A new way to vaccinate cattle via harmless parasite

A new approach to vaccinating cattle could help farmers worldwide…

Scientists have developed a technique using a harmless parasite, which lives in cows but has no effect on their health, to carry medicines into the animals’ bloodstream.

Researchers created the vaccine by inserting key genetic material from a vaccine into the parasite’s DNA.

The manipulated parasite is intended to be injected into cattle, where it would continue to thrive in their bloodstreams, releasing small amounts of vaccine slowly over time. The treatment could offer long-term protection against common conditions such as foot-and-mouth disease or bovine tuberculosis, as well as a range of other diseases.

Scientists say the method could also be adapted to carry medicines as well as vaccines, to deliver drug treatments against common cattle diseases.

Keith Matthews, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Biological Sciences, led the research…in collaboration with the Moredun Research Institute with funding from the Wellcome Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Bravo – for your inventiveness and skill.

Pregnant mom and hubby jailed – 3-year-old daughter taken away – over stolen sandwiches

Zophia and Nicole

A pregnant woman and her husband were arrested for allegedly stealing two sandwiches at a supermarket in Honolulu, resulting in their 3-year-old daughter being put into state care for 18 hours, officials said on Saturday.

The supermarket that called the police was a Safeway in Makiki, a neighborhood in Honolulu. “From our preliminary investigation, it appears we may not have handled this matter in the best possible way. We are taking this situation seriously, and giving it our full attention,” Safeway said in a statement.

Do you think?

Famished mother Nicole Leczcyzynski, 30-weeks pregnant, was feeling faint and noshed on a chicken salad sandwich while shopping at the store on Wednesday, Leczcyzynski said in an interview with local television station KHON.

She paid for roughly $50 dollars worth of groceries but forgot about the two sandwiches, valued at $5 each, according to Safeway.

The family was stopped by security staff while leaving the store. Leczcyzynski offered to pay for the sandwiches, she said, but the security guard called the police, the couple were arrested, and their daughter was taken into custody by Child Protective Services…

Both Leczcyzynski, and her husband, Marcin, were charged with theft, Honolulu police said. Bail was set at $50 apiece.

When did Hawaii become one of the Confederate states?

Eco Whisper Turbine unveiled – quiet and efficient

Brisbane’s Renewable Energy Solutions Australia (RESA) recently unveiled the first working installation of what is claimed to be the world’s quietest wind turbine. The Eco Whisper Turbine is capable of producing 20kW of electricity despite being about half the height and having half the blade diameter of more familiar three-bladed solutions, and is able to automatically adjust the position of the blades to maximize wind capture.

Much of the noise produced by small wind turbines occurs when air spills off the tip of the blades but thanks to a unique cowl/ring design, the Eco Whisper Turbine is said to benefit from near-silent operation. RESA says that its design can produce more than 30 percent more energy than other turbine solutions over a wide range of wind conditions – that translates to up to 45,000 kWh per year in optimum conditions.

The company expects its grid or off-grid green energy solution to meet the medium to high power needs in urban and rural applications like airports, business parks, commercial sites and universities. The company’s Michael Le Messurier reports that interest from the industry has been overwhelming since the first installation was recently unveiled at Austeng Engineering in Geelong, Victoria.

Standing 21.1 meters (69.225 feet) tall from tip to toe, a 6.5 meter (21.325 foot) diameter blade sits at the top of a hinged steel pole that can be lowered for maintenance or during extreme weather conditions – although the structure is designed to withstand wind speeds of up to 220 km/h (136.7 mph). The central hub and the 30 blades that fan out from it are made from aluminum, and the solution incorporates dynamic slew drive technology that negates the need for a tail.

Other noteworthy benefits of this turbine development include a low start up speed and high visibility that should help the local bird population avoid injury.

I’ll have to get my blog editing-mate down in Oz to check this out for me. Sooner or later, we will supplement energy needs here at Lot 4 and take advantage of nature’s resources to add wind and sun electricity generation.

CIA director’s letter – written on V-E Day on Hitler’s stationery

At CIA headquarters in Langley, one of the newest artifacts in the agency’s private museum is a message from a father to his 3-year-old son. The gold-embossed letterhead features a swastika and the name Adolf Hitler.

“Dear Dennis,” the seven-sentence letter begins. “The man who might have written on this card once controlled Europe — three short years ago when you were born. Today he is dead, his memory despised, his country in ruins.”

Dennis is Dennis Helms, now a 69-year-old intellectual-property lawyer in New Jersey. The letter writer was his father, Richard Helms, the CIA director during the Vietnam War and Watergate eras, who died in 2002. Right after Germany’s surrender, Lt. Helms, an intelligence operative, sneaked into Hitler’s chancellery in Berlin and pilfered the Fuehrer’s stationery. He dated the letter “V-E day” for May 8, 1945.

The letter astounded the CIA museum’s curatorial staff when it was acquired in May — and not only because Helms wrote with such paternal tenderness. It also conveyed a certain historical intuition about the evil that one man could do. The letter happened to arrive at Langley the day after Osama bin Laden was killed in May…

The Hitler letter arrived in a brown envelope, postmarked May 29, 1945, and bearing two 3-cent purple stamps with the words: “WIN THE WAR.” The recipient: “Master Dennis J. Helms c/o Mrs. Richard Helms,” of Orange, N.J.

After his introductory lines, Helms wrote of Hitler:

“He had a thirst for power, a low opinion of man as an individual, and a fear of intellectual honesty. He was a force for evil in the world. His passing, his defeat — a boon to mankind. But thousands died that it might be so.”

Hitler was notorious for spying on his staff, party activists, the people of Germany. His paranoia allowed no trust or honesty. That this letter derives from Richard Helms provides an interesting parallel in egregious behavior.

Helms stayed on with the OSS after the war, through the transition to becoming the CIA. On board through the Cold War years he became director in 1967 during the VietNam War. He refused to coverup Watergate for Richard Nixon in 1972 – leading to his transfer out in 1973 to be Ambassador to Iran.

Solo sailor saved by her mobile phone after falling overboard

French solo sailing star Florence Arthaud fell off her boat during a toilet break but was saved from the Mediterranean waters by rescuers after she called her mother by mobile phone.

Ms Arthaud, winner in 1990 of the Route du Rhum single-handed transatlantic sailing race, was located and rescued near the island of Corsica thanks to a headlamp and the GPS system on her phone.

A small wave hit the boat and knocked her overboard while she was taking a toilet break without her usual harness, she said.

I quite simply fell into the water while preparing to take a pee,” the 54-year-old told BFM television.

Ms Arthaud, alone on her 10-metre (33ft) yacht The Argade II when she fell overboard, managed to hold her phone, encased in a waterproof covering, above water and call her mother in Paris to raise the alarm. Her mother alerted a rescue team, which set off in search of the sailor.

She spent almost two hours in the water before being rescued. And probably won’t pee over the side of the boat for a while, I’ll bet.

Muslims, liberals, Arabs, banned from gun safety course

A central Texas gun dealer ran radio ads advising “Socialist” liberals, those who voted for President Barack Obama, Arabs and Muslims that they need not apply for his concealed gun license class.

Crockett Keller, who owns Keller’s Riverside Store, ran the ads on the radio station in his rural hometown of Mason, Texas, which is 120 miles west of the state capital of Austin…

Keller said he is simply exercising his freedom to teach concealed handgun license classes to whomever he wants. He said he has received “hundreds” of calls from Americans who support his stance…

Is anyone surprised there are hundreds of bigots in Texas?

He said he was not joking when he put the lines about socialists in his commercial, because he knows some socialist liberals and did not want them to enroll in the class.

“I didn’t want them to show up and have to tell them no,” he said.

The Texas Department of Public Safety, which oversees the concealed carry program, and licenses instructors, said in a statement that “certified instructors are required to comply with all applicable state and federal statutes, and conduct by an instructor that denied service to individuals on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religion would place that instructor’s certification at risk.”

I wonder how often the state of Texas enforced that compliance?

The department said it had begun an investigation into the matter, and would “take appropriate administrative action based on the findings of from the investigation.”

Adults in Texas are allowed to carry concealed weapons if they have completed a class such as the one Keller teaches.

Keller wrapped up his radio by saying: “With no shame, I’m Crockett Keller. Thank you, and may God bless.”

Need I make special note here to my Christian friends and visitors to this site that this is an illustration of why I take the time to point out idiots who are Christian fanatics?

I’m well aware of sensible decent human beings who profess a faith, who practice one or another religion with leanings towards human beings instead of dumbos like Crocket Keller. But, parallel to the Kool Aid Party bigots and reactionaries who now own the Republican Party, there is an even longer history of crap-brained and superstitious ignoranuses who shout to the world they are the mainstream of American Christianity. It’s hard not to take them at their word when they’re the only ones hollering.