• What veterinarians know—and physicians might not—is that flu viruses prowl many animal populations besides pigs and birds. Specific strains of dog, whale, mink, and seal flu have all been identified. Given the opportunity, they could blend with the human strain. Although these volatile viruses haven’t, as of this writing, crossed over into human populations, they are being closely tracked by veterinary epidemiologists.
    The 2009 swine flu outbreak was but the latest wave in an ocean of diseases emerging from the jungle, the factory farm, the beach, the backyard bird feeder … perhaps even the doghouse and the litter box. The avian flu scare of 2005, the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) panic of 2003, the monkeypox eruption the same year, the Ebola worry of 1996, the mad cow terror in Great Britain in the late 1980s—exotic zoonoses are nothing new. Think of a big, infectious killer and it’s probably zoonotic, spread or harbored by other animals. Malaria. Yellow fever. HIV. Rabies. Lyme disease. Toxoplasmosis. Salmonella. E. coli. These all started in animals and then jumped into our species. Some spread to us via insects like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. Others move around in feces and meat. In some cases, the pathogens leave their animal reservoir, mutate, and evolve into bespoke superbugs especially tailored for human-to-human spread.
    The E. coli–tainted fresh baby spinach that killed three North Americans and sickened more than two hundred in 2006 was traced to the feces of wild pigs in the fields. One of the world’s worst outbreaks of the eerily named Q fever struck the Netherlands in the late 2000s.‡ Thirteen people died and thousands fell ill from the bacterial infection that spread to humans from infected goats on nearby farms.
  • 456 syf.
    ·3 günde·Beğendi·9/10
    This book is brilliant. It is a work of genius. It works on so many levels. Most of all, though, the entire book is a brilliant joke. Plus, if you've ever wanted to know what it takes to become the world's hottest lover and most kick-ass ninja-style assassin, then Shibumi lets you in on the secret. First, you need to learn to play Go well; then you have to become fluent in Basque.
    Nicholai Hel is the world’s most wanted man. Born in Shanghai during the chaos of World War I, he is the son of an aristocratic Russian mother and a mysterious German father and is the protégé of a Japanese Go master. Hel survived the destruction of Hiroshima to emerge as the world’s most artful lover and its most accomplished—and well-paid—assassin. Hel is a genius, a mystic, and a master of language and culture, and his secret is his determination to attain a rare kind of personal excellence, a state of effortless perfection known only as shibumi.

    Now living in an isolated mountain fortress with his exquisite mistress, Hel is unwillingly drawn back into the life he’d tried to leave behind when a beautiful young stranger arrives at his door, seeking help and refuge. It soon becomes clear that Hel is being tracked by his most sinister enemy—a supermonolith of international espionage known only as the Mother Company. The battle lines are drawn: ruthless power and corruption on one side, and on the other .
    Trevanian’s view point of Japanese vs US perspective is very enlightening and well done. Some of his observations of US perspectives are extremely insightful and amusing at the same time.
    It is an excellent book by a man who was an outstanding writer. Memorable characters (Le Cagot is a favorite), true depictions of the geography involved, riveting and believable plot lines. Read it, you will not be disappointed.
  • Alone and lost
    between the darkness.

    Alone and lost
    we are the same.
  • Home is not where you are from, it is where you belong. Some of us travel the whole world to find it. Others find it in a person.
  • In India lives a bird that is unique:
    The lovely phoenix has a long, hard beak
    Pierced with a hundred holes, just like a flute --
    It has no mate, its reign is absolute.
    Each opening has a different sound; each sound
    Means something secret, subtle and profound --
    And as these shrill, lamenting notes are heard,
    A silence falls on every listening bird;
    Even the fish grow still. It was from this
    Sad chant a sage learnt music’s artifice.
    The phoenix’ life endures a thousand years
    And, long before, he knows when death appears;
    When death’s sharp pangs assail his tiring heart,
    And all signs tell him he must now depart,
    He builds a pyre from logs and massy trees
    And from its centre sings sad threnodies --
    Each plaintive note trills out, from each pierced hole
    Comes evidence of his untarnished soul --
    Now like a mourner’s ululating cries,
    Now with an inward care the cadence dies --
    And as he sings of death, death’s bitter grief
    Thrills through him and he trembles like a leaf.
    Then drawn to him by his heart-piercing calls
    The birds approach, and savage animals --
    They watch, and watching grief; each in his mind
    Determines he will leave the world behind.
    Some weep in sympathy and some grow faint;
    Some die to hear his passionate complaint.
    So death draws near, and as the phoenix sings
    He fans the air with his tremendous wings,
    A flame darts out and licks across the pyre --
    Now wood and phoenix are a raging fire,
    Which slowly sinks from that first livid flash
    To soft, collapsing charcoal, then to ash:
    The pyre’s consumed -- and from the ashy bed
    A little phoenix pushes up its head.
    What other creature can -- throughout the earth --
    After death takes him, to himself give birth?
    If you were given all the phoenix’ years,
    Still you would have to die when death appears.
    For years he sings in solitary pain
    And must companionless, unmated, reign;
    No children cheer his age and at his death
    His ash is scattered by the wind’s cold breath.
    Now understand that none, however sly,
    Can slip past death’s sharp claws -- we all must die;
    None is immortal in the world’s vast length;
    This wonder shows no creature has the strength
    To keep death’s ruthless vehemence in check --
    But we must soften his imperious neck;
    Though many tasks will fall to us, this task
    Remains the hardest that the Way will ask.
    Feridüddin Attar
    Sayfa 117 - Penguin Classics/2315-33