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  Tuesday, May 10, 2005

When the sun rises Tuesday in the continent's northernmost community, it will stay up for nearly three months. The last sunset of the season occurs at 1:50 a.m. Tuesday. The sun rises again at 2:56 a.m. "Then it will stay above the horizon until Aug. 2, when the first sunset will take place at 3:09 a.m.," said Gina Sturm of the National Weather Service office in Barrow.

11:38:17 AM    comment []

Millions of diabetes sufferers throughout the world can thank the most unlikely of all medical heroes - our desert-dwelling Gila monster - for a new and effective drug to control their disease.

Just given federal approval, the drug - marketed as Byetta - is made from the saliva of the slow-moving, venomous lizard of the American Southwest.

"Well, it's weird. You have to wonder how you can go from Gila monster saliva to something that works in humans," said Sandra Leal, a pharmacist and diabetes expert at El Rio Community Health Center.

The takeaway is not so much about this drug -- though it's fascinating and may benefit me one of these days -- but how many such drugs do we miss as we let (er, cause) species to go to extinct?

(Thanks, Jim.)

10:25:39 AM    comment []

A couple of weeks ago Instapundit said that the reason Bush's poll numbers have been falling is because things are going so well in Irag. Then I guess Bush should take cheer in this Rolling Stone article, which paints a different picture. Maybe Bush's poll numbers will start rising again?

The news from Iraq is bad and getting worse with each passing day. Iraqi insurgents are stepping up the pace of their attacks, unleashing eleven deadly bombings on April 29th alone. Many of the 150,000 Iraqi police and soldiers hastily trained by U.S. troops have deserted or joined the insurgents. The cost of the war now tops $192 billion, rising by $1 billion a week, and the corpses are piling up: Nearly 1,600 American soldiers and up to 100,000 Iraqi civilians are dead, as well as 177 allied troops and 229 private contractors. Other nations are abandoning the international coalition assembled to support the U.S., and the new Iraqi government, which announced its new cabinet to great fanfare on April 27th, remains sharply split along ethnic and religious lines.

And today Instapundit remarks that Bush has been especially cheerful lately and wonders "if he knows something we don't." Maybe I'm right: as things get worse in Iraq, the poll numbers are going to rise? The Rolling Stone piece again:

But to hear President Bush tell it, the war in Iraq is going very, very well. In mid-April, appearing before 25,000 U.S. soldiers at sun-drenched Fort Hood, in Texas, Bush declared that America has succeeded in planting democracy in Iraq, creating a model that will soon spread throughout the Middle East. "That success is sending a message from Beirut to Tehran," the president boasted to chants of "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" from the troops. "The establishment of a free Iraq is a watershed event in the global democratic revolution." Staying on message, aides to Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, later suggested that U.S. forces could be reduced from 142,000 to 105,000 within a year.

9:33:04 AM    comment []

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