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    • Crawford Lake in Canada: A Prominent Milestone in the Anthropocene Era

      Human influence on Earth's climate and environment has reached a pivotal juncture, bringing scientists closer to defining a groundbreaking chapter in geology. Among twelve global locations under consideration, Crawford Lake in Ontario, Canada has emerged as the leading candidate for designating the official onset of the Anthropocene epoch—a proposed geological era commencing in the 1950s. This announcement was made during a press conference on July 11 at the Max Planck Society Conference for a Sustainable Anthropocene in Berlin. The sedimentary deposits at the bottom of Crawford Lake hold an extraordinary record of human-induced transformations on Earth, including traces of plutonium from nuclear weapons testing, fossil fuel combustion residues such as ash, as well as heavy metals and microplastics.However, the Anthropocene has yet to attain official recognition as a geologic epoch. Several committees must now endorse this proposed epoch before it can be integrated into the geological time scale, thus concluding the Holocene Epoch—an approximately 12,000-year period that encompasses the ascent of humanity since the last ice age.The term Anthropocene was first introduced in the early 2000s to denote the ongoing era of human-induced global changes on the planet. Despite its wide adoption across various disciplines, the Anthropocene lacked an officially defined geologic characterization. Addressing this gap, earth scientist Simon Turner from University College London remarked on the rapid expansion of the concept into other fields without a formal definition, underscoring the subsequent efforts to rectify this situation.In 2009, the International Commission on Stratigraphy—responsible for establishing the divisions of geological time—established a committee to assess the Anthropocene and determine its suitability for inclusion in the geologic time scale. Over a decade later, this committee has selected Crawford Lake as the "Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point" for the Anthropocene from the twelve candidate sites. Such a reference site exhibits a distinct change in its rock, ice, or other layers, signifying the commencement of a new geological epoch.Each of the candidate sites, ranging from coral reefs to ice cores to peat deposits, possesses an exceptional record of human activities within its layers. Choosing Crawford Lake was a challenging decision, akin to favoring one's own child, as acknowledged by Turner, who serves as the committee's secretary and a voting member.Crawford Lake stands out due to its sedimentary layers that encapsulate a highly precise historical account of human endeavors. Each summer, the lake's warm temperatures and pH levels cause mineral crystals to form near the water's surface. These crystals descend to the lake bed like snowflakes, remaining undisturbed over time. Turner explains that these layers form distinct stripes, and by counting backwards from the surface layer, much like tree rings, it becomes possible to determine the approximate year associated with each layer.The sedimentary records at Crawford Lake bear witness to a sharp escalation in radioactivity and other markers of human activity starting in the early 1950s. Nevertheless, not all scientists agree that the Anthropocene began merely seventy years ago, or that it should be defined strictly as a geological term. Paleoecologist Jacquelyn Gill from the University of Maine in Orono argues that drawing a firm line in the geological record, or any other system, creates a binary distinction, dividing events into before and after. According to Gill, human impacts commenced well before 1950, and preserving an informal and adaptable concept, as currently employed in disciplines beyond geology, might prove more beneficial. "It's more powerful as a tool," Gill suggests, "than trying to confine or restrict it to a narrow definition, which would then create confusion about everything that preceded it." Nevertheless, the endeavor to define the Anthropocene within geological terms highlights humanity's rapid and profound influence on the planet—a testament to our status as a geological force, as emphasized by Turner.Source

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    • Donald Trump Makes Low-Key Nevada Debut in Las Vegas, Focusing on GOP Support @realDonaldTrump

      Returning to the city that houses his Trump hotel, former President Donald Trump made a subdued appearance, lacking his usual flair, as he embarked on his 2024 campaign efforts in Nevada. Exactly one year after rallying for then-GOP Senate candidate Adam Laxalt, who later lost to Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto in the 2022 midterms, Trump delivered a brief 40-minute speech at a church located 15 miles away from the famous Las Vegas Strip, during a Clark County volunteer recruitment drive.Trump's relationship with the state of Nevada has been complex. While he maintains a strong hold on the state's Republican Party, he faced defeat in two consecutive presidential campaigns, losing Nevada by nearly 3 percentage points in 2020. Recognizing the challenge ahead, Trump acknowledged the importance of the upcoming election, stating, "We have a big job to do. This has been a hard state. I really believe it's a Republican state. This is the most important election in the history of our country."Although the event was relatively small, Trump managed to inject some theatrics into his speech. He highlighted the presence of a "large crowd" outside and emphasized media coverage of recent rally sizes. Furthermore, he fervently repeated familiar falsehoods regarding the 2020 election, while also discussing topics such as election reforms, the border, China, critical race theory, transgender issues, and revisiting his past achievements.The former president garnered cheers as he mentioned prominent Nevada GOP figures, including state party chair Michael McDonald, who faced scrutiny for his involvement in the 2020 election controversy. Trump emphasized his long-standing friendship with McDonald. Under McDonald's leadership, the Nevada GOP is suing the state government for transitioning from a caucus format, which benefited Trump in the past, to a traditional, state-run primary for the 2024 election.Trump also took the opportunity to criticize Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor, who had recently campaigned in Nevada. DeSantis's message, although not explicitly mentioning Trump, urged Republicans to move beyond the former president if they wanted to defeat a Democrat in 2024. Trump responded by saying, "I'm not a big fan of his, and he's highly overrated. He's getting killed... He also has no personality. That helps, right? As a politician, you have to have personality." Trump additionally criticized DeSantis's 2018 vote on the issue of storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, which holds significance in the swing state. DeSantis's campaign countered, calling Trump hypocritical due to his previous support for the project.While polling in Nevada has been limited, early surveys show Trump holding a substantial lead of over 30 percentage points against DeSantis, with other GOP contenders trailing in single digits.As Trump concluded his address, he hinted at future events, promising larger rallies in the months ahead. "I just want to thank you all for volunteering and being with us, and we love you... And we'll be back many times, and we've got a couple of really big rallies scheduled over the next couple of months, and we'll have 60, 70,000 people at these rallies."Source

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    • Sonja Morgan from RHONY Continues Texting the Illinois Man She Met while Filming 'Crappie Lake'

      Sonja Morgan and Luann de Lesseps embarked on a journey to Benton, Illinois, for their latest project, and it seems that sparks flew for one of them during the filming of their new series.While shooting the debut episode of "Welcome to Crappie Lake," set to premiere on Sunday, July 9, 59-year-old Sonja hit it off with a man named Billy Richard. Sonja revealed exclusively to Us Weekly that Billy frequently sends her text messages, expressing his desire to make the long drive to see her. "He likes to drive, so every time we speak he goes, 'I'm gonna get my truck and come on up there and see you,'" Sonja shared with enthusiasm. She even jokingly mentioned that Billy has a large truck with big wheels.Despite the 20-hour drive from his hometown of New Orleans, Billy remains undeterred. Sonja mentioned the possibility of meeting up in Louisiana, although she expressed a preference for flying rather than driving due to the distance involved. Sonja admitted, "Driving is so far. We'll see, we'll see. I thought the guy was local!"Meanwhile, Luann found herself attracted to another local man in Benton. However, she acknowledged the limited options for long-term relationships in small towns, noting, "They're all kind of married in these small towns. There's not a lot to do, so I understand why people would be married. You need a partner.""Welcome to Crappie Lake" chronicles the adventures of these longtime pals and co-stars from Real Housewives of New York City as they bring their sophisticated charm to a town with a population of merely 7,000. Across eight episodes, the duo engages in activities like mudding, catfish fishing, and tractor driving. Despite the unusual challenges they face, Sonja and Luann's friendship remains unshakable. Sonja highlighted the strength of their bond, stating, "One of the greatest things that came out of this trip is that Luann and I always make it work. We come to a happy medium, and neither of us are wrong. We just have different opinions on things."Luann concurred, but if the opportunity arises for a second season, she hopes they can film in a more temperate location. Reflecting on Benton, she recalled, "It was hot. I mean, beyond. It's the only place I've ever been where if it rains, it gets hotter."Source

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    • Exploring the Marvels of Our Galaxy: A Journey into the Milky Way

      Welcome, fellow space enthusiasts, to an extraordinary adventure through the captivating depths of our galaxy—the Milky Way. Spanning across vast distances and containing billions of stars, the Milky Way is a celestial wonder that has captivated human imagination for centuries. In this blog, we embark on a cosmic voyage to explore the mysteries, beauty, and mind-boggling scale of our home within the universe.A Galactic Neighborhood:Our journey begins by understanding the Milky Way's place in the cosmic neighborhood. The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy, a majestic collection of stars, planets, gas, and dust. It is estimated to be about 100,000 light-years in diameter, housing more than 100 billion stars. Positioned in the Local Group, a cluster of galaxies that also includes the Andromeda galaxy, the Milky Way is just one of many cosmic residents within our vicinity.Stellar Nurseries and Star Formation:One of the most awe-inspiring phenomena within our galaxy is the birth of new stars. Deep within interstellar clouds of gas and dust, stellar nurseries provide the perfect environment for stars to form. The immense gravitational forces and the interplay of various elements lead to the collapse of gas clouds, eventually giving rise to young stars. Witnessing the formation of these stellar gems offers us a glimpse into the ongoing cosmic dance of creation.The Galactic Center:At the heart of the Milky Way lies a mysterious and energetic region known as the Galactic Center. It is here that a supermassive black hole, called Sagittarius A*, resides, exerting its gravitational influence on the surrounding stars and gas. The Galactic Center is also teeming with intense radiation, harboring numerous massive star clusters. Peering into this enigmatic region offers a glimpse into the dynamic and tumultuous nature of galactic cores.Spiral Arms and Galactic Structure:The Milky Way's mesmerizing spiral structure is a defining characteristic. It consists of four main arms—the Perseus Arm, the Norma Arm, the Sagittarius Arm, and the Scutum-Centaurus Arm. These spiral arms are not solid structures but rather density waves, causing a gravitational ripple that leads to the accumulation of gas and dust. Within these arms, stars cluster together, creating stunning vistas of stellar beauty.Stellar Variability and Diversity:The Milky Way's diverse population of stars is a testament to the complexity and richness of our galaxy. From massive, short-lived blue giants to smaller, long-lived red dwarfs, stars come in various sizes, colors, and luminosities. Among these stellar wonders, we find pulsars, supernovae remnants, and variable stars that undergo dramatic changes in brightness over time. Exploring this stellar menagerie provides valuable insights into the life cycles and evolution of stars.Galactic Halo and Dark Matter:Beyond the visible boundaries of the Milky Way's spiral arms, a vast halo of stars, globular clusters, and dark matter envelops our galaxy. Dark matter, an elusive substance that does not emit or interact with light, plays a significant role in shaping the galactic structure and influencing the motion of stars. Understanding the nature of dark matter and its relationship with the Milky Way remains one of the most intriguing quests in modern astrophysics.As we conclude our journey through the Milky Way, we are left in awe of the sheer grandeur and complexity of our galaxy. From the birth of stars in stellar nurseries to the supermassive black hole at its core, the Milky Way offers an inexhaustible source of wonder and scientific inquiry. Exploring the vastness of our galaxy is a testament to our insatiable curiosity about the universe and our place within it. Let us continue to gaze upward, striving to unlock the secrets of the cosmos that lie beyond the boundaries of our celestial home.

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    • Cardi B Embraces a Serene Summer Amidst Cheating Allegations, Urging for Privacy @iamcardib

      After facing cheating allegations from her husband Offset, who later deleted the social media post making the claim, Cardi B has firmly denied the accusations. Taking to Twitter, the "Money" rapper shared a message with her fans and detractors alike, expressing her desire for a summer free from disturbances.In a Thursday night tweet, Cardi B, aged 30, wrote, "DND TYPE OF SUMMER," referring to the acronym for "do not disturb." The tweet resonated with some of her fans, with one expressing agreement by stating, "right, I'm taking a break from people this summer." Others speculated whether this tweet hinted at new music on the horizon, with suggestions ranging from album titles to potential single names.This tweet followed a public dispute between the married rappers, which commenced when Offset initially posted and later removed an Instagram Story accusing Cardi B of infidelity. In response, Cardi B engaged in a Twitter Space conversation, playfully singing part of Keyshia Cole's "I Should Have Cheated." She dismissed Offset's claims, urging her listeners not to pay attention to his accusations and emphasizing her own identity and value.Addressing Offset directly, Cardi B stated, "Come on, y’all. I'm f—ing Cardi B, n—. I think sometimes motherf---ers forget I'm Cardi B. If I was giving this p---- to anybody, it would be out. I'm not just anybody." She firmly demanded that Offset stop his irrational behavior and warned him against playing games with her.This isn't the first time the couple, who share two children—daughter Kulture Kiari, who turns 5 this week, and Wave Set, aged 22 months—have faced public scrutiny regarding infidelity. Back in 2018, videos emerged showing Offset in compromising situations with multiple women, prompting Cardi B to address the allegations. Additionally, in September 2020, just days before their third anniversary, Cardi B filed for divorce, citing irreparable breakdown and rumors of infidelity. However, they ultimately reconciled, choosing to work on their relationship.In an interview with Vogue in January 2020, Cardi B spoke about her decision to forgive Offset, highlighting her belief in forgiveness and the efforts they both made to reconcile. The couple sought guidance from priests and arrived at a mutual understanding, recognizing that they were in it together against the challenges that life presented.Cardi B's recent tweet signifies her desire for privacy and a break from the spotlight during the summer, as she navigates the fallout from the cheating allegations and focuses on her personal boundaries.Source

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    • Why the Distinct Experience of Depression in Boys Holds Significance

      Earlier this year, alarming statistics exposed a crisis among teenagers in the United States. A nationally representative survey revealed that more than half of high school girls reported persistent feelings of "sadness or hopelessness," common indicators of depression. Surprisingly, almost a third of teenage boys reported similar emotions.Psychologist Kathleen Ethier, who leads the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Adolescent and School Health, highlighted the gravity of the situation: "No one is doing well." The survey, conducted in fall 2021, involved over 17,000 students from 31 states who responded to approximately 100 questions related to mental health, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, sexual behavior, substance use, and experiences of violence.One particular chart from the survey garnered significant media attention. It revealed that from 2011 to 2021, the prevalence of persistent sadness or hopelessness in boys increased by 8 percentage points, rising from 21% to 29%. For girls, the figures rose substantially by 21 percentage points, escalating from 36% to 57%.Researchers argue that some of this disparity may stem from unique stressors faced by girls in the United States. Factors such as the impact of social media use on mental well-being, higher vulnerability to sexual violence, and a hostile political climate concerning women's rights contribute to their increased mental distress (SN: 7/16/22 & 7/30/22, p. 6).However, the gap between boys and girls may not be as wide as the numbers suggest. Mounting evidence suggests that depression manifests differently in boys and men compared to girls and women. Girls tend to internalize their feelings, while boys are more likely to externalize them. Instead of displaying overt sadness, boys may exhibit irritability, aggression, or engage in risky and impulsive behaviors. Traditional depression screening tools may overlook these typically male expressions of distress. Additionally, societal norms associating sadness with weakness might deter males from acknowledging their emotions, even in anonymous surveys.Research indicates that approximately 1 in 10 males with depression may be missed by current screening tools. Clinical psychologist Ryon McDermott from the University of South Alabama emphasizes the importance of recognizing that some boys and men are suffering but going unnoticed. "We miss them in our assessments, and we miss them in our discussions," McDermott asserts.Diagnosing Depression in Boys and MenThe concept of depression being overlooked in men is not new. A notable case occurred on the Swedish island of Gotland in the 1960s and '70s when suicide rates were alarmingly high. In response, health officials implemented an education program for doctors focused on depression treatment and suicide prevention in 1983.Initially, the program seemed successful as the island's overall suicide rate dropped from around 20 per 100,000 people in 1982 to approximately 7 per 100,000 people by 1985, according to a study published in the 1992 Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. However, a deeper analysis revealed that the decline was primarily among women. Over the span of two and a half years, the number of female suicides decreased from 11 to two, while male suicides remained relatively constant, with a marginal decline from 16 to 15.Psychiatrist Wolfgang Rutz, who worked at a Gotland hospital at the time, theorized that men struggling with suicidal thoughts were less likely to seek help, and when they did, their depressive symptoms were often overlooked by doctors. He observed that depressed men often presented with atypical symptoms such as hostility, impulsivity, and aggression, rather than typical signs of sadness.Rutz suggested that the gender disparity in diagnosing and treating depression might explain why, at that time, men in Sweden were diagnosed with depression half as often as women but had a suicide rate five times higher. The absence of apparent signs of depression made many male suicides seem unexpected to external observers.Rutz went on to develop a screening tool for male depression, leading to the creation of more recent male-specific assessment instruments like the Male Depression Risk Scale, designed by Simon Rice, a clinical psychologist at Orygen—an Australian nonprofit institute focused on youth mental health.The Male Depression Risk Scale targets emotion suppression, anger, aggression, substance use, somatic symptoms, and risk-taking behaviors. Respondents rate various statements related to bottling up negative feelings, difficulty managing anger, and using drugs for temporary relief. Notably, the scale does not include questions about sadness or hopelessness. Studies indicate that some men meet the criteria for depression on the Male Depression Risk Scale but not on traditional scales. A 2020 study involving 1,000 Canadian men found that 8% of respondents met the criteria for depression solely on a traditional scale that included a question about feeling "down, depressed, or hopeless." Additionally, 12% met the criteria on both scales, while 11% met the depression criteria exclusively on the men's scale, as reported in the Journal of Mental Health.These findings suggest that if the CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Survey had included a male-specific depression question, there might have been a gender gap, albeit a smaller one.The Silent Suffering of Boys and MenAccording to Rice, too many boys and men are silently suffering. The fact that 10-11% of cases are missed may appear small at an individual level, but it has significant implications at the population level.The notion that acting out and aggression could sometimes be symptoms of depression remains contentious. Ethier emphasizes that the CDC relied on extensive research to formulate the depression-related question in their survey. The question reads: "During the past 12 months, did you ever feel so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that you stopped doing some usual activities?"Ethier asserts that this question is effective in predicting depressive symptoms for both girls and boys. However, she acknowledges that boys are indeed facing struggles. Teachers, for example, report an increase in behavioral problems, particularly among boys. Nevertheless, rather than indicating depression, Ethier suggests that such behaviors reflect the broader mental health crisis affecting teenagers.While it may seem like a matter of semantics, providing an accurate diagnosis is crucial for appropriate treatment and long-term well-being. Depressive symptoms during adolescence can have lasting implications for health and mental health. On the other hand, the research regarding behavioral issues in the classroom is not as conclusive.McDermott, who examines the challenges of measuring depression, believes that such behavioral problems among boys might indicate other disorders, particularly attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Nevertheless, he is confident that some of these boys are experiencing depression. "It is hard to say with 100 percent certainty that all boys who are acting out are experiencing depression, but it is a good bet that many of them are," McDermott concludes.Source

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