Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for December 12th, 2010

Turning CO2 into drugs

Posted by Charles II on December 12, 2010

Propiolic acid

(Propiolic acid from Wikimedia)

Nanowerk News:

Scientists at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), the world’s first bioengineering and nanotechnology research institute, have reported another breakthrough in their quest to develop green technologies for pharmaceuticals synthesis. They have devised a new environmentally friendly technique to transform carbon dioxide, an abundant and renewable carbon source, into highly functionalized propiolic acids, which are basic building blocks for the synthesis of a wide range of pharmaceuticals such as cholesterol-reducing drugs and peptidomimetic and other small molecule inhibitors that may be used, for example, to kill cancer cells.

Basically, acetylene + CO2 —> propiolic acid in the presence of a catalyst.

So, exactly why is this advance coming out of… Singapore?

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Posted in science and medicine | 3 Comments »

Honduran dictatorship, day 336

Posted by Charles II on December 12, 2010

A few followups on the Ford cable referenced in the previous blog post.

1. The most important is that RAJ researched the allegations by Ambassador Ford against Jorge Arturo Reina Idiaquez, then the Honduran UN Ambassador. Quoting RAJ:

In September of 2006– barely nine months into the Zelaya administration, long before the independent actions that led Ford to express frustration with him– Proceso Digital published an article about Mel knowing “since December 2005” that his chosen Ambassador to the UN, Jorge Arturo Reina, did not have a visa to enter the US.

According to an earlier Proceso Digital article, this lack of a visa was due to Reina being blocked for what the US embassy described as unspecified “terrorist acts”.

Long story short, Reina said he was suspected, but cleared by the courts. The reporters asked the US embassy what they were talking about and the spokesman replied, “ideas are not bad, only bombs” and “the place in which the deeds happened doesn’t matter.” In other words, I have no idea WTF I am talking about so please go away before I say something irretrievably stupid.

That would seem to end the matter, except for Ford and the Honduran press. They keep recycling a charge that can’t be substantiated. Last I heard, the UN was in New York City, so evidently the US did grant Reina entrance. I should also add that thanks to RAJ’s diligence, I am forced to retract my statement that there were no charges against Reina. There were no valid charges against him.

2. A good piece by María Luisa Rivera appeared on Wikileaks.

3. In a conversation at Quotha, Victor Manfredi mentioned that Charles Ford has moved on to being a “Business Engagement Adviser” to Southcom’s commander. Wondering what that was, I stumbled across this piece by Admiral James Stavridis in EUCOMVersations, the official blog of the US European Command:

As Commander of U.S. Southern Command, I asked Ambassador Chuck Ford to fill the new position of Business Engagement Advisor. His mission was to tap into the private sector’s desire to help enhance the security of the U.S. The valuable contacts we established through his efforts and the collaborative spirit born from those strategic connections were evident to me early in my tenure there.

Our public-private collaboration efforts ranged from getting the security chiefs of cruise-ship companies in the same room with our operations folks to exchange information and business cards, to bringing CEOs together to exchange ideas on the complex challenges concerning illicit drug financing, logistics, and operations. The interaction continues today, as most notably and recently seen in the collaboration between private and public efforts following the earthquake in Haiti last January.

At U.S. European Command we are also engaging the private sector – corporations as well as non-profit enterprises, non-governmental entities and universities. For example, we are identifying ways to better partner, where legal and appropriate, with private sector expertise in international humanitarian operations in Afghanistan. We are also helping to share information with the private sector in order to ensure an effective and safe environment for their efforts in Afghanistan, and seeking advice and input to ensure strategic communications are undertaken effectively.

For what it’s worth, Stavridis seems like a decent guy, urging people to learn the language and history, and get to know the people and who they regard as heroes. But, as Adrienne says, “Holy moley!” You have the business and the military in effect collaborating on how to run the world. This is the kind of stuff that makes one think of United Fruit.

Speaking of which, this site talks about United Fruit, the reality vs. myth. I do bet that if Wikileaks had gotten cables from 1920-1960, we might think the reality resembles more the myth.

Posted in Honduras, Latin America | 4 Comments »

Sunday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 12, 2010

— Marist Poll to President Obama: Capitulating to Republicans isn’t making the Indies flock to you, and it’s driving off your base, to the point where Mitt Romney could now beat you in 2012.

John Boehner pals around with terrorists like Randall Terry, a man so vile the rest of the anti-choice movement has largely disowned him.

The Age of Assangymetric Warfare is here.

— Did you know They Might Be Giants is still around? I didn’t. They’re making a career for themselves doing kid’s music that’s actually fun to hear. Stuff like Meet the Elements.

Posted in (Rich) Taxpayers League, 2010, Barack Obama | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

 
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