Pedophile traps

100,000 adults posing online as children?

Minding the Planet reports “this interesting project that aims to stop online pedophiles by setting 100,000 online honeytraps. It calls for 100,000 volunteer adults to post online profiles in various services posing as minors. They then use these a bait and wait to be contacted by pedophiles. Once contacted they basically set the hook and then do a sting operation with the help of law enforcement agents.” more…

Is a ‘honeytrap’ a legal enforcement approach?

Grandmother surrogate

A Japanese woman serving as a surrogate for her daughter’s fertilized egg gave birth to her own grandchild.

I immediately wondered if this woman would ever had imagined this possibility only a few years ago….

via FuturePundit

Re-map the Middle East

new map  middle eastThe most arbitrary and distorted borders in the world are in Africa and the Middle East.

Drawn by self-interested Europeans (who have had sufficient trouble defining their own frontiers), Africa’s borders continue to provoke the deaths of millions of local inhabitants.

But the unjust borders in the Middle East — to borrow from Churchill — generate more trouble than can be consumed locally. [discussed here at the Armed Forces Journal]

In this new map of the Middle East nations are more naturally divided by religion and tribe. Iraq is split into at least three new states while Turkey shrinks.

via gulfstream

New products help spew the flu

Be careful.
Beware the “other computer viruses”.
Because up to 80% of flu cases are contracted by touching an infected object.

Most germs, including the influenza virus, can survive for only about five minutes on your hands, but they can live for up to two days on phones, keyboards, mice and other surfaces.

Mike Elgan writes in Computer World that our equipment is, “a thriving freak show of an ecosystem teaming with nasty, microbial sea monkeys.”

“…your chances of infection — and spreading the infection within your office — are alarmingly high.”

Here are the relative germ densities of frequently touched office equipment:

  • Phone: 25,127 germs per square inch
  • Desktop surface: 20,961 germs per square inch
  • Keyboard: 3,295 germs per square inch
  • Mouse: 1,676 germs per square inch
  • Fax machine: 301 germs per square inch
  • Copy machine: 69 germs per square inch
  • Toilet seat: 49 germs per square inch.

Mike offers tips and products that can make a difference.

Be gentle to soldiers, good citizens

Science blog warns us, “Having a mental illness, especially one caused by war, is no longer the shame it was when General Patton slapped a shell-shocked soldier. Awareness and reporting of syndromes like post-traumatic stress disorder are also much higher than in the past. Even so, a secret government study about the degree to which the “global war on terror” has affected the personalities of recent veterans is, well, mind-blowing.”

Wars May End But Mental Disorders March On

The AP reports that according to the government’s own statistics, more than one-third of veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq who seek medical treatment from the Veterans Health Administration have symptoms of stress or other mental disorders and are reporting it at 10 times the rate of just 18 months earlier.

“There is a sad and unnecessary personal cost here,
but an even greater one for America…”

You don’t need it

Rolling off brandtacticians there’s this from Henry Ford:

“If I’d listened to my customers I’d have made a faster horse.”

A safe pesticide is possible

We could conceivably create a pesticide that is only toxic to insects, not humans.

Current pesticides, developed shortly after WWII, target an amino acid called serine, causing a chemical imbalance in the brains of insects eventually killing them. Serine is not unique to insects, which is why serine-based insecticides affect both humans and animals. The theory has been that these pesticides are used in low doses that humans can tolerate, but pests cannot.

The key [to a safe pesticide], according to the study’s author, Yuan-Ping Pang, Ph.D., director of Mayo Clinic’s Computer-Aided Molecular Design Laboratory, was in identifying an insect-specific enzyme that could be used as a direct target for a new insecticide that would not affect humans and animals.

They used a powerful terascale supercomputer – one trillion operations per second. Dr. Pang designed a three-dimensional model of the enzyme.

“We now have a blueprint that will enable the development of a new generation of pesticides that will not be toxic to humans. Ultimately, the idea would be that we would be able to eat apples without washing them — even though it may be covered with pesticides,” says Dr. Pang.

via Agnet Oct. 13/06 — II

At least aim an arrow

The Mayor of London is in the news a lot. Here’s a group he started that aims to make London the creative capital of the world. [via]

Already a fifth of all jobs, London at least has targets and tasks.

The Mayor’s vision for London is based on three interlocking themes:

  • strong and diverse economic growth
  • social inclusivity where all share in London’s success
  • fundamental management and use of resources.

Dopamine has roots

Bayer Heroin bottle“Not everyone knows that Heroin was invented by the German pharmaceutical company Bayer, makers of Aspirin.

It was viewed a safe alternative to morphine.

During the testing many researches found that together with pain killing the drug made them feel elated, euphoric and heroic. So the new drug was called Heroin.

It was banned in Germany only in 1969.”

Konstantin blogs from Russia:
Konstantin’s blog follows advertising in the Russian market, providing interesting commentary and insight – “News, musings and rants on marketing and advertising in Russia”.

American Know-How Delivers Record Opium Crop

Congress outlawed the sale of heroin and cocaine in 1914. Prior to then, drugstores sold narcotics as popular cures and tonics. “Heroin” was actually Bayer’s trade name for its over-the-counter cough medicine. Coca-Cola, a fountain drink, was invented by an Atlanta druggist; its kick came from the coca leaf.

In ninety-three years, narcotics have gone from quaint drugstore notions to ubiquitous small-town evils.

“American Know-How Delivers Record Opium Crop” appeared in the September 8, 2006 issue of the West Virginia State Journal and in the September 10, 2006 issue of the Clarksburg (WV) Exponent-Telegram.

What’s in your brain’s closet?

my virtual officeScrew HDTV.

Screw Core-Duo.

Sell the house and build an office that’s fit for the human brain.

Your Second Life is Ready

“Residents of one of the Internet’s most populous virtual worlds shop, attend class—even run businesses. Soon you may do the same.”

Read the Popular Science story on Second Life from September, 2006.

Tour guides for virtual travel: a new travel agency based in Italy, Synthravels, offers guided tours through virtual worlds like EverQuest and Second Life.

Things go better with…

Bumping into sites is like following intuition.
Or walking along the beach.

Here’s a neat summary of the necessary skillset in the advertising sector:

“I think I’m starting to believe that the fundamental skillset of great [advertising] planners is actually relatively uncomplicated.

It’s really easy 😉 you just have to be a brilliant, interesting and challenging human being with an amazing capacity to express yourself. Oh yeah, and be completely ego-less, and be able to take shit from multiple directions simultaneously.”

10 tips & some advice here.

Yeh sure. Really easy. We all qualify. Yup. But not to worry.

The reputed agency Brand Tacticians in the UK offers relief:

How to do great creative work
Without being clever or talented

Plus, they’ve posted this snippet:

Today the Financial Times reports that nearly one quarter of US baby boomers are insulted by the advertising messages that companies are sending them, according to a survey by a WPP research group. As a result, many said that they were actually less likely to buy a product. Only 25%?

I suppose that’s the very best “brilliant, interesting and challenging human beings with an amazing capacity” can achieve.

Sweeping better decisions

Researchers collected data from 42 manufacturing facilities and determined the lower in the ranks a company allows employees to make decisions, the higher the company’s overall manufacturing performance.

The finding is part of the largest empirical study ever performed of pharmaceutical manufacturing and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s monitoring policies, which also found that the U.S. pharmaceutical industry might be wasting more than $50 billion every year.

Paradigm shift in food sterilization

Conventional wisdom holds that harmful bacteria on fruits and vegetables are the remnants of contamination skulking on the exterior of the plants — easily washed away by conventional surface sterilization techniques.

But University of Florida microbiology experts believe the recent rash of spinach-related E. coli infections may be linked to swarms of the pathogen lurking inside the leafy greens.

“When I was a graduate student, we were taught that the insides of plants were sterile,” said Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia. “…but assuming E. coli is getting into the plant — yes, this will be a big problem to address.”

The problem, UF researchers say, would be twofold. The first is the question of how to keep dangerous bacteria out of water and soil in the first place. The second is how to eliminate a pathogen if it does infiltrate crops. [story]

Put a port where?

America’s ports could be a weak link in America’s economy.

Michael Maloni, Ph.D., co-author of a 2005 container port capacity survey, says that port traffic is growing exponentially, container volume may double in ten years, and problems are already emerging.

Boxing the economy
The idea of a truck driver from North Carolina, Malcolm McLean, 50 years ago, began the transportation of merchandise in containers and created a true revolution in world commerce. In the 60’s MacLean created the company Sea-Land and passed away almost forgotten in 2001. [link]

The Box that Changed the World” at Amazon

“Without the container, there would be no globalization”.
The Economist, March 2006

The end of blood loss

Pouring a bandage onto a bleeding wound seems like medicine from science fiction, but…

MIT’s remarkable new peptide compound rapidly forms a transparent, nanofiber-rich meshwork that stops bleeding instantly, allows wounds to begin healing quickly, promotes tissue regeneration, and breaks down harmlessly within the body.

Surgery can be performed through it, enabling faster, more accurate, and safer operations. It does not require removal, because its breakdown products can be used by cells in the healing process.

this disruptive technology is real.

Superbugs are creeping into our world

This post follows the very provocative news that eating chicken can lower our resistance to germs and may be propelling the arrival of Superbugs.

This study found that 20% (up to 50% in some hospitals) of staph infections are resistant to antibiotics.

They’re creeping past hospitals, beating our medicines and ramping up the need for new drugs.

Superbugs, which are resistant to antibiotics, are more common than we thought in Canada, said researchers of a new study of 19 intensive care units across the country.

“The problem with antibiotics is we create resistant superbugs,” said Dr. George Zhanel, a University of Manitoba medical microbiology professor yesterday.

“The big worry is we are going to enter shortly in a state … where we will have patients who are essentially untreatable.

This is a time called revenge of the killer microbes.

Dinner is in your tank

Farmers are concerned with how much corn will be produced for livestock. One of the largest swine producers is expressing concern over the potential impact of grain ethanol production on feed and food supplies.

“If you put corn in your tank through ethanol, it’s not available for you to eat and sustain yourself….”

Big Sky Farms CEO Florian Possberg suggests it’s great to have fuel in the car to make it run, but if we get to the point where it’s a choice between putting it in your tank and having something to eat, it’s going to be interesting times.

Iowa has exported roughly 40 percent of their corn crop, but by 2008 they could be a net importer.

Over 100 US mid-west ethanol plants are in business or about to begin business.

Annual ethanol production by 2012 may reach 7.5 billion gallons

“If American corn production increases by an average of 15 bushels per acre per year, with the additional ethanol plants coming on stream within the next five or ten years, the United States could be short of corn for internal purposes, much less exports, so it’s a pretty simple issue.”

“…government policy needs to keep in mind that, yeah, it’s important that we have fuel. It’s also important that we have the grain stocks to feed our population, so it needs to be in proper balance.”

Does geography affect allergy?

The Food Allergen Labelling and Consumer Protection Act has identified as major food allergens eight foods or food groups which account for roughly 90% of all food allergies. [story]

  1. wheat
  2. eggs
  3. fish
  4. crustacean shellfish
  5. tree nuts
  6. peanuts
  7. milk
  8. soybeans

The European allergen labelling legislation came into force with twelve allergens. Action may follow on fructose and molluscs… [story]

  1. gluten cereal (i.e. wheat, rye, barley, oats…)
  2. eggs
  3. fish
  4. crustaceans
  5. nuts
  6. peanuts
  7. milk
  8. soybeans
  9. celery
  10. mustard
  11. sesame seeds
  12. sulphur dioxide and sulphites

Peas, kiwi and apple are seen as allergens in other parts of the world.

Richest in China

Tycoon Zhang Yin, 49-year-old founder of Nine Dragons Paper, which buys scrap paper from the US for use in China, has become the first woman to top the list of China’s richest people with a fortune of $3.4B.

She is now the richest self-made woman in the world, ahead of Oprah and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

very, very, very more internet users in Asia

Nitin Desai, the chair of the Internet Governance Forum at the United Nations, says there are “…concerns over regulation as the internet, telephony and commerce come together.”

“If I look at the internet in five years from now there are going to be very, very, very more internet users in Asia than Europe or America.

“There will be more Chinese web pages than English pages.

“The types of uses for the internet in India and China are very different from western countries – they are not commerce or media; they are essentially public service applications.”

The internet was increasingly being shaped by companies and organisations at the “edges” and not by government, public sector bodies and regulators, he said.

This was concerning some countries who wanted more involvement in the development of the net.

“These are the reasons these entities – government and private sector – feel they need to be reassured that the system they are relying on is secure, safe and reliable – that they cannot be suddenly thrown out of that system by some attack,” said Mr Desai.

He said the Chinese government was concerned that users still had to type webpage addresses using Latin characters even when the pages were in Chinese.

“I think this is one of the key issues and if we don’t address it with sufficient vigour we will get a Balkanisation of the net.”

“There’s a point at which the Chinese will say ‘We have to have domain names in Chinese characters’ and they will set up an independent system.

Color your pill

Mind Hacks reports

“The colour of a placebo can influence its effects.

When administered without information about whether they are stimulants or depressives, blue placebo pills produce depressant effects, whereas red placebos induce stimulant effects (Blackwell et al., 1972).

Patients report falling asleep significantly more quickly and sleeping longer after taking a blue capsule than after taking an orange capsule (Luchelli et al., 1978).

Red placebos are more effective pain relievers than white, blue or green placebos (Huskisson, 1974; Nagao et al., 1968).”

UV Surveillance Technology

Techdirt reports:

There’s little doubt that surveillance cameras are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, and that there’s really no such thing as privacy in public. But monitoring images visible to the naked eye may one day look quaint compared to the next generation of surveillance technologies.

One company is developing a new technology that uses UV rays to detect trace amounts of illegal substances on objects, like door handles. So, a cop walking through the hallway of an apartment building could quickly zap each door handle to get an idea of who might be in possession of illegal narcotics.

You can probably imagine many different applications of this technology, like streetlights that can tell what drivers had alcohol touch their lips that night.

The question isn’t whether this technology is bad or good, it’s whether it can be used without being abused.

At the moment, the courts have ruled against the use of drug-monitoring technology without a warrant, but it’s not like nobody ever ignored the law before. And please, don’t bother with the argument “If you have no drug residue on your door handle, then you have nothing to hide.”

Chicken about germs?

From Science

Poultry consumption a risk factor
for antibiotic resistance in humans

Antibiotic use as a livestock growth promoter increases the risk of human antibiotic resistance

Results of the nearly $1.4 million three-year study, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, are in the November 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

These results indicate that antibiotic use in poultry leads to transfer of antibiotic resistance genes to human gut bacteria through the food supply and they provide additional evidence that use of growth promoters in animals may have long-term consequences for human health.

The animal feed industry is changing rapidly. A major challenge is mixing feeds for a diversified increasingly healthy approach to raising cattle, swine and poultry.

Antiobiotics have been routinely used in the feed of weaning and young animals when the intestine has yet to populate a healthy environment. This use is when it is called a “growth additive”. A stronger animal, free of harmful bacteria, grows more quickly.

In Europe, antiobiotics are being phased out by law. In the USA, reducing antiobitics when animals aren’t sick is already a trend. Top producer brands of poultry such as Tyson and Pilgrim have voluntarily reduced the routine use of antiobiotics. But alternatives are required especially to help young animals.

This is a problem I can help to solve.

Providing “healthy bacteria” helps to quickly create a favorable intestinal environment. A healthy flora of bacteria in the intestine disrupts or displaces dangerous bacteria common on the farm and feed lot.

» Probiotic bacteria enhance early growth without using antibiotics.

If you would like to help me develop this market, let me know.

I posted a blurb on BuildV1.

I’d like to establish a new market in the Americas for a “probiotic animal feed supplement” manufactured under certified controls in Asia. It is a dry powder containing cultured beneficial bacteria and minerals.

I think of it as a yogurt starter for baby animals.

A small amount is mixed with each bushel of conventional feed. It ships in bags or in bulk. There are current lab certs and highly reputable current buyers in Asia. The additive has been tested at Japan’s ICI Research Institute.


Janet Koepke HayesDear warm heart,

Thine love!
Celestial joy!
Rare affection!
Happy torment!
Glorious to be us!

Precious man,
‘Tis pleasure to care through fortune
Where laughter and wealth reverberate,
But it is still treasure and delight,
‘Though life possess tempest and melancholy.

Stay pure.
Then from oneself soar.

This poem was presented to me by my wife, Janet Hayes, only a few days before she passed away from metastatic breast cancer. Janet carried a lethal cancer for several years with radiation, chemotherapy and four major surgeries, nine surgeries in all, while carrying on through these milestones in her career:

Janet Hayes, Executive Director
Judicial Division,
American Bar Association

Executive Director
California Women Lawyers Association

Advisory Committee,
Center for Justice and Judicial Studies, University of Nevada

Executive Director
Conference of Delegates, State Bar of California

Executive Director
Litigation Section, State Bar of California

During many years and several positions at the State Bar of California, Janet enjoyed being the Administrator of The Litigation Section, raising its membership well over 10,000 members to become the largest organization of lawyers in the California State Bar.

She helped create and manage the respected California Litigation publication and the robust yearly ‘Litigation Review‘, both ongoing and respected publications that began and remained strong under Janet’s leadership. She created ‘Champions of the Courtroom‘ in order to reveal the critical contributions of lawyers and the important work that informs democracy of its labor toward justice. For the first time in its history, she compiled and published the rules of the California State Bar. She enjoyed her State Bar assistant Wayne Currier immensely; her event planner ally Ron Johnson; and her longtime friend Doron Weinberg, a tough and preeningly confident civil rights attorney.

She truly enjoyed creating and co-hosting ‘A Week in Legal London‘ with staff of London’s Royal Courts of Justice and with her stalwart friend Michael McKenzie QC CB, Master of the Crown Office, Royal Courts of England and Wales, Queen’s Coroner, Queen’s Attorney, SA – one of the top legal professionals of England and Wales and dearly enjoyed Michael’s wonderful wife Peggy. While inviting lawyers to explore the roots of law, including commencing the California Bar’s Oxford University Summer Program, Janet wanted attorneys to see that the practice of American law will evolve in their hands as it evolves in English common law.

Janet urged those who practice law to see that they are firstly Officers of the Court. They must learn to cooperate in order to bring truth to the bench whether they prosecute or defend. She worried that victory is a fashion while justice is a greater task. Janet was concerned that an institutional adversarial approach in the practice of law could too easily obscure justice and trump the courtroom.

To join peers of the profesion during the O. J. Simpson murder trial, Janet quickly arranged a conference of over 600 lawyers to meet Johnny Cochran and F. Lee Bailey in person at the Silverado Resort in Napa, California. Gerry Spence, famous on TV in his western jacket and cowboy hat, gave his keynote on trusting the highest virtues both as a person and a lawyer. Thomas Jefferson was ‘reincarnated on stage’ to recite his thoughts and remind us that our tremendous values are always required in modern USA.

Janet kept every issue framed in creed and ethics. Her agenda reflected the purpose and charter of the Bar and its critical tenets too often forgotten across the nation.

Benjamin Dreyfus
and Charles Garry, famous for defending the Chicago 8, were Janet’s favorite lawyers, her warmest personal friends and her employers at Garry, Dreyfus, McTernan & Brotsky. These lawyers made their career stepping forward for the most despised. They insistently defended the underdog such as the Black Panthers‘ Huey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver, the Pentagon Paper’s Daniel Ellsberg, and Jim Jones of the People’s Temple massacre. They and Janet felt that the more chastised or poor or disadvantaged the client, the more important the role of the attorney! Working with Dreyfus and Garry for many years, she earned a first-hand account in helping secure America’s civil rights and free speech.

Living with cancer during her short period at the helm of the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association, Janet organized a program for the nation’s judges that reviewed modern patterns of implied consent and the impact of new proximity technology. She invited firms and scientists to reveal to the American bench the newest technology that might affect the American person. To review long term policy of the judicial branch, Janet co-produced the first meeting in the history of America attended by the Chief Justice of each state.

Janet had two other professional names: Janet Koepke & Janet Carver. The root of Janet’s maiden name is Von der Kopke of Alsace Lorraine, Germany. Her grandfather, Johann Kopke, arrived in San Francisco perhaps sailing the SS Cimbria in 1875. He acquired much of the early San Francisco waterfront, then lost it, Janet
thought by losing the written land titles and much cash during the fire of the 1906 earthquake. He had two sons and four daughters.

Janet’s father, Edward John Koepke, was earning honors at Harvard when he volunteered in WWI to operate an early warning radio device, listening for an invasion from a shack on the cold and desolate Farallone Islands. Janet’s mother, Elizabeth Lund Fuller, later married Varden Fuller, a pioneering professor of agricultural economics at the University of California. She passed away in 2004 after almost 95 years. Janet’s living relatives include Edward Koepke Jr., Carolyn Koepke, Karen Koepke and Janet’s daughter Shelley Carver.