Brain-eating amoeba found in Louisiana’s St. John Parish water system

The water system in Reserve, Garyville and Mount Airy has tested positive for a potentially deadly brain-eating amoeba, the state Department of Health and Hospitals said…Officials say the Naegleria fowleri amoeba was found in samples taken from St. John the Baptist Parish’s Water District No. 1, which serves 12,577 people in those east bank communities.

There are no known cases of illness from the amoeba. But officials warned residents to take precautions against getting water in their nasal passages, which is how the amoeba can move to the brain…

“Families can take simple steps to protect themselves from exposure to this amoeba, the most important being to avoid allowing water to go up your nose while bathing or swimming in a pool,” state health officer Jimmy Guidry. “It is important to remember that the water is safe to drink; the amoeba cannot infect an individual through the stomach.”

The St. John public school system has ordered water fountains turned off at all schools and was taping them up, school system spokeswoman Jennifer Boquet said.

Water District No. 1 was sampled as part of the state’s surveillance program and was found to be out of compliance for maintaining minimum disinfectant levels set to control the Naegleria fowleri amoeba. The state imposed higher disinfectant levels after a 4-year-old boy Mississippi boy contracted the amoeba during a visit to St. Bernard Parish and died.

St. John is now under an emergency order to perform a 60-day free chlorine burn on the water system, in which the water lines are infused with free chlorine. That is a stronger, faster-acting disinfectant than the normal infusion of chloramines, a combination of chlorine and ammonia.

Shouldn’t change the look and smell of Louisiana drinking water a whole boatload. When I lived in New Orleans it was usual to fill your bathtub with water green enough to look like a celebration rehearsal for St.Patrick’s Day.

The amoeba may not kill you; but, the crap the state of Louisiana adds to what passes for drinking water might.

Thanks, Mike

Married couples who smoke pot have less domestic violence

Hip American Gothic

Looking at couples over the first nine years of marriage, the study found:

• More frequent marijuana use by husbands and wives (two-to-three times per month or more often) predicted less frequent intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration by husbands.

• Husbands’ marijuana use also predicted less frequent IPV perpetration by wives.

Couples in which both spouses used marijuana frequently reported the least frequent IPV perpetration.

• The relationship between marijuana use and reduced partner violence was most evident among women who did not have histories of prior antisocial behavior.

The study’s lead author is Philip H. Smith, PhD, a recent doctoral graduate of the UB School of Public Health and Health Professions and now associate research scientist in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University.

It is based on research data collected by lead investigator Kenneth Leonard, PhD, director of the UB Research Institute on Addictions. The study was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to Leonard and a grant to Smith from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Exactly the sort of scientific research that can benefit society and law. Guaranteed to be ignored by the overwhelming majority of our lawmakers – and the idjits who vote for them.

Still, the important part is that scientists are unrelenting in their curiosity, the quest for knowledge regardless of opposition from Philistines.

University allows master to keep his Bassett on campus as a “very large cat”

The master of a Cambridge University college that banned dogs from accommodation has been allowed to keep his canine companion after persuading officials it was “a very large cat”.

YoYo the bassett hound lives at Selwyn College with Roger Mosey…Mr Mosey said cats were allowed but dogs were “technically” banned.

However, after a past master set a “dog-owning precedent” decades ago, the college “tongue-in-cheek agreed YoYo could stay as a large cat”, he said…

“Many former masters have kept cats but the greatest master, Professor Owen Chadwick, did keep dogs during the 1950s, 60s and 70s,” he said.

Permission was granted by the council, and duly noted in the minutes: “i. College Animal – Noting precedent under the mastership of Professor Chadwick, Council approved the Master’s request to adopt a Very Large Cat in the Master’s Lodge.”

YoYo, a rescue dog, has now featured in publicity material for a veterinary course and other college material…”Students call her ‘the college dog’ and I very much want her to become part of life at Selwyn,” Mr Mosey said.

A particularly collegiate and British solution to a conflict between reality and the rules.