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... after Mr. Efrangi brought some KFC back from El Arish for friends last month, he was flooded with requests. A new business was born. [...]Fares Akram explains how one smuggles KFC from Egypt into Gaza in this story over at The New York Times
... whenever there is a critical mass of orders — usually 30 — he starts a complicated process of telephone calls, wire transfers and coordination with the Hamas government to get the chicken from there to here.
The other day, after Mr. Efrangi called in 15 orders and wired the payment to the restaurant in El Arish, an Egyptian taxi driver picked up the food. On the other side of the border, meanwhile, Ramzi al-Nabih, a Palestinian cabdriver, arrived at the Hamas checkpoint in Rafah, where the guards recognized him as “the Kentucky guy.”From the checkpoint, Mr. Nabih, 26, called his Egyptian counterpart and told him which of the scores of tunnels the Hamas official had cleared for the food delivery. He first waited near the shaft of the tunnel, but after a while he was lowered on a lift about 30 feet underground and walked halfway down the 650-foot path to meet two Egyptian boys who were pushing the boxes and buckets of food, wrapped in plastic, on a cart.Mr. Nabih gave the boys about $16.50, and argued with them for a few minutes over a tip. A half-hour later, the food was loaded into the trunk and on the back seat of his Hyundai taxi, bound for Gaza City.
Today The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on a less amusing letter Beall received Tuesday. An Indian intellectual property management firm called IP Markets informed Beall that they would be suing for $1 billion in damages and that he could face up to three years in prison for his "deliberate attempt to defame our client." That client is OMICS Publishing Group, an India-based operation profiled several times on the blog. The group requested that Beall remove the posts and e-mail updates to anyone who published his work, yet IP Markets still intends to go through with the suit either way.I know nothing about OMICS's publishing practices, but based on how they handle their critics, I feel confident in saying that they're not the sort of firm that any scholar should be doing business with -- censoring, terrible bullies don't make good publishers.
"All the allegation [sic] that you have mentioned in your blog are nothing more than fantastic figment of your imagination by you," the six-page letter reads according to The Chronicle. "Our client perceive the blog as mindless rattle of a incoherent person and please be assured that our client has taken a very serious note of the language, tone, and tenure adopted by you as well as the criminal acts of putting the same on the Internet."
The study, published in the latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, specifically looked at pools in Atlanta, but the researchers say such contamination is likely a widespread problem in U.S. pools, thanks to swimmers not washing themselves off before taking a dip. According to the scientists, each of us carries about 0.14 grams of fecal material into the pool — and that doesn’t include accidents or cases of diarrhea. Among municipal pools, the genetic testing for pathogens detected E. coli in 70% of the filters, while 66% of the water parks contained the bacteria and 49% of pools in private clubs showed evidence of the contamination.Because of the way they did the tests, the researchers did not determine whether the bacteria was alive. If pools are properly chlorinated, they should be dead. Atlanta had no reported pool-borne illnesses last summer, when the samples were taken. But just to be sure, try not to swallow pool water. More
“These findings indicate the need for swimmers to help prevent introduction of pathogens, e.g., taking a pre-swim shower and not swimming when ill with diarrhea, [for] aquatics staff to maintain disinfectant level and pH according to public health standards to inactivate pathogens, and state and local environmental health specialists to enforce such standards,” the authors write in their report.
“I was intrigued by the idea that this marketplace—which was supposed to serve one function, to be transactional—could also have a storytelling emphasis,” Spivack explains. “Interestingly, the time I spent on eBay became much more about looking for stories than things that I actually wanted to purchase.”Of course, those stories feed right into her blog about historical clothing. Now, Spivak has an exhibition of some of those clothing items (and their stories) called “Sentimental Value” at the Philadelphia Art Alliance.
Spivack’s favorite stories typically blur the line between historical, personal, and hearsay, like the description of the green silk gown belonging to a seller’s aunt in the 1920s. “Supposedly, her aunt wore the dress to a club one evening,” says Spivack. “She was a blonde, and moved fast, and her boyfriend was involved in the mob. And when they went out that night, someone next to her was shot and killed, and blood splattered on her dress. So they were selling this dress with blood splattered on it. I bid on it, and it’s in the show. To me, that story is absolutely incredible.”Read about how the clothing items of eBay reached out and grabbed the historian at Collectors Weekly.
The saber-toothed tiger was a compact killing machine, chasing small mammoths, giant sloths, and bison all over North America until about 10,000 years ago when it and many other species mysteriously died out at the end of the last Ice Age. Its genus name, smilodon, comprises the Greek words for "chisel" and "tooth," though the modern lion's bite is probably three times as strong as old smilodon's.What species would you like to revive?
Can we bring it back? About 2,000 saber-toothed fossils have emerged from the La Brea tar pits in Southern California—it's the state fossil—and, being around 10,000 years old, they likely contain recoverable DNA. But so far, no scientists have actually attempted to recreate it.
Bees who’ve evolved with short tongues and thus can’t reach for the sweet nectar have learned to carve holes into the side of a flower in order to reach their reward. This phenomenon, first observed by Charles Darwin, gets a bee nectar without the bee pollinating the plant. More cannily, there’s evidence suggesting that bees aren’t born behaving this way—they learn how to thieve from other bees, a sad sign that bee society is being overrun by hoodlums.Read about seven thieving species here.