Earth Day

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Celebrating Earth Day, we are reminded of the perils our natural environment faces due to the catastrophic effects of global warming.  The above picture illustrates only one of the many environmental changes brought about since the earth has begun to warm, and the effects these changes have on the species living in them.  This polar bear is literally treading thin ice, and the less ice there is, the more real the possibility of its extinction becomes.  This is a devastating truth not only for Artic polar bears, iguanas, birds and frogs, but more frighteningly so for our own species, the human being.

There is a wealth of scientific data comfirming the existence of global warming and its origins from human activity which is undisputed. This is the subject of the Academy-Award winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, by Nobel prize winner Al Gore.  After viewing this in class, I hope you have become more informed about the topic of global warming, but more importantly, that you will become more active in contributing to its eradication.

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Class trip

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This is not a hoax.  This band of marauders actually went to…

bn152 Barnes and Noble!  Check the photos here.

Origin of Aids

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AIDS: where did it come from?  The scientific community all agree that it started as a simian virus.  That much is not under discussion; however, how humans came to have it, that is under discussion and the topic is contentious. It is also the subject of a documentary entitled The Origin of Aids.

The Origin of Aids explores the possibility that the AIDS virus was transmitted to humans unknowingly by a Polish scientist, Hilary Kaprowski, while working on a polio vaccine in Africa in the 1950s .  It is alleged in the book The River, written by Edward Hooper,  that Kaprowski used the tissues from SIV infected monkeys in his polio vaccine trials.  It is further alleged that this caused the HIV virus to cross species during a vaccination campaign through a process called zoonosis.  Hooper uses compelling eyewitness accounts to support his thesis.

Kaprowski, meanwhile, vehemently denies that he used SIV infected monkeys during his experiments and has been partially vindicated by the academic journal Science, which claims that they are almost positive that Kaprowski cannot be held accountable for the transferrence of AIDS to human beings.  Many in the scientific community confer.

The documentary does tend to promote Hooper’s hypothesis rather than vindicate Hooper.  However, it is a good viewing nonetheless and does try to present arguments from both sides.  While some may call it a conspiracy theory, i believe the documentary is more than that.  It touches on larger themes of science including competition among scientists and the ethics of using animals for scientific experiments.