News

2 Year Old Mauled to Death at Zoo

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A 2-year-old boy was mauled to death today after falling into the African painted dog exhibit at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium.

Pittsburgh police Major Crimes Lt. Kevin Kraus said the boy’s 34-year-old mother placed the child in a standing position on a wooden railing overlooking the enclosure.

“Almost immediately after that he lost his balance, fell down off the railing into the actual pit and he was immediately attacked by 11 dogs,” Lt. Kraus said.

The incident occurred at 11:48 a.m. at the Highland Park complex, according to an emergency dispatch supervisor. The zoo was shut down within a half-hour of the incident and will remain closed indefinitely.

Zoo President and Chief Executive Officer Barbara Baker said at a news conference shortly after the incident that the child fell over the wooden railing and off of a mesh barrier where the painted dogs were on display. A zoo spokeswoman and police said the wooden railing is 4 feet in height and the lower mesh barrier is 11 feet 4 inches above the open exhibit space.
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“The screams just kept coming and coming: ‘Someone help. Someone has to do something,'” recounted Angela Cinti, 20, of Bethel Park, who was visiting the zoo today with her boyfriend Nick Kramer, 16, of Bethel Park.

Lt. Kraus said zoo personnel responded within minutes. The first personnel on scene were able to lure seven of the dogs away from the victim and into a secure and separated area. A second set of personnel began “throwing objects and some other techniques that they use” to secure three more dogs.

He said the final dog, which was acting very aggressively toward the victim and zoo personnel, was shot multiple times by two Pittsburgh police officers and died.

Lt. Kraus said none of the people who observed the child fall into the enclosure made an attempt to go after him. The news release from zoo officials noted that keepers attempted to enter the yard but were unable to reach the child.

One ineffective technique used by zoo personnel to lure the animals away from the child was to fire “dummy tranquilizer rounds,” Lt. Kraus said.

Information released from the zoo indicated that “unfortunately, the dogs were in pack mentality and not responding.”

The child was pronounced dead at the scene 12 p.m.

The incident is under investigation by police and the zoo. Lt. Kraus said it would be inappropriate to speculate on potential charges at this time and the bureau will continue to investigate to determine if anything could have been prevented.

Police said the boy and his mother are from Pleasant Hills and were visiting the zoo with relatives, an adult and another child, at the time of the incident.

Ms. Cinti described a horrifying scene that lasted a little more than 5 minutes but seemed like hours.

“We were on our way to the polar bear exhibit when we heard the most horrible piercing screams. … Someone was begging for help, asking someone to do something,” she said. The couple ran back in the direction they came from, passing the bear exhibits. The screams continued.

As they reached the painted dog exhibit, she saw a small crowd of distressed onlookers. “One woman with a baby in the stroller was screaming that someone needed to do something,” Ms. Cinti said. She said she could see the little boy’s apparently lifeless body lying on the hill inside the exhibit. “There were three dogs: one at his head, one on the left side of his neck and another one down by his leg. … A [zoo employee] got there and hopped over a fence with a rake and he was banging … trying to distract the dogs but they wouldn’t move,” she said.

Ms. Cinti, a student at Community College of Allegheny County, tracked the time frame with her cell phone, saying she made a call at 11:49 a.m. when she and her boyfriend first headed toward the commotion. She said her cell phone shows that the call was ended five minutes and five seconds later, when a half-dozen zoo employees arrived and dispersed the crowd.

Bart DePasquale, who was at the zoo today with his two children for a birthday party, was near the tiger exhibit when he heard screams coming from the direction of the African painted dogs exhibit.

“People were yelling ‘Get away,’ and ‘Stay away,’ and it wasn’t just one person, it was an entire group of people,” said Mr. DePasquale, 29, of Fox Chapel. “The screams sounded heavily distressed and the people were using profanity. They were shouting to zoo employees.”

Mr. DePasquale and Ms. Cinti said they were told to go inside the nearest buildings where they were kept there for about a half hour.

“We were locked down in the building and told to stay inside. … We thought it was a problem with one of the animals that got loose. Then we were told it was an incident with the wild dogs and that a child had been hurt.”

When patrons were told the zoo was closed and they needed to leave, Mr. DePasquale said, “On the way out, I saw a mother who was distressed and crying and other people who couldn’t even talk about it. … People and anyone who had been close were almost in tears, were walking out glassy-eyed. That’s when multiple people told me the dogs attacked a young child.”

Ms. Baker said the zoo initially declared a “code blue,” meaning an accident involving a human had occurred. That was followed with a “code red,” meaning that there was a serious human emergency.

Ms. Baker said no decision has been made about the future of the exhibit.

The African painted dog exhibit debuted after the October 2009 birth of the pups. A surrogate mutt was drafted into service for the nine pups after their natural mother died of a ruptured uterus. In the spring of this year, nine of the 11 painted dogs escaped a section of their enclosure causing a brief shutdown of the zoo.

Ms. Baker said at that time on May 5 that the dogs got into a 1.5-acre “backup yard” not visible to the public, but the dogs were not out of their exhibit.

African painted dogs are an endangered species.

In September, the zoo announced that it had again been accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums after a review of its animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education and safety.

AZA is a nonprofit organization with a team of professionals that inspect and review each zoo or aquarium seeking accreditation. Currently 224 facilities have been recognized and approved by the organization, including eight in Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh zoo has been recognized by AZA since 1986.The accreditation commission evaluates every zoo and aquarium to determine if they meet accepted standards for safety policies and procedures, security, physical facilities, animal management and care, health and nutrition, veterinary programs, involvement in conservation and research and education programs.

Read more: http://old.post-gazette.com/pg/12309/1274415-53.stm#ixzz2BItIqZcU

Thai Man Marries Dead Girlfriend in Joint Funeral/Wedding Ceremony

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A man from Thailand recently married his dead girlfriend in a bizarre wedding ceremony that also doubled as a funeral for the young bridge.

Chadil Deffy, also known as Deff Yingyuen, and his girlfriend Sarinya “Anne” Kamsook met 10 years ago at Thailand’s Eastern Asia University.

The young couple had been planning on getting married in the future, but unfortunately, Anne unexpectedly died on January 3rd in a car accident before the couple could set a date.

During the unusual ceremony, which was recorded and photographed, Deffy, dressed in an all black tuxedo, can be seen kissing his late girlfriend and putting a ring on her finger.
Touching and creepy all at the same time.

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People Without Facebook Accounts Are ‘Suspicious.’ – Forbes

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The term “Crackberry” seems silly today — and not just because consumers OD’ed on Blackberry and moved on to iDealers. The term arose in an earlier “aughts” time when Blackberry dominated the smartphone market and lawyers and execs were nearly the only ones who had them, due to their need to be able to respond to email immediately. Things have changed. Now we all need to be able to respond to email immediately. And to tweet. And to instantly share our photos on Facebook. We’re all addicted to technology now, and not just to the Blackberry. We’re “addicted” to our iPhones, and Facebook, and Twitter, and Android, and Pinterest, and iPads, and Word with Friends, and fill-in-the-blank-with-your-digital-dope-of-choice.

The sudden and dramatic advent of social-media-enabling technologies into our lives seems to be causing some mid-digital-life crises. Not only has Silicon Valley developed a guilty conscience about addicting us to screens, we the users are starting to question how technology is changing us: making us fat, making us unhealthy, making us depressed, making us lonely, making us narcissistic, and making us waste time worrying about whether it’s making us fat, unhealthy, depressed, narcissistic and/or lonely. That’s leading some users to consider abandoning the whole enterprise. My colleague Haydn Shaughnessy gave up his smartphone last year. Now, inspired by the example of former Facebooker Katherine Losse, he’s considering giving up Facebook.

I am writing with some words of caution. I used to say that “if you’re not on Facebook, it’s possible you don’t actually exist.” I think it’s time to update that, courtesy of Slashdot: Facebook abstainers will be labeled suspicious.

Is Facebook Making You Lonely? Don’t Be Stupid.
Jeff Bercovici
Forbes Staff

Sitting is Killing You
Erik Kain
Contributor

Facebook, Twitter? Can The Decline of Social Media Come Fast Enough?
Haydn Shaughnessy
Contributor

We’re All Internet Addicts, And We’re All Screwed, Says Newsweek
Jeff Bercovici
Forbes Staff
Slashdot flagged a German news story in which an expert noted that mass murderers Anders Breivik and James Holmes both lacked much of a social media presence, leading to the conclusion, in Slashdot’s phrasing, that “not having a Facebook account could be the first sign that you are a mass murderer.”

That’s a tad extreme, but I’m seeing the suggestion more and more often that a missing Facebook account raises red flags. After a woman found out via Facebook that a man who’d ‘poked’ her in real life had a long term girlfriend, she turned to digital manners advice givers Farhad Manjoo and Emily Yoffe of Slate to ask whether she should tell the girlfriend. They said she should and then went on a digression about transparent romances in the age of Facebook:

Farhad: I think we’ve mentioned it before that if you are going out with someone and they don’t have a Facebook profile, you should be suspicious.

Emily: Wait a minute. You may have mentioned that.

Farhad: I think I’ve recommended that. You know why, though? Imagine if this guy didn’t have a Facebook profile. That’s why. You should be suspicious of someone who is not making your relationship known publicly on a site like Facebook. I’m going to go on record with that.

Emily: I’m fine with people not having a Facebook page if they don’t want one. However, I think you’re right. If you’re of a certain age and you meet someone who you are about to go to bed with, and that person doesn’t have a Facebook page, you may be getting a false name. It could be some kind of red flag.

via Transcript: Facebook stalker: Should I tell a cheating guy’s girlfriend that we hooked up? – Slate Magazine.

It’s not just love seekers who worry about what the lack of a Facebook account means. Anecdotally, I’ve heard both job seekers and employers wonder aloud about what it means if a job candidate doesn’t have a Facebook account. Does it mean they deactivated it because it was full of red flags? Are they hiding something?

The idea that a Facebook resister is a potential mass murderer, flaky employee, and/or person who struggles with fidelity is obviously flawed. There are people who choose not to be Facebookers for myriad non-psychopathic reasons: because they find it too addictive, or because they hold their privacy dear, or because they don’t actually want to know what their old high school buddies are up to. My own boyfriend isn’t on Facebook and I don’t hold it against him (too much).

But it does seem that increasingly, it’s expected that everyone is on Facebook in some capacity, and that a negative assumption is starting to arise about those who reject the Big Blue Giant’s siren call. Continuing to navigate life without having this digital form of identification may be like trying to get into a bar without a driver’s license.

Case in point: Katherine Losse, the ex-Facebook employee that quit the company and the social network after cashing in her stock options, and who inspired my colleague to consider UnFacebooking, couldn’t stay off Facebook for long. She wound up opening a new account.

“You can’t get away from it. It’s everything. It’s everywhere,” she told the Washington Post. “The moment we’re in now is about trying to deal with all this technology rather than rejecting it, because obviously we can’t reject it entirely.”

Well, you can, but it might lead to your being rejected down the line too.

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Could Mariano Rivera Return This Season? Rehab Doc Likes Chances

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NEW YORK (WFAN) – Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has insisted all along the target for Mariano Rivera’s return is 2013.

“It’s all about next year,” Cashman said in early May, days after the closer injured his right knee while shagging fly balls at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium.

But what if “the immortal” one is ready this season? Is that even possible?

Rivera’s rehab doctor seems to think so. Dr. Keith Pyne recently told the New York Post that the 42-year-old is “working his butt off” and “itching to get back.”

Though the decision will belong to the Yankees, Rivera and renowned surgeon Dr. David Altchek, Pyne said the one-month delay before surgery may have actually helped the timetable for baseball’s saves leader.

“This is a very detailed guy and he did everything right (pre-surgery),” Pyne told the Post. “He strengthened, he got range of motion. He was very functional before surgery. I don’t want to put a percentage on it, but he reduced recovery time by a lot.”

Surgery to repair Rivera’s torn ACL was put on hold until June 12 due to a blood clot in his right calf. He was able to log pre-rehab work on the knee, which also turned out to have a partial tear, not a full one, according to Pyne.

Pyne gushed over the hard-working Rivera, who he called “special” and “in the top 10 percent of athletes I have worked with.”

“He’s got everything it takes to accomplish that,” Pyne said of Rivera returning in 2012. “If I was putting money on it, I would put my money on Mo.”

The doctor did admit to the paper, “Right now, he’s shut down until next year.”

Emphasis on “right now.” The five-time World Series champion may have a fighting chance to make his mark this October after all.

Dramatic Response to a Question on Ryan Commission Report

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Run down
Very general run down. Basically for those of you not familiar with the situation. The catholic church had a mad amount of power in irish society, ran hospitals, schools, orphanages, basically everything bar the local pub. If your son became a priest it was a massive credit to your family and possibly even better than them becoming a doctor. The local priest(s) were royalty and treated as such.

A lot of abuse both physical and sexual happened at the hand of priests who held important roles in the society. It was basically hushed up, the child who was abused was ostracised because how could a priest do such a thing? Then the priest in question was transferred to a different diocese. The police were told to ‘lose’ the reports and nothing much was ever really done and people’s lives were ruined as a result.

Fast forward a few decades, more and more people start reporting sexual abuse as adults and are taken more seriously. In the mean time the catholic church and priests have lost a lot of credit. People call for an enquiry. It’s eventually done but not without serious pressure and objection (as seen in the video) from lawyers/barristers and the church itself. Most victims are trying to be made look like they’re after money and not justice for the atrocities.

Victims were eventually compensated to a degree, but the church had done irreparable damage to those poor people and to itself, in Ireland. The government in power at the time has also been thrown out.

A Quick Thought About the Ozzie Guillen Situation

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A quick thought about the Ozzie Guillen situation. I don’t know how anyone can be offended about another persons opinion of someone else. So what ? he killed people now cant like him ? I mean, you can argue that it doesn’t say much about me as a person if I decide to support such a notorious figure, but that too would be an opinion. For arguments sake, let’s say you were childhood friends with Hitler. I mean close friends, like ya moms knew each other , you would go over each others house and play SEGA, sleep over and eat Totinos pizzas. Then something happens to this kid, he slips shaving and ends up with a lil mustache and a Jewish bully steals his bike or whatever and he decides to kill everyone. As his childhood friend, you not gonna be happy that he’s killing everyone, but are you just gonna end your friendship because of that ? It’s not like he killed you, and he still sends you tickets to events and what not since he’s famous now. I’m just saying, there’s a lot of fucked up people in our own families that we still support. Look at this pic of Lebron and Wade…. their excuse ” He sends us cigars” – AC

Gravy-Wrestling Model Suffers Horrific Facial Injuries After Being Hit With Monkey Wrench When She Interrupted a Friend Having Sex

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A model who became a champion gravy wrestler suffered serious eye damage after being hit in the face with a monkey wrench.
Elisa Sampson, 31, was hit in the face by her ‘best friend’ Sabina English, after arriving back at her home in Rossendale, Lancashire, and finding the single mother having sex with another friend on her sofa.
When kick boxer Elisa interrupted the two with a shout of: ‘What are you doing’, laundry worker English jumped up and hit her in the face with the garage tool, which was lying nearby on the floor.
The victim received two fractures around her right eye and a gashed upper lid, which needed surgery and 17 stitches to repair it and which resulted in a ‘deformity’ on the eyelid and long-term vision problems.
At Burnley Crown Court, Lancashire, English admitted grievous bodily harm and was jailed for two years.
She was also barred from contacting Elisa for two years under a restraining order.
The fight occurred last October, a year after blonde Elisa won the 2010 World Gravy Wrestling Championship, in which she wrestled other women and men in 2,000 litres of Bisto outside a pub near her home in Rossendale.
Miss Martine Snowden, prosecuting, said Elisa, English and Paul Greenwood who were all friends, were at the wrestler’s flat enjoying a drinks party.
Trouble began when Elisa Sampson went into her living room and found English and Paul Greenwood having sex.
Miss Snowden said: ‘Elisa was cross with what she saw, unhappy about their behaviour in her lounge and asked: “What are you doing?”
‘But English jumped up and Paul Greenwood got up and grabbed the victim around the throat and pushed her into the doorway.’
English’s brother who was also at the flat punched Elisa in the face a number of times.

The prosecutor added: ‘The victim was not really able to say what happened to her after that, but fought back to some extent and ended up on the floor in the bedroom, in pain and aware her eye was seriously injured.’
The other three fled and Elisa, who was unable to see out of her eye, sought help from a neighbour who called an ambulance. She was taken to hospital, X-rayed and had surgery.
English, of Stacksteads, near Rochdale, was arrested later but made no comment in police interview. She had a conviction for battery from nine years ago.

In mitigation her counsel Ken Hind told the hearing: ‘This is her best friend. They were very close. Socially, they did everything together.
‘Unfortunately, they had been drinking. It would appear everybody who had been there had been drinking all night.
‘Mr Hind said after she struck Ms Sampson, English turned up at Greenwood’s home, not wearing any trousers or shoes, half naked, with a towel around her.
‘She had left behind her phone, handbag, shoes and other things at her friend’s flat.
‘That would clearly indicate the state she had got herself into during the course of that night.
‘She does say she doesn’t drink very much and doesn’t know why she was drinking that night, but clearly she had consumed a great deal on that particular occasion.’

Mr Hind said it would appear English and Paul Greenwood ‘got very friendly and were about to make love to each other,’ when Elisa Sampson had come back into the room, protested and was really angry.
He said Paul Greenwood started the violence. English picked up a wrench off the floor and hit the victim once with it, with ‘devastating consequences’ for her.

Wrestlemania: Competitors challenged each other to matches in rings fulls of Bisto
The barrister said Elisa Sampson was a kick boxer and a World Gravy Wrestling Champion and was clearly ‘not somebody who is not able to handle herself.’
Mr Hind added that English had shown genuine remorse.
He went on: ‘This is a lady who is devastated about the infliction of these injuries. She has reduced her drinking.’
The barrister told the court the defendant was the sole carer for her children.
He added: ‘She is devoted to her children. She supports them. She looks after them.’
Sentencing, Judge Jonathan Gibson told English he accepted there was a lack of premeditation, he he was dealing with her on the basis she at least believed she needed to defend herself and the incident was isolated.
He added: ‘I also take into account you admitted the blow with the weapon when the prosecution may have found it difficult to establish who did it.’
English’s brother Amjad Hussain, 27, who had repeatedly punched Elisa was given a 12 month sentence after he pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm.
Paul Greenwood, also of Stacksteads, was earlier sent to prison for three months after being convicted of common assault.
In the annual wrestling championships at the Rose ‘n’ Bowl pub in Stacksteads, Bisto provided 440 gallons of gravy past its best before date for the contest, which raises money for the East Lancashire Hospice.
Local fire crews are called in to hose down the participants after their bouts in the wrestling ring. Wrestlers travel from all over the UK to compete.

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Project Glass – Google Begins Testing Its Augmented Reality Glasses

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If you venture into a coffee shop in the coming months and see someone with a pair of futuristic glasses that look like a prop from “Star Trek,” don’t worry. It’s most likely just a Google employee testing the company’s new augmented reality glasses.

On Wednesday, Google gave people 20/20 vision about a secret augmented-reality project called Project Glass. The glasses are the company’s first foray into wearable computing.

The glasses are not yet ready for sale. Google will, however, be testing them in public.

In a post shared on Google Plus, employees from Google X, including Babak Parviz, Steve Lee and Sebastian Thrun, asked people for input about the prototype of Project Glass. Mr. Lee, a Google engineer and creator of the Google mapping software Latitude, is helping build the location-based aspects of the glasses.

“We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input,” the three employees wrote. “Please follow along as we share some of our ideas and stories. We’d love to hear yours, too. What would you like to see from Project Glass?”

The prototype version Google showed off on Wednesday looked like a very polished and well-designed pair of wrap-around glasses with a clear display that sits above the eye. The glasses can stream information to the lenses and allow the wearer to send and receive messages through voice commands. There is also a built-in camera to record video and take pictures.

The New York Times first wrote about the glasses in late February, describing an augmented reality display that would sit over the eye and run on the Android mobile platform.

A video released by Google on Wednesday, which can be seen below, showed potential uses for Project Glass. A man wanders around the streets of New York City, communicating with friends, seeing maps and information, and snapping pictures. It concludes with him video-chatting with a girlfriend as the sun sets over the city. All of this is seen through the augmented-reality glasses.

University of Washington
Babak Parviz, who is working on Project Glass, developed contact lenses with pixels embedded in the display.
Project Glass could hypothetically become Project Contact Lens. Mr. Parviz, who is also an associate professor at the University of Washington, specializes in bionanotechnology, which is the fusion of tiny technologies and biology. He most recently built a tiny contact lens that has embedded electronics and can display pixels to a person’s eye.

Early reports of the glasses said prototypes could look like a pair of Oakley Thumps — which are clunky and obtrusive sunglasses — but the version Google unveiled Wednesday looks more graceful. There are reportedly dozens of other shapes and variations of the glasses in the works, some of which can sit over a person’s normal eyeglasses.

People I have spoken with who have have seen Project Glass said there is a misconception that the glasses will interfere with people’s daily life too much, constantly streaming information to them and distracting from the real world. But these people say the glasses actually free people up from technology.

One person who had used the glasses said: “They let technology get out of your way. If I want to take a picture I don’t have to reach into my pocket and take out my phone; I just press a button at the top of the glasses and that’s it.”

Project Glass is one of many projects currently being built inside the Google X offices, a secretive laboratory near Google’s main Mountain View, Calif., campus where engineers and scientists are also working on robots and space elevators.

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The Link Between Fast Food and Depression Has Been Confirmed

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According to a recent study headed by scientists from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Granada, eating commercial baked goods (fairy cakes, croissants, doughnuts, etc.) and fast food (hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza) is linked to depression.

Published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, the results reveal that consumers of fast food, compared to those who eat little or none, are 51% more likely to develop depression.

Furthermore, a dose-response relationship was observed. In other words this means that “the more fast food you consume, the greater the risk of depression,” explains Almudena Sánchez-Villegas, lead author of the study, to SINC.

The study demonstrates that those participants who eat the most fast food and commercial baked goods are more likely to be single, less active and have poor dietary habits, which include eating less fruit, nuts, fish, vegetables and olive oil. Smoking and working more than 45 hours per week are other prevalent characteristics of this group.

A long-term study

With regard to the consumption of commercial baked goods, the results are equally conclusive. “Even eating small quantities is linked to a significantly higher chance of developing depression,” as the university researcher from the Canary Islands points out.

The study sample belonged to the SUN Project (University of Navarra Diet and Lifestyle Tracking Program). It consisted of 8,964 participants that had never been diagnosed with depression or taken antidepressants. They were assessed for an average of six months, and 493 were diagnosed with depression or started to take antidepressants.

This new data supports the results of the SUN project in 2011, which were published in the PLoS One journal. The project recorded 657 new cases of depression out of the 12,059 people analysed over more than six months. A 42% increase in the risk associated with fast food was found, which is lower than that found in the current study.

Sánchez-Villegas concludes that “although more studies are necessary, the intake of this type of food should be controlled because of its implications on both health (obesity, cardiovascular diseases) and mental well-being.”

The impact of diet on mental health

Depression affects 121 million people worldwide. This figure makes it one of the main global causes of disability-adjusted life year. Further still, in countries with low and medium income it is the leading cause.

However, little is known about the role that diet plays in developing depressive disorders. Previous studies suggest that certain nutrients have a preventative role. These include group B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and olive oil. Furthermore, a healthy diet such as that enjoyed in the Mediterranean has been linked to a lower risk of developing depression.

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The Slow Death of Best Buy Begins

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Best Buy Co. Inc. said Thursday that it will close 50 big box stores this year and eliminate 400 jobs, mostly at its corporate headquarters, in a bid to boost profits amid declining stores sales in the United States.

The Richfield-based consumer electronics giant expects to save about $800 million in three years, including $250 million this year alone.

“I’m not satisfied with the pace of our transformation,” Dunn told analysts during a conference call.

The company has not yet finalized the list of stores to be closed, said spokeswoman Susan Busch.

As of noon, Best Buy stock has fallen nearly $2, or 8 percent, to $24.61, a sign investors are not impressed with Best Buy’s plan.

For the fourth quarter, Best Buy said it lost about $1.7 billion, or $4.89 per share, compared to a profit of $651 million, or $1.62 per share, during the same period a year ago. Sales at stores open for at least a year, a key measure of growth for retailers, fell 2.4 percent.

For the year, the company lost $1.2 billion, or $3.36 per share, compared to a profit of $1.3 billion, or $3.08 per share during fiscal 2011. Same-store sales declined 1.7 percent.

As consumer electronics have become more affordable and ubiquitous in recent years, Best Buy has lost sales to Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, Costco and Target. Last holiday season, the company acknowledged losing TV sales to other big-box stores, as well as retailers such as Staples and Office Depot.

In the past, as Best Buy’s stores lost market share, Dunn emphasized the retailer’s profit margins and driving sales through its multi-channel operations, including its website, mobile devices, phone centers and Geek Squad.

However, Dunn reversed course of late, telling invsetors that the company must instead focus on protecting its core store operations. And that means using promotions and discounts to fight Amazon and Wal-Mart for sales and market share.

In order to build out its multi-channel operations and to sell higher-value services to consumers, Best Buy must first drive shoppers to its stores, Dunn said.

“These changes will also help lower our overall cost structure,” Dunn in a statement. “We intend to invest some of these cost savings into offering new and improved customer experiences and competitive prices — which will help drive revenue. And, over time, we expect some of the savings will fall to the bottom line.”

The company said it expects to fully roll out this year its newly remodeled “connected” store formats in the Twin Cities and San Antonio. The formats feature “Central Knowledge Desks,” similar to the famous Genius Bars at Apple Stores where people can receive technical support and take classes.

Overall, Best Buy wants to reduce its retail square foot presence in those cities by 20 percent.

“We’re going to have more doors and less square footage,” Dunn said during the call.

He also left open the possibility that the retailer could close more big boxes in the future.

“I’m not wedded to a retail square footage” number, Dunn said.

Best Buy wants to speed up its digital sales, one of the company’s fastest growing businesses, but a relatively small unit compared to revenue from the company’s physical stores. Earlier this month, the retailer hired former Starbucks chief information officer Stephen Gillett to oversee its digital operations, including online and mobile offerings.

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James Cameron Reaches the Ocean’s Deepest Point

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At 5:52 p.m. ET Sunday (7:52 a.m. Monday, local time), James Cameron arrived at the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep, members of the National Geographic expedition have confirmed.

His depth on arrival: 35,756 feet (10,898 meters)—a figure unattainable anywhere else in the ocean.

Reaching bottom after a 2-hour-and-36-minute descent, the National Geographic explorer and filmmaker typed out welcome words for the cheering support crew waiting at the surface: “All systems OK.”

Folded into a sub cockpit as cramped as any Apollo capsule, the National Geographic explorer and frilmmaker is now investigating a seascape more alien to humans than the moon. Cameron is only the third person to reach this Pacific Ocean valley southwest of Guam (map)—and the only one to do so solo.

Hovering in what he’s called a vertical torpedo, Cameron is likely collecting data, specimens, and imagery unthinkable in 1960, when the only other explorers to reach Challenger Deep returned after seeing little more than the silt stirred up by their bathyscaphe.

After as long as six hours in the trench, Cameron—best known for creating fictional worlds on film (Avatar, Titanic, The Abyss)—is to jettison steel weights attached to the sub and shoot back to the surface. (See pictures of Cameron’s sub.)

Meanwhile, the expedition’s scientific support team awaits his return aboard the research ships Mermaid Sapphire and Barakuda, 7 miles (11 kilometers) up. (Video: how sound revealed that Challenger Deep is the deepest spot in the ocean.)

“We’re now a band of brothers and sisters that have been through this for a while,” marine biologist Doug Bartlett told National Geographic News from the ship before the dive.

“People have worked for months or years in a very intensive way to get to this point,” said Bartlett, chief scientist for the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE program, a partnership with the National Geographic Society and Rolex. (The Society owns National Geographic News.)

“I think people are ready,” added Bartlett, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California. “They want to get there, and they want to see this happen.”

(Video: Cameron Dive Is an Exploration First.)m

Rendezvous at Challenger Deep

Upon touchdown at Challenger Deep, Cameron’s first target is a phone booth-like unmanned “lander” dropped into the trench hours before his dive.

Using sonar, “I’m going to attempt to rendezvous with that vehicle so I can observe animals that are attracted to the chemical signature of its bait,” Cameron told National Geographic News before the dive.

He’ll later follow a route designed to take him through as many environments as possible, surveying not only the sediment-covered seafloor but also cliffs of interest to expedition geologists.

“I’ll be doing a bit of a longitudinal transect along the trench axis for a while, and then I’ll turn 90 degrees and I’ll go north and work myself up the wall,” said Cameron, also a National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence. (Listen: James Cameron on becoming a National Geographic explorer.)

Though battery power and vast distances limit his contact with his science team to text messaging and sporadic voice communication, Cameron seemed confident in his mission Friday. “I’m pretty well briefed on what I’ll see,” he said.

(Video: Cameron Dive First Attempt in Over 50 Years.)

Bullet to the Deep

To get to this point, Cameron and his crew have spent seven years reimagining what a submersible can be. The result is the 24-foot-tall (7-meter-tall) DEEPSEA CHALLENGER.

Engineered to sink upright and spinning, like a bullet fired straight into the Mariana Trench, the sub can descend about 500 feet (150 meters) a minute—”amazingly fast,” in the words of Robert Stern, a marine geologist at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Pre-expedition estimates put the Challenger Deep descent at about 90 minutes. (Animation: Cameron’s Mariana Trench dive compressed into one minute.)

By contrast, some current remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs, descend at about 40 meters (130 feet) a minute, added Stern, who isn’t part of the expedition.

Andy Bowen, project manager and principal developer of the Nereus, an ROV that explored Challenger Deep in 2009, called the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER “an extremely elegant solution to the challenge of diving a human-occupied submersible to such extreme depths.”

“It’s been engineered to be very effective at getting from the surface to the seafloor in as quick a time as possible,” said Bowen, of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who also isn’t part of the current expedition.

And that’s just the idea, the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE team says: The faster Cameron gets there, the more time for science. (Read more about DEEPSEA CHALLENGE science.)

Pursuing speed and science in tandem makes the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER test dives—and even the Mariana Trench mission—perhaps as unorthodox as the sub itself.

Typically “you conduct a sea trial for a vehicle, you pronounce it fit for service, and then you develop a science program around it,” Cameron said before heading to the trench. “We collapsed that together into one expedition, because [we were] fairly confident the vehicle would work—and it is.”

Techno Torpedo

Now, at the bottom of the trench, the sub’s custom-designed foam filling and the pressure-resistant shape of the “pilot sphere”—are helping protect Cameron from the equivalent of 8 tons pressing down on every square inch (1,125 kilograms per square centimeter). (Video: how sub sphere protects Cameron.)

Among the sub’s tools are a sediment sampler, a mechanical claw, a “slurp gun” for sucking up small sea creatures for study at the surface, and temperature, salinity, and pressure gauges.

While that might sound like a gearhead’s paradise, Cameron knows he’ll “have to be able to prioritize.”

“Is my manipulator working properly? Do I still have room in my sample drawer? And do I still have the ability to take a [sediment] core sample? … I only have [tools for] three sediment cores available on the vehicle, so I have to choose wisely when to use them.”

By contrast, the sub’s multiple 3-D cameras will be whirring almost continually, and not just for the benefit of future audiences of planned documentaries.

“There is scientific value in getting stereo images,” Cameron said, “because … you can determine the scale and distance of objects from stereo pairs that you can’t from 2-D images.”

But, Scripps’s Bartlett said, “it’s not just the video.” The sub’s lighting of deepwater scenes—mainly by an 8-foot (2.5-meter) tower of LEDs—is “so, so beautiful. It’s unlike anything that you’ll have seen from other subs or other remotely operated vehicles.”

(Video: Cameron Dive Is an Exploration First.)

The Search for Life

Right now it’s a mystery what Cameron is seeing, sampling, and filming at depth, in part because so little is known about the Challenger Deep environment.

The only glimpses scientists have had of the region, via two ROV missions, showed a seafloor covered in light gray, silky mud.

Cameron may be detecting subtle signs of life—burrows or tracks or fecal piles—said DEEPSEA CHALLENGE biological oceanographer Lisa Levin, also of Scripps, who’s monitoring the expedition from afar.

If the water’s clear, she added, Cameron may be seeing jellyfish or xenophyophores—giant, single-celled, honeycomb-shaped creatures already filmed in other areas of the Mariana Trench. (See “Giant ‘Amoebas’ Found in Deepest Place on Earth.”)

“If we get lucky,” Cameron said before the dive, “we should find something like a cold seep, where we might find tube worms.” Cold seeps are regions of the ocean floor somewhat like hydrothermal vents (video) that ooze fluid chemicals at the same temperature as the surrounding water.

Earlier this month, during a test dive near Papua New Guinea, Cameron brought back enormous shrimplike creatures from five miles (eight kilometers) down. At 7 inches (17 centimeters) long, the animals are “the largest amphipods ever seen at that kind of depth,” chief scientist Bartlett said. “And we saw one on camera that was perhaps twice that size.”

At Challenger Deep depths, though, the calcium animals need to form shells dissolves quickly. It’s unlikely—though not impossible—that Cameron is finding shelled creatures, but if he does, the discovery would be a scientific jaw-dropper.

Even if he uncovers “a rock with a shell limpet or some kind of bivalve in the mud”—such as a clam, perhaps—”that would be exciting,” Scripps’s Levin said.

Aliens of the Abyss

Expedition astrobiologist Kevin Hand, of NASA, imagines that the life-forms Cameron might be encountering could help fine-tune the search for extraterrestrial life.

For instance, scientists think Jupiter’s moon Europa could harbor a global ocean beneath its thick shell of ice—an ocean that, like Challenger Deep, would be lightless, near freezing, and home to areas of intense pressure. (See “Could Jupiter Moon Harbor Fish-Size Life?”)

By studying the wavelengths of light, or spectra, reflected off life-forms and sediments brought up by Cameron, Hand should get a better idea of which minerals are needed for life in such an environment. This, in turn, might help him design a space probe better able to detect signs of life on Europa.

“There’s an old adage in geology that the best geologist is the one that’s seen the most rocks,” said Hand, a National Geographic emerging explorer.

“I think astrobiology could have a similar adage, in that our best capability for finding life elsewhere—and knowing it when we see it—will come from having a comprehensive understanding of all the various extremes of life on Earth.”

And for UT Dallas’s Stern, DEEPSEA CHALLENGER’s rock-sampling capability offers the opportunity to better understand our planet’s inner workings.

“Challenger Deep is the deepest cut into the solid Earth,” Stern said, “and this gives us a chance to see deeper into the Earth than anywhere else.”

Once the trench-dive data, specimens, and imagery have been analyzed, National Geographic magazine plans to reveal the full results in a special issue on next-generation exploration in January 2013.

“A Turning Point”

By returning humans to the so-called hadal zone—the ocean’s deepest level, below 20,000 feet (6,000 meters)—the Challenger Deep expedition may represent a renaissance in deep-sea exploration.

While ROVs are much less expensive than manned subs, “the critical thing is to be able to take the human mind down into that environment,” expedition member Patricia Fryer said, “to be able to turn your head and look around to see what the relationships are between organisms in a community and to see how they’re behaving—to turn off all the lights and just sit there and watch and not frighten the animals, so that they behave normally.

“That is almost impossible to do with an ROV,” said Fryer, a marine geologist at the Hawai’i Institute of Geophysics & Planetology.

In fact, Cameron is so confident in his star vehicle that he started mulling sequels even before the trench dive.

Phase two might include adding a thin fiber-optic tether to the ship, which “would allow science observers at the surface to see the images in real time,” he said. “And phase three might be taking this vehicle and creating a second-generation vehicle.”

DEEPSEA CHALLENGE, then, may be anything but a one-hit wonder. To Bartlett, the Mariana Trench expedition could “represent a turning point in how we approach ocean science.

“I absolutely think that what you’re seeing is the start of a program, not just one grand expedition.”

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The Most Horrifying Thing to Gestate in a Human Womb

Duplicata_Asali_4(1)

It called Duplicata incompleta with caudal regression syndrome

This is a case of a 36-year-old G1 P0 who was treated for infertility for the past 16 years. This was her first pregnancy after in vitro-fertilization. It was a twin pregnancy after a transfer of two embryos.
Patient went into a preterm labor and delivered at 31 weeks of gestation. The first baby was a healthy boy of 1800 grams with Apgar scores 6/7/7 (1st/5th/10th minute).
The second baby had multiple malformations. The head showed signs of duplication with 2 pairs of eyes, double chin, wide mouth. The lower extremities were malformed with caudal regression syndrome. Our final diagnosis based on the clinical findings was duplicata incompleta; monocephalus diprosopus tetraophtalmos (“Diprosopus” means “two-faced” in Greek), so called monocephalic diprosopus.





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Reminds me of David Lynch’s Eraserhead baby

Coors Light Iced T, Iced Tea-Flavored Beer

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Coors Light Iced T, a caffeine-free iced tea-flavored beer, is the new offering from Molson Coors Brewing which will be in stores in April 2012. It has a 4% alcohol content and will be sold in aluminum cans.

NASA Confirms the 60-meter (197-feet) Asteroid Has a Good Chance of Colliding with Earth in Eleven Months

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To avert a new apocalypse – this time set for February 2013 – scientists suggest confronting asteroid 2012 DA14 with either paint, or big guns. The tough part of either scheme is that time has long run out to build a spaceship for any operation.

­NASA confirms the 60-meter (197-feet) asteroid, spotted by Spanish stargazers in February, has a good chance of colliding with Earth in eleven months.

The rock’s closest approach to the planet is scheduled for February 15, 2013, when the distance between the planet and space wanderer will be under 27,000 km (16,700 miles). This is lower than the geosynchronous orbit kept by the Google Maps satellite.
­Fireworks and watercolors

With the asteroid zooming that low, it will be too late to do anything with it besides trying to predict its final destination and the consequences of impact.

A spaceship is needed, experts agree. It could shoot the rock down or just crash into it, either breaking the asteroid into debris or throwing it off course.

“We could paint it,” says NASA expert David Dunham.

Paint would affect the asteroid’s ability to reflect sunlight, changing its temperature and altering its spin. The asteroid would stalk off its current course, but this could also make the boulder even more dangerous when it comes back in 2056, Aleksandr Devaytkin, the head of the observatory in Russia’s Pulkovo, told Izvestia.
­Spaceship impossible?

Whatever the mission, building a spaceship to deal with 2012 DA14 will take two years – at least.

The asteroid has proven a bitter discovery. It has been circling in orbit for three years already, crossing Earth’s path several times, says space analyst Sergey Naroenkov from the Russian Academy of Sciences. It seems that spotting danger from outer space is still the area where mere chance reigns, while asteroid defense systems exist only in drafts.

Still, prospects of meeting 2012 DA14 are not all doom and gloom.

“The asteroid may split into pieces entering the atmosphere. In this case, most part of it will never reach the planet’s surface,” remarks Dunham.

But if the entire asteroid is to crash into the planet, the impact will be as hard as in the Tunguska blast, which in 1908 knocked down trees over a total area of 2,150 sq km (830 sq miles) in Siberia. This is almost the size of Luxembourg. In today’s case, the destination of the asteroid is yet to be determined.

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Missouri Teen Commits Murder because “She wanted to See How it Was to Kill Someone”

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Sick bitch.lol

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A central Missouri teenager who confessed to strangling, cutting and stabbing a 9-year-old girl because she wanted to know how it felt to kill someone was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Alyssa Bustamante, 18, pleaded guilty in January to second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the October 2009 slaying of Elizabeth Olten in St. Martins, a small rural town west of Jefferson City.
Bustamante had been charged with first-degree murder and by pleading guilty to the lesser charges she avoided a trial and the possibility of spending her life in an adult prison with no chance of release.

Bustamante was 15 years old when she confessed to strangling Elizabeth, repeatedly stabbing her in the chest and slicing the girl’s throat. She led police to the shallow grave where she had concealed Elizabeth’s body under a blanket of leaves in the woods behind their neighborhood.
The teenager’s defense attorneys had argued for a sentence less than life in prison, saying Bustamante’s use of the antidepressant Prozac had made her more prone to violence. They said she had suffered from depression for years and once attempted suicide by overdosing on painkillers.
But prosecutors sought a longer sentence. They noted that Bustamante had dug two graves several days in advance, and that on the evening of the killing had sent her younger sister to lure Elizabeth outside with an invitation to play. Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. David Rice testified that the teenager told him “she wanted to know what it felt like” to kill someone. Prosecutors also cited journal entries in which Bustamante described the exhilaration of killing Elizabeth.
“I strangled them and slit their throat and stabbed them now they’re dead,” Bustamante wrote in her diary, which was read in court by a handwriting expert. “I don’t know how to feel atm. It was ahmazing. As soon as you get over the ‘ohmygawd I can’t do this’ feeling, it’s pretty enjoyable. I’m kinda nervous and shaky though right now. Kay, I gotta go to church now…lol.”
Bustamante then headed off to a youth dance at her church while a massive search began for the missing girl.

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