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Chinese Lock Down City Of 30,000 After Man Dies Of Bubonic Plague
As a precautionary measure after a man died of bubonic plague last week, a small city in China is in lockdown and 151 individuals have been placed in quarantine, the Guardian reports.
According to China Central Television (CCTV), the 38-year-old man died from the disease last Wednesday which was likely the result of contact with a dead marmot, a large ground squirrel usually found in mountainous areas.
In an attempt to prevent further cases, CCTV said that the 30,000 residents of Yumen, located in the north-western province of Gansu, are not allowed to leave and police have set up roadblocks around the city in order to prevent motorists from entering. Furthermore, four quarantine sectors have been set up in the city for individuals that have been in contact with the man who died, but so far no other cases have been reported.
“The city has enough rice, flour and oil to supply all its residents for up to one month,” CCTV said. “Local residents and those in quarantine are all in stable condition.”
Plague, one of the oldest identifiable diseases known to man, is infamous and has certainly left its mark on history. The disease is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis that infects numerous different animals such as rats, squirrels and prairie dogs. The bacteria maintain their existence in a cycle involving both these animals and their fleas.
Y. pestis can be transmitted to humans in three ways: flea bites, contact with infected fluids or infectious droplets coughed up by an individual with the disease. There are various different clinical forms of plague, but the most common are bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic.
There have actually been three major plague pandemics recorded in history. The first documented plague, the “Justinian Plague,” began in 541 AD and continued for around 200 years, eventually killing over 100 million people. The most famous is the “Black Death” that occurred in the 14th Century, wiping out 60% of the European population. The last pandemic to occur began in China in the 1860s and killed around 10 million people.
To read more click the link at the top!
Translation: “I’m going on holiday and I didn’t know what to do with you!”
From MC Whizzkid:
I shall start the Royal Prevention of Cruelty to Slippers Society!!!
From Sheila Kuhn:
For the occasion of Sheila’s son Bobber’s thirty-first birthday:
How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!
How it clatters along the roofs,
Like the tramp of hoofs
How it gushes and struggles out
From the throat of the overflowing spout!
Across the window-pane
It pours and pours;
And swift and wide,
With a muddy tide,
Like a river down the gutter roars
The rain, the welcome rain!
The sick man from his chamber looks
At the twisted brooks;
He can feel the cool
Breath of each little pool;
His fevered brain
Grows calm again,
And he breathes a blessing on the rain.
From the neighboring school
Come the boys,
With more than their wonted noise
And down the wet streets
Sail their mimic fleets,
Till the treacherous pool
Ingulfs them in its whirling
And turbulent ocean.
The recent landmark Canadian Supreme Court decision granting land rights to the Tsilhqot’in First Nations for a long-contested 1,750-square-kilometer swath of British Columbia could be a conservation coup of historic proportions, with consequences for wilderness battles raging across the country.
“Aboriginal title confers the right to use and control the land and to reap the benefits flowing from it,” wrote Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin.
Countless contested land claims—including areas with proposed mines and oil pipelines—will now be called into question.
Past rulings have established a duty for government and industry to seek “consultation” from First Nations over proposed developments and resource extraction. No longer. The unanimous Supreme Court decision requires the consent of native title holders.
“We’ve pretty much blown the doors off the colonial notion of denying indigenous land rights,” said Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.
Past court rulings had distinguished between title claims based on permanent habitation by First Nations and land used only seasonally. The Supreme Court ruling does away with that distinction.
“This decision goes so much further than previous decisions and gives rights to the land—not in a token way, where you establish traditional use sites for ceremonial or burial places,” said Peter Wood, a campaign director for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society British Columbia. “This extends to the total usage of land required to maintain their traditional way of life. Essentially this says first rights of the land goes to First Nations. We’re still contemplating the repercussions, but it seems like a game changer.”
To read more click the link at the top!
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Check out the new design of our independent news portal: Anonymous Headquarters – Investigating & Uncovering the Truth
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* Each more smellier than the next, I’ll bet! *
I came from visiting my Mom in the retirement home Sunday, when the bus stopped in a for me unfamiliar place, as it is being rerouted because of roadworks. I thought I knew more or less where I was and made the momentous decision to try a shortcut… I saw this strange-looking undersized rabbit-warren lookalike of a tunnel under the railroad and decided to go exploring. It was all bricks, dank and musty, just the way I like ‘em! But for some strange reason it had apparently been built to allow access to dwarves. I had to traverse it bent over double. Maybe I would find Doctor Livingstone on the other side? I never did find the source of the Nile and after walking several miles, I had to admit to myself that I was losing my bearings(sic). I couldn’t find North, because it was a cloudy day, you see! Do you? I didn’t!
When I inquired about the way to the Ghent city center, a passing stranger had the audacity to tell me that I was going in the wrong direction. Surely he was jesting! I continued on the way I was going, but when I spotted the Eiffel tower, I thought it time to turn around. I took a bus marked Ghent city center and it actually got me there. But I digress! What I wanted was an ATM, cause I was low on cash and hungry. It is my custom of a Sunday to have chips and meatballs in tomato sauce in the Chinese chip shop that I frequent. Aren’t I a cosmopolitan? After walking another mile, I finally arrived at the only cash dispenser that is anywhere near my place and found it to be empty of dosh.
I gave up! I went home half sobbing and had a dry crust of bread and a glass of tap water and went to bed. Cause I was exhausted from all the exploring, you see? Do you? I don’t!
Plants Can Hear Themselves Being Eaten
A small, flowering plant called Arabidopsis thaliana can hear the vibrations that caterpillars trigger when they chew on its leaves. According to a new study, the plants can hear danger loud and clear, and they respond by launching a chemical defense.
From anecdotes and previous studies, we know that plants respond to wind, touch, and acoustic energy. “The field is somewhat haunted by its history of playing music to plants. That sort of stimulus is so divorced from the natural ecology of plants that it’s very difficult to interpret any plant responses,” says Rex Cocroft from the University of Missouri, Columbia. “We’re trying to think about the plant’s acoustical environment and what it might be listening for.”
In this first example of plants responding to ecologically relevant vibrational sounds (i.e. predation), Cocroft and Mizzou’s Heidi Appel combined audio and chemical analyses. First, they placed a tiny piece of reflective tape on a leaf; that way, using a laser beam, they can measure the leaf’s movements as the caterpillar munches.
After they recorded the seemingly inaudible vibrational sounds of caterpillar chewing, they played the recordings back to one set of Arabidopsis plants, while silence was played to another set. To mimic the acoustic signature of feeding, they used piezoelectric actuators, tiny speakers that play vibrations instead of airborne sound. “It’s a delicate process to vibrate leaves the way a caterpillar does while feeding, because the leaf surface is only vibrated up and down by about 1/10,000 of an inch,” Cocroft explains in an university blog post. “But we can attach an actuator to the leaf with wax and very precisely play back a segment of caterpillar feeding to recreate a typical 2-hour feeding session.”
Then, they let cabbage butterfly caterpillars eat about a third of three leaves on each plant from both sets. They gave the plants 24 to 48 hours to respond to the attack, after which the leaves were harvested. “We looked at glucosinolates that make mustards spicy and have anticancer properties and anthocyanins that give red wine its color and provide some of the health benefits to chocolate,” Appel says. “When the levels of these are higher, the insects walk away or just don’t start feeding.”
Plants with prior exposure to feeding vibrations released higher amounts glucosinolates (like mustard oil), an unappealing chemical for the bugs. Feeding vibrations signal changes in the plant cells’ metabolism, Appel explains, creating more defensive chemicals to repel the attack. The work was published in Oecologia this week. Here’s a great video where you can see and hear caterpillars chomping on plants:
From Celestial Elf:
It is often said – usually by those who have not studied the subject – that the world-view and philosophy of the old Druids is lost beyond recall… [but] it is by no means impossible to regain in the present age the spirit of original Druid philosophy. It is essential indeed to do so; for a revival of the old Druidic way of thought, acknowledging the sanctity of the living earth and all its creatures, seems the only alternative to planetary dissolution.
John Michell Stonehenge
Today our biggest problem is that we have separated ourselves from Nature – so much that there is a risk we may not survive as a species. We need philosophies, spiritualities, ideas, that can help us get back in touch with Nature again – our spirituality must become ecological. Prince Philip, in a speech to a Washington conference on religion and ecology controversially pointed to the direction in which we should look, when he said: “It is now apparent that the ecological pragmatism of the so-called pagan religions…was a great deal more realistic in terms of conservation ethics than the more intellectual monotheistic philosophies of the revealed religions.”
It now seems that the Old Ways, reinterpreted for our times, can offer us the kind of spirituality that we need to heal the separation that has occurred between ourselves and our environment. Druidry is one such Way, and although at first sight it might appear to be just an old curiosity, a quaint memory from the distant past, if we take the time to look at it more closely, we will discover a treasure-chest just waiting to be opened. And in this chest we can find at least seven gifts that Druidry brings to our modern world:
The first gift is a Philosophy: which emphasizes the sacredness of all life, and our part in the great web of creation. It cares passionately about the preservation and protection of the environment, and offers a worldview, which is ecological, geocentric, pragmatic, idealistic, spiritual and romantic. It does not separate Spirit and Matter – it offers a sensuous spirituality that celebrates physical life.
The second gift puts us back in touch with Nature: with a set of practices that help us feel at one again with Nature, our ancestors, our own bodies, and our sense of Spirit, by working with plants, trees, animals, stones, and ancestral stories. Eight seasonal celebrations help us attune to the natural cycle, and help us to structure our lives through the year, and to develop a sense of community with all living beings.
The third gift brings Healing: with practices that promote healing and rejuvenation, using spiritual and physical methods in a holistic way to promote health and longevity.
The fourth gift affirms our life as a Journey: with rites of passage: for the blessing and naming of children, for marriage, for death, and for other times of initiation, when it is helpful to ritually and symbolically mark our passage from one state to another.
The fifth gift opens us to other Realities: with techniques for exploring other states of consciousness, other realities, the Otherworld. Some of these are also used by other spiritual traditions, and include meditation, visualization, shamanic journeying, and the use of ceremony, music, chanting and sweathouses, but they are all grounded in specifically Celtic and Druidic imagery and tradition.
The sixth gift develops our Potential: Druidry as it is practiced today offers a path of self-development that encourages our creative potential, our psychic and intuitive abilities, and fosters our intellectual and spiritual growth.
The seventh gift of Druidry is the gift of Magic: it teaches the art of how we can open to the magic of being alive, the art of how we can bring ideas into manifestation, and the art of journeying in quest of wisdom, healing and inspiration.
Grateful thanks to The Order of Bards Ovates and Druids for this account from their website (http://tinyurl.com/n8vjm56 )
Teenager builds browser plug-in that allows you to see the politicians’ funders
Website of plugin: http://www.allaregreen.us
Written by: Anonymous Singer
Here we go again, with another new useful tool to keep tabs on politicians. It is a
browser plug-in named “Greenhouse” and it lets users easily access information on
where our public servants get their campaign donations from.
Greenhouse gives a list of the top 10 industries from which a politician receives money.
Besides that, it also highlights what percentage of a politician’s funds come from presumably
grassroots supporters, those who make donations of 200 dollars or less.
The software launched in early June and it can already be
used for browsers Safari, Google Chrome and Firefox.
The creator of Greenhouse is a 16-year-old self-taught
programmer named Nicholas Rubin. He explains on his
website that “even though I am only 16 years old, not quite
old enough to vote, I am old enough to know that our
political system desperately needs fixing. I hope that this
tool is one step in that direction.”
Rubin says he got the name of his plug-in from a desire for
transparency, like the glass walls of a greenhouse. The 16-
year-old boy gives some insight into his own political
philosophy and mission:
“It is my hope that providing increased transparency around the amount and source of funding of our elected representatives may play a small role in educating citizensand promoting change. If you use the extension when reading about a Congressional vote on energy policy, for example, maybe you’ll discover that a sponsor of a bill has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry. Or maybe you’ll learn that the top donors to a member of Congress who opposes tort reform are lawyers and law firms. I use data from the last full election cycle (2012) and plan to update it as more relevant data becomes available. Special thanks to OpenSecrets.org for providing access to that data.
To read more click the link at the top!
* If my former self at the age of say twenty asked me this, I would answer: “Could I call a friend?” *