Look! Up in the sky! It’s…..uh-oh.
Archive for May 7th, 2007
In the past, the incidence of human hantavirus infections in Germany seems to be correlated with the size of the bank vole populations. The population in endemic areas shows annual fluctuations. Usually, the bank vole population that comes into contact with humans reaches its maximum size in the summer. The winter season 2006/2007, however, was exceptionally mild and in many endemic regions there was no snow cover on the ground.
Or not. Some unknown factor may be restricting the spread of the disease.
It is unclear, however, why the hantavirus infections among humans so far appear to be restricted to the endemic area in Baden-Wuerttemberg.
Baden-Wuerttemberg seems to be fairly mountainous, so there may be a geographic restriction at play. It could well be that some of the vole populations outside the area are more resistant to the virus than those within, and the terrain is such that it prevents interbreeding.
How to tell when the Minneapolis Star-Tribune wants you to quit your job.
Spit Take: In the Victorian era mummies were so common that aristocrats were said to have unwrapped them for parlour entertainment, while novelty teas were made from the wrappings.
Now watch out for a Frenchman, for he’ll kiss yer.
By French standards Mr. Sarkozy is positively effusive about the need for the two countries to emphasize their points of agreement. “My dedication to our relationship with America if well known and has earned me substantial criticism in France,” he said. “But let me tell you something, I’m not a coward. I embrace that friendship. I’m proud of the friendship . . . and I proclaim it proudly.” He then went on to say that France’s foreign policy had often suffered from an arrogant and insensitive approach, a clear reference to the haughty attitudes of retiring president Jacques Chirac and his prime minister, Dominique de Villepin.
I can’t help but think that many of the problems afflicting Great Britain have as their genesis the fact that one must pay the government in order to watch TV.
I take a malicious pleasure in the humiliations inflicted on public broadcasting in this country whenever I see the floundering host in front of the silent phone bank urging us to call now because otherwise we’ll be denied quality programming like the thrice-weekly Peter, Paul & Mary reunion concert and don’t forget, for a pledge of only $200, you’ll receive this bonus gift of a Bill Moyers snood. No insulated BBC panjandrum has to sully his lips with so desperate a pitch.
The most important fish in the sea.
A better solution, Franklin argues, would be a total moratorium on menhaden fishing. New Jersey passed a law banning Omega’s fleets from its waters in 2001. And within three years there was a “stunning resurgence” not only of menhaden off the Jersey Shore, but of bluefish and striped bass. Maryland and Virginia should follow New Jersey’s lead, Franklin writes, and enjoy a similar resurgence.
NC’s last menhaden plant is being torn down.
For some, this is a blessing. When the Beaufort Fisheries menhaden plant was running, rendering tons of fish into oil and fish meal, critics likened the stench to that of burned cat food or burning hair.
But others can only sigh about the missing scent. For them, the aroma was more hospitably compared to a strong fish stew or fish frying. They accepted the smell, much as people in inland towns have long embraced the odors from tobacco factories or paper mills.
It was the smell of money.
And it is long gone.