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Drug-resistant staph infections hitting San Francisco's gay community

S.F. gay community an epicenter for new strain of virulent staph

(01-14) 14:11 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- A new variety of staph bacteria, highly resistant to antibiotics and possibly transmitted by sexual contact, is spreading among gay men in San Francisco, Boston, New York and Los Angeles, researchers reported Monday.

The study released online by the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found the highest concentrations of infection by the drug-resistant bug in and around San Francisco's Castro district and among patients who visit health clinics that treat HIV infections in gay men in San Francisco and Boston.

The culprit is a form of MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a bug that was once confined to hospitalized patients but, since the late 1990s, has been circulating outside medical settings, afflicting anyone from injection-drug users to elementary school students. A strain called USA300 has been a leading cause of MRSA infection in this decade, and an exceptionally drug-resistant variant of it is now on the loose, researchers say.

January 14, 2008

trailer: Prince Caspian

Apple - Trailers - The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian...

Get Your War On!

www.mnftiu.cc | get your war on | page 71

Krugman lays out the candidates' policies for economic recovery

Responding to Recession - New York Times Since this is an election year, the debate over how to stimulate the economy is inevitably tied up with politics. And here’s a modest suggestion for political reporters. Instead of trying to divine the candidates’ characters by scrutinizing their tone of voice and facial expressions, why not pay attention to what they say about economic policy?

. . .

On the Democratic side, John Edwards, although never the front-runner, has been driving his party’s policy agenda. He’s done it again on economic stimulus: last month, before the economic consensus turned as negative as it now has, he proposed a stimulus package including aid to unemployed workers, aid to cash-strapped state and local governments, public investment in alternative energy, and other measures.

Last week Hillary Clinton offered a broadly similar but somewhat larger proposal. (It also includes aid to families having trouble paying heating bills, which seems like a clever way to put cash in the hands of people likely to spend it.) The Edwards and Clinton proposals both contain provisions for bigger stimulus if the economy worsens.

And you have to say that Mrs. Clinton seems comfortable with and knowledgeable about economic policy. I’m sure the Hillary-haters will find some reason that’s a bad thing, but there’s something to be said for presidents who know what they’re talking about.

The Obama campaign’s initial response to the latest wave of bad economic news was, I’m sorry to say, disreputable: Mr. Obama’s top economic adviser claimed that the long-term tax-cut plan the candidate announced months ago is just what we need to keep the slump from “morphing into a drastic decline in consumer spending.” Hmm: claiming that the candidate is all-seeing, and that a tax cut originally proposed for other reasons is also a recession-fighting measure — doesn’t that sound familiar?

Who's your favorite character on The Wire

Google Reader (36)

For me it's like this:
1. Stringer Bell
2. Lester Freeman
3. Omar

And then it all gets mixed up with McNulty and The Bunk and Prop Joe and Frank Sobotka and Norman and I could go on and on. What bout you?

Garlic may help treat arsenic poisoning

Garlic combats arsenic poisoning - health - 14 January 2008 - New Scientist

Garlic may provide some relief for millions of Bangladeshis and Indians whose drinking water is contaminated with arsenic.

Keya Chaudhuri of the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology in Kolkata, and her colleagues gave rats daily doses of arsenic in their water, in levels equivalent to those found in groundwater in Bangladesh and West Bengal. Rats which were also fed garlic extracts had 40 per cent less arsenic in their blood and liver, and passed 45 per cent more arsenic in their urine (Food and Chemical Toxicology, DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2007.09.108).

Chaudhuri says that sulphur-containing substances in garlic scavenge arsenic from tissues and blood. She advises people in at-risk areas to eat one to three cloves of garlic per day as a preventative.

The Hero's Journey in sci-fi

Chart: New Proof That Every Scifi Epic Is Based On Joseph Campbell

A chart laying out the elements of Joseph Campbell's archetypical Hero's Journey and the films which crib from it.

Bush: US should have bombed Auschwitz

Bush: US should have acted on Auschwitz - Yahoo! News

Upon viewing an aerial shot of Auschwitz, taken during the war by U.S. forces, he said Bush called the decision not to bomb it "complex." He then called over Rice to discuss President Franklin D. Roosevelt's decision, clearly pondering the options before rendering an opinion of his own, Shalev told The Associated Press.

Shalev quoted Bush as asking Rice, "Why didn't Roosevelt bomb it?" He said Rice and Bush discussed the matter further and then the president delivered his verdict.

"We should have bombed it," Shalev, speaking in Hebrew, quoted Bush as saying.

Briefing reporters later on Air Force One, Rice said Bush was talking about the rail lines to the camp.

Scientists reverse Alzheimers in minutes in human trials

Reversal Of Alzheimer's Symptoms Within Minutes In Human Study

ScienceDaily (Jan. 9, 2008) — An extraordinary new scientific study, which for the first time documents marked improvement in Alzheimer’s disease within minutes of administration of a therapeutic molecule, has just been published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation.

Berkeley's bizarre trove of human bones

UC Berkeley's bones of contention - Los Angeles Times

BERKELEY -- There is a legend at UC Berkeley that human bones are stored in the landmark Campanile tower. But university officials say that's not true.

The human bones are actually stored beneath the Hearst Gymnasium swimming pool.

The remains of about 12,000 Native Americans lie in drawers and cabinets in the gym's basement. Most of them were dug up by university archaeologists and have been stored under the pool since at least the early 1960s.

Now the bones are at the center of a dispute between Native Americans, who want to rebury their ancestors, and university officials, who have been slow to hand over the remains. Some tribal leaders contend that the university is violating a federal law that governs the repatriation of artifacts and remains.

Despite the facts, Bush still believes Iran has a nuclear program

Talking Points Memo | Bush Disowns Iran NIE

In public, President Bush has been careful to reassure Israel and other allies that he still sees Iran as a threat, while not disavowing his administration's recent National Intelligence Estimate. That NIE, made public Dec. 3, embarrassed the administration by concluding that Tehran had halted its weapons program in 2003, which seemed to undermine years of bellicose rhetoric from Bush and other senior officials about Iran's nuclear ambitions. But in private conversations with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last week, the president all but disowned the document, said a senior administration official who accompanied Bush on his six-nation trip to the Mideast. "He told the Israelis that he can't control what the intelligence community says, but that [the NIE's] conclusions don't reflect his own views" about Iran's nuclear-weapons program, said the official, who would discuss intelligence matters only on the condition of anonymity.

Girl Genius paper dolls

Girl Genius Online Comics!

Girl Genius is still one of the best webcomics in the universe.

The worst column I have ever read about video games

Townhall.com::The "Sex-Box" Race for President::By Kevin McCullough

This article is so hilariously misinformed and wrong about every fact that it could easily be an Onion article. See, it's about Bioware's Mass Effect which I happened to have completed last weekend. Mass Effect is a sci-fi epic about the usual things sci-fi epics are about: genocide, racial tolerance, one small ship vs. a million enemies, and so on. It's notable for being beautiful, better written than almost any game this year, possessing a new dialogue tree system that is genuinely engrossing, and also having a tasteful 40-second sex scene at the very end of the game. Said sex scene shows no genitalia, and consists only of quick cuts and implications.

Here is what this columnist has to say:

I know that they all probably assume they have better, much more important, urgent, timely, things to campaign on, but I sure would like to get their individual takes on the new video game that one company is marketing to fifteen year old boys.

It's called "Mass Effect" and it allows its players - universally male no doubt - to engage in the most realistic sex acts ever conceived. One can custom design the shape, form, bodies, race, hair style, breast size of the images they wish to "engage" and then watch in crystal clear, LCD, 54 inch screen, HD clarity as the video game "persons" hump in every form, format, multiple, gender-oriented possibility they can think of.

The objections to such filth should be simple to understand.

Starting with the disgusting idea that one can "create" their own versions of what people look like, removing warts, moles, and bald spots while enhancing - shall we say - the extended features of the game's characters tends to objectify women, sex, and human relationships. Right? We can all agree on this?

Did someone show him Second Life and claim it was Mass Effect? Probably not. He's probably just making up the worst thing he can think of.

The sex is so tame that it's more like two people hugging for 40 seconds in dim lighting. And the character creation that he finds bizarrely offensive only involves designing the face of your character. There is no option for bust size or cock size or whatever.

This kind of journalism is hilarious, but extremely harmful. This man should lose his job for making shit up, just like other reporters have in the past.

(via)