Sunday Reads: Amoeba, Mount Etna, London Riots and The Goat Man

Good morning!

Sunday is here, and I am just going to dive into today’s post because I have so much to share with you.

Well, lets start off here in the US…

Summertime in Florida is a lot like being in hell, the heat is unbearable and if you ever try to cool off in some fresh water lake or river, there are dangerous alligators and snakes that can come at you so fast in the murky water, you never know they are there until it is too late. Well, it looks like there is another deadly organism that lurks in the fresh water in Florida.

Amoeba brain infection: Brevard girl suffers amoeba brain infection –

Central Florida’s fresh water lakes and rivers offer swimmers a natural, scenic and cool respite from the summer’s scorching heat.

But beneath those sparkling waters lurks a microscopic single-celled parasite that thrives in the hot summer months and, if disturbed, can infect and kill an unsuspecting swimmer in less than a week.

State health officials Friday issued an alert about the deadly amoeba Naegleria fowleri, found in the silt at the bottom of most Florida lakes and rivers, after suspecting it infected 16-year-old Brevard County resident Courtney Nash.

Courtney went swimming with her family in the St. John’s River and after a couple of days, she began showing symptoms of similar to primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) A infection caused by waterborne amoebas when they enter the human body through the nose, mouth or ears.  For people who become infected with the parasite, death comes within seven days.

The Naegleria fowleri amoeba lives in many Florida lakes and, when water temperatures rise as they have in recent weeks, health experts warn swimmers to stay out of fresh water.


Experts also caution swimmers to avoid lakes when the water temperature rises above 80 degrees because that’s when they think amoebas are most active.

It sounds like some sort of horror movie. I just wanted to bring it to your attention.

Twin Towers in Summer of 2000, a picture I took when we lived in an apartment in Hanover Square.

When we lived in Manhattan, and later moved to Connecticut, the Twin Towers were more than the place my husband worked at.  No matter where you were in the city, they seemed to stand tall and act like protectors. Especially, since we lived down in Hanover Square, and spent most of our time in Lower Manhattan.  It wasn’t until I went back to Manhattan after they fell that I realized just what a comfort those buildings were to me. Twin Towers photographer reflects on new Trade Center –

“When the Twin Towers were gone I felt disoriented in the city for a long time,” said Brian Rose, an architectural photographer with a degree in Urban Planning. He started taking pictures of the Towers from just about every angle imaginable in the late 1970s. Some of those photographs appear in his self-published book titled WTC.

“I started photographing the Lower East Side and I saw distant views from the Lower East Side where the Twin Towers were there,” said Rose. “Then, I photographed Lower Manhattan as part of a project. … The Twin Towers became very present in those pictures.”

It was hard not to include the towers. Rose would see them as he drove toward the city on the New Jersey Turnpike. There was the view from Kennedy Airport of the buildings rising above the New York skyline way off in the distance. But he most liked the glimpses that he would catch of the Twin Towers rising between smaller buildings as he looked downtown on many of the city’s streets.

“The buildings were really signposts. If you came out of the subway anywhere in the city and you were a little bit disoriented at first you could always look one way or the other and see the Twin Towers,” Rose said. “It was almost like a needle of a compass for me.”

Give that CNN link a click and look at some of the images Rose has taken over the years. The tenth anniversary is coming up a month from now. It is unbelievable to me that so many years have passed.

We have experienced a horrible summer here on the eastern side of the country, but over in the Northwestern US, the weather conditions have been colder than usual.  A Long, Cold Summer at Mount Rainier –

Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times

A hiker in August. Visitors to the Mount Rainier park are down by 30 percent this year.

Usually by August, most of the snow on Mount Rainier, the sleeping volcanic giant here, has long since melted. The meadows of wildflowers are abloom, and hikers galore are tramping along the trails.

But this year, temperatures have been colder than usual, keeping record mounds of old snow lying around. This has discouraged everyone, from the most rigorous climbers to backpackers, hikers and Sunday drivers.


The amount of snow still on the ground, as measured at Paradise, the park’s main visitor area, is setting records. Last Sunday, it set a record of 44 inches, said Stefan Lofgren, the park’s mountaineering district ranger. The previous record for Aug. 7 was 40 inches, set in 1974.

Another record was set Tuesday, when 43 inches remained on the ground. Mr. Lofgren said he expected records for another couple of weeks. At this elevation (5,400 feet), Paradise normally gets about 630 inches of snow a year, but this year it received a whopping 907 inches.

Heading over to some updates in World News, Tribal Rifts Threaten to Undermine Libya Uprising –

Saddled with infighting and undermined by the occasionally ruthless and undisciplined behavior of its fighters, the six-month-old rebel uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi is showing signs of sliding from a struggle to overthrow an autocrat into a murkier contest between factions and tribes.

The increase in discord and factionalism is undermining the effort to overthrow Colonel Qaddafi, and it comes immediately after recognition of the rebel government by the Western powers, including the United States, potentially giving the rebels access to billions of dollars in frozen Libyan assets, and the chance to purchase more modern weaponry.

The infighting could also erode support for the rebels among members of the NATO alliance, which faces a September deadline for renewing its air campaign amid growing unease about the war’s costs and direction.

I really wonder how long Gaddafi is going to linger over there, and will the Rebel forces actually come together and put Libya back on track.

In Somalia, the people are dealing with famine, rape, violence and now cholera.  WHO: Cholera on the Rise in Somali Capital « VOA Breaking News

The World Heath Organization says Somalia has seen a spike in cholera in the Mogadishu area.

WHO said Friday more than 4,000 cases of diarrheal disease have been reported in Mogadishu’s Banadir hospital this year.

It says children under five account for 75 percent of those cases.

We’ll leave Africa and head north to England.  This past week Boston Boomer wrote one hell of a post about the riots in London.  She discussed the social and political issues that have brought about the anger that was key within the scope of violence at the hands of young Londoners.  According to one controversial historian, Black Culture is to blame for the riots.  English Historian Blames Black Culture for Riots –

During a televised discussion of the past week’s riots in England on Friday night, a prominent English historian sparked outrage by insisting that black, Afro-Caribbean culture was to blame for the mayhem and looting, even when the rioters were white.

David Starkey, who has presented several documentaries on the Tudor period, said during a BBC debate: “the problem is that the whites have become black — a particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become the fashion — and black and white, boy and girl, operate in this language together; this language, which is wholly false, which is a Jamaican patois, that’s been intruded in England, and this is why so many of us have this sense of literally a foreign country.”

Asked if he was saying that the prophecy of Enoch Powell — an English politician who claimed in a speech in 1968 that immigration would eventually mean, “the black man will have the whip hand over the white man” in Britain — had come true, Mr. Starkey replied: “That’s not true.” He added, “it’s not skin color, it’s cultural.”

At least the other people on the show spoke up…

The other participants in the debate quickly objected to Mr. Starkey’s remarks. Owen Jones, the author of a book about working class culture in Britain, told the historian: “It’s utterly outrageous, obviously, what you’re saying. What you’re doing is you’re equating black culture with criminality.”

A short time later, Emily Maitlis, the BBC journalist who was moderating the discussion, told Mr. Starkey that he was using the terms black culture and white culture as synonyms for bad and good.

Wow…Be sure to read the entire article. There is also video to the BBC debate.

One of the things that Boston Boomer mentioned in her post, was the possibility that the powers that be would take this opportunity to put the last remaining nails in the proverbial coffin of the poor and “social welfare” class.  Families of London Rioters to Be Evicted, and Denied Welfare. | MyFDL

According to BBC radio : Prime Minister David Cameron has gone back to court to obtain actions that will be served to convicted rioters. These actions will cause the eviction of the rioters families as well as the termination of welfare payments.

Prime Minister Cameron says “They should have thought of this before they were caught burgling”.

Refresh my memory if I’m wrong, but I seem to recall “social welfare” being increased for the banks after having been caught red handed committing the largest theft known to recorded history.

One such eviction action has already been served as of this evening, against the single mother and sibling of a minor convicted in the riots. Don’t know for certain, but the rioter’s juvenile status seems to have facilitated the speed of the justice exacted.

For more on the evictions and the reactions of this decision by Cameron that is sure to evoke more riots and violence.  England riots: coalition row grows over ‘kneejerk’ response | Politics | The Observer

Coalition efforts to present a united front over the riots have come under strain as senior Liberal Democrats call for an end to “kneejerk” reactions by politicians and warn that stripping those involved of their benefits could worsen crime on the streets.

In a clear sign of tensions between the governing parties, the Lib Dems’ deputy leader, Simon Hughes, insists that long-term solutions lie in supporting communities by offering opportunities and redistributing wealth, not slashing help from the state and cutting taxes for the rich.

This is how the process works:

With the support of David Cameron, Conservative Wandsworth council was the first to attempt to evict tenants who had been caught up in the rioting. The prime minister also pledged to support “zero tolerance” policing where minor offences are prosecuted and said a series of tough measures would be unveiled in coming months to fight crime and reclaim the streets. “We haven’t talked the language of zero tolerance enough but the message is getting through,” he said.

Wandsworth announced on Friday that the first eviction notice had been served – to the mother of an 18-year-old boy accused of violent disorder and attempted theft. The teenager has not yet been convicted but has appeared in court in connection with disturbances on Monday at Clapham Junction.

Other authorities, including Westminster, Greenwich, Hammersmith and Fulham, Nottingham and Salford, are also considering evicting those found to have taken part in the unrest.

It really is disturbing to see governments and countries, like the US and Great Britain, doing these things to their own people. Wait, their own poor and middle class people.

From Minx’s Missing Link File:  While Romans burn: Italian sunbathers sizzle on Sicily beach as Mount Etna erupts | Mail Online

Relaxing: These sunbathers on a beach in Sicily seems unbothered by the eruption of Mt Etna in the distance

Relaxing: These sunbathers on a beach in Sicily seems unbothered by the eruption of Mt Etna in the distance

These Italian sunbathers seem to be making the most of their summer holidays

So determined are they to enjoy their time on the beach, they don’t even turn their heads to the sight of Europe’s largest volcano erupting behind them.

Or perhaps it’s just volcano fatigue – after all, this is the sixth time Mt Etna has erupted in the last month.

Hey, Sicilians have grown up with the Mafia, an erupting volcano is not going to scare them.

Easy Like Sunday Morning Link of the Week:  Here are a couple of links for you. I am curious if anyone has ever seen The Goat Man when he traveled the Dixie Highway, or any of the other back roads across the continental U.S. and Canada.  My father remembers seeing the Goat Man when he was a child in Tampa, FL. Imagine his surprise to see a picture of the same man and his goats in a Cherokee County, NC history book. This made my dad check out the Circle Box, and when he Googled “The Goat Man” he found out that memory he had of a smelly man, with a wagon full of clanking metal being pulled by a herd of goats was one he shared with many people across the country.  The Goat Man was even inspiration for some famous authors, like Flannery O’Connor and Cormac McCarthy, who based characters on him in their novels and stories.

The New York Times wrote this obituary about The Goat Man in 1998:  Charles McCartney, Known for Travels With Goats, Dies at 97 – New York Times

Whatever the scope of his travels, Mr. McCartney, who averaged seven miles a day and had a regular route between Iowa and Georgia, spent most of his time creating traffic jams throughout the South, primarily along the old Dixie Highway running through Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida.

As many who grew up in the South in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s could attest, when the Goat Man came to town it was an event, one that inevitably produced a story and a photograph in the local paper.

So please enjoy these websites that highlight The Goat Man, America’s Legend

Charles “Ches” McCartney, the legendary “Goat Man”, was a wanderer, who spent decades traveling across the country while guiding a massive iron-wheeled wagon loaded with pots and pans, pails, bails of hay, car tags lead by a team of goats. “The Goat Man” entwined himself in the folklore of rural America for more than six decades.

The Goat Man lead a very colorful life. At age 14, having a reputation as an eccentric, his left his hometown in Iowa for New York. There he married a Spanish maiden and became a target for her knife-tossing act for two years. In the 1930’s McCartney hit the road with his wife and son. His wife later tired of the travels and returned home to Iowa while McCartney traveled on with his son.

The Goat Man and the Goat Boy, as his son Albert Gene was known as, would travel the roads together.

Albert Gene stayed in Iowa to attend school, rejoining Ches on his vacations. But Ches traveled on, gaining notoriety across the country as the “Goat Man.” His goat skin outfit eventually gave way to several layers of greasy, sooty clothes, which he would peel off depending on the weather. He never shaved or bathed, and it was said that his smell would roll into town long before he did. “[The goats] don’t care how I smell or how I look,” he later wrote. “They trust me and have faith in me, and this is more than I can say about a lot of people.”

At its height, the Goat Man’s junk-filled “goatvoy” consisted of two wagons pulled by a team of over thirty goats. The larger billies were hitched to the front of the wagon with homemade leather leads. Nannies were tied to the back with a couple of strong billies that served as the “brakes” on steep hills. The Goat Man also collected stray and neglected goats that he found during his travels, including a three-legged goat that rode in a special box on the front wagon. He referred to the goats as his “babies,” and called each of them by name as he walked beside them.

The Goat Man traveled over 100,000 miles, and covered 49 states, the only state he missed was Hawaii.  He even has his own Wikipedia page.

So check out these links and if any of you have ever come across The Goat Man please let me know…

That is all I have for you today, what else are you reading about today?

31 Comments on “Sunday Reads: Amoeba, Mount Etna, London Riots and The Goat Man”

  1. glennmcgahee says:

    Great round-up. Reading about the government in the UK punishing rioters and their families by pulling the plug on Social Networking and taking away services I can’t help but think how the same governments were just days ago praising those same outlets for their ability to unify the people of Libya and Egypt in their efforts to protest and possibly overthrow the corruption in those countries. In San Francisco, the transit system cut off all ability to communicate via cellphones just to thwart a “maybe” protest of a police shooting in that city. So if you were riding BART, your ability to access the internet, call home or whatever was disabled to control the population. Cameras were just the beginning.
    Your link to the Twin Towers made me wonder why 10 years later there is nothing on the skyline to take the place of what we used to see no matter where we were in the city. I’ve seen skyscrapers rise in weeks before and always was amazed at the technology that enabled that to happen. Yet 10 years later we see what?

    • Woman Voter says:

      I agree with you on the empty skyline, as having that linger is a psychological wound that with the empty space and doesn’t allow us to move forward, and I wonder if the lack of progress was to feed the pro-war funding. Why not a park, a museum on tolerance and examination of hate around the world. Ten years later the lack of progress, the denial of health care to the First Responders is not good progress to move us forward in our recovery, the country needs to feel that we can rebuild, the survival of the spirit of a country to go on and the spirit that we can take care of those who rose to the challenge and remember those we lost.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Yes, it is very upsetting to us as well Glenn….that void in downtown has been empty for too long. 10 years to plant a bunch of trees and build a fountain? I hate that a decade has gone by, and the families have been waiting for some memorial to visit, since the site is basically all these families have left of loved ones.

  2. Woman Voter says:

    I read an interview of a mom and her eight year old daughter that had received an eviction notice because her minor son had been arrested and do think that while one child did something, the other child is paying the price. I can’t understand how the councils are handing out evictions, just by seeing a family name on a list, without some due process. I read that the charities are speaking out, but the anger is greater as the petition for welfare review has met the necessary signatures.

    It is a case of throw the baby out with the bath water… What is next for these families, tent cities in London? I remember Arnold (Maria’s soon to be EX-husband) kicked out the tent city residents on the outskirts of Sacramento, the state capitol, because the PR wasn’t good for him.

    Schwarzenegger Visits Sacramento’s ‘Tent City’

    • paper doll says:

      All I know the entire UK power elite was up to their necks in the Murdock scandals a couple of weeks ago and all that is forgotten like it never happened . What we are seeing here is the beginning of a larger crack down…it tells me ” austerity for peons ” measures we can’t imagine are ahead . Peons, eat your peas…while you have peas .

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Thanks for the roundup. I never heard of the Goat man before. He was a real eccentric.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Update on the Indiana State Fair tragedy. There are now five confirmed dead, dozens injured. They are having a news conference right now. It sounds terrible!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Five people are confirmed dead now, there may be more.

      In a few minutes, the festive mood of a summer concert turned tragic after a massive burst of wind tore down a stage at the Indiana State Fair on Saturday night, killing at least four people and injuring 40.

      Authorities said Sunday they feared more casualties.

      “A big gust of wind came through. You could see a lot of people panicking,” said Aaron Richman, who witnessed the collapse at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. “All the scaffolding and speakers — all that came crashing down — and the whole stand just collapsed.”

      Allison Hoehn, another concertgoer, said many attendees rushed to those trapped after the stage crumbled.

      “We tried to get down to help, but no one was moving,” Hoehn said. “The storm came on so fast and the stage just snapped like a toothpick.”

      A wave of deafening cries echoed across the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand as the stage — and heaps of metal scaffolding — fell toward the crowd.

      Spectators grabbed parts of their seats to assemble makeshift stretchers, Hoehn said.

      “Everyone rushed to help, and we saw people searching and pulling people out,” she said. “(I) saw five people go away on stretchers. It was amazing how many people ran in to try to lift the scaffolding.”

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Here is more on that:

      Indiana State Fair Collapse | Indianapolis Fair | Sugarland Stage Collapse | Mediaite

      The main stage at the Indiana State Fair collapsed last night, killing five people and injuring 45 others. The Indianapolis fair was hit by winds going 60-70 miles per hour prior to a performance by the band Sugarland.

      According to the LA Times, “scores of concertgoers rushed to the stage to lift broken scaffolding and equipment off people.” Sugarland lead singer Jennifer Nettles said there were “no words to process a moment of this magnitude and gravity.”

      One person was able to capture the tragic situation and uploaded it to YouTube. You can watch the video below:

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Remember, not too long ago the same thing happened at a Cheap Trick concert:

        Stage Collapses During Cheap Trick Concert (Video) – The Hollywood Reporter

        A thunderstorm with gale force winds caused a stage to sway backwards and collapse at this weekend’s Ottawa Bluesfest while the band Cheap Trick was playing.

        Described as several stories tall, the steel structure shook momentarily then fell to the ground at around 7:20 p.m. on Sunday, July 17 as the iconic rock band was 20 minutes into its set. “It was pretty freaky,” one concertgoer told Canadian Television.

      • paper doll says:

        The first item I saw about this tragedy was the governor saying ” it’s not our fault! ” ….would be nice if he expressed some concern besides the one for law suits.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Rick Perry got more votes than Mitt in Iowa straw poll. Neither was on the ballot. As I’ve been predicting, Perry or Bachmann will beat Romney in NH, and he’ll be finished.

  6. dakinikat says:

    Rick Perry represents a long line of neoconfederates….

  7. northwestrain says:

    It’s been years since I’ve been to England — but it sounds like not much has changed (except for the very high unemployment). There is a rigid class system (caste system really). Accents are very strong from some areas. Then there was that underlying hatred of the non-English — the Pakistan immigrants working in the train stations and the poor whites trying to treat them as servants. The rigid caste system carriers over to the various British Colonies.

    Thanks for the Northwest weather update. We call this a green tomato summer — not enough warmth to ripen tomatoes. We are a blue state in more ways than one. Mt. Baker and Mt Rainier are two sleeping volcanoes — their tops are always white — really beautiful mountains.

    Another great news round up!! Thank you!

  8. bostonboomer says:

  9. bostonboomer says:

    “We’re going to die. We’re going to die.”

  10. Sima says:

    I never saw the Goatman, but I know of him. He’s rather legendary in the goat-keeping community. There have been books, both for adults and for children, written about him, if I recollect correctly. Sometimes I look at my herd of goats and think maybe I should do that, just load up and head on out. But, I like running water and toilets too much, methinks.