Artorius Castus

Artorius Castus Denies Involvement in Rocket Mishap

Posted in Uncategorized by Patrick Truax on May 27, 2008

[Redacted] 27 May 08

Moving quickly to dispel rumors of Artorius involvement in an ALLEGED rocket mishap, the secretive organization issued a brief, if not terse, statement:

“Artorius Space Flight Center has been shut down due to heavy flooding which started two months ago. All of Artorius ICBMs, SAMs, and Satellite Launch Vehicles, are accounted for in the massive Hangar 18 at KAFC, and for the most part, in various stages of re-assembly.”

“Hell, they aren’t even fueled yet!” claimed an indignant engineer when queried by FOX as to the status of the declared Artorius rockets.

The rumors started after FOX aired this story

Phone calls to other divisions of the influential Defense Conglomerate went unanswered.

Photobucket The powerful company did, however, provide pictures of the Rockets dismantled status

PhotobucketDismantled MIRV


PhotobucketUnusable Launch pads at Hangar 18

When questioned as to whether these were stock photos, the company representative hung up. Stay tuned for more as the story develops..


USMC Silent Drill Platoon

Posted in Uncategorized by Patrick Truax on May 26, 2008

Having never served, I can only Honor and offer Gratitude. Thanks, Dad, Jim, Elizabeth, Mark, Tim, and all else who put themselves in harms way in service of our Great Nation. Happy Memorial Day!

Experimental Agent Blocks Prostate Cancer In Animal Study

Posted in Uncategorized by Patrick Truax on May 24, 2008

Science Daily(May 24, 2008)

An experimental drug has blocked the progression of prostate cancer in an animal model with an aggressive form of the disease, new research shows.

The agent, OSU-HDAC42, belongs to a new class of drugs called histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, compounds designed to reactivate genes that normally protect against cancer but are turned off by the cancer process.

The study, conducted by the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers who also developed the drug, showed that the agent kept mice with a precancerous condition from developing advanced prostate cancer.

Instead, the animals either remained at the precancerous stage, called prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), or they developed benign enlargements of the prostate called adenomas. The main side effect of the treatment was a reversible shrinkage of the testicles.

Of the animals not given the drug, 74 percent developed advanced prostate cancer.

The findings are reported in the May 15 issue of the journal Cancer Research. Human testing of the compound is expected to begin early next year.

“This study shows that an agent with a specific molecular target can dramatically inhibit prostate cancer development in an aggressive model of the disease,” says coauthor Dr. Steven Clinton, director of the prostate and genitourinary oncology clinic at Ohio State’s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. “We hope to see this agent in clinical trials soon and ultimately used for prostate-cancer prevention or therapy.”

Furthermore, when the drug treatment was stopped after 24 weeks, two of the animals were followed for an additional 18 weeks. The animals developed adenomas but were alive after 42 weeks, well beyond their normal 32-week life span.

“The drug not only kept the animals cancer free, but also prolonged their life span,” says Ching-Shih Chen, who led the drug’s development and the new study at the Comprehensive Cancer Center. Chen is also professor of pharmacy and of internal medicine.

A veterinary pathologist on the study, first author Aaron Sargeant, graduate research associate in veterinary biosciences, was intrigued that adenomas occurred in the treated animals. “Adenomas are not commonly found to be part of prostate-cancer development in this system,” he says. “This drug appears to shift tumor progression from its usual aggressive course to a more benign direction.”

For this study, Chen, Sargeant, Clinton and their colleagues used a strain of transgenic mice that develops PIN at about six weeks of age, then progresses to advanced prostate cancer by 24 to 32 weeks.

The researchers added the drug to the diet of 23 of the cancer-prone mice beginning at six weeks of age, when the animals develop the precancerous condition, and continued the treatment for 18 weeks.

They then examined the animals. Of the treated mice, one showed signs of early stage cancer, but 12 still had only the precancerous condition and 10 had adenomas.

In contrast, 17 of 23 control animals developed advanced prostate cancer, two had early stage cancer, three had the precancerous condition and one an adenoma.

Experiments using a nontransgenic strain of the same mouse — they do not develop prostate cancer — showed that the degeneration of the testicles that accompanied the drug treatment was reversible when the drug treatment stops.

Chen noted that 186,320 cases of prostate cancer are expected this year, with 28,660 deaths from the disease. “Our findings are very exciting, considering that an agent capable of reducing prostate-cancer risk by only 10 percent could prevent 18,600 cases of the disease in the United States each year,” Chen says.

Funding from the National Cancer Institute, Department of Defense, William R. Hearst Foundation and the Prostate Cancer Foundation supported this research. Aaron Sargeant is supported by a fellowship from Schering Plough Research Institute organized by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and Society of Toxicologic Pathology Coalition for Veterinary Pathology Fellows.

U.S. and S. Korean Warmongers’ Saber-Rattling under Fire

Posted in Uncategorized by Patrick Truax on May 22, 2008

Pyongyang, May 20 (KCNA) — The U.S. and south Korean warmongers are staging joint military exercises, while separately escalating the war maneuvers. This comes under fire by a signed commentary of Minju Joson Tuesday.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula is inching closer to the brink of war due to the U.S. and south Korean war-thirsty forces’ frantic war exercises to invade the DPRK, the commentary says, and goes on:
What merits attention is that the moves of the U.S. and south Korean bellicose forces to provoke a war against the DPRK have become evermore pronounced since Lee Myung Bak came to power.
Lee is now rushing headlong into sycophancy toward the U.S. and confrontation with fellow countrymen while crying out for “tightened alliance” with the U.S. It is Lee group’s ulterior intention to help the U.S. strengthen its domination over south Korea and increase its dependence on the former and do harm to fellow countrymen in reliance upon its master.
The U.S. warmongers regarded the seizure of power by Lee as the best chance to keep south Korea as its permanent colony and conquer the whole of Korea. Precisely for this reason the U.S. bellicose forces upgraded south Korea’s status of purchasing American weaponry to the level of NATO and seek to use the puppet armed forces as a shock brigade and cannon fodder for a war of aggression against the DPRK, repeatedly delivering ultra-modern war equipment to south Korea and more frequently staging joint military exercises than ever before.
If the above-said saber-rattling is overlooked, it is as clear as noonday that the Korean nation can never escape a nuclear disaster. The army and people of the DPRK are keeping themselves fully ready to foil the U.S. and south Korean warmongers’ moves for a war of aggression against the DPRK.
The U.S. would be well advised to face up to the reality, drop its aggressive policy toward the DPRK and urgently withdraw its troops from south Korea.

Note the mention of nukes on the Korean Peninsula. I thought they had gotten rid of them all…

Korean Central News Agency via Japan

Swedish police hold two men over nuclear scare

Posted in Uncategorized by Patrick Truax on May 21, 2008

By Johan Ahlander

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Swedish police detained two men on suspicion of planning to sabotage a nuclear power station on Wednesday after one of them was discovered entering it with small amounts of a highly explosive material.

“Two men who were taken in for questioning this morning have now been detained on suspicion of preparing for sabotage,” said Kalmar County Police spokesman Sven-Erik Karlsson.

Police were alerted shortly before 8 a.m. by the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant on the southeast coast of Sweden. Initially, police only said they were interrogating one man.

“They told us a welder who was going to perform a job there had been stopped in a random security check. He had been carrying small amounts of the highly explosive material TATP,” Karlsson said.

TATP, or triacetone triperoxide, is extremely unstable, especially when subjected to heat, friction and shock.

The compound can be prepared in a home laboratory from easily available household chemicals. It has been used by suicide bombers in Israel and by Richard Reid, the thwarted British “shoebomber” who attempted to blow up a transatlantic airliner in 2001.

Police did not initially treat the men as criminal suspects.

“They were only being questioned in order to gather information,” Karlsson said. He said both were contract workers and one of them was previously known to police. He had no other details other than the years in which they were born, 1955 and 1962.


Police sealed off a 300-meter (330-yard) area around the substance and called in explosives technicians from Malmo, the nearest large city.

Oskarshamn, jointly owned by Germany’s E.ON and Finland’s Fortum, said in a statement on its Web site that it believed the reactor’s safety was never threatened.

An E.ON spokesman said the material had been found on or inside the first man’s bag. “What has happened is that a guy, a contractor, this morning came to the security check with a bag on which, or in which, there were traces of explosives,” E.ON spokesman Johan Aspegren said.

An official at the plant said the men had been at one of the plant’s three reactors, which had been shut for maintenance.

Professor Hans Michels, an explosives expert at Imperial College London, said TATP was mainly used as an initiator or “trigger explosive” to detonate a larger main charge.

He said four men who tried unsuccessfully to set off bombs on London transport in July 2005 had used detonators with 5-10 grams (0.18 to 0.35 oz) of TATP but failed to ignite the main charge of their devices.

Michels said TATP could also be used as a main charge, in which case he estimated that more than 100 grams (3.5 oz) of it would be needed to blow a hole in a heavy structure with an inchor more of high-quality steel.

“Normal explosive experts shun (TATP) because it’s very unstable, it’s dangerous and it’s not very pure. It tends to decompose,” Michels said.

An experienced British investigator, who asked not to be named, said it was possible for small traces of household products such as hair bleach to trigger positive readings when picked up by explosive-screening devices. Hair bleach commonly contains hydrogen peroxide, an ingredient in TATP.

Oskarshamn is one of three nuclear plants in Sweden that meet half the country’s power needs. Sweden’s nuclear industry has been hit by a series of mishaps in recent years, prompting the United Nations nuclear watchdog to call for safety measures.

The Swedish nuclear regulator said there has never been an incident involving sabotage of a Swedish nuclear plant, although last year a bomb threat was received at one facility and turned out to be false.

(Additional reporting by Anna Ringstrom, Victoria Klesty, Niklas Pollard in Stockholm, Mark Trevelyan in London and Wojciech Moskwa in Oslo, editing by Mark Trevelyan)

This article is noteworthy because of what it omits. See if you can figure it out..


Cynthia McKinney supports fight for water (interviewed by the Communist World Workers newspaper)

Posted in Uncategorized by Patrick Truax on May 21, 2008

By Cheryl LaBash
Published May 15, 2008 9:36 PM

The Truth Commission for Water Rights on May 3 heard the experiences of Detroit and Highland Park, Mich., residents who are being denied their human right to water. The Michigan Welfare Rights Organization (MWRO) organized the daylong event of multimedia and firsthand presentations.

Water service was cut off to more than 40,000 Detroit residences last year, making those homes uninhabitable.

Testimony included the DVD movie “The Water Front” by Liz Green, which documents Highland Park residents’ fight against water rates since they were increased by a state-appointed manager to “balance” a budget deficit. A disastrous human toll ensued: lost custody of children; lost homes to foreclosure when unpaid and unpayable water bills are transferred to property taxes; and even lost life itself from the stress of the struggle to live under such conditions, as happened to two of the main spokespeople in the movie.

Personal testimony filled in more details. An Alger Street resident explained that water service was turned off to her entire neighborhood when some residents didn’t schedule appointments to have new automated, centrally monitored water meters installed—equipment that makes meter reader jobs unnecessary. When organized residents protested to the City Council, the water was restored.

Cynthia McKinney, a former Congress member and Green Party presidential candidate, summarized the deliberations of the truth commission.

McKinney stressed that water rights are not only of local or state concern, but a national and international issue. She pointed out that 36 states faced “water wars,” and that in her hometown of Atlanta, water rates were rising by 170 percent.

McKinney stated, “It is incomprehensible … that elected officials on the federal level in the U.S. Congress continue to fund a war, to the tune of $722 million per day, when people are getting their water shut off. It is unacceptable.”

“Is Detroit a victim of ‘Hurricane America’?” she asked, likening the water crisis in the predominantly Black city of Detroit to the unacceptable lack of government response to Hurricane Katrina.

“Just as survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita formed an International Tribunal to take their issues to the United Nations, so this truth commission decided to work with other organizations … [to] have the General Assembly of the United Nations describe the U.S. as human rights abuser.”

McKinney addressed the case of the Rev. Edward Pinkney, a leader of the Black Autonomy Network of Community Organizers, who has been in jail in Benton Harbor, Mich., for six months in response to his defiance of developers’ plans for a land grab. “The problem in Benton Harbor,” she said, “is some people have decided to steal the land that belongs to the people of Benton Harbor to make it a playground for the wealthy.”

She asked, “Is that what is in store for the city of Detroit? We can’t ignore what is going on right next door.”

McKinney recently returned from Mexico City, where 10,000 women marched in the main plaza to block the privatization of their electricity and their oil, “moving from protest to resistance.” She stated, “The truth commission acknowledges that people in the city of Detroit have moved from protest to resistance to defend their right to water. The truth commission supports them.”

The commission proposed conducting hearings throughout the Great Lakes region, beginning with communities served by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

Other proposals from the commission included enforcing city, state and federal laws and regulations for the right to water—for example, fighting for the City Council Health and Safety Committee to declare water shut-offs illegal under the city charter; investigating corporate privatization goals for the Detroit water department, including the role of federal judge John Feikens; investigating how municipal bond sales siphon wealth away from human needs; and the relationship between bond sales and elected officials.

Along with Cynthia McKinney, the truth commissioners included Rhonda Anderson, environmental justice activist from the Sierra Club; the Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellerman of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church; Jasmine Kramer, youth member MWRO; Diane Bukowski, reporter for Michigan Citizen and TV host; Harold Spence, Citizens’ District Council activist; Raphael Robinson, former water department worker; Ronald Bass, MWRO Utilities Commission; Bankole Thompson, senior editor of the Michigan Chronicle newspaper; and Willie Baptist, Poverty Initiative Scholar-in-Residence at the Union Theological Seminary in New York, who co-chaired the commission.

From the American Communist party’s newspaper. Why am I not surprised to find Moonbat Cynthia (not to be confused with Moonbat Cindy)being interviewed by workers world or whatever the hell these enemies of America call themselves? Im not even posting the link-if the commies dont like it, they can come here and tell me to stop.


Posted in Uncategorized by Patrick Truax on May 19, 2008

Lyons, 1245 July 13th

Parchment, 622x610mm (52 mm plica); leaden bull hanging from the centre of the plica, from which also 40 wax seals hang, one for each of the Council Fathers.
ASV, A.A., Arm. I‑XVIII, 98, detail of the seals

During the days before the historical assembly of the I Council of Lyon, when the deposition of the Emperor Frederick I was announced (17th July 1245), Pope Innocent IV ordered 17 solemn copies (later called “transunti”), which contained a total of 91 sovereign documents, to prove and preserve for the future memory those rights the Empire had acknowledged until then to the Church, but also to condemn, together with the faithless emperor, his political conception (from line 1: universa privilegia et littere, que temporibus retroactis ab imperatoribus et regibus aliisque principibus, nobilibus ac fidelibus christianis Sedi Apostolice sunt concessa, vel missa […] de verbo ad verbum, nichil addito, mutato vel dempto, transscribi […] sacro concilio decernimus approbante).

The copies were solemnly made by the papal chancery, in the form of apostolic letters, with a leaden seal (bulla). The writing and the layout of the imperial or royal documents followed the style of papal writings, in order to give them more authority and more probative power.

Of the 17 original copies ordered by Innocent IV and which were then copied many times, in contemporary times and after, there are only 7 of them in the Vatican Secret Archives and this document is one of these, hereby reproduced. It includes the exact text of the three letters sent by King Andrew II of Hungary to the Popes Innocent III, Honorius III and Gregory IX, between 1214 and 1232 and in which the king promises his faith and obedience to the roman pontiff. The one, approved by the council, has the papal (leaden) seal with a silk thread and 40 wax seals of archbishops and bishops who took part in the synodal assembly.

The SEALS of Aimerico Guerrat and David de Bernham

Of the 40 wax seals of the prelates who took part in the Council, we present the one of the Archbishop of Lyon Aimerico Guerrat (1237-1245) and that of the Archbishop of St. Andrews, David De Bernham (1239-1254). They are spindle-shaped seals, made of virgin wax, hanging thanks to a plait of hemp threads; that of Aimerico Guerrat is in a good state, while that of David de Bernham is partially ruined on the left side.

The seal of the Archbishop of Lyon (n. 28 of the series) measures 75×48 mm and it has the prelate’s image wearing his pontifical dress and mitre, standing, blessing and with a pastoral in his left hand (a). The inscription says: S(igillum) Aymer(ic)i archiepiscopi prime Lug(dunensis) ecc(lesie).

On the back, (b) an oval counterseal (mm 40×25) representing St. Stephen’s stoning, with the biblical verse: D(omi)ne ne statuas illis hoc peccatum.

In the seal of David de Bernham (n. 7 of the series), 80×50 mm, the Scottish archbishop is always portrayed in a standing position, in profile facing towards right, blessing, in pontificals and with the pastoral in his left hand. At his back, a flaming sun and a waxing moon (c). The inscription says: Sigillum David Dei gratia Sc[ottoru]m episcopi.

From the Vatican Archives. They have a website, Documents Belonging to History that has a lot of cool historical documents..

Papal Seals

The papal Sphragistics essentially differentiates two customs in the document sealing procedures: the usage of the leaden bull (or seldom a gold one) on one hand and the usage of a wax seal or a anulus piscatoris on the other. In the first case we have a pending seal, in the second an adherent one.

The bull, pending from great and solemn privileges as from simpler letters or mandates, is one of the most important diplomatic elements of papal documents so that the term is used to indicate all the papal documents which are provided with this particular kind of seal. From an iconographical point of view, papal bulls, starting from Pasquale II (1099-1118) maintain an unchanged formal identity in the constituent scheme, until nowadays. This expressive rigidity, even with the unavoidable variations due to the artistic taste of different periods, is meant to express by means of a permanent image, the continuity of the Church, founded by the Apostles, throughout the centuries. The two sides of the bull show, on the recto, Peter and Paul’s heads with the writing S(anctus) PE(trus)/S(anctus) PA(aulus), and on the verso, the pope’s name, the title and the ordinal number of succession. The faces of the Apostles, plastically characterized, are portrayed with a fluent hair and beard for St. Paul and with a curled and short beard for St. Peter. Before pope Pasquale II, the iconography presents some variations which range from simple onomastic models to more articulated characterizations. From a technical point of view, the bull was created with the impression of leaden round with metallic matrixes, assembled on a tongs tool, which was then replaced with bigger vices. The pressure on the lead, which squashed the metal, thus leaving its imprint on it, imprisoned the hanging thread which was then introduced into a hole previously made in the lead.

ASV, Arch. Beni I , 25

Every time a pope dies, the matrix with his name is destroyed, whereas the one with the Apostles’ images is used again by his successor or replaced only if it was damaged. If the new elected pope needed to draw up some documents in the period between the election and the crowning, he could use the so-called bulla dimidia, which was impressed only on the side with the heads of the Apostles and smooth on the other. This because only after the crowning, once the pope had adopted his papal name, he could order to have it carved on the matrix. A proper formula explains this custom in the eschatocol of the document.

The adherent red wax seal, protected by a parchment plait or by some little tin caskets, is the so called anulus piscatoris. This kind of seal, together with other diplomatic elements, identifies a particular category of documents issued by the papal chancery, the so-called briefs. The size of this oval seal is small (two or three cm for each axis); it adhered to the document thanks to two slits made on the writing medium, through which, in any case, a little strip of parchment was passed. The iconographical detail of the anulus piscatoris shows St. Peter on a boat, pulling up the fishing nets and a legend with the name of the pope and the ordinal number. The wax papal seal is announced in the datary of the document with the formulas: …sub anulo piscatoris or…sub anulo fluctuantis naviculae… The pope could also use his private (or secret) seal for particular kinds of letters, that is a simple anepigraphic wax seal with the representation of his coat of arms.

From the second half of the 19th Century, papal seals on the documents were replaced with a stamp, the modern heir of the sphragistic custom, which reproduces the images of the seals, although the bull is still used today for very important papal documents.

The English Navy 1649-1815

Posted in Uncategorized by Patrick Truax on May 18, 2008

The British Empire relied on its military and economic strength to further its aim. This process largely began after the end of the English Civil War which pinned King against Parliament and ended with the dictatorship of a highly talented but authoritarian general Oliver Cromwell in 1649. At this time the navy began to develop, eventually it would become the most powerful in the world. It would rely on foreign trade by English merchants for its finance. And in return the navy would provide the English merchant class with access to foreign markets through war and coercion whenever needed. This paper will primarily deal with the development of the navy from the period 1649-1815, which is the subject of N.A.M Roger’s groundbreaking book, The Command of the Ocean. After studying the development of the English navy from 1649-1815, it is clear that it played a crucial role in establishing Great Britain as the foremost, military, economic and imperial power in the world by the end of the Napoleonic wars.

The development of the English Navy really took off under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell, known as the Lord Protector of the English throne after the end of the civil wars in 1649.[1] At this time the now Protestant island nation began to rely on its navy as the source of their wealth and defence. Between 1646 and 1659 the navy grew by an outstanding 217 vessels: 111 captured and 106 were built.[2] After Cromwell’s death and the restoration of the Stuart Dynasty in 1660, the navy built another 25 battleships of the first, second and third classes.[3] But the development of the navy did not guarantee immediate success, especially considering that the Dutch remained the foremost navy power in the Atlantic.[4] After 1649, England fought three wars with the foremost naval power in Europe at the time, the United Provinces (The Netherlands). England’s main objective was to destroy Dutch trade and shipping and replace the Dutch as the leading maritime trading power.[5] The first two wars, which lasted between 1652-4 and 1665-7, produced relatively little progress on the trading front.[6] Ad the last war in 1672-4 was hardly decisive and ended with only modest gain for the English.[7] Therefore, the first half century of the “blue water” policy was relatively unproductive.

Under Charles II, who was instated as king in 1660, the “blue water” policy, as it is known was officially made policy.[8] Under this policy, commercial wealth and naval power became seen as “mutually sustaining”.[9] Flourishing trading that was fuelled by the English navy would provide funds in the form of customs revenue, as well as manpower would guard existing overseas markets , as well as under the expectation that this would lead to new markets.[10] This policy made much sense, since Great Britain was an island; a strong navy would almost surely secure them from attack by a continental power. However, this policy did have its limitations. When England found its self isolated, foreign invasion became a possibility, such as with Napoleon in the early nineteenth century. A large navy would usually mean a smaller army because of resource constraints; as a result Britain would need to rely on an allied power to fight on land.

There were some important developments in the navy in the period 1688-1714. For example, when William of Orange became King in 1689, the fate of the Admiralty was in flux. The commons and the admiralty were fighting over the control of the Royal navy.[11] Parliament was seeking to gain control of the navy because it was crucial to the religious and political freedom of the country.[12] In 1699, the Whigs fell from power and were replaced by a Tory government dominated by the admiralty.[13] After much infighting, in 1702, William gave the control of the navy to the Lord Admiral.[14] A couple of months later the post was given to Queen Anne’s husband Prince George who would hold the post until his death in 1708.[15] Largely unfamiliar with such dealings, Queen Anne and Prince George would yield much of the military policy in the war of Spanish Succession to a small cabinet dominated by Lord Godolphin and the hero of Blenheim the Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill.[16] In 1713, because she lacked the military savvy of William III, Anne wisely proclaimed”…what force may be necessary for securing our commerce by sea…I leave entirely to my Parliament.”[17]

The development of the fleet between 1688-1714 was relatively considerable as Britain became more and more concerned with the political climate in Europe in this period.[18] Beginning in 1689, Britain launched an expansion of their fleet which increased the number of (First to Fourth Rate) ships from 100 to 131 in 1714 after the war with France.[19] The number of cruisers increased from only eight in 1689 to sixty-six in 1714.[20] The total increase in ships required the building of 159 new ships of the line and 113 new cruisers between 1691 and 1715, taking into account the casualties at war.[21] All of this was done despite the navies continual financial problems where they rarely received sufficient amounts to maintain their fleet from Parliament.[22] But this major expansion came at a large cost, after the 1688 Glorious Revolution, the tax burden in England more then doubled, with the bulk being generated in the land tax.[23] England also relied on the customs tax and the excise tax to develop the navy, as well as other state ventures.[24] The customs tax would rise to 15 per cent in 1704-5, and eventually to 25 per cent in 1759.[25]

The War of Spanish Succession between 1701 and 1714 offers a good example of how crucial a role the English navy played in the development of Pax Britannica.[26] The aims of the “blue water” policy would re-emerge in the War of Spanish Succession in the early 18th century.[27] Many scholars argue that it is this war between Britain (with its Allies Austria and the Dutch) against France (with Spain) which solidified Britain’s as the dominant naval power.[28] The war arose when French King the great Louis XIV wished that his grandson the duc D’Anjou be appointed to the throne of Spain upon the death of the feeble King Carlos II, the last Hapsburg King of Spain.[29] But in the much broader scope, historians argue that this war was motivated by imperial ambitions by all belligerents, especially involving the predominantly French and Spanish domain of the Americas.[30]

The English navy played an important role in the War of Spanish succession. Although the Battle of Blenheim is the most memorable battle of this war, many argue that it could not have been made possible by the strength of the English navy which forced France to retreat from the seas. The first great naval victory for Britain came at Vigo in 1702; slowly the British would gain supremacy of the Mediterranean.[31] The great turning point on the seas came in 1707 where the bulk of France’s fleet was destroyed at Toulon, also the site of Napoleon’s first true victory in the French Revolutionary wars.[32] This leads France to abandon the seas and seek a privateering war.[33] By winning the naval war, Britain was able to put pressure on France by forcing them to resort to a continental war. Hence making France vulnerable to attack, and keeping foreign troops way from the British Isles. The war would end with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 which gave Britain more territory in Canada, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean.[34] And most importantly, the war marked the arrival or some claim return of England as a major European power.[35]

The period after the end of the War of Spanish Succession in 1714 and the end of the much more important Seven Years War in 1763 was characterized by the unprecedented development of the Royal Navy. Between this time frame, Britain fought the Spanish in the War of Jenkin’s Ear between 1739 and 1748, as well as the War of Austrian Succession in 1840-48. These two wars would have an important role in causing the Seven Year’s War which would make England the foremost military, imperial and economic power in Europe. After the Queen Anne’s death in 1714, the Hanoverians were instated as the Ruling Dynasty in England. It is under the Hanoverians that the Navy would see the most important developments in its history.

By the end of 1755, the navy had expanded to over 200 ships in commission, including 88 of the line, and personnel of 40,000.[36] When the Seven Years War began, the navy had increased to 239 total ships in commission, in which 90 were ships of the line.[37] And the manpower had increased to over sixty thousand.[38] At the height of the Seven Years War in 1759, the Navy had increased to about 300 ships with over 80,000 Navy personnel.[39] However, the attempt to tax the American colonies in the 1760s would reveal the limitation of the fiscal power of the early British Empire.[40] The wars in this period would lead to a shortage of government revenue that would eventually lead to the loss of the American colonies in 1776.[41]

The Seven Years War which lasted 1757-63 involved all the great powers of Europe. The causes of this major war are numerous, but most historians agree that this war was largely caused by the imperial ambitions of all the great powers. Imperial ambitions include both on the European continent and in the Americas. Britain entered the war with Prussian then ruled by the military genius Frederick the Great. Britain’s main aims concerned the American Colonies (which included Canada), India and the West Indies, which were coming under threat from France.[42] Britain fought most of this war on the seas, both in Europe and the Americas. And the English navy would play an important role in Great Britain’s victory. English naval power would reach its zenith during this war; very few English ships were sunk, while no fewer then 1165 French merchant ships were taken as prizes.[43] Britain won the commercial war, and its navy played a crucial role in defeating the French in Canada.

The most important battle in the Seven Years War happened in Canada. The battle of Quebec or the Plains of Abraham was a land battle that solidified British dominion and Canada and would spell the end of a French presence in Quebec province.[44] The Royal Navy played an important role in this battle, helping General James Wolfe move into the St. Lawrence with twenty-two English Ships of the line and five frigates on his way to defeating the French forces on September 13, 1759.[45] Like Horatio Nelson, Wolfe’s death did more to enhance his image in history then he could ever dream to accomplish in his lifetime. In Europe the Royal Navy was able to aid its Prussian allies by gaining naval supremacy in the Mediterranean and North Atlantic at France’s expense. [46] This war did much to raise the grandeur and pride in the Royal Navy.

After the Treaty of Paris brought the Seven Years to an end in 1763, it seemed that Britain was covered by an aura of optimism. The war had made them the greatest imperial power in Europe and the navy continued to expand. In 1765, the Navy Board built the 100-gun first-rate ship Victory, which was the first of its kind and widely considered the benchmark ship of the period.[47] In the first half of the eighteenth century the Royal Navy consisted of twenty first and second rate ships, approximately 40 third rate ships and 120 smaller rate ships.[48] By 1775, the Royal Navy had 117 ships of the line and 82 cruisers.[49] France and Spain by comparison had 59 and 64 ships of the line and 37 and 28 cruisers.[50] By these numbers it appears that the Great Britain was a dominant power, however this did not always translate into successes.

The war against the American colonies in the period 1776 to the early 1780s would demonstrate the limitations of the Royal Navy and the damaging impact that diplomatic isolation might have on a country like Great Britain.[51] The Seven Years War had left Great Britain without any major European allies.[52] This rendered Great Britain incapable of defeating the American troops on land, despite its naval supremacy. The military and financial aid by both France and Spain made the revolution successful. The 1777 blockade of the revolting American colonies was largely ineffective because of a lack of ships.[53] Britain maintained a naval presence in the North Atlantic to counter French power, which leads to a shortage of ships.[54] The success of enemy privateers took a large toll on the English navy which lost 3386 ships in the conflict which created an economic crisis.[55] This handed Britain a severe blow, however this created a determination to recover and that is exactly what happened.

Little could prepare Great Britain for what was to come after the French Revolution began in 1789. This ushered in a period of political chaos on the European continent. Looking to expand trade further at France’s expense, the Royal Navy launched a naval war against France in 1793. At this time, it seemed poised for a victory, with almost 100 new or freshly repaired ships.[56] The French and Napoleonic wars were a period of astronomical growth with spending increasing 450 percent from 1793 to 1815.[57] In 1789 the British Army was 40,000, and the royal Navy was at 16,000 men.[58] But the increased vulnerability to French invasion forced the Navy to grow to over 140,000 in 1812, while the combined size of the Navy and Army was an astounding half a million by 1804.[59] By 1809, there were 113 British ships in commission, the highest figure in history.[60] The total number of cruiser rose to an astonishing 596, which meant that for the only time in recorded history, one nation has possessed more then half of the world’s warships.[61] This obviously took a heavy toll on the economy and public finances. In 1799 William Pitt the Younger introduced the country’s first income tax system to help pay for the war.[62]

The Napoleonic war showed the limitation of the “blue water” policy, but once again the Royal Navy played a crucial role its recovery and victory. Early on in the French Revolutionary war, Britain made some important imperial gains at France’s expense in the Caribbean, and in the Mediterranean. But around 1795, France began to recover militarily, especially in its southern front where Napoleon Bonaparte had emerged as France’s star general. The first important naval battle in post-revolutionary era occurred in 1798 when Napoleon invaded the Ottoman territory of Egypt. His main objective was to establish a French presence in the region to supersede that of Britain. But a French fleet was attacked in the Nile, and is completely destroyed. This is the first great battle won by Horatio Nelson and leads eventually to the British conquest of Egypt from France.

On the continent, Napoleon officially becomes leader of France in 1799 and begins to solidify his place as one of the great military commanders in history. By 1804, France has made peace with all the great powers of Europe, and established its self as the leading power on the continent once again. Britain begins to feel isolated. Without much of a land army, and no allies, it cannot fight a continental war and becomes vulnerable to invasion by France. But, this invasion never comes, Napoleon found the Royal Navy far too powerful for the French fleet to match. If he had been successful, Napoleon would easily have defeated the British army if he had landed in England, the wars would have been over. It was not until 1805 when once again Horatio Nelson caught a French and Spanish fleet off Trafalgar did England finally defeat the French Navy decisively. Never again would France challenge England’s naval supremacy. But the war still had to be won on the continent and Great Britain still had no army.

In the same month as Trafalgar, Napoleon won is greatest victory at Austerlitz against the Austrians and Russians. He would continue on to Ulm, Elyau and Friedland, culminating in the Treaty of Tilsit in 1807, which made him the master of the European continent. Once again Britain was isolated, but suddenly there was an incident of divine intervention. In 1808 France invaded Spain and Portugal which opened up a new front for the now developed British army under the Duke of Wellington. And in 1812, the most unexpected event occurred; Napoleon’s army was defeated (in part) in Russia and forced to retreat. Austria, Prussia, Russia, along with Britain would defeat Napoleon in 1814 and force him into exile. Upon his return, months later, he was defeated by the combined armies of Britain under the Duke of Wellington and Prussia under Gebhard von Blucher at Waterloo and the war was finally over.

In the end it was not the English Navy that defeated Napoleon, however its relative strengthen safeguarded the British Isles and kept the French army on the continent. This allowed the continental powers, as well as the Duke of Wellington to finally defeat Napoleon, one of the greatest military leaders in history. Afterwards, the Council of Vienna ushered in a period of fragile peace that allowed Britain to develop into the foremost imperial power in the world.

In conclusion, the development of the Royal British Navy propelled Great Britain into the great power stratosphere by the end of the Seven Years War in 1763. The end of the English Civil Wars in 1649 began the development of the navy, which would eventually culminate in the official “blue water” policy designed to establish the navy as the foremost force in the world. The British merchant class would rely on the navy to open up foreign markets in the Americas, Africa and Asia. This method would make Britain the foremost economic engine in the world. And by the late eighteenth century, it would begin to build on its colonial possessions around the world. Like Ancient Athens before it, Britain’s history is forever synonymous with its navy. When Great Britain’s empire began to disintegrate after World War Two, its people were forced to accept the diminishing influence and power of their country but would always derive pride from the time that Britannica controlled the seas. The legacy of the British Empire is derived from naval greatness.

Good article on the evolution of the British Navy. I found it Here

(The Author of this article is not known. If this article is yours, please contact the site webmaster to be accredited)

Top pic is the Battle of the Nile, where Nelson defeated Napoleon in 1798. Pic supplied by a fellow freeper..

Immune Cells Kill Foes By Disrupting Mitochondria Two Ways

Posted in Uncategorized by Patrick Truax on May 18, 2008

ScienceDaily (May 17, 2008) — When killer T cells of the immune system encounter virus-infected or cancer cells, they unload a lethal mix of toxic proteins that trigger the target cells to self-destruct. A new study shows T cells can initiate cellular suicide, also known as programmed cell death or apoptosis, by a previously unrecognized pathway that starts with the destruction of a key enzyme in mitochondria, the power plant of the cell.

The study, from the lab of Judy Lieberman, a senior investigator at the Immune Disease Institute and Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, reveals that T cells use both the novel pathway and the classical apoptotic pathway to interfere with mitochondrial function and induce cell death.

“This work gives us a new understanding of a major T cell defense pathway,” Lieberman says.

The Lieberman lab studies cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), key cells in the immune defense against viral infection and cancer. When CTLs recognize an infected or transformed target cell, they release the contents of cytolytic granules onto the target cell. These granules contain serine proteases called Granzymes, which induce programmed cell death in the target cells. Two major Granzymes, A and B, account for most of the killing activity in granules.

Granzyme B triggers the classical programmed cell death pathway involving breakdown of the outer mitochondrial membrane, and the release of death-promoting proteins which activate the caspase protease cascade and result in massive DNA damage.

Previous work from the Liebeman lab showed that Granzyme A initiates cell death by a different biochemical pathway. That pathway involves the mitochondria, but does not result in mitochondrial membrane breakdown or caspase activation, and triggers a different type of DNA damage. The current study was aimed at understanding how Granzyme A kills cells.

To identify Granzyme A target proteins in mitochondria, Lieberman and colleagues used proteomics to look at the fate of a large number of mitochondrial proteins after Granzyme A exposure. One protein, NDUFS3, a subunit of the large multi-protein Complex I assembly that participates in energy generation for the cell, disappeared.

Further work established that when Granzyme A was released into a cell, it could enter the mitochondria where it degraded NDUFS3. Further, the investigators showed that loss of NDUFS3 caused mitochondria to produce damaging reactive oxygen, known to be essential for Granzyme A’s deadly effects on cells. Destruction of NDUFS3 was sufficient to initiate the toxic effects of Granzyme A on human cells, they showed.

The new demonstrate that while both Granzymes target mitochondria, they do so in very different ways. Lieberman says she is not surprised that immune cells have multiple means of inducing mitochondrial-dependent cell death. “Many viruses and cancers have found ways to be resistant to the caspase-dependent apoptosis pathway triggered by Granzyme B, so it makes sense that immune cells would have a second, parallel pathway to cause cell death,” she said.

Detailed results will appear in the May 16 issue of Cell. The lead author on the paper is Denis Martinvalet, a postdoctoral fellow in the Lieberman lab. Other authors include Derek M Dykxhoorn, and Roger Ferrini of the Immune Disease Institute.

Link here

Angry flight attendant charged with setting fire on plane

Posted in Uncategorized by Patrick Truax on May 17, 2008

FARGO, North Dakota (AP) — A flight attendant angry about his work route smuggled a lighter aboard an airplane and set a fire in a bathroom, forcing an emergency landing, authorities said Thursday.

The Compass Airlines flight carrying 72 passengers and four crew members landed safely in Fargo on May 7 after smoke filled the back. No injuries were reported. The plane was flying from Minneapolis to Regina, Saskatchewan, authorities said.

Eder Rojas, 19, appeared in court Thursday, following his arrest a day earlier in Minneapolis, and was ordered held without bail, prosecutors said. The charge of setting fire aboard a civil aircraft carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

His public defender did not return a phone call seeking comment. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynn Jordheim, who is prosecuting the case in Fargo, would not comment.

Court documents said Rojas, of the Twin Cities suburb of Woodbury, told authorities he was upset at the airline for making him work the route. He is accused of taking a lighter with him through the security checkpoint, authorities said.

“Rojas further stated that he was preparing his cart to serve the passengers, he set the cart up, went back to the lavatory and reached in with his right hand and lit the paper towels with the lighter,” court documents said.

Pilot Steve Peterka told authorities that an indicator light came on about 35 minutes into the flight, showing smoke in the rear bathroom.

Peterka called Rojas, who was assigned passengers in the back of the plane, and asked him to check the bathroom, documents said. Rojas, another flight attendant and a passenger were credited with quickly putting out the flames with fire extinguishers, authorities said.

Investigators later found a lighter in one of the overhead bins. Rojas confessed after authorities interviewed him, the complaint said.

Compass is a subsidiary of Northwest Airlines, based in Eagan, Minn. Rojas has been fired, said Northwest spokesman Rob Laughlin. Northwest did not say how long Rojas worked for the airline.

FBI agent Ralph Boelter said Compass Airlines officials showed “extraordinary cooperation” in the investigation.