Thursday, October 23, 2008

I love me some science!

Leukaemia drug can halt, reverse MS - Yahoo! News: "LONDON (AFP) – Researchers at the University of Cambridge said Thursday they have found that a drug originally developed to treat leukaemia can halt and even reverse the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis (MS).

In trials, alemtuzumab reduced the number of attacks in sufferers and also helped them recover lost functions, apparently allowing damaged brain tissue to repair so that individuals were less disabled than at the start of the study.

'The ability of an MS drug to promote brain repair is unprecedented,' said Dr Alasdair Coles, a lecturer at Cambridge university's department of clinical neurosciences, who coordinated many aspects of the study."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Let it burn baby, Let it burn.

Truthdig - Reports - The Idiots Who Rule America: "Andrew Lahde, the Santa Monica, Calif., hedge fund manager who made an 870 percent gain last year by betting on the subprime mortgage collapse, has abruptly shut down his fund, citing the risk of trading with faltering banks. In his farewell letter to his investors he excoriated the elites who run our investment houses, banks and government.

“The low-hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking,” he said of our oligarchic class. “These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America.”"

Monday, October 20, 2008

I feel so much safer, you?

The Atlantic Online | November 2008 | The Things He Carried | Jeffrey Goldberg: "We took our shoes off and placed our laptops in bins. Schnei­er took from his bag a 12-ounce container labeled “saline solution.”

“It’s allowed,” he said. Medical supplies, such as saline solution for contact-lens cleaning, don’t fall under the TSA’s three-ounce rule.

“What’s allowed?” I asked. “Saline solution, or bottles labeled saline solution?”

“Bottles labeled saline solution. They won’t check what’s in it, trust me.”

They did not check. As we gathered our belongings, Schnei­er held up the bottle and said to the nearest security officer, “This is okay, right?” “Yep,” the officer said. “Just have to put it in the tray.”

“Maybe if you lit it on fire, he’d pay attention,” I said, risking arrest for making a joke at airport security. (Later, Schnei­er would carry two bottles labeled saline solution—24 ounces in total—through security. An officer asked him why he needed two bottles. “Two eyes,” he said. He was allowed to keep the bottles.)"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Random thoughts

It has been nearly a year since i started my quest to live mindfully in response to a deep bout of cynicism.

Mindfulness is concentrated awareness of one's thoughts, actions or motivations.

I will say outright that the effort has in fact made a significant difference in how I interact with life. It has made me appreciate and be aware of dynamics that before were mostly appreciated in theory and in brief glimpses. As I delve more deeply into this life, I am frustrated with the fact that it seems to only grow in complexity and in some ways opacity. Things I thought I knew, I no longer know. Universal truths I believed in have proven to be illusions. The one universal has been the desire for home. To define and create a home and have a space where I exist symbiotically with the space around me. That has been the goal maybe always even when I didn't know what it was or why it was true. So that is the real question, has this awareness gotten me closer to home? dunno.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Ugandan community outlaws female circumcision - Yahoo! News: "KAMPALA (AFP) – A community in eastern Uganda that has practiced female genital mutilation 'since time immemorial' has banned the ritual, a local official told AFP on Wednesday.

'The community decided that it was not useful, that women were not getting anything out of it, so the district council decided to establish an ordinance banning it,' said Nelson Chelimo, chairman of Kapchorwa district."

Sex really is bad for you.....

ABC News: The Oral Sex Cancer Connection: "The virus is transmitted by direct contact. You only get HPV in the location it attaches to, so it never travels through the bloodstream.

So just exactly how it gets in the mouth may stun you.

'There is absolutely a link between oral sex and oral cancer,' said Dr. Ellen Rome, of the Cleveland Clinic.

Although no proof exists yet, there is a chance that HPV can be transmitted mouth to mouth.

'We can't rule out the virus could be transmitted in saliva by other types of contact — like for instance sharing a drink or sharing a spoon,' said Dr. Maura Gillison, of Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Zack Exley: The New Organizers, Part 1: What's really behind Obama's ground game

Zack Exley: The New Organizers, Part 1: What's really behind Obama's ground game: "We saw glimpses of the potential for this kind of organizing campaign in MoveOn's 2004 and 2006 volunteer operations, the Dean Campaign and even the Bush and Kerry campaigns. And there are great examples of this kind of organizing if you go back to the social movements of several decades ago. But the Obama campaign is the first in the Internet era to realize the dream of a disciplined, volunteer-driven, bottom-up-AND-top-down, distributed and massively scaleable organizing campaign. For anyone who knows how many times this has failed to happen, this is practically an apocryphal event. Marashal Ganz, who is an advisor to the national field campaign, and one of the main architects of the team model, said he's been waiting 40 years for it.

A well-run organizing campaign is the most beautiful thing in the world: people know what they're working for; they have little successes everyday; they prepare for problems ahead of time and have great fun attacking them when they happen. Everyone is in a state of constant euphoria. In the end, win or lose, you have built something that gives you hope for the future—hope that humanity can, as it turns out, work cooperatively towards a better future and succeed."

Are the times begining to change?

RAFAEL LARA GRAJALES, Mexico – An angry crowd in central Mexico attacked police and helped nearly three dozen illegal Central American immigrants escape from custody after hearing that officers had allegedly sold the migrants to human smugglers, officials said Monday.

Hundreds of people attacked police as they were trying to load the 34 immigrants into a van Sunday in the farming town of Rafael Lara Grajales, Puebla, state prosecutor Rodolfo Igor Archundia said.

The migrants fled in the chaos, but 21 were quickly caught. Police were searching for the other 13.

After being detained initially, the Central American migrants were allegedly handed over by police to human smugglers who held them for four days at a house. They escaped Sunday with the help of neighbors.

The neighbors then took the migrants to the mayor's office, where they waited outside in the plaza. Hundreds more townsfolk gathered to show support.

The violence erupted when a van arrived to take the migrants away. Members of the crowd shouted "Don't get in!" One woman yelled, "They've already suffered a lot! Let them leave!"

The van sped out of the plaza with only 20 of the migrants on board. The protesters chased the vehicle and hurled rocks at it, and police responded with tear gas.

Some of the migrants jumped out of the van windows. The rioters set fire to a patrol car, two motorcycles and a truck. Eight rioters were arrested.

State Interior Secretary Mario Montero Serrano said five police officers are under investigation for allegedly selling the migrants for $100 each.

Evis Casco, a native of Honduras, said the smugglers stabbed him in the hands until he gave them a phone number of relatives in the United States. He said they were hoping the relatives would send money.

"They tortured me until I gave it to them, but it won't do them much good. My family is poor," said Casco, whose hands were bandaged.

Central American immigrants often suffer abuse and extortion while crossing Mexico on the way to the United States. It is rare for Mexicans to come to their defense.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Love her!

Her Highness, Queen Latifah, Still Rules - "With or without makeup, Latifah’s face is at the center of her fortune. With her almond-shaped eyes and sweeping cheekbones, she could have been painted by Gauguin, though her beauty is recognizably her own, animated by a warmth, humor and innate self-confidence most women would kill for. Her stardom, in movies and television, has come from her gifts at playing the underdog or the outsider, the thick girl in body only, whose heart and brain are her best defense against the villainously rich, skinny and cutthroat. You can’t help rooting for her."

Friday, October 10, 2008

ha ha ha hah

God I love a crisis. This shit is great. You can't make it up. Thinking of protesting? Don't. GO see a movie, hang out with friends, listen to some music. There is nothing you can do now, but grab some popcorn and hoard some spam.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

yup, start really panicking like right now

EYKJAVIK, Iceland – This volcanic island near the Arctic Circle is on the brink of becoming the first "national bankruptcy" of the global financial meltdown.

Home to just 320,000 people on a territory the size of Kentucky, Iceland has formidable international reach because of an outsized banking sector that set out with Viking confidence to conquer swaths of the British economy — from fashion retailers to top soccer teams.

The strategy gave Icelanders one of the world's highest per capita incomes. But now they are watching helplessly as their economy implodes — their currency losing almost half its value, and their heavily exposed banks collapsing under the weight of debts incurred by lending in the boom times.

"Everything is closed. We couldn't sell our stock or take money from the bank," said Johann Sigurdsson as he left a branch of Landsbanki in downtown Reykjavik.

The government had earlier announced it had nationalized the bank under emergency laws enacted to deal with the crisis.

"We have been forced to take decisive action to save the country," Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde said of those sweeping new powers that allow the government to take over companies, limit the authority of boards, and call shareholder meetings.

A full-blown collapse of Iceland's financial system would send shock waves across Europe, given the heavy investment by Icelandic banks and companies across the continent.