December 28, 2006

Planet-Hunter Searches For Second Earth

Probe to investigate distant solar systems

Goldilocks' zones may be site of extraterrestrial life

The hunt for a second Earth began in earnest yesterday with the launch of a space probe that will peer beyond the solar system to distant planets

warmed by the faintest of stars.
At 2.23pm UK time a modernised soyuz rocket tore into the sky over Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying Corot, the first space telescope

designed to find habitable planets orbiting stars in remote solar systems.

The mission, which will take place over a two-and-a-half-year period, will look for rocky worlds about twice the size of Earth that lie in what space

scientists call habitable zones, the Goldilocks regions of space in every solar system where heat from the nearest star is neither too hot nor too cold

to sustain liquid water - believed to be the essential ingredient for life.

Planet-Hunter Searches For Second Earth

Time to Get Serious

Peak Oil

Ian Sample, Science Correspondent
Thursday December 28, 2006
The Guardian

December 27, 2006

Health Officials Puzzled By Whooping Cough Outbreak

What city health officials at first thought was an outbreak of whooping cough among employees at Children’s Hospital Boston may have been

something else entirely.

But exactly what is still in question.

It started when a 19-month-old patient came down with the classic symptoms of whooping cough, a respiratory disease also known as pertussis.

Symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, slight fever, and mild cough, which can develop into a violent and persistent cough.

A laboratory test confirmed he had the disease.

Three dozen hospital employees and one other patient tested positive for whooping cough from late September through early November.

But further testing, different from the initial tests, could find little evidence of the highly contagious bacteria. Now no one can say for sure what

made the workers sick, but pertussis hasn’t been ruled out.

Federal and state health officials joined the city in trying to figure out exactly what ailed the workers, all of whom recovered.

The Children’s Hospital cases were at first confirmed through a test called polymerase chain reaction, or PCR.

Based on the tests, Children’s moved to contain the outbreak.

“Children’s, much like we do at the local health department, really relies on laboratory tests to guide us on what the diagnosis is, especially

illnesses that can look like a lot of different things,” said Dr. Anita Barry of the Boston Public Health Commission. “Having accurate test results early

on, particularly when they’re consistent with the clinical symptoms, really launches us into control steps.”

State lab workers then performed other tests, including the laborious task of culturing samples and taking blood samples from hospital workers.

The additional tests were almost uniformly negative for pertussis.

Samples were sent to the federal Centers for Disease Control.

“The results were inconclusive,” said Dr. Amanda Cohn, a medical epidemiologist for the federal agency.

There are competing theories, ranging from a cold virus to a bacterial relative of pertussis to the virus that causes the condition commonly known as

walking pneumonia.

It’s unlikely that the causes of all the respiratory illnesses will ever be fully known.

“What I can say is that whatever it was, it went away,” Barry said. “And that’s the good news.”

Read The Full Story, Boston Herald...

December 17, 2006

Climate Change, What Can I Do?

I am sending this e-mail to all family members; you can share it with your friends. I feel this is one of the most important e-mails I have ever sent.

You probably heard a lot about climate change in the news by now.

You’re going to here, in the news a lot about it. News writers are not climate scientist. News writers will take a climate scientists papers and take things out of context and add to it to get your attention and to make the story interesting.

There are a lot of doomsday-errs out their. So, take care of what you read. One doomsday-errs is (I like to refer to him as Dr. Doom Pianka) Dr. Pianka is not a climate scientist; he is a biology professor at the University of Texas. Another scientist to be careful of is Steven Milloy. Read about Steven Milloy at and follow the links. (Milloy had received extensive funding and direction from Phillip Morris, RJR Tobacco, and Exxon Mobil).

Now for the good guys, the best I know of is Al Gore. Al Gore has been working on climate change for years. He is working with some of the top climate scientist in the world. Al Gore will gather information from climate scientists and explain it so lay-people can understand it. If you are interested in what you can do about climate change, see Al Gore’s documentary, (now on DVD) “An Inconvenient Truth”. You owe it to yourself to see this film. Become part of the solution. One of the most important films of our time. The Blue Marble (planet earth) needs your help. Moral Challenge. Moral Obligation.

If you are interested in more information on global warming see my website I update it daily. Follow the links. I try to stay away from doomsday scientist. I have one, Dr. Pianka. You’re not going to believe his answer for global warming.

Read about Dr. James E. Hansen, the top climate scientist at NASA and the others scientists and follow the links. They are some of the top climate scientist in the world; very interesting people and they look like kids.


Website, (BackyardPit)

Dr. James E. Hansen

Albert Arnold Gore, Jr.

An Inconvenient Truth

RealClimate (climate scientists)