WHO | Wild poliovirus in the Horn of Africa – update

Three suspected cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) from South Sudan are currently being investigated. All three patients are girls, two of whom are approximately two-years-old and one is eight-years-old. All had previously been immunized with oral polio vaccine (OPV).

Two of the patients are from North Bahr El Gazal state (close to the border with Sudan), and one is from Eastern Equatoria state (close to the border with Kenya and Uganda). They developed paralysis between 15-24 August 2013. Genetic sequencing is ongoing to provide final confirmation of the laboratory results to determine the origin of the isolated viruses.

via WHO | Wild poliovirus in the Horn of Africa – update.

The GOP’s shutdown sham – latimes.com

The inconvenient truth for the GOP is that “defunding Obamacare,” as the House tried to do, wouldn’t stop most of the major provisions of the healthcare law, some of which have already gone into effect. That’s because the new insurance rules, premium subsidies and many other features of the law don’t rely on discretionary dollars; they’re on fiscal autopilot.

via The GOP’s shutdown sham – latimes.com.

10,000 walrus come ashore in northwest Alaska – Wire Nation/World – The Sacramento Bee

An estimated 10,000 Pacific walrus have gone ashore on Alaska’s northwest coast and are bunched along a beach near the village of Point Lay.

The National Marine Fisheries Service says 1,500 to 4,000 walrus were counted Sept. 12 and numbers had swollen to 10,000 on Friday.

The animals are counted using aerial photographs.

Walrus historically use sea ice to rest as they dive for clams and other food on the ocean bottom.

However, sea ice in recent years has receded far beyond the shallow outer continental shelf. Chukchi (chuk-CHEE’) Sea walrus in 2007 began showing up in large numbers on Alaska’s shore in late summer. Last year, there was enough remnant ice to keeps the mammals from going ashore.

Walrus in such numbers are in danger of being crushed in stampedes caused by airplanes, human hunters or polar bears.

via 10,000 walrus come ashore in northwest Alaska – Wire Nation/World – The Sacramento Bee.

The Gun Report: October 1, 2013 – NYTimes.com

Amir Rashad, 33, was shot and critically wounded while filming a rap video in Oakland, Calif., Saturday night. The victim, who performs under the name Kafani, was approached by a man who told him and his crew that he shouldn’t be filming there. As they were in the process of leaving, the gunman shot Rashad numerous times.

via The Gun Report: October 1, 2013 – NYTimes.com.

Saving his job is job one! John Boehner’s Shutdown – NYTimes.com

By midnight on Tuesday, the leadership failure of Speaker John Boehner was complete. By encouraging the impossible quest of House Republicans to dismantle health care reform, he pushed the country into a government shutdown that will now begin to take a grievous economic toll.

via John Boehner’s Shutdown – NYTimes.com.

Proof Rand Slept Through Presidential Election! Rand Paul Says There Hasn’t Been A ‘Big Debate About Obamacare’ (VIDEO)

“You know, I think it was helpful to talk more about it,” Paul said. “We haven’t had a big debate about Obamacare really since it passed in Congress. And so I think it was helpful to have the debate.”

via Rand Paul Says There Hasn’t Been A ‘Big Debate About Obamacare’ (VIDEO).

Mariano Rivera: A Zen Master With a Mean Cutter

Repeating Islands

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In the high-stress vocation of ninth-inning pitching dominated by theatrical personalities, he was the embodiment of Zen calm — a cool Jedi master among the hotheads, and an almost extraplanetary source of composure and grace in the gritty, often chaotic world of Major League Baseball, Michiko Kakutani writes in this appreciation of Mariano Rivera’s career for The New York Times.

He was the reliever who arrived to the strains of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” a closer who dependably delivered closure — turning out the lights on the league’s best hitters, shutting almost every door. He was feared as the Yankees’ silent killer, their one infallible weapon — Mr. Automatic. But he was also the one member of the Evil Empire so respected by enemy fans that he was feted, in this, his final year, in other ballparks across the country, including Fenway Park in Boston, where he was…

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Mariano Rivera: A Zen Master With a Mean Cutter | Repeating Islands

Mariano Rivera understood what Steve Jobs, Lao Tzu and Bruce Lee understood: that simplicity is an art and a strength, a source of joy and beauty and power. The greatest closer of all time, who could become the first player to win unanimous election to the Hall of Fame, did it all with basically one pitch: the cut fastball. It moved with such velocity and wizardry that it seemed to defy the laws of physics, breaking hundreds of bats and shattering many more dreams. It was a pitch delivered with easy elegance and brutal economy, a pitch Rivera could tailor with such precision and infinitude of detail that it flummoxed even the most canny and experienced batters.

It was also a pitch that underscored an almost perfect fusion of character and style. As Yankees Manager Joe Girardi has pointed out, baseball is what the deeply religious Rivera does, it’s not who he is. But who Rivera is — a consummate professional, stoic, focused, dedicated and at peace with himself — has indelibly imprinted the way he has gone about the job: his unparalleled consistency and longevity, his grace under pressure, and his ability to come back from adversity, be it a blown save or his potentially devastating ligament tear in 2012.

via Mariano Rivera: A Zen Master With a Mean Cutter | Repeating Islands.

Wave of jellyfish shuts down Swedish nuke reactor | News , International | THE DAILY STAR

It wasn’t a tsunami but it had the same effect: A huge cluster of jellyfish forced one of the world’s largest nuclear reactors to shut down – a phenomenon that marine biologists say could become more common.

Operators of the Oskarshamn nuclear plant in southeastern Sweden had to scramble reactor number three on Sunday after tons of jellyfish clogged the pipes that bring in cool water to the plant’s turbines.

By Tuesday, the pipes had been cleaned of the jellyfish and engineers were preparing to restart the reactor, which at 1,400 megawatts of output is the largest boiling-water reactor in the world, said Anders Osterberg, a spokesman for OKG, the plant operator.

via Wave of jellyfish shuts down Swedish nuke reactor | News , International | THE DAILY STAR.