Currently in progress the huge counter-culture event that is The Burning Man, complete with a live camera webcast from the site, as well as radio and television, which will carry the iconic burning live. Some of the most interesting stuff is how they set up a city in the desert. Many artists enjoy the setup as or much more than the event itself, since the event has become huge. Still not changed, the distinct speech and dress that grew out of the sixties.
The effect can be mimicked, after a fashion with a computer, but the real thing is a simple tube with three mirrors and a few bits of colored material, most usually glass. There are rather expensive ones available, and inexpensive ones can be found almost anywhere they sell toys, but the most fun is probably building one of your own.
In a big non-surprise to everyone but the guy who paid for the thing, it turns out that the Bigfoot corpse is a rubber and fur gorilla suit, decorated with assorted body parts from other animals. The hoaxed will be suing the hoaxers. The annual August Antics are on schedule. Next: UFOs?
The influenza epidemic of 1914 remains of more than historical interest because it is a model for the spread of infectious diseases in humans, and problem that is only exacerbated by modern transportation and a global economy. One theory holds that the disease originated in the US, but another theory has been advanced that the critical jump occurred in the British military camps in France. Further, recent research says that most deaths were not from the virus itself, but from pneumonia, which means the disease would have been treatable if antibiotics had been available. An NPR story concludes that: "The new research suggests that with the availability of effective treatments for bacterial infections, a modern-day flu pandemic might not be so deadly." However, the fear f public health officials is that the next plague will be viral and we still do not have overly effective means—or enough of what we do have—to fight one of that type. In addition, the widespread use of antibiotics means that there are increasing numbers of bacteria resistant to not merely one antibiotic, but combinations.