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Archive for July, 2006

[Fwd: Common Parasite Reveals Its Strongest Asset]

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ok, here we are–

*Date: *June 24, 2006 16:25:20 GMT-04:00
*To: *Adriano Gonzalez >, “Mark L. Williams”

Message from sender:
…am I infected??

*SCIENCE * | June 20, 2006
*A Common Parasite Reveals Its Strongest Asset: Stealth

Toxoplasma gondii infects over half the world’s population.
Scientists are now discovering some of the secrets of the
parasite’s success.

It has been found that the parasite has the ability to change the
behavior of its host: infected rats

and mice are less fearful of cats; in fact, some of the infected
rats actually seek out cat urine-marked areas again and again. The
parasite alters the mind, and thus the behavior, of the rat for its
own benefit, leading to a propagation of the lifecycle.


The mechanism for this change is not necessarily completely
understood, but there is evidence that toxoplasmosis infection
raises dopamine levels in infected mice.

Given the close biological similarities and common inheritance
between mice and humans, it has been suggested that human behaviour
could also be affected in some way, and some epidemiological links
may have been found between latent /Toxoplasma/ infections and car
crashes, slower reactions, an increase in risk-taking behaviors, and
possibly some forms of



Several independent pieces of evidence point towards a role of
/Toxoplasma/ infection in some cases of schizophrenia



* Acute /Toxoplasma/ infection sometimes leads to psychotic
symptoms not unlike schizophrenia.
* Some anti-psychotic medications that are used to treat
schizophrenia, such as


* also stop the growth of /Toxoplasma/ in cell cultures.Several
studies have found significantly higher levels of /Toxoplasma/
antibodies in schizophrenia patients, compared to the general
* /Toxoplasma/ infection causes damage to


in the brain, and such damage is also seen in schizophrenia.

*Human prevalence*

The U.S. NHANES (1999-2000) national probability sample found that
15.8% of U.S. persons above 12 years of age had Toxoplasma-specific


antibodies, indicating that they had been infected with the
organism. This prevalence had not significantly changed from the
1988-1994 data.


It is estimated that up to 50% of all people worldwide are infected
with /Toxoplasma gondii/.

The incidence of infection is highly specific to each nationality
with ranges such as 22% infected in the


to *over 88% in France*.


…well, there you go!

Copyright 2006
New York Times Company |

Written by morituri

July 29th, 2006 at 3:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Weather

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Subject: Blog: The Weather Channel


…Alberto got its act together better last night and this morning. It’s still a little discombobulated in its structure, with visible satellite loops during midday clearly showing a low-level elongation, with, at least for awhile, two well-defined spinning centers, one of which tried to relocate underneath the convection.

?? ?? ?? ?…excuse my weird black sensayumor, but sure sounds like my braw!

…I’m still not sure why we’re even talking about another Alberto, given the deadly and disastrous flooding that an earlier Alberto brought, in 1994. I’m sure folks in southwest Georgia and thereabouts think Alberto should have joined the ranks of retired names!

The tale of how much impact this version of Alberto has will be told by exactly how things evolve tonight, tomorrow, and beyond, and how it compares to other “A” storms of the past. There have been some notorious ones besides Alberto in 1994, such as Allison in 2001, Andrew in 1992, Alicia in 1983, Agnes in 1972, and Audrey in 1957.

? ? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?…well, it must be Karma, maaaan…! I nominate ‘Adriano’ for 2008’s first name-storm!

Written by morituri

July 14th, 2006 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Haciendo Punto En Otro Blog

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The Secret to Being as Radical as We Want to Be is to Finance the Revolution Ourselves

By Michael Shuman and Merrian Fuller

If Mohandas Gandhi were a typical North American activist these days, he would probably be wearing a three-piece suit and working in a plush office with his law degree prominently displayed. He would have little time to lead protests, since every other week would be spent meeting with donors – and those power lunches would hardly go well with fasting. He would be careful to avoid salt marches or cotton boycotts, so as not to offend key donors. To sharpen his annual pitch to foundations, he would be constantly dreaming up new one-year projects on narrowly focused topics, perhaps a one-time conference on English human-rights abuses, or a documentary on anti-colonial activities in New Delhi. To ensure that various allies didn’t steal away core funders, he would keep his distance and be inclined to trash talk behind their backs. In short, there’s little doubt that the British would still be running India.

The problem with activism today is that it is largely funded by grants and gifts from rich foundations and individuals. The long-standing assumption that you can take the money with few strings attached, and then run, needs to be fundamentally reexamined.

Building a philanthropic base of support can cripple an organization’s mission and wreck it altogether when the well runs dry. Most nonprofits have engaged in a kind of fundraising arms race in which our best leaders focus more time, energy and resources, not on changing the world, but on improving their panhandling prowess to capture just a little more of a philanthropic pie that actually expands very little from year to year. Armies of “development” staff spend as much as a third of an organization’s resources, not to advance the poor, but to cultivate wealthy donors. Significant numbers of our colleagues create campaigns, direct-mail pitches, telemarketing scripts, newsletters and other products exclusively to “care and feed” prospects and to frame positions that will not offend the rich.

Written by morituri

July 5th, 2006 at 10:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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