Gorilla HIV Strain Jumps to Humans

Not just chimpanzees but also gorilla's can transfer the virus that causes aids in humans. A 62 year old woman from Cameroon, living in France, is suffering from an HIV strain that stems from gorillas, according to French researchers in Nature Medicine.
It was already known that gorillas had their own HIV strain but it turns out now that this strain can be transmitted to humans.

The woman from Cameroon found out when she tested positive for HIV after moving from Cameroun to Paris. She had never been in contact with gorillas or gorilla meat but has been with men from Cameroon that may be carriers of the virus.

The woman does not show symptoms of aids yet.

For those planning a holiday to the regions and thinking about eating bush meat as part of the experience: perhaps think again. According to ABC there is evidence of a link between towards the bush meat trade.

More can be found here:

Posted via email from John Dierckx

Book #1 Took Off. Who’d a thunk it?

My first book (my 37th comes out in Spring 2010) was a thin, but mighty photo-driven tome titled Driftwood Whimsy: The Sculptures of the Emeryville Mudflats. I had lived on the fringes of the San Francisco Bay Area town of Emeryville since 1971 and had marveled at the sculptures people surreptitiously constructed in the Emeryville Crescent, a wedge of swampy land nestled between busy Interstate 80 and the Bay Bridge. Locals called the area the Emeryville Mudflats for obvious reasons. I was a budding photographer and would often tramp down to the mudflats, usually under cover of darkness to photograph the odd and whimsical constructions. Eventually my photographs wound up illustrating a feature article in Smithsonian magazine. That was all good and wonderful, of course, and it did boost my flagging photographic self-esteem.

Then some well-intentioned friend suggested that my photographs of the sculptures would make a fine glossy photo book.

Read the whole amazing story and not just this excerpt.

This story was suggested to me by my great friend Michael Pokocky, a great writer (unsigned so you better hurry up if you are a publisher) himself and a man of unconventional wisdom.

More on Michael can be found here:

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=53390913406&ref=ts

Or his website at the Redroom at

Posted via web from John Dierckx

Black Hat 2009: SSL insecurity and MultiFactor

New flaws with how SSL is implemented were revealed at Black Hat 2009, but SecureAuth can’t be tricked.

These flaws can trick a user in to thinking they are at a legitimate web site. The main problem with SSL is not that the attack is undetectable, but that end-users have to inspect the server-side certificate, and know what they are looking for. (How often do you click on the ‘lock’ icon in your browser? And, would you know if something was not right?)

SecureAuth protects against these and other attacks by automating the process. SecureAuth, as part of the authentication process, makes sure the end-user is connected to the legitimate server, before asking for a password.

This level of security is simple to deploy to your cloud services, web servers and remote access VPNs, providing two-factor authentication that satisfies PCI and other regulatory mandates, and goes beyond other 2-factor solutions that are really just password replacements.

Check out the website at http://www.multifa.com for more information about what Multifactor can do for you. The product comes recommended by some of my professional contacts.

Posted via web from John Dierckx

RUBEN DIAZ on the subject of ART

Recently I was exchanging emails with my Facebook friend Ruben Diaz, a brilliant, Toronto based flamenco guitar player and professor at the Royal Conservatory of Toronto.

During one of these exchanges Ruben stated the following (which I am permitted to share with you):

"Art results not when there is nothing that can be added, but when there is nothing that can be taken away"

Isn't this just a beautiful approach that could very well go well beyond art or get a concept of creation and art into other disciplines and life. A one liner that gives plenty of food for thought! Let me know what you think by leaving a comment either here on Posterous or (preferably) at the new desk of the Renaissance Man.

About Ruben
Ruben Diaz is possessed of flamenco roots that are embedded in his family. Indeed, his father, Luis Chavarría, was a student and a disciple of Andrés Segovia.

It was his farther who first introduced an eight-year-old Ruben to his icon, Paco de Lucía. Ruben’s youthful enthusiasm and relatively untutored efforts were disciplined soon thereafter when he commenced formal studies with the renowned Argentinean classical guitarist, Manuel López Ramos, from whom Ruben obtained a solid foundation in classical guitar technique. Thereafter, he became deeply involved in flamenco music and culture with the gypsy community of Southern Spain which, in turn, led back to what was to become a longstanding and close association with Paco de Lucía who has been both Ruben’s example and preceptor for nearly two decades.

Ruben also studied traditional Bachian harmony with the Mexican composer, Humberto Hernández Medrano (a devotee of Katchaturian and Carlos Chávez) as well as modern harmony with prominent Mexican pianist, Ricardo Páez.

Ruben performed as a soloist with the National Symphonic Orchestra of Mexico, in the opera “La Vida Breve” of Manuel de Falla as well as toured around the world – notably in Italy, Japan, the United States and, of course, Spain (including the most distinguished precincts of Madrid). In Italy, where he has worked extensively, he has had the opportunity to collaborate with many distinguished musicians such as Paolo Fresu, Walter Caloni, Massimo Colombo and Stefano Cherri (of the “Linea di Confine” quartet) as well as the Stauffer Quartet. He has also performed with the renowned flamenco guitarist, Rafael Riqueni, in Taormina, Sicilia.

Ruben has always scrupulously followed the example of his preceptor, Paco de Lucía, by committing himself to both live performances and recordings and, likewise, he now collaborates with artists from many different countries in projects that include his own compositions incorporating jazz elements as well as jazz performers resulting in a flamenco-jazz fusion.

Ruben is committed to contributing to what has become a long tradition of great flamenco art by imparting his own skill and knowledge to those who share his interest and enthusiasm through his own individual classes, open clinics and conservatory teaching.

I truly suggest to get to know more about this wonderful artist an visit his website at: http://www.rdiaz.org or connect with this great man on facebook.

Posted via email from John Dierckx

Researchers grow teeth in mice

JAPANESE researchers have successfully implanted bio-engineered seed-like tissue into the jaws of mice, growing new teeth for the rodents, according to a study published today.

The study, presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrates a technique that could be used to replace other organs.

Biologists have previously cultivated limited tissue in a laboratory and successfully transplanted it into animals.

But the researchers, led by Etsuko Ikeda of the Tokyo University of Science, “explored ways to grow a three-dimensional organ in place, starting with teeth”, the report said.

By all means read the full story.

Posted via web from John Dierckx

Colmar Brunton on Smacking: 83% in favor of smacking to be expected

The One News Colmar Brunton Poll of 1,001 respondents from 25 to 29 July asked several questions on smacking:

70% indicated that they would vote in the referendum, of which 83 percent indicated to vote “no” (e.g. in favor of smacking your children).

Posted via web from John Dierckx

Waikato people smack law down

Waikato residents have given overwhelming support to allowing parents to smack their children.

Some 92 per cent of Waikato people who plan to vote in the current postal referendum voting papers went out yesterday are against smacking of children being a criminal offence, according to a telephone survey of 409 people in a Waikato Times-Versus telephone poll.

The poll was run this week on Tuesday and Wednesday. The results are a continuation of the high popularity for sanctioning smacking that has registered in national and regional polls for the past four years.

But the Government has already said it won’t change the two-year-old law, which Prime Minister John Key thinks is working well.

The Times poll showed 70 per cent of Waikato residents planned to vote in the referendum, with that rising as high at 78 per cent within Hamilton. Females (76 per cent) were also more likely to vote.

Residents were asked: “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?” Just 8 per cent said yes.

Why am I not surprised? The support for smacking as part of parental corrections have always been there. It was typically a law that was pushed through by someone with very specific view on parenting.

Whatever your view: the key question of course is HOW FAR CAN A STATE INTERFERE IN FAMILY LIFE?

If I go from the first results, the Anti-smacking legislation is considered by the overwhelming majority as going too far. So that leaves us with the referendum: I can’t help but feeling that I need to vote because of the importance of the subject but at the same time that it is a useless exercise as nothing will change as a result of it, regardless of the outcome?
Is this not a lot of wasted money?

And, where can I find some clarity on how this law has been of influence not so much on Police involvement in parental matters but of CYFS involvement?
Anyone any suggestions or links, please let me know.

Posted via web from John Dierckx