Saturday, March 9, 2013

Locust Plague. Insulin Doubles Death Rate. Fast Food Wrappers. Synthetic Chemicals. Pesticides and ADHD. Jeb Bush Reverses. Leap Motion. Adopt-a-Highway. George Burns.


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

A Locust Plague, Shy of Biblical Proportions, in Israel

Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

An Israeli man ran through a swarm of locusts on Wednesday in the village of Kmehin in Israel’s southern Negev desert near the Egyptian border.

JERUSALEM — "For many Israelis, the biblical comparisons were irresistible: locusts were swarming across the border from Egypt three weeks before Passover, like a vivid enactment of the eighth plague visited upon the obdurate Pharaoh. Others with a more modern sensibility said it felt more like Hitchcock.

Israel first announced that it was on “locust alert” on Monday, after large swarms were spotted in the Cairo area. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations warned that wind and climate conditions increased the chances of an entomological cross-border invasion.” More at:


Insulin Doubles Death Rate in Type 2 Diabetics: Study

“A new study clearly documents that the standard treatment for type 2 diabetes is a killer, resulting in more than double the deaths. The treatment justification has always been based on irrelevant criteria—just as it is with most pharmaceutical treatments.

Enough with Insulin! by Jeff Fillmore

Enough with Insulin! by Jeff Fillmore

It seems so intuitive: People with diabetes should inject insulin. In the case of people with type 1 diabetes, in which the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, that’s probably true. However, modern doctors routinely give insulin to people with type 2 diabetes simply because it reduces blood sugar levels.

The reality, though, is that type 2 diabetics who take insulin injections die at more than double the rate of those given non-insulin treatment! 

Modern medicine’s hubris allows it to make claims that simply are not supported. Based on those unsupported claims, thousands—and in the case of diabetes, millions—of people are placed on drugs and regimens that have never been demonstrated to have any beneficial effect. The result is that the general public becomes a mass of guinea pigs for medical experimentation—experimentation that isn’t even documented and analyzed!

The use of insulin in type 2 diabetics is only one example, but it’s been clearly demonstrated again and again with disasters like Vioxx.” More at:


Chemicals in Fast Food Wrappers Show Up in Human Blood

“Chemicals used to keep grease from leaking through fast food wrappers and microwave popcorn bags are migrating into food, being ingested by people and showing up as contaminants in blood, according to new research at the University of Toronto.

The contaminants are perfluoroalkyls, stable, synthetic chemicals that repel oil, grease, and water. They are used in surface protection products such as carpet and clothing treatments and coating for paper and cardboard packaging.

Earlier research by University of Toronto environmental chemists Scott Mabury and Jessica D’eon, established in 2007 that the wrappers are a source of these chemicals in human blood. Their new study shows that perfluorinated chemicals can migrate from wrappers into food.  The specific chemicals studied are polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters, or PAPs, breakdown products of the perfluorinated carboxylic acids, or PFCAs, which are used in coating the food wrappers.”  More at:


Human Hormones Are Being Eclipsed By Synthetic Chemicals

“Hormone-mimicking chemicals called parabens have been detected in breast cancer tissues at concentrations up to 1 million times higher than the estrogen (estradiol) levels naturally found in human breast tissue

Researchers have expressed concern that children may be exposed to so many synthetic hormone-mimicking chemicals that they could potentially overtake the actions of his or her natural hormones

The toxicology of these chemicals has barely been investigated – and the more recent studies that have come out showing cause for alarm are being all but ignored by U.S. regulatory agencies

Parabens are widely used in personal care products like shampoo, lotion, deodorant, shaving gel and cosmetics; become an avid label reader to be sure any personal care product your purchase is free from these, and other, hormone-mimicking chemicals.”  Complete article at:


Human Hormones Are Being Eclipsed By Synthetic Chemicals

Synthetic Hormones Eclipsing Natural Ones

“A new study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology has raised some disturbing possibilities regarding the dangers of common hormone-mimicking preservatives found in thousands of consumer products on the market today.

Titled "Parabens detection in different zones of the human breast: consideration of source and implications of findings," researchers discussed the role that parabens -- a class of estrogen-mimicking chemicals widely used in drugs, foods and cosmetics -- may have in breast cancer and childhood disease.” More at:


Pesticides May Increase Risk of ADHD in Children

Image: Farmers with tractors spraying the vineyard with pesticides

“Canadian researchers found that children with substantially higher levels of a certain type of pesticide were twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.

Levels of pesticides commonly encountered across the country in food as well as around the home are significantly increasing children's risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and could be causing an increase in the number of children living with the condition, according to new research published in the journal Pediatrics.

"It's mainly exposure through food. Diet is the driver," says pediatrician and public health expert Phil Landrigan, MD, professor and chair of the department of community and preventive medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. "For most people, diet is the predominant source. It's been shown that people who switch to an organic diet knock down the levels of pesticide by-products in their urine by 85 to 90 percent."  More at:


Jeb Bush reverses on illegal immigration; supports path to citizenship

“On Tuesday, former Florida governor Jeb Bush (Rep.) appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show and said that he now supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Bush, the brother of former president George W. Bush, made the surprising announcement in what appears to be a reversal of views on immigration.

The Florida politician, who was once regarded as a potential presidential nominee within the Republican Party, now holds the view that undocumented immigrants should be able to obtain legal status in the U.S. "if you can craft that in law where you can have a path to citizenship where there isn’t an incentive for people to come illegally". "  More at:


Leap Motion: Forget mouse and keyboard. Control a PC with hand gestures. 

Leap Motion Controller promo video shows off the small size of the device.

“Every year, it seems that technology is inching humanity closer to a world like that of the Jetsons. Leap Motion announced a launch date for its long-awaited motion controller. The tiny gadget hooks up to computers (Macs or PCs) and enables the user to control the computer using only hands gestures. The tiny device will set consumers back $80. When the Leap Motion Controller is plugged into a USB port, the user can perform a variety of hand signals. Swipe to flip a page, pinch-to-zoom, and even use their hands to play games.”  More at:


On This Day:

First Adopt-a-Highway sign goes up, Mar 9, 1985:

“On March 9, 1985, the first-ever Adopt-a-Highway sign is erected on Texas's Highway 69. The highway was adopted by the Tyler Civitan Club, which committed to picking up trash along a designated two-mile stretch of the road.

The Adopt-a-Highway program really began the year before, when James Evans, an engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation, noticed litter blowing out of the back of a pickup truck he was following in Tyler, Texas. Concerned about the increasing cost to the government of keeping roadways clean, Evans soon began asking community groups to volunteer to pick up trash along designated sections of local highways. Evans got no takers for his idea; however, Billy Black, the public information officer for the Tyler District of the Texas Department of Transportation, took up the cause and organized the first official Adopt-a-Highway program, which included training and equipment for volunteers. After the Tyler Civitan Club's sign went up on March 9, other groups volunteered to beautify their own stretches of highway. The program eventually spread to the rest of the U.S. and to such countries as Canada, Japan and New Zealand.

Businesses, schools and churches are among the main organizations to participate in the Adopt-a-Highway (also known in some places as Sponsor-a-Highway) program. However, over the years, some Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups, along with other controversial organizations, have tried to become involved--and thereby receive signs along highways acknowledging their effort. After the state of Missouri rejected a Ku Klux Klan group's application to join the program, the white supremacist organization charged that its free-speech rights were being violated. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Missouri couldn't prevent the KKK from participating in the Adopt-a-Highway program.”


Comedian George Burns dies at age 100, Mar 9, 1996:

“On this day in 1996, the legendary cigar-chomping performer George Burns dies at his home in Beverly Hills, California, just weeks after celebrating his 100th birthday.

Born Nathan Birnbaum in New York City, Burns was one of 12 children. As a young child, he sang for pennies on street corners and in saloons, and at age 13, he started a dance academy with a friend. In 1922, Burns was performing the latest in a string of song-and-dance acts in Newark, New Jersey, when he teamed up with a fellow performer, Gracie Allen. Though Allen began as the straight one in their partnership, her natural comedic ability prompted Burns to rewrite their material to give her most of the punch lines. From then on, Burns played the straight man to Allen’s ditz, with hilarious results.

By the time Burns and Allen married in 1926 (his brief first marriage, to the dancer Hannah Siegel, ended in divorce), they had already become known on the vaudeville circuit. The 1920s were a golden era for vaudeville performers, and Burns and Allen were only two of a number of greats--their peers included Milton Berle, Al Jolson, Fanny Brice, Bert Lahr and Jack Benny (Burns’ close friend)--who successfully made the transition to other forms of entertainment. After making their radio debut in 1929, the pair landed a regular show, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, which aired from 1932 to 1950 on the NBC network. In the late 1930s, the program’s audience numbered more than 40 million people and NBC paid Burns and Allen $10,000 per week, an enormous sum for the time. The couple also played themselves on the big screen in a number of films, including International House (1933), Many Happy Returns (1934), A Damsel in Distress (1937) and College Swing (1938).

In 1950, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show made a seamless transition to television, airing on CBS and becoming one of the top-ranked programs for the duration of the decade. The Burns-Allen team remained in the public eye until Allen’s retirement in 1959. She died of a heart attack in 1964, at the age of 58. Though Allen was a Roman Catholic, Burns buried her with Episcopal rites, explaining that as a Jewish man he couldn’t be buried in Catholic-consecrated ground, and he wanted to be buried beside her.

After Burns underwent major heart surgery in 1975 at the age of 79, his career got a second wind. That year, he played a retired vaudevillian in the film adaptation of Neil Simon’s play The Sunshine Boys, co-starring Walter Matthau and Richard Benjamin. Burns won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the role. After that, there was no shortage of movie parts for the octogenarian actor, who played God in Oh God! (1977) and its sequels, Oh God! Book II (1980) and Oh God! You Devil (1984), in which Burns was featured as both God and the Devil. He also starred in Just You and Me, Kid (1979), Going in Style (1979) and Eighteen Again (1988).

In 1988, Burns won an award for lifetime achievement from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He wrote two best-selling autobiographical works, including Gracie: A Love Story (1988) and All My Best Friends (1989), along with eight other books that earned him his well-deserved reputation as an invaluable first-hand observer of the history of 20th century entertainment.”



Jay called and asked me to take some Revolution (for flea, mite, and heartworm prevention) down there for Muffie and Maddie.  So Misty and I went down there and had our walk.  Then Jay said he would help Ray and me move the big Heat/AC unit and my washing machine.  Afterwards, we wished that Jay wasn’t here, he was so talkative and hyper that he drove us nuts.

It took us a while to connect all the parts for the hard-wiring of the Heat/AC unit.  Each connection has to have a cable connector and an insulated bushing on the conduit from inside the Heat/Air unit through a plate on the wall, all the way to where Jay connected the wires that come from the breaker box into a junction box. 

Then I took Jay home while Ray was trying to put a new drain hose on the washing machine.  He was trying to do it through the back, but the front comes off these Maytags.  We couldn’t get the top to come up to get the front panel off.  So I sprayed it with some Liquid Wrench, and maybe we can do it later.

Terry hasn’t got used to the routine yet.  Other cats who have lived in my house knew that when we were working they were closed up in my bathroom.  Especially like yesterday, when we had the door open to the garage to get the wires through the wall.  Terry didn’t want to stay in there, but later, when he could be anywhere in the house, where was he…in my bathroom.   He couldn’t stay on the screen porch because that was the window that looks out onto the porch where we were installing the Heat/Air.  He hasn’t learned not to get on my kitchen counters, either.  He has me trained, but I will have to train him some, too!

The other day, the digital living room clock went bad after many years, and now the clock on my computer won’t stay at the right time.  That’s got me discombobulated.

Even though Ray and I had tried it out before installing it, when I turned on the Heat/Air Unit, nothing happened.  Ray checked that the breaker was on, but still nothing.  I hope we didn’t waste our time yesterday.


Dizzy-Dick said...

That is a bummer if it won't work now that you took all the effort to install it. Maybe a wire or something jiggled loose?

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thanks for your comment, DD.

As we had tried it out before installing it, it is a mystery. Just got too old, I suppose. We checked all the wires, but had to take it out. I bought a new unit yesterday.

Happy Tails and Trails, Penny