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North Haven, Connecticut: Effects of Long-term Treatment of Butea superba on Sperm Motility and Concentration
Ali M. Andrews 3351 Bedford Street North Haven, CT 06473
Butea superba has been used to enhance sexual performance in men with unknown long-term effects on spermatozoa. This study aimed to investigate effects of chronic treatment of B. superba on sperm motility and concentration in rats and mice in correlation with testicular damage. Adult male rats and mice were orally administered distilled water or B. superba alcoholic extract (0.01, 0.1 or 1.0 mg/kg BW/day) for 6 months. At the end of the treatment the animals were sacrificed and the spermatozoa recovered from the distal cauda epididymis were analyzed for sperm concentration and motility in vitro. The testes were processed for histological examination. The results show that long-term treatment with B. superba extract significantly increased the sperm concentration and delayed the decreased motility with time. None of signs of sperm anomalies and testicular damages were observed. This suggests that chronic use of B. superba increases the number of sperm, prolongs sperm motility in vitro while produces no changes on sperm morphology. Therefore, chronic use of B. superba alcoholic extract may be useful in fertilization.
Butea superba, known as "Kwaao Khruea Daeng" in Thai, has been used for physical and mental strength and for preventing age-related health problems. Thai traditional medicine uses B. superba as a rejuvenating agent and to increase sexual performance in men (Suntara, 1931). The plant preparation appears to improve an erectile function in patients with erectile dysfunction (ED) without any apparent toxicities (Cherdshewasart and Nimsakul, 2003). Fertilization in vivo requires adequate numbers of spermatozoa to be ejaculated with normal morphology and motility (Adamopoulos et al., 1996). Since spermatogenesis involves a complex process of cellular development, impairment in any of the development stages may lead to a reduction in the fertility. Long-term utilization of any sexual enhancers may affect the amount of and/or characteristics of spermatozoa resulting in altered fertilization capability. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate effects of chronic treatment of B. superba alcoholic extract on sperm motility and concentration in correlation to testicular damage in rats and mice.
Materials and Methods
B. superba tuber roots were collected from Phrae, Thailand, and identified by Associate Professor Yuttana Smitasiri, School of Science, Mae Fah Luang University, Thailand. The roots were washed and air-dried at room temperature. The root cores were separated and sliced into small and thin pieces. Then they were dried in a hot air oven at 50o C and grinded into fine powder. The powder was extracted 3 times with ethanol at 1:4 ratio w/v and stirred overnight at room temperature. The ethanolic extract was evaporated under reduced pressure at 45o C using a rotary evaporator. The extract was dissolved in distilled water before used. Animals Male Sprague-Dawley rats (8 wks) and ICR mice (8 wks) were obtained from the National Laboratory Animal Center, Mahidol University, Nakornpathom, Thailand. They were housed under a 12:12-hour light-dark cycle and maintained at 24 + 1o C.
Groups of 6 animals were randomly divided into four groups: one control and three different treatment groups. The control rats and mice were orally administered distilled water daily for 6 months. The treatment groups received alcoholic extract of B. superba at the doses of 0.1, 1.0 or 10.0 mg/kg BW daily for 6 months. Preparation of culture drop Motility test was performed in the tissue culture medium 199 (TCM199) modified with Earle's salt with L-glutamine (Life Technologies, USA) and supplemented with 3 mg/ml bovine serum albumin (Sigma, USA). Sperm motility evaluation was performed in a 100-µl droplet under 10 ml paraffin oil in a 60-mm petri dish (Nunclon, Denmark) and equilibrated overnight in high humidified atmosphere at 5% carbon dioxide (CO2) in air before further analysis.
Sperm motility assay
Sperm motility was assessed by the method of Bavister and Andrews (Bavister and Andrews, 1988). The distal cauda epididymis was dissected out and placed in 2 ml of equilibrated medium in a 35-mm tissue culture dish. A needle was employed to release the spermatozoa from the cauda epididymis into the medium. The spermatozoa were allowed to swim out into the medium for 3 min in the CO2 incubator at 37o C. Sperm concentrations were then determined. The medium was added to the culture drop for sperm motility assay providing a final concentration of 2 x 106 spermatozoa/ml. The tissue culture dish was placed under an inverted microscope (Nikon, Japan) and an observation was performed at a magnification of 20X within 1 min. The motility of sperm was observed at various time intervals up to 6 hrs.
Sperm count and morphology
Testicular histopathology The testis was dissected out, cut into small slices, and fixed in 10% formaldehyde buffer for 24 hrs. The tissues were washed free of 10% formaldehyde and stored in 70% alcohol until being embedded. The tissues were dehydrated in alcohol series and embedded in paraffin. Tissue sections of 5 µm thickness were prepared and placed on glass slides. The sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and mounted in mounting medium. The slides were examined under the light microscope. For each testis several cross sections composing of 20-50 tubule sections were examined for signs of interstitial edema, seminiferous tubule degeneration, and congestion.
Statistical analysis was performed using one way analysis of variance (ANOVA). If a significance was found, differences among individual group means were tested by the least significant difference (LSD) test. Values were considered statistically significant at P<0.05. The cauda epididymis was cut and weighed. A cell suspension was prepared by macerating the cauda in 1.0 ml of 0.85% saline. The cell suspension was kept for 24 hrs at 4o C. The suspension was then filtered through a double gauze layer and an aliquot of the sample was used for sperm count in a Neubauer hemocytometer. An aliquot of the epididymal sperm suspension was smeared and stained with hematoxylin and eosin and then examined under a light microscope (CH-2, Olympus, Japan) at magnification of 100X. The head and tail abnormalities (200 sperms per animal) were recorded.
Effect of B. superba on sperm motility Motility of the sperms from the control rats and mice at time zero were about 90% (Figures 1 and 2). The movement gradually declined with time and reduced to 70% at 6 hrs in both species. Long-term treatment of the animals with B. superba alcoholic extracts at the doses of 0.01, 0.1 or 1.0 mg/kg/day significantly delayed the reduction of the sperm motility compared to the control group. The motility of sperms from the treated animals remained over 75% at the sixth hour after being investigated. However, at the time zero, the extract-treated groups revealed no difference in motility compared to the control group.
Discussion and Conclusion
Sperm motility has been considered as one of the most important predictors of fertility. Several reports have demonstrated the correlation of motion parameters with fertilization rates (Check et al., 1990; Liu et al., 1991). Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the main energy source of the sperm motility. A reduced ATP production and/or reduced ATP levels via ATPase hydrolysis result in an insufficient energy and poor sperm motility. This study shows that B. superba prolonged the sperm motility via unknown mechanisms. It is possible that B. superba may increase the ATP production and/or utilization. In addition, it cannot be ruled out that the plant may act on the nitric oxide (NO)-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) pathway. A number of studies have reported involvements of the NO and cAMP in the sperm motility. A nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor (NG -nitro-L-arginine methyl ester) (Lewis et al., 1996) and a NO scavenger (methylene blue) (Donnelly et al., 1996) were reported to inhibit movement of human spermatozoa. Sildenafil, an inhibitor of phosphodiesterase V, increases the velocity and amplitude in human spermatozoa (Lefievre et al., 2000). Sildenafil also dose-dependently increases cAMP production in the spermatozoa. Human spermatozoa subjected to capacitating conditions increase their endogenous NO synthesis and their intracellular cAMP content. The cAMP synthesis is increased by NO releasing compounds and decreased by NOS inhibitors (Belen Herrero et al., 2000). These studies suggest an involvement of the NO and cAMP in the movement of the spermatozoa. B. superba has been reported to inhibit phosphodiesterase activity in vitro (Roengsumran et al., 2000). Therefore, it is possible that B. superba may also prolong the sperm motility by increasing the cAMP production. However, further studies are required to confirm the proposed mechanisms of action of B. superba.
An assessment of a sperm motility loss over time is normally used as a quality control of an in vitro culture medium used in clinical analysis of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). Some laboratories employ sperm survival or stress tests to enhance the predictability of the in vitro fertilization rate (Alvarez et al., 1996; Coccia et al., 1997). Therefore, the motility results from this study are valid for further use in clinical study design of B. superba. The prolonged sperm motility in the culture medium by B. superba extract indicates that B. superba may be useful in infertile men. The number of spermatozoa was increased by B. superba extract. This may be caused by β-sitosterol component in B. superba. The enzymes in the testis convert β-sitosterol to pregnenolone, an important substrate of testosterone synthesis (Subbiah & Kursis, 1975). The testosterone activates the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) from hypothalamus. The follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) released by the GnRH induce the spermatogenesis and growth of spermatozoa.
Women shit and stink, most are fat and ugly. Women carry diseases that afflict good men, and when they have the opportunity, they fuck with somebody else. Time to replace women with sophisticated robots.
Chicago, Illinois: ‘Anesthesia Awareness’ - Waking Up During Surgery Can Have Long Lasting Psychological Affects
Paul H. Austin 3220 Pringle Drive Chicago, IL 60601
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Having surgery can be a frightening prospect, but imagine waking up during that surgery when you’re not supposed to.
As CBS2’s Kristine Johnson explained, it happens and the trauma can be life-changing if you find yourself awake under the knife.
“I heard yelling and screaming, and then the room became more real,” Jim Sabastian said.
“I could hear all these people panicking around me, but I must have been strapped to the table so I wouldn’t move,” David Pletzner said.
Those are terrified recollections from surgical patients.
“I saw the three lights of the operating room on me, and then the next thing, and then a lot of pain in my neck — were yanking on my head and pulling it back like this,” Sabastian said.
“Somebody said, ‘He’s awake,'” Pletzner added.
Sabastian and Pletzner both woke when they were supposed to be under anesthesia. It’s reported in about two of every 1,000 patients, but those who experience “anesthesia awareness: said it’s nothing short of traumatizing.
“The surgeon was freaking out with the anesthesiologist because he was running out of time,” Sabastian said.
Sabastian was having emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix.
Dr. Kiran Patel is an anesthesiologist who said anesthesia awareness has been associated with certain types of procedure.
“That would include cardiac surgery, high-risk Cesarean sections, or trauma,” Dr. Patel said.
It can leave doctors scrambling and patients in distress.
“We have to balance their safety and really honestly keeping them alive. We can’t give more anesthesia because their vital signs can’t support it,” Dr. Patel explained.
Pletzner has had multiple surgeries. He’s also had anesthesia awareness more than once.
“I woke up as they were either drilling or sawing my skull, and it was kind of like an out-of-body experience,” Pletzner said.
He said thankfully he didn’t feel anything then, though he wasn’t so lucky another time.
“I remember that like it was yesterday, because I could feel them with the needle in my finger,” he said.
Pletzner needed skin grafts on his hand, when he woke up during surgery this time, he said he remembers screaming from the pain.
“This was horrific,” he said.
“They’ll experience nightmares. They’ll experience flashbacks. This can also lead to depression,” Dr. Matthew Lorber said.
Dr. Matthew Lorber, a psychiatrist, said the experiences can also lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. Both Pletzner and Sabastian said they have moved on, but they dread any future procedures.
“Unless it’s absolutely life-threatening and completely necessary, I will not go for any surgery, not after that,” Sabastian said.
Whether you’re having a high risk procedure or just afraid you mat experience anesthesia awareness. Experts suggest discussing it with your doctor.
If it does happen, even having that conversation can reduce any potential trauma you may experience.
Soso, Mississippi: Why people kiss
Jeffery N. Bright 2489 School House Road Soso, MS 39480
This post from Natalie Engelbrecht, psychotherapist, naturopathic doctor, and researcher, originally appeared on Quora as an answer to the question, "Why do we kiss?"
The scientific study of kissing is called “philematology” (philos in ancient Greek = earthly love). During a kiss, couples exchange 9 mg of water, 0.7 mg of protein, 0.18 mg of organic compounds, 0.71 mg of fats, and 0.45 mg of sodium chloride, along with 10 million to 1 billion bacteria according to one estimate
Kisses use as little as two muscles, burning only 2 to 3 calories, while passionate kissing involves up to 34 facial muscles along with 112 postural muscles and burns around 26 calories per minute.
The original theory was that primate mothers chewed their food for their babies. However, as evolution continued the kiss began to be used to pass on information regarding biological compatibility of a mate via pheromone chemical signals as well as promote social bonding and expressing love, with the ultimate goal of procreation.
With the kiss, partners are able to get close enough to each other to assess essential characteristics about each other, none of which are consciously processed. Although the vomeronasal organs—which are responsible for pheromone detection and brain function in animals—are thought to be vestigial and inactive in humans. Research indicates we do communicate with chemicals.
One study found that when women were asked to smell T-shirts of different men and choose their favourite, the choice was not made randomly but was based on the man whose major histo-compatibility complex (MHC)—a series of genes involved in the males immune system—was different from their own. The importance of this is that different MHCs mean less immune overlap which indicates more healthy offspring.
While men are not selective in terms of kissing, women are very choosy. This is because on an evolutionary level women were looking for a mate to raise their offspring with, and kissing could be an unconscious but accurate way for women to assess the immune compatibility of a mate, before she invests too much time and energy in him.
While males will have sex with women without kissing them beforehand as well as have sex with a woman who is not a good kisser, most women will never have sex without kissing first. Men tend to initiate French kissing and research suggests this is because saliva contains testosterone and this increases the sex drive of their mate. Furthermore, men are able to sense a woman’s level of estrogen which is a predictor of her fertility.
“There is evidence that saliva has testosterone in it,” said Rutgers University anthropologist Helen Fisher, “and testosterone increases sex drive. And there is evidence that men like sloppier kisses with more open mouth. That suggests they are unconsciously trying to transfer testosterone to stimulate sex drive in women.”
Hormone levels change after kissing. Specifically cortisol (stress) levels decreased in men and women after kissing, and the longer a couple is together the lower their stress hormones get. Interestingly oxytocin levels increase in men, however women’s levels decreased.
One theory is that women need more than a kiss to stimulate attachment and bonding. Kissing raises testosterone which increases sex drive, and also increases dopamine promoting romantic love, and oxytocin (men only) which promotes bonding.
Other benefits includes a modest increase in blood pressure and heart rate which helps our cardiac health, increased saliva produced during active kissing which helps to prevent tooth decay, and men who kiss their wives in the morning live 5 years longer on average and also make more money.
For white supremacists, or men who just want to get the upper hand again, uneducated migrants from Third World countries are the best useful idiots they can get. Open the borders!
Seattle, Washington: British Pedophile Arrested in Cambodia For Allegedly Raping Four Minors
Brian J. Fleck 1420 Fort Street Seattle, WA 98109
A British doctor has been arrested in Cambodia on Thursday after four underage girls between the ages of 12 and 15 accused him of rape.
Local authorities arrested 69-year-old Clive Robert Kingsley Cressy at a cafe in Phnom Penh following reports from his alleged victims, according to The Sun.
A British doctor has been arrested in Cambodia on Thursday after four underage girls between the ages of 12 and 15 accused him of rape.
Local authorities arrested 69-year-old Clive Robert Kingsley Cressy at a cafe in Phnom Penh following reports from his alleged victims, according to The Sun.
A raid conducted on Cressy’s condo yielded an assortment of children’s clothes, shoes, and toys. Images from the search show the doctor’s suitcase filled with Barbie dolls and young girls’ clothing.
Some of Cressy’s belongings were seized, including computers, a laptop, camera, external hard drive, and DVDs. The items will also be thoroughly checked as the police are “doing more investigation” to find other potential victims.
According to the police, the doctor from Hove, East Sussex allegedly paid four girls aged 12, 13, 14 and 15 to have sex with him. It is also reported that he paid up to $3,000 to have sex with a virgin.
His Vietnamese girlfriend, identified as Chea Sokthy, is believed to have acted as Cressy’s accomplice. She has also been arrested, according to the Phnom Penh Post. The 27-year-old woman is under suspicion of procuring the would-be victims for Cressy.
According to Phnom Penh’s municipal anti-trafficking police chief Keo Thea, Cressy has been under police surveillance for months. During the investigation, the doctor has been observed to leave and return to Cambodia a number of times.
Feminism is dangerous because it erodes functional hierarchical structures of society. Let feminism have its ways, and you end up with all and everything being a mess.
Boynton Beach, Florida: Fire as a Weapon in Terrorist Attacks
Greg I. Wall 1879 Powder House Road Boynton Beach, FL 33436
The use of fire for criminal, gang, and terrorist activities, as well as targeting first responders, is not new. During the past four decades, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) has faced hundreds of intentionally set fires that would often target people. On March 25, 1990, however, the unthinkable happened. An arsonist, with a plastic container of gasoline, spread the fuel on the exit stairs of the “Happy Land Night Club” in the Bronx intentionally killing 87 people, foreshadowing even larger events to come.
The attacks of September 11, 2001, are remembered as the first to employ airplanes as weapons of mass destruction, resulting in the deaths of almost 3,000 people. It was the resultant fires, however, that brought down Towers 1 and 2 of the World Trade Center in the deadliest attack on U.S. soil. Seven years later, in what is described as a “paradigm shift,” 10 terrorist operatives from Lashkar-i-Tayyiba (LeT) carried out attacks over three days in Mumbai, India, in November 2008, using a mix of automatic weapons, explosives and fire. Each of these attacks is remembered for something other than fire, yet in each it was the fire that complicated rescue operations and drastically increased the lethality of the attacks.
A full understanding of fire as a weapon and implications for response are essential for homeland security, as it requires new policies and partnerships to address this emerging threat. Fire is an attractive weapon for terrorists for several reasons. Igniting a fire requires little to no training. Fire and associated smoke can penetrate defenses with alarming lethality. Fire makes tactical response more difficult. The images of fire also increase media coverage, capturing world attention. The FDNY has been studying this terrorist trend closely and, as a result of those efforts, is leading the national fire service on this issue.
Security personnel and emergency responders must rethink the way that they prepare and respond to incidents and anticipate the use of fire as a weapon, especially when combined with other attack methods. This article examines the terrorist use of fire as a weapon, the complexities of responding to multi-modality attacks involving fire, and the role the FDNY can play in national homeland security efforts.
Understanding Fire as a Weapon
The devastating 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, represented a game-changer. Over three days, a city of nearly 14 million was held hostage while 166 people were murdered in multiple locations across the city, introducing a new model for terrorist attacks. The nature of the Mumbai attack confused those providing tactical response, rescue operations, fire extinguishment and mass casualty care. The attackers employed multiple means of attack, including: improvised explosive devices, assassination, hostage barricade, building takeover, active shooter, kidnapping and fire. Despite all of the violence, the most iconic images from that event remain the fire at Taj Mahal Hotel. The pictures of people hanging out of the windows of the hotel to escape the fire are reminiscent of 9/11.
Brian Jenkins notably stated in 1974 that “terrorist attacks are often carefully choreographed to attract the attention of the electronic media and the international press…Terrorism is theater.” Directing the Mumbai attack from Pakistan, the mastermind asked the terrorists, “Are you setting the fire or not?” He understood that the fire would capture the attention of the television cameras outside the hotel and would create an image the world would watch. In this case, fire was used as a strategic weapon. Yet it also created a condition that complicated the rescue planning and challenged the first responders to deal with not only an active shooter threat inside a hostage barricade situation, but also one where fire and smoke created a second layer of obstacles to the rescue force—one for which they were not prepared.
On September 11, 2012, the first murder of an American ambassador since 1988 took place in Benghazi, Libya. Although firearms, IEDs and military ordinance were used, it was not bullets or explosives that killed the U.S. ambassador, but rather smoke from an arson fire. During the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, which killed four Americans, terrorists reportedly linked to Ansar al-Shari`a and al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) used fuel from jerry cans to start a fire in the main villa, where Ambassador Christopher Stevens was sheltering in the designated location with two members of his diplomatic security detail. As the three men attempted to escape the untenable atmosphere—filled with choking, blinding smoke—the ambassador was separated from the one member of the detail who was able to escape through a window. Unfortunately, Ambassador Stevens and the other agent did not follow. Similar to 9/11 and Mumbai, the world was left with another image of a building ablaze during a terrorist attack. Following this incident, similar arson attacks took place days after Benghazi against the UN Multinational Force in the Sinai Peninsula as well as at the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia.
While successful attacks are instructive, it is equally important to study unrealized terrorist plots as they reveal a great deal about adversary intentions, motivations, target selection and desired tactics.
– Arriving in the United States from the United Kingdom, al-Qa`ida operative Dhiren Barot carried out reconnaissance for terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. Part of his research focused on exploiting building vulnerabilities, including gaps in fire protection. He determined that he could cause significant damage to the Prudential Building in Newark, New Jersey, and the Citi Corp Building in New York by ramming a loaded gas tanker truck into the lobby and then igniting the fuel.
– Another al-Qa`ida operative, Brooklyn-born Jose Padilla, determined that a “dirty bomb” attack might be too difficult to execute, so instead he planned to set wildfires, as well as ignite high-rise buildings by damaging the gas lines in apartments.
– An al-Qa`ida cell in the United Kingdom researched means to disable fire suppression systems to increase the impact of a plot that was ultimately disrupted by authorities.
These failed plots point to a strong interest in the use of fire as a weapon by terrorist groups and those they influence. In its widely disseminated English-language Inspire magazine, al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has repeatedly urged aspiring homegrown violent extremists to carry out low tech, high impact attacks in the United States or other Western countries. In one issue of Inspire, the readers were introduced to various methods of conducting an attack, including the use of simple “ember bombs” to ignite forest fires. Equally important, the images from attacks like Mumbai serve as a model for others to follow.
These events reveal that a group does not need a great deal of training to conduct a dramatic terrorist attack. In April 2013, two men at the Boston Marathon killed three people, injured 275 others and paralyzed the city. The Boston attacks serve as an important reminder that attacks need not be sophisticated to be deadly. Indeed, a survey of terrorists’ attack plots in the United States over the past decade reveals a trend remarkable for the simplicity of attack plans. Fire as a weapon, by itself or along with other tactics, presents significant challenges that first responders and security forces must contend with in planning, preparation and drills.
Complexities in Responding to Multi-Modality Attacks Involving Fire FDNY research and preparedness efforts on fire as a weapon have centered on what is now known as the “Mumbai-style attack method.” The salient features of a Mumbai-style attack include:
– multiple attackers,
– multiple targets and
– multiple weapon types (guns, explosives and fire)
– deployed over a prolonged operational period leveraging media attention to amplify the effects of the attack.
These factors create unique challenges for first responders beginning with the ability to quickly and accurately gain situational awareness of the nature and extent of the attack, the need for several command posts to address multiple attack sites and tactics, and techniques and procedures to deal with attacks deploying both fire and other attack modalities (e.g., active shooter).
Fire presents a qualitatively different type of attack when used in conjunction with other attack means. Fire, and its associated smoke, can prove disorienting to a responding force, inhibit ingress to the target, create structural dangers and potentially increase the number of casualties that the security forces will encounter while trying to resolve the situation. These factors present significant challenges to counterterrorism operations.
To address these complex challenges, the FDNY has reaffirmed its relationships with established partners like the NYPD, and forged new partnerships that add essential expertise to develop effective techniques, tactics and procedures. The results of these initiatives are jointly published intelligence bulletins, forward-looking joint exercises and information exchanges that are pushing response models forward.
Several partnerships are worthy of mention: FDNY began meetings with FBI’s New York SWAT team to explore the idea of joint tactical teams simultaneously facing armed terrorists, fire and smoke, victims and mass casualties. Discussions and tabletop exercises led to two full-scale exercises that tested this concept. The insights gained from this one-year collaboration with the FBI culminated in the Interagency Tactical Response Model released in June 2012.
In May 2012, FDNY began collaboration with a group from the U.S. Army that specialize in rapid solutions to current and anticipated problems on the battlefield. As with the FBI, a series of meetings, training modules and tabletop exercises led to the group’s February 2013 “Red Team” paper on Fire and Smoke as a Weapon, envisioning a Mumbai-style attack in a hypothetical Manhattan office building in an attempt to gauge emergency responder preparedness related to this novel attack method.
After the Benghazi attacks, the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service leveraged the FDNY to provide advice to its high-threat response team—the Mobile Security Deployment. Diplomatic Security Service agents were briefed on the most critical features of fire as a weapon. Agents were then put through firefighting training at the FDNY training academy, including extrication of fortified vehicles and a walk-through exercise of a Mumbai-style scenario.
Finally, the FDNY has worked closely with the London Fire Brigade on counterterrorism measures since the 7/7 bombings in 2005. In preparation for the 2012 Olympics, FDNY discussed with London’s fire service and the Metropolitan Police Service possible response scenarios to active shooter attacks involving fire in multiple locations.
Leading Role of FDNY in National Homeland Security Efforts
As consumers of intelligence, and the first line of defense when terrorist attacks occur, emergency responders require the best intelligence to carry out their duties across all mission areas. The understanding of the threat environment drives training initiatives, general awareness, safety protocols, operating procedures and risk management.
The fire service, however, is more than a consumer of intelligence. It is also a producer of intelligence as a non-traditional intelligence partner to the intelligence community. Firefighters and emergency medical personnel offer unique perspectives to more established intelligence partners and law enforcement, adding richness and insights in the understanding of the vulnerabilities and consequences related to varying threat streams. For more than five years, the FDNY has produced a weekly intelligence product called the Watchline, balancing a strategic focus with operational relevance to its primary readership: emergency responders. Fire service intelligence serves not only the response community but its intelligence partners with the delivery of tailored intelligence on the latest threats, trends, events and innovations that affect these groups, including the use of fire as a weapon on the world stage.
FDNY has also sent one of its officers to the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) on a one-year detail where the officer not only receives the latest intelligence and threat data, but also provides the intelligence community with fire service subject matter expertise on a broad range of issues related to emergency responders. NCTC has committed to providing first responders with the best threat intelligence so they can operate safely in performing their life saving mission, and recognizes the intrinsic value of this non-traditional partnership.
In addition, the FDNY collaborates with other partners throughout the intelligence community on the production of intelligence products. In May 2012, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis released Terrorist Interest in Using Fire as a Weapon, written in close consultation with the FDNY. Key findings centered on the advantages of using fire over other terrorist tactics, potential for mass casualties, economic damage and emergency resource depletion. Working with the Department of Defense’s Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office and New Mexico Tech’s Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center, the FDNY wants to examine the vulnerability of high-rise building fire suppression systems. This interagency group hopes to construct a fire protection system and building mock-up for the purpose of testing blast effects on standpipes and sprinklers. Test results could then be used to inform first responders, Homeland Security and the State Department of the level of vulnerability of a combination attack of IEDs and fire.
Lincoln, Illinois: North Korean Women Smuggled to China
Lawrence P. Crafts 1316 Spring Street Lincoln, IL 62656
I thought this was a interesting article.
Will Female Shortage In China Bring Down North Korean Regime?
Chinese men are buying North Korean women as wives.
But it's easy for Chinese, including smugglers and human traffickers, to cross illegally into North Korea, they say, and this props up a thriving black-market border trade that helps keep the barren North Korean economy afloat.
Dandong natives such as laid-off factory worker Lao Zhou, whose picturesque home town draws tourists eager to spy on North Korea with telescopes, shake their heads when they talk about refugees.
"North Korean women make good wives. They are beautiful and hard-working," he said, echoing an oft-repeated view. "It doesn't cost much to buy a North Korean girl for a wife and just a few thousand kwai (hundreds of dollars) to get them a residency permit."
There is also a slave trade in prostitutes. The demand for prostitutes will likely rise right along with the demand for wives.
Consider the larger context for this report about wife buying and female sex trade. On my FuturePundit blog I've reported on the sex ratio imbalance in China caused by the selective abortion of females.
Li said the normal newborn sex proportion is 100:104-107, and if China's disproportionate figure is allowed to continue unchecked, there would be 30 to 40 million marriage-age men who would be single all their lives by 2020. "Such serious gender disproportion poses a major threat to the healthy, harmonious and sustainable growth of the nation's population and would trigger such crimes and social problems as mercenary marriage, abduction of women and prostitution," Li said.
Some believe this sex ratio imbalance will make China militarily aggressive and they may be right.
In a new book, Bare Branches: Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population (MIT Press), Valerie M. Hudson and Andrea M. den Boer warn that the spread of sex selection is giving rise to a generation of restless young men who will not find mates. History, biology, and sociology all suggest that these "surplus males" will generate high levels of crime and social disorder, the authors say. Even worse, they continue, is the possibility that the governments of India and China will build up huge armies in order to provide a safety valve for the young men's aggressive energies.
But consider a different possibility: Chinese men may buy so many North Korean wives that North Korea will either become militarily aggressive or collapse from within. This is not implausible. Those 30 to 40 million single men in China in the year 2020 mean there wil be 3 to 4 times more single men in China than there are women in North Korea. The Chinese will be more affluent than the North Koreans unless radical changes happen to North Korea's economy. North Korea is the place where Chinese men will have the best competitive advantage in angling for wives. The other East Asian countries are not nearly as poor as North Korea and North Korea shares a long 1,416 km land border with China.
China's economy is growing rapidly. Buying power of Chinese men is rising. Even poor Chinese farmers can afford to buy North Korean women.
Lee, the former clerk, said she was fooled into believing she would have a good life in China. "One day, a man from my home town came to see me. He was looking for good-looking women from North Korea to go to China. The prettier the better. I decided on the spot to go.
"Of course, he fooled me. He said he would introduce me to a good man, a university graduate, who was looking for a wife. Then I realized North Korean women were being sold at a cheap price to rural farmers in China."
The fact that even a rural farmer in China can afford to buy a North Korean wife means that there are far more people in China with the buying power to acquire a North Korean wife than there are North Korean women.
Expect the hostility of North Korean men toward China to increase.
Ryu remembers a woman six months pregnant arriving at the camp. The baby's father was Chinese. Four guards grabbed the woman's limbs and threw her toward the ceiling over and over until the woman aborted the fetus. Ryu helped clean up the blood afterwards. "The guards said they hated Chinese babies," says Ryu. "The North Koreans hate the Chinese now, because they are rich and betrayed socialism."
China has been cracking down on North Koreans trying to cross the border into China. But official corruption in China is sufficiently widespread that black market forces will probably prevail over official policy as a consequence of the rising buying power of single men desperate for wives.
Ms Kim was picked up a year after getting married and giving birth to a daughter. Her new family pleaded for her release, arguing that the baby needed her mother because she was still breastfeeding. Ms Kim says they paid a 10,000RMB bribe for her freedom. Three years later she is well established and has a residence permit.
Chinese men will pressure the Chinese government to allow North Korean women to pass into China. The Chinese government will see these women as a source of women to reduce the frustrations of single men who can not find Chinese wives. Chinese leaders are going to have to weigh the foreign policy and domestic policy consequences of their border policy with North Korea. If they continue to clamp down this may just encourage more corruption.
Chinese money is also going to flow to North Korean border guards and officials and corrupt them as well. This is already happening. So the North Korean guards are not all immune to the enticements of cash in exchange for looking the other way. As living standards rise in China and the female shortage worsens the amount of money available for smuggling women out of North Korea will rise.
The shortage of women in China may end up posing an existential threat to the Pyongyang regime more powerful than anything US policy makers are likely to do. North Korean leaders might react to this threat by engaging in market liberalization reforms aimed at raising North Korean living standards enough to reduce the level of desperation of North Korean women.
The regime in North Korea faces a more general economic threat from China because of rising wages in China. The higher the wages go the greater the incentive for Northeast China factory managers and other businesses to turn to the black market to supply cheap North Korean labor. This will pull both men and women out of North Korea. Will that destabilize the regime more or less than the selective removal of women from North Korea?
Why does this site show photos that depict brutality? Get real, man! Because reality is brutal.
Guernsey, Iowa: A Penis Enlargement Technique That Works-And Is Only Kind of Terrifying
Ernesto L. Easterday 3626 Pyramid Valley Road Guernsey, IA 50172
Things are looking up for guys in the market for a penis enlargement. It appears some researchers from Korea University have found a method that is actually effective—and you don't even have to reply to some sketchy spam email to get it. The results of their research were recently published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, and it turns out they used the same thing some ladies use for their faces, Restylane. After injecting Restylane into 50 men's penises, they found that there was average increase in circumference (or girth) of 4 cm. That increase still held 18 months later.
The procedure was definitely not without its drawbacks. It required them to use a "hefty" needle to inject an average of 20.5 cc of the Restylane, which is a little under an ounce, using "a back-and-forth technique" into the deep soft tissue layers of the penis. Ouch! But it didn't end there, "the product was then ‘homogenized with a roller.'" That sounds deeply unpleasant—though it's definitely better than surgery and certainly faster than using a penis extender.
For the current legal systems in the Western World, and for the mainstream media anyway, doing physical harm to men, or killing them, is peanuts. A woman who kills her sexual partner always gets full sympathy. Never mind what kind of bitch she is.
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