Slip Sliding Away

Whenever I'm headed home, from a day's work or a long trip, there's a particular sight that lets me know I'm almost there. Recently returning from Europe, I caught a glimpse a lot sooner than expected.

Rounding a corner towards my departure gate in an hallway at London's Heathrow airport, I spotted...

...a British Airways poster plugging their Club World program, with a vista of the Golden Gate bridge. But no, it's not the bridge that symbolizes home. I had to look a bit closer...


Do you see it yet? Faint in the clouds as is quite common...

There it is, Sutro Tower, looming over my neighborhood as always, letting me know I'm homebound and on the final stretch.

More on the anti-HIV saluvirus

New Scientist: Mysterious virus may thwart HIV

This article features new research data confirming the apparent HIV-blocking effects of "GB-virus C." The first study about this came out about a year ago -- and I commented on it then, too. From this article:

'Until now, there have been many doubting Thomases who didn't believe this viral antiviral effect even existed,' says Roger Pomerantz of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 'This puts an end to the debate.'
Indeed! And if HIV has a benign, protection-giving competitive virus out in nature, won't many other viruses? And what other health benefits might turn out to be contagious, carried by viruses in a manner previously thought reserved for diseases? There's probably Nobel prizes hereabouts for some lucky and dedicated researchers...

The research paper that prefigured Orkut...

From Lada Adamic, Eytan Adar, and the eponymous Orkut himself: A social network caught in the Web

Prediction: bacteria confirmed on Mars -- if not tomorrow, soon

Tomorrow's announcement of "significant findings" might only involve water, but I think it's only a matter of time before Gilbert Levin is proven right and the Mars soil is confirmed to contain active bacteria.

There will be some speculation about Earth seeding Mars, or Mars seeding Earth, but the real winner should be the idea of panspermia: that life is prevalent throughout the universe, and probably reached Earth and Mars from elsewhere.