Things to worry about

Most every day the media tells us something new to be worried about. Let's keep a list as these worrisome things are brought to our attention.

Internet 'brownouts' feared by 2010 as user traffic soars

Nov 21, 2007 04:30 AM

Chris Sorensen
Business Reporter

Rising demand for bandwidth-hogging Internet activities such as swapping music files and watching YouTube videos threatens to outstrip the Web's infrastructure within three years, creating the spectre of service "brownouts" and potentially thwarting the development of the next Google-sized application, an industry-funded study warns.
Despite all the talk about the Internet's infinite possibilities, a study by U.S. firm Nemertes Research found that projected increases in Internet traffic are poised to eclipse the capacity of the Web's broadband access infrastructure – essentially the points where users "plug in" to the Internet via cable, phone or fibre optic lines –as early as 2010.
The study predicts that, in the absence of billions worth of new investments, Internet users will begin to notice a marked degradation in their online experiences within three to five years as bandwidth-heavy applications such as VoIP (Voice-over Internet Protocol), video-on-demand and various file-sharing schemes become more popular among individuals and corporations alike.

Complete article:
You mean DSL is going the way of dial up? That's awesome, T4's for everyone! I have been considering it anyways for a couple of years now, but I really need those economies of scale to help me out. Maybe I will finally be able to have a static IP address that doesn't disconnect me from my game server in the middle of a raid.

They are not saying the internet itself is unable to handle the traffic. They are saying that the current connections used by customers will become bottlenecks in the future. Having seen someone trying to get a TB sized simulation from Munich to Bonn and having to deal with the broadband LAN as a bottleneck, when if they were in the Munich institution the transfer could be completed quite expediantly, I am well aware of the limitations of certain parts of the infrastructure.
Quote: Originally Posted by NiflmirView Post

You mean DSL is going the way of dial up? That's awesome, T4's for everyone! I have been considering it anyways for a couple of years now, but I really need those economies of scale to help me out. Maybe I will finally be able to have a static IP address that doesn't disconnect me from my game server in the middle of a raid.

Well you know 1&1 and Telekom both offer 16-Mbit dsl uplinks in most cities.. it's not t4 by any means, but pretty amazing compared to a couple of years ago.
Here's one to add to the list: Canada needs to spend $123 billion to shore up the aging infrastructure of its towns and cities, warns the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

"These findings, combined with the evidence of deterioration Canadians see in their own communities, suggest that much of our aging municipal infrastructure is on the brink of failure," said the report released Tuesday in Ottawa.
"We can see the consequences in every community," the report said "Potholes and crumbling bridges, water-treatment and transit systems that cannot keep up with demand, traffic gridlock, poor air quality and a lack of affordable housing."
The $123-billion figure includes sub-deficits for several key categories:
  • Water and wastewater systems ($31 billion);
  • Transportation ($21.7 billion);
  • Transit ($22.8 billion);
  • Solid-waste management ($7.7 billion); and,
  • Community, recreational, cultural and social infrastructure ($40.2 billion).
The study pegged the deficit at $12 billion

No internet and no water, or bridges etc.
Last edited by Sal; Nov 22nd, 2007 at 09:25 AM..
Quote: Originally Posted by AndemView Post

Well you know 1&1 and Telekom both offer 16-Mbit dsl uplinks in most cities.. it's not t4 by any means, but pretty amazing compared to a couple of years ago.

Yeah, for the most part dsl meets my needs. Every now and then I itch for something faster. Course then my hard drive would probably become the bottle neck...

In any case, my only real complaint with DSL is the darn dynamic IP addresses. I don't want a server! Take my word on it and give me uninterrupted service, darn it. Imagine if every few hours like clock work, your phone number changed and you had to call a person back, just to keep you from telemarketing.
Global Warming May Trigger Rise in Heart Deaths

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter
Wednesday, November 21, 2007; 12:00 AM

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Soaring temperatures and high ozone levels work together to boost death risks from heart disease and stroke, researchers report.
They believe that global warming -- which brings more heat and more ozone -- may further increase the number of people who die of cardiovascular events. (external - login to view)

Be very afraid.
Natural disasters have quadrupled in two decades: study

Residents of Centla in the Mexican state of Tabasco wade through a flooded street in search of food and water on 04 November 2007. More than four times the number of natural disasters are occurring now than did two decades ago, British charity Oxfam has said in a study that largely blamed global warming.

More than four times the number of natural disasters are occurring now than did two decades ago, British charity Oxfam said in a study Sunday that largely blamed global warming.

"Oxfam... says that rising green house gas emissions are the major cause of weather-related disasters and must be tackled," the organisation said, adding that the world's poorest people were being hit the hardest.

The world suffered about 120 natural disasters per year in the early 1980s, which compared with the current figure of about 500 per year, according to the report.

"This year we have seen floods in South Asia, across the breadth of Africa and Mexico that have affected more than 250 million people," noted Oxfam director Barbara Stocking.

"This is no freak year. It follows a pattern of more frequent, more erratic, more unpredictable and more extreme weather events that are affecting more people."

She added: "Action is needed now to prepare for more disasters otherwise humanitarian assistance will be overwhelmed and recent advances in human development will go into reverse."

The number of people affected by extreme natural disasters, meanwhile, has surged by almost 70 percent, from 174 million a year between 1985 to 1994, to 254 million people a year between 1995 to 2004, Oxfam said. Floods and wind-storms have increased from 60 events in 1980 to 240 last year, with flooding itself up six-fold.

But the number of geothermal events, such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions (external - login to view), has barely changed.

Oxfam urged Western governments to push hard for a deal on climate change (external - login to view) at a key international meeting that runs December 3-14 on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Rich Western nations and the United Nations must act to "make humanitarian aid faster, fairer and more flexible and to improve ways to prepare for and reduce the risk of disasters," it said.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Bali aims to see countries agree to launch a roadmap for negotiating cuts in climate-changing carbon emissions from 2012.

The Oxfam study was compiled using data from the Red Cross, the United Nations and specialist researchers at Louvain University in Belgium.

© 2007 AFP

I need a new umbrella.
Buy a farm for your wife.

City women at greater risk for breast cancer

Updated Mon. Nov. 26 2007 2:54 PM ET News Staff
Women who live in cities have denser breasts than those who live in suburban and rural areas, making them more likely to develop breast cancer, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.
Last edited by Walter; Nov 27th, 2007 at 06:58 AM..Reason: Clarity
This is frightening.

'70S NOSTALGIA | Music | Jacksons may reunite for tour
Jacksons may reunite for tour

"Michael will be involved," says Jermaine Jackson of long-delayed move that includes new album

Nov 27, 2007 04:30 AM
Ashante Infantry
Pop & Jazz Critic

Everybody else is getting back together, why shouldn't The Jacksons?
In a year that has seen reunion tours by The Police, Van Halen and the Spice Girls, Jermaine Jackson is floating the idea of a 2008 outing with his brothers, who range in age from 46 to 56.
"We feel we have to do it one more time," the singer/guitarist told BBC 6 Music yesterday.
I worry about someone in power, taking seriously, that paid industry hack, who has been in the news of late, stating that older cars are "really harming" the environment..........(no sh!t Sherlock!!)

Like nothing else is . Like car plants, factories.

"Steve" and the old car police will be out to get me ol '93' Hyundai.(which has passed every e.test so far) ..........Bye bye, ol gal. Tis Orwellian, I know, and I really love me old piece of crap. Damn.

They can take my old car, when they pry my cold, second thought..........
How about we do away with Ottawa? This would eliminate about 95% of the "hot air" in the country.............

Sh!t, now the A-bomb police will be after me too................

Hard to win, when ya lose.
Gives a guy the blues.
Hard to pick, hard to choose,
Just don't read the ****ing news.
I'm getting scareder and scareder.

BRASILIA - Unless the international community agrees to cut carbon emissions by half over the next generation, climate change is likely to cause large-scale human and economic setbacks and irreversible ecological catastrophes, a United Nations report says on Tuesday. (external - login to view)
Annual Christmas enviro scaremongering agenda at work

By OnTheWeb Thursday, December 13, 2007

Recent activist attacks on PVC, one of the most sustainable, useful and affordable plastics available, are without any basis in scientific fact and could hurt consumers by forcing retailers to adopt the use of riskier, less affordable materials, Greenpeace (external - login to view) co-founder and former leader Dr. Patrick Moore says.
Environmental Defense (external - login to view) and other anti-PVC activists are engaged in a fear-mongering campaign that’s attempting to convince retailers like Sears to de-select PVC without a shred of scientific evidence,” said Moore, a Greenpeace co-founder and Chairman and Chief Scientist, Greenspirit Strategies Ltd..
PVC is commonly known as vinyl or polyvinyl chloride. It has recently come under attack by Environmental Defence Canada (external - login to view).
“It’s completely unacceptable for these activists to call PVC ‘toxic’ when PVC’s effects on health and the environment have been investigated at every stage from manufacture through use and on to final disposal – in all cases vinyl has been shown to be safe and environmentally sound,” said Moore.
“The most rigorous risk assessment ever undertaken by the European Union (external - login to view) on plasticizers used to make PVC flexible was conducted over 10 years, and concluded these widely used additives should not be classified as hazardous and pose no risks to either human health or the environment from their current use,” said Moore.
“Anti-PVC activists are pushing retailers toward untested, less affordable and potentially riskier materials and that’s bad news for Canadian consumers,” said Moore.
“PVC is one of the most thoroughly tested plastics available. Because it is easily cleaned, affordable, durable and safe, PVC has many important applications,” said Moore.
“The best way to deliver affordable, safe drinking water is through a PVC pipe. The best way to insulate electrical wiring is with a PVC coating. In hospitals, floors and wall coverings use PVC widely. PVC is a durable, cost-effective siding for buildings because of its low maintenance and long life. Building with PVC saves on energy and material costs,” said Moore.
“Alternatives simply don’t match the safety, affordability and flexibility of PVC,” said Moore. “That’s why PVC continues to be a very popular choice in many applications,” he said.
For more information:
Dr. Patrick Moore, Phone: 604-681-4122
Posted 12/13 at 08:47 PM Email (Permalink (external - login to view))
By Vicki Crawford


Posted March 18, 2008
There's been a lot of controversy over the subject of global warming. Many dire predictions have been made ranging from drowning polar bears to cataclysmic superstorms, but one potential problem has been widely ignored by the scientific community, the media, and the public in general -- zombies.
Forget about rising oceans and possible famine. According to a recent study done by Drs. Harrister and Carpenter-Romero we could be looking at "a 32.782412% increase in the zombie attacks if CO2 increased to twice its pre-industrial rate."
The study is based on the fact that zombies have problems functioning in cold weather. Since a reanimated corpse can't self regulate internal body temperature like a normal human being, motor functions are especially susceptible to sluggishness or stalling in cold temperatures much like a cold blooded reptile. (external - login to view)
All this doom and gloom....and yet..

Not a word not a whimper or a peep about one of the perhaps most dangerous developments ever introduced....

Bamboo Condoms!

Where are your priorities Walter!
Influx of mass begging. (external - login to view)
There is a chemical that has been used for well over one hundred years and its use must be stopped! The Association for Environmental Activism is dedicated to seeing that its use comes to a swift end. Dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO) is colorless, odorless, tasteless and kills thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there.

Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Symptoms of DHMO ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting, and body electrolyte imbalance.

Contamination is reaching epidemic proportions in many modern societies. Dozens of arid countries have spent millions of dollars in research money to extract it in its pure form from our planet's oceans. Quantities of dihydrogen monoxide have been found in almost every stream, lake, and reservoir in America today. But the pollution is global, and the contaminant has even been found in Antarctic ice. DHMO has caused millions of dollars of property damage in the midwest and recently in California.

Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used as an industrial solvent, in nuclear power plants, in the production of styrofoam and as a fire retardant.

Pharmaceutical companies have put DHMO to use in large quantities in conjunction with many forms of cruel animal research. It has been linked to the distribution of pesticides and is often sprayed on crops of all kind. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.

Nutritionists have recognized DHMO as an additive in certain food products for decades but have been reluctant to speak out to the public about the vast quantities of this chemical being used in most foods.

Companies dump waste DHMO into rivers and the ocean, and nothing can be done to stop them because this practice is still legal. The impact on wildlife is extreme, and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer!

The horror must be stopped!

Our government has refused to ban the production, distribution, or use of this damaging chemical due to its "importance to the economic health of this nation." In fact, the Navy and other military organizations are conducting experiments with DHMO, and designing multi-billion dollar devices to control and utilize it during warfare situations.

Hundreds of military and civilian research facilities receive tons of it through a highly sophisticated underground distribution network. Many store large quantities for later use. It's not too late! Act NOW to prevent further contamination. Find out more about this dangerous chemical. What you don't know can hurt you and others throughout the world!

Ask a chemist, your local high school science teacher, or university chemistry professor about the exact composition of this chemical!

The Facts:
Also called hydroxl acid or dihydrous oxide, it is a component of acid rain.
It contributes to the "greenhouse effect."
It may cause severe burns as a vapor.
It contributes to the erosion of our beautiful natural landscape.
Accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals and may be affecting your car.
Causes electrical failure and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.
It has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.

The Deadly Statistics:
In the year 2000, according to the Children's Safety Zone,
There were a total of 210 reported DHMO related incidents.
64 Deaths. Out of those 64, 28 were children and 36 were adults.

By way of comparison, there were 43 deaths the previous year out of 160 incidents.
And so far in the year 2001, there have been 58 deaths (27 children) out of only 183 incidents.

Tell every one you know to support all efforts to ban this colorless and tasteless, deadly substance.
From The Times

April 8, 2008

Bird flu: father infected by dying son

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Nigel Hawkes, Health Editor

Alarm about a flu pandemic has been restarted by clear evidence that bird flu, which is rife in the Far East, can be transmitted person to person.
This could be one of the first steps in the evolution of the H5N1 strain of avian flu into a deadly pandemic strain that could infect hundreds of millions of people.
The new evidence involves a 52-year-old man who caught the disease from his 24-year-old son, who himself seems to have picked it up at a poultry market. The son died, while his father narrowly survived.
A team of doctors led by Yu Wang, of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing, report in The Lancet online (external - login to view) that the two cases of avian flu were detected in the family from Nanjing, in Jiangsu Province, in December last year.
The man of 24, a salesman, developed fever, chills, headache, a sore throat and a cough. He was treated with antibiotics but his condition worsened and he was admitted to hospital, where he died five days later.
Just before he died, tests showed that he was infected by H5N1 avian flu virus. His father, a retired engineer, lived six miles away. When his son fell ill he went to see him and helped to look after him in hospital for two days.
The father fell ill a week later but survived after being treated with antiviral drugs and blood plasma from a woman who had been deliberately infected with inactive H5N1 in a clinical trial. He spent 22 days in hospital.
Samples of H5N1 virus taken from the father and son were genetically identical, save for one small change. Flu virus mutates rapidly, so the fact that these two samples were so nearly identical is strong evidence of direct infection from son to father.
Jeremy Farrar and colleagues from the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Vietnam said in The Lancet: “If we continue to experience widespread, uncontrolled outbreaks of H5N1 in poultry, the appearance of strains well-adapted to human beings might be just a matter of time.”
A further 100 close contacts of the father and son were identified and followed up for ten days. Eight had been exposed to both men, but none developed H5N1 flu. The team concluded that the son passed the infection to his father, probably at the hospital. The son had gone to the poultry market six days before falling ill.
It is possible that his father caught the disease independently, when he visited another market to buy vegetables. There were poultry being slaughtered there, but the father said that he did not go anywhere near them.
So the odds are strongly that he caught avian flu from his son. Other cases of suspected person-to-person transmission have also been between blood relations, suggesting that there may be a genetic susceptibility to H5N1 infection, the authors said.
Wendy Barclay, Chair in Influenza Virology at Imperial College London, said: “Although it is possible that the father did catch H5N1 influenza from his son, there is no virological evidence to support the idea that this strain of H5N1 virus has acquired mutations that allow it to pass readily from one person to another.”
10 Things to Scratch From Your Worry List
Viktor Koen
JOHN TIERNEY (external - login to view)
Published: July 29, 2008
For most of the year, it is the duty of the press to scour the known universe looking for ways to ruin your day. The more fear, guilt or angst a news story induces, the better. But with August upon us, perhaps you’re in the mood for a break, so I’ve rounded up a list of 10 things not to worry about on your vacation.

Now, I can’t guarantee you that any of these worries is groundless, because I can’t guarantee you that anything is absolutely safe, including the act of reading a newspaper. With enough money, an enterprising researcher could surely identify a chemical in newsprint or keyboards that is dangerously carcinogenic for any rat that reads a trillion science columns every day.
What I can guarantee is that I wouldn’t spend a nanosecond of my vacation worrying about any of these 10 things. (You can make your own nominations in the TierneyLab blog. (external - login to view))
1. Killer hot dogs. What is it about frankfurters? There was the nitrite scare. Then the grilling-creates-carcinogens alarm. And then, when those menaces ebbed, the weenie warriors fell back on that old reliable villain: saturated fat (external - login to view).
But now even saturated fat isn’t looking so bad, thanks to a rigorous experiment (external - login to view) in Israel reported this month. The people on a low-carb, unrestricted-calorie diet (external - login to view) consumed more saturated fat than another group forced to cut back on both fat and calories (external - login to view), but those fatophiles lost more weight and ended up with a better cholesterol (external - login to view) profile. And this was just the latest in a series of studies contradicting the medical establishment’s predictions about saturated fat.
If you must worry, focus on the carbs in the bun. But when it comes to the fatty frank — or the fatty anything else on vacation — I’d relax.
2. Your car’s planet-destroying A/C. No matter how guilty you feel about your carbon footprint, you don’t have to swelter on the highway to the beach. After doing tests at 65 miles per hour, the mileage experts at (external - login to view) report that the aerodynamic drag from opening the windows cancels out any fuel savings from turning off the air-conditioner.
3. Forbidden fruits from afar. Do you dare to eat a kiwi? Sure, because more “food miles” do not equal more greenhouse emissions. Food from other countries is often produced and shipped much more efficiently than domestic food, particularly if the local producers are hauling their wares around in small trucks. One study showed that apples shipped from New Zealand to Britain had a smaller carbon footprint than apples grown and sold in Britain.
4. Carcinogenic cellphones. Some prominent brain surgeons made news on Larry King (external - login to view)’s show this year with their fears of cellphones, thereby establishing once and for all that epidemiology is not brain surgery (external - login to view) — it’s more complicated (external - login to view).
As my colleague Tara Parker-Pope has noted (external - login to view), there is no known biological mechanism for the phones’ non-ionizing radiation to cause cancer (external - login to view), and epidemiological studies have failed to find consistent links between cancer and cellphones.
It’s always possible today’s worried doctors will be vindicated, but I’d bet they’ll be remembered more like the promoters of the old cancer-from-power-lines menace — or like James Thurber (external - login to view)’s grandmother, who covered up her wall outlets to stop electricity from leaking.
Driving while talking on a phone is a definite risk, but you’re better off worrying about other cars rather than cancer.
5. Evil plastic bags. Take it from the Environmental Protection Agency : paper bags are not better for the environment than plastic bags. If anything, the evidence from life-cycle analyses favors plastic bags. They require much less energy (external - login to view) — and greenhouse emissions — to manufacture, ship and recycle. They generate less air and water pollution. And they take up much less space in landfills.
6. Toxic plastic bottles. For years panels of experts repeatedly approved the use of bisphenol-a (external - login to view), or BPA, which is used in polycarbonate bottles and many other plastic products. Yes, it could be harmful if given in huge doses to rodents, but so can the natural chemicals in countless foods we eat every day. Dose makes the poison.
But this year, after a campaign by a few researchers and activists, one federal panel expressed some concern (external - login to view) about BPA in baby bottles. Panic ensued. Even though there was zero evidence of harm to humans (external - login to view), Wal-Mart pulled BPA-containing products from its shelves, and politicians began talking about BPA bans. Some experts fear product recalls that could make this the most expensive health scare in history.
Nalgene has already announced that it will take BPA out of its wonderfully sturdy water bottles. Given the publicity, the company probably had no choice. But my old blue-capped Nalgene bottle, the one with BPA that survived glaciers, jungles and deserts, is still sitting right next to me, filled with drinking water. If they ever try recalling it, they’ll have to pry it from my cold dead fingers.
7. Deadly sharks. Throughout the world last year, there was a grand total of one fatal shark attack (in the South Pacific), according to the International Shark Attack File (external - login to view) at the University of Florida (external - login to view).
8. The Arctic’s missing ice. The meltdown in the Arctic last summer was bad enough, but this spring there was worse news. A majority of experts expected even more melting this year, and some scientists created a media sensation by predicting (external - login to view) that even the North Pole would be ice-free by the end of summer.
So far, though, there’s more ice than at this time last summer, and most experts are no longer expecting a new record. (external - login to view) You can still fret about long-term trends in the Arctic, but you can set aside one worry: This summer it looks as if Santa can still have his drinks on the rocks.
9. The universe’s missing mass. Even if the fate of the universe — steady expansion or cataclysmic collapse — depends on the amount of dark matter that is out there somewhere, you can rest assured that no one blames you for losing it. And most experts doubt this collapse will occur during your vacation.
10. Unmarked wormholes. Could your vacation be interrupted by a sudden plunge into a wormhole? From my limited analysis of space-time theory and the movie “Jumper,” I would have to say that the possibility cannot be eliminated. I would also concede that if the wormhole led to an alternate universe, there’s a good chance your luggage would be lost in transit.
But I still wouldn’t worry about it, In an alternate universe, you might not have to spend the rest of the year fretting about either dark matter or sickly rodents. You might even be able to buy one of those Nalgene bottles.
L Gilbert
I don't worry about much of anything. I do now & then get a little concerned about human foolishness and stupidity, global food supplies, global fresh water, etc. though.
I find if you read and research something, establish if it's a valid concern or not, and take a rational step to try to do what is within your power, then you don't need to 'worry'. The 'food shortage' scare. We stocked up an emergency kit to last almost a month, and 'foodscaped' the yard with potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, swisschard, nasturtiums, lettuce, peas, turnips, zuccini, radishes, and herbs.

Plastic bag issues. It's not hard to carry cloth ones, so, we don't stress about it. If we forget them one day, oh well, it's still a lot of bags kept out of the recycling.

Plastic bottles, well, I prefer reusable steel bottles anyway, they don't trap smells, so, no issue.

Fruit, well, I avoid prepackaged foods, so, my carbon foot print for not buying packaging balances out any shipping of foods to me. Besides, I live in Alberta... unless I want to live off wheat and rapeseed, I need just about everything shipped to me anyway. lol.

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