2004 Issues #1 to #16
Seventeenth Issue 10 January 2005
B M GM FMM S LT N L P
Twenty-eighth Issue 11 April 2005
Buy this essay and others in Jim's new book Being Sovereign.
The Indomitus Report
9 May 2005
"The authors demonstrate that the South had legitimate reasons to assert its claim to independence. We demonstrate the legitimacy of the South's claim of our right to recall our delegated powers and to establish a new government based upon the principle of the consent of the governed. We have demonstrated how this right, in addition to having been reserved by the states when they acceded to the Constitutional Union, was based in antiquity and is a part of our common tradition as English-speaking people. We demonstrate how our Southern nation was invaded and conquered by a cruel and ruthless enemy who despised our people. We demonstrate that our Southern history was perverted into a Yankee myth that is now used by our conquerors to justify their cruel oppression of our right to self-determination."
The South Was Right, 2nd Ed., 1994
Some time ago, we were visiting with a friend when we came across a DVD "Pretty Village, Pretty Flame." We've not finished watching it, but may review it once we do. Meanwhile, the remarkable image on the front cover of this DVD shows a Serbian armored vehicle with several troopers riding on it, bearing, among other symbols, the naval jack of the Confederate States of America.
Briefly, the naval jack is a larger format version of the battle flag. The battle flag itself is a square flag. This battle flag was adopted as the canton of the Second National and Third National flags, and in a broader rectangle as the naval jack. But, why were Serbs displaying the Confederate flag?
It seems to be a very popular flag overseas, where it represents secession, independence, and a fight against oppression. The connotations of the flag for people in other countries must certainly be different from the views of some northern-educated Americans who feel the Confederate flags represent a sort of treason or a racist pro-slavery outlook.
Wars down through the ages have been fought for good, noble, or comprehensible reasons, and been described to future generations largely by the victors. The fact that the War for Southern Independence was won by the Union military leaves the task of understanding the motivations impelling the Confederates to the separation to the earnest student of history. It goes without saying that victors don't always feel obligated to tell the truth about their conquered foes.
Recently, we ran across a very interesting quote describing this phenomenon. Allen Tate, a Southern agrarian poet and essayist, wrote in 1948, "The task of the civilised intelligence is perpetual salvage." In the attempt to understand the cause of the Confederacy, considerable salvage is required.
In ensuing weeks, from time to time, we'll revisit the issue of Dixie. It seems clear that the South fought to uphold the concept of a constitutionally limited government in opposition to forces who preferred an unlimited government unbound by reason or virtue. Moreover, the South was led by Jefferson Davis and other men dedicated to the ideal of a constitutional republic, whereas the north was led by a tyrant described by L. Neil Smith as "The American Lenin."
This week, our task is focused on language. For many years, we've preferred certain variations on contemporary usage. For example, the spelling of "grey," the second syllable emphasis for "controversy," the full judge in "judgement," and such pleasant Southern devices as "fetch," "tote," "supper," and "y'all." Occasionally, we find it amusing to employ the usage, "all y'all" which refers to that greater collective not sufficiently captured by "y'all."
It turns out that one of the lost aspects of Southern culture is a widespread acknowledgement of the dictionary which supports these and other distinctly Southern usage patterns. We are indebted to the essay, "Validation: Verbal Independence Essay 14" published in the March-April 2005 Southern Patriot. James Everett Kibler notes, "John Walker (1732-1807) whose A Critical Pronouncing Dictionary and Expositor of the English Language was the dictionary used in America before Noah Webster came on the scene. It was first published in London in 1791 and had numerous editions and printings in America from the turn of the century to...1850."
Among other abuses, the northern publishers of Jefferson Davis's famous history of the Confederacy eliminated his distinctive Southern spellings which followed John Walker's dictionary, and substituted those given by Webster. Kibler correctly identifies this behavior as an effort to subjugate the distinctive culture of the South, to forge a "one-size-fits-all empire."
We don't follow Walker's approach in everything. He gives British spellings for "colour," "honour," "neighbour," "favour," "sabre," "centre," "meagre," "theatre," "standardise," and "recognise," among others, with which we're not entirely comfortable. However, we agree with his definition of "lunch," as a handful of food, and prefer dinner and supper to describe, respectively, the main meal of the day and the last meal of the day. "Cheque," and "publick" take some getting used to, but "programme," and "catalogue," and the "z" pronunciation of "greasy" are really quite nice.
It may have come to your attention by now that we deliberately capitalize South and West, but keep lowercase east and north. These are intended to indicate our preference for things Southern and Western, and our objection to the perverse imperialistic behavior of many in the east and north.
Language should be distinct and distinguished. It is all very well to fit in, when learning about a culture or working with others. However, being sovereign calls forth your independence. One of the best ways to express your sovereignty is by using language to suit yourself. Thankfully, English has avoided the pitfall of an official arbiter of customary language, to which the French are often subject.
We don't agree with the objective of a constitutionally limited republic, not because the ideal is so terrible, but because the implementation has been faulty. The government brought forth in 1776 did not last a full four score and seven years before it ceased to be limited by the constitution. The problems with constitutions are far greater than those of contracts. It is possible, though not easy, to find honorable parties with whom to contract. It seems unlikely that externally imposed government, by its very nature, would ever find more than a few short generations of men who would honor their commitments to limited government.
Therefore, in spite of the supplications of many valued friends and colleagues, we continue to favor individual sovereignty over any form of collective sovereignty. You can trust yourself to govern yourself. You ought to be chary of all externally imposed government, especially the coercive forms thereof.
Free Market Money
"The core hidden KGC was truly a 'secret' society - one that left very little written record and whose members swore blood oaths of silence. This, in part, explains why so little has been revealed about a group of zealots that not only helped foment a 'War for Southern Independence,' but, following the July 1863 defeats at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, took the Rebel cause underground with gold, silver, and arms aplenty to fight again. To understand the KGC is to appreciate that the Confederacy did not simply die in 1865. It hid, for decades. The South's behind-the scenes power elite resorted to oral commands, coded missives, encrypted photographs, and treasure maps - passed on from generation to generation - in preparation for another war.
"After resigning from the Confederate Army, Pike sequestered himself in a remote part of the Oachita Mountains, called Greasy Cove, in west-central Arkansas. There, in a two-storied house along the Little Missouri River, he maintained a hermit-like existence with his extensive library, beginning in the spring of 1863. Ostensibly, he had retreated from society to continue the revision of the Scottish Rite rituals. Could it be that he was devising a greater, more carefully considered plan for the KGC and its budding underground network of hidden depositories?"
One Man's Quest to Crack the Code Behind the Secret Treasure of the Confederacy, 2005
One of the hidden mysteries of our culture is the longstanding tradition of secret societies. It is probably a myth that Masons formed secret societies at the time of the building of the Great Pyramid or of Solomon's Temple, but it is clear that resistance to authority and control has often inspired secrecy, codes, shibboleths, and rituals.
One of the enduring secret societies was the Knights Templar, which were ruthlessly suppressed by a Pope and a French king. Although their ritual practices probably invoked the sacred feminine and most likely examined ancient customs such as Baphomet worship, it seems fairly clear that the authoritarian suppression of the Templars had much more to do with their practice of lending money to the papacy and the French monarchy than it did with any significant concern for spiritual purity.
The Knights Templar and their assorted traditions have been associated with, or invoked by, various Masonic groups. The history of the USA has long been associated with Masonic rituals, including the all-seeing eye atop the pyramid on the back of the one dollar bill, the "Illuminati" group founded by Adam Weishaupt in 1776 - often suggested as an alternate meaning for the Roman numeral 1776 on the base of that same pyramid - and many other traditions both mythical and proven.
One of the secret societies which drew much of its mythology from Masonic tradition is the Knights of the Golden Circle or KGC. The KGC included not only Southern secessionists and patriots, but also many northerners, so-called "Copperheads" who supported an independent Confederacy.
It is conceivable that the KGC or variants of it survive to this day. For example, the skull and bones formed a symbol characteristic of the third degree of several Masonic orders, including the KGC. It is possible that the Skull and Bones Society at Yale was an old "KGC castle" which subsequently adopted a new name. Certainly the Southern jurisdiction of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, formerly headquartered in Richmond, and now found in Washington, DC, at 1733 Sixteenth Street (note the "33" as in "33rd" degree, a key figure in Scottish Rite masonry) shares many specific rituals and traditions with the KGC.
So, what does the book Rebel Gold reveal about the actual gold and silver stolen by Jesse and Frank James and their cousins, Jesse and Frank James? Among other things, it reveals that there were cousins sharing those names, which helps explain how the James Gang could be witnessed robbing separate places 600 miles apart on successive days. It turns out that several million dollars face value of gold and silver coins, now worth fifty to sixty times as much on the rare coin market, was cached in the American South and West from about 1868 to as late as the 1940s.
Not only were caches established and populated with wealth, but also sentinels were appointed to watch these sites and keep them from being looted. It appears from the reports of Rebel gold enthusiast Bob Brewer that at least two major caches, one in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and one in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona, are still guarded to this day.
Among the many interesting questions inspired by the book Rebel Gold is whether the guardians of these caches would ever be persuaded to open the caches for the benefit of a renewed Southern sovereignty initiative. Another interesting question this book brings up is whether the Scottish Rite is now so deeply ensconced in the halls of power in DC that they don't see any reason to organize an independence movement.
Readers interested in this book should note that it appeared in June 2003 as a Simon and Schuster hardback with the title Shadow of the Sentinel and the same subtitle.
Here's how the stocks we presently suggest in this area look right now (evening Monday 2 May 2005):
Last week, we showed the wrong change in price since suggestion for Freegold. This week, their price is back up a bit, along with nearly everyone except Newmont.
This week, Freegold Ventures issued a press release on their exploration activities and plans for an updated resource calculation. Updated 43-101 compliant reports have been completed on Freegold's Grew Creek, Golden Summit, and Almaden properties and have been filed on SEDAR. The most interesting news in this report regards their Almaden gold project in Idaho. Based on a review of the known mineralization, it appears the Almaden gold project may be the upper part of a deep-seated hot springs sytem with "potential for bonanza grade quartz vein-hosted gold-silver mineralization." So, that would be nice.
Western Prospector Group issued a news release on Monday 9 May regarding their 43-101 compliant report on the uranium prospects throughout their Saddle Hills project in Mongolia. The report is available on their site, along with their news release.
For several months we've been following Tan Range (TNX.to) in preparation for making a suggestion. We feel the company has recovered adequately from its recent low price postings at 88 cents a share, and now trading at C$1.00 it seems likely to be a good value. This week, we were spurred to move forward with the announcement that the company would soon trade on the American Stock Exchange, per a recent news release.
One of the things that was deeply impressive about the news release was the description of the company's self-described "broad shareholder base" of "3,377 Canadian stockholders and 3,917 US stockholders." Certainly, these figures make it far clearer how thinly traded junior mining stocks really are.
Jim Sinclair serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Tan Range. The company's web site gives details on their business plan and projects. Mr. Sinclair also provides commentary on gold as an investment through JSMineset.com and on a DVD available from Monex. We like Mr. Sinclair's approach to the issues involved in investing in gold, and his no-nonsense attitude toward business. He also has a reputation for not only having called the top in January 1980, but having sold much of his position quite close to the top.
Others in management seem well suited to their roles. None stand out like Mr. Sinclair.
The company is acquiring royalty interests in gold production in the Lake Victoria greenstone belt of Tanzania. The company not only has excellent properties in Tanzania and a capable technical capability, but also options its properties to qualified mining industry partners for pre-production and direct royalties in future gold production. The company describes its strategy as a variation on the successful Franco Nevada Mining strategy, which led ultimately to Franco Nevada merging with Newmont not long ago.
The 73 prospecting licenses in the Lake Victoria goldfields held by Tan Range include eleven which involve option agreements involving Barrick Gold. One of these, Itetemia, is considered very advanced and Barrick has expended over $4 million on its development. We were at first a bit put off by the close ties to Barrick, but the main property with measured and indicated resources does not seem to involve Barrick.
This main property, the Geita project at Luhala, has measured and indicated 13.3 million ounces and a total resource estimated at 16.3 million ounces gold. The total resource there is worth very nearly $7 billion at $427.40/ounce. With all options exercised, there appear to be 83.5 million shares fully diluted. Thus, at current gold prices, the asset at Geita is worth approximately $83/share. Using a contemporary production cost of $175/ounce for a nearby working mine (producing over 400,000 ounces per year) the net value works out to about $49/share. Certainly a worthwhile speculation for $1/share current market price.
Over the years, we've heard a number of good ideas out of Tanzania. We seem to recall this country is responsible for the innovative "your village owns this elephant herd" policy, which has resulted in larger and healthier herds, much more tourism, and better relationships among farmers, ranchers, and elephant herds. The country is widely regarded as having a sound mining policy.
Free Market Money
Gold is again building a strong base below $430/ounce. As of this writing (Wednesday, 0200) the price is $427.40. The bad news is that we're running out of May, and the Summer doldrums rarely see much price movement. The good news is that the longer this base is built, the better the ascent from here should be.
Silver is at $7.09/ounce.
Copper is $1.5196/pound.
U3O8 is up to $29.00. The price curve continues to have that asymptotic look. Remember that the historical price of $40/pound was long ago, when dollars were worth much more. So, there's plenty of room for higher prices in today's hyperinflating dollars.
The three stocks we've suggested in this sector are PVH, GBH, and MCG.
GoldBarter Holdings and Pecunix Venture Holdings are both up substantially from last week. MCG paid out dividends for April and May, and seems unaffected on the news.
"We plan to open the frontier of space using British engineering and design expertise."
A private British company has designed and built the largest rocket engine now being built in Britain, which, at 33,000 pounds thrust is not saying much. It is, however, designed to work with aviation fuel and cryogenic liquid oxygen, a decades old and well understood combination of fuel and oxidizer. The engine, named the Churchill Mark 3 was unveiled on Wednesday 11 May 2005.
The engine was designed and built at the Space Technology Laboratory at Salford University, where Steve Bennett works as director. He is also CEO of Starchaser Industries, an international, privately-held company that plans to develop, operate, and commercialize various space-related products and services. Formerly an X-Prize contender, Starchaser hopes to participate in the space tourism industry.
Available on their web site are various technical specifications for the Churchill Mk 3 and their Thunderstar space capsule. These make interesting reading for those interested in space tourism. In their web site's shopping center are model rocket kits, globes, clothing, and memorabilia. Endless fun for those still stuck at the bottom of a deep and oppressive gravity well.
SpaceDev is at $1.59. It is up $0.09 since we first suggested it.
"The PSLV-C6 launch on 5 May was the first take-off from the newly commissioned second launchpad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. It established several milestones. Most critically, it proved the new launchpad met the specifications laid down by the boffins of Indian Space Research Organisation."
The boffins of ISRO are pleased with their latest polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) which placed two satellites in orbit on 5 May. One was a ham radio satellite, the other a cartographic imaging satellite. A different version of the launch vehicle is to be used in the anticipated 2007 or 2008 "Chandrayan" mission to the Moon, India's first planned lunar mission.
Both the Hamsat and the Cartosat were placed into polar orbit. A polar orbit differs from an easterly or equatorial orbit in that the orbit is inclined ninety degrees to the Equator. In other words, the satellite is going north to South, pole to pole. This time, the satellites are in so-called "sun synchronous" polar orbit.
Such an orbit is established at an altitude and inclination such that the Sun is always at the same relative position when the satellite passes over any given piece of ground. As the Earth rotates beneath the satellite, and the satellite makes its trips over the poles, the satellite encounters the same real estate under it about once every two weeks. Since the Sun is in the same position in the sky, the satellite imaging of the ground is able to detect changes that would otherwise be overwhelmed by changes in light and shadow if the orbit were such that the Sun position were different on each pass.
One newsstory on the launch relates that the space scientists responsible for the Cartosat placed models of the satellite at a shrine to "Lord Vishnu" about 85 miles from the launch pad, and prayed there prior to the launch. One wonders whether this information would have been reported in the event of a launch failure.
According to Devangshu Datta's column, the Cartosat carries two mobile "panning" cameras capable of 2.5 meters per pixel resolution. This is the tenth remote sensing satellite launched by India, and brings their operational constellation to six satellites, the largest remote imaging constellation of any country. Datta writes, "The mobility [of the cameras] offers stereo imaging at levels precise enough to map every house. This has killer applications in agriculture, water management, digital map-making, and municipal tax assessment." Yes, we did groan when we read the last "killer app" cited. That's one of the troubles of having the government handle space activities.
ISRO, the Indian Space Research Organization, has a marketing operation which plans to sell its precision remote images on the global markets. The company is called Antrix Corporation. So, if you've been looking for alternatives to Spot Image or EOSat, you might want to look into Antrix. (Russia also has a commercial remote sensing "business.")
Datta's column gives some interesting details on how ham radio operators have been treated in India. "After decades of discouraging hams by prohibiting operations in 'sensitive' areas and much red tape, the government has recognised their utility in disaster management. After the Orissa supercyclone and in the islands post-tsunami, hams did a great job re-establishing communications. ISRO put up Hamsat in an acknowledgement of its gratitude to the global ham community." Apparently the Hamsat is like the Oscar series of satellites and provides data and voice store-and-forward capability.
In other overseas launch tech news, a Russian team from Roskosmos has promised to assist Brazil with their Veículo Lançador de Satélites or VLS. Brazil's VLS is a four-stage solid propellant rocket. All three test flights have failed including the most recent in August 2003 which exploded on the launch pad, killing 21 technicians.
Launch vehicles are risky to begin with, and in a multi-stage vehicle, the risk is the product of the risk factor of each stage, according to one engineer with whom I used to work. So, if the risk of any one-stage vehicle failing is X, then the risk of a two-stage vehicle failing is X2; the risk of a three-stage vehicle failing is X3; a four-stage vehicle's failure risk would be X4.
While launch risk is a difficulty in any program, the competitive nature of certain countries and the potential application of a launch vehicle as a missile or weapon delivery system suggests the possibility of sabotage. Argentina and Brazil have been competitive over the years, especially in missile technology development. Also, the French government operates an equatorial launch site in French Guiana at Kourou, and may be reluctant to see Brazil compete with their launch site at Alcantara. Whether it was French Foreign Legion troops, Argentine spies, or just bad technology that led to the failure in August 2003 is still not widely reported.
Russia's Roskosmos sent their deputy director, Viktor Remishevsky to Brazil. Results of the meetings were announced 9 May 2005. In addition to working together on the VLS rocket, Russia and Brazil have announced plans for Russia to participate in the reconstruction of the Alcantara launch center (damaged in the blast in 2003), the launch of a Brazilian communications satellite (whether by Russian rocket or Brazilian, the press release we read did not say), and a possible visit by a Brazilian "astronaut" to the International Space Station on a Russian launch vehicle in 2006. (We place quote marks around "astronaut" because we're unclear whether the Brazilian government would call such a space traveler a "cosmonaut" instead. Brazil's government has frequently impressed us as socialistic, and they seem to be getting quite close to the Russians, now led by former communist apparatchik Vladimir Putin.)
New Country Developments
"We, as donors, do not have the mandate and the capacity to develop Kenya. That is purely the mandate of the government. We have looked at what the government proposes, and we are willing to support them...."
Eritrea, and Somalia, 4 May 2005.
The World Bank is one of those internationalist, socialist groups that pretends to distribute money and "assistance" in various places, but typically ends up doing much more harm than good. Although our friend James Tooley, Ph.D., of the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne has successfully pursued some World Bank financing for private schools in developing countries such as India, we are not sanguine about any World Bank activity. So, we were not at all surprised to learn that developing Kenya is considered a government mandate by the newly appointed country director for World Bank interference in the economies of Kenya, Eritrea, and Somalia.
One of the difficulties that presents, in addition to all the usual problems free markets suffer when governments are involved in development, is the egregious extremes to which corruption in Kenya's government has reached. The European Union, for example, not exactly noteworthy for being a corruption-free entity, nor much of a corruption watchdog in Europe, has been withholding EUR 125 million in budget support for Kenya's government on account of the failure of President Mwai Kibaki's administration to "root out graft among the top echelons of the government."
Given this sort of clear indication of graft and corruption and other difficulties, it is a bit of a wonder that Collin Bruce has expressed enthusiasm for "deepening of donor relationships with the government." He holds out the prospect of supporting the government in spite of his own admisssion that, "The public sector reforms were started during the previous government and have not achieved any results."
Nobody in Kenya is very surprised by this lackluster result. The outgoing World Bank country director, Makhtar Diop, held a farewell party near President Kibaki's private residence, which was evidently so outrageous, the president's wife demanded Diop's arrest.
Nur Kafi, of Geeska Afrika Online writes to describe these World Bank situations normal (all fouled up) in his column of 5 May 2005. No doubt confusing the altruists and do-badders (not to be confused with actual do-gooders) at the World Bank with some sort of international banking establishment (which the World Bank is not), Nur mentions that Somali clansmen in, say, Ontario are able to provide dollars to their local clan banker in Ontario and within 24 hours the remittance bank in Galkayo, Somalia has the funds available to family members. He reports, "There are no receipts and no disputes. These remittances, hundreds of millions of dollars a year, keep Somalia going."
In other news about international humanitarian organizations that utterly fail to live up to their stated objectives, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) has apparently conspired with the Vietnamese and Cambodian governments to re-settle 750 Montagnards who fled Vietnam owing to official discrimination and corrupt land re-allocations (theft). Many of these Montagnard refugees have opted to settle in the United States, which has a substantial Montagnard community (owing to the close relationship between USA special forces and Montagnard's during the Vietnam war era). Others have been provided asylum in Sweden and Canada. Finland has apparently made plans to accept 72 Montagnard refugees.
Cambodia and the UNHCR have also arranged to reject the asylum pleas of 101 Montagnards. In March, thirty-five others chose to voluntarily return to Vietnam after the Vietnamese government gave "written guarantees that the returnees would not be punished, discriminated against, and/or prosecuted for their illegal departure." We can only view such promises, naming as they do the basic freedom of travel as illegal, as a sort of macabre humor. We wonder if, upon learning of the violent deaths and torture of the 35 voluntary returnees, whether the UNHCR and Cambodia would revisit the question of the 101 rejected asylum seekers.
No doubt the Montagnard region would be its own country if it were not summarily dismissed by international agencies like the UNCHR, if it were not also partly on the Cambodian side of the border (much as the Kurds find themselves mistreated, historically, by Turkey, Iraq, and Iran), and if the USA had not insisted that Vietnam be one country, or at most partitioned into two, all those years ago. French Indochina is a mess, and has been since French colonial rule. One suspects that much of the hostility and nearly all of the atrocities the current Vietnamese regime expresses and perpetrates echoes, if it was not directly learned from, hostility and atrocities of French colonialism.
"Since West Nile virus is present across the entire country at this point and it's here to stay, we constantly need to be vigilant."
Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, 10 May 2005
One does sometimes wonder at the nonsense spewed by government bureau-rats. In this case, the failure of customs inspectors, border patrollers, and other government apparatchiks to prevent the contamination of USA territory by West Nile virus, probably brought in with infected livestock, is nowhere mentioned. Rather, the passive voice is adopted. The virus is present. How did it get here? Not that a bureau-rat would ever admit to incompetence.
Mosquitoes carry several diseases. They are the organism or "vector" for canine heart worms, St. Louis encephalitis, West Nile virus, and malaria, among other difficulties. Of these, malaria was eradicated in the United States in the mid-20th Century by the widespread application of DDT. Naturally, the do-badders in government have seen fit to ban DDT, and thereby condemn roughly a million people worldwide to painful deaths from malaria each and every year.
Be that as it may, there are two new chemicals now recommended by these bastions of idiocy in the Centers for Disease Control. One is the chemical picaridin. The other is the oil of the lemon eucalyptus. Both offer long-lasting protection against mosquito bites. DEET, previously the only recommended chemical, remains on the agency's recommendation list.
Both picaridin and lemon eucalyptus oil have been available elsewhere, including Europe and Australia. However, it seems repellant makers, including DEET manufacturer SC Johnson, have found it hard to compete with DEET without the sanction of federal health officials. There is clearly something deeply wrong with the market for foods, cosmetics, drugs, and related materials.
Eucalyptus citriodora is the scientific name for the lemon eucalyptus tree. It is also called the citron-scented gum tree and the lemon scented gum tree. You can buy seeds and grow your own for $2 at Sandmountainherbs.com - but they wanted to let PayPal cookie our browser so we don't make the link active. Another plant which repels mosquitoes and many other insect pests is the marigold, especially when flowering.
Why not use DEET? Well, there's WebMD.com of 3 July 2002 which enthusiastically quotes dermatologist Mark S. Fradin, "there is almost no science to support the notion that it is highly toxic." Yeah. And there is almost no science to support the notion that plutonium is highly toxic either. Which doesn't mean it's good for you. It turns out that by 2002 there had been nearly 50 reported cases of significant toxicity related to DEET. With a chemical name like N, N, diethyl - meta - toluamide it isn't a simple compound.
In fact, DEET is not recommended in strength greater than 30% for children, and is not to be used at all on children under two months, according to widely available warnings. It is very highly toxic if swallowed and considered and unclassifiable carcinogen. In some tests, animals fed high doses of DEET experienced kidney and liver damage. Prolonged exposure in rats was linked to brain damage. There have been 18 reported cases where DEET caused seizures and encephalopathy in children since 1960, including three deaths. Sure, it probably won't kill you as fast as malaria or St. Louis encephalitis.
Although picaridin was also recommended, we've focused on lemon eucalyptus. Among other things, the July 2002 New England Journal of Medicine reports that lemon eucalyptus is better as an insect repellant than any other non-DEET alternative. The lemon eucalyptus essential oil is the volatile, oily compound that repels insects. So, in the case of lemon eucalyptus trees, crushing some leaves may help release the essential oil. Otherwise, seek the essential oil at health food stores, aromatherapy clinics, or online.
Nanotech News: This week in nanotechnology news, Cornell University researchers have built a machine that builds copies of itself. It serves no other purpose. Each robot consists of several 10 centimeter cubes. Electromagnets allow the cubes to couple and de-couple. Information is transferred from cube to cube through their faces. The robots are able to bend, pick up, and stack the cubical elements to "replicate" themselves. The cubes are provided at "feeding locations" on the tabletop. The tabletop also provides contacts through which power is transferred to individual cubes.
Obviously, this development is not on the nanotech scale, but replicating machines are a key ingredient to future nanotech applications. They also figure prominently in the "gray goo" nightmare discussed at Eric Klien's lifeboat.com.
Elan Corp, PLC, was at $6.90 when we looked in on it today. We continue to investigate this company.
Publication Note: The delay grows to two days, and we apologize.
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