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Dr. Luke slams Kesha allegations; attorney claims ‘trial by Twitter’

Dr. Luke is lashing out at Kesha’s supporters through his attorney, claiming he is facing a “trial by Twitter” over allegations he raped the singer.

Dr. Luke, who is 42, is one of the most famous producers in the music business. His career started kicked off in 1997 when he was made the lead guitarist for the Saturday Night Live house band, and he rose to prominence producing remixes for Bon Jovi and Gravediggaz, to name a few artists. His breakout was in 2004 when he produced the Kelly Clarkson hit single “Since U Been Gone.” that would place her in contact with Dr. Luke, who she accused of raping and manipulating her, according to a Reuters report.

The allegations have prompted Taylor Swift to donate $250,000 to Kesha, and other singers like Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Kelly Clarkson, and Ariana Grande have posted messages of support on social media under the hashtag #FreeKesha.

A New York judge ruled on Friday that the 28-year-old singer couldn’t be released from her contract at Sony despite the 2014 sexual assault lawsuit, sparking outrage among her supporters.

But Dr. Luke’s attorney, Christine Lepera, said Kesha’s allegations of rape and emotional abuse are unfounded, and that Dr. Luke was a victim of a “smear campaign.” Dr. Luke countersued in 2014. So far the cases are awaiting trial.

Kesha, formerly known as Ke$ha, rose to prominence as a singer in early 2009 after appearing on Flo Rida’s single “Right Round,” which went to the top of the charts. She found success with her albums Animal and Cannibal, and had two number-one hits in “Tik Tok” and “We R Who We R.” She had a number of top-ten singles as well.


Wendy Williams ordered to take three-week hiatus due to Graves’ Disease

Wendy Williams announced that she will be taking a break from The Wendy Williams Show to focus on her health.

On Wednesday, the TV show host, 53, told her audience she was ordered by her doctors to take a three-week break after being diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, which causes the body to produce too much thyroid hormone..

“My doctor has prescribed — are you ready? — three weeks of vacation,” she told viewers after detailing her symptoms, which include difficulty sleeping and irritability. “I was pissed. Encore performances, really?”

Williams also addressed comments that something was wrong after she appeared to have twitchy eyes on-air in a previous broadcast. “Graves’ disease squeezes the muscles behind the eyeballs,” Williams explained.

“Wendy is a true champion and has never missed a day of work. But her health and well-being must be put before all else. Wendy has been openly dealing with her Graves’ disease for many years in addition to hyperthyroidism,” a show representative told US Weekly, “The show will be in repeats during this unplanned hiatus. A live show was produced today so that Wendy could speak directly to her fans and explain her condition.”

Williams’ health update comes only a week after she took three days off from the talk show while experiencing flu-like symptoms. She previously had a health scare on-air in October 2017 when she fainted during her live Halloween episode.

The radio and television personality had an important message for her viewers on Wednesday: “What I want to say to women, more than men, is stop putting everyone first because if we’re not good, they’re not good,” she said.

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Amanda Bynes plans on making a comeback in 2018

Since taking a break from the spotlight in 2013 to deal with personal mental health issues and run-ins with the law, Amanda Bynes has stated that she plans on making a comeback in the New Year.

“Amanda is looking forward to ringing in the new year with her close friends this year,” Bynes’ lawyer Nyree Kolanjian told Us Weekly on Thursday, “In 2018, she looks forward to completing fashion school and dipping her toe back into acting. She has had several offers but is waiting for the right one to come along for a comeback.”

The former child star currently attends the Los Angeles Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and this past summer Bynes, 31, regained control of her finances after her mother Lynn petitioned the court to hand them back to her.

“The court felt, based on Amanda’s progress and her great relationship with her parents, there was no longer a need for court supervision of Amanda’s money and she and her family can handle her financial affairs privately,” her lawyer told People magazine.

From 1999-2002 Bynes starred in the Nickelodeon hit The Amanda Show and sitcom What I like About You from 2002-2006, before transitioning to movie rolls like She’s the Man and Hairspray. Her last on-camera role was in Easy A alongside Emma Stone in 2010.

Bynes gave her first interview in four years to Hollyscoop’s Diana Madison in June.

“I do miss acting, and I actually have something surprising to tell you: I’m going to start acting again,” Bynes told Diana, “I want to do TV, maybe a few guest spots on a show that I’m a fan of and maybe another TV show where I’m the star of in the future.”  


Redefining Alzheimer’s could lead to better research

An international team of researchers have suggested that altering the definition of Alzheimer’s disease could help scientists better study the disorder, according to a new study published in the The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The scientists propose that, rather than defining the disease through classic symptoms like memory problems, it should be categorized by biological changes in the brain. That would include the different plaques and tangles that build up in people who have been diagnosed.

This proposal would only affect research studies, and it is not ready to be used by any doctors who treat people with Alzheimer’s. Even so, the team believes that if the definition is widely adopted it would allow scientists to look at patients with normal brain function who are likely to develop Alzheimer’s related dementia later in life.

“There is a stage of the disease where there are no symptoms and we need to have some sort of a marker,” said Eliezer Masliah, director of the Division of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging who was not involved in the study, according to NPR.

This approach is significant because it could directly break away from the traditional way of looking at Alzheimer’s. Rather than focusing on individual symptoms, scientists would try and break down the disease through a large “research framework.”

This new system first came about when, after a study, scientists noted that many people who were given drugs for Alzheimer’s did not have the disease. That is because sometimes memory problems are caused by something else entirely.

To sort that out, the team behind the recent research analyzed the plaques and tangles in the brain that accompany the disorder. While it was once impossible to test for such issues, recent advancements have allowed scientists to discover the abnormalities with relative ease through brain scans or spinal fluid tests.

However, though such tests could lead to more efficient diagnoses, more research needs to be done with the new definition to see how effective it is. There is no doubt that there could be benefits to using it, but there are problems that could arise as well. Only time will show how often it works.

“It’s a research framework meant to be tested, a tool for researchers, not for the doctor’s office,” explained study co-author Maria Carrillo, chief scientific officer of the Alzheimer’s Association.


Hot showers may provide relief to heavy marijuana users suffering from CHS

Widespread acceptance of marijuana use to treat patients suffering from numerous conditions has led to growing research of its effects.  Despite the social and medical benefits of the plant, doctors are discovering side effects and risks, writes Peter Hess for Inverse.  One of these side effects, called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS), causes extreme nausea and vomiting.

Some patients suffering from the condition, report being incapacitated by the physical distress.  Doctors advise either quitting, or taking hot showers, as a solution to this negative side-effect.  Researchers reported these findings in the journal Basic & Clinical Pharmacology& Toxicology.  Doctors have not been able to determine the reasons why some heavy marijuana smokers experience these side-effects; but, believe it may have something to do with cannabinoids’ effects on the body’s endocannabinoid system, writes Hess.  The endocannabinoid system manages pain—hot showers provide relief by refocusing the patient’s pain perception away from physical discomfort.

Dr. Joseph Habboushe, lead author of the paper, and assistant professor of emergency medicine at New York University Langone advises that “no medication is free from side effects.”  Thus, doctors have much to learn about how marijuana use can negatively affect the body.  “Marijuana is probably safer than a lot of other things out there, but the discussion about it has been so politicized and the focus has been on the potential benefits, without looking rigorously at what the potential downside might be,” he says.


Global warming has permanently shifted the Great Barrier Reef

Researchers from the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies have found that past heatwaves have caused 30 percent of corals in the Great Barrier Reef to die, according to a new study published in the journal Nature.

The team made this discovery by analyzing the link between heat exposure, subsequent coral bleaching, and coral death. That showed the heatwave that shocked the region in 2016 was much more harmful that any other historic bleaching events.

“When corals bleach from a heatwave, they can either survive and regain their color slowly as the temperature drops, or they can die,” explained lead author Terry Hughes, a researcher at the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, according to The Guardian. “Averaged across the whole Great Barrier Reef, we lost 30% of the corals in the nine-month period between March and November 2016.”

Initially, researchers set out to see how much the 2016 marine heatwave affected coral along the Great Barrier Reef. They quickly discovered a connection between coral die-off and areas where heat exposure was most extreme.

Data showed that 29 percent of the 3,863 reefs that make up the Great Barrier lost over 66 percent of their coral. The drop also occurred at a much faster pace than researchers initially expected.

At the peak of temperature extremes in March 2016, millions of corals in the northern third of the Great Barrier Reef died in just a few weeks. That die-off caused radical changes throughout various coral species and rapidly shifted many different systems.

Based on the new findings, researchers estimate that half of the corals in shallow-water habitats across the Great Barrier Reef are now gone. Though there are a few resilient ones left, they could also come under threat if nothing is done.

“Diverse coral communities are needed to have diverse fish and shrimp and crab and worms and all of the other species that live on reefs,” said Mark Eakin, a researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, according to NPR. “So as these events continue into the future, we’re going to see much simpler coral reefs … and if we don’t take care of the problem of human-caused climate change we’re going to lose a lot of the world’s coral reefs.”


DNA sequencing can help to explain factors behind human behavior

Scientists use genetic research to study a broad array of human behaviors, health, and biological factors, writes geneticist Ewan Birney in The Guardian.  The human genome varies slightly between all of us.  These variations play a part in nearly everything we do.  For example, genetic composition impacts what a person scores on an IQ test, or whether a person stays in education beyond the age of 16 by 50 to 60%.  But, DNA sequencing doesn’t explain all of the complex expressions seen in humans.

In South Korea the average height is 3-4 cm taller than in North Korea despite almost identical genetics between the two states.  Birney explains that these numbers don’t take into account “context-dependent expression” of our genetic variations.  In all likelihood, South Korea has better nutrition than what is available in North Korea, he writes.  So, although each person’s genome is fixed at birth, the  outcome of a person’s traits are also dependent on environment.

Researchers can use genetics to understand the biology behind these traits and potentially develop new therapeutics for mental health, as well as improve education and physical health in society.  Birney believes that humans are “a combination of nature and nurture, and whatever percentage ‘nature’ is quoted, it should be seen in the context of a particular society and environment that we can influence.”


Heartwarming Photo Shows Moment Little Girl Offers Firefighter Drink After He Stopped Home Fire

It had been a long, tough day for Oakland, California, firefighter Kevan Brown.

Kevan’s crew was called out to an apartment fire that had spread rapidly. He’d been inside the apartment, searching fruitlessly for any scared children or adults who may have been trapped when the blaze broke out. When he came across a room with an empty crib in it, he feared the worst.

“I was searching, searching, searching… you see a crib and you start thinking the worst because little kids will hide,” Kevan explained. “Adults would try to get out. But kids, especially if they are separated from their parents. They get scared and might hide in a closet. You have to look everywhere.”

At long last, Kevan was given the all-clear. The living room and kitchen of one apartment had been completely destroyed, but all of the residents had gotten out safely.

Now that he knew all of the occupants were accounted for, he could finally sit down and take a rest. He saw a woman running towards the burned up apartment, holding her baby in her arms. “I was like cool — she’s safe. It’s all good and I can take a breather.”

Kevan volunteered to sit with the toddler as her mom went in to see if there was anything salvageable from their apartment. He chatted with the little girl, and she seemed perfectly happy in spite of the traumatic events the day had dealt her family.

Kevan seemed genuinely pleased to spend a few stress-free moments with the child.

Incredibly, the little girl seemed to recognize how hard he’d worked on her behalf that day. With a look of great care and concern etched onto her face, she reached up and offered Kevan the bottle of water the fire crew had given her.

This beautiful moment was captured on film and shared on Facebook with a very appropriate quotation: “Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day.

A father himself, Kevan says he hopes the popularity of the photo will encourage more fire safety education for children. This story had a happy ending, but many do not; teaching little children what to do in case of an emergency can save lives.

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A Dog’s Purpose cast defends film against boycotts

People involved with the film, A Dog’s Purpose, are now defending the film against boycotts from animal rights groups.

After video on set was released of a German Shepherd being forced into water and submerging before being rescued, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called for a boycott of the film and suggested that Hollywood no longer use live animals in films. Actor, Josh Gad, released a statement decrying the treatment of the animal, but coworkers on the film, writer, W. Bruce Cameron, and actor, Dennis Quaid, dismissed the overreaction to the video.

“The dog was fine,” said Quaid on the Wednesday airing of NBC program Today. “This was a piece of video that was shot during the making of this. Some unknown person at the time. He also spliced, edited and manipulated that to make it look as if the dog was being abused. The dog had been in that water happily, and even afterwards too.”

Birds and Animals Unlimited, who hired the dog, named Hercules, said that it was hired for its affinity for water. According to BAU, the dog had trained in similar pools for months and had shown no problems.

“We take extraordinary steps to ensure the safety of animals, starting long before a film starts shooting with a rigorous script review, detailed inspection of the sets and environment where animals will be, and on-set monitoring by trained certified animal safety representatives,” read a statement from Mark Stubis, a spokesman for the American Humane Association.


Does time flow in the same direction everywhere?

Physicist Jon Butterworth explores what time really is in an article for The Guardian. Although, as he puts it, the laws of nature do not much care in which direction time flows, people do. So, he attempts to solve the puzzle, comparing the flow of time to a game of pool where any collision between two balls looks the same backwards or forwards–notwithstanding the initial “break,” or opening shot.

According to physicist Carlo Rovelli, there is no universal agreement available on the meaning of “now.” In other words, “what is happening right now at some other place in the universe?” depends on the relative speed and position of the person asking the question, and the place they are asking about. What is real, Butterworth explains, is how things change with respect to each other—time does not really exist as anything independent of that.

“Our perception of an inexorable flow of time comes from the observed increase in entropy,” he writes. Thus, the direction of time arises because we see traces of a more ordered universe in the current disorder. However, Rovelli points out, the apparent entropy of a system depends upon how closely you look at it. “A solar system, with planets orbiting a star, looks very orderly,” Butterworth explains. But upon closer inspection, the internal dynamics of a planet itself may be chaotic.

Butterworth concludes that—because time is not universal, may be defined by the direction of increasing entropy, as well as how closely you look at the entropy of a thing—it is possible to imagine time flowing at different rates, in different parts of the universe, in different directions.