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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Interesting Reading Today...

Slate.com: Why Don't Indonesians Know How To Swim?
http://www.slate.com/id/2208442/?from=rss
An Indonesian ferry bearing 250 passengers sank on Sunday. Twenty-two people have been rescued thus far, but, according to the Associated Press, "Indonesians generally don't know how to swim, and the others on board were feared dead." Indonesia is an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, with more than 50,000 miles of coastline. So why don't its citizens know how to swim?
I wonder whether Trinidadians suffer the same problem...

BBC.com: Synagogue desecrated in Venezuela
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7863356.stm
An armed gang has ransacked the oldest Jewish synagogue in the Venezuelan capital Caracas after occupying the building for several hours.

About 15 unidentified men broke into the building before daubing graffiti on the walls and desecrating scriptures.

They also called for Jewish people to be expelled from the country.

Jewish leaders say tensions have risen since Venezuela broke diplomatic relations with Israel this month over its recent military offensive in Gaza.

Elias Farache, president of Venezuela's Jewish Association, said the gang had tied and gagged security guards before destroying offices and the place where holy books were kept.

Anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli slogans were painted on the walls.
A place of worship feels impact of a secular government's actions.  To me, this is the equivalent of ransacking an Anglican Cathedral because of the actions of the British government.

Raffique Shah: Tourism down, Carnival dying
http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_opinion?id=161432653
One bandleader lamented, "Today we hardly see spectators." True. My family and I are part of the "dropouts". And I'll tell the minister, bandleaders and musicians why. Why should I endure traffic and parking horrors to watch half-naked 'bumsees', no costumes, and be subjected to jarring, repetitious noise that passes for music?
Some of my old school comrades should appreciate this article...

SLATE.com: I just ate salmonella-tainted peanut butter. What do I do now?
http://www.slate.com/id/2210165/?from=rss
The Peanut Corp. of America expanded its national recall Wednesday after eight people died and more than 500 got sick from salmonella poisoning. Recalled items include all Clif Bars with peanut butter, Jenny Craig nutritional bars, and Keebler Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers. What should you do if you've already eaten a recalled product?

Wait and see. Just because a product was recalled doesn't mean it was contaminated. (That's why companies like to emphasize the word voluntary when they pull food off the shelves.) And exposure doesn't mean you'll get sick. But most people exposed to salmonella—bacteria that originate in the feces of animals and humans—do develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours. If this happens, you should call a doctor, who might prescribe antibiotics or just tell you to drink lots of fluids. Often the sickness will pass in four to seven days, although in more severe cases—when bacteria get into the bloodstream—salmonella poisoning can lead to arterial infections, heart inflammation, and Reiter's syndrome, a form of arthritis. These extreme reactions are most common among the young, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.
In light of the fact that the recall is now global, this should quell some local anxiety...

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