Archive for September 29th, 2007

29
Sep
07

Brain Eater!

The genus Naegleria includes several species of free-living uninucleate amoebae that live in aquatic environment (ponds, lakes, sewage). It belongs to a family of amoebae (Valkampfiidae) whose members can transform into flagellate stage, which is a transient, non-feeding non-dividing form; the amoebal stage can also transform into a resistant cyst stage. The species Naegleria fowleri is occasionally pathogenic to a variety of mammals including humans. Following direct intranasal contact, usually by swimming, N. fowleri invade the olfactory bulb and progress along the olfactory nerves to the brain, thereby causing an acute and fulminating disease called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis.

Care for that in layman’s terms? You go swimming in a lake. This amoeba thing swims into your nose, crawls to your brain, consumes your brain, and then you die. 6 people in the US have already succumbed this year (3 in Florida, 1 in Texas, 1 in Arizona). Fun, eh?

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29
Sep
07

Cabbies Are Pissed

It’s pretty much a given that New York cabbies all have a particular goal: if able, take the customer on the longest possible route (one that usually falls just short of complaint) so that the highest fare can be extracted. Oh and be as difficuly as possible regarding getting paid. New York City finally decided to do something about this wart on their face. They created a new rule requiring taxis to have GPS devices and credit card processing. A federal judge refused to block this new rule. Yes, that’s right, the cabbies are fighting this. Their lawsuit says that the city overstepped its authority and acted unconstitutionally when it mandated the units. Their lawsuit also claims GPS will give away trade secrets by disclosing the cabbies’ driving patterns, which they say give them a competitive edge. After that hearing, dejected driver Beres Ford Simmons said: “Gentlemen, prepare for another strike.” Back at the beginning of this month the drivers staged a two-day protest of the intrusive GPS technology by idleing their cabs.

One could assume that, after this ruling and after the cabbies get over their tantrum, it will now be possible to travel in New York city in a cab, via the most direct route, and pay exactly what you should without hassle. What a country!