Gun dealer convicted in drug cartel smuggling case released from prison — Judge felt 5 year sentence was too harsh!

Garland dealt guns from home
The kind of small businessman the NRA loves

The Chaparral gun dealer who sold nearly 200 firearms to a Columbus gun-smuggling ring walked free Friday after a federal judge reduced his prison term.

During a re-hearing, Judge Robert Brack reduced Ian Garland’s 60-month sentence to 37 months, after the defense argued that a more lenient sentencing guideline should have been applied in the case…

Brack also said that the 60-month sentence “was more than I felt comfortable with” and agreed with the shift to a different sentencing guideline.

More than a dozen people were arrested in connection with the smuggling ring more than two years ago, including a former Columbus mayor, village trustee and police chief. The ring trafficked weapons to Mexico, where criminal organizations continue to fight over lucrative smuggling routes. Gun sales and ownership are largely prohibited in Mexico, yet criminal gangs are often heavily armed.

Garland pleaded guilty in July 2011 to conspiracy and six counts of assisting others in making false statements in the acquisition of firearms. He admitted to selling 193 firearms to straw buyers, or intermediaries who purchase weapons on behalf of others who legally cannot buy them or want to hide their identity.

Choking back tears, Garland told the judge Friday that he wants to “become a productive member of society”…

Combined with time earned for good conduct and more than 33 months already spent in prison since his arrest, the court determined his sentence had been served. Brack ordered three years’ probation, and Garland is expected to report to a Las Cruces halfway house.

Yup. American justice as applied to a gun dealer supplying weapons to Mexican drug cartels – which they use for killing cops and civilians in Mexico and the US as well as each other. Tears fell from his eyes and his crime is punished according to NRA sentencing guidelines.

BTW – the mayor of Columbus, NM, who also was part of the gun smuggling ring had his sentence reduced and was set free the day before. He served one year of his four year sentence.

The more folks who get flu shots the more everyone is protected

Although the flu vaccine’s effectiveness is less than 100 percent, U.S. health officials say there would be less sickness if more adults were vaccinated.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said although the flu vaccine’s efficacy isn’t as high as they would like — and it is less effective for seniors — boosting coverage with the current vaccine could raise the number of prevented illnesses, clinic visits and hospitalizations.

“We wish that influenza vaccines worked better than they do but we know that influenza vaccines are the best way to protect yourself from influenza. And influenza is really common. If we had higher coverage — vaccination rate — against influenza, if we had 70 percent of the country vaccinated instead of about 45 percent of the country vaccinated we could have prevented 30,000 more hospitalizations,” Dr. Ann Schuchat, CDC’s director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters.

“One day we’ll probably have a really, really super duper influenza vaccine with higher effectiveness in the most vulnerable. But today we don’t. The vaccines we have right now can save lives and can prevent hospitalizations. One group we’re particularly interested in is younger adults.”

The elderly consistently get an influenza vaccination every year, but if more of adults age 65 and younger would be vaccinated they would protect not only themselves from the flu, but the most vulnerable as well — the very very young, the very old and the very sick, Schuchat said…

…Influenza vaccine protects one’s self…and reduce the chances you’ll spread the flu to those around you, particularly babies under six months who are too young to be vaccinated and the frail elderly whose immune system doesn’t respond as well to the vaccine.”

Please don’t tire of hearing me repeat myself about the need to vaccinated. Not just for influenza – but, make certain your kids and grandkids get all the necessary shots.

Yes, you can find a couple of scientists fixated on some tiny fraction of data that inflates to silliness and fear in their minds. They blather about dangers that exist essentially in their own minds. That’s as true of vaccinations, flu shots, cripes – even sanitary conditions among field hands – as it is about the nearness of asteroids passing by Earth.

The overwhelming body of information, research and history of pandemics confirms the value of vaccination to the whole population and specific portions of our species affected in unique fashion by particular diseases. If you can’t keep up with learning that never comes to a halt – at least decide to jettison the superstitions and foolishness that keep your life’s progress a century or two behind what society is capable of.

Smartphone tech will let users take cholesterol selfies

Forget those clumsy, complicated, home cholesterol-testing devices. Cornell engineers have created the Smartphone Cholesterol Application for Rapid Diagnostics, or “smartCARD,” which employs your smartphone’s camera to read your cholesterol level.

“Smartphones have the potential to address health issues by eliminating the need for specialized equipment,” said David Erickson, Cornell associate professor of mechanical engineering and senior author on a new peer-reviewed study. Thanks to advanced, sophisticated camera technology, Erickson and his colleagues have created a smartphone accessory that optically detects biomarkers in a drop of blood, sweat or saliva. The new application then discerns the results using color analysis…

Currently, the test measures total cholesterol. The Erickson lab is working to break out those numbers in LDL (“bad” cholesterol), HDL (“good” cholesterol) and triglyceride measurements. The lab is also working on detecting vitamin D levels, and has previously demonstrated smartphone tests for periodontitis and sweat electrolyte levels.

“By 2016, there will be an estimated 260 million smartphones in use in the United States. Smartphones are ubiquitous,” said Erickson, adding that although smartCARD is ready to be brought to market immediately, he is optimistic that it will have even more its advanced capabilities in less than a year. “Mobil health is increasing at an incredible rate,” he concluded…

Health selfies will end up meaning as much or more in 3rd World and developing regions of the world. Local health technicians can setup and oversee affordable procedures in countries where the growth of mobile phones far exceeds either telephone networks or readily available health clinics.

Xmas tree powered by Brussel sprout batteries

You’ve probably seen a light powered by a lemon or a clock hooked up to a potato before, but a group in London recently built a similar device using a much smaller, less popular piece of produce. To promote The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair, a team of designers built the world’s first Brussels sprout-powered battery and hooked it up to a set of Christmas tree lights.

Every year, the fair’s organizers try to find new ways to get kids interested in science and technology. So after a survey found that most children in the UK would like to take Brussels sprouts off of the traditional Christmas menu, the group came up with the idea for the vegetable-powered tree and enlisted the help of the Designworks design group to make it happen…

The battery itself is comprised of five power cells, which are modeled after the appearance of natural Brussels sprouts stalks. Each cell is surrounded by 200 sprouts for a grand total of 1,000 Brussels sprouts in the whole battery. The sprouts are each mounted onto copper and zinc electrodes, which triggers a chemical reaction between the electrolytes in each sprout and produces a small current. A capacitor collects and stores the energy from all the sprouts before releasing it to the tree’s lights. A digital display on top of the battery also shows how much voltage it is producing in real-time.

Even with a huge amount of Brussels sprouts though, the battery can only produce about 62 volts and 10mA of current, which is low but still enough to power the tree’s 100 high-efficiency LEDs. According to the organizers, the sprouts should be able to light up the tree for several weeks, though they will need to be exchanged for fresh ones at some point to keep the tree lit over the holidays.

Bravo! Though we normally consume Brussel Sprouts at our house roasted with garlic and olive oil.