Thursday, July 10, 2008

'New CJD type' discovered in US

BBC News is reporting the following:

A new form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) may have been uncovered in a handful of patients in the US.

Before we get into the details of the report let's look at some foundational information:

The following is From the Center for Disease Control

Classic CJD is a human prion disease. It is a neurodegenerative disorder with characteristic clinical and diagnostic features. This disease is rapidly progressive and always fatal. Infection with this disease leads to death usually within 1 year of onset of illness.

Important Note: Classic CJD is not related to "mad cow" disease. Classic CJD also is distinct from "variant CJD", another prion disease that is related to BSE.

For information about these diseases, see:

"Mad cow" disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE)

Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD)

Occurrence and Transmission

Classic CJD has been recognized since the early 1920s. The most common form of classic CJD is believed to occur sporadically, caused by the spontaneous transformation of normal prion proteins into abnormal prions. This sporadic disease occurs worldwide, including the United States, at a rate of approximately one case per 1 million population per year, although rates of up to two cases per million are not unusual. The risk of CJD increases with age, and in persons aged over 50 years of age, the annual rate is approximately 3.4 cases per million. In recent years, the United States has reported fewer than 300 cases of CJD a year.

Whereas the majority of cases of CJD (about 85%) occur as sporadic disease, a smaller proportion of patients (5-15%) develop CJD because of inherited mutations of the prion protein gene. These inherited forms include Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome and fatal familial insomnia.

For more information follow this link:

Now back to the BBC report:

Ten people have so far died from a fast-advancing form of fatal dementia called PSPr, New Scientist reports.

Patients develop the trademark brain damage associated with CJD - the type not linked to BSE - but scientists believe there may be a genetic cause.

Experts in the UK are now checking records to see if any cases have happened across the Atlantic.

There are between 50 and 100 new cases of so-called sporadic CJD diagnosed in the UK every year.

Unlike "variant CJD", the human form of BSE in cows contracted by eating contaminated brain tissue in the 1980s and 1990s, the cause of most cases of sporadic CJD is unknown.

The new cases were referred to CJD surveillance units in the US because they were a suspiciously fast-advancing form of dementia with additional symptoms such as the loss of the ability to speak and move, even though traditional tests that normally help diagnose CJD proved negative.

Post-mortems on those who died revealed the familiar "spongy" brain tissue, covered with tiny holes.

These are thought to be caused by the accumulation of "prions", a misshapen version of a normal brain protein.

Dr Pierluigi Gambetti, director of the US National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center, in Ohio, said that he believed the newly discovered type had probably "been around for years, unnoticed".

He suggested one interesting common factor was that the patients came from families with a history of dementia, suggesting a genetic cause, but did not carry the gene traditionally associated with a small number of sporadic CJD cases.

Dr Mark Head, from the UK's National CJD Surveillance Unit, in Edinburgh, said the finding had prompted scientists to start reviewing cases of sporadic CJD in this country to see if there were any of the newly discovered version.

He said: "What is interesting about this is that it may mean there are other genes out there waiting to be found which are associated with prion disease, and looking at these patients in the US could help find them."

Here is the link to the original story:


Annals of Neurology
New Scientist
National CJD Surveillance Unit

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 11:26 PM   0 comments links to this post

West Nile warning

It is that time of year when you go outside and you are attaceked by hundreds of mosquitos. Where there are mosquitos there is the danger of West Nile.

Here is some important information:

The following is from the Center For Disease Control

West Nile virus (WNV) has emerged in recent years in temperate regions of Europe and North America, presenting a threat to public and animal health. The most serious manifestation of WNV infection is fatal encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) in humans and horses, as well as mortality in certain domestic and wild birds. WNV has also been a significant cause of human illness in the United States in 2002 and 2003.

West Nile virus was first isolated from a febrile adult woman in the West Nile District of Uganda in 1937. The ecology was characterized in Egypt in the 1950s. The virus became recognized as a cause of severe human meningitis or encephalitis (inflammation of the spinal cord and brain) in elderly patients during an outbreak in Israel in 1957. Equine disease was first noted in Egypt and France in the early 1960s. WNV first appeared in North America in 1999, with encephalitis reported in humans and horses.The subsequent spread in the United States is an important milestone in the evolving history of this virus.

West Nile virus has been described in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, west and central Asia, Oceania (subtype Kunjin), and most recently, North America.

Outbreaks of WNV encephalitis in humans have occurred in Algeria in 1994, Romania in 1996-1997, the Czech Republic in 1997, the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1998, Russia in 1999, the United States in 1999-2003, and Israel in 2000. Epizootics of disease in horses occurred in Morocco in 1996, Italy in 1998, the United States in 1999-2001, and France in 2000, and in birds in Israel in 1997-2001 and in the United States in 1999-2002.

In the U.S. since 1999, WNV human, bird, veterinary or mosquito activity have been reported from all states except Hawaii, Alaska, and Oregon.

Human Case and Virus Distribution Information
Current human case and epizootic distribution maps (on Statistics, Surveillance, and Control page)
Case human counts for 2003

Human case information and maps from 2002
From 1999 through 2001, there were 149 cases of West Nile virus human illness in the United States reported to CDC and confirmed, including 18 deaths.

2008 Human disease cases reported to CDC

That is the background information, here is the latest West Nile news:

Health Dept. issues West Nile warning

Gallup Independent - 1 hour ago By Karen Francis SANTA FE -

The New Mexico Department of Health issued a recommendation for people to protect themselves against mosquito bites and exposure to rodents in the outdoors this summer.

West Nile mosquitos found in Gem County


Heavy storms are bringing out the mosquitoes

Detroit Free Press

Winnebago County Bird Tests Positive for West Nile Virus

WIFR, IL - 6 hours ago

SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Damon T. Arnold, state public health director, today announced the first birds testing positive for West Nile virus this year were found ...

West Nile may be here to stay Monitor, TX - 17 hours ago

The number of people who get West Nile fluctuates from year to year and may seem to be decreasing, but don't look for the virus to ever disappear entirely. ...

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 5:10 PM   0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Water in Moon's Interior

Two news stories that talk about the water and the moon.

New study finds water in moon rocks

BEIJING, July 10 (Xinhuanet) --

U.S. researchers have found water in rocks from the moon -- prompting new questions about its origin, said a study published in Thursday's British weekly journal Nature.

The discovery was made by analysing small glass beads from lunar sand scooped up by Apollo mission astronauts nearly 40 years ago. They used a new method of analyzing elements in the lunar sand samples to show strong evidence of water, dating back 3 billion years.

The standard "giant impact" theory for the formation of the moon assumes that a huge body crashed into the early Earth, sending massive amounts of molten magma into orbit. This disc of magma gradually coalesced and cooled into the moon as it is today.

But since the moon is too small to maintain an atmosphere, any volatile gases or liquids, such as water, were thought to have bubbled away and escaped into space.

Now a team at Brown University, Rhode Island, has thrown this theory into doubt by finding water in the titanium glass beads that are scattered all over the lunar surface. These are the result of huge lunar volcanic eruptions that occurred billions of years ago.

Importantly, the beads are made from material that originates from deep within the moon -- avoiding any chance that the water could have come from external sources such as comets hitting the surface.

Using high precision secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), the team was surprised to discover that the beads contain around 45 parts per million of water.

By modelling the dynamics of the volcanic eruption and rate of cooling, researchers calculated that approximately 95 percent of any water would have been lost during volcanic activity that brought the beads to the surface.

This leads to an estimate that lava deep within the moon contains water at up to 745 parts per million -- similar to that in Earth's upper mantle.

"Our model is not perfect - so although we know there is water there, we cannot be sure exactly how much," said Alberto Saal, lead author on the research. Even so, Saal added, the presence of water should definitely be considered in future models of the moon's formation.

"This is a surprising and important result," said David Stevenson, an expert on the evolution of planets at the California Institute of Technology. "Water lowers the melting point of rocks, so it could change the evolution of a body such as the moon."

"But one important thing to note is that the moon is probably heterogeneous," Stevenson added. "It is possible that during a giant impact some areas of water could have become trapped. The discovery of water in one place doesn't necessarily mean the rest of the moon is the same."

Here is the link to the original story:

Here is the second story

U.S. scientists find evidence of water in Moon's interior

WASHINGTON, July 9 (Xinhua) --

A team of U.S. scientists have for the first time discovered evidence of water that came from deep within the Moon, a revelation that strongly suggests water has been a part of the Moon since its early existence -- and perhaps ever since it was created by a cataclysmic collision between the early Earth and a Mars-sized object about 4.5 billion years ago.

In a paper published in the July 10 issue of the journal Nature, the team, led by Alberto Saal from Brown University, believes that the water was contained in magmas erupted from fire fountains onto the surface of the Moon more than 3 billion years ago.

About 95 percent of the water vapor from the magma was lost to space during this eruptive "degassing," the team estimates. But traces of water vapor may have drifted toward the cold poles of the Moon, where they may remain as ice in permanently shadowed craters.

NASA plans to send its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter later this year to search for evidence of water ice at the Moon's south pole. If water is found, the researchers may have figured out the origin.

The water clue came from lunar volcanic glasses, pebble-like beads collected and returned to Earth by NASA's Apollo missions in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In the decades since, scientists have sought to determine the content and origin of a class of chemical elements known as volatiles in the multicolored glasses. In particular, they searched the glasses for signs of water. But such evidence had remained elusive, consistent with the general consensus that the Moon is dry.

Now, that evidence has been found. Based on their observations that nearly all the water in the lunar magma was lost to space during the eruptions, the researchers calculated that the pre-eruption magma may have contained water up to 750 parts per million -- similar to the water content of primitive magmas that erupted on the Earth's seafloor at midocean ridges.

"This suggests the very intriguing possibility that the Moon's interior might have contained just as much water as the Earth's depleted upper mantle," said Erik Hauri, participating researcher from the Carnegie Institution for Science.

Hauri used secondary mass ion spectrometry, a technique that measures the elemental composition of solid materials, to detect the minute amounts of water in the samples. "We developed a way to detect as little as five parts per million of water," Hauri said. "We were really surprised to find a whole lot more in these tiny glass beads, up to 46 parts per million."

The team then confirmed through a series of tests that hydrogen had been present all along, and the samples had not been infused by hydrogen-rich solar winds or tainted by other volatiles. "This confirms that water comes from deep within the mantle of the Moon," Saal said. "It has nothing to do with secondary processes, such as contamination or solar wind."

The researchers this summer will study volcanic glasses gathered from other Apollo missions for evidence of water.

Here is the link to the original story:

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:42 PM   0 comments links to this post

Will terrorists go nuclear?

I came across this article yesterday and I thought that many readers of the worldview blog may find it interesting:

The following was found at:

Emerging Threats

Analysis: Will terrorists go nuclear?

WASHINGTON, July 7 (UPI) -- One recurring question that has been at the forefront of most intelligence agencies since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by al-Qaida on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon just 1 mile outside Washington concerns the ongoing efforts by terrorist groups to acquire weapons of mass destruction: chemical, biological and mostly nuclear.

Each of the NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) weapons comes with a certain advantage and disadvantage -- for the terrorist, that is.
Of the three sorts, biological weapons are quite possibly the easiest to safely reproduce in a lab, assuming one knows what to do. A biological agent, as a weapon of mass destruction or as a terror weapon, is the least expensive as well as the easiest to disseminate. A bio-agent does not need a delivery mechanism and can be transported by a single person. It can pass through customs and border guards undetected, given that it is odorless and colorless.

All that is needed to spread an epidemic of botulism, for example, or mad cow disease, is to hang around a truck stop for a few hours until a semi pulling a load of cattle on its way to market in a nearby town drives in. Wait until the driver leaves his load unattended, then scrub a previously infected rag around the railings and the mouths of a few of the cattle, and let nature do the rest. The disadvantage, for the terrorist, is that the person carrying the rag is most likely to become contaminated himself (or herself). But with no shortages of jihadists queuing up to become "martyrs," finding two or three volunteers willing to die a horrible, slow and excruciatingly painful death should be no problem.

From a financial and cost-effective perspective, biological agents remain most likely the cheapest and, in all probability, the most likely agent of mass destruction to become available to terror groups.

In their haste to leave training camps and bases of operation in Afghanistan in the wake of rapidly advancing U.S. forces, al-Qaida agents left behind piles of documents, including videotapes showing tests and effects of chemical agents on animals.

Chemical weapons are more cumbersome to produce; they require larger amounts to cause enough damage to leave a psychological scar; and they require a delivery mechanism, such as an artillery shell.

Realistically, a bio-agent can cause far more deaths than a nuclear weapon, because it is not limited geographically, unlike a nuclear bomb. For example, an infected truck driver in Omaha infects a U.S. Army sergeant he met in a diner outside Tulsa, Okla. The GI travels by plane to New York, where he changes planes and boards one bound for Frankfurt. Again he changes planes, this time flying to Kuwait, where he joins up with several members of his unit heading into Iraq. Along the way the GI will have infected scores of people at every airport between Omaha and Baghdad. Those people in turn would have traveled on to Australia, South America, Canada, every European city and other parts of the world. Within a few days people from Sydney to Seattle could start dying.
A nuclear device, on the other hand, would completely devastate the immediate area and, depending on its size, would contaminate everything in a radius of several miles, but the damage would be confined to the immediate area of detonation, plus the fallout zone; in addition, depending on the wind direction and speed, radioactive particles could be carried hundreds, if not thousands, of miles. But psychologically the image of a nuclear blast carries greater impact.

Brian Michael Jenkins, who has just released a book titled "Will Terrorists Go Nuclear?" writes, "There is no doubt that the idea of nuclear weapons may appeal to terrorists." However, Jenkins stresses: "Nuclear terror can also have another insidious effect, one that imperils our very democracy. Terrorism does pose a terrible danger, but our fear of real and imagined threats must not persuade us to diminish our freedoms or our core values. There is no tradeoff between security and liberty. One does not exist without the other."

As Jenkins points out, it is important to differentiate between real and existing threats. A perfect illustration is his description of al-Qaida: "Al-Qaida may have succeeded in becoming the world's first terrorist nuclear power without possessing a single nuclear weapon."

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 6:44 AM   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Third Tower

I just received an e-mail from someone that contained the following video.
The goal of the Worldview blog is to provide information that reflects all worldviews. I do not offer a lot of opinion but simply provide information and let the readers come their own conclusions. The following video reflects a ever growing opinion and worldview within the United States: Be warned this video does contain language that may be considered offensive by many people.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 6:12 PM   0 comments links to this post

Iraqi PM Calls for Withdrawal Date

So let me get this straight:

We removed a dictator so Iraq could have a free and democratic government. But if the free and democratic government decides they will not accept any security agreement unless we provide them a timetable for our withdraw, then we respond by basically saying no! Does Iraq have a real goverment that is leading their country or in reality is Iraq being run by the United States?

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 6:01 PM   0 comments links to this post

Al-Qaida fleeing Iraq for Somalia

I have been telling people for a number of years to continue to keep an eye on the country of Somalia. Today I came across the following report:

Al-Qaida fleeing Iraq for Africa

BAGHDAD, July 8 (UPI) -- Fighters with al-Qaida of Mesopotamia are fleeing Iraq to set up safe havens in Somalia and Sudan, Iraqi security officials said Tuesday.

Former Basra police commander Maj. Gen. Abdul Jalil Khala told Gulf News attacks in Baghdad attributed to al-Qaida are down significantly since this time last year, adding the group is in decline.

"This also highlights the increasingly improving performance of the Iraqi armed forces and the speed by which they can operate in different places," he said.

U.S. and Iraqi military operations have targeted remaining al-Qaida fighters in recent months, most notably in the northern city of Mosul.

Iraqi officials at the Ministry for National Security Affairs said documents uncovered in suspected al-Qaida holdouts in the Sunni areas of Baghdad "prove these elements left Iraq for Somalia and Sudan."

"Our intelligence information indicates the withdrawal of certain groups of al-Qaida from Iraq because of the military strikes," Maj. Gen. Hussain Ali Kamal of the Iraqi Interior Ministry told Gulf News.

"I believe this is the beginning of the complete withdrawal of al-Qaida from Iraqi territory," he said.

Here is the link to the original story:

If al-Qaida actually withdraws from Iraq this could be good for that country but the question then is, what happens in Somalia?

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 5:48 PM   0 comments links to this post

Monday, July 07, 2008

Iraq War Mastermind Speaks Out

Considered one of the main architects of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, former top-ranking Pentagon official Douglas Feith speaks to Steve Kroft about the Bush Administration's decision to invade.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:30 PM   0 comments links to this post

Times Photographer Captures Kabul Changes

The following is from

Tyler Hicks, a staff photographer for The New York Times, talks about how much Kabul has changed between his first visit in 2001 and his last visit three weeks ago.

Hicks was embedded with the Marines in the southern Helmand Province until June.

He says there was much confusion in 2001 as he arrived in the Afghan capital. Things are much calmer now, he says, though there are isolated events that can be even more traumatic than during his arrival.

You can watch a slideshow which is narrated by the photographer at this link:

you can listen to the NPR report on this story at this link:

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 5:44 PM   0 comments links to this post

Nuclear exchange between Pakistan and India

I subscribe to many e-mail alerts so that I can stay updated about things happening in the world and to find new material for this blog. Just a few minutes ago I received an e-mail from Earth Changes Media. It stated the following:

Carlos Barrios, Mayan elder of the 'Clan de Aguila'(the Eagle clan) has warned us of Mayan prophecy which tells us to watch for a nuclear exchange between Pakistan and India. This was mentioned "live" in 2006 on the ECM 'Radio Hour'. This and more was discussed and some outlined in an article.

You hav to be a subscriber to actually read the article and I am currently not a subscribe to the Earch Changes web-site. Here is the link to the site in case you are interested:

Now if anyone knows something about this supposed Mayan prophecy please send me the information. My e-mail address is

I will post an article later tonight about the Nuclear programs of both Pakistan and India.

Have a great day.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 2:34 PM   0 comments links to this post


If you are looking for a good blog that deals with UFOS, the paranormal, and other such topics then you should check out:

Here is the link:

The blog appears to be updated on a regular basis and the post includes a lot of videos as well.

Take the time to visit them and let them know that you heard about them at the Worldview blog.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 2:13 PM   1 comments links to this post

Paranormal activity on YouTube

Fireworks International, the TV division of UK-based ContentFilm, has signed an agreement with YouTube to launch a new channel called Paranormal TV on the social networking site today.

The Paranormal TV channel will offer an array of short format paranormal documentaries and factual entertainment, with new content added weekly by Paranormal Media, the producer of the channel.

Jonathan Ford, senior VP of digital acquisitions and distribution for Fireworks International, said: "This agreement marks an exciting move for us towards working with community-based video-hosting sites to bring exciting and engaging new content to the market."The partnership demonstrates an attractive and potentially lucrative business model and we look forward to showcasing our content on this popular platform."

YouTube EMEA director of video partnerships Patrick Walker added: "Paranormal programming continues to fascinate viewers. This ever-popular genre lends itself very well to open environments like YouTube where fans can engage in thought provoking discussions and interact with others sharing similar interests."

Here is the link to the original story:


After reading this story I jumped on YouTube and did a search, guess what?

I found Paranormal TV

Here is a sample of some of the videos they have posted:

You can visit the Paranormal TV channel on YouTube at this link:

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 8:54 AM   0 comments links to this post

Trouble In Afghanistan

In 2001, the United States launched Operation Enduring Freedom, a military campaign to destroy the al-Qaeda terrorist training camps inside Afghanistan. It has been almost 7 years and many people have pointed to
Afghanistan as being a success for the United States. Some would argue that Iraq has been a horrible failure but then point to our efforts in Afghanistan as being an example of how to do things. Have we succeeded in Afghanistan? How much progress has really been made in almost 7 years? What have our efforts really accomplished?

Afghan Capital Struck by Suicide Bombing
Washington Post - 3 hours ago
At least 40 people were killed and 141 injured Monday in a powerful suicide blast near the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan's capital, Afghan officials said.

Car bomber kills dozens in Afghanistan
Los Angeles Times

Al Jazeera is reporting the following:

At least 40 people, including Indian diplomats, have been killed and more than 100 others wounded in Afghanistan's capital after an attack on the Indian embassy, officials say.

Najib Nikzad, an interior ministry spokesman, said Monday's blast in Kabul killed 40 people.

Abdullah Fahim, a spokesman for the Afghan public health ministry, said 141 people were wounded in addition to the deaths.

The ministry collected information from the scene and several Kabul hospitals.

James Bays, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Afghanistan, said the blast may have been the work of a suicide bomber.

"This is the deadliest attack in Kabul for some months now," he said.
The blast, which was felt across much of Kabul, took place near a row of metal turnstiles outside the Indian embassy, where dozens of Afghan men line up every morning to apply for visas.

The explosion damaged two embassy vehicles entering the compound during the morning rush hour.

You can read the entire report at this link:

Recently the Worldview radio program did a great story on Afghanistan:

On the security front, it's been a tough month in Afghanistan.
US and coalition casualty levels there exceeded those in Iraq for the second month in a row. Afghan civilian causalities are up 60% from a year ago. The chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, confessed meanwhile to being "deeply troubled by the increasing violence.

Here is the link to the program:

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 7:59 AM   0 comments links to this post

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Planet Mercury Is Shrinking

Jupiter Kalambakal - AHN News Writer
London, England (AHN)

Mercury, the nearest planet to the sun and the smallest in the solar system, is shrinking, scientists said Saturday.

Astronomers assured the public that the planet, named after the winged-footed Roman messenger of the gods, will not disappear very soon. It will not happen in the lifetime of those alive now, but billions of years later.

Scientists said that the cooling of the planet's core triggered a magnetic dynamo, which led to the contraction of the planet. The contraction is estimated at least one-third greater than what was previously expected.

Last January, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration revealed images sent by its Messenger probe were some 1,200 photos were taken, 120 miles away from the planet's surface.

The probe was launched in 2004, and passed by Mercury on Jan. 14, a first visit after 33 years. The probe made four sweeps over Mercury.

Here is the link to the original story:


My question is simple, have we checked any other planets to see if they are shrinking?

Here are other links that provide more information about this story:

Messenger's Photos Of Mercury Point Out New Facts eFluxMedia

First Results From Messenger's Mercury Flyby Slashdot

Mercury's core still active, scientists say

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 10:23 PM   0 comments links to this post

Bomber Near Pakistani Mosque Kills at Least 11

New York Times - 1 hour ago
Articles of police clothing mark the bloody scene of a suicide bombing against Pakistani policemen near the Red Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 10:06 PM   0 comments links to this post

Psychic Animals

One of the purposes of the Worldview blog is to cover stories that may not get covered by other news sources. Some of these stories may be labeled as bizarre or different. However, they do reflect worldviews which are held by many people. I simply try to provide information so people can know what is going on.

Today I want to point people to:

The weird world of mystic mogs and death-sensing dogs

Cats who know exactly when they are going to be taken to the vets. Dogs who sense their owners' whereabouts - even if they are miles away. And birds who seem to mourn the deaths of those around them... our pets and other animals have always been intuitive - but do they really have a mysterious sixth sense?

A new book by Britain's leading clinical authority on near-death experiences, Dr Peter Fenwick, and his wife Elizabeth, a counsellor, examines the remarkable cases of psychic animals

There is nothing new about the idea that animals can acquire information from an extra sense that we humans have now lost - if we ever had it at all.

Most pet owners can probably quote some example of a cat or dog behaving like a mind-reader.

Dogs often behave as if they know when their owner is setting off for home, though the owner may be many miles away, and may wait by the door for them to arrive.

Cats are notorious for being able to sense when a visit to the vet is in the offing.

One academic, Rupert Sheldrake, author of Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home, contacted 65 veterinary offices in London and asked if they had any problem with cat owners keeping their appointments.

Not only had 64 noticed such problems, but some were no longer making appointments for cat owners, explaining: 'Cat appointments don't work.'

It isn't simply that the cats notice their owner approaching with a cat basket - the animals actually hide as soon as they sense that their owner is beginning to think: 'I'd better start looking for Puss now if we're to make it to the vets on time . . .'

Similarly, an awareness of death is certainly not restricted to us humans. The enormous interest generated by the case of the intuitive American cat, Oscar, indicates the fascination prescient pet behaviour holds.

Oscar lives in a nursing home and has an uncanny ability to sense when a resident is about to die. When a patient is near death, Oscar nearly always appears and hops on the bed.

The staff have come to recognise and respect Oscar's instincts, and send for the relatives of any patient he has chosen to curl up beside.

But they have no explanation for it. Oscar shows no interest in patients who are simply in poor shape, or who still have a few days to live.

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

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:41 PM   0 comments links to this post

Somalia Update

On Saturday, June 17, 2006 I posted an article called "3 Parts of the World to Watch"

You can read that post at this link: 3 Parts of the World to Watch

In that article I suggested that Somalia was a part of the world we should watch.

Here is the latest news coming out of Somalia

Source: Garowe Online - Garowe,Nugaal,Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia July 6 (Garowe Online) - Unidentified gunmen shot and killed a United Nations official in Somalia on Sunday, moments after he walked out of a mosque in Mogadishu, witnesses said.

Osman Ali Ahmed, chief of the UN Development Program's operations in Somalia, was rushed to a hospital run by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), where he died later from gunshot wounds.

You can read the entire report at this link:


Somalia: Somaliland forces fight civilians, pirates in Sanaag

LAS QOREY, Somalia July 6 (Garowe Online)

- Soldiers loyal to Somalia's separatist region of Somaliland attacked a mountainous region where pirates are suspected to be hiding a German couple kidnapped last month, Radio Garowe reported on Sunday.

The fighting erupted around noon in Almadow Mountains of Sanaag region, a territory disputed between Somaliland and the neighboring region of Puntland.

There were no reports of casualties available, but local sources said that civilians were involved in the battle against the Somaliland soldiers.
Traditional elders intervened to stop the fighting and mediated the withdrawal of Somaliland forces from the area.

The pirates who kidnapped a German man and his wife on June 23 are said to still be holding them captive.

Tensions remain high in the area as Somaliland and Puntland called in reinforcements and local clan militias joined forces with the pirates.

Source: Garowe Online

Meeting Somalia's Islamist insurgents

For BBC World Service's Assignment programme, Rob Walker went in search of the Islamist movement playing an increasingly deadly role in the conflict.

You can read his report at this link:


Many people in the United States have no idea about what is going on in Somalia and who is fighting.

To help inform people I want to point people to the following:

Q&A: Somali conflict

Millions of Somalis are facing starvation as years of war and drought take their toll, aid agencies warn.

You can watch a video report at this link:


Keep checking back as I will continue to follow the situation in Somalia

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:04 PM   0 comments links to this post

More salmonella cases

The following is from the Chicago Times
More salmonella cases reported
943 ILNESSES REPORTED FDA checking peppers, cilantro as well as tomatoes
WASHINGTON -- The government on Saturday increased the number of people reported being sickened in a record salmonella outbreak in which tomatoes are the leading suspect.

There have been 943 reported cases nationwide, with at least 130 hospitalizations since mid-April after the first salmonella illnesses appeared, the Food and Drug Administration said Saturday.
There have been 225 cases reported since June 1 -- evidence that the source likely has not been contained.

More than a third of all cases have been in Texas, though illnesses have been reported in 40 states.

The FDA also said it had begun looking at jalapeno peppers as a possible cause of the outbreak, as well as ingredients used to make salsa such as cilantro and Serrano peppers. Tomatoes continue to be investigated as well, spokeswoman Stephanie Kwisnek said.
To read the rest of the report follow this link:
Links to more information:
Jalapenos May Be Salmonella Culprit With 943 Ill, NC -
Xinhua, China

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 8:59 AM   0 comments links to this post

Saturday, July 05, 2008

9/11 third tower mystery 'solved'

The events of September 11, 2001 are still seen by many as suspicious and conspiracy theories abound. The one issue that brings about the most controversy is that of Tower Seven. Unlike the twin towers, Tower Seven was not hit by a plane. However, it collapsed, in fact it came straight down.

Here is the video of tower 7 collapsing:

Finally a report is going to be released that is supposed to exaplin what happened:

The following is from the BBC

The final mystery of 9/11 will soon be solved, according to US experts investigating the collapse of the third tower at the World Trade Center.

The 47-storey third tower, known as Tower Seven, collapsed seven hours after the twin towers.

Investigators are expected to say ordinary fires on several different floors caused the collapse.

Conspiracy theorists have argued that the third tower was brought down in a controlled demolition.

Unlike the twin towers, Tower Seven was not hit by a plane.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, based near Washington DC, is expected to conclude in its long-awaited report this month that ordinary fires caused the building to collapse.

That would make it the first and only steel skyscraper in the world to collapse because of fire.

See World Trade Center 7's location and structure

The National Institute of Standards and Technology's lead investigator, Dr Shyam Sunder, spoke to BBC Two's "The Conspiracy Files":

"Our working hypothesis now actually suggests that it was normal building fires that were growing and spreading throughout the multiple floors that may have caused the ultimate collapse of the buildings."

However, a group of architects, engineers and scientists say the official explanation that fires caused the collapse is impossible. Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth argue there must have been a controlled demolition.

The founder of the group, Richard Gage, says the collapse of the third tower is an obvious example of a controlled demolition using explosives.

"Building Seven is the smoking gun of 9/11… A sixth grader can look at this building falling at virtually freefall speed, symmetrically and smoothly, and see that it is not a natural process.

"Buildings that fall in natural processes fall to the path of least resistance", says Gage, "they don't go straight down through themselves."

There are a number of facts that have encouraged conspiracy theories about Tower Seven.

Although its collapse potentially made architectural history, all of the thousands of tonnes of steel from the skyscraper were taken away to be melted down.

The third tower was occupied by the Secret Service, the CIA, the Department of Defence and the Office of Emergency Management, which would co-ordinate any response to a disaster or a terrorist attack.

The destruction of the third tower was never mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report. The first official inquiry into Tower Seven by the Federal Emergency Management Agency was unable to be definitive about what caused its collapse.

In May 2002 FEMA concluded that the building collapsed because intense fires had burned for hours, fed by thousands of gallons of diesel stored in the building. But it said this had "only a low probability of occurrence" and more work was needed.

But now nearly seven years after 9/11 the definitive official explanation of what happened to Tower Seven is finally about to be published in America.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has spent more than two years investigating Tower Seven but lead investigator Dr Shyam Sunder rejects criticism that it has been slow.

"We've been at this for a little over two years and doing a two or two and a half year investigation is not at all unusual. That's the same kind of time frame that takes place when we do aeroplane crash investigations, it takes a few years."

With no steel from Tower 7 to study, investigators have instead made four extremely complex computer models worked out to the finest detail. They're confident their approach can now provide the answers. Dr Sunder says the investigation is moving as fast as possible.

"It's a very complex problem. It requires a level of fidelity in the modelling and rigour in the analysis that has never been done before."
Other skyscrapers haven't fully collapsed before because of fire. But NIST argues that what happened on 9/11 was unique.

It says Tower Seven had an unusual design, built over an electricity substation and a subway; there were many fires that burnt for hours; and crucially, fire fighters could not fight the fires in Tower 7, because they didn't have enough water and focused on saving lives.

Investigators have focused on the east side where the long floor spans were under most stress.

They think fires burnt long enough to weaken and break many of the connections that held the steel structure together.

Most susceptible were the thinner floor beams which required less fireproofing, and the connections between the beams and the columns. As they heated up the connections failed and the beams sagged and failed, investigators say.

The collapse of the first of the Twin Towers does not seem to have caused any serious damage to Tower Seven, but the second collapse of the 1,368ft (417m) North Tower threw debris at Tower Seven, just 350ft (106m) away.

Tower Seven came down at 5.21pm. Until now most of the photographs have been of the three sides of the building that did not show much obvious physical damage. Now new photos of the south side of the building, which crucially faced the North Tower, show that whole side damaged and engulfed in smoke.

Here are links to more information about tower 7

Q&A: The collapse of Tower 7

Timeline: WTC 7

9/11 - The Third Tower

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 12:16 PM   0 comments links to this post