Sunday, April 20, 2008

France Wants Phones in Flight

Air France is vying to be the first airline carrier to allow passengers to use cellular phones during flight. 

The French airline had a test last week to see how plausible cellular communication is at 20,000 feet above sea level.  The results were not as hoped. 

Officials on the air carrier said service was shoddy and sounded as though they were talking to a small robot. 

American air carriers have not entered experimental stages with cell phones citing their patrons vehemently opposed the measure. 

Kinks still need to be worked out between the phone companies and the air lines. The air lines realized they have stumbled on a market they can't afford not to be a part of. 

The technology, which allows cellphone users to make and receive calls through an on board base station linked to a satellite, delivers a still-patchy quality that keeps most in-flight calls short and tinny. And then there are the eye-popping roaming charges of up to 3 euros ($4.72) a minute. 

Now all that is left to do is wait to see if the technology advances and if American air carriers catch on. 

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Europe Deafens Noise Concerns

Europe has just enacted a law to limit the amount of damaging noise workers can be exposed to. 

This measure by rule, was enacted for construction workers and others where the noise is not necessarily under their control. But in musicians' cases, they are the ones making the noise. 

Health officials had two solutions but both were dismissed as improbable. The first was to ask conductors and composers to do softer pieces. The second was asking the players to wear ear plugs or decibel reducing devices. Neither side was happy with either suggestion. 

“It’s like saying to a racing-car driver that they have to wear a blindfold,” Alan Garner said, an oboist and English horn player who is the chairman of the players’ committee at the Royal Opera House

Another solution was so use sound reflecting panels especially in front of noisier sections like brass. The problem there is the brass players didn't like it; they said they felt almost ostracized. 

But some progress has been made. Most orchestras are now installing foam padding above the heads of the players to absorb some of the damaging decibels. Some groups are even trying rotating the players to sit in different sections to limit hearing loss. 

Scientists are working with musicians on decibel-reducing devices that both sides will enjoy. Conductors are being asked not to go for the "big and loud" orchestra styles and to consider they are working with humans, not machines. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

France Could Outlaw "Skinny" Online

Paris, a fashion capitol of the World, is working in legislation to outlaw Web sites that promote eating disorders. The bill, approved by the lower house of Parliament, faces a Senate vote.

If passed, this bill could affect all mediums of communication, not just the Web. Punishments may be up to three years in prison and more than $70,000 in fines for and media promoting anorexia or bulimia. 

The legislation is backed by the government’s health minister, Roselyne Bachelot. The legislation was sponsored by Valérie Boyer, a conservative lawmaker from the Bouches-du-Rhône region in the south of France

“We have noticed,” Ms. Boyer said in an interview with The Associated Press, “that the sociocultural and media environment seems to favor the emergence of troubled nutritional behavior, and that is why I think it necessary to act.”

It is one of the strongest measures proposed since the 2006 death of a Brazilian model, Ana Carolina Reston, from anorexia.

Critics from the French Socialist Party complained that the bill was vaguely worded and rushed through the lower house by the U.M.P., the conservative party of President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Eating disorder experts also expressed doubts about whether such a law would help victims or create even more demand for the sites by publicizing them.As written, the proposed French law does not make it clear who would be ultimately responsible for the content of such sites — the content creator or the Internet service hosting the site.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

MySpace Targets Overseas

MySpace has signed a deal with a British-based production firm, ShineReveille International, to distribute its video content overseas. This will make MySpace a breeding ground for television series.

The Web site with 110 million members wants to be seen as an outlet for original content. The company owned by News Corporation, called itself “Hollywood’s digital playground.”

ShineReveille International has carried the international format rights to shows including “The Biggest Loser” and “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”

Elisabeth Murdoch, a daughter of the News Corporation’s chairman, Rupert Murdoch, is the chief executive of the Shine Group.

Online videos usually are not high cost productions and last less than five minutes. MySpace wants to change that. It had one web-based show which flopped in February, "Quaterlife." Fewer than four million viewers tuned into the debut on NBC.

But Shine intends to localize shows for international markets and adapt specific concepts of the shows for television.

MySpace will be using a new technique to test pilots. Instead of spending millions in a show that might not even get a series, they intend use its social network as a test bed. In the United States, MySpace’s TV section has two original shows, “Roommates” and a hidden-camera series, “Special Delivery,” and more than a dozen in development.

From MySpace to YourSpace

MySpace to Discuss Effort to Customize Ads

Do You MySpace?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

New Generation Studies Philosophy for an Examined Life

The number of students graduating with philosophy degrees has gone up tremendously over the last few years. Many think it is because students want to arm themselves with the ability to live an examined life.

Facing such issues at the conflict in the Middle East and the political scandal of the week, it's no wonder younger generations want to possess the tools to be able to form their own opinions and beliefs.

At the City University of New York, where enrollment is up 18 percent over the past six years, there are 322 philosophy majors, a 51 percent increase since 2002.

Students at Rutgers said that studying philosophy, with its emphasis on the big questions and alternative points of view, provided good training for looking at larger societal questions, like globalization and technology

David E. Schrader, executive director of the American Philosophical Association, a professional organization with 11,000 members, said that in an era in which people change careers frequently, philosophy makes sense. “It’s a major that helps them become quick learners and gives them strong skills in writing, analysis and critical thinking,” he said.

Leaning analytical skills and knowing how "think through" a problem to a solution could certainly be used in numerous fields.

Philosophy: Only Education can Make Nation Prosperous

Students Choose Philosophy

How to Use You Philosophy Degree

Health Database "Ignores" Abortion

Federal officials raised questions about two articles in Popline's database, the World's largest database for reproductive health, run by Johns Hopkins University.

The University had the system ignore the word "abortion" in searches of large, publicly financed databases.

After learning of the restrictions on Friday, the dean, Dr. Michael J. Klag, said: “I could not disagree more strongly with this decision, and I have directed that the Popline administrators restore ‘abortion’ as a search term immediately. I will also launch an inquiry to determine why this change occurred.”

Pro Choice advocates weren't happy either.

Ted Miller, a spokesman for Naral Pro-Choice America, an abortion rights group, said: “The public has a right to know why someone would censor relevant medical information. The Bush administration has politicized science as part of an ideological agenda. So it’s important to know if that occurred here.”

Officials said users could search for the topic using synonyms like "unwanted pregnancy." Nay-Sayers were quick to point out that an unwanted pregnancy was not a symptom for abortion.

The dean of the Public Health School lifted the restrictions after learning of them.

Health Database Censors Abortion

Popline Ignores Abortion

Can Search for Abortion Again on Health Site

Saturday, April 5, 2008

52 Children Removed from Polygamist Compound

Texas law enforcement removed 52 children from a West Texas ranch founded by Warren Jeffs, a convicted polygamist. They were responding to an accusation of sexual abuse on a 16-year-old female.

All 52 were female and eighteen of the children, ages 6 months to 17 years, were believed to have been abused or at risk of abuse. They were placed in foster care by Child Protective Services, said Darrell Azar, communications manager for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Thirty-four were taken to a nearby civic center for questioning, Mr. Azar said.

There were no immediate arrests. The 1,700-acre compound, the Yearning for Zion Ranch of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a breakaway Mormon sect, is located in Eldorado, about 160 miles northwest of San Antonio.

Mr. Azar said the girls were removed “because we had reason to believe they had been abused or were at immediate risk of future abuse.”

“We haven’t talked to any boys yet,” he said. “We will be interviewing boys, too.”

The ranch was built in 2003 by followers of Jeffs, who was sentenced last November in Utah to 10 years to life in prison for forcing a 14-year-old girl to marry her 19-year-old cousin and to submit to sexual relations against her will. Mr. Jeffs is in jail in Arizona awaiting trial on separate rape charges involving the arranged marriages of two teenage girls to older relatives.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Why Blog? A Book Deal

Today everyone can be a journalist with the blogging medium. But not everyone can get a book deal from creating a blog.

Christian Lander, an Internet copy writer, did just that. He started a blog called "Stuff White People Like." The site contains a list of cultural totems, including gifted children, marathons and writers’ workshops, that a certain type of moneyed and liberal American might be expected to like.

March 20 Random House announced that it has purchased the rights to a book by the blog’s founder. The Price? About $300,000, a sum that many in the publishing and blogging communities believe is an astronomical amount for a book spawned from a blog, written by a previously unpublished author.

Barbara Fillon, a Random House spokeswoman, said her office mates were laughing about the content on White People for weeks before they heard there was a book proposal in the offing.
But it will be difficult for the publisher to make a profit, said Sara Nelson, editor of Publishers Weekly. She figured Random House would have to sell about 75,000 copies, a total that would likely land the book on best-seller lists, to earn back its $300,000 advance.

Random House is not worried about racist accusations. They said it is a book in which almost anyone can relate.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wine at home teaches responsibility?

Is introducing wine at the dinner table earlier than 21 a way to prevent binge drinking later in life? Some scientists thing so.
Paul Steinberg, a psychiatrist in Washington, who is the former director of counseling at Georgetown University, said the attitude of forbidding adolescents to even so much as touch a drop of alcohol is almost counterproductive.

“The best evidence shows that teaching kids to drink responsibly is better than shutting them off entirely from it,” he said. “You want to introduce your kids to it, and get across the point that that this is to be enjoyed but not abused.”
He said that the most dangerous day of a young person’s life is the 21st birthday, when legality is celebrated all too fervently. Introducing wine as a part of a meal, he said, was a significant protection against bingeing behavior.

In 1983, Dr. George E. Vaillant, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard University, published “The Natural History of Alcoholism.” His study concluded that teenagers should be introduced to wine with meals. More than 25 years later, he still stands but the results.

But both men say sips of wine are key; they are not endorsing an entire glass.
“If you are taught to drink in a ceremonial way with food, then the purpose of alcohol is taste and celebration, not inebriation,” Vaillant added. “If you are forbidden to use it until college then you drink to get drunk.”

Not everyone agrees with this school of thought. Recent studies have shown that heavy drinking does more damage to the teenage brain than previously suspected, while the part of the brain responsible for judgment is not even fully formed until the age of 25.
But is it again naive to think teens won't experiment with alcohol until they are at least legal, let alone 25?

European Travel to be Cheaper and Easier

Traveling to Europe is about to get easier and cheaper. March 30, the "open skies agreement" will be effective. This agreement allows airlines based in the U. S. as well as European airlines to travel to any two airports in either region.
Before the agreement, the trans-Atlantic flights were governed by different agreements; one between the U. S. and separate European regions. The pacts required airlines to take off or land in their native countries, and limited which airlines could serve certain airports.

Before this new agreement British Airways flights headed for the U. S. had to take off in Britain. And only two U. S. carriers could land at Heathrow Airport (London), United and American.

When this agreement goes into effect Continental, Delta and Northwest will be able to serve Heathrow for the first time.
Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, the Irish no-frills carrier, has said he plans to start a new airline that will fly from secondary European markets like Liverpool or Birmingham to a half-dozen American cities like Baltimore or Providence, R.I., for a base fare as low as 10 euros, or about $16 at $1.59 to the euro.

Air France will begin operating a daily flight between Los Angeles and Heathrow on March 30.

This agreement is said to be a blessing for most travelers. Currently there is no direct flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Heathrow. This forces passengers to fly from Dallas to Gatwick or Luton, other London airports, even if they have a connecting flight out of Heathrow. The passengers then have to haul luggage through passport check points, take a cab or bus to the other airport and check in again, a process that could take more than three hours.

Aside from making things easier on the traveler, this new agreement should put pressure on airlines to reduce fairs. United will begin flying between Denver and Heathrow on March 30, with introductory fares starting at $570 round trip for travel before May 15. British Airways, by contrast, has been offering that same route for $1,461, according to an online search.

Consumers are warned not to expect great deal yet. With the price of fuel sky-rocketing, this will have an effect on ticket pricing.

Trans-Atlantic Flights for Air France and Delta

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Coruption and Liquid Lunch

A street team in China is exposing government officials who drink copious amounts of alcohol during lunch and then return to work or worse, don't return at all.

Li Bin, retiree on special assignment for this city’s Communist Party boss, boldly strolls into the offices of some of the highest powered officials of the Chinese Communist Party and orders them to take an impromptu sobriety breath test. "Blow" he tells them.

Some of the party's officials have been fired on the spot for being drunk at work.

The officials take long lunches, usually partaking in abundant amounts of baijiu, the fiery Chinese liquor that lubricates nearly every banqueting experience.

The worst part? The tab, more often than not, is picked up by the public.

Bin's task force is getting noticed. Other countries are mimicking his efforts and starting forces of their own.

Wang Tie, the Xinyang Communist Party chief and architect of the crackdown, estimated that the policy saved his government almost $6 million in six months.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Dirty Needles and Hepatitis in Las Vegas

Every outpatient surgery center will be checked for the next month because a Nevada endoscopy clinic put over 40,000 people at right for hepatitis.

The Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada is closed now because of practices that were not exactly hygenic. The clinic reused needles and drew medicine from the same vials for more than one patient.


This center, along with all others, should be checked by the state every three years. This clinic has not been monitored for over seven.

Some of the new inspection have already yielded scares at other clinics; again with unsafe practices.

More states are expected to pick up inspections so this incident does not happen again elsewhere.

NY Hepatitis Scare

Nurses Turn in License , Hepatitis scare

Las Vegas Contamination

Friday, March 7, 2008

Something in the Water

Don't drink the water. At least that is what scientists are starting to say.

Traces of over the counter drugs are turning up in drinking water.

How you ask? A fraction of every dose passes through the human body unmetabolized. The waste product exits the body into the sewer. The sewer water is treated at a plant but even plant officials say the water is only tested for familiar chemicals and toxins, not things like naproxen, Ibuprofen or other sedatives.

The problem is there is not much scientific evidence on the long-term effects of exposure to the drugs in this form.

But scientists say just because there is not enough research to know how if will affect humans, doesn't mean there is not a problem.

Research done on wildlife has found results somewhat unsettling. Pharmaceuticals in river and lake water are being blamed for “feminized” male fish and other changes observed in earthworms and zoo plankton.

Scientists are conducting further research to try to determine it is harmful to humans.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Drunkorexia - Lastest Trend Disorder

Drunkorexia, it is the latest trend eating disorder. This ailment involves consuming little or no food to offset the calories of ingesting an alcoholic beverage.

The illness mainly affects college-age women who are binge drinkers.

“There are women who are afraid to put a grape in their mouth but have no problem drinking a beer,” said Douglas Bunnell, the director of outpatient clinical services for the Renfrew Center, based in Philadelphia.

About 25 to 33 percent of bulimics also struggle with alcohol or drugs, according to a study published last year in the journal Biological Psychiatry. Between 20 and 25 percent of anorexics have substance abuse problems, the study found.

Psychologists say patients with eating disorders usually develop them for a need to numb emotional pain stemming from distress such as sexual abuse or childhood trauma.

Drink Never Eat

Eating Disorders 101

Avoiding Alcohol Abuse

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Queens Hero Arrested

New York City police have arrested a cab driver who started out as a hero.

The cab driver turned in an infant to a Corona firehouse, claiming his passenger abandoned the in his back seat. He told cops a male rider asked him the pull over so he could make a phone call and never returned for the child.

Now police say he is lying.

NYPD said the driver never had a passenger in the cab with him. He took the baby to the fire department alone.

It turned out the scheme was to help a Bronx father who said he was not able to take care of the six-month-old.

Police arrested the cab driver, the baby’s aunt and the cab driver’s roommate for all playing a role in abandoning this girl.

Police are still looking for the baby’s parents.

Livery Cab Driver Arrested

More Arrests with Queens Cab Driver

Cab Driver Hero

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cheap Cocaine Devastates Argentina

Paco, a highly addictive smokable form of cocaine residue, has flooded the streets of Argentina.

This influx in cocaine flow is due to easily penetrated borders, economic hardship and the weakened restrictions for growing coca.

Brazil is now the second largest consumer of cocaine, preceded only by the United States.

Cocaine flows freely because less than 200 federal police officers patrol Brazil’s 2,100-mile border with Bolivia. Drug traffickers have free rein in Argentina’s airspace; radar only covers 10 percent.

“Cocaine is no longer the drug only of the elite, of high society,” said Luiz Carlos Magno, a Brazilian narcotics officer in the São Paulo State Police Department. “Today kids buy three lines of cocaine for 10 reals,” or about $6. For about $1 in Brazil and about $1.50 in Argentina, users can buy enough of the cocaine for a 15-minute high.

Paco is extremely addictive, especially because the high only lasts a few minutes. The high is so intense some users smoke 20 to 50 cigarettes as day.

Paco is more dangerous than its more natural form. It is composed mainly of chemicals and is usually less than 30 percent pure.

Most of Europe has rejected this cocaine because of the drop in quality; because of this the majority of the drug goes to Argentina and Brazil.

Dealers cut the cocaine with agents such as baking powder, boric acid or lidocaine. This process leads to severe health problems like blood clots and all types of infections.

Cocaine Takes Argentinian Streets

Paco Is No Friend

Paco Devastates Country

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Choking "Game" is No Game

Blocking blood and air flow to the body and brain just until passing out in hopes of achieving a "high" is no game. But today, the "choking game" is play to many adolesents.

That is not the biggest problem. Many young people are dying.

"At least 82 children have died in recent years as a result of playing this game," according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The game and it popularity appear to be spreading. Critics say it is because of the internet. It makes information on the game much more accessable.

You Tube has several videos warning against the game but many more on techniques and how to acheive this high.

To spot abusers of this game look for blood shot eyes, marks on the neck, disorientation, and severe headaches.

For the full NY Times story go here.

For the Houston Press story about the chocking game go here.

For more information on games adolesents shouldn't play, visit the GASP site.

What is the choking game?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Huge Art Heist in Europe

What may be the largest art theft in Europe happened Monday, in Zurich.

Three thieves, clad in all black and ski masks strolled into the Emile Bührle Foundation, a private collection just outside of Zurich's city center.

Armed with a gun, one robber ordered staff and visitors to get on the groud. The other two removed four paitings from the walls; Monet’s “Poppy Field at Vetheuil,”

"Ludovic Lepic and his Daughter" by Edgar Degas,

Van Gogh’s “Blooming Chestnut Branches,”

and Cézanne’s “Boy in the Red Waistcoat.”

Their total worth is estimated at $163 million.

The men were seen fleeing in a white car with the trunk open, the paintings there to be seen.

Authorities don't think the theives set out to take these specific paintings. The four that were stolen were all on the same wall. They were also not the most expensive paintings in the gallery.

Last week, two Picasso oils valued at $4.5 million were stolen from a Swiss museum in Pfaeffikon, Agence France-Presse reported.

Authorities do not think these incidents are related.

Bars are Banning Strollers

Most people don't think of a bar as a place to find children. Obviously they haven't been to many of the trendy pubs in NYC suburbs.

Now so many parents are flocking to the local watering holes, the estabolishments have to post signs: No Strollers.

New York does not have a law keeping minors out of bars. It does say if the person is under 16, they must be accompanied by an adult.

With the recent smoking ban in bars, more parents are lugging their children to the local tavern.

The ususal visitors are flustered by the influx of strollers and babies and the owners are taking notice.

More pubs have posted the sign and the outcry from the parents is getting worse. The nurturers don't see anything wrong with their invasion.

Some inns have been forced to take down the No Strollers sign. Neither side is happy.

For more information on this story and others like it: No Babies in the Bars

Bar Bans Strollers

Lift on the Stroller Ban

Children-Free Pub

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Facebook: Check Out Never Leave

Facebook membership is turning out to be a little more sticky than anticipated.

People are comparing Facebook membership to the likeness of gang membership; the only way out is in a coffin.

One can see the little “deactivation” button to cancel the account. But clicking on it is not all the process entails.

In the New York Times article, Maria Aspan wrote that the process is not as easy as it looks.

Aspan said one has to delete everything from the profile, line by line; every wall post, every group membership, every message, everything. And even after this is done, with a simple search, names and proof of membership can still be found.

The only way people were successful with terminating their membership and becoming untractable in the Facebook community was to take serious action.

One man sent the makers of Facebook a link to a video feed where he is seen discussing his dilemma with their networking site on national television.

Today, clicking delete is not as easy as it used to be.

Check out Facebook.

Get to know the maker of Facebook.

Facebook's competition - Myspace.

A Social Phenomenon.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Pig Brains can Hurt Your Brains

In Minnesota a medical mystery had unfolded.

Workers at a meatpacking plant have had the same unexplained symptoms; fatigue, tingling and numbness in the legs and weakness.

The only thing they had in common was that they all worked in the same meatpacking plant.

This condition baffled doctors until they noticed a pattern. All people worked at the plant at the same station and complained of the same problem, “heavy legs.”

People who worked at the “head blowing” were the only ones who were afflicted with this illness.

Their job at this station is to extract the brain from the head of the hog. To do this a metal rod is shoved through the spinal column. Compressed air shot through the rod. This liquefies the brain, usually spraying the workers with brain matter.

Workers said they were usually covered with the spray by the time they left work. They wore smocks and protective eyewear. But their arms were bare and none wore faceguards to protect them from ingesting or inhaling the pig brains.

Doctors determined the ailment to “immune mimicry.” Their workers’ bodies were fighting the pig enzymes and brain matter. The problem is the pigs’ genetic make up is too close to the genes of humans. Because the genes were close their immune systems were fighting not only the pig genes but their own genes as well.

This was causing the immune system to attack itself.

The plant no longer uses the compressed air technique and orders all workers to wear face masks and other protective gear.

For more stories on meat plants:

Pig Brains May be Cause of Illness

Largest Slaughter House Has no Problems

Pig Brain may Cause New Illness

Mystery Disease Could be from Pigs

Monday, February 4, 2008

Contaminated Drugs Cause Paralysis

Almost 200 leukemia patients thought they were getting injected with the medications they need. Most of them were unable to walk by the end of the treatment.

The injections the patients received were contaminated; they were laced with other drugs, half of them toxic.

Shanghai Hualian is the Beijing drug company behind this paralysis.

China’s food and drug administration stated that members of this company have been detained for the criminal investigation.

How does this affect the United States? The drug company is also the sole supplier of the abortion pill, RU-486, to the U. S.

Officials of the Beijing company say the abortion pills are manufactured at a different plant about an hour away.

For more informaton on abortion see:


Abortion Rates Compare Among Countries

For more articles about leukemia see:

Leukemia in Beijing

What is Leukemia?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Machine Gun but no Liquor

Finally someone is standing up for the rights of minors in this Nation.

A South Carolina Congressman fathered a Bill to allow service men and women to drink before the age of 21.

The problem is states with a drinking age lower than 21 lose all highway funding.

And it would be only enlisted minors. If you aren’t enlisted, you could not buy a drink.

Some oppose the Democratic Bill. Nay-sayers claim lowering the drinking age makes local roads less safe.

The safety advocates also say studies show minors consuming alcohol is not safe for the military either.

For further reading on this topic:

Lowering the Drinking Age

Minors and Alcohol

Penalties for Alcohol Suppliers

Monday, January 28, 2008

Schools Hindering not Preparing

Principals in the Northeast are setting students back once again. ALISON LEIGH COWAN of the New York Times brought us a story about teachers hindering their students instead of preparing them for the life ahead.

Teachers at Connecticut’s Oakdale School have put restrictions on children’s recess activities.

Recess for them was usually 22 minutes of unstructured play. Now games like kickball, dodgeball, and tag are banned.

Principal Mark S. Johnson said he encourages kids to play with hula hoops instead of games like soccer and other “body-banging” activities, as he put it. Johnson said children can not only hurt their bodies but their feelings as well.

Children from Wyoming to New Jersey are having their recesses restricted as well. Parents aren’t taking this well.

School officials encourage children to play with hula hoops and engage in activities alone where they are “less likely” to hurt themselves and others.

Today even recess is structured. No creativity. And schools are also discouraging anything involving competition as well.

Are they kidding? This is hurting kids, not preparing them for the real world. Do they think that in the work place the boss is going to say “Okay guys, no competition, everyone is great and exceptional. You are all such special people.” NO! Competition is what this country strives on. Every aspect of our society would suffer if we had that mentality. Learning these things at an early age is only an advantage.

The San Francisco Chronicle has further reading on this subject.

To hear the other side of the story go to the New Haven Independent.

New Jersey state Assemblyman Joseph Malone, R-Ocean, Monmouth, Burlington, Mercer, is even trying to enact a law to make sure children are getting a set recess period. The News Transcript has this story.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Swimming with the Fish

ELISABETH ROSENTHAL said in her article in the New York Times that Europe is the biggest fish market in the world. A market worth about 14 billion euros, or about $22 billion a year.

She said because they are importing so much fish for consumption, fisherman are going to greater lengths and casting larger nets, illegal nets.

Because Europe's people are eating so many fish the sea goers are catching $1.6 billion in illegal ocean dwellers.

Why is this a problem? Because the fisherman are wiping out many species of fish. With the nets they don't only catch large fish ready to be eaten. They also entangle small fish. By the time these small fish are thrown back they are already dead. And the nets scrape across the bottom and ruin fish habitats and coral.

And the bigger issue here is that it is all too easy to sell these illegal fish. Organized smuggling bands can ship fish far beyond government quotas or treaties. Once the fish pass one check point, they are able to be shipped anywhere in the world. And, unlike cattle, the technology to trace where the fish came from is not yet mature.

The surf is simply not as easy to patrol as the turf.

And it affects us here at home too. The imbalance of supply and demand drives up the price of the commodity; in turn we pay more.

To read more on this story or others like this go to:

Empty Seas: Europe’s Appetite for Seafood Propels Illegal Trade

Another article by SHARON LAFRANIERE shows the cause and effect of fish and immigration. People want fish. They immigrate to be able to fish and then sell what they have worked to get.

Ms. Rosenthal also wrote another similar article about Europe ignoring scientists warnings on over fishing for the Herald Tribune.