Saturday, March 05, 2011
Friday, March 04, 2011
This photo of Mubarak has gone viral but it's likely a fake. It shows his pinstriped suit magnified and the "stripes" were Mubarak's name, printed in tiny letters, over and over again. It's the type of thing you would expect from a billionaire dictator. Except I would expect the script to be in Arabic not English.
The recent revelation that retired NHL players have suffered brain damage comes as no surprise to me. It is consistent in what has been observed in former NFL players and boxers. I love the sport of hockey. I enjoy playing the game, coaching children and just being a fan. To be honest the growing awareness that players are sacrificing their health, their family and social relations and their future quality of life bothers me.
Brain injuries aren’t like physical injuries. A retired athlete with a bad knee or hip can be helped. Bobby Orr has had knee replacement surgery and leads a relatively normal life. He works, plays golf and interacts with his family. You can’t fix or replace a damaged brain. It can create a barrier to employment, enjoying the company of others, and basic recreational activities like reading, watching tv or playing cards. Overtime your disability will worsen and your life expectancy is shortened. Do you think anyone willing signs up for this type of future?
There are a number of reasons why there is an epidemic of concussions in hockey. There is marked increase in awareness of the concussions in sports. No one talks about having their bell rung anymore. Yet in a recent game, Maple Leaf Mikhail Grabovski took two hard hits to the head from 6’9” Zdeno Chara without missing a shift. The rationale was that the team was following the league concussion protocol and he showed no signs of a concussion. Shouldn’t the team have considered the players health and safety over all other considerations and pulled him from the game as a precaution? It’s not like he underwent a thorough examination by a physician. A trainer took a look at him on the bench.
We need to recognize how much the game has changed. Players are bigger, weigh more, and wear protection equipment and pads that can also hurt opponents. What hasn’t changed is the anatomy of the skull and brain. A blow to the head causes your brain hit the inside of your skull. A good analogy is a big hunk of jello flopping around inside a bucket. What you get is a big mess. Better helmets aren’t the answer either. Helmets won’t prevent you brain from banging against the inside of your skull.
There is only one way to prevent brain injuries in hockey. Change the way the game is played. You can’t entirely eliminate these types of injuries because some are the result of unintended collisions. I’ve coached players who suffered concussions from incidents like running into a teammate during the warm up, losing a skate edge and falling head first into the boards, and toppling out of the rink when a gate was accidentally left open. But there are two important changes that can drastically reduce brain injuries:
- Ban fighting
- Ban any hit to the head
Opponents will tell you this will ruin the game. They will refer to it as pussification. They will accuse the league of giving into pinkos, commies and…OMG…the international lobby. Sounds like a conspiracy. There is no question that the game will change considerably. So will the makeup of the league. In fact big players might become more of a liability because they are more likely to hit someone in the head. The two hits that Grabovski took from Chara were not aimed at his head but the Bruins defenseman is about a foot taller than the Leaf forward. Someone players will not be able to adapt. Smaller players will become more effective. Fighters who cannot contribute to a team without dropping their gloves will disappear. The game will likely become less physical but other skills will likely dominate. But who says the games won’t be as entertaining. Maybe they will be more entertaining.
If you have compared today’s game with the NHL of the 1940s, 1960s and 1980s you will notice that hockey has been constantly evolving. These changes would just contribute to that ongoing evolution. We all will adjust.
Even if the game is worse off, it is still unconscionable to allow players to risk their health for the entertainment of others. There needs to be a balance between the risks for players and the needs of fans. Remember what goes on at the NHL level filters down to youth hockey. What are the long term impacts of a concussion on a child who is still developing physically, emotionally and intellectually?
Authorities say a north Georgia man was arrested after police say he stuffed a rotisserie chicken, chicken wings, a mouth guard and two toothbrushes down the front of his pants and walked out of a Walmart without paying for the items.
Police say the man left the store through its Garden Centre with the items in his pants on Tuesday afternoon.
Floyd County Jail and Rome police reports state that 27-year-old Joseph Lee Stringer of Kingston was charged with shoplifting. The records say he was released on a $1,350 bond.
The nurse who has been at the side of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi for nine years has fled the violence in the country and returned to her native Ukraine.
Galyna Kolotnytska refused to speak after being spotted in her home town.
Kolotnytska, said to be 38, was described in U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks in December as one of Gaddafi's closest confidantes - who may even have had a romantic relationship with him.
She has worked for him since 2002 when he met her at the hospital where she worked and hired her to work for him.
OK, I don't want to make Gaddafi jealous but my East European nurse is still by my side after 6 years. Nurse Vicki knows how to address my needs.
A U.S. man high on methamphetamine drove with his wife on the hood of their minivan for more than 40 miles, hitting speeds of 100 mph, according to police.
The woman climbed onto the hood early on Saturday morning, outside the couple's home in Manteca, California, because she wanted to keep her husband from driving off, said the city's police spokesman, Rex Osborn.
But instead of stopping, Christopher Carroll, 36, sped away with his wife clinging to the hood, Osborn said.
Police said they would not identify the woman because she is the victim of domestic violence, but Osborn said she is in her 30s and a mother.
In Pleasanton, the woman rolled off the hood when Carroll slowed down, police said.
Carroll was arrested back at his Manteca home, and charged with attempted murder and domestic violence, Osborn said.
Thursday, March 03, 2011
Suze Rotolo may have passed away but she remains with us as an icon from that era.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Sarah White, a 24-year-old psychology buff, conducts online therapy sessions in her birthday suit. The naked therapist's unique approach to helping people solve their issues has, she says, aroused interest from dozens of suffering New Yorkers.
White begins her sessions with her clothes on. But as the hour-long appointments heat up, she gradually sheds all of her duds until there's nothing left to take off.
The initial sessions, which cost $150, are conducted via a one-way Web cam and text chat. Once she develops a rapport with a client, she'll move on to two-way video appointments via Skype and even in-person consultations.
$150 to watch a hot computer programmer that calls herself a therapist get naked. Hmm, only if there is a happy ending.
Now while the cynics are laughing out loud (better known now as LOL) you should know that since the All-Star break the Leafs have gone 8-2-4. That is 20 points in 14 games or a winning percentage of 71.4%. It’s a stretch to expect the team to keep up this pace for the remaining 19 games but if the hot goaltending continues then it certainly isn’t impossible.
It certainly would be considered progress if this young Maple Leaf team could get a taste of playoff action. Even if it meant an early exit at the hands of the Flyers.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
The first poll to determine Rob Ford's approval rating has been released, and it looks pretty good for the Toronto mayor. Based on a phone survey of just over 1000 people by Forum Research Inc., roughly 60 per cent of Torontonians approve of the job he's doing so far.
If the 60 per cent approval rating comes as a surprise — and, to be fair, it might not to everyone — there were some predictable findings. Urban and suburban residents remain divided in their feelings about the mayor, with his highest approval rating coming from Scarborough (71%), which was followed by North York (65%), and Toronto/East York (46%).
White powder discovered on a seat of a College streetcar was identified as aged chewing gum after it caused nearby roads to close.
A passenger noticed the powder and alerted the driver, who called police, said Staff Sgt. John Boyce.
The streetcar was evacuated and stopped near Bay St. shortly before 2 p.m. It was there until a Hazmat team could examine the substance, Boyce said.
By 3:30 p.m. tests had determined that there was no risk and the substance was actually gum.So I wonder what's more hazardous, some dried out chewing gum or a TTC operator texting while behind the wheel?
In what was hardly the best-laid scheme of mice and men, an Upper Darby pizza shop owner tried to sabotage two of his competitors today by stashing mice in their pizza shops, according to police.
Two Upper Darby cops were eating lunch in Verona Pizza on West Chester Pike around 2 p.m. when Nikolas Galiatsatos, 47, walked in to Verona's carrying a bag and asked to use the bathroom, said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood.
Once he left the shop, the owner of Verona's looked in the bathroom and told the officers that Galiastsatos, whom he did not know, had left footprints on his toilet, police said. When the owner checked in the ceiling above the toilet, he found a plastic bag with a brown paper bag inside, Chitwood said.
Believing the man had stashed drugs in his ceiling, the pizza shop owner turned the bag over to police, who discovered that instead of heroin in the bag, there were several little hairy ones - three white mice to be exact, police said.
Although they didn't get a good look at the rat bastard who put them there, they looked outside and saw him walking into nearby Uncle Nick's Pizza with another bag, Chitwood said.
When Galiatsatos saw police, he quickly entered and left Uncle Nick's and cops later discovered that he had dumped another bag with five living mice and one dead mouse in the garbage can at Uncle Nick's, Chitwood said.
Galiatsatos, who is the owner of Nina's Bella Pizzeria, which is also on West Chester Pike, was taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct, harassment and animal cruelty. Police said his business, which opened only a month or two ago, is not doing well and that may have prompted the attempted sabotage.
Iran has threatened to boycott the London Olympics unless the organisers replace the official logo, which Tehran claims spells out the word "Zion". The logo, a jagged representation of the year 2012, has been said by its critics to resemble many things, from a swastika to a sexual act, but the Iranian government argues it represents a veiled pro-Israeli conspiracy.
In a formal complaint to the International Olympic Committee, Tehran has called for the graphic to be replaced and its designers "confronted", warning that Iranian athletes might otherwise be ordered to stay away from the London Games. According to the state-backed Iranian Students News Agency, which is frequently used to convey official pronouncements, the letter says:
"As internet documents have proved, using the word Zion in the logo of the 2012 Olympic Games is a disgracing action and against the Olympics' valuable mottos. There is no doubt that negligence of the issue from your side may affect the presence of some countries in the Games, especially Iran which abides by commitment to the values and principles." The letter, from the country's national Olympic committee, leaves unclear what "internet documents" it is referring to.
Amid the popular uproar that accompanied the unveiling of the logo in 2007, there were some claims, particularly on conspiracy-oriented websites, that its constituent shapes could be rearranged to make the world "Zion". An IOC official confirmed that the Iranian letter had been received but said: "The London 2012 logo represents the figure 2012, nothing else." A spokesman for the London Olympic organizing committee added: "It was launched in 2007 following testing and consultation. We are surprised that this complaint has been made now."
As I see it the issue is not whether the 2012 logo could be part of an Israeli conspiracy but rather how to make sure the Iranians don't show up for the Olympics. After all they eventually accept that the figures in the logo represent the year 2012. My suggestion is to add a few Star of Davids and Menorahs to the logo so that the crafty Iranians don't weasel their way out of the threat and end up showing up in London.
Monday, February 28, 2011
A man was found dead in his van just a few feet away from the entrance to a Walmart, and police said he may have been there for days.
Shoppers said they noticed Luis Ramirez living in his van in the South Semoran Boulevard shopping plaza for several weeks.
The 70-year-old was found slumped over his steering wheel about noon Sunday.
For the crowd that gathered and the few that had seen him before, it was tough to watch. Many were afraid they had watched him slowly starve to death.
"I see him ducking down and he's got his like clothes hung up inside the van he should go to a shelter or hospital or something," said shopper Lamont Bagley.
A medical examiner determined Ramirez died of natural causes. Ramirez had been dead for 24 to 48 hours before his body was found.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Each year the Academy Awards struggle to find adequate emcees for their widely watch show. They missed the mark again this year. James Franco and Anne Hathaway were awkward and not funny. The show dragged. For me nothing seemed to work.
How ironic was it when Billy Crystal received a standing ovation. It almost as if the audience was begging him to take over.
If Kirk Douglas was supposed to be funny well then all of Hollywood is in trouble. But then I had difficulty making out what he was saying because of his slurred speech. He didn't seem to want to leave the stage but then it's likely the only gig he can get these days.
But nothing was more embarrassing than the singing performance of Gwyneth Paltrow. I've seen her sing on several shows. It's time for her to retire from the country music scene.
Sadly the highlight of the night was Melissa Leo accidentally dropping an F-bomb.
Under the category of ugly dresses my vote goes to Cate Blanchett. It looked like she was wearing one of June Cleaver's aprons.
The winners were pretty predictable. For acting awards you need to pretty much follow the Screen Actors' Guild Awards (Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Melissa Leo and Christian Bale) and for best director look at the winner of the Directors' Guild Awards (Tom Hooper) . In the end the only surprise was The King's Speech winning best picture. The Social Network was the winner of 17 international film awards but I guess the Oscar is one of the few that got away.
It's source of pride each year when I announce that I hadn't seen any of the films that won Razzies Awards. They are also known as the Golden Raspberry Awards going to the worst films released by Hollywood. The 31st awards were announced last night (it's always the night before the Oscars are handed out) and The Last Airbender was the big winner. I've never heard of it.
For the acting awards, you are a shoe in if you appeared in multiple bad movies. So congratulations to Jessica Alba who had a string of bombs in 2010. Sequels, remakes, and 3-D rip-offs dominated this year. Here is the list of winners:
THE LAST AIRBENDER
Ashton Kutcher / KILLERS and VALENTINE’S DAY
The Four “Gal Pals” / SEX & THE CITY #2
(Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis & Cynthia Nixon)
WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jessica Alba / THE KILLER INSIDE ME, LITTLE FOCKERS, MACHETE and VALENTINE’S DAY
WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Jackson Rathbone / THE LAST AIRBENDER and TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE
WORST EYE-GOUGING MIS-USE of 3-D (Special Category for 2010!)
THE LAST AIRBENDER (Released in “Fake 3-D”)
WORST SCREEN COUPLE / WORST SCREEN ENSEMBLE
The Entire Cast of SEX & THE CITY #2
M. Night Shyamalan / THE LAST AIRBENDER
LAST AIRBENDER Written by M. Night Shyamalan,
Based on the TV series created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Brian Konietzko
A Naperville man is down $200,000 after wiring money to an online girlfriend he didn’t realize was a fake.
The 48-year-old man called Naperville police on Wednesday to ask for help rescuing the woman, who he believed had been kidnapped in London, police said.
He told police he started the online relationship 2 1/2 years ago. Since then, he had wired about $200,000 total to several different bank accounts in Nigeria, Malaysia, England and the United States, police said. An identification card the woman provided to him ended up being a sample driver’s licence from Florida.
Police said when an officer told the man the “woman” he was sending money to didn’t exist, he “was in disbelief.”
It's one thing jerking off to fake women on the Internet. Sure you can let your fantasize into believing that the person on the other end looks like Scarlett Johansson or Megan Fox. If that's what it takes to get through a lonely evening. But you got to be as dumb as a load of bricks to send money to a "woman" you only know through the Internet. I would have at least provided him something tangible for his money. For $200,000 I would have sold him the Internet.