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Saturday, August 13, 2011

DIRE WARNING FROM WORLD BANK

It's been quite a roller coaster ride the last few weeks in the financial world.  I found this article tucked away somewhere in the Vancouver Sun that is saying a lot more than the mainstream papers and TV has been reporting.  The ride is not over yet.
 
SYDNEY - World Bank chief Robert Zoellick on Saturday warned of a “new and more dangerous” time in the global economy, with little breathing space in most developed countries as a debt crisis hits Europe.
Zoellick said the eurozone’s sovereign debt issues were more troubling than the “medium and long-term” problems which saw the United States downgraded by Standard and Poor’s last week, sending global markets into panic.
“We are in the early moments of a new and different storm, it’s not the same as 2008,” said Zoellick, referring to the global financial crisis.
“In the past couple of weeks the world has moved from a troubled multi-speed recovery — with emerging markets and a few economies like Australia having good growth and developed markets struggling — to a new and more dangerous phase,” he said in an interview with the Weekend Australian newspaper.
People were in less debt than during the credit crunch and current events did not have the same “sudden shock” factor, but Zoellick said there was less room to manoeuvre this time around.
“Most developed countries have used up their fiscal space and monetary policy is about as loose as it can be,” he said.
Zoellick said the eurozone’s structure “could turn out to be the most important” challenge currently facing the world economy, with some hope for Spain and Italy but debt-crippled Greece and Portugal unable to devalue.
European Union action taken to date falls short of what is needed, the World Bank chief said.
“The lesson of 2008 is that the later you act, the more you have to do,” said Zoellick, questioning whether the troubled European nations could “ever get ahead of the problems that have plagued them.”
He also urged British Prime Minister David Cameron not to be deterred from austerity measures by recent riots — the country’s worst in decades — saying his spending cuts were “really necessary.”
“My concern would be if the politics knocked them off course,” Zoellick said.
Markets swung wildly this week on rumours of a French credit downgrade over the debt crisis, which started in Greece and is now fuelled by fears Spain or Italy might default, sparking a break up of the 17-nation currency.
Investors are questioning whether France and Germany, the eurozone’s two largest economies, can continue to underwrite other states’ debts without losing their top credit ratings and falling victim to the crisis themselves.
Zoellick said power, influence and weight was shifting “very fast by historical standards” to developing economies led by China, but he described the Asian superpower was a “reluctant stakeholder” in the global system.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/More+dangerous+times+ahead+warns+World+Bank+chief/5249565/story.html#ixzz1Uub1D1KE

Friday, August 12, 2011

GIAN TENT TO GO UP OVER JAPAN NUCLEAR REACTOR

All I can say about this incredible idea is how will a tent structure prevent what a concrete structure could not?







  TOKYO — The operator of Japan's damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is building a huge tent to cover one of the worst-hit reactors, officials said Friday.
Officials hope the cover will keep radioactive materials that have already leaked from spreading, prevent rainwater seepage and offer a barrier from possible leaks or blasts in the future.
The tent is being erected to provide a temporary replacement for the No. 1 reactor's outer housing shell, which was destroyed in an explosion caused by high pressure the day after Japan's deadly earthquake and tsunami on March 11.
Construction of the tent and its foundation began this week, Koji Watanabe, a spokesman for the power utility, said Friday.
The work couldn't begin until now because the location was too dangerous for workers to operate in.
The tent is made up of airtight polyester. It will stand 54 metres tall and stretch 47 metres in length. It is held up by a metal frame.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials have struggled to come up with ways to mitigate the dangers from the plant since the disaster struck five months ago, sending reactors into meltdowns, releasing radiative particles into the environment and causing the world's world nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.
Work at the plant has been hindered by the continuing threat of radiation to workers.
Earlier this month, TEPCO said an area where potentially lethal levels of radiation were detected near Unit 1 has been sealed.
It said radiation exceeded 10 sieverts -- 40 times the highest level allowed for an emergency workers to be exposed to -- at two locations near a duct connected to a ventilation stack. The area required no immediate work and was closed off.
If the tent over reactor No. 1 proves successful, similar coverings will be constructed over other reactors on the plant. The areas around the other reactors are also highly risky to work in.
The tent is expected to be completed by the end of September, Watanabe said.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A HOPEFUL SIGN


I thought a rainbow would be appropriate today in light of the fact that a rainbow usually means the storm has passed and all is well again.  Well I certainly hope that is true in relation to my recent computer 'storm'.  Three days ago I started up this laptop of mine that is not yet 4 months old to see some very odd things on my screen or rather things NOT on my screen.  The task bar had gone pure white and nothing worked.  After trying a few basic 'fixes' I had to admit defeat and take it in.
The explanation given me when I picked it up really offers no answers that I can understand.  I was told that my 'user file' was corrupted.  There were no viruses found that caused it and calls to Microsoft yielded no answer because they don't know why it happened either!  Doesn't that just instill a lot of  reassurance?  Anyway the shop explained how they replaced everything which of course didn't mean a tick to me but as far as I can see it is almost exactly the way was with everything just where I left it.  At least I wasn't charged. 
One thing that is wrong and very annoying is that I have no idea whether I'm in cap lock now or not as the former annoying popup icon is missing.  Whatever happened to that smart little light that went on when in cap lock mode on my XP?   This is so maddening especially when putting in passwords only to find out that it was in cap lock and you have to start all over again..........maybe I was a little hasty with the rainbow.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A RECIPE TO TRY

From SimplyRecipes.com this looks very tempting. 
I like the following blurb from the website that made me chuckle......"The first time I heard of it ("tomato pie", hmm, oooookaaaay) my brain suffered a little cognitive dissonance (never heard those two words, tomato and pie, joined at the hip like that before). Seconds after taking a bite however, I was begging for the recipe."

Tomato Pie

If you want to take this recipe up a notch, you can caramelize the onions while prepping the other ingredients. If you do that, double the amount of onion.

Ingredients

  • 1 9-inch pie shell (see pie crust recipe for homemade version)
  • 1/2 yellow or red onion, chopped
  • 3-4 tomatoes, cut in half horizontally, squeezed to remove excess juice, roughly chopped, to yield approximately 3 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced basil (about 8 leaves)*
  • 2 cups grated cheese (combination of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack, or Gruyere or Mozarella)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon (or more to taste) of Frank's Hot Sauce (or Tabasco)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
*To slice basil, chiffonade them by stacking the leaves on top of each other, roll them up like a cigar, starting at one end slice the "cigar" crosswise in thin slices.

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pie shell in oven and cook for 8-10 minutes or longer until lightly golden. If you are starting with a frozen crust, you'll need to cook it a little longer. If you are using a homemade crust, freeze the crust first, then line the crust with aluminum foil and pre-bake it for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.
2 Squeeze as much moisture as you can out of the chopped tomatoes, using either paper towels, a clean dish towel, or a potato ricer.
3 Sprinkle the bottom of the pre-cooked pie shell with chopped onion. Spread the chopped tomatoes over the onions. Sprinkle the sliced basil over the tomatoes.
tomato-pie-1.jpg tomato-pie-2.jpg
4 In a medium bowl, mix together the grated cheese, mayonnaise, Tabasco, a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper. The mixture should be the consistency of a gooey snow ball. Spread the cheese mixture over the tomatoes.
5 Place in oven and bake until browned and bubbly, anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes.
Serves 6.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

BATCOMBE ENGLAND


I received this picture from a recently acquired British cousin as a result of our mutual ancestral searches.  I am intrigued by this photo because of the images of two particular people in the back row.  At the left back next to a fellow in a dark suit there is a blond man and beside and just to the front of him a blond woman.  Those two bear an uncanny resemblance to maternal uncle when younger and my first cousin.  This picture was taken on the occasion of his great-grandmother's 90th birthday in 1958.  It was taken on the lawn at Batcombe England and shows her complete family at the time. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

FAULTY DNA REPAIR GENE INCREASES RISK OF OVARIAN CANCER

I found this an interesting concept as to why and how we get a cerrtain type of cancer.  It's a faulty wiring system apparently.  The human body is a marvel at the best of times with it's ability to repair itself and keep us healthy but when things go wrong we want to know why.  We have repair genes in our DNA that sometimes become faulty. 
Originally they must have been pretty smart to climb out of that primordial pea soup that so many believe was the origin of the human race and  then to be able to predict that at some point in time that our DNA would have to be repaired.  Amazinging intelligent.  All that before the body was even evident.  That is so much simpler than that other 'other theory' called creation.

Women with a faulty copy of a DNA repair gene called RAD51D have a 1 in 11 risk of developing ovarian cancer compared to 1 in 70 in the general population, according to a landmark Cancer Research UK-funded study led by Professor Nazneen Rahman at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) published in the 7 August online issue of Nature Genetics. There is hope that personalized treatment will be available sooner than usual because a class of drugs already developed showed promise in targeting affected cells.

Rahman, who is Professor of Human Genetics and Section Chair of Cancer Genetics at ICR told the press the study represents a significant step forward in our understanding of how faulty genes contribute to the development of some cases of ovarian cancer, and there is "real hope on the horizon that drugs specifically targeted to the gene will be available".

RAD51D repairs damaged DNA. When the gene is faulty, an important repair pathway fails, leaving damaged DNA to build up in cells, which increases the risk they will become cancerous.

For their study, Rahman and colleagues examined DNA from women in 911 families with ovarian and breast cancer and compared it to the DNA from a control group of 1,060 people in the general population (the controls).
They found eight inactivating RAD51D mutations in unrelated women with cancer, compared with only one in the controls.

The association was principally with ovarian cancer, with three mutations found in 59 of the families with three or more individuals with ovarian cancer.

The researchers also found cells deficient in RAD51D were sensitive to treatment with a relatively new class of cancer drug known as a PARP inhibitor, "suggesting a possible therapeutic approach for cancers arising in RAD51D mutation carriers", they write.

PARP inhibitors are a group of drugs that inhibit the action of the enzyme Poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP), a protein that plays a role in many cell processes that involve DNA repair and programmed cell death.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

OH DEAR ABBY

DEAR ABBY: My fiancee, "Vanessa," and I have been engaged almost a year. We're to be married in three months. When I popped the question, I took her to one of her favorite spots in the Smoky Mountains. When I proposed, she was overcome with emotion -- but not the kind I would have thought. She said yes, but she wasn't at all happy about being surprised. She doesn't like surprises.
At the time, I was sure she had an inkling about my intentions. We had discussed becoming engaged several times. Now, as the wedding draws near, she wants me to "re-propose." It makes me feel like my first wasn't good enough, and it is really upsetting me. I only intended to do it once in my life. What would you recommend? -- QUESTIONED-OUT IN OHIO 

DEAR QUESTIONED-OUT: I recommend you clear the air with Vanessa ASAP. Tell her you intended to propose only once in your life, and that her request has hurt your feelings. If she still insists on a second proposal, ask for a script so you won't disappoint her again. Then be prepared to have her provide you with them regularly, because unless you're a mind reader, it's the only way you'll live up to her fantasies.