Thursday, June 16, 2016

Colistin resistance found again


A couple of posts ago I discussed the specter of Pestilence in the form of drug-resistant bacteria.  Since then, it has been reported in many media outlets that the gene that confers resistance to colistin, mcr-1, was found again, this time in a tissue sample from a pig.

National Geographic has a good article on it.

Long-Dreaded Superbug Found in Human and Animal in U.S.

Advocates who track antibiotic resistance, especially in agriculture, reacted to the news of U.S. colistin resistance by emphasizing the gravity this finding deserves.

“This shows that we are right on the verge of getting into the territory of routine bacterial infections being untreatable,” Steven Roach, the food safety program director at the Food Animal Concerns Trust, said by phone. “It underscores the failure of both the federal government and Congress, and the industry, to get a grasp of the problem. We can’t continue to drag our feet on taking needed action.”
Quite concerning.

Pestilence rides again. Or at least, his horse is being saddled.



An erotic sonnet in June


glorious night

In what outstanding dream would I partake
of a dramatic link with her? How could
I forge my naked sword, with which I'd make
my welcomed thrusts? In fantasies the good
is even better, tastes more vivid, touch
enhanced, each aspect magnified beyond
the norm -- so there we are amazing, much
akin to lustful gods as we respond
in twain, our climaxes like earthquakes, sighs
tornadic and our love surpassing bounds
of reason as our junctured bodies rise
and fall and oceanic rhythm sounds
augment our mating cries. A dream, of course,
unreal -- reality lives at its source.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ichiro approaching historical benchmark


Ichiro Suzuki is getting quite close to the milestone of 3,000 hits -- in Major League Baseball.  If you also count what he hit in the majors in Japan, he's way over that.

When he gets to 3,001, he'll be 29th on the list, one ahead of Roberto Clemente, who fittingly hit exactly 3,000 before he was killed in a tragic plane crash.

And Ichiro also does the exact same thing every time he gets ready to hit a pitched ball, as is illustrated in this article:

Ichiro: 3 singles, but double steals show



Lighthouse of the Week, July 12-18, 2016: Point Montara, California


It's a lighthouse AND a hostel!

Point Montara Lighthouse/Hostel might not be California's best-known lighthouse, but like most of the other lights on the California coast, it's still remarkably scenic.   It's not very tall, but when a lighthouse is high over the ocean, that's not necessary.

Point Montara Lighthouse (from Lighthouse Friends - describes the hostel angle)

And a quick summary from the Lighthouse Directory:

"1881 (lighthouse relocated here in 1928; this station established in 1875). Active; focal plane 70 ft (21 m); white flash every 5 s. 30 ft (9 m) steel tower; FA 251 lens (1970). Lighthouse painted white, lantern and gallery black. The original 4th order Fresnel lens (1912, transferred from earlier tower) is on display at the San Mateo County History Museum in Redwood City. 2-story wood duplex keeper's house (1875) and wood fog signal building (1902)."
And of course, the pictures:




Monday, June 13, 2016

The end of El Niño is nigh


Climate Central announced what a lot of us have already surmised, which is that El Niño has run its course.

El Nino had a good run, but now it's over 

"Even the formation of this El Niño was a weird one, with it sitting in a holding pattern for much of 2014 before finally getting going in March 2"015 and subsequently rocketing into the record books later that year. It’s a good reminder that El Niño is like a snowflake. No two are alike."

Yeah, I remember that pretty well.



Hey Piers, I said this already


Piers Morgan had a great idea about gun control in the Daily Mail today (June 13):

We’ve had a no-fly list for suspected terrorists for years, so why not a no-buy list? It’s time for Trump and the NRA to show whose side they’re on

Here's the best summary of his idea, which comes near the end of the article:
"But how about this for an idea? I want every known ISIS sympathiser in America on FBI files, including every name on the no-fly list, to be banned with immediate effect from buying a gun, so we can try to save American lives."
That sounds really good to me as an idea.  In fact, it sounds downright familiar.

Like to this:

There should be a "no gun" list

And here's what I said:

"If someone is on record as a) making threats, b) attempting or indicating a desire for suicide, c) expressing a desire to harm or injure another person, d) being a professed member of a group or groups that advocate violence toward a different group, e) having a psychological condition or having a family member with a known psychological condition, and f) writing a rambling manifesto expressing threats, endangerment, or hate for other people or groups -- their name should go on a basic "no gun" list. It means they can't buy guns and they can't have guns."

See? Simple. Great minds think alike. Or, great thoughts get thought by great thinkers.



Sunday, June 12, 2016

That was a significant underestimate


Back on the 1st of April, I relayed the news that the "Oppenheimer Blue" diamond was expected to be sold at auction for between 38 and 45 million dollars.

That seems silly now, because the Oppy Blue sold for $57.5 million dollars.

Quite a bauble if one can afford it.  Obviously, most of us can't.

The Oppenheimer Blue