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No Agenda Episode 407

By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 12:31 PM.

Cover Art

By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 12:32 PM.

NA 407 Art BIG

Art By: Jerry B.

See ALL the artwork at the generator


By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 12:32 PM.

Exploding Dog

Executive Producers: Sir Howard Gutknecht, Sir Mark Dytham, Marian Kolbe

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Sander Hoksbergen, Sir Borislav Marinov, Hyperware Technologies, David Sauder

Become a member of the 408 Club, support the show here

Knighthoods: Howard Gutknecht, Gregory Wilcox

Art By: Jerry B.

ShowNotes Archive of links and Assets (clips etc)

Fanscribed Transcription: (Pitch in!)

New: Directory Archive of Shownotes (includes all audio and video assets used)

The No Agenda News Network-

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NL - No relaxation of eurozone rules for the Netherlands: Brussels

The Netherlands cannot expect any relaxation of the rules requiring the budget deficit to be cut to below 3%, European commissioner Olli Rehn told news agency ANP on Wednesday.

'Rumours about a relaxation [of the rules] are unfounded,' Rehn said. The Dutch economy is not in such trouble that an exception would be possible, ANP quoted Rehn as saying.

In the interview, Rehn emphasised it is essential for the Dutch economy that the Netherlands sticks to the rules.

Structural reforms

The austerity agreement signed by the minority government and three other parties at the end of April includes structural reforms which are important for the sustainability of Dutch government finances, he said.

The Volkskrant says Rehn's comments are significant because there have been signs that Brussels may be more relaxed about the Dutch deficit, which threatens to reach 4.6% this year.

Under eurozone rules, it must be below 3% by 2013, forcing the government to cut spending and increase taxes.



'Greece out of euro' calls multiply in Germany - The Local

It must stick to a March deal agreed with its international backers and enact promised reforms to remain within the eurozone, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said on Wednesday.

"If Greece wants to remain in the eurozone, there is no better solution than the path it has already taken," Schaeuble said, referring to austerity cuts and reforms in return for a 240-billion-euro debt bailout. "You can't have one without the other," he said.

Others were a few steps ahead. "We should make Greece the offer to leave the eurozone in an orderly fashion, without leaving the European Union," said Klaus-Peter Willsch, budgetary expert for Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union.

He told Wednesday's business daily Handelsblatt it was not up to the Germans to tell the Greeks how to live, but the election results indicated that the Greeks were not willing to make the effort required to make their country competitive.

"The dogma that no country can leave the eurozone has already caused too much political damage in Europe," he said.




Farage: We face the prospect of mass civil unrest, even revolution - [VIDEO]

The Countdown To The Break Up Of The Euro Has Officially Begun

EU warns Greece to stick to austerity plan | euronews, Europe

BBC News - Child online safety plans unveiled by Brussels

The European Commission is considering setting up an age-based authentication system that limits where children can visit online.

The system is part of a series of proposals Brussels has put forward to make the net safer for children.

It says children are in danger of finding inappropriate material because ways to control where they can go are "fragmented".

More details of the authentication scheme will be published on 30 May.

European e-identity plan to be unveiled this month | Regulation | ZDNet UK

BBC News - Greece election: Vote risks EU bailout split

Greek conservative Antonis Samaras has three days to form a coalition, faced with EU warnings to keep to the tough terms of international bailouts.

Two-thirds of Greek voters backed parties opposed to the EU/IMF deal, renewing fears that Athens may default on its debts and leave the eurozone.

Germany's Angela Merkel has made clear that Greece's reforms must go on.

But her focus on austerity has taken a knock with the election in France of pro-growth Socialist Francois Hollande.


Shut Up Slave!


Ron Paul Is Hosting A Hearing On Ending The Federal Reserve Right Now |

Texas Congressman-Ron Paul will once again face off against his central bank nemesis this morning, during a Congressional hearing on monetary policy and the Federal Reserve.

The hyped-up hearing is titled "The Federal Reserve System: Mend It Or End It?," and will be hosted by the House Finance Committee's Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommittee, which oversees the Federal Reserve and which, incidentally, is chaired by Ron Paul.

The hearing will feature testimony from several economists and lawmakers, all of whom have some problem with the central bank. No one who works for the Fed is scheduled to testify.

The subcommittee will also consider several bills, including Paul's Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act, which would abolish the Federal Reserve, its Board of Governors, and eliminate the Federal Reserve Act.

"More and more people are beginning to understand just how destructive the Federal Reserve's monetary policy has been," Paul said in a press release. "I hope that this hearing will kickstart a serious discussion on the need to rein in the Fed."

Federal Reserve Reform, Economists Panel - C-SPAN Video Library

Ministry of Truth

Machine Casts Phantom Votes in the Bronx, Invalidating Real Ones: Report - WNYC

Tests on an electronic voting machine that recorded shockingly high numbers of extra votes in the 2010 election show that overheating may have caused upwards of 30 percent of the votes in a South Bronx voting precinct to go uncounted.

WNYC first reported on the issue in December 2011, when it was found that tens of thousands of votes in the 2010 elections went uncounted because electronic voting machines counted more than one vote in a race.

A review by the state Board of Election and the electronic voting machines' manufacturer ES&S found that these "over votes," as they're called, were due to a machine error. In the report issued by ES&S, when the machine used in the South Bronx overheated, ballots run during a test began coming back with errors.

"After lunch [when the machine was idle for about an hour] almost every ballot was read incorrectly, in all orientations, even ballots that had read correctly just before lunch," the ES&S report said.

Articles: Strange Anomalies in the Famous Situation Room Photo

BBC News - President Obama's speechwriter gets sitcom commission

US network NBC has commissioned President Obama's former speechwriter, Jon Lovett, to make a sitcom about family life in the White House.

Book of Mormon star Josh Gad and Modern Family director Jason Winer are also behind the show, titled 1600 Penn - after the presidential address.

Bill Pullman stars as the US president in the comedy, with Dharma and Greg star Jenna Elfman as the First Lady.

9/11 Defendants Were Protesting 'Unjust System,' Lawyers Say -


BBC News - Olympic torch flame goes out during Greek ceremony

The flame for the London 2012 torch relay and Olympic Games has been lit during a ceremony in Olympia, Greece.

However, a gust of wind caused an early hitch in the proceedings, blowing out the flame which had to be relit before being handed to a torchbearer.

The flame was kindled by an actress, playing a "high priestess", who caught the sun's rays in a parabolic mirror at the Temple of Hera ruins, by the ancient Olympic Games stadium.

Devil Weed - Working to Reform Marijuana Laws

Congress Moves To Stop DEA Funding To Attack Medical Marijuana Patients & Care Givers - [VIDEO]

"All The Sudden States Have No Rights To Determine What's Best For Their Citizens!" Congressman Farr - [VIDEO]

"We Shouldn't Be Debating This At 7:30! And I Agree We Should Have Been Debating It At 4:20" - [VIDEO]

Reefer Madness - [VIDEO]

Weed pass sparks new problems | Radio Netherlands Worldwide

In protest against the move, many coffeeshops in Maastricht and other southern Dutch cities have closed their doors. So foreign drug tourists and Dutch residents who don't have a weed pass are heading further north, and this is causing problems for coffeeshops in the weed pass border zone.


In cities in the weed pass area, like the eastern border town of Venlo, growing numbers of illegal drugs dealers are hanging out near coffeeshops. They're harrassing not only drugs tourists but also local residents. The police say they're monitoring the situation, but many people say they're afraid.


The mayor of Maastricht says the weed pass, which will be introduced throughout the country on 1 January 2013, is also having positive effects. According to Mayor Onno Hoes, the residents of his city "can now park their cars in front of their houses. Children can play outside again, and old ladies feel safe when they put their garbage out."


Call Clooney!

Trailer :: "ARGO" starring Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman | TheOriginalWinger

"Based on true events, Warner Bros. Pictures' and GK Films' dramatic thriller Argo chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis--the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades."

This movie stars Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Clea DuVall and John Goodman... is directed by Ben Affleck and is produced by Ben Affleck, George Clooney and Grant Heslov.

* BTW, Do we have to re-evaluate who is the more talented one out of the Matt Damon and Ben Affleck duo? It was a boatrace early with Damon taking a huge lead, but now Affleck is wrting screenplays, directing isht, producing and starring in these flicks. The only reason I'm hesitant to give Affleck the belt is because of Bourne. But thats just my opinion....

** And what happened to Casey Affleck? Seemed like there is some talent in that guy, but he only works like once a year right?

Fruit of the Boom

Follow the Pipes




Can Geoengineering Solve Global Warming? : The New Yorker

There is only one reason to consider deploying a scheme with even a tiny chance of causing such a catastrophe: if the risks of not deploying it were clearly higher. No one is yet prepared to make such a calculation, but researchers are moving in that direction. To offer guidance, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (I.P.C.C.) has developed a series of scenarios on global warming. The cheeriest assessment predicts that by the end of the century the earth's average temperature will rise between 1.1 and 2.9 degrees Celsius. A more pessimistic projection envisages a rise of between 2.4 and 6.4 degrees--far higher than at any time in recorded history. (There are nearly two degrees Fahrenheit in one degree Celsius. A rise of 2.4 to 6.4 degrees Celsius would equal 4.3 to 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit.) Until recently, climate scientists believed that a six-degree rise, the effects of which would be an undeniable disaster, was unlikely. But new data have changed the minds of many. Late last year, Fatih Birol, the chief economist for the International Energy Agency, said that current levels of consumption "put the world perfectly on track for a six-degree Celsius rise in temperature. . . . Everybody, even schoolchildren, knows this will have catastrophic implications for all of us."

While such tactics could clearly fail, perhaps the greater concern is what might happen if they succeeded in ways nobody had envisioned. Injecting sulfur dioxide, or particles that perform a similar function, would rapidly lower the temperature of the earth, at relatively little expense—most estimates put the cost at less than ten billion dollars a year.

“Geoengineering” actually refers to two distinct ideas about how to cool the planet. The first, solar-radiation management, focusses on reducing the impact of the sun. Whether by seeding clouds, spreading giant mirrors in the desert, or injecting sulfates into the stratosphere, most such plans seek to replicate the effects of eruptions like Mt. Pinatubo’s. The other approach is less risky, and involves removing carbon directly from the atmosphere and burying it in vast ocean storage beds or deep inside the earth. But without a significant technological advance such projects will be expensive and may take many years to have any significant effect.

The most environmentally sound approach to geoengineering is the least palatable politically. “If it becomes necessary to ring the planet with sulfates, why would you do that all at once?’’ Ken Caldeira asked. “If the total amount of climate change that occurs could be neutralized by one Mt. Pinatubo, then doesn’t it make sense to add one per cent this year, two per cent next year, and three per cent the year after that?’’ he said. “Ramp it up slowly, throughout the century, and that way we can monitor what is happening. If we see something at one per cent that seems dangerous, we can easily dial it back. But who is going to do that when we don’t have a visible crisis? Which politician in which country?’

Gitmo Nation

Hundreds Of Flight Attendants Fall Ill With Hair Falling Out

Video Games Can Teach How to Shoot Guns More Accurately and Aim for the Head

Just 20 minutes of playing a violent shooting video game made players more accurate when firing a realistic gun at a mannequin - and more likely to aim for and hit the head, a new study found.

Players who used a pistol-shaped controller in a shooting video game with human targets had 99 percent more completed head shots to the mannequin than did participants who played other video games, as well as 33 percent more shots that hit other parts of the body.

In addition, the study found that participants who reported habitual playing of violent shooting games also were more accurate than others when shooting at the mannequin, and made more head shots.

CBBC Newsround - 'Ghost town' being built in US to test new technologies

A 'ghost town' is being built in America to test out the latest technologies such as renewable energies and terrorism security systems.

It'll look just like a city with roads, houses and buildings - but no one will live there.

Scientists want to use it to see the effects of new technology in a 'real world' setting.

It's being built in Lea County, New Mexico, and will cost around £600 million.

Big tech company Pegasus Global Holdings is behind the project.

Anything from smart grids and next-generation wireless networks to self-flushing toilets could be tested in the new town.

"The only thing we won't be doing is destructive testing, blowing things up - I hope," said Robert Brumley from Pegasus.

Work is due to begin on the town at the end of June.

European e-identity plan to be unveiled this month | Regulation | ZDNet UK

Demon Drink

NEVER drink again

I deferred my 2nd DUI and I live I Washington state. As I entered my 2 year program with my forced breathalyzer that i skipped by not putting it in and just driving illegally, I was told in this class be cause I deferred my DUI which means I don't get it if I never again offend. I CAN NEVER DRINK AGAIN!! In my life! If I drink again and get caught ever again in my life I will get the DUI I deferred and the one I get at that time! But yes I'm never allowed to drink again EVER! Not just drink and drive. Just an Incite Into my experience. In the morning!

Ken-Dr. Foot


The Local - Zoo backs heroin theory in dead dolphins case

The head of the Connyland wildlife park has confirmed a newspaper report suggesting that two dolphins who died after a rave near the zoo last November may have been given a heroin substitute by party-goers.

Connyland chief Erich Brandenberger told Swiss media the park has seen the veterinary report that formed the basis of the poisoning claims laid out in the Sunday edition of the NZZ newspaper.

A toxicology report leaked over the weekend suggests that the two dolphins, Shadow and Chelmers, did not die as a result of the antibiotics administered by their vets as has previously been alleged.

Tests showed that a substance called Buprenorphin, which is used a heroin substitute, was found in the urine of the two dolphins that died at the park last November, online news site 20 Minuten reported.-

"Opiates are extremely dangerous for underwater mammals and would never be used in any legitimate treatment," dolphin expert Cornelis van Elk, told the Daily Mail news online.

CIA Plane Crash Lands With Four TONS of Coke on Board

CIA Plane Crashes in Mexico

Seventeen months after an American-registered DC9 airliner was busted with 5.5 tons of cocaine, a major international scandal is brewing over a second drug trafficking incident in Mexico's Yucatan involving an American-registered jet owned by a dummy front company of the kind usually associated with the CIA.

A weekend visit to "Donna Blue Aircraft Inc" of Coconut Beach FL., the company which FAA records show owned the Gulfstream II business jet (N987SA) which crash-landed with 3.7 tons of cocaine aboard in Mexico's Yucatan two weeks ago, has revealed that the company's listed address is an empty office suite with a blank sign out front.

There was no sign of Donna Blue Aircraft, Inc., at the address listed at the Florida Dept. of Corporations, 4811 Lyons Technology Parkway #8 in Coconut Beach FL. .......

However, there were, oddly enough, a half-dozen unmarked police cars parked directly in front of the empty suite.


UN Framework on Climate Change-List of Annex I Parties to the Convention

IPCC Report

Lots of "high confidence"

Intenational law, existing treaties

Extreme weather is now completely linked

Drone Nation

USAF Drones May Conduct "Incidental" Domestic Surveillance | Secrecy News

"Air Force Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operations, exercise and training missions will not conduct nonconsensual surveillance on specifically identified US persons, unless expressly approved by the Secretary of Defense, consistent with US law and regulations," the instruction stated.

On the other hand, "Collected imagery may incidentally include US persons or private property without consent."

"Collecting information on specific targets inside the US raises policy and legal concerns that require careful consideration, analysis and coordination with legal counsel.- Therefore, Air Force components should use domestic imagery only when there is a justifiable need to do so, and then only IAW [in accordance with] EO 12333, the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, DoD 5240.1-R, and this instruction," it said.

AF: F-22‚ Extreme Performance May Be Behind Oxygen Problems | Defense Tech

Well, the Air Force has figured out that its likely some combination of high operating altitudes and intense maneuvering at those altitudes that is causing either toxins to seep into the F-22 pilots' oxygen supplies or allowing insufficient amounts of oxygen to reach the pilots' lungs.

Lt. Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger, one of the service's top weapons buyers, just told Senators that it has narrowed down possible causes for Raptor pilots to be experiencing hypoxia like symptoms in-flight to those factors.

Words Do Matter


Bank tells customer: We don't take cash anymore - The Local

Last week, Bjart Berge headed to his local Nordea branch in Stavanger city centre to deposit his remaining dollars after returning from a trip to the United States, only to be told the bank no longer handles cash of any kind over the counter, newspaper Bergens Tidende reports.

"I thought it was an April Fool's joke; I couldn't believe it was true," Berge told the newspaper.

The Stavanger branch stopped taking cash on May 1st, bringing it in line with company policy. Of Nordea's 98 branches in Norway, only nine still handle cash.

Nordea spokesman Thomas Sevang explained that the bank was in the process of automating all its cash services and was installing new machines for withdrawing and depositing cash across its network.

"He [Berge] has encountered the bank of the future," said Sevang.

But in the bank of the present, none of the deposit machines take dollars, and the bank was not able to say when this would become possible.

"You can take money out of an ATM in either Norwegian or foreign currency," said Berge. -

"The same should apply for deposits. But when that possibility doesn't exist, it's a bit early to cut the umbilical cord."



AFP: Italy relives militancy fears with nuclear boss shooting

A gunman shot and wounded the head of an Italian nuclear energy company on Monday in an incident reminiscent of militant attacks in the 1970s, with police saying anarchists could be responsible.

Nuclear power was outlawed in Italy in a referendum in 1987 following the Chernobyl disaster and attempts by the last government of Silvio Berlusconi to revive the sector were voted down in another referendum last year.

Finmeccanica chief executive Giuseppe Orsi said that if the attack was indeed political this would be "an alarm bell not to be understimated."

He warned of "dangers of social destabilisation linked to the current economic difficulties and the risk of manipulation for ideological ends.

"An attack against the leadership of a highly technological company... is an insidious rejection of the need for modernisation," he said.

Finmeccanica, he added, was key to "Italy's residual hopes of playing a primary role on global markets in the strategic hi-tech sector."

Weekly Hooker Report

Techno Experts

BBC News - Child online safety plans unveiled by Brussels

The European Commission is considering setting up an age-based authentication system that limits where children can visit online.

The system is part of a series of proposals Brussels has put forward to make the net safer for children.

It says children are in danger of finding inappropriate material because ways to control where they can go are "fragmented".

More details of the authentication scheme will be published on 30 May.

Army wants to monitor your computer activity - Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army Times

The Army wants to look at keystrokes, downloads and Web searches on computers that soldiers use.

Maj. Gen. Steven Smith, chief of the Army Cyber Directorate, said the software was one of his chief priorities, joking that it would take the place of a lower-tech solution: "A guy with a large bat behind every user as they go to search the Internet."

"Now we've been in the news -- I don't know if you've seen it -- with a little insider threat issue," Smith continued.

Smith did not mention Pfc. Bradley Manning by name. However, the effort comes in the wake of the former intelligence analyst's alleged leak of hundreds of thousands of pages of classified documents to the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks in 2009 and 2010. Manning faces a military trial on 22 counts, including aiding the enemy.

According to Smith, the Army will soon shop for software pre-programmed to detect a user's abnormal behavior and record it, catching malicious insiders in the act. Though it is unclear how broadly the Army plans to adopt the program, the Army has more than 900,000 users on its computers.

US government warns over gas pipeline cyberattacks - Spear-phishing attacks on critical infrastructure | TechEye

Gas pipelines have been targeted by cyber attacks according to the US Department of Homeland Security, raising fresh fears over the -safety of infrastructure.

The Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) arm of DoHS has highlighted an "active series of cyber intrusions", with spear-phishing attacks targeting natural gas pipeline sector companies.

Analysis of the malware connected to the cybers attacks discovered has apparently identified the attacks as a part of a single campaign. -It is thought that the campaign has been ongoing since December 2011.

Alerts say major cyber attack aimed at gas pipeline industry | Citizens for Legitimate Government

Singularity University: meet the people who are building our future | Technology | The Observer

Follow the Pipes


Obama Sends US Special Ops Back into Yemen -- News from

The Pentagon announced Tuesday it is sending U.S. troops back to Yemen to train Yemeni security forces in a final indication that Washington has been successful in maintaining the status quo, despite a still-active protest movement vying for reform.

"We have begun to reintroduce small numbers of trainers into Yemen," a Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. John Kirby, told reporters. This follows the reintroduction of military aid the Obama administration secured back in March.

Cultural Marxism

Hospital sensitivity traning

Just wanted to share this information with you guys.

My wife is a nurse, and recently had to complete her education credits, and yearly hospital requirements. She had to sit through a Power Point on "bariatric sensitivity training" to learn how not to offend fat people.On the list of insensitive things you could say are, "You have a pretty face" and "Would you like a glass of water" (this would imply that they shouldn't drink things with calories). Maybe one day asking someone if they want some water will be classified as a hate crime.

Americans with Disabilities Act covers 'bashful bladder syndrome,' could cost employers billions | The Daily Caller

It could cost U.S. employers between $2 billion and $4 billion to comply with an obscure Americans with Disabilities Act regulation-meant to protect workers who are gun-shy in public restrooms.

According to-an informal discussion letter the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued in August 2011, "paruresis" -- more commonly known as "shy bladder syndrome" -- qualifies as a disability-under the amended Americans with Disabilities Act.

The-International Paruresis Association-defines-the odd affliction as the "inability to urinate with others present." The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the gold-standard of psychiatrists,-categorizes it as a social phobia that affects roughly seven percent of the population -- approximately 17 million Americans.

Magic Numbers

BBC News - Malawi devalues kwacha by 33%, leading to panic-buying

Shoppers in Malawi have been scrambling to buy basic goods, fearing huge price rises after the currency was devalued by 33%.

The BBC's Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre says that many shops had run out of staple foods such as sugar, cooking oil and bread by the end of Monday.


HPV Scam

Only 1 percent!

This is from a medical text pathologists refer to as somewhat difinitive. Its an older edition but the numbers still hold true. The current US numbers are still coming but my feeling is they may be skewed.

If you can't read anything let me know but the bottom line is that low grade HPV resolves 60% of the time on its own and only progresses to invasive cancer 1% of the time.

The other important thing to remember is that HPV is not the only cause of cervical cancer

The Report [pdf]

QIAGEN-Selling the digene HPV Test Script

Hologic Testing

4 publications

4,000 patients

How would genotyping change patient management?

99% of the time, A provider will repeat

pap and HR HPV in 12 months

Military shots

Messrs. Dvorak and Curry,

Here's another view about the HPV shots from the military aspect.

As a listener of NA and being in the military, there is one time of year where I hate my job choice and that is shot season. The military, unlike any other profession has the ability to put you in jail, yes Fort Leavenworth, for refusing certain shots. Thankfully, HPV was not one of them but all the animal flu shots are and many other ones. Of course they are not generic and are usually made by GSK or Merck, I have them check the packaging.

For the HPV specifically, last year (and I think the military is their test ground because we can't say no most of the time) they offered me the HPV shot. Now the nurse who is administering the shot sold it as a way of preventing penis cancer. I heard this, and knew that the probability of getting penis cancer is extremely low versus the higher probability of being fucked up by some random GSK produced shot, so I said no. Of course, I started "hitting the nurse in the mouth" (figuratively of course) about big pharma and the panics they start to push their products. She really didn't know anything expect that someone told her to push the shot for whatever reason.

But here's the kicker. I started making a scene and telling people around me not to get the shot and I got about 5 people to say no. BUT if i would not of said anything they would have been obedient slaves and thought... 'penis cancer!?!!? hell yea give me the shot'. I'm sure about 80% of the people did that.

The thing that got me upset is that the nurse really had no idea. She was just pushing the shot on all these slaves.

Hopefully this anecdote helps with your HPV deconstruction work.

BBC News - 'One in six cancers worldwide are caused by infection'

The Lancet Oncology review, which looked at incidence rates for 27 cancers in 184 countries, found four main infections are responsible.

These four - human papillomaviruses, Helicobacter pylori and hepatitis B and C viruses - account for 1.9m cases of cervical, gut and liver cancers.

Researcher death highlights dangers of pathogen work - health - 09 May 2012 - New Scientist

A researcher in the US has died of a disease caused by the bacteria he was studying. The tragedy highlights the dangers of research on human respiratory germs. Research on airborne mutants of H5N1 bird flu is currently under an indefinite moratorium, partly over fears of just such laboratory infections.

Tragically, a vaccine that could have saved him, developed by another group of researchers, is only a few months away. Swiss-based company Novartis expects to license Bexsero, the first general vaccine against serogroup B, later this year. Other serogroup B vaccines are also in the works.

Ritalin use soars fourfold in U.K. as psychologists warn of untested drug cocktails | The Raw Story

Prescriptions of Ritalin for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have quadrupled in a decade, prompting fears it is being pushed on children at the expense of alternative treatments and without appreciation of long-term effects.

Figures released by the NHS business services authority to the Liberal Democrat MP Tessa Munt reveal the number of prescriptions of methylphenidate hydrochloride, the generic name for Ritalin, rose in England from 158,000 in 1999 to 661,463 in 2010.

Space Wars

Europe writes off biggest environment satellite | The Raw Story

The satellite failed to make a radio call on April 8 as it passed over a ground station at Kiruna in Sweden.

ESA had hoped to keep Envisat going until its seven replacements, the so-called Sentinel satellites, start being launched in 2013.

Their launch “has become even more urgent to ensure the continuity of data to users, improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security,” said ESA.

The cause of the communications failure has not been established.

"Following rigorous attempts to re-establish contact and the investigation of failure scenarios, the end of the mission is being declared," the agency said in a statement.

"Envisat had already operated for double its planned lifetime, making it well overdue for retirement."

Out There