Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
In New Zealand you could be paying more than $50 (US$ 38) for a bottle!
Jancis Robinson gave it a gold medal!
Elliot Essman continued:
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
We learn little or nothing from our successes. They mainly confirm our mistakes, while our failures, on the other hand, are priceless experiences in that they not only open up the way to a deeper truth, but force us to change our views and methods.
In 1879, Ferdinand Marie de Lesseps, with the success he had with the construction of the Suez Canal in Egypt just ten years earlier, proposed a sea level canal through Panama. He was no engineer but a career politician and he rejected outright what the chief engineer for the French Department of Bridges and Highways, Baron Godin de Lépinay proposed, a lock canal.
The engineer was no match for a career politician:
“There was no question that a sea level canal was the correct type of canal to build and no question at all that
“The resolution passed with 74 in favor and 8 opposed. The ‘no’ votes included de Lépinay and Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. Thirty-eight Committee members were absent and 16, including Ammen and Menocal, abstained. The predominantly French ‘yea’ votes did not include any of the five delegates from the French Society of Engineers. Of the 74 voting in favor, only 19 were engineers and of those, only one, Pedro Sosa of
The French failed in a spectacular fashion.
Diseases like yellow fever and malaria played their part as a sea level canal involves a good deal more digging.
The discovery of yellow fever being carried by mosquito must be credited to one Cuban physician: Carlos J. Finlay.
For twenty years of his professional life, he stood at the center of a vigorously debated medical controversy: the etiology of yellow fever. Finlay believed that it was waterborne and carried by common mosquitoes: Stegomyia fasciata.
Finlay's advice and experiences proved invaluable to the United States Army Yellow Fever Commission. When the Commission decided to test the mosquito theory, Finlay provided the mosquitoes and Walter Reed of the Commission wrote triumphantly after the success of the experiments of inducing yellow fever by mosquito bites, ‘The case is a beautiful one, and will be seen by the Board of Havana Experts, to-day, all of whom, except Finlay, consider the theory a wild one!’ The
Reed acknowledged that ‘it was Finlay's theory, & he deserves much for having suggested it.’
William Crawford Gorgas wrote of Finlay:
"His reasoning for selecting the Stegomyia as the bearer of yellow fever is the best piece of logical reasoning that can be found in medicine anywhere."
Confucius taught that one must look after oneself, then family, then nation before one can rule the world.
“Mr Brown used his expenses to pay his brother Andrew Brown £6,577 for cleaning work at his
“An inquiry was launched into Miss Smith's expenses claims after it emerged that she had designated her family home in the West Midlands as her second home for expenses purposes, while listing a room at her sister's London house, where she lodged, as her main home.”
Oh dear: Blue Peter
Saturday, October 10, 2009
For now, just as the west is abandoning classical music training as part of the school curriculum, parents in China are paying for their children to have piano lessons. By some reckoning, North America probably consumes 90% of Ritalin and similar stimulants, whereas China is probably consuming 90% of the pianos produced. One factory in the south of China is currently producing 100,000 pianos a day.
Some will argue that such pressure on children is not good. Yet we have to look at Michael Phelps, whose parents abandoned drug treatment for his ADHD in favour of swimming. The modern Chinese parent may indeed have stumbled upon something similar to Michael Phelps’ swimming in dealing with problems of concentration. Many parents actually believe that the discipline of learning the piano is helpful in building a more rounded person, although some may have aspirations that their offspring might be the next Lang Lang.
As China now moves into a new era, the piano practising child may have something else to practise: golf.
The Independent reported that it is the new game that is the game of choice for China’s new elite.
My friend told me that when he was at the Spring City Golf & Lake Resort, a nine year old just won a junior tournament. The boy was only 9 and he scored 71 on his final round playing from the red Tee
He may well be the next Tiger, a piano playing Tiger.
Old and New: Multiple Sclerosis & Elgar
The Ring: Child Psychiatry & Human Behaviour
Nobel: Kandel and Lohengrin
Lohengrin: Speech Disability, Design & Hypertension
Easter Passion: Bach, Beethoven and Mahler
'The Knowledge' and the Brain
Golf & Neuroplasticity: The Open 2009
Golf and Disability
Golf, Cholera and Tiger Woods
The Open and The Brain
Tiger Woods and Breathing
Ancient Remedy: Modern Outlook
Monday, October 5, 2009
5 October 2009
The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has today decided to award The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2009 jointly to Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak for the discovery of "how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase"
Associated Press, European Pressphoto Agency, Associated Press
From left, Jack Szostak, Carol Greider and Elizabeth Blackburn.
"This year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded to three scientists who have solved a major problem in biology: how the chromosomes can be copied in a complete way during cell divisions and how they are protected against degradation. The Nobel Laureates have shown that the solution is to be found in the ends of the chromosomes – the telomeres – and in an enzyme that forms them – telomerase.
Telomeres/NIH File Material
"The long, thread-like DNA molecules that carry our genes are packed into chromosomes, the telomeres being the caps on their ends. Elizabeth Blackburn and Jack Szostak discovered that a unique DNA sequence in the telomeres protects the chromosomes from degradation. Carol Greider and Elizabeth Blackburn identified telomerase, the enzyme that makes telomere DNA. These discoveries explained how the ends of the chromosomes are protected by the telomeres and that they are built by telomerase.
"If the telomeres are shortened, cells age. Conversely, if telomerase activity is high, telomere length is maintained, and cellular senescence is delayed. This is the case in cancer cells, which can be considered to have eternal life. Certain inherited diseases, in contrast, are characterized by a defective telomerase, resulting in damaged cells. The award of the Nobel Prize recognizes the discovery of a fundamental mechanism in the cell, a discovery that has stimulated the development of new therapeutic strategies." Nobel Press Release
Carol Greider told Associated Press that the research was aimed at understanding how cells work, not with the idea for certain implications for medicine.
“Funding for that kind of curiosity-driven science is really important,” she said, adding that disease-oriented research isn’t the only way to reach the answer, but “both together are synergistic.”
It was comforting that Nobel chose to reward this kind of research as any breakthrough in Medicine and indeed Science could only come from fundamental research. It would not be a discovery if you knew what you were looking for.
The New York Times noted that:“Though Americans have once again made a clean sweep of the Nobel medicine prize, two of the three winners are immigrants. Dr. Blackburn was born in Tasmania, Australia, and has dual citizenship; Dr. Szostak was born in London. Dr. Blackburn came to the United States in the 1970s because it was ‘notably attractive’ as a place to do science.”