Arrest after NZ man escaped from Auckland police by pretending to vomit

Police have made an arrest after a man escaped from police custody last Tuesday.

Melanie Earley of Stuff reports 28-year-old Michael Luke Robertson allegedly fled from Avondale Police station on Tuesday morning by pretending he was about to vomit.

On Tuesday, Auckland City district commander Superintendent Karyn Malthus said officers were called to an incident where an unknown man was sleeping in a person’s vehicle.

He was taken back to the Avondale Police Station but fled while being taken from the police car into the station.

“Police gave chase however were unable to catch him and he was last seen running down a driveway on Great North Rd,” Malthus said.

On Thursday, police said a man was arrested about midday in connection to the incident.

It’s a cookbook: Swedish behavioral scientist suggests eating humans to ‘save the planet’

It’s not a novel idea: humans have imposed their will on planet earth. But it is short-sighted in that technology, learning from nature, can create a space for billions.

Paul Joseph Watson of Summit writes that a Swedish behavioral scientist has suggested that it may be necessary to turn to cannibalism and start eating humans in order to save the planet.

Appearing on Swedish television to talk about an event based around the “food of the future,” Magnus Söderlund said he would be holding seminars on the necessity of consuming human flesh in order to stop climate change.

Environmentalists blame the meat and farming industry for a large part of what they claim is the warming of the earth.

According to Söderlund, a potential fix would be the Soylent Green-solution of eating dead bodies instead.,

He told the host of the show that one of the biggest obstacles to the proposal would be the taboo nature of corpses and the fact that many would see it as defiling the deceased.

There are issues with Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease and To Serve Man is really a Soylent Green cookbook, but why would such details matter when a behavioral scientist is gassing on.

Better to burn out than to fade away: Australia is an evolutionary gold mine including these marsupials who drop dead after mating

Annie Roth of the New York Times writes kalutas live fast and die young — or, at least, the males do. Male kalutas, small mouselike marsupials found in the arid regions of Northwestern Australia, are semelparous, meaning that shortly after they mate, they drop dead.

This extreme reproductive strategy is rare in the animal kingdom. Only a few dozen species are known to reproduce in this fashion, and most of them are invertebrates. Kalutas are dasyurids, the only group of mammals known to contain semelparous species. Only around a fifth of the species in this group of carnivorous marsupials — which includes Tasmanian devils, quolls and pouched mice — are semelparous and, until recently, scientists were not sure if kalutas were among them.

Now there is no doubt that, for male kalutas, sex is suicide.

In a study, published in April in the Journal of Zoology, researchers from the University of Western Australia and the University of Queensland confirmed that kalutas exhibit what is known as obligate male semelparity.

“We found that males only mate during one highly synchronized breeding season and then they all die,” said Genevieve Hayes, a vertebrate ecologist and the lead author of the study.

Dr. Hayes and her colleagues monitored the breeding habits of a population of kalutas in Millstream Chichester National Park in Western Australia during the 2013 and 2014 breeding seasons. In both seasons, the researchers observed a complete die-off of males. Although male kalutas have exhibited semelparity in captivity, this was the first time it had been seen in the wild.

Kalutas evolved independently of other semelparous dasyurids, so the confirmation that male kalutas die after mating suggests that this unorthodox reproductive strategy has evolved not once, but twice in dasyurids.

“It’s really interesting that it would evolve twice in dasyurids because it’s such an extreme mating system,” Dr. Hayes said.

 

It was 20 years ago today

Maybe not today, but I did talk with my friend Jim, and we didn’t talk about what we did 20 years ago, but instead talked about our kids, grandkids, and medical issues.

We’re getting old, but still out there.

My parents are old (80 and 77), and show no sign of slowing down. Here is my mother and father with Courtlynn (24, youngest of the four Canadian daughters) the other day in Ontario (that’s in Canada).



 

 

 

 

 

 

Elderly Australian woman dies after being pecked by ‘aggressive rooster’ highlighting the danger of varicose veins

Camron Slessor of ABC reports the woman’s death was studied by University of Adelaide Professor of Pathology Roger Byard, who said researchers hoped to prevent similar deaths in the future by bringing the details to light.

Professor Byard said the woman was collecting eggs from her chicken coop on her rural property in South Australia when the rooster pecked her lower left leg, causing her to haemorrhage and collapse.

An autopsy later revealed two small lacerations on her lower left leg, with her death the result of bleeding varicose veins.

“What we’re trying to do is use these tragic cases to try and prevent similar deaths in the future,” Professor Byard told the ABC.

“[This case] made us realise how vulnerable the elderly are, [varicose veins] are very easy to damage.’

While Professor Byard admitted rooster attacks were rare, he said this case — which had happened recently — raised concerns about the dangers of small domestic animals.

“They are very rare, there have been a couple of cases overseas where children have been pecked by roosters because they have thin skulls and the rooster has actually caused brain damage,” he said.

“There was another fellow in California who was at a rooster fighting pit and a rooster had a knife attached to its leg and stabbed or slashed him.”

He said elderly people with varicose veins needed to understand they may be vulnerable.

“There are a couple of messages, one is never trust a rooster … the second one is if you’ve got varicose veins, get something done about it,” he said.

Johnny Cash responds to Nashville refusing to play his music.

I did it years before Johnny Cash (mine is 1980), but just in general (although I did have the Cash pic on my office door — the office I never used except to store stinky hockey equipment for me and Chapman once the lab folks complained).

Doug Powell responds to the support he has received from food safety types (with a few exceptions) since moving to Brisbane in 2011 to support his French professor wife.

 

Perfect poo and good health connect in teaching tool for children

A central Queensland professor is taking the taboo out of poo to teach children about the link between eating well and making healthy poo.

The ‘Poop it’ kit uses illustrated stories and rewards to educate four to eight-year-olds about what a healthy poo looks like.

It was developed by Professor Kerry Reid-Searl from CQUniversity, who partnered with paediatric nurses, academics, and undergraduate students.

The inspiration behind the project comes from the professor’s desire to take the embarrassment out of talking about what we flush down the toilet.

“Many people are ashamed or reluctant to talk about poo, yet there is such an important link between good health and poo,” she said.

“As a nurse I have encountered many children with bowel problems, and my understanding from the anecdotal responses from parents of these children is that the psychosocial impact can be significant.

“So this project is very much about giving children an awareness of a topic that probably fascinates them, but more importantly provides them with information that can influence their everyday being.”

What does a healthy poo look like?

It’s already a topic that gets kids giggling. But to make learning about what goes into making good and bad poo fun, the professor and her team created characters that illustrate the meaning behind the shape of the poo we make.

“There are seven different types of poos, from rabbit droppings right through to gravy-type poos, but the best healthy poo is a sausage-shaped poo where it’s like a sausage — smooth and brown.”

Personally, my family has no taboos when talking about poo or farts or burps – expected from someone who’s idea of community service is writing on barfblog.com – at least until Sorenne reaches puberty, which is soon, and then I’ll just be an embarrassment until she needs money, about 10 years later. If the 4 Canadian daughters are anything to go by (right, with my father, Jan. 2019 in Brantford) it’s a set pattern.

And it may be arriving sooner than expected. I just facetimed daughter S in Arizona where she is staying with her maternal grandmother for the night, and she blew me off after a couple of minutes to go chat with a friend in Brisbane.

Technology. Kids. Life.

Puma poo: The oldest parasite DNA ever recorded

The oldest parasite DNA ever recorded has been found in the ancient, desiccated faeces of a puma.

A team of Argentinian scientists from the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) made the discovery after studying a coprolite taken from a rock-shelter in the country’s mountainous Catamarca Province, where the remains of now extinct megafauna have previously been recovered in stratigraphic excavations.

Radiocarbon dating revealed that the coprolite and thus the parasitic roundworm eggs preserved inside dated back to between 16,570 and 17,000 years ago, towards the end of the last Ice Age.

At that time, the area around the shelter at Peñas de las Trampas in the southern Andean Puna was thought to have been wetter than today, making it a suitable habitat for megafauna like giant ground sloths, and also smaller herbivores like American horses and South American camelids which the pumas may have preyed on.

Ancient mitochondrial DNA analysis was used to confirm the coprolite came from a Puma (Puma concolor) and that the eggs belonged to Toxascaris leonina, a species of roundworm still commonly found in the digestive systems of modern day cats, dogs and foxes.

The study, published in the journal Parasitology, explains that the extremely dry, cold and salty conditions which took hold at the Peñas de las Trampas site since the onset of the Holocene would have helped to reduce the breakdown of the DNA, allowing it to be preserved.
Led by Romina Petrigh and Martín Fugassa, the study was carried out by an interdisciplinary team including archaeologists and biologists and is part of a project that views ancient faeces as important paleobiological reservoirs.

Dr Petrigh, from the National University of Mar del Plata and CONICET, said: “While we have found evidence of parasites in coprolites before, those remains were much more recent, dating back only a few thousand years. The latest find shows that these roundworms were infecting the fauna of South America before the arrival of the first humans in the area around 11,000 years ago.”

For Dr Petrigh, the findings also cast light on both the past and the present. She said: “This work confirms the presence of T. leonina in prehistoric times, presumably even before that of humans in the region, and it represents the oldest record in the world. The common interpretation is that the presence of T. leonina in American wild carnivores today is a consequence of their contact with domestic dogs or cats, but that should no longer be assumed as the only possible explanation.

Things not to do with racoons

From Scott Weese’s Worms and Germs Blog:

I’ll hold back and just classify this as “not a great idea.”

At least 21 people in Macon, GA, are undergoing rabies post-exposure prophylaxis after having contact with a rabid raccoon.

How do that many people get exposed to a single raccoon?

Step 1: Take a wild raccoon and try to make it into a pet

Bad idea and illegal most places (including Ontario).

Step 2: Take it to a “Raccoon or kitten event” (whatever that is) where the public gets to play with it.

That’s it.  But should be followed up by…

Step 3: Talk to your insurance company because tens (or  hundreds) of thousands of dollars of treatment may be required.

Thirty-seven (37) people who visited the event had been contacted at last report, and 33 were considered potentially exposed to rabies through contact with this raccoon. Twenty-one (21) are undergoing post-exposure prophylaxisso far, and presumably (hopefully) the rest will be treated soon. That’s why standard guidelines say that rabies reservoir species like raccoons should never be used for public contact events.  Wildlife should be left in the wild.

Radiation exposure in Russia blamed on Fukushima crabs

I’m a sucker for food safety jokes, and the punchline of “it must have been the Fukushima crabs” is a beauty.

According to the Telegraph, doctors in Russia who treated victims of a military test explosion have evidence of being exposed to radioactive materials, with isotopes being found within their muscle tissue.

Officials however are playing the food safety card when trying to explain why cesium-137 is there.

Staff from the Arkhangelsk regional hospital were not informed at first that they were treating irradiated patients, and protective measures were not taken until the next day, they told Russian media this week.

In some cases, staff said they were falsely told patients had been decontaminated.

One doctor was later found to have the isotope Caesium-137 in his muscle tissue. He was told he must have eaten too many “Fukushima crabs” during a trip to Thailand, his colleague told the news outlet Meduza.

In related news, Chernobyl on HBO is excellent.