Bungie Goes Out Bearing Gifts

As of June 23rd, Bungie has started to celebrate their last year with Halo by doing what they do best: being awesome.  While other studios only think about raising the cost of every little bit of extra material they give you (we’re looking at you Activision), Bungie finds new things to give us for free.  Whether it is the standard Forge maps they continue to select and insert into multiplayer rotation or the goodies now coming our way from now through Bungie Day on July 7th, Reach has always been a giving experience.  While the previously Bungie employee exclusive blue flame helmet (pictured) unlock maybe a cool freebie, the fullfilment of the Steaktacular medal may be the coolest of the bunch (#6 on the list).  Below is the full list of the incoming Bungie fun. Enjoy!

  1. Because Blue Flames aren’t just for Bungie Employees or fans with iPhones. We’ll be turning on Blue Flames and the Bungie Nameplate for every last one of our loyal fans. (Kids, do try this at home.)
  2. Because we just built a brand-new and totally free community iPhone app to keep you connected… and entertained!
  3. Because we’re going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what Bungie Aerospace is all about.
  4. Because a collection featuring some of our rarest and most treasured personal Halo artwork will be up for auction, with all profits going to charity through a partnership between Child’s Play and the Bungie Foundation.
  5. Because the Bungie Store is going to be packed with Swag Sacks containing random, but totally kick ass swag, limited run commemorative t-shirts, and amazing commissioned posters from a handful of incredible artists, with all profits also going straight to charity.
  6. Because on Bungie Day we’ll be throwing down in a 24-hour Bungie vs. the World No Holds Barred Halo: Reach Marathon where we’ll be making the promise of Steaktacular a certified beefy reality. You steak us. We’ll steak you. Seriously, we’re going to mail any team who beats us by 20 kills or more on Bungie Day a Grade-A cut of steak (gift cards for international players) while supplies last.
  7. Because you’ve been just as much a part of this incredible twenty years as we have, and we simply couldn’t bear it if you didn’t show up and help us celebrate our anniversary and help send our Halo baby out with one hell of a bang.

Vaccination cuts meningitis C rate by 75%

The Irish Times February 4, 2002 | MUIRIS HOUSTON Amid all the bad press about vaccination, it is nice to be able to report a success story on which scientists, doctors and patients agree.

A vaccination programme against meningitis C was introduced in the Republic in October 2000. Within a year it has led to a 75 per cent reduction in cases, from 139 in 2000 to 35 in 2001, according to the latest statistics from the National Disease Surveillance Centre.

Meningitis is a killer disease, and the Republic has had one of the highest attack rates in Europe. Meningococcal infection caused more than 80 per cent of cases of bacterial meningitis and septicaemia last year. There are a number of subtypes of the meningococcal bug, including A, B, C, 29E, W-135, X, Y and Z.

Recent statistics show type B as the cause in 60 per cent of cases, with almost 40 per cent due to type C; the others occur very rarely in this part of the world.

The Republic’s growing Muslim population needs to be aware that outbreaks of group W-135 disease have occurred over the past two years among visitors to Mecca on the hajj pilgrimage. And intrepid travellers are at risk of group-A meningococcal disease in sub- Saharan Africa, Nepal, Pakistan and parts of India. in our site symptoms of meningitis

But back home, the most striking reductions were seen in the age groups targeted by the meningitis C vaccine programme, ranging from a 93 per cent reduction in five- to nine-year-olds to a 70 per cent reduction in the 10-14 age group. (See table 1.) There was also a reduction in the number of deaths from bacterial meningitis last year. In 2000, 25 people died from meningococcal disease, 11 of them from meningococcal C. Figures for last year show the overall number of deaths to have more than halved, to 11, only three of which were caused by the C strain of the bacterium. go to web site symptoms of meningitis

The vaccination programme initially targeted babies coming for their primary immunisations at two, four and six months and for their MMR – measles, mumps and rubella – vaccine at 15 months. Secondary-school students from Junior to Leaving Certificate were also part of phase one, as were first-year third-level students.

Phase two of the programme targeted children aged up to six. Now, the Office for Health Gain has launched the final phase, aimed at young adults from 19 to 22.

A single dose of the vaccine gives protection to children over a year old and to adults. Babies require three doses, given at least a month apart.

The meningitis C vaccine is not live, which means it is extremely safe. It is incapable of causing even a mild case of meningitis or septicaemia.

More than a million doses have now been administered here, with a low rate of adverse reaction, such as redness or swelling at the injection site or a mild temperature. Older children and young adults sometimes complain of headaches, dizziness and swollen glands. Such reactions are generally not serious, and they disappear fast.

As with any form of medicine, there is a theoretical risk of a serious allergic reaction to the shot. There have been no fatal reactions, with just one severe allergic reaction reported for every half million doses of vaccine.

No vaccine is 100 per cent effective, but the figures for meningitis C failure are impressively low. There has been a single case in the Republic of meningitis C in an immunised person, and it did not progress to septicaemia; the victim made a full recovery, suggesting the vaccine at least helped to ameliorate the disease.

Dr Darina O’Flanagan, director of the National Disease Surveillance Centre, says: “The programme has been very successful. It has saved the lives of eight children and prevented the admission to hospital of over 100 others.” Unfortunately, although clinical trials are under way, there is no sign of a marketable vaccine for meningitis B within the next five years. So it is extremely important to remain vigilant for the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia caused by other types of meningococcus. (See table 2.) Meanwhile, all 19- to 22-year-olds – 25 per cent of whom carry the bug in their nasal cavities – should make an appointment with their GPs or student health services to get the meningitis C vaccine. It could save their lives.

The Meningitis Research Foundation has designated February meningitis-awareness month. Its campaign will feature microscope pins available, for a donation of EUR2, from all Boots stores, the proceeds of which will go to research into the disease. The pins are attached to a card that outlines the prominent symptoms of meningitis. The foundation’s 24-hour helpline is at 1890-413344.

MUIRIS HOUSTON