Title: Dangerous liaisons
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Origin: New Scientist vol 179 issue 2408 - 16 August 2003, page 32
Author: Michael Brooks
Did the Inquisition fight heretics using the same science that we now use to
( Are you a heretical hub?Collapse )
that the words "pre-emptive strike" translate to "unprovoked attack"?
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it's the last day of my holidays, and they've been fantastic!
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I went to Canberra (with lukel) to see my family, and I had a great time.
I've done almost all of my Christmas shopping now... *yay*
I've been MIA in my own journal at LJ for awhile... but I'm gonna try and be better at that in the future...
Things are going great at work, I'm getting some good testing experience working on another project, writing test scripts, which has been really cool.
When I have a bit more time I'll set up some more posting filters for various subjects... I'll let you know as things happen...
but to finish this short post I'll put in a plug for my community syn_promo (probably only useful for Paid Accounts as it's to do with the new Syndication feature)
and also some links to my public reading lists of rssfeeds.
again, we went to see the Bourne Identity (last time, at another cinema, the projectors were faulty)... we were hoping for more success on this occasion, but no such luck... I think we are cursed, never to see this movie.
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you know how you go to a movie... and the previews and ads are on at the beginning?
and you know how they're really boring and you look around at the cinema in case there's something interesting...
and then you look at that weird looking thing above the exit light... and you think, what's that?
and just when you're about to ask your friend if *they* know what it is, they ask you...
the debate covered masking tape, screwed up paper... and then the possibility was raised, that it may be, a rat.
then discussion turned to whether the rat was alive, and whether it was a real rat (or plastic, as it has recently been Halloween)...
so I (being the rat-braver of the two) offered to make a closer inspection to rule out the rat possibility...
upon inspection, the rat in question, ran behind the curtain, which did suggest that it may not be dead, that it was in fact, alive and well, and not plastic.
and then one's friend jumps up and yells "and it's alive!" and leaves the cinema (looking for a manager)...
the saga does not end here, as I waited (watching the now-returned rat) with my feet up on the seat in front, for my friend (and manager) to return.
during this time many people passed the rat, and each time, it ducked behind the curtain, suggesting it was perhaps not social, and also a veteran movie goer...
I pondered whether this rat ingests only popcorn, and whether all that salt could be healthy... but I digress...
my friend spoke to the first cinema attendant she found, whose walkie-talkie was not working, so she was advised to go to the Candy Bar, to get the manager... the Candy Bar assistant asked what the problem was before she was able to get the manager... needless to say, at the mention of a rat (when ordering food) some of the patrons seemed to dwindle off...
the manager did see the rat upon entering the cinema (Chadstone Hoyts in Melbourne Australia, cinema 8 for those who wish to avoid it... it was on the front right-hand exit sign, don't touch those curtains either), and also noticed it's peek-a-boo antics...
he offered us our money back...
Media Puzzle wins the Melbourne Cup!
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It's Cup Day today... which means I get the day off work *yay* a public holiday for a horse race is all good...
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My horsies are:
also posted to wildwomen
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U.S. patent stops breast cancer testing
From the article:
A key breast cancer test can no longer be done in B.C. [British Columbia] because an American company has the gene patent.
Utah-based Myriad Genetics Inc. has put a patent on two genes that can signal whether a woman may develop hereditary breast cancer.
Dr. Simon Sutcliffe, who runs the B.C. Cancer Agency, said 200 of the tests are now being routed annually to Ontario, which is ignoring the patent.
The agency used to do its own tests until the B.C. government recently ordered it to stop after legal threats by Myriad.
Myriad now wants $3,500 US for the blood test, three times what it used to cost the province.
And there's nothing B.C. cancer patients can do, other than paying for the test out-of-pocket.
"The price, then, can really be held to any blackmail you wish," said Sutcliffe yesterday. "Whatever they set the price at. It could be a factor of 10 or a factor of 50."
Myriad's gene patent gives it control over all research using those genes.
Barbara Kaminsky, CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society in B.C., is concerned that private companies can own genes.
"What we're seeing now is the tip of the iceberg," she said.
"If this one is not dealt with, we can only, unfortunately, anticipate more to come."
Kaminsky is critical of the B.C. government for
suspending the tests here while other provinces are carrying on.
"We're extremely disappointed," she said. "It's intolerable from the point of view of cancer patients."
She said women may have had their breasts removed needlessly because these tests were not available.
"Now we have the tests, and to deny women access based on cost is just so inappropriate," she said.
About 10 per cent of cancer patients have a hereditary form of the disease.
Myriad also holds monopoly gene patents for ovarian, colon and prostate cancers, among the 99 it currently holds.
Nearly 10,000 patents relating to the human body have been filed worldwide.
Health Services Minister Colin Hansen said the genetic tests were stopped here on legal advice.
"There is maybe merit in patenting the applications of how we use gene sequencing, but to actually patent the sequence is something I certainly have great difficulty with," he said.
Paying Myriad for the screenings is not going to happen, said Hansen.
"We certainly want to make as broad a range of services available to the public. But we also have to make sure we can afford it," he said.
In 1998, breast cancer survivor Susan Harris of Vancouver tested negative before the genes were patented.
"It's an incredibly important test, because it's knowledge I can share with my family," said the 54-year-old researcher.
She called the Myriad patent "reprehensible."
"It's part of a person's body, their being. It's not a machine. This precedent is very, very unsettling."
Plastic reports Attention Shoppers: The Misery Of The World Is All Your Fault!
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Some people are aware of blood diamonds...
but this covers: timber, drugs, oil, mobile (cell) phones, laptops, pagers and other electronic devices containing tantalum capacitors.
If this is news to you (it was to me), you might want to have a read of this article.
There's also some nasty stuff going on with the US and UK in trades of torture instruments.
The Trade in Terror
U.S. firms export potential torture tools -Amnesty
PDF file - Amnesty International
Two companies are named in the PDF file, violating human rights.
Security and Defence Marketing Services and S&J Products are both mentioned.
S&J Products doesn't advertise their instruments of torture on their website however.
October 21 2002
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Two people are believed dead and another two have been injured in a shooting at Monash University.
A police spokeswoman said there were unconfirmed reports four people were shot in the Menzies building at the Monash University's Clayton campus.
The shootings occurred shortly after 11.20am and police have one person in custody, the spokeswoman said.
Police said there were no further details at this stage.
Two dead, two injured in Monash Uni shooting
Edit: Update here