Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hantavirus kills man in west central Saskatchewan

[image] The StarPhoenix:
A death in west central Saskatchewan has been attributed to hantavirus.
Provincial health officials confirmed in a news release Wednesday that a man in the Heartland Health Region died from complications related to the virus. Another death in the region is also being investigated for a link to the illness.
Hantavirus infection is a rare illness most often associated with exposure to airborne particles of feces, urine and saliva from infected mice. It is often contracted while cleaning out infested buildings, but can be transferred by bite as well, said the release.
Since 1994 there have been 24 confirmed cases of human hantavirus infection in Saskatchewan, resulting in seven deaths.

Travels with Michael Palin

Travels with Michael Palin

Lucinda Williams "Blue" of Lucinda Williams

Red-headed ‘angel’ swept away in High River flood

Scott and Amber Rancourt on their wedding day, July 30, 2011. The 35-year-old woman died in a flash flood Thursday on the Highwood River.
Red-headed ‘angel’ swept away in High River flood                                                                                                                                                                           By Gwendolyn Richards, Calgary Herald: A fiery redhead, an angel who was larger than life, Amber Rancourt was an explosion of personality in a petite parcel.
“She was bigger than a crateful of dynamite in a tiny package,” her husband, Scott, said Tuesday.
He chooses his words carefully, saying little but easily conveying his love for the woman he married two years ago and lost Thursday to a flash flood on the Highwood River.
“I only got a short time with her but it was a lifetime. No one opened my heart up the way she did,” he said.
Nearby, the Highwood was still running fast and high, muddy waters churning past — a reminder of the unexpected tragedy — as Scott shared stories of his “fiery little angel.”
“She took me under her wings and tried to keep me safe.”...Continue reading...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Lyme Wars - The Lyme-disease infection rate is growing. So is the battle over how to treat it.

The disease is carried by the black-legged tick, now found as far south as Florida. Photograph by Kenji Aoki.The disease is carried by the black-legged tick, now found as far south as Florida. Photograph by KenjiAoki.                                                                                                    

by July 1, 2013 Kaleigh Ahern was twelve years old when a tick bit her. She noticed it “perched” on her shoulder when she was taking a shower one morning. “I thought it was your average, everyday bug,” Ahern told me recently. But, when she tried to brush it off, the tick wouldn’t budge. “The legs wiggled but it was embedded in my skin. I freaked out and started screaming.” Kaleigh’s mother, Holly Ahern, came running and removed it. “I took the kid and the tick to the doctor,” she said. “I told him, Here is my kid, here is the tick, and there is the place where it was attached to her.” That was in 2002. The Aherns live near Saratoga Springs, New York, where Lyme disease has been endemic for years. The infection is transmitted by tick bites, so Ahern assumed that the doctor would prescribe a prophylactic dose of antibiotics. But he said that he wasn’t going to treat it. “If a rash develops or she starts to have flulike symptoms, bring her back,” he told her. At the time, Ahern, an associate professor of microbiology at SUNY Adirondack, didn’t know much about tick-borne illnesses. She took Kaleigh home and watched for the signature symptom of Lyme disease: a rash that begins with a bright-red bull’s-eye around the tick bite...Continue reading...

The Freeloader’s Toolbelt: 50 Tools to Help You Get Anything Free Online

Emergency Operations Centre opens to monitor flooding in Saskatoon

Emergency Operations Centre opens to monitor flooding
 SASKATOON, SASK.: JUNE 24, 2013 -- Baracades are put up at Ravine Drive and Whiteswan Drive to keep people away from the over flowing Saskatchewan River through Saskatoon, June 24, 2013. (Gord Waldner/ The StarPhoenix) Photograph by: Gord Waldner , The StarPhoenix
The City of Saskatoon opened its Emergency Operations Centre for the first time this week as flood water from Alberta rushes through the South Saskatchewan River.
The operations room, located in the firehall on Attridge Drive, had never been used prior to the recent opening. It gives city staff and emergency officials a central location to monitor and inform the public of emergency situations...Continue reading...
Johnny Cash - Five Feet High And Rising

New Jersey Under Attack From Asian Tiger Mosquito

HILLSDALE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey is under attack – not by annoying but harmless cicadas, but by a truly nasty creature that buzzes and bites with fury.
As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, the Asian tiger mosquito made its way to the Garden State a decade ago — most likely on ships. And the mosquito is sure to take a bite out of your of July plans.
The mosquitos will not be found in the areas where spraying is going on, but in your very own backyard, buzzing around your barbecue.
Named for its striped black and white legs, the Asian tiger mosquito is aggressive and out for blood all day long.
“It’s going to ruin your backyard barbecue in the middle of the day,” said Pete Rendine of the Bergen County Mosquito Control Division. “They definitely bite during the day.”
With all the recent rain, North Jersey is a perfect breeding ground. And the Asian tiger doesn’t need much space, Rendine told WCBS 880 this past weekend.
“This mosquito can breed in a bottle cap,” said Rendine...Read here...

Deadly piglet virus spreads to nearly 200 U.S. farm sites

[image]The Gilmer Free PressBy P.J. Huffstutter
(Reuters) - A swine virus deadly to young pigs, and never before seen in North America, has spiked to 199 sites in 13 states - nearly double the number of farms and other locations from earlier this month.
Iowa, the largest U.S. hog producer, has the most sites testing positive for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus: 102 sites, as of June 10. The state raises on average 30 million hogs each year, according to the Iowa Pork Producers Association.
PEDV, most often fatal to very young pigs, causes diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration. It also sickens older hogs, though their survival rate tends to be high.
The total number of pig deaths from the outbreak since the first cases were confirmed May 17 is not known...Continue reading...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

"Yodel" with Jimmy Fallon & Brad Pitt

22 Best Wildlife Photos From National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

FĂ©nec the Soul of the Desert             “The fennec, or desert fox is a canine mammal species of the genus Vulpes, which inhabits the Sahara Desert and Arabia. With its features ears, this is the smallest species of the family Canidae. It is endangered and its main threat is illegal in other countries.” (Photo by Francisco Mingorance) 22 wildlife photos from National Geographic

Newsmaker: Momo the swimming cat — Nine lives, 15 minutes of fame?

by The Canadian Press(Jordan Verlage, CP) DE WINTON, Alta. – The saga of Momo the cat and her owner Kevan Yeats — who swam to safety when his pickup truck was swept away in Alberta floodwaters — has captured worldwide attention. The Canadian Press spoke to Kevan Yeats’ mother, Lori Yeats, on Friday. Here is the conversation: Read here...
Kevan Yeats with his cat Momo at his parent's house near Okotoks, Alberta on June 21, 2013. Yeats and Momo narrowly avoided death when they leapt from Yeats' truck in flowing flood waters in High River, Alberta on Thursday Photo: .THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jordan Verlage Photos - Momo the cat

Friday, June 21, 2013

Freddy Fender - Before the Next Teardrop Falls

sad, girl, lonely, alone, missing, waiting, someone, broken, hearts | lovepictures
Freddy Fender performing in 1977

Mayor says worst yet to come as large swaths of Calgary become watery ghost town

By Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press:

Submerged cars sits in the flood waters in High River, Alta. on June 20, 2013 after the Highwood River overflowed its banks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jordan Verlage

Mayor says worst yet to come as large swaths of Calgary become watery ghost town
CALGARY - Calgary's mayor is warning that the worst of the flooding is yet to come after a significant portion of his city's population spent the night pulling back to higher ground.
"I grew up here. I spent a lot of time on the Bow and Elbow Rivers and I have never seen the river that high or that fast," Naheed Nenshi said at a news conference early Friday morning.
Heavy rains eight years ago caused flood damage to about 40,000 Calgary homes and resulted in the evacuation of more than 1,500 Calgarians. It resulted in $275 million in insured losses.
Nenshi said this is worse.
"The Bow River, when I saw it, looked like you were looking at an ocean. And I was there standing on that same bridge in 2005 and this is no comparison."...Continue reading...

Photos: Astonishing photos from the Alberta floodsA man is trapped after his truck was submerged in flood waters in High River on Thursday June 20, 2013.

A man is trapped after his truck was submerged in flood waters in High River on Thursday June 20, 2013.

Photograph by: Gavin Young, Calgary Herald Photos here.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Native American Influence in the History of the Blues

By Joe Gioia: The Guitar and the New World (Excelsior Editions, 2013) offers an entertaining yet informative social history of the world’s most popular instrument—the guitar. Author Joe Gioia investigates a hidden chapter in American music’s history that spans the ancient world to Sioux Ghost Dancers. In this excerpt taken from the chapter titled “Hey-Hey,” Gioia proposes a Native American influence on the history of the blues...Read here...

The Sopranos - Alabama 3 - Woke Up This Morning Gandolfini, remembered by Mike Figgis

From ‘The Sopranos’ to ‘Not Fade Away,’ the Late James Gandolfini’s Finest Roles

Acting giant James Gandolfini has died at the age of 51, reports Variety. HBO, the network that broadcast his hit show The Sopranos, has confirmed the news, claiming he was on vacation in Italy at the time. In addition to his wife, Deborah Lin, and their baby daughter, Mr. Gandolfini has left behind a legacy of fantastic film and television roles. Here are his most iconic performances...Finest roles here...James Gandolfini and Tony SiricoJames Gandolfini and Tony Sirico get together at a Jersey City cemetery to shoot a scene for the TV series "The Sopranos." (Thomas Monaster/NY Daily News Archive via Getty)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

'Tired of voting for rats? Vote for a cat'

Cat stands for election in Mexican city, by in Mexico City

Morris the cat
The Mexican mayoral candidate Morris the cat. Photograph: Reuters
It started as a joke between friends, but Morris the cat's bid to become mayor of the Mexican city of Xalapa, the capital of the state of Veracruz, has now turned into a social media phenomenon with a serious message about political disenchantment.
"Morris has become an expression of how fed up people are with all the parties and a political system that does not represent us," said Sergio Chamorro, the owner of the furry black-and-white candidate whose first campaign slogan was: "Tired of voting for rats? Vote for a cat."...Continue reading...                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Morris the cat looks like Kitty Mittens.

Photos: Boo, the orphaned B.C. grizzly bear

Orphaned grizzly bear Boo in his enclosure in the Grizzly Bear Refuge at Kicking Horse, British Columbia.

Photograph by: Leah Hennel, Calgary Herald

Boo Photos here.

Cat burglar who's stealing condoms, cellphone chargers and pens — is actually a cat

Jendef Photography/Getty Images/Flickr Open

A cat burglar responsible for a mini crime-wave has been revealed to be — an actual cat.
Theo, a 3-year-old Siamese cross, has been hitting homes in Ipswich, England, for the last six months.
Condoms, cellphone chargers, fluffy pens, children's artwork, hand puppets and packets of crisps have all been pilfered by the master prowler.
He reportedly gains the trust of the neighborhood children, who let him into their house to play — but then makes off with their items when their backs are turned.
The cute kitty's thieving ways are now so bad that his owners — Paul Edwards and girlfriend Rachael Drouet — have set up a Facebook page to try and hand back the ill-gotten gains.
"We take photographs of things that Theo has brought home and put them up on Facebook, saying 'Excuse me, do any of you recognize these?" Edwards told the BBC...Read here...

Carole King & James Tyalor - So Far Away's a long road1. Carole King 2.James Taylor - biography

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The latest and breaking news from Syria.

Golan Frights: Israelis shiver as Iran plans to deploy troops to Syria

Latest Syria News

Rumors of War in the North - Israel Today

by Ryan Jones:   Rumors of war in the northEarlier this week, the US government warned Americans to steer clear of Israel's northern Golan Heights. Now the United Nations is cautioning that neighboring Syria's ongoing civil war is likely to spill over the border. "US citizens are advised to defer non-essential travel to and within the Golan Heights and to exercise an extra measure of caution," read an email sent by the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to American citizens living in Israel. The warning came after Syrian government and rebel forces engaged in a days-long battle for the border town of Quneitra, with Syrian forces entering the demilitarized buffer zone between Israel and Syria for the first time in decades...Continue reading...

G8 summit: Stephen Harper meets with Barack Obama about Keystone XL oilsands pipeline

By Jason Fekete, Postmedia News:G8 summit: Stephen Harper meets with Barack Obama about Keystone XL oilsands pipeline
 U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper walk and talk on the second day of the G8 summit at the Lough Erne resort near Enniskillen in Northern Ireland on June 18, 2013.Photograph by: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images , Postmedia News
LOUGH ERNE, Northern Ireland — Prime Minister Stephen Harper got a private audience with U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday on the sidelines of the G8 summit, where he raised the sticky issue of the Keystone XL oilsands pipeline. Harper, unlike several other leaders, did not sit down for an official bilateral meeting with Obama, but he nevertheless nabbed some private time with him. The prime minister was able to bend the ear of Obama for about 10 minutes on the final day of the two-day G8 summit in Northern Ireland. The two leaders went for a stroll down a golf cart path and footbridge at the Lough Erne golf resort hosting the leaders from the Group of Eight countries, before turning back and heading into the leaders’ lounge. Harper raised the issue of the controversial Keystone XL oilsands pipeline that would run from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast, but also discussed international security issues, the Beyond the Border perimeter security initiative between the two countries and the new international crossing between Windsor, Ont., and Detroit that was recently granted a presidential permit by Obama...Continue reading...

Tornado Pictures

Tornado PicturesPhoto: A large, orange-tinted, circular cloud formationPhoto: A car license plate stuck into a tree

You're Not In Kansas Anymore by Jo Dee Messina

Jo Dee Messina

Native, Jewish blood thicker than water

Justice for Palestinians is attempting to organize with the Council of Canadians a conference titled "Indigenous Perspectives on Water: Canada and Palestine."
The objective is to conflate Palestinian and Native rights issues. Indeed, Justice for Palestinians is seeking a speaker from Idle No More, a Native rights movement in which I have been active. I take strong issue with Palestinians' appropriation of the Native cause.
To begin, though Palestinian propagandists love to characterize Zionism (that is, Jewish nationalism) and the re-establishment of Israel in 1948 as colonial enterprises, it is the Jews who are aboriginal to the Holy Land. Alone among other nations, Jews' language, history, culture and folklore were born and forged in the Holy Land. Accordingly, to claim the Jews are colonizers in the Holy Land delegitimizes all indigenous peoples because such attempts trivialize the unbreakable, maternal ties to the land that make us, like the Jews, indigenous...Continue reading...

Monday, June 17, 2013

“O would some power the gift to give us, to see ourselves as others see us!”

[image]                                                                                                                                                                              “…O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us…

~ Robert Burns,
   poet laureate of Scotland (1759-1796)
Verse translates as:
Oh, that God would give us the very smallest of gifts
To be able to see ourselves as others see us
It would save us from many mistakes
and foolish thoughts
We would change the way we look and gesture
and to how and what we apply our time and attention.

Syria: Sunni extremists blow up Shiite mosque

[photo]In this Wednesday, May 8, 2013 photo, an Iraqi cleric walks inside a damaged Sunni mosque in western Baghdad, Iraq. Attacks on mosques, especially where Sunnis worship, have been on the rise recently. Iraqi officials have warned that insurgents are trying to take advantage of the country's political and sectarian turmoil by targeting mosques in an attempt to reignite civil strife in the country. The mosque was attacked two weeks ago. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)By JAMAL HALABY, Associated Press
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Sunni extremists blew up a Shiite mosque in a village in eastern Syria stormed by rebels earlier this week, another sign of the growing sectarian hatred in the country's civil war, activists said Sunday.
They said al-Qaida's affiliate in Syria carried out the destruction. It showed the determination of extremists to drive Shiites out of the village of Hatla in the Deir el-Zour region near Iraq. Last week rebels battled pro-regime militiamen there, killing more than 60 Shiite fighters and civilians, according to activists.
In Lebanon, gunmen deployed in the streets of the northeast and set up roadblocks in protest following the killing of four Lebanese Shiite men in an ambush, security officials said Sunday.
The security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said the four were found dead in the Wadi Rafeq area between Ras Baalbek and al-Qaa near the border with Syria.
They said the men were from the powerful Jaafar and Amhaz clans, triggering fears of retaliation.
It was not immediately clear how they were killed or what the motive was, but Sunday's ambush is believed to be related to sectarian tensions related to the Syrian civil war.
Tensions between Sunnis and Shiites in Lebanon increased after the Shiite Iranian-backed Hezbollah openly joined the fight in Syria on the side of President Bashar Assad...Read here...

Old Crow Medicine Show "Wagon Wheel"

Picture of Old Crow Medicine

Two more Native American chiefs pledge support to Israel

Two more Native American chiefs pledge support to Israelby Yossi Aloni:   Chief Anne Richardson of the Rappahannock Tribe in Virginia and Kathy Cummings-Dickinson, head of the Lumbee tribes in North Carolina, donned traditional tribal clothing for their recent meeting with Israeli Energy and Water Minister Dr. Uzi Landau.
"We are here to deliver a message to residents of Israel: Stand firm and united against the threats and pressure," said the two female chiefs. "We want to encourage Israel and the newly elected Knesset not to give in to those who try to pressure them to give up parts of the homeland. Surrender to this pressure is not a recipe for peace, but rather war. We stand beside you."
Chief Richardson also quoted from the Book of Ruth: "We'll go wherever you go, your people will be our people and your God will be our God."...Continue reading...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Joni Mitchell may pull collection of personal artifacts from Saskatoon. Singer tired of waiting

Mitchell may pull collection from city

A close friend of Joni Mitchell, above, says the singer is "distraught" Saskatoon is not recognizing her.

Photograph by: Aaron Harris, The Canadian Press , The StarPhoenix

By Charles Hamilton, The StarPhoenix:
It has to be said: You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.
If Saskatoon can't find a home for one of the largest collections of her personal artifacts, Joni Mitchell is going to move it elsewhere, says a close family friend who spoke to the legendary singer earlier this week.
"The very last thing she said was, 'Well, if Saskatoon is not interested, basically it's going to go,'," Ron Lamb told The StarPhoenix.
"It's kind of devastating."
Lamb has been in possession of the collection - including Mitchell's graduation dress, personal scrap books and years worth of tour diaries - for several years, but since it's not on display anywhere in the city, hardly anyone in Saskatoon even knows it exists.
Mitchell spent much of her childhood in Saskatoon and considers the city home, but leaders here have not done enough to honour her, Lamb said...Continue reading... Picture of Joni music Joni

Friday, June 14, 2013

Dog pushing its wheelchair-bound owner along a flooded street.


Jazz for Cows


Motorcyclist takes photos of wolf chasing him on highway Wolf

A Banff, Alta., man came within metres of being caught by a wolf, but luckily he was on his motorcycle during the close call on Highway 93.
He was also able to snap some photos of the chase.
Tim Bartlett was testing out his new bike in Kootenay National Park on Saturday when he almost hit a wolf.
He swerved and sped away, but then headed back with his camera.
By the time he got back to the area where he saw the wolf, it had jumped over a concrete barrier. He thought it was gone.
"But as soon as I got to where that was, it jumped back, and the chase was on," said Bartlett...Read here...

David Frizzell - Gonna Hire A Wino

“Most cats do not approach humans recklessly, unless drunk. The possibility of concealed weapons, clods or sticks, tend to make them reserved. Wino cats in particular—with some justification, unfortunately—consider humans their natural enemies. Much ceremony must be observed, and a number of diplomatic feelers put out, before establishing a state of truce.” 
-Lloyd Alexander

Rainfall warning for Saskatoon

The StarPhoenix:

SASKATOON,SK--JUNE 13/2013--Heavy rain flooded some streets downtown, like here at 24th street sand Third Avenue, and even left pedestrians stranded trying to pick a crossing Thursday, June 13, 2013. (GREG PENDER/STAR PHOENIX)

Photograph by: Greg Pender , The StarPhoenix

Rainfall warning for SaskatoonBetween 50 and 80 millimetres of rain could deluge the Saskatoon area by Saturday, according to a rainfall warning issued by Environment Canada.
A statement on Environment Canada’s website says a low pressure system will linger over central Saskatchewan Friday and Saturday, dropping the heaviest rain in a band between Saskatoon and Prince Albert.
Environment Canada also says a northwest wind will pick up on Friday, blowing 40 kilometres an hour with gusts of 60 km/h, “making for a rather miserable couple of days.”
The rain is expected to taper off Sunday morning. Read here.

National Energy Board Responds to Crude Oil Release west of Merritt, BC

Small crude oil spill on Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline generates big reaction
 A pumping station at Sumas, on the Kinder Morgan TransMountain oil pipeline. The National Energy Board says it's responding to a spill from Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain line, which ships a variety of crude products from Alberta to the Lower Mainland and Washington State.vancouversun
National Energy Board: CALGARY - The National Energy Board (NEB or Board) is responding to a crude oil release on the TransMountain Pipeline southwest of Merritt, BC owned and operated by Kinder Morgan Canada. The size of the spill has yet to be determined by the NEB. There is no immediate safety concern for local residents and precautions are being taken to ensure continued public safety.
The NEB received an incident report late yesterday afternoon. The release is located on crown land along the pipeline right-of-way (a map of the area is included below for reference). The pipeline has been shut down to prevent additional oil from being released into the environment and the company is currently in the process of contacting area residents...Read here...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Father's Day - A Video Greeting Card

Father’s day by fabsharford

Solar Tornadoes: NASA Solar Dynamic Observatory Captures Footage of Tornadoes On the Sun

Tornadoes are well known to cause plenty of havoc on Earth, but who would've guessed that they were also hitting other areas of our solar system? A recent video released from NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory shows a speeded-up version of a 38-hour tornadic incident on the sun, an example of potentially dangerous "space weather."
Throughout the one-minute clip, multiple tornadoes can be seen making contact with the sun. According to’s YouTube page, the footage captured June 3-4 shows plasma moving across the sun’s surface, which is also commonly referred to as “sun tornadoes.”
At a Space Weather Enterprise Forum conference on June 4 at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Auditorium and Science Center in Silver Spring, Md., NASA chief Charles Bolden said space weather can be equally as devastating as the weather on Earth. "This conference shines a spotlight on another naturally occurring phenomenon that can be just as punishing as a tornado: space weather," Bolden told reading...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Half As Much by Hank Williams

Hank Williams, biography [link]

Invasion of crazy ants that dine on your iPhone

They're very hairy.
(Credit: KEYE-TV Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET) It was first spotted in Houston. But then so many strange phenomena are.
Now it's heading your way, regardless of where you might be keeping safe in these excitable United States.
It might seem to you as if it's had a few drinks. But no amount of offering it your Jack or your Bacardi will keep it from one thing it really wants in its mouth.
Yes, your S4, iPhone 5 or, indeed, anything that smacks of electronica.
Nylanderia fulva is its name. But you, at least as far as scientists are concerned, can call it the "crazy ant."
This is to be distinguished from the crazy aunt. She will only start chewing through your DVR cables after she's been at the Bacardi.
As ABC News explains it, we should all be very concerned. These ants used to hang in Argentina and Brazil.
Now they are with us, and they truly are quite crazy. Their path is the kind of meandering mess that the inebriated would eschew. They're only an eighth of an inch long, so you'll hardly see them before it's too late...Read here, video 'Rise of the Crazy Ants'

Must Cats Die So Birds Can Live?

Illustration by Bigshot Toyworks

Inside an animal-lover civil war.

By Jessica Pressler: All winter, Peter Marra’s children had been pestering him to get a cat. It was ironic, he thought as he walked up the snowy path to his modern farmhouse in Takoma Park, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C. Especially now, when the country’s cat lobby had him pegged as the Josef Mengele of felines. In his years as a research scientist at the Smithsonian Zoo’s Migratory Bird Center, Marra had produced many studies on different threats to bird life, like glass buildings and wind turbines, but none received as much attention as those featuring cats. Since its publication in the January issue of the journal Nature Communications, his team’s paper, “The Impact of Free-Ranging Domestic Cats on Wildlife of the United States,” which placed the number of birds felled by felines at 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion per year, had been picked up by most major media outlets, including the New York Times. Marra was proud, although when he saw the front-page headline, “That Cuddly Kitty Is Deadlier Than You Think,” accompanied by a photo of a tabby with its jaws clenched around the neck of a rabbit, he braced himself for an onslaught...Continue reading..

Bacterial apocalypse – the bugs are getting cleverer, and we are doing little to stop them. Guardian News

              We're all doomed.
Well, possibly not. But having recently returned from the American Society for Microbiology annual meeting in Denver, Colorado, where thousands of my fellow scientists flocked to present and absorb all the latest research into our tiny ancient enemies, I certainly have a lot to think about.
Large conferences present the whole spectrum of a topic, rather than one specialized niche. So while you attend them in the hopes of learning the latest findings (and gossip) in your own particular area, you are simultaneously exposed to helpful information and inspiration from a wide variety of parallel systems. For example, I work on bacterial pathogens of the urinary tract, but there is a lot to be learned from similar ecosystems in the gut, the mouth and indeed pretty anywhere else on the human body where microorganisms can gain access (even the penis, it transpires – who knew?)...Continue reading...

Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost


Nothing Gold Can Stay by

 Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. 

Nothing Gold Can StayRobert Frost - biography