Archive | October 9, 2013

Major Foodborne Illness Outbreak Occurs During Government Shutdown

Salmonella Heidelberg has been reported in eighteen states thus so far. Salm-heidI hope our legislators don’t decide to go out for chicken during the shutdown.

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While the government is shut down, with food-safety personnel and disease detectives sent home and forbidden to work, a major foodborne-illness outbreak has begun. This evening, the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture announced that “an estimated 278 illnesses … reported in 18 states” have been caused by chicken contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg and possibly produced by the firm Foster Farms.

“FSIS is unable to link the illnesses to a specific product and a specific production period,” the agency said in an emailed alert. “The outbreak is continuing.”

(Updates to this post are at the bottom.)

This is the exact situation that CDC and other about-to-be-furloughed federal personnel warned about last week…

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Now Is The Greatest Time In History To Get High

drug_dogEsquire declares that the War on Drugs is over, and drugs won:

The world’s most extensive study of the drug trade has just been published in the medical journal BMJ Open, providing the first “global snapshot” of four decades of the war on drugs. You can already guess the result.

To sum up their most important findings, the average purity of heroin and cocaine have increased, respectively, 60 percent and 11 percent between 1990 and 2007. Cannabis purity is up a whopping 161 percent over that same time.

Not only are drugs way purer than ever, they’re also way, way cheaper. Coke is on an 80 percent discount from 1990, heroin 81 percent, cannabis 86 percent. After a trillion dollars spent on the drug war, now is the greatest time in history to get high.

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Tutankhamen’s Brooch Linked to Evidence of Comet Striking Earth

0icq3_393302001381218041Ancient comet strikes, Egyptian broaches… I can hear the “Ancient Aliens” crew boarding their jet right now.

Via The University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg:

The first ever evidence of a comet entering Earth’s atmosphere and exploding, raining down a shock wave of fire which obliterated every life form in its path, has been discovered by a team of South African scientists and international collaborators, and will be presented at a public lecture on Thursday.

The discovery has not only provided the first definitive proof of a comet striking Earth, millions of years ago, but it could also help us to unlock, in the future, the secrets of the formation of our solar system.

“Comets always visit our skies – they’re these dirty snowballs of ice mixed with dust – but never before in history has material from a comet ever been found on Earth,” says Professor David Block of Wits University.

The comet entered Earth’s atmosphere above Egypt about 28 million years ago.

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Winged Humanoid Creature Spotted In Chile

criatura_chile

Inexplicata has a translation of an item making the rounds in Chilean news:

On 29 September near Bustamante Park in Santiago’s downtown area, a strange flying creature was seen flying from one tree to another. Its size was estimated at around 2 meters tall and shaped like a manta ray.

Ignacio, a young man who was the witness, made his narrative available to journalist Juan Andrés Salfate on Canal La Red. Eyewitness testimony soon appeared in other places in Santiago. A witness named Sylvia confirmed the image of this human-looking “flying manta ray” in the Los Barrenchea Commune.

Incidents such as the above are recorded every so often in Santiago. In the Peñaloén Commune, over the past two years, IIEE has managed to secure similar accounts. Furthermore, we recall deceased journalist Osvaldo Murray, who wrote about the flying men who landed in the trees of the town of Juanita Aguirre in the 1980s.

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Peak Soil: Why Nutrition Is Disappearing From Our Food

Nitrogen cycle-caThe secret to good health may start with dirt says Monica Nickelsburg, writing for The Week:

The fountain of youth may be made of dirt.

So supposes Steve Solomon in The Intelligent Gardner: Growing Nutrient-Dense FoodHe asserts that most people could “live past age 100, die with all their original teeth, up to their final weeks, and this could all happen if only we fertilize all our food crops differently.” It’s a bold statement, but mounting evidence suggests that remineralization could be the definitive solution to our nutrient-light diet.

Concerns about the quality of our food tend to focus on the many evils of modern industrial farming, but 10,000 years of agriculture have created a more insidious problem. The minerals and phytonutrients historically derived from rich soil are diminishing in our produce and meat. It takes 500 years for nature to build two centimeters of living soil and only seconds for us to destroy it.

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The Next Burgeoning Literary Trend: Dinosaur Erotica

dinosaur eroticaYes, this is real and apparently quite popular. A sub-genre of the fast-growing “monster erotica” book realm, softcore dinosaur porn is epitomized by authors Alara Branwen and Christie Sims, who claim to earn six figures churning out e-books for their obsessed fans. Jezebel offers a taste:

Azog stood, clad only in damp buckskins, waiting for the beast to slash at her torso until she lay helpless and bleeding on the damp cave floor. Instead, it reached out with a classed hand to snatch at her damp animal hide as it clung to one shoulder. Azog felt the kiss of sharp claws against her skin as the hide slid from her shoulder and exposed on naked, heaving breast.

A reptilian tongue, stiff and hot, dashed out to lick at the tender, naked flesh so suddenly exposed. Azog gasped at the touch, then gradually relaxed as her body warmed to the intoxicating sensation of the beast’s flesh against her own.

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Introducing Tri Hita Karana, Bali’s Bold New Model for Sustainable Development

Megan-young-for-miss-world-2013Bali, Indonesia: When you arrive in Bali, the most diverse and popular of Indonesia’s 7,000+ islands, you are immediately confronted with a just-constructed, state of the art, vast airport with an arrivals area designed to accommodate thousands of visitors and conference delegates.

It had its inaugural run a week earlier for the Miss World contest that brought bevvies of beauty queens and their entourages to the Nusa Dua Convention Center that, this week, plays hosts to far less popular government leaders of the 21 member APEC—Asia Pacific Economic Community.  Later, as foreign leaders arrived, the new airport was shut down—ostensibly for security reasons—greatly inconveniencing 17,000 travelers.

Predictably, there were more photos in the press of the victory of a smiling and vivacious Miss Philippines than all of the self-important politicians scurrying for credentials.  The news in America focused on one issue: Obama’s no show and then John Kerry standing off to the side for the official photo and what he was wearing.… Read the rest

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A Conversation with Richard Long, Author of ‘The Book of Paul’

LongGetting blurbed by Stephen King is the Holy Grail of the horror writer. If you don’t know what that means, it’s when an author (usually famous) reads your book and gives you a quote to put on the cover of your book to attract readers. For Stephen King to put his name on it, you know the book has to be outstanding. And when you’re talking about The Book of Paul, it is. I first heard Richard Long on a podcast and the way he described his book really caught my attention. He delves deeply into the occult, mythology, and astrophysics. As these are the same themes running through my books, especially The Portal Arcane series, I had to check it out. The Book of Paul does not disappoint. Long wrote it in a “cinematic” style that is fast-paced and streamlined. He doesn’t waste a lot of time on narrative description and his characters are so visceral you’ll swear you’ve been friends with them for years.… Read the rest

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