Thursday, April 30, 2009

CM PRESS # 681

She didn't avoid black attacker because she "didn't want to seem racist."
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As we've written many times before, we hope the Daily Pilot stays afloat. We really like having a newspaper here that links Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. It's a halo effect that CM needs.

Maybe the folks at the Pilot really will have something good when they unveil the changes they've been trumpeting. We hope so.

What we're mostly seeing in the paper these days--to judge from the Internet version--are very slow moving and often boring stories, puff pieces about restaurants that look to us to be little more than unpaid (unpaid to the newspaper, that is) ads written by publicists, and an occasional grade school level column about all things Latino.

Speaking of publicists. I used to know a guy who did that on the side in a big city. He'd charge restaurants a small amount--$50 to $ 100 bucks--for every time he got their names mentioned in a newspaper.

Then, he'd call up his pal who wrote a regular about town column for the major newspaper and give him some short blurb about how so and so was seen at_________(fill in the name of the restaurant) so that it sounded newsworthy or he'd give his pal a blurb about something that was overheard (often a joke) at__________(again, fill in the name of the restaurant).

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Go forth and multiply is the basic program of all living things. Failure to do so leads to extinction.

Influenza viruses have their genetic code in RNA rather than DNA (the code is in DNA for humans, by contrast). When DNA mutates, it has ways to correct the mistakes (which is what a mutation is), but RNA does not have a way to correct the mistakes.

This means that the flu virus mutates at a very fast rate as principles of natural selection and survival of the fittest work themselves out within the viruses.

The flu viruses use the hosts' DNA to replicate themselves. As they replicate and spread, they continue mutating in order to survive. Some survive,and make more of themselves, many die off. The ones that survive are, by definition, the fittest.

We are seeing evolution at quick-time happening in the bodies of the infected.

This particular flu, which is incorrectly being called the Swine Flu, apparently is carrying bits of genetic code from swine, birds and humans. BTW, there are also dog and horse and other types of flu, but at present we have no indication that this flu is infecting them. The CM PRESS is calling this new flu the Mexican Flu (as are some European nations) because of its apparent point of origin and main area of infection.

The fear is that the Mexican Flu will mutate to a very deadly strain that we can't kill.

You might say that this isn't a very smart survival strategy for the flu since if it kills a host, the flu virus inside the host also dies.

However, remember that this flu can live within swine, birds and humans. And of these three, the only real enemy it has--apart from the immune systems of swine and birds--are humans, who can, in addition to their own immune systems, invent ways to kill the virus. Thus, if the virus can kill off all human beings, it wins. This is because it still has other animals in which to live. It doesn't need human beings in order to survive.

Survival of the fittest isn't about individuals (whether we're talking about a virus or a human being) but about the code the individuals carry that make those individuals part of a particular group of living things. Nature plays the percentages.

Are viruses living things?
It depends on the definition of life that is used. They can't reproduce on their own without a host, so at least one definition would say they're not alive. However, they have found a way to reproduce by using a host, so other, and perhaps more accurate, definitions say they are living things.
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Refuses to be browbeaten by gays. Maybe she understands the basic program of all living things as written in the article above.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

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