Monday, June 06, 2005

---D-Day+61,Titan Bright Spot, Losing to AIDS, Koran-Kicking, Tianamen Anniversary, "Blue Brain", Hemorrhagic Fever Vaccine Tests, & Other Stories 

D-Day + 61:
Beyond watching the obligatory five minutes of "The Longest Day". what else? In spite of the terrible consequences graphically portrayed in historical documentaries and the faces and words of the veterans of this and other wars, we're still doing this---haven't really paused in doing it since then. Pray for us all.

A bright spot on Titan:
Cassini-Huygens: Multimedia-Images
Obviously, the alien explorers weren’t able to finish their giant, desperate visual call for assistance before being forced to retreat to their protective dome.

Here, from there:
Earth, from the surface of Mars, imaged by the Opportunity rover , about an hour after local sunset on Mars.

The AIDS pandemic---Losing the battle....
FOXNews.com - Health - U.N. Official: Goal to Contain AIDS Unrealistic
...to stop an horrific, incurable, adaptive-antigen, venereal disease without making anyone feel bad.
Per Peter Piot, head of the U.N. AIDS campaign, the pandemic is “spreading much faster than efforts to rein it in crucial regions including Eastern Europe and Central America, and stopping the spread isn't realistic”.
“A few hours before Piot spoke, Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned the conference that the AIDS epidemic is accelerating on every continent.”
AIDS has been out of the news for a while, quietly decimating Africa and various other parts of the world while political discomfort often keeps it out of the Western headlines. Rest assured that if it was ever “in control”, it isn’t anymore.

While we’re on the subject:
This blog is a very graphic discourse on the consequences of homosexuality and its political tolerance in Massachusetts. I’m reviewing it carefully before adding a permanent link, but it certainly isn’t for the "sensitive" reader. If possible, take a deep breath, and go find out what’s going on.

Guantanamo Koran-kicking, etc.:
FOXNews.com - Politics - Pentagon: Soldier Kicked Koran at Gitmo
A whole army of Christian and/or conservative blogs have weighed in on the comparison with the Saudis' treatment of the Bible, so it probably isn't necessary to belabor the point here.

Spirit rover films Martian “dust devil”:
Mars Exploration Rover Mission: Press Release Images: Spirit
A QuickTimeTM movie of one of the Martian whirlwinds crossing Gusev Crater. This is a much clearer view than earlier shots. For a discussion of the role of “dust devils” in the Martian environment, see also: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/spotlight/kenEdgett.html

Tiananmen Uprising Anniversary:
FOXNews.com - U.S. & World - Thousands Mark Tiananmen Square Anniversary in Hong Kong
How many still remember the man standing in front of a Chinese armored column?
How many people remember any Western government actually doing anything about it? How much of the world’s economy is based on cheap Chinese labor? Try going for a week without buying anything made in China. Somewhere out there, I still believe the bill for this duplicity is “in the mail”.

Opportunity finally unstuck:
NASA frees rover from Martian sand trap - Return to the Red Planet - MSNBC.com
The rover is moving again, after five weeks stuck in a dune.

More bad news for the Internet:

New Scientist Breaking News - Triple virus wears down computer defences
New Scientist Breaking News - New hack cracks 'secure' Bluetooth devices

New approaches to destroying our right to actually use our Internet connections for the things we bought them for.
Malware, Spyware and Other Ways to Ruin Your Day
A good summary of the current state of the “malware” problem.

“Blue Brain” on the drawing board:

New Scientist Breaking News - Mission to build a simulated brain begins
Is anybody else nervous at the prospect of humans building our own replacements?

Hemorrhagic fever vaccine advances:
New Scientist Breaking News - Marburg and Ebola vaccine success in monkeys
Revisiting the African hemorrhagic fever outbreaks; there has been some success in animal trials of vaccines using a different “live virus genetically modified to express a surface glycoprotein from either Ebola or Marburg. ”.

Genetically-engineered coffee crop destroyed:
New Scientist Breaking News - Coffee trial survives insects, but not vandals
A test crop of coffee “engineered” for insect resistance was wiped out---not the work of ecoterrorists, but apparently small, traditional coffee growers fearing competition.

You know you’ve overstayed your welcome when....
Fire Allegedly Set to Get Guests to Leave - Yahoo! News
...your host burns the house down to get rid of you.

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