November 03, 2002

Various and Sundry

Spaceship looking for secrets of universe

This one is already out there in a test-run this week on a small chunk of rock called AnneFrank. It will eventually snag some dust from a larger meteor and return the first bit of extra-terrestrial material collected by the space program since Apollo 17 in 1972. It will come back to Earth in January 2006.

I hope that when it comes back, the world is such a place that this astronomical feat rates a headline in the World News of the day. Or will we be otherwise distracted by man's inhumanity to man? Still?

Hawks being used to scare off London's pigeons

One of the birds, Buzz, is released from the roof of the Treasury Department at 4am every morning to circle the area.

Several falconers are competing for business in the capital where a yearly contract to keep sites pigeon-free is worth over 40,000.

Science of chronic wasting disease cloaked in mystery

The science of prions meant little in practical terms to state residents before the discovery of chronic wasting disease, or CWD, in the states deer herd earlier this year. To date, 42 deer have been identified in Wisconsin with CWD, nearly all wild deer from a 411-square mile zone in Dane and Iowa counties.

This is a contagious disease that moves from animal to animal, Aiken said. Its not going to stay at a low level for very long.

Scientists know that mad-cow disease jumped from cattle to humans in the 1990s in Great Britain, where about 140 people have died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob. That outbreak is believed to have resulted from the practice of adding processed tissue from dead cattle infected with the abnormal mad-cow prion to cattle feed.

Could chronic wasting disease make a similar jump to humans who eat infected deer?

The Bush Environmental Record 2002
from the Natural Resources Defense Council

This is a good source of regularly updated links to both the good and bad choices the current administration is making about use and abuse of our natural resources. Stay informed. At base, we are biological creatures before we are economic or political, even though one would think from listening to our current leaders that we had evolved beyond any connection to the natural world whatever. If our basic physiology is abused by our air, water, food and lands, we will make for poor participants in the democratic processes that are supposed to keep this a healthy country for our children. Generally, the Bush Record on care for the environment (which is fast becoming a red flag word) is pretty dismal.

Posted by fred1st at November 3, 2002 07:22 AM

CWD and those nasty prions are akin to Mad Cow, no? Think about what Mad Cow is.......PRIONS! And, think about what happens to the brain during the course of Mad Cow. WASTING! Maybe they need to be looking at the two....(All written BEFORE I read the article.....)

Now that I've read the article, I see that I'm correct in my assumptions.

The article is wrong, however. There HAVE been deaths attributable to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies....HERE IN THE U.S.! I'll get the article and email it to you, Fred. Of course, upon reflection, there were so many inaccuracies in that article (which I tore apart) that maybe they were completely wrong. Shucks....what to do.

Interesting find.

Posted by: Da Goddess at November 4, 2002 02:33 AM

Post a comment

Remember Me?