Latest News and Views

photo:Michael Hernandez

Last chance to sway judge on whether City College should close

Note: This article by Nanette Asimov links to SFGate.com.

The controversy surrounding an accrediting commission's decision to revoke the certification of City College of San Francisco may be nearing a close as Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow prepares to issue a decision this month. This long-broiling saga took an interesting turn in June when an investigation revealed bias and sneaky politics underfoot on the part of the group responsible for accrediting community colleges. According to the S.F. Chronicle, "The California state auditor slammed the commission trying to revoke accreditation from City College of San Francisco... confirming accusations from faculty critics that it treats other colleges more leniently, is too secretive, and imposes sanctions significantly more often than do other accrediting commissions around the country." Regardless, if the commission's decision to revoke is upheld by the judge, then City College may have to close. Alternatively, a two-year extension may be granted, giving administrators time to clean up alleged deficiencies.

NIAID
Filaments of ebola attached to a cell.

Ebola 'Secret Serum': Small Biopharma, The Army, And Big Tobacco

Note: This article links to Forbes.com

The experimental Ebola drug ZMapp is the product of a "convoluted convergence of U.S. and Canadian federal agencies and industrial partners that's typical for treatments of potential value against biowarfare and bioterrorism," according to this 8/5/14 article in Forbes. "The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) has been a critical driver of much of this work as they maintain biosafety level-4 facilities in Frederick, Maryland, and have extensive expertise with non-human primates as a model for human infectious diseases." The research and development of ZMapp and related drugs described here calls to mind Leonard Horowitz's 1996 book, Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola - Nature, Accident or Intentional. (A video broadcast from Dr. Horowitz took place in August.) For more background, see also The City Edition's 2006 article about Liberia and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, "Sometimes You Win."

BBC graphic

Restoring Your Vision Without Glasses or Surgery

Back in the 1920's, Dr. William Bates developed an approach to correcting eyesight that unfortunately, never caught on with the medical establishment. Yet by following a series of simple techniques, you can get back your 20/20 vision and leave the spectacles behind. Here's a look at how it's done, along with alternative solutions to cataract surgery.

Fracking The Eagle Ford Shale: Big Oil And Bad Air On The Texas Prairie

This article links to insideclimatenews.com.

An investigative report and documentary released by the Weather Channel and Center for Public Integrity exposes the ill health effects of oil and natural gas drilling technology on nearby communities. While much attention to date had been centered on earthquakes and groundwater contamination caused by fracking, relatively little was known about air quality concerns. The results of this year-long study appear to counter repeated assurances by state health officials that residents have nothing to worry about.

Aliens Without Borders: Piecing Together Extraterrestrial Disaster Relief Efforts from the Past, Future...

When Erich von Daniken published his controversial book Chariots of the Gods in 1968, he didn't know about the predictions for 2012. Today, the possibility that aliens traveled here in the past to launch a sort of Marshall Plan for human civilization takes on a whole new meaning. This in-depth report presents evidence of a much more complicated past than the one still being taught in our history books.

Pandemics, E.coli, Vector-Borne Illness and Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

As dramatized in the film Contagion, the potential for out-of-control epidemics looms ominously on the horizon. Here's a closer look at the scary world of epidemiology, with plenty of tips to help you steer clear of infection and illness.

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Tutorial: Making Pottery and Ceramics from Scratch

Clay is not only used for pots and cups, but for tooth crowns and fillings, water filters, plumbing, roof and floor tiles. Here's the internet's first in-depth how-to guide on how to find clay in nature, shape it into useful objects, then fire it in a primitive kiln.

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On the Trail of Yosemite's Monopoly Concessionaire

It happens only once every 15 years or so, and the last time it drove environmentalists into a state of apoplexy. That would be the award of the big contract to run Yosemite's lodgings, restaurants and other tourist services. It turns out, the Sierra Club and other nonprofits have cause to be concerned. In 1993, the Department of Interior may have secretly maneuvered to place the contract into the lap of Delaware North Companies, which is run by a billionaire with former ties to notorious gangsters. Bidding on the new contract was supposed to take effect in September 2011, but has been delayed again and again. Which begs the question: Is DNC the Halliburton of the National Park Service?

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Special Features:

The Mega-Disaster Planner

There may be no time like the present to plan for the bumpy road that lies ahead. How will humans survive without electricity if a solar flare disables satellites and the power grid? Will an eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano, more catastrophic weather, the economic meltdown and another terrorist attack combine to deliver a knockout punch to life as we know it? Here's a comprehensive guide to prepare you for the worst case scenario in the event that some of the dire predictions for 2012 and beyond are realized.

Apocalypse Soon? Exploring the History, Science and Predictions

Since the History Channel began its evocative series outlining the case for an apocalypse in 2012 (or sometime after), people have been scrambling to find out more about the environmental equation, as well as prophecies from the past and world-ending catastrophes like the Great Flood. Here's an explanation of the who, what, when, where and how of various doomsday theories.

Half Dome

Yosemite Trekker - A Photo Journal

The City Edition travels through Yosemite Valley and parts of the High Sierras to get up close and personal with the geology, wildlife, tourists and park employees. Read the commentary and check out the photos. There's also a one-stop guide to help you plan your next trip, learn about volunteer opportunities or apply for a job at the park.

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