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Report says 3 percent in DC have HIV or AIDS

Report says 3 percent in DC have HIV or AIDS

WASHINGTON – A new report by D.C. health officials says that at least 3 percent of residents in the nation's capital are living with HIV or AIDS and every mode of transmission is on the rise.

The findings in the 2008 epidemiology report by the D.C. HIV/AIDS Administration point to a severe epidemic that's impacting every race and sex across the population and neighborhoods.

Scheduled to be released Monday, the report says that the number of HIV and AIDS cases jumped 22 percent from the nearly 12,500 reported in 2006. Almost 1 in 10 residents between ages 40 and 49 are living with HIV, and black men had the highest infection rate at almost 7 percent.

America's tradition of potty-mouthed Vice Presidents continues

The Raw Story | Vice President drops f-bomb, not realizing mic is live
Oops: "Loose-lipped Vice President Biden brushed off a formality with some salty language Friday, not realizing he was talking into a live microphone," the Daily News revealed in a little noticed story Saturday. Excerpts: "Gimme a f---ing break," he said when a former Senate colleague addressed him as "Mr. Vice President."

March 15, 2009

Obama Announces Plans To Make Food Safe For Human Consumption

News From The Swamp: Obama Announces Plans To Make Food Safe For Human Consumption

President Obama this week declared war on the Chinese Poison Train, announcing that the FDA will receive $1 billion in new funds for modern testing labs and additional food safety inspectors. Inspecting less than 5% of our food processing plants is apparently a "hazard to public health, and "it is unacceptable." So what's really behind the new policy shift? No, it's not those melamine murders or salmonella outbreaks. It's seven-year-old first daughter Sasha Obama!

In the end, food safety is something I take seriously, not just as your President, but as a parent. When I heard peanut products were being contaminated earlier this year, I immediately thought of my 7-year old daughter, Sasha, who has peanut butter sandwiches for lunch probably three times a week. No parent should have to worry that their child is going to get sick from their lunch. Just as no family should have to worry that the medicines they buy will cause them harm. Protecting the safety of our food and drugs is one of the most fundamental responsibilities government has, and, with the outstanding team I am announcing today, it is a responsibility that I intend to uphold in the months and years to come.

Steve Martin steps in to help high school students put on play

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Steve Martin backing banned play

Comic actor Steve Martin has stepped in to support a school production of his play that was banned after parents objected to its adult themes.

Students at La Grande High School in Oregon were stopped from staging Picasso at the Lapin Agile.

Martin has offered to help pay for the play to be performed off-campus.

He said he was supporting the production because he did not want his play "acquiring a reputation it does not deserve".

March 14, 2009

Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable

Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable -- Clay Shirky

This is a must-read.

Back in 1993, the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain began investigating piracy of Dave Barry’s popular column, which was published by the Miami Herald and syndicated widely. In the course of tracking down the sources of unlicensed distribution, they found many things, including the copying of his column to alt.fan.dave_barry on usenet; a 2000-person strong mailing list also reading pirated versions; and a teenager in the Midwest who was doing some of the copying himself, because he loved Barry’s work so much he wanted everybody to be able to read it.

One of the people I was hanging around with online back then was Gordy Thompson, who managed internet services at the New York Times. I remember Thompson saying something to the effect of “When a 14 year old kid can blow up your business in his spare time, not because he hates you but because he loves you, then you got a problem.” I think about that conversation a lot these days.

The problem newspapers face isn’t that they didn’t see the internet coming. They not only saw it miles off, they figured out early on that they needed a plan to deal with it, and during the early 90s they came up with not just one plan but several. One was to partner with companies like America Online, a fast-growing subscription service that was less chaotic than the open internet. Another plan was to educate the public about the behaviors required of them by copyright law. Alternatively, they could pursue the profit margins enjoyed by radio and TV, if they became purely ad-supported. New payment models such as micropayments were proposed. Still another plan was to convince tech firms to make their hardware and software less capable of sharing, or to partner with the businesses running data networks to achieve the same goal. Then there was the nuclear option: sue copyright infringers directly, making an example of them. . . .