Friday, September 25, 2009

A world first:
Vaccine helps prevent HIV infection

Marilynn Marchione
Associated Press
Thursday Sep 24, 2009

For the first time, an experimental vaccine has prevented infection with the AIDS virus, a watershed event in the deadly epidemic and a surprising result. Recent failures led many scientists to think such a vaccine might never be possible.

The World Health Organization and the U.N. agency UNAIDS said the results "instilled new hope" in the field of HIV vaccine research.

The vaccine - a combination of two previously unsuccessful vaccines - cut the risk of becoming infected with HIV by more than 31 percent in the world’s largest AIDS vaccine trial of more than 16,000 volunteers in Thailand, researchers announced Thursday in Bangkok.

Even though the benefit is modest, "it’s the first evidence that we could have a safe and effective preventive vaccine," Col. Jerome Kim told The Associated Press. He helped lead the study for the U.S. Army, which sponsored it with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The institute’s director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned that this is "not the end of the road," but said he was surprised and very pleased by the outcome.

"It gives me cautious optimism about the possibility of improving this result" and developing a more effective AIDS vaccine, Fauci said. "This is something that we can do."

Superman's Birthday|1952

From The Foundation for a Better Life

Christopher Reeve was first introduced to movie audiences as Clark Kent in “Superman” in 1978. He followed his Superman fame by acting in many more movies, including the “Superman” sequels, and numerous theater productions. He was extremely busy in the activist arena, championing causes for the environment and the arts among others. However, in 1995, Reeve’s life changed dramatically.

The active sportsman loved riding horses and participating in jumping competitions. At an equestrian competition in May of 1995, Reeve was thrown from his horse. The injury was severe. He broke two of the vertebrae in his neck and was paralyzed from the neck down. Reeve’s prognosis was grim: he wouldn’t be able to walk again or even breathe without the help of a ventilator.

Rather than give up, Reeve became determined to beat paralysis and the spinal cord injuries. His previous fervor for many causes coalesced into one: spinal cord injuries and other nervous system disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Reeve, along with his wife Dana, set up a paralysis foundation to raise money for research and also to give support to others in similar situations. He continued to act and became a director with several movies to his credit. Reeve passed away on October 10, 2004, after suffering heart failure, but his strength will never be forgotten.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The New York Times Magazine
Coming Out in Middle School

Note: As necessary as this story is, and in such a prestigious publication, it is decades too late for those of us who were kicked, punched, spat on, bullied and beaten...and that's just in the schoolyard or on the bus. It has nothing to do with the ineffective teachers who opted to either stay out of the situation altogether, attribute it to "typical" schoolyard bullying, or "acting out" on the part of the victim. Sad, to think a 12 or 13 y/o went home from school, pants torn, glasses broken, bloodied...only to look up the word FAGGOT in the dictionary and read the definition A BUNDLE OF STICKS.

Tragic, and too late. Much too late.
And, sadly, now the 20somethings have no respect or even social interest in those of us who paved the way for them to have their freedoms today. Perhaps "barebacking" and a resurgence of the HIV+ infection rates in the 20something demographic will cause more than a few eyes to open, and more than a few people to move into action.

What is clear is that for many gay youth, middle school is more survival than learning — one parent of a gay teenager I spent time with likened her child’s middle school to a “war zone.” In a 2007 survey of 626 gay, bisexual and transgender middle-schoolers from across the country by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (Glsen), 81 percent reported being regularly harassed on campus because of their sexual orientation. Another 39 percent reported physical assaults. Of the students who told teachers or administrators about the bullying, only 29 percent said it resulted in effective intervention.

Published: September 23, 2009

Annie Lennox. Why? Just because.

Linda McCartney, photographer

Born this day in 1941
Linda Eastman McCartney

Linda Louise McCartney (née Eastman, formerly See, September 24 1941 – April 17 1998) was an American photographer, musician and animal rights activist. Her mother and father were Lee Eastman and Louise Sara Lindner Eastman, heiress to the Lindner Department Store fortune.

She married Paul McCartney of The Beatles on March 12 1969, and was a member of Wings. The McCartneys had four children together: Heather Louise (from her previous marriage, whom Paul McCartney adopted in 1969), Mary Anna, Stella and James Louis. Linda became Lady McCartney when her husband was knighted in 1997.

McCartney wrote several vegetarian cookbooks, became a business entrepreneur (starting the Linda McCartney Foods company) and was a professional photographer, publishingLinda McCartney's Sixties: Portrait of an Era. McCartney was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995, and died at the age of 56 on 17 April 1998 at the McCartney family ranch inTucson, Arizona.

Stihl. The Sounds of the Season.

This Day in (Disco) History|1979

CompuServe began operation

as 1st computer information


How will you spend

the last 100 days of 2009?

The Screaming Room
The Deaths of Ian Stone

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

And a plague shall be upon the land.
Forty days, and forty nights...


Hair with John Michael
Born this day in 1934|Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren as photographed by
Richard Avedon.

Quels sont vos frontières?

Versus|MIKA v Pet Shop Boys

Smile like you mean it.

(Don't have to wear) a smile much colder than ice.
–|Pet Shop Boys

Transit Mercury (R) Conjunct Natal Ascendant

Transit Mercury is retrograde.
Transit Jupiter is retrograde.
Transit Uranus is retrograde.
Transit Neptune is retrograde.

I'm pulling the covers over my head!