Monday, August 28, 2006

Ernesto is coming...

I am speechless...

so... let the symphony begin...

Are butterflies free?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Spring Rain

Instead of getting all worked up with the frenzy of another hurricane heading our way: Ernesto, yes, again, I decided to meditate and let you join in watching my Spring Rain. You should right click your mouse, zoom in to see the droplets splashing on the surface of the water. You may want to use the hand icon to pan around different parts of the river. It's therapeutic! But... you may have to click your left mouse button first to activate the rain. Do you know why? That was because Microsoft got sued, and they had to make changes to their web browser, resulting in havoc and more work for all of us. Click here, click there, patch now, patch later... It's fun.

What do I use? Opera 9, it's a neat free browser that has very nice features. Try it, you'll like it.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Eeew! That's gross!

Yesterday, I came across a news item that got my attention! "FDA approves viruses as food additive bacteriophages meant to kill harmful bacteria on lunch meats." Now, if that does not get your attention, it certainly did mine! Since I am a meat eater, and for lunch too, I must come to the bottom of this to understand what this is all about.

Virus additive in my food? Over my dead body! Well, come to think seriously, it may very well come to that. If I remember correctly my Latin lessons, "virus" means "poison!" The news goes on to say that "A mix of bacteria-killing viruses can be safely sprayed on cold cuts, hot dogs and sausages to combat common microbes that kill hundreds of people a year, federal health officials said Friday in granting the first-ever approval of viruses as a food additive. The combination of six viruses is designed to be sprayed on ready-to-eat meat and poultry products, including sliced ham and turkey."

In addition, "The special viruses, called bacteriophages, are meant to kill strains of the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium, the Food and Drug Administration said in declaring it safe to use on ready-to-eat meats prior to their packaging. The viruses are the first to win FDA approval for use as a food additive."

So, if I understood this correctly, these people will spray the ready to eat food with a cocktail of six viruses, no less, then package the food to sell in super markets! And they say this is safe, and good for the consumer. Wow! How does this work? Let's see...

First of all, these things are really tiny, so you can't see any of them but you can be sure if this is true, there are billions of them inside the package, and following is how it works, pretty much like what you saw in the original movie Alien.

The targets are bacteria, and the bacteriophages are like the terminators. They also look like teminators:

Terminators in the billions...

The bacteriophages have legs specially designed to hook onto the taget bacteria they are supposed to hunt, inject their own genetic material inside the host cell, multiply and simply burst and kill the host. Don't you think it sounds familiar to the Alien creature? And we are going to eat these guys? Eeew!

What these people selling this product do not say is after they have done their deed of exploding the bacteria to bits, what do bacteriophages do? Do they just float around inside our body in a dormant state? I want to know how long these guys are expected to live, if they do live. It is no comfort to also know that these virions can remain in this dormant state for extended periods of time, waiting patiently to come into contact with the appropriate host. Tracing the history of bacteriophages, their early discovery had origin in the former Soviet republic of Georgia! I am not sure I would trust this technology. Greek root word phagein, meaning "to eat" and I sure do not want to have billions of potential "eaters" floating around dormant inside my body.

To make money using these terminators, commercial biotech companies manufacture or harvest the bacteriophages all over the world, including countries of Europe and harvesting sites from Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

What won't they invent next? Safe to eat billions of needle wielding terminators ready to inject and burst? Will they mutate or go berzerk like Hal? Who knows?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Joe photo remembered!

I was making my way into my office early today to discover a nasty surprise that lurked overnight. It was like stepping into an oven. What happened? No air is what happened! This must be a sympathy gesture from "hot and humid right smack in the middle of the hurricane season with tropical storm Chris gathering strength out in the Caribbean moving West/NorthWest threatening to become a baby cane" Miami sharing the grief with the rest of the US in the steaming heat wave that overtakes the country at this moment. With the war raging in the Middle East, many people say this is Armageddon, and it sure feels like it right now in my office.

What a great way to start a day, an ordinary day. OK. You can handle this. Pray for the A/C to come back on fast.... Done! Turn on your laptop, go check your email, make yourself a hot cocoa. Hot cocoa??? No way! Get a cold diet soda instead! OK! Settle down. Calm down, this is NOT Armageddon, OK?

What's this? An e-card from somebody? Must be from my secret female admiror from the past. Let's see... "Click here to pick up your birthday eCard!" Oy my God! It's my BD! I forgot about it all together. Last night, I received ONE eCard from a cyber anonymous. It was so moving and touching I was at a loss for words. I must be a very popular guy to have received so much lavish attention on my banal BD! Just one eCard! Not that it wasn't a great one, actually, I love it! Of course, I had received another symbolic and reliable year in and year out gift in the mail, but that was expected. In all honesty, I forgot all about it this morning, the fateful morning of it all, my BD. And this unexpected eCard is right here, personally hand delivered to my in box.

I am not too concerned this eCard is a cheap trick from some virus wielding, Trojan horse trading, back door sneaking hacker in the cyber space trying to trick me to click on their link, because this seems to come from an old friendly company who
remembers me and is trying to lure me back for business. But that's OK. I like that.

OK. Do not click on it yet! Check it out first... what's this thing's URL? Hmmm... looks OK to me. Let's see what they have to say...

It's from Joe photo! So, dear old Joe photo still got me in his database and their business is smart enough to pull it out just in time. Good PR stunt. If you wondered what I got, here it is...

Today's your BD! Happy BD to you!

It comes with a full orchestration of "Today is your BD, happy BD to you ..." etc song in full live blasting sound. My office next door must think we are the partying type! Naturally, I grab the HiFi sound that accompanied my gift. After all, it's mine now and I converted it to MP3. Thank you Joe photo! If I can figure out how to place that MP3 here, I will so you can hear it too.

And here it is:

Happy BD To Me!

Unexpectedly, a telephone call came to say that I am getting one more year's worth of wrinkle uniformly distributed over my body and soul! Hmmm... Where did that come from? I am happy to hear it!

That made my day. Now, if the A/C would hurry up and send in some cool air, I can start working. May be I should go to buy something from Joe photo??? Nah! Next year!

Looking back at the date of my last blog, it has been so long ago. where did the time go?