Wednesday, May 14, 2008

'Bizarre' mammal discovered

A bizarre-looking mammal called the grey-faced elephant shrew has been discovered in Tanzania.

You can watch the video at this link:
(source: BBC) video

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 7:29 PM   0 comments links to this post

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Classical music is amazing and the more you know about the composer and the piece of music the more you can appreciate it. I just came across an amazing resource that everyone should be interested in:

Naxos Books is a diverse and forward-thinking imprint, which embraces both popular and specialist titles within the world of classical music. Its hallmark is the groundbreaking fusion of words and music, drawing on the extensive list of Naxos classical recordings to provide a ‘multimedia’ take on traditional book publishing. The majority of its mainstream books include CDs and websites where readers can listen to many hours of relevant music. Its broad scope mirrors the success that Naxos has achieved with its music CDs, from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to the ‘Naxos’ Quartets of Peter Maxwell Davies.

If anyone is thinking of buying me a gift then please consider the following books :)

Life and Music
Beethoven: His Life and Music

Chopin: His Life and Music

Dvořák: His Life and Music

Mahler: His Life and Music

Mozart: His Life and Music

Puccini: His Life and Music

Tchaikovsky: His Life and Music

Wagner: His Life and Music

Discover Series
Discover Early Music

Discover Music of the Romantic Era

Children's Titles
Meet the Instruments of the Orchestra!

Other Titles
A History of American Classical Music

Robert Craft: Down a Path of Wonder

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Friday, May 09, 2008

The Environment and The Demilitarized Zone

It's called the most pristine wilderness in the world by some, but it’s in the middle of a war zone. The Worldview radio program discusses the environment of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. You can listen to the program at this link:


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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

More children forecast to die from China disease

Yesterday I posted the article,
New disease outbreaks in China

Today I want to post an update to give people more informaiton about the situation:

More children forecast to die from China disease

The number of cases across China has climbed to 15,799, up from 12,000 reported on Tuesday. Officials said that the rise was due to tighter rules on reporting and not because of the spread of the infection.

You can read the report at this link:

China urges precautions against deadly virus

China has made it mandatory for health care providers to report all cases of a viral illness that has sickened thousands of young children across the country, as the death toll rose Wednesday to 28.

So far there have been 15,799 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease this year, the official Xinhua News Agency said, cropping up in areas ranging from the tropical island province of Hainan in the south to Jilin province in the northeast and Yunnan province in the southwest.

You can read the rest of this report at this link:

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 4:37 PM   0 comments links to this post

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Tchaikovsky and Brahms

Today is the birthday for two of the greatest composers:

Born: May 7, 1833 in Hamburg, Germany
Died: April 3, 1897 in Vienna, Austria

Born: May 7, 1840 in Votkinsk, Russia Died
November 6, 1893 in St. Petersburg, Russia

To learn more about these great composers see the following links:

Brahms will always be special to me because the first classical music CD I ever bought was, Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2

In fact I listened to the CD last night at midnight to celebrate the birthday of Brahms. I purchased the CD in 1984 and all these years later the CD is still providing great enjoyment to me.

If you have never heard Brahms Piano Concerto 1 or 2 I would strongly recommend you do so.

Here is a CD that contains both:

Brahms: Concertos for Piano No. 1 & 2, Fantasia Op. 116


You can purchase the CD at this link:


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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 12:24 PM   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

New disease outbreaks in China

New outbreaks reported Tuesday in three Chinese provinces and Beijing put the number of children infected with hand, foot and mouth disease above 12,000 and the death toll has risen to at least 26 across the country.

The official Xinhua News Agency said outbreaks in southwest Yunnan, the northeastern province of Jilin and the tropical island of Hainan, putting the total number of infections at 12,164.

Two kindergartens in Beijing were temporarily shut down Tuesday after children there showed symptoms of the disease, Xinhua said. There have been 1,482 cases in Beijing, most in kindergartens, it said.

To read the rest of the report follow this link:

You may be asking, what is hand, foot, and mouth disease?

Source: CDC

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common illness of infants and children. It is characterized by fever, sores in the mouth, and a rash with blisters. HFMD begins with a mild fever, poor appetite, malaise ("feeling sick"), and frequently a sore throat. One or 2 days after the fever begins, painful sores develop in the mouth. They begin as small red spots that blister and then often become ulcers. They are usually located on the tongue, gums, and inside of the cheeks. The skin rash develops over 1 to 2 days with flat or raised red spots, some with blisters. The rash does not itch, and it is usually located on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. It may also appear on the buttocks. A person with HFMD may have only the rash or the mouth ulcers.

Is HFMD the same as foot-and-mouth disease?
No. HFMD is often confused with foot-and-mouth disease of cattle, sheep, and swine. Although the names are similar, the two diseases are not related at all and are caused by different viruses. For information on foot-and-mouth disease, please visit the web site of the US Department of Agriculture.

What causes HFMD?
Viruses from the group called enteroviruses cause HFMD. The most common cause is coxsackievirus A16; sometimes, HFMD is caused by enterovirus 71 or other enteroviruses. The enterovirus group includes polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses and other enteroviruses.

Is HFMD serious?
Usually not. HFMD caused by coxsackievirus A16 infection is a mild disease and nearly all patients recover without medical treatment in 7 to 10 days. Complications are uncommon. Rarely, the patient with coxsackievirus A16 infection may also develop "aseptic" or viral meningitis, in which the person has fever, headache, stiff neck, or back pain, and may need to be hospitalized for a few days. Another cause of HFMD, EV71 may also cause viral meningitis and, rarely, more serious diseases, such as encephalitis, or a poliomyelitis-like paralysis. EV71 encephalitis may be fatal. Cases of fatal encephalitis occurred during outbreaks of HFMD in Malaysia in 1997 and in Taiwan in 1998.

Is HFMD contagious?
Yes, HFMD is moderately contagious. Infection is spread from person to person by direct contact with nose and throat discharges, saliva, fluid from blisters, or the stool of infected persons. A person is most contagious during the first week of the illness. HFMD is not transmitted to or from pets or other animals.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 2:20 PM   0 comments links to this post

Burma cyclone: Death toll set to top 60,000

The big story has been the horrible disater caused by the Burma cyclone. It is hard to really add anything to the story so I am simply going to try to gather all the information into one post.

Let's begin with the where the storm hit:
Burma, officially the Union of Myanmar

Is the largest country by geographical area in mainland Southeast Asia.

The country achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 4 January 1948, as the "Union of Burma." It became the "Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma" on 4 January 1974, before reverting to the "Union of Burma" on 23 September 1988. On 18 June 1989, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) adopted the name "Union of Myanmar". This controversial name change was not recognized by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), opposition groups and many English-speaking nations.

The country is bordered by China on the north, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, and India on the northwest, with the Bay of Bengal to the southwest. One-third of Burma's total perimeter, 1,930 kilometres (1,199 mi), forms an uninterrupted coastline.

The Storm:
Cyclone Nargis
hit Myanmar May 3, 2008. More than 22,000 people are reported to have died as a result of the storm and hundreds of thousands of people rendered homeless as well; 44,000 are still missing.[156]. With the number of reported deaths, Cyclone Nargis is now reported to be one of the world's deadliest storms

The Damage:
The death toll from Burma's devastating cyclone has now risen to more than 22,000, state media have said.

Emergency workers have said more than 60,000 are feared to have been killed by the tropical cyclone in Burma as British aid agencies appealed for the country's secretive military junta to allow them in to help.

Teams of aid workers are on standby for Burma's military rulers to grant visas and access to a country where an estimated one million people are homeless and entire villages are said to have been swept away.

Links to information:

Burma's cyclone death toll soars

Burma cyclone: 10,000 killed in ONE town as massive wave is blamed for death toll set to top 60,000

Burma Cyclone Death Toll 'Hits 22,000'

Aid workers fear Burma cyclone deaths will top 50,000

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Tragic Derby ending for Eight Belles

The filly Eight Belles finished second behind favorite Big Brown in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, then collapsed with two broken front ankles and was euthanized after crossing the wire.

Here is the video: Belles

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 6:19 PM   0 comments links to this post