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Quote of a Generation – A discovery he never thought he’d see…

Scientists at the world’s biggest atom smasher have announced the discovery of a brand-new particle—and it looks an awful lot like the long-sought Higgs boson, also known as the “God particle,” without which the universe as we know it wouldn’t exist.

“It is an incredible thing that has happened in my lifetime.”

– Peter Higgs, physicist who theorized the existence of the Higgs boson

According to CERN, the existence of this particle was confirmed in two separate experiments at the Large Hadron Collider—a massive underground particle accelerator that spans the border of France and Switzerland—and there’s less than a one-in-a-million chance that the data is a fluke.

Higgs first proposed the existence of the new particle more than half a century ago to explain a mystery: Why do most elementary particles have mass? Without mass there would be no atoms; no chemistry; no biology—and certainly none of us.

The concept of mass has long been a sticking point in the Standard Model, which describes all known elementary particles, and how they interact.

We hear so much about Google invading our lives…

Here’s one you weren’t expecting:

A view from much further away.

(Reuters) – A Frenchman took Google to court on Thursday over a photo published online by its Street View application showing him urinating in his front yard which he believes has made him the laughing stock of his village in rural northwest France.

The man, who is aged around 50 and lives in a village of some 3,000 people in the Maine-et-Loire region, is demanding the removal of the photo, in which locals have recognised him despite his face being blurred out.

He also wants 10,000 euros in damages.

“Everyone has the right to a degree of secrecy,” his lawyer, Jean-Noel Bouillard, told Reuters. “In this particular case, it’s more amusing than serious. But if he’d been caught kissing a woman other than his wife, he would have had the same issue.”

The Judge is ruling on March 15th. This will be one to wait for.

Meanwhile, watch what you do in your own yard.

Court: Monsanto Guilty of Chemical Poisoning in France

Many thanks to my wife who forwarded this article to me.
Published on Monday, February 13, 2012 by Common Dreams:

A French court Monday found US agriculture giant Monsanto legally responsible for the poisoning of a farmer with one of its herbicides in 2004.

Paul François, a cereal farmer in the southwestern department of Charente “Monsanto is responsible for Paul Francois’ suffering after he inhaled the Lasso product… and must entirely compensate him,” said the judgement from the court in the southeastern city of Lyon.

In 2004, Paul François, a cereal farmer in the southwestern department of Charente, opened the tank of his pulveriser machine. He inhaled fumes of Lasso, a weedkiller manufactured by Monsanto, and fainted.

He was taken to hospital and stopped work for almost a year, reports radio station France Info. He suffers from memory loss and often feels faint.

* * *

Reuters is reporting:

A French court on Monday declared U.S. biotech giant Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning of a French farmer, a judgment that could lend weight to other health claims against pesticides.

Farmer mixing Lasso, a Monsanto herbicideIn the first such case heard in court in France, grain grower Paul Francois says he suffered neurological problems including memory loss, headaches and stammering after inhaling Monsanto’s Lasso weedkiller in 2004.

He blames the agri-business giant for not providing adequate warnings on the product label.

The ruling was given by a court in Lyon, southeast France, which ordered an expert opinion of Francois’s losses to establish the sum of damages. […]

“I am alive today, but part of the farming population is going to be sacrificed and is going to die because of this,” Francois, 47, told Reuters.

He and other farmers suffering from illness set up an association last year to make a case that their health problems should be linked to their use of crop protection products.

The agricultural branch of the French social security system says that since 1996, it has gathered farmers’ reports of sickness potentially related to pesticides, with about 200 alerts a year.

Now let’s get after Monsanto HERE IN AMERICA!

Great Britain forces Monsanto out…

This is from Musicians For Freedom, a blog out of Denver, Colorado.

 

Earth First News Monsanto Co. said it’s leaving Britain due to opposition to genetically modified foods.

Monsanto is closing its operation in Britain because of opposition to GMO foodsMonsanto is closing its operation in Britain because of opposition to GMO foods

Officials at Monsanto — a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation and leading producer of genetically engineered seed — said the company is closing its wheat growing operation, based in Cambridge, which employed 125 people, and selling off crop-breeding centers in France, Germany and the Czech Republic, the Daily Mail reported.

Monsanto made its decision public shortly before the British government’s final announcement on the prospects for GM food, and after research in Britain found GM farming would have long-term negative impacts.

Three studies conducted for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs found pollen contamination would spread far further than previously believed, “feral” growth of weed killer would persist for years and the heavy use of chemicals associated with these crops could wipe out some species of birds.

The government’s findings involved hundreds of public meetings and 37,000 questionnaires. Ninety-three percent of respondents said not enough was known about the long-term effects of these foods on health, and 86 percent said they would refuse to eat the GM food.

OK… that’s Germany and Britain who are protecting their population. Why in hell aren’t we?

I’ve only seen 5 of the Oscar nominees so far…

… but I knew two of them were clearly going to end up on the list when I saw them. Unfortunately they are competing against each other. I enjoyed them both with equal enthusiasm.

Hugo was a salute to the early film industry in France (the fantastic films of Georges Melies) with chase and mystery in the Paris railroad station. I brought two of my grandsons to see it and I don’t know who liked it more, them or me. Martin Scorsese made a real winner here… and it was in 3D!

The Artist, which Elly and I saw last week, was a tribute to silent movies… black and white, some sound added for effect… and funny. One of the few movies I’ve seen lately that I would have watched again on the same day.

Both of these are worth winning the Oscar. I hope one of them comes through.

Suppose you were killing weeds in your garden and producing birth defects, too.

Monsanto‘s Roundup, which has been associated with deformities in a host of laboratory animals, may have a similar impact on humans.. One laboratory study done in France in 2005 found that Roundup and glyphosate caused the death of human placental cells and abnormal embryonic cells. Another study, conducted in 2009, found that Roundup caused total cell death in human umbilical, embryonic and placental cells within 24 hours. Yet researchers have conducted few follow-up studies.

“Obviously there’s a limit to what’s appropriate in terms of testing poison on humans, but if you look at the line of converging evidence, it points to a serious problem. And if you look at the animal feeding studies with genetically modified Roundup ready crops, there’s a consistent theme of reproductive disorders, which we don’t know the cause for because follow-up studies have not been done.

“More independent research is needed to evaluate the toxicity of Roundup and glyphosate and the evidence that has already accumulated is sufficient to raise a red flag.”

– Jeffrey Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology

We have been critical of Monsanto for soft-peddling Roundup, as have members of the scientific community. In 1996 New York State’s Attorney General sued Monsanto for describing Roundup as “environmentally friendly” and “safe as table salt” (although I don’t think anyone from Monsanto would sprinkle Roundup on their spaghetti.) Monsanto, while not admitting any wrongdoing, agreed to stop using the terms for promotional purposes and paid New York state $250,000 to settle the suit.

Roundup Ready seeds are now proliferating 80 % or more of the seed market (if you don’t believe me try purchasing a heritage corn seed at any major supplier like Home Depot or Lowe’s. While they are occasionally there, most products are Monsanto GMO seeds that are Roundup Ready.) Driving by fields and fields of weed-free Roundup Ready corn yesterday, I rolled up my car windows so as not to breathe in any of this crap.

If you want to track the GPA‘s review of glyphosphate, go HERE. BTW, this is the same EPA that the Republicans want to have defunded. I wonder who is getting most of the contributions from Monsanto?