Monday, November 27, 2006

Colorado squeezins'

So what have the rapidly expiring papers in this dingy ol' craptown, er, dusty old cowtown, been talking about recently? Well:

Smart people

The Post had a reminder last week that despite its many problems, the University of Colorado is a pretty good research institution:

As a young doctor working at the National Institutes of Health, George Eisenbarth wondered what he would do with the rest of his career.

Ultimately, he decided to direct his efforts where the need was greatest and treatment left the most to be desired.

"Clearly," he says now, "that was diabetes."

A quarter-century later, Eisenbarth - executive director of the University of Colorado's Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes- has won an international research award [the "Pasteur-Weizmann/Servier International Prize"] for work that may lead to a vaccine to prevent Type 1 diabetes . . . .

The prize? A new JC Penney "Sovereign" bedroom set! No, it's a trip to Paris (and, incidentally, $192,000)!
"Professor Eisenbarth is one of the greats of diabetes research," said Pierre Godeau, chairman of the Servier Institute's scientific committee. "His meticulous research over the past 25 years has shown us that, in genetically predisposed individuals, Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease."
Eisenbarth co-authored a study which "identified genetic differences that can predict with high accuracy whether a child will develop Type 1 diabetes." Even more important:
The Barbara Davis Center soon will be part of a trial to see whether oral insulin can be given as a vaccine to prevent Type 1 diabetes from developing.

"We can now design trials very early before children really start their autoimmunity," the process that leads to full-blown diabetes, Eisenbarth said, adding that he's eager to return to work when he gets back from Paris.
The story says about 14.6 million people in the U.S. have Type 1 diabetes, the type (the Drunkablog learned all on his own) that isn't caused by one being a greasy Amerikkkan pig who will devour the world if not prevented by any means necessary.

So it's okay to be happy about Eisenbarth's achievements.

And morons

A much more heavily populated category, of course. The Post again:

Longmont police have arrested four people in a paintball attack that blinded a mother of three.

The 28-year-old woman was walking down the street on Nov. 7, with her children when the suspects drove by and fired.

She was hit in the right eye, and is not expected to recover her sight in that eye.

Sheesh. Being one and all, the D-blog likes morons, but these morons make you think there's a place for sharia right here in this smelly ol' cameltown.

Now here's a moron the D-blog can identify with. The News:
A Lakewood homeowner was charged with murder Wednesday in the Nov. 16 shooting death of his tenant . . . .
Well, maybe not identify with. Sympathize with. I mean, nobody ever told me you couldn't kill tenants who're behind in the rent.
The incident initially was reported as a potential "make my day" shooting that occurred as [tenant Richard] Kohler was trying to force open the door to the house, a Lakewood police spokesman said.

When police arrived, they found Kohler's body just inside the foyer. A screwdriver with a bent lip [sic] was found near his hand.

Colorado's home-protection law, popularly referred to as the "make my day" law after a line from a Clint Eastwood movie, protects people who take lethal measures when they feel threatened in their homes.

When first interviewed by police at the scene, [homeowner Floyd] Nuss said he was in bed watching television when he heard a noise at the front door, a noise he described as "a screwdriver prying at (the) door," the affidavit says.

Asked how he knew it was a screwdriver, Nuss reportedly told investigators, "That's the noise a screwdriver makes."
Yup, I know that sound. Little-known fact: in the day-to-day exercise of his duties, a landlord necessarily develops super hearing, if only in the interest of self-preservation. But there were some holes in Nuss's story:
Nuss also initially told police that there were no issues between Kohler and him. Police later learned that Nuss had given Kohler two weeks to leave the house because he was behind on his rent and that the two were not getting along, according to the affidavit.
If I killed every tenant who was behind on his rent our crawlspace would be bursting, just bursting. Nuss probably isn't a good representative of the landlord fraternity anyway:
Nuss has been arrested on charges of fraud, larceny, marijuana possession, selling liquor to minors, selling liquor without a license and driving under the influence of alcohol, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation records.
Even the Drunkablog's record is cleaner than that.

Here's a late-breaking moron story from the Post:
A homeowners association in southwestern Colorado has threatened to fine a resident $25 a day until she removes a Christmas wreath with a peace sign that some say is an anti-Iraq war protest or a symbol of Satan.

Some residents who have complained have children serving in Iraq, said Bob Kearns, president of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association in Pagosa Springs. He said some residents have also believed it was a symbol of Satan. Three or four residents complained, he said.

In the Durango Herald, one of those residents was identified:

Kearns declined to describe the complaints he had received about Jensen's wreath but expressed his own opinion.

"The peace sign has a lot of negativity associated with it," he said. "It's also an anti-Christ sign. That's how it started."
Instead of making one google like the Post does, the Herald provides an explanation for this slightly remarkable statement:
The 1972 edition of Symbol Sourcebook: An Authoritative Guide to International Graphic Symbols, a major reference work by Henry Dreyfuss, admits to uncertainty about the source of the "crow's foot" design.

"Controversy surrounds the origin of the ubiquitous peace symbol," Dreyfuss wrote. "It was introduced by pacifist Lord Bertrand Russell during Easter of 1958, when he marched at Aldermaston, England, campaigning for nuclear disarmament."

Dreyfuss said the symbol, designed by a British commercial artist, most likely represents the convergence of the semaphore symbols for the letter N and D and the circle symbol, for total nuclear disarmament. Others claim the symbol represents an upside-down cross with broken arms and is therefore anti-Christian or Satanic.
One of the many things the Drunkablog did not know. Here's the peace sign wiki, which says basically the same thing as Dreyfuss, only more so.

Update: He'p me, Jesus: The Post has a new headline on the story: "Wrath wrought by peace wreath."

Update II: Cover of La Petite Girond from the neato Virtual Absinthe Museum.

Update III: Yes, the Dreyfus link is a reach. But what is Man, if his reach never exceeds &etc.

Update IV: "HOA surrenders on peace wreath."

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