Sarah Palin's presence in the lower 48 means the Arctic ice cap can finally return.

calendar   Friday - September 30, 2005

No Looting

Ever wonder why there was so much looting and shooting going on in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina but there was none in Texas during Hurricane Rita? Oink has the answer. The picture below came to him from a Marine buddy in Texas. I think it’s self-explanatory ....



Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 11:35 PM   
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Photo Finish

It’s no secret that I only root for two baseball teams ... the Chicago Cubs and whoever is playing the Yankees. The BoSox broke their curse last year and won the World Series. The Cubbies are still waiting for that damn goat to forgive us. I hope Boston beats the socks off the Yankees but of course whoever wins the American League championship will have to lose to the best team in baseball this year ... the St. Louis Cardinals. This year the Cards will take the Big Prize. Why? Because I freakin’ said so. Wanna bet on it?

imageimageBoSox Beat Yankees to Tie for AL East Lead

It’s all tied up in the AL East. Boston and New York. Two games to play. Jason Varitek homered, David Ortiz drove in another big run and David Wells pitched seven strong innings on Friday night to give the Red Sox a 5-3 victory over the Yankees, knotting the division on the season’s final weekend. Boston’s victory left both teams at 94-66 and guarantees that the AL East title won’t be decided until Sunday, what’s scheduled to be the final day of the regular season.

Or possibly Monday. If the teams split the last two games, there could be a one-game playoff at Yankee Stadium. If Cleveland also is tied at 95 wins, the loser of the Boston-New York game would play the Indians Tuesday for the AL wild-card berth. For now, the schedule has Tim Wakefield (16-11) facing Randy Johnson (16-8) on Saturday, with Curt Schilling (7-8) going against Mike Mussina (13-8) on Sunday.

Wells (15-7) won for the sixth time in seven decisions, with the only loss coming at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 9. But returning to Boston, where he’s now 8-1, served the former Yankee well; he allowed three runs, six hits and two walks, striking out five. Mike Timlin got the last four outs for his 12th save in 19 chances. It was his 80th appearance of the season, a career-high that matches the franchise record.

Rookie Chien-Ming Wang (8-5) gave up five runs — just three earned — on four hits and six walks. He struck out four in 6 2-3 innings. The voluble and voluminous Wells had demonstrated control this year — with his pitching, not with the mouth that earned him a suspension and a dressing down from the commissioner’s office. He allowed just 19 walks in his first 29 starts, but started off with two walks and a hit batter, loading the bases with one out in the first inning.

Still, the Yankees scored just once, when Hideki Matsui singled — his first of three hits — to score Alex Rodriguez. Jorge Posada struck out with the bases loaded and stranded six runners in his first three at-bats. Rodriguez, the Yankees’ Most Valuable Player front-runner, walked and scored to give New York a 1-0 lead in the first, but Boston promptly tied it. Johnny Damon walked to lead off the Boston first, stole second and scored when Ortiz singled for his major league-leading 147th RBI. Varitek homered to lead off the second, then Boston scored three more in the sixth to make it 5-1.

Damon singled and stole second and, one out later, Ortiz was intentionally walked — giving some words of encouragement to Manny Ramirez on deck. Ramirez singled, but too sharply for Damon to score, and the bases were loaded when Wang forced in a run by walking Trot Nixon. Varitek hit a grounder to first baseman Jason Giambi, whose throw home was in the dirt and everyone was safe. John Olerud hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Ramirez, then Giambi made a nice unassisted play on Bill Mueller’s hard grounder to end the inning.

Derek Jeter hit a two-run homer in the seventh, closing the Yankees within two runs. It’s the closest race between the longtime rivals since 1978, when Bucky Dent’s popup over the Green Monster won a one-game playoff and gave the division to the Yankees. They also faced each other in the AL championship series in 1999 and each of the last two years, with Boston finally breaking through in 2004 for its first World Series title since 1918. As if the series didn’t offer enough drama, Rodriguez and Ortiz entered as the AL’s two leading MVP candidates. The hometown crowd gives the edge to Big Papi and his penchant for game-saving hits — like the ones that tied and then won the game on Thursday night against Toronto.


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 10:47 PM   
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Oil Trumps God?

Freedom of religion in the Kingdom Of Oil? Never happen as long as you keep driving those gas-guzzling SUV’s. All we need to do is wait until they sell all the oil over there to us and then we’ll turn around and sell them water .... provided they allow the Pope to visit ....

US Waives Sanctions on Saudis Over Religious Rights

The United States has postponed punishing Saudi Arabia, its close ally and key oil supplier, for restricting religious freedom—the first time Washington has waived punishing a blacklisted country under a 1998 law targeting violators of religious rights. U.S. officials said on Friday the Bush administration had decided to delay imposing sanctions on Saudi Arabia for six months. The decision reflects the delicate balance the United States has sought to strike with Arab allies such as Saudi Arabia as it promotes expanding freedoms at the risk of irking governments needed to support its oil and terrorism policies.

In a rare official rebuke a year ago, Washington designated Saudi Arabia as one of only eight countries worldwide that could be sanctioned. The blacklisting in an annual report said religious freedom did not exist in the kingdom. With this year’s report due out next month, the Bush administration needed to decide on sanctioning Saudi Arabia and chose to give the kingdom a further six months to negotiate how it might improve its record. “We have not seen strong progress in the area of legal protection for religious freedom,” State Department spokesman Kurtis Cooper said. “(But) we welcome Saudi recognition of the need to make improvements and create a more tolerant society.”

With high oil prices affecting the U.S. economy and dragging on President George W. Bush’s popularity, Democrats have charged he has largely ignored Saudi Arabia’s rights record for fear of causing any backlash from the oil supplier. Prominent Saudis dismiss as politically motivated U.S. criticism of the country’s strict Wahhabi brand of Islam. In contrast to its decision on Saudi Arabia, the United States decided to sanction Eritrea by banning military exports to the Horn of Africa country, the officials said.

Vietnam, the third country added to the blacklist last year, has avoided sanctions after agreeing to improve its record, they added. The other countries the United States considers serious violators of religious freedom are North Korea, Myanmar, Sudan, Iran and China. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, an agency established by Congress to promote religious freedom, has recommended this year that three allies should be added to the blacklist: Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 10:29 PM   
Filed Under: • Religion •  
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Kentucky Bats

Todays “All In The Family” moment is brought to you by horseshoe bats. Key quote: “… they smell out who their relatives are”. Oddly enough, that’s the same method used by Leftist anti-war protestors to keep track of each other ....

imageimageKinky Female Bats Share Mates With Their Mothers, Avoid Incest

Female greater horseshoe bats like to keep it all in the family – they share mates with their mothers and even their grandmothers – but, somehow they avoid incest, a new study reports. “She won’t mate with her father. But she will mate with her mother’s partner – but only when her mother has switched partners,” said study leader Stephen Rossiter of the Queen Mary, University of London of the female bats. Although this behavior sounds strange – and leads to some very confusing family trees – Rossiter suggests that it evolved to tighten relationships within the colony.

“One possibility is that by increasing kinship, sharing sexual partners strengthens social ties and promotes greater levels of cooperation within the colony,” Rossiter said. In some cases a female and her maternal half-aunt were also half-sisters on their father’s side. It’s pretty confusing, but think of it like this: Female 1 mates with male 1, producing female 2. Later on, female 1 ditches male 1 and mates with male 2, producing female 3. Meanwhile, female 2 gets in on the action and also mates with male 2, producing female 3a. Females 3 and 3a are in related two ways now – female 3 is 3a’s half aunt on their maternal side, but they’re sisters on their dad’s side. And, since horseshoe bats have a life span of about 30 years, it only gets more complicated down the road.

This study was part of one of the world’s longest-running wild animal population studies. The researchers used genetic analysis techniques to draw up the family trees for over 450 bats in the attics of Woodchester Mansion in Gloucestershire, UK. This research is detailed in the Sept. 15 issue of the journal Nature. For most of the year, female horseshoe bats live in a colony separate from the males, which generally live off on their own. The females raise the young together in a large group, presumably to keep warm and for safety reasons.

But once a year the females and males all get together for a wild mating season during which one male may be shared by several generations of females. So how did these bats start this kinky behavior? One answer could be that generations ago the female colony all made the trip to the same mating site. Once there, the females may have shared information with each other about which of the males were good mates. “The consequence is that the levels of relatedness increase dramatically in the colony,” Rossiter said. Somehow in all the confusion of hundreds of bats all trying to find a mate, the females manage to avoid mating with their fathers.

“We don’t actually know how, but we have some suspicions,” Rossiter said. “Presumably it’s through some sort of olfactory sense – they smell out who their relatives are.” Animals in the wild generally tend to avoid inbreeding, although researchers aren’t entirely sure they know how this works. One thing they do know is that incest can cause the expression of harmful genetic information. Each gene is made up of two alleles, which come in dominant and recessive versions. If an individual has a combination of the two versions, they’re heterozygous for this gene. If they have either two copies of the dominant, or two copies of the recessive, they’re homozygous for the gene.

If an individual is heterozygous, the dominant allele wins out and gets expressed. This is good for the individual if the recessive allele is harmful. Incest creates an increase of homozygous parings in a population, making it more likely that a harmful recessive-recessive could occur. “The expression of these harmful alleles can lead to lowered reproduction and survival, known as inbreeding depression,” Rossiter said.


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 10:07 PM   
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Blog Upgrade Complete (v.1.3.1 to 1.3.2)

I have had the blog down for the last thirty minutes to upload, update and configure an upgrade to the Expression Engine software. All systems are back to normal operation now. If you encounter any problems, follow the usual procedure to report or complain. Try to use English words and refrain from profanity or I’ll have ye keelhauled. Complete list of changes, bug fixes and new features (bugs) are in the Forum Bulletin.

I have also added a Help Page that explains the “My Account” page where members can add or change avatars, photos, signatures, e-mail settings, etc. For reference, once you login you may access your personal member profile page by clicking on “Your Account” in the top right sidebar in the “Member Information” section right below Batty. The documentation to assist the computer illiterates among you is here.

More On This Topic In Our Forums

Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 12:24 PM   
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Why Ask Why?



Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 10:43 AM   
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Sad Story

To me, the really sad thing about this is the poor critter isn’t smart enough to know just how f**ked up he (or she) really is. Then again, maybe it’s better not to know. In a related story, Michael Moore was last seen ....

imageA woman holds a baby tortoise with two heads in Havana September 27, 2005. The tortoise was found some days ago on a river bank at the city forest. According to scientists of the local aquarium who inspected the animal, it seems to be perfectly healthy. REUTERS/Claudia Daut


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 09:03 AM   
Filed Under: • Odd-Strange •  
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Meet George Jetson

My best guess is Arnold Schwarzenegger has already ordered one of these babies. Better keep an eye on the skies above California. The Governator will be dive-bombing the Democrat-controlled California legislature any day now ....

imageimageGas Prices High? Try an Eco-friendly, $3.5 million Skycar
CHICAGO (Reuters)

If that Hummer is draining your cash at the gas pump, Neiman Marcus Group Inc. has the perfect holiday gift: A fuel-efficient, $3.5 million (2 million pound) “Skycar” that flies 350 miles per hour and burns environmentally friendly alcohol. The luxury retailer’s annual Christmas Book of gifts for the rich and richer shows no signs of scaling back in times of economic strain—although there are a few stocking stuffers such as a $15 paperweight for those on a tighter budget.

The M400 Skycar prototype is a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that gets 21 miles per gallon and is designed to be “as safe, affordable and easy to use as an automobile. “A limited number of M400s is expected to be available within the next three years, but you can purchase the actual prototype for yourself or your favourite commuter now,” Neiman Marcus said in the catalogue. Delivery is not included. Buyers must clear regulatory requirements, including International Traffic in Arms Regulations and Federal Aviation Administration authorization.

For those who can’t get clearance, there is always the private Elton John concert. For $1.5 million, you and 500 close friends can enjoy an intimate piano concert while helping a good cause—the money goes to John’s AIDS foundation. Sports fans can opt for the $65,000 IndyCar race simulator. For an extra $10,000, they will throw in a “race hospitality package” for the famed Indianapolis 500, including pit access, four nights’ hotel and autographed merchandise. Act fast—only five hospitality packages are available.

There is also a jewellery collection for $1.2 million, and a “levitating sculpture” that uses an invisible magnetic wave to suspend an oval-shaped aluminium sculpture with no visible means of support. The sculpture comes in a 6-foot limited edition for $90,000, or a 16-inch version for just $18,000. For the environmentalist who can’t afford a Skycar, Neiman Marcus offers a special-edition 2007 Lexus GS 450h luxury hybrid sedan for $65,000. Only 75 will be made, with exclusive Crystalline Ice exterior paint.

Don’t procrastinate. The retailer said the limited-edition cars—as well as many other items featured in its Christmas catalogue—have sold out every year since 1995. Cars tend to sell quickly, often in the first 24 hours. The Christmas Book, first published in 1926, will be mailed to some 2 million households worldwide this week.


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 08:44 AM   
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Most Ridiculous Item Of The Day (so far)

Here is is, in a nutshell: three nuts decided they wanted to shutdown a guinea pig farm so they went to a graveyard, dug up the body of the farm owner’s relative and told the owners they could have the body back when they closed down the farm. Hmmmm ... and you thought that we could only breed lunatics this mad on our side of the pond? Think again ....

imageimageThree Remanded in Body Theft Case

Three men accused of conspiring to blackmail the owners of a guinea pig breeding farm have been remanded in custody. Kerry Whitburn, John Ablewhite and John Smith appeared before Burton-on-Trent magistrates charged with conspiracy to blackmail the Hall family. Josephine Mayo is charged with the same offence and was given conditional bail.

The Halls are related to Gladys Hammond whose remains were taken from a church in Staffordshire last year. All four defendants will appear at Stafford Crown Court next Friday. Mr Whitburn, 36, of Summer Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, Mr Smith, 38, of Leicester Street, Wolverhampton, Mr Ablewhite, 35, of Hawley Street, Levenshulme, Manchester, and Ms Mayo, 37, of Cottage Close, Chasetown, Staffordshire, will appear at Stafford Crown Court next Friday.

The defendants are all charged with conspiracy to blackmail David Hall and Partners and others connected to Darley Oaks Farm, Newchurch, Staffordshire, between 1 September, 1999 and 27 September this year. They allegedly conspired together “with a view to cause loss to another” by making unwarranted demands for the closure of Darley Oaks Farm.

Police had detained the three men, aged 35, 36 and 38, in separate raids in Manchester, the Edgbaston area of Birmingham and Wolverhampton on Tuesday morning. The woman was arrested in Burntwood, Staffordshire, on the same day. She is due in court on 11 October. Another woman, 23, also from Wolverhampton, was arrested on suspicion of assaulting and obstructing police and bailed on Tuesday.

Mrs Hammond’s body was taken from her grave in St Peter’s churchyard in Yoxall on 6 or 7 October 2004, seven years after she was buried there. Her remains have still not been recovered. The Hall family, which owns Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, decided to start winding down their guinea pig breeding operation in August.


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 08:23 AM   
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More Abu Ghraib Nonsense

Key quote below: “While no one wants to see what’s on the photos or videos, they will play an essential role in holding our government leaders accountable for the torture that’s happened on their watch”. As usual, the ACLU is more intent on destroying American government than they are on keeping terrorists from killing us all. All they need to do is keep on filing these lawsuits and finding sympathetic judges to go along with their agenda. Sure, release the pictures. Give the ragheads another reason to stay fired up and angry at us. Who cares as long as the ACLU can make the administration look bad for what a few mindless soldiers may or may not have done? That is the ACLU agenda. Go visit Jay at for more information on this dangerous organization’s latest activities ....

Judge Orders Release of Abu Ghraib Photos

Photographs showing U.S. soldiers tormenting Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison tarnished America’s reputation when they were released last year, with some critics of the U.S.-led occupation citing the scandal as vindication. On Thursday, a federal judge ordered the release of dozens more pictures of abuse from the infamous Baghdad prison—potentially opening the military up to more embarrassment from a scandal that already has stirred outrage around the world. U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein rejected government arguments that the images would provoke terrorists and incite violence against U.S. troops in Iraq.

He said terrorists “do not need pretexts for their barbarism” and that suppressing the pictures would amount to submitting to blackmail. “Our nation does not surrender to blackmail, and fear of blackmail is not a legally sufficient argument to prevent us from performing a statutory command. Indeed, the freedoms that we champion are as important to our success in Iraq and Afghanistan as the guns and missiles with which our troops are armed,” he said. The 74 photographs covered by ruling were taken by a soldier; three videotapes also were ordered released. A military policeman who saw the photos turned them over to the Army. Some may be duplicates of photos already seen by the public.

An appeal of Hellerstein’s ruling was expected, which could delay release of the pictures for months. Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. Central Command, said releasing the photos would hinder his work against terrorism. “When we continue to pick at the wound and show the pictures over and over again it just creates the image—a false image—like this is the sort of stuff that is happening anew, and it’s not,” Abizaid said. The American Civil Liberties Union sought release of the photographs and videotapes as part of an October 2003 lawsuit demanding information on the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody and the transfer of prisoners to countries known to use torture. The ACLU contends that prisoner abuse is systemic.

“It’s a historic ruling, said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero. “While no one wants to see what’s on the photos or videos, they will play an essential role in holding our government leaders accountable for the torture that’s happened on their watch.” Bridget F. Kelly, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, said her office was reviewing the ruling and considering its options. Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had argued in court papers that releasing the photographs would aid al-Qaida recruitment, weaken the Afghan and Iraqi governments and incite riots against American troops.

But the judge said his task is not to “defer to our worst fears, but to interpret and apply the law, in this case, the Freedom of Information Act, which advances values important to our society, transparency and accountability in government.” The ACLU had sought the release of 87 photographs and four videotapes altogether. The judge viewed the pictures and videotapes and ordered some of them edited. Romero said those images apparently contained so many redactions that they would have been unintelligible. The judge said the pictures were important because they were the best evidence of what happened at the prison.


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 08:03 AM   
Filed Under: • Judges-Courts-LawyersMilitary •  
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Sand Castles

John Trever, New Mexico, The Albuquerque Journal


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 07:19 AM   
Filed Under: • Humor •  
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calendar   Thursday - September 29, 2005

Light Reading

Definition 2.1 : A relation r is a table where each column is labeled and represents an attribute and each row represents a record. No two columns can have the same label, and no two rows can be identical (cf .[121]) . There are two relational operations of interest to us : projection and join.

Definition 2.2 : Let U be a set of attributes and let r be a relation over U.

(a) For any X c U, r(X), the projection of r on X, is a relation obtained by taking from each row of r those entries corresponding to the attributes of X an d identifying identical rows.

(b) For any family (X1,X2, . . .,Xk) of subsets of U such that X 1 uX2 u . . .uXk = U , the natural join of the projection of r onto the X 1 ‘s is r(X1)*r(X2)* . . .*r(Xk ) {uJ for each 1
Definition 2.3 : Let U be a finite set of attributes . A functional dependency (FD) f over U is an ordered pair (X,Y) of non-empty subsets of U . Following common notation, we shall write f : X Y and call X the left side of f, denoted L(f) , and Y the right side of f, denoted R(f).

Definition 2.4 : Let U be a set of attributes and let F be a set of FD's over U . The pair [U,F] is called a dependenc y system . A relation r is called a Valid relation over [U,F] if for every FD f : X + Y in F, no two rows of r with identical entries in the X-columns have differing entries in the Y-columns.

Definition 2.5 : Let F be a set of FD' s over U . For any X c U, we define CL F(X ) (or simply CL(X)), the closure of X unde r F, as follows [1,8]:

(1) X c CL(X)

(2) If Y c CL(X) and Y + Z is a FD in F then Z c CL(X).

(3) CL(X) is the least set (with respect to set inclusion) satisfying (1) and (2). A database scheme is a collection of sets of attributes used to define the relations in the database . A relation scheme is a set of attributes used to define a single relation. A decompositio n of a relation scheme R = A l A2 . . . An is its replacement by a database scheme T = {R1,R2, . . .,Rk} such that R1 uR2 u . . .uRk = R (cf .E16]).

Definition 2.6 : Let F be a set of FD' s over U and let T = {X1,X2, . . .,Xk} be a collection of subsets of U.

(a) T is said to be a lossless-join decomposition of U under F if for every valid relation r over [U,F]: r = r(X1)*r(X2)'* . . .*r(Xk) that is, r is the natural join of its projections onto X i's.

(b) For each 1si<_k, let F i be a set of FD's over Xi such that CLF (Z) = CLF (Z)nXi for every Z c Xi. T is said to be a dependency-preserving decomposition of U if for every Y c U, we have CLF (Y) = CLG (Y), where G = F 1 uF 2 u . . .uFk.

We note the following result of Aho, Beer and Ullman ([1], Corollary 1).

Remark 2.7 : {X,Y} is a lossless-join decomposition of XuY if and only if either Y c CL(XnY) or X c CL(XnY).

The next definition will formalize the concepts of key and Boyce-Codd Normal Form (BCNF) .

Definition 2.8 : Let F be a set of FD' s over U and let W c U.

(a) A subset X of W is said to be a key of W under F if W c CL(X) . Otherwise, it is a nonkey of W under F.

(b) W is said to be in BCNF if whenever A E CL (X) -X for A E W, X c W, then X is a key of W under F. (In other words, the only nontrivial dependencies in W are those in which a key functionally determines one or more attributes [16] .)



Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/29/2005 at 11:19 PM   
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Yo’ Momma’s Combat Boots

In a time-honored tradition, dating back thousands of years, the Greek army did what armies always do when they’re not fighting. My favorite quote from the story below: “the woman went happily through the ranks from lowly privates to the officers in charge”. Now that’s a real trooper! OOH-RAH!

Cypriot Soldiers Disciplined for Sex Party on Green Line

Greek Cypriot soldiers involved in a wild sex party at a guard post on the divided Mediterranean islands Green Line were banished to remote corners of the country as punishment. Politics daily said up to 10 army recruits were involved in an all-night romp in the Nicosia sector of the no-man’s land with a mother-of-three who had them queuing up for more.

“The soldiers formed an orderly line outside the room waiting to have sex one-by-one. At one point two soldiers came along to serve food, even they didnt leave unsatisfied,” it said.

Although the woman happily went through the ranks, from lowly privates to the officer in charge, military top brass frowned on her escapades.

The troops were undone when one of the participants decided to capture the moment with his mobile phone and forwarded the video images to fellow recruits. Army chiefs got wind of what was going on and an internal inquiry was launched.

Those involved were disciplined and had time added on to their length of service, which is 24 months for conscripts, Politis said. The Greek Cypriot national guard declined to comment on the report.

Cyprus has been divided into Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot sectors since 1974, when Turkish troops seized its northern third in response to an Athens-engineered Greek Cypriot coup aimed at uniting the island with Greece.


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/29/2005 at 09:51 PM   
Filed Under: • HumorWar-Stories •  
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Bat Plague?

Commie Chinese bats? Plague virus? What’s next .... Moonbats carrying deadly brain-rot disease? Sorry, too late. We have already verified that story to be true. Dan Rather, Howard Dean and Michael Moore confirmed carriers. Film at 11:00 ....

imageimageMore Evidence Links SARS to Bats

Many species of bats found across China are infected with viruses similar to the SARS virus, an international team of researchers reported on Thursday. Zhengli Shi of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and colleagues sampled more than 400 bats of various species across China and found up to 70 percent of some species showed evidence of infection with SARS-like viruses.

This would support the idea that bats are the reservoir—the natural host—of the virus. Animals that act as reservoirs carry and spread a virus without themselves becoming ill. Severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS first emerged in China in 2002 and in 2003 spread around the world via jet, killing more than 700 people and infecting about 8,000. Strict quarantines and other measures stopped its spread.

It is caused by a new virus called SARS coronavirus. Coronaviruses are common in people and animals and usually cause nothing more serious than a cold. Animals such as palm civets were found to be infected but study showed they were not the true reservoir of the SARS virus. Earlier this month a team of Hong Kong researchers reported that bats found in Hong Kong carried a virus very similar to the SARS virus.

They said the horseshoe bats, used both as food and in Chinese medicine, should be handled with great care. Shi, Wendong Li and colleagues studied other bats found in four different parts of China. They found that anywhere between 28 percent and 71 percent of the bats, depending on the species and location, had evidence of infection with a SARS-like coronavirus. Theirs was different from the virus found by the Hong Kong researchers, they said.

“A plausible mechanism for emergence from a natural bat reservoir can be readily envisaged,” they wrote in their report, published in the journal Science. They said an infected bat could have been kept in a cage next to a civet in a market with the civet becoming infected and passing the virus to humans. Bats are hosts of several other new viruses, including Hendra and Nipah viruses, and rarely become ill.


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/29/2005 at 09:25 PM   
Filed Under: • Health-Medicine •  
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On: 07/09/17 03:07



Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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GNU Terry Pratchett

Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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