“As mama was setting the table for tea on Christmas night, she took down a small glass dish for pickles - one she had not used for a long time and Carmen had forgotten she had. So she asked where it came from. Mama told her she found it one time in her stocking on Christmas morning. “Well, couldn’t I hang up my stocking?” asked Carmen. “It is too late my dear,” said Mama. Santa filled stockings last night. “Well… but maybe he would remember that he forgot me and will come tonight,” said Carmen. Mama told her to run along and not bother her - for she was nervous and sometimes a little cross, and Carmen annoyed her with so many questions. When bedtime came, she got ready for bed and mama told her she might get into her own bed down stairs till papa went up - then she wouldn’t be up there all alone. No one noticed her undressing but a long time after she was asleep papa said, “I guess I’ll shave.” He got things ready and as the fire was low, he went out to get wood - so thought he would prepare the kindling for the morning fire at the same time. While he was out, Mama happened to notice that on one the two posts of a chair were hung two little stockings - all baggy at the knee where some little girl had romped and played, and a tiny hole, which the garter made at the top. The big tears started in mama’s eyes and a big stinging in her nose made more big tears. When papa came in she said, “Look! What faith the child has.” Papa’s eyes were a little misty too. He said, “Haven’t you any thing you could put in there?” But she had nothing that Carmen had not seen.”—Carmen’s Fourth Christmas - A Mother’s Vow
Grin - and both think that each is smart and competent enough to be President? Neither Newt Gingrich nor Rick Perry will appear on the Virginia presidential primary ballot after they failed to submit the required number of valid signatures to qualify.
The exodus is just one part of the human drama being played out in Greece where Europe’s debt crisis began. Since June, Melbourne community leaders say they have been deluged with thousands of letters, emails and telephone calls from Greeks desperate to migrate to a country that, safeguarded from global market turbulence, is now seen as the land of unparalleled opportunity.
Occurrence of Multidrug-Resistant and Toxic-Metal Tolerant Enterococci in Fresh Feces from Urban Pigeons in Brazil. Microbes Environ. 2011 Dec 22. [Epub ahead of print]
da Silva VL, Caçador NC, da Silva CD, Fontes CO, Garcia GD, Nicoli JR, Diniz CG.
Abstract: Enterococcus are emerging as important putative pathogens resistant to chemicals that are widely released into the environment, and urban pigeons might act as a natural reservoir contributing to the spread of resistant strains. This study aimed to evaluate the occurrence of Enterococcus in pigeon feces and their antimicrobial and toxic metal susceptibility. Bacteria were isolated and identified from 150 fresh feces by phenotypic and genetic techniques. Antimicrobial and toxic metal susceptibility was determined by the agar dilution method, and the multiple antibiotic resistance index (MAR) was calculated. Out of 120 isolates, no resistance was observed against penicillin and vancomycin, but was observed against gentamicin (55.8%), chloramphenicol (21.7%), tetracycline (13.3%), ciprofloxacin (8.4%) and rifampin (2.5%). 18.3% presented a MAR index ≥0.2, ranging between 0.14 to 0.57, indicating resistance to more than one antimicrobial. All samples were tolerant to >1024 µg mL(-1) zinc and chromium. Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 1,024 µg mL(-1) was observed for copper (100%) and nickel (71.4%). Mercury inhibited 88.4% at 32 µg mL(-1) and the MIC for cadmium ranged from 0.125-128 µg mL(-1). Since pigeons were found to harbor drug-resistant Enterococcus, our data support that their presence in the urban environment may contribute to the spread of resistance, with an impact on public health.
Hokie Pokie law in India - one step forward and two steps back into fear of change… A Delhi court on Friday issued summons to 21 websites including social networking sites for allegedly hosting obscene and derogatory content.
France has taken the costly and unprecedented step of offering to pay for 30,000 women to have their breast implants removed because of mounting fears the products could rupture and leak cheap, industrial-grade …
In October, a 19-year-old army private called Danny Chen climbed into a guard tower in Afghanistan and shot himself in the head. According to the Chinese-American soldier’s relatives, his comrades had subjected him to a painful process of “hazing” and ..
1988: The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy issues a report that resistance from subtherapeutic use of antibiotics is a “potential human health hazard.” The FDA tells the House and Senate committees that it has all the research it needs.
2001: The American Medical Association passes a resolution opposing growth-promoter drug dosing.
2003: The Institute of Medicine says in a second report: “Mounting evidence suggests a relationship between antimicrobial use in animal husbandry and an increase in bacterial resistance in humans.”
2004: The FDA tells feed manufacturers that it considers putting subtherapeutic doses of antibiotics into feed to be “high risk.”
2010: The FDA issues its draft voluntary guidance on limiting subtherapeutic dosing.
2011: After putting 34 years into pushing for removal of two of the main drug categories used for subtherapeutic dosing, the FDA backs off.
There’s a lot of talk these days about how to make good, fresh food something everyone wants to eat. Some people argue that it’s a problem of changing food culture and preference; other people take a more structural approach. Where does your work fall on that continuum?
A. Talking about changing people’s cultural habits or preferences is a real slippery slope. We tend to imagine that we have a ton of answers; so many of us [in the food movement] have had access to great education and a lot of knowledge. Those things combined with the structural privileges that we’ve had access to put us in an interesting position when trying to recommend solutions for other people’s problems.
[Our members] are not saying they prefer to be obese and have diabetes and have heart disease in their family. What folks are saying here is they don’t have money. There’s no grocery stores. They would love to garden but they don’t have the land because they live in a trailer or a shared apartment … their kids are eating whatever is being given to them in free or reduced lunch in the school system. When we asked what they wanted, they wanted a community garden and cooking classes.
There are more than 1400 People’s Gardens across the nation, three US territories and nine foreign countries. The People’s Garden Grant Program is designed to facilitate the creation of produce, recreation, and/or wildlife gardens in urban and rural
All 800 police officers and 300 administrative employees laid off, and navy deployed to patrol Gulf coast city
The entire police force in the Mexican port of Veracruz was dissolved on Wednesday in an effort to root out corruption, and armed marines were sent in to patrol.
A state spokeswoman, Gina Dominguez, said 800 police officers and 300 administrative staff had been laid off. They can re-apply for jobs, but must meet stricter standards with officers “who are better trained and more committed and who can deliver under our current security circumstances,” she said.
Armed marines barricaded police headquarters and navy helicopters flew over the city where 35 bodies were dumped in September in one of the worst gang attacks of Mexico’s drug war.
Because they can - the 1% gouges the 99% whenever it suits them! After dipping below $3 a gallon at many area stations, gasoline prices in Butler County spiked more than 40 cents Wednesday, rising as high as $3.39 per gallon just days before the Christmas travel rush.
It was only a matter of time before Hollywood milked the story of Yvonne the runaway cow, who became a celebrity for escaping the abattoir this year. A film company wants to make an animated movie about her adventures, say officials at the wildlife sanctuary where she is living a life of luxury.
“Well, at least he’s being open with his bigotry: Scott Arnold is an associate professor of writing at William Penn University. He is also gay. And today, he approached Newt Gingrich at an event in Oskaloosa, Iowa, where he asked the former Speaker whether he’s earned the support of gay Americans. The Des Moines Register’s Jason Clayworth reports: “I asked him if he’s elected, how does he plan to engage gay Americans. How are we to support him? And he told me to support Obama,” said Arnold. […] Fox has the transcript of the encounter. It’s no big news that Gingrich is anti-LGBT, but I do think it’s a pre-hetty bold statement to make to gay voters (especially LGB Republicans) and marriage equality supporters out there: if that’s an important issue for you, don’t bother voting for him.”—Google Reader (444)
Around 10,000 women marched through central Cairo demanding Egypt’s ruling military step down Tuesday in an unprecedented show of outrage over soldiers who dragged women by the hair and stomped on them, and stripped one half-naked in the street during a fierce crackdown on activists the past week.
The dramatic protest, which grew as the women marched from Tahrir Square through downtown, was fueled by the widely circulated images of abuses of women. Many of the marchers touted the photo of the young woman whose clothes were partially pulled off by troops, baring her down to her blue bra, as she struggled on the ground.
Although activists say the video of the “blue-bra girl,” which made
“Adopting a city-owned vacant lot can improve the living conditions in your neighborhood. You and your neighbors can create a peaceful, space for everyone to share. It not only improves your neighborhood, it helps the City become a beautiful and productive place to live for everyone!”—Welcome to Baltimore Housing Vacant lot gardening
Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns yesterday’s decision by Hungary’s Media Council to strip Klubradio, the country’s only national opposition radio station, of its broadcast frequency within a couple of months.
In a highly controversial move, Klubradio's frequency was put out to bid and was won by an unknown station calling itself Autoradio. Klubradio, which has had a loyal following of about half a million listeners for the past 10 years, will be able to continue broadcasting until March, when it will have to surrender the frequency.
Last month global experts released yet another report linking industrial agriculture with the dramatic degradation of soil, water and other natural resources currently threatening our ability to feed ourselves.
Just how much evidence do we need? I posit that like the banking crisis, the causes of the food production crisis are actually quite clear. A very few large and powerful beneficiaries of the current system (and their lackeys) continue to vociferously defend the status quo, while ample data show that it simply doesn’t work. Meanwhile, growing numbers of farmers around the globe demonstrate viable, safer and necessaryalternatives.
“On one side, the world’s governments have pledged to hold temperature rise to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F). To have even a 50/50 shot at meeting that target, humanity has a “carbon budget” of about 1,400 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide between now and 2050. The more we exceed that budget, the more the 2 degrees target slips out of reach. Here’s the thing, though: The world’s proven fossil fuel reserves, if burned, would create about 2.8 trillion tonnes of CO2, double that carbon budget. If countries are serious about 2 degrees, they must be planning to leave a lot of fossil fuels in the ground. Right? On the other side, however, the world’s top fossil fuel companies are valued at some $7.42 trillion (including the top 100 listed coal companies and the top 100 listed oil and gas companies). They are valued at this level because of proven fossil fuel reserves to which they have access. In other words, their valuation carries the implicit assumption that they will burn the fossil fuels available to them.”—Climate & Energy | Grist
A few years ago, back when she still had a job in the natural-foods industry, “my kids only got the best in terms of food,” said Corbyn Hightower, a mother of three who now lives outside Sacramento. Then, she said, “we lost everything, and we really started having to compromise.”
Hightower signed up for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps. When she looked through the information pamphlet she received, she found out that SNAP benefits can be used to buy seeds and plants, not just food. So she went to Whole Foods, bought some seeds, and planted a garden of salad greens. “It was one of the things I could do that made me feel like my kids weren’t going to have to let go of [eating well],” she said.
Group says it has ‘liberated’ former Old Street magistrates court in east London, expanding the number of protest sites to four
Occupy London’s ever-growing portfolio of protest venues in the capital has expanded to a fourth site, with a group of activists taking over a disused courthouse in the east of the capital.
In a brief statement the group said it had “liberated” the former Old Street magistrates court, a Grade II-listed Edwardian courts and police complex which has been empty for many years amid plans to replace it with a luxury hotel. Given the building’s history, the Occupy protesters said they planned to use it to stage a symbolic “trial of the 1%”, a figure the group uses to represent what it describes as a tiny and over-powerful economic elite.
Cargill Inc. said Monday it has resumed ground turkey production at an Arkansas plant that was the source of a major salmonella outbreak earlier this year. Wayzata-based Cargill said in a news release the U.S. Department of Agriculture allowed the resumption after approving an enhanced food safety plan. There are four ground turkey production lines at the plant. One has been reactivated. The other three will be turned on over the next few weeks, Cargill said.
“If chickadees seem friendly and cheerful at regular backyard feeding stations, you should see what happens when you start offering mealworms! The ones in my neighborhood in northern Minnesota tap on my window when the feeder goes dry. Many of them take the mealworms right out of my hand. I wrote an article for BirdWatching back in June 2004 explaining how to get started feeding mealworms. Everything in the article still holds, but it was focused on attracting insect-eaters in spring and summer, not winter birds. It can be a little tricky to get neighborhood birds to notice mealworms at first when freezing temperatures stop the cold-blooded insects’ movements. Read the article “Goin’ Buggy” by Laura Erickson from our June 2004 issue. I offer my mealworms in a little acrylic feeder attached to the window by my desk in my home office. A box elder’s branches come very close to the window. I started feeding mealworms during winter. To begin with, I put two acrylic feeders on the window, filled one with black-oil sunflower seeds, and put just two or three mealworms in the other one. They froze instantly, and it took a couple of days for a chickadee to sample one, but it apparently approved. Soon chickadees and Red-breasted Nuthatches would clear out the mealworms as quickly as I could put them in.”—Offering mealworms in winter will bring chickadees up to a window, maybe into the hand - BirdWatching Field of View - BirdWatching Magazine: birdwatching hotspots, bird identification, bird photos, bird feeders
Los Angeles-based American Apparel, Inc. has been ordered to pay $60,000 and provide other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit today involving the firing of a Latino garment worker. Filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on September 29, 2010, the lawsuit alleged that American Apparel violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it fired garment worker Jose De Los Santos who was on approved medical leave for cancer treatment.
First carp now shrimp! Expect someone thought they could make a killing breeding but - oops! some got loose so now it is native shrimp and their preditors that may be killed! The appearance of a 12-inch, 13-ounce Black Tiger shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico, which is not indigenous to the Gulf, could signal a disaster for the shrimp ecosystem in local waters, local marine and wildlife officials say. The Daily News in Galveston quoted Tony Reisinger, a state AgriLife Extension Service agent as saying it is studying the foreign species, caught last week off the coast near Brownsville. He thinks it has the ability to take over feeding grounds and habitats of the Gulf’s native species
Trying to buy some silence? Prince Walid bin Talal of Saudi Arabia has invested $300 million in Twitter on top of large stakes in other U.S. companies. The New York Times’ DealBook blog reports that Walid also has invested in Apple, Citigroup and General Motors. The Twitter investment represents about 3 percent of the social networking website.
Siemens Government Technologies Inc. has announced three new board members, including a new chairman. The Arlington-based unit of Siemens in the U.S. Cannot get enough of that Federal money soon enough after “retiring.”