Archive for August 1, 2008

Watch That Low Pressure System Off the Florida Panhandle….

We’ve been getting rain for several days from that thang, much like we did from the low pressure system that turned into Cristobal. Now that it’s in the gulf of Mexico (GOMex), I expect that it, too, will develop further.

Update: The 11 o’clock news and weather mentioned the prospect of further development as well.

UPDATE:  Ha!  Told y’all so.  Tropical Storm Edouard it is.  Always, always keep an eye on the gulf this time of year.

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Another Killer Caught in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Shoppers at a Jacksonville Wal-Mart witnessed a bizarre scene Friday morning when U.S. Marshals stormed in and arrested a man playing a video game.

The game ended for 30-year-old Raymundo Castaneda when police arrested him on a murder charge.

According to police, Castaneda was wanted in Charlotte, N.C., after detectives there said he killed a friend over a soccer game.

Police in Jacksonville got a tip and tracked Castaneda down to the Wal-Mart on Philips Highway, where he was playing Guitar Hero.

“A team of U.S. Marshals and JSO officers went in to get Castaneda, but he wasn’t paying all that much attention to them. His focus was on this … He was calm, cool and collected. Playing a video game. He didn’t have a care in the world,” said Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office spokesman Ken Jefferson.


As though we do not have enough home-grown killers to contend with, now we have to catch ’em from Georgia and North Carolina. I remember the good ol’ days when killers used to run to Mexico. Now even murderers are getting too picky to go there.

Maybe we should put out little brochures at the Welcome Stations extolling the virtues of the Canadian prison system.

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Apparently the Dems in the Senate Do Not Care How Much You Have to Pay for Gas

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Why I Hate Public Transportation

A young man beheaded in a savage knife attack on a Canadian cross-country bus has been identified by friends as a “bubbly” 22-year-old man.

Canadian police have not yet formally confirmed the victim’s identity, but friends paid tribute on Facebook and in e-mails to Canadian media.

One told broadcaster CBC that Tim McLean, the presumed victim, was loved by many and called him a “ladies man”.

Police have charged Vince Weiguang Li, 40, with second-degree murder.

Mr Li, of Edmonton, Alberta, appeared in court in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, on Friday.

He said nothing when the judge asked whether he was going to use a lawyer, merely nodding when asked whether he was exercising the right not to speak.

The judge said Mr Li should appear in court on Tuesday after he had had an opportunity to speak to a lawyer.

JAWA Report has more on this, including a quote from a police officer’s radioed report that the killer was hacking flesh from the body and eating it.

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Dead South Korean Cat was Infected with H5N1 Bird Flu

SEOUL (AFP) — A cat found dead in a South Korean city was infected with a virulent strain of bird flu, the first mammal in the country known to have had the H5N1 virus, health officials said on Tuesday.

They said it was the first report of a cat having had the virus since a case in Thailand in 1996, but that there was little risk to humans as there has never been a known transmission of the virus from a cat to other mammals.

“It is quite rare for a cat to be infected by the avian flu virus,” said Cho Hyun-Ho, a deputy director of the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service.

Cats and dogs are usually not susceptible to the virus, so quarantine officials only normally check animals that have regular contact with birds.

The cat was found dead in April in Gimje, about 250 kilometres (150 miles) south of Seoul.

“It probably had eaten a sick bird or came in very close contact with chickens or ducks,” an unidentified quarantine inspector told Yonhap news agency.

Gimje was one of the first regions hit by South Korea’s latest bird flu outbreak, which began in early April and swept through most of the country for nearly two months.

Nearly 8.5 million birds have been put down since the outbreak and the overall cost has been estimated at 264 billion won (262 million dollars).

South Korea has been hit by bird flu outbreaks three times. But no South Korean is known to have contracted the disease, even though the H5N1 strain has killed more than 240 people worldwide since late 2003.

Scientists fear the virus will eventually mutate into a form that is much more easily transmissible between humans, triggering a global pandemic.

Source: AFP

Bird flu news usually goes away in summer. Not this year. It continues to simmer along ominously.

Flocks with Bird Flu in Vietnam

Fresh bird flu outbreak in Nigeria.

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Tyson Drops Labor Day for Muslim Holiday

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. — Some workers at a local plant will no longer to be able to take their Labor Day holiday because of religious reasons.

Workers at the Tyson Foods poultry processing plant in Shelbyville will no longer have a paid day off on Labor Day but will instead be granted the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr.

According to a news release from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, a new five-year contract at the plant included the change to accommodate Muslim workers at the plant.

Tyson’s director of media relations Gary Mickelson said the contract includes eight paid holidays — the same number as the old contract.

Eid al-Fitr — which falls on Oct. 1 this year — marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.

Union leaders said implementing the holiday was important for the nearly 700 Muslims, many of them Somalis, who work at the plant that employs a total of 1,200 people.

Nineteen-year plant veteran William Pentecost doesn’t agree with the decision.

“I don’t think it’s right; really don’t think it’s right,” he said.

Tyson company spokeswoman Libby Lawson said by phone that, “This isn’t a religious accommodation, this is a contractual agreement. The majority asked for it.”

The change didn’t bother some workers.

“I think it’s fine. I don’t have any problem with it. There’s a whole bunch of them here, so they’ve got to do something for them,” said worker John Smith.

Channel 4’s Cynthia Williams could not reach any of the plant’s Muslim workers, because Channel 4 News’ crew was not permitted on the property.

Former employee and Shelbyville resident Anthony Proctor said he thinks what’s happening is wrong.

He said he helped build a special Muslim prayer room that’s located inside the plant and that no other Tyson facility has been that accommodating for any other religion.

“If we want to go pray, we don’t have one for Christians,” he said.

Tyson is headquartered in Arkansas.

Lawson said they consider religious accommodations on a case-by-case basis. She said that so far, no one has asked for any other type of religious prayer room.

No one at the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union’s regional office answered phone calls placed by Williams on Friday.

A representative in New York said that no one there knew specifics about the new contract with the workers, but a person in research told Williams that holidays aren’t usually replaced and are more likely to be added on.

The decision will only apply to workers at the plant who are union members. All other employees at the plant will still have their normal Labor Day holiday.

Source: WSMV TV4, Nashville

Something to keep in mind when you go grocery shopping.

Update: Tyson has taken a huge hit from increased grain prices; they surely can’t afford to piss off consumers.

Things weren’t so rosy for Tyson, which warned that its U.S. chicken business will take longer than expected to recover from high feed costs. Tyson’s net for the fiscal third quarter ended June 28 plunged 92% to $9 million, or 3 cents, as revenue rose 3.5% to $6.8 billion. An operating loss of $44 million in Tyson’s chicken business largely offset profits at the Springdale, Ark., company’s beef and pork businesses.

“Dick Bond, Tyson’s CEO, told investors that he expected the company’s corn and soybean costs to be about $550 million higher this year than last. So far, Tyson says, it hasn’t been able to pass along the higher costs to consumers, but Mr. Bond warned that higher prices are on the horizon.

“The consumer really hasn’t felt the $6 and $7 grain markets yet, either on beef, pork or chicken,” he said. “We are going to see the effects of that coming through at some point in time.”

Source: Wall Street Journal

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John Rich Holds Free Concert for John McCain

Wish I would have known about it!  I would have loved to go to Panama City today!

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Improved Estrogen Reception May Improve Fuzzy Memory

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Estrogen treatments may sharpen mental performance in women with certain medical conditions, but University of Florida researchers suggest that recharging a naturally occurring estrogen receptor in the brain may also clear cognitive cobwebs.

The discovery suggests that drugs can be developed to offset “senior moments” related to low estrogen levels, as well as to protect against neurological diseases, all while avoiding the problems associated with adding estrogen to the body.

Writing online in Molecular Therapy in July, scientists with UF’s McKnight Brain Institute describe how they improved thought processes in female mice bred with the inability to produce estrogen receptor-alpha, a protein apparently necessary for healthy learning and memory.

“We were able to restore function in these animals, not by dosing them with estrogen, but by enabling them to use the estrogen that was naturally present in their bodies,” said Tom Foster, the Evelyn F. McKnight chair for brain research in memory loss at the UF College of Medicine. “We discovered that you can affect the estrogen receptor directly in the hippocampus, right where it’s needed to address memory and spatial learning.”

Changes in the estrogen receptor have been associated with age-related memory deficits and an increased incidence of Alzheimer’s disease among women. In addition, previous studies have shown estrogen replacement may improve cognition in postmenopausal women and younger women with low estrogen levels. Estrogen also appears to protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

The downside is that estrogen is a powerful hormone that has far-reaching effects throughout the body. It has been associated with a slight increase in women’s risk for breast cancer, heart disease in patients with existing cardiovascular problems, and stroke.

“Estrogen may act as a growth agent for cancer, but in the brain, it appears to maintain health and counteract stress,” Foster said. “We wanted to come back and enhance the signaling pathway that makes estrogen functional. We used a gene therapy technique that enables us to target the brain, but ultimately there could be a pharmaceutical that enhances the signaling pathway solely in the brain.”

The mice had unusually low levels of estrogen because their ovaries were removed at an early age. However, scientists were still able to rescue learning ability by delivering the correct gene to produce estrogen receptor-alpha directly to the hippocampus.

Mice that lacked the estrogen receptor showed poor ability to locate a platform hidden in a small swimming tank over a training period of several days. After receiving the gene, the mice learned to locate the platform in two days of training.

“This research shows that when the estrogen receptor-alpha is restored to adult mice that have been missing it their entire lives, it is still possible to enhance memory and learning,” said John H. Morrison, dean of basic sciences and the Graduate School of Biological Sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, who did not participate in the research. “This is good news for moving forward to develop clinical interventions and therapeutics because it appears critical damage was not done to brain circuitry during early development. There has also been debate about which of at least two estrogen receptors is key to synaptic health. Clearly estrogen receptor-alpha plays a critically important role in hippocampal organization and function.”

Recordings made from the brain tissue of treated mice showed signals were strongly communicated across the gaps, or synapses, between hippocampal cells, similar to what would happen with estrogen replacement.

“Investigating the impact of genetically replacing the estrogen receptor at the cellular, synaptic and behavioral levels is a scientific tour de force which provides a strong foundation for the role of estrogen receptor alpha in mediating estrogen action in the hippocampus to restore select types of memory function,” said Roberta Diaz Brinton, a professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences and biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California, who was not involved in the study. “From a technology perspective, their technique to transfect the estrogen receptor is an exciting advance for researching steroid receptors in the brain.”

Studying the effects of increasing the estrogen receptor in other brain regions may shed additional light on memory processes.

“The research brings up the idea that local activation of non-nuclear estrogen receptor-alpha is important for regulating memory processes in the hippocampus,” said Teresa A. Milner, a professor of neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College, who also was also not involved in the research.

UF neuroscience associate Asha Rani and UF scientists Ashok Kumar, Li Cui and Susan L. Semple-Rowland participated in the study, which was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Research Foundation.

Source: University of Florida News

Hmmmm. I ran into a woman that I used to know but couldn’t remember from where or what her name was yesterday evening. Maybe I need some hormonal memory enhancement.

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Congress Votes to Adjourn Rather than Addressing Energy

Here’s the list of the politicians who are not doing their job and require a month’s vacation in order to keep on not doing it.

I suggest that they be permanently retired.

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Daymon Heard, Suspect in Convenience Store Killings, Arrested in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A 20-year-old believed to have shot and killed a convenience store clerk in South Georgia was arrested on drug charges Thursday night and booked into the Duval County jail.

The Lownes County Sheriff’s Office was searching for Daymon Heard since shortly after Wednesday’s robbery and shooting of Triangle Foods on Highway 41 in Lake Park. The clerk, 48-year-old Jay Patel, died at the scene.

Investigators believe Heard fired four shots at Patel, then stepped over the body to get empty the cash register and take some cigarettes.

“It was a gruesome act and it was cold blooded murder,” Lowndes County Capt. J.D. Yeager told WALB-TV.

Investigators said Heard’s family and friends called police and provided his picture, which was circulated to law enforcement offices around the country.

WALB-TV reported that investigators got a tip that Heard was going to Jacksonville to stay with his girlfriend and deputies were staked out at her home when Heard arrived Thursday evening.

Heard was booked at 8:29 p.m. Thursday on misdemeanor charges of possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. WALB reported that Heard is also charged with murder, burglary, armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Detectives with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office were investigating similarities between the Georgia slaying and the fatal shooting of a convenience store clerk during a robbery on July 22.

Linda Raulerson, 59, was shot once in the arm as the robber came into the Joy America Grocery on U.S. Highway 441 just off Interstate 10. After handing over the cash from the register, the robber fired again, killing Raulerson.

The two stores are only about 50 miles apart.


Glad that he was apprehended without any more killings and, if evidence proves that he is innocent, that he didn’t do anything foolish.

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