Germany’s Mystery Cow Disease Causing Calves to Bleed to Death


Farmer Robert Meyboom: “Within two or three days, they were all dead.”

A mysterious illness is causing calves to bleed to death on German farms. Veterinarians are stumped over what is causing the deaths: vaccines, genetically modified feed or perhaps even the first mother’s milk?

What can a cattle farmer do when he sees blood running from his calves like water, when they become lethargic and febrile and, by the next morning, are lying dead on the floor, their coats covered in blood?

“Our calves from last summer looked like they had been beaten,” says farmer Robert Meyboom, who is still shocked and perplexed today. “The animals’ bodies were covered with drops of blood, and their eyes were bloodshot.”

The veterinarian tried everything, he says, including administering vitamins and blood-clotting agents. But nothing worked, and “within two or three days, they were all dead.”

Read moreGermany’s Mystery Cow Disease Causing Calves to Bleed to Death

Volkswagen introduces world’s most economical car

While we don’t have a great deal of information available at this stage, we do know that …

Volkswagen is set to reveal the world’s most economical non-hybrid car to shareholders attending the 42nd annual general meeting of Volkswagen AG in Hamburg.

The single-seater is capable of 0.91 litres per 100km (or 258mpg in the old measure) and can manage a top speed of 123km/h.

The prototype, as shown here, was built in conditions of such great secrecy that little more is known about the car, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted after next week’s meeting.

6 Mar, 2009

Source: CarAdvice

Storm bands sock Kansas with blizzards, South with damaging wind, rain and tornado warnings


A spring storm that blanketed much of the state with heavy snow pushed out of the state on Saturday, leaving residents of the hard-hit Panhandle to dig out from under as much as two feet of snow. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Stephen Holman)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Storms spread misery Saturday from the Great Plains to the Gulf Coast, dumping spring snow that cut power to thousands of Kansas utility customers and spawning tornado warnings and heavy rain across the South.

Two deaths were reported in Kansas as a spring blizzard buried parts of the state in ice, slush and up to two feet of snow. A 72-year-old man shoveling snow died of a heart attack Saturday while waiting for an ambulance slowed by impassable roads in Arlington, in central Kansas, authorities told The Hutchinson News. On Friday, a 58-year-old woman was killed in a car accident on icy roadways in Marion County.

The system also prompted a disaster declaration in Kansas and was blamed for two traffic deaths in Oklahoma.

The National Weather Service warned eastern Iowa about a narrow band of snow that will be particularly nasty, with forecast accumulation of 4 to 6 inches.

Read moreStorm bands sock Kansas with blizzards, South with damaging wind, rain and tornado warnings

Alaska volcano Mount Redoubt erupts 3 times

Alaska’s Mount Redoubt volcano has begun erupting over night, sending smoke billowing some 50,000 feet above sea level.


Alaska’s Mount Redoubt volcano has begun erupting over night, sending smoke billowing some 50,000 feet above sea level. Photo: EPA

Geologists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory said the volcano, which is roughly 100 miles from southwest of Anchorage, erupted three times late on Sunday and early on Monday.

“This is a fairly large eruption, close to the larger cities in Alaska,” said John Power, a geophysicist.

More information: Q & A: Will Mount Redoubt erupt again? (MSNBC)

He said no cities have yet reported any ash fall from the volcano, but he added that it is still early.

Geologists said seismic activity around the volcano has been intense in recent days, and they expect that the volcano would blow soon.

Read moreAlaska volcano Mount Redoubt erupts 3 times

Who owns Colorado’s rainwater?

Environmentalists and others like to gather it in containers for use in drier times. But state law says it belongs to those who bought the rights to waterways.

Reporting from Denver — Every time it rains here, Kris Holstrom knowingly breaks the law.

Holstrom’s violation is the fancifully painted 55-gallon buckets underneath the gutters of her farmhouse on a mesa 15 miles from the resort town of Telluride. The barrels catch rain and snowmelt, which Holstrom uses to irrigate the small vegetable garden she and her husband maintain.

But according to the state of Colorado, the rain that falls on Holstrom’s property is not hers to keep. It should be allowed to fall to the ground and flow unimpeded into surrounding creeks and streams, the law states, to become the property of farmers, ranchers, developers and water agencies that have bought the rights to those waterways.

What Holstrom does is called rainwater harvesting. It’s a practice that dates back to the dawn of civilization, and is increasingly in vogue among environmentalists and others who pursue sustainable lifestyles. They collect varying amounts of water, depending on the rainfall and the vessels they collect it in. The only risk involved is losing it to evaporation. Or running afoul of Western states’ water laws.

Those laws, some of them more than a century old, have governed the development of the region since pioneer days.

“If you try to collect rainwater, well, that water really belongs to someone else,” said Doug Kemper, executive director of the Colorado Water Congress. “We get into a very detailed accounting on every little drop.”

Read moreWho owns Colorado’s rainwater?

Airborne fungus Ug99 threatens global wheat harvest

From the article:

“The US army produced wheat rust as part of its biological weapons programme in the 1960s”


New variety of an old crop disease called “stem rust” can infect crops in just a few hours and vast clouds of invisible spores can be carried by the wind for hundreds of miles


New variety of an old crop disease called “stem rust” can infect crops in just a few hours. Photograph: Steve Satushek/Getty images

The world’s leading crop scientists issued a stark warning that a deadly airborne fungus could devastate wheat harvests in poor countries and lead to famines and civil unrest over significant regions of central Asia and Africa.

Ug99 — so called because it was first seen in Uganda in 1999 — is a new variety of an old crop disease called “stem rust”, which has already spread on the wind from Africa to Iran. It is particularly alarming because it can infect crops in just a few hours and vast clouds of invisible spores can be carried by the wind for hundreds of miles.

Scientists meeting in Mexico this week at a summit on Ug99 worry it will continue travelling east and infect major wheat growing centres in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, which produce nearly 15% of the world’s wheat and feed more than a billion of the world’s poorest people. Plant breeders are now racing against time to develop new resistant wheat strains and distribute the seeds around the world.

The fungus was thought to have largely disappeared since the 1960s when original disease-resistant varieties were developed and planted. But Ug99 has evolved to take advantage of those varieties, and it is now believed that 80-90% of all wheat varieties grown in developing countries are susceptible to the new fungus.

Read moreAirborne fungus Ug99 threatens global wheat harvest

Nobody listens to the real climate change experts

The minds of world leaders are firmly shut to anything but the fantasies of the scaremongers.


Cold comfort: If the present trend continues, the world will be 1.1C cooler in 2100 Photo: Getty

Considering how the fear of global warming is inspiring the world’s politicians to put forward the most costly and economically damaging package of measures ever imposed on mankind, it is obviously important that we can trust the basis on which all this is being proposed. Last week two international conferences addressed this issue and the contrast between them could not have been starker.

Read moreNobody listens to the real climate change experts

Scientists develop battery that can be charged in just 10 seconds

Thing of the past? The new mobile phone batteries will be recharged in just 10 seconds

A revolutionary mobile phone battery that recharges in 10 seconds instead of several hours has been created by scientists.

The new device charges 100 times as fast as a conventional battery and could also be used in phones, laptops, iPods and digital cameras within just two or three years, they say.

The same technology could even allow an electric car to be charged up in the same time that it takes to fill a conventional car with petrol – removing one of the biggest obstacles to green, clean motoring.

The quick-charge battery is the brainchild of engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The MIT team say their invention uses materials already available to battery manufacturers and would be simple to mass produce.


The new battery could also work with rechargeable cars

The invention is based on conventional lithium ion rechargeable batteries found in most cameras, phones and portable computers.

Read moreScientists develop battery that can be charged in just 10 seconds

Virtually free water supply for corporations vs. water shortages for residents

Public spigot stays open for water bottlers

You probably thought there was a serious water shortage in Florida.

It’s why we’re spending billions to repair and repurify the Everglades, right? It’s why we’re not supposed to run our lawn sprinklers more than once or twice a week.

But hold on. It turns out there’s a boundless, virtually free supply of Florida water — though not for residents. The public spigot remains open day and night for Nestle, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and 19 other corporations that bottle our water and sell it for a huge per-unit profit.

The stuff is no safer or tastier than most municipal tap water, but lots of us buy it, anyway. You know all the brands: Deer Park, Dasani, Zephyrhills, Aquafina, even Publix.

Common sense would suggest that a company with a balance sheet like Coca-Cola’s or Pepsi’s ought to pay for the water they take, the same as homeowners and small businesses do.

Nope. Every year, state water managers allow large bottling firms to siphon nearly two billion gallons from fresh springs and aquifers. The fees are laughably puny.

For example, it cost Nestle Waters of North America the grand sum of $150 for a permit to remove as much water as it pleases from the Blue Springs in Madison County. Every day, Nestle pipes about 500,000 gallons, enough to fill 102,000 plastic bottles that are then shipped to stores and supermarkets throughout the Southeast.

Read moreVirtually free water supply for corporations vs. water shortages for residents

Czech leader joins meeting of climate change deniers

  • US convention aimed at escalating confrontation
  • Klaus to attack ‘arrogant, unscrupulous ideology’


Climate change is said to be threatening the future of species such as the polar bear. Photograph: Mathieu Belanger/Reuters

It is billed as the largest ever gathering of climate change deniers, a convention that kicked off last night with a title suggesting global warming is a thing of the past, and a guest list that includes a hurricane forecaster, a retired astronaut and a sitting European president.

Entitled Global Warming: Was It Ever Really a Crisis? and featuring some of the most prominent naysayers in the climate change debate, this week’s conference in New York sets out to escalate its confrontation with the scientific establishment, the vast majority of whose members subscribe to the view that humans are the principal cause of climate change.

More information:
Climate ‘denial’ is now a mental disorder (Telegraph)
Japan’s boffins: Global warming isn’t man-made (The Register)

Al Gore sued by over 30.000 Scientists for fraud (YouTube)
World is getting colder: It’s the sun, not CO2, that’s to blame (Washington Times)
Global warning: We are actually heading towards a new Ice Age, claim scientists (Daily Mail)

Scientists find greenhouse gas hysteria to be myth (World Net Daily)
2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved (Telegraph)
Army: Sun, Not Man, Is Causing Climate Change (Wired)
World might be heading towards Ice Age (Economic Times)

Conference organisers were celebrating something of a coup in securing as a keynote speaker the Czech president, Václav Klaus, at a time when his country holds the rotating presidency of the EU. Klaus, a Eurosceptic, believes that efforts to protect the world from the impact of climate change are an assault on freedom.

In his remarks last night, Klaus accused European governments of being “alarmist” on the subject of climate change and in thrall to radical environmentalists.

“They probably do not want to reveal their true plans and ambitions to stop economic development and return mankind several centuries back,” he said.

Read moreCzech leader joins meeting of climate change deniers