Friday, February 9, 2018

On Wednesday morning, US poet, lyricist, and digital rights activist John Perry Barlow died in his sleep at his San Francisco home. The announcement of his death specified no cause, but reportedly Barlow had recently experienced debilitating health problems. The co-founder of the digital rights legal defense non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and former lyricist of rock band Grateful Dead was 70. The EFF announced his death.

Barlow composed lyrics for the Grateful Dead, several songs for the psychedelic rock band over almost 25 years. In the 1990s, he shifted his focus to the Internet, composing essays on Internet culture and working with the EFF to protect digital rights.

Born to Republican state legislator Norman Barlow and his wife Miriam, Barlow was raised on the Bar Cross Ranch in Pinedale, Wyoming. Barlow became friends with future Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir in high school before attending Wesleyan University in Middleton, Connecticut, where he studied comparative religion. During his studies, Barlow began visiting LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) drug advocate Timothy Leary.

After graduation in 1969, he opted to travel the world and returned to his family’s ranch in 1971. With his father ill from a stroke, the younger Barlow began ranching before Weir contacted him to finish songs for the latter’s solo album Ace. The collaboration continued with the Grateful Dead and their individual members, with Barlow contributing occasional lyrics until the band’s 1995 dissolution. In 1977, he married Elaine Parker. He sold the family ranch in 1988 due to financial strain.

Barlow became interested in the online world in the 1980s, including becoming a leader at on-line forum the WELL. In 1990, Barlow was interrogated by an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent about possible connections to underground hackers. He posted his experience to the WELL and discovered that Mitch Kapor had had a similar encounter. The duo decided to join together to help provide legal defense for the hackers and formally incorporated the EFF, adding to the EFF board Stewart Brand, John Gilmore, and Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak. He served on the board of the EFF until his death. He and Elaine divorced in 1995. He met Cynthia Horner in 1993 and was briefly engaged to her before her unexpected death from an undiagnosed health condition at the age of 29.

In addition to digital activism, Barlow was an early commentator on Internet culture, writing several pieces for Wired in its early years and penning essays such as “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” (1996) that helped define digital citizenship. In 1998 he became a fellow of Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and in 2013 he was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. Barlow stayed active in issues related to civil liberties and rights, helping to create the Freedom of the Press Foundation in 2012. Although he had mostly retired from songwriting, he contributed to several songs by jam band The String Cheese Incident.

Barlow suffered a major heart attack in 2015. By late 2016, he faced several serious health conditions, leading several musicians to hold a benefit concert for him to raise funds for his medical bills. He recently completed his memoir Mother American Night, slated for release on June 5.

Barlow is survived by his ex-wife Elaine Parker Barlow; the couple’s three daughters Leah Justine, Anna Winter, and Amelia Rose; and a granddaughter.

Monday, July 11, 2011

China’s National Bureau of Statistics released data Saturday showing that the consumer price index (CPI) for June climbed 6.4% from a year ago. That compares with a 5.5% rise in May, which was the largest since a 6.3% increase in July 2008. The major factor contributing to this figure was the steep rise in food prices which climbed 14.4%. Pork is a major food staple in China, and its price rose 65% from last year.

Analysts predicted that China’s inflation would peak in June, but particularly worrisome was the steep rise in the cost of food from the same time last year and up from 11.7% in May, indicating that Beijing may have difficulty in controlling inflation.

We must treat stabilising overall price levels as the top priority … and keep the direction of macro-economic adjustments unchanged.

China is the world’s second largest economy, having grown robustly in the last two years driven by a 2009 governmental stimulus package of $586 billion and low interest rates offered by state-owned banks. These were directed at promoting investments in real estate construction and government infrastructure projects, enabling China to lead the global recovery after the collapse of the U.S. mortgage market led to a worldwide recession.

Now Beijing is attempting to slow its fast pace of growth, fearful of inflation, by restricting bank lending and raising interest rates. High inflation along with high property values could hurt the economy. Since October, China’s Central Bank has raised interest rates five times.

Many factors are contributing to China’s inflation, including higher wages for migrant workers, increases in the prices of food and gasoline, as well as diminished output from crucial agricultural areas cause by droughts and flooding this spring.

Today, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao indicated that the war on inflation was continuing and controlling inflation was a top priority for the government, increasing expectations that interest rates would be further increased.

If they signal any comfort with inflation, and inflation is as high as it is now, they could create an environment in which people would panic, and they can have a real problem on their hands.

“We must treat stabilising overall price levels as the top priority of our macro-economic controls and keep the direction of macro-economic adjustments unchanged,” Wen said today in comments reported on the central government’s website. He had said in March that the ruling Communist Party is worried that a continuing rise in food prices could result in public protests.

Wen said the government would boost the supply of hogs to keep the price of pork stable, the price of pork being the major contributor to China’s food inflation index and the most closely watched item on it.

“If they signal any comfort with inflation, and inflation is as high as it is now, they could create an environment in which people would panic, and they can have a real problem on their hands,” said Tim Condon, Asian researcher at ING.

As markets worried about the news of Chinese inflation as well as concerns about the European debt crisis, oil dropped below US$95 a barrel today.

Cosmetic Dentistry – A New Solution To The Problem Of Discolored Teeth In Cedar Rapids, Ia

byAlma Abell

Years ago, those who had teeth that were misshapen, broken, discolored or otherwise less than ideal, had very few remedial actions open to them. Few people in the area had even heard of cosmetic dentistry, Cedar Rapids IA was not a mecca for dental splendour, neither was anywhere else except perhaps, Hollywood itself.

All too often, teeth were extracted if they became troublesome and, for those who could afford it, dentures were worn in order for the wearer to be able to eat properly.

Tooth technology comes to the rescue!

Nowadays, technology has moved on in almost every aspect of our lives and dentistry is certainly one area where a lot of research and improvement has taken place. I’m no dentist but I do fight an on-going battle with discoloration of my teeth so you can imagine just how interested I became when I read about a treatment that could fix that, not for a day or a week but for years and years!

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Teeth become discoloured for many reasons, including:

* Drinking certain liquids, including the ones we all love to drink such as coffee, tea and red wine.

* Lack of regular, effective brushing.

* Smoking tobacco

Some of these are easy to rectify, e.g. don’t smoke, it isn’t just your teeth it wrecks, but others take a bit more thinking about. You could argue that drinking coffee and red wine are hardly mortal sins, as unlike smoking, they don’t adversely affect other people, but they do have a devastating effect on the colour of your teeth.

The rise and rise of the teeth whitening industry!

Teeth whitening has been around for many years and you see examples of it every day. Just switch on the TV or open a magazine and see examples of teeth whitening in action. Do all those celebrities have really good dental hygiene routines and spend hours every day brushing their teeth with some super whitening toothpaste? Of course not. They have, almost certainly, visited a dentist and undergone some kind of teeth whitening treatment.

Now, it’s our turn. The treatment that I mentioned earlier is a bit different. It caught my eye not only because the “before and after” photographs were very impressive but because they were of ordinary people, not models or celebrities. I instantly associated with them, those teeth were just like mine – not perfect, not completely white, just ordinary teeth in an ordinary mouth.

No pain, plenty of gain!

The thing that really blew me away was that the treatment used to achieve this startling transformation involved no pain, (big tick for that), no unpleasant preparatory work, and only took a couple of hours to apply. It involves replacing the enamel that gives our teeth their color and it is the result of years of research.

Get onto Google and search for “cosmetic dentistry Cedar Rapids IA” and you will find out everything you need to know.Dr Adrian Rehak, an established dentist in Cedar Rapids offers a comprehensive teeth whitening service.

John Constable painting location mystery solved after 195 years

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John Constable painting location mystery solved after 195 years

Posted at November 9, 2019 @ 2:10 am by in Uncategorized

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The mystery of the location of a viewpoint used by English painter John Constable has been solved, after nearly 200 years. The Stour Valley and Dedham Church was painted in Suffolk, England, between 1814 and 1815, but changes to the landscape meant that the spot he chose was not known, despite the best efforts of historians and art experts.

Now the puzzle has been answered. Martin Atkinson, who works for the National Trust as property manager for East Suffolk, used clues from the painting and looked at old maps to track down the viewpoint. Trees had grown, a hedgerow had been planted and boundaries had moved or disappeared, but Atkinson eventually worked out where Constable had stood. He said, “When I discovered that I had worked out the location where Constable painted this particular masterpiece, I couldn’t believe it. All the pieces of the jigsaw finally fitted together.”

Atkinson used an 1817 map of East Bergholt, where Constable grew up, as a reference point, but found that the view would have changed not long after the painting was completed. “The foreground didn’t fit at all, it was quite unusual as we know Constable painted it in the open air so he would have been standing in the scene. The hedgerow in his work no longer exists and there’s another hedgerow that runs across the scene today which wasn’t there. When you stand on the road on which he would have stood, and use the oak tree as a reference point, you see the same view. It’s great to see where an old master stood – and be inspired by the same view,” he said.

Suffolk, where Constable painted many of his finest paintings, is often called “Constable country”. Most, but not all, of the locations that Constable depicted are known. The picture is now housed in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.

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An account of the Esperanza Fire from an animal rescuer

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An account of the Esperanza Fire from an animal rescuer

Posted at November 9, 2019 @ 2:02 am by in Uncategorized

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

As families fled their homes in the early morning hours on Thursday October 26, there was no warning. The Esperanza Fire southeast of Los Angeles and West of Palm Springs, California, had ballooned under the influence of Santa Ana winds to more than 19,000 acres as of the morning of October 27. No time to get the animals, no time for crates or even a leash. Sadly, owners left behind not only their horses, lamas, donkeys, chickens, rabbits, but also their dogs and cats.

Many of the families who did manage to evacuate their pets found themselves in the parking lot at the Fellowship in the Pass Church Red Cross Shelter where a MuttShack Animal Rescue team caught up with them.

Pam Anderson, Director of the emergency Red Cross shelter said that many people with animals had come and left.

The air was thick with smoke, and ash was raining down on the parking lot where dog owners, not able to take their dogs into the shelter were camping out in pup tents andin their cars.

Those who could afford it checked themselves into pet friendly hotels in nearby towns.

Some were prepared. Jane Garner, a small dog breeder was able to get all her animals out, and had set up her puppy runs alongside her RV in the parking lot. Others were not doing too well, having left home without as much as a leash.

The same scenario played out at the Red Cross shelter at Hemet High School. Animals were being boarded in vans, trailers and cars and small travel crates.

When MuttShack Animal Rescue arrived, a small fracas had sent several dogs off in different directions, running out of the school parking lot down busy streets necessitating an instant rescue response.

The Incident Command for the Esperanza Animals, Ramona Humane Society in San Jacinto welcomed MuttShack‘s offer to help at the shelters.

Ramona Humane Society had recently published a notice in their Newsletter about the newly passed “PETS Act”and warned owners not wait until a major disaster such as an earthquake or fireto prepare. “Be proactive to ensure that your pet will be taken care of.”

MuttShack and PetSmart Charities set up ad hoc facilities for the animals at both shelters.

The Red Cross shelter, run by Madison Burtchaell of the Orange County Red Cross was very accommodating about allowing a small emergency pet shelter adjacent to the School.

Barbara A. Fought of PetSmart Charities, an organization that works with animal welfare organizations and provide assistance in disasters, provided crates and emergency supplies.

MuttShack and Red Cross volunteers, Martin St. John, Tom Hamilton, and Steve Meissner helped assemble the crates to secure a safe environment for evacuated pets.

It was a great relief for evacuees who had camped out in the parking lot to finally leave their vehicles and relax at the shelter, setting up their cots to grab some sorely needed rest.

Firefighters and residents reported loss of wildlife and animals. The Esperanza fire burned 34 homes, consumed 40,000 acres and cost five Firefighters their lives before it was contained four days later on October 30. Firefighting operations cost nearly $10 million.

MuttShack Animal Rescue is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization active in disasters and dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and care of lost or discarded dogs, cats and other animals.

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New York City Mass Transit facing service cuts

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New York City Mass Transit facing service cuts

Posted at November 7, 2019 @ 2:04 am by in Uncategorized

Friday, December 11, 2009

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority is proposing to make service cuts to close its expected US$343 million (€234m, GBP £211m) budget deficit. The plan includes the elimination of multiple bus lines in The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, the elimination of the W (Astoria, Queens to Lower Manhattan) and the Z (Jamaica, Queens to Lower Manhattan via Brooklyn) train services. Also included in the plan are cuts of nighttime bus and train service.

“We’re not going to rely on anyone else to do anything for us. We’re going to rely on ourselves.” MTA board member Mitchell Pally said, commenting on the New York state’s budget plan cutting $143 million of tax revenue from the agency. MTA Chairman Jay Walder has said in the past that he would not raise fares ahead of schedule.

Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign, a commuter advocacy group, said that the agency should take money from its current construction and maintenance fund, and put it into maintaining these services.

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Cargo ship Arctic Sea may be found

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Cargo ship Arctic Sea may be found

Posted at October 30, 2019 @ 2:33 am by in Uncategorized

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A cargo ship spotted off the African island nation of Cape Verde could be the missing MV Arctic Sea.

The Maltese flagged MV Arctic Sea disappeared off the French coast sometime after July 29. Owned by the Russian Arctic Sea company she was operated by the Finnish Solchart Management company and had a Russian crew.

French intelligence sources have found a ship matching the Arctic Sea’s description about 400 Nautical miles north of São Vicente.

The Arctic Sea was on a scheduled route from the Finnish seaport of Pietarsaari to the Algerian seaport of Béjaïa with a cargo of timber when it was boarded in Swedish waters between the islands Öland and Gotland on the night of July 24. The alleged boarders left the ship the same day according to its crew and the ship continued her voyage although it would have been expected to anchor at the nearest port.

The last official contact with the ship was with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in Britain on July 28. Viktor Matveyev, the director of Solchart Management says the ship radioed that it was off the coast of Portugal on July 31. The 98-meter-long ship has so far not reached the Straits of Gibraltar and is now being sought by the Portuguese Navy and Russian Navy.

If proven this could be the first case of piracy in Europe in the modern era. There is speculation as to the reason for the ship’s hijacking, as its cargo of wood, valued at 1.3 million euros, is not especially valuable. Suggestions include possible contraband, and the possibility of a commercial dispute between the crew or some other party and the ship’s owners.

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News briefs:May 17, 2010

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News briefs:May 17, 2010

Posted at October 30, 2019 @ 2:06 am by in Uncategorized

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Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

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Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

Posted at October 18, 2019 @ 2:38 am by in Uncategorized

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor’s identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure — if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. “It is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,” she said.

The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.

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Saudi Arabia plans to open embassy in Finland

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Saudi Arabia plans to open embassy in Finland

Posted at October 18, 2019 @ 2:24 am by in Uncategorized

Saturday, October 20, 2007

It has been announced that Saudi Arabia is planning to open an official embassy in Finland, to signify continuing improvement in relations between the two countries.

Teemu Tanner, director general of Africa and the Middle East at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, said to reporters concerning Finnish President Tarja Halonen’s first visit to Saudi Arabia on Sunday, “One indication of this visit is that you (Saudi Arabia) are planning to open an embassy here in Helsinki,” adding that “We regard this as extremely important for relations,” and that it is only a matter of time before the facility is made available.

Another act set to strengthen diplomatic relations is the planned visit of a trade delegation headed by Saudi Minister of Trade and Commerce Hashim Yamani, which will arrive in Finland next month.

“Our relationship is no longer in relation to trade,” said Tanner. “More broadly, we will discuss regional and global issues. It is extremely important for us to know Saudi Arabia’s views on Iraq, Iran, but also issues such as Somalia… One objective of the visit is to convey notes on international questions, as we enter a very interesting phase in the Middle East peace process,” adding that the presidential visit is a relational “landmark” that will “crystallize” Finland’s image to Saudi Arabia.

Despite the comment that the international cooperation is no longer entirely a trade issue, he did point out Saudi Arabia’s important role in the Finnish economy as one of the five largest importers of Finnish products. Finland’s main exports to Saudi Arabia are mobile phones, paper, wood and machinery, while Saudi Arabia exports large quantities of raw materials for use in manufacturing plastics. The total volume if this trade is estimated to be worth over €840 million.

Other topics on the table for the two nations to discuss during Halonen’s visit include energy, the role of science, environmental issues and combating terrorism, as well as other global issues. Tanner has also suggested tourism may be a future area of attention, with a possibility of package holidays for Finnish tourists being organized to Saudi Arabia.

Finland and Saudi Arabia have been officially involved in diplomatic relations since 1969. Finland has maintained an embassy in Saudi Arabia since 1974.

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