Bavaria and German government reviving claims on Sudentenland – Still home for Fascism and Nazi’s…

Panels also alleged that in Czechoslovakia an unprecedented “discrimination of Sudeten Germans” took place, quoting a publication as its source that had been published in 1936 by the printing house of the Nazi Karl Hermann Frank. Frank, soon thereafter, had become a member of the inner circle of the Nazis in power in Prague and was later responsible for the Lidice Massacre.


The Weekend in Gun Violence –

According to Slate’s gun-death tracker, an estimated 4,229 people have died as a result of gun violence in America since the Newtown massacre on December 14, 2012.

via The Weekend in Gun Violence –

Just too many to pull out one – they are all depressing and we would have fewer in future if over time – fewer people had hand guns in particular – just too easy to pull the trigger…

Photo of the Day: 100 Years of Hellmann’s

This undated image provided by Hellman’s shows an undated advertisement for Hellmann’s mayonnaise.

Hellman’s turns 100 in 2013 and to celebrate the anniversary, owner Unilever Food is launching a marketing campaign including a Facebook page and YouTube videos featuring chef Mario Batali cooking up his favorite Hellman’s recipes, a smartphone app and a June event featuring the world’s largest picnic table. (AP Photo/Hellman’s)

via Photo of the Day: 100 Years of Hellmann’s.

Mali: Timbuktu’s literary gems face Islamists and decay in fight for survival | World news | The Guardian

An unintended consequence of the Islamist occupation of the city has been a renewed global focus on the priceless manuscripts, which although mostly written in Arabic also include centuries-old writings in Greek, Latin, French, English and German.

But while the Ahmed Baba Institute is painstakingly working to preserve preserving this history, other manuscripts in Timbuktu are faring less well.

In a narrow, sandy street in the central Badjinde quarter, Kunta Sidi Bouya climbs a steep flight of cracked, mud-cement stairs to a special prayer room on his roof. He lifts half a dozen worn, fraying books from a shelf in the corner, bound exquisitely in antique and decaying leather, and lays them out on the rug on the floor.

Bouya’s home contains one of Timbuktu’s thousands of private manuscript collections, texts written by the family’s ancestors and handed down through the generations.

“My ancestor, Sheikh Sidi al-Bekaye, was a scholar who lived hundreds of years ago, he wrote these,” Bouya said proudly. “It feels special when you read something your own grandfathers have written. These are part of our family and they are private.

via Mali: Timbuktu’s literary gems face Islamists and decay in fight for survival | World news | The Guardian.

World Health Organization Annual Meeting: New Flu, Coronavirus Urgent Priorities | Wired Science |

We are dealing with two new diseases right now.

Human infections with a novel coronavirus, from the same family as SARS, were first detected last year in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. To date, 41 cases, including 20 deaths, have been reported.

Though the number of cases remains small, limited human-to-human transmission has occurred and health care workers have been infected.

At the end of March this year, China reported the first-ever human infections with the H7N9 avian influenza virus. Within three weeks, more than 100 additional cases were confirmed. Although the source of human infection with the virus is not yet fully understood, the number of new cases dropped dramatically following the closing of live bird markets.

I thank China for collecting and communicating such a wealth of information, and for collaborating so closely with WHO. Chinese officials have promptly traced, monitored, and tested thousands of patient contacts, including hundreds of health care workers.

At present, human-to-human transmission of the virus is negligible. However, influenza viruses constantly reinvent themselves. No one can predict the future course of this outbreak.

These two new diseases remind us that the threat from emerging and epidemic-prone diseases is ever-present. Constant mutation and adaptation are the survival mechanisms of the microbial world. It will always deliver surprises.

Going forward, we must maintain a high level of vigilance. I cannot overemphasize the importance of immediate and fully transparent reporting to WHO, and of strict adherence to your obligations set out in the International Health Regulations.

As was the case ten years ago, the current situation demands collaboration and cooperation from the entire world. A threat in one region can quickly become a threat to all.

via World Health Organization Annual Meeting: New Flu, Coronavirus Urgent Priorities | Wired Science |

Tunisia Reports Coronavirus Fatality – Ex Gulf States

News this morning trickling out of Tunisia (h/t @HelenBranswell) and already blogged by Crof (see Tunisia: MERS death confirmed (confusingly)) on the first confirmed MERS-CoV case to be reported on the African continent – this time in a traveler who recently visited Qatar and the Gulf States.

via Tunisia Reports Coronavirus Fatality – Ex Gulf States.

Mysterious Poop Foam Causes Explosions on Hog Farms | Mother Jones

He added that the practice of feeding hogs distillers grains, the mush leftover from the corn ethanol process, might be one of the triggers. Distillers grains entered hog rations in a major way around the same time that the foam started emerging, and manure from hogs fed distillers grains contains heightened levels of undigested fiber and volatile fatty acids—both of which are emerging as preconditions of foam formation, he said. But he added that distillers grains aren’t likely the sole cause, because on some operations, the foam will emerge in some buildings but not others, even when all the hogs are getting the same feed mix.

But if the causes of manure foam remain a mystery, a solution seems to be emerging, Jacobson told me: Dump a bit of monensin, an antibiotic widely used to make cows grow faster, directly into the foam-ridden pit. At rather low levels—Jacobson told me that about 25 pounds of the stuff will treat a typical 500,000 gallon pit—the stuff effectively breaks up the foam, likely by altering the mix of microbes present. No other treatment has been shown to work consistently, he said.

Thankfully, monensin isn’t used in human medicine. Still, it’s striking to consider that the meat industry’s ravenous appetite for antibiotics has now extended to having to treat hog shit with them.

via Mysterious Poop Foam Causes Explosions on Hog Farms | Mother Jones.

Answer is not an answer – just a way of coping. All such pits should be emptied and material sent to digesters to produce methane to be used for generating electricity and thus render the stuff less harmful and potentially useful.

Ministry of Culture To Buy Land & Save Lebanon’s Oldest Church in Downtown Beirut?

Thanks to eliefares – and other bloggers!

A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares

The site in Downtown Beirut, which is called “The Landmark” and at which a future hotel and mall were to be built, turned out to be an archeological jewel for Lebanon, unveiling three very important entities:

  1. A Roman gate,
  2. The old Roman road,
  3. Lebanon’s possibly oldest church (source).

I wrote on the issue yesterday. The matter has since made the rounds online. And it seems we’ve made a ripple. Lebanon’s ministry of culture is now considering to purchase the land where “The Landmark” is to be built because of its historical importance according to the following source (link – Arabic).

While the news is definitely welcome, I have to wonder – is it really Lebanese-like to have a ministry with a proven track record – the Roman hippodrome, Phoenician port and Amin Maalouf’s house are all destroyed – somehow respond this fast to demands and…

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