Leprosy researchers have found genetically-similar strains of leprosy in humans and armadillos.
Until now, scientists believed leprosy was passed only from human to human. Every year, 100 to 150 people in the United States are diagnosed with the malady, also known as Hansen’s disease. Though many have traveled to countries where the disease is relatively common, as many as one-third don’t know where they picked it up.
Most of those cases are in Texas and Louisiana, where leprosy-infected armadillos live.
Also, I’m guessing it would be in bad taste to call these people lepers.
From The Seattle Times, via The Morning News.
What do you need to store?
From Logo Design Love.
Dr. Henry Oakeley is the garden fellow at London’s Royal College of Physicians, oversees a garden of hundreds of plants used in herbal medicine, and thinks that herbal medicine is basically crap.
But if plants are, for the most part, as medicinally useless as he believes, how does he explain their centrality to the beliefs and practices of medical practitioners for centuries?
“Because they believed in the tooth fairy,” he says matter of factly. “They had no concept of illness or of chemistry or biochemistry. They believed all plants had been put on the earth by the creator for mankind’s use. So if the plant had a particular shape, it indicated that the creator had put it on the planet for a particular use.”
Citing as an example the use of blue liverwort, Hepatica nobilis , once cultivated as a liver tonic because its three-lobed leaf form mirrored the shape of the liver, he says, “It was absolute rubbish. They had no idea how the body worked.”
From The Irish Times, via Boing Boing.
The Xerox 914 copier was introduced in 1959 and went on to enormous success.
One disadvantage of the Xerox 914 was that it had a tendency to catch fire when overheated (Ralph Nader claimed that a model in his office had caught fire three times in a four month period). Because of the problem, the Xerox company provided a “scorch eliminator”, which was actually a small fire extinguisher, along with the copier.
From Wikipedia, via Boing Boing.
This is the Sperm Bike, devised by a fertility clinic in Copenhagen. The giant sperm on the bike is actually insulated storage for transporting… biological materials.
Koran-burning pastor Terry Jones is in Michigan to protest Sharia law or something, and he’s insisted on traveling armed.
The outspoken pastor, 59, of Gainesville, Fla., was getting in the passenger side of his car at 11:10 p.m. after an interview when the Taurus handgun went off, sending a bullet into the floorboard, Southfield Police Lt. Nick Loussia said today.
Jones says he was just really tired and didn’t mean to shoot his own car.
From The Detroit Free Press, via Talking Points Memo.