Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hall of Famer: Goodbye To Stan ‘The Man’ Musial: 1920-2013

musial ap

Baseball’s perfect knight is no longer with us.

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cardinals great Stan Musial at 5:45 p.m. time on Saturday evening. Goold says Musial was “surrounded by family” when he passed.

“Stan The Man” — a picture of poise, grace and consistency — tallied 1,815 hits at home and 1,815 on the road over the course of his 22-year major league career. The lifetime Cardinal won three World Series titles, three National League MVPs and was a first-ballot inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.

He has a statue outside Busch Stadium and his No. 6 was retired by the Cardinals in 1963 — the same year that he stopped playing. He was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the highest honor that the United States government can bestow on a civilian — at the White House in February 2011. Musial was 92. (Source)

National Gun Appreciation Show starts off with a bang: 5 people accidently shot in 3 different states!

You gotta love the gun nuts. Accidently shooting someone at a gun show is not the best publicity right now for guns. They’re were just trying to show solidarity on National Gun Appreciation Day by demonstrating how safe guns were. That one accidently fired…well, it happens you know.

The shooter was hoping to privately sell the offending shotgun, but authorities said “Hell no,” after that incident. Only licensed gun dealers were able to peddle their wares afterward. I’m sure glad I wasn’t anywhere near those 200 good people parading around the legislative building in Raleigh. Who knows what would have happened if one of them would have fallen out of step…and accidently discharged their assault gun of choice? Can you say deadly chain reaction?

And on and on we go…

“Three people were wounded Saturday when a loaded gun accidentally discharged Saturday at a Raleigh, N.C., gun show, authorities said.Officials say Gary Lynn Wilson, 36, was having his personal shotgun checked prior to entering the Dixie Gun and Knife Show at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh when the incident happened. He was unzipping his 12-gauge shotgun's case when it accidentally fired birdshot pellets, hitting three individuals, The News & Observer in Raleigh reported. Wilson was planning on privately selling the gun at the show, according to NBC affiliate WNCN.

The incident came on the first "National Gun Appreciation Day," which was organized by Political Media, a Republican consulting firm. In Raleigh, police say around 200 gun-rights supporters marched around the legislative building in downtown Raleigh on Saturday, The News & Observer reported.” (Source)

UPDATE: Two more accidently shot at Gun shows

In Medina, Ohio, an exhibitor at a local gun show was opening a box containing a gun when the weapon went off, striking his partner, who was sitting next to him, NBC station WKYC of Cleveland reported.

In Indianapolis, said a 54-year-old man was loading his .45 caliber semi-automatic gun when he shot himself in the hand, The Associated Press reported. The victim, Emory L. Cozee, had been leaving the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife show at the state fairgrounds, officials told the AP. Loaded personal weapons are not permitted inside this show, according to the AP.

Fear of Crazies Using 3-D Weapon & Ammo Clip Printing Technology Spurs Call for New Gun Legislation


  Good Day World!

 I never imagined that 3-D technology would ever go beyond the movies (remember 13 Ghosts in the 60s?), but it has and in a big way.

Weapons of all kinds can be created with a 3-D print technology nowadays. That includes ammunition clips of all sizes. It’s kinda scary when you think about it. Lone crazies printing up their own weapon of choice. Not a comfortable scenario to contemplate, but possible! Now some people are up in arms about these homemade firearms (you can make your own with the right CAD cam program). (Image -The printed magazine and its CAD file. Defense Department.)

“U.S. Representative Steve Israel (D-Huntington, N.Y.) plans to propose a ban on creating gun magazines with 3-D printers. The bill is still in the drafting stage, but Israel intends to make sure existing legislation includes consideration for this new kind of homemade firearm.

Last month, Rep. Israel proposed to renew the Undetectable Firearms Act, which was adopted in 1988 and will expire in December of this year. Israel suggested that the act, which requires all guns to be detectable by such devices as X-ray machines and , is more relevant than ever.

The 112th Congress ended before the renewal could be considered, and Israel was preparing to resubmit it when some news on the 3-D printing front caused his organization to reconsider the legislation. Defense Distributed, a group attempting to create a fully 3-D printed gun, posted a video on YouTube showing a working printed 30-round magazine for an AR-15 assault rifle.

With the climate around gun legislation trending toward tighter restrictions, Israel's team decided that the Undetectable Firearms Act should be expanded to outlaw 3-D printed magazines of any kind.

Samantha Slater, Israel's communications director, told NBC News that Israel is "supportive of 3-D printing," but that the potential for circumventing the law in this case is too great to ignore.” (Source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Rage Room: A Place Where You Get to Destroy Things For a Price

       Good Day World!

It feels so good.

Have you ever seen a fundraiser where you take a sledge hammer to a car for charity? Smash in windshields? A buck a whack or something like that? The same energy, where you get to destroy something without consequences, is being employed by some folks in Serbia for therapy purposes.

The whole idea is predicated on it’s better than getting into a fight – and you get to really let go for a modest price. Cheap therapy as it were. Beat the hell out of inanimate objects and you’ll reduce the stress in your life.

I don’t know. What do you think about this form of release?

“NOVI SAD, Serbia -- Savo Duvnjak looks around the room, lifts a metal baseball bat and wrecks everything in sight — bed, table, shelves, chair — until there's nothing left to wreck.

This isn't a criminal onslaught. It's the Rage Room.

And it's smashing its way to success in Serbia one angry visitor at a time. "This feels so good!" Duvnjak said sweating and panting, as he admired the mound of debris he created — for just a modest fee.

"I feel I let go of all my negative energy," the 18-year-old gushed. "This last year was a tough one and I wanted to end it with a bang!"

Since it opened in the northern Serbian city of Novi Sad in October, the Rage Room has drawn a flurry of attention in the Balkan country where two decades of war, political crisis and economic hardship have driven many people over the edge.

Inspiration from Texas
Inspired by a similar "Anger Room" in Dallas, Texas, Serbia's version was set up by two teens who saw the U.S. original online and figured it could be a way to earn pocket money.

Expert: Yoga 'more useful'
Sanja Marjanovic, a psychologist from Belgrade, said that modern science looks for ways to control frustrations before they explode into full-blown rage.

She explained that "venting anger does give you an immediate sense of relief but in the long run, one becomes accustomed to feeling angry."

"In a stressful situation, one can count to ten, or take calm, deep breaths," she said. "It's much more useful to practice yoga."

Pausic said each visitor must sign a document that includes a clause saying the Rage Room does not aspire to offer medical assistance.

And, after the session is over, customers are given a CD that includes information about professional therapists and how to contact them.

For his part, Duvnjak found therapeutic value in the Rage Room. He said the session helped to take off some of the pressure that had built up in his studies — adding that many of his friends felt the same way.

"This is better than getting into a fight," he concluded.” (Source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Energy Drink Backlash: Regular Drinkers Face Insomnia, Seizures

         Good Day World!

If you’re an energy drink fan that swizzles the stuff throughout the day you might want to re-consider your habit. A recent survey suggests people who drink too much end up in hospital emergency wards with seizures.

As a matter of fact, lot’s of bad things are coming out about all those energy drinks that dominate the store shelves these days. Nasty effects range from Insomnia ,nervousness, headaches, fast heartbeat, and severe seizures.

To a nation of ass-dragging people who’ve trusted these legal energy drinks to get by, this is going to be shocking news. Now what? Go back to drinking coffee all day to get that buzz? You know what? A good night night’s sleep would be a lot safer and cheaper.

Here’s food for thought:

“A new federal government survey suggests the number of people seeking emergency treatment after consuming energy drinks has doubled nationwide during the past four years, the same period in which the supercharged drinks have surged in popularity in convenience stores, bars and on college campuses.

From 2007 to 2011, the government estimates the number of emergency room visits involving the neon-labeled beverages shot up from about 10,000 to more than 20,000. Most of those cases involved teens or young adults, according to a survey of the nation's hospitals released late last week by the Substance Abuse and Administration.

The report doesn't specify which symptoms brought people to the emergency room but calls energy drink consumption a "rising public health problem" that can cause insomnia, nervousness, headache, fast heartbeat and seizures that are severe enough to require emergency care.

Several emergency physicians said they had seen a clear uptick in the number of patients suffering from , anxiety and heart attacks who said they had recently downed an energy drink.

More than half of the patients considered in the survey who wound up in the emergency room told doctors they had downed only energy drinks. In 2011, about 42 percent of the cases involved energy drinks in combination with alcohol or drugs, such as the stimulants Adderall or Ritalin.

A lot of people don't realize the strength of these things. I had someone come in recently who had drunk three energy drinks in an hour, which is the equivalent of 15 cups of coffee," said Howard Mell, an emergency physician in the suburbs of Cleveland, who serves as a spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians. "Essentially he gave himself a stress test and thankfully he passed. But if he had a weak heart or suffered from coronary disease and didn't know it, this could have precipitated very bad things."

Concerns over energy drinks have intensified following reports last fall of 18 deaths possibly tied to the drinks - including a 14-year-old Maryland girl who died after drinking two large cans of Monster Energy drinks. Monster does not believe its products were responsible for the death.

Two senators are calling for the Food and Drug Administration to investigate safety concerns about energy drinks and their ingredients.

The energy drink industry says its drinks are safe and there is no evidence linking its products to the adverse reactions.

Late last year, the FDA asked the U.S. Health and Human Services Department to update the figures its research arm compiles about emergency room visits tied to energy drinks.

The SAMHSA survey was based on responses from about 230 hospitals each year, a representative sample of about 5 percent of emergency departments nationwide. The agency uses those responses to estimate the number of energy drink-related emergency department visits nationwide.

The more than 20,000 cases estimated for 2011 represent a small portion of the annual 136 million emergency room visits tracked by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The FDA said it was considering the findings and pressing for more details as it undertakes a broad review of the safety of energy drinks and related ingredients this spring.

"We will examine this additional information ... as a part of our ongoing investigation into potential safety issues surrounding the use of energy-drink products," FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess said in a statement.

Beverage manufacturers fired back at the survey, saying the statistics were misleading and taken out of context.

"This report does not share information about the overall health of those who may have consumed energy drinks, or what symptoms brought them to the ER in the first place," the American Beverage Association said in a statement. "There is no basis by which to understand the overall caffeine intake of any of these individuals - from all sources."

Energy drinks remain a small part of the carbonated soft drinks market, representing only 3.3 percent of sales volume, according to the industry tracker Beverage Digest. Even as soda consumption has flagged in recent years, energy drinks sales are growing rapidly.

In 2011, sales volume for energy drinks rose by almost 17 percent, with the top three companies - Monster, Red Bull and Rockstar - each logging double-digit gains, Beverage Digest found. The drinks are often marketed at sporting events that are popular among younger people such as surfing and skateboarding.

From 2007 to 2011, the most recent year for which data was available, people from 18 to 25 were the most common age group seeking emergency treatment for energy drink-related reactions, the report found.” (Source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Beware…‘The Truthers’ are out there and most of them are crazy!

      Good Day World!

I’m no longer surprised by anything any more. So, when I saw the following article about the Sandy Hook massacre and how some people don’t believe it even happened, I shook my head in disgust. Denying the truth about anything is commonplace among a group of people called “Truthers.”

They inspire nuts like Donald Trump to make asses out of themselves. Still, it’s hard to believe anyone would think the murder of 27 people by a deranged shooter was a conspiracy. It just goes to show you how crazy this world is getting. 

“Retired Gene Rosen was hailed as a hero for taking six terrified first-graders into his home and giving them fruit juice during the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

The four girls and two boys told Rosen they couldn’t return to class because a man with guns had killed their teacher. Indeed Victoria Soto was among the 26 dead – 20 children and six staffers – gunned down by Adam Lanza at the Newtown, Conn., school that day.

“I comforted them because I’m a grandfather,” Rosen, 69, who lives across the street from the school, said in an appearance on TODAY after the tragedy. “They were mortified.”

Now, Rosen and his wife are scared. He says he is being harassed by so-called Sandy Hook "truthers," conspiracy theorists who believe that facts about Newtown are being covered up by the media or other forces as part of a government or anti-gun plot.

“I’m getting emails with, not direct threats, but accusations that I’m lying, that I’m a crisis actor,” Rosen told the online magazine Salon. A white supremacist message board, Salon said, had ridiculed the “emotional Jewish guy.”

A photo of Rosen's home was posted online and fake social network accounts have been created in his name, according to the report. Blog posts call him a fraud. “What is the going rate for getting involved in a gov’t sponsored hoax anyway?” said one message accusing him of acting, according to Salon.

“The quantity of the material is overwhelming,” Rosen said, adding that his wife is worried for their safety.

Rosen’s treatment is the outgrowth of Newtown shooting conspiracy theories expanding on the Internet. Such claims are even coming from sources that appear to be mainstream.

Florida Atlantic University communications professor James Tracy, who in a blog post stated, “While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place – at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described.”

Or reporter Ben Swann, who questioned police accounts of the Aurora, Colo., shootings as well as the Sandy Hook massacre in an online program called “Full Disclosure.” Swann, in both instances, latches on to witness accounts reported in the early confusion of the tragedies to question whether more than one gunman was involved. There is “reason to question this whole narrative,” Swann said.

Some of the conspiracy theories blame Jewish people for roles in the Newtown tragedy. Those claims even led Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League to respond. In a blog post Foxman laments the inevitable rumor mill that sprouts up on the Internet after major disasters and tragedies that the news media is hiding the truth and that Jews or Israel a role.

“But never in a million years did I think that the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, an event that has so traumatized Americans and shocked people the world over, would become the latest fodder for cynical anti-Semites and anti-Israel conspiracy theorists,” Foxman wrote.

Conspiracy theories are nothing new, the ADL's Director of Investigative Research Mark Pitcavage points out, but they come in different stripes. One type is based on a single event, such as Sandy Hook, rather than a long-running series of complex machinations spanning the globe.

"What they tend to share is an incident occurs that is large and heinous, so much so that psychologically there will be people who are unwilling to accept a simple explanation for how the event took place," Pitcavage told NBC News.

Whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating John F. Kennedy 50 years ago is considered the "ultimate example."

"Psychologically people are unwilling, unprepared to accept that it was a lone gunman. So if they can't accept that, there must be some other explanation. That's why these conspiracy theories emerge."

The terrorist attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, also spawned conspiracy theories, and led to the coining of the phrase "Truthers" to describe them.” (Source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Hypocrite’s Corner: NRA puts out new 'Practice Range' shooting app -- after blaming video games for violence

    Good Day World!

 If anyone has any doubts about the NRA’s sincerity regarding video games,this article will dispel them. “Crazy Wayne” LaPierre (NRA Executive Vice President) went out of his way to claim there’s no need to have more gun control.

  One of the many ways he tried to deflect the roles of guns in recent massacres was to claim violent video games were the problem. Okay…so what happens?

The NRA comes out with a shooting game for all ages. The video game is all about practicing with your assault rifle. How nice. Now future teenage serial killers can practice shooting assault rifles so when the decide to assault teachers and students at schools they’ll get a maximum kill rate!

I just hope Obama’s committee (under Biden) comes up with some real laws with bite regarding assault rifles and gun registration. And now from the hypocrite’s corner:

  “Just weeks after the National Rifle Association forcefully blamed violent video games for gun violence, the gun-rights organization has released a for kids as young as four.NRA: Practice Range, a new app in the iTunes store, was released Sunday by the nation’s largest gun-industry lobby. It features a 3D-shooting range and offers users simulated target practice.

The game's launch comes one month after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which touched off a national debate over how to limit gun violence.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the National Rifle Association held a news conference in Washington, D.C, blaming the media and video games for cultivating a culture of violence.

“Guns don’t kill people. Video games, the media and Obama’s budget kill people,” NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said at a Dec. 21 press conference where he addressed the tragedy at Sandy Hook.

"There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people, through vicious, violent video games with names like ‘Bulletstorm,’ ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ ‘Mortal Kombat’ and ‘Splatterhouse.’”

The free app, recommended for ages 4 and up, according to the iTunes rating system, “offers a 3D shooting game that instills safe and responsible ownership through fun challenges and realistic simulations,” says the app’s description. “It strikes the right balance of gaming and safety education, allowing you to enjoy the most authentic experience possible.”

Users don’t shoot live subjects in the app, but instead are given an M9 handgun and sent to target practice in three immersive shooting ranges. 

The NRA says the app “puts the organization’s broad scope of resources in the palm of your hand – with 2nd Amendment newsfeeds, gun law information centers and educational materials that you can access anywhere, anytime.”

The app has received three-and-a-half out of five stars in the iTunes store, but has attracted several scathing customer reviews, some calling for it to be pulled from the iTunes store.

“Is this some kind of sick joke?” asked one user known as Papershipsonfire. “The NRA complains about violent games and then releases one a week later. Sure you’re not shooting humans but does it really matter?”

“What a dumb move,” posted Mansonr6. “Good luck getting anyone to take your video game theory serious after this.”

But others praised the educational content offered in the game.

“This is fun and informative plus there is no need for eye and ear protection,” wrote Joe in BrynMawr. “A must have for any gun enthusiast and defender of the U.S. constitution.”

Last week, after a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden’s gun reform task force, the NRA slammed the White House.

"It is unfortunate that this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems," the NRA said in a statement. "We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen." (Source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, January 14, 2013

If you THINK you're stressed out it’s enough to cause problems

         Good Day World!

Remember the old saying, “It’s only as bad as you think it is…?”

After analyzing a half dozen studies, researchers have come to the conclusion if you think you’re stressed it’s enough to give you a higher rate of coronary heart disease. That’s right. Worry warts be warned; worrying is causing you some serious problems.

As I always caution in all surveys, studies, and polls, take the results with a grain of salt. Most of the time they’re not definitive because of flawed methodologies and politics. However, after having said that, it doesn’t hurt to use common sense when considering a course of action after reading or hearing about a study,survey, or poll. 

“As if being stressed weren't bad enough, thinking you're stressed might also cause serious problems. Turns out, perceived stress, or how much you think you're stressed, is associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

Researchers analyzed six studies to see how perceived stress affects your ticker. Each of the studies asked participants to self-report intense or frequent feelings of stress and then followed each participant for about 14 years to see if they were diagnosed with, hospitalized, or died from coronary heart disease. What they found: Participants who reported high levels of stress had a 27 percent higher risk of developing coronary heart disease. (Did you know you can lower anxiety with your diet? Try these 9 Stress-Relieving Foods.)” (Source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, January 13, 2013

As It Stands: File your taxes early to help prevent identity fraud

   By Dave Stancliff/For The Times-Standard
   There are two things we all can count on; dying and paying taxes. After that it’s a free-for-all as we take on life’s many challenges. I realize it’s a little early to talk about taxes, but when it comes to warning you about the dangers of filing your taxes it’s never too soon.
   Americans have three options when it comes to paying taxes; filing electronically; the traditional way of filing on paper yourself or going to a tax accountant.
   Not surprisingly, the majority of Americans filed electronically last year. A whopping 81%  filed their returns electronically in 2012, according to a report recently released by the independent IRS Oversight Board. That represents about 119 million taxpayers.
   This 21st century shift in how we pay our taxes comes with a dark side, however. As more people get aboard electronically, thieves using stolen Social Security numbers and  popular tax preparation software are filing fake tax returns and collecting the refunds.

  Over 460,000 people have been victimized by identity theft tax fraud since 2008, according to the IRS Oversight Board report. Before you start to panic and wonder what’s the safest way to file, it’s online, according to security experts.
    Online filing is safer than filing by mail according to Linda Foley, co-founder of ID Theft Info Source and an expert on identity theft. In a recent AP interview, Foley said people should file electronically and then take steps to guard their electronic footprint
   Still, there are some people who aren’t comfortable with filing online. That’s understandable. In that event, the best thing they can do is use a trustworthy accountant. That might sound obvious, but the fact of the matter is the person they pick might be tempted to sell their information, or even use it themselves.
   Obviously, if you’ve been going to the same tax preparer for years, you don’t have to worry about that. However, it’s important to know this is one of the easiest ways for thieves to get access to your account.
    As for those Americans who do file electronically this year, there are steps they can take to safeguard themselves. My biggest reason for writing this column on taxes right now is to warn you to file early. This is one key way to prevent identity theft fraud.  

    One common tactic the thieves use is to take information that was stolen last year and use it to file a fake return as soon as possible, likely in early February, according to Foley. So, fair warning.
   It’s also a real good idea to protect your data. Make sure you’re using a secure computer, Foley warned, and save your data on a thumb drive that you remove from the computer once you’re done filing.
   The IRS suggests installing security software on your computer and running regular credit checks.
    The independent IRS Oversight Board report also recommended steps for the IRS to take to protect people. Among the suggestions was adding more fraud screens and increasing the resources devoted to helping identify theft victims.
  During Congressional testimony late last year, the IRS said they have 3,000 employees devoted to working on identity theft issues. As more people go to online filing, so do more thieves seek opportunity in Cyberspace.   
   It helps to remember that knowledge is power. The more you know about the challenges facing you when you file your taxes this year, the better. I can understand why more people are filing electronically. It’s a pretty easy thing to do.

   And when the security experts say you can protect your data more easily by filing your own taxes, rather than sharing them with a tax preparation service, it’s time to step into the 21st century of tax preparation.
   Please forgive me if I’ve bummed you out by making you think about your taxes so soon after the arrival of the new year. My wife sometimes accuses me of being a “worry wart,” but even she said it was okay to pass this information along this soon!
    As It Stands, the bottom line is, don’t let anyone come between you and the IRS when it’s time to file your taxes.

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...