Daily Archive: 02/13/2011

Feb 13 2011

from firefly-dreaming 13.2.11

Regular Daily Features:

Essays Featured Sunday, February 13th:

  • Sunday Open Thoughts has Alma discussing ignorance and ways to combat it.
  • Waterbug  hosts the first WYFP at firefly-dreaming: WYFP: Esprit d’Escalier
  • Xanthe offers poetry for the season in Two Valentine’s Poems
  • Sunday Bread has  madeBill Egnor a man after my heart… today he shares how to make Chocolate Covered Cherries!
  • Firefly Memories 1.0 is where Alma takes a look back at some of the most Brilliant essays of our first years posts, highlighting those which exemplify our firefly-dreaming spirit and mission.  Today:Earthships

come firefly-dreaming with me….

Feb 13 2011

Rant of the Week: Cenk Uygur and Dylan Ratigan

Social Insecurity: Republican and Retirement Money

Feb 13 2011

On This Day in History February 13

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

February 13 is the 44th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 321 days remaining until the end of the year (322 in leap years).

On this day in 1633, Italian philosopher, astronomer and mathematician Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome to face charges of heresy for advocating Copernican theory, which holds that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Galileo officially faced the Roman Inquisition in April of that same year and agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence. Put under house arrest indefinitely by Pope Urban VIII, Galileo spent the rest of his days at his villa in Arcetri, near Florence, before dying on January 8, 1642.

Galileo Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642), commonly known as Galileo, was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations, and support for Copernicanism. Galileo has been called the “father of modern observational astronomy”, the “father of modern physics”, the “father of science”, and “the Father of Modern Science”. Stephen Hawking says, “Galileo, perhaps more than any other single person, was responsible for the birth of modern science.”

The motion of uniformly accelerated objects, taught in nearly all high school and introductory college physics courses, was studied by Galileo as the subject of kinematics. His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter (named the Galilean moons in his honour), and the observation and analysis of sunspots. Galileo also worked in applied science and technology, inventing an improved military compass and other instruments.

Galileo’s championing of Copernicanism was controversial within his lifetime, when a large majority of philosophers and astronomers still subscribed to the geocentric view that the Earth is at the centre of the universe. After 1610, when he began publicly supporting the heliocentric view, which placed the Sun at the centre of the universe, he met with bitter opposition from some philosophers and clerics, and two of the latter eventually denounced him to the Roman Inquisition early in 1615. In February 1616, although he had been cleared of any offence, the Catholic Church nevertheless condemned heliocentrism as “false and contrary to Scripture”, and Galileo was warned to abandon his support for it-which he promised to do. When he later defended his views in his most famous work, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, published in 1632, he was tried by the Inquisition, found “vehemently suspect of heresy”, forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

Feb 13 2011

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with Christiane Amanpour: Christiane Amanpour has an exclusive interview with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Governor of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty, both contending for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012, will discuss the Egyptian Revolution.

The roundtable guest, also discussing events in Egypt, are Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution, Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post, Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy, and ABC News’ George Will.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Scheiffer’s scheduled guests are Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Egyptian Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei,  Egyptian Nobel Laureate and Activist Ahmed Zewail and Egyptian Ambassador to the U.S.

Sameh Shoukry

Editor’s note: As per Think Progress, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was originally scheduled

The Chris Matthews Show: This week’s guests are Gloria Borger, CNN Senior Political Analyst, John Heilemann, New York Magazine National Political Correspondent, David Ignatius, The Washington Post Columnist, and Anne Kornblut, The Washington Post White House Correspondent.

The questions they will ponder are:

How Did President Obama Handle The Crisis In Egypt?

Can Jeb Bush Be Convinced He’s The GOP’s Best Bet in 2012?

Meet the Press with David Gregory: This week will feature an exclusive interview  with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).

Also guests Former Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk and former Middle East Correspondent Robin Wright will discuss Egyptian events.

The roundtable guests are mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed (D), freshman member of congress supported by the Tea Party, Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-IL), former Clinton White House press secretary, Dee Dee Myers, columnist for the New York Times, David Brooks, and Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Edward S. Walker, the former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, and John Negroponte, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, join us for the third straight week to assess the last 19 days in Egypt and the days to come in the Middle East.

And South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham will join us for a discussion about what the Egyptian revolution means for American foreign policy.

Finally, Jacob Lew, the director of the Office of Management and Budget and author of President Obama’s 2012 federal budget proposal, will join us exclusively on Sunday. He says “the easy cuts are behind us,” but will the Obama administration make enough hard cuts to satisfy a more fiscally conservative populace?

Fareed Zakaris: GPS: : A live special edition with the latest from the revolution in Egypt. The scenes from Tahrir Square and elsewhere around Egypt have captivated the world. The sense of joy and elation is breathtaking. But, the question is, what’s next? The road ahead to democracy is a long one.

Where do Egypt and the opposition movement go from here?

And the big question is: will the Egyptian military, an organization that has enjoyed over 50 years of essentially running the country, really hand over power now to a democratic Egypt? A GPS panel with Richard Haass and Steven Cook from the Council on Foreign Relations dig deeper into that question.

Also, the financial crisis destroyed the reputations of many banks and bankers. One baker who came out of the crisis with his reputation intact was JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. Hear what he has to say about what caused the crisis and who made it worse. Could it have been YOU?

Feb 13 2011

Six In The Morning

Mubarak’s Youngest Victims  

Cairo’s street kids were duped into resisting the revolution, then shot by police in the chaos that ensued

Robert Fisk: Cairo’s 50,000 street children were abused by this regime

The cops shot 16-year-old Mariam in the back on 28 January, a live round fired from the roof of the Saida Zeinab police station in the slums of Cairo’s old city at the height of the government violence aimed at quelling the revolution, a pot shot of contempt by Mubarak’s forces for the homeless street children of Egypt.

She had gone to the police with up to a hundred other beggar boys and girls to demand the release of her friend, 16-year-old Ismail Yassin, who had already been dragged inside the station. Some of the kids outside were only nine years old. Maybe that’s why the first policeman on the roof fired warning bullets into the air.

Feb 13 2011

Neglected Tropical Diseases: Guinea-worm disease

This is a series of diaries focused on the World Health Organization Neglected Tropical Diseases Program. I initially wrote a diary about Dengue Fever that had hospitalized Salon columnist and constitutional lawyer, Glenn Greenwald. The second diary briefly introduced the other diseases on the WHO list.

This week will focus on Guinea-worm disease (GWD), or Dracunculiasis, which is a debilitating and painful parasitic infection caused by a large nematode (roundworm), Dracunculus medinensis. The guinea worm is one of the best historically documented human parasites, with tales of its behaviour reaching as far back as the 2nd century BC in accounts penned by Greek chroniclers. It is also mentioned in the Egyptian scrolls, dating from 1550 BC. An Old Testament description of “fiery serpents” may have been referring to Guinea Worm: “And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.” (Numbers 21:4-9). The name dracunculiasis is derived from the Latin “affliction with little dragons” while the common name “guinea worm” appeared after Europeans saw the disease on the Guinea coast of West Africa in the 17th century.

It a water born disease and is contracted by drinking stagnant water that has been contaminated with the worm and copepods infested by the larvae. Copepods are tiny crustaceans found in sea and nearly every freshwater habitat. The disease manifests itself about a year after infection, usually as a large blister on the leg, that burns and itches and the mature worm, 1m long, tries to emerge. The infected person tries to relieve the pain by immersing the infected part in water, usually open water sources such as ponds and shallow wells. This stimulates the worm to emerge and release thousands of larvae into the water, thus perpetuating the cycle.

For persons living in remote areas with no access to medical care, healing of the ulcers can take several weeks. People in endemic villages are incapacitated during peak agricultural activities. This can seriously affect their agricultural production and the availability of food in the household, and consequently the nutritional status of their family members, particularly young children. Outbreaks can cause serious disruption to local food supplies and school attendance.

The good news is that the end of GWD is currently in sight. Thanks to President Jimmy Carter and the his Center’s initiative to eradicate this disease there are currently only four countries in the world where GWD is endemic, Sudan, Ghana, Mali and Ethiopia. The major focus is on Sudan where 84% of the 3,190 infections reported in 2009 occurred. WHO predicted it will be “a few years yet” before eradication is achieved, on the basis that it took 6-12 years for the countries that have so far eliminated Guinea worm transmission. Endemic countries must report to the International Commission for the Certification of Dracunculiasis Eradication and document the absence of indigenous cases of GWD for at least three consecutive years to be certified as Guinea worm-free. Guinea worm disease will be only the second human disease, after smallpox, to be eradicated globally.

Prevention

Guinea worm disease can only be transmitted by drinking contaminated water, and can be completely prevented through relatively simple measures that could result in the disease being eradicated:

   * Drinking solely water drawn from underground sources free from contamination, such as a borehole or hand-dug wells.

   * Filtering drinking water, using a fine-mesh cloth filter like nylon, to remove the guinea worm-containing crustaceans.

   * Preventing people with emerging guinea worms from entering ponds and wells used for drinking water.

   * Developing new sources of drinking water that lack the parasites, or repairing dysfunctional ones.

Water sources can also be treated with larvicides to kill worm-carrying crustaceans.

Further discussion is below the fold, since the brief description of treatment and video are graphic and not for the squeamish.

Feb 13 2011

Neglected Tropical Diseases: Guinea-worm disease

This is a series of diaries focused on the World Health Organization Neglected Tropical Diseases Program. I initially wrote a diary about Dengue Fever that had hospitalized Salon columnist and constitutional lawyer, Glenn Greenwald. The second diary briefly introduced the other diseases on the WHO list.

This week will focus on Guinea-worm disease (GWD), or Dracunculiasis, which is a debilitating and painful parasitic infection caused by a large nematode (roundworm), Dracunculus medinensis. The guinea worm is one of the best historically documented human parasites, with tales of its behaviour reaching as far back as the 2nd century BC in accounts penned by Greek chroniclers. It is also mentioned in the Egyptian scrolls, dating from 1550 BC. An Old Testament description of “fiery serpents” may have been referring to Guinea Worm: “And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.” (Numbers 21:4-9). The name dracunculiasis is derived from the Latin “affliction with little dragons” while the common name “guinea worm” appeared after Europeans saw the disease on the Guinea coast of West Africa in the 17th century.

It a water born disease and is contracted by drinking stagnant water that has been contaminated with the worm and copepods infested by the larvae. Copepods are tiny crustaceans found in sea and nearly every freshwater habitat. The disease manifests itself about a year after infection, usually as a large blister on the leg, that burns and itches and the mature worm, 1m long, tries to emerge. The infected person tries to relieve the pain by immersing the infected part in water, usually open water sources such as ponds and shallow wells. This stimulates the worm to emerge and release thousands of larvae into the water, thus perpetuating the cycle.

For persons living in remote areas with no access to medical care, healing of the ulcers can take several weeks. People in endemic villages are incapacitated during peak agricultural activities. This can seriously affect their agricultural production and the availability of food in the household, and consequently the nutritional status of their family members, particularly young children. Outbreaks can cause serious disruption to local food supplies and school attendance.

The good news is that the end of GWD is currently in sight. Thanks to President Jimmy Carter and the his Center’s initiative to eradicate this disease there are currently only four countries in the world where GWD is endemic, Sudan, Ghana, Mali and Ethiopia. The major focus is on Sudan where 84% of the 3,190 infections reported in 2009 occurred. WHO predicted it will be “a few years yet” before eradication is achieved, on the basis that it took 6-12 years for the countries that have so far eliminated Guinea worm transmission. Endemic countries must report to the International Commission for the Certification of Dracunculiasis Eradication and document the absence of indigenous cases of GWD for at least three consecutive years to be certified as Guinea worm-free. Guinea worm disease will be only the second human disease, after smallpox, to be eradicated globally.

Prevention

Guinea worm disease can only be transmitted by drinking contaminated water, and can be completely prevented through relatively simple measures that could result in the disease being eradicated:

   * Drinking solely water drawn from underground sources free from contamination, such as a borehole or hand-dug wells.

   * Filtering drinking water, using a fine-mesh cloth filter like nylon, to remove the guinea worm-containing crustaceans.

   * Preventing people with emerging guinea worms from entering ponds and wells used for drinking water.

   * Developing new sources of drinking water that lack the parasites, or repairing dysfunctional ones.

Water sources can also be treated with larvicides to kill worm-carrying crustaceans.

Further discussion is below the fold, since the brief description of treatment and video are graphic and not for the squeamish.

Feb 13 2011

DocuDharma Digest

Regular Features-

Featured Essays for February 12, 2011-

DocuDharma

Feb 13 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Thousands rally to demand Algerian leader quits

AFP

1 hr 16 mins ago

ALGIERS (AFP) – Up to 2,000 demonstrators evaded massed police Saturday to rally in a central Algiers square, pressing for the demise of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika following the ouster of leaders in Egypt and Tunisia.

Ringed by hundreds of anti-riot forces, some carrying automatic weapons in addition to clubs and shields, they waved a large banner reading “Regime, out” and chanted slogans borrowed from the mass protests in Tunis and Cairo.

But police deployed in their thousands prevented a planned march from May 1 Square of some four kilometres (three miles) to Martyrs Square.

Feb 13 2011

Prime Time

Turn Left Racing.  Hairspray (not the good 1988 version).  Austin City Limits has Pearl Jam.  Also the best movie about politics ever (and it’s not Snow White).

My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.

Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don’t have men killed.

Oh?  Who’s being naive, Kay?

Give this job to Clemenza.  I want reliable people, people who aren’t going to be carried away.  I mean, we’re not murderers, in spite of what this undertaker thinks…

Later-

I went to the Police like a good American.  These two boys were arrested and brought to trial.  The judge sentenced them to three years in prison, and suspended the sentence.  Suspended sentence!  They went free that very day.  I stood in the courtroom like a fool, and those bastards, they smiled at me.  Then I said to my wife, for Justice, we must go to The Godfather.

Bonasera, we know each other for years, but this is the first time you come to me for help.  I don’t remember the last time you invited me to your house for coffee… even though our wives are friends.

SNLRussell Brand and Chris Brown.

BoondocksWingmen, The Venture BrothersPast Tense

You never think to protect yourself with real friends.  You think it’s enough to be an American.  All right, the Police protects you, there are Courts of Law, so you don’t need a friend like me.  But now you come to me and say Don Corleone, you must give me justice.  And you don’t ask in respect or friendship.  And you don’t think to call me Godfather; instead you come to my house on the day my daughter is to be married and you ask me to do murder…for money.

America has been good to me…

Then take the justice from the judge, the bitter with the sweet, Bonasera.  But if you come to me with your friendship, your loyalty, then your enemies become my enemies, and then, believe me, they would fear you…