Daily archives for December 27th, 2011

Oil jumps over 2% as Iran threatens supplies

“NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Oil prices jumped over 2% Tuesday, crossing the $100-barrel-mark after Iran threatened to choke off the flow of oil passing through the Strait of Hormuz.
The Iranian threat came in response to a recent tightening of Western sanctions against Iran that attempt to limit the amount of oil that country can export.
“If Iran oil is banned, not a single drop of oil will pass through Hormuz Strait,” Iran’s 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said Tuesday, according to the Iran State News Agency.
Iran is also currently conducting Naval exercises in and around the Strait.”

To read more of this article, please refer to
http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/27/markets/oil_iran/index.htm

Harrison’s Hangout is taking a breather…

By Frances Lee, The Smart Show staffwriter

I am so sad to announce that our beloved Harrison’s Hangout is not taking place this week….

Our team decided that we need to take this week off and work on a few things and catch up on things and polish our well-oiled machine. Thus, next week we will be ready and eager to communicate with our most loved fans and supporters like you deserve!

So for now, spread the word that Harrison’s Hangout will resume NEXT WEEK 6pm PST.

See you next week!

Frances L.

Half of Congress Millionaires vs Collapsing Voting Public

Agence France Presse reports the wealth gap between members of Congress and ordinary Americans is growing larger, with nearly half of all lawmakers now worth more than one million dollars, according to US media reports Tuesday.

Congress and Senate are increasingly likely to be multimillionaires and are on average nine times richer than the other Americans, according to data made available to the New York Times and Washington Post.

The papers reported figures from the Center for Responsive Politics that showed the median net worth of a member of Congress stood at $913,000 and is climbing, compared to $100,000 and falling for the rest of the population.

Brain Tumors from Mobile Phones Implicated

December 24, 2011, Berkeley, CA, USA & Stockholm, Sweden. An important new analysis, The Potential Impact of Mobile Phone Use on Trends in Brain and CNS Tumors, was published today in the journal Neurology & Neurophysiology. It can be downloaded without cost at http://www.omicsonline.org/2155-9562/2155-9562-S5-003.pdf. The paper is in a Special Issue of the journal titled “Brain Tumor.”

The study raises very serious concerns about the potential for a large increase in brain cancer incidence, resulting from widespread mobile phone use. The steep increase in brain cancer will begin in approximately 15 years according to the projections.

The paper, by researchers Örjan Hallberg in Sweden and L. Lloyd Morgan in the U.S., first reviews biological effects from mobile phone use reported in peer-reviewed studies, such as increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier, deleterious effects on sperm, double strand breaks in DNA, stress gene activation (indicating an exposure to a toxin), and increased risk of an acoustic nerve tumor (acoustic neuroma) and brain cancer after 10 or more years of mobile phone use. It then considered two established mechanisms for the development of brain cancer—that mobile phone use decreases the efficiency of the repair of mutated DNA and that mobile phone use increases the rate of DNA mutations.

In developing the model from brain cancer registry data, mathematical model parameters are selected which provide a best fit to the age adjusted registry data. The model can be considered reasonably accurate if it approximates both the age-specific brain cancer incidence (e.g., 30-34 year age cohort) and the age-adjusted brain cancer incidence from the cancer registry data. It can then be used by the researchers to predict future brain cancer incidence.

Based on a 30-year time between first mobile phone use and diagnoses of brain cancer (latency time), the model predicts that there will be a 100% increased incidence of brain cancer (2-fold) if DNA repair efficiency is decreased by mobile phone use, and a 2,400% increase in brain tumors (25-fold) if mobile phone use mutates DNA. The figure below, from the paper illustrates these predictions.

Figure 3. Norwegian brain tumor age-adjusted rates per 100,000 person-years by calendar year for reported data with 3 results from mobile phone use 1) Increased DNA damage 2) no DNA repair and 3) has no effect.

The public health risk modeling process used in this analysis was developed by Örjan Hallberg and has been successfully applied in other illnesses, including Alzheimer’s disease and melanoma.

Hallberg says, “Such modeling, or risk projection, is important, whether for the climate or for diseases, in that it allows public health contingency planning, should the model be reasonable accurate. For example, will there be sufficient neurosurgeons should brain tumors increase as the model predicts?”

Morgan says, “What this analysis shows is that, unless mobile phone usage behavior patterns change significantly, we can reasonably expect a pandemic of brain tumors, for which we are ill-prepared, beginning approximately 15 years from now. Governments, as well as parents, physicians, schools and all citizens, would be well advised to educate all persons under their care or influence about the need to curtail the use of mobile phones and other radiation-emitting consumer devices.”

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First inaugural week of American Airlines flights to Cuba! HE Travel's Cary Harrison leads 9 travelers to experience The historical post Fidel transition week.

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Leaving for Jefferson by jet powered catamaran! These are not mere rooster tails ... See MoreSee Less

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POZ Actor share his story for world AIDS day: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OSfSWJ5BSc&feature=share ... See MoreSee Less

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BREAKING: Anti-LGBT Amendment Stripped from Defense Bill

Russell Amendment removed from NDAA after lawmakers received more than 342,000 petition signatures from AMPA and other national organizations

WASHINGTON — Today, the American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation’s largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military families, praised reports that an amendment was removed from the annual defense bill that could have funded anti-LGBT discrimination.

“Taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT people is wrong -- plain and simple,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack. “The fact that the defense spending bill was being used in an attempt to fund discrimination against minorities is disturbing. Thousands of LGBT service members put their lives on the line for our nation, and they and their families should never face discrimination here at home simply because of who they are or whom they love. We are pleased that in the end, lawmakers removed the discriminatory measure and fairness and equality seem to have prevailed.”

Known as the Russell Amendment, the measure in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) could have allowed taxpayer-funded discrimination against women, single mothers, LGBT people, and religious minorities in religiously-affiliated organizations, including hospitals and universities.

As reported by the Washington Blade, “During a background briefing with reporters on Tuesday, an aide said the final version of the fiscal year 2017 defense authorization bill hammered out by House and Senate lawmakers in conference committee lacks the language Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) inserted in the House version of the bill.”

On November 15, AMPA joined more than a dozen national organizations in delivering more than 342,000 petition signatures to Congress in opposition to the amendment. The petitions were delivered to the Washington offices of Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Reps. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.).

The petitions were part of a coordinated advocacy effort from the American Military Partner Association, American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the Human Rights Campaign, and other national organizations.

The Russell Amendment could have allowed for an individual:
To be fired for marrying a same-sex partner — or denied benefits afforded to other married couples
To be fired for being transgender
To be fired for being a woman taking birth control
To be fired for being a single mother or
To be refused a job interview if they don’t practice the “right” religion
The Russell Amendment was previously adopted in the dead of night — over bipartisan opposition — without a hearing and with almost no debate. The House Rules Committee then prevented the full chamber from being able to vote on a bipartisan amendment to remove the discriminatory provision from the defense bill.

The American Military Partner Association is the nation’s largest organization of LGBT military spouses, families, and allies. With more than 50,000 members and supporters throughout the country and around the world, AMPA is committed to education, advocacy, and support for our “modern military families.”
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“As I watch government at all levels daily eat away at our freedom, I keep thinking how prosperity and government largesse have combined to make most of us fat and lazy and indifferent to, or actually in favor of, the limits being placed on that freedom.” : Lyn Nofziger - [Franklyn C. Nofziger] Press Secretary for President Reagan ... See MoreSee Less

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