A [geriatric] Tiger [near Leeds] stops the post


Tiger defends his cat-door

Mail deliveries have been stopped to a house after postal workers were attacked by an elderly cat, Royal Mail said.

Nineteen-year-old Tiger has attacked three people delivering at his home recently. Now Royal Mail has told owner Tracey Brayshaw her pet is aggressive and it will not be delivering post to the house in Farsley, near Leeds.

The black-and-white cat, which is aged 93 in human terms, sleeps for 20 hours a day, Mrs Brayshaw said.

The 43-year-old pharmacy dispenser said she cannot believe her cat has now been labelled a health and safety risk…

The service has been suspended for two weeks and Tiger’s trick of pouncing on postal workers and chasing them down the garden path is forcing Mrs Brayshaw to collect her mail from the local sorting office…

In a statement Royal Mail said : “We are sorry for the inconvenience to Mrs Brayshaw and, as we want to resume delivery of mail to her address as quickly as possible, we’re trying to agree a way to do this and avoid our employees suffering further nasty injuries as has happened three times already.”

What is there to say?

Inkjet-like device ‘prints’ cells directly onto burns

Inspired by a standard office inkjet printer, U.S. researchers have rigged up a device that can spray skin cells directly onto burn victims, quickly protecting and healing their wounds as an alternative to skin grafts.

They have mounted the device, which has so far only been tested on mice, in a frame that can be wheeled over a patient in a hospital bed…

A laser can take a reading of the wound’s size and shape so that a layer of healing skin cells can be precisely applied, said the team at Wake Forest University…

“We literally print the cells directly onto the wound,” said student Kyle Binder, who helped design the device. “We can put specific cells where they need to go.”

Tests on mice showed the spray system, called bioprinting, could heal wounds quickly and safely, the researchers reported at the Translational Regenerative Medicine Forum.

We were able to close the entire wound in two weeks,” Binder said. Mice with plugs of skin removed that were not treated took five weeks to heal, he said.

Bravo! No doubt there is some obscure [or not so obscure] sect that will condemn the practice as humans interfering with nature. If we listened to that crowd, we’d still be dealing with 30-year lifespans.

This is a delightful example of medicine imitating technology – permitting technology to aid healing.

No more fries with your war!

Fast food joints where soldiers wolf down burgers and pizza will soon be a thing of the past at bases in Afghanistan, as the U.S. military reminds soldiers they are at war and not in “an amusement park.”

In the sprawling military base at Kandahar, the fast food outlets facing the axe include Burger King, Pizza Hut, and the U.S. chain restaurant T.G.I. Friday’s that features a bar with alcohol-free margaritas and other drinks — all set along the bustling “Boardwalk” area of the base.

On any given day, the giant square-shaped walkway features the surreal sight of soldiers sipping gourmet coffee and eating chocolate pastries with guns slung across their shoulders, while Canadians play ice hockey at a nearby rink and fighter jets thunder overhead.

The U.S. military says its beef with the burger joints is that they take up valuable resources like water, power, flight and convoy space and that cutting back on non-essentials is key to running an efficient military operation.

This is a war zone — not an amusement park,” Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Hall wrote in a blog earlier this year.

“Supplying nonessential luxuries to big bases like Bagram and Kandahar makes it harder to get essential items to combat outposts and forward operating bases, where troops who are in the fight each day need resupply with ammunition, food and water…”

A motley crew of other stores selling Afghan books, jewelry and phone cards and the busy Canadian Tim Horton’s outlet that sells coffee and doughnuts will stay on.

Har!

The shops run by locals will continue. You know – the people we’re there to save? The Tim Horton’s is run to benefit a charity dedicated to Canadian vets.

Netanyahu chickens out of U.S. nuclear summit


Demonstration in East Jerusalem against Natanyahu’s latest land grab
Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has withdrawn from a nuclear security summit in Washington next week, fearing Muslim delegates will demand Israel give up its assumed atomic arsenal.

If the diplomats attending had more than the accepted modicum of integrity, they all would censure Israel.

Netanyahu, who plans to send a deputy and two senior advisers to the April 12-13 conference instead, canceled “after learning that some countries including Egypt and Turkey plan to say Israel must sign the NPT,” an Israeli official said.

By staying outside the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Israel has not had to forswear nuclear arms nor admit international inspectors to its Dimona reactor, which experts believe has produced plutonium for between 80 and 200 warheads…

The Foreign Ministry in Ankara confirmed that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who has sharply escalated criticism of Israel since last year’s Gaza war, would demand at the summit that it disarm as part of a nuclear-free Middle East…

Israel has nuclear weapons but doesn’t belong to the NPT. Does that mean that those who don’t sign the NPT are in a privileged position..?”

Israel says its nuclear secrecy helps ward off enemies while avoiding the kind of provocations that can trigger arms races…

What a crock! There never has been an arms race which didn’t result in one faction feeding off another.

Israel was the first nation in the whole of the Middle East to commit to nuclear arms. They have continued to stockpile atomic weapons with the tacit approval of the White House and Congress every step of the way.

“Fruits and vegetables are no miracles in cancer prevention.” So… why not eat them because they are good for you instead?

The benefits of fruits and vegetables in staving off cancer exist, but they’re not as strong as previously believed, a new study reports.

Eating an additional 200 grams a day of fruits and vegetables (about two servings) resulted in only a 3 percent reduction of cancer risk, which was described as “very weak,” according to the study published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

“This doesn’t mean fruits and vegetables aren’t important,” said lead author Dr. Paolo Boffetta, the deputy director at the Tisch Cancer Institute at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “They aren’t the only factor. There is no one factor.”…

Dr. Christine Gerbstadt, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, warned against slacking off on daily fruit and vegetable intake because of this study.

She pointed out eating fruits and vegetables has benefits beyond the cancer realm.

I know that there are people who sit around reading the latest broccoli study to see if they absolutely MUST eat it, or if the benefits are GREAT ENOUGH to warrant eating actual food. Sorry, that not be me.

I read the studies, but I eat my broccoli because it is FOOD.

Climate scientist James Hansen wins Sophie Prize

U.S. climate scientist James Hansen won a $100,000 environmental prize for decades of work trying to alert politicians to what he called an unsolved emergency of global warming.

Hansen, born in 1941, will visit Oslo in June to collect the Sophie Prize, set up in 1997 by Norwegian Jostein Gaarder, the author of the 1991 best-selling novel and teenagers’ guide to philosophy “Sophie’s World.”

“Hansen has played a key role for the development of our understanding of human-induced climate change,” the prize citation said.

Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies since 1981, testified to the U.S. Congress as long ago as 1988 about the risks of global warming from human activities led by the burning of fossil fuels.

“We really have an emergency,” Hansen said in a video link with the prize panel in Oslo about feared climate changes such as a thaw of ice sheets on Greenland or Antarctica or a loss of species of animals and plants in a warming world…

Hansen said that world temperatures were on a rising trend despite what he called a “well orchestrated campaign” in the past year to discredit scientific findings about global warming…

After years focused on science, he said he started speaking out more about risks of global warming in 2004, reckoning his grandchildren would not forgive him if he stayed silent. His latest book is called “Storms of My Grandchildren.”

“Follow the money” is still a reasonable method of directing attention upon who funds the papier mache skeptics. After all, who profits from maintaining reactionary technology, the ideology of anti-science?

It’s been of parallel interest watching testimony in Congressional hearings about the greedy bastards who caused this Great Recession we’re laboring to overcome. The most frequent criticism was of their short-sighted, short-term view of cause-and-effect relationships. The fossil fuel militia aren’t even that advanced.

Research claims grazing doesn’t increase global warming


Argentine researchers are studying means of capturing cow methane

Grazing by cows or sheep can cut emissions of nitrous oxide — a powerful greenhouse gas — in grasslands from China to the United States, according to a study that overturns past belief that farm animals stoke releases.

Adding to understanding of links between agriculture and global warming, the report in…the journal Nature said livestock can help to limit microbes in the soil that generate the gas, also known as laughing gas.

“It’s been generally assumed that if you increase livestock numbers you get a rise in emissions of nitrous oxide. This is not the case,” said Klaus Butterbach-Bahl of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany who was among the authors.

Laughing gas is one of several heat-trapping gases linked to farm animals and the scientists said there was a need for more study to see how far their findings would affect agriculture’s total impact on climate change.

Emissions of the gas account for 6-8 percent of global warming from human activities, making it the third most important greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide and methane, he said. Estimated nitrous oxide emissions from temperate grasslands account for 1-2 percent of the total…

Grasslands subject to winter frosts where such gas emissions may have been overestimated make up an area the size of India, or about a third of the world’s temperate grasslands that cover about 10 million square kms (3.9 million sq miles).

But the study did not look, for instance, at other damaging climate impacts of livestock. Goats, buffalo, cows and sheep also release heat-trapping methane as they digest food.

Ah-hah! They didn’t allow for methane which some researchers think could be collected for commercial use. No matter which end it comes from.