Dogs, People Best at Securing Mass Transit
"Within hours of the London bombings, a renewed call went up for the United States to use its considerable technology heft to prevent similar attacks on the nation's transit system.
"[U.S.] public transit's chief lobbyist said its members need $6 billion to upgrade security, and Congress is expected to increase funding in the coming weeks. Sensing opportunity, some technology companies aggressively advertised their potential to create gadgets to detect bombs and chemical and biological weapons.
"But ideas such as smoke-detector-like devices sounding an alarm when a bomb-porting terrorist enters a train station are years and billions of dollars from fruition - if ever. The best current defenses for the country's subways, buses and trains, security experts say, remain decidedly low tech: human vigilance and bomb-sniffing dogs."
I still think they should consider usin' us little guys.
First, we take up a whole hell of a lot less room, especially on public transport. Second, we can get into all the small spaces those big hulks can't reach. Not every terrorist is gonna' leave his knapsack lyin' conveniently on top of or in front of a seat. We terriers are bred to "go to ground." (Terra--earth--terriers--get it?) We could crawl the whole length of a bus or train car--or even a plane--checkin' under the seats lookin' for the teeniest little package. Well--other terriers might. I don't do the crawl-through-old-chewing gum-squashed bugs-and-baby-spitup scene. Bet they could convince a Jack Russell to do it, though, if they could be convinced not to brag about it all over town.
Double brwaaaappzth! for ignorin' my warnin' 'bout fe-lyings…
Plague-infected cats cause worry in Wyoming
"A local cat was diagnosed with plague Friday — the fourth in southern Wyoming this year — and public health officials warned that people should take precautions to protect their pets and themselves…
"In many parts of the West, plague is endemic in the fleas infesting rodent populations. The disease can jump to other animals, including humans, if they come into contact with infected fleas. Researchers speculate that the infected cats probably caught or ate infected rodents…
"I think this is just going to be the tip of the iceberg," [Gus] Lopez [director of the Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department] said. "And what really concerns me is these cases with cats right now really increase the risk of human exposure."… An infected cat might bring infected fleas into a home; it might also infect people by biting, scratching or coughing. "That's very, very dangerous, because the disease progresses very rapidly in that situation," [Ken] Gage [of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Fort Collins, CO] said.
And triple brwaaaappzth! even tho' it's an old story (dug up at Instapundit).
"They may look like lovable pets but Britain’s estimated 9m domestic cats are being blamed by scientists for infecting up to half the population with a parasite that can alter people’s personalities…"
No surprise the French have more infected people than anyone else.
"The [Stanley Research Medical Institute of Maryland] institute has already published research showing that people infected with the toxoplasma parasite are at greater risk of developing schizophrenia and manic depression…"
Makin' 'em greater risks to develop into, oh, say, homicide bombers?
"Toxoplasma moves in a natural cycle between rats and cats. Rats acquire it from contact with cat faeces and cats reacquire it from hunting infected rats. It has long been known that humans can become infected with the parasite through close contact with cats."
Lie down with fe-lyings… Heh.
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