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Just 4 The Heck Of It: Researching Reading Speeds.

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      [Fun Reasearch]

      Like many of you, as you've read and replied to stories posted @ Medium - Yabberz, I'm sure you've noticed Medium calculates the amount of time it takes to read posted material. For my latest story posted there it calculates that my story is a 4 minute read. Thinking that seemed a little bit fast (or that I'm a painstakingly slow reader, much slower than I thought) for a writing of my own which I guessed had to be around a 1000 words in length, I got curious about how to count words per line in their format. I started to do the basic word count by averaging words per line, but that would take too long, I'm not going to do that, so I took to the web.

      Research. Don't you love it?

      First thing I looked up was "how many words per minute does the average person read" and I came across this site that told me they had a test --for that. I took the test and it said that I read at a rate of 168 wpm, which is slower than I thought I would do, but the test article they used was full of detailed info' so I had to slow down to take the information in. Good thing I slowed down because when I click the link for my results they had a second part to the test. It was to see how much of the information I read had I actually retained. With this I astonished myself, I guess I am still good at taking test, because I got an "A", getting 90% of the questions right.

      Anyway, 168 wpm falls within the average rate for college students and professionals, but not good enough for "competitive reading". Turns out, according to their study, the average college student or professional reads between 150 and 300 words per minute. Competitive readers however, they read more than 500 per minute (wow).

      With that information in hand I went back and did an average of the words I wrote on Medium per line. I did this using a new to me way of averaging words per line I gleaned from another site. It said to pick 10 sentences which seem to have the most words, which they didn't say short words, but that is what I did, using their method I average those 10 lines and then I multiplied it times the written lines in my story. My average words per line was 14.7 times 81 totaled lines. Which means the length of my story is roughly 1190 words.

      Rounding my story length off to 1200 words and dividing it by 4 minutes estimated read time, according to Medium's read-ometer, means 300 words per minute is the average speed at which visitors to their site are assumed to read.

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      Candace Owens Speaks

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          The bottom url is a different video from the one from Yahoo News.

          At a white nationalist hearing on Capitol Hill, GOP witnesses dispute there's a threat

          Alexander Nazaryan9 hours ago

          Democrats Squirm as Candace Owens Unloads on Racism.

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          Oh Really. Trump A Hero?

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              A 6th-grader in Long Island, New York, chose to highlight Trump for a class project about students’ heroes — but claims her teacher tried to talk her out of it.

              I would say if anyone was a hero it would be that teacher. Why would anyone allow a child to think someone like Trump to be a hero? The man lies like there's no tomorrow. He is a racist and extremely disrespectful to women and those are but a few of his characteristics.

              What is even more incomprehensible is that the young girl's parents jump to her defense and wish for the school to offer their child an apology. The only thing I would question would be the parent's judgement. Are people like these parents not informed about Trump? Do they live in a cave? An eleven year old is not only impressionable but is still developing mentally. Why would parents even think of allowing a child to think the likes of Trump be a hero?


              Maybe the teacher was wrong in suggesting the girl pick someone else as a hero rather than some five time draft dodging coward whose only real claim to fame is his habitual lying. It would be interesting to see how exactly the young girl defines Trump the hero in her essay. What qualities could this young girl even imagine to contribute to Trump's heroism. Let the girl write about Trump the hero and perhaps the teacher could factually correct the girl's essay and teach her that which her parents should have been teaching her, the truth about Trump.



              We wonder why we can't progress? It's because we pass on our idiocy from one generation to the next.

              https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/girl-claims-teacher-wouldnt-let-pick-trump-class-project-heroes-141114480.html

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              Just A Few More Items Of Interest About The Workings Of Medium

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                  Just a few more things about Medium that people have been asking about so I wanted to put it out there for all. This comes from frequently asked questions by our community.

                  Before I sign up for any subscription I first check to see how easy it is to cancel that subscription. On Medium all one has to do is go to their profile and scroll down to where it says membership and just one click, where it says click here, will stop your subscription.

                  This question keeps coming up. What can one who does not subscribe do in Medium. Let me start by saying that if you do not subscribe then you can't post a story on our yabberz page or anywhere else on Medium. You also can't respond to people's comments other than the one person who wrote the story. What you can do is read in full all stories on the yabberz page ( https://medium.com/yabberz ) and can write comments on the story but only directed to the one who wrote or placed the story and no one else who may be commenting on that same story.

                  Someone wasn't satisfied with the subject tabs shown on the home page for Medium. There are a ton of other areas of interest besides those on the home page tabs. Just go to the end of the tabs and click MORE and a whole bunch of different subjects appears. How to get rid of tabs on the home page you do not want? Got me, haven't figured that out yet.

                  Did you know you can clap up to 50 times per post? The question is, how do we assign a number to the amount of claps if we don't base it upon anything but feedback for the one who posts the article. If you write a story and I like it then do I give you one clap, 5, 10, 17, 39, 41 or 50 claps? Ooops sorry those were my lottery numbers. Anyhow you get my drift.

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                  Transitions

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                      “Toto, this sure as heck doesn’t look like Kansas.”

                      As we members from Yabberz are starting to settle into our new digs here on Medium.com there are lots of questions people are asking. Like any transition, there will be tools from our old site we will no longer have available to us on the new site. We will also have new tools available to us which is supposedly going to make our site look more professional. This looking professional makes me wonder who are we trying to impress? Are we turning our community into something other than a discussion group that is interested in discussing politics and news of the day? Who knows. Maybe we need a mission statement right here in our new digs so those new folks I see joining our group understand what Yabberz is, or was.

                      To better understand how we can function on this new site we first need to know what can and cannot do. Yes, my good friends, there are rules which we have to abide by which really isn’t much different than what we had already. We also have that wonderful feature allowing us to block folks. Bring it on trolls, we’re ready.

                      The purpose of me writing this little piece is twofold. One, I want to see that Editor everyone is talking about but can’t seem to find. Lastly, I would like for us to have one place on the new site where we can ask questions and get some answers. I see we have four new faces who are part of our community. Perhaps these new faces come to us from seeing an article posted on Medium and might be able to provide us with some help getting acclimated to our new digs.

                      Let us begin with probably the most important thing we might need. A guide on how to use Medium. Keep in mind Medium is more about publishing and writing than anything else but there are useful tools to know about in the guide. I will post that link below.

                      https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-use-medium

                      Now the very next thing which is of utmost importance is the tools which we will need in order to publish a story and that would be how to use the editor. See link below.

                      https://blog.medium.com/tips-and-tricks-for-medium-writers-1d79498101c3

                      Medium’s emphasis seems to be about making us better writers and honing our writing skills and we can’t lose sight of what Yabberz is and hopefully continue to be and that is a news and politics discussion site. I don’t need to hone my writing skills, I have Grammarly. Yes, Grammarly, which works really well with Medium.

                      If anyone has anything they would like to contribute in helping our gang make the transition the please, by all means, paste it in this discussion piece so we have one area where all this information can be consolidated.

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                      To Medium Or Not To Medium. That Is The Question

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                          I am like a lot of you here at Yabberz concerned about this move to Medium. I am not convinced that Medium is the best vehicle for our type interaction but given the choices we really don't have any unless someone wishes to write a few million lines of code and create a site similar to what we have here. I have searched and just can't find something similar to what we have here at the moment.

                          So, where does that bring us? I assume from what is being said around here, we are definitely transitioning over to Medium which will be our new home. For how long? That brings me to the essence of this discussion. How long will Yabberz continue? That is entirely up to us. If we don't take an active role in participating on all levels we will end up a shell of what we once were.

                          Yes there is a fee to pay in order to fully participate in our discussions on Yabberz 2. I wasn't a happy camper when I first found out and was going to wait and see how the new Yabberz 2 shapes up before I commit myself to paying that ungodly fee of $5 a month. Then I realized that by waiting in the wings for others to do all the work I really wasn't helping our cause one bit and I needed to step up to the plate and spend the $5 and become a member.

                          Here is what we really need to do which might help get our members to come to the dark side and once again from the ground up, help to create an environment suitable to our needs. We NEED TO TALK TO EACH OTHER and by that I mean discussing the functions we need to know about in order to properly function in Medium. Sometimes two members will work out a problem together but what about all the rest of the gang? Shouldn't they be privy to that information as well? If one can't function on the new site then how can we expect them to be a contributor? We can't and that would be a cause for people to quickly get discouraged and leave our community for good. Is that what we want? If your answer is no then we need to put together right here on Yabberz 1 a thread just for answering questions about Medium that are still unanswered. I tried to do so on Medium but since I hadn't subscribed yet my discussion piece (story) ended up being archived on my bio page where it was destined to obscurity. I am going to move that piece, Transitions, to this site and hope anyone who has a question about the move and how to function in Medium will participate. Please feel free to ask questions because someone should know the answer and hopefully will be good enough to share with all of us.

                          Hope to see ya on the Dark Side.



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                          UNWANTED CHANGE

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                              It is often said that the only constant in life is change; but while it is constant, it is not always easy.


                              Life isn’t aways easy, and neither is change. Unwanted change never feels good to me, at least not in the beginning, and maybe never.

                              When change is forced on me - decisions I don’t want to make, moves I feel pushed into, losing what has been important to me (or even unimportant) and other feelings of loss or abandonment, I can feel stunned, frustrated, anxious, helpless, even angry, which is how I felt when Trump was given the Presidency even though he lost the popular vote. I was forced to somehow transition from a President I liked and trusted (Barack Obama) to one who I didn’t even consider to be leadership material. So even today, trying to cope with a man I see as a beast toward democracy and the American people has been very difficult, and sometimes heart breaking.

                              Other unwanted, smaller changes in my life have also aroused many of my more negative reactions, even though some have turned out to be the proverbial blessings in disguise. Change such as when Huffpost closed out its comments section which led me to this site - Yabberz 1. It took awhile for me to become accustomed to it, and I didn’t post a starter post for quite awhile, and I took my time, dragging my feet, before I became a Pundit. Pundits were all men, and even though I was encouraged by a well known Pundit from Ireland to throw my hat into the ring, I told myself I didn’t want the responsibility.

                              Now I have been forced into another change; not at all as monumental as having a destructive, lying leader in charge of my country, but a change which means losing the original Yabberz to move onto Yabberz 2 on Medium, or walk away from Yabberz altogether; and so I am giving the new a try, while part of my is saying to myself “no, no, no,” and another part is saying - “let go! This site - Yabberz 1 -is my place to be, a place to read and talk about politics, the news, to resist Trump as well as various other subjects that interest me; and to be involved in a community on line that has been important to me. I know that now I have a new place to be, to try out, to see if it fits my life and interests, and to see if this new place forms a community to my liking.

                              Nothing is permanent, but I will do my best to be open to the possibilities.

                              Maybe everything happens for a reason, and maybe not, and accepting change may not be one of my stronger traits, but I must move on, so I have decided to move onto the new with as much good grace as I can muster.


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                              Anyone Have Questions About The Move To Medium.com?

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                                  I noticed on Mike Horton's piece..Yabberz Platform News that the clickable here links don't work, at least for me, like the one for the guide on using Medium. I searched and found the link to the guide for those who may have the same problem. Here is the link .

                                  https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-use-medium

                                  My questions are as follows:

                                  • What is the role/function of editors? Are they really editors or are they administration, censors or moderators?
                                  • What is editor approval based upon when trying to get articles posted/published?
                                  • I see there are two categories. Editors and Writers. Are there others?
                                  • What is the official last day the old Yabberz will be active?

                                  Since we are moving there is no sense in posting anymore discussions on this old format so to those who are not going to make the transition I want to personally thank you all for your participation in my discussions and hope we meet again somewhere down the road. I sure learned a lot and had some good laughs along the way as well. To Mike and Melissa a big thank you for all the work you put into Yabberz to bring us together. Now, will I be making the transition to Medium.com? Yes in that I registered but will most likely view this new Yabberz differently and just use it as another source of news. I will read and maybe comment on other's discussions on an irregular basis but not so sure if I want to invest the time again to post any more discussions of my own.


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                                  Worst Disease Ever Recorded

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                                      This is a bit spooky. What if the fungus mutates into one that can attack mammals which could include humans? At any rate, I thought this might be considered interesting.


                                      The Worst Disease Ever Recorded

                                      The Toad Mountain harlequin frog is endangered and at risk from the Bd fungus.B. Gratwicke / Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

                                      A century ago, a strain of pandemic flu killed up to 100 million people—5 percent of the world’s population. In 2013, a new mystery illness swept the western coast of North America, causing starfish to disintegrate. In 2015, a big-nosed Asian antelope known as the saiga lost two-thirds of its population—some 200,000 individuals—to what now looks to be a bacterial infection. But none of these devastating infections comes close to the destructive power of Bd—a singularly apocalyptic fungus that’s unrivaled in its ability not only to kill animals, but to delete entire species from existence.

                                      Bd—Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in full—kills frogs and other amphibians by eating away at their skin and triggering fatal heart attacks. It’s often said that the fungus has caused the decline or extinction of 200 amphibian species, but that figure is almost two decades out-of-date. New figures, compiled by a team led by Ben Scheele from the Australian National University, are much worse.

                                      Scheele’s team estimates that the fungus has caused the decline of 501 amphibian species—about 6.5 percent of the known total. Of these, 90 have been wiped out entirely. Another 124 have fallen by more than 90 percent, and their odds of recovery are slim. Never in recorded history has a single disease burned down so much of the tree of life. “It rewrote our understanding of what disease could do to wildlife,” Scheele says.

                                      “It’s a terrifying summary,” says Jodi Rowley from the Australian Museum. “We knew it was bad, but this really confirms how bad. And these are just the declines we know about.”

                                      The scale of these losses can be hard to appreciate, especially if you think that a frog is a frog is a frog. But amphibians are ancient survivors that have been diversifying for 370 million years, and in just five decades, one disease has nearly decimated their ranks. Imagine if a new disease started wiping out 6.5 percent of all mammal species—that would be roughly everything with hooves and everything with flippers. The world would freak out.

                                      And amphibian experts “have been freaking out a long time,” says Karen Lips from the University of Maryland, who was involved in the new study. “Despite all the attention, I don’t think we fully appreciate what was lost.”

                                      In the 1970s and ’80s, amphibian experts began sharing ominous anecdotes about once-plentiful populations that had mysteriously disappeared. Streams once full of eggs were clear. Nights once resonant with ribbits were silent. Nothing about the habitats had changed, save for their sudden, inexplicable froglessness. No one knew what the problem was, let alone the culprit. “It was more than a search for a needle in a haystack—we were still debating the existence of the haystack,” Lips wrote recently. Steele’s analysis shows that by the point the fungus was finally identified, in 1998, it had already done the brunt of its lethal work. At least 60 species were already extinct, and hundreds more were going south.

                                      Bd is perhaps the perfect frog killer. It kills with gusto and without fuss. While some diseases affect only specific hosts, Bd covets nutrients found across amphibian skins, and so targets the entire group indiscriminately. It spreads easily through the water, and it persists outside its hosts.

                                      The fungus hasn’t acted alone; humans have been its unwitting accomplice. A genetic study led by Matthew Fisher from Imperial College London suggested that Bd had originated somewhere in Asia. From there, one especially virulent and transmissible strain spread around the world in the early 20th century—a time when international trade was booming. Infected animals could have stowed away aboard ships, or been deliberately transported as food, pets, or pregnancy tests. Either way, the killer strain eventually spread to five other continents.

                                      In the new study, Scheele’s team compares the modern world to Pangaea—the single, epic supercontinent that existed at the dawn of the dinosaurs. It has long split up, but humans have effectively re-created it. For wildlife diseases, all the world is once again a single connected mass, easily traversed. For that reason, new fungal diseases seem to be emerging at an ever-increasing pace, affecting bats, snakes, salamanders, and more. “These fungi would normally have fried on a sailing craft across the Atlantic, but now they’re viable,” Scheele says. “We’re just able to move things around at higher speed and volume than we used to.”

                                      Humans have also repeatedly sown islands with introduced hunters such as cats, rats, and mongooses, to the detriment of local fauna. In many ways, it’s more fitting to think about Bd as one of these introduced predators—and perhaps the most destructive that people have ever unleashed. “Cats have been a plague on biodiversity over generations, and they eat everything,” Scheele says. “And yet Bd, whose impact we have only been able to measure for decades, already far outstrips the cats and rats in terms of the species affected.”

                                      The comparison is especially apt because once in a new place, Bd is hard to dislodge. A typical disease might cause an epidemic and burn out, only to be later reintroduced from a reservoir. But once Bd arrives, it doesn’t fade out, and it cannot be removed. Like rats on islands, it becomes a nigh-permanent fixture of the areas it invades.

                                      Limiting its movements remains the best strategy, and that means curbing the wildlife trade. “Moving wildlife around the globe can and does have devastating consequences,”Rowley says. “There’s more awareness of the impact of invasive species like cane toads and rabbits, but this paper highlights that it may be the inadvertent hitchhikers—the parasites and pathogens we don’t see—that cause the most biodiversity loss.”

                                      Encouragingly, the pace of decline has eased. Better still, 60 species have begun to show glimmers of recovery. But no one knows whether this means that frogs have managed to eke out an evolutionary truce with Bd, or whether further outbreaks are to come. That’s possible if the fungus makes it to Papua New Guinea—a thus far Bd-free stronghold that is heaving with amphibians. The virulent, globe-hopping strain has also hybridized with indigenous varieties, raising concerns that hybrids could behave unpredictably.

                                      “There’s no obvious way to deal with this,” Lips says. Some researchers have set up captive-breeding programs to buy time for species in contaminated habitats. Others are looking at ways of manipulating the fungus, or breeding more tolerant frogs, or pairing the frogs with defensive bacteria, or relocating frogs to sites that are inhospitable to the fungus. None of these solutions is a silver bullet, and none is close to readiness. “It says a lot about the scary nature of the disease that even after intense, long-term collaborations we haven’t come up with a viable solution,” Lips adds.

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                                      Named To Committee

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                                          It's been a bad weekend for me.

                                          I was not re-elected to the State Executive Committee of the NCDP. We in Wake County had been allotted 39 men and 39 women, that dropped to 31 and 31 this time, and I was one of the casualties.

                                          THEN...my boyfriend dumped me. Got the Dear Jane letter the same day.

                                          THEN my car started acting up. Transmission trouble. And on an eighteen year od car, meaning it isn't worth repairing. It still drives for now, but I have been forced to start a GoFundMe. So...a bad weekend.

                                          Today...I was informed by our State Party Chairman, Mr. Wayne Goodwin...he has appointed me as one of his "at-large" appointees....to the NC Democratic Party Platform and Resolutions Committee.

                                          So...at least I still have a venue and a voice to fight for my community...and in a possibly more strategic place than I was. A lot of people were surprised when I did not get re-elected to the SEC. I had a lot of people tell me they were upset about it.

                                          To be honest, I had a bit of a spidey sense that told me...with the decrease in our delegation, this might happen, as I was one of the newest elected members. But, I was grateful for the appointment to Platform and Resolutions - a venue where I and about 25 other people...will have direct input on the Party Platform for the State Party.

                                          I am also to be on a committee that Wayne is putting together...to resolve, in whatever way we can...the split that has arisen between the LGB and the T on a political level. I am one of those advocating for the split of the Caucus, and the formation of a trans caucus (of course, I am also the 1st Vice Chair of the NC Transgender Political Coalition) - so it is pretty clear the interest I represent on this committee.

                                          Similarly, my County Party Chair...is naming me to her Task Force on LGBT rights. Additionally, my County Party Chair is aware of my interest in fighting for the interests of special-needs students and those with mental health issues...and is looking for a place where I can advocate for these issues also.

                                          So it has been a weird week...started off pretty bad..starting to come back together a bit. If I can only get the car solved, I think things will be okay. God, it is never anything but an adventure...being trans!!!


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