Saturday, September 26, 2009

Random Photoshoot

Here are some pictures I set up. It was kinda random and the lighting was bad but this is what we got. Enjoy. Click on images for larger shots.


Image Dump #4

Click on images to see a larger picture.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The first sucessful tests of a working HIV Vaccine

(Bangkok) For the first time, an experimental vaccine has prevented infection with the AIDS virus, a watershed event in the deadly epidemic and a surprising result. Recent failures led many scientists to think such a vaccine might never be possible.

The World Health Organization and the U.N. agency UNAIDS said the results “instilled new hope” in the field of HIV vaccine research.

The vaccine – a combination of two previously unsuccessful vaccines – cut the risk of becoming infected with HIV by more than 31 percent in the world’s largest AIDS vaccine trial of more than 16,000 volunteers in Thailand, researchers announced Thursday in Bangkok.

Even though the benefit is modest, “it’s the first evidence that we could have a safe and effective preventive vaccine,” Col. Jerome Kim told The Associated Press. He helped lead the study for the U.S. Army, which sponsored it with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The institute’s director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned that this is “not the end of the road,” but said he was surprised and very pleased by the outcome.

“It gives me cautious optimism about the possibility of improving this result” and developing a more effective AIDS vaccine, Fauci said. “This is something that we can do.”

The Thailand Ministry of Public Health conducted the study, which used strains of HIV common in Thailand. Whether such a vaccine would work against other strains in the U.S., Africa or elsewhere in the world is unknown, scientists stressed.

Even a marginally helpful vaccine could have a big impact. Every day, 7,500 people worldwide are newly infected with HIV; 2 million died of AIDS in 2007, UNAIDS estimates.

“Today marks a historic milestone,” said Mitchell Warren, executive director of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, an international group that has worked toward developing a vaccine.

“It will take time and resources to fully analyze and understand the data, but there is little doubt that this finding will energize and redirect the AIDS vaccine field,” he said in a statement.

The study tested the two-vaccine combination in a “prime-boost” approach, in which the first one primes the immune system to attack HIV and the second one strengthens the response.

They are ALVAC, from Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine division of French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis; and AIDSVAX, originally developed by VaxGen Inc. and now held by Global Solutions for Infectious Diseases, a nonprofit founded by some former VaxGen employees.

ALVAC uses canarypox, a bird virus altered so it can’t cause human disease, to ferry synthetic versions of three HIV genes into the body. AIDSVAX contains a genetically engineered version of a protein on HIV’s surface. The vaccines are not made from whole virus – dead or alive – and cannot cause HIV.

Neither vaccine in the study prevented HIV infection when tested individually in earlier trials, and dozens of scientists had called the new one futile when it began in 2003.

“I really didn’t have high hopes at all that we would see a positive result,” Fauci confessed.

The results proved the skeptics wrong.

“The combination is stronger than each of the individual members,” said the Army’s Kim, a physician who manages the Army’s HIV vaccine program.

The study tested the combo in HIV-negative Thai men and women aged 18 to 30 at average risk of becoming infected. Half received four “priming” doses of ALVAC and two “boost” doses of AIDSVAX over six months. The others received dummy shots. No one knew who got what until the study ended.

Thanad Yomha, a 33-year-old electrician from southeastern Thailand, said he didn’t expect anything in return for volunteering for the project.

“I did this for others,” Thanad said. “It’s for the next generation.”

All were given condoms, counseling and treatment for any sexually transmitted infections, and were tested every six months for HIV. Any who became infected were given free treatment with antiviral medicines.

Participants were followed for three years after vaccination ended.

The results: New infections occurred in 51 of the 8,197 given vaccine and in 74 of the 8,198 who received dummy shots. That worked out to a 31 percent lower risk of infection for the vaccine group. Two of the infected participants who received the placebo died.

The vaccine had no effect on levels of HIV in the blood for those who did become infected. That had been another goal of the study – seeing whether the vaccine could limit damage to the immune system and help keep infected people from developing full-blown AIDS.

That result is “one of the most important and intriguing findings of this trial,” Fauci said. It suggests that the signs scientists have been using to gauge whether a vaccine was actually giving protection may not be valid.

“It is conceivable that we haven’t even identified yet” what really shows immunity, which is both “important and humbling” after decades of vaccine research, Fauci said.

Details of the $105 million study will be given at a vaccine conference in Paris in October.

This is the third big vaccine trial since 1983, when HIV was identified as the cause of AIDS. In 2007, Merck & Co. stopped a study of its experimental vaccine after seeing it did not prevent HIV infection. Later analysis suggested the vaccine might even raise the risk of infection in certain men. The vaccine itself did not cause infection.

In 2003, AIDSVAX flunked two large trials – the first late-stage tests of any AIDS vaccine at the time.

It is unclear whether vaccine makers will seek to license the two-vaccine combo in Thailand. Before the trial began, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said other studies would be needed before the vaccine could be considered for U.S. licensing.

“This is a world first which proves that vaccine development is possible,” said Dr. Supachai Rerks-Ngarm, the Thai Health Ministry official who oversaw the trial. “But this is not to the level where we can license or manufacture the vaccine yet.”

Mass-producing the vaccine, plus how to proceed with future studies, will be discussed among the governments, study sponsors and companies involved in the trial, Kim said. Scientists want to know how long protection will last, whether booster shots will be needed, and whether the vaccine helps prevent infection in gay men and injection drug users, since it was tested mostly in heterosexuals in the Thai trial.

The study was done in Thailand because U.S. Army scientists did pivotal research in that country when the AIDS epidemic emerged there, isolating virus strains and providing genetic information on them to vaccine makers. The Thai government also strongly supported the idea of doing the study.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Starbucks Apps flow into the Apple App Store

Well Here it is all You iPhone toting Starbucks lovers. Two apps just for you to help fill your Starbucks cup of desires.

Two Starbucks apps made an entrance into the App Store yesterday morning, one - myStarbucks - offering store location capabilities and menu browsing while the other, the Starbucks Mobile Card app, provides a variety of features to manage and reload Starbucks cards as well as a unique payment system that's being piloted in a handful of stores. The myStarbucks app takes advantage of the peer-to-peer connectivity over Bluetooth that debuted with the iPhone 3.0 firmware.

The myStarbucks app can use the iPhone's location to find the nearest Starbucks stores. But this im sure would only be needed if your not in your native town. Because come on; you know where the closest Starbucks is right? The Starbucks food menu, along with nutritional information, can also be viewed. Favorite drinks can be customized, saved for future reference, and shared via email or directly with another iPhone or iPod touch user who has the myStarbucks app open and Bluetooth turned on. Well isn't that exciting. You can share your Starbucks with another Starbucks customer that is glued to their iPhone.

The Starbucks Card Mobile app allows holders of Starbucks Cards to view card balance, reload a card, view transaction history information, and more. It also features a new payment system that's being piloted in 16 stores in the San Francisco Bay and Seattle areas that will allow users to make payments directly through an iPhone. To head off inevitable questions about the expansion of this program, a button labeled "When is it coming to my Starbucks?" reveals the following answer:

We are testing mobile payment in select stores in Seattle and Silicon Valley. In the coming months we will be evaluating additional locations and would love your input. To follow our process and share ideas on Starbucks Card Mobile, visit Thanks for your interest in Starbucks Card Mobile.

Starbucks is currently offering a $5 bonus on Starbucks Cards Mobile accounts the first time a card is reloaded with a Visa card through the Starbucks Card Mobile app. Yes I can now get me a free Grande Mocha Vanilla Late!

Starbucks has partnered with Apple in other areas, including offering a music partnership that offers customers the ability to purchase currently playing songs in Starbucks locations directly on an iPhone, iPod touch, or computer with iTunes. iPhone and iPod touch users can also benefit from free Wi-Fi Connectivity at Starbucks locations with AT&T hotspots.

The myStarbucks App [App Store Link] and the Starbucks Card Mobile app [App Store Link] is available now and for one of the best parts it is free! So Get out your iTunes and iPhones and get it while its Hot.

Story found on

-Bastian Gatten

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

6th Annual Blues Challenge!

It's finally here!!

This Saturday Night, September 26th!!
Blues Society of Tulsa's 6th Annual Blues Challenge
VFW Post 577 - 1109 E. 6th Street (Just West of Peoria on 6th St.)
Doors will open at 3:00pm and the first Duo/Solo Act will start at 4:00pm

Bands should begin around 6:45 or 7:00 (I'll try to get exact times by the end of the week)
Solo/Duo Acts may perform for up to 15 minutes each & Bands may perform up to 20 minutes each.

Winning acts will represent Tulsa by competing in the most coveted of all Blues Challenges:
The International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN on January 20 - 23, 2010!

Solo/Duo Acts: Bee Blue W/Two, Local Boys,
Slidebone Johnny, Danny J. Buck, James Groves

Bands: Austin Skyline, Home Brewed Band, Locus, Tight Rope, Hurricane Mason,
Bluesdogs, Tru Blu, The Dustin Pittsley Band, and Corona Brothers

Yes...14 Acts - In One Night - Under One Roof !!

This contest is essentially a competition to help us to decide who our Band and Duo/Solo Act representatives in Memphis at the 2010 International Blues Challenge will be... where they'll be "Looking For Tomorrow's Stars Today!"
Awards will be presented to the winners on the night of the event!
Drawings will be held throughout the night for some really cool prizes so be sure to get plenty of tickets... and be sure to check out the silent auctions!

This year's Sponsors/Donors:
Danny Beck Chevrolet, Galen Brown's Guitars and Repair, Tracy Phillips and Tiger Natural Gas, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hohner, Alligator Records, the Rockin' John Henry Foundation, El Guapo's, Dilly Deli, Tas Cru, Mike Zito, Carol Carley, Kerry Kudlacek, Joe Bonamassa/J&R Adventures, Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino, Blind Pig Records, Electro Groove & Delta Groove Records, Yellow Dog Records, Blind Raccoon, Choc Beer & Pete's Place in Krebs, OK, Famous Dave's BBQ, The Cheesecake Factory,, Tulsa Oilers, Mazzio's, Zio's Italian Eatery, Creek Nations River Sprit Casino, Ted's Cafe' Escondido, El Chico's Mexican Restaurant, The Music Store, and many more!

Join the Blues Society of Tulsa at and help us do our part in "Keeping the Blues Alive!"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Some historic trivia

In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are 'limbs,' therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, 'Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg.' (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)

As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October) Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool.. They couldn't wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term 'big wig.' Today we often use the term 'here comes the Big Wig' because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.


In the late 1700's, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The 'head of the household' always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the 'chair man.' Today in business, we use the expression or title 'Chairman' or 'Chairman of the Board..'


Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told, 'mind your own bee's wax.' Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term 'crack a smile'. In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt . . . Therefore, the expression 'losing face.'


Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman, as in 'straight laced'. . Wore a tightly tied lace..


Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the 'Ace of Spades.' To avoid paying the tax, people woul d purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't 'playing with a full deck.'


Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to 'go sip some ale' and listen to people's conversations and political concerns.. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. 'You go sip here' and 'You go sip there.' The two words 'go sip' were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term 'gossip.'

At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in 'pints' and who was drinking in 'quarts,' hence the term 'minding your'P's and Q's '

One more and betting you didn't know this!

In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a 'Monkey' with 16 round indentations.

However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make 'Brass Monkeys.' Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled.

Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, 'Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.' (All this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn't you.)

F-22s Elmendorf AFB Alaska

Here are some awesome photos I found of some F-22 Fighter Jets. These are some amazing pictures. Click on each image for a larger picture. Please share this with your friends and thumb up on stumbleupon if you like.

Thank you
-Bastian Gatten

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Light is Green.

I took this photo this weekend down at the Plaza in Kansas City, MO. It was a beautiful day!
-Photo by Bastian Gatten

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I have a dream Van

I got these in an email. In a way it is quite hysterical, but also sadly true. Kudos to the guy that is driving this van around. He most definately has a lot of guts.

Click on the images for a bigger picture.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Image Dump #3