— Government health officials says influenza activity spiked in Canada during the last two weeks of 2012, with increases reported in all indicators.
The Public Health Agency of Canada said a total of 4,632 laboratory detections of influenza were reported, of which 97.7 percent were for influenza A viruses, predominantly A(H3N2).
There were 127 new influenza outbreaks — 87 in long-term care facilities, nine in hospitals, one in a school and 30 in other facilities or communities. In addition, 114 new pediatric influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported, and 176 hospitalizations including 15 deaths among adults older than age 20, the report said. More…
WS – Which is more disgusting, the Pee-Pee or the Punishment?
(Reuters) – A U.S. Marine pleaded guilty on Wednesday to urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan and then posing for photographs in a scene captured in a widely circulated video on the Internet and denounced by world leaders.
Staff Sergeant Edward W. Deptola said he knew desecrating the corpses and posing for the “trophy photographs” was wrong and he offered no excuse for the behavior during his court martial at North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune.
“I was in a position to stop it and I did not,” said Deptola, a native of Southold, New York, and married father of two.
Although the judge presiding at Deptola’s trial recommended a stiffer sentence, the maximum penalty he will face under the terms of a pre-trial agreement is a reduction in rank to sergeant. More…
Today is “National Baby-Daddy Day”! (AKA) “Family Court Judges Appreciation Day”
Germany to ban most workplace surveillance (Not Really)
With a new law, the German government wants to prevent employers from secretly videotaping their employees. But experts are criticizing the legislation, saying it still allows surveillance.
“Secret surveillance of employees can no longer be permitted in Germany,” said Michael Frieser, an expert on the subject with the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), the sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
Companies such as the supermarket chain Lidl and the telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom have sparked controversy by secretly filming their employees.
However, the legislation still permits some concealed cameras in the workplace, causing some critics to say the new law does not go far enough.
“But for example, break rooms – which are also used as conference rooms – can still be videotaped,” criticized Gerold Reichenbach, a parliamentarian with the opposition Social Democratic Party (SPD).
“If you tell an employee beforehand that he or she may be video surveilled, then you can still mount a hidden camera at work,” the opposition parliamentarian said. “You just can no longer film secretly with it.”
A separate aspect of the legislation allows employers to gather information about current and prospective employees from social networks and credit agencies. More…
BP Deepwater Horizon accident victims criticize company’s $4.5 billion criminal settlement and the obvious corruption from Washington to the Gulf Coast Courts.
At least five family members of workers killed in the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and one injured worker have filed victim statements in response to BP’s proposed $4.5 billion settlement of criminal charges stemming from the accident. Some are calling the settlement “incomprehensible,” and questioning why no top officials of the company have been charged with criminal acts.
In November, BP agreed to plead guilty to 14 criminal counts, including 11 felony counts of misconduct or neglect of ships’ officers relating to the loss of 11 lives in the explosion. The remaining charges involved violations of federal environmental and securities laws. More…
The Vibrator of the Future Is Already Here
What will the sex toy of the future look like? In Beverly Hills last week, a panel of “adult products” manufacturers—including representatives from California dildo giant Doc Johnson and Swedish vibrator company LELO—convened at the XBIZ Pleasure Products Conference to discuss their predictions.
First, it will not look like a penis. It will be cast in a unique, nonphallic shape. It will be packaged sleekly, with an aesthetic that borrows from fashion, not porn. It will be made of safer, eco-friendly materials. Its motor will be silent. Its clientele will be mainstream. One day, maybe, it won’t be stamped with that winking disclaimer omnipresent on sex toy packages across the United States: “For novelty use only.” More…
When Pills Fail, This, er, Option Provides a Cure
The treatment may sound appalling, but it works.
Transplanting feces from a healthy person into the gut of one who is sick can quickly cure severe intestinal infections caused by a dangerous type of bacteria that antibiotics often cannot control.
A new study finds that such transplants cured 15 of 16 people who had recurring infections with Clostridium difficile bacteria, whereas antibiotics cured only 3 of 13 and 4 of 13 patients in two comparison groups. The treatment appears to work by restoring the gut’s normal balance of bacteria, which fight off C. difficile. More…