FANG-tastic idea or terribly toxic? Snake handler INJECTS himself with venom (VIDEOS)

Snake lover Steve Ludwin is so entranced by reptiles that he’s been injecting himself with their venom for 30 years. Doctors are baffled that he hasn’t succumbed to the potent toxins, while researchers hope he can help save lives.

Ludwin’s risky practice is helping scientists to develop an antivenom based on his antibodies. He introduced RT UK’s ICYMI to his unusual collection of reptiles, including the rarest lizard on Earth and a snake with an incredibly toxic bite. 

The green tree viper is native to parts of Asia and its venom is seriously dangerous to humans. However, that hasn’t deterred Ludwin from harvesting his snake’s venom and jabbing himself in the arm with it.

The 53-year-old said he became aware of the concept of injecting snake venom to become immune to it since he was a child, and admitted that a lot of doctors have warned him that he could end up dead from his strange pursuit because of the risk of anaphylactic shock.

“They said ‘Your liver and kidneys won’t be able to take it,’ but every six months to a year I’ve been tested and I’ve passed with flying colors,” he added.

Ludwin, 53, is convinced the venom has helped bolster his overall health and immune system over the years. He said he had his ‘biological age’ tested about 10 years ago, and scored as a 28-year-old. 

“They were really baffled by it, and I was like, ‘It’s the snake venom.’”

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Arctic kindergarten killing: Man cuts sleeping boy’s throat in daycare center ‘on the ORDERS OF SATAN’

A horrifying tragedy has occurred in an Arctic Russian city, when a local man sneaked into a daycare center and knifed a six-year-old boy in his bed. Some reports suggest the perpetrator was having a psychotic episode at the time.

The shocking killing happened on Thursday in Naryan-Mar, one of the northernmost cities in Russia, located in the Arkhangelsk region. According to local law enforcement, the killer made his way into a daycare center during nap time. Once inside, the man killed the six-year-old boy right in his bed.

The man was apprehended and identified as a 36-year-old local resident. The police said he was drunk when he committed the gruesome crime; they wouldn’t release his name.

Footage from the scene of the incident

While few details of the incident were immediately available, some tabloid reports indicate that the perpetrator was acting on a violent delusion. According to a source cited by Life.ru, the man claimed Satan had promised him eternal life if he killed the boy and that he obliged by slashing the poor child’s throat.

The news channel Baza reports that the killer had a record of drug abuse dating back to at least 2016. Some sources say he was under the influence of something other than alcohol when he was arrested.

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The authorities have yet to establish why an armed, inebriated adult was allowed in by the kindergarten guards. Some reports said they mistook him for one of the parents.

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Kanye enters the culture war with ‘Jesus is King’ – and it’s a rebellion

With his latest release, ‘Jesus is King,’ Kanye West has obviously and aggressively entered the culture war. He declared the most divisive and dangerous truth imaginable.

The title of the album alone is THE culture war from a Christian perspective. During Jesus’ trial, Pilate said that he could find no fault with him because he saw his kingship as philosophical and not practical. His flippant response to Jesus’ explanation of his kingship as being “not of this world” in the Gospel of John is the sarcastic “What is truth?” Pilate was worried about actual zealots, not philosophers.

But to declare ‘Jesus is King’ is an epic middle finger to the decadence and cynicism of the modern West. This isn’t Bob Dylan’s ‘Slow Train Coming,’ it’s much more like Dylan going electric or maybe even Jon Lennon’s death. This declaration is a shock to the system that Kanye has been a part of for a long time. The old Kanye is dead and the new Kanye is gonna be just as crazy as the old one but in a totally different direction. 

This was the most rock ‘n’ roll thing he could do. He is being truly rebellious for the first time. It’s the exact same attitude that caused him to snatch that mic away in defense of Beyonce.

From a culture warring perspective, everything about this album is interesting. In fact, everything about Kanye in this current culture war moment is interesting. But this is still about Yeezy the Rapper and ultimately whether his music is any good. The truth is I have never liked his music very much. Aside from DMX and the occasional Eminem track, the entire hip-hop genre has never had much appeal to me. I find the lavishing of praise upon Kendrick Lamar (none of his music is distinguishable from itself) truly bizarre. ‘Jesus is King’ is doing and saying things ‘Ye’ has never done or said before but it’s still basically the same music. That means lots of overproduced incoherent tracks laced with poorly conceived lyrics. Kanye has always been first and foremost a production artist. 

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That being said, ‘Jesus is King’ feels far less inorganic than his previous work. Each track still feels pulled from multiple sources created in a DJ’s lab instead of music composed by a true (or maybe just traditional) artist. This is a near-universal problem with contemporary music. The best producers still operate Rick Rubin style, attempting to bring the true artist to the surface but the true Yeezy is production. It isn’t possible to dig deeper. 

In fairness to Kanye, he’s never shied away from this. He’s never presented himself as anything but who he is. He isn’t scared of sampling or over producing. He isn’t scared of using distortion and repetition on a Gospel or RnB track. 

But there is a newfound passion and maybe even some anger here, after all, he has entered the culture war. His spoken words may still be in the same lackadaisical rhythm but with more bite. This clearly matters to him in a way that his ‘pagan’ music never did. His music has newfound soul. 

From a critics perspective, his music should still be evaluated in the same way every album is. ‘Is this a good album?’ is the only relevant question, not ‘Is this album woke enough?’ (as if anyone used that word unironically anymore) or ‘Is it politically incorrect enough?’ His “politics” shouldn’t be relevant to whether or not his music is good. Calling new-found Christianity politics seems silly but, in the contemporary West, it often feels like nothing is more political than being publicly religious, especially if your religion is Christianity. 

By John Lee Reed,  an American Conservative who specializes in cultural and political commentary

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#BritainHasExploded and #brexitriots trending, as social media ridicules Brexit deadline-day predictions

October 31 was supposed to be Brexit Day for the people of Britain and, failing that, many predicted there’d be riots, even that the country would explode, as one Tory MP forewarned. Twitter is out in force mocking the doomsters.

During an appearance on the BBC’s Politics Live show in September, hardline Brexiteer Mark Francois warned that “if we don’t leave on the 31st October, this country will explode.”

READ MORE: BoJo’s Brexit deal would smash £70bn hole in UK economy – the size of Wales

Furthermore, PM Boris Johnson was accused later that month of irresponsibility by Labour Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer for “whipping up the idea of riots” if the UK had not left the EU on 31 October.

Many on social media have taken a pop at the armageddon-like rhetoric, posting amusing pictures and memes that mock the Brexit deadline day predictions. The notion of riots was taken apart by a lot of people on Twitter.

While others online ridiculed Francois’ assertion that Britain would explode if Brexit hadn’t been delivered on time. An empty box of tea bags and a weather forecast for a “gentle explosion” in the afternoon were just some of the comical tweets.

The new Brexit deadline day has been moved three months hence, to January 31, after Brussels granted the UK parliament an extension – a delay that PM Johnson fought hard to resist. A snap general election has been called for December 12, in a bid to break the Brexit impasse.

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Bad blood: Polish scientist calculates odds of victory in apocalyptic war between humans and vampires

Just in time for Halloween, a Polish physicist has developed a web-based ‘Vampire Apocalypse Calculator’ to determine just how well we’d fare as a species if we ever found ourselves in a war with bloodsuckers. (Spoiler: Not well).

Dominik Czernia, a physicist at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Kraków, spent a month of his free time developing the macabre calculator using the predator-prey model, based on game theory and using research on instances of vampires in literature and fiction.

“It was quite a time-consuming project. I started by finding an interesting paper regarding vampires, where the authors subtly suggested the existence of vampires based on real-life data,” Czernia told ScienceAlert.

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In the calculator, users can select the types of vampires humanity could be up against, and then set parameters such as human population size as well as the number of vampires and how bloodthirsty they are. You can even control the number of vampire hunters on the loose. 

For those wishing to indulge a ghoulish pessimism about the future of humanity, the stats and graphs of the Vampire Apocalypse Calculator show exactly how a potential humans versus vampires war would play out and it does not look good for mankind (well, in most scenarios anyway).

“I had to give meaning to raw numbers to build the atmosphere of a vampire apocalypse,” Czernia adds.

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Combining science with fiction, in some sort of… science fiction (though hard sci-fi fans are sure to claim that it’s ‘fantasy’), Czernia references real-world vampiric species such as vampire bats and finches, leeches and, of course, the ever-irritating mosquitoes.  

In addition, he points out that humans can and do practice hematophagy or feeding on blood, though typically in the rather mundane form of blood sausages. No need to sharpen your stakes just yet then.

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Saving lives or chasing dollars? Concern as doctors push stomach surgeries for children to combat rising obesity

A recent proposal by US pediatricians to endorse bariatric treatments for children is raising concerns that it is driven primarily by financial interests. Critics say stomach surgeries won’t fix the root causes of the problem.

Almost 10 percent of children in the US aged 12-15 and 14 percent of those aged 16-19 are considered obese, according to the most recent data cited by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), an Illinois-based professional association. Almost 4.5 million American adolescents are severely obese, double the number recorded in 1999, the AAP says.

To combat the problem, the AAP has published a new policy recently, recommending the use of bariatric surgeries as a safe therapy for childhood obesity. This was quickly endorsed by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), and received favorable coverage in the mainstream media.

Matter of social justice, or money? 

Ann O’Connor is a pediatric surgeon specializing in bariatric procedures for adolescents at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She told CNN that the new policy is likely to encourage hesitant pediatricians to embrace bariatric surgery for their patients, so then “we can hopefully use this as leverage for insurance companies to actually approve and pay for these procedures.”

One study from 2015 calculated the cost of the surgery and accompanying care at north of $42,000, which is hardly pocket change. Health insurance companies are far more reluctant to approve surgeries for children than for adults. According to AAP data, insurance coverage was approved for only 47 percent of applicants under 18, compared to 85 percent of adults who qualified for the procedure.

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Dr. Kirk Reichard, a bariatric surgeon at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Delaware and one of the authors of the AAP policy statement, has argued that expanding insurance access is basically a social justice issue, as obesity in children disproportionately “affects racial and ethnic minorities, and the economically disadvantaged, especially for girls.”

While surgery is costlier than other treatments in the short term, and data on the long-term effectiveness in adolescents is limited, several studies suggest that the treatment could become cost-effective within five years of the operation, the AAP paper said. 

Treating the root causes – or not

US doctors have a reputation for preferring surgical solutions far more than their colleagues around the globe, possibly because surgeries are cut and dry compared to less invasive treatments, and therefore much easier to bill and present as effective therapies.

On the other hand, the cost of healthcare in the US has skyrocketed, with Americans paying an estimated $3.65 trillion in 2018, according to government data. Critics of AAP’s recommendations suggest childhood obesity ought to be treated with lifestyle changes and counseling, rather than removing most of the stomach from a still-growing human being.

“I don’t approve of that type of surgery, especially since they don’t address the root causes of this obesity,” Dr. Dietrich Wittel, a Canadian physician, told RT. “It is very typical for the North American so-called high-tech medical approach, where nutrition always takes a back seat.”

Losing weight is not just a function of eating less, but of what one eats as well as physical activity. With cars dominating cities and countryside alike, North American children hardly walk anywhere, and are surrounded by cheap junk food options at home and in school, Dr. Wittel added.

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“When a child has an eating disorder issue, that’s not just about food,” Dr. Lisa Palmer, a Florida-based psychologist, told RT. Long-term success of any treatment looks at what’s causing the problem, she added, and in many cases people who undergo these surgeries continue to eat the wrong things, just perforce in fewer quantities. 

I don’t think that performing these types of surgeries is really good for anyone in the long run, unless they’re incredibly obese and they’ve tried every other avenue possible.

Dr. Steven Gundry was a renowned heart surgeon before becoming a nutritionist in 2002. He has treated many patients who had the bariatric procedure only to gain back the weight. Most were never told they would have to spend the rest of their lives taking supplements and otherwise compensating for having bariatric surgery.

“This is absolutely the wrong way to treat obesity,” Gundry told RT. “You can’t fix a behavior with surgery.”

Nutrition is a sore subject in the US, where physicians still think in terms of “calories in, calories out” and swear by the “food pyramid” put forth by Harvard experts decades ago, urging Americans to eat more carbohydrates while avoiding meat and fats.

Battle of the bulge

A recent international study finding that health dangers of red meat have been greatly exaggerated has infuriated both Harvard-leaning nutritionists, as well as public health officials, who bemoaned the effect this would have on their efforts to ban meat for the sake of the environment.

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Whether due to misguided nutrition advice, lifestyle choices or something else altogether, over 70 percent of Americans were considered overweight or obese by 2016. The number of bariatric surgeries has risen in recent years as well, from 115,000 in 2011 to 228,000 in 2017, according to ASMBS statistics.

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), or removal of up to 80 percent of a person’s stomach, accounts for 60 percent of the procedures now.

Literally gutting an adult is one thing. Irreversibly surgically altering an adolescent is something else altogether. Surgeons might be fine with addressing just the quantity of food consumed, without any thought to its quality – but that hardly sounds like a general recipe for success.

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Israeli Boeing ‘Air Force One’ MALFUNCTIONS during test flight

Israel’s ‘Air Force One’ has encountered a serious malfunction in its braking system during its first test flight ahead of a planned Sunday take-off.

A state of emergency was declared and first responders were dispatched to the stricken aircraft as it remained on the runway. Thankfully, there were no injuries among those on board, nor any damage to the plane. 

The Boeing 767-300ER airliner is due to be used by both the country’s prime minister and president on their foreign visits, and the state-of-the-art jet is estimated to cost at least NIS 600 million ($170 million), boasting sophisticated encrypted communications systems.

According to Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), once operational, the jet is capable of flying non-stop to China, Japan, the US or Brazil.

The news comes as manufacturer Boeing was forced to ground at least 50 planes worldwide after cracks were discovered on the wings of some of its 737-NG aircraft, prompting major safety checks.

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Russia orders extra Soyuz manned spacecraft as NASA replacements wallow in uncertainty

Some additional manned Soyuz missions are being prepared after NASA requested extra rides to the International Space Station (ISS), amid uncertainties surrounding US-made manned vehicles, Russia’s space chief has announced.

According to Dmitry Rogozin, his NASA counterpart Jim Bridenstine has asked Moscow to allocate extra rides on board its Soyuz spacecraft and Russia has made some adjustments to provide for the US need. Some of the planed Soyuz missions will have mixed crews rather than Russian-only, he said. Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, has also ordered two additional Soyuz capsules, one of which may be needed to meet NASA’s logistical demand.

“We will do our best to help our American colleagues, trim down our crews,” Rogozin said, adding that the change will likely force Russia to alter its plans for scientific research on the ISS.

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The news doesn’t come as a surprise. Bridenstine had earlier said it was “highly likely” that NASA would request at least one additional seat from Russia.

“We have almost 20 years – we are entering our 20th year – of operating the International Space Station, the entire time having an American on board, and we don’t want to break that record,” the NASA administrator told Spaceflight Now. “We want to make sure that we have an American on-board.”

©Roscosmos



The US started buying Russian rides to the ISS after retiring the Space Shuttle program in 2011. A replacement was expected to be ready as soon as 2015, but NASA encountered a string of delays as it fought for funding at the US Congress and waited for the development of new manned vehicles – Boeing’s Starliner and Space X’s Crew Dragon.

Both are currently being tested for mission-abort systems, with NASA hoping to have an independent human space flight capability in the first half of 2020. Bridenstine said buying the Russian seats is a backup plan for the agency.

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NASA has already replaced Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, who’d been slated to take the last paid ride on board the Soyuz MS-16 in March 2020, with Chris Cassidy. The Soyuz MS-17 mission, which is scheduled for October 2020, was supposed to be the first with a fully-Russian crew. The alteration means that Stephen Bowen, NASA’s backup crew member for the MS-16, is expected to take one of the three seats.

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'Nightmare for the Warriors': NBA star Steph Curry's broken hand threatens to derail Golden State Warriors' season (VIDEO)

The Golden State Warriors suffered a hammer blow to their season on Wednesday when superstar playmaker Steph Curry was forced to leave their game with the Phoenix Suns after suffering a suspected broken hand.

Curry, a two-time MVP, is the creative fulcrum in a Golden State team which has made the NBA finals in each of the last five seasons but a sixth consecutive appearance in the NBA’s showpiece game is looking far away as Warriors fans wake up on Thursday morning to news that their star player may be facing an extended spell on the sidelines.

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He suffered the injury midway through the third quarter of their game against the Suns as he drove to the net before crashing into Aron Baynes and landing awkwardly. Curry stayed down on the court before getting up and appearing to try and shake off the injury.

He attempted to remain in the game but the Warriors coaching staff, seeing something was clearly wrong, called a timeout and sent the player to the locker room.

It’s just a random basketball play, so stuff happens,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr as he confronted the loss of his talisman. It is the latest blow to a Warriors team that has kicked off the season with an uninspiring 1-2 record. 

Curry’s injury was compounded by the team losing the game to the Suns by a score of 121-110. 

I just feel bad for him,” Suns coach Monty Williams said after the game.

When these guys who are the faces of the league go down it’s not good for the league, but especially someone like Steph, who’s done so much to raise the level of excitement here in the Bay Area and throughout the league.

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The blow to Curry’s availability comes after the departure of former star Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets while another star, Klay Thompson, is also injured and is expected to miss the entire season.

Curry is now expected to undergo a CT scan to determine the full extent of the injury, at which point Warriors officials will be able to work out the amount of time that their star is expected to be missing and, with their team’s season getting underway in less than stellar form, Golden State fans are braced for further bad news.

Source: NEWS

‘Crab war’ between Norway & EU is simmering in the Arctic

The European Union is planning to award 20 licenses for snow crab fishing near Norway’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, in violation of a ruling by the Norwegian Supreme Court.

According to Norway’s national broadcaster NRK, the bloc may unilaterally grant eleven licenses to Latvia, four to Lithuania, three to Poland, and one each to Estonia and Spain.

The EU argues that Norway, which is not part of the European Union, is in violation of the Svalbard Treaty because it discriminates between Norwegian and foreign fishing vessels. The 1920 international agreement guarantees Norway’s sovereignty over Svalbard, while providing opportunities for signatory countries to conduct business and fishing there. It also cements Svalbard’s status as a demilitarized zone.

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Norway’s Fisheries Minister Harald Tom Nesvik insists that no one is allowed to fish for snow crab on the Norwegian continental shelf without a permit from Oslo.

“This is standard procedure. They issue these licenses to the countries that have requested them. But the EU-issued licenses don’t matter. If you want to catch snow crab, the quota from Norway applies,” Nesvik said.

According to him, the fisheries minister is not afraid of any physical contact between vessels in the Svalbard zone ahead of the fishing season. “It would be very stupid, because then they will be arrested for breaking the law. The EU is very much aware of the fact that the quotas are issued by Norway. These are licenses without significance.”

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Norway believes it has exclusive rights to catch snow crab in the fisheries protection zone around the archipelago. Last winter, the Norwegian Supreme Court rejected an appeal from a Latvian shipping company. Member of the European Parliament Jarosław Wałęsa, from Poland, suggested earlier that EU fishermen are being treated like criminals in Norway.

Snow crabs reside in the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans, preferring the deep, cold water conditions of these seas. In the Barents Sea, it was first observed by Russian scientists in 1996. Since then, a large stock has established itself around the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard as well.

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Source: NEWS