John Roberts sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States
">
John Roberts sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States

Thursday, September 29, 2005

John G. Roberts Jr. was sworn in as the 17th Chief Justice of the United States on Thursday, September 29, 2005, hours after being confirmed by the United States Senate by a 78-22 vote. The oath of office was administered by Justice John Paul Stevens, who has served as acting chief justice since the death of William Rehnquist.

President George Bush commented “The Senate has confirmed a man with an astute mind and kind heart. All Americans can be confident that the 17th chief justice of the United States will be prudent in exercising judicial power, firm in defending judicial independence and above all a faithful guardian of the Constitution.”

Roberts gained support from all Republicans and half the Democrats in the Senate.

Now President Bush can turn his attention to the next nominee to replace Sandra Day O’Connor, the position Roberts was slated originally to fill. Many experts say this nomination will be a much more contentious once compared to Robert’s. O’Connor tended to be the key vote when it came to Woman’s Rights, Affirmative Action and abortion.


Australian researchers confirm stress makes you sick
">
Australian researchers confirm stress makes you sick

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Australian researchers say they have scientifically proven that stress causes sickness. The Garvan Institute in Sydney has discovered that a hormone, known as neuropeptide Y, (NPY) is released into the body during times of stress. Their findings show the hormone can stop the immune system from functioning properly.

Neuropeptide Y is one of those hormones that gets unregulated or released from neurones when stressful situations occur…it’s known for example that it regulates blood pressure and heart rates so your heart rate goes up but it hasn’t been known that it actually can affect immune cells as well,” said Professor Herbert Herzog, one of the researchers.

Herzog feels it is good to finally have proof of something people have suspected for so long.

“Now we have proven without doubt that there is a direct link and that stress can weaken the immune system and that makes you more vulnerable when you for example have a cold or flu and even in the more serious situations such as cancer can be enhanced in these situations,” said Herzog.

The Garvan Institute study centres on two key events that enable the human body to recognise foreign substances and control invaders. When our body encounters a pathogen (bacteria and viruses), the immune cells retain and interrogate suspects. Their activation is made possible by NPY. These cells then return to the lymph nodes, which are found all over the body, with information about the foreign invaders. The lymph nodes are where decisions about defence are made.

“Most of us expect to come down with a cold or other illness when we are under pressure, but until now we have mostly had circumstantial evidence for a link between the brain and the immune system,” said lead Garvan researcher, associate Professor Fabienne Mackay. “During periods of stress, nerves release a lot of NPY and it gets into the bloodstream, where it directly impacts on the cells in the immune system that look out for and destroy pathogens (bacteria and viruses) in the body.”

In the case of bacteria and viruses, TH1 cells are part of the attack team that is sent out on the ‘search and destroy’ mission. But when their job is done they need to be turned ‘off’ and the immune system reset. The same hormone, NPY, that activates the sentry cells now prompts the TH1 cells to slow down and die.

“Under normal conditions, circulating immune cells produce small amounts of NPY, which enables the immune cells on sentry duty and the TH1 immune cells to operate – it’s a yin and yang kind of situation. But too much NPY means that the TH1 attack is prevented despite the foreign invaders being identified – and this is what happens during stress,” added McKay.

The impact of stress on the body has been observed in athletes. Ph. D researcher at the University of Queensland, Luke Spence, together with the Australian Institute of Sport, studied elite and recreational athletes over five months.

They found elite athletes were more susceptible to respiratory diseases under stress.

“A lot of elite athletes put themselves through vast amounts of physical stress in their training, but also their emotional, psychological stress of feeling the pressure of Australia on their shoulders, wanting to compete and wanting to do their best,” said Spence.

It’s not just athletes who are prone to stress. Pressures at work and at home may cause emotional and mental stress that can be equally damaging. Almost a third of all work absenteeism in Australia is due to illness, costing employers over $10 billion a year.

“I think it has a huge impact for the work force and also for employers – if their employees are constantly stressed, constantly under pressure, they are more likely to get sick,” Spence said.

Further research could lead to the development of new drugs which may inhibit the action of the neuropeptide Y hormone.

Herzog warns people to minimise stress before it becomes a problem.

“Relaxation methods like yoga will help you to prevent that but there will still be people out there that are not responding to that and treatment by interfering with the system will be important,” he said. “There’s obviously some time until such a treatment will be available but this is something we will definitely work towards.”

The Garvan research will be published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Volume 202, No. 11.

Various Types Of Garbage Removal Services In Clark Nj

byalex

Countless families take advantage residential recycling services. They fill the small bins they are provided with plastic bottles, glass jars, cardboard and aluminum cans to be whisked away to the local recycling center. This cuts down on the amount of actual trash to be picked up and offers environmental benefits by reducing the amount of waste in landfills.

Recycling can be done on a much larger scale too. Businesses such as stores, warehouses, automotive recycling yards and many more may recycle concrete, asphalt, cardboard and dirt on an industrial scale. Clark NJ Garbage Removal services provide large bins for such purposes.

YouTube Preview Image

Commercial and industrial facilities produce a great deal more waste than the average household. For this reason, Garbage Removal Clark NJ services provide a variety of sizes of bins and mini dumpsters for these businesses. Often, the residential sector may need larger than usual trash and garbage bins for the removal of junk and trash when cleaning their yard or emptying their attics and storage buildings.

Garbage removal facilities offer residential services for this as well. These services can bring out bins to the home for a specified amount of time and pick them up when necessary. They will then take the trash away to an approved dump site, eliminating a great deal of hassle and time for the families in need of this type of service.

For construction and demolition sites, recubic yard version works well for residential purposes, the larger options are generally used for various construction needs.

When the need arises, households and business may rent compactors for a short time or purchase them for permanent use. Garbage Removal Clark NJ can provide, install, repair and maintain compactors as well as removing compacted trash when required.

From large to small scale needs, and from occasional to routine pickups, garbage removal services are able to offer original bin drop off and trash removal solutions to fit the needs of their customers.

Renault F1 launch criminal complaint against former driver over race-fixing allegation
">
Renault F1 launch criminal complaint against former driver over race-fixing allegation

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Renault F1 have hit back at their sacked driver Nelson Piquet Jr. after a leaked transcript of his evidence to the sport’s governing body revealed he claimed to have been ordered to crash to fix a race. They have taken their case to the police.

Renault now has to appear before the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) on September 21 to answer a race-fixing charge. They have also made a complaint to the French police against Piquet and his father Nelson Piquet Sr., claiming blackmail and false allegations. “Renault F1 Team and its managing director Flavio Briatore have commenced criminal proceedings against Nelson Piquet Jr. and Nelson Piquet Sr. concerning the making of false allegations and a related attempt to blackmail the team into allowing Piquet Jr. to drive for the remainder of the 2009 season. The matter will also be referred to the police in Britain.” Piquet Sr. is a three-times former world champion.

Piquet Jr. crashed in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix just after an early pit stop for Fernando Alonso, bringing out the safety car. As the cars ahead of Alonso went in for fuel under the safety car, he moved up the pack to take victory. Piquet Jr. was sacked after the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix.

“I was asked by Mr Flavio Briatore and [engineer] Mr. Pat Symonds to deliberately crash my car in order to positively influence the performance of the Team at the event,” said Piquet Jr. “I agreed to this proposal and caused my car to hit a wall and crash during lap 13/14 of the race.” He added “At the time of this conversation, I was in a very fragile and emotional state of mind – brought about by intense stress due to the fact that Mr Briatore had refused to inform me of whether or not my contract would be renewed for the next racing year.”

Thousands of Indonesians protest against corruption
">
Thousands of Indonesians protest against corruption

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Several thousand people marched earlier today in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, to protest corruption in the country.

Most of them were students protesting the latest corruption scandal in the country. It involves allegations that a US$600 million government bailout was given to Century Bank on condition that some of the money be used to fund the president’s re-election campaign.

“Today’s aim is not to attack politically any party. We just want to send a message to our fellow countrymen […] that justice cannot be served while corruption is still rampant in our country,” said the organiser of the demonstration, Usman Hamid, as quoted by the Al Jazeera news agency.

The legislature is investigating the bailout and the possible roles played by Vice President Boediono and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani in orchestrating a deal. The government, however, denies the charges.

Thousands more demonstrated in other cities and towns across the country. Most rallies were without incident, but in the town of Makassar, located in South Sulawesi, students armed with rocks and wooden planks clashed with anti-riot police.

The news media report that police fired tear gas to break up the crowd after protesters tried to storm the provincial governor’s office. There was no immediate report of injuries or arrests among the 2,000 protesters.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101
">
Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Viktor Schreckengost, the father of industrial design and creator of the Jazz Bowl, an iconic piece of Jazz Age art designed for Eleanor Roosevelt during his association with Cowan Pottery died yesterday. He was 101.

Schreckengost was born on June 26, 1906 in Sebring, Ohio, United States.

Schreckengost’s peers included the far more famous designers Raymond Loewy and Norman Bel Geddes.

In 2000, the Cleveland Museum of Art curated the first ever retrospective of Schreckengost’s work. Stunning in scope, the exhibition included sculpture, pottery, dinnerware, drawings, and paintings.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Armed gunmen attack cruise ship off Somali coast
">
Armed gunmen attack cruise ship off Somali coast

Saturday, November 5, 2005

The Seabourn Spirit, a cruise ship sailing off the coast of Somalia, narrowly escaped an attack by gunmen believed to be pirates.

The pirate attack occurred on Saturday, when two boats approached the ship and began firing automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades, injuring one crew member.

The crew took evasive action and escaped safely by employing an acoustic bang which caused the gunmen to flee believing they were under fire.

302 passengers and crew, mostly from the United States, Canada, and Australia, were onboard when the gunmen opened fire. The attack took place 160km (100 miles) off the Somali coastline, which has a reputation for pirate activity.

Deborah Natansohn, president of the Seabourn Cruise Line told CNN Radio, “The occupants of those boats did not succeed in boarding the ship and eventually turned away … our captain and crew did a terrific job taking responsive action.”

Edith Laird, from Seattle, told the BBC, “My daughter saw the pirates out our window. […] There were at least three RPG that hit the ship, one in a stateroom four doors down from our cabin.”

According to Mike Rogers, a passenger from Vancouver, the captain opted not to sound the alarm and instead announced the attack over the speakers, fearing the sound would drive people to the deck and place them in the line of fire.

Natansohn has stated that the company will re-evaluate future trips to the area.

The Seafarers Assistance Program (SAP) is planning on highlighting the incident and its potential costs for tourism on Monday.

Pirate attacks have been an increasing problem in the area, with 23 hijackings and attempted seizures recorded by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). Two of the attacks were on ships carrying aid for the United Nations World Food Program. One attack involved a ship carrying 935 tons of rice for Asian tsunami victims. The crew had been held for three months before being released. According to the IMB, the pirates – mostly made up of the Horn of Africa’s former navy as well as former fishermen – represent a serious threat to commercial shipping.

Somalia has been a volatile area since the ousting of former dictator Mohamed Said Barre. The country has been operating without a central administration since 1991 and is now controlled by warlords.

Australian media has speculated that the attack on the ship may be an act of terrorism rather than one of piracy.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Pre-election call in Canada, Conservatives start ads, including during kids TV
">
Pre-election call in Canada, Conservatives start ads, including during kids TV

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper may not have dropped the writ for an election yet, but his party is airing advertisements on both television and radio.

Canadian Federal Elections 2008

Day
Stories from the 2008 Canadian Federal Elections
  • 13 October 2008: CanadaVOTES: Libertarian John Kittridge in St. Paul’s
  • 13 October 2008: Canadian scientists protest Harper’s attacks on science
  • 10 October 2008: CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Paul Arbour in Carleton—Mississippi Mills
  • 10 October 2008: CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Jo-Anne Boulding in Parry Sound—Muskoka
  • 10 October 2008: CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate David Sparrow in Don Valley West
National Parties

Because the election is not yet official — though it is scheduled for October 19, 2009 and could be held as soon as October of this year — the ads do not count against the Conservative Party’s campaign spending limit. They have been airing since Thursday.

The advertisement includes various Canadians making statements about Harper, as opposed to the Conservative platform. One woman shown in a parking lot says that she likes “the idea that he’s a family man with young children.”

The Canadian Press notes that all four major party leaders are married and have children.

Other statements include “[h]e’s doing a good job,” “I’ve never been so proud to be Canadian,” “[h]e’s on the right track” and “I like him.”

Political communication expert Jonathan Rose of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario told the Canadian Press: “By relying on typical Canadians in the ads, the Conservatives are hoping that the voter will find the connection powerful. Unfortunately, these kind of ads are based on assertions, not arguments. There is no evidence given to support the claims made in them.”

A writer for The Montreal Gazette comments that, “at the end, it’s hard to tell whether Stephen Harper is trying to smile or grimacing with the effort to convey warmth.”

The Conservative Party ads are airing during children’s programming, amongst other air times, presumed to be an attempt to reach parents.

Gazette writer Elizabeth Thompson noted that her daughter had seen one of the ads during an airing of SpongeBob SquarePants on television station YTV. Thompson criticized the choice to air the ads in the time slot, after her daughter repeated the ad claims “matter-of-factly”.

SpongeBob SquarePants was shown in a recent poll to be watched by 24 percent of parents with their child. About 41 percent of YTV’s audience is above the age of majority, and 68 percent of its reach composition, according to fall 2007 statistics by BBM Nielsen Media Research.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »
UK teens cleared of school massacre plot
">
UK teens cleared of school massacre plot

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Two teenagers in the United Kingdom have been acquitted of planning a high school massacre similar to the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in the United States. Police and the Crown Prosecution Service have been criticised for bringing the case to trial.

Matthew Swift, 18, and Ross McKnight, 16, were cleared of accusations they planned a copycat attack at their school in Manchester to coincide with the April 20 anniversary of the original mass shooting. They had been charged with conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property. Swift and McKnight have spent the last six months behind bars on remand, Swift in prison and McKnight a young offenders institute.

Police had thought they had found a criminal plot when they were alerted after a girl received a drunken phone call from one boy talking about a school shooting. They discovered a second girl had received a text saying “If I ever text you not to come into school don’t question it, just don’t go in.” The pair were found to be in possession of The Anarchist Cookbook and a BB gun . No guns or explosives were found even though the prosecution alleged to have video footage of the pair manufacturing explosives.

The prosecution case further focused on diary entries and plans talking of how they would perpetrate the “greatest massacre ever.” “Audenshaw high,” wrote Swift “will be no more. Unlike Columbine, my propane bomb will actually fucking explode and I will walk from classroom to classroom killing the fuck out of everybody, then maybe people will learn.”

The 2007 plans were alleged by prosecutors to have included a diversion bomb away from the school, which was the main target, even though they also suggested attacks on several other buildings. Swift explained that his writings were “naive and pathetic ways to channel my teenage angst. I was 16 with a vivid imagination.” The defense had focused on the notion that the plot was pure fantasy.

Supporting this was testimony, including that of McKnight’s police officer father Ray, that the duo had plenty of other weird and wonderful schemes. Much as the shooting idea had come from Michael Moore‘s documentary Bowling for Columbine, so too had they discussed living off the land in Alaska after watching Into the Wild. Other ideas included a winter mission to climb Ben Nevis and launching a dinghy service on local canal routes.

The five men and seven women that comprised the jury agreed, and took just 45 minutes to reject the charges. They even waited for defence counsel so they could wave and smile at them. It was, according to McKnight’s lawyer Roderick Carus QC, perhaps the “quickest acquittal of this apparent gravity” he had ever witnessed. He said the case was a weak one that should never have gone to court. One of the lawyers on the case described the teens as victims of an “unnecessary, heavy-handed prosecution” that was a waste of several hundred thousand pounds.

British officers working the case flew to the United States to speak with those that worked upon the Columbine massacre. Later, the former head of the Columbine investigation traveled to the UK.

Ray McKnight did not comment on the decision to try the case, but he did say both defendants had experienced “purgatory” and “absolute agony” while imprisoned. “We are all just incredibly relieved,” he said, stating that he never doubted his son’s innocence for a moment. His son read the following statement outside Manchester Crown Court: “I would like to make it clear that at no time was any person put at risk. This was just a fantasy. This was never a reality. I would just like to say that during my time in custody, I have taken my GCSEs. I hope that my wish to join the army has not been harmed.”

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101
">
Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Viktor Schreckengost, the father of industrial design and creator of the Jazz Bowl, an iconic piece of Jazz Age art designed for Eleanor Roosevelt during his association with Cowan Pottery died yesterday. He was 101.

Schreckengost was born on June 26, 1906 in Sebring, Ohio, United States.

Schreckengost’s peers included the far more famous designers Raymond Loewy and Norman Bel Geddes.

In 2000, the Cleveland Museum of Art curated the first ever retrospective of Schreckengost’s work. Stunning in scope, the exhibition included sculpture, pottery, dinnerware, drawings, and paintings.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

« Previous Entries Next Entries »