Saturday, April 4, 2009

Remember the movie 'Outbreak?' There's a real monkey on the loose somewhere in Oregon carrying a virus that could harm people!

In a case of fiction blurring into reality, we have a Japanese Macaque monkey who escaped from his handlers and is carrying a potentially human-threatening virus! They say truth is often stranger than fiction, and I think there's something to that.

In the movie Outbreak a White-fronted Capuchin monkey passes on the deadly Motaba virus and it ends up in a fictional little northern California town - Cedar Creek - which was actually filmed in Ferndale,  Humboldt County.

The movie was released in 1995 and starred Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman, Donald Sutherland, and Cuba Gooding Jr., just to name some of the good actors in it. 

In this short press release by the Associated Press, they note that the "monkey's are too fast to catch." Say what? This seems to get stranger by the day. There's a virus-carrying monkey on the prowl...

Today's story from AP: 

Officials say three monkeys on the loose at the Oregon National Primate Research Center are hanging out near "corrals" on the campus, but the whereabouts of a fourth are unknown.

They are among nine who escaped Friday when a keeper left their cage unlocked. Five were recaptured.

Jim Newman, an Oregon Health & Science University spokesman, said today that veterinarians are watching the three Japanese Macaque monkeys, hoping they will be lured into cages baited with apples.

He says the missing monkey is believed to be on or near the Beaverton campus.

The monkeys are too fast to catch. They generally retreat from humans but if threatened, they could bite. One carries a virus that could harm people.

Monkey Image via

City-wide urban apocalyptic art in Copenhagen brings worldwide visitors

An apocalyptic show and a guided bus tour will be provided for those wanting to check out the "Radiant Copenhagen" - a future version of Copenhagen (meaning alternative realities created through eye-catching contemporary art)

Click here to go to the Radiant Copenhagen site and see some more wonders.


Friday, April 3, 2009

How can this happen? Baby food formulas contaminated by rocket fuel!

My question is how did the traces of this rocket fuel come to be in baby food! It's troublesome to me to see the CDC won't name the affected brands of baby formula.

From the Associated Press this morning...

Traces of a chemical used in rocket fuel were found in samples of powdered baby formula, and could exceed what's considered a safe dose for adults if mixed with water also contaminated with the ingredient, a government study has found.

The study by scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked for the chemical, perchlorate, in different brands of powdered baby formula. It was published last month, but the Environmental Working Group issued a press release Thursday drawing attention to it.

The chemical has turned up in several cities' drinking water supplies. It can occur naturally, but most perchlorate contamination has been tied to defense and aerospace sites.

No tests have ever shown the chemical caused health problems, but scientists have said significant amounts of perchlorate can affect thyroid function. The thyroid helps set the body's metabolism. Thyroid problems can impact fetal and infant brain development.

Read the rest of the story here.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

World leaders all agree on measures to protect the global economy



   "World leaders pledged $1.1 trillion in loans and guarantees to struggling countries and agreed Thursday to crack down on tax havens and hedge funds — but failed to reach sweeping accord on more stimulus spending to attack the global economic decline.

    At the end of a highly anticipated one-day gathering, leaders of the Group of 20 nations said they would upgrade an existing financial forum to serve as an early warning monitor to flag problems in the global financial system.

   They did not, however, satisfy U.S. and British calls for new stimulus measures. Nor did European politicians get their goal of a global financial super regulator.

The leaders did bridge several gaps between the United States and some European nations over how far to regulate the market and how to curb the excesses that sparked the global economic crisis.

Read the whole story here. Image via



G20 Pledges New IMF Aid, Passes on Stimulus Moves

G20 leaders took big steps toward reforming a "failed regulatory system" that helped create the global economic crisis, President Barack Obama said after the summit concluded in London Thursday.


The G20 leaders pledged an additional $1.1 trillion in financing to the International Monetary Fund and other global financial institutions and announced plans to regulate tax havens and hedge funds as part of the final statement to emerge from the emergency summit.

Read more here.


ResourceText and Audio: Obama's News Conference

ResourceRead the Final Communique from the G20 Meeting [PDF]

ResourcePhotos From the London Summit's Flickr Stream

Laughing man swallows scissors but still survives his stupidity!

Just when you think you've done some stupid things in your life there comes along a guy who picks his teeth with scissors; easily surpassing your worst moments!

Incredible X ray of scissors stuck in man's throat - plus more pics of amazing X rays


A Chinese man that used a pair of small scissors as a toothpick ended up with them stuck in his oesophagus and with the sharp top angling up to his epiglottis after they slipped as he laughed.

"He had a big laugh on hearing a joke from a friend, and unexpectedly the scissors slipped inside his throat," said his wife.

The man tried to get the 9cm long and 4cm wide scissors out by coughing hard, but as the situation worsened, he was forced to go to a local hospital in Putian, Fujian province.

Using a whole body anaesthetic may have relaxed the throat muscles and allowed the scissors slip even deeper, so the hospital applied local anaesthetic and blood vessel forceps to remove the stuck scissors.

"The whole surgery took around 30 minutes. Luckily Lin does not have much of a wound inside his throat," said Doctor Chen.

Click here to see the X ray of six-inch spike stuck in a man's head and more amazing x rays.

X-Ray image via

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Links to April Fools pranks around the news today...

By Saeed Ahmed/CNN

"If you happen to browse upon a news story that's too odd to be true Wednesday, hold your outrage and check the calendar.

It's April Fools' Day -- when media outlets around the world take a break from the serious business of delivering news and play fast and furious with the facts.

No one quite knows when the practice began, but any journalist will point to what is undoubtedly the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled: A 1957 BBC report that said, thanks to a mild winter and the elimination of the spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop.

The segment was accompanied by pictures of farmers pulling strands of spaghetti from trees -- and prompted hundreds of viewers to call in, wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti trees.

Read the rest here.

While not as elaborate, the pranks that media outlets harvested this year have been quite rich:

The Guardian in London ran a story Wednesday announcing that, after 188 years as a print publication, it will become the first newspaper to deliver news exclusively via Twitter.

Twitter, a micro-blogging site, allows users to post updates that are 140 characters long. In keeping with the limitation, the newspaper said it had undertaken a mammoth project to retool the newspaper's entire archive.

A Lebanese newspaper ran a caricature last year (shown above) of two opposition leaders hugging in light of April Fools' Day. Image via Getty Images


New X-Ray Vision at airports sees right through your clothing!

Do you remember those ads in comic books back in the 60s when they advertised X-Ray vision glasses? I wonder how many little boys like me believed them and were disappointed when they didn't reveal what was underneath girls clothing! Well, the latest techno advance has solved the problem of strip searches without people taking their clothes off.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) passed out this undated handout image showing a composite of 4 separate scans, a female in the left two and a male in the right two, from a whole body scan machine, or millimeter wave machine being used at a security check point at the Salt Lake International Airport in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The new machine developed by New York based L3 Communications has been in use for over two weeks by passengers and takes a whole body scan penetrating clothing. This was a pilot program by the TSA to test the machines in a live setting for the first time at Salt Lake International Airport.

Reuters Photo

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Marijuana's uphill battle hindered by Feds who ignored Eric Holder's protection of dispensaries - and Harvard study shows pot fighting Cancer tumors!

From the Independent Institute's Beacon Blog...


   "Activists are outraged over Obama’s raid of Emmalyn’s California Cannabis Clinic in San Francisco, but they should not be surprised.

    Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder had promised to end federal medical marijuana raids, as conducted by both Clinton and Bush’s administrations, leaving alone dispensaries operating legally under state law.

Obama broke the spirit of the promise, but not the letter.

The excuse for this last raid was state law violations – supposedly, sales taxes were being evaded. Now the feds will probably prosecute under federal law.

Read the whole story here. "

Image via




The active ingredient in marijuana cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread, say researchers at Harvard University who tested the chemical in both lab and mouse studies.
They say this is the first set of experiments to show that the compound, Delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), inhibits EGF-induced growth and migration in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expressing non-small cell lung cancer cell lines. Lung cancers that over-express EGFR are usually highly aggressive and resistant to chemotherapy.
THC that targets cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 is similar in function to endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids that are naturally produced in the body and activate these receptors. The researchers suggest that THC or other designer agents that activate these receptors might be used in a targeted fashion to treat lung cancer.


Monday, March 30, 2009

This isn't the 'Woody" that the Beach Boy's sang about, but it's still pretty cool and does 100 mph

The Tryane II purports to be an improvement over the Citroen 2CV whose underpinnings lie hidden beneath its sensuously curved polished wood body. The builder, Friend Wood, was seemingly inspired by old Morgan three-wheelers and vintage Chris Craft cruisers. The Tryane II weighs in at a mere 900 pounds, which allows the 2CV's tiny opposed twin-cylinder engine to move it along at speeds up to 100mph (more info) (image credit: 1)

Streamy Awards: Winners for Best in Web Television Announced

The first annual Streamy Award winners were announced recently by The International Academy of Web Television, an independent organization of digital entertainment leaders created to recognize excellence in original episodic Web television programming.

The Streamy Awards is the first live awards show dedicated to honoring the actors, directors, writers, cinematographers, editors, music and production talent behind some of the best original content on the Web.

Awards in craft categories were presented at a special ceremony on Thursday, March 26th, excerpts from which were integrated into the live show. Members of the International Academy of Web Television reviewed episodic Web television shows that were submitted by the public from December 18, 2008 though January 23, 2009 and voted on the final nominees for each category.

Over 100,000 public submissions were received

The feeling in the air last Saturday night at the Wadsworth Theater in Los Angeles was summed up by Felecia Day’s acceptance speech.

The now Streamy Award-winning writer-producer-actor who maintains creative control over her Microsoft-funded hit series, The Guild, thanked her first-season fans who supported the series with donations of usually less than ten dollars. She also mentioned a dying distribution paradigm whose round hole could never quite fit her square peg.

The Official Winners of the 1st Annual Streamy Awards - March 28, 2009

Overall Series

Best Comedy Web Series
The Guild

Best Dramatic Web Series
Battlestar Galactica: The Face of the Enemy

Best Hosted Web Series

Best Reality or Documentary Web Series
The Shatner Project

Best News or Politics Web Series
Alive in Baghdad

Audience Choice Award for Best Web Series
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog


Best Directing for a Comedy Web Series
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
(Joss Whedon)

Best Directing for a Dramatic Web Series
(Blake Calhoun)


Best Writing for a Comedy Web Series
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
(Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon

Best Writing for a Dramatic Web Series
Battlestar Galactica: The Face of the Enemy
(Jane Espenson, Seamus Kevin Fahey, Ronald D. Moore)


Best Male Actor in a Comedy Web Series
Neil Patrick Harris — (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog)

Best Female Actor in a Comedy Web Series
Felicia Day — (The Guild)

Best Male Actor in a Dramatic Web Series

Alessandro Juliani — (Battlestar Galactica: The Face of the Enemy)

Best Female Actor in a Dramatic Web Series
Rosario Dawson — (Gemini Division)

Best Ensemble Cast in a Web Series
The Guild

Best Guest Star in a Web Series
Paul Rudd — (Wainy Days)

Best Web Series Host
Alex Albrecht — (Project Lore)

Craft Awards

Best Editing
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog— (Lisa Lassek)

Best Cinematography
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog — (Ryan Green)

Best Art Direction
Tiki Bar TV — (Kim Bailey)

Best Visual Effects
Backyard FX — (Erik Beck)

Best Animation in a Web Series
The Meth Minute 39 — (Dan Meth)

Best Original Music (*)
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
— (Jed Whedon)

Best Ad Integration in a Web Series
Back on Topps — (Skype)

Best Artistic Concept in a Web Series (*)
You Suck at Photo

All photos by the Bui Brothers.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

An Age of Accountability: Are Americans paying for past permissive practices?

By Dave Stancliff

Here's what I think happened: 20th century Americans decided to ignore what their parents taught them and listened to Dr. Spock instead.

Spock, a popular pediatrician since the 1940s, laid out a parental roadmap that offered answers (and wrong turns) for a child's every move.

If you read his famous book “Baby and Child Care,” circa 1946, you'll see his advice hasn't been all that beneficial.

As a matter of fact, one of the tips he gave parents is responsible for as many as 50,000 infant deaths in the USA, Australia and Europe, according to numerous empirical studies released in the 1980s and 1990s.

Read the rest of this column in today's Times-Standard.

image via

GOP Governors Unite in Fight to Stop Unions in their States

Six Republican Governors have gathered to warn their residents against the evils of unionization which they claim would threaten their jobs...