Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Coffee and Provocation

The Plague is Still With Us... and Dogs Can Be a Vector
In Colorado four residents have recently been diagnosed with the Bubonic Plague after coming in contact with a dog that became infected and died from the illness. The dog most likely got the plague from a Prairie Dog (a type of marmot). Prairie Dogs, in turn caught the plague from a flea riding a black rat who was riding a train from the West Coast of the U.S. around 1900. The plague got to the West Coast of the U.S. on a rat stowing away with a boatload of Chinese illegal immigrants brought into San Francisco. In China, the Bubonic Plague has also appeared due to transmission from a dog fed a marmot. Parts of Yumen, a city in northwestern China with a population of about 100,000, has been sealed off to contain spread of the plague.  The Bubonic Plague cannot infect marmots on the East Coast of the U.S. because the environment is too wet to support the Black Rat flea.

George Harrison Tree Killed by Beetles
Los Angeles gently weeps, but a new tree is slated to replace it -- hopefully something a little more robust than a pine.

The Problem With Sterile Roosters
The world’s largest poultry breeding company, Aviagen Group, says a higher percentage than normal of its roosters are sterile to the an inclination of the birds to overeat.  The company is tweaking the genetics a bit, and the problem should soon be straightened out.

Just Discovered Amazon Tribe Infected With Flu
Another one bites the dust?

Bicycle and Equestrian Helmets With Flare
Want to wear a brain-bucket that looks like a fedora while bicycling or riding your horse? Can do. Girly hats and manly hats for all types are available.

Fatter, Older, Taller
Humans are getting taller. They’re also fatter than ever before, and living longer too.

They Should Have Called the Town Watson
The elements ytterbium, yttrium, terbium, erbium, holmium, thulium, and gadolinium were all first discovered in ore from the same mine near the Swedish village of Ytterby.

Sixteen Years of Birth Control on a Switch?
A new birth control drug device that can be turned on or off, which lasts 16 years, and which delivers 30 micrograms a day of levonorgestrel, a hormone already used in several kinds of contraceptives, is on the horizon. The device will begin pre-clinical testing next year in the U.S., and the goal is to have it on the market by 2018.

Reality TV Shows Make for Fewer Teen Pregnancies?
Apparenlty some of them do.

A Celebration of Life
Earlier this month 40,000 people gathered in Rwanda for the 10th Kwita Izina, the annual ceremony that celebrates and names all of the known mountain gorillas born during the previous year in the Virunga National Park Transboundary Park. This year’s event honored 18 births, up from 12 last year.

The GOP Likes Obamacare?
By a margin of 3 to 1, Republicans actually like Obamacare.

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