Kidney for Sale

Kidney grown from stem cells by Australian scientists
Jonathan Pearlman, Sydney 16 Dec 2013

Scientists in Australia have managed to make a small kidney from stem cells, a first for the research area. The breakthrough was published in the journal Nature Cell Biology. They hope that this breakthrough will allow for future funding to help expedite research and even make bigger kidneys, eventually help ease the wait list there is for organs. This is the first time an organ has been made directly from stem cells.

This sort of break through is something we should be supporting. Stem cells got a bad rep because of their origins, normally cell blastocyst, which later develops into the early stages of a baby fetus. Although technically not a life yet people had a problem with this because of the potential for a life was lost. but then again this sort of thing happens ALL the time. The potential for a life is lost while a male masturbates and even while a female has her period and loses the egg. I myself wouldn’t take a “baby’s” life past the blastocyst stage of life since nerves and feeling begin to form and the fetus can begin to actually feel something. But there are other forms of stem cells and come from our own very organs that we can use so we do not have to resort to using these unborn baby stem cells that people have had a problem with. This is definitely a moment to say one of Peter’s famous lines, “Why are we not funding this?” 


Teaching or Industry?

More private college presidents earning over $1 million
Blake Ellis December 16, 2013

A record 42 private college presidents are taking home more than $1 million, up from 36 in 2010. These are the most recent numbers available. “The median pay packages of public school presidents are slightly higher than private schools, at $441,392”, while private presidents median is at $410,523. Most presidents are receiving money from a retirement compensation plan. “These multimillion-dollar presidential pay packages continue to be doled out despite how unaffordable college has become for many Americans. Student loan debt now exceeds $1 trillion, and the average college graduate owes more than $29,000 in student loans”.

This really shows how much we need to reform the education system. The school system has become more of an industry rather than somewhere you go to learn and teach. Although private schools are not or at least should not be accepting government money, they basically take money from the government when the federally supported loans from students are being used to pay for school, only to come out in massive amounts of debt. What the college experience has come to is now $30k debt, homelessness, social trauma and stress from paying for school, and living back with your parents, rather than going to school enjoying it and coming out successful. There may be people like that still going to college but we sure don’t seem to hear about them as often as we would like.

One For The Heart

Rescue home offer ‘miracle’
Olivia Carville 17 Dec 2013

An anonymous philanthropist bought a home for a 77-year old James Barber. Barber was going to lose his home after his plea to his mortgagee to not put up his home for auction were ignored. Barber also is going to collect $3000 dollars from a fundraiser that people have held for him.

It’s a simple story I wanted to share just to take a break from all the bad that has been going on in the world, this article shows us that there are indeed still some altruistic people, due to the fact that Barber’s home buyer wanted to remain anonymous.This article shows us how we ought to act. Not that we have to buy everyone a home but just help out if we are in a position to do so. If everyone took this part of humanity with them wherever they went, maybe we wouldn’t have to talk about the man that died on the news last night or the many endangered animals dying from losing their homes. 

Toxic Forests

Radioactive cesium levels in Miyagi forest soil up since 2011.
Kyodo 16 Dec 2013

Radioactive cesium has poisoned two forests ever since the 2011 Fukushima disaster occurred. For those that need recalling, the Fukushima disaster occurred when a tsunami hit a nuclear plant and knock out the cooling systems. The radioactive cesium could severely affect the forestry and other industries. 

Cesium-137 has a half life of 30 years, so it could stay in the ecosystem for a long time. More than enough time for animals and people to get hurt by the radioactivity. This shows that although nuclear energy, although “cleaner”, should not be an alternative source for oil and the like. Nuclear energy is hazardous to everyone and if bad things can happen or go wrong, more than likely it will at some point. So it’s best to just stop and take down all the nuclear stations before anybody gets hurt, that includes people, animals, and all the plants. Lest we forget Chernobyl, the Cs-137 from that disaster is just a few years away from reaching its half life.

Guns Don’t Kill People?

Gun control is killing people, claim US lobbyists
Philip Sherwell 15 Dec 2013

At a “Guns Save Lives Day” rally, people gathered to remember the Sandy Hook massacre and a teenage girl who was a victim of a shooting in a Colorado School. Karl Pierson shot the teenage girl while on the rampage to hurt a teacher he had a grudge with. “Most mass murder locations have occurred where guns are prohibited”. These zones have become magnets for these massacres and this campaign group calls for a reform of the gun control laws, to change the fact that everyone should be able to protect themselves.

Unless we get rid of guns all together, we will always have problems with them. The only way to stop these types of massacres from occurring is to completely restrict guns and prohibit anyone from owning them, but that would go against our second amendment. I saw a skit on the “American Dad” show, Hailey a radical teenager who is against gun usage argues to her father that guns are killing people. Stan, the father, places his gun on the table and says, “Go ahead gun, kill someone”. Although a cartoon, this made a lot of sense, its not the guns that kill people it is us ourselves, guns are only the scapegoat, they are only being attacked because that’s the tool being used. The thing is I can go around and kill someone with something as simple as a kitchen knife, should we then not put restrictions on knifes as well? I’m not saying we should give everyone a gun but maybe this group has a point? 

Reboot the Country

Is North Korea now erasing history?
By Chad O’Carroll 16 Dec 2013

North Korea has erased 99 per cent of its state news archive. “Around 35,000 articles have vanished from the official website of the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA), and approximately 20,000 articles from the website of the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers’ Party.” The news archives only go back to October now. The only remaining articles left mainly deal with Kim Jong. Translations from other languages have also been deleted and the KCNA has delisted itself from google search results. 

There have been speculations that North Korea wishes to rewrite history and make Kim Jong the new leader. There was also thought that there may have been server/human errors. It seems a bit far-fetched that 99% of the archives minus most about Kim Jong may have been deleted by server issues or human errors. I myself am confused about such an act, as even though they have erased their history the rest of the world must have some recorded facts about them, are they trying to keep the people in the dark by erasing their history? 

“It’s a Goldmine”

Costa Rica faces billion-dollar lawsuit to protect rainforest.

A calgary -based mining company named Infinito Gold, is suing he Costa Rican government because they have been denied the company’s plan to build an open pit over the rain forests of Costa Rica. The pit would call for the destruction of 190 hectares of tropical land, home to many endangered species. They were given 6 months to reach a decision of what to do, “Infinito Gold said it has already invested $92 million in the project, and it claims to have lost $1 billion in potential profit. However, Costa Rican authorities have indicated that Infinito owes Costa Rica some $10 million for damage already done to 300 hectares of tropical forest. The company has yet to pay.” The company also stated that they will not leave the country until they are fully compensated.

People know that these rain forests are import for the worlds ecosystem as a whole, yet they want to keep cutting them down. It just infuriates me at how these people would act just to make more money, the article later states that 6500 people have signed a petition to get the company to drop the law suit. Not only should the Costa Rican government be protecting themselves but every other country should be making an effort to help preserve these forests!

Costa Rica faces billion-dollar lawsuit to protect rainforest