Saturday, July 14, 2012

News: Rain. Algeria. GM Corn Kills Cows. CT Scans. Texter Killed. Methadone. Metal Bristles. Shingle Fire, Utah. 28th Amendment. 300 Minis. Bastille Day.

News, Some New, Some Old:

Conroe hit with heavy rain, Filed Tue, Jul 10, 2012 by Scott Engle

DSC08321“Unlike last July 10 when the high temperature was 99 degrees with not even a quarter inch of rain for the year, today showed cooler temperatures with over 3 inches of rain in Conroe. Several accidents littered the roadways of Montgomery County.

DSC08319The rain did cause some issues for Conroe Public Works Tuesday afternoon. As a mower was cutting along the drainage ditch it slipped in, and was pushed against the underground culvert on West Dallas St. There were no injuries.” From:


Algeria Celebrates 50 Years Of Independence From France

Algeria Independence

Fireworks light over a port as Algeria marks 50 years of independence in Algiers, early Thursday, July 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Anis Belghoul)

ALGIERS, Algeria -- “Three grainy photos showing French soldiers torturing an Algerian and hanging in an official exhibit in Paris are perhaps the closest public reckoning France has made of the darkest period of its colonial history.

As the Muslim North African nation celebrates 50 years of nationhood on Thursday, the two countries are locked in a war of memories that still weighs on lives on both sides of the Mediterranean, and on the two countries' ties.  There have been no apologies for the brutal eight-year war that ended 132 years of French rule in Algeria or admissions of the longstanding allegations of torture. A half-century after Algeria broke free and wrenched from France the crown jewel of its empire, there is no reconciliation.

But Algerians keep waiting, while the French remain traumatized by loss and guilt.  "Time is not sufficient" to make the wounds on both sides disappear, said Benjamin Stora, a leading French historian on the era. "We see that the more time passes, the more memory returns.  This must be treated," he said in an interview in Paris, because the problem won't go away "by magic."” More at:


Syngenta Charged for Covering up Livestock Deaths from GM Corn   ISIS report 13.Jul.2012

Corporation faces criminal charges for concealing own study in which cows died after eating its genetically modified corn.

“Biotech giant Syngenta has been criminally charged with denying knowledge that its genetically modified (GM) Bt corn kills livestock during a civil court case that ended in 2007.

The charges follow a long struggle for justice by a German farmer whose dairy cattle suffered mysterious illnesses and deaths after eating Bt 176. They were grown on his farm as part of authorized field tests during 1997 to 2002. By 2000, his cows were fed exclusively on Bt 176, and soon illnesses started to emerge. He was paid 40 000 euros by Syngenta as partial compensation for 5 dead cows, decreased milk yields, and vet costs (see [2] Cows ate GM Maize and Died, SiS 21). During a civil lawsuit brought against the company by the farmer however, Syngenta refused to admit that its GM corn was the cause, claiming no knowledge of harm. The case was dismissed and Gloeckner remained thousands of euros in debt.”       Complete article at:   and:


CT scans on children 'could triple brain cancer risk'

By Jane Dreaper Health correspondent, BBC News

CT scan “The study looked at the records of nearly 180,000 young patients.  Multiple CT scans in childhood can triple the risk of developing brain cancer or leukemia, a study suggests.  The Newcastle University-led team examined the NHS medical records of almost 180,000 young patients.

They said the study underlined the fact the scans should only be used when necessary and that ways of cutting their radiation should be pursued.  During a CT (computerized tomography) scan, an X-ray tube rotates around the patient's body to produce detailed images of internal organs and other parts of the body.

In the first long-term study of its kind, the researchers looked at the records of patients aged under 21 who had CT scans at a range of British hospitals between 1985 and 2002.  Because radiation-related cancer takes time to develop, they examined data on cancer cases and mortality up until 2009.  Brain cancer and leukemia are rare diseases.

'Significant increases’   Dr Mark Pearce, an epidemiologist from Newcastle University who led the study, said: "We found significant increases in the risk of leukemia and brain tumors, following CT in childhood and young adulthood. The immediate benefits of CT outweigh the risks in many settings. Doses have come down dramatically over time - but we need to do more to reduce them. This should be a priority for the clinical community and manufacturers."”    More at:



“Investigators say a driver killed in a two-vehicle accident in Navasota Tuesday morning was texting while driving and using his laptop computer.

"He was on the computer and texting and doing stuff on the palm pilot at the time of the crash,” said Trooper Kenneth Balzekas with DPS. “It was smashed between him and the steering wheel and was still on with partial messaging. He was looking down. That would explain why he never hit the brakes and never steered."

Investigators say the 55-year-old driver, from Katy, slammed into the back of a stopped 18-wheeler. He died on impact.  "Texting while driving, doing stuff like that is almost the same if not worse as an intoxicated motorist,” said Balzekas.  Investigators say his story is all too common. Last year TxDOT reported 361 fatal accidents across the state due to texting while driving.”  More at:



Methadone for Pain Relief Leading Cause of Fatal Overdoses: CDC   TUESDAY, July 3

new article illustration

HealthDay News “Although methadone accounts for only 2 percent of the painkiller prescriptions in the United States, it is tied to more than 30 percent of painkiller overdose deaths, according to a government report released Tuesday.  "There have been about 4 million prescriptions for methadone each year, and about 5,000 Americans die from methadone overdoses each year," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Methadone is riskier than other opioid painkillers because it builds up in the body and may alter breathing or heart rhythm, the report explained.

Since the 1960s, methadone has been used safely as a heroin substitute in treating drug addiction. Its use as a painkiller has grown since the 1990s, the report indicated. Now, methadone is overused for pain, Frieden said.  Abuse of methadone for nonmedical purposes has also led to fatal overdoses, the report noted.

National data from 1999 to 2010 plus 2009 information from 13 states revealed that four of every 10 overdose deaths resulting from a single painkiller involved methadone -- twice as many as other prescription painkillers, such as Vicodin (hydrocodone) or OxyContin (oxycodone), the CDC reports.  In 2009, six times more people died of methadone overdoses than in 1999, the researchers found.

"Currently, deaths from prescription opiates kill more people than heroin and cocaine combined and cause more emergency department visits as well," Frieden said during a late morning press conference Tuesday.” More at:


Brittle metal brush bristles can pose a barbecue hazard

“Two recent incidents in which metal bristles from a grill-cleaning brush were accidentally ingested are drawing attention to an unexpected grilling hazard. Men in New Jersey and Washington state were taken to local hospitals with stomach pain after barbecuing. In both cases, they had swallowed a bristle that had become attached to the food after the grill was cleaned. Both men underwent emergency surgery when the bristles perforated their intestines.

Before buying a brush, check your owner's manual to see which type of brush to use. Nylon-bristle brushes are best for porcelain-coated cast-iron grates (metal bristles can damage them) and a steel­­ (not brass­) brush is preferred for uncoated cast-iron grates. To avoid leaving bits behind, inspect your grill brush; if bristles are loose or have already broken off, get a new one.”         More at:


Shingle Fire Camp Tour, Utah, Jul 9, 2012

Len and Nancy’s Travels - Living our Dreams!

“When it broke out the Shingle fire was soon considered to be the #1 fire in the country because of the number of structures close to it.

As of today the Shingle forest fire is 75% contained and they say that it will be 100% contained by tomorrow evening. Contained doesn't mean that all of the fire is extinguished. What it means is that they will have a 300 ft cleared area around the entire area that has burned by tomorrow evening. They feel that this will keep it from spreading no matter what happens. They say that it won't be completely out until a major rain event puts it out, even though local fire fighters will continue to try to find hot spots and put them out, or at least lower the temperature.

Support staff hard at work

We learned so much about how forest fires are fought today. It looks to us like a military operation in it's complexity.

6000 calories a day are what's required to fuel a firefighter on the front lines. That's a lot of food, which is catered. Medics are stationed in the field surrounding the fire and they have a small hospital located at the incident base.
They keep a fixed wing airplane in the air all of the time during the day to act as an air traffic controller for all of the aircraft that are entering and leaving the airspace of the fire area with water and fire retardants.”  

See the 30 pictures and read the rest at:

Alaska firefighters helping to snuff out Utah's Shingle Fire:

Latest about the fire:



Brits re-invade Washington on 200th anniversary of War of 1812









“Only a German-owned British brand could storm Washington D.C. on the Fourth of July and be greeted with waves, grins and the occasional thumbs up.    More at:


On This Day:

French revolutionaries storm Bastille, Jul 14, 1789:

“Parisian revolutionaries and mutinous troops storm and dismantle the Bastille, a royal fortress that had come to symbolize the tyranny of the Bourbon monarchs. This dramatic action signaled the beginning of the French Revolution, a decade of political turmoil and terror in which King Louis XVI was overthrown and tens of thousands of people, including the king and his wife Marie Antoinette, were executed.

The capture of the Bastille symbolized the end of the ancien regime and provided the French revolutionary cause with an irresistible momentum. Joined by four-fifths of the French army, the revolutionaries seized control of Paris and then the French countryside, forcing King Louis XVI to accept a constitutional government. In 1792, the monarchy was abolished and Louis and his wife Marie-Antoinette were sent to the guillotine for treason in 1793.

By order of the new revolutionary government, the Bastille was torn down. On February 6, 1790, the last stone of the hated prison-fortress was presented to the National Assembly. Today, July 14--Bastille Day--is celebrated as a national holiday in France.”



The parts for Ray’s car came in, so he borrowed my compressor to check his tires, as it has been sitting for at least a couple of months. We will be pushing it down the street to Jim the mechanic, pretty soon.

As for the 6 rescued little 10 day old kittens, I thought there was something wrong with them the night before, as even after they had been here for 4 hours, they weren’t meowing to be fed.  I gave each a small amount from the pet bottle, anyway, but they were just too lethargic.  My suspicions were confirmed yesterday morning, they were still sleeping. There was definitely something wrong with them.   Maybe that’s why their feral Mom keeps on taking each litter of her kittens under that house to die, to keep them from big predators.   In the last few years, we have only seen one of her kittens live, and then it got run over. I fixed the 6 babies up in a comfy little traveling box with a little blankie, and Animal Control picked them up.  He gently put the box in a pet carrier.  The Mom didn’t get in the trap I had set for her, but she was seen looking very thin, sick, and limping.  I wish I could stop her suffering.

Misty and I went to get Jay, and even though my grass was a bit damp from dew, he had to mow and ‘make hay while the sun shines’, before it rained again.  Which it did, about an hour after he was through.  

I wish we could send some of this rain to the fires, as we have had nearly 11” in the last few days.


Dizzy-Dick said...

I am getting kind of tired of this rain, and there is a chance for more rain tomorrow and next week.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comment, DD.

I am not going to complain about the rain after the drought last year! At least it doesn't go on all day, not since last Wednesday when it rained for most of the day, anyway. Now, we just have a shower and then it's over.

Like I said, I wish we could send some to the fires, where it is needed more.
Happy Tails, and Trails, Penny.