Archive for February 22, 2008

And …

February 22, 2008

… I’m back.

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Still the most affecting Star Trek episode ever.

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“Let’s get the hell out of here.”

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It’s his name, but not his original script. See this page for the book that explains all of it.

Blogging Resumes In About An Hour

February 22, 2008

Oh come on.

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You know I have to watch it!

You can too.

The Ultimate Mid-East Terrorist Is Already Here

February 22, 2008

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The Invisible Enemy

Since OPERATION Iraqi Freedom began in 2003, more than 700 US soldiers have been infected or colonized with Acinetobacter baumannii. A significant number of additional cases have been found in the Canadian and British armed forces, and among wounded Iraqi civilians. The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology has recorded seven deaths caused by the bacteria in US hospitals along the evacuation chain. Four were unlucky civilians who picked up the bug at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, while undergoing treatment for other life-threatening conditions. Another was a 63-year-old woman, also chronically ill, who shared a ward at Landstuhl with infected coalition troops.

Behind the scenes, the spread of a pathogen that targets wounded GIs has triggered broad reforms in both combat medical care and the Pentagon’s networks for tracking bacterial threats within the ranks. Interviews with current and former military physicians, recent articles in medical journals, and internal reports reveal that the Department of Defense has been waging a secret war within the larger mission in Iraq and Afghanistan – a war against antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

Emphasis added by me.

And:

Forerunners of the bug causing the military infections have been making deadly incursions into civilian hospitals for more than a decade. In the early 1990s, 1,400 people were infected or colonized at a single facility in Spain. A few years later, particularly virulent strains of the bacteria spread through three Israeli hospitals, killing half of the infected patients. Death by acinetobacter can take many forms: catastrophic fevers, pneumonia, meningitis, infections of the spine, and sepsis of the blood. Patients who survive face longer hospital stays, more surgery, and severe complications.

Emphasis added by me.

Worse:

And they’re spreading fast. A major outbreak in Chicago two years ago infected 81 patients, killing at least 14. Arizona health officials tracked more than 200 infections in state hospitals early last year. Doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee used to see an infection or two every year; now it’s one or more a month. “These bacteria are developing very, very quickly,” says CDC epidemiologist Arjun Srinivasan, who has been consulting with the DOD about the military outbreak. “The bad news is that we’re many years away from having new drugs to treat them. It should be a call to arms.

Emphasis added by me.

Look at this:

I VISITED WALTER REED in 2004 to write about anesthesia on the front lines. As I spoke with an Army sergeant who had survived a brutal attack in Najaf, US senator John McCain and talk-radio host Don Imus came into the room to thank him for his service. When we walked out, McCain’s assistant whipped out a bottle of sanitizing gel and passed it around. A nurse explained to me, “It’s this bug that grows in the soil over there and gets blown into their wounds by IEDs. These poor guys are covered with it. Around here we call it Iraqibacter.” Rumors were circulating at the hospital that insurgents dosed their homemade bombs with the flesh of dead animals.

Emphasis added by me.

Has anyone heard McCain mention this in his stump speeches?

It gets even worse:

The wounded soldiers were not smuggling bacteria from the desert into military hospitals after all. Instead, they were picking it up there. The evacuation chain itself had become the primary source of infection. By creating the most heroic and efficient means of saving lives in the history of warfare, the Pentagon had accidentally invented a machine for accelerating bacterial evolution and was airlifting the pathogens halfway around the world.

Emphasis added by me.

Talk about unintended consequences and revenge effects!

Read the entire article. My quotes are not meant to be a Classics Illustrated-like substitute. They’re meant to pique your curiosity.

Thanks to Marcie Hascall Clark, who alerted me to this in the Comments here.

For more information, visit her site: The Iraq Infections.

Also see: Acinetobacter Baumannii

Update: Marcie also has this site: Acinetobacter
baumannii in Iraq

Someone Has Ripped Me Off

February 22, 2008

Stop it.

The original
.

CBS Puts Twilight Zone On Net

February 22, 2008

And makes me very happy.

So far, just selections from the first two seasons, but still.

Now go see:

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The Howling Man

Goodbye, Detroit

February 22, 2008

Air-Powered Car Coming to U.S. in 2009 to 2010 at Sub-$18,000, Could Hit 1000-Mile Range

Everyone is suddenly in a tizzy over that.

Hello. I did that last month: Cars Of The Future: Lose Weight Or You’ll Walk!

I even had a video (still do!).

How will Detroit respond? If there was still a Detroit left, it’d cry for protectionism. Insanely-high tariffs. Anything except innovation.

FreakAngels Issue Two

February 22, 2008

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Pay attention. Warren’s giving a lot of information in just six pages. And doing it with the fewest number of words.

Don’t miss it.

Update: It would have been better if I had included the link.