Saturday, July 10, 2010

General Motors Holden Recalls Over 34,400 Commodore Utes in Australia Due to Faulty Tailgate


What in the world is a Commodore Ute? It looks like a remixxed version of the El Camino! Apparently, there is a tailgate default and the GM Holden is recalling thousands of vehicles.

Holden has announced a recall of 34,432 Commodore utes to repair a faulty tailgate that can spring open while the car is moving.

Fairfax newspapers say this is the fifth recall for General Motors Holden this year, affecting 65,790 Commodores, Captivas, Combos, Cruzes and Daewoos.


Source: The Sydney Morning Herald


Friday, July 09, 2010

World's Largest Concentrated Solar Power Plant Currently Being Built in Abu Dhabi Is Called Shams 1 (100 Megawatt Capacity)


I love you Governor Jan Brewer for your recent states' rights position against the federal government. Now that you are on a roll, why don't you build another one of these megawatt solar power station facilities in a sunny, desolate part of Arizona where you can generate millions of watts of power? New Mexico is getting a solar power plant. Governor Brewer, you need to get a solar power plant too unless there is a requirement to be a part of the United Nations' Clean Development Mechanism to get one.

Solar power is not just limited to the American States. In the Middle East, Abu Dhubi will soon have the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world, one with the capacity to generate 100 megawatts of power. This plant will be a part of the U.N. CDM that I mentioned above. Masdar, Total and Abengoa Solar are building the facility. The official press release is below.

###

Masdar Partners with Total and Abengoa Solar

Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted initiative advancing the development, commercialisation and deployment of renewable and alternative energy technologies and solutions, has appointed the bidding consortium of Total and Abengoa Solar as a partner to own, build and operate Shams 1, the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant and the first of its kind in the Middle East.

One of Masdar’s flagship projects, Shams 1 will directly contribute towards Abu Dhabi’s target of achieving 7% renewable energy power generation capacity by the year 2020.

The joint venture between Masdar (60%), Total (20%) and Abengoa Solar (20%) will develop, build, operate and maintain the plant which will be located in Madinat Zayed, approximately 120 kilometres southwest of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Shams 1 will be the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world, extending over an area of 2.5 km², with a capacity of approximately 100 MW and a solar field consisting of 768 parabolic trough collectors to be supplied by Abengoa Solar. Construction is set to begin during Q3 2010 and is expected to take approximately two years.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber, CEO of Masdar, said: “The launch of Shams 1 marks a very important milestone for Masdar and for Abu Dhabi. I am very proud of the announcement we are making today because this project, which will be the first utility scale, commercial solar power project in the UAE, represents the translation into reality of the vision the Abu Dhabi leadership has for renewable energy in the Emirate. In addition, Shams 1 will allow Masdar to transfer to Abu Dhabi the know-how and expertise we have gained from our involvement in developing world-class renewable energy projects abroad, thus not only opening the door for renewable energy projects in the UAE but also for technology transfer, contributing towards the development of a knowledge-based economy and new job opportunities through the specializations required to manage and operate the plant.”

“I am delighted we are embarking on this journey together with our strategic partners Total and Abengoa Solar, both of whom have tremendous experience and technical know-how in developing projects such as Shams 1. It is through such partnerships that Masdar will succeed in developing and advancing renewable energy solutions and establish Abu Dhabi and the UAE as a world leader in renewable energy and clean technology. I would also like to thank our partners and stakeholders in Abu Dhabi – in particular ADWEA, ADNOC and the Regulation & Supervision Bureau – for their collaboration and support and our shareholder Mubadala for its backing and guarantee of Masdar’s share of the project ,” Al-Jaber continued.

“By participating in this ambitious project alongside Masdar and Abengoa Solar, Total develops its solar energy assets, enriches its portfolio of expertise with this first step in concentrated solar technology, and reaffirms its unique partnership with Abu Dhabi,” commented Philippe Boisseau, President, Total Gas & Power. “We are pleased to be partnered with Abu Dhabi, a country we have been working with for more than 70 years, in its pursuit of energy diversification and to contribute to the Masdar initiative, which promotes the development of renewable energies.”

Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar, also expressed his satisfaction: “We have teamed with the most qualified partners in the region, Total and Masdar, to own and operate what will be the most advanced solar plant, featuring our cutting-edge technology.” In turn, Michael Geyer, Abengoa Solar’s Director of International Development, highlighted the immense potential of building large-scale solar plants in the Middle East, a region that offers both an unlimited solar resource and infinite site locations for implementation of solar plants in its deserts.

Shams 1 is registered as a project under the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and is eligible for carbon credits. It is be the first CSP plant registered under the CDM and the second project registered for Masdar. The plant will displace approximately 175,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, equivalent to planting 1.5 million trees or removing 15,000 cars from Abu Dhabi’s roads.

###


FLASHBACK: The Great Solar Tempest Storm of 1859 (Carrington Event)


If you cannot see the picture above, click here to read the article Carrington Flare of 1859 as a Prototypical Worst-Case Solar Energetic Particle Event By L. W. Townsend, Senior Member, IEEE, E. N. Zapp, D. L. Stephens, Jr., and J. L. Hoff

I'm not a 2012er, but if a solar flare like the 1859 Carrington Flare hits the Earth during 2012, it will certainly seem like the apocalypse. A major solar flare has the potential to wipe out a lot of electronics and could potentially cause chaos.

If it [major solar flare] happens anytime soon, we won't know exactly what to expect until it's over, and by then some modern communication systems could be like beachfront houses after a hurricane.

In early September in 1859, telegraph wires suddenly shorted out in the United States and Europe, igniting widespread fires. Colorful aurora, normally visible only in polar regions, were seen as far south as Rome and Hawaii.

The event 144 years ago was three times more powerful than the strongest space storm in modern memory, one that cut power to an entire Canadian province in 1989 (completely shut down Hydro-Quebec, the power grid servicing Canada's Quebec province).

Source: Space.com


Purdue University to Simulate Scaled-Down Virginia Tech Shooting Emergency Event to Test Response on July 14, 2010

This is probably nothing, but a standard emergency drill. Nevertheless, I wanted to put it out there in case something crazy goes down at Purdue in the next few days.

###

Purdue to simulate emergency to test response
July 6, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University will test its emergency preparedness July 14 with the simulation of an on-campus event. The exercise is funded by a grant from the Department of Education Emergency Management in Higher Education program.

Purdue's Campus Emergency Preparedness and Planning Office, in conjunction with the Purdue Homeland Security Institute, will simulate an assault by armed gunmen involving multiple buildings, a scaled-down version of the Virginia Tech tragedy in 2007. The exercise, which will be concentrated on the southwest side of campus, will test police and emergency medical service's ability to respond as well as the Purdue Alert system and communications, said Ron Wright, director of university emergency preparedness.

The exercise will begin at approximately 8 a.m. and will be completed by noon. Signs will be posted in the affected areas. Drivers and pedestrians are asked to used caution and watch for emergency response vehicles.

All layers of Purdue Alert will be activated:

* All hazards outdoor sirens will sound in conjunction with the drill provided there is no threatening weather.

* A text message will be sent to those subscribed to the Purdue Alert texting service. To subscribe or update your information, visit http://purdue.edu/securepurdue/ and click on "Change My Emergency Contact Number."

* E-mail will be sent to purdue.edu accounts of all students, faculty and staff.

* Information will be posted on the Purdue homepage, Boiler TV and Purdue's emergency notification Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=2359887158

To improve the likelihood of receiving the text message, Scott Ksander, executive director of information technology networks and security, recommends that Verizon Wireless subscribers update the network information in their cell phones quarterly. To do so, call *228 ("star" 228) and select option 2, "Update Roaming Capabilities." No action is necessary for other wireless carriers.

Writer: Jeanne Norberg, 765-494-2084, jnorberg@purdue.edu

Source: Ron Wright, 765-494-0446, rdwright@purdue.edu

Note to Journalists: Those who would like to cover the actual drill should contact Jeanne Norberg, 765-494-2084, jnorberg@purdue.edu


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

FLASHBACK: Doomsday Ark Containing Essentials of Life and Human Civilization to Be Stored on Moon

The powers-that-be are certainly planning as if it something catastrophic is imminent. If it's not a Hollywood production predicting the end of the world, it's the European Space Agency creating a Doomsday Ark.

IF civilisation is wiped out on Earth, salvation may come from space. Plans are being drawn up for a “Doomsday ark” on the moon containing the essentials of life and civilisation, to be activated in the event of earth being devastated by a giant asteroid or nuclear war.

Construction of a lunar information bank, discussed at a conference in Strasbourg last month, would provide survivors on Earth with a remote-access toolkit to rebuild the human race.

A basic version of the ark would contain hard discs holding information such as DNA sequences and instructions for metal smelting or planting crops.


Source: The Sunday Times


WDSU Raw Video Interview with Darryl Willis, BP's Vice President of Resources

If you cannot see the picture above, click here to view the video interview with Darryl Willis, BP's Vice President of Resources.


Many Doctors in Maharashtra India Refuse to Take H1N1 "Swine Flu" Vaccine

It has been a year or so since this blog was mainly focused on the H1N1 "swine flu" pandemic, but that doesn't mean that the H1N1 has left the news. In fact, many countries around the world are now dealing with the same vaccination issues that people here in the United States were dealing with a few months ago. Luckily, there are skeptics of the vaccine all around the world.

Doubting its effectiveness and possible side-effects many doctors in Maharashtra have refused to take the Swine flu vaccine, prompting the State Government to mull over the large stock of vaccines. Doctors and paramedical staff in Government hospitals have refused to take the swine flu vaccine, an official said.

No decision could be reached at in a meeting here recently with Health Department on what to do with the vaccine stock, the official said.


Source: The Hindustan Times


DARPA Awards Lockheed Martin Multimillion Dollar Contract to Develop Advanced Rifle Scope for Soldiers to Hit Targets Up to 600 Meters Away

DARPA is at it again. This time, the agency is creating advanced rifle scopes.

Dynamic Image Gunsight Optic (DInGO) Program
Solicitation Number: DARPA-BAA-09-39
Agency: Other Defense Agencies
Office: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Location: Contracts Management Office

Notice Type:
Presolicitation
Synopsis:
Added: Apr 13, 2009 3:30 pm
DARPA is soliciting innovative research proposals to develop an optical scope attachment to be used on standard combat rifles. Proposed research should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances required to achieve the Dynamic Image Gunsight Optic (DInGO) end-state program objective. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice.

###

DARPA Awards Lockheed Martin $3.9M Contract to Develop Advanced Rifle Scope for Soldiers


AKRON, Ohio, May 26th, 2010 -- The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] a $3.93 million contract to develop a rifle-scope attachment to enhance soldiers’ marksmanship capabilities.

The Dynamic Image Gunsight Optic or DInGO system will enable soldiers to accurately view targets at varying distances without changing scopes or suffering a decrease in optical resolution. The system will enhance soldiers’ ability to accurately hit targets at a range of between three and 600 meters.

DInGO automatically calculates the range with a low power laser rangefinder, digitally zooms in on it and accounts for environmental conditions such as wind using sensors built into the scope. It then projects the bullet’s point-of-impact calculated from the embedded ballistics computer.

“Current scopes are optimized for a single target range, impacting soldiers’ effectiveness and survivability when engaging targets at different distances during a single mission,” said Dan Schultz, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Sensors Ship & Aviation Systems business. “DInGO will solve this problem, significantly increasing soldiers’ ability to rapidly reconfigure optics for use from short to long ranges and improving marksmanship capabilities for all soldiers.”

DInGO is based on Lockheed Martin’s One Shot Advanced Sighting System, which utilizes similar precision engagement technology to automatically transmit crosswind information to a long-range sniper’s scope and modify the crosshairs to display exactly where the bullet will strike.

DARPA awarded Lockheed Martin an 18-month, $9.7 million contract in 2008 to integrate One Shot’s new crosswind measurement technology into a prototype spotter scope – a small telescope that is carried by sniper teams and is used to bring far-away objects into close view. During tactical field tests in December 2009, snipers were able to engage targets twice as quickly and increase their probability of a first-round hit by a factor of two using the One Shot technology at distances beyond 1,000 meters.

The nine-month Phase 1 contract, with options for additional phases, calls for Lockheed Martin to develop the DInGO system for use on the M-4 and M-16 automatic rifles. Work will be performed at Lockheed Martin’s Akron, Ohio, site, which has a strong track record for developing laser technology for ship and airborne infrared countermeasures, communications, wind correction and active sensing.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 136,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.

Media contact: Jim Gring, 410-682-0156, email: james.gring@lmco.com


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Woman Contracts Vaccinia Virus Infection After Having Sexual Contact with Boyfriend Who Received Military Smallpox Vaccine

This is just yet another reason not to take a vaccine. Not only might you be infecting yourself with some terrible disease, you may also be infecting other people. Recently, a man infected his girlfriend with vaccinia through sexual intercourse, and this man had also recently received the military's version of the smallpox vaccine.

After having sex with a soldier recently vaccinated against smallpox, a young woman in Washington state developed an illness caused by the vaccinia virus used in the shot, U.S. health officials report.

This type of viral transmission, while rare, is not unheard of, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Source: WomensHealth.gov; CDC - Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)


###

Vaccinia Virus Infection After Sexual Contact with a Military Smallpox Vaccinee --- Washington, 2010
July 2, 2010 / 59(25);773-775

On March 1, 2010, the Washington State Department of Health (WADOH) notified Public Health -- Seattle & King County (PHSKC) of a suspected case of contact transmission of vaccinia virus from sexual contact with a member of the military who had been vaccinated against smallpox. Vaccinia virus infection after sexual contact has been reported previously (1--4). Despite the patient's exposure history and clinical presentation, the diagnosis initially was not considered by the patient's physician, who ordered laboratory testing for several common sexually transmitted infections. The patient was seen by a second physician and referred to an infectious disease specialist, who obtained a swab sample of a genital lesion for laboratory testing for vaccinia virus. Vaccinia virus was confirmed by the Washington State Public Health Laboratory (WAPHL) and the CDC Poxvirus Laboratory. The patient resided in a household with an immunosuppressed renal transplant recipient. Appropriate contact precautions were recommended to the patient. No additional cases of contact transmission were reported. This report describes the patient's clinical course and the associated epidemiologic investigation. Health-care providers caring for U.S. military personnel or their contacts should consider vaccinia virus infection in the differential diagnosis of clinically compatible genital lesions. Contact precautions should be emphasized to all persons who are vaccinated, as well as their contacts with unexplained lesions that might represent vaccinia infection from contact transmission.

Case Report

On February 26, 2010, a patient in her 20s visited an urgent-care clinic and reported a 2-day history of painful, ring-shaped, vaginal "swellings." She denied any history of fever or other symptoms. Physical examination revealed a single, raised, circular lesion with central ulceration on the right labia majora. The patient reported that her boyfriend was a military service member who recently was vaccinated for smallpox, and she expressed concern that the lesions might have been related to this exposure. The health-care provider did not make a diagnosis, but cultured for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and herpes virus, and treated the patient with valacyclovir, azithromycin, cefazolin, and ceftriaxone, with instructions to follow-up with her primary-care physician in the next several days.

Three days later, on March 1, the patient visited a different clinic because of increased pain at the site of the lesion. She said she noted new sores in her vaginal and vulvar areas and an enlarged and tender right inguinal lymph node. The patient again expressed concern about the possibility of vaccinia virus infection. On physical examination, additional painful, circular, nonvesicular lesions with raised borders and ulcerated centers were present on both labia minora and within the vaginal vault. The lesion on the right labia majora was approximately 1.5 cm in diameter. Examination also revealed an enlarged and tender right inguinal lymph node, and shotty, tender, left inguinal lymphadenopathy. The physician sent a lesion swab specimen in viral transport media to a commercial laboratory for herpes simplex virus and vaccinia virus testing and referred the patient to an infectious disease specialist for further evaluation. The preferred specimen for vaccinia virus testing is a swab placed in a dry tube, not viral transport media; therefore, the swab was not tested for vaccinia virus, and PHSKC facilitated collection of a second swab specimen during the patient's referral visit.

The next day, on March 2, the infectious disease specialist's examination showed a single 1.5--2.0 cm inguinal lymph node. A 3 cm region of ulceration was present in the vaginal vault, and three ulcers ranging in size from 1 cm to 2 cm were present on the vulva. The cervix appeared normal. The specialist made a diagnosis of suspected vaccinia infection, collected a swab specimen from an ulcer, and submitted it to WAPHL, a member of the Laboratory Response Network, for testing for vaccinia virus infection. The specialist prescribed Vicodin for pain and counseled the patient about infection control. A week later, the patient followed up with the same infectious disease specialist, who noted healing vaginal lesions that were smaller and more superficial, with some granulation tissue.

On March 3, WAPHL tested the clinical specimen (lesion swab) using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for orthopoxvirus and for nonvariola orthopoxvirus, both of which yielded positive findings. WAPHL called the CDC Poxvirus Program on March 3, and a duplicate swab was sent to CDC for confirmatory testing. CDC confirmed the WAPHL results and confirmed the presence of vaccinia virus in the patient's specimen using a vaccinia-specific real-time PCR assay.

Epidemiologic Investigation

On March 1, WADOH was contacted by the commercial laboratory with questions about vaccinia testing. WADOH obtained contact information for the patient and provider and notified PHSKC. The patient's clinical presentation, epidemiologic history, and positive vaccinia virus test results met CDC's case definition for vaccinia contact transmission (5). PHSKC interviewed the patient to determine whether any close contacts were at risk for infection or severe complications due to vaccinia virus infection, and also to reinforce infection control techniques (6).

The patient's boyfriend received a smallpox vaccination on February 15 at a military base in a neighboring county. On February 20, the boyfriend removed the bandage covering his vaccination site; that same day, the couple had unprotected sexual intercourse preceded by digital vaginal contact. Four days later (on February 24), the first lesion appeared on the patient's right labia majora.

The patient had a history of eczema as a child, but had not been symptomatic since she was age 10 years. She had no history of smallpox vaccination. She reported no underlying medical conditions or history of sexually transmitted diseases. Her boyfriend was her only sex partner, and he had not reported any genital lesions.

The patient shared a home with three other persons: two did not have any underlying risk factors for vaccinia complications, but the third had received a kidney transplant in 2001 and was on immunosuppressant drugs. This person previously served in the military and might have been vaccinated for smallpox in the past, but PHSKC was unable to obtain verification through medical records. The patient did not report any other social or familial contacts who were immunosuppressed, had a history of dermatologic conditions, or were pregnant. The boyfriend vaccinee could not be interviewed because he was deployed overseas. However, interviews with the vaccinee's mother and his roommate revealed no other close contacts at high risk for serious complications from vaccinia virus infection. The Military Vaccine Agency (MILVAX)* was notified of this case.

Interviews with the three health-care providers who examined the patient revealed that they had worn gloves and followed CDC-recommended contact precautions. A total of three health-care workers who were exposed to the patient and the laboratories who handled her clinical specimens were alerted of the diagnosis; no underlying health conditions were identified among the exposed health-care workers, and none had symptoms of vaccinia.

Reported by

J Pauk, MD, M Gonchar, MD, The Polyclinic, Seattle; A Baer, PhD, TS Kwan-Gett, MD, J Duchin, MD, Public Health -- Seattle & King County; C DeBolt, MPH, D Russell, Washington State Dept of Health. M Reynolds, PhD, K Wilkins, W Davidson, MPH, Y Li, PhD, K Karem, PhD, I Damon, MD, PhD, Div of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases; M Kay, DVM, AM McCollum, PhD, EIS officers, CDC.

Editorial Note

After a person is vaccinated with vaccinia, the vaccination site contains infectious virus from the time of papule formation until the scab separates from the skin (a period of approximately 2--3 weeks). During this period, a risk exists for inadvertent inoculation to another body site or another person (7). The most frequently reported sites of vaccinia infections caused by unintentional transfer are the face, nose, mouth, lips, genitalia, anus, and eye (5). The case described in this report was in a female patient who was exposed to vaccinia virus via digital vaginal contact with a recent military smallpox vaccinee.

The U.S. military reinitiated routine smallpox vaccination for service members in 2002. The case described in this report is one of several that have been reported after sexual contact with a recent military vaccinee (1--3). In addition, CDC is aware of four similar unpublished cases in North Carolina, Minnesota, California, and Kansas in the past 12 months. Each of these occurred in female patients presenting with vaginal lesions who had a history of sexual contact with a military vaccinee; each infection was confirmed as vaccinia virus by laboratory testing. Increased awareness of the potential for vaccinia virus infections is recommended for health-care providers and public health departments caring for military personnel and their contacts. To help prevent transmission of the virus, health-care providers should educate vaccinees about methods to prevent transmission and inadvertent autoinoculation. These methods include frequent hand washing, keeping the vaccination site covered with a bandage, and not sharing linens or clothing with unvaccinated persons (5,6).

The first physician who saw the patient on February 26 only pursued laboratory testing for common sexually transmitted infections, although the patient stated that she had recent sexual contact with a smallpox vaccinee. Gonorrhea and chlamydia infections have different clinical presentations than the case described in this report. Primary syphilis infections generally present with a painless ulcer at the site of invasion. Clinicians should suspect infections with vaccinia virus in patients with vesiculopapular rashes and known exposures to recent smallpox vaccinees, including sexual contact.

Health-care providers should contact their state or local health department for information on testing specimens for the presence of vaccinia; testing is available at laboratories participating in the Laboratory Response Network. Health-care providers should report vaccinia contact transmission as a vaccine adverse event to their local health authority and/or to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Surveillance case definitions are available for adverse events resulting from vaccinia vaccination (5). Vaccinia virus infections via contact transmission are not nationally notifiable; however, public health departments are encouraged to report these infections to CDC.

References

  1. Muzny CA, King H, Byers P, et al. Vulvar vaccinia infection after sexual contact with a smallpox vaccinee. Am J Med Sci 2009;337:289--91.
  2. CDC. Vulvar vaccinia infection after sexual contact with a military smallpox vaccinee---Alaska, 2006. MMWR 2007;56:417--9.
  3. Lorich MF, Smith SB, Bessiner GT, Olivere JW. Conjugal transfer vaccinia. J Am Acad Dermatol 2004;51:460--2.
  4. Humphrey DC. Localized accidental vaccinia of the vulva. Report of 3 cases and a review of the world literature. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1963;86:46--9.
  5. CDC. Surveillance guidelines for smallpox vaccine (vaccinia) adverse reactions. MMWR 2006;55(No. RR-1).
  6. CDC. Smallpox vaccination and adverse reactions: guidance for clinicians. MMWR 2003;52(No. RR-4).
  7. Koplan JP, Marton KI. Smallpox vaccination revisited: some observations on the biology of vaccinia. Am J Trop Med Hyg 1975;24:656--63.

* Additional information about MILVAX available at http://www.vaccines.milExternal Web Site Icon.


What is already known on this topic?

Smallpox vaccination, which is conducted in the U.S. military, can result in autoinoculation and unintended transmission of vaccinia virus to others.

What is added by this report?

A vaccinia virus infection in a female patient resulted from digital vaginal contact with a recent military smallpox vaccinee.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Health-care providers caring for U.S. military personnel or their contacts should consider vaccinia virus infection in the differential diagnosis of clinically compatible genital lesions.


Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from typeset documents. This conversion might result in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users are referred to the electronic PDF version (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr) and/or the original MMWR paper copy for printable versions of official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to mmwrq@cdc.gov.

Monday, July 05, 2010

RFID Medical Bracelets Using Pentagon Technology Now Available (Produced by Global Emergency Resources)

The Info Warrior Jason Bermas used to always say that people were going to be tracked, traced and databased. It certainly looks like that is going to be the case in the medical field especially during triaging. Instead of a normal triage tag, victims will be given RFID bracelets. You can watch a video on the technology by clicking here or the above picture.

With a hand-held computer, patients are tracked from triage to hospital admission, the fruit of Stan Kuzia's 6-year-old company...

Global Emergency Resources' technology was used during repatriation efforts from the Haiti earthquake. "As people were coming back into Andrews Air Force Base, they were tracking them," Kuzia explained...

"The folks at the Pentagon. The folks at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. We've been working with these players and looking at how they would handle things. As a result, we have things like this, which are slap bracelets with embedded RFIDs in them," Kuzia said. The radio frequency identifiers let hundreds of people be identified at a disaster scene and use hand-held devices to track them all.

Source: The Augusta Chronicle; Global Emergency Resources


Google Bohemian Grove and Building Seven Billboard Seen on I-75 Near Lake City, Florida

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. This billboard was sighted along I-75 in Florida.

Source: Tennessee Sons of Liberty


President Obama Tells NASA Chief Charles Bolden That His Foremost Task is to Build Self Esteem of Muslims


What in the f*ck? I don't usually cuss on this site, but this is the most ridiculous thing I've heard in the last twenty-four (24) hours. The below quote is around the 1:25 mark in the above video.

“Bolden: I am here in the region – its sort of the first anniversary of President Barack Obama’s visit to Cairo – and his speech there when he gave what has now become known as Obama’s “Cairo Initiative” where he announced that he wanted this to become a new beginning of the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world. When I became the NASA Administrator – before I became the NASA Administrator - he charged me with three things: One was that he wanted me to re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, that he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with predominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.


No wonder NASA won't be going to Mars anytime soon. Instead of building self-esteem, why doesn't President Obama provide some objective goals instead of this subjective nonsense that will not help NASA be a better organization?

Source: Weasel Zippers


Goldman Sachs Jim O'Neill Says Watch China & United States "Like a Hawk"

This article is part 2 to an earlier article I wrote a few days ago called Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Warns That China's Economic Troubles Could Lead to Another Global Slowdown. While the earlier Part 1 article paraphrased Mr. O'Neill's words, the below quotes are taken directly from Mr. O'Neill's recent opinion piece in The Sunday Telegraph called "Watch China and US 'like a hawk."

Watching how China handles this attempt at slowing the momentum of current growth without killing the shift to domestic demand is therefore absolutely critical. It is true whether you are from BMW, Audi or Mercedes or for those at top universities or private schools. I was recently in Munich meeting with their largest well known companies, and I left there thinking what is going on in China is more important for that city than anything that is going on in the rest of Europe. If China manages this slowing poorly, then it will be more dangerous for the Germans than any of Greece's financial troubles. Similarly for many of Britain's elite education establishments, if China screws up it would make dilemmas raised from the fiscally austere Coalition seem a minor distraction.


Source: The Sunday Telegraph


Los Alamos Campground Near Los Angeles Closed After Plague Is Found in Squirrel

This is just a heads up to anyone that might be thinking about a camping trip out to Los Alamos Campground that you might want to avoid the local squirrel population, because at least one (1) squirrel has been infected.

The Los Alamos Campground in the Angeles National Forest has been shut down after a squirrel captured there tested positive for plague.

The campground will remain closed for at least ten days, according to Los Angeles County public health director Jonathan Fielding.


Source: KTLA-5


Today Makes Tomorrow (TMT) Owns the Liberian-Flagged "A. Whale" Oil-Skimming Supertanker


The official name of the company that owns "A. Whale" is Today Makes Tomorrow (TMT). There is not a whole lot of information on the TMT official web page, but here is a company flash presentation apparently from 2006 (is it just me or does the logo look like an IBM-ripoff?). Billionaire Nobu Su owns TMT. Hopefully, the A. Whale will be able to help in the Gulf oil spill. You can track A. Whale's position at MarineTraffic.com.

The Taiwanese-owned, Liberian-flagged ship dubbed the "A Whale" stands 10 stories high, stretches 1,115 feet in length and has a nearly 200-foot beam. It displaces more water than an aircraft carrier.

Built in South Korea as a supertanker for transporting oil and iron ore, the six-month-old vessel was refitted in the wake of the BP oil spill with 12, 16-foot-long intake vents on the sides of its bow designed to skim oil off surface waters

According to Network Solutions, here is the contact information for Renaissance Organization Incorporated, owner/administrator of the domain name "tmtship.com":

Registrant:
Renaissance Organization Incorporated
8F-1, No.101, Fu-Hsin N. Rd.,
Taipei 11111
Taiwan

Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc.
(http://www.godaddy.com)

Domain Name: TMTSHIP.COM
Created on: 06-Jan-03
Expires on: 06-Jan-16
Last Updated on: 11-Mar-10

Administrative Contact:
Morimoto, Nobu nobu_m2000@yahoo.com
Renaissance Organization Incorporated
8F-1, No.101, Fu-Hsin N. Rd.,
Taipei 11111
Taiwan
(886)-2-254541111 Fax -- (886)2-25454110

Technical Contact:
Morimoto, Nobu nobu_m2000@yahoo.com
Renaissance Organization Incorporated
8F-1, No.101, Fu-Hsin N. Rd.,
Taipei 11111
Taiwan
(886)-2-254541111 Fax -- (886)2-25454110

Source: The Daily Press; MarineTraffic.com ; TMT


Rocky Mountain Natural Meats Recalls 66,000 Pounds of Bison Meat Due to Possible E.Coli Threat (Class I Recall)


###

Colorado Firm Recalls Bison Products Due to Possible E. Coli O157:H7 Contamination
Recall Release
CLASS I RECALL

USDA Recall Classifications
Class I - This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

FSIS-RC-043-2010
HEALTH RISK: HIGH

Congressional and Public Affairs
(202) 720-9113
Atiya Khan

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2010 - Rocky Mountain Natural Meats, a Henderson, Colo. establishment, is recalling approximately 66,000 pounds of ground and tenderized steak bison products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

FSIS became aware of the problem during the course of an on-going investigation into a cluster of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in Colorado with illness onset dates between June 4, 2010 and June 9, 2010. Working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the New York Department of Health, 5 case-patients have been identified in Colorado as well as 1 case-patient in New York with an indistinguishable PFGE pattern. FSIS determined that there is an association between the ground bison products and the cluster of illnesses in the state of Colorado. FSIS is continuing to work with the CDC, affected state public health partners, and the company on the investigation. Anyone with signs or symptoms of foodborne illness should contact a health care provider.

The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF Only)]

* 16-ounce packages of “GREAT RANGE BRAND ALL NATURAL GROUND BISON.” These products have a “sell or freeze by” date of June 21, June 22 or June 24, 2010.
* 16-ounce packages of “NATURE’S RANCHER GROUND BUFFALO.” These products have a “sell or freeze by” date of June 22, 2010.
* 16-ounce packages of “THE BUFFALO GUYS ALL NATURAL GROUND BUFFALO 90% LEAN.” These products have a lot number of 0147.
* 12-ounce packages of “GREAT RANGE BRAND ALL NATURAL BISON STEAK MEDALLIONS.” These products have a “sell or freeze by” date of June 23 and June 24, 2010
* 12-ounce packages of “GREAT RANGE BRAND ALL NATURAL BISON SIRLOIN STEAKS.” These products have a “sell or freeze by” date of June 20, June 23 and June 24, 2010
* 15-pound boxes of “ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATURAL MEATS, INC. BISON 10 OZ SIRLOIN STEAK.” These products went to restaurants and bear a Julian Code of 0141.


The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “EST. 20247” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These products were produced between the dates of May 21, 2010 through May 27, 2010, and were distributed to retail establishments nationwide and food service distributors in Utah and Arizona. While the sell-by dates for these products have passed, FSIS and the establishment are aware that consumers may also freeze the product before use and there is concern that some product may still be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on FSIS' Website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/Open_Federal_Cases/index.asp.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a physician.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers (including restaurants) of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground bison that has been cooked to a temperature of 160° F. The only way to be sure ground bison is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature.

Media and consumer questions regarding the recall should be directed to the company’s spokesperson, Chuck Sanger at (800) 325-4164.

Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at www.AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

Retail Distribution List (PDF Only)
#


Sunday, July 04, 2010

MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan Admits U.S. Stock Market is Corrupt


It is shocking to hear such an admission on the mainstream media.


Hillary Clinton Announces United States Pledge of Fifteen Million Dollars ($15M) for Auschwitz Concentration Camp Preservation

In this country's current economic state, why is the Secretary of State pledging millions of dollars to the preservation of a concentration camp in another country where thousands of people were killed? Why would someone want to preserve a place of such horrors? Nevertheless, taxpayer dollars should not be used to preserve this concentration camp. I'm sure there are private donors who would be willing to foot the bill.

The Obama administration has pledged $15 million to the foundation created to preserve the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the grant Saturday that will go to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, created in 2008 after the museum at Auschwitz said it lacked the funds needed for renovations. The group has sought more than $150 million in contributions from the international community.


Source: The Hill


Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Warns That China's Economic Troubles Could Lead to Another Global Slowdown

I don't like Goldman Sachs, because the company seems to be the funding engine for every organization or event that I write against on this blog. Goldman sold more than 40% of its BP shares weeks before the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Goldman executives hold key positions in President Obama's White House, including the Secretary of the Treasury. Nevertheless, because the company has so much influence and control in the government and financial markets, when the company makes a public statement, it must be taken seriously.

Therefore, I am posting this article where Goldman Sachs' chief economist raises the fears for another worldwide economic slowdown.


Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Mr O'Neill, head of global economic research at Goldman, said: "What is clear is that a persistently struggling US, in addition to a major disappointment in China, would not be good news for the rest of us."

"What adds to the reality of this situation is that there appears to be growing evidence that China is slowing down."


See also: Goldman Sachs Jim O'Neill Says Watch China & United States "Like a Hawk"

Source: London Telegraph