February 21, 2009

From Julian Lieb:

Re: HIV gene therapy trial results seen as positive (Feb. 15, 2009): How sweet of you to advise those with HIV+ of the highly questionable potential of gene therapy, while not informing them of the potent, available, and inexpensive immunostimulating properties of antidepressants? Want someone else to evaluate the article? Wouldn’t that be peer reviewing peer review, thus nullifying peer review?

—Julian Lieb, M.D.

From Linda Roberts:

Re: A function for “gay genes” after all? (Feb. 8): I am very surprised to find this phenomon of “gay” folks protecting and raising the young, is not proved. I have studied same gender loving folks in Native American Cultures. There was a book put out decades ago by Walter somebody, called The Spirit and the Flesh. This documents “gay” folks who, yes, raised the children in the tribe. Some of the men had already married and had raised children and their later years’s relationships were same sex.

Many native societies are matrilinear. Dineh children look up to their mother’s brother and not their fathers. They are in their mother’s brother’s clan first. In the Pueblo society, the youngest sister owns the house. The brothers are subservient to her because she can kick them out. Uncles are important to the children, not fathers.

This backs up what I have always said about homophobia, it is related to hatred of the role of women. If you hate women, it is unspeakable to act like or want to be one. It is also related to class. If you want your children to inherit your property and you are a man, you must oppress women and their role or you can’t be sure that you are the father.

From Gene & Rosie Meysenburg:

Re: Chemical found to trigger locust swarming (Jan. 30): It is interesting that the locusts become less of a loner type and more aggressive. This happens also in humans when they are exposed to antidepressants, especially the antidepressants known as SSRIs. Go here where there are over 2,800 cases, with the full media article available, involving bizarre murders, suicides, school shootings [47 of these] and murder suicides - all of which involve SSRI antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, etc, . The media article usually tells which SSRI antidepressant the perpetrator was taking.

From Les Fisher:

Re: Makings of a deadly brown cloud (Jan. 22, 2009): this problem has been around for a long time.

When biomass and coal is burnt in a primitive way we are just destructively distilling the volatile matter into the atmosphere as we have incomplete combustion with the heat sufficient to decompose the mass and form the volatiles. Some of this burns (the flames) but a lot just escapes and a lot of energy is wasted as the whole process is completely inefficient.

Here is an example of false economy.

Controlled destructive distillation (not incineration) can produce reusable volatiles as done in Sasol South Africa and coking plants around the world. Destructive distillation was the original source of methanol (wood alcohol) but it is now cheaper (????) to make it from oil. The residual carbon from these plants could be used as a fuel without polluting the atmosphere with otherwise useful chemicals.

In the case of biomass including waste we would not be adding to the CO2 burden but recycling it. Coal & related fossil fuels would not assist in the global warming but we could at least get a more efficient use.

One way in which the developing world could help the under-developed world as well as themselves would be to make and install suitable destructive distillation plants where they are needed.

It must also be considered that carbon can with aid of a producer/water gas plant produce useful products. Natural gas, carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The developed worlds, by providing such units, would be doing much more good and reduce the nest feathering by dodgy politicians which, in my opinion one of the biggest problems of the third world.

These plants would provide employment and so produce the effective consumers which is what is needed - free food handouts can be counter productive.

From Pat (epj9 94 4@be llso uth. net):

Re: Ill-fated ice man may have suffered two assaults (Jan. 28): I am not a scientist but find the articles about the ice mummy interesting.

I wondered if he could have been killed for food he had with him, not that he wan­dered from a rel­a­tively hos­pi­ta­ble val­ley—car­ry­ing al­most no food— Just my thoughts on the


From Dave Kisor:

Re: Climate-induced food crisis seen by 2100 (Jan. 10): I’d worry about the GMO food crisis happening now before I’d sweat 2100. Over 125,000 Indian farmers have killed themselves over GMO crop failures because nobody told them it would take twice as much water. A French study states the GMO eggplant, bt brinjal, is not fit for human consumption, that is what will be available all over India and the average consumer won’t be able to tell the difference between the non and GMO varieties. If the temperatures are increasing and non GMO plants would need more water, think of how much more the GMO varieties would need. If the big agribusiness is chiefly concerned with making their product resistant to their pesticide rather then making it more nutritious, we’re all in deep kimchee.