Monthly Archives: October 2009

Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey reach out to flu vaccine victim Desiree Jennings

Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey reach out to Desiree Jennings

Celebrity-backed autism organization Generation Rescue offers help to flu vaccine victim

planetthrive.com | Oct 30, 2009

The whole world has followed the tragic story of 25-year-old cheerleader, Desiree Jennings, who became famous after a seasonal flu shot in late August left her with a rare neurological disorder called dystonia which causes body jerks, convulsions, and abnormal or repetitive movements, among other symptoms. She now has problems walking, talking, and eating and her health condition has progressively worsened.

Ten days after she received the shot she came down with flu-like symptoms (nausea, vomiting, body aches, fever). Then for a week she became lethargic and later began blacking out.

“I was hoping for Lyme, praying for lupus, even Graves’ disease,” she said. “Unfortunately they were all ruled out.”

After seeing a slew of physicians, doctors at Johns Hopkins finally diagnosed her, giving her a dismal prognosis; dystonia is know to be a permanent, lifelong affliction.

Enter Generation Rescue. Actress and autism activist Jenny McCarthy cried after seeing video footage of the vaccine victim said Stan Kurtz, president of the organization. They knew they had to get involved: “We happen to be very good at handling vaccine injury – we’ve got a lot of doctors that have experience in doing that. So our doctors and our resources are completely available to her. We’re going to do everything we can to give her a lot of options to help take care, to help recover her from this condition as best we can.”

All we can say is “Go, go, go!!” We are sending our deepest and most heartfelt wishes that Generation Rescue can help recover this beautiful and courageous young woman who has a lifetime ahead of her. Learn more in the video below:

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Government considers cutting home internet service during pandemic

U.S. pandemic options include crippling home modems

computerworld.com | Oct 30, 2009

The U.S. has a dark box of options for keeping Internet traffic flowing during a pandemic, including restricting the bandwidth capability of home modems.

The feds have already shown their willingness to impose their power on carriers because of national security, something that happened after 9/11 with the Patriot Act. If a pandemic keeps large numbers of the workforce at home and causes network congestion, the U.S. government will likely act again.

Most businesses and government agencies have diverse routing and pay carriers handsomely for bandwidth rich connections. But if a pandemic keeps 30% or more of the population at home, the so-called low bandwidth “last mile” to homes will be critical but in trouble as legions of at-home employees attempt work along with those playing networked games and streaming video.

Voluntary appeals to reduce Internet use will likely be the first option for policy makers. But if that doesn’t work, the U.S. General Accountability Office report this week on pandemic planning and networks, outlined some of the other possibilities.

One “technically feasible alternative,” wrote the GAO, is to temporarily cripple home user modems…

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Airport strip-search machines “tear apart DNA”

body scanner at Manchester Airport

The waves have been found to “unzip double-stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the double strand that could significantly interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication.”

Backscatter x-ray machines “tear apart DNA”

Yahoo | Oct 30, 2009

The latest airport security trend is the backscatter x-ray machine, touted as a powerful way to virtually frisk a traveler for contraband without the embarassment of a strip search.

Though touted as completely safe because the level of radiation is so low, travelers have been nervous about the devices — and not just because it shows off a nice outline of their privates to the people manning the machines — but because they remain scared of the health problems they might propose.

Looks like a little healthy paranoia might have been a good thing. While the conventional wisdom has held that so-called “terahertz radiation,” upon which backscatter x-ray machines are based, is harmless because it doesn’t carry enough energy to do cellular or genetic damage, new research suggests that may be completely wrong.

Related

‘Strip search’ scanners given OK by privacy watchdog

‘Strip search’ scans given green light

Specifically, researchers have found that terahertz radiation may interfere directly with DNA. Although the force generated is small, the waves have been found to “unzip double-stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the double strand that could significantly interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication.”

I’m not a doctor, but that just doesn’t sound good.

The question now is whether this is or isn’t safe. Terahertz waves occur naturally in the environment, and we’re hit with them all the time. But should we bombard ourselves with them willingly every time we pass through an airport? No one knows how much terahertz radiation is OK for the body to absorb: Just like sunlight, a little may be fine, while a lot may be deadly. Where does the line get drawn?

Who knows? I, for one, am given a little pause by the news, and hope research continues on before these machines become commonplace.

Body Worlds plans cadaver show dedicated to sex

 

SWITZERLAND/German anatomist Gunther von Hagens and his wife Angelina Whalley (L) pose in front of a plastinated human body during the media preview of the Koerperwelten (‘Body Worlds’) exhibition in Zurich September 10, 2009. The exhibition by von Hagens, famous for his Body Worlds shows of plastinated human bodies, runs from September 11 to February 28, 2010. Reuters

“We have discussed whether it is proper to show homosexuality and in what way. This is a very delicate subject.”

Reuters | Sep 11, 2009

By Jason Rhodes

ZURICH (Reuters) – German anatomists plan a new show dedicated solely to dead bodies having sex as part of the Body Worlds exhibitions.

Gunther von Hagens and his wife Angelina Whalley show corpses prepared using a technique invented by von Hagens called “plastination,” that removes water from specimens and preserves them with silicon rubber or epoxy resin.

“It’s not my intention to show certain sexual poses. My goal is really to show the anatomy and the function,” Body Worlds creative director Whalley told Reuters in an interview, adding the sex exhibition may open next year.

Body Worlds exhibitions, visited by 27 million people across the world, have been criticized for presenting entire corpses, stripped of skin to reveal the muscles and organs underneath, in lifelike and often theatrical positions.

Von Hagens has already triggered uproar with a new exhibit which shows just two copulating corpses.

German politicians called the current “Cycle of Life” show charting conception to old age “revolting” and “unacceptable” when it showed in Berlin earlier this year because it included copulating cadavers.

The way a plastinate is exhibited can vary from country to country to reflect local sensibilities. A vote of local employees decided that one of the copulating female cadavers should wear fewer clothes in Zurich than was the case in Berlin.

“Switzerland is the first country that already said from the outset that we could show whatever we wanted,” said von Hagens.

“Zurich is ready … but it’s maybe not so easy in every other town,” he said. “We have discussed whether it is proper to show homosexuality and in what way. This is a very delicate subject.”

Von Hagens and Whalley said they both intended to donate their bodies for plastination, but would not leave instructions about how to display them, dismissing this as vanity.

“I find it a great opportunity to give something to others by donating my body, namely self-awareness,” said Whalley.

Von Hagens said he and some other body donors even saw plastination as an alternative to burial or cremation, giving them more certainty about would happen to their bodies after death.

“Cremation for me is hell,” he said.

No sex for dead bodies at Singapore’s Body Worlds show

body worlds sex

A visitor looks at plastinated human specimens in love-making posture during the media preview of the Koerperwelten (‘Body Worlds’) exhibition in Zurich September 10, 2009. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

The exhibitions, visited by some 28 million people around the world, have been criticized by some people as unacceptable, with German politicians taking special offence at “The Cycle of Life” exhibit which opened in Berlin earlier this year because it included copulating cadavers.

Reuters | Oct 30, 2009

By Rina Ota

SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) – A controversial exhibition charting life from conception to old age using cadavers has come to Singapore this week — but without the copulating corpses that caused an uproar in Germany.

Body Worlds’ “The Cycle of Life” exhibition is one of several around the world that show skinless corpses with muscles and organs revealed, in life-like, often theatrical positions.

The specimens are from people who have agreed to donate their bodies for educational purposes.

The exhibitions, visited by some 28 million people around the world, have been criticized by some people as unacceptable, with German politicians taking special offence at “The Cycle of Life” exhibit which opened in Berlin earlier this year because it included copulating cadavers.

These corpses, however, are not on display in conservative Singapore. What’s on show is a flat cross-section of two copulating bodies that only shows their internal organs.

“Sensational display of sexual activity does not go with our theme,” Chew Tuan Chiong, chief executive of the Singapore Science Center which is hosting the exhibit, told Reuters.

“It is for educational and science study, and there is not much controversy for using real human body specimens in this exhibition for us,” he said, adding that several schools had brought students to see the exhibition.

Body Worlds’ founders, Gunther von Hagens and his wife Angelina Whalley, prepare the bodies using a technique invented by von Hagens called plastination in which water is removed from specimens and they are preserved with silicon rubber or resin.

In Singapore, nearly 200 human specimens are on display, including single organs and preserved animals. The exhibition runs until March 2010.

VeriChip markets RFID Microchip implants to ID WORLD International Congress

 

VeriChip Present RFID Microchip and Virus Triage Detection System for the H1N1 Virus

morerfid.com | Oct 30, 2009

microchip_5VeriChip recently announced that its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Scott R. Silverman, will present at the ID World International Congress in Milan, Italy, which runs from November 3-5, 2009, and is the world’s leading symposium on the future directions of identification technology. Mr. Silverman will discuss, among other things, the Company’s in vivo glucose-sensing RFID microchip and virus triage detection system for the H1N1 virus. There will be more than 150 speakers at ID WORLD 2009, including visionaries, CEOs, key end users and government representatives from all continents, and thousands of attendees from across the globe.

The ID WORLD International Congress is the most comprehensive showcase on the evolving world of RFID, biometrics and smart card technologies, and is the only international forum that looks at the automatic identification industry as a whole, rather than focusing on a specific technology or vertical sector. It offers a full-scale and complete vision of social, technological and business aspects related to the deployment of the automatic identification systems. The ID WORLD International Congress has consolidated its position as the most comprehensive and highly targeted global summit on automatic identification.

About VeriChip Corporation

VeriChip Corporation, headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida, has developed the VeriMed Health Link System for rapidly and accurately identifying people who arrive in an emergency room and are unable to communicate. This system uses the first human-implantable passive RFID microchip and corresponding personal health record, cleared for medical use in October 2004 by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

On September 8, 2009, VeriChip Corporation announced it agreed to acquire Steel Vault Corporation to form PositiveID Corporation. PositiveID will provide identification technologies and tools to protect consumers and businesses. The companies expect the merger to close in the fourth quarter of 2009.

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Related

ID WORLD International Congress

CIA Invests In Social Media Monitoring Technology

big brother home cameras

Investment arm In-Q-Tel is funding Visible Technologies, making its online brand analysis capabilities available to U.S. intelligence agencies.

InformationWeek | Oct 22, 2009

By J. Nicholas Hoover

Businesses are increasingly looking to social media to monitor and manage their brands online. U.S. intelligence agencies now have similar capabilities as part of their technology portfolios.

In-Q-Tel, the investment firm established by the CIA to support U.S. intelligence agencies, has invested in Visible Technologies, a start-up that monitors social media content on the Web.

Visible Technologies’ software-as-a-service apps are used by companies to monitor and manage their brands by observing and analyzing public opinion on the Web in real-time.Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), Hormel Foods, Xerox (NYSE: XRX), Panasonic, and marketing and public relations firms are among its customers.

U.S. intelligence organizations could use Visible Technologies’ service to monitor and analyze public opinion on the Web, much as private sector companies do.

Related

The Death of Privacy: Technology and the Challenge for Social Activists

Visible Technologies’ TruCAST engine “casts a net on whatever the client wants to know more about,” said senior VP Blake Cahill. TruCAST pulls information from blogs, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, news sites, and Web forums, though it can’t reach into places like Facebook and MySpace where users have set privacy controls. Using that information, companies can run sentiment and relevancy analysis, look at a commenter or blogger’s level of influence, and search for posts based on defined criteria.

CIA invests in firm that monitors Internet

Visible Technologies has been focusing increasingly on the government sector, and it has done some work through the General Services Administration, according to Cahill. Concepts & Strategies, a consultancy that advises the Department of Defense, is one of its partners.

In-Q-Tel has invested in more than 175 companies, including ArcSight (security information management), Lucid Imagination (open source search), Endeca (search), Adapx (smart pens) and Keyhole, the developer of foundational technology used in Google Maps.

Visible Technologies has raised $23.5 million in funding since its inception in 2005, including $8 million since December. Terms of In-Q-Tel’s investment weren’t disclosed.