Parents faraway seeking work, baby suckles directly from cow


An 18-month-old Cambodian boy who has suckled milk directly from a cow daily for more than a month is in fine health, the child’s grandfather said.

The boy, Tha Sophat, made international headlines after his grandfather revealed he had been feeding himself directly from a cow since July when a storm destroyed his home and his parents left for Thailand to find work.

After he stopped breast-feeding from his mother, the boy became ill, said the 46-year-old grandfather.

The boy watched a calf nurse from its mother, and began to do the same thing, feeding directly from the cow each day, Um Oeung added. When the grandfather pulled him away, the boy cried, so he let him continue, Um Oeung told Reuters.

Neighbors and local officials in the village of Pheas in Siem Reap province, about 315 km from the capital Phnom Penh, say they are not happy about the nursing.

“They blame me and have told me not to allow him to suckle from the cow anymore. They say the boy will be ashamed when he grows up and that he will be naughty,” he said on Sunday…

His health is fine, he is strong and he doesn’t have diarrhea,” said Um Oeung.

He’s ahead of life for so many wee’uns in Southeast Asia. Surely looks like the cow doesn’t mind.

Smoking dope may just help you to lose weight. Har!

Anybody who’s smoked marijuana knows about “the munchies,” that desire to eat everything within reach. But a study from France has found that, surprisingly, pot smokers are actually less likely than non-smokers to pack on weight.

Using data covering more than 50,000 U.S. adults, researchers headed by Yann Le Strat, a psychiatrist at the Louis-Mourier Hospital in Colombes, France, found that roughly 14 percent to 17 percent of the people reporting that they smoked pot at least three days per week were obese.

That compared with a 22 to 25 percent obesity rate among people who said they had not used pot in the past 12 months.

“Initially, we thought we made a mistake,” said Le Strat, adding that he and co-author Bernard Le Foll checked the results several times to make sure they were correct. “This is only a preliminary result. It doesn’t mean that marijuana does actually help you lose weight, but perhaps there is a component that does.”

RTFA. They find about three different ways to say the same thing. Cannabis smokers ended up gaining weight about one-third less often than those who didn’t partake.

I hope someone lets us all know when they want to run further studies in the United States. There will only be about 150 million volunteers.

Except me. I don’t smoke. I wonder if Alice B. Toklas brownies might be included in such a study?

London is to develop as Chinese RMB trading hub

Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

China and the UK are to develop an offshore trading hub for the yuan based in London.

UK Chancellor George Osborne confirmed the agreement after meeting with Chinese vice-premier Wang Qishan in the UK. “We agreed to collaborate on the development of renminbi-denominated financial products and services in London,” he said…

As the yuan has slowly been appreciating and becoming more flexible, Hong Kong has been the only place that China has allowed as a centre for deposits in the Chinese currency. London is the largest foreign-exchange trading centre in the world.

Mr Osborne said that the UK represented an “attractive investment opportunity for Chinese investors and a gateway for further investment in Europe”…

China and the UK reaffirmed their commitment to the target of doubling trade to $100 billion by 2015.

One of the areas where American commerce has been progressing faster than American government — well, Congress, anyway — is growing our export business to China as they expand domestic consumption. China’s growing middle-class, entrepreneurs, small-businesses need goodies to grow, some of which the United States can provide.

Forex investing follows along with greater trade exchanges. Of course, it might take another decade and a different Congress before the United States government figures out what’s happening. And China gains more confidence in American banks.

NIMBY decision comes back to haunt a flooded town

On a flood-ravaged street on the west bank of the Susquehanna River, a pointed question is literally writ large now in white spray paint on the side of a building: “Levee or view?”

The question, posed by an anonymous provocateur, strikes at the heart of a sore subject in this once idyllic hamlet of about 5,000 residents, as it slushes through the mud and assesses the damage caused by record-breaking flooding over the past several days.

The Susquehanna, swollen by the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee, inundated West Pittston, swallowing some houses almost to their second floors, and giving parts of the town the appearance of a muck-coated moonscape. For many here, what is left of their former lives is debris piled high on the curb.

This is not the first time this town has faced the issue. Almost 40 years ago, in the aftermath of another catastrophic flood, the same question was posed. But wary of the price of construction and protective of its picturesque vistas, West Pittston decided to go with the view. Meanwhile, most other cities along the Susquehanna built stronger, higher levees.

So when the Susquehanna rose to catastrophic flood levels again on Friday morning, West Pittston had no protection at all. And it is likely that this time the town faced even higher water traveling at greater speed precisely because of its neighbors’ enhanced levee systems, which forced the water into a narrower, more elevated channel.

…And a new generation of homeowners is left to come to terms with the result of a decision made before some of them were even born…

The toll the Susquehanna took when it roared through West Pittston began to draw gawkers over the weekend. One man stood on the river bank and said: “I don’t feel sorry for them at all. They made their choice.”

The sort of question I ask every time I encounter the new NIMBYs who have joined environmental actions to defeat alternative energy schemes – whether they be onshore or offshore wind farms, wave generated electricity, solar farms in western deserts – because it might spoil the views that prompted their purchase of a vacation cottage.

Questions of conservation, healthful air and economies, a better future for folks who work for a living – requires a core motivation with more depth than being able to look at the landscape while having an after-dinner beer on the front porch. Ain’t nothing wrong with walking to the top of a levee for a view. I did it all the time when I lived on Magazine Street in NOLa.

Learning the wrong lessons from 9/11 — if you learned any at all

Before 9/11, we may have allowed ourselves to be cynical about Western governments and their leaders, but we took it for granted that, faced with rising terrorist threats, they were not just hoping for the best but planning for the worst.

It turned out that nobody was.

The intelligence community saw warning lights flashing, but nobody took preventive action. Then airport security failed. Then the jets failed to scramble. Institutions that were supposed to protect us were asleep. In an instant, we discovered that no one was looking out for us.

The fire crews, the police and the emergency medical service teams who were called to the scene that September morning tried to make up for the failure of institutions with raw courage. The men and women in uniform who climbed upward into the fire displayed that virtue beyond measure or praise. But courage is no substitute for sovereigns that fail.

A sovereign is a state with a monopoly on the means of force. It is the object of ultimate allegiance and the source of law. It is there to protect, to defend and to secure. It is there to think the unthinkable and plan for it.

A sovereign failed that morning…

Continue reading

Carjacker gets one-way ride to jail – right through the door!

Dude picked the wrong woman driver to mess with!

A carjacker was delivered to police in an unexpected way Tuesday afternoon.

The garage is where Kansas City, MO, police officers pick up and drop off prisoners every day. Tuesday afternoon, though, it wasn’t an officer who did the dropping off; it was a woman who drove her carjacker straight through police headquarters.

“He said ‘drive bitch or I’ll blow your head off,'” said Rayna Garrett. Garrett said that’s what the man said to her after he latched onto her hood while she drove down U.S. 71 near 28th Street.

“I was driving down the highway and he was in the middle of the street. I tried to go around him and he just jumped on the hood,” Garrett explained.

Garrett described her 15 minute, 10 block drive to police headquarters in downtown Kansas City, MO, as so terrifying she couldn’t even call the police…

Garrett said she honked her horn several times outside the police headquarters at 12th and Locust Streets and, when nobody came out, she drove through the garage door. It wasn’t until that point that the suspect finally jumped off Garrett’s hood and tried forcing his way onto a city bus just before police handcuffed him…

The suspect, Dionnete Price, went to the hospital to be treated for minor cuts and bruises.

Cool lady. She may have been too nervous to call the coppers on her cellphone; but, she sure-as-hell knew how to find the police station and the garage entrance.

Well, she sort of made a new entrance.