New York Times – A replica of a mildewed 14th-century scroll has been unfurled and displayed at a library in New York. An eagle clutching arrows and ribbons, on a tattered flag made around 1803, has just been restored and framed for viewing at a Philadelphia museum. Near Boston a museum exhibition decodes cryptic symbols like compasses and columns embossed on metal badges and embroidered onto aprons.
That the public is now being enthusiastically shown these previously hidden-away items indicates that Freemasons in America are trying to shed their reclusive, somewhat fusty image. Read Article
Reuters – U.S. health authorities are turning to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter in a bid to prepare people to be vaccinated against the pandemic H1N1 virus.
But efforts to distribute accurate information about the dangers of swine flu and the importance of vaccination are hampered by the sheer complexity of the message that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aims to convey. Read Article
The Biochemist – Complicated? I don’t think so. Confusing – definitely. Seems to my simple little mind that the vaccines won’t be ready before the flu season starts which seriously undermines their effectiveness. Also, the effective dosage is not known – hence the need for 2 doses. The overarching fact, by consensus from those who have made this their field of study, is that by using the anti-virals by the crate load on a relatively mild illness, we will create an organism with massive resistance to the medicine, just like we have with anti-biotics.
Reuters – Ryanair, Europe’s biggest budget airline, on Wednesday launched a campaign in favour of the European Union’s Lisbon reform treaty ahead of October’s Irish referendum.Â Last year Ireland rejected the treaty designed to streamline EU decision-making, but will vote again on Oct. 2 after winning concessions on key Irish policy areas including military neutrality and retaining an EU commissioner. Read Article
The Historian – Less democracy and supra-national governments/trading zones, eventually leading to a World Government & currency are good for corporations. Will they be good for mankind however?
The Times of Zambia -Â GOVERNMENT has bemoaned the continued increase in deforestation in Eastern Province due to land encroachments into forest reserves.Â Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Eularia Syamujaye said during a forest policy meeting at Crystal Springs Hotel in Chipata yesterday that a number of forest reserves had been encroached by some farmers who are illegally clearing the forest reserves for agricultural purposes. Read Article
The Guardian -Â Fresh fighting erupted in north-eastÂ BurmaÂ yesterday, as the leader of an ethnic militia claimed he had killed more than 30 government soldiers and captured at least 50 more.Â As many as 30,000 people may have fled across the border into south-westÂ China’s Yunnan province to escape the conflict in Kokang, an ethnically Chinese region in Burma’s Shan state, the United Nations High Commission forÂ RefugeesÂ reported. The Yunnan government has said about 10,000 people have arrived in the small border town of Nansan.Read Article
Daily Telegraph -Â Energy saving light bulbs are not as bright as their traditional counterparts and claims about the amount of light they produce are “exaggerated”, the European Union has admitted. Read Article
The Historian – And lets not mention that they contain mercury which will eventually end up in the water table once the bulbs are eventually discarded
The Times -Â THE Royal Society is backing research into simulated volcanic eruptions, spraying millions of tons of dust into the air, in an attempt to stave off climate change.Â The society will this week call for a global programme of studies into geo-engineering “” the manipulation of the Earth’s climate to counteract global warming “” as the world struggles to cut greenhouse gas emissions.Â It will suggest in a report that pouring sulphur-based particles into the upper atmosphere could be one of the few options available to humanity to keep the world cool. Read Article
The Historian – There are hundreds of live volcanoes on this planet every day. Many underwater, some under the ice caps. Each pumps out millions of tonnes of so called “greenhouse gases” and particulates, while superheating the air/water/ice around them. One average volcanic eruption pumps out more CO2 in a day than mankind emits in a year. Even if CO2 caused climate change (which I believe it doesn’t), and even if this climate change was going to be more dramatic than any previous climate changes (which not even the most hysterical “warnings” predicts), then surely we need to monitor (& do a King Canute & try and stop?) every volcanic eruption on this planet constantly.
Bristol News Centre – Worried Bristolians met on Tuesday to start fighting plans for the enforced fluoridation of the water supply to every home in the city.NHS bosses in Bristol have asked for permission from other local health authorities to start a feasibility study into flouridating the city’s water. If they all agree, and the study deems it appropriate, the measure can be pushed through thanks to new legislation that allows health authorities to compel water providers to fluoridate water after public consultation. Read Article
The Times -Â LibyaÂ has been courted by Prince Charles, government ministers and Foreign Office mandarins on a dozen or more occasions in pursuit of lucrativeÂ oilÂ and gas contracts.Documents obtained by theÂ Observer show ministers and senior civil servants met Shell to discuss the company’s oil interests in Libya on at least 11 occasions and perhaps as many as 26 times in less than four years.Foreign secretary David Miliband, the former Labour leader Lord Kinnock and even Prince Charles were involved in the meetings with Shell about its business in Libya or Egypt. Read Article
Saigon Daily – From the beginning of the year, the number of cases of illegal logging has been increasing at an alarming rate, said the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development at a national workshop in Hanoi Tuesday.Ha Cong Tuan, director of the Forest Protection Department, said that as many as 11,090 illegal cases of timber exploitation, transportation and processing had taken place throughout the country since early this year, an increase of 3.5 percent compared with the same period year before Read Article
Inside Science -Â A recent analysis of the 2007 financial markets of 48 countries has revealed that the world’s finances are in the hands of just a few mutual funds, banks, and corporations. This is the first clear picture of the global concentration of financial power, and point out the worldwide financial system’s vulnerability as it stood on the brink of the current economic crisis.Â A pair of physicists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich did a physics-based analysis of the world economy as it looked in early 2007. Stefano Battiston and James Glattfelder extracted the information from the tangled yarn that links 24,877 stocks and 106,141 shareholding entities in 48 countries, revealing what they called the “backbone” of each country’s financial market. These backbones represented the owners of 80 percent of a country’s market capital, yet consisted of remarkably few shareholders. Read Article
The Historian – But as if they would manipulate the markets or governments so to enrich themselves at the expense of the population…..
The Independent -Â The spectre of famine has returned to the Horn of Africa nearly a quarter of a century after the world’s pop stars gathered to banish it at Live Aid, raising Â£150m for relief efforts in 1985. Millions of impoverished Ethiopians face the threat of malnutrition and possibly starvation this winter in what is shaping up to be the country’s worst food crisis for decades.Â Estimates of the number of people who need emergency food aid have risen steadily this year from 4.9 million in January to 5.3 million in May and 6.2 million in June. Another 7.5 million are getting aid in return for work on community projects, as part of the National Productive Safety Net Program for people whose food supplies are chronically insecure, bringing the total being fed to 13.7 million. Read Article
AP -Â A tawny stuffed puppy bobs in cold sea water, his four stiff legs tangled in the green net of some nameless fisherman.Â It’s one of the bigger pieces of trash in a sprawling mass of garbage-littered water, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where most of the plastic looks like snowy confetti against the deep blue of the north Pacific Ocean.Â Most of the trash has broken into bite-sized plastic bits, and scientists want to know whether it’s sickening or killing the small fish, plankton and birds that ingest it. Read Article
BBC NEWS – The discovery of swine flu in birds in Chile raises concerns about the spread of the virus, the UN warns.
Last week the H1N1 virus was found in turkeys on farms in Chile. The UN now says poultry farms elsewhere in the world could also become infected.Â Scientists are worried that the virus could theoretically mix with more dangerous strains. It has previously spread from humans to pigs. Read article
The Biochemist – Eh? Humans to pigs? Not pigs (swine) to humans?
The Australian – A 24-YEAR-OLD Brisbane woman was last night preparing to terminate her pregnancy at home or in a hotel room after being told no local hospital would perform the medical abortion she must have.Â Shay is the human face of Queensland’s abortion law crisis – a standoff between doctors and the Queensland government that has led to the withdrawal of medical abortion services by hospitals, and the referral of sick and traumatised women interstate for treatment.Until Monday, Shay believed the baby she had carried for 19weeks was thriving. But a routine fetal abnormality scan picked up problems that were diagnosed on Thursday to be fatal to the fetus. Read Article
Bloomberg –Â International Paper Co., the world’s largest pulp and paper maker, plans to remake commercial forests in the same wayÂ Monsanto Co.revolutionized farms with genetically modified crops.Â International Paper’s ArborGen joint venture withÂ Mead Westvaco Corp.Â and New Zealand’sÂ Rubicon Ltd.Â is seeking permission from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to sell the first genetically engineered forest trees outside China. The Australian eucalyptus trees are designed to survive freezes in the U.S. South. Read Article
The Historian -Â I’m sure the nice people at International Paper, like their friends at Monsanto, would never put profits ahead of ethics…would they?
Science Magazine -Â One of the mysteries regarding Earth’s climate system response to variations in solar output is how the relatively small fluctuations of the 11-year solar cycle can produce the magnitude of the observed climate signals in the tropical Pacific associated with such solar variability. Two mechanisms, the top-down stratospheric response of ozone to fluctuations of shortwave solar forcing and the bottom-up coupled ocean-atmosphere surface response, are included in versions of three global climate models, with either mechanism acting alone or both acting together. We show that the two mechanisms act together to enhance the climatological off-equatorial tropical precipitation maxima in the Pacific, lower the eastern equatorial Pacific sea surface temperatures during peaks in the 11-year solar cycle, and reduce low-latitude clouds to amplify the solar forcing at the surface. Read Article
The Historian -Â Preposterous! As if fluctuations in the source of all the Earth’s energy and light would have anything to do with climate………
Forbes -Â In the last few months the world economy has been saved from a near-depression. That feat has been achieved by a range of extraordinary government stimulus measures: In the U.S. and in China, and to a lesser extent in Europe, Japan and other countries, governments have pumped liquidity, slashed policy rates, cut taxes, primed demand and ring-fenced and back-stopped the financial system. All of this has worked, but at a cost. Governments have been spending and borrowing like never before. The question now is: how do they stop?Â This is not a simple problem. Restore normality too soon and the risk is that a weak recovery will double dip into a second and deeper recession. Restore it too late and inflation will already be ingrained. Read Article
The Daily Telegraph – The relaxation of assisted suicide laws could be exploited by families to kill burdensome elderly relatives, Britain’s most senior policewoman has warned.Barbara Wilding, the longest serving female chief constable, said that a growing rift between young and old generations, combined with the pressures of an ageing population, is a significant challenge for police.”Elderly abuse is something that we have yet to really grasp,” she said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph. “It is one of the things that I think will be the next social explosion.” Read Article
KTLA News -Â An investigation is underway into the death of a man who was repeatedly tasered by an L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy.Â The man died after he was shocked three times by a deputy with an electric stun gun Wednesday night at the North Hollywood Red Line Subway. Read Article
Press TV -Â Amid Israeli concerted efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear work, a US defense official says Tel Aviv is not going to launch an attack on Tehran in the near term.Â Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East Colin Kahl said in an interview withÂ al-Hayatpublished on Friday that Israel was ‘concerned’ about Iran’s nuclear program but was unlikely to unilaterally strike Tehran before the end of the year if negotiations don’t start. Read Article
Physorg.com – HIV occurs in multiple forms, distinguished by small differences in the virus’ genetic sequence and designated by letters A through K. Certain subtypes appear to cluster in particular areas of the world, and others have been associated with different rates of progression to full blown AIDS. Of the 35 million people living worldwide with HIV, the majority live in sub-Saharan Africa, where subtypes A, C and D dominate.
Nearly half of patients with advanced HIV infections have at least mild cognitive impairments, and about 5 percent have the severe form of cognitive impairment known as dementia. Read Article