Thursday, August 23, 2012

USADA Strikes Against Armstrong

Thursday evening, Lance Armstrong announced that he would stop fighting charges of doping that the USADA had brought against him.

In his statement he said one final time that they are false, but that the toll of fighting them has become too much of a strain on him and his family.

The USADA was quick to respond by banning him from cycling, for life.

They also said they will strip him of his seven Tour de France tour titles, but it is unclear if they have the ability to do so.

Previously the International Cyclist Union argued that the USADA had no jurisdiction to even be investigating.

The UCI could either appeal the decision or ignore it all together, either of which would be unprecedented.

Snake Dies After Being Bitten By Man

Mohamed Salmo Miya, fifty-five, was out working his rice paddy when he was bitten by a cobra.

Instead of immediately seeking aid, Miya chased after the snake.

When he caught it, he picked it up, and bit it in return until it had died.

"I could have killed it with a stick but bit it with my teeth instead because I was angry."

Miya is currently in the village hospital recuperating, but doing fine, and clearly has gained international renown for his feat.

New Immune Deificiency Disease

A new disease has been identified in Asia, and in the US amongst people who are from Asia or have recently been in Asia.

This new disease began appearing in 2004 and works much in the same way as AIDS in that it attacks the immune system of it's victims.

It creates autoantibodies that block interferon gamma, which is what allows the body to fight infections.

So far there's been no discernible way that this disease spreads though.

Researchers and doctors have yet to even figure how the disease starts, though they have ruled out genetics.

At this point doctors are calling it an adult onset immunodeficiency syndrome as it seems to come on with age.

Treatment has seemed to counter the disease, but it is not believed to be curable.

Fukushima Cancer Fears Baseless

Seems the fears over radiation at Fukushima, Japan are baseless.

Readings had been coming up with .1 rem of radiation per year around the site, which is the amount that the International Commission on Radiological Protection recommends evacuation at.

However, normal readings in Denver, Colorado are .3 rem per year, yet Denver has one of the lowest rates of cancer in the US.

It is also worth noting that it takes a dose of twenty-five rems at one single exposure to even give you a one percent chance of cancer.

So for those living in or around Fukushima, there's very little to worry about.

McDonald's Stops Using Central Valley Meat

McDonald's announced that it will cease using meat from Central Valley Meat after federal inspectors shut down the plant.

Tuesday the USDA released findings that CVM's Hanford, California facility had been mistreating live stock.

It was also alleged that CVM uses sick cows in it's meat, instead of separating them out to avoid contamination.

Before the information was released, In-n-Out dropped CVM from it's suppliers, stating that they do not condone the inhumane treatment of animals, and that CVM had violated their contract with In-N-Out, which states that animals must be treated well.

CVM also supplies a lot of meat to various federal food programs, including school lunches.

At this time the USDA is not suggesting that the federal government stop using the meat, themselves.

Members of CVM's corporate staff stat that there are always federal inspectors at the plant, and worked at putting some of the blame on them.

Remembering: The State and Country of Franklin

In April 1784, North Carolina gave up it's rights to it's territory west of the Allegheny Mountains, leaving the settlements there undefended from Indian attacks.

Fearing that Spain might try to take over the land, North Carolina quickly reclaimed it, sending troops under John Sevier to protect the lands.

Once there Sevier ran into the settler's dissatisfaction with North Carolina rule, and ended up being nominated governor of a congress they began, in hopes of becoming their own state.

On August 23, 1874 the state of Frankland declared itself to be independent of North Carolina.

Frankland's first constitution failed to pass, but is notable in that it banned lawyers, doctors, and preachers from serving in the legislature.

On May 16, 1785 Frankland submitted a petition of statehood to the national Congress, which failed to reach a two-thirds majority.

In June, they attempted again, this time as the state of Franklin, in an attempt to gain the favor of Benjamin Franklin.

When this too failed, Franklin announced itself as it's own country, moving it's capital from Jonesborough to Greeneville, naming Sevier their President, and passing a constitution of their own, in December.

The new country quickly made peace with most of the local tribes and annexed land to it's south and west.

A disapproving North Carolina moved in with troops in 1786, and set up a government right next to the Franklin one.

Loyalties were divided, and hostilities eventually came to a full on February 29, 1788 when North Carolina troops led by Colonel John Tipton beat the Franklin troops led by Sevier.

In March 1788 a joint force of several tribes began attacking the area, and a desperate Sevier offered Spain the territory in exchange for protection.

To avoid Spain gaining a hold, in the area, North Carolina officials had Sevier arrested, but he was rescued.

In February 1789, the last Franklin holdouts, including Sevier, surrendered; Franklin officially ceased to be; and North Carolina sent it's militia to aid the settlers against the Indian tribes.

By the end of the year, North Carolina gave the area to the federal government, who set up the Southwest Territory, which would later become Tennessee.

Sevier was elected governor of the territory in 1790, and then of the state in 1796.

None of The Above Removed From Ballots

US District Judge Robert Jones has stricken down a Nevada law that allowed voters to select "none of the above" as an actual option whilst voting.

The option was placed in 1976, and has even managed to come out on top, in some primary elections.

However, Nevada law kept it from actually being able to win an election, only actual people can win an election.

It has been able to act as a spoiler in several elections, in one case over eight thousand voted for "none", while the final election was decided by less than five hundred votes.

Defenders of the law said that it was a way for voters to show their displeasure with the choices, yet still vote.

Judge Jones considered giving "none" the ability to win, and making it so that any positions left unfilled by it would be filled via governor's appointment.

But after further deliberations he felt that the best and only option was to remove "none" completely, and force voters to actually pick an option.