Archive for August, 2009

An ostrich egg painted with a portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is pictured in a gift shop in Salzburg January 27, 2006.

Tue Aug 18, 12:11 pm ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The death of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at the age of 35 may have been caused by complications stemming from strep throat, according to a Dutch study published on Monday. Since the composer’s death in 1791, there have been various theories about the cause of his untimely end, from intentional poisoning, to rheumatic fever, to trichinosis, a parasitic disease caused by eating raw or undercooked pork.

On his death certificate it was officially recorded that the cause of death was hitziges Frieselfieber, or “heated miliary fever,” referring to a rash that looks like millet seeds.

But researchers from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands said studies on his death have generally been based on less-than-reliable evidence, like accounts from people who witnessed Mozart’s final days, written decades after his death.

Their new study, reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine, was based on information from official death registers for Vienna in the winter of 1791 that places Mozart’s death in a wider context. He died in Vienna.

“Our findings suggest that Mozart fell victim to an epidemic of strep throat infection that was contracted by many Viennese people in Mozart’s month of death, and that Mozart was one of several persons in that epidemic that developed a deadly kidney complication,” researcher Richard Zegers, of the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, told Reuters Health.

Zegers and his colleagues said this “minor epidemic” of step throat, or streptococcal pharyngitis, may have begun in the city’s military hospital.

According to witness accounts, Mozart fell ill with an “inflammatory fever,” which is consistent with strep throat, Zegers and his colleagues wrote in their report.

The composer, who wrote more than 600 works during his life, eventually developed severe swelling, “malaise,” back pain and a rash, consistent with a strep infection leading to kidney inflammation known as glomerulonephritis.

Zegers said it was also possible that Mozart had scarlet fever, which, like strep throat, can be caused by infection with streptococcal bacteria, but this was less likely because witnesses said Mozart developed a rash near the end of his illness and with scarlet fever, the rash appears early on.

(Reporting by Amy Norton from Reuters Health, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

source: news.yahoo.com


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Cincinneti, Ohio

自David 到Cincinneti當住院醫師兩年了,我們都還沒去那找過他。明年他約一滿,就要搬離 Cincinneti了。一直想找機會去那走走,但老是剛好有事耽擱。Cincinneti每年在這個時候都有Western & Southern Financial Group所主辦的網球賽,各國選手都會來,據說是美國公開賽的指標賽。Jason很想去看,於是買了半決賽及決賽的門票,也順道去看看David所居住的環境。

Cincinneti的downtown看起來很不錯,現代大樓林立,但並沒有我想相中的像New York or Chicago那樣熱鬧繁華,假日在街上居然沒什麼人。不過蠻特別的是那裡有許許多多的教堂,其中不少是華麗的天主教堂。也有許多古色古香的建築物呢!

Church of St. Francis XavierIMG_0754

Church of St. Francis Xavier的內部,剛好有婚禮正在進行IMG_0772




St. Adams Church


Fountain Square


我們跨過一條橋就到肯達基州 Kentucky State的 Newport了


Jason & David 晚上去拍的夜景,據說這條橋是紐約大橋的實驗品


P & G寶僑大樓


我若沒記錯的話,這好像是他們的city hall,好像在童話世界中才看得到的房子






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TAIPEI — Two senior Taiwanese officials offered to resign Wednesday to take responsibility for the slow emergency response to Typhoon Morakot, but the government’s display of remorse — including several apologies from President Ma Ying-jeow — showed few signs of calming public anger.

Some analysts say the government’s lack of decisiveness in handling the aftermath of the typhoon, which killed hundreds in mountain villages, could make it harder for Mr. Ma to sell his agenda of rapprochement with China to skeptical legislators and the public.

A Village No More


AFP/Getty Images: President Ma Ying-jeou hugs a mourning relative during a visit to the village of Shiao Lin in Kaohsiung county, southern Taiwan, Wednesday.

Minister of National Defense Chen Chao-min and Cabinet Secretary-General Hsueh Hsiang-chuan gave spoken offers to resign. The typhoon, which killed 136 people and 386 are still missing, caused about $2 billion in damages.

On Tuesday, another senior official, Vice Foreign Minister Andrew Hsia, offered to resign over criticism of the ministry’s initial rejection of overseas offers of aid.

Premier Liu Chao-shiuan reiterated Wednesday that a cabinet reshuffle wouldn’t be discussed before early September. None of the resignations would be dealt with before then, he said.

The military has been harshly criticized for assigning only 8,000 personnel to rescue work after the typhoon dumped more than 80 inches of rain in southern Taiwan over the weekend of Aug. 8, trapping thousands of villagers in mudslides. After they realized the scale of the disaster, military leaders assigned more than 55,000 troops to the effort.

Mr. Ma, who won election last year with more than 58% of the vote, has apologized several times. In a Tuesday news conference aiming at defending his leadership, he said his administration will investigate officials who failed to perform.

But Mr. Ma’s assurances appear to have failed to win over the public. According to a poll conducted by the pro-government United Daily News and published Wednesday, 46% of people said they had no confidence in the government’s capability to handle the reconstruction efforts, while Mr. Ma’s approval rating dropped to a record low of 29%.

The public doesn’t trust his leadership anymore,” said Antonio Chiang, a deputy secretary-general of the National Security Council in the previous government.

source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125070590457643725.html#articleTabs%3Darticle

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By DEBBY WU, Associated Press Writer Debby Wu, Associated Press Writer Tue Aug 18, 7:19 am ET

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou defended his handling of Typhoon Morakot, saying Tuesday that he was still a strong leader despite the resignation of a senior official in the wake of criticism of the government response to the disaster.

The storm hit Taiwan 11 days ago, causing more than 400 deaths and property damage in excess of $2 billion. Friends and foes alike have blamed Ma for reacting too slowly in dealing with Morakot’s aftermath, saying that his weak leadership — including an initial rejection of foreign aid — let down the people of the island.

But in comments Tuesday, Ma rejected those claims out of hand.

“I have exercised strong leadership throughout this process by ordering the armed forces to increase their participation in the disaster rescue operation,” he said.

Ma said that he would likely accept the resignation of Vice Foreign Minister Andrew Hsia, who offered to step down late Monday to take responsibility for his agency’s rejection of aid from other governments after Morakot hit.

The Foreign Ministry initially instructed Taiwanese missions abroad to reject offers of aid but reversed the decision five days after the storm hit.

Still the criticism is mounting. An editorial in Taiwan’s normally pro-Ma China Times newspaper Tuesday said Morakot highlighted fundamental flaws in the president’s role as a leader.

“(Ma) has been distant and arrogant, and he has only made (victims) more angry instead of comforting them,” the newspaper said. “Second, he is not fast enough in his judgment … he has not shown decisiveness required in a leader when facing a sudden disaster.”

Some lawmakers from the ruling Nationalist Party echoed the China Times claim.

“Ma’s problems are that he appointed unsuitable people to senior positions, and he failed to declare the disaster a national emergency, which prevented the military to be mobilized right away,” said lawmaker Chiu Yi.

Colleague Lu Hsueh-chang said Ma’s Cabinet appeared totally unprepared to cope with Morakot’s fury.

“The Cabinet did not show any empathy and it was too careless,” he said. “It was unforgivable that the Cabinet did not make any move during the first hours after the typhoon hit.”

Meanwhile, a U.S. relief team backed by heavy-lift helicopters stepped up its efforts Tuesday to help local authorities get aid to the hundreds of people thought to be stranded in mountain villages.

Relying mainly on 70 Taiwanese choppers, local rescuers have already ferried more than 35,000 villagers to safety, many stranded in and around 44 hard-hit mountain communities, cut off from the outside world after roads and bridges were washed away by Morakot’s fury.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Tai Chan-te said more than 200 people were rescued Monday but could not give an estimate of how many still needed aid. Officials said late Sunday that at least 1,000 people were still stranded.

In addition to the damage it wrought on Taiwan, Morakot also caused 22 fatalities in the Philippines and eight in China.

That figure does not include the 22 seaman China’s official Xinhua News Agency says disappeared when their ship sank off Taiwanese waters on Aug. 8. The seaman were employed by a shipping company in eastern China, Xinhua says.

source: YAHOO英文版 http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090818/ap_on_re_as/as_asia_storm_140

Taiwan to Review Typhoon Response


TAIPEI — Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou defended his leadership amid criticism of the government’s response to Typhoon Morakot, but said his administration will investigate and hold accountable any officials who failed to perform.

In two news conferences Tuesday — one in English, one in Chinese — Mr. Ma acknowledged that the typhoon will hurt the island’s economic performance in the current quarter.

The storm — the island’s worst in 50 years — dumped almost 80 inches of rain in southern Taiwan over the weekend of Aug. 8, killing hundreds of people in mountain villages. Mr. Ma said the death toll is now 434 people.

Mr. Ma said his administration will conduct a review of the storm response, to be completed by early September, to identify any errors. “We will have a review of the performance of the government to make sure to identify the mistakes,” he said.

“Then we will start the investigation and punishment process,” he added.

Mr. Ma’s comments came as the first senior official in the government stepped down over the handling of the typhoon. Vice Foreign Minister Andrew Hsia resigned over criticism of the ministry’s initial rejection of foreign aid offers. Politicians from Mr. Ma’s own party, as well as from the opposition, have urged Mr. Ma to shuffle his cabinet in the aftermath of the disaster.

At the news conference in Chinese, aimed at local media, the president and four other senior officials bowed for 10 seconds in front of cameras to demonstrate contrition. Mr. Ma blamed the weather for the delay in the rescue mission during the storm’s aftermath, and strongly defended his leadership and his administration’s efforts.

“The heavy rain prevented the rescuers from having access to the mountain area,” Mr. Ma said. “We did try our best.”

An editorial in Taiwan’s normally pro-Ma China Times newspaper on Tuesday said Typhoon Morakot highlighted fundamental flaws in the president’s role as a leader.

Mr. Ma said the toll included 248 residents missing around the village of Shiao Lin, which was largely buried by a landslide. Taiwan’s National Fire Agency on Tuesday listed 128 people confirmed killed, with 307 still missing. There was no explanation for the one-person discrepancy in the toll given by Mr. Ma and the one given by the fire agency. In the wake of the catastrophe, Mr. Ma said Taiwan will spend $300 million to buy rescue helicopters and related equipment, while its military will adopt new strategies and tactics to respond to natural disasters. The money was originally allocated to buy 15 Black Hawk helicopters from the U.S., to be part of the island’s defense against longtime rival China, with which relations have improved significantly under Mr. Ma.

AFP/Getty Images:A mother and child receive water as they arrive by helicopter at the typhoon rescue centre in Chiashien, in southern Taiwan’s Kaohsiung county on Aug. 17.

“Now our enemy is not necessarily people across the Taiwan Strait, but nature,” Mr. Ma said. The government will allocate an additional 70 billion New Taiwan dollars (US$2.13 billion) for relief and reconstruction work. More than 60 countries have donated about $2 million in cash and other relief supplies.

U.S. military helicopters, including two MH-53Es and two MH-60s, Tuesday joined the rescue operation and lifted excavation equipment into isolated areas that have been cut off by floods. The four helicopters took off, in waters near southern Taiwan, from the USS Denver, a cruiser based in Okinawa, Japan, said Christopher Kavanagh, spokesman of the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. embassy on the island.

A team of five from the European Union’s Monitoring and Information Centre arrived Monday to assess future needs of Taiwan, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

source: 華爾街日報 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125057306708139361.html?mod=sphere_ts&mod=sphere_wd

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Taiwan’s leader takes blame for typhoon response


Hundreds stranded in typhoon-hit Taiwan


President Ma says sorry again for typhoon response


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Typhoon death toll mounts as mud, water block rescuers

(CNN) — Roads covered with mud, debris and floodwater foiled rescuers trying Wednesday to reach mountain villages in southern Taiwan, the area hardest hit by Typhoon Morakot, a spokesman for the nation’s disaster-prevention agency said.

Rescuers and soldiers try to cross a swollen river in Kaohsiung County, Taiwan, on Wednesday.

Rescuers and soldiers try to cross a swollen river in Kaohsiung County, Taiwan, on Wednesday.

Leng Chia-yu said that by late Wednesday, the government had counted 103 deaths, 61 people missing and 45 injured from the storm, which dumped up to 83 inches of rain on some parts of the island, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In Kaohsiung County, a group of firefighters marched for eight hours to reach remote villages where they delivered food and supplies, said Taiwan Red Cross spokesman Christian Li.

The organization has been helping the government dispense food, water and other necessities from a central command center, where helicopters are loaded up for their humanitarian missions, he said.

One pilot said helicopters rescued 115 people Wednesday, far short of the goal of 350.

Shu Yue Hao told CNN she was forced to flee her home in the village of Jia Mu after rain inundated it and seven other houses. Appearing tired, she was taken to a rescue shelter.

“I leave everything up to God,” she said.

Earlier in the day, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou toured the Jiadong and Linbian townships in Pingtung County. He later visited Kaohsiung County, where a wall of mud inundated and cut off the village of Shiaolin.

Most of the missing are from Kaohsiung County, said Leng, a section chief for the National Disaster Prevention and Protection Commission.

In Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s Interior Ministry said Wednesday, 200 people were trapped in the village of Namahsia and 38 — including 18 who were injured — were rescued by helicopter, while in the village of Maolin, where 200 to 300 people were feared trapped, rescue workers were forced to suspend operations because of bad weather.

The ministry also reported Wednesday that 1,500 people were in urgent need of aid in Liugui in Kaohsiung County. It said the air force had rescued 14 people from that village, including one who was injured.

Ma instructed government officials to “put themselves in the shoes of the victims who are suffering as a result of the disaster,” according to an online news release from his office. “He urged everyone to do their best in carrying out the enormous job of reconstruction in the days ahead.” 

Ma showed special concern for Shiaolin, because of the severe damage.

“Therefore, the president said he is monitoring the situation with a heavy heart,” the news release said.

The president asked that special attention be paid to soil composition when structures are built.

“Higher construction standards should be put in place so that a major flood in the future will not result in such extreme destruction,” he said.

Leng said Ma visited the emergency operations center in Taipei the first few nights after the typhoon started impacting the island overnight Friday into Saturday.

The bodies of three people aboard a helicopter that crashed Tuesday in the mountains of Pingtung County were recovered Wednesday, the National News Agency reported.

Taiwan’s semi-official Central News Agency reported earlier that as many as 700 people were stranded. 

The emergency center said 10,944 people had been relocated. It said Taiwan had opened 151 shelters that were housing 8,338 displaced people. Others are thought to have sought shelter with relatives and friends.

Taiwan’s postal service announced Wednesday that all aid donations sent to Red Cross branches and the governments of Pingtung and Taitung counties would be delivered free until August 20.

After hitting Taiwan, Morakot roared on to mainland China and created chaos there, killing at least six people and displacing 1.4 million, authorities said.

source: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/weather/08/12/taiwan.typhoon/index.html?iref=newssearch

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Remembering the Detroit Riot of 1967

Detroit Riot of 1967One of the most profound events in Michigan’s history is the Detroit Riot of 1967. Wikipedia’s 12th Street Riot entry explains:

The 12th Street Riot was a civil disturbance in Detroit that began in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 23, 1967. Vice squad officers executed a raid at a blind pig, or speakeasy, on the corner of 12th Street and Clairmount on the city’s near westside. The confrontation with the patrons there evolved into one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in modern U.S. history, lasting five days and far surpassing the 1943 riot the city endured. Before the end, the state and federal governments, under order of then President Lyndon B. Johnson, sent in National Guard and U.S. Army troops. The result was forty-three dead, 467 injured, over 7,200 arrests and more than 2,000 buildings burned down.

The best media I came across is Ashes to Hope: Overcoming the Detroit Riots from Michigan Radio (tip: open in a new tab and listen while you check out the other photos & stories).. This 2007 feature marking the 40th anniversary opens with recollections from John Conyers, Phillip Hewitt and Ronald Nye and delivers a frank look at various aspects of the riot – some say rebellion – and its aftermath from people who experienced it. I heartily recommend you click the link and listen to the whole thing. NPR’s Riots Rocked Detroit 40 Years Ago Today has more recollections as does this Detroit News forum featuring letters from Detroit residents.

Here’s an ABC News feature below, but the best video I found is Detroit Riot 1967/ Mr. Jacobs by KeylaBb (more videos under Related Videos at that link).:

The video features the song Black Day in July by Gordon Lightfoot which was banned in the US. Detroit Riot, July 1967 on Michigan in Pictures this morning has this listing of photos:

source: absolute michigan– http://www.absolutemichigan.com/dig/michigan/remembering-the-detroit-riot-of-1967/

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