Aspirin, the mainstay of the medicine cabinet, appears to resemble a high-tech targeted therapy in the treatment of patients with a subtype of colorectal cancer, according to astudy published in the October 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Patients with PIK3CA-mutated tumors who regularly used aspirin after their diagnosis had a significant survival benefit — a 46% reduction in overall mortality and an 82% reduction in colorectal-specific mortality. However, patients with wild-typePIK3CA who regularly used aspirin after diagnosis did not have a mortality benefit of any kind.
These findings come from a retrospective analysis of 2 large cohort studies in the United States: the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
If the findings are validated prospectively, clinicians could have a new biomarker — and adjuvant therapy — for colorectal cancer, say the authors, led by Xiaoyun Liao, MD, PhD, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts.
Given how common the PIK3CA mutation is, this might be big news, according to an expert not involved with the study.
"Since more than 1 of 6 primary colorectal tumors harbors PIK3CA mutations, targeted use of adjuvant aspirin could have a major effect on the treatment of colorectal cancer," writes Boris Pasche, MD, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in an accompanying editorial.
"Aspirin may well become one of the oldest drugs to be used as a 21st-century targeted therapy," he says.
This study adds to the literature from multiple cohort studies on the antitumor effect of aspirin in colorectal cancer. Earlier this year, British investigators reported that aspirin use is associated with reduced tumor progression and recurrence in patients with a diagnosis of colorectal cancer.
However, the study by Dr. Liao and colleagues is novel because it shows that aspirin can work in a subset of patients who are identifiable by a relatively easily detected biomarker, PIK3CA.
Nevertheless, the value of mutated PIK3CA as a predictive biomarker needs to be confirmed, said Alok Khorana, MD, from the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, who was not involved with the study.
In the meantime, "it is perfectly reasonable to consider daily aspirin after a diagnosis of colorectal cancer after an informed discussion with patient regarding risks, benefits, and evidence," Dr. Khorana toldMedscape Medical News. He recommended low-dose aspirin (81 mg/day).
Both Dr. Pasche and the investigators warn that the study sample was small.
There were 964 patients with rectal or colon cancer in the 2 cohorts, but only 152 of those carried aPIK3CA mutation. Still, the effect of aspirin on survival among patients was considerable.
Of the 90 patients with PIK3CA-mutated tumors who did not use aspirin after diagnosis, 23 (26%) died within 5 years. However, of the 62 who used aspirin regularly after diagnosis, only 2 (3%) died within 5 years (P < .001).
In contrast, aspirin appeared to have no effect on patients with wild-type tumors. The 5-year cumulative colorectal-cancer-specific mortality was the same (15%) for users and nonusers of aspirin after diagnosis (P = .92).
Contradictory Finding Explained
In both cohorts, documentation of the use of standard-dose (325 mg) aspirin began in the 1980s. After 1992, to reflect the increasing use of low-dose aspirin, participants were asked to convert 4 low-dose tablets to 1 standard-dose tablet in their response, the investigators explain. Ultimately, "aspirin use" was defined as the regular use of aspirin during most weeks, and "nonuse" was defined as no regular use of aspirin during most weeks.
These data allowed the investigators to determine whether patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer used aspirin before and after diagnosis.
They found that the same proportion of patients with wild-type and mutant PIK3CA used aspirin before their diagnosis; thus, before-diagnosis use was not skewed between the 2 subgroups.
However, in what appears to be a contradictory result, the proportion of PIK3CA-mutated tumors was the same (17%) among users and nonusers of aspirin before diagnosis.
If aspirin provides an antitumor effect in PIK3CA-mutated tumors, logic would dictate that there would be fewer cases of the mutated colorectal cancers in aspirin users than in nonusers. In other words, aspirin should also have a preventive effect.
The investigators note that this "apparent discrepancy" might be related to "tumor evolution." The tumor microenvironment might evolve in such a way that there is a "differential interaction of aspirin use andPIK3CA mutation in the early phase of evolution (before diagnosis) versus the late phase (after diagnosis)."
Study Findings Not Entirely Novel
Previously, in a prospective study involving 1239 patients with a diagnosis of stage I, II, or III disease, researchers found that regular aspirin use after a diagnosis of colorectal cancer was associated with a 21% reduction in overall mortality and a 29% reduction in colorectal-cancer-specific mortality (JAMA. 2009;302:649-658).
A subgroup analysis from that study showed that the reduction in overall mortality and colorectal-cancer-specific mortality was observed exclusively in patients with primary tumors that overexpressed the enzyme known as prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2, formerly known as cyclooxygenase-2).
These findings on the postdiagnosis use of aspirin and PTGS2 were recently replicated in a large Dutch study (Br J Cancer. 2012;106:1564-1570).
However, as Dr. Liao and his colleagues point out, PTGS2 is not an ideal biomarker because it cannot be easily assessed with commonplace immunohistochemistry. "Considering the challenges in standardizing PTGS2 immunohistochemical assays across pathology laboratories, other molecular biomarkers...are needed to better identify patients with colorectal cancer who will derive a benefit from aspirin," they write.
PIK3CA, which is detectable with standard immunohistochemical methods, might be their sought-after biomarker.
This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Bennett Family Fund for Targeted Therapies Research, and the Entertainment Industry Foundation through the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance. Some of the study authors and Dr. Pasche report financial relationships with nonprofit companies or industry, as detailed in the papers. Dr. Khorana reports being a consultant to Bayer.

Multiculturalism Oh Please Stop!

I'm posting this article from the telegraph, not for its news value, but as a shining example of the mindset of those that have no place in any society, let alone a modern, sophisticated and tolerant one, such as we like to consider ourselves to be.

And for those that wish to tell me this isn't "Islam" well I've got news for you, it is. Complete with all its intolerance, misogyny, ignorance and delusional arrogance that personifies this insane, backward ideology.

Death, death, death, the Muslim answer to everything that they don't happen to agree with on any particular day. Just how much hate does a person have to carry around that blowing total strangers to bloody pieces is an acceptable and normal part of your persona?

Non-Muslims have 'sex like donkeys' and deserve to be blown-up, said 'terror plot' leader

Westerners have 'sex like donkeys' so 'why shouldn't we terrorise them?' the alleged leader of a terror plot was recorded saying.
By Tom Whitehead
25 Oct 2012

The leader of alleged suicide bomb plot said non-believers deserved to be attacked because they “have sex like donkeys”, orgies and took drugs, a court heard.

Ifan Naseer said the whole world was **** and people deserved to be terrorized.

The al-Qaeda inspired gang is accused of plotting to use eight suicide bombers detonating rucksacks packed with explosives in crowded places to cause “mass death” and carnage on the streets of Britain.

Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, and Ashik Ali, 27, all unemployed from Birmingham, are the alleged “senior members” of the group and were among 12 people arrested and charged last year.

They all deny the charges against them.

Naseer, a trained chemist and alleged ringleader, was secretly recorded by the police trying to justify the plot.

He said: “You know the main thing is bro all this world is **** bro, you like know what it is the only thing which is good yeah, is Allah’s Deen (faith).”

Criticising others, he went on: “They wanna you know have sex like donkeys on the street, they wanna club, act like animals and why shouldn’t we terrorise them, tell me that?”

“No, you think about it, if someone came in your house yeah and started dancing and throughout the night and started basically having orgies and smoking drugs and stuff, yeah, would you do Sabr (Patience) or would you look, you would, you would terrorise them ainit, yeah, there you go, so it’s on Allah’s earth, it’s Allah’s earth, then Allah created it, everybody and Allah gave you everything as well, then you tell me that one.”

Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, told the jury: “He is disdainful of Western values so why should he not terrorise them.”

Naseer also raised the prospect of a second wave of suicide bombers after his group’s plot.

At one stage Naseer is explaining the destruction just a small bomb weighing 1kg could do, “especially if shrapnel like nuts or nails were sellotaped to it”, Woolwich Crown Court heard.

He said: “You put it in the middle (of a street) both ways people at both ends would be harmed.”

He added that “you probably kill about 25 people with one kg one” and “injure about 60, 50”.

Naseer also spoke about using bombs on timers with an alarm clock.

The secret recording was played to the jury, the first time they had heard Naseer's voice.

He said the "kuffars" - non-believers - would wet themselves and "probably die of a heart attack" because of the noise, which is as loud as "50 bullets together".

Naseer also talked about 7 or 8 bombs on different places with timers to all go off at the same time. "Boom boom boom everywhere", he said.

Yesterday it emerged that the cell applied for “pay day loans” to help fund their plot and were worried about exorbitant interest rates suggesting they would not be around to pay it back.

The gang, from Birmingham, also looked in to bank loans worth between £15,000 and £18,000, Woolwich Crown Court heard.

The group also planned to set up an Islamic learning centre to act as a “beautiful cover” and a mystery benefactor had offered £50,000 to help set it up although he did not know about the terror plot.

At the time, the men were based at a property in White Street, Birmingham, and when police raided it they discovered evidence of plans to make a bomb.

A partially burnt note was discovered contained formulae and diagrams, Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, told the jury.

Naseer, who has a pharmacy degree, was recorded talking about items needed including quantities of chemicals, syringes to be used to create a detonator, glue and drinking straws.

He also discussed nail polish remover, powder from match heads, electrical wiring, the use of batteries, sulphuric acid, hydrogen peroxide, ice packs and alarm clocks.

They planned to extract ammonium nitrate from sports injury cold packs, the jury was told.

The trial continues. Telegraph

Food Reward Fridays

Each Friday, I'm going to post a picture of a modern food so ridiculous it makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time.  I'm doing this for two reasons:
  1. To raise awareness about the unhealthy, fattening foods that are taking over global food culture.  These are highly rewarding, highly palatable, energy-dense foods that drive people to eat in the absence of hunger, and continue eating beyond calorie needs.  In many cases, the foods have been specifically designed to maximize "craveability" and palatability.
  2. Because it's funny.
Without further ado... the first lucky winner:
Read more »


Hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) in postmenopausal women with a mean age of 50 significantly reduced the risk of the combined end point of mortality, MI, or heart failure in a new randomized Danish study published online October 9, 2012 in BMJ [1]. The participants, who used HRT for more than 10 years, were not at significantly increased risk of breast cancer or stroke either, report Dr Louise Schierbeck (Hvidovre Hospital, Denmark) and colleagues.
"This is the longest randomized trial with hard end points, and we found a 50% reduction in cardiovascular end points for the women who took HRT, and there was no increased risk of cancer," Schierbeck told heartwire . The women were also followed for a further six years after discontinuation of randomized treatment, she noted.
Schierbeck says the findings, in 1000 women, confirm the "timing hypothesis." In 2002, primary results from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) showed no cardiovascular benefit from HRT--something that had been suggested by numerous observational trials--and even an indication there may be harm; this led to the widespread abandonment of this therapy. But subsequent analyses of WHI, and data from other studies, have suggested that the time at which HRT is first prescribed is key. The women in this Danish study were 13 years younger, on average, than the women in WHI (mean age 63 years). "It doesn't make much sense to start treating women 13 years after menopause for menopausal symptoms. It's important to initiate the treatment at menopause and not many years later," she observes.
Asked to comment on the new findings, Dr Howard N Hodis (UCLA) told heartwire , "Until this came out there had been no trial to directly study the estrogen cardioprotective hypothesis. This is unique, because it is the only study to have looked at women, a priori, randomized basically at the time of or just a little beyond menopause. And that's a really important point that I think some of the detractors have glossed over. The women averaged 50 years old, just like the women that we treat who come in close to the menopause and say, 'I want hormones,' because they are having symptoms. So scientifically, this is a very important trial."
Ob/gyn Dr James Liu (Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH) said: "This paper adds to the evolving data on HRT for newly menopausal women in the under-age-60 category. The study conclusions are worth noting and are statistically significant and congruent with older observational studies such as the Nurses' Health Study and the subgroup-stratified analyses of the WHI cohort from 50 to 60. Thus, there are two randomized trials that have congruent data." Among the "surprising points," says Liu, are no increase in breast cancer risk for the 16 years of follow-up and the fact that stroke risk was not increased.
Hodis also addressed criticisms that the new Danish trial is too small to yield any meaningful results. "Although the sample size is small, there are 16 years and 20 000 women-years of follow-up." Schierbeck concurs. "We had a very long study, so there are 10 000 person-years of randomized treatment, and we do have a significant outcome in 1000 women, so it's clinically relevant."
Greater-Than-50% Reduction in CV Events Without Increasing Cancer Risk
The 1006 healthy women aged 45 to 58 who were recently postmenopausal or had perimenopausal symptoms were participants in the Danish Osteoporosis Prevention Study and were randomized to receive HRT (n=502) or no treatment (control, n=504).
The primary end point was a composite of death, hospitalization for heart failure, and MI. Secondary end points were the individual components of the primary end point and admission to the hospital for stroke. Safety end points included death or a diagnosis of breast cancer or other cancer grouped together and admission to the hospital for pulmonary embolism or deep venous thrombosis (DVT).
The women in the treated group with an intact uterus received 2-mg synthetic 17-{:beta:}-estradiol for 12 days, 2 mg 17-{:beta:}-estradiol plus 1 mg  norethindrone acetate for 10 days, and 1 mg 17-{:beta:}-estradiol for six days (Trisekvens, Novo Nordisk, Denmark). In women who had undergone hysterectomy, first-line treatment was 2 mg 17-{:beta:}-estradiol a day (Estrofem, Novo Nordisk, Denmark). Other treatment modalities were offered to those who experienced side effects or insufficient relief of symptoms.
The planned duration of the study was 20 years. However, as the WHI data--which came out in 2002 around the time of the 10-year visit--indicated that use of HRT might result in more harm than benefit, the participants were advised to stop treatment. But they were followed for death, cardiovascular disease, and cancer for up to 16 years.
After 10 years of intervention, there was a 52% reduction in the primary composite end point of death, MI, or heart failure, and this was not associated with an increase in any cancer. Schierbeck said numbers were too small to draw any meaningful conclusions on venous thromboembolism (VTE), although she acknowledges that HRT is known to increase the risk of VTE but pointed out, "This is a less serious event than a CV event."
After 16 years, the reduction in the primary composite outcome was still present and still not associated with an increase in any cancer, something both Schierbeck and Hodis say is "reassuring," particularly in terms of breast cancer.
Results After 10 Years of Intervention in Danish Osteoporosis Prevention Study
End pointHRT group (n=502), nControl group (n=504), nHazard ratio95% CIp
Primarya16330.480.26– 0.870.015
Breast cancer10170.580.27–1.270.17
DVT212.010.18– 22.16--b
a. Composite end point of death, MI, or heart failure
b. Numbers too low to calculate p
Emotion Has Overtaken the Evidence in Discussions About HRT
Hodis says emotion has long overtaken reason in the HRT debate. "We have had observational studies for the past 50 years in this field, at least 40 of them, and they are all consistent--and you just don't see that in medicine--across two very important outcomes: they reduced cardiovascular disease and they reduced mortality" in women around the time of menopause, he asserts. "But when WHI was conducted, it was done in women who were 12 years or more past menopause. These are two completely different populations of women.
"In all of the emotions after WHI, that 'hormones are killing women'--which is absolutely ridiculous--nobody sat back and said, 'Where is the evidence to support that?' The guidance that unfortunately came out of the results of WHI was 'lowest dose for shortest period of time possible.' Now what we have is a well-conducted, 10-year randomized trial that clearly shows that short-term usage of these products is not going to derive maximum benefits for women."
And other "important" data have come out recently in support of HRT, he notes, including the KEEPSstudy, reported just last week. "This was the largest trial ever done to assess mood, and it showed positive effects in terms of anxiety, depression, and tension, and no adverse effects."
Schierbeck says: "It is a shame that so many women are anxious about HRT, because it's so important for life quality around the time of menopause." She agrees the current mantra seems to be that if a woman wants to use HRT to "go with the lowest dose for the shortest time," but she hopes that this study will have a major impact and influence international societies working on new guidelines.
Asked what she thinks the optimal duration of HRT should be, she said: "I don't think we can set a time limit on it. At least for 10 years, we didn't find any serious side effects."
Hodis says he does not believe there will be a seismic shift in recommendations, because doctors and women have lived in fear of HRT for so long, but "people will look at this and say we can feel comfortable going longer with therapy." Personally, he says, "I'm neither a proponent nor an opponent of HRT: I use these products in women, with or without symptoms, who want to be put on them, with caveats--for example, not if they have had blood clots. They do have risks, but they are so low, and certainly no higher than many other drugs we use."
Where Next? HRT and Chronic Disease Prevention
Hodis also believes there is a role for HRT in chronic disease prevention. "The data strongly indicate that hormones are an excellent prevention for chronic diseases, including bone fractures and heart disease." And although the reduction in deaths in the Danish study was not significant, Hodis says the totality of evidence points to HRT adding "almost two years" to the life of a woman, with the additional benefit that hormones "are cost-effective, coming in at around $2300 per quality-adjusted life-year [QALY]. There's nothing else in women that does that. Statins do not extend life and they cost $50 000 $100 000 per QALY."
But not everyone agrees. KEEPS and WHI trialist Dr JoAnn E Manson (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA) maintained last week that HRT should be used only for the treatment of menopausal symptoms.
"We certainly would not say at this point in time to initiate hormone therapy for the express purpose of trying to prevent heart disease or cognitive decline; the evidence is not to that point," she said in an interview. "But for women who have menopausal symptoms and who are considering HRT to reduce their symptoms and improve their quality of life related to these symptoms, there were many favorable effects seen of taking HRT for four years."
Differences in Doses of Hormones, Medication Schedules
Liu says there are also some limitations to the Danish study that are pointed out by the authors, but others that are not. The latter include the fact that the medication used was lower dose than the 0.625-mg conjugated equine estrogen traditionally used [in the US] and in the WHI, although "there are some who may state that the 2-mg estradiol dose is similar," he observes. And the progestinused is different.
In addition, the type of dosing is different: "The Danish study used cycle estrogen and progestin in a 28-day dose-pack form, and the pattern of estrogen-progestin administration is somewhat unique in that the last six days used a lower estradiol dose of 1 mg.  Thus, the estrogen exposure is not uniform across the 28 days. This dose is also different from women with hysterectomy who received 2-mg estradiol continuously. This contrasts with WHI, which used continuous combined estrogen/progestin daily for those women with a uterus."
And the data end points for the Danish study--due to its small size--are combined for women on estrogen alone (due to hysterectomy) and cyclic estrogen-progestin. "This analyses is different from the WHI approach, where there were two separate studies (those with a uterus were in a separate study from those with a hysterectomy) with larger cohort sizes."

Announcing the winners of our cat preparedness photo contest

When we announced APHA’s Get Ready Cat Preparedness Photo Contest in September, we hoped that people would have fun and think creatively about emergency preparedness messages. We didn’t know just how popular the contest would be!

The contest was featured on I Can Has Cheezburger? and written about on ScienceBlogs, where we were called “part of the new (and awesome) public health.” (Aww, shucks!)

Thanks to all of this attention, we received hundreds of great photos of your purr-fectly prepared kittens and cats. After lots of hard decisions — and many “awwwws” — we’ve picked our winners.

Twenty-three photos were selected for Get Ready 2013 Catastrophes Calendar. Check out the winning photos online and share them with your friends. Scroll to the bottom of the page to download and print your own copy of the calendar!

And because we thought every cat was cute, check out some of the other kitties who didn’t make it into the calendar.

If you are at APHA's 140th Annual Meeting in San Francisco Oct. 27–31, stop by the Get Ready expo booth, #2325, to pick up a free copy of the calendar.

Thanks to everyone who submitted photos to our contest!

Bush, Blair Wanted For War Crimes

Bush, Blair wanted for war crimes: Boyle
 Oct 20, 2012

A prominent international lawyer says former US President George W. Bush, and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair stand guilty of crimes against peace, war crimes and torture, Press TV reports.

In November 2011, the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, in which Francis Boyle, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois, led the prosecution team, convicted Bush and Blair of crimes against peace and humanity, and genocide over their roles in the Iraq war.

On May 11, 2012, the tribunal also found Bush, former US Vice President Dick Cheney and former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld guilty of the crime of torture.

"We will keep after Bush and Blair for sure for crimes against peace, war crimes and torture in general," Boyle told Press TV in a recent interview.

"We got them both convicted of a Nuremberg crime against peace," he added while referring to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the principles of international law recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal.

According to Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances are crimes "punishable" under international law.

In September, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said Blair and Bush should be taken to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague over their roles in the Iraq war. "We are making efforts now to do this," Boyle stated, adding, "We tried to get Bush in Switzerland, but his lawyers advised him not to go to Switzerland. I tried three times to get Bush in Canada, but unfortunately the Canadian government protected Bush."

"The wheels of justice might turn slowly, but they do turn."

Boyle also criticized the ICC for its failure to bring to justice US, UK and Israeli criminals.

"So far, they are just going after black thugs from Africa and not dealing with this wholesale mass murderers and criminals from the United States, Britain and Israel," he said.

Boyle condemned the Israeli regime for "inflicting outright genocide on the Palestinians in Gaza," adding that there will be hearings in November in Malaysia on the issue of Palestine. Press TV

Candy at the Cash Register

Last week, the New England Journal of Medicine published an interesting editorial titled "Candy at the Cash Register-- a Risk Factor for Obesity and Chronic Disease."  This fits in well with our discussion of non-homeostatic eating, or eating in the absence of calorie need.

There are a few quotes in this article that I find really perceptive.

Read more »

The Disgusting Rivalries of Webcam Extortionists

This is a bizarre story, it's certainly an eye opener.
The Disgusting Rivalries of Webcam Extortionists: Kody Maxson, Viper, and r0
By Patrick McGuire
In my writing this week about the sexual extortion of Amanda Todd by an online blackmailer, I connected a man named by the New Jersey sect of Anonymous (which, by the way, suddenly appeared on the internet in the wake of Amanda’s suicide) to a horrifyingly wretched group of mentally ill pedophiles that convince young girls to strip on webcam, and then record it. Then they use this footage to blackmail the girls into providing them—and a large audience of pedophiles who follow the blackmailers’ conquests—with further strip shows, which they continue to record. While the mainstream media has failed to catch up to this story with the level of detail and attention it so desperately deserves, they have been very eager to follow Kody Maxson out of his court appearances for “unrelated... charges of sexual assault and sexual interference with a minor” and discuss the Anonymous leaks that blame Kody and a man who goes by the screen name “Viper” for Amanda’s suicide.
After further investigation into this emotionally exhausting and highly disturbing world of online blackmailers, I have found that this community not only follows and shares the screen captured images and videos of these girls, but monitors internal rivalries among the blackmailers. This competition has led me to question whether or not Kody is the sole perpetrator in Amanda’s blackmail, and has made me realize the size and depth of this horrible online culture.
The article I published on Wednesday reported that Kody Maxson (who is known online as Kody1206) blackmailed an underage girl named Peyton, as detailed in a video from a series called the Daily Capper. If you haven’t read that article, the Daily Capper is basically an online newscast for the pedophile world, hosted by a news anchor developed using footage from the kids’ show Crashbox, speaking with a dubbed-over computerized voice. Amanda Todd, who was known to this community for singing on webcam, appears in a Daily Capper video published on December 19, 2010.
In a video from October 31, 2010, the anchor reports: “Peyton claims that she is free of her blackmailer’s clutches. She went on BlogTV earlier this week and shared her story with the world about how Kody blackmailed her.” Peyton told her side of the story in a video the Daily Capper ran, which was recorded off of BlogTV: “A month ago, he recorded me for the first time and then I was stupid enough to keep doing it because he said he was never going to do it again... and he didn’t want to ruin our relationship.” It is this deception of an underage girl that won Kody the “Blackmailer of the Year” award from the Daily Capper. In that video, Peyton describes Kody’s actions over a chilling, electronic musical score that was added in for effect by the Daily Capper: “Now I know that everyone that told me that he was like, a sick pedo that records girls, were right. If he threatens me I can just threaten him right back.
” Kody Maxson has told the mainstream media that someone with the username Viper, who New Jersey Anonymous is also after, is to blame for Amanda Todd’s blackmailing. In a Daily Capper video from December 5, 2010, the newscaster discusses the relationship between Kody and Viper: “Many have been saying that Viper has always been a role model for Peyton’s blackmailer, Kody1206. It seems Kody was also working to win ‘Blackmailer of the Year’ by screening caps of Peyton on BlogTV.” Evidently, Kody and Viper were very much aware of each other, as they traveled online in the same pedophiliac circles, and if this video is correct, Kody saw himself as Viper’s apprentice.
In an email I received yesterday, an anonymous reader showed me a profile that Kody Maxson had registered for what appears to be a site that enables Halo players to join up in teams and compete against each other. If you look at his profile right now, you can see that his username on the site is Kody. The official administrative posts from the site are credited to a “Kody” as well, which suggests that he may have been running this gaming site. more

If Ever a Pair of Eyes Promised Paradise Jezebel It Was You.

Far too early in the morning for a rant, drive on.
Saudi moral committee threatens to cover “tempting” women’s eyes 
Manar Ammar
16 November 2011

 Women with sexy eyes in Saudi Arabia may be forced to cover them up, according to the spokesperson of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) in the conservative Gulf kingdom.

Spokesman of the Ha’eal district, Sheikh Motlab al-Nabet said the committee has the right to stop a women whose eyes seem “tempting” and order her to cover them immediately.

Saudi women are already forced to wear a loose black dress and to cover their hair and in some areas, their face, while in public or face fines or sometimes worse, including public lashings.

The announcement came days after the Saudi newspaper al-Watan reported that a Saudi man was admitted to a hospital after a fight with a member of the committee when he ordered his wife to cover her eyes. The husband was then stabbed twice in the hand.
The CPVPV is Saudi’s Sharia, Islamic law, executive arm and was founded in 1940 to ensure Islamic laws are not broken in public, yet over the years, the committee has been largely criticized over its human rights violations.
In 2002, the committee refused to let female students out of their burning schools in Mecca for “not wearing the proper head cover,” which contributed to a large number of dead. (See previous)

15 young girls died in the fire and dozens more were injured. The CPVPV men banned the firemen and policemen from accessing the girls as “it is not okay for girls to be seen without their full Islamic dress in front of strangers.”

The committee, which only accepts and trains volunteers, has questionable powers on the Saudi street, as they operate under the supervision of the King himself.

A Wikileaks document released last year mentioned that “wild Western-style parties” are regularly held at royal palaces in Jeddah, away from the reach of the committee, who stands helpless against any royal violations.

It was reported that the parties had alcohol, drugs, dancing and sex, according to American consulate wires published by the whistle-blower organization.
Saudi cleric favours one-eye veil

More than 13 million people are getting ready for earthquakes this week

What are you doing Thursday, Oct. 18, at 10:18 a.m. local time?

Get Ready and APHA will join more than 13 million people around the world to get ready for the most unpredictable kind of disaster — earthquakes!

The event is called the Great ShakeOut, and it’s designed to help people prepare for emergencies by practicing what they will do in an earthquake. This year, millions of people in the U.S. will be joined by people in Canada and Italy to hold the world’s largest earthquake drill.

To find out if your state, region or territory is participating, visit You can also check for local events or sign up to hold your own. If you don’t live in an area where there are official events going on, you can still hold your own drill and sign up.

The best part is that the Great ShakeOut makes it really easy to plan an earthquake drill by providing instructions, posters, videos and even sound effects to help make your event simple and effective. There are free resources for schools, businesses, health care offices, houses of worship and your home.

So, what are you waiting for? Be part of something huge: Shake out with us this Thursday!

Fukushima 4 Still a Threat to Humanity on a Global Scale

 The report below is but a short version the state of things at Fukushima Daiichi, for a more comprehensive and more scary report, follow the Natural News link. The featured video has embedding disabled, so you will have to follow the link for that one too.

Ground under Fukushima Unit 4 sinking, structure on verge of complete collapse 
October 16, 2012

Though the mainstream media has long since abandoned the issue, the precarious situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility in Japan is only continuing to worsen, according to a prominent Japanese official. During a recent interview, Mitsuhei Murata, the former Japanese Ambassador to both Switzerland and Senegal, explained that the ground beneath the plant’s Unit 4 is gradually sinking, and that the entire structure is very likely on the verge of complete collapse.
This is highly concerning, as Unit 4 currently holds more than 1,500 spent nuclear fuel rods, and a collective 37 million curies of deadly radiation that, if released, could make much of the world completely uninhabitable. As some Natural News readers will recall, Unit 4 contains the infamous elevated cooling pool that was severely damaged following the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that struck on March 11, 2011.
According to the Secretary of former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, the ground beneath Unit 4 has already sunk by about 31.5 inches since the disaster, and this sinking has taken place unevenly. If the ground continues to sink, which it is expected to, or if another earthquake of even as low as a magnitude six occurs in the region, the entire structure could collapse, which would fully drain the cooling pool and cause a catastrophic meltdown.
“If Unit 4 collapses, the worse case scenario will be a meltdown, and a resultant fire in the atmosphere. That will be the most unprecedented crisis that man has ever experienced. Nobody will be able to approach the plants … as all will have melted down and caused a big fire,” said Murata during the interview. “Many scientists say if Unit 4 collapses, not only will Japan lie in ruin, but the entire world will also face serious damages.”
Because there are 31 nuclear units of a similar type to Unit 4 in the U.S., the American government has been downplaying the disaster to protect its own reputation, alleges Murata. This is, in fact, the primary reason why so little has been reported on the severity of Fukushima following the disaster. The American empire, in other words, does not want the world, nor the American people, to know that there is the possibility of literally dozens of Fukushima situations occurring on American soil, should the right disaster situations arise.
You can watch the full 3:51 minute translated interview with Murata at the following link:
Sources for this article include:
By Ethan A. Huff
The Watchers

Halloween Welcome Sign for a Front Porch 2012 Ideas from HGTV

This project is easy and inexpensive and certainly one in which the kids can help. We took a thrift-store frame, wrapped the inside with yarn and cotton to make it look like a spider web. Then spiders and a "Welcome" message were hung within the webbing.

Tools and Materials

black paint and a paintbrush
large wood frame
small wire nails
4 to 8 felt furniture pads
small toy spiders
white cotton spider webbing
yellow or orange yarn
black letters
picture hanging kit if not already attached to frame

Paint the Frame

Paint the frame black and let it dry.

Nail and Pad the Back

On the back of the frame, along the edge, hammer in the small wire nails. Insert the nails so only about a 1/4" is sticking out of the frame.
Place the felt pads on the back of the frame along the corners so the nails will not scratch the house or door.

String the Yarn

Wrap the yarn on the wires going back and forth across the frame in a random pattern. Tie off the yarn periodically.

Add Webbing

Behind the yarn, stretch out some of the white cotton material along the same nails.

Place Your Message

Place the letters in a random pattern onto the yarn, close enough together so you can read the word "Welcome". We used self-adhesive, store-bought letters, but you can print out your own message on sticky paper.

Add Spiders

Place the spiders along the front and tuck into the yarn and webbing.

Pariahs Among Us: Sex Offender Laws in the 21st Century

Nothing I need to add really, between what I have said previously and the content, it pretty much says it all I guess.

But if the blog had a tag: How many lives can we ruin today, for no good reason, then this story would fit it to a tee.

In actual fact, - lives ruined forever - will get you a result in the search bar.

But I don't think anything is going to prepare you for that part of the article that involves Louisiana. Sick puppies is the term that first springs to mind, and I ain't talking about the offenders, I'm talking about the State.

 Pariahs among us: Sex offender laws in the 21st century

Stringent sex offender laws in the United States destroy lives and do little to mitigate repeat offences.

Charlotte Silver
14 Oct 2012

Maybe it is not so surprising that all we can think to do with a subject we are simultaneously obsessed with and repulsed by is to shout our alarm about it at every opportunity.
Sex crimes: The only kind of offence in the United States that compels all convicted perpetrators to register their name, address, date of birth, fingerprints and a photograph on a public website.
And what constitutes a sex crime? The breadth of this damning classification is alarming and includes public urination, consensual teen sex, sale of sex and exposure of genitals (including in the case of children) - as well as violent rape.

One poignant example of the irrationality and senseless devastation of overreaching sex offender laws is the story of Evan B, as told by Lara Geer Farley. When Evan was in high school he was arrested for exposing himself to a group of his female peers. A court sentenced him to four months in prison, but after he was released he was obliged to register as a sex offender. The stigma drove Evan to drop out of school, leave his home in Salina, Oklahoma and move to Tulsa, where the arduous requirements associated with his sex offender status meant that he could not maintain employment. A month before he should have turned 20, Evan shot and killed himself.

And this: A comprehensive Human Rights Watch report, published in 2007, draws attention to the common case of teenage boys aged 15, 16, 17, who have consensual sex with their teenaged girlfriends, finding themselves charged with pedophilia. They will be labelled and publicly registered as "pedophiles" for the rest of their lives.

In some states, boys as young as 10 who expose themselves to their female friends or relatives are forced to register as a "sex offender" before they understand what sex - or exposure - is.


Additional laws that govern the lives of sex offenders after they are released from prison (if time is served) vary from state to state. But for all, surveillance and stringent notification guidelines are key. In addition to publicising one's status on a website, some states require registrants (the preferred moniker) to inform their neighbours, future employers, landlords, delivery men - or any other solicitor or visitor who knocks on their door - of their status as a "sex offender".

Some states require convicts to wear GPS devices, so that law enforcers can monitor their whereabouts at all time.

Louisiana requires registrants to advertise their status in large red type on their driver's licence.
Other states require periodic plethysmograph tests, in which a pressure sensitive wire is connected to the registrant's penis while being shown various sexual images. The test is designed to detect "sexual deviance".

The registrant is required to attend therapy and "behaviour modification" sessions, check in with probation officers, as well as, of course, engage the services of an attorney, none of which is cheap. Most of these costs are carried by the offender, or as is often the case, his parents.

In addition to adopting legislation that inverts the life of anyone cast as a sex offender - making him quite literally a public spectacle - hundreds of counties have established "exclusion zones". These are areas that surround various public places - parks, schools, libraries, etc - where registrants may not live, work or even walk by.

The proliferation of sex offender registration and residency restriction laws began in 1994 when the US Congress and Senate unanimously passed the Wetterling Act, which required convicted sex offenders to register their information with the state of their residence. Over the past two decades, the federal government has passed law after law that publicised the registry, tightened its stringency and perhaps most crucial, broadened its domain.

In 2006, Congress passed the Adam Walsh Act, which aimed to eliminate the inconsistencies among different states' sex offender laws. However, the ugly reality is that it expanded the "sex offences" that demanded registration and thus doomed juvenile, non-violent offenders to, potentially, a lifetime of registration. The law was easily renewed by the US House of Representatives this August - a true indicator of just how politically expedient these laws are.

Even Patty Wetterling, the woman responsible for the enactment of the Wetterling law, in 2006 lamented the direction the country had taken to handle sex offences: "People want a silver bullet that will protect their children, [but] there is no silver bullet. There is no simple cure to the very complex problem of sexual violence."

Advocates of "sex offenders" speak up

Hard evidence and reason suggest that registries and residential requirements do nothing to protect society from sexual assaults. Arguments in support of registration laws rest on a fear-based assumption that notification will protect children, but that assumption is baseless: As many as 90 per cent of sexual assault cases are conducted by family members or acquaintances. Furthermore, recidivism rates among sex offenders are under 25 per cent.

While sex offender laws provide the illusion of "security", the reality remains that rapists continue to walk free. According to statistics compiled by the US Department of Justice, 91 per cent of rapists will never be prosecuted, and only a fraction of those will be convicted or spend time in jail.

Nevertheless, these laws keep coming.

This year in Southern California, as Halloween approaches, some counties have passed ordinances banning registrants from decorating their houses with cobwebs and pumpkins, instead requiring they post a placard that notifies all passersby that there are "No candy or treats at this residence". Furthermore, registrants may have no outside lighting on October 31.

California's branch of the national coalition, Reform Sex Offender Laws, has filed a lawsuit against the ordinance on behalf of five unnamed sex offenders, as well as three of their spouses and two of their children. The suit claims the ordinance violates the plaintiffs' first amendment rights - by both forcing speech and denying their right to celebrate the holiday.

In the meantime, a San Francisco law firm has filed a case against the stringent residency restrictions placed on registrants in four counties in Southern California.

These lawsuits in California are some of the first legal challenges to the mounting set of restrictions placed on a broad class of "criminals" throughout the country.

News of lawsuits challenging punitive legislation is appearing next to headlines reporting that some states may well reject the Adam Walsh Act because they simply don't have the funds to implement its burdensome requirements (Texas estimated it would cost $38m) or are ethically opposed to legislation that would place juvenile offenders on a registry for life.

The hypocrisy of sex offender laws that allege to combat sexual crime by pouring millions into surveillance and registry programmes is reflected in the difficulty experienced by rape support centres that are struggling to merely survive.

The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) reported in a 2012 Rape Crisis Center Survey that 67 per cent of rape crisis centres were forced to reduce the amount of hours they spend dedicated to prevention and awareness programmes; 50 per cent of programmes have eliminated staff in the past year; and 65 per cent of programmes have a waiting list for counseling services.

Sex offender laws have enabled the creation of a being - the pariah - the very notion of which is rooted in an unenlightened (and assumed by most of us to be discarded) view of humanity. A society must surely protect its vulnerable members from violence and assault. Draconian sex offender laws do not further that aim. They have simply accorded the state the power to brand an individual as undeserving of the most basic human and civil rights.

Sex laws 
Unjust and ineffective 
America has pioneered the harsh punishment of sex offenders. Does it work?

Footnote: for what it's worth, Blogger has a complete bollocks made of the HTML on this new mandatory interface. It used to be so very simple, now it's like mad woman's shit, it's all over the place.

Celebrating Global Handwashing Day

Today is Global Hand-washing Day. Yes, you heard us right: Hand-washing has its own worldwide celebration.

Why make such a fuss over washing your hands? Because hand-washing is a pretty big deal! Here in the U.S., we might take soap and water for granted, but it is one of the most important things a person can do to stay healthy. In fact, a study of students in Detroit showed that people who wash their hands properly reported 24 percent fewer colds and 51 percent fewer stomach illnesses.
"Wash Your Hands" poster in 24 launguages, courtesy the Minnesota Department of Health
Image: "Wash Your Hands" poster in 24 languages,
courtesy Minnesota Department of Public Health

So how do you wash your hands the right way? Take five:
  1. Use clean, warm water.
  2. Lather up with soap.
  3. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds — long enough to say the alphabet, or sing the “happy birthday” song twice.
  4. Rinse your hands with clean water.
  5. Dry your hands.
If soap and clean water are not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol content.

That’s it! If you start practicing healthy hand habits today, each and every time you wash your hands, you’re already on your way to a healthier you.

For more information about hand-washing, and for tips on talking to kids, teens and adults about the best way to wash their hands, check out our free fact sheets!

Lamport in Diapers

Lamport is a small estate village roughly halfway between Market Harborough and Northampton. On the main road you can see a pair of magnificent swans rearing up on the gate posts to the mid seventeenth century Lamport Hall, and turning into the village one notices
the charming juxtaposition of the Hall to All Saints church. The village street runs inbetween them without visual hindrance from the Hall, and it's down here that we will find the polychrome brickwork of the 1854 estate cottages. We often seeing decorative brickwork like this, but on this scale? It's as though someone read the plan wrong, as in Spinal Tap's miniature Stonehenge. We call it  'diaper', meaning an ornamented pattern, a word also used by our friends across the Atlantic for nappy. Quite how that happened is a mystery, unless it's to do with criss-cross patterning being water and whatever-else-proof. My second photograph above (doesn't England look good at this time of year?) is of another Lamport estate house positioned deliberately, one imagines, a little bit away from the madding crowd. 

Study: can a few cherries a day keep gout away?

Cherries may no longer be just for topping off ice-cream sundaes - a U.S. study of people with gout linked eating the fruit with a 35 percent to 75 percent lower risk of having an attack.
Doctors have reported that some patients recommend cherries to prevent gout attacks, but the connection has only been studied a few times before, said lead researcher Yuqing Zhang, a professor at the Boston University School of Medicine.
"These findings suggest that cherry intake is associated with a lower risk of gout attacks," Zhang and colleagues wrote in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.
But Zhang warned that the study does not prove that cherries alone prevent gout attacks, and that patients should stick with their present gout medications.
"They can go out and eat the cherries, but they shouldn't abandon their medical treatment at all," Zhang added.
Gout arises with uric acid crystals build up in the joints. The body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines - substances found naturally in the body but also in certain foods, like organ meats, anchovies, mushrooms and some seafoods.
For the study, Zhang and his colleagues recruited patients over the Internet to take online surveys about their attacks.
All the 633 participants had had a gout attack in the last 12 months, had been diagnosed with gout by a doctor, lived in the United States and were at least 18 years old. They also had to release their medical records to the researchers.
For the next year, the patients filled out surveys every time they had an attack. The survey asked about symptoms, the drugs used in treatment and about certain risk factors, including what they had eaten.
The patients also took similar surveys at the beginning of the study, and every three months when it was underway.
Of the 633 patients, 224 said they had eaten fresh cherries during the year, 15 said they had consumed cherry extract and 33 had both.
During the year, the researchers collected information on 1,247 gout attacks, which works out to about two per patient.
Overall, the researchers found that eating cherries over a given two-day period was linked to a 35 percent decrease in the risk of having a gout attack during that period, compared to not eating cherries.
Consuming cherry extract was tied to a 45 percent risk reduction, and eating both fresh cherries and extract was tied to a 37 percent lower risk.
The biggest reduction, though, came with eating fresh cherries while taking the anti-gout medication allpurinol (Lopurin, Zyloprim.) That combination was linked to a 75 percent reduction in risk.
Researchers say there are a few possible reasons. One is that vitamin C, which is found in cherries, can influence the amount of uric acid in a person's blood, according to Allan Gelber, who co-wrote an editorial accompanying the study.


 A new potential class of antibiotics called LpxC inhibitors was recently found to block the ability of bacteria to initiate the septic cascade, saving mice from lethal infection, although agents did not kill the bacteria in vitro, as is the typical mechanism of action of antibiotics.
Senior author, Brad Spellberg, MD, from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and the David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, and colleagues report their findings in an article published online October 2 in mBio.
"Traditionally, people have tried to find antibiotics that rapidly kill bacteria," noted Dr. Spellberg in an American Society for Microbiology news release. "But we found a new class of antibiotics which has no ability to kill Acinetobacter that can still protect, not by killing the bug, but by completely preventing it from turning on host inflammation."
Acinetobacter baumannii is a Gram-negative bacillus (GNB) that is one of the most drug-resistant pathogens in the United States and around the world. Strains of the bacterium have become resistant to every US Food and Drug Administration–approved antibiotic; thus, infections caused by this bacterium can be untreatable, and as a result the risk for in-hospital mortality for A baumannii infections is among the highest of all GNB.
The researchers first compared wild-type mice with toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4)-deficient mice and found that TLR-4 deficient mice were highly resistant to lethal infection, whereas 100% of wild-type mice died from infection. This indicated a role for TLR-4 and an inflammatory immune response in the lethal effects of the bacteria. Surprisingly, despite the fact that wild-type mice had 100% mortality and TLR4-deficient mice had no mortality, there was no significant difference between the 2 groups in bacteria burden. Thus, the lethality of infection was not related to how much bacteria were present but, rather, to how much host inflammation occurred in response to infection.
A baumannii is also known to express lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on its surface, which binds to TLR4 and thereby induces host production of inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor and interleukin 6. According to the researchers, more-virulent strains of A baumannii shed more LPS than less-virulent strains, which prompted them to investigate whether LpxC-1, an inhibitor of LpxC, an enzyme involved in LPS synthesis, could affect the pathogenicity of A baumannii.
The researchers report that LpxC-1 treatment did not kill the bacteria in vitro, but treatment with LpxC-1 did suppress LPS levels in A baumannii in vitro and in vivo in mice during infection. As a result, the treated infected mice also showed decreased markers of inflammation (P < .01) and a higher survival rate (100% vs 0% compared with the placebo group at 72 hours).
"Since there are few if any drugs in development with the potential to treat lethal [drug-resistant] A baumanniiinfections, the discovery that an entirely new class of compounds has therapeutic potential is of great potential clinical importance," the authors write.
Block Organism's Lethal Action
"Unlike traditional antibiotics, LpxC-1 doesn't kill the bacteria, it just shuts down the manufacture of the endotoxin and stops the body from mounting the inflammatory immune response to it that is the actual cause of death," Dr. Spellberg told Medscape Medical News.
He adds, "Resistance is caused by us trying to kill bacteria, and bacteria not wanting to die." Traditional antibiotic screens seek to find antibiotics that rapidly kill bacteria, which creates selective pressure that drives antibiotic resistance. Finding antibiotics that do not kill the bacteria but, rather, prevent them from causing illness is a new and important direction to take to find treatments for highly resistant infections and has the promise of driving resistance more slowly.
"There's a growing movement in infectious disease therapy to control the host inflammation response in treatment rather than just 'murdering' the organism," Liise-anne Pirofski, MD, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, and a reviewer of the study for mBio, stated in the news release. She adds, "This is a very elegant and important validation that this approach can work — at least in mice."
In an independent comment to Medscape Medical News, Jian Li, PhD, from Monash University's Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Parkville, Victoria, Australia, stated that this study supports the idea that even though the LPS inhibitor LpxC-1 itself does not kill bacterial cells, treatment with LpxC-1 reduced immunopathogenesis, thereby enhancing bacterial killing by the immune system.
"This approach is similar to antivirulence compounds (eg, Quorum sensing inhibitors), which don't kill bacterial cells but make bacterial cells less virulent. It is generally believed that such approaches may not lead to development of resistance," Dr. Li told Medscape Medical News.
According to Dr. Li, "clearly more preclinical and clinical studies are required, and "it is important to examine if, like traditional antibiotics, resistance to LPS inhibition would emerge after suboptimal treatment with LPS inhibitors," he said.
"We believe it is important to combine anti-immunopathogenic compounds (eg, LPS inhibitors) with traditional antibiotics, an approach which would not only kill bacterial cells but also make bacterial cells less virulent and pathogenic, thereby enhancing clearance by the immune system."
Financial support was received from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and from Pfizer. Several authors report that they are employed by Pfizer and one author receives support from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. Dr. Li has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.