Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Why did you do this to me Hershey?
Here I am attempting to have my "6 pack" show back up and then you go and bring my favorite long lost candy back onto the market.
I had to go to Target to get some supplies for the kids. I happened to go to down the candy isle. I looked down and - Oh my goodness!! "Good and Fruity"!
Several years ago i went so far as to call Hersheys to ask where I could find this candy. I was told that they had stopped producing that particular flavor. Thus I gave up.
"Good & Fruity" is a unique candy. I guess you can call it a jelly bean but it is not exactly so.
Skittles are sour (or bitter) and thus don't taste the same.
Starburst Jelly beans are sweet but they don't taste as fruity as "Good & Fruity". I have never found any justifiable subsitute for "Good & Fruity".
Sadly I consumed one whole 5 oz box by the time I left Target and got home.
Now if I could get Herrs Bar-B-Que potato chips and Seven Seas Creamy Italian dressing from a reliable source here in the South. For some reason many stores have "Seven Seas Green Goddess" dressing rather than the Creamy Italian.
Report: Fetal stem cells trigger tumors in ill boy
By LAURAN NEERGAARD
AP Medical Writer
WASHINGTON — A family desperate to save a child from a lethal brain disease sought highly experimental injections of fetal stem cells — injections that triggered tumors in the boy's brain and spinal cord, Israeli scientists reported Tuesday.
Scientists are furiously trying to harness different types of stem cells — the building blocks for other cells in the body — to regrow damaged tissues and thus treat devastating diseases. But for all the promise, researchers have long warned that they must learn to control newly injected stem cells so they don't grow where they shouldn't, and small studies in people are only just beginning.
Tuesday's report in the journal PLoS Medicine is the first documented case of a human brain tumor — albeit a benign, slow-growing one — after fetal stem cell therapy, and hammers home the need for careful research. The journal is published by the Public Library of Science.
"Patients, please beware," said Dr. John Gearhart, a stem cell scientist at the University of Pennsylvania who wasn't involved in the Israeli boy's care but who sees similarly desperate U.S. patients head abroad to clinics that offer unproven stem cell injections.
"Cells are not drugs. They can misbehave in so many different ways, it just is going to take a good deal of time" to prove how best to pursue the potential therapy, Gearhart said.
The unidentified Israeli boy has a rare, fatal genetic disease with a tongue-twisting name — ataxia telangiectasia, or A-T. Degeneration of a certain brain region gradually robs these children of movement. Plus, a faulty immune system leads to frequent infections and cancers. Most die in their teens or early 20s.
Israeli doctors pieced together the child's history: When he was 9, the family traveled to Russia, to a Moscow clinic that provided injections of neural stem cells from fetuses — immature cells destined to grow into a main type of brain cells. The cells were injected into his brain and spinal cord twice more, at ages 10 and 12.
Back home in Israel at age 13, the boy's A-T was severe enough to require that he use a wheelchair when he also began complaining of headaches. Tests at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv uncovered a growth pushing on his brain stem and a second on his spinal cord. Surgeons removed the spinal cord mass when the boy was 14, in 2006 and they say his general condition has remained stable since then.
But was the boy prone to tumors anyway or were the fetal stem cells to blame? A Tel Aviv University team extensively tested the tumor tissue and concluded it was the fetal cells. Among other evidence, some of the cells were female and had two normal copies of the gene that causes A-T — although that boy's underlying poor immune function could have allowed the growths to take hold.
Using stem cells from multiple fetuses that also were mixed with growth-spurring compounds "may have created a high-risk situation where abnormal growth of more than one cell occurred," wrote lead researcher Dr. Ninette Amariglio of Sheba Medical. She urged better research to "maximize the potential benefits of regenerative medicine while minimizing the risks."
This brain disease wasn't conducive to stem cell therapy in the first place, said stem cell specialist Dr. Marius Wernig of Stanford University, who said it's unclear exactly what was implanted.
"Stem cell transplantations have a humongous potential," Wernig said. But "if people rush out there without really knowing what they're doing ... that really backfires and can bring this whole field to a halt."
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Muslim TV Executive Accused Of Beheading His Wife
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The crime drips with brutal irony: a woman decapitated, allegedly by her estranged husband, in the offices of the television network the couple founded with the hope of countering Muslim stereotypes.
Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan is accused of beheading his wife last week, days after she filed for divorce. Authorities have not discussed the role religion or culture might have played, but the slaying gave rise to speculation that it was the sort of "honor killing" more common in countries half a world away, including the couple's native Pakistan.
Funeral services for Aasiya Hassan, 37, were Tuesday. Her 44-year-old husband is scheduled to appear for a felony hearing Wednesday.
The Hassans lived in Orchard Park — a well-off Buffalo suburb that hadn't seen a homicide since 1986 — and started Bridges TV there in 2004 with the message of developing understanding between North America and the Middle East and South Asia. The network, available across the U.S. and Canada, was believed to be the first English-language cable station aimed at the rapidly growing Muslim demographic.
Orchard Park Police Chief Andrew Benz said his officers had responded to domestic incidents involving the couple, most recently Feb. 6, the day Mo Hassan was served with the divorce papers and an order of protection.
"I've never heard him raise his voice," said Paul Moskal, who became friendly with the couple while he was chief counsel for the FBI in Buffalo. Moskal would answer questions in forums aired on Bridges TV that were intended to improve understanding between Muslim-Americans and law enforcement.
"His personal life kind of betrayed what he tried to portray publicly," Moskal said.
On Feb. 12, Hassan went to a police station and told officers his wife was dead at the TV studio.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Robert Mugabe is making former colonial leader Ian Smith look like he's not so bad of a guy after all.
Zimbabwe accuses new minister of terrorism
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Venezuela faces bitter term-limit showdown
I have to admit one thing - With Bush gone Hugo Chavez has lost a major enemy which he can attack as a means of garnering support.
Caracas, Venezuela —- In Venezuela, you’re either for Hugo Chavez or against him. There are Chavista newspapers and television stations, and opposition newspapers and television stations. There are pro-Chavez neighborhoods and anti-Chavez neighborhoods. Even the landscape is partisan: “Plaza Altamira is Chavista now” proclaimed a newspaper headline Wednesday, above an article saying an anti-Chavez campaign booth had disappeared from the square.
The nation votes today on a referendum that would remove constitutional term limits and enable Chavez to continue to run.
Chavez himself marveled in an interview Tuesday that some people may not have decided how to vote yet. He said all Venezuelans must determine the country’s future when they vote today, including “those who have doubts or are apolitical —- that is, if there is still anyone who is indifferent to politics in Venezuela today.”
Indeed, the undecided are few and far between, and the two sides are growing ever more distant.
“I feel a deep sadness for this divided, fractured country, split into two poles, radicalized and polarized,” said opposition student leader David Smolansky, 23. “This country had always been a paradise of coexistence of all types —- racial, political, of ethnicities and of social classes.”
Chavez blames the opposition for the bitter divide.
“We are the peace ticket,” he said Tuesday. “Them? That sick pack of hatred? Ah, well. You want the country to enter a sea of violence and terror? … The referendum is to put the brakes on this madness, to prevent this madness from taking the reins of our country again.”
Chavez remains broadly popular, particularly among the poor, who have benefited from his oil-funded social programs and who were largely left out of earlier oil booms under governments further to the right.
But his attempt to amend the constitution in December 2007 met with a surprise defeat. That effort included a variety of crowd-pleasing changes like a six-hour workday along with a clause to enable the president to run for re-election indefinitely, but many worried that his power already had too few checks and balances.
This time, Chavez has narrowed the referendum to affect term limits only, and broadened it to apply to all elected officials. He also has campaigned incessantly, and the normally tireless Chavez has appeared exhausted. In recent days, his normally marathon speeches have been downright short.
The result: “Yes” has pulled even with —- and perhaps slightly ahead of —- “no” in recent polls.
The opposition says Chavez support has surged through illegal use of government resources. Speakers blare campaign songs from government ministries and employees dressed in Chavez colors hand out fliers outside. State television runs almost nonstop “yes” plugs, and some government workers complain of pressure to vote with Chavez or lose their jobs.
Critics say Chavez has far too much power already, with supporters dominating state and local governments as well as the courts, the legislature, the electoral council and the state news media. They point out that the only country in the Americas that allows indefinite re-election is Cuba, hardly a democracy.
Chavez says he needs more time to deepen the “revolution” —- that other Venezuelan politicians spent decades marginalizing the poor, and he needs more than 10 years to undo the damage.
As Chavez brushes aside criticism by attacking his accusers as agents of “the empire,” many of his followers dismiss the opposition’s arguments altogether.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Brazilian Indians suspected of cannibalism
BRAZIL - Police in Brazil's Amazon rain forest are investigating three native Indians suspected of murdering and eating a 21-year-old handicapped man in a rare case of cannibalism, local authorities said Tuesday.
The Indians of the Kulina tribe near the Peruvian border are accused of having killed and eaten the insides of Ocelio Alves de Carvalho, a student, in the town of Envira in Amazonas state.
"The body was quartered and then carved up with more than 100 cuts — we think they ate his insides," Sgt. Osmildo Fereira da Silva of the state police in Envira told Reuters.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Rights group calls to ban Czech castration law
(CNN) -- The Czech Republic's practice of surgically castrating convicted sex offenders is "invasive, irreversible and mutilating" and should stop immediately, the Council of Europe's Anti-Torture Committee said in a report made public Thursday.
The central European country castrated at least 94 prisoners in the 10 years up to April 2008, when investigators from the Council of Europe, a human-rights forum, visited the Czech Republic.
The Council of Europe condemned the practice as "degrading."
The procedure is being performed even on first-time, non-violent offenders, such as exhibitionists, its investigation revealed.
Prisoners have to request castration under Czech law, but many fear they will be jailed for life if they do not, the investigation found.
"In practically all the cases, these patients indicated that their application was at least partially instigated by fear of long-term detention," the report said.
"Some patients claimed that the treating sexologist had explicitly told them that surgical castration was the only available option to them and that refusal would mean lifelong detention."
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
.....He Wasn't Doing It Under Water
Michael Phelps could face charges for pot picture
Michael, Dude - let me give you the same advice that I gave earlier to crack head - Amy Winehouse and Thug Wrapper Lil Wayne:
When you do your drugs as a celebrity:
- Make sure that there is no photographic equipment around
- Don't have smoke coming out of your tour bus that is not from engine exhaust or engine oil burning