Peace in Mind.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Armed but Not So Safe -

Armed but Not So Safe - I spent over 30 years as a police officer in the Chicago area, and I was required to carry a weapon both on and off duty.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Deodorants, Antiperspirants, Parabens & Breast Cancer

English: pink ribbon
English: pink ribbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Deodorants, Antiperspirants, Parabens & Breast Cancer

Parabens are used as preservatives in many thousands of cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical products to which we are exposed. Parabens are permitted as preservatives in food up to 0.1%. In cosmetics, parabens are permitted in concentrations of up to 1%. A 1995 survey of 215 cosmetic products found that parabens were used in 99% of leave-on products and in 77% of rinse-off cosmetics. [2]
It is safe to say that if you use cosmetic products, you are using products that contain parabens.
Parabens have been considered as safe for many years, however this has changed in the last few decades. Currently, there is evidence of the endocrine (hormonal system), reproductive and developmental effects of parabens. [3]
Parabens are absorbed through the skin and can then be stored in the body. Once parabens are in the body it affects the hormonal system by mimicking oestrogen, the hormone that promotes cell growth. The promotion of cell growth link parabens with cancer, and in the context of this article, breast cancer. Parabens have actually been detected in human breast cancer tumors, as Darbre stated in 2004:
[The] detection [of parabens] in human breast tumours is of concern since parabens have been shown to be able to mimic the action of the female hormone oestrogen [4]

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Study links medieval Black Death to present plague < German news | Expatica Germany

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30/08/2011Study links medieval Black Death to present plague

A much less virulent version of the Black Death plague that killed a third of Europe's population in the 14th century is still present today, according to a study published Tuesday.

DNA testing on the skeletons of plague victims unearthed in a medieval London mass grave reveals part of the same gene sequence as the modern bubonic plague, despite its different attributes.

"At least this part of the genetic information has barely changed in the past 600 years" says Johannes Krause, one of the authors of the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

"Without a doubt, the plague pathogen known today as (yersinia) pestis was also the cause of the plague in the Middle Ages," he added.

The Black Death claimed the lives of one-third of Europe's population in just five years from 1348 to 1353, but modern outbreaks have been far less deadly, even given advances in medicine.

An outbreak in Bombay, India in 1904, for example, killed just three percent of the population despite the fact that it happened before the advent of antibiotics.

For the study, undertaken by the University of Tubingens Institute of Scientific Archaeology in Germany and the McMaster University in Canada, researchers extracted DNA from 109 skeletons from a mass burial site in London.

By comparing the DNA to that of 10 skeletons excavated from a site pre-dating the Black Death, the researchers were able to prove that it had not been contaminated by modern genetic material or bacteria in the soil.

The authors argue the version of the disease that caused the medieval plague is likely extinct, but suggest that further study could reveal how it may have evolved into a less virulent strain.

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© 2011 AFP

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Friday, July 22, 2011

After Discovery, State Quietly Moves to Scrub N-word From Official Documents


In the remote meadows and forests of upstate New York, state environmental scientists have made a disturbing discovery: a road, a stream and a lake all bearing names using the most offensive racial word in the English language.

A vestige of a long-ago past, the n-word—fully spelled out—still lingers in environmental conservation laws classifying bodies of water.

"It was a shock to us. The term is very offensive," said Scott Stoner, a research scientist for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. "These are not regulations that get looked at often, but somebody discovered it."

Mr. Stoner said a regional researcher alerted the agency about the racial epithet two years ago. Officials, he said, then did a computer search and found three other examples buried in regulatory indexes and a map.

This week, the state quietly moved to correct the problem. While it can't rename local roads and water bodies, the agency is finally scrubbing the n-word from its regulations.

Since it's technically a rule change, the deletions can't happen instantaneously but must first be proposed. The result is one of the more unusual rule changes announced in the official state register, the latest edition of which carries the headline: "Removing a Racially Offensive Term That Appears in the Regulations."


The agency proposed it as a "consensus rule," obviating the need for any public hearings. "DEC has determined that no person is likely to object to the adoption of the rule as written," the register states.

In the meantime, DEC zapped the word from regulations posted on its website. One of those instances, a little, narrow lake in the wooded wilderness of Hamilton County, is now referred to as "unnamed lake."

The required public-comment period still stands, which means the regulations won't officially be amended for another month and a half.

Since few people outside the agency ever noticed the slur, it never generated public outrage. That wasn't the case across the coast in northern California, where a cemetery containing several dozen headstones labeled with the racial term turned into a major controversy.

Despite the effort to purge the n-word from New York's official documents, the epithet showed up in a recent management plan report by the agency's division of lands and forests.

An offensively named road in the town of Danby in Tompkins County is cited in a report posted online in February. The agency was unaware of that until a reporter brought it to its attention on Thursday.

"The Department will take action to move forward in removing any offensive term from the Lands and Forests map in terms of how it is referenced," said Lori Severino, a spokeswoman for the agency, in a statement.

"DEC cannot and does not have the authority to rename roads, water bodies, or any other natural resources in the state," said Ms. Severino. "These are historical records and sometimes date back hundreds of years. We can, however, change or remove how they are referenced under DEC regulations and to strive to be proactive in those measures whenever possible."

The precise origin of the names is a mystery to even the most rooted locals.

"I'd like to say, 'Talk to one of the old folks around here,' but the trouble with that is I'm 83." said Tom Bissell, a local historian from Hamilton County.

The federal government began to strip the n-word from its topographic maps in the early 1960s. But within the more obscure reaches of cartographic bureaucracy, the n-word occasionally endures.

"You would expect to find almost all of them in the deep South, but there were a surprising number of them in places like upstate New York and Maine," said Mark Monmonier, a professor of geography at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and author of the 2006 book, "From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow: How Maps Name, Claim and Inflame."

Write to Jacob Gershman at

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