Saturday, March 2, 2013

Five Major Psychiatric Disorders Linked. ‘Dragon’ Hiccup. Baby Giraffe. National Parks Threatened. Dirty Keystone XL Pipeline. Sit on the Floor… Deepwater Horizon. Launch to Jupiter. Boston Red Sox.


For “Summary Saturday” or News Day, Some New, Some Old:

Five major psychiatric disorders linked in new study

CBS News) “An international group of scientists have identified genetic links between five major psychiatric disorders, including autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia.

For the first time, researchers were able to see if there are any genetic variants that are linked to not just one of those disorders, but to all five. "And there were," Dr. Jordan Smoller, one of the lead researchers in the study, said on "CBS This Morning."

More at: 


Early hiccup for SpaceX supply mission

imagesCAKH2727Dragon due to dock with Int'l Space Station Saturday

(CNN) - “SpaceX's unmanned Dragon cargo capsule suffered a temporary glitch with its thrusters after it achieved orbit Friday -- a development that will delay its arrival at the International Space Station, NASA said.

The Dragon, launched Friday morning atop SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, had been expected to dock with the space station on Saturday to resupply the station's crew. But Friday's hiccup will delay docking by at least a day, NASA said.

The Dragon is carrying more than 1,200 pounds of supplies for the crew and the crew's experiments. The supply mission is SpaceX's second of a planned 12 under a contract with NASA.

Shortly after the capsule separated from its rocket, SpaceX determined three of the capsule's four thruster pods -- which it would use to reach the station -- weren't operating. The problem appeared to be "an issue with a propellant valve," SpaceX spokeswoman Christina Ra said.”  More at:


Houston Zoo welcomes baby giraffe

Proud papa Mtembei (born 05/05/07) nuzzles his son Yao the newest addition to the herd in the barn paddock at the McGovern Giraffe Exhibit in The African Forest. The paddock served as a nursery for Neema and Yao and allowed the rest of the herd to get introduced to the new arrival before Yao made his public debut.


Giraffe 4586 

“The Houston Zoo has a new animal – a baby giraffe!  The giraffe, named Yao for former Houston Rockets star Yao Ming, was born about 7 a.m. on Monday.  "The calf weighs 62 kilos, about 139 pounds and stands 74 inches tall," Hoofed Stock Supervisor John Register said.   Yao's mother is 5-year-old Neema and his father is 6-year-old Mtembei. Neema was pregnant with Yao for 14 months.

“The calf was standing on his own a little over an hour after he was born and was nursing about 4 hours later,” said Register.   With Yao's arrival, the Houston Zoo now has nine Masai giraffes – six males and three females.

The giraffe was named Yao to honor Yao Ming for his work spotlighting illegal elephant and rhinoceros poaching in Africa and the shark fin trade in Asia. Baby Yao will make his debut at the Houston Zoo at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.”


Emerging Evidence Shows Looming Sequester Cuts Threaten National Parks and Local Businesses Nationwide

imagesCAY68RG1Closed parks & facilities, shortened hours, reduced maintenance, and elimination of educational programs will cut jobs and devastate tourism-dependent economies

Washington, D.C.—”As Congress and the White House struggle to find a compromise to avoid across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester, nearly 300 businesses who would be directly impacted by national park closures and reduced visitor services today warned the looming cuts will have devastating impacts on their businesses and local economies nationwide.

"The basic truth is that gateway community businesses depend on our national parks being open and properly funded. Our economy depends on their economy," said Luke D. Hyde, owner of the Calhoun Country Inn near Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Bryson City, N.C.

The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been working with businesses across the country to make sure Congress and the President hear their concerns and echoed their remarks. "These indiscriminate across-the-board cuts to our 398 national parks will harm tourism-dependent businesses and communities if our elected leaders allow them to last. Millions of Americans who visit parks rely on these businesses for lodging, tour guides and meals. If national parks are closed or inaccessible due to reduced hours, it hurts businesses and visitors," said NPCA President Tom Kiernan.”    Help NPCA protect and preserve our national parks for future generations.


Wildlife Supporters Join Historic Rally Against Dirty Keystone XL Pipeline

“On Sunday, the National Wildlife Federation and our supporters took part in the largest climate rally in history. And that’s exactly what it felt like: being a part of history. Over 35,000 people came out in the blistering cold to show their unwavering devotion and commitment to our planet and its wildlife. Thousands of us stood in solidarity to push the most powerful man on earth to stand on the right side of history.

Wildlife all across the country are already feeling the impacts of climate change, and the upstream emissions alone from filling the Keystone XL pipeline would be equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 6.3 coal-fired power plants or more than 4.6 million passenger vehicles.”  More at:


Sit on the Floor, Now Get Up


imagesCAI5H9S8 “How quickly and easily you can sit down on the floor and then get up may give you a hint about how long you’ll live.

“If a middle-aged or older man or woman can sit and rise from the floor using just one hand – or even imagesCA4I9A32better without the help of a hand – they are not only in the higher quartile of musculoskeletal fitness but their survival prognosis is probably better than that of those unable to do so.”

The study showed that each additional support needed to sit down on the floor and then get up - hand, forearm, knee, side of leg, or hand on the knee - was associated with a 21 percent lower chance of survival over the approximately six years of the study’s follow-up.” More at:


Deepwater Horizon: 1,000 Days Later

“It has been over 1,000 days since the BP-operated oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, gushing millions of barrels of crude oil into a body of water that supports countless ecosystems and economies.

Below is a timeline of major events that have occurred in the past 1,000 days.”

The Deepwater Horizon: 1,000 Days Later



On This Day:

Pioneer 10 launched to Jupiter, Mar 2, 1972:

“Pioneer 10, the world's first outer-planetary probe, is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a mission to Jupiter, the solar system's largest planet. In December 1973, after successfully negotiating the asteroid belt and a distance of 620 million miles, Pioneer 10 reached Jupiter and sent back to Earth the first close-up images of the spectacular gas giant. In June 1983, the NASA spacecraft left the solar system and the next day radioed back the first scientific data on interstellar space. NASA officially ended the Pioneer 10 project on March 31, 1997, with the spacecraft having traveled a distance of some six billion miles.

Headed in the direction of the Taurus constellation, Pioneer 10 will pass within three light years of another star--Ross 246--in the year 34,600 A.D. Bolted to the probe's exterior wall is a gold-anodized plaque, 6 by 9 inches in area, that displays a drawing of a human man and woman, a star map marked with the location of the sun, and another map showing the flight path of Pioneer 10. The plaque, intended for intelligent life forms elsewhere in the galaxy, was designed by astronomer Carl Sagan.”


Bush honors the Boston Red Sox, Mar 2, 2005:

“On this day in 2005, at a White House ceremony, President George W. Bush congratulates the 2005 World Champion Boston Red Sox baseball team for winning their first World Series since 1918. Massachusetts Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry, and former Red Sox players were among those on hand for the event. Before saluting the Red Sox, Bush also paid tribute to one of baseball's greatest African-American players, Jackie Robinson.

During the ceremony, Bush teased the team about the long overdue championship, asking What took you so long? and quipping You know, the last time the Red Sox were here [at the White House], Woodrow Wilson was president. He then recalled what someone had said to him regarding the Red Sox's long-overdue win: "Now we just have to wait for the other six signs of the apocalypse."

Bush touted the far-reaching morale-boosting effect of the Red Sox victory, pointing out that native Bostonian troops fighting in Iraq had been able to enjoy the World Series via satellite. Bush also praised the role of sports organizations in providing scholarships and developing community social programs before proudly drawing attention to the diverse Red Sox roster, which included natives of Korea, the Dominican Republic and states in the American heartland. The president's comment that Mike Timlin, a player from his adopted hometown of Midland, Texas, finally amounted to something drew hearty applause.

The president, in a buoyant mood, even poked fun at his vice president during the ceremony, pointing out that, with the Boston team's win, Dick Cheney's favorite team, the Chicago Cubs, had assumed the dubious honor of having the longest dry spell between championships. Bush joked, As a Chicago Cubs fan, [Vice President Cheney] knows what you have been through.

Bush's congratulatory event for the Red Sox continued the popular presidential practice of inviting championship teams from a variety of sports, including football, baseball and basketball, as well as Olympic champions, to the White House.”



Jay called at 8.30AM, and asked me to take him to Conroe to pay off a PayDay loan he had taken out during the month.  So Misty and I had our walk down there when we went to pick him up.  He was all cleaned up and sober. 

img004 On the way to town he checked his bank balance on his phone, and found out that the loan had already been taken out of his account.  Those PayDay people don’t mess about!!  It was supposed to be paid on the 28th, but he had completely lost a day, along with a couple more.

So, we didn’t go as far as Conroe, but he needed to go to the local Krogers to buy groceries.  I pushed the cart while he loaded it with all kinds of processed food and cheap TV dinners.  Urgh!

images[10] On the way home, I noticed a used car dealer had some cute little high-top mini vans, so we stopped to look.  They were Ford Transits, but they only have a 2 litre motor.  That wouldn’t even tow my small utility trailer!  They were much smaller inside than they looked on the outside, and difficult to get into.  My Puddle Jumper is more useful than that.  OK, I am cured from wanting one of those. 

We stopped at the feed store so I could buy local pastured farm eggs, and then I took Jay home.  

It’s still chilly in the mornings, but turns warm and sunny later in the day.

1 comment:

Dizzy-Dick said...

Year by year the size of vehicles keeps getting smaller. If this continues, only midgets will be able to drive or ried.