Effect Measure

Archives for December, 2006

US citizen charged as torturer

A Boston man, the head of an elite Anti Terrorist Unit, has become the first person ever charged by the US Department of Justice with committing torture abroad. Charles “Chuckie” Taylor is being held in Miami. Surprised? Didn’t think the US would move against one of its own citizens for flagrant human rights abuses and…

Bird flu in Vietnam: again or still?

Vietnam is once again reporting bird flu in chickens and ducks after no reports in poultry or humans since November of last year. I have not posted what I have been thinking during this lull, because I had no evidence to support it. But in truth I have suspected the virus has been quietly percolating…

Death sentence in Tripoli 6 trial

Science and justice have been on trial in Libya and both have lost. Today a Libyan court again condemned five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor to death by firing squad after a retrial widely seen as unfair because it excluded exculpatory scientific evidence (see here and here and links therein).

Fumento’s bird flu follies

I’ve debated (with myself) whether to post anything about disgraced columnist Michael Fumento’s rantings that bird flu was a “Chicken Little” story (literally: it’s entitled, “Chicken Littles were Wrong”). It was published in the far right rag, Weekly Standard, where Science is a dimunutive figure in the far distance, but now it’s been picked up…

Wronging the Right to Know

One of the most important tools in the fight to reduce emissions of toxic agents into the environment has nothing to do with emission controls. It has to do with information. Since 1984 Americans have had access to information about how much individual companies were emitting into their neighborhoods via a publicly accessible database called…

Thai company counts its chickens

I like stories like this. If there is a pandemic, while some places will do very badly, many places will find a way. I say “if there is a pandemic,” but if you are poultry producer in southeast asia the pandemic has already happened, where it is a panzootic, a pandemic in animals (in this…

Historical lessons from 1918 reviewed by IOM

We continue our summary of the Institute of Medicine “Letter Report” on non-drug non-vaccine measures to slow or contain the spread of an influenza pandemic of a severity similar or worse than that of 1918 (see previous post on models here). The IOM report examined several analyses of historical data from 1918 to see if…

I don’t watch much network TV and I certainly don’t watch Charlie Sheen’s new show, Two and a Half Men. So I didn’t know that the Christian Right is going bonkers over his mocking of Christ, Christmas and Christians earlier this week. At least that’s their version. Apparently what he did is sing his own…

The verdict in the Tripoli 6 case is scheduled to be handed down on December 19. There has been worldwide recognition the science now shows the six defendants arrived in the country after the viral strains were circulating in the hospital and its environs, making the 400+ cases of HIV infection in children in the…

Influenza models examined by IOM

On December 11, The Institute of Medicine, one of the four constituent parts of the National Academies of Science, released a “letter report” reviewing the scant information on effects from non-drug measures to slow or contain spread of an influenza pandemic (available as a free download here). The report was produced after a special workshop…