So I made myself run some errands this morning before I would allow myself the luxury of watching All My Children while I worked. (It’s online now.)

It was about 15 minutes into the story when MY FUCKING MONITOR BLEW. Now, I got my money’s worth. It’s a used Dell I bought for $90 five years ago, so I’m not exactly bitter. But there’s $138 I didn’t plan to spend this month.

I spend an hour online looking for a good deal and found one on Amazon. Okay, I figure I can use my laptop in the meantime, right? Wrong. I spent an hour trying to hook up my keyboard and get it to work, the same keyboard I was already using with my laptop for months. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear it was a Mercury retrograde.

Avian flu

The roulette wheel is spinning…

AFP – There is no evidence that the deadly H7N9 bird flu has yet spread between humans in China but health authorities must be ready for the virus to mutate at any time, a top US virologist has warned.

Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said officials in China had studied more than 1,000 close contacts of confirmed cases and not found any evidence of human-to-human transmission.

“That is powerful evidence because if you had a thousand contacts with someone with the flu you would be pretty sure some of them would have been infected,” Fauci said in an interview with AFP.

Nevertheless, Fauci cautioned that authorities needed to be ready for the possibility of the virus mutating and spreading between humans.

“It’s unpredictable as are all the influenza. One of the things we need to be concerned about is this might gain the capability of going human-to-human which up to this point has not happened and is somewhat encouraging news,” Fauci said.

“But we still need to be very prepared for the eventuality of that happening.”

Compare and contrast

In America, this guy would sob on a few talk shows, collect a fat insurance check and then be recruited by the GOP to run for Congress. Think I’m kidding? Let’s see what happens to the owner of that Texas fertilizer factory:

(Reuters) – Bangladeshi lawyers and protesters chanted “hang him, hang him” on Monday as the owner of a factory building that collapsed last week killing nearly 400 people was led into court dressed in a helmet and bullet-proof jacket, witnesses said.

The drama came as rescue officials said they were unlikely to find more survivors in the rubble of the building that collapsed on Wednesday, burying hundreds of garment workers in the country’s worst industrial accident.

Heavy cranes were being used to lift huge concrete blocks from the wreckage of Rana Plaza, where 385 people are now confirmed to have been killed. The building housed factories making clothes for Western brands.

(h/t DUI Lawyer David Benowitz.)

Disney World

I would rather be hogtied to the front of a moving train than go to Disney World, and now I have an even better reason:

Pressure from Disney World has influenced the Florida Senate to take a big step back in guaranteeing paid sick days for workers.

The Florida Senate voted Friday to prevent local communities their enacting their own wage and benefits laws until a statewide study can be conducted, The Orlando Sentinel reports.

The bill, which would at least delay efforts to guarantee all workers paid sick days was drafted with the support of Disney World and Darden Restaurants, the company behind Olive Garden and Red Lobster, as well as the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

“Today, Republicans in the Florida Senate stood up for corporations like Disney and Darden and against the interests of families who believe their own communities know what is best for them,” Stephanie Porta, an advocate for those seeking paid-sick days, said in a statement.

Family organization MomsRising.org is spearheading efforts to fight back. The group claims that this week, Disney World refused to accept a petition with 6,000 signatures demanding that the resort stop pushing legislation that stands in the way of earned sick time initiatives.

(h/t/ William White.)


Who would have thought?

April 25 (Reuters) – Heavy use of the world’s most popular herbicide, Roundup, could be linked to a range of health problems and diseases, including Parkinson’s, infertility and cancers, according to a new study.

The peer-reviewed report, published last week in the scientific journal Entropy, said evidence indicates that residues of “glyphosate,” the chief ingredient in Roundup weed killer, which is sprayed over millions of acres of crops, has been found in food.

Those residues enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease, according to the report, authored by Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Anthony Samsel, a retired science consultant from Arthur D. Little, Inc. Samsel is a former private environmental government contractor as well as a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body,” the study says.

We “have hit upon something very important that needs to be taken seriously and further investigated,” Seneff said.
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