Posted at 9:02 AM on January 4, 2008
by Bob Collins
Here's a shot of air traffic out of Des Moines snapped on Tuesday morning. The blue planes are going to or from Des Moines. The green ones are just passing overhead.
And here's a shot at the same time (8:30 a.m.) on Friday morning, from the flight-tracking site Flight Aware.
There are a few more planes leaving town today, but it's not the mass exodus we'd see after a NASCAR race, for example. Two of the exiting aircraft above are private charters. Some reporters travel in style. According to Flight Aware, a New York Times-chartered 10-seat airplane (red hash in image above) left Des Moines at 8 Friday morning. Destination: Manchester, New Hampshire.
It's always something.
Now, it turns out that one of the proposed solutions to global warming -- the low-energy fluorescent light bulb -- makes skin conditions worse, according to the BBC.
Health conditions which can involve some form of light sensitivity, include the auto-immune disease lupus, the genetic disorder Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP), certain forms of eczema and dermatitis, photosensitivity, and porphyria.
It's a big deal in the UK, where retailers will stop selling the incandescent light bulb by 2011.
The low-energy bulb is also being blamed for migraines and even epileptic attacks.
But even some experts on lupus hint that the "scare" may be overblown. " It is my opinion that if a standard fluorescent tube lighting source is shielded by a standard acrylic plastic diffuser, there's virtually no significant risk for people with systemic lupus," wrote Dr. Richard D. Sontheimer, of a Lupus organization. "However, if a person with lupus is exposed to unshielded fluorescent lighting at close distances for prolonged periods of time, then the cumulative exposure to UVB and UVA could be a problem."(4 Comments)
Posted at 12:12 PM on January 4, 2008
by Bob Collins
"Minnesotans should not have to worry about government sharing their personal data without their consent," Governor Tim Pawlenty said in announcing a series of legislative initiatives nearly two years ago to tighten data security in the state.
This afternoon Public Safety Commissioner Michael Campion (below) announced that two DPS customer service reps have been suspended after an investigation into the unauthorized use of the state driver's license database.
From their homes they accessed the records of some prominent Minnesotans. Four hundred people will get letters from the DPS explaining the situation. Campion wouldn't say whose records were sought but said they were viewed, but not downloaded. Asked why customer service reps would need access to the database during off-hours, Campion noted that "lots of people" -- including some journalists (none at MPR) -- have access, although he said he couldn't name a reason why these two needed access.
He said there was no evidence the employees intended to steal identities or use the material for criminal use.
(audio and a list of data practices transgressions in Minnesota below the fold)
Today's research of note:
Nurses have a lower risk of dying from several afflictions than non-nurses.
But you knew there had to be another shoe to drop.
The longer you're a nurse, the greater your chances of dying from cancer.(1 Comments)
In Austin, Minn., a woman is said to have visited her dying relative and stole the the gold wedding ring off her finger. So says the Rochester Post Bulletin.
Over in Sheboygan Falls, Wisc., a man broke into a house and the room of a 2-year-old girl, and started shaking her piggybank for money. The girl's mother heard the racket and chased the guy out of the house, but he took the girl's $20.
In Blaine, Minn., Alexander Wald saw someone give his girlfriend a ride home and thought a guy was moving in on his woman. Police said he punched Alyssa Smith of Fridley several times and threw her to the ground, not realizing the he was a she.(1 Comments)