Thursday, May 31, 2007

China To Execute Chief Food Inspector

From CBS
China To Execute Chief Food Inspector

Beijing's No. 1 Intermediate People's Court convicted Zheng Xiaoyu of taking bribes in cash and gifts worth more than 6.49 million yuan ($832,000) while he was director of the State Food and Drug Administration, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
(CBS News) BEIJING The former head of China's food and drug administration was sentenced to death Tuesday for taking bribes to approve substandard medicines β€” including an antibiotic blamed for at least 10 deaths.

Seeking to address broadening concerns over food, the government also announced plans for its first recall system for unsafe products.

The developments are among the most dramatic steps Beijing has publicly taken to address domestic and international alarm over shoddy and unsafe Chinese goods β€” from pet food ingredients and toothpaste mixed with industrial chemicals to tainted antibiotics. " (more...)

Labels: ,


Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/31/2007 01:22:00 PM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Anonymous jan sent us a woof // June 10, 2007

So China will execute a bureaucrat. Knowing the value the value the government puts on human life, doesn't that just instill confidence all over the world?

I love your graphic of the doggies on the state capital building. Hopefully people will get the true message of this horrible bill before the do-gooders win out.   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // June 16, 2007

This execution is a parody of justice.

I think people are angry enough to feel that at least figuratively "heads will roll", but really now... for one person to bear the brunt of it all in China when so many were involved and aware (and not just in China) is unspeakable travesty!

The lack of common sense in the premise of AB1534 is beyond ridiculous.   

Monday, May 28, 2007

Everything I really needed to know about life I learned from playing Tetris

Okay, not really on the subject line, at least not from me -- but I thought this piece by Geoffrey A. Landis was entertaining and has elements of truth! See it here:
Everything I really needed to know about life I learned from playing Tetris

My favorite free Tetris game is called "Bricks 2000" as seen in the screenshot.

I have a older version for download from this previous posting (which includes other free games) but you can also get a free copy of an updated version of just the tetris game right here.

Labels:


Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/28/2007 04:19:00 PM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Anonymous Anonymous sent us a woof // June 04, 2007

I think you really did learn it ALL from Tetris. Afterall, you were born AFTER it was created, right? I know you're not as old as me, right?

Janice?

Janice?

Hello?!? Is this thing on?

Mark   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // June 05, 2007

LOL! };>   

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

DNA labs facing huge backlog

Colorful mystery liquids
First, I had to find a graphic to use and found several like above.

Q: Why is that flasks containing colorful liquids are typical of graphics visual aids for laboratory or science topics?

A: Someone never got past their memory of doing acid-base titrations?
A: It's mysterious.
A: It's pretty!
A: Fill in the blank "__________________"


I'd been reading about laboratory issues in forensic science for the past decade and gosh it has grown quite a bit. It is a fascinating field I spyand one that certainly would have expanded the fields of biomedical technology in which I worked. This article in The Scientist just has me wanting more involvement. I copy the whole article here in case the link goes to pay per view online. Maybe this will encourage young biomed students to consider the field. Alas, we know that many biomed fields are experiencing shortages for the past decades, from areas as necessary as nursing to laboratory technologists.
Based on what I run into online and in real life, I guess few people want to train for these types of fields any more. (And based on the pure idiocy lack of logic behind AB1634, I can certainly say that there is a serious deficiency in intellectual gray matter involved with realistic problem solving among many of the emotive population who allow themselves to be used for political goals. Can appeal to emotion solve crimes?).
Canadian and American forensic DNA labs are facing a backlog of thousands of DNA samples, missing target turnaround times and frustrating the lawyers and suspects who depend on the data.

A report released this month by the Auditor General of Canada has criticized the Forensic Laboratory Services (FLS) of the Canadian police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), for long delays in completing DNA forensic testing work.

The average FLS turnaround time for a biological sample in 2005-06 was 114 days, up from 91 days in 2003-04, and nearly four times the target turnaround time of 30 days for routine cases.

The FLS sample backlog grew from 663 in April 2003 to 873 in March 2006, not counting a queue of 760 cases that the RCMP has not yet accepted.

American forensic DNA specialists are facing an even larger sample queue. According to Robert Fram, Chief of the Scientific Analysis Section at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Laboratory, the DNA forensics lab in Quantico, Va., has a backlog of about 1,700 cases, and receives some 1,500 new cases (each of which may have from one to 50 samples or more) per year from federal, state, and local agencies.

The average turnaround time for a case is about one year, Fram told The Scientist. The target turnaround time, said Special Agent Ann Todd, of the laboratory's Office of Public Affairs, is approximately 60 days.

"Any delay presents problems for the proper administration of justice," said Edmond O'Neill, a criminal defense attorney in Edmonton, Alberta, who has tried a number of cases involving DNA evidence.

Delays impair both the prosecution and the defense of a crime, O'Neill said, as memories fade, witnesses die, become ill, or move away, all while suspects remain either detained in custody, or live with the uncertainty of their fate.

After a February 2005 murder, for instance, DNA evidence didn't come in until late spring of the next year. "The trial starts next month," he said.

Despite the current backlog, US state and federal officials are planning to collect more DNA samples from crimes. "If you double the number of cases and you don't double the number of analysts you're going to have a problem," said Moses Schanfield, chair of the department of forensic sciences at George Washington University, Washington DC.

A spokesperson from the FBI confirmed that the agency plans to expand DNA collection to include federal arrestees and detainees, but these samples are processed by a different group in the FBI lab than the group that processes criminal cases, where the backlog exists.

"We continue to implement new technologies, including the use of robotics, in order to increase our productivity," the spokesperson said in an Email. "We would like to hire additional personnel," and the agency is asking for "additional resources."

The FBI takes care of higher-priority cases sooner than samples from less urgent cases, FBI's Fram stressed. "If we absolutely had to have something done in two days, we could do that. But you cannot do that for every case."

The target turnaround time for urgent biology requests to the RCMP -- those involving terrorism, for instance -- is 15 days. FLS met this goal for 132 of 134 requests, but these requests represent just 1% of the RCMP's total caseload.

And the RCMP's situation may not be as dire as the report suggests, according to Max Houck, director of the Forensic Science Initiative at West Virginia University. Some labs the report used for comparison measure turnaround time as the time from receipt of the first sample, while others measure from receipt of the final sample, he noted.

Forensic DNA testing at the FBI and elsewhere involves polymerase chain reaction of variable number tandem repeat loci -- 13 such loci for the FBI -- that, in aggregate, identify or exonerate a suspect. The FBI lab has some 30 scientists conducting nuclear DNA analysis for criminal casework.

The UK, in contrast, has no backlog and processes all DNA samples within days, according to Pete Johnson, a sales manager at Forensic Science Service, one of the government-owned companies that handles forensic DNA samples.

With more than 100 personnel involved in processing DNA casework, FSS can turn samples around in three to seven days, Johnson told The Scientist.

However, the FSS faced criticisms this week when it emerged that the company failed to include nearly 30,000 DNA profiles in the national database for up to nine years, an oversight that may have left nearly 200 crimes undetected, according to the Guardian.

In a written statement, Canada's FLS attributed some of its delays to the time required to train new staff (the biology unit staff increased from 85 to 110 between 2003 and 2006). The agency has since added up to 70 new staff, and received funding for a new DNA-processing facility in Edmonton, Alberta. FLS officials were unable to comment for this article.

Jeffrey M. Perkel
mail@the-scientist.com
source: The Scientist

Labels:


Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/22/2007 09:34:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Monday, May 21, 2007

Semavi Kale Kadim has a puppy and check out the dog vending machine

Kadim and puppy
Too much Chaos going on right now so am not able to keep pace, but I got an update from Kirsi in Finland. She has a smooth collie puppy girl, named Salli.

Kadim, her Anatolian is very interested in the munchkin!

Off camera, Salli seems to have her own ideas about what is appropriate attention from the big dude. They will work out the rules. :)

Check out more pics here.

And more fun here...
Doggie vending machine
I got a grin out of this doggie's goodies vending machine which is located in Dallas.
DALLAS β€” White Rock Lake Dog Park has to be the top dog park in Dallas, with areas for big and small dogs, access to the lake, and a large population of supportive and savvy dog owners.

And now, a doggie vending machine, too.

You can't miss it: It's the bright red machine built inside a faux dog-house, parked next to the message board at the entrance of the park. Here's where to get your chew toys, balls, pick-up bags, leashes, collars -- all the things dogs carelessly forget when dashing off to the park. Prices are good, running from $1 to $5, with 10 percent of the proceeds going to the park . . .(more)

Labels:


Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/21/2007 02:14:00 PM | Permanent link | (1) Comments

Anonymous jan sent us a woof // May 21, 2007

A doggie vending machine, what a great marketing idea. I'll bet it does very well as cute as it is.   

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Iiiieeeeee-HAW!

What was THAT?!

And you probably heard right. It might have been a couple donkeys yelling in the distance, for all you knew. ;)

It's been three months since my Arabian mare died (January) and at this point in time, James and I have given a little thought about getting another equine or other type of livestock for the paddock area. We just haven't dwelt on it. Recent events have required a lot of flexibility in priorities. James has just had a long delayed knee surgery. It is his first week home now. I've been too busy for email or blogging, let alone thinking of a quadruped lawn mower.

But this is funny. :)
A few weeks ago, James happened to find out about two miniature donkeys that were available. Excited about this, he asked me what I thought.

HA! The first thing that came to mind is that they BRAAAAAAAY and we have too many neighbors nearby who might hit the ceiling if WHEN the pair sounds off in stereo at all hours of the morning or night, which is likely to happen whenever either James or I leave early in the morning or feed them late at night. Or if the beasties are just in the mood to sing!

"No," I said to James. "I don't think so..."

He hadn't thought about the braying at first but then we were just busting up after I reminded him their musical qualities.

Then there's this
Donkey Testifies in Dallas Noise Complaint Trial
! A Donkey testifying in court. --that he doesn't bray ------ in court.

It was sweet that James had been thinking about a critter for the pasture area at all. :)

Labels:


Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/16/2007 11:52:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Few More Miniature Horse Pics

Ruya checking out the boundaries of the paddock.

Today is the first full day that the miniature horses spent out in the paddock so I went to get a closer look at our temporary guests. I brought along Ruya -- one of my Anatolian Shepherd Dogs for company. Ruya is just so used to the gentle sweetness of Tessie (my late Arabian mare) who never nipped, so Ruya had no idea that the little Studmuffin would start out sweet as anything, then steathily move on to the offensive with his nips and bites. Ruya quickly got wise to this and kept out of reach.


Mr Studly ...looking studly!


Der Princess


Ruya checking out the two beasties


What are they all munching?


I think the Princess is really quite sweet but shy.


Ruya keeping an eye on them at the corral gate.


Mr and Miss Lawnmower

They seem happy and content. :)

Labels: ,


Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/08/2007 12:46:00 PM | Permanent link | (1) Comments

Anonymous jan sent us a woof // May 08, 2007

Great pictures.What fun they must be. Ruya looks totally in charge.   

NO on AB1634 - Why It's Wrong

Click here to enlarge

No on California AB 1634
"California Healthy Pets Act"

Choosing a 'feel good' perky name for a bill perpetuates the GRAND deception

I've mentioned it before -- the so-called pet 'overpopulation' issue regarding euthanized animals in shelters is grossly exaggerated. AB1634 may have originally been well intentioned but at this point, it's quite clear to the majority scrutinizing the data, that the authors of the bill are using incomplete data and demonstrate little understanding or concept of the active dog community.

Over the past several decades, the numbers of impounds and euthanized animals have dropped at a steady rate, shown in the chart above. (more detail at DogGoneCalifornia)

Many people are essentially flaunting their ignorance in public forums by quoting various undifferentiated, incomplete and 'no context' numbers related to shelter statistics. Some use descriptive words such as "staggering", "out of control" for describing the isolated 'freeze frame' of time of which they hope to convince all, that there exists a critical "pet overpopulation".

I've seen different variations of the joke below around the 'net. This is the one I copied off of eBaum's World.

Flight Chatter

A stranger was seated next to a little girl on the airplane when the stranger turned to her and said, "Let's talk. I've heard that flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger."

The little girl, who had just opened her book, closed it slowly and said to the stranger, "What would you like to talk about?"

"Oh, I don't know", said the stranger. "How about nuclear power?"

"OK". she said. "That could be an interesting topic. But let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat grass, the same stuff. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps of dried grass. Why do you suppose that is?"

The stranger thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea."

"Do you feel qualified to discuss nuclear power when you don't know shit?

Staggering numbers, out of control?
In the case of California, euthanization numbers involve only about 2 percent of California's dog population and yet after decades of continuous progress, some will emotively and shrilly state that mandatory spay and neuter (MSN) is the solution.

As out of context with any timeline as they are, they may then go on to state that MSN has improved the statistics in different places.

And here is the problem...
  • They neglect to mention the fact that shelter statistics already had significant drops in the years previous to (whichever) ordinance.
  • They also neglect to state that the shelters in those areas with said ordinances are still killing animals that fit into the same profiles of impoundment that existed before the ordinance!
The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy website has a lot of research in more detail about pets in shelters, and its all available to public access. Here is info from one press release in 1998 of an early study on relinquishment of pets.
Every day in communities across the US a bond is broken. It’s the bond between people and their pets, resulting in millions of pets being surrendered to shelters each year. And little has been known about the reasons why until now.

In a recent study conducted by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP) and published in the July issue of the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science (JAAWS), researchers went into 12 selected animal shelters in the United States for one year to find out why.

The results of the study show that the top seven reasons for relinquishment for both dogs and cats are the same. "These commonalties suggest that there may be similar ways to address relinquishment in dogs and cats," says Pam Burney, NCPPSP president. "For people who work in a shelter all day, there isn't always time to look at these issues. We have impressions of what's happening, but now we have objective data that will help us develop specific programs to address the issues that have been identified."

STUDY FINDS THE TOP 10 REASONS FOR PET RELINQUISHMENT

Top 10 Reasons for Relinquishment*

Dogs:
1. Moving (7%)
2. Landlord not allowing pet (6%)
3. Too many animals in household (4%)
4. Cost of pet maintenance (5%)
5. Owner having personal problems (4%)
6. Inadequate facilities (4%)
7. No homes available for litter mates (3%)
--Breeding?
8. Having no time for pet (4%)
9. Pet illness(es) (4%)
10. Biting (3%)

Cats:
1. Moving (8%)
2. Landlord not allowing pet (6%)
3. Too many animals in household (11%)
4. Cost of pet maintenance (6%)
5. Owner having personal problems (4%)
6. Inadequate facilities (2%)
7. No homes available for litter mates (6%)
--Breeding?
8. Allergies in family (8%)
9. House soiling (5%)
10. Incompatibility with other pets (2%)

Specially trained researchers completed confidential individual interviews with pet owners who were relinquishing their dogs or cats to animal shelters. Pet owners were allowed to give up to five reasons for relinquishment. Interviewers did not, however, prioritize the responses. They simply recorded them in the order stated.

Characteristics of Pets Being Relinquished

In addition to the reasons for relinquishment, the study collected data on the pets being relinquished. According to the study: The majority of the surrendered dogs (47.7%) and cats (40.3%) were between 5 months and 3 years of age.

The majority of dogs (37.1 %) and cats (30.2) had been owned from 7 months to 1 year. Approximately half of the pets (42.8% of dogs; 50.8% of cats) surrendered were not neutered. Many of the pets relinquished (33% of dogs; 46.9% of cats) had not been to a veterinarian.

Animals acquired from friends were relinquished in higher numbers (31.4% of dogs; 33.2% of cats) than from any other source.

Close to equal numbers of male and female dogs and cats were surrendered.

Most dogs (96%) had not received any obedience training.

Characteristics of Pet Owners Surrendering Pets

During the confidential interviews, researchers also gathered data on the people surrendering the pets. "Owners represented a broad range of age, ethnicity, education, and income level, indicating continued efforts will need to reach wide and far into communities across the country," say Dr. Mo Salman, the article's senior author.


- Pets are impounded which no one 'relinquished', those are not covered above

- It has been well documented that mandatory spay and neuter does not work -- it does not address the reasons that people relinquish pets. Punitive legislation doesn't help the animals and doesn't help this situation

And now, with above issues in mind, consider AB 1634 - a state mandate of pediatric hysterectomy and castration of ALL cats and dogs.

They are claiming exemptions... but hello people! Absolutely any reader of the bill will note that aside from commercial producers, there is absolutely NO one who is exempt. Everyone from police dog sources, farmers, disabled people covered by the ADA, the poor, and all the rest, every single one must jump through hoops to have what amounts to a pseudo "exemption" which only applies in their specific locale and as currently worded, all these exemptions expire in the year 2009.
Article 2.  General Provisions

122336.1. (a) A person shall not own or possess within the state
any cat or dog over the age of four months that has not been spayed
or neutered, unless that person possesses an intact permit, as
defined in subdivision (b) of Section 122336.
(b) Subject to subdivision (c), any person who violates
subdivision (a) shall, for each animal for which a violation has
occurred, be subject to a civil penalty of five hundred dollars
($500). This penalty shall be imposed in addition to any other civil
or criminal penalties imposed by the local jurisdiction.
(c) If an owner of a cat or dog provides a letter from a
California licensed veterinarian indicating that due to age, poor
health, or illness, it is unsafe to spay or neuter the cat or dog and
that arrangements have been made to spay or neuter the cat or dog
within 75 days from the date the cat or dog reaches the age of four
months, and the owner has his or her cat or dog spayed within that
75-day period, and the owner shall not be in
violation of this act.
(d) Any civil penalty imposed under subdivision (b) may be waived
by the local jurisdiction if the person in violation provides
verification that his or her cat or dog has been spayed or neutered.
(e) Any person who, on or after April 1, 2008, is in possession
of
any document issued by the local jurisdiction or its authorized
animal control agency that permits the owner to possess an
unaltered
cat or dog shall be deemed in compliance with this act until
the
document expires, or January 1, 2009,
which ever
whichever
occurs first.
Can't say much for the enormous lack of care that has gone into above.
And they think people are upset?!


Disabled persons that the American with Disabilities Act
has given rights of access via use of a service animal, includes the use of intact animals. Persons covered by ADA shall not be refused public access nor be challenged for documentation of their animals. Not every service dog user can qualify for a professionally trained service dog. Some organizations try to ensure highest rates of success by placing working dogs only with families without other pets (distractions) and there are other reasons why a Disabled American might choose to use an animal that they have raised and trained themselves or gotten from other sources. Disabled Americans that know how, are given rights by the ADA to train their own and they are not required to provide documentation of the animal's training, any more than they require a document to use a cane or a wheel chair. But now in California, if the bill passes, the intent of the bill will be that they too will now be forced to provide "documentation" in order to have an intact animal helping them. In violation of the Federal bill? NO problem.. that's what Levine, Boks, Mancuso and others demand. Furthermore, if Disabled Americans have intact dogs, like anyone else, they will be forced to perform in state mandated sport -- Why? -- because the bill's authors think that such "One Size Fits All" requirements are somehow going to reduce the number of animals euthanized in a shelter?

Exemption guidelines were clearly written without understanding of how various sectors of the dog community protects its animals, or how training and selection is performed. Nor do its authors seem to have the slightest an inkling of comprehension on how selection of future prospects for breeding done with an eye to preservation of ability, diversity and health.

State mandated experimentation on baby cats and dogs is endorsed by Humane Society of the United States, by Wayne Pacelle, by Lloyd Levine, Ed Boks, and Judie Mancuso. They don't want to call it that, but that is exactly what it is.

From a medical and science perspective, Professor James A. Serpell has written, " The legislation appears to be ill-considered and premature considering how little we know about the long-term impact of pediatric spay/neuter on the health and behavior of dogs and cats. At 4 months of age, dogs and cats are also too immature for us to be able to predict reliably their adult temperament and physical soundness. The legislation as written could therefore have a significantly adverse effect on our future ability to select the best animals for breeding purposes." Some of Dr. Serpell's work, charts and graphs can be seen here and here. The links also have information regarding studies performed by guide dog and service dog organizations, which determined that it was a bad idea to do early neutering.
from study

This text IS fuzzy... so download the file the follows if you want clarity.

from study

Above, a significant relationship between neutering and aggression was discovered, as far back as 1996.
Podberscek, A.L. & Serpell, J.A.
The English Cocker Spaniel: preliminary findings on aggressive behaviour. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 47: 75-89, 1996.
Download the study right here. (PDF images 718 KB )

A new database on shelter stats is being put together at the NAIA Shelter Project website. This will be a useful tool to compare data across different areas in the country and also

Labels:


Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/08/2007 10:21:00 AM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Blogger Linda sent us a woof // June 27, 2007

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1521064885918913891


I am a johnny come lately compared to you, but please see my video posted yesterday on google. Thanks
Ed Bourne   

Blogger Linda sent us a woof // June 27, 2007

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1521064885918913891
My video on google. You wil enjoy!
Linda   

Monday, May 07, 2007

Some Neig-g-g-g-g-ghbors

With Tessie gone... we don't currently have an equine lawn mower in the corral and paddock space.

A neighbor with two pet minihorses saw James working on stuff outside and made an arrangement to bring his little guys over for some room to roam and good munching.

This is Mr Studly. I don't know what his name is yet, but isn't he a cutie?

And this is his little princess. :)

Labels:


Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/07/2007 07:47:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Sunday, May 06, 2007

NO on AB1634 - "One Size Doesn't Fit All"

No on California AB 1634
"California Healthy Pets Act"

Choosing a 'feel good' perky name for a bill perpetuates the GRAND deception


BlueDogState doesn't mince words!

Labels:


Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/06/2007 06:02:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Mac OS X vs Windows Vista

Battle of Operating Systems with an interesting twist!

Even if you're not interested in a baron, a count and a guy in drag yet another Mac vs Windows duel (almost literally?), it is sure to bring some grins ...or groans.

Mac OS X vs Windows Vista:
What better way to end the age-old OS X vs Vista debate than to set the two up for a traditional Elizabethan duel? Prepare yourselves for one of the bloodiest battles your eyes hath e'er seen...

Labels: ,


Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/06/2007 05:30:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments