Browsing articles from "September, 2014"

I Thought It Was Just Stress, Until It Broke My Heart

Sep 28, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on I Thought It Was Just Stress, Until It Broke My Heart

Katherine Streeter for NPRi
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Katherine Streeter for NPR

That Friday, I was dizzy and sick to my stomach with what felt like food poisoning, only sometimes my chest throbbed. I declined my husband’s offer of a ride to the emergency room because I had to prepare for a crucial school meeting on Monday.

Our six-year-old son, a gifted child with a disability, had been repeatedly sent home for eloping from class and disruptive behavior. The school had laid a paper trail to ship him to a more restrictive program across town, but I was blocking the exits. My goal for Monday was to keep him in his class and get him support to develop coping skills. I was afraid he would learn to hate school.

While I liked my new job, day care kept evaporating. One after-school program kicked our son out without notice while my husband was out of the country. Our kid had already trashed the other semi-affordable options. Hey, but what working mom isn’t stressed? It seemed that whenever I solved one problem, another wrapped a tentacle around my leg to drag me down.

A chart of the most stressful experiences from the NPR stress poll.

The day before I got sick, I received emails that another school parent had been circulating for months, making our son out to be a menace to society and lobbying to have him removed from school.

At the Monday meeting, we were congratulated on our son’s progress. He was welcomed to second grade, where he would receive a trained aide. I was relieved.

But I could feel my heartbeat flicker erratically. It didn’t hurt, but it wasn’t normal, so after work I asked my husband to take me to the emergency room. A burly nurse with a tattooed neck joked during the electrocardiogram. But his expression changed as he looked at the screen. With breathtaking speed I was hoisted onto a gurney, stripped, wrapped in a hospital gown, had an IV jammed in each arm and was pumped full of heparin.

Somebody told me I was having a heart attack.

“Your troponin levels are rising,” said a doctor who resembled a hedgehog with glasses. “It’s a protein your heart gives off when it is damaged.” People kept asking me about chest pain, but I had none.

“I’m sorry for leaving you with the kids!” I called to my husband as EMTs rolled me away. I feared that not going to the emergency room earlier may have fatally damaged my heart.

An echocardiogram showed that my left ventricle had ballooned and the tip of my heart wasn’t working. I was scheduled for an angiogram the next morning. Any artery blockage, and I’d get a stent.

On Tuesday I lay sedated in a chilly operating room while a cardiologist snaked a probe through a vein in my right wrist straight to my heart. The last time I got narcotics this good was when I gave birth to the twins.

I woke up afterward with my right wrist in a splint, but no stent in my heart. The cardiologist looked pleased. “Your arteries are completely clear,” he said.

I was shocked. My dad had a heart attack at 40, but he was a smoker. I was in my early 50s, and I knew that with less estrogen my risk of heart disease was rising. What I didn’t realize is that symptoms of a heart attack in women are different from those in men.

Keith Negley for NPR

But it turned out that I hadn’t had a heart attack at all. Instead, it was a rare condition called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or “heartbreak syndrome” that mimics one.

The cardiologist said he saw perhaps 25 cases a year out of hundreds of heart patients. Triggered by intense emotional or physical stress, the left heart ventricle distends to resemble the shape of a traditional Japanese octopus trap. Cases tend to spike after earthquakes and hurricanes, particularly in women past menopause.

I hadn’t experienced an earthquake. I had been internalizing too much stress for too long. The doc told me that my heart now pumped at only two-thirds of normal capacity, but that the damage would likely heal within months.

And a few months since being takotsubo-ed, I am stronger. Our son’s behavior has been stellar in second grade. He adores his teacher. A trained “class substitute” helps everybody out; and both our children have made new friends in the city after-school program that welcomes all kinds of kids.

The poison-letter writer moved out of the district. One parent invited my son to join his child’s Aikido dojo. A neighbor offered help with after-school pickup.

I have used my reprieve to take my kids to the beach as often as possible. I wear a red bikini under my rash guard. Yoga irks me, but I’m trying to touch my toes anyway. Retraining the stress response of a lifetime is difficult, but it helps to remind myself what I can’t control and what I can.

My heart’s got to keep going for another 30 or 40 years.

Wendy Wolfson is a science writer in Orange County, Calif.

Right And Left Joined Forces In Fight To Legalize Home Schooling

Sep 28, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Right And Left Joined Forces In Fight To Legalize Home Schooling

Home-schooling might still be seen as a fringe movement, but today, it's equally outlandish to suggest that home-schooling should be illegal. A few decades ago, that wasn't the case.i
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Home-schooling might still be seen as a fringe movement, but today, it’s equally outlandish to suggest that home-schooling should be illegal. A few decades ago, that wasn’t the case.

MoMo Productions/Getty Images/Ozy


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MoMo Productions/Getty Images/Ozy

Home-schooling might still be seen as a fringe movement, but today, it's equally outlandish to suggest that home-schooling should be illegal. A few decades ago, that wasn't the case.

Home-schooling might still be seen as a fringe movement, but today, it’s equally outlandish to suggest that home-schooling should be illegal. A few decades ago, that wasn’t the case.

MoMo Productions/Getty Images/Ozy

“It was like the days of the one-room schoolhouse,” reminisces home-schooling advocate and First Amendment lawyer Michael Farris. He’s talking about a few short decades ago, the time when he and his wife raised their 10 children — six girls, four boys — and educated them entirely in the home.

Farris and his wife — a certified teacher who he says “had to unlearn all the stuff she’d been taught” in order to educate their kids — are two pioneers of the home-schooling movement as we know it today. Farris fought many of the most prominent home-school battles through the 1980s, when it was illegal to home-school children in many states; he founded the Christian Home School Legal Defense Association in 1983, and his family became a model for home schoolers across the U.S.

Theirs was fundamentally a fight about values, but curiously, it was also where the two opposite ends of the culture wars converged to wage a battle over First Amendment rights and individual choice. It would take some entrepreneurial lawyering through the Reagan, Bush and Clinton eras to decriminalize what is today a commonly accepted practice. The courtroom drama was forged from 1970s cultural movements in which parents on the right and the left sought to determine how to educate their children: private, public, parochial or on the living-room floor.

Those on the right came bearing the good word of Raymond S. Moore, co-author of Better Late Than Early: A New Approach to Your Child’s Education (1975) and School Can Wait (1979). Moore, an education researcher, World War II veteran and education Ph.D., became a cult hero of the booming Christian right. In fact, it was listening to an interview with Moore on the Christian radio program Focus on the Family that Farris had his aha moment. He mulled it over for a few days before broaching the idea of home schooling to his wife; as it happened, she had heard the same program and was nervous to talk to her husband about it.

Moore’s book was skeptical of “tax-supported preschool” and decried early education as an invention of convenience, created by parents more interested in getting the kids out of the way than genuinely educating them at an earlier age. Published at the end of the Nixon era, at its heart the book asks what the source of children’s values ought to be: the classroom or the family?

“We were very strong on this idea that you learn your values from who you spend time with,” Farris says today. “You spend time with your friends — that’s who you get your values from. With your family — then that’s who.” Home-schooling opponents often cite the need for kids to socialize with others, particularly with those who are different from them. But Farris’ kids weren’t lonely growing up. All of his 10 kids are grown; nine are out of the house, eight are married. Most of his grandkids are home-schooled.

Those on the left were guided by another product of the postwar era: a New Englander named John Holt, educated at a prestigious Swiss boarding school and then Yale, and a former employee of the United World Federalists, the postwar group that sought a world government. Around the same time that Moore published Better Late Than Early, Holt, who had spent the better part of a decade studying children’s learning habits as a teacher and researcher in a Boston elementary school classroom, came out with Escape From Childhood: The Needs and Rights of Children.

Instead of framing the issue in terms of values or religion, Holt tackled it with all the fervor of a 1970s anti-authoritarian. Thus was born “unschooling.” The crunchier version of Moore’s Christian movement, unschooling is about so-called “natural” learning and suggests that schools sap children of familial love and teach them more about hollow success than true intelligence.

Fast-forward to the 1980s, when left met right. Farris found himself defending a hodgepodge of home-schoolers/unschoolers throughout the decade, mostly Christians like him and his family, but also “black Jews, Muslims … even one woman who told me her religious practices were a cross between Zen Buddhism and the philosophy of Winnie the Pooh.”

States got creative, defending compulsory school attendance laws by leveraging truancy and even child abuse charges against home-schooling parents, and lawyers like Farris rose to the top of a booming individual rights movement.

Farris and other lawyers fought to change the definition of a private school to include home schooling; they combated truancy charges aplenty and faced down the dictum that students should only be taught by certified teachers. But mostly they won the courts’ silence, as judges refused to rule on the inherent value of home schooling and instead considered it from a rights perspective. That, in itself, was victory.

Today, most of the nearly 2 million home-schooled kids are probably still seen as fringe — but the idea of criminalizing parents for teaching kids at home? Equally fringe.

And the 1980s debates that could unite two opposing value systems under the shared umbrella of a libertarian ideal? Those seem equally far off amid today’s deeply personal and political battles over teacher tenure, the Common Core and all other elements of the “most embattled profession in America.” It’s enough to make us long for that one-room schoolhouse, too.

Sanjena Sathian has an obsessive relationship with books, politics and instant noodles. You can find her on Twitter @sanjenasathian.

A Reflection On Random Acts of Kindness

Sep 27, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on A Reflection On Random Acts of Kindness

Receiving a random act of kindness feels like being inducted into a secret group of kind people.i
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Receiving a random act of kindness feels like being inducted into a secret group of kind people.

Not so long ago, I was driving with a friend from Berkeley to Marin County. I waited patiently to pay my toll; I’d let my FasTrak account expire, so I needed to pay cash, the old fashioned way.

As I pulled up at the booth and handed over the money, the toll taker waved my cash away. You don’t need to pay, he said. Those people, in front of you, they paid for you.

Surely there was some mistake, I remonstrated. I wasn’t driving in a caravan. There wasn’t anybody up ahead of me who might have paid for me.

“Are you sure they paid for me?,” I wondered to myself as I sat there. The toll taker was impatient and urged me to drive on.

My first thought was that someone I know must have passed me on the road and they were doing me a good turn, a nice way to say hello. I raced ahead, trying to figure out who it might have been. I peered carefully at each car, looking to see which of my friends or colleagues had kindly paid my toll for me. I started to feel a bit irritated. Why hadn’t they slowed down so I could figure out to whom I owed my thanks?

Then I realized — my passenger was a woman. Surely someone was doing the automotive equivalent of buying her a drink.

But that didn’t make any sense. She was in a car with me. And she wasn’t driving. And, anyway, people don’t buy strangers drinks without hoping at least for the chance of a smile and eye contact.

I was so wrapped up in my musings that I missed our exit and ended up driving a good 10 miles before I realized we were lost.

And that’s when it hit me: A stranger had paid my toll for me.

And what’s more, he or she had done it for no good reason. Or rather, she or he did it for no other reason than to, as the phrase goes, “pay it forward.”

I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face. Once the reality set in — that I’d been the target of a random act of kindness — I could not stop smiling. I felt so happy. So grateful. I felt blessed. I felt as if I were part of a community. A secret community of kind people. I’d been selected. I’d been inducted.

Some weeks later, I was driving with my boys and we approached the toll plaza at the Bay Bridge. Cars changed lines repeatedly, cutting each other off, jockeying for position. I formed an intention: If that mini-van behind us — a man and woman up front, two kids in the back — stays put in my lane, I’ll pay their toll. I explained my plan to the kids. They were confused. Why would I do that? I explained what had happened to me. They were excited.

That’s when I realized I’d made a mistake sharing my plan with the kids. I’d given myself an audience and that made my intentions somehow less pure. As if I were doing it so that I could feel good, or we could feel good, or, even worse, so that I’d look good in the eyes of my kids. What’s more, now the kids couldn’t stop looking back. After we went through — I paid the mini-van’s toll as well as my own — my kids kept looking to the car to see their reaction to what we’d done.

So, now a toll was being exacted from the other vehicle after all. My kids and I were letting them know that we had done them a random act of kindness and we expected or hoped for or waited on their reaction. We took pleasure not in doing them a good turn but in, in effect, getting thanked for it. We intruded on their privacy.

What was so cool about my own experience on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is that my gift had been free. And if I’d incurred a debt, it wasn’t to anyone. It was to everyone.

There have been long-stretches of pay-it-forward — like one in August when someone started an 11-hour-long chain of buying a drink for the car behind them at a Florida Starbucks drive-thru. The first act of kindness was random, though the others were inspired by the first.

I wonder how often random acts of kindness happen. Have you ever been the “victim” of an anonymous act of generosity?

You can keep up with more of what Alva Noë is thinking on Facebook and on Twitter: @alvanoe

At UN, India’s Modi Discusses Pakistan, Terrorism, And Peace

Sep 27, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on At UN, India’s Modi Discusses Pakistan, Terrorism, And Peace

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, speaks at the UN General Assembly in New York City Saturday. Addressing the question of peace talks with Pakistan, Modi said they must happen without the shadow of terrorism.i
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Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, speaks at the UN General Assembly in New York City Saturday. Addressing the question of peace talks with Pakistan, Modi said they must happen “without the shadow of terrorism.”

John Angelillo/UPI /Landov


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John Angelillo/UPI /Landov

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, speaks at the UN General Assembly in New York City Saturday. Addressing the question of peace talks with Pakistan, Modi said they must happen without the shadow of terrorism.

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, speaks at the UN General Assembly in New York City Saturday. Addressing the question of peace talks with Pakistan, Modi said they must happen “without the shadow of terrorism.”

John Angelillo/UPI /Landov

Saying his country is prepared to resume peace talks with Pakistan, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the UN General Assembly Saturday that the discussion must take place “without the shadow of terrorism.”

Modi spoke at the UN one day after Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, criticized India’s withdrawal from recent talks over the contested region of Kashmir in his speech to the assembly Friday. Today, Modi said it was up to Pakistan to create an “appropriate atmosphere” for those talks.

As he began a high-profile U.S. visit Friday, Modi hailed the U.S. as “a natural global partner” for India. At the UN, he hinted that India would work with the U.S. in its efforts to combat extremism.

“Some countries are giving refuge to international terrorists,” he said. “They consider terrorism to be a tool of their policy.”

Rare is the leader who has undergone such a transformation of image. Once persona non gratis and denied entry to the U.S. for his alleged complicity in communal riots in the Indian state of Gujarat, Modi will soon be an honored guest at the White House.

A lawsuit filed in a New York federal court accuses Modi of human rights violations stemming from his tenure as Gujarat Chief Minister during the 2002 riots. The 2002 turmoil was a significant issue in the campaign, but Modi’s large mandate quieted the storm at home.

A senior U.S. administration official said as a sitting head of government, Modi enjoys immunity and “there is no fear of the two governments being distracted.”

Modi’s visit is designed to reinvigorate a drifting relationship between the world’s two oldest and largest democracies. The Indian leader arrives on the scene accorded the status of “a rock-star.”

The prime minister’s maiden voyage to the U.S. has been given great hype by Indian television and news organizations. It has created high expectations. Will the prime minister and President Obama be able to make good on them?

Few politicians could ever hope to play Madison Square Garden, but a thriving Indian diaspora in the U.S. will be on hand for a sell-out event to honor Modi Sunday.

Global CEOs and top Wall Street bankers are expected to meet Modi and hear his pitch that India is “open for business” as a desired investment destination.

Modi can expect a warm reception in Washington. Discussions between President Obama and Modi will cover the waterfront: trade, defense, security, the growth of India’s economy, the third largest economy in Asia, climate change, and Ebola.

The Indian leader wants to attract foreign investors, and the U.S. business lobby will be closely watching as he explains what India is doing to create a more investor-friendly climate.

Washington wants to revive a strategic relationship it sees as key to its re-balancing in Asia, at time when China is perceived as being increasingly assertive in the South China Sea.

President Obama hosts a dinner for Prime Minister Modi on Monday. But the ordinarily sumptuous menu for visiting dignitaries will be adjusted: The Indian leader is fasting in accordance with Navratri, the nine-day Hindu festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

Episode 571: Why Raising Money For Ebola Is Hard

Sep 27, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Episode 571: Why Raising Money For Ebola Is Hard

Nurses learn how to use Ebola protective gear in Sierra Leone

Nurses learn how to use Ebola protective gear in Sierra Leone

Michael Duff/AP


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Michael Duff/AP

Charities raised $1.4 billion to help rebuild Haiti after the earthquake. After the tsunami in Asia in 2004, organizations raised $1.6 billion. But when something like Ebola happens, so far, people look the other way.

On today’s show: What does it take to get people to notice something half a world away, and what does it take to get people to pull out their wallets and donate money.

Music: The Black Eyed Peas’s “Where Is The Love?” Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify/ Tumblr. Download the Planet Money iPhone App.

Ferguson Police Will Be Banned From Wearing ‘I Am Darren Wilson’ Bracelets

Sep 27, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Ferguson Police Will Be Banned From Wearing ‘I Am Darren Wilson’ Bracelets

Police in Ferguson will no longer be allowed to wear bracelets in support of Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager.

The shooting in August unleashed days of unrest on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri.

In a letter released on Friday, the Justice Department says Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson has agreed that his police officers and any other officers brought in to patrol Ferguson will be banned from wearing “I am Darren Wilson” bracelets.

The Justice Department said it received complaints from Ferguson residents who felt offended by the accessory.

The letter, written by Christy E. Lopez, of the department’s Civil Rights Division, goes on:

“We are keenly aware of the importance of individual expression of opinions, even those that some find offensive, insensitive, or harmful. We also acknowledge that the message that many officers intend to convey by wearing these bracelets may be different than the message received by many of those who see these bracelets.

“Nonetheless, there is no question that police departments can and should closely regulate officers’ professional appearance and behavior, particularly where, as here, the expressive accessory itself is exacerbating an already tense atmosphere between law enforcement and residents in Ferguson. These bracelets reinforce the very ‘us versus them’ mentality that many residents of Ferguson believe exists.”

In a separate letter, Lopez writes the department has observed officers who were not wearing name plates.

“Officers wearing name plates while in uniform is a basic component of transparency and accountability,” Lopez writes.

‘Boy On Ice’ Explores The Emotional And Physical Toll Of Dropping The Gloves

Sep 26, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on ‘Boy On Ice’ Explores The Emotional And Physical Toll Of Dropping The Gloves

Derek Boogaard of the Minnesota Wild (left) Wade Brookbank of the Vancouver Canucks exchange punches during a fight in the first period of a November 2005 game in Vancouver, Canada.i
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Derek Boogaard of the Minnesota Wild (left) Wade Brookbank of the Vancouver Canucks exchange punches during a fight in the first period of a November 2005 game in Vancouver, Canada.

Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images


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Derek Boogaard of the Minnesota Wild (left) Wade Brookbank of the Vancouver Canucks exchange punches during a fight in the first period of a November 2005 game in Vancouver, Canada.

Derek Boogaard of the Minnesota Wild (left) Wade Brookbank of the Vancouver Canucks exchange punches during a fight in the first period of a November 2005 game in Vancouver, Canada.

Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Derek Boogaard didn’t make it to the NHL because he was a great hockey player. He wasn’t especially fast and he rarely scored a goal. But in skates, he stood nearly 7 feet tall, and he was close to 300 pounds. Considered by many the toughest guy in the National Hockey League, Boogaard was an enforcer, and his job was to fight.

In 2011, at the age of 28, Boogaard was dead of an accidental overdose of painkillers and alcohol. His brain also showed clear signs of disease — most likely from repeated blows to his head. The story of Boogaard’s rise to the NHL and devastating fall is told in Boy On Ice, a new book by New York Times sportswriter John Branch.

Boy On Ice gets at the heart of expectations around fighting in ice hockey. “It’s a part of that culture and it’s a tough one to shake,” Branch tells NPR’s Melissa Block.

Interview Highlights

Boogaard, dressed for his first day of hockey.i
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Boogaard, dressed for his first day of hockey.

Joanne Boogaard/Courtesy of the Boogaard Family


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Joanne Boogaard/Courtesy of the Boogaard Family

Boogaard, dressed for his first day of hockey.

Boogaard, dressed for his first day of hockey.

Joanne Boogaard/Courtesy of the Boogaard Family

On the role of the enforcer

The enforcer is basically a bodyguard — and the idea being that you have a player who is big and scary and tough who will protect the more skilled players on your team from bad guys on the opposing side. … They are basically deterrents from some of the cheap shots that might hurt players in other ways.

On fights in the NHL

The fighting in the NHL, especially in some of the minor leagues, it’s usually the loudest and the most excited the crowd gets during the entire game. The two guys will usually start pushing each other. They’ll drop the gloves because part of the culture is you fight with your bare fists. And they’ll stand there and sort of skate around each other. And so that gives the crowd time to stand up, it gives the announcers time to say “here we go again!” And these fights can last anywhere from just a few seconds to maybe 60 seconds. And people generally are on their feet, watching, going crazy or they’re calling for blood. It’s about as Roman a spectacle as we probably have in major sports.

On the way arenas display the height and weight of the two fighters on the big screen, as though it’s a boxing match

They call it “tale of the tape,” showing their heights and weights, maybe their record against each other as combatants. Inside the arena, the scoreboard might have what they use to call, for example, when Derek was in the minor leagues, the “Boogie cam” showing the replays of his fights. When Derek was in the minor leagues, for example, they gave away bobble heads of Derek Boogaard and he had fists that bobbled. It wasn’t just the head, it was the fists, as well.

On the toll these fights took on Boogaard

These guys get hurt and there’s both a physical and a very emotional toll on these guys. Most of them have hands and fingers that are just crumbled. But Derek had all sorts of injuries in terms of shoulders, broken noses — too many to count — hip injuries when he’d fall on the ice. He was always hurt.

But the problem is, for an enforcer — a couple things — one is that they are paid to be the toughest guy on the ice. So they can’t show this kind of pain. And secondly, because of their skills they basically can fight, but for the most part, most of them are not skilled players that would be on the roster anyway. And so most of them feel like “I can’t admit to my injuries.” So there is a hidden physical toll.

They’ll tell you also — especially once they retire — they’ll tell you that the emotional toll is something that nobody ever understands. The fear of the fight that night that you know is going to be coming. The fear that the next punch against somebody like Derek Boogaard could end your career. There’s a huge toll that I don’t think people have fully understood.


Boy on Ice

On prescription drugs he was able to get from doctors

What’s interesting, and I think what Derek discovered at that point, was that a doctor would prescribe these and Derek could call back and say, “I need more” and the other doctor would prescribe some for the surgery that he had done and Derek could call back and say “now I need more,” and the doctors weren’t communicating between one another. Finding pills was rarely a problem for him.

… In the end, he became addicted to Ambien and also to Oxycodone. But he was also prescribed dozens of other pills and drugs over the course of his career — anything to kind of keep him on the ice. And the motivation was simply: “We gotta keep this guy on the ice, give him a shot, if we can give him some pills. Prop him up there, because the team needs him. It must be serious if Derek is saying that it hurts, because Derek has a high threshold of pain. He used to never come to us, so it must be serious. We need to help him out.” It sort of kept coming, and kept coming, and undid him eventually.

On how many concussions Boogaard had, and the symptoms of brain injury he exhibited – acting irrationally, losing memory

If you look at the medical files, there may have been three. If you ask his family, there may have been 12 or 15. At one point in the last year of Derek’s life, a doctor asked him, “How many concussions have you had?” And he said, “I don’t know, a couple.” And the doctor said, “Well you understand a concussion is basically when you’re hit in the head and things go dark for a moment. Where you sort of lose consciousness, just for a split second you kind of shake your head and go, ‘Whoa! What just happened?'” And Derek said, “Oh. Well, geez, if you put it that way, then I’ve probably had hundreds.”

So, it’s hard to know how many Derek had. The disease that he was found to have post-mortem — which is chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which we call C.T.E. — is something that doctors believe is not caused by one or two big concussions, but it’s caused by many hits — subconcussive hits. And so, each of those punches may have not really been a concussion by medical definitions, but may have contributed to his brain disease.

Steve MacIntyre of the Edmonton Oilers (left) fights with Derek Boogaard of the New York Rangers during a game in November 2010 in New York City.i
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Steve MacIntyre of the Edmonton Oilers (left) fights with Derek Boogaard of the New York Rangers during a game in November 2010 in New York City.

Paul Bereswill/Getty Images


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Steve MacIntyre of the Edmonton Oilers (left) fights with Derek Boogaard of the New York Rangers during a game in November 2010 in New York City.

Steve MacIntyre of the Edmonton Oilers (left) fights with Derek Boogaard of the New York Rangers during a game in November 2010 in New York City.

Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

On the NHL’s stance on fighting

The NHL has taken an interesting stance on it, and that is to do basically nothing. They feel that is an integral part of the game. They don’t say it’s there because it’s popular, although they will say that [they] have done some opinion polls and people seem to like it. But they do think, without fighting, there might be some other sort of serious injuries.

The question is that there’s not a whole lot of proof that fighting truly acts as a “thermostat” — in [NHL Commissioner] Gary Bettman’s words — and lowers the rest of the injuries. I think they think it’s popular. The NHL believes that they’ve been ahead of the curve in terms of concussion awareness, at least ahead of the other leagues here in North America.

But I think they have a difficult argument when it comes to fighting. And that is, you’re allowing two men to basically bare-knuckle brawl — in front of a crowd that’s cheering, in front of officials who stand and watch, in front of players who stand and watch — and let them basically try to beat each other up with a knockout punch. And they’re punching each other in the head. If you’re going to argue that you’ve done all you can to prevent concussions, I’m not sure how you can say that fighting is a part of that.

Freddy Cole On Piano Jazz

Sep 26, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Freddy Cole On Piano Jazz

Pianist, composer, and vocalist Freddy Cole can take any song and bring out colors and nuances never heard before. As Nat King Cole‘s younger brother, he has developed his own style to showcase his familial vocal talents.

On this Piano Jazz from 1998, he brings this special ability to “Sometimes I’m Happy.” Cole and host Marian McPartland join up for a performance of “My Hat’s on the Side of My Head.”

Originally broadcast Winter 1998.

Set List
  • “Sometimes I’m Happy” (Grey, Youmans, Caesar)
  • “It Could Happen to You” (Burke, VanHeusen)
  • “I Didn’t Mean to Love You” (Butler, Phillip)
  • “We’ve Only Just Begun” (Williams, Nichols)
  • “I’m Glad There’s You” (Coleman, Coleman)
  • “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” (Burke, VanHeusen)
  • “Afternoon” (Fields, Hall)
  • “Just One More Chance” (Johnston, Coslow)
  • “In the Middle of A” (Coslow)
  • “You’re Sensational” (Porter)
  • “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To” (Porter)
  • “You’re Everything” (Corea, Potter)
  • “My Hat’s on the Side of My Head” (Woods, Hulbert)
  • “Everything I Have Is Yours” (Adamson, Lane)
  • “Guilty” (Akst, Whiting, Kahn)
  • “I’ll Be Seeing You” (Kahal, Fain)

Alaska Is Rattled By 6.2 Magnitude Earthquake

Sep 26, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Alaska Is Rattled By 6.2 Magnitude Earthquake

A 6.2 magnitude earthquake rattled Alaska on Thursday. Luckily, while very strong, it was a very deep quake, so no major damage was reported.

Alaska Public Media reports:

“The shaking caught the attention of residents across a large swath of the state, from Fairbanks down to Homer. In Anchorage, residents posted pictures on Facebook and Twitter of messy aisles in Fred Meyer, with shampoo bottles scattered across the floor, and tiles missing from ceilings in midtown buildings.

“[Michael West, who directs the Alaska Earthquake Center in Fairbanks], says events like this one are a reminder of what earthquakes are capable of in Alaska. He says a strong earthquake like this one that was more shallow and centered closer to a city would be capable of causing widespread damage and even death. A 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2011 killed 185 people. West says he worries Alaskans have been lulled into thinking that big earthquakes are no big deal.”

Still, the Anchorage Daily News reports there were some dramatic moments during the temblor:

“On the fifth floor of a downtown Anchorage law office, lawyer Allen Clendaniel felt the shaking start slow and build in intensity.

“Out of the corner of his eye, Clendaniel saw bookcases come crashing down in his partner John Wendlandt’s office across the hall. Legal volumes, case briefs and files tumbled onto a pair of sofas and spilled over the floor.

“Clendaniel said he ran into the office to see if Wendlandt had been pinned under the shelves.”

“Luckily, he hadn’t come in yet,” said Clendaniel, whose office was mostly spared from falling objects.

As Finances Stabilize, Detroit’s Elected Officials Retake Reins

Sep 26, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on As Finances Stabilize, Detroit’s Elected Officials Retake Reins

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr attends a news conference in June.i
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Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr attends a news conference in June.

Rebecca Cook/Reuters/Landov


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Rebecca Cook/Reuters/Landov

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr attends a news conference in June.

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr attends a news conference in June.

Rebecca Cook/Reuters/Landov

The Detroit City Council on Thursday unanimously approved a plan to return oversight of daily operations to elected officials while retaining the city’s state-appointed emergency manager to oversee bankruptcy matters until they are resolved.

Kevyn Orr, who was appointed by the state in March 2013 to manage Detroit’s troubled finances and who took the city into the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, said Thursday that Detroit is “more than ready for the change.”

“This is really a good day for the city,” he said before signing Order 42, which transfers power back to the council and Mayor Mike Duggan. “We have a little bit more to go, but this is the right thing to do.”

Orr had gradually been returning responsibilities to elected officials and is still expected to testify during the city’s bankruptcy trial, which is scheduled to last until mid-October. His 18-month contract was set to expire this weekend, though he will retain the title of emergency manager.

His exit would become fully effective if the city’s restructuring plan is approved in court, said Duggan, who supported the council’s action, saying it returns democracy to Detroit.

Orr, Duggan and councilmembers spent the past three days hashing out the deal. Sticking points involved financial concerns tied up in bankruptcy court, such as a pending bond issue that required the city to have an emergency manager or the bond would go into default.

“We had a lot of questions. … None of us are bankruptcy lawyers,” Council President Brenda Jones said.

Orr and his team have reached deals that will pay most of the city’s creditors far less than what they are owed, wiping out $7 billion of Detroit’s $12 billion in long-term, unsecured debt. An agreement with the state, businesses and foundations keeps cuts to retiree pensions down while preventing city-owned artwork from being sold to satisfy some of the debt. The restructuring plan also sets aside $1.7 billion to improve police, fire and other city services.

When Orr took over, the city was all but broke.

Detroit’s population had dropped by more than a quarter-million since 2000. Tax revenue was not enough to cover spending and the city’s bills. There was no money to pay off $5.7 million in retiree health-care obligations or $3.5 million in pension liabilities. And an under-manned and under-equipped police force struggled to keep the crime rate down.

The orderly transition of responsibilities from Orr to the city reflects continuing cooperation between Detroit and Lansing, Gov. Rick Snyder said in a statement.

“Together, we have confronted problems that have lingered for decades. … Hard work is still ahead of us,” he said. “We remain focused on improving the quality of life for all residents and building a strong and sustainable financial foundation for the city.”

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