Nullary Sources

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Posts tagged oh dear

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A tick bite can make you allergic to red meat

AP report on some food allergies apparently being spread by ticks in the United States:

The bugs harbor a sugar that humans don’t have, called alpha-gal. The sugar is also is found in red meat - beef, pork, venison, rabbit - and even some dairy products. It’s usually fine when people encounter it through food that gets digested.

But a tick bite triggers an immune system response, and in that high-alert state, the body perceives the sugar the tick transmitted to the victim’s bloodstream and skin as a foreign substance, and makes antibodies to it. That sets the stage for an allergic reaction the next time the person eats red meat and encounters the sugar.

The Wikipedia article for the allergy mentions a replacement heart valve triggering anaphylaxis in someone, which is especially horrifying.

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Surgery photo leads to privacy lawsuit against Torrance Memorial

Everyone grab a pencil, get out your handbook, and turn to page 224. Thanks to this report by Chad Terhune for the Los Angeles Times, we all need to update our lists of things it’s not okay to do to patients under our care at a hospital:

During surgery at Torrance Memorial Medical Center, an anesthesiologist decorated a patient’s face with stickers while the patient was unconscious — giving her a black mustache and teardrops under her left eye — and then a nurse’s aide snapped her photo.

The 2011 incident has prompted a state investigation and a civil lawsuit by the patient against the hospital and the doctor over the alleged breach of medical privacy.

You’d think that maybe vandalizing a patient’s face, and then taking a picture of that face, and then showing the patient that picture would be a self-evident thing that you should never do, but I guess the anaesthesiologist and the nurse’s aide only audited Behaving Properly Around Your Goddamn Patients 101.

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'Depraved' sex acts by penguins shocked polar explorer

I unfortunately had no choice but to click this BBC News piece by Matt McGrath:

Accounts of unusual sexual activities among penguins, observed a century ago by a member of Captain Scott’s polar team, are finally being made public.

Details, including “sexual coercion”, recorded by George Murray Levick were considered so shocking that they were removed from official accounts.

He was shocked by what he described as the “depraved” sexual acts of “hooligan” males who were mating with dead females. So distressed was he that he recorded the “perverted” activities in Greek in his notebook.

Necrophilia is now hooliganism. Also I like the idea of being so upset by something that you start writing in Greek.

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I was trying to find a voice clip of Alpha 5 from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers uttering his “ayeyaiyaiyaiyaiyai” catchphrase when I stumbled across this piece of music that I had previously repressed from my memory.

Here for your supreme enjoyment is the hopefully probably fictional “Power Jet” with “Ayeyaiyai (Alpha Song)” from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie: Original Soundtrack Album.

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Cleaner removes 'stain' from acclaimed artwork

Matthew Day, the Telegraph:

A determined German cleaner destroyed a piece of art valued at £690,000 by cleaning away what she thought was an unsightly stain from the artwork.

The cleaner got to work on an installation by the late and famed artist Martin Kippenberger at a museum in Dortmund.

Entitled “When It Starts Dripping From The Ceilings” the piece comprised a tower of wooden slats with a plastic bowl at the bottom painted brown to give the impression of discolouration caused by water. The cleaner took the paint to be an actual stain and scrubbed the bowl till it looked new.

Whoops. :[

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NRC and industry rewrite nuke history

When commercial nuclear power was getting its start in the 1960s and 1970s, industry and regulators stated unequivocally that reactors were designed only to operate for 40 years. Now they tell another story — insisting that the units were built with no inherent life span, and can run for up to a century, an Associated Press investigation shows.

Regulators and industry now contend that the 40-year limit was chosen for economic reasons and to satisfy antitrust concerns, not for safety issues. They contend that a nuclear plant has no technical limit on its life.

But an AP review of historical records, along with interviews with engineers who helped develop nuclear power, shows just the opposite: Reactors were made to last only 40 years. Period.

In 1982, D. Clark Gibbs, chairman of the licensing and safety committee of an early industry group, wrote to the NRC that “most nuclear power plants, including those operating, under construction or planned for the future, are designed for a duty cycle which corresponds to a 40-year life.”

And three years later, when Illinois Power Co. sought a license for its Clinton station, utility official D.W. Wilson told the NRC on behalf of his company’s nuclear licensing department that “all safety margins were established with the understanding of the limitations that are imposed by a 40-year design life.”

Weeeeelllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllp. I am not a nuclear power alarmist, but shit like this does not help your credibility at all guys. Really. Cut it out.

Also, thumbs up to the Associated Press National Investigative Team for doing actual, real reporting on an issue related to nuclear power.