Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nicole's Law now in effect in Florida


I have to say I had not heard of this until I saw the notice at a farm this weekend. Under this law
all kids will have to wear a helmet when riding. This was in the Sun-Sentinal


LOXAHATCHEE - Nicole Hornstein was riding a horse when the animal stumbled and fell, tossing her, and her head slammed into the pavement.

The 12-year-old girl, who wasn't wearing a helmet, died in 2006 after 20 days in a coma.

But her death was not in vain, her father and state legislators said Monday, moments before Gov. Charlie Crist signed a safety bill into "Nicole's Law."

"Because of the hard work of Nicole's family and all her friends ... families in the western communities and all throughout Florida will be saved the pain and anguish the Hornsteins have experienced," said state Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, who co-sponsored the bill with state Rep. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington. "Because of your efforts, children will be saved and families will be spared."

About 80 people attended the signing at The Acreage's Hamlin Equestrian Park, adjacent to an equestrian ring. The signing comes three years after Nicole's accident. Her father, Gary, traveled regularly to Tallahassee to push for the law.

As legislators pondered the bill, two other children were injured in horse-related accidents.

"This is truly a remarkable achievement because good legislation often doesn't happen for years in Tallahassee," Aronberg said. "It takes a groundswell ... The perseverance of all of you put it back on the agenda and when Gov. Crist came out in favor of it, it really rocketed that bill to the top."

Similar to the youth-helmet law for riding bicycles, Nicole's Law requires horseback riders 16 and younger to wear a helmet when riding on public roads and rights of way and while taking riding lessons. Rodeos, parades and private property are exempt.

Crist told the Hornstein family that while they cannot go back and change what happened, others can learn from those experiences to make children safe.

"This is about the future, about doing what's right, about making this a safe place to live," said Crist, a former horseback rider who said his sister was injured in a fall from a horse. "I know the courage it takes to take a family tragedy like this and turn it into something very positive for so many other people. My heart bleeds for you but also my heart sings for what you're doing for Florida."

Head injuries are the most common cause of death for people who ride horses or ponies, according to the American Medical Equestrian Association.

Under the new law, anyone who allows a child to ride a horse without a helmet would be fined $500.

Some Florida cities, including Davie, Plantation and Parkland, already have laws that require minors to wear helmets when riding, but the law makes helmets mandatory throughout the state.

"The ones that don't, they'll learn real fast because there's no margin for error," Gary Hornstein said. "[Nicole] did not have a second chance. It happened once and that was it. It was horrific and she went through things that no man, woman or child should ever go through."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Am I a racist

There is a debate raging....are you a racist if you disagree with the direction the President is going.
There are several problems with this premise. (1.) the President was elected primarily by White people, there just aren't enough minorities to provide sufficient votes to win. (2) the definition of "racist" : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. Unfortunately, the term racist is thrown out as the reason you might disagree with any person of color when actually you just might happen to disagree with them. In the current political debate...I just disagree. The government spends to much money, is involved in way to many activities and everyday lives, it regulates to many aspects of business and is currently in the process of doubling the National debt and the money supply (ie.printing more money). This is the wrong direction and it is saddling my children with a debt load that will require them to give up even more of there time and treasure to pay for these bills, and that PISSES ME OFF. That does not make me a racist, I could care less what color someones skin is, where they come from, what religion they follow or what football team they root for. The accusation of racist is becoming a tool of distraction and I think I've had about enough of it. Heres a link to how it is currently applied.



Friday, September 18, 2009

A new virus threat

This from Reuters:

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Europe face a new health threat from a mosquito-borne disease far more unpleasant than the West Nile virus that swept into North America a decade ago, a U.S. expert said on Friday.

Chikungunya virus has spread beyond Africa since 2005, causing outbreaks and scores of fatalities in India and the French island of Reunion. It also has been detected in Italy, where it has begun to spread locally, as well as France.

"We're very worried," Dr. James Diaz of the Louisiana University Health Sciences Center told a meeting on airlines, airports and disease transmission sponsored by the independent U.S. National Research Council.

"Unlike West Nile virus, where nine out of 10 people are going to be totally asymptomatic, or may have a mild headache or a stiff neck, if you get Chikungunya you're going to be sick," he said.

"The disease can be fatal. It's a serious disease," Diaz added. "There is no vaccine."

Chikungunya infection causes fever, headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, rash and joint pain. Symptoms can last a few weeks, though some suffers have reported incapacitating joint pain or arthritis lasting months.

The disease was first discovered in Tanzania in 1952. Its name means "that which bends up" in the Makonde language spoken in northern Mozambique and southeastern Tanzania.

The virus could spread globally now because it can be carried by the Asian tiger mosquito, which is found in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas, Australia and New Zealand.

In the United States, the mosquito species tends to live in southern regions east of the Mississippi but has been found as far afield as western Texas, Minnesota and New Jersey.

Health officials are greatly concerned about the appearance of Chikungunya in the islands of the Indian Ocean -- Mauritius, Seychelles and Reunion -- which have beach resorts frequented by European tourists.

"It is hyper-endemic in the islands of the Indian Ocean," Diaz told the meeting.

"Travel by air will import the infected mosquitoes and humans," he added. "Chikungunya is coming."

Diaz warned of possible double-infections involving Chikungunya and dengue fever or malaria, which are also carried by the Asian tiger mosquito.

The spread of the disease could be greatest in so-called mega-cities such as Mumbai and Mexico City, which have large and impoverished populations, poor health controls and water systems that provide ready breeding grounds for mosquitoes, Diaz said.

West Nile, spread by a different mosquito species, first appeared in New York in 1999 and now can be found in most of North America.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

People of Wal-Mart...I just couldn't stop looking

I just got this link today. It is wrong on so many levels but I just couldn't stop looking. It's like a bad car accident. Page 6 just killed me. Peopleofwalmart.com

130

Let’s run through my rock star list….Mullet? – check; big sunglasses? – check; heart shaped tattoo? – u know i love my mom; Cut jean shorts? – are there any other type of shorts?; wife beater tied at the midriff – check;….. He is an official ROCK STAR!

Oklahoma

127

Y’all like camo? Y’all like NASCAR? Do y’all like to keel stuff? Den come on down to da huntin’ headquaters and we’ll getcha fixed up!

North Carolina

129

I tried to fart and a little sh*t came out. I just sharted. Now let’s go.

Washington

126

It seems like you just started adding random things to that list. Midgets and DSL make you hard? Really?!

Florida

H1N1-swine flu...oops not 'spose to call it that

With my oldest daughter off at College now this current "pandemic" (as everyone freaks out) is a bit closer to home. A student at Cornell recently died from the H1N1 related disease. LINK."A student from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has died of complications from the H1N1 virus, according to a statement on its Web site. Warren J. Schor, 20, died Friday at Cayuga Medical Center." Now the Agriculture secretary is upset about the name, "Each time the media uses the phrase 'swine flu,' a hog farmer, their workers and their families suffer," Vilsack said in a statement. LINK US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stood up Friday for pigs and hog farmers, saying their name has been dragged through the mud by people who insist on calling the A(H1N1) influenza pandemic "swine flu." Is this really that important...is it really that serious.
Here are a few thoughts that may help shape your opinion. Remember that any virus can be serious because we dont have significant anti-viral drugs like we do anti-biotics for bacterial infections. Heres a link to Virology on the recent outbreak in Mexico".
Influenza incidence is difficult to determine because most infections are not confirmed by laboratory tests. Consequently case estimates play an important role in understanding transmission and spread. In this study, the authors used mathematical models to calculate the number of infections in Mexico based on exportation of the disease by travelers. They estimate that 23,000 infections had occurred in the country by late April. From this number they calculated a case fatality ratio of 0.4%. I note that my own crude calculations yielded a similar number." The CDC reports that the current fatality from infection rate in the US is approximately 5%.

Heres a good look at the potential threat from Global Security.org. which looks at the H1N1 (swine flu...sorry, shouldnt call it that) and the H5N1(avian flu)

"Pandemic years are associated with many more cases of influenza and a higher case fatality rate than that seen in seasonal flu outbreaks. It is common to encounter clinical attack rate ranges for seasonal flu of 5% to 15% in the literature. For pandemic flu, clinical attack rates are reported in the range of 25% to 50%.

During a typical year in the United States, 30,000 to 50,000 persons die as a result of influenza viral infection. Frequently cited numbers are 20,000 deaths each year, and 37,000 annual deaths. About 5-10% of hospitalizations for influenza lead to fatal outcome in adults.

In normal years, although most influenza infection is in children, the serious morbidity and mortality is almost entirely among elderly people with underlying chronic disease. During influenza epidemics from 1979–80 through 2000–01, the estimated overall number of influenza-associated hospitalizations in the United States ranged from approximately 54,000 to 430,000/epidemic. An average of approximately 226,000 influenza-related excess hospitalizations occurred per year, with 63% of all hospitalizations occurring among persons aged > 65 years."

In a nut shell.....if either virus develops significant pathogenic variables then we could be in for a BIG problem. That said , it hasn't and dare I say...probably won't do that anytime soon. As I am fond of saying...probably my microbiology and infectious disease training...It wont be the bombs but the bugs that get us.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

545-vs-300,000


I recently received this article and it really struck a chord with me. In a time when our Government is spending ever larger sums of money ( which everyone seems to think is a bad idea)it seems logical to question why they keep doing it. Here's a thought.



545 PEOPLE
By Charlie Reese
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.
Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does.
You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.
You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.
You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.
You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.
One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.
I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.
I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason.. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.
Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.
What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.
The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.
It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.
If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.
If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red ..
If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ , it's because they want them in IRAQ
If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.
There are no insoluble government problems.
Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.
Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.
They, and they alone, have the power.
They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.
Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.
We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!
Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

State of the Blogosphere Survey/Changes to Your Technorati Authority

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Austrailian Veterinarian dies from Hendra Virus

Australian Veterinarian Alistair Rodgers died after being infected with the Hendra virus he contracted after working on an infected filly. The Hendra virus, formally called Equine Morbillivirus is a parmyxovirus and is thought to be carried by flying foxes (bats of the genus Pteropus) found in Australia.This has popped up several times in Austrailia and is a very bad bug to get. As with most viruses, we have few antiviral options and those (tamiflu) are not very effective.
Heres what they said in the Australian

QUEENSLAND vet Alister Rodgers lost his battle with the lethal Hendra virus overnight, dying after two weeks in a coma.


Vet dies from Hendra virus
Alister Rodgers fell ill after coming into contact with a horse that was carrying the deadly hendra virus.

State Health Minister Paul Lucas today sent his deepest sympathies to Dr Rodgers' widow, Linda, and children Courtney and Duncan.

“This is a terrible tragedy for his family and they are being supported by the staff of Princess Alexandra Hospital,” Mr Lucas told Parliament this morning.

“They've requested privacy and I would ask that people respect this at this time.”

Dr Rodgers, of the Rockhampton Veterinary Clinic, was infected with the virus when he treated a sick filly - thought at the time to be suffering from snakebite - at the J4S stud in central Queensland on July 28.

Despite an experimental treatment with anti-viral drugs, he fell into a coma three weeks later.

The Australian Veterinary Association today paid tribute to Dr Rodgers.

“We extend the sympathy of veterinarians around the country to Alister's family, friends and workmates,” AVA president Mark Lawrie said.

“Unfortunately this problem is not going to go away.

I dont recall that it was a problem when I was there and I'm glad we dont have it here.