. Mike’s wife is a saint, a wholly different kind of magic off screen to support a guy who does this stuff.
Under the gun here today, too much real world stuff to check off my To Do List. Only a quick list of stuff worth looking at.
Bravo to Michigan’s Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) who filed the Families of Flint Act last week to provide $1.5 billion in relief funding for water system repairs, additional health care, monitoring and education, as well as economic development to support the struggling city. Co-sponsors include U.S. Reps. Sander Levin (D-Royal Oak), Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn MI), Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield MI), and John Conyers (D-Detroit), along with 167 other House Dems.
Lean on House GOP members to do the right thing and support this bill when they are next in session in August.
Couple of things screwed up or left unfulfilled before Congress left town:
Catch you tomorrow, gotta’ dash!
Come on, give us a break, will you? Most of us are still digging out of news on France’s latest terror attack, the 28-pages released on Friday, and Turkey’s so-called coup. Couldn’t you wait until later this coming week?
Reliable reports are even more scarce than for Turkey as Armenia is even more aggressive in its monitoring and policing of social media. What reports have emerged indicate an organized, armed hostage-taking event demanding the release of a political prisoner rather than a coup.
Armenian media had not been reporting on the event and social media content is rather thin. Some Twitter accounts claim social media is not throttled, but these same accounts may be operated by government agents.
Latest reports indicate state forces are on standby, ‘pending orders for action‘.
Meanwhile, in Turkey...
The Turkish commander of Incirlik air base was taken into custody on charges of complicity with the insurgents — some reports say ‘detained’, others say ‘arrested’.
Roughly 24 hours ago, power had been cut to the air base and flights in and out suspended. The Turkish government suspected the base had been used for fueling so-called rebel aircraft. Flights for anti-ISIS efforts resumed a little over an hour ago.
Erdoğan’s government has now rounded up approximately 6000 on suspicion of complicity with the so-called coup. President Erdoğan is calling for the return of the death penalty. Application of the death penalty could halt Turkey’s accession to the EU as the death penalty is illegal under EU laws.
I won’t even get in to the weirdness of Erdoğan’s claims the coup was led by an ex-pat moderate cleric living in Pennsylvania’s Poconos. Or the empty gestures of UK’s new foreign secretary about the events in Turkey.
(Personally, I find it really hard to believe a conspiracy of ~6000 persons would be completely undetectable in advance.)
It’s nearly 2:00 a.m. local time in Tokyo. The Nikkei 225 opens in seven hours. Watch oil and natural gas prices. Who might benefit from all this volatility?
Watching events unfold in Turkey last night was surreal. It was difficult to tell the various players apart, let alone pick credible voices.
By midnight EDT I was skeptical — more than I usually am.
— President Tayyip Erdoğan was allegedly in the air at some point, allegedly asked for asylum in Germany which allegedly wasn’t granted. He allegedly flew back into Istanbul airport. Did he not seek asylum anywhere else?
— Social media was throttled or shut off in some reports, but Erdoğan managed to Facetime to an audience which is ostensibly throttled, in order to call them to defend him by rallying in the streets.
— Fighter jets and armed helicopters were flying overhead, but Erdoğan called civilians to rally in the streets? Some civilians were killed by aircraft firing on them after Erdoğan’s call to rally.
— No political party claimed responsibility for the relatively small number of “insurgents” conducting the coup. For some reason, the military members responsible for the coup undressed and disarmed on the Bosphorus bridge.
— Earlier today, Erdoğan removed 2,745 prosecutor and judges from duty.
— Reports claim U.S. intelligence was taken by surprise by the coup.
— Electricity has been cut to the U.S. Incirlik air force base, where a number of nuclear gravity bombs are kept. The bombs are not an immediate threat (read the thread at that link), but who knows this?
Let’s not forget the recent attack on the Istanbul airport, responsibility for which has only been assigned by Turkish officials.
The whole thing stinks, like a Thanksgiving Day bird left out of the fridge a couple days too long.