Five Second Rule


Food dropped on the floor can be contaminated with bacteria instantly, regardless of how fast you pick it up, a study recently concluded. CreditBrian Harkin for The New York Times

You may think your floors are so clean you can eat off them, but a new study debunking the so-called five-second rule would suggest otherwise.

Professor Donald W. Schaffner, a food microbiologist at Rutgers Universityin New Jersey, said a two-year study he led concluded that no matter how fast you pick up food that falls on the floor, you will pick up bacteria with it.

The findings in the report — “Is the Five-Second Rule Real?” — appeared online this month in the American Society for Microbiology’s journal,Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Researchers at Aston University’s School of Life and Health Sciences in England reported in 2014 that food picked up a few seconds after being dropped is “less likely to contain bacteria than if it is left for longer periods of time,” giving rise to news accounts suggesting that eating the food might be harmless. Those findings, and research done at the University of Illinoisin 2003, did not appear in a peer-reviewed journal, Professor Schaffner noted.

Even though the five-second rule is a bit of folklore, it still raised important public health issues that demanded closer scrutiny, he said. He cited research by the Centers for Disease Control, which found that surface cross-contamination was the sixth most common contributing factor out of 32 in outbreaks of food-borne illnesses.

How was the study conducted?

Professor Schaffner and a master’s thesis student, Robyn C. Miranda, tested four surfaces — stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood and carpet — and four different foods: cut watermelon, bread, buttered bread and strawberry gummy candy. They were dropped from a height of five inches onto surfaces treated with a bacterium with characteristics similar to salmonella.

The researchers tested four contact times — less than one second and five, 30 and 300 seconds. A total of 128 possible combinations of surface, food and seconds were replicated 20 times each, yielding 2,560 measurements.

What did the study find?

The research found that the five-second rule has some validity in that longer contact times resulted in transfer of more bacteria. But no fallen food escaped contamination completely. “Bacteria can contaminate instantaneously,” Professor Schaffner said in a news release.

Carpet had a very low rate of transmission of bacteria compared with tile and stainless steel; transfer rates from wood varied.

The composition of the food and the surface on which it falls matter as much if not more than the length of time it remains on the floor, the study found. Watermelon, with its moisture, drew the highest rate of contamination and the gummy candy the least.

In an interview, Professor Schaffner said, “I will tell you on the record that I’ve eaten food off the floor.” He quickly added: “If I were to drop a piece of watermelon on my relatively clean kitchen floor, I’m telling you, man, it’s going in the compost.”

Where did the rule get its start?

The history of the five-second rule is difficult to trace but it is attributed apocryphally to Genghis Khan, who declared that food could be on the ground for five hours and still be safe to eat, Professor Schaffner said.

Why do people do this anyway?

William K. Hallman, an experimental psychologist and a professor at the Department of Human Ecology at Rutgers University, said people do not put every decision through a risk-benefit filter and instead rely on cognitive shortcuts called heuristics to help in their daily lives.

“It’s a way of making a very quick decision with whatever data is available,” he said in an interview.

But sometimes those shortcuts can be based on flawed assumptions or missing information.

For instance, germs are invisible and so they are easy to ignore when “something of particular value, like a yellow peanut M&M” falls to the floor, he said. Because germs are out of sight, the belief is there is no harm in picking up the M&M and popping it in your mouth.

Douglas Powell, a former professor of food safety and the publisher about food safety, added that people eat from the floor because they are told not to waste food.

People are also impervious to risk. “I’ve done this all my life and never gotten sick; I did this a couple of days ago and nothing happened,” he said in an email.

Or as Professor Schaffner observed: “The first kid, the pacifier falls on the floor, oh my God, we have to sterilize it. By the third kid, it’s like ‘whatever.’ ”

Shouldn’t people know better than to eat off the floor?

Research has shown that people think germs belong to other people, Professor Hallman said. For instance, people generally believe their bathrooms are cleaner than a public restroom. In fact, that is not the case because public restrooms are cleaned more regularly, he said in an interview.

People also misunderstand the transmission of germs.

“We sort of joke about the five-second rule, but people act as if germs take some period of time to race to the item that fell on the floor,” he said.

People also do not recognize the symptoms of food-borne illnesses and tend to blame them on the last thing they ate, so they do not connect how their earlier actions might have made them sick.

Are men more likely to eat off the floor than women?

Yes, according to Professor Hallman. In contrast to women, men say they more frequently engage in behaviors such as picking up food or a fork that has fallen to the floor, or picking an insect or a hair out of their food then continuing to eat, he said. The findings came from a phone survey of 1,000 Americans in 2005.

Anthony Hilton, a professor of microbiology at Aston University, said a survey of nearly 500 people found 81 percent of women said they followed the rule — they would not eat anything that lingered on the floor — compared with 64 percent of men, the magazine “Scientific American”reported.

“Hilton says he doesn’t have a good explanation for this gender differentiation but points out that this finding is consistent with other research into the five-second rule,” the magazine wrote. “One possible conclusion: This is tacit confirmation of another piece of folk wisdom — men are less discerning when it comes to their food’s cleanliness.”

Posted but not written by Louis Sheehan.

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The Dematabolization of Humanity: If Not Now, When? 2039 AD BRIEFING, PART I



{I did this all in fun. To ask permission of each person with specificity would ruin some of the — hoped for — enjoyment. PLEASE BE AWARE NO OFFENSE INTENDED!  I just made things up. I don ‘t actually know or know anything about most of these people; sorry if I failed to include someone! – Lou}




The Dematabolization of Humanity: If Not Now, When?  2039 AD BRIEFING, PART I




Zeta Reticuli is a planetary system including two stars both of which are about 1 billion years older than the Earth’s sun (Greer, 2024).  Zeti Reticuli is 39.2 light years from Earth and Zeta I is approximately one-eighth of a light year from Zeta II  (Serenity, 2024).


The Zetan Founders evolved on a planet orbiting Zeta I Reticuli and populated a Zeta II Reticulan planet with a genetically altered version – to accommodate different environmental conditions – of their species (Zetapedia, 2039).  Subsequently, on Earth the Founders attempted to genetically modify a native species of simians to roughly approximate the Founders’ appearance and abilities in the context of yet another divergent environment (Martin, 2025).[1] As shown in many artistic renderings as well as written and oral traditions, Humanity has a long record of punctuated periods of involvement with the Founders (Von Daniken, 1970).  Yet, consistent with Human behavior, all such involvement was officially denied and actively concealed by Human authorities (Resetar, 2029).


During the summer of 1947, two Zeta Reticulan I Ovoid-Class extraterrestrial lenticular-shaped aerodyne craft collided while on an observance-only mission over the atomic testing grounds in the State of New Mexico, USA, [2] Earth  (Mike B, 2017).   Radar film and tower logs from American Holloman Air Force Base reflected the merger of three objects prior to collision and subsequent crashes with the third object believed to be a test balloon (Majestic Twelve, 1952). The two Ovoid-Class craft experienced non-planned ground contact at two dispersed sites in New Mexico. [3] Four Zeta Reticulan I bodies were recovered, two of which were unevacuated in a damaged escape cylinder and two of which were found several yards from a second albeit evacuated cylinder (Majestic Twelve, 1952).  One of the four – an evacuated body – was nonmetabolic and badly decomposed as a result of exposure and assumed predatory action.  A second – the second evacuated body – became nonmetabolic within the first hour of the American Army Air Force recovery operation (Briefing Document, 1952).  The two unevacuated bodies became nonmetabolic due to undetermined causes (Collie, 2025).  All of the bodies and parts thereof were stored at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (Threadkiller, 2025).


Years of intensive Human study of the retrieved components of the two Ovoid-Class craft seeded numerous Human technological advances.  Within decades of the recovery, the reverse engineering of recovered components led to the fruition, as examples, of fiber optics, integrated circuits, lasers, Kevlar and accelerated particle beam devices (Corso, 1997).


In 2021, Human scientists at the Sheehan Institute of Science and Technology,  [4] fully replicated [5] a functioning Ovoid-Class power source (Moogboy, 2022).  The newly named D-Rodgers reactor was fueled with Element 114 [6] in a closed system. Fueling was the initial step in the provision of amplified Gravitic-Magnetic-S waves allowing Manosian travel (a.k.a. “accelerated light” travel) (Scott, 2027).


The D-Rodgers reactor bombarded Element 114 with hydrogen protons using a microparticle accelerator.  The hydrogen protons fused into the Element 114 nucleus creating the misnamed  “radioactive”[7] form of Element 115 [8] (“R-115”).  The almost simultaneous decay of R-115 [9] produced one particle of a type of anti-matter known as Sigma-Hydrogen as well as a large number of tachyons.  The flux of newly produced Sigma-Hydrogen particles and tachyons were channeled through an evacuated tuned tube and further contained within a flowing stream of higgs-boson particles layered with neutrinos where they were reacted with condensed dark matter in a Seraphinian Annihilation Reaction (Caveman, 2024).


The generation of the Subquarkian-Gravitic-Magnetic-S Waves theoretically allowed the craft to “fall” through space and time to its targeted (a.k.a. “attracted”) position at velocities of up to 1,000 times the speed of light (“1000-c”). [10] However, the inefficiencies of the Human constructed “Model Friedman-23” restricted Manosian travel to speeds of under 12-c.[11]


With the Human National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s first successful interplanetary flight in the Sheehan Program (the first manned extra-Earth program after the suspension of the Apollo Program),[12] overt and nonconcealable [13] Zeta Reticulan contact was initiated in compliance with Zeta Reticulan Containment Policy: Earth (Pyramid 0099742.7760.04, 2039).




[1] Human reproductive capacity, however, is significantly greater than is the Founders’  (Shane, 2026).


[2] “USA” and “America” are interchangeable names for the most powerful political entity on Earth during this time frame.


[3] Subsequent to this SNAFU, Zeta Reticulan regulations were adjusted to prohibit Zeta Reticulan Graduate Students from engaging in unaccompanied field studies of inhabited planets (Pyramid 3301003.0020.54, 1947).


[4] L. Sheehan was one of Earth’s two leading and farsighted UFOlogists in the second decade of the 21st Century (Klassless, 2024).


[5] Funding was provided by Les Alpucula’s donation of the patent to the Guinness Device.


[6] Renamed to be “Nancybyrneium.”


[7] Radioactive decay is conventionally described as the emission of ionizing particles and radiation (Wikipedia, 2039).   As is well known, the technical term for the R-115 process is “Lazarian Enahanced Restabilization.”


[8] A.k.a. “Billbyrneium.”


[9] Persuant to the “Island of Stability” properties of Element 114 (Nova scienceNOW, 2039).


[10] Einsteinian distortions are irrelevant to Manosian travel (Wade, 2027).


[11] This technology is dated by Galactic standards.


[12] See: “The Unending Book of Unending Homework Problems” by A. Martin.


[13] For culturally idiosyncratic reasons, it was necessary to establish the Zetan base on the “White House lawn” despite the intrinsically poor meteorological conditions  (Bates, 1940).



  1.  Bates, H. (1940, October), Farewell to the master.  Astounding Science Fiction



  1.  Briefing Document. (1952). Operation majestic 12 prepared for president-elect

Dwight D. Eisenhower. (Project Operations Group, White House.)  Washington, DC: White House.

  1.  Caveman, U. (2024).  Which means ….  Kansas: Talktalktalktalk Press.


  1.  Collie, J. (2025).  I’ll get back to you.  Las Vegas: Onthegopress.


  1.  Corso, P. (1997).  The day after roswell.  New York: Pocket Books.


  1.  Greer, J. (2024). Look it up yourself! Sheehan Institute of Science and Technology: Yet Another Project Press.


  1.  Greys (2039).  In Zetapedia.  Retrieved April 24, 2039, from


  1.  Island of Stability. (September, 2006). Nova scienceNOW.  Retrieved April 24, 2039,



  1.  Klassless, P. (2024). You are all wrong about everything and you all stink and I will get all of you!: Ugly Billionaire Press.


  1.  Majestic Twelve. (1952). First annual report. (Project Operations Group,

White House.)  Washington, DC: White House.


  1.  Martin, A. (2025).  The point is: was cartman right?  Tahiti: South Park Press.


  1.  Martin, A. (2012). The unending book of unending homework problems. Beijing: AndyouthoughtIwasanicegirlPress.


  1.  Mike, B. (2017). Oh my god! Baltimore:  Johns Hopkins Press.


  1.  Moogboy. (2022).  One quick question.  Bawlamer Publications: Maryland.


  1.  Pyramid 0099742.7760.04. (2039). Containment policy: Earth (TJ, Trans.)

Akenhaten: Central Office of Records. (Original work published 18,496 BCE)


  1.  Pyramid 3301003.0020.54. (2039). Graduate student restrictions (TJ,

Trans.)  Akenhaten: Central Office of Records. (Original work published



  1.  Radioactive Decay.  (April 24, 2039.) In Wikipedia.  Retrieved April 24, 2039, from


  1.  Resetar, M. (2029).  Piece it together.  Kalamazoo: Paperwork Press.


  1.  Scott, K. (2027.)  Statistically Proven: The Mets Will Never Win a World Series Again!  Retrieved April 23, 2039 from


  1.  Serenity. (2024). Freedom!  New Jersey: Take-that! Books.


  1.  Shane, J. (2026).  The lone star.  Chicago: Playboy Press.


  1.  Threadkiller, W. (2025).  But couldn’t you do it another way? Antarctica: Breakawaycivilization Press.


  1.  Wade, H. (2027).  Ganja. Pahrump: Inyourface Publishing.


  1.  Von Daniken, E. (1970).  Chariots of the gods? New York: Bantam Books, Inc.







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Pennsylvania Coal Towns


A Dying Coal Town Falls Into ‘Fracking Frenzy’ In ‘Heat & Light’

Heat and Light
Heat and Light

by Jennifer Haigh

Hardcover, 430 pages


“More than most places, Pennsylvania is what lies beneath.” That’s a line Jennifer Haigh places at the beginning and the end of her latest novel, Heat & Light.

Haigh knows a lot about “what lies beneath” in Pennsylvania. She was born in the coal country of Western Pennsylvania and her 2005 best-selling novel,Baker Towers, traced the rise and fall of the fictional coal town, Bakerton, in the years following World War II. Haigh returned to Bakerton a few years ago in her short story collection, News From Heaven; now, in Heat & Light she’s paying a more extended visit.

For Haigh, Bakerton is becoming something akin to Faulkner’s apocryphal Yoknapatawpha County. It’s a place she’s brought to life so scrupulously that she can delve deep, both into the minds and family histories of her mostly working-class characters, as well as into the land itself and the stories it contains.

Heat & Light is her most ambitious — and compelling — novel yet. What Tom Wolfe did for the New York City of the so-called, “go-go ’80s” in The Bonfire of the Vanities, Haigh does here for Bakerton — and the obscure real-life locales it’s based on — in this, our own era of “fracking frenzy.”

Heat & Light is an exquisitely designed, semi-satirical social novel featuring a cast of at least 15 main characters. The central story revolves around fracking — the method by which natural gas trapped underground in shale rock is released through drilling and the injection of a high-pressure mixture of water, chemicals and sand.

The novel opens in 2010, when a salesman comes to town representing a Texas company called Dark Elephant Energy. In simple two-minute pitches, the salesman offers farmers around Bakerton a sweet deal, whereby Dark Elephant leases their land, drills into what he calls “Nature’s safe-deposit box” and releases the treasure of natural gas. He claims the drill will run so far beneath the land that farming can go on as usual. In return, the farmers get a leasing bonus up front and a percentage of future profits.

Who would say no to such easy money, right? But the regrets skyrocket a couple of years later, after the tap water gets funky and residents begin suffering from rashes and boils, memory loss and miscarriages.

After the natural gas boom goes bust and Dark Elephant drill workers (some of whom we’ve gotten to know) are laid off and stiffed on their last paycheck; after the old hardwood forests are cut down and muddy clearings “the size of … shopping mall[s] are carved out” — that’s when most folks in Bakerton realize they’ve been royally fracked.

The challenge with such a political, and heavily populated novel like Heat & Light is to make us readers care; to topple us from our Olympian condescension and get us to identify with these characters and the mistakes they make out of greed and need.

Enlarge this image

Jennifer Haigh’s previous books include Baker Towersand News From Heaven.

Rob Arnold/Ecco

As spectacular as Haigh’s panoramic social focus is in this novel — whisking us from Dark Elephant’s shareholders’ meeting in Houston into Bakerton’s taverns, the Wal-Mart, the local meth-head hangouts and storefront churches — she’s also superb at getting us into the nitty gritty of her character’s worldview, as well as their speech.

Most Bakerton natives begin their sentences with the resigned preface, “Anyways.” Chief among them is Rich Devlin, who has inherited his family’s property, but works as a prison guard because he can’t afford to farm. Rich’s father always told him that “there are two kinds of work: the kind where you shower before and the kind where you shower after.”

Rich can’t wait to scrub the prison smells off him every night. With the money from Dark Elephant, Rich thought he could finally quit the prison job and begin farming. But, now his water and land are polluted. He can’t even afford to sue. “Anyways,” there are so many contractors and subcontractors involved, he wouldn’t know where to begin.

In another one of her signature poetic pronouncements on her home territory, Haigh says: “Rural Pennsylvania doesn’t fascinate the world, not generally. But cyclically, periodically, its innards are of interest. Bore it, strip it, set it on fire, a burnt offering to the collective need.”

In Heat & Light, Haigh succeeds in making rural Pennsylvania — its land and people — plenty fascinating. Through the intimacy of her sweeping portrayal of Bakerton and the world beyond, she also compels readers to think about what we value and what possessions and dreams we sell off way too cheap.

Posted, but not written, by Lou Sheehan
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Were Dinosaurs Doomed Before the Asteroid?

Posted but not written by Louis Sheehan

Were Dinosaurs Doomed Before the Asteroid?

By Eric Betz | April 18, 2016 3:21 pm

The age of the dinosaurs was growing stale long before that infamous impact.

A new study claims that dinosaurs were doomed to extinction before a city-sized space rock abruptly ended their reign some 66 million years ago. The analysis, published online Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows many species had already been dwindling for tens of millions of years.

Fading Away

The team’s analysis shows some of these shriveling branches on the dinosaur tree of life extend back more than 100 million years before final the extinction. And, starting around 40 million years before the impact, as existing species disappeared, fewer new species sprung up to replace them.

With diversity in decline, the overall dinosaur population was primed for a mass extinction event, the authors say. So when the asteroid hit, there were fewer species to adapt to the new conditions.

The team used a phylogenetic approach — you can think of it as an evolutionary tree containing hundreds of dinosaur species. This allowed them to examine the statistics of speciation events, which happen when certain dinosaur species appear or go extinct. It’s the first time researchers have taken such an approach. The authors do concede that sampling bias might have skewed their results. However, logic would imply that the fossil record should have fewer older specimens; instead, they found significantly fewer younger specimens exist.

Widespread Die-Offs

The die-offs weren’t isolated to one part of the world either.

“We looked at trends across dinosaurs as a whole, in terms of their whole evolutionary history and across the entire globe,” says the study’s lead author Manabu Sakamoto of the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. “We did run a version of the analysis separating the data according to different parts of the world, but this did not have a major effect on the outcomes, meaning that the long-term demise was global.”

Sauropods, a long-lived family of massive herbivores that includes Brontosaurus, struggled disproportionately. The number of sauropod species dying off exceeded new species evolving as far back as 114 million years ago.

But in a surprise finding, their analysis shows that populations of ceratopsids like triceratops and hadrosaurs — an extremely common kind of duck-billed dinosaur — actually increased as other species disappeared.

“These two groups acquired specialized jaw structures that allowed them to process food efficiently” says Sakamoto. “They were also numerous yet very similar to their close relatives — slight variations on the same theme — and their ability to differentiate amongst themselves rather than having a single cosmopolitan species resulted in numerous new species arising.”

The Rise of the Mammal

Another surprise benefactor: mammals. Dinosaurs dominated the day, but as more and more Mesozoic megafauna disappeared, our ancestors were able to flourish in these ecological niches. Until recently, paleontologists didn’t recognize this explosion of mammals happened at the feet of the dinosaurs. It was more commonly thought that small mammals were simply the eventual benefactors of the asteroid impact.

But what could have caused this earlier die off? The researchers’ statistical method doesn’t point to a cause, but the team highlights a collection of possible calamities that would make an Egyptian pharaoh blush.

Supercontinents broke up and limiting free movement. Intense volcanism persisted for millions of years. The climate changed and sea levels rose.

Despite these factors, the team says the asteroid still delivered the coup de grâce

“The asteroid impact did indeed wipe out the dinosaurs (except birds), and while there are other alternative causal explanations, for instance, prolonged volcanism, it is not clear whether these would have triggered the mass extinction event 66 million years ago had the asteroid not impacted,” says Sakamoto.

Posted but not written by Lou Sheehan
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Posted but not written by Louis Sheehan


Last March, when President Obama travelled to Argentina to meet with the country’s new President, Mauricio Macri, his public appearances were dogged by protesters who noisily demanded explanations, and apologies, for U.S. policies, past and present. There are few countries in the West where anti-Americanism is as vociferously expressed as in Argentina, where a highly politicized culture of grievance has evolved in which many of the country’s problems are blamed on the United States. On the left, especially, there is lingering resentment over the support extended by the U.S. government to Argentina’s right-wing military, which seized power in March of 1976 and launched a “Dirty War” against leftists that took thousands of lives over the following seven years.

Obama’s visit coincided with the fortieth anniversary of the coup. He pointedly paid homage to the Dirty War’s victims by visiting a shrine built in their honor on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. In an address he gave at the shrine, Obama acknowledged what he characterized as American sins of omission, but he stopped short of issuing an outright apology. “Democracies have to have the courage to acknowledge when we don’t live up to the ideals that we stand for,” he said. “And we’ve been slow to speak out for human rights, and that was the case here.”

In the run-up to Obama’s trip, Susan Rice, the President’s national-security adviser, had announced the Administration’s intention to declassify thousands of U.S. military and intelligence documents pertaining to that tumultuous period in Argentina. It was a good-will gesture aimed at signalling Obama’s ongoing effort to change the dynamic of U.S. relations with Latin America—“to bury the last remnant of the Cold War,” as he said in Havana, during that same trip.

Last week, the first tranche of those declassified documents was released. The documents revealed that White House and U.S. State Department officials were intimately aware of the Argentine military’s bloody nature, and that some were horrified by what they knew. Others, most notably Henry Kissinger, were not. In a 1978 cable, the U.S. Ambassador, Raúl Castro, wrote about a visit by Kissinger to Buenos Aires, where he was a guest of the dictator, Jorge Rafael Videla, while the country hosted the World Cup. “My only concern is that Kissinger’s repeated high praise for Argentina’s action in wiping out terrorism may have gone to some considerable extent to his hosts’ heads,” Castro wrote. The Ambassador went on to write, fretfully, “There is some danger that Argentines may use Kissinger’s laudatory statements as justification for hardening their human rights stance.”

The latest revelations compound a portrait of Kissinger as the ruthless cheerleader, if not the active co-conspirator, of Latin American military regimes engaged in war crimes. In evidence that emerged from previous declassifications of documents during the Clinton Administration, Kissinger was shown not only to have been aware of what the military was doing but to have actively encouraged it. Two days after the Argentine coup, Kissinger was briefed by his Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, William Rogers, who warned him, “I think also we’ve got to expect a fair amount of repression, probably a good deal of blood, in Argentina before too long. I think they’re going to have to come down very hard not only on the terrorists but on the dissidents of trade unions and their parties.” Kissinger replied, “Whatever chance they have, they will need a little encouragement . . . because I do want to encourage them. I don’t want to give the sense that they’re harassed by the United States.”

Under Kissinger’s direction, they certainly were not harassed. Right after the coup, Kissinger sent his encouragement to the generals and reinforced that message by expediting a package of U.S. security assistance. In a meeting with the Argentine foreign minister two months later, Kissinger advised him winkingly, according to a memo written about the conversation, “We are aware you are in a difficult period. It is a curious time, when political, criminal, and terrorist activities tend to merge without any clear separation. We understand you must establish authority. . . . If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly.”

Argentina’s military forces had launched their coup in order to expand and institutionalize a war that was already under way against leftist guerrillas and their sympathizers. They called their campaign the Process of National Reorganization, or, simply, “el proceso.” During the Dirty War, as it became known, as many as thirty thousand people were secretly abducted, tortured, and executed by the security forces. Hundreds of suspects were buried in anonymous mass graves, while thousands more were stripped naked, drugged, loaded onto military aircraft, and hurled into the sea from the air while they were still alive. The term “los desaparecidos”—“the disappeared”—became one of Argentina’s contributions to the global lexicon.

At the time of the coup, Gerald Ford was the caretaker U.S. President, and Henry Kissinger was serving as both Secretary of State and national-security adviser, as he had done under Nixon. Immediately after the Argentine coup, on Kissinger’s recommendations, the U.S. Congress approved a request for fifty million dollars in security assistance to the junta; this was topped off by another thirty million before the end of the year. Military-training programs and aircraft sales worth hundreds of millions of dollars were also approved. In 1978, a year into Jimmy Carter’s Presidency, mounting concerns about human-rights violations brought an end to U.S. aid. Thereafter, the new Administration sought to cut the junta off from international financial assistance. In early 1981, with Reagan coming into the White House, however, the restrictions were lifted.

There have, in fact, been no legal consequences whatsoever to Kissinger for his actions in Chile, where three thousand people were murdered by Pinochet’s thugs, or for those in Vietnam and Cambodia, where he ordered large-scale aerial bombardments that cost the lives of countless civilians. One of his foremost critics was the late Christopher Hitchens, who in 2001 wrote a book-length indictment entitled “The Trial of Henry Kissinger.” Hitchens called for Kissinger’s prosecution “for war crimes, for crimes against humanity, and for offenses against common or customary or international law, including conspiracy to commit murder, kidnap, and torture.”

While Argentina’s Dirty War was taking place, of course, its generals habitually denied that anything untoward was occurring. Questioned about los desaparecidos, the coup leader, General Videla, explained with chilling vagueness, “The disappeared are just that: disappeared. They are neither alive nor dead. They are disappeared.” Other officers suggested that missing people were probably in hiding, carrying out terrorist actions against the fatherland. In fact, the vast majority were being brutalized in secret prisons by government-salaried employees, and then, more often than not, executed. As happened in Germany during the Holocaust, most Argentines understood what was really going on, but kept silent out of a spirit of complicity, or fear. A see-no-evil national refrain was adopted by those Argentines who witnessed neighbors being dragged from their homes by plainclothes men, never to return: “Algo habrán hecho”—“they must have done something.”

We have repeatedly reviewed evidence of Kissinger’s callousness. Some of it is as inexplicable as it is shocking. There is a macho swagger in some of Kissinger’s remarks. It could, perhaps, be explained away if he had never wielded power, like—thus far—the gratuitously offensive Presidential candidate Donald Trump. And one has an awareness that Kissinger, the longest-lasting and most iconic pariah figure in modern American history, is but one of a line of men held in fear and contempt for the immorality of their services rendered and yet protected by the political establishment in recognition of those same services. William Tecumseh Sherman, Curtis LeMay, Robert McNamara, and, more recently, Donald Rumsfeld all come to mind.

In Errol Morris’s remarkable 2003 documentary “The Fog of War,” we saw that McNamara, who was an octogenarian at the time, was a tormented man who was attempting to come to terms, unsuccessfully, with the immense moral burden of his actions as the U.S. defense secretary during Vietnam. McNamara had recently written a memoir in which he attempted to grapple with his legacy. Around that time, a journalist named Stephen Talbot interviewed McNamara, and then also secured an interview with Kissinger. As he later wrote about his initial meeting with Kissinger, “I told him I had just interviewed Robert McNamara in Washington. That got his attention. He stopped badgering me, and then he did an extraordinary thing. He began to cry. But no, not real tears. Before my eyes, Henry Kissinger was acting. ‘Boohoo, boohoo,’ Kissinger said, pretending to cry and rub his eyes. ‘He’s still beating his breast, right? Still feeling guilty.’ He spoke in a mocking, singsong voice and patted his heart for emphasis.”

McNamara died in 2009, at the same age Kissinger is today—ninety-three—but his belated public struggle with his conscience helped leaven his clouded reputation. Now that he is nearing the end of his life, Kissinger must wonder what his own legacy is to be. He can rest assured that, at the very least, his steadfast support for the American superpower project, no matter what the cost in lives, will be a major part of that legacy. Unlike McNamara, however, whose attempt to find a moral reckoning Kissinger held in such scorn, Kissinger has shown little in the way of a conscience. And because of that, it seems highly likely, history will not easily absolve him.

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Endologix, Inc. and TriVascular Technologies, Inc. Announce Merger to Create a Leading Cardiovascular Growth Company Focused on the Treatment of Aortic Disorders

Posted but not written by Lou Sheehan
October 26, 2015

Combined Product Portfolio to Provide Clinicians With a Broad Range of Endovascular AAA Devices

Will Expand U.S. and European Sales Organizations to Enhance Growth and Provide Excellent Clinical Support

Endologix to Host Conference Call Today at 5:00 p.m. ET

IRVINE, Calif., and SANTA ROSA, Calif., Oct. 26, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Endologix, Inc. (Nasdaq:ELGX) and TriVascular Technologies, Inc.(Nasdaq:TRIV) announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Endologix and TriVascular will combine in a stock and cash transaction. The transaction is valued at $9.10 per TriVascular share, or a total of approximately $211 million, based on Endologix’s closing stock price of $13.81 per share on October 23, 2015.

John McDermott, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Endologix, said, “This merger enhances the near and long-term growth potential of our business by bringing together two of the most innovative companies in the field of endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm (“AAA”) treatment. We believe the combined company will be uniquely positioned to provide physicians with three complementary products to treat a wide range of patient anatomies. These devices, the AFX®, Ovation® and Nellix® systems, each offer unique clinical advantages and together will offer physicians the ability to choose the best solution for each patient – all provided by one company. In addition to the existing products, the combined company will have a deep pipeline of new devices including AFX2 and the Ovation iX™ system that are both planned for market introduction by the first quarter of 2016. These new products are expected to be followed by additional new technologies including the launch of Nellix in the U.S., which is expected to receive PMA approval by the end of 2016.”

Mr. McDermott added, “In addition to the strong product portfolio, the merger brings together two experienced endovascular AAA sales and clinical teams in the U.S. and Europe. The combined organizations will provide broader coverage, increased clinical support and convenience for physicians and hospitals who want to access multiple technologies through a single company and representative.”

Christopher G. Chavez, President and Chief Executive Officer of TriVascular, said, “Endologix and TriVascular are two entrepreneurial companies that share a strong strategic focus on providing physicians with innovative and less invasive technologies to make endovascular aortic repair safer and available to more patients, including the significant number of patients with challenging aortoiliac anatomy. We believe physician and patient access to the Ovation platform will be significantly enhanced from a combined larger, stronger and more experienced field sales and service organization. We look forward to combining our significant and complementary expertise and capabilities for the benefit of our customers, patients, employees and stockholders.”

Terms of the Transaction

Under the terms of the agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both Endologix and TriVascular, Endologix will acquire TriVascular through the merger of a wholly-owned subsidiary of Endologix with and into TriVascular. TriVascular will survive the merger as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Endologix. As consideration for the merger, each outstanding TriVascular share will be entitled to receive a number of shares of Endologix common stock and an amount of cash, each to be determined at the closing of the merger. The stock portion of the consideration will equal in the aggregate 19.999% of Endologix’s outstanding shares of common stock as of the effective time of the merger, and is expected to be tax-free toTriVascular stockholders. The cash portion of the consideration will be determined at closing based on the intrinsic value of TriVascular options, restricted stock units, and warrants and, if applicable, the conversion of TriVascular convertible debt prior to such time. Upon completion of the merger, Endologixstockholders will own approximately 84% of the shares of the combined company on a fully diluted basis and TriVascular stockholders will own approximately 16%. The transaction is expected to close in January of 2016, subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval ofTriVascular’s stockholders and completion of all necessary regulatory reviews.

Following the closing of the transaction, the combined company will conduct business as Endologix, Inc. with its U.S. headquarters in Irvine, California, where Endologix’s current headquarters are located. Endologix will be led by John McDermott, who will become Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the combined company. Endologix’s board of directors will be comprised of Endologix’s existing board along with one representative from TriVascular’sexisting board who is anticipated to be Mr. Chavez.

In connection with the merger, certain executive officers and the directors of TriVascular, including investment entities affiliated with the directors ofTriVascular, have entered into voting agreements with Endologix covering approximately 32.5% of TriVascular’s outstanding shares.

Piper Jaffray is acting as the financial advisor to Endologix, and Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth is serving as legal counsel. J.P. Morgan Securities is acting as the financial advisor to TriVascular, and Arnold & Porter LLP is serving as legal counsel.

Presentation Slides, Conference Call and Webcast

Endologix management, joined by Mr. Chavez, will host a conference call today, October 26, 2015, beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET (2:00 p.m. PT) to discuss the transaction, followed by a question and answer session. The conference call will be available to interested parties through a live audio webcast, where it will be archived and accessible for approximately 12 months. The webcast will include presentation slides to accompany management’s prepared remarks. The live dial-in number for the call is 877-407-0789 (U.S.) or 201-689-8562 (International), which should be used by those interested in participating in the question and answer session. A telephonic replay of the call will be available from October 26, 2015 to November 2, 2015. The replay dial in numbers are 877-870-5176 (U.S.) or 858-384-5517 (International). The replay pin number is 13622012.

About Endologix, Inc.

Endologix, Inc. develops and manufactures minimally invasive treatments for aortic disorders. Endologix’s focus is endovascular stent grafts for the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). AAA is a weakening of the wall of the aorta, the largest artery in the body, resulting in a balloon-like enlargement. Once AAA develops, it continues to enlarge and, if left untreated, becomes increasingly susceptible to rupture. The overall patient mortality rate for ruptured AAA is approximately 80%, making it a leading cause of death in the U.S. Additional information can be found on Endologix’s website

The Nellix EndoVascular Aneurysm Sealing System has obtained CE Mark in the EU and is only approved as an investigational device in the United States.

About TriVascular Technologies, Inc.

TriVascular is a medical device company developing and commercializing innovative technologies to significantly advance minimally invasive treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms. TriVascular manufactures the Ovation Abdominal Stent Graft platform, the lowest profile FDA-approved endovascular aortic repair (EVAR) system, which utilizes a novel, polymer-based sealing mechanism. TriVascular is based in Santa Rosa, California.

Forward-Looking Statements

This communication includes statements that may be forward-looking statements. The words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project” and similar expressions, among others, generally identify forward-looking statements. Endologix and TriVascular caution that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the likelihood that the transaction is consummated on a timely basis or at all, including whether the conditions required to complete the transaction will be met, realization of the expected benefits of the transaction, competition from other products, changes to laws and regulations applicable to our industry, status of our ongoing clinical trials, clinical trial results, decisions and the timing of decisions of regulatory authorities regarding our products and potential future products, risks relating to foreign currency fluctuations, and a variety of other risks. Additional information about the factors that may affect the companies’ operations is set forth in Endologix’s and TriVascular’s annual and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). Neither Endologix nor TriVascular undertakes any obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as a result of subsequent events or developments, except as required by law.

Additional Information and Where to Find It

The transaction referenced in this communication has not yet commenced, and no proxies are yet being solicited. Endologix plans to file a registration statement on Form S-4 (“S-4”) that will serve as a prospectus for Endologix shares to be issued as consideration in the merger and as a proxy statement of TriVascular for the solicitation of votes of TriVascular stockholders to approve the proposed transaction (the “Proxy Statement/Prospectus”). This communication is for informational purposes only and is neither an offer to purchase nor a solicitation of an offer to sell shares. It is also not a substitute for the S-4, the Proxy Statement/Prospectus or any other documents that Endologix or TriVascular may file with the SEC or send to stockholders in connection with the proposed transaction. THE DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT ENDOLOGIX, TRIVASCULAR AND THE TRANSACTIONS. TRIVASCULAR STOCKHOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS CAREFULLY AND IN ITS ENTIRETY WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE BEFORE MAKING ANY DECISION REGARDING VOTING ON THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION.

In addition to the SEC filings made in connection with the transaction, each of Endologix and TriVascular files annual, quarterly and current reports and other information with the SEC. Endologix’s and TriVascular’s filings with the SEC, including the Proxy Statement/Prospectus once it is filed, are available to the public free of charge at the website maintained by the SEC at Copies of documents filed with the SEC by TriVascular will be made available free of charge on TriVascular’s website at Copies of documents filed with the SEC by Endologix will be made available free of charge on Endologix’s website at

Participants in the Solicitation

Endologix, TriVascular and their respective directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in any solicitation of proxies fromTriVascular’s stockholders in connection with the proposed transaction. Information regarding Endologix’s directors and executive officers is available in its proxy statement for its 2015 annual meeting of stockholders, which was filed with the SEC on April 17, 2015; information regarding TriVascular’s directors and executive officers is available in its proxy statement for its 2015 annual meeting of stockholders, which was filed with the SEC on April 14, 2015. Other information regarding the interests of such potential participants will be contained in the Proxy Statement/Prospectus when it becomes available. You may obtain free copies of these documents as described in the preceding paragraph.

CONTACT: Endologix, Inc. Company Contact:

         John McDermott, CEO

         (949) 595-7200

         Endologix, Inc. Investor Contacts:

         The Ruth Group

         Nick Laudico (646) 536-7030

         Zack Kubow (646) 536-7020

         TriVascular Technologies, Inc. Company Contact:

         Michael Kramer

         Chief Financial Officer


         TriVascular Technologies, Inc. Media Contact:

         Vivek K. Jayaraman

         VP, Sales & Marketing


         TriVascular Technologies, Inc. Investor Relations Contact:

         Westwicke Partners

         Jamar Ismail


Source: Endologix; TriVascular Technologies, Inc.

News Provided by Acquire Media

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