NASA Hints at Possible Life on Mars .


This week NASA announced that its analysis of rock dust suggests there could have been life on Mars. We’re talking microbes. They can’t come right out and spill the beans about alien life because there’s that incident in Roswell, New Mexico, back in 1947 that’s had the federal government tongue-tied ever since.

Two months ago I went to Roswell. The place means one thing to me — UFO cover-up. Start with a debris field on a New Mexico ranch, add another location with part of a craft and dead aliens, toss in the U.S. military in a nuclear arms race with Russia immediately after WW II, and generals see a technology that renders our complete arsenal obsolete. The Pentagon starts defecating bricks to the cadence of “this can’t be happening!” Suddenly, it isn’t happening, not officially. That’s the Roswell Incident in a nutshell.

I left Austin, Texas, on a sunny and cold morning, stopped for breakfast at the German Bakery in Fredericksburg, then drove all day to Roswell, crossing the railroad tracks into town as night fell. The funeral home on South Main looked like it had been there since the aliens were hauled into town. The International UFO Museum a few blocks farther on was hard to miss. A crashed flying saucer was embedded in its southeast corner. Somebody here wanted to believe.

Next morning, I ducked around the embedded UFO and entered the museum under a theater marquis proclaiming “UFO Museum.” After watching the first 10 minutes of the movie Roswell, I moved on to read newspaper reports from 1947 and affidavits from the 1990s of people who, nearing life’s end, wanted to tell what they witnessed years ago but were then too afraid to say.

The newspapers reported how troops from Roswell Army Air Field secured a debris field on a remote ranch northwest of Roswell and collected all the foreign material. At a second location they recovered an intact portion of a craft, along with three or four bodies, and hauled everything back to base. Col. William Blanchard, base commander, told his public information officer to notify the press they’d recovered a crashed “flying disc” and were sending it to higher headquarters. They loaded it all onto a military aircraft and flew it to Ft. Worth, Texas.

When General Ramey of Ft. Worth got involved, the “flying disc” morphed into a “weather balloon.” End of story. It was simply a mylar balloon for carrying instruments to detect Soviet A-bomb tests. Col. Blanchard and his men just goofed in claiming they recovered something as otherworldly as a “flying disc.”

The odd thing about all this, other than the flying saucer and dead aliens, was Col. Blanchard. We’re not talking about a Kentucky colonel whose expertise tended toward fried chicken. Col. Blanchard commanded a bomb group, the 509th, the only atomic bomb group in the U.S.

Recovery of a flying saucer wasn’t an everyday announcement in 1947. Who would run way out on that limb to seize a “Doh!” moment? I looked up Col. Blanchard on my iPad.

He arranged and supervised the atomic bomb mission on Hiroshima and was the backup pilot for that bomb drop. In 1946, he commanded the bomb group involved in the Bikini atoll atomic bomb tests. Afterwards, he went to Roswell to command and train the 509th atomic bomb group.

Then came that flying disc snafu. But Col. Blanchard’s career didn’t crash and burn. He trained the crews of USAF’s first intercontinental atomic bomb group. Eventually he rose in rank to become Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force as a four-star general. I want to believe Col. Blanchard knew better than to publicly tell General Ramey where he could put his “weather balloon” story.

I spent most of my time with the newspaper reports and photos. There was some UFO artwork but my kids would not have found it text worthy. There was a diorama like ones in the Smithsonian showing daily life of tribal people, only this one has a flying saucer and life size aliens standing on desert terrain looking around with expressions of consternation and where-the-hell-are-we? An exhibit booth with a glass window had a life size alien on a gurney like it was wheeled out of theAlien Autopsy video for viewing and a possible ID. If the blob, Mr. Spock or the green, female exotic dancer from the pilot episode of Star Trek were there, I missed them.

In the gift shop I picked up a t-shirt and some postcards and stepped out onto Main Street. It felt like I’d walked onto a movie set from the past. We are the new Amish and don’t even know it. The America before me reflected little if nothing of the quantum leaps in science and technology our government and defense contractors must have developed from studying crashed UFOs. We have fossil fuel, earth-bound technology and get around by shifting gears when we should be shifting dimensions. At Area 51, they probably are.

I felt like I was living on the poor side of the tracks in a parallel universe where we enjoy yesteryear’s technology today. With our hybrid cars, flatscreen TVs, smartphones and GPS devices, we think we’ve hit the jackpot of hi-tech. If ET’s great-grandmother found our stuff under her Christmas tree, she’d throw it in her dumpster, stamping her feet all the way there and back.

People in the UFO community say UFO/ET disclosure is right around the corner. From Roswell, I figured that corner must be on Mars.

I was ready for Mr. Scott to beam me up and spill the beans on alien life but it just wasn’t happening. Is Martian rock dust the best NASA can do? No photos of ET retirement communities on the Red Planet? No rest areas on the Moon?




World’s Oldest Trees Dying At Alarming Rate


According to a disturbing new report, the world’s oldest and largest trees may be dying off — and fast.
The study determined that trees between 100 and 300 years old are perishing “en masse” because of a deadly combination of large destructive events like forest fires, and other, more incremental factors like drought, high temperatures, logging and insect attack. The steady increase in threats means old trees are dying at 10 times their normal rate, researchers concluded. Their study appears in the Dec. 7 issue of the journal Science.

“It’s a worldwide problem and appears to be happening in most types of forest,” explained lead author David B. Lindenmayer, of Australian National University, in a release. “Large old trees are critical in many natural and human-dominated environments.”

The scientists originally discovered a “very, very disturbing trend” while inspecting Swedish forestry records from the 1860s, then realized forests in Australia, California’s Yosemite National Park, the African Savannah, Brazilian rainforests, and other regions of Europe had also suffered large losses of old trees.

Critically, “Big, old trees are not just enlarged young trees,” Jerry F. Franklin of the University of Washington, another of the study’s authors, told the New York Times. “Old trees have idiosyncratic features — a different canopy, different branch systems, a lot of cavities, thicker bark and more heartwood. They provide a lot more habitat and niches.”

They also capture and store significant amounts of carbon, notes The Telegraph, and recycle surrounding soil nutrients, which in turn encourages new growth.

Scientists warn that unless an urgent “world-wide investigation” can assess the loss and create conservation programs with time-frames that span centuries, the world’s oldest trees are gravely imperiled.








Macrolide Antibiotic Linked to Increased CV Risk in Patients with Lung Conditions.

Use of the macrolide clarithromycin in patients admitted with exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or community-acquired pneumonia is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular events, a BMJ study finds.

Researchers examined outcomes among nearly 3000 patients admitted to U.K. hospitals with either condition. During 1 year of follow-up, there were roughly 450 new admissions for a CV event.

After multivariable adjustment, patients who had received at least one dose of clarithromycin during their initial hospitalization were over 50% more likely to be admitted for a CV event during follow-up than those who didn’t receive a macrolide. In addition, among COPD patients, clarithromycin use was associated with increased risk for CV mortality at 1 year.

The researchers say their study is the first to show that clarithromycin use among such patients might be associated with an increased CV risk that persists well after treatment has stopped. Several potential mechanisms for this effect are proposed in the paper.

Source: BMJ

Pediatrics Group Supports Gay Marriage.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has come out in support of gay marriage, saying that research indicates “that there is no causal relationship between parents’ sexual orientation and children’s emotional, psychosocial, and behavioral development.”

In a policy statement in Pediatrics, the academy writes: “If a child has two living and capable parents who choose to create a permanent bond by way of civil marriage, it is in the best interests of their child(ren) that legal and social institutions allow and support them to do so.”

The group also endorsed adoption and foster parenting by gays and lesbians.

Source: Pediatrics policy statement

Most People with Prediabetes Are Unaware of Their Condition.

Only one in nine U.S. adults with prediabetes are aware they have the condition, according to an MMWR study.

In an analysis of NHANES data, researchers found that the percentage who are aware they have prediabetes increased from 7.7% in 2005 to 11.1% in 2010. Awareness was low (below 14%) regardless of healthcare access, income, education, family history, and body mass index.

The authors write: “Persons with prediabetes, including those with regular access to health care, might benefit from efforts aimed at making them aware that they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and that they can reduce that risk by making modest lifestyle changes. Efforts are needed to increase awareness.”

Source: MMWR

ACOG Weighs In on Elective C-Section, Nonmedically Indicated Early-Term Delivery.

Committees from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have issued two statements: one on nonmedically indicated, early-term deliveries, and the other on elective cesarean delivery.

The first concludes that delivery at 37 to 38 weeks’ gestation, when not medically indicated, “is not appropriate.” The committee points to the greater morbidity and mortality among newborns and infants born before 39 weeks, including greater incidences of respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, and hypoglycemia.

The second statement, while acknowledging limitations to the data comparing elective cesarean and planned vaginal delivery, concludes: “In the absence of maternal or fetal indications for cesarean delivery, a plan for vaginal delivery is safe and appropriate and should be recommended.” The committee adds that if elective cesarean delivery is planned, it should not be performed before 39 weeks’ gestation, it should not be driven by concerns about pain, and it is especially not recommended for women who plan to have several children.

Source: ACOG committee opinion