Archive | June, 2013

American Media

11 Jun

An article in The Atlantic discusses errors in American journalism based on various causes. The number one cause of errors in American journalism comes from “excessive deference to government officials“.

“Thus far, I’ve argued that excessive deference to government officials, sending lots of journalists to cover the same unimportant events, flaws in TV as a news medium, a society that undervalues watchdog journalism, incentives to cheerlead in the business press, the inadequacy of our most influential strain of media criticism, and the fact that no one coordinates coverage all play a part.” 

During this last week a milestone was reached on YouTube for another source of news, the RT Channel (RT.com). What was called Russia Today, had over 1 Billion YouTube views.

Fresh perspectives outside your home country can help shed light on issues within your own country. This is no doubt a reason for the success of RT.com. Another possible factor for RT.com’s success is from Max Keiser, a former stock broker/ comic. He reminds me of Gilbert Godfrey.

Transplanting … Addendum

8 Jun

As an update for the Transplanting Feces blog post within this site, the Columbus Dispatch says that the OSU’s Wexner Medical Center is now performing this treatment in Ohio.

Treatment for the deadly “superbug” Clostridium difficile is stated as being 95% effective. It is estimated to kill 14,000 a year in the US alone.

The procedure, which transfers good bacteria in a fecal transplant, treats the infection that can cause diarrhea, fever and other symptoms. The disease usually is picked up in health-care facilities or from antibiotics, which can disrupt the normal bacteria in the bowel.

What is interesting in this procedure is that it does not involve (many?) drugs. And, what procedure in the United States, performed within a hospital does not involve drugs? On top of that, it is used as antibiotics, another drug, are not effective.

But, as I write this, the Dispatch article also states:

“The FDA recently began to discuss regulating the transplants and now requires doctors to fill out a new-drug application before performing them.”

It hinges on the natural process the body uses to process and digest food. The naturally occurring bacteria in the gut prevents the “diarrhea, fever and other symptoms”. It will be interesting to see what drug the FDA wants to associate with this procedure.

Still in an Uptrend

5 Jun

The stock market has been on a continuous rise since about November of 2012. The rate of increase became even stronger starting in May.

A green line represents the trend line from November for SPY. You can see the divergence beginning in May.

During the last week, SPY has dropped below the 17 period moving average on the chart, but has not yet touched the 53 period moving average. SPY last touched the 53 period moving average on 4/19/2013.

The bottom line for this chart is that the uptrend is still intact.

Knowing GMO Products

3 Jun

Genetically engineering is totally different than Natural Selection and natural breeding methods. Natural breeding is referred to as “vertical” breeding. Changes in the DNA and changes in traits are derived from the parents within the same species. The most invasive type of genetic engineering uses “horizontal” breeding techniques, only available in a laboratory. Horizontal breeding inserts genes from “other” species, randomly into another species with uncontrollable results.

A more technical distinction between the two techniques for breeding might be Cisgenesis for Vertical breeding and Transgenesis for horizontal breeding.

GMO corn is produced using Transgenesis techniques. Corn is susceptible to insects in the larvae stage. In order to kill the insects, a bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis) that is toxic to the insect larvae is inserted into the genome of the corn. This specific toxin known as Bt attacks the digestive system of the insects by breaking down the cell walls of their stomachs.